Sunday, April 04, 2010

よろしく ノ

I just realized I haven't blogged much about my work.
This is probably because for the most part, I like it!
Unlike the jobs I had before I went to NY, it's not just mostly debugging and entering data into Excel, it's actually programming all the time, and I even get those late night coding session highs I was missing from back in college. Of course this makes making dinner a challenge, but every now and then Takeshi is a sport and makes food. This is easier said than done as about six months ago I stopped eating meat.

what? I didn't mention that here? only facebook?
... okay, probably because I was embarrased about it. I mean, it's not like I've always been the vegetarian type. In fact when I was a kid I refused to eat anything BUT meat, preferably raw, and would stomp around the kitchen calling myself "Kyranasaurus Rex!"
The big 'converting' experience, I suppose you could say, came when I was drinking with some colleagues at an izzakaya, and one of the dishes they served was ... raw horse.

This came as something of a traumatic shock to me, who has always loved horses and possibly doodled up to a million of them when I was little. Even Kyrannasaur, upon hearing a rumour that Jell-O may have ground up horses hooves in it, cried bitterly and refused to touch even her favorite Key Lime flavor ever again.
So it was with disgust and shock that I saw 'basashi' being eaten in front of mine own eyes, which was viewed with amusement by my coworkers. "What's the big deal? what's so different about horses and cows? both are tasty, if you ask me!"

...and sewer rat may taste like pumkin pie, but I wouldn't know cuz I wouldn't eat the filthy mo-fo, I almost retorted , but my japanese is not that good yet. And also, horses are not filthy. In fact, I couldn't think of any really good reason why it's so bad to eat horses, besides that they are like pets to me. It's really, entirely cultural. But I would still not eat one in a million years.

So, facing the facts, and having just seen a very adorable baby cow on a farm the previous weekend, and having just read an article about the extreme intelligence of pigs, I thought, 'enough!' and decided to try to abstain from eating meat.
that is...until I realized here in japan there is fish, or fish bullion, in nearly everything here. And Takeshi the fisherman pointed me to some convincing studies that fish don't feel pain, at least in nearly the capacity of mammals... this is at least what I am reciting to myself when I scarf down the catch of the day.

So, like someone weaning themselves from cigarettes, I am leaning on this 'nicorette' of pescatarianism, and so far I have not even missed meat. ..Okay, except for that one time when I was confronted with a juicy pork dumpling, ON MY BIRTHDAY. I'm a weakling for things on my birthday.;)
But mostly this is just to draw a line somewhere. If you really want, you can eat pretty much any mammal you want here, including bears, whales, dolphins... but this won't stop people from giving koreans grief about eating that one type of dog. give me a break.

ANYWAYS...sorry, that was an infintely long tangent. back to work, my 'main' topic!

There are of course, things I could complain about, like any working environment, like the required 1.5 - 2.5 hours unpaid overtime a day. Or the annoying quarterly reviews where they take 40 minutes to discuss solely what you've been doing wrong, such as "not working enough overtime". >_<;

But this room of guys (yes, 11 men, the only other girl was a contract worker and her contract ended about half a year ago) is a friendly environment, every now and then jokes are swatted around. I've been working in Japanese offices for about five years, which has the pleasant side effect of being able to contribute to the banter and make adequate comebacks when called for.

But every now and then there are words I don't know. You would think that business emails would be limited to boring, work related vocabulary... but in the inter-office chat/texting program, words tend to go slack, slang tends to be used, and Kyra tends to learn strange lessons in japanese.

Case in point: the other day I asked a guy in the other office for a document I needed, and he sent it over with a message:
'よろしく ノ'
I leaned over to my senpai (senior coworker), and whispered 'hey, I know this yoroshiku. But what is that katakana 'no' doing there?'
He smirked at me and shook his head. "You don't know that yet?! fail!"
"fail what?"
"just, in general." he shook his head again. "it's the basics of basics!"
then he sent over an instant message, with this curious emotocon:
ノ(・u・)ノ "it's that arm."

Now you know. And knowing, as they say, is half the battle!