So I came in the office on Monday to find a new person sitting across from me. It was kind of weird. I should mention that prior to this the desk directly across from me was uninhabited, making it quite easy to blank out and just stare at the wall; so having a person between me and my beloved wall was kind of jarring for me. However, the most awkward part was the fact that I was in ear-shot of a multitude of conversations where people around the office would be explaining who the hell I was to the new guy; all occurring without us ever talking to each other. I was starting to get whiplash from hearing my name called so many times.
I eventually found out that he’s the ghost member of the section. For the past 3 months he had been working at the BEMAC office in China. He was going to be in Japan for about a week until he shipped back off to China. Only one week until I’m reunited with my rectangular goddess…
On Tuesday I headed out to the company’s HQ to tinker with the machine I have been translating the manual for. The mish-mash of English and Japanese, as well as undefined technical abbreviations (ESDV?), in the documents made it difficult to pinpoint exactly what some features did. Ghost (the new guy) ended up driving me over to HQ.
The HQ, otherwise known as the Onishi branch, is a lot bigger than the branch I work at. I had visited it before for dance practice, but I had never actually been to the offices. After a brief tour of the different sections that inhabited the HQ, I was taken to the assembly room and presented with the prototype version of the machine I was writing manuals for. I spent about an hour or two fiddling with the contraption and asking clarifying questions to my contact at the branch.
On Wednesday Peaches lent me 「日本人の知らない日本語」a manga about teaching Japanese to foreigners in Japan.
On Friday we had a drinking party for Ghost. Captain Crunch got super-drunk and started telling 落語(rakugo). Basically a comic story that relies on wordplay, it was confusing and I did not get the punchline. Afterwards Captain Crunch celebrated his performance by eating his pumpkin dish with peculiar tenacity; he reinforced this by exclaiming ‘pumpkins are delicious’ at regular intervals.
After the drinking party all the people who wasn’t wasted (basically anyone who wasn’t Captain Crunch) went to karaoke. I learned two things there, 1. Some karaoke places offer costumes for rent and 2. Japanese men are not apprehensive about wearing maid costumes.