The good news: I survived my first full day in Japan. The bad news: I'm not sleeping very well, which is why I'm posting before 6:00 a.m. local time. Here are a few things I've noted so far:
The Japanese keep their buildings at higher temps than we're used to. Plus, it's also humid; we're expected to get rain for the next several days. No wonder fans are popular here!
People do wear face masks when they're sick.
I see a fair amount of young girls with short, full skirts and knee-high socks. Even some older women dress like that.
It feels weird to have the hotel staff kneel when they present the morning Japanese paper to me and push the elevator buttons.
Work is going OK so far. The first thing I did was meet the company president as part of my official welcome. Then I was shown how to get to the Quality Control/Assurance building. This involves taking the subway to a station and then taking a taxi. I was shown around in the morning and had lunch at a company cafeteria. Good thing I can use chopsticks! Afterward, the manager of Quality Control showed me several documents, mostly in Japanese. I recognized some parts, but it's a good thing the manager has a little electronic dictionary to help translate. Everyone has been very kind and helpful to me so far.
They let me leave a little early yesterday due to my jet lag. Someone took me to the subway station. It wasn't too hard finding my train or the right stop, but once I left the subway station I became disoriented. For some reason, I thought I had to go straight to get to my hotel, so I walked for several blocks, realized I didn't recognize anything, then turned around and walked back to the subway. I tried another direction and got the same result. Meanwhile, the light rain grew heavier and heavier, and my feet hurt. Finally, I realized I needed to make a turn somewhere, and from that point, I found my hotel very quickly. I think part of what confused me is that I left the hotel in the morning from a side entrance, not the main one. Hopefully, it should go more smoothly today.
Anyway, it's time to "get up" and get ready for work. Here's hoping I don't fall asleep during my assay.