I won!

Last week I entered a giveaway over at kawaiicph. I was feeling rather down (as you may have guessed after reading all that gloomy entries I've written here) and was searching for new inspiration. As I mentioned in my breakfast post, I was especially interested in danish bloggers. It was really lots of fun having a look into the lives of such easy-going, nature loving and style setting northlanders. 
I have been so absorbed with Japan and Japanese style ideas that I somehow forgot about Europe being an assembly of very stylish countries itself. Three times I've flown to Tokyo via Copenhagen (with the famous SAS) and always loved the airport. It's my favorite airport out there as Frankfurt is a catastrophe in architecture and easy path finding and Narita somewhat soulless. But Copenhagen airport has something special! Last weekend I actually ended up planning a short trip to Copenhagen. Well, wouldn't it be lovely? But - same problem as described in the photograph post - my luxuries these days are called food and a place to sleep. *sigh* 
Well, Henriette is an architect "with a passion for cute things" that make her smile! I loved her page instantly, not only for the wise usage of a certain Japanese word most people love, but also because of the photographs depicting her surroundings (hello denmark!) and family (cute kids!). Henriette is also making her own jewellery and had asked the giveaway participants what piece they liked most. I instantly fell in love with the star necklace, wrote that and surprisingly won it!! 
Today the little, cute package reached me and I took some pictures (see above). I totally loved the paper crane card and the pink wrapping paper! The star is bigger than I thought and the necklace is very long. I really love it and wore it, when I went shopping! Thank you Henriette! 

Today's breakfast

When visiting other fabulous bloggers' pages I actually liked posts about food very much. Especially the danish bloggers seem to have the most delicious fresh food all the time! My eating habits are not optimal and I've been struggling for years with weight problems and the right food choice. Even though my mom always promoted healthy food and I was raised in a family that grew its own vegetable and fruit, there were still so many restrictions in food that I ate whatever I liked as soon as I was off to university. (Okay, my weight problem started earlier.) But lately I'm quite proud of the food choices I'm making. Most of times. My usual breakfast is a dairy of sorts like natural yoghurt (normal fat - no reduced as that contains more carbs!) or low-fat quark (a kind of curd cheese) with fruit or cereals. Today I put strawberries in my yoghurt.
I've been yearning for Japanese sandwiches, though, and tried to make them myself. (I own some bento books and other japanese cooking books.) I swapped the sandwich toast for whole-wheat-toast, though, because I couldn't buy white bread. Unfortunately, the tuna and egg-cream is made with mayonnaise in Japan, which I swapped for salad cream (it is a little bit fat reduced).
It was a yummy breakfast!

Japan Archives: Photography

Rape flowers in a popular park in the middle of downtown Tokyo (Hama rikyu koen)
When I came to Japan in 2005, I was enrolled at Waseda University for one year and enjoyed my Japanese classes very much. Soon after I arrived, I bought my first digital camera - a Pentax Optio S50 - and took pictures where ever I went. I took 6000 pictures that year. In 2007 a Japanese friend visited me in my tiny Home Town and used a Panasonic Lumix camera. I instantly wanted one and am still very happy with my now 4 year old Lumix FX3. As you can see taking photographs and trying to get the perfect shot (or "just" an interesting shot) has become one of my favorite past times when wandering around town, but I never really owned a "good" camera.
This year I wanted to hold back every penny I could spare and buy one of those handy system cameras like the Panasonic LX or the Sony Nex. You see, I really want a camera that can take high quality pics, but isn't as heavy as the usual single lense reflex camera. Mostly I liked my small one because I could take it with me at all times, get it out and shoot.
Anyway, now that my funding has been stopped I have to use my saved money for luxuries like food and housing. So - no new camera this year.
In the meantime enjoy the pictures I've taken over the years. This one was taken in March 2010 on my last trip to Tokyo (I was doing research for the thesis.).


The Big R

Introducing "R" my favorite cat in the whole wide world! He's living with my parents, his faithful servants. Sadly, that means I cannot see him every day and cuddle him till he is pissed off. Well, I guess he is happy about it. He will visit this blog to tell you his take on things. Watch out. 

Future and Past

So today was the day I've feared for some time now. It is easy to feel that oneself is not to blame as long as the verdict hasn't been spoken. But as the Career Service at my university urged me to finally end the days between certain failure of dissertation and irrational hope of somehow still being accepted as PhD-Candidate and I myself felt more and more irritated by the silence I had to write to a spokesman.
He replied today. Let's say I'm not happy with the nonchalant and blunt way of him telling me that I'm no longer part of that academic world there.
Well, at least now I can wage a war.  A war against the unfairness of it all.

Of course, there is always more than one - my own - truth can tell. I must accept that my work wasn't enough. Which is hard. I also am starting to understand that I would have finished it because I always finish the things I start. Not because I really, truly wanted it. That's even harder to get. In this tiny aspect I should feel grateful to the person that ended my travels here. But it hurts so much. To really have failed for the first time ever. It also helps to realize that in exactly one years time I would have been in exactly the same situation. Maybe I wouldn't have finished my thesis after all? Maybe I'd spent all year fantasizing about the book I really wanted to write?

Obviously asking "maybe if" isn't helping much. Still, I want to be able to look back later with the feeling that I did everything I could to turn my back on this chapter of my life in a satisfying way. Which means that I want the rather foggy circumstances of this development cleared in one way or another.

As for the future: I turn ahead and search for something I'll do with all my heart. Here I come people to better communication in the world and never let something like this happen again. Well...Maybe.
In the meantime, while I'm writing job applications, a novel (and a short story) and have other job hunting related things to do, I'm having tea.

Next post will be happier again and about the future topics of this blog.



Home Town

The first 19 years of my existence were spent in that small town right at the foot of a 916 m high mountain at the brink of a forest in the middle of Germany. 5000 inhabitants make it a rather closed community and a lot of gossip is circulating at all times. Many of my friends just wanted to leave as fast as possible after finishing "Gymnasium" (High School). I left, too. But after visiting and living at other places for almost ten years now, I now and then come back to that small town thinking of it warmly as home. 100 years ago it was a destination for the bourgeois and noble from Berlin. Even some members of the Kaiser's family visited every summer for the so called "Sommerfrische", which was a rather prolonged stay in special guest houses. The climate at the brink of the forest is said to be very healthy for the lungs and as one knows Berlins air at that time was rather hazardous for health.
Over time and two world wars the importance of this little hidden town waned. Tourism is still a major economy, but the golden times are over.