Monday, December 25, 2006

X-Mas celebrations in Japan

With just 1% population of Christianity, Japanese seems really excited with the celebrations of Christmas Eve. My recent visit to Yokohoma has showed me how best Japanese to take up festivals for celebrations.

Promptly all the people here adopted western style food, culture, dressing and even the celebrations. I recalling the words by my mentor in the recent past meeting, he was stated that the Japanese are the people who accept all the religions so easily. We have religions for finding reasons to celebrate; otherwise religions are here for the funeral ceremony he said. Now I understand how much truth it is, as everyone is set their mood for festival time.

Shopping malls are filled with x-mas trees, some places looks like a forest with full of lighted x-mas trees. To make the customer happy, some shopping malls organized Santa like dressed people to give chocolates and small gifts to the kids visiting their complex. These people also do some performance to enlighten the people with joyful evenings.

Another reason for Christmas getting so popular in Japan and other nations are that this festival falls slightly before Georgian calendar New Year’s Day. That is again a universally adopted celebration, hence having Christmas almost on the same week makes it a grand success. But to consider the Japanese holiday calendar I wonder the Christmas is not mentioned as holiday.

Neither the people nor the Government is interested in taking or announcing leave on that day (In fact today is Christmas as I’m writing this blog from my office desk). I’m watching the television in the past very frequently as my new apartment’s DSL connection is having some trouble, I see almost all the programs are to show their festive mood towards Christmas. Every single person appeared on the TV programs seems to pronounce Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Airlines that I flew from/to Japan

Sri Lankan Airlines:
My trip to India was in Sri Lankan Airlines carrier, it was 14hours air time with 8hours stop over in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Actually the flight I took flew to Male then to Colombo. The experience in Colombo is really pathetic as the immigration process to get transit visa took nearly an hour and half. Then waiting time to get the Airlines arranged taxi to the hotel eaten up another 45minutes. In spite of all the waiting I had to travel 45kms to the hotel from Airport crossing several Army check posts in Colombo. I had reached the hotel by 1:45AM in the early morning and took rest for only 3hours later rushed back to the airport again to catch my flight to Chennai, India.

Most of the airlines crew members were elderly and rude in behavior, after seeing the Japanese way of treating customers it were un-justified to see them in service sector. In addition due to the WAR bound situation in Sri Lanka my advice to all my readers not to engage in flying Sri Lankan Airlines. I feel cost wise the Thai Airlines can match Sri Lankan Airline fares.

Malaysian Airlines:
My visit back to Japan was in Malaysian Airlines. A young crew awaits in the plane to make you feel comfortable. They are kind and pleasing personalities. The Boing 777 aircraft with Malaysian Airlines has plenty of leg room and seats are really good to provide travel time comfort.

The trip had 6 hours stop over at Kualalumpur (Capital city, Malaysia) but the pathetic thing is that I had to reach KL around 4:20AM and till 11:00AM have to wait at the airport chairs, the Airlines has a waiting lounge only for business class travelers and not for Economy class people.

After a long wait in KL airport my flight to Narita had to swing its wings towards Japan. There was another thing happen during my flight to Japan that is an announcement from the captain of the flight saying a failure in aircraft made some electronics to non-working state. Following that announcement all the lights were switched off and also asked the passengers to shutdown all kind of electronic devices for emergency landing. We were really scared and finally landed safely at Narita Airport.

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Back in Japan

Day before yesterday I have made my second entry with Immigration Department of Japan.

After long holidays in India today I’m back, here is some information on my trip to India. Now I got my new apartment in Baraki-Nakayama. This extends my trip daily to Tennoz Airu with change of trains in 3 lines (Tozai Line, Asakusa Line and Tokyo Monorail)

I felt very cold compare to my previous stay in here; however I still have to bare lower temperature in the forthcoming days in Japan.

Days in India

There is no were in the world can match the place Home. I really enjoyed my whole holidays spending time with Aditya, Adhava (My kids), my wife and my parents. I couldn’t really go to the locations I planned as got up into really tight schedule organizing the pending works.
My 1946 Willys CJ2A gave me a real good time in off road events during my holidays; it is a sturdy piece of machine American ever produced. With its short chassis and low bonnet I could literally travel in any terrain in India.

There was some thing bad has also happen during my visit. We lost my cousin (Younger to me) as result of his depression due to failure in his studies.

My work visa got stamped in India to visit Japan in just 3 days time. I got a new tenant to my house behind Chennai Airport (MAA) who is working in a ship as chef.

Getting NRI account in India is gone much simpler with Nationalized banks rather the modern private banks. It was just 20 minutes process with State Bank of India to create a NRI account with 0 balance facility. All you have to do is to visit a SBI branch with your Passport with long duration Visa stamped, Employment order from foreign country, 2 passport sized photographs and a local resident proof (Ration card, Telephone bill, Bank passbook and Company certificate). The International debit card will be dispatched to your door step in India/Abroad based on your application option with in 15days time. However the Internet ID and Passbook for your account will be issued at the desk during the account creation process.

Many of the Indians visiting abroad first time in work permit may not know why they need a NRI account. Actually the NRI account provides you nothing other than the tax exemption from Indian government. Even without NRI account you can transfer fund from abroad to your local bank account but the money transferred to normal bank account attracts Income tax from Indian Government, if it is NRI account the tax is waived as it is a proof for your income outside India.

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