Week Before the Last Week in CKC

Some good things simply don’t last. Hmp. Next week will be our last week at the CKC. After which, we’ll be moving to the Hirooka Laboratory of Epson Software Development (ESD), Inc. Then on November, we’ll all be moving to our own laboratories, where we’ll be training until June of next year. Just recently, I discovered that I will be moving to the Kagoshima Laboratory of ESD and unfortunately, I will be all by myself unlike my colleagues, who would be in groups of two or three.

At first, the idea of being alone in Kagoshima made me worry but soon thereafter, I realized that this is an experience I should look forward to. In CKC, I never feel lonely and neither do I feel homesick because there are many Filipinos here most of which are within my age group. The problem here is that I don’t really get the full experience of living independently in a foreign country. I don’t really need to learn Nihon-go because my Filipino friends can speak Tagalog and most of my foreign friends can speak English.

But knowing that I will soon be living independently with no Filipinos in sight (at least none that I know of, yet) gave me more reasons to learn Nihon-go. If I want to communicate with my future colleagues in Kagoshima, I must master their language. Besides, I still want to understand all those animes I see on Japanese TV. Hehe.

Moving on… we visited two government offices this week and as expected, we were awed by the technology and efficiency we saw. Last Tuesday, we visited the Nagoya Sorting Office (Post Office) and last Wednesday, the Tomida Incineration Plant.

At the Nagoya Sorting Office, we saw how efficient the Japanese Postal System is. Coming from the Philippines, where it could take weeks before we receive our mails, we were surprised to learn that in Japan, mails are delivered to their destination the next day or after three days at most.

Normally, I receive my letters from my parents after eight days. Knowing how efficient the Japanese Postal System is, I now know that my letter stays in the Philippines for at most seven days and it reaches the CKC after at least one day in Japan. That means, if (and only if) the Philippine Postal System were as efficient as that of Japan, I could receive my mail in at least two days. Whew! Kaya lang hindi, buti na lang at may internet. 🙂

At the Tomida Incineration Plant, I discovered how safe incineration is as a means of waste disposal. The toxic emissions from the Plant are way below government standards (It’s dioxin output in 0.16 g/year). More so, the Plant is capable of producing electricity to power itself and even sell excess electricity to the city’s power companies.

The visit made me wonder why in the Philippines, we implemented a total ban on incinerators but my inquiry was quickly answered by my colleagues. They said, “we are incapable of building a plant that can meet government safety standards.”

Last Thursday was a holiday in Japan because it is what they call the “Holiday of the Sea.” My friends and I went to this place called Nagoyako (Nagoya Port), where we really had a wonderful time. We really experienced life in Japan. Our first stop was the Nagoya Aquarium Museum (?) located near the Port. It was a three-storey building filled with marine treasures from the sea. I even had the opportunity to hold a starfish in my palm. Nice!

Next, we went to a nearby Entertainment Center where we got a chance to get a feel of those scary but nonetheless fun rides. One of which was the ride called Revolution and when they say Revolution, the mean REVOLUTION. The ride was very much like Anchor’s Away in Enchanted Kingdom except the boat features a 360 degree turn. Wowie! At first, I didn’t want to try it but I told myself, “I came this far, I’m not turning back now that I’m only 10 feet away.” Hmmm. That’s a good motto. 🙂

For the grand finale, we watched the hanabi (fireworks), which lasted for around 1 hour and 15 minutes. I really loved it because we were there in the middle of a relatively young Japanese crowd experiencing the Nagoya Fireworks Festival. The fireworks was interesting but more interesting was the Japanese crowd. Teenagers wearing their kimonos (and summer kimonos) are everywhere. The women even sport Hello Kitty fans at their backs. There, we saw first hand Japanese fashion at its finest and boy was it good.

The ride home was equally interesting and fun because the subways were literally jam-packed! For the first time in Japan, we got the “sardine experience.” Subway personnel were literally pushing people into the subway trains. All of us had a wonderful time! The more we’d miss the place and the people at the CKC. Huhu.


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