Friday, November 06, 2009

The Final Week

October 19, 2009
Training resumes

Had a long and tiresome lecture about a (banyak songeh – nearest translation I can come up with is very annoying) customer’s audit form. Their English can be incredibly confusing.

Miyoshi is cold, cold and cold. The room is freezing. Went shopping at the supermarket (a 15 minute walk only, this time. We must have been exhausted yesterday) for some sweets. (I’m falling asleep in class) and ended up a while later in CK’s and Kenny’s for some Alaskan crab which CK cooked (steamed over boiling water) on one of those electric stoves they borrowed from our apartment.

Why the hell is their place so warm?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

We have a new trainer in today, and a new training lesson, one of particular importance. Just realized that quite a lot of current practice needs to be revised.

Now, due to a certain food restriction of mine, the chef at the dormitory has been attempting to turn me into a vegetarian. He served me a fried egg this morning instead of what the others got. (I consider egg to be vegetarian – long story) It’s a sad, sad day :(

The whole group went out for dinner with a former adviser who’s now based in this plant and his friend who used to be an adviser in Indonesia and was conversing with Dewey in Bahasa Indonesia ( a slight variation from the Malaysian language) We had Chinese food. When we asked him (the adviser who used to be in Malaysia) if he preferred Malaysian Chinese food or Japanese Chinese food, he answered without hesitation… Malaysian. Malaysia 1, Japan 0 :p

Anyway, JC discovered why our apartment was always freezing cold even with the heater on before dinner. Apparently, our windows were slightly open which allowed the cold air to creep in and freeze us every day. After closing it just now, it does indeed seem so much warmer.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Breakfast was sad today. The crazy dorm chef served me raw fish roe. I don’t even like cooked fish roe, and here there was a piece of raw fish roe staring at me, all pink and probably waiting to grow into little fishies to swim in the ocean if they weren’t already dead. Anyway, I left it back in the freezer area of the kitchen. Why oh why did the first trainer have to mention my bloody food restriction? I could have done selective eating like I usually do 

I suppose I forgot to mention that besides a new trainer, we also have a new interpreter who speaks excellent English and Malay (he was based in Malaysia for sometime and picked up the language here (or is it there? I’m confused… LOL) and refers to himself as Orang Paling Kacak (Most handsome person) He is most amicable and made the training pretty fun. Our trainer on the other hand (who was given the nickname “Shinkansen” by Orang Paling Kacak due to his speed while walking, which even Orang Paling Kacak had difficulty keeping up with – he keeps reminding us that he is after all 63 years old) was a bit disorganized. He made us run between the GC and the IR machines which were located in two different buildings from 1:00 pm right up to almost 5 pm. I bet it would have been hilarious for people to see us in our pale green uniforms and white safety helmets walking at high speeds back and forth in a single file.

Tonight we had dinner on our own as a group. It was a farewell dinner we had for ourselves with the usual point and order method. I wasn’t up to translating and I noticed phrasebooks don’t serve so well when you really need them to. I can’t seem to remember what I was looking for, but I couldn’t find it then. I ordered “Udon Kare” (literally translated to Wheat Noodle in Curry) which tasted different from any of the curries I’ve ever had before. It was creamy in consistency and got creamier as it cooled (I eat pretty slowly), and was kind of sweetish. We also bought a big ass sushi dish for our ‘farewell party’ later tonight which is supposed to be held at Chu’s and PY’s place. As of today, I have officially eaten all of the Japanese dishes I’ve heard of. That is an accomplishment indeed!

Thursday, October 22, 2009
I am officially too tired to write anything due to all the laughing at our second farewell party. Yes, we’re that crazy. We had another dinner earlier today with the trainer and the interpreter. It was fun. I know I am gonna miss this lot.

Friday, October 23, 2009
The final day

Gosh, here I am, sitting alone in this hotel room after a 6 hour journey across the island again. My flight tomorrow is in the morning, and CK, Kenny, JC and myself were chaperoned by our disorganized trainer (who by now is slightly tipsy) through bus rides, subways, the shinkansen and finally the Narita Express (this ride is awesome, baby) Had to say farewell to JC at the Tokyo station where she’d be meeting her friend. It was then I realized how lonely I’d be tonight without a partner in crime to discuss the conspiracy theory of Kenny having a thing for CK.

So back to the farewell parties of Wednesday and Thursday….

As we walked back from the Jusco shopping mall (that’s where we’d be able to have a better option in picking a venue), there was a discussion to have a party at Chu’s and PY’s place, since most of us had actually nothing better to do (unless if we wanted to write our reports, or in my case document each day before sleeping) Actually JC and I were a bit reluctant at first, and decided to go and just show our faces (there was some issue about the sushi which I can’t really recall well right now), hang around a bit and then get out. However, once when we got there, we stayed there for a long, long time playing this really strange game called 007 Pang!

It goes like this… (in case any of us ever need a game idea for a party in the future) One person starts the game by pointing at another person and says 0, that person points to another and says 0, the person who gets the second 0 points to another and says 7, the person who gets 7 points again at another and says Pang. The person who gets Pang should keep quiet whilst the two people on their left and right should raise their hands and say “waaah”. In the event that the sequence is not followed properly, the wrongdoer is required to be punished, and in this case, it was to either eat sushi or drink.

This activity got Kenny very, very drunk at some point and he began to get very friendly (a bit too friendly, I’d say) with CK as the rest of us looked on, amused. It was hilarious watching CK trying to get away from the clutches of Kenny. Actually, it was partly CK’s fault that Kenny got drunk, because when it was his turn to call someone “Pang!” he’d point to someone else but scream in Kenny’s ear (they were sitting next to each other) and this causes Kenny to raise his hands (although he shouldn’t, according to the games rules) and hence he was punished.Yours truly, with a focus that has almost psychopathic tendencies managed to avoid getting into any trouble. Besides, I usually refrain from taking alcohol. Sighs with relief.

On Thursday night, we had another farewell dinner with OPK and our disorganized trainer. The food was really good and the restaurant looked lovely. Among the dishes we had included gingko nuts, cheese and rice okonomiyaki (very interesting!), some salad, mussels in soup, chicken and sweet potato ice cream and even a dish of raw fish roe with rice and green tea all mixed up. I took one chopstick helping of that just for the sake of trying it. It had an acceptable taste, and was spicy (zOMG) just my knowledge of there being raw fish roe in it (and potential worms) deterred me from enjoying it thoroughly

After dinner, the guys wanted to hang out again in Chu’s and PY’s place for a so-called final farewell party. And since it was technically our last night together, all of us sat in their hall and watched a silent movie on their TV while chatting about the training and ourselves until Kenny wanted to play 007 Pang again. And so we did, and this time his condition got even worse than the day before, especially because after we got bored of 007, he suggested we play his version of spin the bottle, whereby the person who gets the bottle pointing at them gets punished. (Personally, I have a feeling that he really did want to get drunk)

He actually collapsed on the floor after going to the loo, but not before grabbing CK by the waist again in a very strange kind of way. I wonder if I’m being mean to suspect him having a thing for CK.

The ‘party’ ended at about 10:00 pm, and we had training for half the day the next day before heading out halfway across the island to get back.



  1. Hey, I have to agree, eggs is a vegetarian food, well that's what I tell my wife anyway every time she tries to force me to eat my vegetables, the real ones I mean ... LOL!

    Gosh, you know what I would go for if I ever went to Japan? I'd drink bowls of them Miso soup cos I absolutely love the stuff :D

  2. LOL...

    Yup, miso soup is good. And it tastes different in the different regions. Maybe I should add that to my summary post! :)


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