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09 Jan 2003: Opening Monologue



It would be easy to think that 2002 was not the best of years. After all, I firmly decided I wanted to leave Wilco in the Summer of 2001, before any hint of redundancies, but somehow was still there being made redundant over a year later. There's that and a malaise about the world that's grown more palpable over the last 12 months. Personally speaking, 2002 was a necessary year. Last year was definitely one of the harder ones, but it couldn't be skipped. There were a lot of cool (albeit a little painful) lessons, such as finding out that I still enjoyed software development.

So 2003 has begun and I've been in my nice, shiny new job at BGI for a few days already. It is good to have a job again; work, as long as it doesn't get out of control, provides shape and structure to the rest of the week. During a redundancy period, time becomes cheap. There's so much of it around that its value drops like a stone. Now that work has reimposed restrictions on my free time, its lustre has returned.

Thanks to all of those who have wished me well on my new job and asked how it is going. It's going just fine! Being the first week, I am simply learning what I'm supposed to do, how I'm supposed to do it and which floor I work on. Japanese language seems to be in motion around me at all times so I'm hoping some of it will rub off and my Japanese will improve. After all, I will have to sit that pesky level 2 exam again this year...

Since coming to Japan, work has normally implied a long journey on the Marunouchi subway line. Now I'm at BGI, my daily route requires a trip on the circular Yamanote line down to Ebisu. When I used to think about the Yamanote line, images of people crushed like sardines came to mind. Now I actually have to commute via the Yamanote line, after just a short burst on the Marunouchi subway. It turns out that the Marunouchi line is far more crowded. Getting on and off the train is like a rugby scrum and I never enjoyed rugby at all. The Yamanote line is a piece of cake compared to the subway from Hell, and I like cake a great deal more than rugby.

I think I'll stop here, leaving me just enough time to wish everyone a Happy New Year! Akemashite omedetou gozaimasu!