Saturday, April 26, 2014

Japan Business Trip 2014: Shinjuku

After making my post about myself being a sore thumb, I stared at my blogroll and realized this one unpublished post and feel it is also a sore thumb, so I better post it now.

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I did not have time for extended sightseeing from the 1 week trip to Japan. As I mentioned many times, most of the trip was spent having meetings and traveling on trains.

The only opportunity I had to walk around was on arrival day, around our hotel in Shinjuku.

Outside the hotel

Takashimaya, Times Square, right across the hotel. Pedestrian bridge access.

Some Christmas-y deco I guess, right outside the hotel.

It was bad timing to come out for a walk, 5.00pm local time, we are beginning to see the first wave of after work hours rush. But then, that is the only timing I had.

Human crossing outside Shinjuku JR Station

One thing I learned though, is, once you experienced peak hour rush in Tokyo, I suspect you will be able to adapt to peak hour rush anywhere else. It makes peak hour rush in KL like kid's play.

What you get is a whole lot of people pouring out from train stations into the streets, and basically all of the pedestrian walkways are filled to the brim with people. People are walking rushing around close to each other, almost touching. As a tourist, it is impossible to slow down, let alone stop, to get a good angle to snap a photo, within a 2 or 3 km radius of the train station. You have to keep moving along with the crowd, or they will push you and make angry remarks. Not that I understand, since they're in Japanese. So most of the photos I snapped are rubbish and blur, because they are snapped while on the go.

Perhaps this only happens in the main train hubs, Shinjuku being one of them. In fact, I hear Shinjuku train station is the largest train station in Japan!

This was a photo I managed to capture right before the human rush began

Things get better though, the further you drift away from the train station. I have no idea where I am at in below pictures, I just walked blindly around. Judging from where I could still see my hotel tower, I suspect I was in Kabukicho, where Jackie Chan filmed the movie Shinjuku Incident.

Pachinko shop. Too bad it was closed, I'd like to see the interiors of some place I first learned from watching Slam Dunk.

Car park. Again it was closed, I think it should be similar to the ones we see in Tokyo Drift?

Rest of the photos that I think is semi-decent...





I did go into this shop, I may or may not have bought stuff from here. I did not go into this shop.

Did I mention I was able to judge my location from my hotel tower from more than 3km away?

I did not even have the time to properly shop for souvenirs. Even if I have the time, I doubt I would be able to afford to buy. Most of the things I see in the stores start from 1000 yen. So I made just 1 quick dash into a special shop, grabbed everything I could see.

This whole basket costed me 2800 yen.

This is the special shop.

Some of the candy, like that Mitsuya Cider candy from Asahi, yeah, they came from this shop too. I might have overlooked correcting some of you who guessed that 1 pack of those cost 1000 yen. Don't kill me =P.

Well, that's about as much as I have about the Japan trip. I'm not sure if I ever want to visit this country again, even on a vacation basis. You really need to be able to at least understand some Japanese words, because beyond Tokyo, people literally speak no English.

Oh well...

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Sore Thumb

I have another sightseeing post from my Japan trip, but have been procrastinating for more than a month to get it done. Maybe I'll do it tonight... or tomorrow night... or over the weekend... or next year... or whatever...

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I had another silently-having-the-opposite-perspective-compared-to-my-peers moment a couple of days back. Actually I've been having this kind of moments on and off since entering the working world.

I met an outside vendor with a colleague, the vendor was supposed to come in and verify a few of the instruments that we purchased from them but had drifted out of spec. Apparently, that guy was new, and he came unprepared and not knowing what to do. In fact, he came empty handed, without bringing with him any tools that he can use to perform the verifications. Naturally we were disappointed. What happened next:

[What I had in mind]
I ask the vendor: "If you come empty handed, how are you going to verify whether your instruments has drifted? And how do you plan to perform the verifications?"
I send him back with a stern reminder to be prepared and arrange for him to come back tomorrow.

[What actually happened]

The colleague black faced the vendor and said to him: "Eh hello?! You bring 两疏蕉 come, do what?? Do you know what you are doing?! Verify with your fingers??!"
The vendor got panicked and replied: "Sorry sir, I'm new to this job, maybe I can.."
The colleague interrupted and shouted: "I don't care you are new! This is your job, and you don't know how to do it!"
The colleague stormed off with a promise to escalate this to the vendor's manager.

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I don't really agree with the [What actually happened]. I don't agree with throwing your weight, piling pressure on people to get things done. I think this is a very stupid way to get things done. Usually, what follows is that the party being pressured panics and tries to do his "best" to fulfill you, and by "best", I mean doing magic, cutting corners, presenting something that only looks good on the surface, hiding faults, etc. A bigger bomb explodes few weeks/months down the road.

I've seen this happen many times before, sadly no one seems to be able to see this, no one seems to want to change their ways. Or maybe it is just me being a sore thumb sticking out?