So I arrived safely in Japan and have now spent a week settling in. I do however plan on being a bit more frequent in my writing than once per week though the jet-lag hit me hard this time.

The first thing that really made me realise that I’m in a very different place from safe, half sleeping Stockholm was the sight that waited for me when I got to my new desk:

Yes, it’s my own Riken hard hat. This is however not intended as a costume detail when singing Village people songs during the weekly karaoke party. No, this is in case of earthquakes. Definitely somewhat different working conditions as to what I’ve been used to for the last… ehh for my whole life.

My second insight for this week is the high-tech-iness of this country, or rather the lack thereof. To my mind the picture of Japan in the western world is a country filled to the rim by almost wondrous high-tech stuff. Yet when I went to the bank yesterday to open an account, I got this:

And for those of you who don’t know what this is, it’s a bankbook. A book to keep track of my bank account. Seriously, a bankbook?! What is this, the 20th century?? Although, to the banks defence I think I was able to get internet banking and such but not sure since I didn’t really take part of the conversation at the bank. The department secretary accompanied me there and did al the talking. So this could also be a big joke on the new guy… I’ve heard stories from this office about other practical jokes played on foreigners. I have actually manage to dodge the first attempt when they emailed me informing me of the mandatory Japanese test I would have to take at the end of the month.

Well, more to follow…