Wow. It's only been two days that I didn't stop at the internet cafe and I've been flooded by an amazing 68 emails! (Noo, no Spam involved, only about 4 news mails) - thank you very much, guys, I appreciate it a lot that you stay in touch so amazingly!
Recapitulating the past two days will be anything but easy! Loads happened, and almost everything involved vast amounts of FOOD!!! Some years ago, around Thailand, I made a deal with myself that I will try any type of food that other cultures eat on a regular basis - and that I will take the choice of food that I haven't eaten before, if I get the chance! So in the past 48 hours, I guess I tried about 24 new dishes which makes it impossible for me to tell you all about them!
The highlights: Raw fish isn't at all bad; whitish sauce on shrimp doesn't necessarily mean cream sauce (it was a LEMON dressing, totally unexpected taste!); and you should avoid eating the flower deco, they taste like soap...
So all in all, what I am missing about Japanese food is some type of sauces (I kind of had the image of Chinese sweet-and-sour dishes with vegetables when I came over here, but the Japanese usually go for water-soup...), but on the other hand, everyday I try something new totally changes my way of thinking about the way food should/can taste! Especially if you're looking at something, having a specific taste in mind, only to discover that it taste totally different!
Tuesday night, Eric had organized a dinner with 12 people for me, in a fancy restaurant, complete with taking off shoes (and extra bathroom slippers), being seated on cushions (but we were able to cheat, there was a hole under the table just as in the dormitory), and having a Kanpai (a toast/Trinkspruch), Eric officially welcomed me and the other two interns who had come along. Plus I got to know a lot of new people - so now you can enjoy the first pictures taken with my new camera! (To see a larger version of the picture, just click on it!)
The white guy is Ryan from the US, most of the Japanese people work with me.
Umezawasan (O...san), my colleague from the President's Office
The guy next to me is Eric, with his friend Noriko who is learning German - and we will do a language exchange!
That was Tuesday - and on Wednesday, the Ladies from Logistics invited me as well - totally different, great food, very different feeling to the whole thing and seriously not comparable.
They spoke Japanese with me all night long, so I learned lots (there were enough people able to speak English to translate if I had no clue what the conversation was about!). The girl to the left, Kimurasan, is also extremely good at teaching me kanji (Japanese signs) and grammar.
I also finished my week at Logistics & Procurement, at least my time at the conference meeting on the improvement of the distributions network. It was an interesting time, and I met people from Germany and HongKong as well, but I am ready to move on to the next phase - which will be excursions :o) Tomorrow around noon, Yoshikawasan, Uedasan and myself will take the train to Kobe to go to lunch with important people, visit a warehouse, and in the afternoon visit a yacht (!), although I have the feeling that they use the word in a different way than I do...
...So much more I would like to tell and to put down, but I'll let it be enough for tonight - sleep is needed these days :o) Especially to digest *g*