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.


Milkman by Anna Burns

Reading the book “Milkman” by Anna Burns .

Takes me a while to read it, but want to share my first thought and impression of reading it.

I am obviously aware of the struggles and conflicts in Norther Ireland, but I guess I never really understood what it meant on a daily basis. Thinking about it, I guess this what the entire world knows and feels about Israel.

And as such, it makes it even a more interesting read. Not only the story of a young woman being harassed by the “Milkman”, but an important story of the conflicts, deaths, the 10 minutes zone and much more.

Did not finish yet, but I think I can already recommend it.


Placebo – Pure Morning Lyrics

Still wondering what is the reference to Japanese in the song “Pure Morning”.

Tried to find some guesses, interpretations, but they all seem so far fetched.

Any Idea?


A friend in need’s a friend indeed,
My Japanese is better,
And when she’s pressed she will undress,
And then she’s boxing clever,


This was written a while back, during my previous business trip:
Got angry this morning, which changed very quickly to shame.
A lesson how kindness and friendliness can diffuse anger and bad feelings.
Rushed to the Airport in the morning, as had a 8:30AM flight to Seoul.
As I reached the connecting train station I noticed I have one minute till the Express train to the Airport leaves.
Rushed to the elevator and as it was about to close,  an elderly man rushed as well, stopped the elevator which made me miss the train.
Got angry/disappointed and I guess it was apparent on my face.
To my surprise, the man that stopped the elevator approached me asking (in Japanese) if I am heading to the airport.
“If so, please follow me and I will guide you. Taking the following train and changing will be faster”.
I (of course) verified independently and followed him. When we changed trains he approached me again, showing me the way to the fast escalator and guiding me where to wait for the train for a fast connection on arrival.
Surprises and lessons learned :
Not many Japanese will approach and angry foreigner, speak in Japanese and offer their help.
Having felt the anger it turned into shame. A 5 or 10 minutes delay caused me so much stress and anger which were also apparent to my surroundings .
Arrived to the airport before 6:50. By 7:00 I was at lounge working.
Unnecessary stress, unnecessary anger and bad vibes to my surroundings.