Let’s see… I dropped off for two days. What happened those two days…
Today’s Thursday, so… let’s talk about Tuesday.
Tuesday I went to work. I don’t recall anything particularly special about work. I rode the train, listening to music, looking both ways at all intersections. Oh – I did go in late because of meetings that started a bit early and were completely over the phone. That gave me a chance to experience a week-day train slightly different from my normal.
I had to wait!
This is significant, and I learned why with all that spare time I suddenly had. During most of the 7a- 8a and all of the 8a – 9a hours, there are trains that stop in my station every 2 minutes. Wow! Recently I also noticed that the conductor pops out of his cab (knew that) at the station and looks at his watch until a specific period of time has passed (not long), then presses a button that makes the ‘last call’ tone. Maybe this isn’t the same in all stations or all lines, but I saw it at least once.
After work I went to play pool with a co-worker. That was a really nice experience and it lifted my spirits a great deal. I played really, really well – better and more consistently than I think I ever have before. It was a nice place that we played in, with the noise level being pretty reasonable. The thing that stuck out were the dart boards – they were all electronic, making arcade style noises each time your dart hit the board. The billiards tables were very nice.
As we played, I got to “show off” my vocabulary a bit, and practice my new word. (“You’re welcome”) My co-workers were appropriately (judge that as you may) impressed with my efforts.
I thought to bring dad here if he gets to drop in on Tokyo.
Dinner was from the Lawson down the street. I grabbed a dish of fried rice, dumplings and fried chicken. I had resigned myself to eating it cold, just for the fact that I’d be eating something. Then the cashier asked I wanted it warmed up – of course we did this through context, but it worked. He popped it in the microwave, I paid and it was just finishing up. I ate a nicely warmed meal as I worked through some issues at work that came up just as I walked in the door.
Wednesday I was in a very good mood – the companionship the night previous likely contributed to that as well as pretty good night’s sleep. Again, nothing in particular stands out about the work day, only that I really wanted to leave early for some reason. My only retreat would be to the hotel room which I’m getting pretty tired of, but it was still a calmer and quieter place than the office. The difference in the Tokyo office from the US one is the amount of space available – we’ve got ‘enclaves’ in the US where you can ‘hide’ for a while to get a quiet work environment.
After work I went downstairs to the bar at the ground floor to have a couple of drinks to wrap things up. We met a number of ex-pats from various countries that are in the IT / Financial industry – British, French, and maybe something else. I had to be careful of my volume control as I had my second drink – I guess it’s not a great idea to be loud in a quiet culture.
I hung out there until about 10p and had 3 drinks. I got on my train after surviving the gauntlet of club hawkers in Roppongi. It’s such a weird thing, the gauntlet. I happened to walk with someone else to my station, so we were having a conversation the whole way to the station. We continued to have our conversation as the hawkers would try to break in to tell us about their “bars”. It’s a lovely way to finish your evening out listening to these guys invite you to see t****es.
My train ride home seemed to go by very quickly – I think I must have fallen asleep just a bit, but I made it off at my station. Luckily I’m starting to recognize the kanji since that’s all I had time to see just before the train stopped. I headed to the hotel, stopped off at the Lawson to get dinner (sushi for half the price of just one of my beers), made my regular phone calls and got in bed.
Unfortunately, I didn’t stay in bed all night – I woke up around 1am thinking that I needed to be in another place. I wandered around in the dark for a few minutes, trying to think of where I was and how I would get to where I needed to be. I’ve done things similar to this every once in a while in the past couple of weeks. I guess it’s just a bit of mental fatigue combined with being a strange place. Luckily I didn’t attempt to leave my room, and eventually got back into the bed.
That was Tuesday and Wednesday in a nut shell. I’ll post about Thursday tomorrow because right now I just need to sleep. Keep in mind that the blog is showing CST, but I’m operating in JST. Add 14 hours to the posting times to understand when I’m operating…