Tokio Marine is accused of hiding billions in income.
I’m dead tired.
I just knew it – should have not bragged about the success yesterday. Today, I am no good… after 4 hours of struggling, gave over the setup and next mouse to Walther. I would have the time and resources, but just … can’t.
Thomas tells me to take a break and go outside to the sun (which was a joke, it’s raining:) .. but maybe I’ll treat myself to some food this afternoon.
Better now. Had a latte and a friendly, familiar milano sandwich – it really helps sometime to eat things that make your subconscious tell you “Mmm… that’d be goooood…” instead of “Well, doesn’t seem to contain anything slimy, probably quite eatable and perhaps even good”. After having thus replenished my energy sources, went shopping – in addition to food, I wanted to buy a small bowl to eat my morning All Bran Plus from something else than the styrofoam container my instanoodles came 3 weeks ago, as well as chopsticks (to replace the single-use sticks that accompanied the same insta-noodles). The bowl was easy – a 2 minute stroll in the kitchenware section of Ito Yokado made me want to buy a load of plates and bowls – all so beautiful, light, and handy. The chopsticks (hashi) were not so easy – not surprising, though, if one sees the analogy of going to Stockmann for buying a fork, even though single pairs were fortunately available. On the other hand, the amount of different designs and styles and qualities was such that for a moment I thought about going to the store’s fast-zarusoba-joint and picking another single use hashi – but finally, when at the cashier I stood with my pretty laquer bowl and the sticks, bowing to the cashier-lady, I felt glad and slightly more adapted, perhaps…
My shopping basket contained also toothpaste (the universal Aquafresh-brand – I just did not want to risk washing my teeth for the rest of the stay with something that’d taste like seaweed…) and a Perfect Whip. Someone might remember, I commented earlier on this Perfect Whip thing – after watching the ad on TV for a dozen times, I have concluded it is some kind of facial wash. My usually parchment-dry skin has become oily during the last weeks and I’ve had enough of washing it with soap, so … well, it might be used for making the beard grow stronger, …. dunno … but on the ad, pretty young females use it and seem happy, probably I’ll bee also:)
Hm. The campus canteen opens in a hour and a bit. Already waiting for my bowl of raamen.
*purrrr* in the end, this turned out to be a good day.
Even though I am getting profoient in slurping the raamen, I am not confortable yet with sniffing with nose – I have the impression that blowing one’s nose is not polite at public places. So, after the tasty and spicy miso-raamen with a running nose for the train station. Somewhere in between I realised I did not have anything to use to ease the situation – fortunately, where ever you go, you find pretty girls giving out packs of tissues together with company advertisement. For some reason, the first ones I met at the central ‘plaza’ of Wako were not pretty, were not girls and completly ignored me. As I went to ask for a pack, the man turned, gave me a nasty and ugly look, and uttered some kind of ‘Tssssss…’ between his dirty teeth. I was frozen for a moment, then turned away – and realised the tissue packs he was distributing contained advertisements of girls, with phone numbers and photos. I think I went blazing red, and hurried away embarrased (the next tissue-distributor, a pretty girl with a miniskirt uniform, promptly put a pack advertising the local pachinko, or a money-gaming place….) and was far on the other side of Kawagoeshi before I stopped wondering whether all the other passangers stare at me.
The trip to Higashi-Matsuyama for Nagato-sensei’s class provided an excellent opportunity for observing how the Japanese spend time in the train – it seems that everyone living in Japan spends a substantial portion of their lives in trains. Fortunately, there seem to be various other ways to pass time in addition to sleeping, listening to music or (as I was later explained) groping women’s buttocks. In the wagon I was in, there were several people with laptops, a few with some sort of game consoles (GBA and others I did not recognise), and a portable DVD-monitor -combination that really seemed handy. One teen guy next to me was holding a music player in his hand – in a second, it was replaced with GBA and next, the cellular phone. He switched between them so quickly I did not see where they were all coming from – and he seemed to have his earphones connected to each device simultaneously….
The train ride would have been even more pleasant had it not become quickly dark. Still, after Kawagoeshi, the landscape turned more rural, with lots of small rice fields and houses dispersed in between. Higashi-Matsuyama was – at least what I saw of it – a tiny town with unproportionally big neon screens and lights everywhere. As soon as I had gotten out of the train station, I spotted three tall guys carrying budogear, and by following them I found my way to the Dojo. (and was attacked by a dog on the way – the guys told me it has been there for 4 years but it knows them already – I was new so got special attention. I was rather happy to find out it was chained to its doghouse…)
And this was a Dojo. Not like probably most in Finland and some in Japan I’ve seen – practically school gyms with tatami instead of floor. The house in the middle of a small yard was rather tall, with the training area having high roof; sliding doors, large-area windows divided into squares, and a small shrine on one wall. (No doubt the Hombu Dojo is a Dojo; but it was such a special place it almost felt like a shrine…) Nagato-sensei greeted me when I entered and asked one of his students to show me to the changing room – again, I was the only girl present. During the class, I got to train with 2 blackbelts, the names of whom have slipped my mind, but one of them was resident student and another from Holland – both had the will and patience to explain to me techniques and the most vital parts of sensei’s talk (this time everything was in Japanese – previously, someone does simultaneous translation most of the time) – and I had great time with them afterwards on the train back towards Tokyo.
It was relaxing to talk for a change with western people outside the work – it was very soon clear that despite the different origins and the fact that most of the people training at that dojo have been living in Japan for years, the mindframes were very similar. So I returned to the lab at 10.30 PM in such a good mood that Franck, working on this presentation for tomorrow’s team meeting, was alarmed and had to ask what had happened.
As to criwn the day, Walther informed the result of yesterday’s genotyping for the lottery of this week, and, it has turned out that one mouse was a WT (wild type) and another one, homozygous knockout (KO). Even more luckily, I think I have almost-first-class recordings from the two mice, and a quick glance would suggest there IS an effect for knocking out that gene…
A bad news, also told by Walther, was that when this litter of mice is finished, we won’t have any GM mice for some time. I appears that the mice that are supposed to breed are too young to know what they are expected to do… But, as for me, it doesn’t sound so bad – after all, I have already tons of data and images to process and analyze, articles to be read (and not to mention the dreaded thesis-thing….)
But, for now, I can happily surf the TV-channels, munch a springroll and sleep rather late tomorrow – it won’t be necessary to be at office before noon….