I am writing this from my seat on the flight to Japan, which sounds great and flash. It isn’t really and I have had a near miss – there was a baby behind me, but thankfully someone at the back of the plane is now being his friend.

Long haul flying for me is thinking time. There is a lot of opportunity to do, what my aunt refers to as ‘brain roofing’. Picking things off the top of your head to mull over. For me, on this flight there is a lot to think about.

I am on my way to Japan. A country I know very little about (a task on this flight is to read the Guide book – I have 9 hours left) but I worry that it won’t tell me what I need to know. You see I have to know how to deal with an ancient culture, interacting with a different culture within which I am only a guest. I work for a German company, and some of the conversations will be about issues and interactions that are a product of this three way relationship. Over the years my experience of all things Japanese is limited to Sushi restaurants every couple of months. Dealing with the Japanese takes a special kind of ‘spitzengefuehl’ and I worry that I just don’t yet have it. It will not be easy, and the worry my phone won’t work, and that the number of English (or German for that matter) is such a low percentage that I know I will feel very detatched. Lost In Translation has scared me, perhaps. I find myself intimidated and yet, on the other hand, I am rather excited.

I am in Japan to visit a key customer of ours. I believe that I am the first member of our company to go there. I will try to update you (whoever you are!) as I go along. Osaka is first on the list, before Tokyo tomorrow and Saturday night. Then I fly from Tokyo.

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