Gosh, well that turned out to be rather a long hiatus, didn’t it? Ever since the vivapocalypse, life seems to have been all systems go. Evidently, moving to the other side of the planet to start a new job is quite a stressful event. Who knew?
So the good news is that I’m all safely transferred to my new home in Tokyo, where I’m due to spend the next two years as a research fellow looking at infrared emission from the diffuse interstellar medium and other such interestingness (before anyone asks, yes I am looking at data from the AKARI telescope).
I must say, my first impressions of coming to Japan as a foreign researcher are just fantastic. I’ve visited a few different (and quite varied) corners of the world as a scientist now, and I don’t think I’ve ever been made to feel quite so welcome. This even inspite of occasional language barrier issues – as expected, many people outside the University don’t speak much English and my Japanese needs work. That said, it seems that working for the University accords me with some amount of respect. Things like setting up a bank account, for example, seem to have been rather straightforward.
Needless to say, many aspects of the culture here are rather different to the way they were back in the UK and I suspect it’ll take a while before I’m familiar with everything. But then, I rather enjoy a little culture shock on occasion.
In any case, while I’m still catching up on numerous things which I need to do and utterly thrilled to be working on some new research, the dust feels like it’s starting to settle. Life looks like it’s going to be quite interesting in the near future. And also, I think I might be slightly in love with this place.