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Cheers, Thelonious

Posted on 2005/10/29 09:17:07 (October 2005).

[Friday 28th October]
My morning was largely engaged with another feat of bureaucracy - getting a "re-entry permit". The type of visa I had apparently entitles me to multiple entries, but for some reason (I suspect financial) this had to be supplemented with an extra little sticker in my passport to let me go out and come back again. The immigration office was surprisingly difficult to get to - I somewhat mistakenly tried to save time by going to the nearest station and walking, rather than a station further away which would require a bus trip. The maps weren't that great, and I went down the wrong road for quite a way to begin with. This put me in a bit of a bad mood by the time I got there, but luckily I had my MP3 player with me, and found jazz was exceptionally good at calming me down.

When I eventually got into work, I seemed to have a mountain of "odd little jobs" to sort out, particularly given my impending trip to America. Having got used to working for a small company in my previous job, I am finding working for a big corporation is very different indeed. Right now the administrative overhead seems crippling, and I wonder how anyone gets any actual work done! In fairness though, no doubt this is severely accentuated because I'm a new starter, and presumably will settle down somewhat after my first few weeks.

In the evening Chie and I decided to go out, and went over to Kichijoji, a short train journey from where we're living, for a spot to eat and a couple of drinks. We dined at a place called Monk's Foods - nothing to do with monastic inhabitants, it takes it's name instead from Thelonious Monk, who is probably my favourite jazz musician/composer. As you might expect from the name then, the music in there was very much to my taste. Even better still, as it was a sort of "health food" restaurant, it also had a vegetarian option on the menu. It is quite rare for Chie and I to eat out and be able to eat Japanese food, so this was great. After this we "just happened" to find a whisky bar right next door (called something like "Shot Bar Page"). Had a great chat with the barman about a recent trip he had made to Scotland - taking in Campbeltown and Islay. It's amazing how Scotland, thanks to its most famous export, seems to have all these little outposts, all over the world (particularly Japan).

Comment 1

I wonder if your predilection for whisky is to do with your middle name being Alastair? Or spending four and a half years of your life in a pub that sold 80 different single malts? And all the time I thought it was the crisps you were sneaking downstairs for....

Posted by Mum at 2005/10/29 09:41:44.

Comment 2

Good morning Mum! I wasn't expecting to find a comment here so soon after posting...

Now you may have to help me along with the "Alastair" link to whisky - is it just that it is a particularly Scottish name, or is there some deeper connection?

...and yes apparently the 'Keys was very pioneering for its time - few pubs at the end of the seventies had such an impressive collection of malts. Did I understand correctly that this partly had something to do with the number of pilots who used to come in?

Of course at that age I was fairly oblivious to all of this, and only interested in the crisps, as you pointed out!

Posted by John at 2005/10/29 10:12:24.

Comment 3

Loved the video ..... it was just like one of those famous 'art' films where nothing much ever seems to happen but it is all very significant if you can work out why .... .. 'life's a stage' and all that.... might use it (with permission) if I ever find a relevant opportunity .. or then maybe that does not really matter .... hmmmm as you would say ......

Posted by Dad at 2005/10/29 15:46:39.

Comment 4

Excuse the slight time dislocation re: strange video..... please move it on 24 hours or so ....
It's just an age thing you know ..not as sharp as I was ...

Posted by Dad at 2005/10/29 15:52:40.

Comment 5

I s'pose whisky isn't cheap in Japan. Must cost you a fortune. How much for a good brand ?

Posted by Sheri at 2005/10/29 15:56:28.

Comment 6

Surprisingly whisky is often cheaper in Japan than in the UK! I think it is all to do with taxes etc... The Japanese are really into whisky too, so there is a good selection available also. It's a great country to buy whisky!

Posted by John at 2005/10/30 20:18:58.

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