Elias påstår att jag är killen med orange hår

this strip is just hilarious...

first readers mail, subject contributed by Anna

Making life hard for yourself: A beginners guide to setting yourself challenges.


Definition and interpretation.


Collected from dictionary.com:
-5. difficulty in a job or undertaking that is stimulating to one engaged in it.

A task has to be overcome, and you need to feel stimulated while at it. Check.


Background: Why do we challenge ourselves?


Some see the sport in challenges; others do it because they believe it necessary. The one thing they all have in common is that we do it because we want to. The whole business is optional, but still everybody does it.


As to why that is so one can only speculate. I personally believe that we do it because we can, because to us it's not desirable to be static. And to challenge oneself is a good way of being both busy and accomplishing something at the same time.  


Step one: Planning


It's good to at least once sit down and consider these following questions:


What kind of challenge are you interested in? Is it physical or psychological? Is there a race that you really want to win? Are you in pursuit of changing some part of your demeanor or personality?


Why are you challenging yourself? Are you challenging yourself for your own sake or because of someone else?


How are you going to accomplish the challenge? Do you have everything you need in terms of equipment? Are you motivated enough to actually put yourself through all this hardship?


When are you going to challenge yourself? Will you start today, or might it be better to await the weekend? Don't postpone it when there's no use, but don't rush into it either. There's a good time for everything: when's the good time for you and this?


Step two: Implementation


Set a goal. A goal for when you've reached it the challenged is considered accomplished. May it be a certain amount of kilos to be able to lift or the total stop of usage of swear words. Be sure to have a clear goal.


Ask for help. Swallow your pride: Alone you're strong, but with the help of others you can get even stronger. Make people partake in the challenge with you. Discuss your progress with friends and your mentor/trainer.  Make the challenge a part of your everyday life, not something that only gets a certain amount of attention. But mind you, don't overdo it, as with so much else the middle road is often the best one; not nothing, but not too much either.


Reward yourself. Once you've done it, congratz! You've done well and you should reward yourself accordingly. A step often overlooked by many, which is only for the bad. Remember that not all rewards are material; one day off might be reward enough as long as you're savoring it.  

  

Bottom line:

One cannot stress enough the fact that the first step (the planning) is the most important one in this process, and it's never a bad thing to actually sit down and write the answers to all the questions. A bothering process, but a very good one.


---


Compliment added by Olle:

When you are done setting a goal, you write down five outcomes, ranging from the worst imaginable to the best. It is also important to set a time for evaluation, you can pick any length of time you want, but prefferably something like ten weeks.

It looks like this:

When I will start:

How long untill evaluation:

Success
+2: Best anticipated success
+1: More than expected success
0: Expected level of success
-1: Less than expected success
-2: Most unfavorable outcome thought likely

Example:

I wanted to improve my dance technique, and realised that to do so I had to practice more. 

Startdate: Right after a big exam so I wouldn't feel stressed.

How long until evaluation: 10 weeks.

The five levels of success:

+2, I practice every day
+1, I practice five days every week
0, I practice atleast 3 days every week
-1, I practice less than three days every week
-2, I dont practice at all, at most one day each week.

During these ten weeks I would keep a diary where I wrote how I was doing. Importantly, every day I didn't reach my goal I would try to identify why I didn't and come up with a solution to how I would solve this the next time this situation came up. For example, Certain days I would go to school for eight hours, go straight to work and then be home at 8.30 pm. I'd be so exhausted that I couldnt muster the energy to dance. To solve this I got up half an hour earlier each morning. I tried that but it didn't work that well either, so instead I split up the training into two 15 min sessions and started doing one at lunch and one directly after school before work. This worked out really well.

The key is to identify the hindering factors and come up with realistic solutions. This takes practice, but don't be afraid to be honest with yourself. For example me getting up half an hour earlier each morning was simply not a realistic solution :) What I find nice about this technique is that it helps against the "all or nothing" mindset where one sets impossibly high goals and then stop all activity when these cannot be attained.

Marcus note:

What he said :)~


håll hårt i det positiva, min sssöte...

we started with kanji today. and fuck, it's hard...

yama (berg) was one of the 10 first we learned though, something I take great pride in! hah!

det börjar spåra ur här borta...

cleaning service sir, yes sir! been spending three hours in the kitchen today cleaning up all the mess. both Angelo and Elias joined my quest for a time too, which was really nice due to the company they provided.

we cleaned all the plates and put them in neat tiles, cleaned the workdesk (that's not a word, is it?), and cleaned out the fridge (where we found inverted Michael Jackson bananas (gone from white to black), eggs that expired late march 2008, and a couple of leeks who had taken root)

also, this conversation took place in the middle of it all:
Elias: "homosexuals are like Santa Claus; they don't really exist but at some time during your life you really believe they do."
Angelo: "and if you're nice they'll bring you 'gifts'..."

I mean; what do you do with room mates like that?

mästerkock pt2

okey, I just ate 350 grams of pasta with two eggs added for flavor.

I'm stuffed. literally.

week end

so there was the C-Jam Halloween party yesterday. mandatory odd outfit demanded as usual. a bit hard for me with the majority of my wardrobe home in sweden.

enter eyeliner pen.

black clothes combined with eyeliner gives quite the effect on me, and even more when you decide to do some handywork on your cheeks and forhead as well.

result:



soso, don't be harsh. rather okey considering the circumstances, but awfully underdressed compared to some others who attended the party.

did my best at least. can't blame me for not doin' that.

fun party all in all. very content I am I am.

:)

one of the best things hanging out with lind hoppers is the fact that that events starts sometime between six and seven, and never ends later than twelve, seldom later than eleven. yesterday was just so; 19:15 - 22:30, so I was home again about half past eleven.

I spent the upcoming hours together with Elias hanging out, doin' nothing in particular. one recountable episode during those hours was this one though:

Elias: *nynnar* "Livet har sina goda stunder..."
Me: "du, skulle inte det där fungera bra som en svanktatuering på en tjej?"
Elias: "..."
Me: "..."
Elias: "du är ju fan dum i huvudet."
Me: "um, är det bättre om man skriver 'Always look in the bright side of life'...?"
Elias: "eller 'Speak friend and enter'. fan, mackan..."
Me: "fast den passar väl bara på killar...?"
Elias: "menförihelvete mackan!"

we spent the upcoming five minutes or so crawling on the floor trying to regain or breaths, but failing miserably due to all the laughter. shit, long time since I made a ROFL, but yesterday I did.

we did, that is.

jag är inte bög, bara bögig

it's just been concluded: upon arrival all my room mates believed me to be gay. every one of them.

guess the surprise on their faces when I informed them that I most certainly am not. for the third time.

the best realization was Angelos. we're all sitting around a table talking about gayness in general when this interaction takes place:

me: "well, I'm 100 percent sure I'm not."
Angelo: "oh, it's so good to hear you say that. you know, I have a lot of gay friends, and they've all seemed a bit relieved right after they've come clean."
Angelos girl: "ahem, he said he's not..."
Angelo: "..." *pinsam tystnad* "oh... fuck... I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry!"
me: *laughing* "haha, no prob bro, no prob at all."

no prob. no prob at all...

pride goes before a fall

I hate it when I'm wrong, but fuck pride. here goes:

yesterday we went to an izikaya (free drink and free food, all you have to pay is the expensive entryfee). it was really nice, but expensive. and after that we went to karaoke.

yes. karaoke. trust me when I say that my scepticism had turned liquid by the time we entered the place.

but it was fun. might have been so because I was so drunk, or because they first put me in a room with total strangers (plus one of my teachers).

it worked out anyhow. I sang songs of Metallica, Zebrahead, Linkin Park, Lifehouse, to name a few, and it was enjoyable.

so that was my confession for the day. anyone else got something to treat?

mästerkock, javisst!

the exchange rate for 100 yen is 7,9 sek. it was 6,5 when I left sweden not even a month ago. it's expensive to be in tokyo, to say the least...

considering that I figured it would be more economicaly viable to cook my own food than to eat out (I'm a genius, I know), so I bought 2 kilos of rice yesterday.

today I realized that all the instructions for how to the cook rice are in japanese though, so I'm frickin' screwed! and noone's home except me, so I can't ask for help either. merde.

enter plan B.

...

oh, wait, there was no plan B. I was counting on that rice, damnit!

well, better scurry of and come up with a plan B... :(

laters

nej, tackar vet jag böcker

just watched the masterpiece ("so called -") The Seven Samurai. I can see that others love it, and I'm not surprised that people describe it as a masterpiece. but personally I wasn't that impressed. throughout it all I was just mostly annoyed with Mifune running around screaming his throat soar.

allright, I admit it: that's harsh, and probably not fair. opinion probably has more to do with fact that I'm not a big fan of movies as a whole than with the quality of the film itself.

let me put it this way: it definitely wasn't a waste of time (even though it was three hours long), but I probably won't sit myself down and rewatch it in a while...

I made Elias sit down and watch Paprika. now that's a movie of my taste. I need to get my hands on the book one day...

and while speaking of books: halfway through Pattern Recognition now. first book I've reread in a long while. it's that good.

dygnsrytm var aldrig mitt bästa ämne i skolan

shit. crapfuck. it's 4 am and I can't fall asleep. I've been trying for hours but nooo, sandman won't hear my prayers.

or maybe he wants to teach me something? something like 'don't get out of bed as late as 1 pm two days in a row, because it will totally ruin your pace of day'.

humm... oh, well. no, back towards my battle against my enrelentful wakefulness!

matsituationen på andra sidan jorden

for all of you who's been asking about the sushi :)



so there you have it. not the standard menu, but I'm still alive so I guess it can't be that bad...

dans är ett språk som alla förstår

just back from C-Jam where I hooked up with a nice swede named Karl. he even played a couple of songs in my honor (Trazan o Banarne ska för länge sedan ha släppt ett swingalbum som han spelade ett par låtar ifrån - fatta lol-varning!). I'm starting to feel like a part of the community by now, and it feels really nice.

the best thing though is the fact that whenever I ask a follower for a dance they tend to turn all smiles in the 'OMG he chose me'-kind of way. it feels really cool to be on such a level that you impress other dancers...

turned out that Karl was greatly impressed by my standard dip too, and asked my to teach it to him (which I did, of course). I felt like such a celebrity! ^^

also; do I love facebook sometimes? everybody's got it, so in many ways it's better (and more easy) to ask for peoples facebook than their mail (and in that way you get their name to - 2 for 1!).

so, first step towards building a network here in Tokyo achieved. yay me!

I'm so longing for next saturday, the next time I'll get to see them all...

en gång är ingen gång, två gånger är en vana

why did I never pursue a career as a tv-star or news anchor? this is real fun even when ur' not good at it!



have a nice weekend everybody!

blog goes videoblog!

allright, this is a test, and I relly hope it works out *fingers crossed*



sorry bout' the volume, but it's low from the recording process and will probably stay that way in later videos too.

it's in swedish too, for good and for bad.

plus plus plus likamed plus

what happens when you combine one good thing from a country with another?

well, you could get something like this:



Hello Kitty is popular, really popular. or so I've heard, at least.

Pocky is the coolest candy I've run into so far here in Tokyo. it's a piece of kex covered with chocolate (in this case strawberry flavoured chocolate, yum!). seriously, it's as basic as that!

real sweet, and a real treat, I tell you.

;)

vi är allt ena' bekväma jävlar

our water heater broke a couple of days back and they are coming here to fix it today - for several days I've been forced to take cold showers! really annoying, but manageable. nothing like when the router collapsed every once in a while.

yes, you heard it right: I can live without hot water taking cold showers for several days without complaining (okey, without screaming out my complains, at least), but the second my internet connection goes kaputt I'm the Hellhound reborn - it's not acceptable!

trapped in the computer age? you bet. go ahead, laugh, but there's reason to it too: there are very few situations in a day when I really need hot water. and when I haven't got it it's inconvenient, but not worse than that. webconnection though is a totally different thing - the net is my connection to the world, what I use to get in contact with anyone apart from Elias who lives just next door.

I've been thinking of it; when I go to a new place the only thing I'm really demanding of it is electrivity and a stable internet connectiion - what is important to you whenever you go somewhere? what can't you be without? it's a rather interesting question with sometimes not so funny answers...

anyone got a good pun on 'pink dress'?

the most boring part about writing a blog is that it's a monologue.

right. I love monologues. everyone who's ever had a discussion with me knows that.

but it's only fun for a while!

several of you have urged me to keep writing whenever my pace of writing has sloved down. but the best way to make me write more is to make me write, to inspire me, not only to cheer me on. cheering is really appreciated, it makes me happy, but it doesn't give me any motivation.

if you want me to write more then please post more comments! not every time, but at least once in a while. tell me your views on my views, on my adventures. tell me if you want more detail, if you want me to cover something special. make this blog a dialogue instead of the boring monologue it is today!

we could also put it this way: me being here is rather unique, and I'm not sure how many of you that'll go here in coming couple of years - let me be your eyes to the world! ask questions! be inquisitive!

please? :)

all the small things

the cars are driving on the left side of the street, when riding a stairway people stand on the left side (making people that wants to walk past them to do so on the right side), the legal age for alcohol and cigarettes is 20, there aren't any jam (but there's sweet bean pasta), you sleep on the floor, people waving you to follow them with their palm down (the same we use for 'shoosh, go away'), you push the watertap downwards when you tap for water, the traintracks are above streetlevel, fast food restaurants having their menus lying on the bench where you order so you only have to point at your intended meal and nod, it's okay to smoke in bars and restaurants, drinking while dancing lindy, no garbage cans anywhere (but it's still disturbingly clean!), designated places where it's okay to smoke in the street, people crossing their arms in front them in an X shape as an added gesture when they say no, loud happy music in all supermarkets, no pizza nor kebab nor real hamburgers, no people talking in their cellphones (they just text each other), the absence of spoons, forks and knives.

it's not much, but it's enough. it's a mirrorworld in every possible way - single out a single difference and it won't make a difference, but do it all at once and... yeah. but you buy the whole package - guess that's why they call it culture differences, I guess.

field trip to Tokyo Game Show - nah, not really

up 6:30 (Christ, that's early...), shower, noodle breakfast, headed for Tokyo station to meet Wish at 8:00. check.

we swap'ed line and headed for Kaihin Makuhari station arriving at 09:20. before getting there we were a bit afraid that it would be hard to find our way from the overground to the site, but it turned out to be really easy as there were a lot of staff showing the way.



right. 9:20 and the mess hall opening at 10:00 and almost no people visible at the site. shit, at tad early we figured and headed for McDonalds to grab some breakfast for Elias and Wish.

in retrospect a bad idea.

...

once they were done with their food (at 10:05, or something like that) the line of people waiting to enter the show had grown quite a lot.



the line was frickin' four- or fivehundred meters, and I'm not kidding. I'm glad I've been to my share of rock conserts, that helped out during the half hour (or maybe 40 minutes) we had to stand in the line.

so! eleven o'clock and we finally get to enter the Tokyo Game Show! having our yummy share of everything that there was to offer. this 20 feet poster, for instance:



some of my highlights
*I bought a Kirby plushie.
*there will be three Final Fantasy XIII, everyone of them looking really cool in their own way. I'm most exhilarated about FFXIII Versus though.
*the Biohazard 5 (a.k.a. Resident Evil 5) trailer was out of this world. I sooo wish that I'll have the guts to play it through.
*there was a two hour line in the Square Enix store.
*the Last Remnant trailer almost made me want to try out RPG again. I hope they realease a book with the story.
*they were demo'ing a new card game that circles around anime movies and games, seemed to be better artwork than game mechanics though. but it was all in japanese, so I didn't stand a chance of understanding anything anyway.
*Chrono Trigger for DS will be released in a little more than a month. in japanese, though =/
*mmm, Bayonetta.
*there weren't any trailers for either Dissidia Final Fantasy or any of the new Kingdom Hearts games :(
*I did not dare to watch the trailer for Silent Hill Homecoming.
*I fell in love with the Square Enix music store - I serously want to buy all their CDs. but I figured I could do that another day when I've done some more budgeting...
*Metal Gear Solid online looked... solid.
*I misread the name Demon Chain as Demon Chan, which gave it a slightly different meaning...
*there was a store that only sells covers for your gaming hardware, billions and billions of alternatives for every machine.
*and all the cute girls, cosplaying and othervise. girls might not play as much as boys, but all the asian girls doin' so are damn cute.



Square Enix was far superior to the rest, as always, and EA didn't deliver anything of interest (Need For Speed Undercover? think I'll skip that. not even a tiny trailer for Mirrors Edge either, the only game that I'm looking forward to from them). really good experience all over though :)

so here's my Tokyo Game Show experience all gathered up in one photo:



and that's all folks! wish you were here with me to share this experience!

up for it?

I laughed so much that I got a stomach ache.

this night has been so fucked up. I've spent it lying on the floor of Elias room talking sooo much bullshit. guess you have to do that once in a while. and it all ended with me updating xkcd and finding this comic... aw, man.

sorry, Lass, but the 'early bed' plans went askew. but so was not intended when I wrote the mail - promise!

celebration celebration

this is my 300d blog post. I probably should use this opportunity looking through the last 99 updates (201 and forth, obv) and express my opinion on them (how well they are written, how good's the content, and so on and so on) like Mike Rosewater.

or maybe not :)

new course, new classmates, new teacher - the ordinary

first day at school today, and it was rather intense. Yoshida, the teacher we'll be having on mondays, wednesdays and fridays was really nice. and rather cute too (Elias won't agree with me on that, though).

the tempo is high. almost frighteningly high, to be honest, but I won't distress! I'll just have to get up a bit more early tomorrow morning to do some repitition - being a good student.

my neck and shoulders are still stiff as hell after me spending to much time by the computer monday night. it'll hopefully be better tomorrow. I was to soar to bother yesterday (that's why you didn't get an update then (wasn't anything to give you an update on anyway)), but I'm working my way back, step by step.

so, yeah, hope I'm better tomorrow. see you then!

ps. a little bird whispered in my ear that Tokyo Game Show kicks the gears this weekend - guess where I'll spend my saturday and sunday...

that's no station

in the general 'tourist guide to japan' you'll probably see the line: "japanese people are very helpful." they should have added "...or try to be, at least."

the other day me and Elias took the overground (thanks Zwork) to Wishs place. prob was that I'd never been there, and Elias has never been a pro on remembering routes. I knew this much: we had to take the train somwhere not to far away, and then swap line and go for another quarter of an hour (more or less).

we found ourselves standing by the gates of Ueno station trying to get anything out of the map I'd brought by chance. we'd just come to the point where Elias was explaining to me that we were heading for Ushigome Yanagicho (which lies on the Oedo line. Nishi Nippori (where we live) and Ueno lies on Yamanote line) when an elderly japanese man walked up to us with the greeting "hi there, speak little english, where you go?". (remember to emphasize the japanese dialect)

both stunned, Elias reclaimed his bearings the fastest and answered "konichiwa! we go Ushigo..."
- "oh, you know japanese."
- "um, chotto..."
- "how you say hi?"
- "konichiwa."
- "thank you?"
- "arigato."
- "iie! arigato gosaimasu!"
- "um, sumimasen..."
- "so where you go?"
- "Ushigome Yanaguchi."
- "no, which station you go?"
- "Ushigome Yanaguchi!"
- "there's no such station."
- "yes, there is. look at the map."
- (ignoring the map) "you ask gatekeeper?"
- "he no speak english."
and then the old man shuffled away to the man in the gate with Elias closely behind. turned out that neither the gatewarden had ever heard of Ushigome Yanaguchi. wtf?
we said our good byes to the helpful man *host, harkel* well, good intentions, anyway...

so, back to square one. Elias was just about to go into another guessing spree on where to go when I halted him and forced him to give me all the information (Nishi Nippori --> Uchigome Yanaguchi. goal; find intersection between Oedo line (purple) and Yamanote line (grey and white, the line that goes in a circle). we had close look at the map below and...



...we were at the wrong station! there's no intersection between Oedo and Yamanote at Ueno! the intersection is at a adjecent station: Ueno Okachimachi. great...

from then on it went rather smoothly, but ended up being a good 30 minutes late. much thanks to the 10+ minutes talk the old man had with Elias, which in the end didn't help us out at all - only made us more confused.

it's a good story though.


meet Wendy, the latest addition to the Tokyo apartment

today we went to Akihabara again. there you can find this rather enormous shopping mall:



think Åhlens City, but seven floors (how many are there at Åhlens? four? five?), twice as wide, and only selling technical stuff like computers, cameras, TVs, videogames, MP3 players, CDs and the like.

one of the things I'd promised myself before I went here was to buy a new MP3 player. prob is; I'm no good at this stuff, and asking Elias for advice was like asking a twelve year old which taste is the best - vanilla or chocolate? guess I'm no better when a friend asks me which console to buy... oh, well.

after some pondering back and forth I (we) came to the conclusion that either iPod Nano or Sony NW-S630F was the way to go. but the Sony is yet to be released (this weekend), and so I figured it would be good to wait and decide when it's out. but what to do in the meantime? I really needed some music to back up my weekdays.

Enter iPod Shuffle.

1GB of iPod shuffler cost me 5800yen - that's just above 300kr. fair deal in the waiting. and so this little cutie acompanied me home:



yes, pink. it's so small it's more of a fashion detail than a fashion statement. it also feels a lot more exclusive to have a colored one than to have a white one. and pink's the best color of the bunch - the others are just bleak copies, imo.

and why not go all the way? her name is Wendy Chan. a name which translates nicely into "cute little Wendy". I think that's rather suitable.

I've spent several hours this evening tinkering with her, and she's finally up and running. and My God, ain't it nice to have a functioning MP3 player again!

Tokyo by picture

welcome to Sakura House Nishi Nippori, with less than a five minute walk to the station and a lot of good stores within walking range (McDonalds, 7Eleven, a liquor store, a 99Yen store - everything you need, haha). take the elevator to the 7th floor and you'll be at the apartment that I share with seven others.



this is my room. I don't think that it is standard to have the bed out 24/7 (you're supposed roll it and put it into the closet during day), but I'm to lazy to really care. I've got a small desk too, but apart from that it's just storage space.









what makes my room unique is the fact that I have a private balcony, from which I have to admit that I have a pretty good view. one negative thing about the room though is the fact that it lies directly above a railway track, and it really sounds a lot when a train passes. but I'm already starting to get used to it, so it's cool.



one thing that you see a lot of in Tokyo are all these automats. they're everywhere! they're a bit more expensive than if you would by a drink in a store somewhere, but it's still cheap. cans of 0,5 liters of Coke cost 130yen, which is more or less 8,5kr - a rather fine deal to me! you also skip the incinvenience of "talking" to the store presonnel, and that's rather nice as I don't know any japanese yet...



and for last, the best thing about Japan so far: the super-duper-munchy-warm-bun (that I just named "super-duper-munchy-warm-bun" because I have no clue what they're called). I don't know how to describe them... they have the size of my closed fist and are made out of some sort of soft dough. but they are not only dough, they're filled either something looking like meatsauce (eller vad heter köttfärssås??) or a very sweet tasting soya paste (and when I say very, I mean very...) - those are the two kinds I've tasted so far, but from what I've come to understand there are several other types of fillings that I'll be able to try out in the future. I really look forward to it. also, they aren't even expensive. the most expensive ones costs 135yen, which is equivalent of 9kr, and that's a really good deal! yum!



look at them. aren't they cute? makes you want to pat them ;)

the day I became an international dancer

1. go abroad

2. go to a dance studio

3. dance with the people there

and that's what I did. so now I'm an international dancer, baby!

---

um, sry, guess I should start from the beginning. a friend of mine once cleared the checklist above and one of the guys she danced with got overjoyed with the fact that he was dancing with an 'international dancer'. it turned out that 'going abroad to dance' and 'dancing while abroad' meant the same to the man, and he figured that he was dancing with a real pro while dancing to my friend. not wanting to ruin the illusion my friend stayed quite about that fact she really wasn't a pro - good perhaps, but not a pro. she took great pride in the compliments though, as anyone should. smart girl.

since that day I heard the story, becoming an international dancer has been on my checklist of 'things to do before I settle down and lead a quite life'. and now I am.

but I guess I should tell you the story about it. it all started this "morning" (1 pm can't seriously be called morning, but we still hadn't had breakfast...) when Wish and Elias talked me into walking to Akihabara instead of taking the tube (that really can't be called either tunnelbana, tube or subway as the railtracks go above ground - can anyone of you come up with a good name for it for me?).

I don't know how long it's to Akihabara, but it's a couple of kilometers at the least. we plotted a route over breakfast (at McDonalds. please yell at me for it.) which was almost straight but as we walked turned out anything but straight. but I'm not complaining! I got a lot of practice in reading the map of Tokyo and we got to see a lot of streetlife - the real Tokyo. and I must say that it's a lot like I pictured the middle east, and not in any way as I pictured eastern asia. fail.

but it was nice, it really really was. all these open market stalls covering the road edges, selling food and other ''good stuff'". it was cool. it all felt so genuine. the spirit in the air was so good.

after walking through the off-streets of Tokyo for a long while (part to the fact that we zig-zag'ed our way forward, part to the fact that Elias had this extreme hangover (almost that renown hangunder I've talked about, but not really)) we got to Ueno Park were there turned out to be a music festival in celebration for Tokyo being one of the nominated hosting cities for one of the forthcoming olympics (I'm not sure which though...).

first we listened to Aica (a pop musician), and we were all impressed (she doesn't look much to the world, honestly). Elias even was so impressed that he bought her CD after the concert - that's some credit! after Aica a eleven girls strong brass band entered the stage and more or less blew the audience away with their caravan'esqe music (I they only played covers, typical caravan-songs). their band name was something like 'Tokyo Brass Band', but i can't be sure as it was written in japanese. *sigh*

music makes you hungry (and don't tell me you didn't know that...), and thus we needed some... *humm... second meal of day... yeah, that should be lunch!* ...and thus we needed to get some lunch. at 5:30 pm (don't look at me like that!).

we walked into Akihabara and went to a sushi restaurant for the first time since we got here (four days. that pretty good at least.) it was one of those restaurants with mechanized tracks where the chef puts small plates (with two pieces of sushi each) on the tracks and you as a costumer pick up the plates that you want to eat. and when you're done they count then number of plates you've picked up and you pay for them. the system's really cool and it works out really great. and I can tell you; it so fun! I'm definitely heading back to this restaurant again. (and only part because of the fun way of aquireing your food, but also because the Tofu-sushi was sooo good).

after lunch (at 6 pm, that is) I left the other guys and headed for Shibuya where there were social dancing scheduled in a small jazz bar. when i got there I came to understand that they were empathizing the 'small' in 'small jazz bar'. annoying. and it was crowded too. double annoying. three hours later I felt done and spent (I'd just danced through a song suited for balboa or charlston. stupid idea, but fun.) and headed for home.

and that's how I became an international dancer. I really haven't seen enough of the scene of Tokyo to pass out judgement just yet, but my first impression is that they love the two handed hold in open position (probably because it gives them good control over their surroundings - it was really crowded, as I pointed out earlier) and that they aren't pushing for that static kind of contact that I like so much. but I'll dance with them again next saturday, and after that I'll probably have a far more accurate picture of it all.

and yeah, I really should have taken some pictures for this upload - but it's late and I have to borrow Elias camera, but he's asleep right now...  sorry! tomorrow!

drinking problems

we've spend the day walking and taking the subway/tube/tunnelbana to various locations (the swedish embassy, our school, and the like), just to get a hang of the town. really nothing much to say about that.

this evening though some of the other residents of our shared apartment threw a welcome party for us. I always thought it an exaggeration that swedes are better at drinking than others, but after tonight I'm not so sure... most of the participants got really wasted, and weather it was because we swedes dictated the pattern of consumption or for any other reason I don't know. but, well, y'know. it doesn't seem illogical to me...

I wonder what it will be to drink with them in the future.

anyhow. they seem to be really nice the whole bunch of em', and they've all lived here for quite a while so they know a lot of good-to-know stuff, which's rather handy.

and that'll sort of have to do for today. I'll be back when I've got those pictures for you...

ps. for the record: me and Wish will probably be the only ones without a hangover tomorrow, and I guess that has to count for something.

am to pm, pm to am, or not at all?

I couldn't get much sleep last night. I was just lying there in my bed...

CUT! did I just say bed? sorry. I meant 1,5 inch thick matress. now, pray tell continue.

um, right. all of you probably knew that they don't have beds here. but believe my words: it's not the same to have read something and to have experienced the same very thing. it's no prob sleeping on the floor. but 1,5 inches?! that's not much, seriously.

so now it's 1-1 between good nights and bad nights. we'll see tomorrow who's taken the lead by then.

and now I'm going to wake Elias up (my turn today), laters!

not the best of days in many ways

ARGH! the router is sort of unstable (read: broken) and is not working properly (i.e. not at all). It hasn’t been doing so all afternoon, and I’m starting to get real pissed at this... I can live with a lot of shit, but the lack of ability to connect to the internet puts me on edge.

anyhow! this night I've slept for a dozen hours (read 13) and then got ripped out of bed by Elias who informed me that he (and thus me too) had overslept and needed to hurry to meet up with Wish. we arrived at the meetingplace one minute late (Elias is proud to point out that it was precisely one minute) to find it totally empty (totally empty of Wish, that is. the Japanese were all over the place - surprise?).

so, no Wish. what to do? grabbing some breakfast seamed reasonable, so we did just that. (the deal with Wish was that we were supposed to meet up at the location by the turning of the hour, doing so every hour until we met up (the reason for this: none of us has any cels yet, and thus we need to adapt more traditional methods to meet up.) breakfast at KFC was "fingerlickin' good" and took up most of the hour, so afterwards we just headed back to the meeting place. no Wish present this time either. drats.

I convinced Elias that if he hadn't showed up for either 2pm or 3pm, he probably wouldn't show up at all, and thus we went home again (and discovered, to my despair, that the net wasn't working...). I couldn't come up with anything productive to do, so I promtly went back to sleep (I blame the jetlag as I can't come up any other reasonable explanations (btw, ain't it funny that you can get away with more or less anything while being jetlagged?)) two hours later Elias woke me up again and informed me of his opinion that dinner would now be apropriate. I did neither argue nor decline. dinner sounded fine.

so, dinner at... at... whatever the name of the place is (heck, I don't know any japanese yet! what do you expect of me?!) we went there yesterday, and it was pretty neat so we figured it would be nice to pay them a second visit. I'm saying 'them' as the little restaurant is managed by a cute old japanese couple who doesn't understand a word of english but still tries their best to give us the best service possible. I like that.

what more? 7eleven is certainly not the same here as in sweden (no surprise, yet again). they sell small cans of beer (175ml) and these cool buns that they eat in every anime (the one with some kind of meat in them). they even sell t-shirts in plastic bags and single pieces of sushi!

I'll probably (hopefully) buy a digital camera tomorrow, and then you'll get some pictures too!

until then, take care

a first glance at Tokyo pt1

Pattern Recognition is a cool book. good story, normal amount of action, and a really interesting protagonist. Cayce Pollard is a sensitive, a coolhunter. a freelance walking the streets constantly analyzing what's in and what's out.

I tried looking at the world through Cayce's eyes when I stepped out of the Shinyuku subway station today, and it all looked a bit different, really. it's all really quite interesting. read Pattern Recognition and you'll know what I talk about.

there's another type of stress here that is totally different from Sthlm, but there's also another sort of calm, deliberation. it's really soothing.

I rent a room in a guesthouse in Nishin Nippori, and it's in the north of the central parts of town (from what I've come to understand, that is). a guesthouse is more or less a house built on top of an existing building, and thus I live on the 7th floor and have a really good view from my balcony (and yes, I'll share a picture whenever I get my hands on a decent camera).

also, I had a burger at McDonalds, a Mega Mac (think Big Mac with 4 pieces of meat instead of 2), and it tasted really good. thing is; McDonalds is in no way the same here as in Sweden - the quality of the food is better in any way. I'll probably even eat there again - I'm that impressed!

give you the rest of it tomorrow!

Tokyo by London in retrospective

First; that movie's name is The Forbidden Kingdom, not The Forgotten Kingdom. sry bout' that.

Second, it feels rather annoying to know that we took a flight to London to take a flight to Tokyo, a flight that flew over Sthlm taking us back the way we came! I can really see why they did it the way they did, but still. a lot of flying back and forth for me and my friends -_-

I never really got anything to eat until 6pm local time - that's a lot of hours with bad and/or no food at all to work on. But what are you going to do about it if time is of the essence?

Guess I'll update this post if I come up with anything else. but for nw it'll have to do.

Tokyo by London

This will be a rather long (and problably boring) post covering the trip Sthlm-->Tokyo. As said, it’ll probably be boring. You’ve been warned :)

17:40, swedish time.
so, the plane just left Heathrow. First part of the trip; Arlanda-London went by without incident. Guess I can expect the same for the rest of the trip. I’m traveling by british airways, and I have no complains here (so far, haha).

17:45
Yay, they just delivered drinks, and nuts! Yum ^^

21:05
Right now we’re flying over northern Russia. We’ve had dinner (some really tasty chicken with rice (och broccoli! Jag har ätit broccoli och tyckt om det! Säg inget till mamma!)) and I’ve watched to films so far. The first was The Forgotten Kingdom, and I didn’t like it at all. The second was Kung Fu Panda, and that one was really entertaining! Next up is some sleep (the cabin lights are off and there’s not much light outside (northern Russia about 9pm? Light? Don’t think so.) and after that I’ll probably dine on Sex And the City The Movie.
Oh, a good quote from Forgotten Kingdom: ”While doing something important, don’t forget to breath.” And two good ones from Kung Fu Panda: ”There is no secret ingredient, all you have to do is believe.” and ”Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That’s why they call it the present.”
A lady walked up to me asking what I was doing with my computer, and I told her that I was ’writing for my web-blog’. The followup question went like: ”what? You can do that here?” well, I wish. But I guess that both you and me will have to content with me writing in Word and later uploading it all att once. Laters.

00:21
Right now I’m passing over the Paton Plateau between China and Russia. The clock is 07:21 at my destination; they are just getting out of bed, just like me (or is it me getting out of bed, just like them?). I’ve got almost 4 hours left of flight and I’m starting to get a bit tired of this... The service is really great, but man is it boring sitting in one place for 10 hours in a row?!
Another annoying thing is the fact that I’ve got such a limited battery time on my laptop! It don’t own a mp3 player, and thus the only time I’m able to listen to music is during these writing brakes (which are occational, as you might’ve noticed by the time references in this blogpost). And on top of all of this I’m thirsty...
Well, guess I’m just a bit grumpy (I give you Calle, it’s a really suiting adjective for me at times) waking up and all (wasn’t the best of sleeps – surprised?). I’ll try to cheer up a little for the next update :)

01:05
I’m a bit more awake now.
I’m just done filling in my regislation papers, passing another plateau (the Aldan Plateau) at a ground speed of 900 km per hour. It’s -60 C outside and the windows has layers of ice on them – I never new it was so cold up here! Another proof that you learn something new every day.

05:55
A lot of things happened at once towards the end of the trip; I was at the end of the Sex and the City movie when they asked me to fill in a survey (top grades to them!), and even before I had the time to finish the movie they turned if off for me, blaming the fact that we were approaching the airport and that we needed to fasten our seatbelts a all the rest of the stuff you need to do when preparing for landing.
We got off and went through passport control, following it up by picking up our luggage delivered to us without any mishaps (thank God), and then we went through the ’interview’, which really wasn’t an interview at all (and I guess I should be happy about that, as I’ve been a bit nervous about that one (I mean; interviews are never fun, right?)).

06:15
We went and bought travel cards (for train) and collected some coffee at Starbucks (first time I’m buying there, and it tastes really good!). and yes, Sofia, I’m going to buy you that Starbucks cup once I get to Tokyo :)
Right now I’m sitting on the train that will take me to Shinjuku, Tokyo. It’s really nice.

My battery is dying out, so this is probably the last update coverign ’the trip’, but you’ll hear from me soon enough :)

Laters!

Love, M

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