Nakatani Apartment, Nagoya

Today was my first day to go to Labo Center alone, and wouldn't you know it, the route we took yesterday was blocked off by construction. I got around ok, but pushed the clock a little more than I would have liked.

Ono, my scheduler, was out on a business trip today. The other coworkers helped me out a bit, but for the most part I simply went through my desk. There are tons of folders and papers, documenting interns at least as long ago as 1997. Pretty interesting to go through, there is a lot of history behind this desk.

I bought a nice box of anko-mochi sweets at the shrine yesterday, and I brought it in and gave it to the office. From what I understand, employees do this kind of thing a lot in Japanese offices.

One of sempais (I'm working on everyone's names, not quite there yet. I think her nickname is Ponko? Ponda? I know it's not Ponyo.) showed me a good place to get food for lunch, a sort of conglomeration of bakeries and take-out shops across the street. At an onigiri shop, she asked which one I was going to get. Not knowing any better, I answered, and she bought it for me before I realized what was happening. I tried to pay her back (I even had exact change already in my hand), but she wasn't having any of that. I'm still getting used to this whole gift culture, it does catch me off guard sometimes. The only problem with participating in such a culture is that you need to give back appropriately or the system breaks down. If you do it wrong, you run the risk of appearing moochy, cheap, rich, or sending a message completely different than what you meant. Anyways, the rice ball was delicious.

On the way out I stopped in the bookstore at the bottom of the building. I bought the second volume of that kanji mnemonic handbook, and almost bought a Tintin book for my host sister (they had a bunch of them in hardcover, even the color Congo one, the old Soviet one, and Alph-Art, which hasn't been released afaik in the US). She's about to turn seven, which is I think the birthday I got my first Tintin book. I just haven't seen her reading a lot, so I wonder if she'd actually give it a shot. I'll probably get it for her anyways.


mamagotcha said...

I got some presents from KC for you to give out. Now I just gotta wrap and mail 'em. I'll try to do a decent job on that...