Priorities - A: high, B: medium, C: low; Status - _: unfinished, X: finished, C: cancelled, P: pending, o: in progress, >: delegated. Covey quadrants - Q1 & Q3: urgent, Q1 & Q2: important
BXNote changed URL for remind : E-Mail from Sharon Kimble (2005.04.09 doc planner)


1. A fun-filled day: part 1. Lunch with Nishida

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My day started with lunch with Nishida, a Japanese businessman setting up the Philippine subsidiary of MSI Corporation. MSI was my host company during my internship, and I'm greatly obliged to them for the opportunity to see how the Japanese software industry worked. I was nervously thinking of what they might want assistance with, and I was pleasantly surprised to find out that this was a social call. We met at the lobby of Shangri-la Makati and walked to Zen for (unsurprisingly) a Japanese lunch.

I had fun chatting with him in Japanese. He said he must've been to all the Japanese restaurants in the area, and he proceeded to list them. They were just imitations, he said, but they were much cheaper than food in Japan so he wasn't unhappy. He had some problems figuring out the bento box system at Zen, so I tried to explain how it worked, and I also asked for the Japanese menu. (Good thing my mom and I peeked at the Japanese menu a week or two ago!)

We then chatted about life in a foreign country. I told him how I'd quickly made friends through free conversations with volunteers, technical conferences, and nomikais (informal get-togethers). He's been in the Philippines for over seven months but has been having problems making Filipino friends. Although he went to a few karaoke bars (you know the Japanese and their karaoke), he didn't really get to know people there. As he said, women there just hit on you because they want to marry a Japanese guy. I laughed and told him I have a wonderful boyfriend; he doesn't need to worry about me. He has a Filipina assistant who sometimes teaches him about Filipino culture (what to do and what not to do), but they can't hang out because they work together. All the other people he knows are Japanese, so they chat in Japanese. As a result, he doesn't really feel comfortable chatting in English.

Of course, I offered to switch to English so that he could practice. He declined, saying he was just so relieved to find a Filipino who can talk to him in Japanese. I told him a lot of people learn Japanese because of anime, and offered to help him look for friendship circles and other things like that.

We also chatted about cultural misadventures. Food was, as always, a source of great humor, from balut (which we both can't stand) to chicharon (which he found absolutely horrific--how can anyone eat that sort of stuff? I just grin). He told me about this morning's phone call. When he called up the house to confirm our lunch, of course he asked for "Chua-san"--I always used my last name in Japan, following convention. My dad answered the phone, and it took some back-and-forth and a bit of panicking on Nishida's end before my dad realized the call was for me. Heh. That's also why I tend to call guys by their first names instead of by their last names, even if that _is_ their nickname...

(You can ask Ernest about the very first time I called him up. See, his nickname was not only "Baello" (his last name), but he also had the same name as his father_, so I couldn't just ask for "Ernest"... To be safe, I specified his _full_ name instead. That made his mom laugh.)

Anyway. We'll take care of introducing Nishida to some other people and taking him out to see some places; it's the least I can do to repay my obligations to the volunteers who helped me so much in Japan. I wish Dominique was there. They'd probably have gotten along very well. My mom might have fun chatting with him, too; she'll know how to make him feel relaxed. Tita Raquel, definitely. I wonder who else among our friends can help the poor guy... =)

「それではおまえにねこを一匹とってきてあげよう」と、おじいさんはいいました。 "I will get you a cat, my dear," said the very old man.

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2. A fun-filled day: part 2. Pottery lessons

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I went for my first pottery lesson today! I joined my mom for pottery lessons at the Pettyjohn-Mendoza pottery studio in Greenbelt. Wonderful, wonderful people. While I learned how to shape clay, I had a lot of fun chatting with the Pettyjohns.

I made two cats: Scaredy-cat and Catnap. I formed Scaredy-cat by pinching out a shape As for Catnap, well... I just smoothed away stuff that didn't look like a cat. It wasn't perfect, but it looked somewhat recognizable. I like clay more than I like pencil. I have a hard time sketching the shape of a cat in pencil, but I remember what a cat feels like.

I also made a coil pot, a surfer, and a weird eye bowl.

Maybe I'll keep Scaredy-cat and Catnap. We'll check next week when the pieces are a bit drier. I'll bring a camera next time so that you can see them. =)

猫は捕らえたネズミを引き裂き始めた。 The cat began to tear at the mouse it caught.

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3. A fun-filled day: part 3. At Pipers

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My mom and I are out clubbing.


Well, we're at Pipers on C. Palanca St. in Ayala, and we're waiting for the stand-up comedy show to start. If it's nice, I'm probably going to look into attending a comedy workshop. Good for public speaking practice. ;)

猫は椅子の上にいますか、椅子の下にいますか。 Is the cat on the chair or under the chair?

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We come to bury DOS, not to praise it.
(Paul Vojta, vojta@math.berkeley.edu, paraphrasing a quote of Shakespeare)