Do You Only Want to Live in Kichijoji? (by Peiyu Liao)
Hi, I am Rachel, a Taiwanese student studying Computer Engineering at the University of Hong Kong. I will share some of the experiences and witnesses along this pleasant 7-week-long journey, and hopefully you can gain some more insights into this global internship program.
It was quite a quick decision to accept the internship offer. The company provides the round-trip flight ticket and subsidies for daily life, so their was no financial burden and I can come to experience and enjoy Japan!
But tragedy came…
Well, things didn’t went that well before departure. The housing agent that HDE recommended to me was not able to offer me a suitable place to live, since it was during their high-season and every place was full. So I started searching through the internet for all the possible options, arranged them in an excel file, and found that the information was exploding my head, when it was only 20 days left before departure.
But don’t worry, that’s when you learn independence. I turned to another real-estate agency and settled down on a house near a place I was personally fond of, Kichijoji.
…Not so fast. Then I found out I would arrive at Thursday after 17pm, when there would be no more check in. Ok, then Friday or Saturday? Sorry, just so lucky that Oak House was having their internal training and all services were suspended. Then… Sunday? Sorry, the manager’s schedule was full. God, you must be kidding me!
So I decided to book a hostel at Asakusa to stay for 3 nights before moving to the share house. Finally, I was ready to go!
What we do…
The work for interns was assignment-based. All three of the interns were assigned to work on a Twitter clone at first, then a DevOps training, and then individual projects. Mentors and colleagues were willing to help you out, but you would be expected to really reach desperation before you go and ask them for some magic.
Along solving the tasks, I like to jot down some notes and turn them into blog posts back home so that I won’t forget what I’ve learned.
What we play…
It was really a great relax on every Wednesday, our board game night. At the first game, Secret Hitler, I have to admit that I totally couldn’t catch up — it wasn’t the part of history I was familiar with. Nevertheless, I could still feel the excitement and tension during the game, and it was a great chance to familiarize myself with the colleagues.
In the following weeks we had played over a variety of other board games. I think I am pretty good at food-related games — I won the Sushi Go! by collecting the highest points of sushis!
What we share…
The personal best day in office must be the Monthly Technical Sharing Session (MTS). Every month, the interns as well as several colleagues would share anything technical they found interesting or were playing with, and afterwards there would be a party with lots of food, snacks, drinks, and beer! Chats were mixed with laughters and nonsense, and the atmosphere was really relaxing. And the visiting guest even came to me and told me that she thought my presentation was really interesting, which I was really grateful for! Hope she was not drunk then.
Ok, so why Kichijoji? I am personally a big fan of Japanese Drama, and after I watched the drama “吉祥寺だけが住みたい街ですか?(Do you only want to live in Kichijoji?)”, despite the fact that the drama was persuading people to live in elsewhere also wonderful in Tokyo, I decided that I must live in Kichijoji if I ever got a chance. And here I was!
I live at a place closer to Inokashira-koen station, which is one station away from Kichijoji. It is along Inokashira-line, so there is no need to transfer, and the ticket price is relatively low (174 yen per ride).
I am not a travel person, so on weekends I tended to just walk to Kichijoji, explore, and shop. You can find almost everything here, cheap cosmeceutical stores, snack shops, malls, discount stores, 100 yen stores, Uniqlo, shoe stores, etc. Even I went there every weekend, I always found myself ended up touring in a new store which I had not went in before but nevertheless caught my eyes.
Seven weeks have passed inevitably, and the one thing I love the internship program the most was the people I’ve met. A bit thank to those who took me to the GIP lunch and bore my shyness, who played board game with me, who invited me for lunch and izakaya, who accompanied me on my way home, and who greeted me おはようございます and お疲れ様です everyday.