3月の末

Life is ridiculous and I have two hundred pictures ready to post. Brace yourselves. Above on the right, a crazy cat-lady have stuck umbrellas half way into the ground in the park near Yotsuya station so the cats have somewhere to stay dry when it is raining.

Random selection of appetizers: On the left, from Suzuden in Yotsuya, one of the oldest family run sake-bars in Tokyo still going strong. On the right, a strange place in Yotsuya I can not remember the name of, but the specialty is chinese food and sausages. A strange and plesant Chinese-German mixture of flavors.

The park near Yotsuya station and the station itself seen from the bridge overpass.

More food; the sausages I mentioned above on the left + relatively cheap set meals at Takashimaya in Shinjuku on the right. Below – Bento-boxes I bought to eat on the train from Sendai to Tokyo. Way too much food, but I could not decide and ended up buying both. On the left a seafood bento with kani, ikura, tobiko and tamago, on the right, a Sendai specialty, the cow-tongue bento. Both delicious, but I could not finish either one.

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A room with a view;

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Stop the carousel, I want off;

I would like to write some kind and warm words about 2013, but to be quite frank, 2013 was one of the biggest assholes I ever met. I am glad to get rid of him, that bastard. I feel I am here on borrowed time. I can not seem to write anything with substance and text is a dish served best cryptic and cold atm. I hold my breath, I turn my cheek. I want to cry. It is a new year, but the world has not stopped spinning. I just need to hold on a little longer. Soon, soon, I will get a break. See you very soon, I just need to make sure 2013 is completely dead and buried.

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A journey away it is still winter;

Needless to say, Tokyo does not look like this even on the coldest winter day, but re-editing pictures from other places, times and spaces is the closest I will get to a white Christmas. The way the snow muffles all sounds and make everything slow down was always something I appreciated, despite the cold.

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Oh Tokyo, you beast;

Oh Tokyo, how many times have you lured me in with promises of “just one drink”, and before you know it you and me end up bar-hopping between izakayas, bars, walking up an down the neon-filled streets with a traveller in hand. It is something that I both love and despise about you. My Japanese has never been better than in the wee hours of the nights when alcohol has washed away all inhibitions when it comes to flawed verb conjugations, and I find myself talking to drag-queens about Japanese politics and current events. Tokyo at night is an entire different beast. All the weirdos who are hidden away during daytime come out to play. All the old uncles treat you for drinks, expecting nothing in return apart from your smile. You will find yourself floating in something that can best be described as Disneyland the size of a humongous city.

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The year has sixteen months…

January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, November, November, November, November, December.

Life is full (and somewhat crazy). Some day I will write it all down. For now; some random pictures just so I won’t forget the contents of my days.

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Something like September;

Back to uni. One more semester. I am tired. I have no words. Here are pictures.

New lenses. I wish I could find a brand that would be a bit more blue, but the blue ones tend to look a bit strange towards the middle of the eye, so I went with a darker blue color instead.

Yakiniku with friends. // Ramen alone.

Hello nihonshu!

Hello sushi!

Hello Tokyo Tower! Hello Nakano!

Hello small kitchens. // Hello instant food for the days you just can not be bothered to cook anything up.

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Mobile recap; August

Always lagging several months behind. It is ok. Above, the view from the hotel window in Niagara Falls. Cheese plate at CN tower in Toronto.

All of the sushi pictures are from Take Sushi in Toronto. Very Japanese-style sushi, and all the people working there were also Japanese. The uni was of remarkable quality. I used the opportunity to order tobiko with a quail egg on top – they do not serve it many places in Japan (despite having both tobiko and qual eggs on the sushi menu), but it is one of my favorite pieces. I had a nice chat with the chef, and he gave us little origami penguins to bring with us back home.

Walking around Niagara, it was almost like getting a little taste of Japan again with all the flashing neon lights and the crowds of people. I missed Japan for an hour or two, and wanted to go back home for the first time in weeks.

We found an amazing food store in the gay district in Toronto. I don’t even like cupcakes.

Doodling with new pens and noticing that even the banks in the gay district in Toronto had rainbow flags. Adorable.

We finished off Canada with even more drinks and started planning our return to Japan.

Final seaweed salad in Toronto, and *boom* – I was back in Japan. It still felt like summer.

It was as though we never left, yet something had shifted in me.

Heading into a traditional sushi shop around the corner from our house, I felt blessed that I have gotten to see much of the world and made myself familiar with places and people I never thought I would encounter. If someone told me 10 years ago that this would be my life, I would laugh at them. Moving is easier than one might think. After you have picked up your things and ran half across the world once, nothing seems impossible. I ate my uni and thought that just a week before I had eaten the same dish, 8500 km away.

The days rolled by, the earthquakes were back, and I am still trying to hold on tightly as the world starts to spin faster and faster around me again.

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Now and forever;

“The dark does not destroy the light; it defines it. It’s our fear of the dark that casts our joy into the shadows.”

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Welcome to NY! (And welcome back to Canada!)

While in Niagara Falls, I wanted to get some use out of my ESTA (and say I have been to New York State!), so I pleaded and begged to walk over the bridge to the US, and I got my wish granted! Tsktsk. Now, I do not mean to say anything mean or disrespectful about the US side of Niagara Falls (and this is meant in a very light-hearted way), but oh boy, the Canadian and the US side were not very similar!

Walking over the bridge, I saw Maid of the Mist! I still have never been on board. Third time is a charm, right?

One of the first things that met me after I had entered the US, was this little booth with this fine poster. Dorothy, we are not in Kansas anymore! It was just one of those tiny things where you realize how culture vary so much from country to country. I took a 10 min stroll over a bridge, and holy smokes! There are gun commercials! I had an Oz-moment there. Seriously? You don’t call the cops? You use your colt?! I have never seen posters like these before, since there are virtually no hand guns in neither Norway or Japan. I haven’t seen that many of them in Canada either.

My US escapades continued to a somewhat dingy mall where we ate oversized portions of some kind of asian-fusion food on paper plates.

After finishing our lunch, and simultaneously starting to realize that Niagara Falls NY is somewhat of a ghost town, I wanted to go back to Canada.

THANK GOD I FOUND CANADA! Back I went!

I still took the time to stand in two countries at once. That felt… pretty exciting, actually!

And back to Canaaaannnda! Where the restaurants are more expensive, where the live-bands are playing and where they have pretty flower beds and shrubberies and all things nice. (Yes, I am biased!)

Although certain things in Canada also seems a bit backwards and upside down…

But certain backward things are pretty neat! Since I am in North America, I can request cheese on my seafood pasta! This would have been considered blasphemy in Italy, right? But not in the land of plenty and its hat! I actually really do love how people are super helpful if you want to change or modify your order in the US and Canada. In Japan, usually what is on the menu is what is on the menu. If you ask for extra X or less of Y, they don’t always accommodate you. Rules are rules, you know.

I went back to the hotel room and considered how expensive and time consuming it would be to paint my own ceiling like this. Then I fell asleep and forgot all about it.

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