Lorenzo Pirisino
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Day One

Posted on 2006/11/28 00:48:39 (November 2006).

[27th November 2006]

Technically speaking it's not the first day in Japan, but the second, in any case I can't care less and I've decided that this is Day One.

After all it was the first day at work, so it marks the beginning of the adventure.

In the night I slept a grand total of 2 hours, so I knew that in the afternoon jet lag would come and knock at my door. Still I set off quite late, mostly because my colleague yesterday (the guy who came and pick me up, Mr.E) told me that there was no point in arriving before 9.

Funnily enough I managed to get the wrong train! It didn't happen since I was living here 8 years ago!!! I must have been sleeping... Anyways I did manage to arrive late the first day of work, but I couldn't care less to be honest.

We set off with the first meeting of the endless strings that awaits me, then we started working on the presentation that I had prepared in Italy.
Incidentally a good 60%/70% of what I had selected has been removed, but that was to be expected, mostly because we cannot show all the fabrics that I selected.

In the evening (we left work around eight, as you are expected to do here), we went to an izakaya (Japanese pub) for some drinks and food, two more guys joined me and Mr. E, resulting in talks about politics, religion and the always important sex.
The evening was quite pleasant, and resulted in me drinking five pints of beer, hence getting quite dunk.

My hope is that these three weeks do not become a "beer trip" because this morning, at the time of writing, my head is quite puzzled whether to hurt from jet lag, tiredness or hungover.

Comment 1

Lox: Have you heard of the television "personality" named Hard Gay? A Japanese companion exposed me to the guy's body of work, which so far seems both disturbing and hilarious.

Go drink a few Guinness.

Posted by Travis at 2006/11/28 04:02:37.

Comment 2

Now I hate to be pedantic, but if you were in an izakaya they probably weren't pints.

At a guess you were drinking nama chu jokki? They have really thick glass which gives you a deceptive idea of how much beer is in them - oh and there's usually a fair bit of head too.

I had a look on the web, and one page I found suggested the capacity of your average chu jokki was as low as 305 ML (which seems a bit on the low side to me). I'd have thought it is a bit higher than that, put probably not over 400ML. So let's call it 375ML for sake of argument. Five of those and you're at 1875 ML - which is about 3.3 pints.

On my last trip to the US a couple of my Japanese colleagues went with me, and two of my British colleagues based in the US enquired as to how many pints the Japanese guys could drink - they basically had no idea. Beer just isn't measured that precisely in Japan, especially when you consider that tradition of just putting a bottle on the table, and topping up your guest's glass the instant a mloecule of fluid evaropates from it.

Posted by John at 2006/11/28 04:18:01.

Comment 3

Travis: I have to admit I find him oddly entertaining. In fact I've even seen him live, albeit only for a few minutes:


I recall having a conversation with one of my Japanese colleagues once, and for some reason HG came up. I made the comment that I thought it was a bit of a rediculous stereotype, which seemed to confuse my colleague. So I explained that it was hardly typical for the way a gay man dresses, to which he, quite straight facedly replied, "no it's not - that's very typical for gays". Erm.

Another conversation once identified the fact that, according to the Japanese, they are "less gay" than Westerners. Apparently gay bars in Japan are mostly filled with Westerners and therefore there are more gay people in foreign countries than in Japan. When I brought up the scientific fact (as I understood it to be) that 10% of the human race is just born gay, whether they like it or not, it was rebuffed as being something that only applied to Westerners - the Japanese are apparently a different species.

Sometimes I wonder if there was an error in the history books - was it really 150 years ago that Commodore Perry landed on the shores of Japan... or was it 15 years?

Posted by John at 2006/11/28 04:27:38.

Comment 4

Must be frustrating that so much of your preparation is discarded, Lox?!? Well I hope you make a mark whatever...

Interesting... So the concept of "Going out for a pint..." is a mute subject in Japan?

Mind you, lager is an odd drink (in my blinkered mind!!) It's either as weak as dish-water, and tastes similar; or it's beautifully and lovingly brewed and as strong as sterilizing-fluid (Lowenbrau for example).

Posted by Nigel at 2006/11/28 06:58:48.

Comment 5

I was pleasantly suprised to find on my last trip to Seattle that a lot of places we went to did seem to serve beer in (what seemed to be) regular pint glasses.

Of course, these places had been recommended by my British colleagues living there, so it may not be a very representative cross section.

Posted by John at 2006/11/28 07:12:10.

Comment 6

Travis: Nope I read about it in John's blog, but I have never seen the guy myself. Mind you I deal with gay designers ALL the year, so probably I just don't need to add fuel to the fire, they are entertaining by themselves already!

John: I guess you are right, the jokki was quite think and I think that I came closer to drink 2 liters than 3. In any case it got me drunk enough to feel ill all morning!

As for the "Japanese" story, as I wrote in some other comments, you have to be aware that there were some medics who were trying to say that Japanese people are infact totally different from the rest of the human race, and infact see colours in a different way and do everything differently. Needless to say that this is completely BOLLOCKS, but they seem to still believe it. As for gayness I cannot comment, but surely there are a lot of gay people that don't come out in the open because here being gay is still seen as a sort of illness. Marvels of social stigmatas!

Posted by Lox at 2006/11/28 08:28:26.

Comment 7

Say, when in England I made love to a Japanese girl who kept screaming something like: "nashagaï ana". Does it have a meaning?

Posted by Sheri at 2006/11/28 12:43:07.

Comment 8

Sheri: not sure, but I think it is on the lines of:

"I'm not being paid enough for this."

...no idea why she'd be saying that though. ;)

Posted by John at 2006/11/29 11:07:57.

Comment 9

Actually, it's a joke I read in a comic. It supposedly means "wrong hole"! I thought it was real Japanese, but obviously it isn't.

Posted by Sheri at 2006/11/29 15:51:37.

Comment 10

Maybe sheri meant "CHIGAI HANA", which means infact "wrong Hole", although I am inclined to give John's theory a good bit of faith :D

Posted by Lox at 2006/11/30 03:44:52.

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