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Japan. Travel notes, PART II

Working as a Professional  Tourist.
One sunny morning while I was checking some ancient shrines in Kyoto I got a message from my friend Katerina:
- Do you want to work at Tokyo Museum of Advertising for a day?
– Hm… Doing what?
– Working. As a tourist. They will close the entire museum for the day and you’ll get 4 personal tour guides. All you need to do is listen and ask questions… and then you get paid.
It sounded like a damn good deal.
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That day I took the first train to Tokyo and was at the museum by the set time. It belongs to Dentsu the famous advertising agency that almost entirely dominates the Japanese market.

The museum trains their staff by brining in english speaking guests who act as tourists.  It was a great experience. I felt that my teaching, design, people, and communication skills  all came together in one-of-a-kind job – a professional tourist. If you ever visit the museum in Tokyo you’ll likely hear fragments of the vast feedback that I left after my visit :)

Now I can say I have Japanese work experience. Otsukaresama deshita!
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Japanese Markets

I have this strange (may be) obsession with food markets. I find them to be perfect places to soak in the real local culture. Something is always happening there: people, motorcars, carts, noises, sometimes animals, food trucks, beggars, weird stuff… plus you get to try all different kinds of food. Wherever I go I always take my camera to a local market. The more remote and exotic the place is the more exciting it is to explore its markets. Check my photos from Tarapoto, Peru from 2014.

This one is all about Japan. Whatever I show or say it’s never gonna be enough to describe how amazing this country is. Just like everything in Japan, the markets there are extremely organized and clean. If you believe that there’s a fish market that doesn’t stink like fish, there’s one right in the heart of Tokyo.

Tsukiji Fish Market, Tokyo. Popularized by Jiro Dreams of Sushi documentaryIMG_8021

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Creativity and chaos

Have you ever thought why creative people are often considered chaotic, absent-minded, and blamed to be all over the place? Creativity is just an ability to connect the dots. To do that you need to know a little bit about many things. The broader your outlook, your area of interests and your network the more dots you can connect. Creative people are all over the place, they have to be to be creative.

Cooking up the fortune

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There’s an old fortune cookies factory hidden in San Francisco china town. They say it’s the only remaining one where cookies are still made by hand. As expected the place has all the traits of a typical tourist trap: it is central, they charge you for taking pictures, they try to sell you stuff.

However there’s something intrinsically charming about this cluttered gloomy joint.

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Fear of Public Speaking

A good friend was encouraging me before speaking in front of an audience:

Someone once told me to imagine everyone in their underwear and you’ll feel less nervous. I did that and I ended up feeling more nervous, and so I imagined me in my underwear and I almost passed out, so I had to imagine everyone wearing clown suits and that just freaked me out … I ended up presenting with my eyes closed. It was weird.

– Dré