A review of the past 6 weeks – badly needed, huh?

So it’s been a while again, but I haven’t been around much lately – at least not travelling. Work has been tiring and time-killing, so after work i just want to get home and spend my time relaxing at home, though it rarely actually comes that. The weekends I mostly spend with my friends on izakaya or cleaning my room (as crazy as it sounds).
Let’s start with the first weekend of february.

Since I live in a sharehouse, we have some furniture standing outside of our house and the some of the stuff I had (or still have) in my room was quite crappy and useless, so I decided to ask Agustin for help to move a mirror on a small table and a small wardrobe upstairs to my room. We placed the things in my room and went downstairs to have some fun time in front of the TV, going to shower just half an hour later, because I had to get ready for the meeting with Keigo and Aurelian. Getting ready, I left the house at 6pm and took the subway to Ginza and continuing from there to Minamisenju, located in north-east Tokyo. It took me a full hour to get there, but finally there I greeted the boys and went to a bar nearby, which sadly was already full so we searched for another bar. barely 2minutes later we found one, where we had a bear, steak and fries for dinner, though after one hour we decided to go back to the other bar, because Aurelian still had some business with the owner. The rest of the evening we had hot and cold sake, and various dishes for example, karasumi (fisheggs and redish), some tempura and fishtesticles. The last one surprised me, since eating genitals isn’t one of my fortes, but the tasted really good, though they were very… creamy. The boys made fun of it the whole night, yet it ended quite early. We left there around 22:40 and I took the train home. Arriving home I just relaxed for some time and went to bed. The next day was a sunday so I stayed in.

The following week was pure work, because my company got a new delivery of 155 devices the friday before and I had to label them new, put in japanese manuals and test them. Of course I also had my englishlessons, which are already showing some progress as my students are talking a lot to me and even our little newby has started to be more relaxed around me.
The thursday that week Agustin spontaneously asked me if I wanted to go out with him to some place in Asagaya and I went with the flow and said yes. We ended up in a tappas bar, had some snacks, a beer each and a very intense and interesting talk, in the end staying out for 3 whole hours.

Friday I stayed in for the night, organizing my room again and finishing some left over stuff.
Saturday I planned on staying in, too, to further organize my room and so on, but Koh asked me out, since we hadn’t talked for a while and of course I couldn’t decline such offer. Luckily I had to pick our place, Shin Okubo it was. I thought some korean food would do us good, even though it was my first time actually eating it, and now that I’ve tried it, I’m so completely whipped, it was just sooo delicious and spicy! We met up at 19:30 and went around to look for a decent looking place with some spicy food and only half an hour later we found one that wasn’t filled to the brim. First we ordered something to drink and later on our food. When all our food had arrived, there seriously was no more space left on our table, all the space was taken by a huge bowl of spicy Bulgogi, then we had some bowl of Bulgogi Bibimbap and another bowl of white soup. Aside from that we got 5 smaller sidedishes and a seaweed soup (tasting more like saltwater than anything else, but it tasted good). The first 1,5 hours we were mainly just talking, barely eating except for maybe some piece of the sidedish or the bibimbap, but it was so interesting to talk to Koh that moment, though, when we got to the food, I really couldn’t stop eating, first when we stood up from the table, most of the food empty, could I grab the last piece of salad and stop eating after that. The night was still young and Koh really enjoyed my company so he asked me if I wanted a drink. On our search to find a restaurant we came across this bar called ‘korean boys’ and we thought it sounded funny, so when he asked for a drink we decided to go there. The bar itself was only filled by female costumers, the TV playing Kpop-videos all night long and the three bartenders were handsome korean boys. Koh was the only male costumer and I was the only white girl in that bar (additionally behaving a little crazy due to all the kpop haha), but then that one bartender came to us and asked us for our drinks. I ordered and ‘Orgasm’ (we laughed our asses off, the both of us really couldn’t stop laughing about it the whole night, obvious why, isn’t it?). I loved it, it was so sweet and milky, yummy! Suddenly our bartender started talking to us in english and I could’ve melted right away, his british accent. Never had it been this sexy. (haha) It somehow turned out that we stayed all night until closingtime at 5am, drinking and talking and laughing and singing. We really had a great time, but it really was time to go home, we both were very tired. Taking the long journey to the station, we waited for the train to bring us to Shinjuku where we parted ways, saying our ‘goodbye’s and ‘thank you’s, before each going to our respective trains. Coming home I brushed my teeth and went to bed. The following day was spent quietly.

An exhausting week of work followed after, barely leaving anytime to sick back and relax. Though, time flies by in a rush and before I could realize it was already friday again and I found myself at gamuso, like every so often. I never really go there to get drunk or party, but rather to enjoy a drink or two over several hours and the conversations that come along with it. Normally there’s always at least one I could talk to for hours – and that is actually always the case. Sadly, I couldn’t stay for too long before retreating home at 3o’clock – I had a date the following afternoon.

Saturday I got ready, dressed up a bit and got on the train, my journey that day taking me to the lovely city Yokohama. Some weeks earlier I had met a guy and he offered me to show me around Yokohama so we did just that, taking a little walk around, buying a coffee and doing some window-shopping. Slowly it grew dark and we got hungry so we moved towards the restaurant street in Yokohama, picking a japanese-korean yakiniku restaurant. (Yakiniku is raw meat served, which you stake yourself on an instabled grill in the table, lot’s of fun I tell you!) Another specialty, and my first time using, were the metalchopsticks, which are usually used in Korea. It grew late and I had to catch the last train after having an awesome and eventful day in Yokohama, definitely worth a visit!

Sunday morning I got up early to take a tour to Harajuku, for I heard that Simon and Martina (Eat Your Kimchi, a K-pop related vlog) were suppossed to be there. When I reached there I wandered the streets, saw new small shops, the high class shops of gucci and the likes along the streets down to Omotesando, but I really couldn’t find these two. So in the end I left Harajuku after 2hours without accomplishing my goal and went home again for a nap, though that nap never happened. In the evening I had an appointment with a girl I had met the weekend before. She is korean, her name Seon Ok and she had invited me join her for worship service with african food and stuff earlier that day, but I had skipped in favor of meeting my two idols. But I had promised her to come by in the evening, so we met up and went to church where she introduced me to some of her friends and we had dinner together. After that we read a little book about letting god into your life and then I went home. I don’t believe in god though, not the tiniest bit.

The week went by silently, work filling the time entirely, until wednesday evening rolled in, the night before my birthday. It was nothing special at first, I just stayed in my room before I went downstairs to brush my teeth and get ready, but Agustin stopped me and we had some minutes of talk, really nice. Still I wanted to go to bed early to save some spare time in the morning for opening the presents, so I took off to my room at 23:30. Just when the clock hit 12, a knock sounded at my door. I opened the door and outside stood an Agustin with a small present in his hands. Opening it, a pair of beautiful Chopsticks came into view, but another present showed up from behind his back and opened that one, too – a new pair of headphones, but the big, expensive ones! Awesome! After that he wanted me to open my other presents but I said I couldn’t. Though he stayed persistent so I agreed on opening the present of my best friend. Wrapped in a silver glittery box was my belated christmaspresent, a dinosaursweater and golden cookies, my birthday present was a small cute book of a comicbook and a beautiful handmade necklace! She never fails to surprise me and get me the best! I really miss her, already looking forward to meeting you again darling! :* Finally giving up though, Agustin congratualated me a little bit more before we both went to bed, it had already grown pretty late.

Thursday morning I woke up a my already opened presents and another unopened box from my mom and my little sister! Happily I placed the box in my lap and carefully opened it, bringing a bag, a letter from my little sister and sweets to light. I’ve been using that bag ever since and the letter nearly made me cry. Such an emotional ball of feelings I am. Using my birthday as an excuse I dressed up really well, and went to work. I halfexpected us to go out for lunch somewhere and have a nice time somehow, but lunch finally rolled around – nothing happened, I just went downstairs to the conbini and bought lunch myself. The day went on as every other day did, stuffed with work here and studying pressed into the gaps. Though of course I got a lovely birthday call from my mom and my bigger sister! We had a small chat, exchange news and the growing excitement of my sister’s visit next week (can’t wait to show her around). Anyways, I didn’t stay late on purpose, I was just really idling around here and there, but when I finally wanted to leave, Tetsuo-san beckoned me to stay some more minutes and it finally dawned on me – a surprise dinner at the company. Though what really came had me stunned. Fujie-san took me downstairs to the conbini to buy some alcohol for every one and when we came back upstairs the others had shoved two tables together and gathered the chairs around them. I helped with unpacking the food Micchan and Munakata-san got – delicious Sushi, chicken and beef on potatosalad, some Salad as side dish, YUM! The cherry on top – or should I say the Strawberry on top? – was a beautiful strawberry-cream-shortcake! With a chocolateplate and my name written on it, candles and oh my it was so beautiful and delicious! Suzuki-san lit the candles so I could blow them out, I think they even sung for me, oh what lovely co-workers! After the song I blew out the candles and made a wish. We all sat down, they gave everyone their piece of cake and we started digging in. All in all it was a really nice evening, at times a little awkward because japanese people really aren’t the most talkive person on earth, especially if they have to speak english, but it all worked out somehow and everyone enjoyed theirselves! And even though this was my first birthday away from home and I expected it to be nothing special this year, I was so positively surprised and really happy with my birthday that I can proudly say that it was one of my favourites! (:

The day after was friday so it was only natural to go out and celebrate, but since my official birthdayparty would be the following day, I just went out to Gamuso and had a beer or two, had some seriously nice chat’s with the guys and a shot, pretty nice evening I would say. That night I didn’t stay out for too long and went home to take a serious rest to prepare for my actual party. I got ready for the night and then everything started crackling and crumbling again. I missed my train in Asagaya and we were supposed to meet in Shibuya 15min later, so I changed trains in Nakano Sakaue thinking it would be faster, when it actually took up even more of my precious time. So in the end I came late by 30min, nobody was there, so I waited but then I had to pick up Koh at the Station again so I went there and waited for a little more than 30min before Koh found me, when in fact I was supposed to find him. He did the same ‘mistake’ I did on New Years Eve though. We went back to where I was supposed to meet Keigo and the others, all in all an hour and 45min late. Through Koh I was luckily able to contact Keigo so he picked us up and we went to Izakaya, though Saza and Keigo had to leave soon after to go and prepare for later, since they DJ’d that night. Our group of Kaname, Flora, Koh, Me and a friend of Saza’s followed soon after, only Lulu, a girl I had met that night for the first time, couldn’t join us, which made me sad, because she really seemed to be nice and interesting! Either way, we left for party and it was an awesome night, meeting new and old friends, good music made by my friends and a good atmosphere! I didn’t drink that much that night, it was good the way it was. Around 5o’clock the party ended, yet nobody wanted to go home really, so we went to afterparty and i was still alive and kickin’, but the music at the place was so depressing somehow, I couldn’t move so we ended up leaving anyway and went to a more quiet place, which ended up being to sleepy and quiet. Koh and Saza’s friend opted for going home, while Keigo, Saza and me opted for looking for another place. Though, there was a difficulty standing in our way – Saza didn’t want to leave Shibuya, yet Keigo and me wanted to go to Yoyogi park since the weather was really nice and just perfect for a parkvisit (and I had to be there later anyways hehe). After walking around aimlessly, the clock had already past 11am and we were at the end of our creativity. Saza left us, thinking of taking at least a nap before his work started, so Keigo and me finally could leave for Yoyogi park – which turned out to be pretty, pretty windy, not cool. But the sun was really nice. Still, the wind picked up so much dirt and dust, throwing it around , Keigo was so annoyed that he thought of taking a walk to get a coffee in Harajuku to pass the time before Laura and P were coming, which I was supposed to meet that day. The walk somehow just was a walk. It is IMPOSSIBLE to get a place at a cafe – or a restaurant/breakfast for that matter – on a sunday midday in Harajuku, that is unless you want to queue for at least 1-1,5hours to get a place. But we still walked around, I saw new streets and shops of Harajuku again and somehow it expanded to a walk through parts of Omotesando, which in fact is just a commercial area in Tokyo, the streets lined with designer brands such as Gucci, Burberry, Dior and the likes. Still in search of a small cafe we walked around the backstreets of Omotesando, but when we found nothing – or better, a place where you didn’t had to queue – we walked back through unknown backstreets of Harajuku, but we came back to our original place and found our way back to Yoyogipark easily. I’m a good guide and pathfinder ya’know? (haha) At the entrance Keigo bought us real awesome Takoyaki (Octopusbreadballs), since hunger was starting to bug us, and searched for a place to sit down and eat. After that we went around in search for our friends, we had just been on time, but when we didn’t find them at the spot we thought they would be and the rest of the park didn’t show any trace of them, we took a tour for the entrance area and there they were with their hoola hoops and a blanket. The park really is so nice and the tradition and japanese mind about going to a park that goes along with it, is just so amazing. Everyone goes there and just does their own thing, wether if it’s sports, picnic or dancing, yoga, go out with dogs (there is actually a little dogpark for puppies) and everything else you can think of, it really had me stunned. Anyways, not having a clue about their location, we headed back for the entrance area where we had seen a group with hoola hoop rings/wheels/whatever and there we found them. It was just due to our failing eyes that we didn’t recognize Laura or P. We joined them on their blanket, had some snacks before I mentally was ready to pick up the hoola hooping again after at least 3-4years. I looked so awkward and concentrated while trying that I unconciously made everyone laugh with my new move – the rocker-hoola-hooper, haha! It was really, really fun and even keigo tried and succeeded in letting it glide around his hips for about 3-4 times. Sadly it got pretty chilly really soon and we had to pack together again to leave, yet since P, Laura and me live in the same area we left together for Shinjuku and had a last beer together, enjoying a tad bit of girls talk. After that beer, we split up one more time before finally leaving for home. I went to bed at 7pm, thinking of getting back my beauty sleep I had lost the past night and I badly needed to survive work the next day.

Obviously, work started on monday and so it did on tuesday, with the little difference though, Tetsuo-san let me take off half the day, since I had a special visitor to greet. My former japaneseteacher from germany, Suzuki-san, payed a visit to her homecountry and we decided to meet up for a coffee. In the end we sat together for nearly 3 hours, discussed various things, from japanese culture to future and everything else there is. The time flew by and it was already time again to take a leave for I had to get home and leave my things before a latenightvisit to Shibuya was calling for me. The reason? My friend Izumi, a quite famous singer, had a livestage in a bar in Shibuya, though finding that bar was so frustrating I nearly went home because I didn’t find it, but I did and had a nice evening, watching different liveacts perform a small piece of their talent, from various musicacts to entertainment in a musical way. And the last one was Izumi with her 3 guys playing guitar, drums and contrabass. It was a really amazing show and Izumi’s voice is pretty awesome too! It grew late and Laura, who had also been there the evening, and I had to leave, to catch the train before it got to late, yet we agreed on having a latenight beer at gamuso, just for the fun of it, sadly it didn’t turn out as nice as we wanted it to be, but shit happens. It was 1:30 before I even got home, but it didn’t change the fact that it had been a nice evening – on a weekday! Though that caused me to be late on wednesday for work, but I’ve grown accostumed to things here and i gradually improve at work! Wednesday went pretty normal, just like thursday, though thursday it was time to finally dye my hair again, Laura assisting me greatly. We had a nice beer at gamuso before going to her apartment, dyeing hair, eating chips while watching a nature documentory, later showing each other some new music stuff! It was a hilarious evening, yet with a late goodbye again, but nevermind, life is too short to be boring!

I came home late as already hinted, and a normal friday of work followed. Originally I had canceled all meetings with my friends to take it slow and calm once, but like everytime you plan on staying home and be boring, it doesn’t work. I’ve been curious about Kasumigaseki for awhile now, so that friday after work I went out to take a look, but what I saw didn’t come to my liking – an all boring working district, with barely any flashy lights, but all big boxes of buildings for governmental work and stuff. Yes, nice trip, but I walked around and took the next train to Akasaka Mitsuke, a district I’m passing everyday to work by train so I got curious of it too, because in the morning many people get of the train, so I assumed it had to be a big place, somehow at least. And I was right – a pretty big place with lots and lots of flashy advertisements for restaurants, but nothing I was searching for, so I continued to Shin Okubo to my favourite bar aside from Gamuso. Had a nice time there, too, but since I didn’t want to stay the night I left for the last train and it was pure chaos at Shinjuku Station. The whole platform, which is huge compared to other train station paltforms, was filled to the brim with people. Lucky me, there were two trains left and most of the people got on the first. When the train passed by, I saw so many pain filled, uncomfortable faces. Sometimes it really is horrible, especially when the train takes a sharp turn or the way is a little bit bumpy, you don’t stand a chance to stand still, you just fall and all the people around you, too. Either way, I stood still at the Station and had really luck, even got a seat after the first stop and had a nice ride back to Asagaya. (on a little sidenote: Did you know that there are around 2Millions of people passing Shinjuku Station per day? That makes it the busiest trainstation of the world!) 1am is definitely way to early to go to bed on a friday night and considering Gamuso is located just next to the station it is obvious I went there, though, like always, I only planned to look by for a small chat and/or a beer, yet I ended up leaving around 4am again. On the other hand, there were some interesting people there and I had to catch up with Eric a bit, i hadn’t seen him for yeeears. That night I also got invited to dinner the next day and a shoppingtour at Harajuku, too! With that in mind I went home to catch at least a tiny wink of sleep, we had made up to meet in Harajuku at 1:30, so not that much sleep left for me.

the next morning I woke up, got ready and left for Harajuku – a typical Harajuku-style-outfit on of course including my brand new lovely heels (oh how i love them). The friend who invited me was peter and he also invited Peewee, our beloved bartender, because he had gotten a familysale coupon from work for the Ralph Lauren Outlet and since white people all belong to one family for asian people he took us there. What we found there had us speechless. I mean I knew it’s an expensive brand and all, but not THIS overpriced, aside from that fact, they didn’t even have clothes which looked worth that money. In the end we walked around only to play ‘guess the price’. All I found appealing were 2 blazers, 1 in the kids section for 40.000¥(around 400EU) and a blazer for women with 177.000¥ worth (around 1770EU), ok, plus 70% family sale, but still, I wouldn’t spend money on something this ugly. Nevertheless it was a fun 2 hours we spent there, mostly making fun of the stuff and each other. To get back to earth and represent ourselves right we went to McDonalds for lunch, since neither of us had really had breakfast, even less lunch. There we felt at home – at least more than in a high class outlet. After that delicious, exquisite lunch we split up to go back home, though 3 hours later I met up with Peter again, this time 2 of his friends on his side, for he had invited them over to lunch, but didn’t want to be the third wheel with a couple around. He conjured some fine dinner, backed chicken wrapped in ham, salad and risotto, for desert a marzipan tarte with almonds. Great! I ate so much it hurt afterwards, but after said dinner it was still early and his sharehouse a little boring so we decided to go out again – Kichijoji (which seemed a bit unappealing, because Peter’s flatmate had just told us that there was a person stabbed to death 2 days before) or Asagaya. The outcome was obvious and so the found us a little beerbar in Asagaya for a special beer, before going back to Gamuso. I nearly collapsed when I saw the two kids running around, one, because they were just 3 and 6 years old and in a bar with people drinking and smoking and two, because they were so incredibly cute, I really wanted to kidnap and cuddle them soooo so badly! KYA! But I at least got a picture with each of them! That night didn’t go any different than other nights at Gamuso, but I thoroughly enjoy just plain conversations with people while having a beer, some quite music and a cigarette, for me there is nothing more relaxing anf fun than this! Yet, like every night, this one turned into a long night, too, and once again I had to get up early. This time for church the next morning.

You heard right, I went to worship in a japanese-korean-african church and even made a new friend, who is just like me and even a year younger! Wow! The worship itself made me just open my eyes, that god is not in my life, neither is Jesus, but it’s always nice listening to people sing, so I really enjoyed that part. Later we, as in Natasha, Jisu, Sunok and me, went out to have a coffeebreak before they sent me home, I was soooo tired. Coming home I only thought of laying in my bed, happy that I could spend at least some hours in the confines of my room.

One calm week of work followed, before the last weekend arrived. On friday Keigo and Saza were DJ’ing at ‘the pink cow’, another music and arts bar, but in Roppongi. Before that took place, I had invited Keigo to dinner, though I wanted to eat at a korean dinner place, we ended up in a Yakiniku place and had a realxing start into the weekend with lots of good meat! Later we took the train together to get to Roppongi, where we met some friends, had a nice time, and some nice chats. I met the Beatbox Boys again from last time and they were awesome! The whole night went on, but since nobody could decide on what to do I stayed and eventually missed the last train, accompanying the others into a Roppongi club – nothing you ever want to experience. It’s the same american chart hit shit they play in every club, with the exception that parties there start normally around 4-5am or only in high class places – and that club I went to already wanted to have a 1500¥(15EU) for a SMALL drink. Soon our group decided to move to Shibuya where Kirin, a friend of mine and Keigo’s DJ’ed that night, only that half our people left. At the end it was only Keigo, Tsuzumimaru (a guy from the beatboxer group) and me left, but we rocked the party – more or less, I was pretty tired. That made me leave pretty early and still I only got to bed at 6:30am, getting up at 11 again for lunch with Sunok and Jisu, or more a cup of coffee a small sandwich. The two told me about the korean worship they were going to later and since I love korean and everything related to it I joined them. Listening to koreans sing is heaven, it was really so awesome, though the pray part was boring, especially since I didn’t understand a word and had Jisu translate everything for me. The worship ended and I took my leave for Harajuku and then Shin Okubo, doing some last minute shopping at the HyakuYen shop and searching for a present for Agustin, his birthday threatingly near. That evening I actually spent at home doing whatever and probably staying up late again, but the next morning I could sleep in, only that it didn’t really work out. Waking up at 11am is definitely too early when I get the chance to sleep in so I turned around and fell asleep again until 1pm, getting up to write this text here. Around 4pm I got down, already so many people in the house – sunday was the curry party for Agustin’s birthday and I was about to get ready for it. Lena, Naoki, Eri and Mariko had already invaded our house and cooked the curry, prepared some fresh, unfried springrolls and some salad. The rest of the time we spent chatting and joking around until Agustin was about to come in. That’s when we dashed upstairs to hide while he slowly made himself at home and prepared for taking a shower. He was still inside his room when we sat down on the stairs and he was singing, so hilariously, so we couldn’t really hold it in and only moments later he came out, went by the stairs and when he saw us he got SO SCARED hahaha it was really fun. After that he started laughing and thanking us. He got into the shower and we put out the food and decorated the table. The evening started when he came out from the shower, smiling and laughing like a little kid from the overflowing happiness. He thanked us all at least a thousand times throughout the whole night, it was really nice to see him that happy, since he had been a little down the days before. We toasted and started the meal, delicious curry making it’s way down into our tummies. It went on like this, with light conversations and laughter filling the room. When we were finished with all the meals, even the chicken Naoki had later prepared for us, we began to play the game ‘Who Am I?’ and had ton’s of fun. Eventually we called it a night, work was waiting for everyone of us the next day.

Coming along with work on monday a more or less eventless week commenced, except for the fact that my older sister Kerstin arrived on Thursday at Narita Airport, where Tetsuo-san and I went to pick her up. Our funny adventure started on friday, after taking a good rest on thursday.

We got up early on friday to go to work, since I still had some open tasks to finish, yet when we came everyone was surprised that we actually came and wanted us to leave again to have some quality time exploring Tokyo. But we didn’t leave. Still they managed to get us to go out to Yushima shrine around the corner, which already was a small discovery and we came back to the company just in time for the Yakult-girl to come. Later Tetsuo-san invited us and my co-workers to lunch – some delicious, traditional nigiri-sushi and misosoup. Kerstin said it had been the best sushi she’s eaten so far – of course, it’s japanese sushi – but it’s still a bit of relieve actually hearing it. After lunch we went to a small exhibition about some kind of origami (the art of ‘folding paper’) and went back to work. Tetsuo-san asked Micchan and Fujie-san to take us out and show us around Asakusa, a very old fashioned part and famous for it’s tourists and traditional merchandise, sold at small booths lining the roads. It’s also very near the Tokyo Skytree and Asahi Beer Tower (which is actually supposed to look like glass full of beer). We spent 2 hours there, walking around, getting asked questions by grade schoolers, buying some postcards etc and having fun. Of course Micchan and Fujie-san had to return to work later and so we rode back and split up at the crossing near Akihabara. That was one shock for her, going through the loud and flashy streets, filled with Otaku’s (Nerds) and Maid’s and the mass of people in general – all that on her second day in Tokyo. But our actual goal was just to grab a coffee and take some time off for the moment so we sat down in a starbucks and enjoyed ourselves, observing various people walking by and talking about the first prominent impressions. Following the coffee, we took a walk through the department store we were in, bought some necessities and socks and went on to go to a game arcade, that was fun! Got a new Alpaca (named Ace, insider though) and he’s a lovely pillow! Later that evening I took her out to Gamuso for a supposed to be Karaoke night, though everyone got something to do last minute, yet we still had nice conversations with lovely people and I could show her that I’m taking care of very well here by amazing people.

Yesterday we had to get up fairly early, at 10am, to meet up with Sunok and Jisu at the church for they had organized some kind of lunchtable at their church under the topic of ‘Food from all around the world’ (which ended up being 4 very asian dishes) but it was still nice and we had a cheap lunch, Kerstin met my church-friends and she could take a look at how a korean worship looks like.One part was really painfully boring, the other was a fun experience, all in all a long trip to church. After that we decided to go and have an ice cream and later took the train to Yotsuya, a station I always cross on my way to work, and had a look and walk around there. An hour or two later it drove us back home to have a small rest before running into the next adventure called ‘Shibuyaaaaa’ for a birthday party at a small standing bar.It was a little bit messed up,Keigo wanted to pick me up at the station in Shibuya because I couldn’t remember the way to the bar, but he wasn’t there when we arrived so we ended up taking a walk around Shibuya before I opted for an internetcafe to contact my friends and look it up on google maps. After thatI found the bar easily and the party could go on! I greeted everyone and introduced my sister, too. She seemingly had a lot of fun with everyone, though starts are always a little rough, even here, but in the end everyone was pleased to meet her and they all left a good impression on Kerstin – once again I could prove her that good people are watching over me. The night at the small standing bar ended a little abruptly, because we had to hurry a little to catch one of the last trains, so sadly it meant good bye, too. Since  the metro stops earlier then the JR-line we got of in Asagaya, near Gamuso and went there for one beer and a nice chat before leaving for home, it was already late enough. Suming up the night we walked home in a comfortable atmosphere, reaching home in a good mood. Sleep came easy last night and there was no appointment chasing us up early this morning, so we just stayed in and lazed around, doing some laundry and I finally got to finish this huuuuge Blogupdate.

I hope you had your fun with it and enjoy the following Pictures I have in store for you (look below please). Now we’re off to watch some movie and then go to bed for work tomorrow. See Ya’ll guys~

 

 

More on a sidenote, I got this lovely little selfwritten Poem from my Stepdad. Have a look!

 

there once was a wee girl called Anna , who went all the way to Japana, At first the blogs were aplenty, but after some weeks the blog box was empty ! Oh , when will we get another blog from Anna in Japana?..

Around New Year and it’s awesome surprises

Hey there, the free days around New Year’s always get kind of stuffy, so I was always out doing different things. What exactly I did, you’ll read now.
December 28 was my last workday before going into holiday until the 6 january. It was as calm as ever, I worked quite hard and sat there until 7PM before going home. I was glad to finally come home, knowing I didn’t have to get up for work the next day. Relaxing into my bed until 3PM the following day, I took a really good rest before getting ready for another round of Harajuku. Since I didn’t see much, I wanted to discover it more, the taste I got was just too great. Wandering around, looking at all the actual shops that are spread around that little street I couldn’t resist my inner voice. It told me to not buy anything, but being the girl – and especially saleshunter – I am, I just had to buy some things, considering most things were down to 10€ each. Which was suppossed to take up 3 hours – at most – turned into 5 hours and some new pieces to wear. Actually I wanted to save some time so I could do some necessary grocery shopping for the upcoming holidays, just in case. Instead it got a little late, so 7eleven had to do, thankfully they had some nice 3minute-meals. When I got home I was eager to prepare some food, hadn’t eaten much that day. Half through all the preparing Agustin came into the kitchen and joined. We had some nice chat, ate together, enjoyed TV and drank some Mate-tea – the original argentinien way of course. Yuya-san came home a little bit tipsy sometime during the evening and we had our short little chat, before we all bid our good nights to each other. I went up to my room around 11PM got to bed to read and relax.
When I woke up the next morning I cleaned the room, doing some Osouji – the cleaning before New Year – and even rearrenged my room a bit. That night I had made an appointment with Eric, the birthdayguy from Gamuso the weekend before and when I finished cleaning my room it was already time for me to get ready and leave. He is an awesome guy (like everyone here). We met up at Asagaya railwaystation and he gave me the chance to choose our diningplace. – chinese, turkish or thai, and thai really sounded the best to me, so he took me to the best thairestaurant he knows, which happened to be only 50meters away. Sitting there 3 whole hours, we ate and discussed, I learned a lot about him e.g. that he’s lived in Tokyo for 26 years, he’s american but doesn’t feel at home at all in california, works as a synchro-voice for adverts and videogames and all this different, random, super interesting stuff. You already get what I mean when I talk about people being interesting and I don’t think there’s ever going to be an end to it – not for me at least. Anyways, I also learned many things from his experiences he has made during all those 26 years in Japan. It’s always helpful to get such advices, to get stories and experiences told, from people who actually know what they are talking about. Since everyone here around me is older, more mature and has seen a lot of things, it helps myself to develop, get a new perspektive to different kinds of things, though nearly everyone has thought of me as an already very mature person. To me, there are still things I know I have to fix, so I’ll take everything in I get offered. Either way, the food was so delicious and just perfectly hot! We had some meat (I’m a sucker for asian meat), some springrolls and a little bowl of cocosmilksoup. After those said 3 hours, we decided to leave for maybe karaoke. Just taking a quick round around Eric’s apartment we went for a near Karaokebar (there’s a difference between karaoke bar and karaokebox), but it was closed – it was sunday though – and a karaokebox with only 2 people isn’t as fun, so in the end we just went to gamuso. Who was there? Laura of course and some other people, too, but since it was sunday and the next day was New Year’s Eve I supposse everyone wanted to stay at home and relax before the big night. It was empty quite early, Laura left around 2AM and then we were only 3 left, Eric, me and the Bartender PV (don’t ask for his name, I’m not sure how to write it). We sat there for quite some time, just talking and telling jokes or funny stories, until I said I was hungry. Eric took that as an idea to go out for another hour or two, so we kinda ended up in a little restaurant just to steps around the corner and full with people – an that’s always the case, regardless of what time or day, at least Eric told me so and he frequents there. PV came about 15minutes later, since he still had to clean up the bar and close up. Coming back to my hunger, Eric had already ordered some more meat, actually it were tomatoes and lemongras wrapped in bacon and some meat filled with cheese and oh my, I could’ve died that moment I tried that, it was just so incredibly delicious. Somehow everything is, you just need to know what to pick. Accompanying the meal, we had a little glass of sake and that was hell’a interesting and cool. The glass was placed on a little plate, just fit for the glass, before pouring in the sake and the girl who poured us, didn’t stop so the glass was overflowing of sake and ran down into the small plate. Why? There’s actually an awesome but very simple reason behind it – You can drink more than the glass can keep. The most delicious midnight snack I’ve ever eaten, followed by something so interesting and typically japanese to learn about. Plainly an amazing night. The night lasted until 4:45AM before Eric, PV and I decided to leave. PV, took another way home so we two took a stroll for the conbini to buy some last things and then he brought me all the way home, while having a nice chat.Before I got to bed, it was already past 5:30AM and I originally wanted to get up early, doing some last Osouji and then visit the Shrine. Luckily I got up quite early, considering I got to bed this late.
The next morning I was up at about 12AM, got out of bed and put on clothes and make-up, to finally start my trip to the shrine. Tetsuo-san suggested me to visit the ‘Meiji Jingu Shrine’ which is the biggest shrine in whole Tokyo, located in a park between Yoyogi and Harajuku and it is freaking huge. Just as I was halfway through the park, I came to the second gate, where there were lots of people standing and watching something. When I came into view I saw what all the commotion was about as there were passing 20-30 people, all dressed in a special, traditional japanese looking outfit, I assume they were some kind of priests. Everyone that was watching them started following them after the last one had passed all the way to the shrine. When we arrived there, the priests were going on the right side under some sort of shelter to say their prayers and the crowd on the left side had to search for a place behind the people who were already there waiting for the priests to arrive. Then there was a small basin filled with water where people were suppossed to wash their hands with sacred water, though there was also a special way to wash yourself, first the left hand, then the right one and then pour some water into the right hand again to wash (or moisture) your mouth. After that I continued my way and tried to find a place to watch the ceremony with the priest, but there were so many people that it was hard to find a place for a little girl like me, so I headed on to the actual shrine. Going through the big, impressive gate I came to an open place where shrinevisitors were scattered, the majority though was standing in front of the shrines main building. There was a pond of plastic in front of it, where people threw in a coin and then prayed, also a very traditional ceremony here in Japan. I continued my way, stopped by a booth where they selled typical good-luck-charms for New Year’s and then went home again.
After coming I instantly started getting ready for the night, showering, putting on make up and then clothes – it was such a hassle. I left home a little late and somehow it got a little bit fucked up, because in the end I waited for around 2,5 hours to be picked up and stuff happened and here and there, but in the end everything went well. My friend Keigo picked me up in Shibuya, he took me to his friends who were sitting in a restaurant. We introduced each other and then I had a little meat and some drinks, before we went out on the streets to buy some more alcohol and celebrate the countdown with everyone else. On our way to the club, everyone a glass of sake or champagne in hand, I asked if there were any fireworks to see and my friends looked at me like I was a ghost. ‘What fireworks? There are no fireworks on New Year’s in Japan!’ and I looked just as stunned when they said that. So yeah, we stood in front of the club and suddenly everyone started screaming and applauding, we hugged each other and said our comgratulations before lining up once again, finishing the last bit of our alcohol. Luckily the bouncers were nice to me so they let me into the club where we partied until morning, drinking and drinking some more, before we decided to seek refuge in an apartment belonging to the others, but before that, we had to take purikura’s – my first purikura (japanese for ‘Picture’ are small pictures friends or couples usually take together, you can photoshop them directly after taking them).  We just stayed there, relaxing, sleeping, talking and so on until it was time to go home quite late in the evening. I came home around 1AM and just fell completely drained into my bed and slept until 3PM the next day. I did some laundry and relaxed the whole day, though I stayed up quite late.
On thursday though I slept until 3PM, too, feeling a little ill with a paining, throbbing throat. Sat in bed all day and worked on my computer until it was time for me to get ready, because Keigo wanted to take me out to eat ‘weird food’ and we actually did. We met up at 18:30 at the Subwaystation in Minami Asagaya and took the train to Yotsuya and back to Shinjuku (it was actually just to see something at the station in Yotsuya), where we first headed to a japanese restaurant, but that was closed. So Keigo brought me to Kabukicho (the dangerous part of Shinjuku, where there are three mafia’s reigning – chinese, korean and japanese), but it’s actually not that dangerous if you don’t get involved with persons there and it was good to learn about that and see it once so I’ll know that this part of Tokyo isn’t too good for me. Either way, there were like really cramped, small, narrow, dark and dirty alleyways, stuffed with restaurants and we went to one of those restaurants – a chinese one with a not so nice atmosphere, but we still took a seat and looked through the menu. We choose to eat some chinese style vegetables, a crab, some fried scorpions and pork brain. Yeah, right, pork brain and scorpions, but it tasted really good. The scorpions were crunchy, more like a little snack without a distinct taste, but good and the pork brain… I admit that I was kind of afraid of trying, just the fact to eat brain was a little scary, but when I tried it, it tasted delicious. I ate it together with some soysauce spring onions and a little bread and it was really good, just, my stomach turned over after most of it, the thought sinking in, but I still cleared all of it. We sat there and talked some more before we decided to leave and get something real into our tummys, so we went to the yakiniku place we passed by on our way to the chinese restaurant. I thought I was brought to heaven when I stepped into the place, everywhere were Kpop-posters hanging, a big TV screen displaying all kinds of Kpop-mv’s all night long, the food was awesome and the place was just wonderful. I want to go there sometime soon again, really. Anyways, we ate some yakiniku, which basically is description for grilling your meat yourself, so you order some kind of meat, chicken, beef or pork, and you get a portable grill, heated with coal, where you grill the meat yourself and it tastes amazing. The drinks were delicious, too, and everything was just so amazing about that places. Somehow 2 more hours passed until we were finished and we decided it was time to pay and leave, so we headed for the station that was about 7 minutes away and we each took the railwaytrain home. After coming home I went straight to bed, due to me being sick and I hadn’t actual felt that well that night, so I slept like a baby until 2pm the next day. I tried continueing this post and did some other stuff before getting ready for I had an appointment with Eric. We wanted to meet up for some really good sushi – and hell it was the best I’ve ever eaten. First we ordered some tuna and salmon nigiri with ginger and wasabi, then we got some fried squid with tasted awesome (because I normally don’t like squid that much) and the last we ate were some tuna-spring onion maki. It was pure heaven, too good to be true and definitely a place I’ll take my sister to when she comes here. Asagaya is a lovely place to live in, it serves you everything you want. Eric and me left the sushiplace to go for the karaokebar that was closed when we had our last meeting. It was actually pretty fun, of course it was awkward at first, singing in front of strangers with a shitty, sick voice at that, but as the evening grew old it grew quite funny, too. Later Izumi and her friend came, too, and so we sat there and had plenty of fun, bawled along to songs and drank our drinks. Somehow the evening had to end and I ended up at Eric’s apartment with a glass of wine in hand and some selfmade tortillas infront of me. We talked all night long, showed each other music and fell asleep along the lines. I left his apartment an hour after we had woken up and the view from his apartment was amazing, if the weather’s fine you can see the fujiyama behind lots of houses. Coming home I just went to my room, cleaned a bit and sat in front of the PC, so here I am now – finally finished.
I hope I can update faster than the last days in the future, it was probably just due to the free days I’ve had. I’m starting to work on monday again and then everything will take it’s old rhythm again. Take care~

See you soon~

credits for my header picture goes to Ben Beech, a photographer I got to know on New Year’s day in front of the club. He is one awesome photographer. The picture on top displays the view from Nakano (near Asagaya) to the Fujiyama.

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typical New Year’s decoration, kind of good luck/prayer sign

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Harajuku

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another New Year’s good luck charm

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my delicious midnight snack and the sake

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Eric, me and PV

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Front Gate to Meiji Jingu Shrine

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the Priests

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the sacred water to wash your hands

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the Shrine itself

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the Shrine itself

Purikura

Purikura

Purikura

Purikura

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fried scorpions

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pork brain with soysauce springonion

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the Yakiniku place

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left: raw horsemeat right: kimchi

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yakiniku

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tuna and salmon nigiri

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tuna and springonion maki

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Eric, Matti, me Izumi, Hyosuke and Daisuke at the karaokebar

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Tortillas

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Asagaya from Eric’s balkon

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Asagaya by night