Archive for December, 2008

Merry Christmas

Thursday, December 25th, 2008

Merry Christmas

Stage 2

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008

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Quote of the day:

Don’t worry my little readers. It will all make sense in the end

– Me

Post Script: MUHAHAHahahahahaha

Short message while in Southern France

Sunday, December 21st, 2008

While I am in the south of france I will leave you with this lovely little video to keep you company ’till Christmas

Japanese Culture: Sleeping

Wednesday, December 10th, 2008

My last blog entry had to do with being back for such a long time already. And while I suppose I could use this as an excuse to stop writing about the Japanese . . .

Well, sometimes they are just too damn funny.

Which isn’t to say that this post isn’t culturally relevant.

As I approach the problem I will sketch some of the cultural markers which have lead to the development of this behaviour.
Who knows. It may even be true.

First of all the stage has to be set. Japan is one of the safest countries in the world to live in. Speaking crime wise. What I will describe couldn’t take place in the Netherlands, the EU, US or a sheitload of other places.

Also, as mentioned before (and a lot) the Japanese take their work-life seriously. This means that a lot of Japanese leave for work early and don’t come back ’till late. Midnight is not an exception for some people. Another thing I’ve mentioned earlier in this blog is the relatively tight family bond the Japanese maintain with their family.

So . . . we have a busy worklife, an involved family life and everything else in between is safe.

Where and when the hell do we sleep?

That’s right, wherever the hell we want.

I give you the Neighbourly shoulder:

Say “Hi” to my friend Nikolaos btw.

The comfortable chairs on the subway:

The euhm . . . almost made it to the chair on the subway

The euhm . . . floor . . . of the subway

The platform, waiting for the comfortable subway:

The door of the subway. Extra comfortable

And because we are the culture of Wa all of us together:

I’ll be honest. Some of these are every day pictures and others are every night pictures. While it is true that you will find people snoozing on other people’s shoulders on the way to (and from) work at any time of the day it took alcohol to inspire some of the pictures you can take regarding the sleeping habits of Japanese.

However you want to look at it though, the Japanese have developed a great cultural collective ability to catch Z’s whenever they need it. And it took Japan to foster this ability. Let’s face it, in Amsterdam, London, New York or any other modern “Western” city you’d be picked clean. Fall asleep in a quiet corner of a subway station? You’re going home on your socks. Not so in Japan. Your picture will get posted on a silly Gaijin’s Blog though. Small price to pay. Sleep on little Japanese buddies. Sleep on!

Go here for some others which I have collected. Otherwise just google it and you’ll get some facebook groups, Youtube videos or just random pictures.

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Quote of the day:

When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist

– Dom Helder Camara

Remnants of Japanese Culture

Monday, December 8th, 2008

Back for over 3 months now.
Did all the things that I wasn’t able to do for a year. Japan is a great country but there’s just certain things you can’t get there.

Licorice for one. It is a fair trade I suppose. You can’t find a decent sushi place here to save your life.

Now that I have been back for 3 months things have settled down. From the “rut” in Japan (Yes, seeing new places EVERY weekend? Man, you get sick of that I can tell ya) to the rut back home.

It is now that I can see some of the residual effects of my stay in Japan.

I duck when I walk through doors. Yes, Still!
I bow to people when saying goodbye. Much to the amusement of other people.
And I get annoyed at the attitude of people around me.

I am back at my old job but the company remodeled while I was away. I had to work in the temporary solution for a month and a half but we have been in our new spot for about 5-6 weeks now. Obviously there is a lot that still needs fixing. Some things which weren’t thought through properly when the design was made. And some numbers getting mixed up resulted in a hole for 2 carts that sorta do fit 2 carts, but only if you push one in sideways.
Overall there are a lot of things that just don’t work as they would have in the old situation. So there’s loads of chances for people to take a problem and fix it. Lots of chances to leave a personalized stamp on the new place.

Instead I have lots of people around me that sorta do some work and will ignore stuff that doesn’t fit. Pass it on to the next shift if they are at all able to.

And outside of that people don’t make much of an effort. There’s stuff laying about that needs sorting, restocking, finishing and people will ignore it in favor of just talking at the counter.

Is that the pride you show in your work?
Is that the image you want the company to have of you?
Is that the effort you are willing to put into bettering the company?

I can’t imagine having formulated these thoughts 15 months ago but here they are.

I’ll let you know if I am happy with these impressions when I’ve figured out if that applies.

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Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former

– Albert Einstein