Jogging in downtown Tokyo
It was really not for the faint of heart to phase out a part of vital infrastructure of a fixed telecom network. And consequently, saying goodbye to a supplier. The goal was to introduce a dual vendor policy and change to a professional transparent buying process.
This brought me to the city of Tokyo in Japan. With a small group we stayed at the New Otani Hotel. Procurement had arranged to meet the major vendors of telecom switches. A clear signal to our two remaining suppliers that they should always be wary of the competition.
The schedule was tight and tiring. My usual answer to cope with this is to have a very scheduled rhythm myself. Before having breakfast in the rotating restaurant on top of the hotel, I would do my exercises and go for a run. I discovered a nice route around the Akasaka Palace just a few steps away from the hotel.
What a joy! It was still nice and cool in the early morning, not too much traffic and the sight of the lush green of the gardens was a real treat in this hot city with mainly white buildings as far as the eye could see.
And I was not alone. Five Japanese people enjoyed running too. Dressed in blue sweat suits with white stripes down the sides they did their rounds. Their mouths covered with face masks against the polluted air. I was faster. Longer legs I guess. Every two rounds I overtook them and each morning they had a break at one of the gates. With sweat spots all over they stood there, stretching, face masks down and with a cigarette dangling from the corner of their mouths.