- Picking un the Pieces
- [Saturday 26th November]
Coming back to Florence is like picking up the pieces of that old jigsaw that you used to play with when you were a kid.
There are so many memories linked to that picture, so many feelings.
Slowly you start putting a couple of tiles together, and in a matter of seconds you are drawn into that old game again.
Coming back to Florence is like that.
When I first arrived here 2 nights ago I didn't want to be here. I didn't say anything to my friends, almost as if I was here for just one day, as if there was no point in calling.
Then after all the exams at the hospital I finally got around calling some of them, and slowly, my good old Florentine life style was back on track, the picture started to regain its shape again.
There are a couple more pieces that need to be placed, but all in all I am happy to be back.
It has been an hard month the one that I have spent abroad, and the spell in Vedano when I came back, felt just like another leg of the trip.
Finally I can rest, my mind and my body, hoping that the surgery will not take too much of a toll on me.
Nothing much to report today, went out for lunch with my mum and Renzo, her "boyfriend", had a marvellous fried rabbit and tuscan style "ribollita". Chatted all the time with Renzo's son who's into a computer business, so we had much to talk about. Tought him a couple of things that he didn't know; a nice candy for my self esteem.
In the night I went out for dinner at Andrea and Maya's home. They have two wonderful kids (Sofia and Leonardo) and I spent a really nice evening, talking about several things, including work. Andrea as a matter of fact, works in the same field as I do, if was because of him that I moved up north and started a career in the textile business.
Maya is now working in textile as well.
- Madness oh Hear!
- [Wednesday 23rd November]
Today I have decided to take some time translating a mail that we have got from our boss. As I always go into great length telling what he does and what he doesn't do, this time I think that it's better leaving the judgment to you guys/gals.
The translation is as close as possible to the original Italian version.
This mail is in relation to the impending Christmas holidays, with a final shot at the move that we will undergo right after the festivities.
A few explanations before reading are necessary. First of all, all of the people involved in this move are extremely upset and against the whole thing, on the other side, in a clear attempt of brain washing technique, our superior is taking every possible occasion to remind us HOW GREAT this thing is and HOW GOOD our lives will be from January. Of course this behaviour offends not only our little intelligence, but also our nerves.
Remember also that "Anarco-Democracy management" is also in place, meaning that we are usually advised what to do "if we have time", or there is also an endless search for volunteers and the like. (as opposed to simply tell people what to do fair and square).
Anyway, on with the goodies!
Ideally we would like to close the company for the whole 2 weeks.
This must be taken into consideration by the design team as they need to plan developments for the new collection without those two weeks.
As for the commercial department we should be here on the 27th and 30th, maybe on the 2nd and 3rd of January.
Only one person is needed.
As for the others - Holidays!
Holidays that from today I wish you serene, joyful and more than everything corroborant for a new "extra-different" start.
Clearly before the Christmas break we will have all the boxes ready.....
let's hope that we can find them in XXX(Name of the place where we will move) full of presents!
The general reaction to this piece of greatness has been "YOU WHAT?", some people even replied to the mail telling him that he's probably lost his mind, which had the result of getting him upset and asking around, "like a brother", if that mail was so bad indeed.
My first idea was to send my resignation and put in the cover letter something like: "Here. That's the first present for you!", but since I have to get the surgery this scheme has been postponed till further notice.
In the past 4 days I have been somewhat TAME. It's quite strange for me, but I attribute this mood mostly to the jet lag, as it's taking an heavier toll than normal.
Today I am leaving for Florence, as the NHS strike is not going to affect the hospital where I am going to get the surgery, finally, albeit in not so good conditions, I will take some rest.
Shame that I will miss all the fun here in the office, but probably it's better this way...
- Let's Move!
- [Tuesday 22nd November]
Today I had to attend the first meeting for the move to the new offices. As I wrote in other posts I have missed on the first lots of meetings since I was abroad. This was the final one, and we had to discuss some important points that were left out.
There is not much to tell about what happened, our boss was making everything easy and quick, the director for the factory was trying to cover his ass, mostly because at the moment we do a lot of work for the people under his responsibility and of course it looks bad when these things are discussed in detail.
The supra-dupa boss that will cover our division after we move to the main building was taking notes, trying to be as rigid as possible, but he doesn't know what type of product we make so his opinions and ideas were most of the times out of place.
Anyways after much bickering all of the points that we passed forward as I expected, i.e. we will not have to do a lot of the work that we do now as in THEORY there are people paid to do it already.
In theory this is all good of course.
In practice this is the end of this company, mostly because the people that are "taking it easy" and have been doing so for many years, will not change their ways and mind in 1 month (they never did for years!!). As a result, all the perfect plans on paper will have a very poor result in practical terms.
This is my point of view of course, but since I am stuck in the thick and thin of internal processes, I believe that my ideas might not be that far from the final result.
The rest of the day was rather uneventful, went to the Doc's to get all the info on what I have to do for the coming surgery. In the evening a piece of bad news arrived as it seems that on Friday there will be a National Strike for the NHS, as a result it's not sure if I can have all the tests done and therefore the surgery might be moved.
This is a bit of a bummer of course, we'll see on Thursday what happens as apparently the people in the hospital that I have contacted don't know much about it..
[Monday 21st November]
Back at work after a quite uneventful Sunday trying to recover from jetlag.
The good sides is that I have done all the work beforehand, so I really didn't have much to catch up with apart from the usual expense notes to be filled. This is quite time consuming and requires my entire mathematical prowess to be employed as I have to add up something like 150 receipts from several places, in 3 different currencies.
Of course everything has to add up properly.
The morning was rocked by a "Collection Meeting" with the designers; we had to go to the main offices (where we will move in January). As you now well know I hate these meetings, useless idiotic waste of time, devised by useless people to make them feel good about their inexistent work. The usual pack of "flowing touches", "urban looks", "baroque feels" was part of the show, nothing new there.
As vastly anticipated it was just a classic waste of time, but unfortunately there weren't any fights or anything worth reporting.
We then moved back to our offices, not after I had a row with my boss. It appears that someone from another division went to see a big client of ours (a VERY FAMOUS designer in England), and got some developments for us to do. Of course I have nothing to object with it, I wasn't there, but I complained that I was not informed, after all I am following that market and I have met that client before.
The usual reply was along the lines of "you are wrong", "it's nothing against you", "you are looking for bad things everywhere" etc etc...
I stated the fact that I MUST be informed, I don't give a damn if someone goes instead of me, but since I am in charge of the market and it's my responsibility to get it running, I need to know what happens.
It's like speaking to a wall, you cannot get anything out of it, so I decided to let it go, hopefully I will be out of this hell soon.
The rest of the day was rather quick, and eventually I went back to bed early as I was really knackered for the jet lag...
- Leaving Las Vegas
[Saturday 19th November]
Writing from the airport lounge, in my experience this is the best that I have ever been into (Singapore Airlines - Incheon Airport), together with the Virgin Lounge in Tokyo. In a way it's like being in Las Vegas, during business trips. You stay at nice hotels, you eat nice food, you travel a lot and see many different places. Shame it's not for fun but you must do a lot of work too!
Nothing much to say, I'll be traveling all day arriving extremely late in Italy. I don't like the idea of having missed out on a Saturday, I will not be paid for it, and it's a day of rest that I could have used as I am feeling like a train wreck.
Airports are always sooo polished and spanky. It seems to enter an Hospital sometimes. It's weird for me, there are so many people roaming around being stunned by overpriced outlets (originally in airports you could even get discounted goods!!), but since you are in the airport it seems that everyone thinks that there are cheaper prices.
Or masses of people exchanging money, eating junk food because "the airplane food is real bad", or simply reading a book waiting for their life to continue.
Which reminds me that I have to catch mine pretty soon!
Next post from Pizzaland!
[Friday 18th November]
Today no surprises, I was expecting another long day at work and it was like that as a matter of fact.
Spent all morning in the car with Mr.Pyon, the youngest in the agency, and the best english speaker, so it was quite nice.
He's my age so we have a lot of things in common, plus I like inquiring about how is life for young koreans as I never really had a chance to experience it.
We also went to a typical restaurant that apparently is the one that Mr.Pyon and his mates usually go to.
Mr.Hwang, the main boss, is a very nice guy, but he's also extremely proud of him being Korean and all Korean things.
As a result I am never allowed to go to "normal" restaurants, as he always wants to give me the best time possible.
Although it's a great thing to receive, all this niceness, I am also interested in those scrubby little places that a lot of people seem to go to, as I think that it's more in touch with the living standard there.
So I was happy to try something different.
In the evening dinner was rather quick, albeit great, but I had nothing to complaint as it meant going back to the Hotel and start packing again.
As today it was me and Mr.Hwang plus a client, the evening was a bit dull as they spoke Korean all the time. Putting up the nice "I understand, oh it's so interesting, great food by the way, want some more to drink?"-face, it's now my specialty but that doesn't meant that I like it.
Fortunately, this evening again, some part of the conversation was in English.
I think it's because I told my agents that the situation in the company is unbearable for me and that I'll be leaving soon.
The agents are not happy about it so I have been discussing this matter all over Asia for 3 weeks, as they are trying to advice me to "take time", which I'll have to do anyways as I am going to have surgery. This is of course a good thing for me as it means that they appreciate the way I work and the person that I am.
Speaking of surgery, I have had a good new, the doctor that is going to operate me, said that since he promised me to get the surgery before the end of the year, he moved my case for the 30th of November! Of course this means that Xmas will be a bit miserable, with crutches and all, but I save a month and half compared to the plan that I was given yesterday.
I am a bit scared about it now, it's my first (and hopefully last) operation, and I have so little time to arrange things...
Oh well, we'll see...
- Dog and Bone
[Thursday 17th November]
Today it was my real first day of work in Korea. I have to admit that usually the way we do business here is pretty easy going compared to the other countries, mostly because the clients come to the show room that our agent has got.
This is partly why I place Korea as the last part of the trip, I thought that it would have been "easier" for me and it would have given me some time to recover my strengths.
As a matter of fact I was sadly mistaken and I have seen the usual amount of clients but we had to go to their offices!
I guess it's my job so I cannot complain too much.
In the evening we went out for the usual meal, in the picture you can see Mr.Pyon, Me, Mr.Choi, Mr.Hwang (the boss) and Mr.Kan.
Ah yes, just in case you are wondering, we are eating dog there. After the restaurant we went to a Korean pub for more drinks.
This time I was lucky because most of the conversation was in English, some times they tend to speak a lot of Korean and as a result I feel left out of the conversation and the evening gets pretty dull.
I also spent most of the day on the phone (the title and dinner related pun is intended) with Marta, as there are the usual problems at work and the Hospital also gave me a reply and it appears that I will be operated in January.
It's a bit of a bummer, I was really hoping to get it done as soon as possible.
Weather is also bloody freezing and with my Denim Jacket it's not a great fun to be outside, still on that point of view the extremely spicy cusine helps a bit.
- I pinged the router but is dead! - Wednesday 16th November 2005
Today I had to leave Taipei to go to Seoul. As usually packing was a pain in the arse, though the idea that this is the last leg of the trip raised the spirits a bit...
[Click here to read more...]
- "And your name is?".... - Monday 14th November 2005
Read more to understand what the following sentences have to do with today's acoounts:
Chinese social games
"Yes!! I know! I saw a mummy once!"
[....] a glimpse of sweetness and romanticism to it... A GLIMPSE!
[....] to down this shit in one
I am alright with drinking, but [....]
[....] pretty knackered already [....]
[Click here to read more...]
- Shao Pao and Souvenirs - Sunday 13th November 2005
Today I received a call in the morning from a CLIENT of ours, namely Marrouce who works for a very good company here in Taipei. She's a great person, always very kind and so on, though I suspect that she's got a crush on me, I still like to hang around with her.
Marrouce came and pick me up at the hotel so that we could have lunch in one of the most famous restaurants in Taipei, a place known for dumpling and Shao Pao, a sort of bigger dumpling but made of something that has the consistency of bread with stuffing...
The meal was MARVELOUS, we then moved to a place to look for what had to be my new digital camera, but I found out that they are cheaper in Japan, so I'll have to postpone the new acquisition.
On the way back we stopped at some souvenirs shop and then we went to the hotel where i spent the evening watching TITANIC in Chinese while having my dinner (with english subtitles though!).
All in all it could have been worse, not too much to complain...
- Strange phenomenon - Saturday 12th November 2005
It is rather strange. Yesterday I felt as if I was flying that day to Taipei from Europe, and in the night I barely could sleep, as if I had jet lag or something.
Mostly had to do with the fact that I had hardly eaten anything the whole day, I woke up at 4 with terrible stomach cramps and had to eat some Kaki-no-tame (peanuts and other spicy things that I bought in Japan) in order to keep it quite for a couple of hours.
I then rushed to breakfast to have a proper meal, then went back to bed until 11ish.
The problem is that I woke up and I felt all day as if a truck run over me! Typical of jet lag, which I should not have as I am in Asia from more than two weeks now. Maybe it was the strange day that fucked it all up... Oh well...
I went to a marvelous electronic market, which I am going to beat tomorrow as well with Marrouce, a friend who works for a major client here in Taipei.
The market is full of marvelous things, I wish I had a lot more money than I actually have to buy more than I did. I got myself a new mouse and a bluetooth headset kit. Funky!
On the way back to the hotel I stopped at Royal Host, a typical Japanese chain restaurant where I had a rather average meal.
What wasn't average was the waiting time, that on the other side was good to observe the man depicted above.
He ordered his milk tea and ice cream, then went away.
Suddenly I became fascinated, starting to guess what was he doing, what was he thinking, I mean he's on his own on a Saturday afternoon, eating a lonely ice cream in a cafe.
The first impression that I had was some sort of pimp or something. Then I realized that he probably has a family, maybe he came to the center of Taipei to get a present for his son, or wife. In the end I convinced myself that he's a good man, works his arse off every day, like many Chinese do, probably he'll never have a mean in Spizzico (Italian chain restaurant) observing the people in Pizzaland...
My steak (with shrimps!) arrived and I was distracted, so I didn't see him leaving, but it felt like living his life for a moment.
Stories, lives, all are incredibly interesting to me, even if they seem repetitive and dull.
- And the storm strikes... - Friday 11th November 2005
Arrived in Taipei I got to the hotel just in time to see the room service closed.
I then tried to eat the complementary apple to find after the third bite that is has a little inhabitant inside, the Osembe (rice cakes) are also stale.
Decided then to open the laptop and received an interesting email from Marta saying that my boss was angry at me and that he asked her to "help him" deal with the situation. Marta apparently told him that we have a similar character and therefore there is always a clash.
The only chance that I had to be defended by some of my colleagues (in this case she's even my girlfriend!?) went completely pear shaped.
Didn't see that coming...
Got almost no news about the meetings that were held, I am stuck in this bare room hungry, upset and really depressed.
I have two days of "no speaking to anybody" ahead of me, I don't dare asking what more could go wrong because I am sure that it will happen if I do.
Moments like that are really a low point, I wish I was in Florence in my hose with my cat on the bed and the gentle trees being combed by the wind outside the window.
If I think of that I feel at home, safe... But it doesn't last unfortunately...
Up here a picture of the airport lounge. There were those Japanese men talking to this foreigner, most probably about work. Why can't I find another job, Japan related? Am I so crap? It seems that millions of people work with Japan, maybe all the places are taken.
Better go to bed now.
- Storm brewing and Chie - Thursday 10th November 2005
Today I had a chance to wander a bit around Harajuku and paid visit again to Mejii Jingu. Apart from that I just sorted out the work related issues, until when my boss decided to drop in a bombshell of a mail where among several things he wrote something about me not doing my duty towards the company.
It all sprang from the fact that that client of some days before just rejected our counterproposal, and I wrote a mail saying that I thought that we didn't much more space for a further mediation.
Anyways this was enough to put me in a very nervous and bad state of mind, my back aches are coming back, I always contract jaw muscles... All the signs of typical stress.
I am worried, most than everything for my health. This is not working at all, I can't sleep and I barely want to eat. I can't seem to let these things fall from my shoulders.
I replied pretty much in the same tone and fortunately Chie called me to go out for dinner.
We went to Negishi, I had the most pleasant dinner with her, we had a long chat and then back to the hotel to start the packing.
- O Tabe Sushi - Wednesday 9th November 2005
Today started is a great manner, the memory of yesterday's dinner at our most favourite place " O TABE SUSHI" in Tsukiji (the fish market in Tokyo). The restaurant is rather small, increasing the Japanese feel to it, and the sushi is A.B.S.O.L.U.T.E.L.Y. the best that I have ever had in my life.
There are always a lot of different fish, every time that we go there is something new.
A mention needs to be made for "TAISHO", that means general (as in the military rank), but is a special
word used ONLY in sushi restaurants to call the head chef (in the picture is the chubby guy with the red band). He's really great, know a lot about fish and mussels, a pleasure to talk with him.
The day continued in a quite good manner, we had the usual appointments, most of which were quite good, and finally I bid farewell to Kutsunugi san who has to go back to Osaka. It has been a great trip as usual, shame I cannot say the same thing about the business but there will be better times.
I have also spent quite some time observing people from the hotel window. They are very small from the 27th floor where I am writing from, and they seem like ants from this height. I was speaking with Kutsunugi san about the possibility (which apparently is not remote at all) of a great earthquake in the Tokyo area in the future. It struck me the fact that he's arranged with his family a series of meeting points and things to do in case of this occurrence. This is probably very Japanese and very common in areas where earthquakes are considered "normal", but as for us Italians a thing like that sounds so strange to arrange...
I guess that next time I will need some pointers from Kutsunugi san, you never know, the ants might have to dig their way out to the surface again...
- Back on Earth - Tuesday 9th November 2005
As it happens today was not a great day. We had quite a lot of appointments, and as I anticipated I had to fight with my boss to defend yesterday's decisions taken at the meeting with the client.
Problem is that I have now to go back to the negotiation table, not in person, but via e-mail.
This meant a long evening with the agent trying to put together a good letter so that the client doesn't get offended but we make our point. It's a nice effort of mixing a very direct language like english with Japanese mentality which fortunately both me and Kutsunugi san have in abundance (he said more than one time that I am more Japanese than him!!).
Finally around 11 in the evening we sent the mail, let's see tomorrow what do we get...
During one of the appointments I could not avoid taking this picture (see above). The guy there is the president of a insurance or security company, he is introducing himself (on the right hand side of the pic)... I find this thing extremely NAFF and extremely Japanese.
First of all the guy is UGLY, this is a rather poor attempt under the advertising point of view, and there is no punch line to the message it's just the formula that is used in almost every introduction in Japan.
This is the western way of reading it.
The Japanese way is totally different. The guy introduces himself, which is always a very polite and generally good thing to do. He's old, which means that he has power (he's infact the president of the company), and also he must have done his job properly to get to this point. The message is obviously targeted to older people, who can appreciate this way of doing business and that are the one with most money either to invest or to get an insurance...
To a Japanese I think that this advert is reassuring, to me it was sad. The new Japanese society is getting more and more westernized (which is a great shame IMHO), so these forms of expressions (the advert) will, in due time, die to make space to something different.
- Monday 7th November 2005 - International Negotiations
Today it was probably the most important day of the trip, under the work point of view. I had to meet one of our major customers to discuss about a quality issue that we have had with the last shipments.
It is something that I largely expected (the quality issue), so I did advise at the time of the order that this article was going to be a pain in the arse (not with this wording, but more or less)...
To make things more difficult I am relying heavily on this account for my future targets, so the mediation was not starting on an easy ground for us.
I am surely changed in the years, I guess that I would have been far less political if the same situation occurred 5 years ago, but all in all the meeting was a complete success, we managed to find what I consider a good solution (considering that we started from a very reassuring "cancel the whole order"... Now I have to convince the people in Italy...), we have considerably strengthened our position with the client and our image, they are willing to switch from a competitor to our products AND we managed to start talking seriously about the current season.
Me and Kutsunugi san are really a good working team!!
Days like these mean a lot to me, show me that I am worth a lot more that people in my company are prepared to admit, and that maybe my skills could be of use to some other firm in the future.
All in all I am happy, I haven't sold a meter of fabric but I feel like if I sold the earth to God.
During another meeting I have witnessed the most amusing scene (see picture above). The guy sitting on the left hand side (you see only a bit), didn't realize that the pieces (the rolls or how the hell you wanna call them), have fallen to the ground.
As I was waiting with Kutsunugi san for the client to arrive I have noticed that for a good 10 minutes people were passing by (even with suitcases) without even hinting at picking them up to remove the impending obstacle.
It was great to observe the faces, first shocked to see the insurmountable road block, then saddened realizing that the world is really going pear shaped, then concentrated in jumping over the barriers in order t avoid a. DAMAGE and b. STARES of other people that might think that they should have picked them up and finally relieved after the physical effort and after realizing that only a stupid gaijin was looking at them with a puzzled face.
I guess that a similar thing would probably happen in western countries too, actually I would have thought that in Japan people would stop to pick them up, just out of politeness...
The woman in the picture eventually took them and put the against the wall, but I have the feeling that she's been called by another person to do the job. That's a very Japanese thing to do that would be branded as mobbing all over the way in Europe, but here it seems to work. I won't go into the role of women in Japan and Asia in general, but that's surely something that I don't quite like of these cultures (one of the few things...).
- Sunday 6th November 2005 - Hanshin Tigers
- After another working Saturday, on which there is little to say, I had the first free day in 2 weeks.
Unfortunatey jet lag is still killing me so I woke up very early and had to spend a lot of time watching pointless Sunday morning Japanese programs! My TV watching habit might be good for the language (as it forces me to try to understand), but on the other side is boring. I then decided to go out around 10, sure that the shops would be open.
The shops were indeed open, but I forgot that today the baseball club in Osaka (Hanshin Tigers) had a huge parade near the hotel.
Going in the main shopping streets was HELL, at one point I was completely stormed by people walking in the opposite direction, that I had to follow the flow!!
The weather itself was crap, raining all time. In the afternoon Kutsunugi san came down to Osaka to go to the office, I happily joined as I couldn't stand roaming about and getting trampled, incidentally (say what!?) we did some work, sent all the bulky suitcases to the hotel in Tokyo and bid farewell until tomorrow morning.
The evening had its high spot at a Chinese restaurant, where the selection of foods was rather interesting, but apart from that I decided to go back to my room from where I am writing now.
Unfortunately my business trips are always like that. VERY busy, I feel I hardly have time to burp sometimes. I wanted to buy a camera, a present from my niece and nephew, a present for my friend Stefano and a pair of shoes.
I ended up with some general crockery, a bottle of water and some Origami paper, capping it up with an extra crap luch in a crowded restaurant where 30 people were seated in a place that normally would seat 10... 'Nuff said...
Hopefully Taipei and Seoul will be less hard on me, but before that I still have another full week in Tokyo...
Not many positive feelings today, I was expecting more from this Sunday, but probably, like many things, it's what you expect that ruins the experience... I tried to smile constantly though, which was a bit of a novelty.
And tomorrow I am moving again!!
- Friday 4th November 2005 - At the Kutsunugi's
Today it was a normal working Friday here in Osaka, went to see some clients, finished to put everything in order at the office and around 8 in the evening we managed to leave the working place to move towards Takarazuka, where my agent Kutsunugi san lives with his family.
[Click here to read more...]
- Thursday 3rd November 2005 - Holidays in Japan
Technically today is national holiday in Japan, and having missed on a long weekend of national holidays in Italy (from Saturday till Wednesday) I kind of relished at the idea of getting back some free time.
Regrettably (though I should have known this), I have had a full working day. Had to wake up at 6,15 to see Carmine off in Tokyo, then got a bus at 7,30 to Haned airport where I have brilliantly managed to claim my ticket-less reservation on the 9,30 flight to Osaka, Itami.
The reservation procedure it's great (as you would expect here in Japan), I bought the ticket 2 days ago through my agent's mobile, got to the airport and fed my Credit Card into a machine. All the written parts were in Japanese of course, but I managed to use the correct menus, and I even managed to get a receipt!
Soon I had the ticket, checked in some baggage, cleared security check (being a gaijin, or foreigner, I always get frisked and stopped), and got my plane to Osaka.
All conversation with airline staff and police was strictly in Japanese and for once I didn't miss a single word of what they were saying.
It seems like I have now achieved an almost perfect integration with this country, shame that I don't live here...
Anyway, my agent was waiting for me for to go to the office where we sorted out all the work from the fair, re-sorted the collections and everything and finally around 5ish I managed to have some time for myself.
This allowed me to browse the internet to look for my next digital camera. I am very uncertain whether to buy a Sony DSC T7 or a W7. They are different types of cameras, the first is more stylish and less complicated, with less advanced options.
The second has got more "meat" and it's a little bulkier.
I am looking for a camera that I can carry in my pocket, so the first choice seems sensible, but on the other side I use some of the advanced functions that I have in my actual DC (see picture above, taken with a slower shutter speed, and fiddling with the aperture size).
I'll try to look at the DCs on Sunday, I'll have all day free for myself, Saturdays here are working days for me!!
- Wednesday 2nd November 2005 - The Wanderer
In the past two days I have been working my arse off at the usual Tokyo textile fair. Though the reactions towards our products have been rather cold, there is still a lot of PR to do and general talking, resulting usually in a sore throat.
Moreover jet lag has been nagging me a lot and I can't sleep as I wish I could.
Today the fair is finished but since Carmine cannot speak English or Japanese I have stayed a day longer in Tokyo to see him off to the airport tomorrow. It's rather good for me because I could spend the evening with him and I could stay a night longer in Tokyo.
In the evening of course I had to start packing. Out of all the things that we must do while abroad, this is absolutely one of the most hated parts of my job. I have barely just arrived and I have to pack again and leave for yet another pre-made and pre-heated hotel.
It's one of the heaviest things to do both in physical terms and in psychological ones.
We say in Italy that "partire è come morire" (to leave is like to die), in a way I had a lot of chances to have proof of this saying.
And every time of course I had to pack, pack my feelings, memories... Not that I have something special to leave here in Tokyo this time, but it still pains me. In the end out of 3 weeks a 3 days in Asia I will pack/unpack 10 times...
Needless to say that I am now a master at making bags, but it's not a sufficient consolation to the fact that tomorrow I am on the leave again, pretty much the same way I have been living the past 10 years of my life...
Looking around the desolate room, full of unfolded clothes, shoes that clutter the floor, receipts from the restaurant and portable hard disks, it seems that I have never lived here, that I have just arrived to clean up someone's mess. I am pretty precise, but usually we are in a hurry so there is no time to do just everything... Slowly I start packing making sure that all the clothes are nicely stored, I need to use them still so creases should be avoided on those shirts, or I'll have to iron as well...
Woo, gotta put away those hotel shampoos and bath foams, they are in the bill, might as well take them home with me!
Whoops I forgot the laundry... Where the hell shall I put it now? In with the socks, all nicely put in a plastic bag to avoid terminal contamination...
It's 11: 30 already!? Gotta dash to bed, after the standard 3rd call from the office to discuss about yet more problems... It's strange working abroad, the time difference makes so that you ALWAYS work, no matter what time it is...
In need a rest maybe?
Hard to say, what is sure that I'll be watching the world from the skies again tomorrow...
- Lox, Lorenzo... ME!!
- A little introduction about the author and the blog itself. Plus contacts and CVs... You never know!
- A Selection of the best pictures that I have taken all over the world during the years, all nicely indexed by year and geographical area. Jolly good!
- History of this Blog
- A collection of all the articles that I have wrote so far, divided by month/year.
I have had the bad idea of writing my e-mail address on the board before, so this time I'll try to prevent some spam to get to me by putting this little image.. Let's hope it does the trick!
A reminder to Myself
Left and right
Like day and night
That's what makes the world go round
In and out
Thin and stout
That's what makes the world go round
For every up there is a down
For every square there is a round
For every high there is a low
For every to there is a fro
To and fro
Stop and go
That's what makes the world go round
You must set your sights upon the heights
Don't be a mediocrity
Don't just wait and trust to fate
And say, that's how it's meant to be
It's up to you how far you go
If you don't try you'll never know
And so my lad as I've explained
Nothing ventured, nothing gained
You see my boy it's nature's way
Upon the weak the strong ones prey
The human life it's also true
The strong will try to conquer you
That is what you must expect
Unless you use your intellect
Brains and brawn, weak and strong
That's what makes the world go round