Written: July 6, 2009
After writing my last post I returned home last Thursday, and basically just went to sleep. I went home a bit later than I was hoping, as usual, so I decided to get my schedule straightened out Friday.
Friday I discussed what I had to do with my post-doc, and made the decision to not come-in on Saturday, and instead store my cells in the freezer for a few days and pick a colony Monday instead of Friday. The reason? If I had agreed to come in Saturday it would end up in a vicious cycle in which I never actually work normal hours. My schedule is supposed to go from 9 or 10am until 5 or 6pm Monday through Friday, and that’s what I’m planning to work. Osaka is such a great city, I really want to keep exploring it and meeting people.
That being said, Friday afternoon I left lab at 5:30ish and went home for about an hour (after an hour’s commute) and then went to Umeda to meet up for dinner with Koji-san (the one sitting on the far right in this picture.) Koji-san and I had really good takoyaki, and then a delicious bowl of ramen in a set that included rice with some sort of ‘beef’ over it, I think. It was all delicious. Afterward we walked around Osaka, which was nice, and we went into a CD/DVD/BOOK shop and I saw a lot of Michael Jackson in there.
I’ve also seen a lot of Michael Jackson on TV, and people talk about him everywhere. I’ve come to realize how big of a star he was, probably around the time when I was born. All I got to see of his fame was his legal issues and maybe a residue of what it used to be, but I can now see the impact his career had worldwide (or at least in Japan.)
Saturday was my day of staying at home and receive my Wireless Internet Card. If you did not know, I used to access the internet only at work. As a good MIT student, I grew used to having internet access 24/7, and then suddenly only being able to use it at work, and have no working phone, I was just about to panic. I ordered this wireless card that I have to pay around $60 a month for it, but it gives me unlimited wireless internet access. The card uses a signal from e-mobile, the celphone service provider, so I can use it anywhere they have service, quite good! I spent the rest of the day browsing the internet, calling home through Skype, and just relaxing.
Sunday was a more eventful, after waking up a bit late, I cleaned up a bit and relaxed. For dinner, however, I met with Zhang-san and his friend and business partner Yatani-san. We had a pleasant dinner at a Chinese restaurant down in Osaka. The dinner and the conversation were great, and it went on for over 4 hours. There were several good things we talked about, mostly surrounding businesses and IT, but also friends, family, and life in general. Both of them were quite pleasant to talk to, and I had a great time. They also told me about something I had heard about, but had not done much about, and it is related to my Japanese name.
As I’ve been using my Japanese name, pronounced omaru オマル, it’s the same exact pronuntiation for ‘potty’. That’s right, every time I introduced to someone I literally say, “I’m potty” in Japanese. Just imagine that, the first image that pops into someone’s mind when they hear my name is this:
This does not really make for a good image, particularly when working in business, so I got the recommendation to instead use my name as Omaaru 「オマール」, with that extra ‘a’ sound, even if it does not resemble my original name in Spanish as much. Doing so would prevent people from thinking about potty training when they hear my name, and this name I could write in Chinese characters as 御真阿留 which has a great meaning.
I am very grateful and happy about our meeting last night, and I’m looking forward to meet with them again. They are both very smart young guys, and they both have a very good vision of what they want to do/achieve, which I admire greatly. Their recently founded company, SSQQB, has a lot of potential for growth, particularly because of their attitude and vision. I definitely am looking forward to learning more from them.