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    One of the best things about having the blog has been knowing that Atsushi will read every post. I don’t put in secret little messages to him or anything–if I were reading someone else’s blog where that was going on, I think it would creep me out–but I know that it’s one of the ways he finds out which news stories I’m paying attention to and what kinds of ups and downs friends are having, so when I press “Submit” on this or that entry, I always wonder whether it will turn out to be one that he has a sly comment on.

    We talk every night, almost always between 11:15 and 11:45, but sometimes a little later if one of us is working overtime or out with friends or colleagues. I know people in long-distance relationships who only talk every few days, and I figure it must work for them, but I don’t really sleep well if we haven’t talked a little about our days and said our I-love-yous.

    Circumstances do interfere sometimes, though. Atsushi’s office is having its company trip this weekend. Those who’ve been forced to go on corporate retreats will be thinking, Oh, no, not one of those…, and they’ll be half-right. There are no weird games where you try to identify whether your leadership style is better represented by a fig or an artichoke or any of that crap. But there’s a great deal of enforced togetherness and drinking and singing karaoke. Employee awards and things are often given–things like that. Atsushi was one of the people in charge of planning this year’s shindig, so tonight he probably won’t be able to call me even though today is exactly the kind of stressful day each of us relies on the other to talk him down from. I’ll e-mail his cell phone; he’ll at least be able to sneak a few minutes away from his room (shared with coworkers) to read that. But I figure I can post this, too, so that when he gets back home Sunday he can see I was thinking about him.

    3 Responses to “社員旅行”

    1. John says:

      Ooooh. Enforced fun, Japanese-style. I always hated that. I hope Atsushi escapes with his liver intact.

      Hey – my Japanese hasn’t totally gone to pot. I could read – and pronounce – your title. A lot of times now I see the kanji and know what they mean, but the Chinese pops into my head.

    2. Sean Kinsell says:

      Well, does Chinese use those four characters as a compound? I mean, I’m sure it’s obvious what it means, but I was thinking it was a Japanese expression.

      I hope his liver’s okay, too–though since he doesn’t drink, I imagine he usually just drinks the ceremonial glass of beer for the toast and then switches to oolong tea.

    3. John says:

      No, they don’t, I just hear the Chinese pronunciation in my head as I see individual characters.

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