Saturday, March 23, 2013

Japan trip spring 2013

A few weeks after coming back to Zurich, I had a trip to Japan to attend a detector technology school. It was my second time going back to Japan after graduating and the longest one as well for more than 2 weeks. Basically I spent 1/3 of time in Tokyo, 1/3 in KEK and 1/3 in J-PARC. First time to do was of course to meet my fellow Malaysian friends in Tokyo (quite a lot were from Osaka but now working at Tokyo) and then enjoy Japanese Rahmen! (was eating it almost everyday when I was at Kyoto) Seriously, my life won't be as interesting without them, and some of them were with me during my ups and downs in Kyoto and Tokyo. I am very glad to have them, and it was a hard decision to leave Japan and to go to Switzerland.

Before starting of the school, I had the chance to visit my lawyer friend at Roppongi for lunch in a Chinese restaurant nearby. He was my badminton buddy back in my dormitory at Tokyo, TIEC. Even though we are from completely different background, we had good time together and were competing in a badminton team tournament together as one of the men doubles.

Back to the real business, I was thinking of participating in EDIT since last year. However, I had not much experience with the latest detection technologies that time hence has postponed it until this year. It was being held at Fermilab, United State. I have chosen photon detector and neutrino detector courses for the school and was glad to be given both my first choices under tough competition. I spend my first week at KEK for the photon detector, and have learned a lot regarding it. (I am working with it as well in the advanced student lab and realised from this course that there are several flaws in my setup at ETH.)

There was a free day during the course which is sunday, and I visited a Japanese badminton family at Kitamatsudo. I knew them through my senior in Japan and have been keeping in touch with them since 4 years ago. I would visit them when I was in Japan to play a few rounds of badminton and this time he presented me with a Yonex racket that I was dreaming of getting one (It was about 285 CHF! and I had given up buying it). At that moment, I was completely stunned and said no, no, no, I can't accept this. However, in the end I was being persuaded somehow. What a gift!!! After the badminton session we had lunch together and I shared with them some stories of mine in Zurich. Sometimes I felt that myself is very lucky to have met so many nice people in my life. This is also the reason why I have been working so hard, hope that one day I would make them very proud of me.

For the 2nd week, I went to J-PARC for the neutrino detector course. Coincidently, my coursemate at Kyoto University is my teaching assistant! (I was supposed to be working together with him during the master course but I have decided to go to University of Tokyo to challenge myself.) I had fun working there from early morning until the evening, and then dinner together in the somehow rural Tokai village. But it was fun, with lots of great foods, especially seafoods (well maybe with lots of radiation as well). We were partying until quite late in the last dinner, and it was such a wonderful school that I will miss for some time.

As the semester was already started, I couldn't spend any extra time here and had to leave the next day to Zurich. As my gf is missing Japan very much, I am pretty sure you will be reading my 3rd trip to Japan very soon. :)