The Truth About Working at a Japanese Company

salaryman

The clock struck 5—it was officially time to head home and call it a day at the office.

Yet no one was leaving.

Japanese companies worry about local staff pressing legal charges for unpaid overtime in the U.S., so they order us to clock out at 5 p.m.  Of course, I wasn’t complaining.

So just like I do everyday, I shut off my computer, grabbed my purse, bowed and announced to the office:

O saki ni shitsureishimasu” (I humbly apologize for leaving early).

To which they instantaneously replied,

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Thailand: Beaches, beaches, and more beaches

My best friend of over 20 years was in Thailand for a Pharmacy study abroad program, thus sparking the entire idea of me going to Thailand before my exit from China.  After her gruesome 30 day course involving lepers, TB, getting smacked in the face with a ping pong paddle and elephant “sanctuaries” that reminded her of concentration camps, she was in desperate need of some R&R on the beach–and that’s exactly what we got.

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Krabi, Just Go There

In southern Thailand, there’s few places that have escaped the wrath of tourism–Krabi included.  I thought that Krabi would be a quaint, little seaside town that housed a few hostels and maybe some 5 star hotels–but man, was I wrong.  Krabi is completely saturated by the tourism industry, with shady bars at every corner, hostels on every street and people trying to flag you down with cheap tours to go island hopping every 5 minutes.

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What the Japanese Deem Romantic

Japan and the Moon

blogphoto3K and I were walking through the streets of Beijing.  We were with a loud, rowdy mix of foreigners and Chinese, and the feeling of summer was fresh in the air.  The district we just passed through was famous for Sichuan cuisine and outdoor eating.  The whole road was lined with red lanterns and hundreds of tables on the sidewalk, each filled to the brim with steaming hot fish, boiling red pepper hot pot or stir fried vegetables and meat.  The floor was littered in peanut and sunflower seed shells, the official snacks of China.  The street was loud, but in a good way, the way that makes a city feel alive.  Whole.

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