Friday, October 19, 2007

Stuck in the Suburbs

2 Weeks have passed and I think I need to update. Things have been running slow lately. Even though I live in a city (Satte City, Saitama prefecture), it's not the typical one that has dozens of commercial establishments and a bustling lifestyle. Satte and adjacent towns mainly serve as residential areas for those working in Tokyo since it's just an hour away north via local train. (above banner shows Satte City's line of cherry blossom trees. Unfortunately, I still haven't seen that place)

Here I am, living a suburban life which can really be so boring if you don't go out once in a while. For the past weekends, my working partner and I had just locked ourselves up in our rooms, basically glued in front of our laptops. Thank God for the internet! (and to YBB user from whom I sometimes leech)

Not to mention my workmate who is a bore when it comes to "gimmicking". He doesn't want to go out during weekends because it's expensive. I can't blame him much though because he has a wife and a daughter to support. Aside from Akihabara, we don't have any idea on any cool place to go to, anyway. We don't even have a bike yet. sabishii na (how lonesome!)

Survey the scene. That's what I have been doing lately. Searching for maps and other guides in and out of Satte. Searching for this kind of info had been quite challenging since most sites are only written in pure Japanese. I've sent emails to blog owners who had been to Satte, seeking for advice. One Japanese correspondent translated a "Japanized" google map for me. Big thanks. (click map to enlarge view of Satte City map - English)

On weekdays, we go to nearby Sugito town to report and work under our client company. The client company is a major printing company in Japan. Aside from specializing in printing technology, the company is also a major producer of color filters and photomasks for LCDs.

I am quite fortunate to be working in the company's main technical research institute. We're assigned under Tozawa-kachou who leads the Kensa research team. Kensa is the Japanese term for inspection. So far, we don't have anything specific yet to do. Most likely we will be dealing with high speed image processes. Client company personally requested for our HDL background because FPGAs will also be used.

This 3-month long business trip seem to be our immersion stage so I guess that's the reason why we are not yet given specific projects. And since we (2) are the only gaijin (foreigner) in the company, there is no one to talk to. My Nihongo is still elementary. Our Japanese teammates are usually very busy, and since most of them are not good in English, they'd rather not bother talking to us.

Every friday, the whole team converges in one room for the weekly progress report with the presence of Kachou and Buchou (department chief). Of course, all proceedings were in Nihongo so I just usually stare at my electronic dictionary trying hard to decode all the things they are discussing. This week, we were asked by kachou to deliver a 5-minute presentation on whatever we had done in the lab, which was basically about our self-studying. Of course we delivered it in Nihongo, and darn it's hard to explain technical terms when you are only a basic speaker.

Anyway, it's a weekend again, yay! I hope this time I'll find time in going out and embrace the sunshine. But then again, it rained and it's cold outside... damn.

At least by next week (Oct 27) or the next (Nov4), I'm going to hitch in with my "Toshiba batchmates' " DisneySea outing. We are targetting for the Xmas theme.


posted by ScIoN 6:42 PM


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Location: Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines

ScIoN is a former Systems Engineer in Japan who specialized in industrial imaging and digital hardware design. He is now back in the Philippines pursuing graduate studies in Finance at the University of the Philippines - Diliman.



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