en gång, alltid

*drool*

wholesale on time anywhere? I'd sure like some, haha

oh, yeah, and I'm home from London now. arrived by train almost a week ago.

since then I've both managed to catch a cold and started school, and in between trying manage everything else that you're supposed to take care of in the thing called life. (sometimes I wish that thing would just give me a break, but it just keeps on rolling...)

I'm also working on a rather big post covering London. halfway through my stay in the isles I realized that I surely wouldn't get more time to write than I'd had in the first half, so I just postponed the whole thing instead. when it's coming up though, I'm not sure. as soon as possible, I hope.

Tokyo i 34 foton, allt packeterat som en liten saga

And so's the trip to Tokyo been converted into a story too.

Enjoy!

The last ten days of Tokyo

Last time I updated on Tokyo it was early Friday morning; I had slept a good night’s sleep and was preparing to go to school to pick up my grades and later to perform on the school party.

 

And I did all of that to: The test went well and I passed (よかった!). It turned out that I’d done best in conversation and worse in listening. The latter sort of anticipated but the former a total surprise. A positive surprise, for sure, but a surprise nonetheless.

 

After school I went for a quick ramen dinner with my two dance mates (mental preparation) and then went back to school for rehearsal. And after that we were just up for waiting, as show time was not due to start for another hour.

 

Tick tock, tick tock…

 

Enter performance everybody were a bit nervous, but it worked out really great. It was really fun and it all felt a bit sad when it was done, as two weeks of hard practice was over in just a couple of minutes of performance… I would have been very nice if we’d been able to give it another go later in the night, but unfortunately that was not so.

 

 

The performance is obviously not perfect and would probably make any real popping dancer hang his head in shame, but it’s a honest try and we did our best. That’s all there should need to be.

 

The rest of the party was nice to. I talked to a lot of nice people and overall had the hell of a time. I even got the chance to give Yoshida sensei (吉田先生) a Christmas gift! :D

 

After the party I hooked up with Todd san and a friend of his named Jessica. She took us to a small rock bar in Shinjuku in which we socialized up until the inevitable time where you have to decide whether to go home or stay out all night. We chose the latter and thus moved on to a British-esque pub (the rock bar decided it would be wise to close for the night, so there was not much to do about that).




There really isn’t much to say about the hours that ensued. Good company, good drinks and interesting discussions - I had a good time.

 

Catching one of the first trains in the morning I came home by the time the sun had begun to rise, crawling into bed at 7am-ish.

 

And crawling out again at noon, sleepy as [insert random swear word]. I spent the afternoon cooking, doing laundry and cleaning my room. (vuxenpoäng, I know!)

 

At 6pm I met up with Todd san again and we went to a Kobe beef restaurant in Akasaka, Roppongi. Kobe beef is said to be one of the finest kinds of meat that there is. Read more about it here. I’m not that good at food, but I think that it’s the best meat I’ve ever eaten, every category.

 

We talked a lot too. (What else do you do at dinner apart from eating and talking? Flirting wasn’t on the map, obv.) There are people who talk, and people who rather stay quite. Out of the first category there are those who just talk bullshit for countless hours, and then there’s those who just has so much interesting things to say. It just never stops.

 

Todd san is like that.

 

What I remember most clearly was when he told me about the four social levels. I was sort of on to it in this post, but not pinpoint. The four levels are the individual, the group, the state and the world. And then he told me about the difference between being kind and being nice, which was something I’ve never thought about before. Maybe I’ll write a whole post on any of these to subjects, but that’ll be later. In the meantime, if you’re interested, I and tell you all about it over a coffee when I come home again.

 

After dinner with Todd san I went for a quick coffee with Momo chan in Harajuku. When the café closed we decided to walk to Shibuya, where we dropped into one of those gigantic record- and movie shops that are almost everywhere in Tokyo (another major reason to love the town, if you ask me). For the second time in the same weekend the time for the last train approached but this time it was decided to take the train.

 

There really are certain upsides to come home at 1am instead 6am. Just sayin’.

 

Sunday morning (read: 1pm) I met up with Momo at her place and we had lunch together. And what a lunch that was:

 

 おいしよ!

 

The word sugarshock does come to mind, but I’ve never been one to complain about something as trivial as that (diabetes, I am ignoring you, after all).

 

Later in the evening we went for C-Jam. My last C-Jam, that is. My, am I going to miss this bunch of people?!

 

Big love to all the lindy hoppers of Tokyo <3


There’s no need to say that I had a really good time. And they even held a goodbye jam for me and Jeehye!

 

After the dancing we went to the standard izikaya and grabbed some food. Had a real good time as always, and for a while I even forgot about the fact that it was my last time seeing these guys for a long while…

 

 

After the izikaya I joined Momo home to her place, and got a good night’s sleep. Not so many hours, but we both slept well, so well that I had to convince her that work really was a sensible idea, Monday morning :P

 

I went home to find Elias san and Peter san residing in our living room doing nothing in particular apart from having a good time and so decided to join them – why not take on the role of the soffpotatis when you’re given the chance, eh?

 

I met up Momo when she finished work and we went for dinner. One of those ‘we serve you raw materials and you prepare the food yourself’ kind of restaurants – always as fun! After dinner we went to her place and headed for bed almost directly, intending on getting a lot of sleep for the next day - which we got, waking up at 11am the day after.

 

Now Christmas is not the same in Japan as it is in the west. You’re working full day both the 24th and 25th, but this year there was a national holiday on the 23rd so we decided to spend this whole day together (Hey, in lack of family why not pick one of your best friends on the scene? Logic enough to me at least).

 

Not that we didn’t do much. Grabbed some food, watched to movie The Devil Wears Prada, grabbed some more food, and so on – having one of those cool, soft, battery recharging kind of days that you need to have from time to time.

 

When I got home to my place in the evening it was late enough in the night for my brother to have gone online home in Sweden (it’s eight hours difference, after all), so we hooked up on a videolink and had a nice chat – wishing each other Merry Christmas and all that (in Tokyo it was the 24th, after all). Mum and dad were away to some party though so I sort of missed them which were a tad sad.

 

Enter Christmas eve:

 

Woke up and got out of bed and made breakfast for me and Elias san. We then went to school to pick up some stuff for him. Well there we ran into Yoshida Sensei (which really wasn’t a surprise, but made me very glad anyway). We had a long, nice talk me and her as we waited for Elias to finish. I’m sure going to miss her a lot.

 

After the visit at school we went to Shinjuku and walked to the Square Enix Branch Store where I bought a stuffed Tonberry and a stuffed Cactuar (pic later) and some other stuff.

 

Home for a quick change of clothes and then of to Roppongi to meet up with Momo and grab some dinner – ramen today and man was it good. It’s very nice to eat out with Momo as she’s native so that I don’t have to be nervous about whether they’ll understand my request or not and stuff like that. Instead I let her do all the talking and just listen, and for every time we went out I sort of felt that I started to understand more and more – good sign as listening was where I failed the biggest in the exams in school, haha.


After dinner we walked through Roppongi, admiring The Illumination (that’s what they call it!) – figure a whole block where all the trees and bushes are full with light like this:

きれい

 

I’m not sure that this all gave me that ’Christmas feeling’, but it sure made me relaxed and calm (and isn’t that equivalent?) .  We then went home to her place and sat around just talking for a couple of hours before going to sleep, somewhere in the middle exchanging gifts.

 

Definitely not the most Christmassy of Christmases, but a damn good one nonetheless. And most important of all: A way of celebrating Christmas that I personally felt in tune with, that suits me. As in comparison to the western hoola-bandoola that’s called Christmas nowadays…

 

A note worth adding here is that everybody in my family are embarrassingly aware of my dislike of western Christmas and it can be said in their favor that they are every year doing everything within their power to make it as good as possible for everybody involved – but you can only reach a certain level through hard work, right? Just wanted to give a heads up – I love my family for trying so hard.

 

I didn’t sleep that well the night to the 25th; I dreamt three nightmares and getting out of bed Thursday morning was just a pain – but gotta’ do watcha’ gotta’ do, right? On my way home I for the first time witnessed something as typically japanese as this: 

 

 

It was one of those things that people had told me about before I went here: trains being so crowded that trainstaff litterally has to push people into them. This picture is proof that it obviously happens, but as it took me three months to come across it I figure it's not as common as people first led me to believe.Typical piece of japanese culture anyway.

 

Back home I was once again met by Elias san and Peter san, and I more or less didn’t have time to get past the threshold before they dragged me to McDonalds for some brunch. One Half Pounder (that is: Double Quarter Pounder Cheese) and a Big Mac later (you heard it right: no fries, no drink, just burgers) one of us came up with the idea to make a burger monster (I think it was me, but I can’t remember for sure…)

 

バーガーモンスター

 

After brunch we took the overground (once again thank you Zwork) to Harajuku where we did some window shopping. Or at least I and Elias san did – in one of the stores we found a coat that fit just perfect on Peter san. And thus he turned from window shopper into actual shopper, but for what a reason!

 

And you've just gotta' love this pose...

 

Once home again I met up with Eriko san and we had dinner together with Elias san (a main course of chicken and rice and some pancakes for both appetizer and dessert). After dinner Elias san left the two of us and we just sat around talking for a couple of hours.

 

One of the more interesting subjects we found ourselves discussing (at least in my opinion) was my opinion that ‘everyone is the protagonist of his or her own life’. You can never count on anyone else to make your day, to put you first in every situation. If you want to lead a happy and productive life it’s up to you and no one else. Whenever you’re faced with a choice you should always first and foremost consider what you want, and second what everyone else might say. You should always care for yourself first, because no one else will ever do that for you.

 

Update: My friend Martin commented on the paragraph above by saying this:

Charlie Jones once said: "'When you grow, you grow alone!'. Everything that you do, do it considering your own interests first. Then share your achievements with others. That way it doesn't cost you anything to help others, because you have already gone through all the hard work focusing only on yourself, giving you the satisfaction you need. This approach is far more effective and fulfilling than working entirely in the interest of others right from the start. This idea is called "intelligent self interest".

 

Also, on the 27th Eriko sat herself down on a plane to Sweden to (among other things) attend Snowball – she’s going to Sweden when I’m still abroad, how ironic isn’t that?

 

Saying goodbye to her felt a bit sad, but I’m positively looking forward to see her again.

 

Later in the night I got the chance to talk to everybody at home through Skype. It was real fun hearing from mum and dad again, and to see the dogs. (God, I miss the dogs!) I’m looking forward to seeing them again when I get home.

 

Waking up Friday morning I made breakfast for me and Elias san (that has sort of turned into my little thing every morning as I’m faster out of bed than he is, and I appreciate the appreciation he shows me for making him breakfast, so we’re even). This was the day that Elias san was to go to Korea so we said our goodbyes and he was of. (I’ve already expressed my opinion about saying goodbye once, no need doing it again.)

 

After taking proper goodbye I went to Ikebukuro to buy Final Fantasy Dissidia potions. This is not a commercial for the Dissidia potions, but still a commercial for potions and I think it’s rather cool.

 

 

Went home again to drop of all the potions (16 potions weights its own weight in… drinks, I suppose…) and then went straight for Kita Toda to see how Peter san and Thomas san lives. Turned out the accommodations were really nice (no surprise there) but the place was a bit too big for my taste.

 

Peter san and I went to a shopping mall close by to get some food (which we did), but once there I also ran into one of the cutest plushies I ever seen (and of course I bought it).  

 

Please say hi to Jack Skellington and all the other plushies I’ve laid my hands on during my stay in Japan:

 

 

In the evening we went to Akihabara to see a concert with AKB48, but it turned out to be sold out, so instead we went home to my place and treated ourselves to some pancakes. I mean, it obviously could have been worse.

 

I also spent a couple of hours packing all my stuff this night. Guess these are no news to anyone but I’m going to say it anyway: Man, is it boring to pack! But it's not that I could just not do it, so...

 

Saturday morning and my last whole day in Tokyo. Just realizing this made me quite sad – but there’s no reason crying as long as there’s time left.

 

I packed the last of my stuff, cleaned the room, said goodbye to Peter san (damn, I’m gonna’ miss him too…), and went to see Momo chan at a café near where she lives.

 

We took a long walk in the near to perfect weather and then went home and cooked dinner. Momo chan is such a great cook, and it was very nice how she kept on impressing me with new dishes all the time. And yes, it tasted as good as it looks.

 

 

That’s also really one thing I’ll try to bring with me home: The Japanese way of serving food where everyone dining gets a small plate and all the food is served top down on the table.  Instead of once getting yourself a big portion of food you continuously make yourself small portions. Thus you eat until you feel that you’re finished and not until your decided portion is out. Also it’s much more fun to make all these small portions all the time, at least for as long as you’re using chop sticks. It will be interesting to see if I’ll be able to integrate this into my Swedish cooking in the future…

 

After dinner we just sat around relaxing, talking, doing nothing big whatsoever apart from enjoying ourselves up until when it was time to go to bed – even if your plane takes off as late as one o’clock (we obv didn’t know that the flight was cancelled by then…) you still have to get up pretty early.

 

Sunday was a good morning in many ways, but it was also a very sad morning. It's never fun to say goodbye.

 

Looking back on it I think these ten last days in Tokyo qualifies as one of the best weeks in my whole life. I did so many nice things and met so many good people. There were so many positive experiences.

 

Det händer inte ofta, men jag var lycklig. Rakt upp-och-ned 100% lycklig.

 

Thank you so much for making this fall in Tokyo such a good and memorable time

 

And thank you too – I’ll miss you both so much, and I’ll remember

 


ytterligare en anledning att leva

a couple of weeks ago Elias showed this video to me



today I fell into a discussion concerning my view on the future with a friend and somewhere in the middle it sort of hit me that even though I didn't use this video as a point of reference it was somewhere in the back of my concious all the time. never crying out to be heard, but politely reminding me over and over again of one of those fundamentals here in life that maybe shouldn't be taken for granted to such an extent as it is today.

just a thought.

dream out of the ordinary

I just had the cooolest of feelings. I was dreaming that I was some kind of searesiding animal that met a narwhal out of nowhere. We started talking, and then started swimming together. Y’know: all those quick turns and jumps and other stuff. It just felt so cool.

 

And then I woke up. Like, thanks for the ride! Please come again! Or something... cool feeling though.

 

Now I’m going back to sleep.


unikt svenskt beteende

while out travelling you encounter a lot of people who wants to share with you their opinions and previous experiences of swedes. some things are typical, and some less so, but all true (how else could they have been experienced, eh?).

today has been a cool day (both weatherwise and actionwise), something that can't be said on the last two weeks. I'll keep you waiting on an update about that just a while longer though - there's a lot to cover...

in the meantime I'll give you this. it's an article on typical swedish behaviour that might seem odd to foreigners when first encountered. pretty interesting and a bit funny. enjoy!

Timezonejumping

Writing this I’ve spent three days in London, four nights. I arrived late Sunday night with a flight from Rome.

 

...

 

Yes, Rome. Arriving at Narita airport late Sunday morning local time I was informed that my flight had been canceled since three weeks and that the only British Airways flight of the day had taken of three minutes earlier (I asked for directions at 11:08). Well done.

 

The (very nice and helpful, but slightly confused) woman behind the counter gave me the directions to the BA booth to which I headed. Upon arriving there it all looked as open and active as Sweden during Christmas day (dark and closed for those of you not catching that metaphor).  I tried to ask security for where the BA staff were (in Japanese, I’m at that level by now!), and they pointed me to nowhere.


Instickare: I’m pretty sure that’s because they didn’t know the answer but didn’t want to admit it rather than me phrasing the question wrong at some point. Japanese are like that for some reason; rather answering the question wrong than not answering at all. I seriously wonder why, but why whine?

 

I went to the Air France booth (lying right beside the BA booth it was the one closest) and asked the same question and he girl behind the counter made a quick call for me to the BA office. No answer.

 

On my way back to the original information desk I was starting to wonder what God wanted to teach me by this. That you should check everything twice the day before flying, just in case? Maybe, I’m just saying maybe. To say the least it all felt like a big FAIL with my flight cancelled and no staff to talk to about the matter. But just like any crisis situation (and don’t patronize me for calling this a crisis situation, then I’ll kill you…) it’s all about putting one foot in front of the other, right?

 

Me informing the information-desk-staff that there were no people in the BA booth led to a trillion phone calls being made, and me finally notified that some other staff were on its way to the BA office to see if there was anyone there at all.

 

Which it was (thank God) and I god informed that I had two choices: Stay at the airport for 24 hours and take the next BA flight which would be the next morning or to go by another company which eventually would get me to London the same day, even if it had to be solved by a transfer flight.

 

I chose the latter.

 

So London by Rome it was! Take off would have to be at 14:20, not 13:05 as my previous flight, and I would end up in London at 22:00, not 16:00 as initially promised by BA. Four hours more flying and two hours extra waiting (one hour at the transfer)… Bummer.

 

The flight from Tokyo to Rome was boring as hell, but it went well. I sort of spent my time listening through all the albums I’ve got by Ayreon and practiced some Kanji. I guess flying by yourself is like living by yourself – even though you don’t always interact with the one you live with (or fly with) there is a comfort in knowing that there is someone there to talk to if you should feel that you want to. But not having that option sort of wears down on you, and it was the same for me on that flight.

 

The transfer in Rome went well. I’d been a bit nervous about this bit, but it worked out really great. I managed to grab on hour of sleep on the flight to, which felt very good.

 

So, finally in London! Just gonna’ pick up my luggage and I’m on my way.

 

Just gonna’ pick up my luggage and I’m on my way…

 

Just gonna’… GOSH DARNIT! Where the fuck was my luggage?!

 

Ten minutes of questioning later I was informed that they hadn’t had time enough to transfer the luggage in Rome. Bastards. Good thing about it was that it probably had made it onto the next flight.

 

And so I waited for another hour. Tick tock, tick tock, and violá, there it was!

 

So tired and annoyed that I could only laugh at my own misery I met up with Anna (lovely seeing her again!) and we made our way into the core of London, to the apartment she’s borrowed for us for a week here.

 

Must I tell you that sleep came easy after this adventure?


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