Sunday, May 31, 2009

Japanese Salaryman Life pt.2

Continuing from Part 1.

Every morning I usually woke up at 5:50 a.m.

After letting some sun light into the room, I would rush to the bathroom to take my daily morning shower.

Scrubby me here and there.

After some simple breakfast, I would put on my suit with matching neckties and long sleeved shirts, and get ready to get out of the apartment at exactly 6:50 a.m.; so that I could join my co-workers to go to work together.

Yes, I went to work with my co-workers every morning! What team spirit eh?

Anyways, our means of transportation to go to work is the famous Japanese densha system. Famous for what?

Morning rush hours and suicides of course!

*Densha (電車) means (public) train.

In all seriousness though, work-commuting by train in big Japanese cities (in my situation, Yokohama) is pure pain, and such an energy drowning experience.

There was just too many people during the morning rush hours, and not enough trains to accommodate them; causing extreme over-crowding especially from 7:30am to 9:00am.

In Malaysia, if a train was crowded with people, you would simply wait for the next train and board the less crowded one.

In Japan, even if you wait for the next train, the situation would be the same; the next train is also going to be extremely over-crowded, and you don’t want to be late to work, so you just board the train, NO MATTER how crowded it is.

Some of you might think, well a crowded train might not be so bad?

I want you to watch the video below, and you’d understand why I hate the morning rush hours that I have to endure each day going to work.

Basically this is the kind of trains that I have to board every morning, minus 10 people, maybe.

I got squished, pushed, sandwiched, pressed, feet stomped on and some more.

What makes it worse is that the majority of the Japanese salaryman here don’t believe in morning showers. Damn some of them do stink!

And I have to endure all if this for an hour every morning; what a great way to start work!

It does not happen very often, but sometimes there are people who choose to use the train, not to go to work, but to kill themselves; and we morning train commuters hate them to the bones!

Not only they delayed and decrease the available train, they also made such a mess on the platform. The number of passengers would drastically increase two, three folds when this happens, and it caused such human-traffic congestion inside the station.

So please to those who wants to kill themselves, please do it without causing other people trouble, especially when we all are rushing to go to work!

Kill yourselves in a hole that you dug by yourself in the comfort of your own lawn, please! O wait a minute, not many people in Japan has lawns!

Anyways, with so much human density in such a small space, it was inevitable that this would happen: CHIKAN.

*chikan (痴漢) means molestation, in this context, molesting female commuters in the densha. Normally this would consist of an old Japanese salaryman, rubbing his penis against the lady in front of him, or using his hands to grab and have a ‘feel’ on any available female’s ass inside the crowded train.

I pity the Japanese girls that they’re living in a land full of perverts.

I’ve seen it with my own eyes, and in such crowded situation, it would be hard to know whose hand it is that was grabbing that OL’s ass.

*OL = short for ‘office lady’.

What I don’t understand is that most of the victims stayed silent and still, their faces facing down, like nothing wrong happened. Maybe they’re just too ashamed to make a scene and report it to the police.

Maybe they thought, if I just endure this, I might get to work on time!

But because such chikan perverts exists, I’m always cautious in making sure that I won’t be mistakenly accused of doing such acts.

Now, that’s another whole story…

Enough with train suicides and train molesters… all of this makes me dull.

Anyways, I should be glad that starting from tomorrow, I won’t be using the train anymore because I got sent to further my training in Sagamihara, which is just a 20 minutes walk from my apartment!

Although this only lasts for 3 weeks, I’m looking forward to a new scenery; no more crowdedness, no more suicidal nuisances, no more salaryman perverts grabbing high school girl’s asses.

Three weeks of awesomeness!

[note: the extreme 'crowdiness' situation only applies during morning rush hours. using the train to get home from work in the evening is often quite relaxed; sometimes i could even sit down on the seats!]

Sunday, May 24, 2009

new mubie rebius!

The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button -8.2
The concept of Brad Pitt getting younger as he grows ‘older’ was pretty intriguing, and the small stories that filled his life was pretty memorable and there was never a dull moment in the movie. Check out the teenager Brad Pitt, what an amazing job of special effects, CGI and make-ups. Recommended!

Queen of Langkasuka – 7.1
What a great attempt to tell a story about Malay-Patani’s ancient governments and the politics at that time. The story is mediocre but the action scenes were decent enough, and you could see how much effort done on the costumes and stage sets to put the audience on one immersive movie-watching. This is not the greatest movie from Thailand, but I kinda recommends this to Malaysians, to take a note or two about passion in film-making.

Ong Bak 2 - 7.0
Tony Jaa is back with another action movie that is crazier and cooler than ever! And like most of his movies, this one also has a shitty story line, but that doesn’t matter because the fighting scenes were fucking awesome! Thank you Tony Jaa! Make more movies please!

Extreme Movies – 7.5
This movie has no story, but it’s freaking funny, if you don’t mind dirty jokes about sexually frustrated American teenagers. Some of the jokes are really disgusting and sick too, so I guess this means that all young Malaysian males would LOVE this movie. HAHA!

Watchmen - 8.0
I've never read the graphic novel, but I still enjoyed watching this movie and getting to know the story about the Watchman universe. I’m really impressed by how much content were crammed up in this movie, it’s full of mini-plots and stories! Recommended!

Yes Man - 8.0
Jim Carrey is back! and he is not in some weird artsy kind of a movie, but a really light and easy to enjoy, romantic comedy! Yay! Not only that, the movie's main theme is about self-improvement, and I'm positively affected by this message, and I'd really want to be a YesMan too! Like I said before, this movie easy to enjoy and very light, perfect for a lazy evening. You must watch this! Recommended.

Los Dan Faun - 6.5
Aflin Shauki makes decent comedies from time to time, but this one surely is not one of his better ones. The story was bad and predictable, the acting worse although I understand that it was intentional but too much is just too much. I see no improvement from his previous movies, he still uses the same amateurish camera shots, pacing was bad and the jokes worse. Disappointed.

Fanboys - 6.0
Not all that hilarious but if you're familiar with the star trek vs star wars 'thing' among the fanboys, you'd probably get a decent laugh or two.

Role Model - 5.0
Clearly not the worst comedy movie out there, but this one just didn't have enough good jokes to hold one's interest. Ok scratch that, this movie sucked balls and you should never waste your time watching this.

Seven Pounds - 6.5
I'm a big fan of Will Smith, and I am disappointed with his latest effort. The film relies too much on holding out information to reveal it later for a 'surprise ending' effect, and unfortunately the pacing was weird and took down the whole movie with it. I still like Will Smith though...

The Day The Earth Stood Still - 5.0
This is a remake of one of my fav 1950's movie (I've reviewed it some time ago link), and I had such high expectation, just to see it being crushed and squished in the hands of idea-desperate Hollywood movie makers. I'm done writing about this failed attempt... Don't bother to watch this.

Doubt - 7.4
A strong acting performance really do gave a movie that depends on a strong script, the living-boost it direly needs to make it as real, and as intense as it should be. This movie has an interesting story with the backup of good acting; it just didn't have much content to keep the high tension and stress on a successful reclining slope.

Push - 6.4
Push wants to be cool, but the story is unnecessarily convoluted and so predictable. Some of the action scenes were at least interesting to watch...

Quantum Of Solace - 6.6
The previous Bond movie with Craig as the new Bond was pretty good, but unfortunately this second installment is not. They downgraded everything, the story, the action scenes… even the hotless level of the Bond girl! Dissapointed!

Cinta U-Turn - 2.0
Why do Malaysian movie-goers still watch movies made by Prof Madya? I mean that is the only reason why this Prof are able to finance all of his horrible movies and continue to gave shame to all us civilized malaysians. This guy is so influenced by the worst Bollywood movies ever made that he desperately copies every fucking cliche, every fucking nonsense and every fucking moral demeanors concerning the shithead rich peoples and their closed view of the world. There is no use to further defile this movie, because it stinks more than Fasha Sadha's shit. Anyways, I think the only encouragement to watch this movie is the probably 'chick power'. Fasha Sadha is pretty, and she shook her ass in this one, although her technique could've been better. But as obvious as it is, sprinkling diamond dusts on a pile of shit, still makes it a pile of shit. Avoid this failure at all costs. I can't wait to watch Prof Madya's latest movie, Rasukan Ablasa though. He has been at such a low level, the only way is up! Hopefully....

Chermin – 6.0
The story seems interesting but Natasha Hudson surely can’t act properly. This is a Malaysian scary movie, and they have the decent scares. Anyways, I was so bored that I fell asleep during the end, go figure!

American Psycho – 7.4
The story about a young American businessman who is obsessed with perfection and being at the top. He also has a weird hobby of killing whores with chaisaws. A total American Psycho!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The fear of Babi-Flu

Finally the new swine flu has reached the Kanto region and the first case of infection came from two Japanese high school girls that just got back from New York.

The thing that kinda struck me with anxiety is the fact that both girls goes to a school in Hajioji using the same train that I use every morning to go to work.


I don't know about other countries, but the fear in Japan is pretty real, you felt it everyday, especially from the electronic medias.

There are even shops that gave out alcohol-spiked tissues to the customers before they enter the shop, to sterilize their hands.

At work, we were urged to wash our hands and gargle properly upon returning from work.

I know this new swine influenza has the possibility of going pandemic and cause massive chaos if not treated properly, but I think the media is scaring us all too much.

They are over doing it.

The possibility of me getting caught with the influenza is lower than Malaysia getting smart and reliable politicians.

Anyways, please understand that these terrible and horrible disease came from above because all you humans have sinned far too much, so lets pray to the source to stop giving us such trouble.

* as of now, the confirmed number of infected victims in Japan has risen up to 294 persons!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

i went to a maid cafe today!

i've always wanted to go to a maid cafe and see for myself what the fuss is all about.

and at last, today i got the chance to go to one such fantasy land when my co-workers volunteered to show me the most famous maid cafe in akihabara, @homecafe.

i was pretty excited.

and a bit surprised at how expensive it was compared to what service they offer.

the entrance fee itself is 700 yen, and you can't even take any photos inside the cafe.

anyways, upon entering the cafe, 5 japanese girls dressed in french inspired maid costumes greeted us with the greeting 「いらっしゃいませ、ご主人様!」 which means 'Welcome Back Home, Master!'.

it was pretty weird actually, to see so much concentration of nerds and cute girls in maid costumes cramped in such a small space.

*BGM played inside the cafe are of the anime songs collection, all the time, of course.

i ordered the omelette special menu that comes with caramel latte and the opportunity to take a picture with a maid of my choice.

the silly but cute thing about my omelette is the additional 'moe performance': the serving maid, using ketchup, drew hello kitty on the omelette... while saying 'magic words' to 'cast delicious spell' on it. then she asked me to cast the spell with her, which is the silliest thing ever, but so fucking cute nonetheless!

anyways, i think maid cafes are not bad at all, although it IS quite weird; and having entered one, i've definitely came closer in understanding the 'moe' culture of the otakus.

akane-chan kawaii !!!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Japanese Salaryman Life pt.1

When I was still a student, I always wondered how an ordinary Japanese salaryman live their life.

If one reads the many articles written by the western media about the Japanese salaryman, one could not escape the impression of the life of the everyday Japanese salaryman to be terribly stressful and horribly overworked, leading to a sexless life with the wife, and fuel the booming of compensated-dating with materialistic-minded, under-aged girls.

Every morning they have to endure the worst morning rushes in the world to get to work using the always over-crowded 'densha'; and in those small spaces where people rub shoulders with each other while they try their best to keep their balance so that they don't step on another salaryman's foot, or pressed on an office lady's breasts too hard (unintentionally, I hope), the ordinary Japanese salaryman would never refrain themselves from grabbing the still developing but already meaty and firm, buttocks of not-so-innocent Japanese high school girls who always wore their skirt way too short just to be cool at school, as they are very weak when it comes to peer pressure.

Their life is pathetic as it was just a declining road to 過労死 (karoushi), while frequently visiting the nearest soaplands and kyabakura clubs along the way.

As you can see, they don't have the nicest reputation.

And I've become one.

Well, sort of... It has only been a month and I still didn't have the opportunity to visit or do all those perverted things that they are famous for, as they have been portraited in the western media.

I really do lack in experience, but I could at least share what I have been through these past weeks... And I am pretty sure some of my blog readers out there, especially my kohais, would want to know what a salaryman life loosely assembles like.

So here it goes...

Ok I think I should stop here right now because it's almost 10:00 pm and I got to go to bed as soon as possible as I don't want to wake up late tomorrow; I need to get up at 05:45 am every morning to get to work god damn it!

To be continued...

p/s: to be fair though, although the phrase 'salaryman' means males who works under a salary, the more common usage of the title is applied to Japanese white-collar businessmen... not engineers, teachers, porn stars, police officer etc...

Sunday, May 10, 2009

korean ramen + homemade kimchi

my korean co-worker invited me to his room today to try some korean ramen that he prepared.

and he insist me on eating it with kimchi, totally korean-style.

it was pretty hot, especially the green chili, but the homemade kimchi (his mom sent it straight from tegu, korea) was pretty awesome.

there was also some korean miso and some small fried fishes as side dish. and oh, not forgotten some rotten green chillies!f

i really want to try more authentic korean food!

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Panic during Totsuka Morning Rush

This morning, some of the train on the train-line that I use everyday to go to work to, has stopped working for about 15 minutes because of some shit that they don't want to tell us.

The result of this brief halt of flow of people during such critical morning rush hour is total chaos, as the flow of anxious commuters fill the station's limited floor space; it looked like some hajj ritual being performed by many man and women in suits and work attire.

There was no walking space at all; everyone moves by pushing and getting pushed by the flow of commuters. If anyone drops his/her bag, she/he should forget about getting it back.

Such scenes does makes me wonder with slight fear.

People would never be able to evacuate quickly in times of emergency, if such event that requires such action ever occur.

In all the madness where some couldn't take it anymore and prefer to shout and swear at the person behind just because of a little push; I managed to get some photos with the low-tech iPhone camera.

Friday, May 01, 2009

tak nak balik berkhidmat untuk negara ke?

aku ditaja JPA untuk belajar di Jepun selama 6 tahun.

april 2003 - march 2009.

setahun buat bahasa jepun, 3 tahun buat diploma pastu lagi 2 tahun buat degree.

kalo ikut rate sekarang, biasiswa bulanan yang aku dapat adalah lebih kurang rm4800.


rm4800 darab 12 bulan darab 6 tahun = rm345,600.

banyak tu.

tu tak kira duit yuran pengajian + elaun buku la, elaun pindah, elaun kesihatan etc.

kalo campur sumer2, ada kot cecah setengah juta.

" setengah juta? banyak tu beb, but still, ko masih nak stay kerja kat jepun, tak nak balik berkhidmat untuk negara, untuk rakyat ke? "

ke sudah lupa diri?


dulu aku banyak kali terbaca berita pasal student overseas tajaan kerajaan yang lepas graduate, tak nak balik mesia, langgar contract dengan terus sambung kerja kat oversea, pastu tak bayar plak tuh duit pinjaman.

kerajaan taja mahal2 supaya nanti dia bole balik untuk berkhidmat untuk rakyat.

tapi balasan nya, dia lari entah ke mana, demi kepentingan diri sendiri.

taufiq ali, kamu macam mana?



kontrak aku dengan JPA lebih kurang mcam nih:

aku belajar sampai dapat degree dalam kejuruteraan mekanikal kat universiti nasional jepun, dan lepas graduate, pihak kerajaan berhak memanggil aku untuk bekerja dengan mana2 badan kerajaan yg memerlukan. jika aku tidak berjaya untuk menghabiskan pengajian dalam masa yg ditetapkan @ menolak tawaran pekerjaan daripada kerajaan selepas graduate, aku bole dikenakan saman dan perlu membayar balik duit ganti rugi (duit biasiswa) kepada pihak JPA.

seterusnya, selepas cukup setahun daripada tarikh aku graduate secara rasmi, tetapi pihak JPA masih belum memanggil aku untuk berkhidmat dengan mana2 badan kerajaan, maka aku bebas daripada kontrak dengan JPA tersebut.

aku tak perlu kerja dengan kerajaan dan aku tak perlu bayar apa2 pun jika perkara diatas berlaku.

sebelum aku masuk company aku skang, aku dikehendaki oleh pihak embassy untuk menghantar satu surat ajaib.

surat perlepasan kontrak namanya.

kuasa surat tersebut adalah untuk memendekkan masa menunggu untuk ditawarkan untuk bekerja dengan kerajaan, daripada 1 tahun kepada 0 hari.

0 minit, 0 saat.


jadi legally, aku tak perlu punbalik untuk bekerja di malaysia.

tapi aku tetap rasa yang aku perlu berkhidmat untuk negara.

kalau tidak, buat apa kerajaan habiskan setengah juta; cuma untuk lahirkan seorang jurutera yang akhirnya bekerja dengan syarikat bukan kerajaan?

bukan kah pelik lagi aneh sekali program tajaan luar negara yang aku sertai nih?

pelik, memang pelik.

aneh, memang aneh; kalau kita tidak tahu objective utama buah fikiran tun mahathir nih.

anda pernah dengar pasal dasar pandang ke timur tak?


seperti ramai muda mudi malaysia zaman sekarang, tun mahathir pun suka sangat2 dengan jepun dan rakyat2 nya.

muda mudi suka anime dan manga, tun mahathir suka dengan japanese work ethics.

muda mudi suka j-pop dan j-dorama, tun mahathir suka dengan japanese customer service.

muda mudi suka mihiro, tsubomi, maria ozawa, yoshizawa akiho, yui komine, sakurako, riko tachibana, takako kitahara, tina yuzuki, hiyori shiraishi, nao yoshizaki, ran monbu, erica kurisu, kaede matsushima, serina hayakawa, yuka ozawa, rio hamazaki, sakura sakurada, jun seto, kazama yumi, ayukawa nao, asami yuma, hatsune minori, natsume nana, mizaki mao, nakano mina, imano yume... (kalo korang tahu lebih daripada 5 nama di sini, maka korang memang kena kurang kan tengok japanese AV... seriously dude ;p)

tun mahathir suka japanese punctuality, precision and passion for detail.

tun mahathir suka + kagum sesangat dengan orang jepun nih, sampai dia mahu makin ramai orang malaysia yang jadi macam orang jepun.

cara untuk menjadikan impian tun mahathir itu satu kejayaan adalah dengan menghantar student2 malaysia untuk belajar di universiti2 di jepun, dengan harapan bila mereka pulang nanti, akan terbentuk satu komuniti malaysian yang mempunyai ciri2 kejepunan, dan komuniti ini diharap dapat mempengaruhi rakyat lain untuk mencontohi sifat2 kejepunan yang tun mahathir suka sangat tu.

kesimpulan nya, tun mahathir mahu supaya rakyat malaysia pon mampu bertukar jadi ultraman.

memang cantik sekali rancangan itu.

tapi seperti mana2 rancangan manusia, ianya tidak sempurna.

[note: aku dapat explanation nih daripada bekas setiausaha peribadi tun mahathir ketika kami tengah minum kopi kat doutour selepas menunaikan solat jumaat di sebuah surau dekat dengan stesen shin-okubo. of course la aku tambah perisa sket...]


rancangan ini kurang sempurna kerana japanese work ethics tidak di ajar di universiti2 nasional jepun, tetapi hanya bole dipelajari apabila seseorang itu bekerja dengan syarikat jepun di negara jepun.

so kawan2 sekalian.

macam ini lah cara nya aku berfikir.

macam mana nak berkhidmat untuk negara.

adalah dengan menimba ilmu dan pengalaman bekerja dengan orang jepun, dalam syarikat jepun kat jepun.

sebab tu lah aku sengaja pilih syarikat yang tidak ada seorang pun pekerja malaysia.

aku masuk sorang2, dan hopefully aku bole buat kawan baru dan dapat memahami culture jepun sepenuhnya.

walaupon memang aku tidak nafikan, yang bekerja kat sini bukan lah mudah, tetapi aku kuatkan juga semangat.

bila aku dah rasa macam dah ada pengalaman, baru aku rasa aku boleh balik, dan tolong jump start project2 kat malaysia pula.

aku harap aku dapat ilmu dan pengalaman yang membolehkan aku mempengaruhi orang malaysia jadi ultramen, satria baja hitam, flashman, 5 ranger etc.

aku harap aku dapat menjadi 'jambatan' yang menghubungi malaysia dan jepun.

alamak, cakap besar plak aku nih.

tapi, itu lah motivasi aku buat masa nih.

motivasi ku adalah untuk memberi sumbangan kepada negara.

setengah juta punya budi, kena balas jugak walaupon orang tak minta.

[nota aneh: aku tak pernah lak dengar mana2 senior aku yang end up kerja dengan kerajaan. tidak ada seorang pon. majoriti yang kerja kat malaysia pon, masuk syarikat jepun juga. perkara aneh ini sebenarnya tidak lah aneh sangat. kerajaan nak pakai ke jurutera yang reti cakap bahasa jepun?]
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