I’ve been here so many times before that it’s no longer funny!! Lying in bed in a Japanese hotel room at 4 am in the morning with my body clock screwed and feeling guilty that there’s email to read and respond to, Skype message threads to review and now, the latest, Whatsapp threads, when email just won’t do!
Finally the silent flashing on my phone becomes too much to bear – who’s the call from, do I need to urgently respond? In any event, it wasn’t urgent but now I’m up so might as well have a peak at those emails!
Hey Siri, what’s the time in England? Always best to check before I launch into a phone call back home! It’s now 8pm in Blighty and nowadays so easy to put a call in back home or even Facetime!
It was quite different back in 1989 when I first ventured over to Japan. It was a ‘lonnnnng’ three week trip and in addition to meetings and work, had included much sightseeing from Tokyo to ‘ancient city of Kyoto’ and over to Osaka. Everything was alien, the transport system, simply getting from A to B, the incredible food, so many different styles from Teriyaki, Teppanyaki, Tempura and sushi and sashimi. I recall sitting in a noodle bar, being instructed how to slurp my noodles in a noisy fashion, to make the cool air pass over the noodle. It made sense but seated amongst the suited ‘salarymen’ of Tokyo, it was kinda weird!
Japan is a contradiction, incredibly modern at times and at the forefront of technology but played out against a traditionalism and a culture of respect and conservatism that would better suit England in the fifties!
I do remember that trying to call home back in the 90’s involved a complicated routine of prepaid phone card numbers and steps to get put through and the line sounded like it really was traveling those 6000 miles! Nowadays, the iPhone takes care of it and I can hear my dogs barking in the background!
One thing I have learnt is to bring my own tea and some UHT milk. Japanese green tea or orange tea may be fine as an alternative to an after dinner Espresso(!), but when the jetlag is kicking in and there’s a full day ahead, I need a brew!
Okay, my iPhone, iPad and laptop are now all connected to the internet and I have a hot cup of tea in my palmed hands, so let’s dive into some email!!