After a lot of buildup I’m packed, and I leave in the morning for Edinburgh. Which isn’t so exciting, but will be followed the next day by the journey to Japan. I’m very excited, and also nervous; nervous for many reasons, but I think most of all because I’ll be working with new collaborators who I’ve corresponded with by email, but never actually met. I’m sure all will be fine, but the beginning of new relationships is always a nervous time.
By a strange coincidence, today I found myself talking about my work to a group of “Marine Ambassadors”, undergraduates and high school students from Nagasaki who were visiting Orkney. They were amused to hear that I was going to pass through Nagasaki before they got back there!
While packing yesterday, I reflected that there were some things I was doing a little differently to a normal trip:
- I have a small stock of Orkney whisky and fudge, because it’s customary to give gifts at the start of a visit.
- For similar cultural reasons, I have twice as many business cards as usual.
- I’ve sorted through my amusing T-shirts, and avoided taking the ones that rely on language humour. In doing this, I realised that most of my amusing T-shirts rely on language humour.
- I’ve bought, and packed, some slip-on shoes. They’re not something I usually wear, but Japan is a place that can require taking one’s shoes off a lot, and re-lacing things gets boring fast.