Thursday, May 28, 2009

A typical morning

Hey guys. I have no internet connection at the office this morning, thus plenty of time to sit in front of the computer and type something to try to look busy even though I can't do any work without the internet. So here you go, a typical morning in the life of K. (drumroll please!)

6:30 - T wakes up. He has to get to work early every day, unlike me. My job starts at 10, so I am a lazy bum in the morning. I usually don't even notice his alarm clock.

7 - hubby is dressed and ready to go, but he comes back to bed to snuggle. I am not a snuggler when I sleep. I have a distinct marked territory that I guard with sharp elbows and cold toes, and in the morning, stinky breath. I know I am a terrible person, but somehow this does not make me want to snuggle any more.

Typical 7 am dialogue: T tries to snuggle. I put up with it for about a minute, then slowly roll away.
Then I am chased. This slow persuit usually end with me pinned at the wall, and finally, I groggily complain and/or defend myself with above tactics.
T: don't you LOVE me?
K: I love you... now go away please.
Usually it's not too much longer until he is satisfied that he has bothered me sufficiently and gets up to leave, where we exchange the Japanese 'itekimasu/iterashai' lines. If I'm not already asleep ,that is.

7:15 - 8:15 I have the bed to myself. Well mostly to myself. Cally thinks this is a good opportunity to steal T's pillow, which is orthopedic and has a round impression in the middle for good neck support. This pillow is apparently also manufactured for cats (or should be), beacuse the depression is exactly the size of Cally's body. She approves of it wholeheartedly. In fact, sometimes she waits stealthily even at night for T to roll over and temporarily discard his pillow, at which point she pounces and steals it. T has to wake up and push her away to get his pillow back(at least for the time being). Ah, domestic squabbles.

8:15: my alarm goes off. Of course I ignore it.
8:30 - sometimes 8:40 - once 9:00(!) : Wake up for real. depending on remaining time, do the following things...

Not Optional: Get dressed, feed Cally.
Probably Should Not Be Optional: Wash face and brush teeth and put on deodorant. Put rice in rice cooker so its ready when we get home.Yeah, sometimes I am bad and have no time, so replace with teeth brushing with Good ol listerine and face washing with a wet towel. No wonder I have cavities.
Definitely Optional: makeup. I often put this on in the train. I know I am not supposed to, as there are big manners signs everywhere on the train illustrating improper behavior, and makeup was on at least one of them. what a punk.

It takes 40 odd minutes from station to station, but the office is about 12 minutes walk from the station, so depending on which train I catch determines how fast I have to move.
Best train: 8:59. (can walk at a normal pace. heavenly!)
Not great train: 8:04. (have to power walk).
Bad train: 8:08. Have to run like Flash Gordan, panting and causing little kids to stare and point.

I usually run through the ticket gates, which are made for speed because they have a touch-free system whereby you just place your card near the sensor and it lets you in. (It's the FUTURE!)
Then I get down to the platform, thirsty from my run, and go to the vending machine where I can use my train pass to buy a drink, also via a touch-free system. (Also the FUTUREEE!)

I almost always get the power walk train. Am thinking of joining Olympic competition for speed-walkers. (have you ever seen those guys? creepy snake walk!)
On the way to the office (while power-walking), I am usually guided by about 5 - 10 construction workers pointing out obvious detour routes from various construction sites. Since I see them every morning, I should probably say hello, but instead I take the typical Tokyo attitude of pointedly looking away and pretending they do not exist. Hm, this was the attitude in New York, too. Something about big cities makes you really want to ignore the 30,000 people you see every day. Too much stimulation.

Anyways, as long as I get to my computer by 9:58, am Ok. We use time card software, but since we have to turn off our computers every night, 8:57 - 10:00 is usually a stressful time where I tap my fingers and wait what seems an eternity for my computer to boot up. (And no, changing the system time on my computer does not change the timecard software time. I did try this. ;) )

10:00 : "chou rei".Literally, First Bow. hee. Yes, we do bow. And also greet each other in unison. Japanese meetings like having you say stuff in unison. Like 'Good morning!' and 'Good work!'
Anyways, this is the morning standup meeting. Team leaders announce what they do for the day, but more importantly, individual tardinesses are announced. Even if you are going to be one minute late, you have to email in the office, so they know what to announce about you during the chou-rei.
Is this tre lame, or non? We didn't even do stuff like this in college. Le sigh.

10:10~ : The work itself is not bad. I make web pages for the official sites of our supported games, but more the calculations/db connections,data display parts.. ie, the parts that require programming as opposed to the layout and design. While sometimes I am jealous of the creative nature of the design teams job, I am quickly comforted by the fact that they work until midnight every day, where I get out a semireasonable hour. Ha-ha!

Lunch: usually bring lunch from home. Or more often, realize that I left my lunch in the refrigerator of our apartment, curse to myself, and buy food from the 7-11 on the first floor.

7-11s in japan are the same as 7-11s in america, except that they are about 1000 times cleaner, in convenient locations, packed to the gills with japanese snacks like octopus tentacles and rice balls, have a big section of those phonebook size mangas (businessmen often read them standing up without purchasing), and contain everything else you might possibly need like a surcharge free ATM, a cpoy machine, dvds, household supplies, stamps, anything. So really, nothing at all like American 7-11s.

Lunch time is the time I gab to my other systems team co-workers. They are mostly non-japanese (chinese and korean), so often the one or two japanese guys will end up trying to correct us, or say something slangy to each other and end up being forced to explain what they mean. This must be tiring to them, but is a nice japanese lesson time for us. For instance, one of my co-workers hates veggies. He picks tomatoes out of his lunch, shudders at the thought of vegetable juice. From him I learned 'kyouteki na piman', which means "My arch-enemy, the bellpepper." Now if that's not something you can use in daily conversation, I don't know what is.

Next time... an afternoon in the life.. (or not. Mostly it's just the morning in reverse, except for less rush and includes making dinner and squabbling over who gets to play their video game at home. Ahh domestic squabbles.)