Written on: June 10, 2009 10:35am (local time)
I woke up yesterday and got ready to go to work. I took the train at 8:20ish and got to lab at around 9:20. From then on I did the usual, check my e-mails, talk to friends online, and not much more. At around 1pm I went to lunch and had the University Lunch (大学ランチ) and went back to lab. The afternoon in lab was busy, so next thing I know, it’s almost 9pm and I still have a gel running that I need to finish up in an hour.
At around 9:10pm I was really tired, and hungry (hadn’t had dinner) but instead of going to eat I just went to talk to my labmates (the ones from the birthday the day before). I had such a good time talking to them that next thing I know it’s 11pm and I have to go catch the last train home, which is at 11:42pm Since the walk from the lab to the station is about 20 minutes, I left at around 11:15pm. It was nice talking to my labmates, they have become friendlier (or rather, more comfortable around me) and we make a lot of jokes among ourselves. We speak mostly in Japanese, but there are two of them that want to practice English, so they ask me questions in English, and I try to answer in Japanese. When I don’t know words in Japanese I ask them how to say something, or what does a specific word mean, and they either tell me the English equivalent or try to explain it in Japanese. Having them in the lab makes it a lot easier to spend 12+ hours a day at work during the weeks, plus 2 hours commuting. We’re also planning to go on a trip somewhere together! 🙂
Something I realized yesterday is that in Japan people don’t worry about you walking along at night through not too well-illuminated streets. I walk to the train station from lab, which is a 20 minutes walk, and most of the streets are much darker than streets in the US. You can still see, but you can’t recognize someone else’s face until they are quite close to you. However, people just say ‘take care’ and good night. I also see women walking the same path sometimes at the same hours (after 11pm) by themselves. It seems that people are just very confident that nothing bad is going to happen.
Funny thing, I was thinking about this while walking to the station, and on a hill while walking down the street I hear 3 guys speaking English, and to me they sounded like the college guys that just got drunk and are talking about women. You know, those. My first instinct was to avoid them and to think, what are they doing here? Then I realized, I am a foreigner myself, what am I doing questioning their presence in Osaka? It was just a funny realization to see that I am more comfortable knowing that the people around me are Japanese, therefore, I feel safe.
I had dinner from Lawson (a 24 hours convenience store down the street). I got a ‘bento’ or lunch box which had several things that I don’t even know their names but it was delicious, filling, and costs only 400 yen (~$4.10). I then showered and went to bed.
It was my first ‘regular’ day, with nothing really new other than a nice feeling when talking to labmates, which are becoming my friends this summer. 🙂 We agreed on having lunch together today, so that should be nice!