[The American Years]

Thursday, December 29, 2005

It's Starting to Set In

Ah, Christmas in California. We weren't dreaming of a White Christmas. We had exactly the Christmas we dream of.

I hope that with the Christmas gift I gave to myself (the new camera) the photos here will improve. Eventually they'll be photos of Japan.

My thanks to Skippy for posting my first (non spam) comment. Until last week in CA, I didn't think anyone was reading this junk. (I truly can't say I blame anyone. I can just barely stand to read it myself.) Then many people in CA said that they read the blog. So thanks to all. And please follow Skippy's lead by posting a comment or two (with or without references to bottom pinching). Note that I've heeded the good advice to avoid naming the company I work for. Just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean they won't fire me if I speak ill (or even well) of them. Please follow my lead in your comments.

After answering the question several times: "So when do you leave for Japan?", it's started to set in a little more that it's actually going to happen. And when I say March 1st, that's coming up very soon. How many more weekends are there between now and when I leave? 9?
The thought struck me recently that when I go to Japan next time, it's on my dime. Sort of. Of course, the company is compensating me for my troubles, but I've never had to budget when over there. I go about my business, and keep receipts, and come out ok. Now that it's my dime, my attitude will need to change.
I was just looking at the train map of Nagoya and its surroundings and the airport. I realized that getting from the airport to wherever I'm staying will be on my dime. By cab, about $200. By train and/or bus, around $60. I'll not be reimbursed. I have to budget it and figure out the cheapest way.
And what to eat that night? On my dime as well. I can't just pick a restaurant that suits me and make it happen. I'll have to make room for Balance Bars in my luggage I guess. I've never had to consider money over there before. It's all monopoly money. It's all different colors, in strange denominations. "That thing costs 1,200? I have a 10,000 bill on me. Looks like I can afford it! Take two they're small." And only being there for a few weeks typically, it's hard to get any idea of living costs.
My stated purpose over there is to learn the company's way of doing things. I can abide by that, and if tt gets me some cache with the masters back in the states, then bueno. However, I will likely be learning a lot more about the people and what it takes to live there, etc. Truly and secretly, that's my personal purpose for going.
I read a quote today:"If you're not willing to be changed by a place, then there's no sense in going." On this upcoming adventure for us, I think we're all willing to be changed by the place..., however I'm still not convinced that our going makes great sense. (The things we're sacrificing are adding up... more on that in a later post.)


alvord said...

thanks for the link to this Eric.
This comment indicates: blog read and appreciated.
Your erstwhile brother,

Angie said...

March 1? Wow! Fast!

I'll keep commenting on your blog if you comment on mine ... :-)

casister said...

our unwhite christmas in ca was great
i feel privledged to be in the background of the pic with the most beautiful girl running in the park

Giddy said...

Hey E,

We just returned from OUR nonwhite Christmas in California and yes, it was exactly the Christmas we wanted. What could be better than home-grown avocados, oranges, and even TOMATOES every day of Xmas vacation??? Also was treated to hearing my cousin speak Japanese to a little girl in a park...whoa! That'll be you in a year..... (she also treated us to funny stories about the time she decided to be adventurous and ended up ordering something that turned out to be RAW COW INTESTINES.....)

Like Skip, we are certainly making big plans to come see you over yonder in Japan, but recognize that more than likely the next time we see you will in fact be in Lexington or here. Alas! But you never know.

Hope you had (are having) a great holiday, XOX

G and family