Last Day in Singapore

Author: mirai  //  Category: All Posts, Travel Blog, Work Related

This is my last day day in Singapore.  Sadly, it’s a work day, but I will probably be able sneak out a bit early to see the city one last time before I leave tomorrow on the morning flight back to Tokyo.

I usually don’t like hot, humid, wet, topical, summer-all-year climates, but Singapore more than makes up for in so many different ways that it could easily become one of my favorite places to visit.  I especially liked the Clarke Quay and Boat Quay areas; there seems to be a healthy amount of action going on there.  And although I didn’t have the opportunity to really go clubbing (not that I am really interested in clubbing anymore), just seeing the people there was entertaining enough.  And anywhere where I can get root beer for a reasonable amount of pocket change is instantly tops in my book, especially when there is a variety of brands to choose from.

In addition to the Quay’s,  I had the opportunity to go into the city over the weekend. One of my co-workers suggested that I check out the Ion Orchard Mall.  It really turned out to be just a cluster of really upscale department stores selling pricey fashion merchandise like Louis Vuitton and Chanel, so I wasn’t too particularly interested in those places.  However, right across the street from the Ion Orchard was another mall that had a more localistic atmosphere to it.  The ground floor had the more conventional shops and restaurants like Subway and Pizza Hut.  But the higher you go up in floors, the more you tend to believe that you’re in Manila instead of Singapore.  There were more shops and restaurants catering to the local Filipino population there.  The food looked a bit too, let’s say “authentic” for me to muster up the courage to try it, so I passed on all of it.

The one thing I didn’t quite get at first was the sheer numbers of Filipino women conjugating in such a small area.  But then I realized two things: 1.  It was Sunday, and so it was a day off for most of the resident Filipino maid community, and 2.  There must have no less that 20 foreign currency exchange kiosks and banks in that one particular building.  Usually the Filipino maids would take their earnings and convert them into Filipino pesos before sending them to relatives in their home country.  Therefore, the lines in front of these banks and kiosk were mostly Filipino maids and other labor workers.  I must have stuck out like a swore  thumb, because it seemed that I was the only guy in the whole place.  But oddly enough I blended right in because apparently I look like a local.

This brings me to another topic.  As I mentioned earlier, I get stop frequently and asked for directions because apparently I look like one of the natives here, despite the suits I wear (apparently no one wears suits in Singapore -thanks for telling me).  In a way, this makes me feel very comfortable, especially coming from a place where people rarely even look at me let alone talk to me, because they assume I don’t speak the language.  In Singapore, people (mostly tourists and some locals) approach me and ask me for directions or what my opinion is on a particular restaurant or shop.  Of course, I have no opinions because I’ve never visited let alone heard of those places.  On one occasion, when I was looking at a menu in front of a restaurant, I was asked if there were any seats available (apparently mistaking me for a host or a waiter no doubt because of the suit of course)  But the one thing that blows people away the most is my accent.  You never really think of yourself as having a foreign accent, but in Singapore, I am the one with the strange and exotic accent, so people (mostly cab drivers) ask me where I am from.  I instinctively answer Yokohama, Japan rather than the States nowadays, because that is where my permanent place of residence now, and naturally people are very surprised by this.  I had a taxi driver who nearly got into an accident because he kept looking at me in his rear view mirror rather than keeping his eyes on the road.  I eventually had to explain my whole life story to him in the interest of my own personal safety.

If it weren’t for the fact that an average compact car costs in upwards on S$150,000 (that’s about USD$90,000 for something like a base model Honda Civic), I would probably wouldn’t mind living here.  Of course there are no race courses other than the converted street course for the Singapore GP that they hold once a year, so I guess that is  another reason why I would not be able stay in Singapore for a long period of time.


Author: mirai  //  Category: All Posts, Life in general, Rants and Raves, Travel Blog, Work Related

I have been in Singapore for the last 3 days now on business, and so far it’s been a blast.  The only thing that could be better is the weather, which is very similar to the weather on Guam.  It’d be sunny most of the day, then all of a sudden rain.  And like Guam it seems to rain everyday.  Other than that I really like it here.  The food is good, the people are friendly, and  of course the entire city is immaculately clean.

I am staying a small hotel near the touristy part of the city near the Singapore river.  There are lot of restaurants and bars around here, too bad most of the restaurants are Japanese though.  My hotel is…well,  bit strange.  There is no way to really describe it accurately, but I’ll try.

The room itself is pretty spacious, but vertically spacious.  You see it’s a two story room and the bedroom is on the second floor, or to be more accurately a  loft.  Sounds cool right?  That’s what I thought before I arrived but in reality, it the worst use of space ever designed.  I mean who ever design this room should really take lessons from the way the Japanese people fully utilize small spaces effectively.  It seems that this room has a whole heaps load of space in terms of square or more like cubic footage, but the space usage was not planned out too well.   For example, (and I will post pictures later so that you’ll understand what going on about here),the bottom has a pretty sizable living quarters, at least by Asian standards (by American standards, this place would be a walk-in closet), but it has this very wide writing desk thingy that takes up about 20 sq. feet of space.   But to make things a bit strange, there are steps that lead up to the top of the desk, and connects to another flight of steps that connects to the loft.  So in other words, to get to the top of the loft you have stand on top of the desk.

As for the loft itself, it barely is big enough to do anything but sleep.  The width of the loft is about 1/3 the width of the bottom level, which in my opinion kind of dumb.  Why waste space by making this a loft in the first place?  I think they should have made this a full sized floor to take full advantage of the  available space.  But I guess that would have been less cool looking.

Finally, the REALLY strange part of this hotel is  that the whole hotel complex is shaped like the letter H, and my room is on the inside portion of the top of the H.  That means that I am directly adjacent to a bunch of rooms on the other side.  This would not really be a big deal except for the fact that the side room facing  inside of the H is one huge two story glass window.  Now, here is the interesting thing, either the people of Singapore have absolutely no shame, or there’s some kind of voyeurism thing going on here among the guests in the hotel, because people (both men and women) would shamelessly prance around in their rooms either partially or completely nude with their curtains wide open for the world to see (not that I am watching of course….not intentionally at least…except for maybe the blonde girl on the ninth floor) Quite a strange phenomenon, and takes a quit a bit of getting use to.  As for me, I immediately close my curtains when I get back from the office.  No one is going to be peeping in on me.

December Again

Author: mirai  //  Category: All Posts, Cars and Racing, Life in general, Work Related

Yup it’s December again, and I am starting off this blog like I do every December.  You’re probably wondering where I got the phrase “December Again”.  Well its kind of a play on a title of a song called Winter Again by a Japanese alternative rock band called Glay (no I didn’t misspell it), not that I am too crazy over  Glay or the song for that matter.  However, people who know me know that December is my favorite month.  So many good things happen in December, that it just makes me happy every time it rolls around.  It’s only been one day, but already a lot of good things have happen this month.

We’ve finally sold our Mini Cooper race car, and are about to put in a bid for a more competitive race car for next season.  I am about to rebuild my race car.  I’ve joined an awesome new company as the Head of IT, and I am going to Singapore (first time ever) on business in couple of weeks to meet with my staff members.  Nothing but goodness, and about to get better.  Yup!  December ALWAYS rocks!   Gotta love it!

OT: April Again

Author: mirai  //  Category: All Posts, Life in general, Travel Blog, Work Related

Spring is here and although we had a quite a huge snow storm last weekend, it’s been quite warm lately and so almost all of the snow has melted. There had been weather reports saying that it would probable snow again sometime in within the next few days, but there has been no signs of snow; nothing but sunny days ahead.

The airport project that I have been working on since late December is nearly at its end. The new international terminal at New Chitose Airport in Hokkaido is officially open for business, and I’ve been just breezing though finishing miscellaneous work until the end of the month. I can’t wait until the end of the month. It’s sure going to be nice to be back home after this.

Home Away From Home

Author: mirai  //  Category: All Posts, Life in general, Rants and Raves, Travel Blog, Work Related

Last month, I learned that I was going to be sent off to Hokkaido for the next four months to manage a project to install information management system at the new international terminal at New Chitose Airport. Initially I was not too thrilled with the idea of having to spend 4 month away from home and my family, but career-wise it lead to something quite significant for me.

So far, I have been here for about 2 and a half weeks, and Hokkaido turns out to be not such a bad place after all. Yes, it’s cold, yes it snows a lot, yes the sidewalks are icy and and hard to walk on….not to mention that the apartment that I am living in for the duration of this project smells like a chain smoker’s ashtray, …or the fact that the airport project that I am working seems to not be going anywhere at the moment. Yes, despite all of that I am having a wonderful time here.

In all seriousness though, the sleepy little town that I am living has all of the essentials (like the supermarket, drug store -just in case things get unbearable and I decide I want end it all, convenience stores -their must be about 15 of them near my apartment, and a whole host of restaurants to choose from) all within a 20 minute walking distance from my apartment, so it is quite convenient. Many people think that Hokkaido is the coldest place in Japan, but on the contrary it’s the warmest place to be during the winter – a lot warmer than my house in Yokohama. This is due to the fact that almost every building in Hokkaido has double entrances, double paned windows, well insulated walls, and the heaters turned up to 30 degrees Celsius. I often have to strip down to a t-shirt and shorts because it so warm in my apartment. So in turn, this is ironically one of the warmest winters I’ve had since Guam.

A Big Mean Man in Designer Jeans Made My Day!

Author: mirai  //  Category: All Posts, Comic relief, Life in general, Rants and Raves, Work Related

Today I had a very interesting commute. But the really intersting part of the commute actually started during my morning commute yesterday. Allow me to explain:

Call me anal, but I have somewhat of a routine -or more like a religious ritual per se, that I follow every morning to ensure that I arrive  to work on-time, and as efficiently and as comfortably as possible. This requires that I get up at precisely 5:50am every morning, and make all of the necessary preparations so that I can be out of the house, and on my way by no later than 6:30am.

From there, I board the 6:40 bus, so that I can be at the train station to catch the 6:57 train, and in time to transfer to the 7:10 train at the next station, which is the terminal station for this particular train line.  And all of this is done  so that I could get a good seat on the 7:10 train by the nearest exit, so that upon arrival at my stop, I can deboard quickly and sprint through Azabu Juban station like OJ Simpson did so well in the 1970’s Hertz rent-a-car commercials, but didn’t do so well from the LAPD, just so that I can meet the 7:48 train that takes me to the station near my office.  If I miss any one of these key points, then I am doomed to suffer the consequences of having to stand for nearly 40 minutes on  a very overcrowded train, or being late, which would effectively ruin my whole commute thereby ruining my whole day.  Well, yesterday my whole routine was nearly ruined by a big mean man.

Everything was going pretty smoothly until the point where I had to transfer over to my 7:10 train.   You see, in order to board the 7:10 train, you basically have to queue up in one of three clearly marked and color coded lines on the platform floor: the right line, the center line, or the left line.  The reason for three lines is to improve throughput when boarding.  Wider bandwidth means more people can board in less time.  But not all lines are created equal.  Although only for a very brief period of time, the first person in the center line usually has first pick of seating on the train. After that, it’s all out war, and it becomes a came of musical chairs. Whenver I can, I usually choose the seat nearest to the exit, otherwise when I get to my stop, it takes time to get to the exit to deboard.  Get it all wrong, and you would literally have to stand in a very long line, reminiscent of the Soviet era bread lines, just to get off of the train platform, and out of the station exit.

Well, yesterday as I deboarded the first of my three-train commute, only to noticed a rather big figure straddling the right and center lines for the 7:10 train.  As I got closer to the rather wide but stubby figure, I tried to figure out whether it was a man or a woman.  At first glance, I though it was a woman because it had long “dyed” brown hair tied neatly into a pony tail.  It was very tanned as if it had dumped a bucket of tanning lotion on itself, and stayed under a tanning lamp serveral hours longer than any dermatologist would dare recommend.  But the the thing that made me confuse it’s gender the most, was the fact that it was wearing multiple ear rings on both ears and dark blue designer jeans with little pictures of dragons and flowers embroidered on it.  But as the portly figure turned its rather large and tanned head, I immediately noticed that it was a man.  And despite being somewhat indoors on a cloudy day, without as much as ray of light penetrating the train platform, he was wearing mirrored sunglasses.  Perhaps he had stayed on in the sun so long that he thought the sun shined indoors as well.  Or maybe he needed them to distiguish his camoflauge back backpack from the station platform floor.  Whatever the reason, by the expression on his face, he  seemed to already be in a bad mood.

As other passengers started queuing up, I very politely ask the tanned gentleman which line he was standing in.  He looked up from his cell phone in which he seemed to be deeply concentrating on, and gave me a very angry glare through his Brett “the hitman” Hart sunglasses.  And out of the blue, he give me a nudge with his big stubby arms and said, what’s it to you?

I was of course a bit surprised, but I stayed calm and responded, well you seem  to straddling two lines here, and I want to know which line you’re in.  Clearly but unnecessarily irritated, he then pulled his earphones out of his ears, and gave me an even angrier glare.  He then points to the poor innocient person to the left to him and says, I am standing next to him and have been standing next to him.  Does that make you happy?  He then puts his earphones back in his ear and continued his deep concentration on his cell phone.

Now I could have cut my losses and just left it at that, but I wasn’t going to let this guy intimidate me.  Just because he was wider than me and the majority of the Japanese population, and wore the same designer jeans that Brooke Shields wore during the early 80’s, didn’t give him the right to stand in two lines.  So I decided to have another go at him.

Clearly you’re standing in both the right and center lines, which is clearly not too fair to me or the person behind you in the right line.  I really think you should straighten yourself out, I said to him.  Again, he gives me the evil glare, and pulls out one of his earphones.  Obviously he was seriously annoyed at this point.  I was mentally preparing myself just in case he decided to get violent.

You are such a pest!  he responded.  He moved over to the right line effectively cutting in front of the person who had been standing there.  THERE!  Does that make you happy?  Now leave me alone! 

I felt that I had won the battle, but at the same time I also felt that I did the person in the next line a disfavor.  After all, he did line up properly.  So I felt a bit bad about that.  Am I being a bit too anal about this whole line thing?  Perhaps, but I also think its the principal of the whole situation.  Most Japanese people avoid all confrontation and conflicts as much as possible, and for the most part so do I.   In most cases, when they are annoyed or have been served misjustice, they’ll just give you a very emotionless and neutral look, or at most give you a very uneffective tisk tisk.  Very rarely will they speak out about it, and as a result guys like Mr. Jordache Look will take advantage of this and just muscle their way around at their expense.  So this was no longer about me getting my place in line, …so that I could get my seat by the exit, …so that I could exit the train quicker, …so that I don’t get trapped in a long line at the next station just to get off of the train platform, …so that I could catch my next train, …so that I could get to work on-time, …so that I could have a nice and efficient commute, …so that I could have a nicer day.  No, it wasn’t about that at all.  It was  more to do with telling this guy that he can’t push me around and get his way, and so I had effectively accomplished my goal and I had won.

And today, my efforts from yesterday’s commute had genuinely paid off.  I underwent my usual rituals and stood in line for the 7:10 train.  I also was able to conveniently be first in the center line as always.  And as I stood in line, I looked around to see if Mr. Jordache Look was around.  And just when I thought we wasn’t going to show his tanned and chubby face, out of the corner of my eye, I see his stout body park himself to the left of me.  And out of politeness and consideration, I scooted myslef over to the right a bit so that he could better accomodated his large figure in the line better.  Several seconds later I felt the large and nearly crushing embrace as Mr. Jordache Look wrapped his large hairy arms ,and huge dimply hand and stubby fat stubby fingers around my shoulder and said,  I am really sorry about yesterday man.  I was having a bad morning.  No hard feelings right?  I looked up as his dark round face wearing the same mirrored sunglasses her wore yesterday.  He had a big wide smile with the pearliest and whitest teeth I had ever seen.  No problem man, no hard feelings, I said.

Another Year Another Birthday

Author: mirai  //  Category: All Posts, Family and Friends, Life in general, Work Related

Today was my birthday. I’ve gone from being just old to being really old. And to add insult to injury I had to give a presentation (twice) to our clients and their clients. But it went as well as expected so I can’t complain too much.

Having said all this, aside from putting on a bit of weight (since high school), I don’t think I look too bad for my age. As a matter of  fact, I was mistaken for being a twenty-something just a couple of weeks ago, and the last time I was in the States, I was carded while buying some wine coolers, so I guess I can’t be aging too badly. I still have all of my hair, and it hasn’t turned gray yet. As a matter of fact, I tend to believe that I have more hair on my head now, than I did in high school.

As for future goals, for now it’s just to continue to do what I’ve been doing for the past year, and to keep my head above water during these hard economic times.

Sidewalk rage?

Author: mirai  //  Category: All Posts, Life in general, Rants and Raves, Work Related

In the States, road rage -when people in cars take their stress and frustrations out on other drivers on the road, is pretty common.  There are a lot verbal and non-verbal obsenities exchanged, a lot of horn honking, a lot of cut offs, and other things people consider road rage.  However in a society such as Japan, where people depend more on public transportation to get to and from work, there is no such thing as road rage.  It’s more like sidewalk rage.

Rush hour in Japan is pretty intense.  Luckily for me my work hours allow me to avoid the peak hours just enough so that I don’t get too stressed out from the commute.  However, for many people, commuting to work daily can be a source of severe stress, enough to resort to sidewalk rage.

So what is sidewalk rage? Actually there is no such phrase or idiom, not that I know of anyways.  It’s something I coined myself to describe the hostilities that take place during rush hour commute in Japan.  However, sidewalk rage is much more subtle than road rage in the States. There’s very little if no obsenities exchange.  As matter of fact, most of the time, there isn’t even any eye contact exchanged.  I experience sidewalk rage almost on a daily basis, and it usually consists of either being shoved or pushed aside, stepped on (usually the feet), cut in front of (in lines etc.), hit with objects such as brief cases or umbrellas, or just being completely ignored when excusing myself while trying to get off of a train or a bus.  About 90% of the time, there are no apologies or “excuse me’s”, at most there is just a gentle nod if you’re lucky.

 Another form of sidewalk rage I’ve never experienced personally but quite common, is not being able to get a seat in the courtesy seat area.  Courtesy seats on buses and trains are usually free for anyone to use, but should be yielded to senior citizens, pregnant women, or passengers with disabilities.  But often times, I see perfectly healthy people sitting in these seats when there are people with special needs standing close by.  Sometimes these people are obviously aware of the special needs passengers, but tend to ignore them or pretend that that they are asleep or unaware.

One time, on the way home on the train I saw an elderly woman board the train. It was quite crowded and it would have been difficult for even a young person to stand let alone an elderly person.  I wanted to give her my seat, but she was quite a distance away, and I couldn’t quite get to her.  When we approached the next station, which was my stop, I stood up and rushed over to the lady and told her she could have my seat (even though I was not in a courtesy seat. ) As we walk back to my seat, I saw a very young guy, probably in his early 20’s, preparing to sit in the seat that I had just got up from.  I sort of stopped him and said Could you please yield this seat to this lady? to which he responded by giving me a dirty look and sort of a grunt, and then he then sat down anyways.  I was so upset, I was just grab him by his shirt and yank him out of the seat, but just at that moment another lady behind us yielded her seat to the lady, and she was able to sit down.  I gave the guy a dirty look and told him he was the scum of society, and I left the train.

Finally, this morning, I saw a sidewalk rage of a different sort.  I saw a lady who looked to be in her late 40’s to mid-50’s.  She boarded the train and had a very mean and upset look on her face, and she was mumbling to herself.  I couldn’t quite hear or understand what she was mumbling.  At first I thought she was talking (ranting) to the person seated in front of her, but that person was reading a book and didn’t even make eye contact with her. 

She continued to ramble to herself for several minutes, obviously very upset about something.  I didn’t mean to stare but I couldn’t help it because her mumbling was within earshot of several people around her including me.  The train continued to become more and more crowded as more people boarded from the different stations, which caused people to be inadvertantly pushed into the already mad woman.  This apparently outraged her even more, and she started to rummage through her purse, which she had been holding very tightly to her body, and pulled out a pink hand mirror.  It was the last object that I had expect her to pull out.

Not knowing quite to make of this, I continued to watch her to see what she was going to do with the mirror.  She pulled her purse tightly to her body once again as if the person next to her was trying to steal something (which he wasn’t), held the pink hand mirror very close to her face and proceeded to mumble even louder.  She would occassionally look at herself in the mirror, play with her bangs, give herself a very mean look, and then hold the mirror very close to her face and mumble again.  It was almost comical, but no one was laughing.  Some were even a bit concerned or frightened by this odd behavior.

She continued to mumble and hold her pink mirror to her face, while grasping her purse tightly to her body for several minutes.  At one point she must have noticed me looking at her because she gave be a very angry and ugly glare, and blocked me out with her mirror.

As we approached the terminal station, she put her mirror back in her purse, and began to non-dicriminantly shove anyone in the way of her and the train exit out of the way.  As I got off of the train, I noticed that the mad lady was walking closely behind me.  She then started running, passed me, and ran toward the station exit.  As a younger woman was trying to exit the station ticket gate, the mad woman grabbed her from behind, shoved her aside and shouted GET OUT OF MY WAY! and continued to run at mad speeds.

I didn’t know quite to make of it other than she was either having a really bad day, or she was mentally ill.  But that was the first for me and a start of an interesting day 😀

Golden Week

Author: mirai  //  Category: All Posts, Life in general, Work Related

Its Golden Week and most people in Japan are on holiday.  This year, I’ve decided not to take the two in between days off, and go to work like a good samaritan. This is partially due to the fact that there isn’t really much to do.  I went Okinawa last month so taking another trip is financially not feasible.  The other reason is that I do have some work to tidy up, so instead of squeezing it in next week, it’d be better to do it when there is very little to do.


For the past couple of weeks or so, I have been feeling a very dull pain on the right side of my chest.  It doesn’t hurt that much.  Its just a really faint dull pain, and it feels as if its coming more from my back.  I blame it on having to carry a bag on my shoulder everyday to work.  So for now, unless it gets worse, I’m not going to worry too much about it.

The doctor tells me that my cholesterol level is a tad high. About 151 to be exact, which is about 22 points higher than what is considered the normal range.  So I have been walking to and from the station to work which is a bit less than 1 km one-way.  On top of that, I have been taking walks during my lunch.  Not much, but its a start.

I’ve also been cutting down on snacks.  I only eat “healthy” snacks now like nuts and fruits, and nothing with too much cholesterol.  Other than that, I’ve been feeling fine.  But if this whole diet/ cholesterol thing gets to be a pain, I think I will get a membership at a gym.

Old School Meeting

Author: mirai  //  Category: All Posts, Life in general, Work Related

An odd thing happened to me today.  I had a meeting this morning with some potential business partners.  As the three guys enter the office, I noticed one of them looked vaguely familar.  It wasn’t the kind of “I KNOW THIS PERSON” kind of familar, but rather more of a I might have passed him on the streets kind of familar.
I didn’t think about it too much until I entered the conference room and presented my business card.  He looked back at me and said “Don’t I know you from somewhere?”  It was really weird because he did look familar but I knew that I have never met him. “I don’t think so..” I said.
He looked and was half Japanese, so I thought that perhaps I might have seen him online or at a party somewhere.
At the end of the meeting, he approached me again and said, “I know that I know you, but I can’t remember where I have seen you.”  I laughed, but was certain that I had never met him before.  His name on his business card didn’t look familar and I am usually pretty good with names if not faces.
He then said, “did you ever live in San Francisco?”.  Whoa…this is getting weird! I thought.  How could he have known that?  My California accent can”t be that noticeable.
“Yeah, I lived there for five years,” I reluctantly said, trying to not to reveal too much about my shady past .
“Did you go to State?” he asked…okay what are you? A mind reader??   Who the hell is this character??  He doesn’t look like anyone whom I’ve met, and I pretty much know and remember ever half-Japanese person whom I went college with, I thought.
“Yes I did,” I said calmly but very reluctantly.
“So did I,” he said, “Now I know who you are.”  Good for you, I thought, mind filling me in on your little secret??
“Do you know Arisa?” he asked
I thought back and do remember a half-Japanese girl named Arisa.  I rarely hung out with her, but I do remember that my enterouge of friends and Arisa’s entourage of friends did overlap.  Saori and Trisha being the two people who I often hung out with.  Arisa also worked at the Nikko Hotel in San Francisco, where I often took Japanese tourists when I worked as a tour guide there. Perhaps this guy was a part of Arisa”s posse?
” Ahhh, yes I do”, I said as if she were my best friend.
“Ok…that’s how I know you.  Arisa and I were pretty good friends.  maybe I met you through her,” he said.  I also figured that could be the only explanation as to how this guy knows so much about me and why he looked somewhat familar.  So I accepted that as being the logincal answer for all this strangeness.
“Excellent,” I said with the most fakest smile I could present, “how is she doing these days?”
He also flashed a fake smile and responded, “Don’t know; haven’t seen her since graduation.”
I had to get ready for my next meeting so I dismissed myself and semi-sincerely said “Well, keep in touch then, nice to see someone from home.”