20 november 2007

Ja het is een gedicht.

Of liever gezegd een Dagvers.
Maar het is van DichterW., niet van mij.

als babie al begonnen met ballonnen stelen
zo spookt hij rond in ieder hoofd
maar velen hebben hakman uitgedoofd
om te leven in hun luchtkastelen

Dank hakman, dank.

16 november 2007

Shinjuku Smile

This weekend I will visit my host-aunt and uncle in Fukuoka. Their daughter, who got married last year in Spain, is here for a few weeks with her baby and as my hostmum had plans to go, I decided to tag along and bought my train tickets. My host-uncle is a specialist in Japanese educational history and he kindly promised to help me with my thesis! Lucky me.. But, due to some unexpected circumstances, my hostmother had to cancel her trip and now I am going alone.

Today I went to Shinjuku to get a present for the baby. I bought a car ;) I also ran into below two 'items' which made me smile.. On the left, the 'Banana Guard' which, according to Google, is far better known in Holland than it is in Japan, but as I had never seen it I'm posting it anyway. 90% of the banana's you can find are said to fit into it.. On the right, Shinjuku's own Krispy Kreme donuts. I am not very familiar with the store, but apparently it is big in the U.S., and now in Japan too. Everytime I pass the shop, people are lining up.. sometimes for two hours, pfff.

11 november 2007


The amount of Dutch people I spend time with in this Japanese capital is quite incredible. This week alone I had dinner with Sachi and her new boyfriend Wouter, I showed around my friend Martin's colleague Eke, and today I met my mother's aunt and cousin, who were in town to visit some Japanese friends. This all makes my hostmother and myself wonder whether or not I should be spending more time with Japanese friends, but well, it really can't be helped as I naturally like seeing all these people. It is not very conducive to the furtherance of my studies though, and I tend to soothe myself with the idea that at least I am becoming a better-informed Japanologist by discovering new Tokyo sights. I did feel kind of guilty when we ran into this building last Friday, however (on the other hand, as a symbol representing my stay here, it is highly appropriate..).

But hey, everyone keeps telling me to enjoy these weeks in Tokyo as this will probably be the last time I will be able to be here on such a flexible schedule. I guess 'Balance' is the keyword here (as it always is..).
Today I visited a park called Koishikawa Kourakuen, located between Iidabashi station, Tokyo Dome and Kourakuen amusement park. Although this is only two metro stops away from my house, I had never been there. Which is a shame, because it was absolutely beautiful. When the leaves finally change their colours in a week or two, I will definitely spend some more hours there.

4 november 2007

Beautiful November days

This past week I surprised myself with the amount of study discipline I suddenly turned out to have. On the 2nd of December I will take the so-called Japanese Language Proficiency Test and as I have signed up for Level 1, the most difficult level, I now have to squeeze all the Japanese I should have picked up in Leiden over the past few years into a little more than one month. And as deadlines usual do, this one is definitely making me work! I'm trying to divide my time equally between working on my thesis and studying for the test, and up till know this has worked pretty well.

This naturally does not mean that I am no longer venturing into Tokyo. One does need a break now and then, right? So after having had some delicious food with Ad and seeing his, and Kaoru's, beautiful new home on Thursday, I went to a party at the Belgian embassy with Sakura on Friday. After dinner and desert at below French-style restaurant, the exhibitions at the embassy were really nice. My friend Ippei was showing his pictures there, and Sakura absolutely loved them. The rest of the event was kind of disappointing, but looking at all the different people present was still a lot of fun.

Yesterday was spent studying which was kind of a waste of the beautiful Tokyo afternoon, but I made up for that today! As nobody had any plans, Otosan, Okasan, Joy, Koji, Bunta and I went for a walk through Shinjuku, the ward of Tokyo we live in. I really liked it that Koji came along as I rarely see my busy hostbrother! We walked for almost three hours and saw a lot of very nice coloured leaves. Not as much as there should be around this time of the year, this is due to the incredibly warm weather at the moment (22/23 degrees Celcius). And tonight, to finish this nice day in a proper way, we are going out to dinner.. Yakiniku, naturally!