Monday, August 15, 2011

It's The O-bon Holidays
- so what am I doing in this office?

It's O'bon, the yearly summer holiday where many people return to their hometowns to meet relatives, attend festivals and honour their ancestors. Many businesses are closed or working at reduced capacity. NAIST has most of the week off — not even the cafeteria is open — and plenty of people didn't show up last Friday either.

I have three days off too, but I've chosen not to use them now. Instead I'll take those three days toward the end of September. Together with a couple of national holidays it will give me over a week off, enough time that we can fly to Sweden to visit my parents and meet my new niece.

So I'm at work. Not quite alone but nearly so. On the upside it's quiet and relaxing, and there's no seminars or meetings or anything to distrupt you. Even the closed cafeteria has a silver lining: I brought oatmeal, milk and a banana for lunch instead of the usual cafeteria fare. Japanese aren't much for porridge in general so I rarely eat this at home, but now I get to indulge for a couple of days.

Umeboshi

Time off or not it's still O-bon, though, and like previous years we're sun-drying our umeboshi. It's a good time for it; the weather is hot and sunny and there is less traffic on the streets.

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