Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Tokyo randoms

I'm slowly dragging myself out of post vacation blues mode.
The summery weather in Berlin, and my amazing friends, have made it a lot easier.
Life is good here, i shouldn't complain.
Still, my heart aches a bit when i look at photos from Tokyo, and i'm counting the days, weeks, months until i can go back. I always will be.

Here are some (as the title suggests) random pictures from around Tokyo.
There are some from a day i spent walking around Shinjuku with a stranger, some from hanging out with my girls Lindsay, Kate and Izumi, one of Izumi's oldest daughter Akari, who just keeps getting cuter every time i see her, one of a couple of rabbits named Peter and Panda, and some that are just, well, random.
Oh, and that white cat? I almost bought it!

I have a few more posts like this, and one more big iPhone dump, before i can return to present day blogging.
I hope you're enjoying the Japan photos as much as i am (although i doubt it!)


Friday, April 25, 2014

Day one

On the 2nd of April i got up at 4 in the morning to get ready for my very early flight to Tokyo via Paris.
The person i used to be would have been completely freaked out by the fact that it was a morning flight, cause she really fucking hated those, and she certainly wouldn't have stayed up late with her awesome girlfriends, packing and talking and getting slightly drunk.
And she never would have gone off to Asia by herself.

Good thing i'm not that girl anymore, cause the person i am now woke up, packed the rest of her shit,cleaned up the apartment a bit, and called a cab for the airport.
She arrived in Charles de Gaulle, ate a macaron from Ladurée, bought a converter plug and hopped on the long flight to Tokyo without the slightest hint of panic.
She might have been a bit weirded out at first, like she'd forgotten someone or something at home, but mostly she just enjoyed the feelings of freedom and adventure, like they were completely new to her, which in a way they were.
Traveling alone is incredibly empowering.

I arrived in Tokyo super early in the morning.
Made my way from Haneda to Asagaya, passing by Kōenji on the train, thinking how weird it was not to be getting off there as usual.
If i hadn't been so tired i probably would have spotted my hotel from the tracks, it's that close, but i was, so i didn't, but the friendly station Kōban pointed me in the right direction, and within minutes i was sitting in my tiny temporary home, enjoying the view from my window, a soy matcha latte from the local Starbucks, and the fact that the hotel had free wifi, even though the website i booked through said they didn't.

Normally, when arriving in Tokyo, we head straight to Inkrat, but seeing as i arrived on a Thursday, they were closed, so i had the whole day to myself.
I unpacked a bit, then headed to Shinjuku in the rain.
I bought an umbrella, did some shopping recon, went to the Keio department store to get a wifi pass i ended up never using, and because Tokyo is so small and random sometimes, ran into a friend from Luxembourg at what's probably the busiest train station in the world.
At night, after a quick trip to the hotel to get some dry pants, i walked to Kōenji to eat at a vegetarian restaurant that was located on a street i used to live on, but i never noticed it before.
I'd printed out a long list of vegetarian places i wanted to visit while there, and i'm happy to say that i actually made it to a bunch of them, and that most of them were amazing.
The ones i missed, i plan to check off my list on my next visit.

So that was my first day in Tokyo, on my own there, or anywhere, for the first time ever.
Obviously i'm not gonna get into that much detail with the rest of the trip, but i'll try to describe some highlights, even though it was pretty much all highlights.
And to those of you who have been reading my blog for a while, and know of my struggles with panic and anxiety, i'm happy to say that there was none of that shit. Like, none.
I'm not saying i'm cured, cause i'll always be a sensitive person, but i haven't felt anxiety or irrational fear since the breakup. I literally have become a completely different person in just 4 months, and the person i am now... well, i don't wanna brag, but she's kind of a bad ass.

Here are some more analog photos from around Tokyo.
I went to hanami a lot during the first week!

Ps. You're probably not gonna believe this, or you will but you'll give me a lot of shit for it, but i've been back on Facebook for a couple of months, and i've kind of been using that to do some micro blogging without the annoying 140 character limit of Twitter.
So, if we're buddies, go ahead and find me there to catch up on my daily doings!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

There will be cats

The weather has been amazing in Berlin for the last couple of days, but also a little on the schizophrenic side at times.
Yesterday and today it was warm and the sun was shining, but at the same time it was raining, and i couldn't help but feel like it kind of perfectly illustrated how i'm feeling these days.
Confused as hell, trapped between two worlds. Basically.

On one hand i'm happy, still stoked about Berlin and my amazing friends here, and all the fun shit we're doing or planning on doing, and on the other hand, my heart is.... not broken, but certainly bleeding a bit, and missing Tokyo so damn much. Longing.
It's weird, this happy/sad feeling.
If i could somehow transport myself there right now, i would, in a heartbeat.

So on that note, here are some pictures of cats!!

My time in Tokyo was so brief, so most days i was seeing friends, and didn't have time to leave the city at all.
But i did go to Yokohama to spend the day with Chisato and Shige, and boy, was that day magical!
Not only did we have amazing food, coffee and hangouts, but we also went to a cat café.
It was my first time visiting one ever, and i was not disappointed.
I was always worried that cat café's would be kind of sad places for lonely people and annoyed felines, but the place was clean, friendly and full of beautiful, healthy kitties.
They also had a sakura mochi that was to die for, but mostly it was all about the cats, and getting the ultimate cat photo, obviously.

Today i walked to Kurfürstendamm with my girls Wendy and Taylor to pick up my photos from the lab (and check out the new Uniqlo!), so the next couple of posts will be all analog photos.
But when i'm done with those i have even more cat photos on my iPhone... so what i'm saying is, there will be more cats!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Tokyo... how i miss you (or Tokyo part 1)

So i obviously didn't get to post anything while i was in Japan... oops?
I actually tried.
I uploaded the pictures in this post and then the internet at the hotel got a little wacky, and i had plans to go out, and it just never quite happened.
I guess i focused on seeing people and enjoying my trip rather than documenting it, and i feel ok about that.

I will write about my trip later.
Oh, i will write lots!
But right now i just need to start posting, so i'm not completely behind when i get my analog photos back on Wednesday.

So presented without much commentary; iPhone pictures from Flora Amalie's first solo trip to japan, which was, obviously and by the way, fucking magical.

Oh hello Ladurée that was very conveniently located right next to my gate in Paris....

Convenience store bento love

Rainy first day, but i couldn't just stay inside all day

I heart you, Shinjuku

I had way too much sugar and caffeine that day, but Boss is worth it

Onigiri, every day

One of the advantages of being alone here is being able to finally try out some of Tokyo's vegetarian restaurants, and i tried Meu Nota in Kōenji my first night here

The streets around my hotel are packed with cute little bars and izakayas

Not a bad view, and i love that i can hear the station too

Elderly photobomber

The path between Asagaya and Kōenji is one of my favorites


And hello to these guys too... i almost missed them, they were so early this year

My tattoo home away from home

Proof that babies like me! Or at least Harvey does...

I haven't actually done any real shopping yet, but i did try on overalls... i am me, after all

Me and Sam, trying on the same clothes like a couple of dorks

Ladies night calls for huge cocktails!

More Shinjuku love

The darker side of Shibuya

Hanami in Saigoyama Park in Daikanyama


It was a little cold, but such a lovely day still

We actually sat under a tree with zero blossoms, but we had a nice view

Walking to dinner

Packed with people

One of the best sushi places i've ever been to... i even ate their natto maki!

The atmosphere and company was great too

Ready to walk and explore!

Sleepy dude waiting for the train

My hero

Lions on the streets of Tokyo!

One of the best Taiko no Tatsujin players i've ever seen!

At my favorite izakaya with Inkrat... they know exactly what i like!

This is the simplest, best thing ever

Best drinks ever with Hata in our town of Asagaya

Still doing Insanity every morning... some are harder than others!

Yoyogi Park

Tea and Indian food with Kate in Harajuku

We went to Mocha in Shibuya, where i usually buy cute dresses, but Kate found this in a pile and i fell in love

And another one at the new Tower Records cafe (or new to me, anyway!)

I'm a sucker for anything Sakura flavored, but this was seriously the best ice cream ever

Another vegetarian restaurant, this is Brown Rice Café in Omotesando... this was so delicious i might try to go back and eat here, even though i have a million other places i wanna eat at too

Hanami in Ueno with the Deversons

We went to Asakusa after our picnic

Around Senso-ji

And another one from the temple grounds

Walking to Tokyo Skytree even though we had zero intention of going up there

It really is quite... ugly, actually

Inkrat love

It's like this was made for me and i can't even read it!

Nabe with Hata at a great almost-vegetarian restaurant in our hood... not pictured; homemade tofu, bamboo shoots, giant edamame and cheese tamagoyaki... so amazing

That time Achan bought me a fancy matcha rollcake from Kyoto and me and Hata ate the whole thing in one go...

That other time when i caught a cold and drank a bunch of weird shit to get rid of it

Pottery class with Ros, who rules... me, not so much, but it was still fun

A street i used to live on...

Probably the happiest cat in the world

And the sleepiest maybe

 Nakano station at night

Sakura rain...