28 Feb 2007

visa delivered!!

FInally, just on time!!

I have received the long awaited visa this morning. I was told from the Home Office that 'generally 70% of the applications are approved in 28 days.' Yes, today was exactly the 28th day since my application was accepted. Actually, I've already received the visa in my dream this morning! These days, I quite often see a dream that comes true on the same day...

Anyway, now I can start working totally legally!

The visa covers the whole work permit - it's for five years! Well, I'm not gonna stay that long though...

20 Feb 2007

living on my own?

Recently, I tend to stay in my tiny bedroom at night because I have realised a couple of weeks ago that I'm getting pissed off with the my flat mate couple. But today I happened to have a chat with them at our supper in the dining, which reminded me of the importance of sharing time with other people at home. I haven't had that kind of feeling for quite a long time. I found myself really enjoying the moment although I'm still a bit annoyed with them.

I've already decided to move out from this house as soon as possible and been thinking that it might be a good idea to go back to the 'living on my own'. However, to be honest, I am a very nervous person and I tend to fall into a deep thought about what I really don't have to think about. Sometimes I even feel very difficult to get away from it. It is obvious that my old flat mates in the last flat had saved me from that problem very often.

Probably, one of the reasons I felt like being alone was the fact that I am now working. Meeting flat mates after work is sometimes a bit difficult. On the one hand, I have noticed that I don't really have much time to chat with my colleagues in the office - most of the working hours I'm only communicating with the PC. I think I don't have enough chances of practicing my English in the office.

So, now I don't really know what is the best thing to do. Somehow I need to wait for a couple of months until I have enough budget before I move to the next place, so I think I'm gonna have a think about it for a while. Anyway, next place will be already the 5th place to live in London in only two years! It's exciting, isn't it?

18 Feb 2007

an expamle of difficulty in globalosation

I was just thinking about the globalisation. I have noticed that globalisation has not only started in the recent decades.

We Japanese traditionally write our language vertically and newspapers or novels are still in that manner. More than half a century ago, we also used to write in the opposite direction as we do now - from right to left.

Now, arises a very big question.

How the hell are arabic people using the PC's!?

16 Feb 2007

questioning japanese hair salons

Since I moved to London, I've been trying to live a more British life as possible, not in a Japanese way. But, there are things that I can't give up like Japanese food. Haircut is also a matter. Among the Japanese residents in London it is commonly said that we should go to a Japanese salon as we Japanese require a special technique for our haircut. For example, the technique called 'suku', meaning reducing the volume by cutting the hair randomly sometimes with razor, is believed not to exist here as the local people don't require it.

Following this theory, I've been going to Japanese salons. But the two salons I went so far were both not that good. FIrst of all, they are very unwelcoming and not motivated. Though their technique seems to be below the Japanese standard, they are very expensive. I suspect this is because there are much more demand than the supply of services and they don't have to make any particular efforts for their good business. The theory above must also be helping them get more Japanese customers.

The salon I'm using is really disgusting. They don't have air condition so on a hot summer day they use the hair dryer only by the cold air. On busy Saturdays, the hot water frequently runs out and the customers have to suffer the cold water shampoo! Even so, I kept going there as the hairdresser who did my hair seemed to be quite good and, more than that, there seemed to be no better choice.

However, recently I started wondering... Is the theory true? I understand the volume and quality of hair or the shape of head differ very much between Japanese and white people. But, London should be the fashion leading city in the world and there must be the latest and the best techniques of haircut. In fact, many Japanese hairdresser come to the famous salons in London like Vidal Sasoon for training.

Actually, there's another reason why we tend to go to Japanese salons. It is... the difficulty in explaining our requirement to the staff in English (not only for this, I must say...). If the theory above is just a superstition, some dresser might have imposed on such weakness of Japanese people by making up such story.

So now, it seems it's time I explored British salons? This could be the second challenge for me for the more British life, following the launch of this English blog, couldn't it? It's not too late, cos I believe there are still enough hair left somehow!

14 Feb 2007


Note: This blog has been established after the Japanese author decided to write his existing blog in English, which will still remain as 'translated version'.

In the autumn 2006, after finishing one year course of architecture in a UK university, I was supposed to go back to Japan to return to the business. One day, however, almost all of a sudden, a new idea has come to me.

'One year meant nothing to me. Why not make more attempts? Let's go as far as possible!'

Fortunately, things went so well. And I have been working for an architectural practice in London since last November.

It seems it takes just one year to adapt oneself to a new place. Only with the basis of life made up in the term, we will be able to use what we have learnt there. I would have the same feeling when I spent one year in Osaka. Thus, the forthcoming life in London must be meaningful for me than ever before, even though I am supposed to go back to Japan some day...

During the year of study in the UK, I have experienced the sequence of surprising discoveries about my country Japan. This made me realise how I should be confident of myself as a Japanese. Yes, London is attractive, but the place I would choose to live is Japan. After I finish my 'austere training' in London in the coming few years, I am intended to go back to Japan and go ahead for what I really want to do.

The work, which I have started as an architectural assistant, will mean nothing to me if I do not aim to go furhter. But in reality it is not a very easy task. As all other people around me in the office are Europeans, I can't avoid facing some disadvantages like in the use of language. But, why not face up to it with my parctical experiences and, particularly, with the confidence as a Japanese! I should do the work that only Japanese can do and leave my footprint here by realising a building with my own design, and then, return to Japan in triumph!!