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Back from Japan

December 15, 2010

Hello everybody, I’m back from my tour in Japan! It’s been an awesome week in the land of the rising sun with plenty of stories to share. I will have something to write about for the near future to say the least.

But for right now let’s do a quick recap, I went to Japan last Saturday (the 4th) together with fellow National team members Anders Melin and Love Janse. The trip went on very smoothly without any hiccups what so ever. No baggage lost, both the plane to London and from London to Tokyo went on time and arrived on time. Traveling for 16-18 hours was a bit gruesome but they take good care of you on those long-distance flights even if you’re in economy class, so it was durable.

Adjusting to the new time zone was a bit more challenging despite making sure that we slept when we are “supposed” to be sleeping. The first 3 night I woke up 5 am sharp every morning, but I got there eventually. Moving on…

Japan is amazing.

It’s worth mentioning again.

Japan is amazing. The food is great and everyone is super polite and has a very high level of “good will”. It’s almost on the brink on surrealistic sometimes compared from the society here in Sweden or any other western society I ever visited for that matter.

Working people are genuinely proud of what they do, doesn’t matter if they are working in a supermarket or a hotel or whatever. It’s nothing that can be said about the average people working in a McDonalds or something over here. People who works in a store always says some form of a welcome phrase to every single person entering the store and also bids everyone goodbye and welcome back when they leave. Heck, at a kiosk at the airport I dropped a coin on the floor while I was paying for the goods I wanted and the girl working the kiosk didn’t waste a second for leaping over the counter and picking up the coin for me. I was baffled to say the least.

Tokyo/Chiba was also filled with many minor cute details you don’t see at home. The metro and subway were almost always crammed with people. That the trains would be crowdy was something I was prepared for but I got to witness a new level of what a crowded train cart is. I got to see at one station conductor running along the train and literary helping people to push them on the train. All line also had a unique jingle that always played before departure. We thought it was kind of silly at first but we realized that I was pretty smart actually. The stations were sparsely filled with signs so every now and then you wonder if you were on the right train. At that point you only needed to wait for the jingle to make sure.

And finally all the vending machines. There was vending machines everywhere and just not for soft drinks and sometimes candy which people in Europe (and the US I Imagine) use. I saw vending machines that had not only cold drinks but warm drinks (Coffee in a can, anyone?), Ice Cream… Some local fast food places even had their whole menu on a vending machine where you placed your orders.

The tournament itself went okay for me, I guess. I went 9-7-2  (127th place) over the 18 rounds of individual play and the team went 1-2-1 in the team portion, which ended up being good enough for a 13th place which is from what I recall the best place Sweden has had in many years. So for being my first Pro Tour I guess it’s fine but I didn’t succeed with my goals coming into Worlds of making level 3. I only managed to grind 4 points over the weekend which leave me at 12 points for this season, 3 points shy of level 3. So baring any turbo rating boosts (doubtful) I’m back in the gutters for next season. I guess I have 2 byes for all GPs I’m playing next year though, something at least.

The flight home went fairly smoothly as well. The plane from London home to Sweden had a small delay of 30 mins but it was nothing that was particularly annoying. It was a little chock however going outside of the airport in Stockholm and find out it was bellow -10 degree Celsius outside.

*Shiver*

I had almost forget how cold it is in this country during the winter. I miss 10+ degree in Tokyo…

But I will take it regardless, it’s good to be back! I will go more in-depth of every day of playing later, with thoughts on the individual formats and why I’m ended up playing what I did and more detailed match reports. So stay tuned!

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