Archive for March, 2006
There was a party celebrating the graduation of two PhD students of my professor. It is an Okinawa style restaurant. Okinawa is an island in Japan in the south. The restaurant seemed to be very popular as there were lots of groups celebrating. I may have been bit odd being a vegeterian. The restaurant was famous for its pork dishes. The Japanese lady beside me asked "Do you eat pork?" though she knew that I was a vegeterian.
However, she found out few vegeterian dishes for me and my professor also ordered several vegeterian dishes for me. So I had a lot of things to eat !
The japanese people drink and talk freely and make fun in such gatherings. There is no heirarchy – the boss, the employee, all are the same in the party. And anyone can say anything to anyone in the party. You will have a very good excuse to say that I was drunk 😀
My professor was so friendly and mixed up with all his students just like perfect friends. All of them were talking so loud and merrily and making jokes. In working days I rarely hear them speak.
I also tasted Sake – japanese alcohol. It is not very strong and tastes fine. It was served in tiny cups – I had two. There were other stronger Japanese alcohols also. The Japanese people drink a lot. Everyone was drinking so much. The party was over at about 11. The total cost was divided and everyone paid. But they dint allow me to pay 🙂
After coming out of there almost all of them went again to another place – to drink more !! The Japanese often do that. They drink, talk and enjoy more and stay late until the last train time.
We went to Miraikan – National Museum of Science and Technology. The building is quite strange in architecture – cylindrical with glass walls all around. A number of exhibition areas inside. There are various shows and demonstrations everyday. We were quite late , so missed some shows. We missed the show of life science – I was expecting to see dinosaurs. Never mind.
However, the most exciting experience of the day was meeting Asimo san – the famous humanoid robot of Japan. There was a 10 min show of Asimo. Asimo entered into the arena with big cheer up and applause. He is a short white guy with a shiny black face. Amazing – the movements are so smoothly humanoid ! It can walk, talk, play, dance, stand on 1 foot, climb up and down stairs. Asimo speaks in Japanese and the demostration was in Japanese so I dint understand much. But things sounded interesting.
There are few other robots also in display including the pet dog robots. Theres is a lab for making robots.
From environmental science to life science to space science to information technologies – there were several things to see and learn. The museum is free for kids on Saturday. So we saw a lot of cute Japanese kids also
Yesterday evening the interns of NII were offered a small party to get aquainted with each other. The director gerenal Prof. Sakauchi opened the ceremony. We all filled up glasses and then "cambei" (cheers)!
There are total 17 interns this time – from Thailand, France, China, Germany, Vietnam, etc. Prof. Angelino also told me that a team from NII are soon visiting AIT. The ambassadors of Thailand and France had also come. I also talked with the Thai ambassador. Many of us hadn’t talked to each other until yesterday. Though there wasnt much for a vegeterian expect beer, wine, fruits and few snacks, it was quite enjoyable. Nice little party 😉