Laughing at me

Was traveling in Paris last week, with my back-packer clothes, huge Camera bag, Camera on me and a hat. Took the Metro and squeezed in with my bag, when I noticed a guy in front of me is watching me trying to control his laughter. Then he laughed, got up and stood somewhere in the train but continued to watch me .

What was about me that caused him to laugh? Is it about me or about him?
Did I look strange?
Does it make sense that I spent so much time trying to find the reason he was laughing?

It has never happened to me in Japan (or Korea, or Singapore), which was a bit disturbing.

But then it made me realize how easy it is to make us (humans) be concerned about our appearance, about who we are.
It really does not matter what he thought of me or why he found it laughable.

Amsterdam Museum online ticketing

Did not plan well for my Amsterdam visit as trusted my memory and the fact that it is a friendly and English speaking city.
To my surprise I found out that almost all museums are selling tickets and reservation online. Which means you can’t be spontaneous and go to the Museum.

I visited Anne Franke house before, but wanted to see it again. To my surprise I found out that the reservation system has a long waiting list, which meant I could not visit.

Screenshot attached below.:

Arashi break the (Japanese) Internet

嵐, Arashi, the very popular band from Johnny’s entertainment announced today that they will stop their activity at the end of 2020.

Boom! Japanese internet and news sites are all over the news.

Line News notification:

Arashi website is not accessible:

Twitter has already about 200,000 related tweets in less than an hour since the news came out.

Thinking Big

Seen while walking from Nishi-Nippori to Nippori.

A sign, saying “Himawari Orchard” (Himawari: Sunflower), with only very few small trees. Thinking big, putting your aspirations and plans out there for everyone to see is important

2019 New Year Resolutions

Do not have a new year resolution.

If I have to wait till the new year to make decision or change course, then I am doing it wrong. We should strive to improvement and change regardless of an arbitrary date or occasion.

Health: I continue to exercise and improve my overall physical condition

Work: I continue to work hard and grow the business.
(though fiscal year is connected to the new year)


The Japanese word シャキシャキ (ShakiShaki) can be translated as “crispy” when talking about food, but can also be used to describe people. Maybe the right translation would be Energetic, but I actually like the connotation of crispy for personality as well.

Not a word I use, but Japanese love using onomatopoeia which sometimes is unclear to me.

A few days ago I went to a wine bar for dinner, and a couple on their first date were sitting next to me at the counter. Both seemed in their late 20s or early 30s, both dressed well, would even say more fashionable than the average.
Guy drinking Sangria (?!), girl drinking wine.

Conversation was mostly about music, music I love like New Order, Talking heads and Indies which was quite surprising considering their age. I wanted to join the conversation, but obviously didn’t as not to interrupt their date (and glad I didn’t)

Girl was the quiet type, answering questions; the guy leading the conversation asking questions while she is answering in a quiet voice and sometimes vague answers.

And then, when I was about to leave the restaurant, the guy changed conversation to her previous boyfriends. Honesty, don’t know how dates are done in Japan, but seemed too aggressive to me. Girl answered as always, with a vague, unclear, uncertain voice.

And here we connect to シャキシャキ.
The guy suddenly said that her character and behavior were not what he expected from their correspondence before the date. That he thought she was シャキシャキ , but she is not. At this point, the girl went even more silent asking if that is bad. To which he answered , “no, but different from my expectation”.

How I wish I could finish the story. What happened next? Did the date end in that note or did they enjoy the rest of the night and maybe decide on a second date?

Anyways, people sometimes have different personality when writing on SNS and instant messaging, being シャキシャキ. Energetic and strong, while different when meeting face to face.

Pen Case

It has been a while since I used fountain Pen.  Ever since I lost my Nakaya pen.

But since enjoy them so much, I decided to try again.

The first step is of course a pen case. Decided to create a pen case for 3 pen.

Why 3?  Because standard pen cases are usually for 1,2, or 4 (or more.

The result is very satisfying, but it adds weight to my bag.

Milkman by Anna Burns – continued

To complete my previous post .  (as I don’t like editing past posts)

Just finished reading the book, but could not find more to write about it .

The book, just ended. More happenings, deaths, but no conclusion. No hope for improvement. Life goes on in the same way.

What I remember vividly from the last part of the book is the mother’s attempts to look attractive and capture the heart of the real milkman as well as discussions about “wrong marriages”.  I feel it is intentional that the writer chose to write more about the being human. At 50, having lost husband and children, the mother is keen on rekindling a lost love. Simple, human, and has nothing to do with the conflict.

I hope all conflicts in the world will be forgotten and stopped  for Love and friendship.