Somewhere new

I thought I had a good idea of how to get back to the nulabs office from the hotel and had this shopping mall not looked so good I might have proved I knew. Wandered into one which turned out to be pretty long and the street I found myself on also looked interesting as did the next and at every corner I found myself somewhere new. In the UK I’d have said ‘lost’ but here it didn’t matter. In fact it was better than going directly there. Had I passed even one Starbucks I could have kept up the exploration for longer. As luck would have it I passed the nulabs building and was spotted by Hashimoto which saved me calling for assistance. If by some extreme chance I feel the homesick need to be in a pub I can head just up the street to the Hakata Harp – an Irish bar.

Work and work chat was done but the good stuff … was introduced to some MAXIM green tea you buy ready in a cup. Very very nice. Went for lunch to a sushi place and the food was good. Squid was a little chewy and there was a savoury milk/fish oil thing which didn’t get completed eaten. Not because of what it was made of, just that it didn’t really taste of anything, Then we went (or I was taken but we still all went) to a shrine. Amazing.

Had to clean my hands with running water in one place then come in and buy an Oracle ticket. Mine was ‘Lucky’ and had sayings inside. Then this was tied to a string with many others wrapped around a frame. (There are pictures). The temple part of the shrine had 3 bells on great pieces of rope. Someone would clean their hands, thrown some money into this large slatted box then bow, bow again, ring the bell and I think bow again. This happened a few times while we were there. The temple also had an elderly lady and man go through and what I assume was a type of priest began a ritual. Naoko thought it may have been for a sick relative of their’s but it wasn’t clear.

Canal City was right next door. Multi-storey building with the cool shops, lots of places to eat. One or two restaurants had plastic replicas of the sushi and other foods they served right outside. Might sound gaudy but it looked great. There was an arcade at the top which had everything arcades in the UK should have. Lots of games, gambling machines, grabber machines. Lots of lights, all the right noises and a couple of the machines just wouldn’t be seen here, looked made just for the local market. There was a pogo game. Stand on a pogo stick type thing and when it says go you start pogoing this bunny around a track. Very amusing to watch and it looked really tiring. Do that twice a day and that’s all the exercise you’d need. Didn’t play on anything myself – too busy looking and taking it all in. And there was an arcade some floors below which you played for sweets. One machine where you had to drop some sweets onto a moving platform which would then push things off the front? In the UK it’s usually 10ps. And they even had a grabber for ice-cream. A tub of haagen daz no less.

Back to the office for more work type stuff and I was discussing some of what I do a slot appeared for me to present at Wordcamp. Not a whole big slot thankfully, probably a “This is how I got involved with WP, this is what I have done/do” and then something about submitting a plugin.  I’ll be figuring out the details tomorrow.

Back when we first got company business cards I was sent a box of however many, 100, maybe 200. I think I used one. I just don’t move in the right circles for business cards so when this came up a while ago for new ones I passed – why have an expense for something that would look nice, be able to say I have but never use? And where am I? Somewhere that a business card is a vital piece of etiquette and I’ve got none. Matt T. will be sending some files tomorrow which means I can get some printed before Wordcamp. If you read my twitter stuff you’ll know I said I was the only person in the company without my face or a face as their gravatar. I like that but I did wonder whether a face should be on a business card. It’s an area I know nothing about.  Anyway these will be with extra cool because they will be Japanese :)

Tonight we went to another multi-storey building and each floor was a separate restaurant. We were on the 8th. The food was all raw and on wooden skewers. On the table was a shallow bowl of a thickened milk coloured liquid, a shallow bowl of what looked like fine breadcrumbs and an inset deep fat fryer. So choose the food, dip it, roll it, fry it. All sized to be about 2 minutes to cook. It was a buffet so get what you want and bring to the table. Because it was a table for 4 the fryer was long and had 4 compartments so no mixups could happen. Others for 2 people had a single split I think. Lots of local people eating there and that is always a good sign. They also had several varieties of little cakes which I think is a good sign and they tasted great.

After that Naoko and Hashimoto brought me back to the hotel. Well, they brought me back to the end of the road. After they had gone I saw a shop open so bought some pocky and that chilled green tea. I did the ‘Arigato Gozaimasu’ thanks too which impressed me as I got the same back. Means Thank you very much. So exit shop, look around and promptly head off somewhere new again. A few streets later I realised that it was actually quite late and managed to find my way back here. This place looks so very different during the day. But it all looks great.

Photos and video so far and for the rest of the week will be here: http://markr.smugmug.com/Automattic Descriptions will be added more slowly. Picture quality and composition matters not really so expect little in that regard and you’ll be fine.

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