Thursday, 6 November 2008

14.99 = 15.00 ?


What is the default facial expression that you’d receive from ANY employee in Jordan if:

1. Your bill was 1.5JD and you paid him a paper of 50JD waiting to give you back the 48.5JD change?

2. The price of an item is 14,99JD and you paid him exactly 14,99 not 15JD??

3. You asked the waiter to give you back the 2JD change without leaving any tip behind after having  a delicious meal at any respectful restaurant??!!! 

Of course if the employee was someone patient and he doesn’t usually say it direct in the face, he will only give you this bothered shocked angry blaming facial expression that is telling you ARE YOU CRAZY??!!!

Yes, it is WELL-KNOWN that we shouldn’t bother employees to look for 48.5JD change in order to give it back to us. Also, 14,99  ALWAYS means 15, who said that there is something on earth called 14,99!!! Or you had a delicious meal and you don’t even care to give this little tiny tip for the person who served you??? What a shame!!!!

These are what I’ve always thought as the default rules, or the least thing we can do as a social etiquette. And people who do such things deserve such a reaction. But for my cultural shock, the first thing I’ve learned when I came here to Japan is that those rules DO NOT apply. A client is always honored and whatever he does he should be always thanked and appreciated.

199 yen really mean 199 not 200 yen. So you should always wait for the employee to give you back your ONE and only YEN without forgetting the wide smile and the many thanks you will receive from him/her! I remember that my husband laughed out loud when I told him I want to leave the 10-yen change, it doesn’t really count as we always say for the employee it’s for you!! I discovered that if you did, the employee wouldn’t really understand what you mean!! It’s your right and you should take it.

You don’t have to be worried if you entered a taxi cab or a market for having a 10000 yen paper (almost 100$) and paying only 800 yen or even 110 yen (around 1$), on the contrary, the employee will apologize for making you wait to give you back the change!

Also, tips in Japan never exist, you only pay for what you eat and staff is meant to serve you respectfully in order to make you satisfied!!

Well, it is a cultural shock but the basic rule says 1+1=2, so in Japan it is never considered rude to say it is TWO.. (^_^*)


Sunday, 5 October 2008

Sindbad, the ARABIAN"?" sailor...

اتا سندباد المغترب.. ابعد ابعد اقترب..
لا اهاب الموج ابدا حين يعلو و يضطرب..

Sindbad, the very VERY famous cartoon in the arabic world, talks about the story of an Iraqi kid who sails around the world.
If you were born in the 80s, then you probably grew up watching this cartoon.

To my surprise, this cartoon is actually Japanese. Yup. Its actually Japanese dubbed in Arabic. 
Nowadays when I have time, I watch the Japanese version to enjoy my childhood memories and practice my Japanese.

Check the video below..

Watching this video as a grown up, I could see the big mistakes regarding the arabic or the islamic culture. 
For example, on the first episode, people are shown praying and bending over on their knees for the king. This is neither an islamic nor an arabic behaviour because bending over is only for god.

The director of this cartoon made some effort in reading and reflecting the arabic environment, but it was not the best he could do since he could simply just avoid such simple mistakes.

Anyhow, sindbad is my favourite cartoon. Its best of the best and if you watch it you will be amazed how the story builds up. 

Friday, 19 September 2008

The WAR between Jordan and Japan..

If you think Jordan and Japan have never clashed together in a war, then you are mistaken.
Yup, I am talking about the famous war, which had Jordan fighting against Japan. The very famous one. If this is the first time you hear about it, then you have to continue reading this post.

The war was so big, that some people I know could not sleep for days after it. Other people I know, hated Japan forever (not me ofcourse!!) (^_^). Some other Jordanians decided to boycott anything Japanese! Well, it was a very sensitive, important, historical war between the two countries..

Even me, the Japan fan, feel stressed and sad whenever I remember the war..
Maybe this youtube video would express better than anything I would write..

2004, the Asian cup. The second round of the tournoment. It was the first time in history Jordan would acheive such a place in football. At around 1pm Amman time, one might think no one is living in Amman. Everyone is watching the TV. Everyone is hoping, praying, and cheering. The score ended in 1-1, full time. Its penalties turn.

As shown in the video above, the refree strangely switched the goals. This made Jordanians feel it was some kind of a trick to help them lose. After the match, Jordanians cried, yelled, even some went down the ground. I was speechless, I even had some tears in my eyes.

The next morning, Emad Hajjaj, the famous cartoonist, draw this cartoon to express how Jordanians felt about the match:

For those who dont read arabic, I will explain. The person in the middle represents all Jordanians. They want to commit suicide using the Japanese Samurai sword. Am angry business man in the back is calling Japan and yelling. On the left a guy telling his friend that Chinese products are even better than Japanese! 

For Jordanians, it was a war. A war of football game. Jordanians are peaceful people, u know? Their heaviest war is a football match, against our friends the Japanese. 

This was an unforgotable match. Even my Japanese friends still remind me with it saying "Oh, so you are from the country who couldnt score one penalty out of four?!!!!"

When they say that, I cry (T_T) ....... 

Friday, 22 August 2008

They are all identical!!!

How can 127 million people be so identical??? Wherever you turn your face in Japan, you see the same exact identical behavior acted by the Japanese people!

1. When they use automatic stairs, everybody stands in one line one by one on the left side so that if someone comes in a hurry he takes the right side and keeps walking!! I have never seen two people standing beside each other on the stairs or standing on the right (wrong!) side!!

2. When you just pass by ANY employee in ANY mall (even if this employee was really busy holding so many stuff), they tell u IRASHAIMASE~ which is a way to show respect and say you are welcome!

3. They enter the train in a very organized queue with no messy crowds, speaking quietly, if any, and putting their mobiles on silent mode. I just can’t imagine this happening in Jordan!! Can you imagine how quiet the trains are? If not, check the following video..

4. They all sleep in the train in the same way, closing their eyes and sleeping peacefully without a move. When the train arrives to their station they simply wake up and leave. They never miss the station!! I really tried to do like them, I could not. Either I keep moving my head or I keep opening my eyes to see if I arrived to the desired station and I think if I slept deeply like them I would definitely miss my station! The following video shows two sleeping Japanese in the train. Not DEAD! Only sleeping..!!!

5. Same facial expressions especially when they are shocked or when they forget something.

6. On sunny days, all futons are put out in order to be aired and u can hear all the neighbors beating them with something like a stick.

7. No one crosses the street on a red sign even if the street was only 2 meters wide and there were no cars at all!

There are many examples but those all what I remember at the moment..
Very identical! Sometimes I even wonder if they are taught all this in schools..!

Thursday, 14 August 2008

Failed in Monbukagakusho Selection.. Whats next?

In the previous two months I have received several emails from students applying for the Monbukagakusho scholarship in Jordan. Monbukagakusho is the scholarship gifted by the Japanese government to four or five Jordanian students every year to pursue their studies in Japan. Its the same scholarship that gave me a once in a life time chance of studying in Japan..

Given that being selected is hard due to the large number of application, students were asking for help and guidance about filling their application. I tried to help as much as I could wishing them all the best..

Unfortunately a while later I have received emails from the same students saying they were not selected. Some were mad, some were sad, some felt they were unlucky. Some were asking me if the selection is fair, or if there are other external factors affect the selection..

I couldnt answer by email due to lack of time, so I will answer all of them here.

I would definitely say yes, the selection is fair. There are certain criteria that they look for in your application or during the interview. They first scan your appliction and add the points you deserve on what you have written there, then you do an exam (or two, depends on the regulation that year), then an interview. On my year from 100s of students only 4 were selected and travelled together to Japan.

In your application the advice I can say is be as honest as possible. Do not exaggerate in your feelings toward your major nor toward Japan. Do not write poems, just write whats inside your head. Be direct, say I want the scholarship so I can do 1 2 3 in Japan or after the graduation. Be honest, ofcourse. If you have never learnt Japanese, say so. Describe the main idea of your field and show why its important to continue researching in such an area. One important advice is, stick to the rules and guidelines of the scholarship. Read them once, twice, ten times, until you memorize them and understand them all. Its essential that you submit an application restricted to the guidelines of the embassy.

Whats not to do?
Do not give your application to someone else to write it for you.
Do not exaggerate or lie to show yourself better than your real self.
Do not copy previous applications from people who already got the scholarship.
Do not ask people you know in important positions to help you win the scholarship (wasta!).

So whats next?

I can tell you that if you deserve the scholarship you will get it, at least eventually. Yes, if you fail you can apply again. Do not lose hope. Check your application and choose what you think is your weakest point, and work on improving yourself there. You still have a year to apply again so plenty of time to submit a better application.

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Aaargh!!! a very noisy summer!!!

I just cant take it! 24h noise all around you where ever you go will definitely drive you crazy. So noisy, so annoying you can not even sleep at night.

This is how it goes in Japan. This insect, named "Cicadas" or "Semi" exists every where. This insect has a very loud non-stop noise, all day, all night long.

Insects in Japan get very lively during the summer. Many kind of them. They can be found on the streets, between the trees or even inside the houses. Thats why usually shops start selling anti-insects products before Summer, so people can be prepared to face the armies of insects either inside or outside the house.

But this specific insect I am talking about, the Semi, has no solution. They travel in large numbers, they live on the streets and they produce a very annoying noise. They sometimes even come knocking your door! Yup! Because they cannot see, they might hit your door while flying here and there. And the sound is not low, because they have a big size compared to other insects.

I am blogging now out of anger, I have not had quite sleep since days because of this noisy bug! Check the youtube video below to have an idea what I am talking about..

Saturday, 2 August 2008

Trash separation and Disposal in Japan..

One of the things that amazed me here in Japan is how the people are dedicated to follow the rules, and how the government is also dedicated to make following the rules easy despite how strict the rules are.

From my perspective as an Environmental Engineer, I can notice a clear example for what I’ve stated above which is Trash separation and Disposal.
Once you rent an apartment, you receive a list of rules concerning trash disposal in the area, where you should throw your trash NEATLY categorized according to the rules. So you have many categories: combustible (burnable) trash such as kitchen trash, incombustible such as glass trash and recyclable trash such as bottles and cans, beside magazines and newspapers which are a separate category. Once you follow these categories and try them several times you will get used to them, and you only accept nothing but applying them.

What makes doing this great is the fact that you have the facilities to do it right. For example, the trash disposal area is also categorized, so all u have to do is to place every trash bag in the right place, also you can use trash cans inside your own house that are separated. Even on the streets you also have categorized trash cans.

Another interesting point to know is collecting the trash after you dispose it also follows specific schedule, so each type of trash is collected on a specific day knowing that the maximum frequent collection for one category is twice a week!!!

People here follow these rules willingly and in my opinion the environmental awareness among the society members towards environmental issues plays an essential role in making them follow these rules.

For me I am really glad to be part of this process and I don’t find it hard to follow such rules because I deeply believe that stepping towards a greener world needs an environmental-friendly lifestyle that is followed willingly by every individual in the community.

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Yokohama, 150m above the ground..

This is how I have seen Yokohama the other day. Sitting on a chair, just a chair with a belt, and as high as 150 meters I was looking down to see the city of Yokohama and its surrounding area. It was sooo scary!

The above happened as a part from our trip to "Yokohama Sea Paradise". It was an amazing day full of activities. Yokohama sea paradise is a park built on an island. It is full of attractions and sea museums, which means its a perfect place for families to enjoy their time.

It was a very stressful time for me, the past month. Huge amount of work and deadlines, with many achievements. So we decided to do such a trip. Since our trip was in the middle of the week, the park was amazingly empty. We, me and my wife, did not have to wait in line for hours like what happened in Disney Land. Actually, we did not even have to wait minutes in line! We used to finish the game, and directly start another round because actually nobody else was there.

To arrive the park at around 10am, we had to actually leave the house at 7! Once we arrived I bought 2 unlimited pass tickets, which allow us to play as many as we want and enter all the museums of the park. And then, we directly headed to face the danger: The Surf Coaster..

Ofcourse, after the ride we had no energy left to say a word! I had a feeling our families in Amman heard our yelling while we were on top! We decided to ride the viking ship which was comparably sweeter and less dangerous.

Now is the time for the big challenge, the Blue Fall. The blue fall game is one high tower, 150m high, that you can climb up to the summit by sitting on only a chair! once you are that high, the chair goes as fast as it can. The rise takes around 30 seconds, while going down needs around 6 seconds! To be honest, I hesitated, not once, not twice, maybe ten times before I take the decision of riding the danger, and... I did it..

The view from above was AMAZING. Ofcourse, I am talking about the one and only second I was able to keep my eyes open! Going down that fast was a unique experience. It was just amazing!

We had to release our stress from all the challenge and danger we face, so we headed into the Aqua Museum, where thousands of fish can be watched. The aqua museum actually takes you under water and lets you watch sea animals from above. The blue color, my favorite, was just perfect.

We ended our tour in the museum with the Dolphin show. Very fun and exciting. We were amazing how they could teach sea animals to do such moves. Really it was some unforgettable moments.

We spent the rest of our time moving between attractions one after another. We rode a boat in the sea and went around the whole island, we visited the dolphin museum and we spent time walking on the beach and looking at the sea.

At the end of the day, we were unable to even walk. It was one of the best days of my life. Thats the least I can say about it.

Saturday, 28 June 2008

Living Research Environment..

Its been around 15 months since I came to Japan. During this time I have faced different challenges. First, to adjust myself to the new environment. Second, to pass the entrance exam of the University of Tokyo (which makes my heart beat just remembering that!! phew!). Third, to start and proceed with my research. The first two points are accomplished, now its time for the third.

I was stunned by the research environment the first moment I started my Masters. Actually how things run at the university is quite amazing. For Master students, at least in the Engineering faculty, taking courses is not that important. Yes, we must pass 8 subjects to graduate, but I can choose ANY 8 subjects. For example, I can take English courses, Maths, or Java. None of those are related to my Electronics Engineering field. At first, I thought this might be a mistake, since a student should take strong courses to aid his journey in research. But oh Toudai has proven me to be very wrong!

Graduate studies in the University of Tokyo focus on practical research more than on the theoretical one. Take any courses you want, but focus at your work at the laboratory. Each faculty has several laboratories to run their research. Any student at the Engineering faculty has to be a part of a certain laboratory. A laboratory is specialized in researching a certain topic that is a branch of the main subject. For example in Electronics Engineering, there are labs who work with CMOS, others with CAD, or even Communication. Now inside each laboratory there are groups. Each group is usually assigned a different task unrelated to the other groups so that the lab can produce different results simultaneously. To my surprise, inside a one group, each student is assigned a different task that is, ofcourse, related to the work of the rest of the group. This way, if a group needed an advice for the work of another group, since they all work under the same main subject, experienced help and support can be found.

Every week, all laboratories meet to present their current status and work, in whats called the weekly Electronics Engineering Presentation. All students of the Electronics Engineering gather and three students from three different labs present their current research and work. In doing this, every lab knows the status of other labs such that in case their research is needed to progress of any lab, the professor in charge is contacted. In addition to the fact that students learn alot whenever hearing other new researches. I, as a student, have to present once a year. I already presented two weeks ago and I received and Excellent feed back from the professors attended. Wohoooo!! (^_^)v

Now, all what I said above is nothing compared to what I am going to say next...

Whenever I sit with my professor, who is really really smart, he assures me that if I need any book, any component, anything I need to help me researching, I shouldnt hesitate to ask! Its really amazing! They are even ready to pay THOUSANDS of dollars to manufacture a chip that I designed just to test and proceed with the research. Ofcourse, this only occurs after many sleepless night of testing in simulation before the costy manufacturing can take place.

Now, the ultimate dream for any student in my position is to be selected to present in an international conference. This can only be achieved if the student had an original idea and succeeded in transforming it to a real design. I hope I can make it. My professor always goes around the world presenting in conferences with students, which can be a hint how strong the lab is working. Papers and publications from 2007 or 2008 is considered, you can not use old research and you should make sure you build something new, or resume old researches with new ideas, even as a Masters student!

Are you still wondering why University of Tokyo is a top-ten-over-the-world University?

I am not.

Friday, 20 June 2008

Japan: A welcoming Arrival..

I had a very long trip coming to Japan three months ago, with my husband. From Amman we had to transit at Istanbul. The security officer was saying:"Jacket, Jacket" while making gestures to me in order to take off what she thought was a long Jacket, which is actually my Jilbab. This happened at the checkpoint of the Turkish Airport. When I told her I can't take it off, she gazed at me strongly and took me aside to check me alone. A very embarrassing situation for a Muslim girl infront of strangers! Especially the way she treated me before, while and after the checking.

I tried to ease it up. I started telling myself: "Calm down calm down, don't be upset it's ok.. She is an employee, she has to do that for safety reasons.. BUT.. Can't she act more gently? Especially that Turkey is a MUSLIM country and they are used to see Muslim women!"

Hours passed before we arrive to the Airport of Japan (Narita). My husband assured me that I will receive a better treatment there. He even stressed the fact that I will be amazed from how organized and gentle procedures go in Japan. Here we are at Narita. Few minutes and it's my turn to be checked AGAIN! The previous experience of checking made me kind of stressed this time and that bothering feeling came up to me again. Are they going to do the same thing! Please God help me.

Here we are, my turn. I stepped into the checking point and kept walking........ HUH??!! Huh?!!!! We're finished?? I looked at the employee to make sure if it is ok for me to keep walking, she looked at me and gave me a WIDE smile followed by a "DOUZO"!!!

What a relief!!!!!!
Great Treatment! My husband was right!

Japan, thank you for respecting me the way I am.
This gave me an optimistic impression on living in Japan as a Muslim female.

Now my new life has started.. "BISMELLAH"....

Sunday, 15 June 2008

Welcome Blue Rose..

"What? Information about Japan as a society, a life and a whole another culture. Why? To help those who are interested in getting as much information about Japan as I can provide. How? Directly from inside the heart of Japan, Tokyo."

That is the goal of this blog.

Japan as a society, from a new perspective, is the new addition to this blog. Japan, from the feminine perspective, is the upgrade to my page.

Blue Rose will be writing here and helping me blogging about Japan. She looks at Japan from the perspective of a female, a new comer, a Civil Engineer, a resident and a housewife. That is why I am convinced she will enrich this blog with her useful and important posts to help in achieving the goal stated above.

Welcome Blue Rose, welcome my wife.

Thursday, 5 June 2008

Do I HAVE to learn Japanese while I am living in Japan?

This is a question that is frequently asked. Before or while being in Japan, we ask ourselves this question.

Before I go into what I think is the answer, let me explain the situation here. Japanese people do not depend much on English. They use their own language in everything, starting from conversations up to the Engineering courses they teach in universities. So, it is hard to find Japanese people who fluently speak English.

Does that mean I have to learn Japanese before I can enjoy living in Japan?

Notice the stress on the word have. Because this way, the answer to the question is NO. You dont have to learn Japanese so you can enjoy your time, but you better.

For me, I spend most of my time in my lab at the University of Tokyo. And eventhough this university is considered the legendary ultimate university in Japan, and Asia, only very few students can make conversations in English, surprisingly. So I am forced to speak Japanese. Yet, I do not have much time to spend learning Japanese and taking courses. So, with my intermediate Japanese skills, and their intermediate English skills, a conversation can be made.

Generally, I know cases of people who lived in Japan for over 5 years and still cannot read the hiragana. Also, people who lived for more than 7 years and still cannot speak a complete sentence. And I know people who lived and studies in Japan for years and are only able of introducing themselves.

That means, we dont have to learn Japanese to survive. But I say you wont be able to enjoy then. I like the language so much and I totally wish I had more time to study Japanese and specifically study more Kanji so I would be able to read. I cant though, while in the middle of the research.

As a summary, Japanese is not essential to live in Japan, while its still important and better to have.

Saturday, 24 May 2008

6.7 Earthquake...

Suddenly and in the middle of the night I woke up. Through my sleepy eyes I was sure the walls were shaking. Not shaking like someone is hitting them, but shaking like someone is moving them from a place to another. Well, I thought this is one hell of a dream..

Until my wife woke up also calling my name and saying EARTHQUAKE!! That is when I realized its a fact. Its an earthquake.

I dont know why at that moment I felt this is my end. I even told my wife to say al-shahadeh and just sleep!!! I did the same. But, what do you know, here I am alive and writing about the topic. Next morning we discovered it was a 6.7 earthquake. WOW!

The scary point is that a couple of days later, a deadly earthquake hits China. around 3000 people died. It could have been deadly in Japan as well!

Anyway, in Islam, Muslims who die in earthquakes are considered Shuhada; they go directly to heaven. So maybe thats why I slept peacefully that night.

Monday, 5 May 2008

Golden week: Zoooooooooo!

And its the golden week! The golden week is a long vacation in Japan which people use to have fun and spend their time here and there. Greenery Day, Children's Day and Emperor's Birthday are some of the reasons why such vacation exists in Japan.

As for me, I made use of that vacation to design a QPSK modulator using VerilogHDL...

Oh ops! Thats the part where I was day dreaming of the golden week! When I finished that work I went with my wife for a full day of fun. First, we met with the arabic neighbors in Ueno park, and had fun there. After that we went Ueno Zoo! I was so surprised to see it inside the park, did not expect it to be there.

In the zoo we spent an amazing time. Watching the Gorillas, Lions, Bears and Foxes was amazing. It was my first time seeing a Bat for real. And because my wife never saw those animals in her own eyes, it was an amazing experience for her as well.

After the zoo, we went to the usual place. What usual place? A K I H A B A R A! Its time for my periodic visit, to check things out and buy some more wires. Some people started to call me the wire man because they say I have lots of wires in the house. I dont believe I have much anyway!

I will leave you with some photos from the Zoo...

Saturday, 26 April 2008

Japan.. In a new perspective..

I used to be alone in Japan. Being lonely is something you have to accept when you study abroad, in any country not only Japan. Since you are a student you will have to spend a huge time behind books reading and studying. And even if you have fun with friends, you will end up alone with your books again.

Well, not anymore!

I can now state the fact that I got married. Yup! I did the big thing and now my wife is living with me in Japan. That has totally changed my life. Goodbye for loneliness, Hello company!

Getting married was a decision made after lots of thinking and equation solving! It is not a matter of a fast desire or a quick decision. I needed that for many many reasons. First, living alone as I stated above can be devastating. Second, the huge need to focus on my studies leaves me tired as hell at the end of the day. I needed someone to be there for me. Third, I am 23 and in my thoughts this is the best time and age to get married, for anyone. Fourth, I totally could not tolerate cleaning and arranging the house after a long tiring day in the lab.

So here it is. Japan from the perspective of a couple instead of a single. Japan, as seen from the feminine point of view.

Its been almost 2 months since I got married, and I can for sure say it was the right decision to make in the right time. Thank god.

More details and news to follow.

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Back, after a LONG vacation...

I am so sorry for not writing since a long time. I have been in a very long vacation. Alot has happened since then. I will update you with the news very very soon. I promise you I will write at least a post once a week from this moment on.

G O M E N N A S A I~~~!! (^_^;)

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Amman and Tokyo are Synchronized!

Well, at least SNOW wise!

The view is all white from the balcony of my new house. Its amazing..
Now I am feeling what people in Amman are feeling. Sweet.

Saturday, 5 January 2008

Forget the Toilets, its SHOWER time!!!

Do you remember my post regarding Toilets? I was really amazed back then from what I saw. Well not anymore!!!

As I mentioned earlier, I am moving to a new house in Misato. A very traditional Japanese house on a 4th floor, giving me a very beautiful view of the scene around. When I checked the bathroom, before renting the house, I was sad I could not find the amazing famous Toilets! But since the location, space, neighborhood are all great, I decided to rent.

Yesterday I spent my first night there. No internet connectivity, nothing to do. Well, lets take a shower, I thought. And that was the beginning of the adventure!

Stepping inside the bathroom I noticed the bath tub is kind of deep and has an electrical device INSIDE (down there where dirty water is supposed to exit)! On the side I noticed a control panel similar -but bigger- to the one of the amazing toilets. I also noticed electrical wires going inside and outside the shower ending in an electrical plug. There are also the gas pipes in a corner.

I plugged in the wire to hear a soft noise from the shower. The control panel went ON. After playing with it for 10min, I discovered the big secret of the amazing shower....

1. There is a button to automatically fill in the tub. Whenever I press that, water starts automatically to a height that I previously adjust. Once the specific height is reached, the water stops.

2. Ofcourse I can control the temperature of water using the same control panel. Deadly hot to freezing cold.

That was amazing. I filled in the tub 75% and dived in. It was a real sauna that I enjoyed so much. Or maybe it was a Japanese Onsen!

The problem was, after spending 1 hour there, water started to get colder. It took me so much time filling in the space and that was dissapointing!!! Well, at least until I found out what that button does! With one press on the panel, the bath tub itself starts to get hotter and hotter. While the electrical device on the button starts to shoot very hot water to adjust the temperature. 3 minutes later, the water is as hot as before, so is the bath tub!

No I was not alone. I had a man's best friend with me in there: Nintedo DS Lite. Spending 3 hours playing the Legend of Zelda, Advanced wars and Winning Eleven.

I for sure know that this is a standard for Jakuzis, maybe nothing even compared to that. But to know that this kind of a bath tub is available in a normal Japanese house, all my friends in the area have the same tub built-in in the house, and for this to be the standard showering corner for Japanese houses, now thats amazing!

Still, the panel had more buttons. Maybe I will discover them next time! :p

Thursday, 3 January 2008

Cars are so over-rated..

I have always thought cars as over rated machines. Why wouldnt I when I see the younger generation dreaming about owning a car. The problem is that this dream is usually the only ultimate dream they have in their minds, if achieved then its like they owned the world.

To think of it, let us make a comparison between cars and computers. Cars only main function is to move you and your things from place A to place B, plus it has several other mini-functions. Computers, on another hand, have much more main functions. Eventhough those main functions differ from user to another, but on a worst case scenario it has multiple main ones.

And yet, still having the car has the top priority. I have always thought of that as an obstacle in the way of evolution. I am sure if those gave 50% of their interest in cars to computers, we would have created our own processors long time ago. Or at least our own operating system.

"Ok. So? what does that have anything to do with Japan and living in Tokyo?!"
No. I did not fly away from the theme of my blog. This post also talks about life in Tokyo. How?

Owning a car here is not an ultimate dream. Actually many people here dream of selling their cars and getting rid of them. The public transportation in Tokyo is more than enough to get you around especially if you live near the station. And in the heart of Tokyo, everywhere is near the station! When I go out with my lab here or there, and the professor joins us, he rides the train with us. Can you imagine your professor riding the bus in Amman with you? Hell no. That actually made me look at the professor with respect and appreciation.

I know, I know. How dare I compare between the public transportation between Amman and Tokyo. My point is, eventhough oil is getting more expensive every year, and eventhough complaints about traffic jam is increasing day by day, yet people still dream of owning a car. No, they ONLY dream of owning a car.

As I said above, cars -in my opinion- are so over-rated. They only take you from place A to place B and thats their only main function. I wonder when we - the arabic world - would realize this fact.