Saturday, August 31, 2013


My last day in Japan. So long, and thanks for the fun times!

Friday, August 30, 2013


We went to the Rokkatei cafe the other day to celebrate mama's birthday. Rokkatei is my favourite  patisserie/cafe based in Hokkaido, and they have an awesome birthday deal: one free dessert, one free drink, and a super-duper harmonized rendition of Happy Birthday by the waitresses/waiters upon request. Highly, highly, highly recommended if you happen to be in Hokkaido! (Not just for the singing but for the desserts and sweets.)

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


It's handy because I can check out their profile for about 10 minutes and then delete them right away.

Monday, August 26, 2013


The Pfand (bottle refund) system is very much a part of everyday life in Germany; people are obsessive about returning bottles at supermarkets, and some have made bottle collecting their livelihood. An avid Pfand-system user myself, I caught myself wondering for a split second where I should return the bottle.

Sunday, August 25, 2013


This is the longest I've been away from Germany since I moved to Berlin more than three years ago. It also could have been due to the fact that I was caught by surprise, but it's pretty scary how quickly you lose grasp of a language you thought you knew pretty well. When I go back to Berlin, this is probably going to happen to my Japanese (though to a lesser extent) . . . I think I'll need to make some Japanese friends! 

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Attempt 1

Here's my first attempt at drawing my grandma from memory. It doesn't look much like her . . . more attempts to come.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Shotgun wedding

Today was my first day visiting my grandmother, known for saying/doing inappropriate things at inappropriate times. She was on her best behaviour today so she didn't say anything that horrendous, but it was still a bit more information than I needed.

Thursday, August 22, 2013


Speaking of androgynous, did you know that Nozomi is actually a unisex name? It's more common among girls than guys, but male Nozomis are not unheard of (there is also a male-only variation of the name, Nozomu). I've met a few female Nozomis in my life, but I'd kind of like to meet a male Nozomi . . . but only if he's not a dick.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Monday, August 19, 2013


Another thing that I've noticed recently about Japan is that, when given a choice, very few people will sit outside in cafes and restaurants. Hokkaido is quite spacious so there are lots of places that provide outdoor seating (including this awesome bakery Mugi-oto, which has a beautiful garden/picnicking area), but the vast majority still seems to prefer sitting inside.

On the other side of the spectrum, the Germans are almost fanatical when it comes to sitting outside when the weather is nice. Considering it's winter 6 months out of the year, I would have thought that the Hokkaido-ers would also be crazy about being outside, but I guess this isn't case . . .

Saturday, August 17, 2013


Apparently G is also having some trouble falling asleep. I used to think that I sleep better alone, but maybe it's not always true . . . ! But I do tend to sleep through the night when I sleep alone, whereas I tend to wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom when I'm sleeping next to G.

Friday, August 16, 2013


I had to hand in extra documents because I don't live in Japan anymore . . . but still! That was definitely enough bureaucracy for one day. Phew.

Thursday, August 15, 2013


I'm mostly reading some autobiographical ones I picked out at random, Osamu Tezuka (Black Jack), Taiyo Matsumoto (Sunny), and Shigeru Mizuki (Gegege no Kitaro). So interesting to see how different the comic culture is in Japan.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


I get the same feeling when Japanese people tell me that I'm tall. I guess everything is relative . . .

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Cleavage Sightings

This also probably has something to do with the fact that I'm in Hokkaido and not in Tokyo, but I still think the Japanese are a bit more shy about low-cut shirts and cleavages than in Europe.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Not that weird

Sorry for the irregular updates! I haven't quite organized my thoughts and impressions on being back in Japan for the first time in 3 years, but so far it hasn't been that strange. It also may be because I'm in a town I don't know that well (and not Tokyo) and things are a lot quieter here, but it's nice to see my parents and eat lots of Japanese food. But I do miss G and Berlin already . . . !

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Just in case

It really doesn't matter how old I get; as far as my parents are concerned, I'm ten years old. (And yes, my mom actually did advise me not to talk to strangers.)

Friday, August 9, 2013

We haven't told her

Hello from Hokkaido! I'm glad my grandma doesn't know how to use the Internets . . .

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Bedtime story

G is a man of patience . . . and he turned twenty-something this week! A belated happy birthday to you, Mr. G. Thanks for putting up with my constant nonsense and bouts of hangriness. <3

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Moi moi!

We're heading back to Berlin tomorrow. Thanks Helsinki for your friendliness! We had an awesome time! I'm sure we'll be back again . . .