From Aichi-ken to Nagano-ken

Moving to Nagano was quite difficult for us because we cannot imagine leaving all our friends from the Chubu Kenshu Center (CKC). We really enjoyed our stay at the CKC but life must go on so goodbye Aichi-ken and hello Nagano-ken.

Upon arriving at Nagano-ken, the first thing we noticed was that Nagano-ken was more rural than Aichi-ken. For one thing, the ticket collection at the train station is not automated. To comfort ourselves, we just told ourselves, “this is only the train station, things could and should get better.” We had no idea what was in store for us.

Our first stop was the Murai office of Epson Software Development Laboratories, Inc., where we were introduced to our new life at the Murai office and ultimately, Nagano-ken. We were introduced to the facilities of Epson, the general rules that we should follow, our training schedule, the rules for our accommodations/dormitory and more importantly, we were given our allowance for the month of August.

After that, we were taken to our dormitory, the Shoen Seiwa-so, where most of the male employees of Epson are staying. We were introduced to the facilities and our rooms. Much to our surprise, our accommodation here is in a Japanese-style room with everything that comes with it. We have tatami floors, wooden sliding cabinets, Japanese-style toilets and yes, Japanese-style baths, read as public bathroom. Coming from a country where bathing in public is not exactly the norm and people would rather sit than squat, our initial reaction was nowhere near positive.

We wanted to go back to the CKC but I guess we don’t exactly have much of a choice. This is where we will be staying for the next three months so I guess we have to make the most of it… public baths and all. The idea of living in this dormitory almost found it’s way to our senses until… we visited the women’s apartments. What?!? They have such beautiful apartment units with all the facilities (western facilities) we’ve been longing for but cannot find at Shoen Seiwa-so! Life is so unfair. Come to think of it, nobody ever said that life should be fair. Whoever said life is fair must be dead by now.

Being the reasonable and pragmatic person that I am, I decided to take life as it is and move on. So the next day, I went to the office as presentable as I can be (plain white shirt and torn jeans), knowing that officially, it’s my first day at Epson. We were welcomed by some of the high-ranking officials of ESD including Ueda-san, Miyasaka-san, along with a few ESD Directors. We were informed about the company organization and soon thereafter, we were given our brand new laptops (with everything on it, DVD players and all). Yes!! I knew it! Things here are not so bad after all. For the rest of the day, we were given access to the local area network and also the Internet, though some sites (including Hotmail and Yahoo Mail) are inaccessible. Notwithstanding, we were well on our way to making our lives better here at the Murai office of ESD.

Next week marks the week, when we will officially start our technical training though we’ve already discussed introductory topics, namely, the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC). A schedule was given to us and each of us was assigned at least a chapter from our text book.

P.S. In case you want to know, I now bathe in public and squat rather than sit.

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