Thursday, August 9, 2007


For our first day at the office, T-sensei picked us up and drove us to the City Hall to get our alien registration cards and hanko. Then it was to the office. It was pretty much empty, though, as everyone was away at a seminar. Around lunch time AB took us off to eat lunch (ramen!) and then we picked up J and went to try to get us signed on for internet and cell phones (keitei).

AH and I were able to get internet, but they told us they couldn’t sign us up for phones without our alien cards. Then it was a quick stop at the Aeon Supercentre—a mall with a large grocery store, other shops and a big 100 yen shop (like a dollar store) called Daiso (one opened a couple of years ago in Vancouver).

After that, it was our enkai (welcome party). It was at a really nice Italian restaurant—supposedly the chef actually trained abroad. Before we actually began eating/drinking, however, Kacho (boss) gave a speech before the kanpai (cheers).

Then AH and I had to give speeches, but we weren’t really prepared, so we just said ours together: basically just “pleased to meet you and please look after us.”

Then the food and alcohol started coming in vast quantities. After the salad (not pictured) we had these breadsticks wrapped in prosciutto and crustinis with various toppings (avocado, chicken liver pate, etc.) Oh, and it was cool because the chef would actually come out and explain what each dish was as it was served.

Next was an orange salmon carpaccio which was followed by a faintly orange flavoured ravioli. Then it was some little sausages and our final “entrĂ©e” was spaghetti (again, not pictured). We had blueberry ice cream for dessert, plus AH and I got special “Welcome to Towada” dessert plates.

In between courses, we also had a question period where our co-workers asked us (in English, or with AB translating into each) questions like: “what’s your favourite movie?” and “how is Towada/Japan different from what you expected it to be like?”

After the dinner, they presented us each with flower bouquets, which was really sweet. We took a group picture to end the night.