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Friday, January 11, 2008

Travelogue Japan (1)

Confused? I can certainly understand that. Well, what I'm trying to do is catch up with posting all the travelogues that I've written the last few years. So, you'll see TLs from Slovakia (from 2006), Japan (2007), and Djibouti where I am now. Although I may bounce back and forth between countries, the order of when they were sent (within each country) will be the same. You just have to keep checking back for new TLs.

Oh, and for those of you who have received TLs from me in the past, I plan a few surprises with new pictures and stories so don't take this blog for granted. You need to check in quite often!! Anyway, below is the first TL from Japan. Hope you enjoy it.

Hello, All! This is my first submission from Japan.

Well, let's get right to it. I arrived in Japan almost two weeks ago. Surprisingly, I got over the jetlag within the first few days and was pretty much back to normal by the first weekend. I attribute this to having upgraded to business class using my United miles. Had I not done this, I would have been in agony during the trip and for many days thereafter.

Brenda was here to show me around and this also made my indoctrination to Japan much easier. I quickly learned how to use the subway to go to work, downtown, and to all the points of interest in the city. Overlap between the MTTs is a great idea if feasible.

Everyone at work has been great although they were a little shy at first. Two of my coworkers came to my office (I have my own office) last Friday and asked me a question about the word 'splice.' They wanted to know if splice meant connecting only two wires or could it mean more than two. I suspect this question was a way to break the ice as they later asked me why I hadn't come to speak to them more often. I told them it was because they always looked so busy. To this they replied "We may look busy, but we're really not." I'm already learning a lot about Japanese culture!

As for my charges, they are so polite and hardworking. Again, they are a little shy, but they're starting to come out of it. Wonderful behavior--when I asked about how one records tardiness/absences, I received blank looks from the others. They didn't have any cultural references for situations where someone might not attend class. As they told me, it just doesn't happen! Did I die and go to heaven?

I still can't get used to being saluted when on the base either.

Let's see, what else? Ah! I signed up for Japanese classes already at a private school downtown. My first class is Wednesday and I'm really looking forward to it. I haven't seen too many westerners so far, but I know there are a lot here. Maybe, I'll be able to meet a few in the class.

Okay, I know I'm forgetting a few things but maybe I can include them next time. I'm attaching two photos--nothing really fascinating like mountain climbing or rafting, but I've been told that I'm going to an art museum next week. And, of course, at some point I'll attack Mt. Fuji!

One of the photos was taken downtown and the other from my balcony. As always, feedback is much appreciated.

http://picasaweb.google.com/mccoy4984/TravelogueJapan1

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