While a large part of the world is already in lock-downs and quarantines, our company, who always thinks about people first (nothing but sarcasm here, if you don’t know), still believes that ‘working from home is not acceptable and is not an option’, and keeps coming up with these weird rules that they believe will help us avoid getting infected (even though everyone still has to get to work by crowded public transport, as neither cars not bicycles are allowed as commute options). The rules include:
– don’t use your fingers to push buttons in elevators; (nothing about not touching doors yet)
– don’t come closer than 1,4 meters when you need to talk to someone (regardless of the fact that our desks are much closer than that);
– don’t touch other people;
– don’t talk to each other for longer than 60min;
– don’t seat at the same table during lunch;
and other.

Now, if you find yourself with even mild cold-like symptoms, you get to:
– go home right away;
– measure your temperature twice a day and report it to your superiors every time;
– if you get it, your name will be posted for everyone in the company to see, the will be told to the officials, then you will be questioned by both the company and the city on where you’ve been and what you did in past days -> which makes me think that people will be very reluctant to come out with it unless their symptoms are very serious, which means they will continue to spread it while pretending to not be sick.

I’m pretty much resigned to getting sick myself (if idiotic company executives don’t get me, Immigration Office likely will), and watching this company burn and blame everything on employee’s bad hygiene when more than 50% of us will be either sick or sitting at home because of the 2-week mandatory quarantine that is forced on you if anyone you interacted with is sick.
But if they tell us to go home before we get sick they’ll have to pay us, so no may that is happening. We have two choices: a ) either you quarantine yourself before you get sick and sit at home without being paid for the full duration of your ‘vacation’, or b) you wait until you feel sick and then you can get at least partially paid.

Our company is not the only one who is doing this, because morning trains and streets are still full with commuters. I kind of have a feeling it has more to do with people not admitting to being infected, than with the fact that the number of infected in the country is low, with this density of population.

The only good thing in it all is that at least the people are not going crazy in stores (yet), and the only products in deficit are masks, toilet paper (still can’t get over how stupid this is in JAPAN), and hand sanitizer. 

Fun fact:
I’m too lazy to look up the exact ‘anti-smoking’ law that was passed recently, but
On the scale of our company (around 1800 people?), in accordance with it, all smoking areas on the premises will be removed before April of 2020, no smoking areas will be established going forward, and people won’t be allowed to smoke anywhere inside or outside the company (since you’re also not allowed to smoke on the street). Anywhere.

So, factually, smoking people will not have a single option to smoke since the moment they arrive at work until the moment they leave 9-10 hours (at least) later.

(including all kinds of electronic and vaping smoking devices)

I have a strong suspicion you won’t be allowed to smoke anywhere except inside your own house very soon in this country.

Oh Kojima-san…

Coming out on the stage in gamescofm discussing how Norman Reedus’s dick can be used as a weapon and a tool to connect the fractured world.

Also,

he kind of went from being mysterious and showing stuff that was ambiguous and impossible to interpret, to showing and saying too much about spoilery character settings all at once.

And summer ‘vacation’ is gone.

With regards to the to do list, I’ve managed only the web page design update. Mostly.

Also, got back to OmmWriter in an attempt to rewrite the Prologue to the main ‘Chronicles’ series…and realised that, since it’s about to go over 10,000 words, I probably shouldn’t really be calling it just a ‘prologue’ anymore.

(Also, found out that I own at least 6 pairs of shoes I have never worn more than once…likely bought in a wrong size because I wasn’t able to handle being in the store. Trying to get rid of them using Merucari app now. In order to prevent the repeat of this in the future, I do believe I will now mostly only buy shoes using Amazon Wardrobe option (tried once, worked great). Because, apparently, unless we are talking about boots, I can spend 2 hours in a store trying on various shoes just, trying find a pair that will fit and won’t hurt (everything hurts), and still only get something in a wrong size and a skull-crushing and stomach-turning migraine from just being in the store…)

The bad: Had to go to work in the middle of summer holidays, right on the next days after I got back from the airport in the evening.

The good: Managed to finish everything in 1 day, instead of 2.

The good: Didn’t have to turn on the lights in the office with no one else there and it was great. The best.

The bad: The people who passed by did believe it necessary to ask me if I just didn’t know how to turn them on.

While I love to pretend like I couldn’t be happier about escaping the chaos, the buzz, the heat, and the air pressure, and all the ‘too much’ things about the overcrowded megalopolis city I live and work in, the first thing I notice when I reach one of the small towns I like to go hide in, is that I have very little ability left to deal with little things about living and being outside without the anonymity the state of being one speck of sand in the overflowing sandbox that is Tokyo provides.

I’m making this about more than it is.

I just can’t really handle the difference in amount of human attention you draw just by existing in a small town, and the way that difference feels on my skin when I say, enter a cafe.

And the fact that there are no easy chain coffee shops where I can pop in, quickly buy a few giant cups to go and haul them back to my room to read and write in peace nowhere in the vicinity is throwing me more than it should.

I’m too used to have a selection of various coffee shops on every corner… And now I need to gather courage before I can enter a new kind of place.

In fact, I wonder if I even can discover a place where I can get a coffee to go at all around here at all…

I sometimes manage to stay away from television, news, and real world in general so well that when I catch a glimpse of it by chance I suddenly find out that parts of country are being washed away with level 4 (out of 5) evacuation alerts, a number of very prominent and very famous tv figures got in organised crime-related trouble (which in this country means a big reconstruction on the tv scene because they will need to replace big tv shows that were in the same spots for many years and people who everyone was used to seeing all the time), and that some of my favourite (and very talented) musicians were arrested.

Feels like this world is never going to convince that there might be a merit in not living like an ostrich.

This first typhoon of the summer that just passed left in its wake smell of the sea so strong it literally burned my throat with all the salt on my way home.

It felt like trying to breath extra salty see water.

Just sayin’.

Japanese things that ‘everyone’ knows and likes and expects you to know and like, but I inexplicably can’t stand on some biological level and really don’t want to have anything to do with:

  • Studio Ghibli
  • Nintendo (including Mario, Zelda, and pretty much every IP of theirs)

It’s an opinion that is equally difficult to express among Japanese people and not-Japanese Japan fans. And even more difficult to express when you work in gaming…

When you’re someone who (or in a stage) reads 20-30 books monthly (and also has trouble finding books that your sick and tired psyche can handle atm, so ends up discarding half as much as ‘read later when I have the right mood’, thus creating 80-90 book TBR piles on the top of your bookshelf), while also living in a small Tokyo apartment and not in an ancient castle with 2-floor library, opting for doing it through an ebook reader should be a no-brainer. The most logical, easiest option. The only acceptable option, some even would insist…
Not only it would save you from struggling to find a space to store all your books, but also, kindle versions are very often come 5-15 dollars cheaper than buying paper books (not to mention sometimes having to pay for shipping to Japan, though having Prime helps). Why, sometimes, they are even free on kindle.
So, really, a no-brainrer.
Or it should be.
…Unless you are also an aspie to whom the sensory experience of reading a book (holding it, touching the paper, smelling the paper, feeling exactly how much you’ve progressed) is as important as reading the words on a page and without it reading is not reading, and your brain actually misses chunks of content when you’re reading from an e-reader (tried and confirmed multiple times).
Then all bets are off and you can only improve your ‘finding places to put bookshelves’ game and hope he floor doesn’t give up during the next earthquake. Or in general.

I do hate this very common occurrence of an almost empty cafe filling to its capacity 30 minutes after I sat down hoping to write in piece and quiet.

It’s not like I even come right after the opening hours or right before lunch hours when it could be logically explained and expected.

Specifically looking for a quiet spot in a quiet book cafe just to see it get overcrowded in less than an hour after you sat down is…just sad, frustrating, and feels like an insult when you’re in an especially self-centered mood.

upd. It’s also the same with the toilet. Say you sit with a clear view of the cafe toilet (1 person at a time kind of deal) for an hour and can see that it’s not crowded and no one is waiting in front of it, in fact it’s rarely occupied. But the minute you decided to go, not only someone tries the door less that 30 sec after you lock it behind yourself (before you even manage to take your pants off), you emerge to see a 3-people line waiting for you with offended expressions.

It makes me feel stalked by a crowd of humanity.

And reminds me of that feeling when I was going around taking pictures in parks and more often than not some old man would start following around and stop to take pictures at the exact same spot at exact same angle I did a moment ago. I’m not even kidding.

Yes, I did mention an especially self-centered mood. But it’s hard to blame my moods when these occurrences keep piling up.

Not going to work on a weekday and staying in a place where there are only the standard TV channels and no option to stick my HDD into the TV got me re-acquainted with such pearls of morning TV as 30-min discussion of bows on toiler paper, even longer discussion of a somewhat-famous couple enjoying sakura viewing in a park (seriously, what the fluff goes through people’s heads when they think it’s necessary to take pictures of two people sitting on grass in a park and looking at trees and then discuss every angle of those pictures at length on national tv?), and a very detailed discussion of the Imperial couple’s outfits as they pay last homage in shrines around the country before abdication. (Still better than what I caught on CNN and BBC before changing the channel though.)

In short, it’s days like this when I really begin to despise that part of my broken mind that makes me unable to function without having some kind of TV noise in the background…because no matter how much I try to concentrate on something else, time after time I catch glimpses of something that just sends the ‘damn, I really can’t understand or feel any kind of affinity with this humanity’ thought shooting through my mind.