Have I mentioned that I really really have fun with Eric?! We just got back from a two day trip to Ehime and its production plant, which is about 2.5 hours by train from Amagasaki. Yesterday morning, I was in a terrible mood, but more or less from the second Eric and I left work to get on the train to Ehime, things started to light up! He's so funny and I wouldn't be surprised to wake up tomorrow with sore stomach muscles from laughing so much! He says he's not planning to be funny which only makes it all the better - I definitely have some new permanent good-mood memories! (do you have some of those? The ones that make you think of a situation and you just have to burst out laughing?!)
Besides that, the trip was very interesting and we saw a lot of the plant, its way to function, we saw production lines, filling stations, miles and miles of piping, heard stories about highly toxic phosgene that kills you within two breaths (I don't want any breath-mint jokes here... ;o)). We walked loads, even visited a museum about Copper mining which was actually very interesting, and which had a temple right next to it - my first authentic Japanese temple! I felt like being in a Mila Superstar- or Sailor Moon- comic :o)
What probably impressed me most (apart from the logistics section - I could watch machines all day long...) was the way a morning of work starts in Japan! People come to the meeting room, start smoking and drinking coffee as they would probably do in Germany as well. But then, the loudspeakers start giving gymnastics orders, everybody jumps up, starts circling their pelvisses, stretching arms, legs, swaying like elephants... And then, after gymnastics, they start pointing at blackboards and signs full of safety measures and security procedures and reading them out loud - like a mantra to imprint it into their brains!
These two days were so full with new impressions and information that I was totally hecha polvo when I arrived in Ashiya, but REALLY enjoyed the past 30 hours!!!