Why do you travel? What do you do? (Lilac Wolf)
We’re running out of room to store used nuclear fuel in spent fuel pools which has been the norm since the beginning of nuclear power. My company, Transnuclear, designs, licenses, and fabricates storage casks to transfer fuel from the pools to offsite locations in safe and secure manner. Many of these casks are fabricated overseas in Japan and India. My job is to ensure that the fabricators adhere to American standards.
How are you treated by the local population when you visit a new country? For instance: With respect? Slight distrust? Welcomed with open arms? (Bella)
In India I’m welcomed with open arms everywhere because they know I have money. On the streets they know I will pay full price for things (not haggle) and I will tip where tipping isn’t common. For fabricators I oversea at the plant, we are their customers. In Japan, we’re treated the same way by our fabricators simply because we are the customer but in the street we’re treated as a normal local.
What was your favorite place to visit and how does the food differ from what we know here as their traditional/regional foods? (Renee)
I need to preface this by saying that heavy industrial shops are not located in tourist locations (which is true in every country you go to). That being said, I can guarantee it would have been Kyoto Japan, but I got sick the first and only time I went to Japan. So I didn’t go sightseeing at all. Of places I visited, probably all of the shrines old and new in India. The old ones predate anything we have in America and Europe by centuries and the new ones are some of the most immaculate places in the world in stark contrast to the rest of India.
As far as food goes, it’s hard to say because most of what I eat comes from the hotels. But as far as I can tell, Indian food is full of spice, flavor, but texturally it’s all very consistent and “goopy.” Most Indian places, where I have eaten in America are pretty spot on but they might have one or two dishes that you would never find in India, especially if anything has beef. The quality of meat is one big difference. It’s subtle, but in India chicken and lamb are generally chopped into bits with the bone and cartilage and you can never tell exactly where it came from in the animal.
What part of the Indian culture do you like the best/that calls out to you the most? Would you want to live there permanently? (Pherin)
While I rarely participate because I don’t know the language, my favorite part of their culture is just how open everyone is. Throughout the day/night everyone is outside talking with one another, sharing stories, gathering at the marketplace and generally having a good time. However, I would not choose to live there. I am sure there are lovely parts of India to live but I have yet to see them. The cities themselves while sociable are dirty, filled with litter, animals roam free, the air is full of smog and dust, and in busy sections of cities it is pure chaos.
What myths/misconceptions regarding the various countries you visited have you discovered during your travels? (Ambergine)
I think Japan gets a bad rap for being where all the weird stuff happens when in fact that part is a small, small subculture. The nation itself is probably the most structured, organized, and precise societies in the world.
How would you describe the smell of the streets of Japan you frequented? (Magaly)
Remarkably refreshing no matter where you are be it downtown, on a congested train or in the middle of a heavy metal shop. Rarely if ever did I encounter a pungent or even different smell it was always something I never even realized while I was there until you asked this question.
What one thing would you say a travel to Japan should absolutely not miss? (Kestril)
The ability to go explore anywhere without fear be it tourist attraction or darkest of dark back alley and find always find something interesting. Be it hidden restaurant, temple, or such. There is this ability to wander and find random nice things that I have never experienced anywhere else. It was hard to find a ‘bad part of town.’
What's the wildest thing you've encountered on your travels within the states? (Danni)
My travels in the states have been relatively few and frankly uninteresting. But if I had to pick something, it would be the other day we were driving to get lunch from the office and a hawk swooped down and picked up a snake from the woods nearby. Wild… (yes, he is such a comedian *eye roll*)
What is it you miss most of home, while you globe trot? (Eloira)
Not including my dearly beloved, I would say a consistent sleep schedule and beef. Except in Japan where there beef was far superior to the US. Though I did miss coke which in Japan was slightly different from the U.S.
Have you ever found yourself somewhere that you were tempted to stay forever? (Jennifer)
I have never been tempted to stay forever but I would like more time to enjoy the places I go. I’ll fly in for business and maybe have a weekend to myself which is mostly spent traveling within the country. This also applies to layovers in such places as Seattle or Europe where all I get is a passing glance.
Where have you always wanted to go, but haven't had a chance to visit? (Pherin)
I have yet to make it out to California; after travelling long distances, the last thing I want to do is travel to the other end of the world. So instead, I would much rather go somewhere new that is closer and California seems like it is very diverse and full of interesting opportunities.
What would you do for a Klondike bar? (Pherin)
That depends, are we talking original? Reece’s? Rocky Road? Double Chocolate? Heath? Or some other yet to be invented flavor?
Will you take Sam to Comic Con for your honeymoon? (Kallan)
Sam and I have already decided that we are going to St. Lucia. However, if Sam would like to go back on this deal she may do so at her own expense.
Is there anything that we didn’t cover that you would like to say at this time? (Me)
Thank you everyone for all the questions. I like my job and what I do. It gives me many opportunities to do things I normally wouldn’t do of my own volition. The world is a strange and interesting place and I hope I haven’t distorted it too much. But I encourage all of you to go and prove me wrong. Yours truly, Grant Dambach, dictated but not read.