Tuesday, March 31, 2009

first few days in kanagawa

I guess my predictions were true.

I predicted that I won’t be updating my blogs as frequently as I wanted to.

And as you can see by yourself, the rate of me posting new posts here has tremendously declined; even IF I have tons and tons of things to write about.

Like for instance, my new place in Hashimoto, Kanagawa.

For an apartment provided by my company, I was very impressed by how clean and in good condition it was.

I’m not saying that I expect less from my own company, but the place looks like it’s never been occupied by anyone else before!

Well, at least until I got my stuff from Akita here.

My job-training are just going to last until September before I get sent to somewhere else, so I plan to keep the apartment that I’m in now strictly basic; just enough for me to live in.

And it sucks though that I need to wait until the 18th of April until I could put some internet-connection magic into my Dell.

The internet provider guy said that because it’s April, the season in which a lot of people changes apartment/homes, I would have to wait in line for my turn to get their service started.

And oh, the other thing that sucks about this apartment is that it would take about 90 minutes for me to get to work.

It took like 10 minutes to walk from the apartment to the nearest eki (train station), about 60 minutes of densha ride, and then another 10 minutes of bus riding until I reach work.

Pretty tiring stuff to be doing everyday, especially riding the densha; it was inevitable that the thing would be packed with people who didn’t shower in the morning.


I also changed my phone to iphone!

It was pretty unbelievable that Softbank is giving out iphones for free here in Japan; and I waste no time to grab the opportunity.

So I have been using my iphone for a week now, and I really understood why it was not so very well received by the Japanese users.

The thing is evolutionary as it is not friendly at the way Japanese people use their mobile phones.

The thing that irks me the most is the absence of infra-red ability to change information with your new found friends.

And the way Apple uses the 3G network to deal with internet bandwidth is also a little bit weird that it hinders with the speed receiving emails.

With all that said, I still think that it was worth the change.

Well, I DID got it for free, so I won’t be complaining much about it.


Maybe this is happening because of the change of environment and lifestyle, but I think I’m pretty lonely right now.

As I am very new to this place, I have no friends; but I’m trying very hard to make some, as fast as I could.

Anyways, just right in front of my apartment, there is a video shop selling Japanese porn at extreme discount points.

I don’t know why I need to tell you that.

Maybe because I’m just lonely.

pic: there is big sakura tree right on the platform of sagami-hara station. pretty swett!

i love the sakura season!


Monday, March 30, 2009

moving to kanagawa

Eleven boxes full of my stuff from Akita to Kanagawa costs about 15000 yen.

It was not cheap, and I really hope I could claim that money back.

Anyways, I have finished packing up and cleaning my old apartment; and that is all thanks to the full cooperation and swift work by my kohais, who spend their precious time to help me and Zarul tidy up the place.

And bought the stuff that we don’t want to bring along.

Your cooperation is highly appreciated.
The morning sun was brilliant.

The picture is taken while Zarul is driving me to the Akita Station so that I could take the earliest Shinkansen to Tokyo, leaving Akita for good.

I thank Affir and Mantop for letting me stay in their new, huge apartment for that night.

^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^* My breakfast (and also lunch) in the shinkansen was a simple one.

One sake-nigiri, a bottle of milk tea and a bar of snickers.

Like always, my view is fixed to the window.

The snowy scenery outside was pretty amazing.

But I can’t really focus of the scenery because I have a book to finish:仕事の基本が身につく本 – this book teaches everything that I need to know about Japanese working culture.

Like how to bow, how to talk politely with seniors and clients, how to receive meishi (name card), how to politely refuse invitation to get piss drunk after work etc.

You know… the basis of how to become a Japanese salaryman.

My training requires me to finish the book because they are going to have a test of my Japanese mannerism and how much I know about the Japanese business manner and culture.

I arrived at my new apartment (provided and fully supported by the company) impressed with the place. I thought it would be smaller.

This is always a good sign.

The floor was quite cold though, but I can’t complain much because they provided the washing machine, shower room, toilet, air conditioner, intercom, kitchen etc all for free.

This must be a sign of something good.

I hope.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

back in japan

i've been pretty busy since coming back from my short holiday in malaysia.

first and foremost, i finally graduated 4 days ago!

i'm so glad now that i have a piece of paper that certified me as a mechanical engineering degree holder, and hopefully that accomplishment could get me somewhere nice.

i spent 2 years of my life in akita just to get that piece of paper.

it must be something of important value.

anyways, like most japanese graduations all over japan, my graduation ceremony in akita was pretty quick, extremely formal, and ridiculously boring.

the only good side of it is that it only took 1 hour from start to finish.

that's how the japanese do their graduations.

the main reason why it ended so quickly was because instead of making each and every graduate walk up the stage to receive their certificate, the japanese way is to select one person as a representative for a particular faculty to receive the certificate on the whole faculty's behalf.

engineering faculty - 1 person
medical faculty - 1 person
education faculty - 1 person
and so on.

and like most ceremonies in japan, everything was extremely formal; no clapping, no laughing, no yeehaa finally i graduated yeah fuck school!

although it was pretty boring, i AM extremely glad that i finally graduated. hopefully the combination of my diploma and degree could be put to good use.


3 days ago, after my 5th try, i finally got my japanese driving license!

now i can legally drive in japan! wuhoo! i can also start to make decision on whether to get a honda fit, or a mazda rx8.

decisions, decisions.

*note: i got an 'automatic-transmission-only' driving license.


on that same day, i also managed to get my working visa and changed my staying status from 'collage student' to 'engineer'.

looks like my transition to enter working life is going smoothly, as of now.

i still got a lot of work to do before i could move out to kanagawa.

i'm sending all of my stuff to the new apartment in kanagawa tomorrow, so i really need to finish packing those boxes.

and right now, my current apartment doesn't really look like an apartment where humans live.

boxes everywhere.


and all sorts of garbage.


moving out, starting a new life as a working person, adjusting to a new town... i will be busy these first few weeks.

and i don't see myself updating my blog as frequently as i used to.

kinda makes me sad though.

maybe the life of a student is sexier?

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Friday, March 13, 2009

epi dan kak na

selamat pengantin baru dan tahniah!

may you be blessed with a wonderful marriage until the end of times!

i'm truly happy for both of you.

kak na, please take good care of my brother!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

sapa doh paser mah

Alhamdulillah, I arrived safely at home. I wanted to post this earlier, but I was pretty busy relaxing and chillin' in my hometown, the hot and dampy Pasir Mas.

So here it goes...

My Akita-Tokyo Shinkansen (bullet train) was like always, right on time. Even with the heavy snow, they always depart and reach its intended destination right on time. I have much respect to the Japanese public transportation system.

One would suspect a train moving at about 200km/h would be prone to nauseating shakiness, but let me tell you that the Shinkansen is the most comfortable way of transportation that I’ve ever experienced; it’s incredible that even at that speed, I could still piss straight in the toilet. And it’s quite quiet too!

I really enjoyed the ride because the scenery from my seat was absolutely stunning; my view is fixed on the window. I really liked how the heavy snow has turned the previously lush greenery, to majestic whites of trees, river banks and paddy fields.

The only unfortunate thing about it is that each attempt at taking a great picture to visualize it to you here has failed; the reason is obvious: the bullet train moves at such high speed that it is hard to take a picture without it being very blurry; I just gave up after a few tries, then I sat back and just enjoyed the scenery while listening to Halim Yazid on my mp3 player. I guess those beautiful sceneries should only be seen with one’s very own set of eyes.


Upon arriving at Tokyo Station around 10:00 a.m, I rushed to change train and took the Yamanote Line to Hibiya, where I change to another line (I don’t remember the name) and took the rapid train to Narita Airport.

I arrived at Narita Airport around 11:30 a.m. and I immediately changed my winter outfit to summer ones… it’s quite warm inside the airport, and I’m about to go to a much warmer country in a couple of hours!

There was quite a long queue at the MAS check-in counter, so I waste no time and immediately lined up, as my flight is at 01:30 p.m.


30 minutes later, I got to hand out my printed-out ticket reservation to the check-in counter, and as I explained to the MAS/ANA employee about how conveniently they have cancelled my flight and moved me to an afternoon flight that made me miss my domestic flight from Kuala Lumpur to Kota Bharu on that very same day, the lady behind the counter made an extremely sad face, like a kitten who got scolded by its owner for doing something naughty.

She then asked me to follow her to the ticket service counter, and there I was given a new domestic flight ticket and a hotel reservation papers for my stay in KL that night. Then two other MAS/ANA employee joined the counter-lady, and with much synchronization, they bowed and bowed some more, apologizing for all the hassle.

Actually, I was not really mad at the whole situation because I don’t really mind being late for a day; but their excessive apology really made me uncomfortable because they made it look like a MAJOR apology after a MAJOR fuck-up; like mistakenly kicking me in the balls with their hard-leather-made high-heels. I know there are some who might like it done to them, but not me!

Well, the way they apologized might seemed sincere and all, but knowing the well-developed culture of Japanese customer service, I guess that’s all in their manual book. They’re just doing what they are taught by their seniors.


Anyways, the security check went well and I got to my seat as planned.

At first, I was being very defensive with the guy sitting next to me. I just said hello and then went into total silence as I read the book that I brought along.

Then when the afternoon meal was served, I just couldn’t hold the awkwardness anymore and tried to make small chat with him.

* The lunch menu for that day was just terrific; Gyudon with Soumen. Delicious! *

Although I knew my guess would be right that the guy sitting next to me is a Malaysian (Indian-Malaysian), I started my conversation in English, not in the national language Bahasa Melayu.

I don’t know why, maybe I thought that he would understand me better using orang-puteh-speak.

So begin the awkward conversation of two Malaysian nationals in a foreign language, instead of their own national language.

Then suddenly he spoke in Malay, in a distinctive Penang accent. I was so relieved! It was so rude of me to underestimate the language proficiency of my own fellow countrymen.

Anyways, the guy is an engineer for Hitachi, and he is going back to Malaysia after a week long briefing/meeting concerning a new product.

It was inevitable that our conversation would touch the topic that everyone talks about now: the Japanese (and global of course) economic meltdown.

He acknowledged the fact that his own company (Hitachi) is affected but he said that it was predicted that this fucked-up condition will only last until March, as the Japanese economy finishes its current fiscal year, in which every extra baggage are let go, to start a new fiscal new year a lot more stress-free, starting from April.

I hope he is right.

The flight made a brief stop at Kota Kinabalu International Airport. I took this opportunity to perform my Solat, take a huge dump, and relax while I read The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins; just to fill in the waiting time.

I thought when I arrived at Kota Kinabalu, I could take a brief walk outside to breathe the air of Borneo for the first time, but they just won’t let me do it. I can only stay inside the small airport the whole 3 hours.


I asked for the Spanish Chicken set for the in-flight dinner to Kuala Lumpur. My curiosity of how it would taste like helped me make this decision, but really, it was nothing special; it tastes like Ayam Masak Merah with extra tomato, and a lot milder. I finished my meal rather quickly, not leaving behind even a single seed of rice, like I always do.


I arrived at KLIA rather late, at around 11:00 p.m.

Claimed my luggage, then I went straight to the elevator to go to the first floor.

As I reached for the close button, a lady with her luggage trolley came rushing in the elevator, relieved that she made it.

I asked her “which floor?”

Then she mumbled something about her baggage and what floor should she go to claim it. She looks exhausted, and I mysteriously find her bushy tired eyes… attractive. Maybe it’s because I’m flight-tired too.

Anyways, I was not in a hurry (although slightly tired) so I guided the Turkish lady to where she was supposed to be waiting.

As I left her to be on my way, she said “Terima Kasih” and gave me such a beautiful smile, I’m blogging about it.

Nothing beats an honest, friendly smile. That really made helping her worth it.

I wish I knew how to speak a little Turkish.

The Concorde Inn room given to me was not that bad. It was quite spacey, clean and most importantly, FREE of charge.

I have an annoying trait (can this be called trait?) of not being able to go to sleep quickly if I’m in a place that I’m not used to, unless I was very tired. So I did push ups and sit ups till I have not one ounce of energy left, then I went to sleep.

I woke up at around 6:30 a.m. by the hotel staff’s morning call, washed my face, went outside for a little jog around the soccer field near my room, took a bath, brushed my teeth, long pisses and shit and all, then I went to take my breakfast at the hotel’s café.

I was pretty hungry so I ate a bunch of sliced beef, 2 plates of nasi lemak, some roti chanai, roti bakar, bihun goreng and 3 glasses of milk to wash all that down. Everything was tasty and nice. Me likey!

My level of excitement jumped a couple of notches up as the plane gets closer and closer to the Sultan Ismail Petra Airport.

The landing was a little bit bumpy but I won’t waste any time worrying about it, so I smiled and waved goodbyes to the friendly air stewardesses as I rushed to baggage claim.

At the arrivals gate, I could see a bunch of people take turn welcoming and shaking hands with one of the passengers on the same flight as mine.

So apparently someone famous was on that plane.


Carrying two heavy bags, I walked steadily towards 3 smiling faces that are very dear and close to my heart.

“Ummi, sapo tadi hok oghe ghama-ghama ‘sale tuh?”

“Ooo tu la Khairy Jamaluddin”


“Cekak tok kena. Tu la ‘natu Pok Loh”

“Aaa kena, kena. Tapi bakpo maghi Klate nyo, sini ke banyok doh tuke kaghut?”

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

one pasir mas breakfast

nasi dagang lauk campur RM3

cha-kuey RM2

teh tarik instant
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