Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Flora at Heno Heno, or where is my mind?

I've lived in a constant state of language confusion since i started Japanese classes this summer.
First of all, yes, i am aware that it was a stupid idea to begin with.
As a Danish person living in Germany, learning German would obviously have been the smart choice.
And a much easier one too, but when i signed up i was very much in "YOLO" and "follow your dreams!" mode, so i found a school just five minutes from my house and just went for it.
What i didn't know at the time was that my teacher only speaks a little English, so she mainly teaches in German, a language i don't actually speak.
It was tough in the beginning, but i had two very helpful classmates who would translate for me when needed, and after a few lessons i started to see it as a "two languages for the price of one" type deal.
In class i'd get used to taking notes in both Danish and English. A lot of the written tests were in German, so i'd usually have to translate that first. It was kind of a mind fuck, to be honest, and it still is at times.
And i obviously only made matters worse by going to Mexico for a month, and throwing Spanish into the mix!

I don't know if it's a side effect of trying to cram too much knowledge into my tiny brain, or if it's a matter of sheer neglect, but around the time i came back from Mexico, i started to notice that my Danish had gotten worse. Like, a lot worse. 
Not that i can't speak it anymore, i speak it just fine, but i struggle to find the right words, especially when writing, and even when i think i got it, i sometimes look at the words and they feel all wrong.
I talk to my mom on facetime every week, but besides that, and a few texts here and there, i have no regular interactions in my own language anymore.
It's weird, i knew it happened to expats over time, but i never thought i'd notice a difference in just two years.
Maybe it's a good thing. Maybe there will be more room in my brain for Japanese?
We just started Kanji, so i need all the free space i can get!

Today was the first class after winter break and graduating from level A1.
My classmate Yuki (yes, i'm down to one classmate now) came over to my place a few hours before class to study, as he usually does, and by the time we had to leave, our brains were already completely fried.
It's like that every time. We're tired and drained, and think we're gonna suck at everything, and then we get to class and it's awesome. Our amazing teacher makes everything seem fun. Yes, even grammar.

Today we relocated to a new school in Charlottenburg, and the new classes are shorter but more frequent, which is perfect when you, like me, have the attention span of a thirteen year old boy.
And another good thing, the new school?
It's located five minutes from Heno Heno.

Now, i've only been to this restaurant once, but the food was great, and  i got such a great authentic vibe from it, that i can't wait to go back.
I went on a rainy with my partner in food exploration, Wendy, and the soba and onigiri was the perfect combo for a light lunch in crappy weather.
The decor is great, something i'm sure you know is very important to me, and while the service is maybe not exactly as... friendly, as in Tokyo, it's still a cozy little spot!
And the dishes come in different sizes, something else i really love.

You can find Heno Heno on Kantstraße 65 near Wilmersdorferstraße station on the U7.
And me? I'm gonna reward myself for a efficient day of studying by relaxing with a new painting.
And while painting i'll be thinking about the fact that one of my Wendies is finally coming back to me tomorrow.
Maybe we'll celebrate her return by going for a nice Japanese lunch.


  1. I think is natural to disconnect with you mother language after a while. Iv been living abroad over 10 years (English is my second language now) and I am forgetting single words in my first language on regular basis. ;( Same as you only speaking to family once a week. But I still like reading in my first language (books, magazines or watch movies if possible). I used to speak in my first language with English accent for a while and vice versa speaking in English with foreign accent LOL couldn't help it..but now over all this years I develop my own accent (I think). Anyway I understand your feelings in this matter. I feel that I can speak two languages by paying the prices of loosing the connection with my first language. Ps. I would love to speak more different languages but my "to do list" is too long and I am too lazy these days...heheh

    However it must be an excellent exercise for a brain to learn language. So the more we know different languages the better :)


    1. It's weird, right? I sure hope i won't start speaking Danish with a German or English accent haha.

      I desperately want to learn Spanish, but i promised myself i'd try to get to at least a basic conversational Japanese before taking on another one.
      There are so many cool languages, and it's definitely good exercise for the brain, that's probably why i'm always so tired after class :)