Tuesday, July 08, 2008

rust, rain and refrain

Working in a Japanese factory can be more life altering than working in a Japanese firm.

While most of my friends in Japan sit in front of computers, mixing and matching documents or conduct surveys for the next business deal, I sit in a factory with bunch of workers who are trying hard to teach me about heat, pressure and atoms in Japanese. It only brought back memories of studying Physics, and made me realize that Im still good at making perplexed expressions when I dont comprehend what the other person is saying.

Anyhow, with the rainy season coming to an end the smell of wet leaves refreshes my days in the factory, but some of those who joined with me seem to be going insane. The smell chemicals and weird liquids is becoming an integral part of our lives. What gave us headaches and nausea earlier has now started giving us the same if not inhaled once a day. Bruises and cuts tattoo our exteriors and some of my friends have altered so much that they are able to identify whether the water they’re drinking comes from a boring-line or tank – depending on the odor of rust or pipes!!

Nevertheless, out of 4 of us who joined Inoue in 3 months back, one is quitting the company 2 months prior to his decided date. Another is going back to her country to discuss her future with parents. While the 2 of us remain here till the time we’re looking for a better option, we don’t know what is to become of us in a few months time.

This also makes me want to share an amusing event that I experienced a couple of nights ago.
After having dinner with my seniors we started playing a Japanese triumph card game. The rules were simple - players had to finish their cards ASAP, the last one to finish would get punished. Being a new player I was exempted from getting punished. But it was unfair to let a round go without any punishment so the boy who came 2nd last was the victim.

Now here’s the twist. The punishment was that every other player was to put a strip of brown tape (the thick scotch-tape used for packing in the factory) to pull out a strip of hair from the loser boys legs! I had to excuse myself from pulling strips and decided on squinting and getting goose bumps.

By the end of the 3 hrs that we played, they were pulling hair merely by tweezers cuz the tape had gotten over!! Somehow people were highly enthusiastic, laughed and cheered each time the game got over to see the next victim.

Even though it was unbelievably stupid, gross and a painful sight for me, it was hilarious ‘cuz in the end all the guys had a side of calf absolutely clean. Whether I join the next game or not I am sure the guys will be ready to show off their ‘sekushi’ legs in summer.

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