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Osaka dai gaku Reflections – Farewell party

Osaka Travel Blog

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Random Observation/Comment #53: May all of the projects at Osaka lab work according to spec and do so in a timely manner. With the Japanese-speaking group, we grab lunch and talk about how weird American culture is – often considering my American input on the situation. In contrast, the English-speaking group takes prolonged ice cream breaks to vent frustrations about Japanese customs. It’s all quite healthy.
Wednesday was my second to last day, but instead of finishing documentation for code or troubleshooting the features added to the system, I wound up playing ping pong for two hours with Kadir. I had hung out with this Turkish fellow the night before; chatting about hobbies and career paths. His work ethic is through the roof and he has a very ambitious schedule of personal goals.
It’s great to see other people with such passion for the field and interest in advancing its projects. We are the same age and the conversation jumped amongst quite a few subjects to pick each other’s brain for information. It was a symbiotic sharing of personal experiences. He taught me about biking and religion, while I taught him about whatever random stuff I know.
Anyway, ping pong was a lot of fun. The dried sweat stains (that we tried to hide during our farewell party) were an indication of the ping pong intensity. The edges of the wet areas from the sweat left a white salt residue when dried, which just looked straight-up unsanitary. Although this situation often occurs from my backpacking daytrips to Minoh or Kyoto, it’s usually in front of Japanese strangers that already give me funny looks by default.
In front of these new friends, however, my embarrassment forced an idiotic smile.
The farewell party, like the welcome party, started at the same bar/restaurant with the same all-you-can-drink menu. Liters upon liters of beer were poured into the bottomless pit that is my stomach. After one bar kicked us out, we migrated to another. Drinking ensued with the same level of interest. Native Japanese speakers spoke in broken English and slurred Japanese, while English speakers spoke in slurred English and slang Japanese. It’s fun to randomly say “majide?” or “oo-so!” in response to anything they said. Beer advanced to sake, which advanced to shoju. Although I didn’t remember much from the night, it was still a memorable night.
Thank you all for reinforcing my positive opinions of Japan. Let’s grab some drinks when I come back to Osaka . Good luck and all the best.
~See Lemons Grateful

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Osaka
photo by: yasuyo