This is what it feels like on the train each morning.
This is what it feels like on the train each morning.

One day left of this first week of commuting. I am starting to appreciate the difficult job that Tokyo subway employees have when it comes to the number of travellers on this line.

There’s been more than once when I’ve said to myself: “Fuck this, I’m taking the car from now on.” As a moderately Green citizen, that fills me with sadness, but the commute is probably designed to beat all appreciation for public transport out of people. Maybe it’s a trick played on us by the oil and car lobbies.

Tomorrow it’s Friday again. Where did the week go? I’ve actually had things to do now. Once they got me a proper work computer, they gave me a bunch of things to research. That’s basically what I do. I read through journals, papers, academic books and collate data which are presented to other people for use in articles and essays. I haven’t had to make tea once, even though I thought it would be a part of my duties. Also, the place doesn’t have white-boards. I will have to meet and greet visitors, which I did on Tuesday.

The work machine they finally gave me is “new” in the sense that it’s a refurbished one from 2013. Funny thing is that they didn’t wipe the harddisk so I found spreadsheet files on it from that time. They installed OS X, but didn’t wipe the files. And here they complained that my rigorously guarded little PC laptop couldn’t be connected to the network for security reasons. Also, the damned thing has been chained to my desk, so I can’t move it anywhere. Not even out to the lobby when I have my tea.

The most interesting part of the job, so far, has been getting to know the others. Or the ones who pay any attention to me to begin with. There’s one guy in his fifties who barely acknowledge my existance. I don’t think he’s even said hello when I’ve greeted him in the morning. But most people are all right. I’m even starting to like the boss. That’s not supposed to happen, is it? She’s a pedantic slave-driver, but I like that about people who appear to know what they’re doing.

I’m not the only intern. There’s another one, but he’s been here longer. He’s basically some rich guy who can afford to live in London while working for free for these people. At least I get a little paid, and I was placed here by my university. This one found a spot himself and came down from Manchester. Can’t understand how he can afford that. But internships are like that: they’re for rich people who can afford to build a CV. I doubt any bright council estate kid ever could.

When the other intern learned I was gay, he’s been pestering me to join him on club rounds in Soho. I have dodged that bullet for as long as I could, but I suspect I’ll have to accomodate him. Getting to know people outside work sounds like a decent enough idea, and the nightlife in London would be interesting to see. I’ll have to have a chat with Mark about it. Maybe he’ll join in too, and we can have a night out, us interns and partners.

There’s a little cafe nearby work and I’ve done my bit to get to know the staff. As soon as I come in now, they start to fill a mug of tea. I’m pleased I’ve given the right impression. Must have tea on my lunches. Food I can do without, but tea is a must.