Dienstag, 29. Mai 2007

Miss Universe from Japan

Riyo Mori proved the power of Japanese women!! As she became Miss Japan, a representative of Japanese woman among a world contest, I thought she will make it. Now the measure of being Miss Japan is not only beauty but also intelligence, purpose toward life and strongness of Japanese. New Miss Universe, she is very fluent in English and an instructor of Jazz Dance. She also has a dream to open her own dance studio. So as a former Miss Japan who won second prize of Miss Universe 2006, who was fluent in French and Spanish, Japanese women are not only Kawaii (cute) anymore. Like independent western woman, they have to have their own belief and will, how they want to be. For example this former Miss Japan, Kurara Chibana done her make up by herself before the contest. She believed that she knows about herself more than anyone and how to make her the most beautiful. Today, I'm very proud of being Japanese woman.

Montag, 28. Mai 2007

Religion and History

I have to write little more about the trip in Romania from other point of view. Main visits we made was monastery, which is church but built in country side. (in German, Kloster) The place we stayed is called Bucovina where is famous for old monasteries. First of all, I like history. The university I went was Catholic and I learned a little bit about Christian. (but as being Japanese university, religious is not that serious) So I have already strong interest about Histories, Christians and Old monastery. We visited 5 or 6 in total. It's all built in same age and concepts are same. Outlook is beautiful, the story of bible are painted colorfully. Most of the painting outside of the Monastery was about how souls are judged at the last gate. The picture of hell is clearly painted with black devil and souls which judged as guilty are kicked down to hell. When I stepped into the Monastery, it was cold and spiritual. First room you step in shows always about how torment or execution were done in those old ages. I've never expect to see such a brutal painting inside of Monastery. It is shown quite realistic with blood. When I paid attention to each painting, I recognized that those who are killed have holy gold hoop around the head, those killings are not. Obviously, it is about history of devotional believer and Christian persecution. Room in the middle was painting of gods which I understood that these are the people who was persecuted and died. And in last room is a big paintings and portrait of Chris and Maria. Here, devotional Christians are all make cross in front of their chest and kiss to portrait of Maria. Some people even tried not to show their back to this holy room when they step out. I was looking at it, as a non religious Japanese with many mixed feeling. In Japan, there is a variety of Buddhism and also Shinto existing for many years. But there was no religious war taken place. One Buddhism exist in one mountain and other one is existing on another mountain but that was no problem. First war relating to religion was "Shimabara no Ran" after Christian was brought from Europe. My question is, why Christian always had to fight for their belief. Of course everybody has different thought. Why being different was not accepted. Religion, which suppose to be a Oasis or motivation when man facing difficulty, created suffer in life. Even with such a bloody history, people are still being faithful and having strong worth ship. With such a negative mind in my head, I roamed around the Monastery once again. It is hard to explain by words but just very quiet, surrounded by nature in peace. I imagined hundreds of years ago that people came to this monastery and prayed. There, on the wall painted gods and only good spirits allowed to enter heaven. It must gave strong will to people which won't back off by any forces. Then one sister passed me by and smiled at me. In this moment, my negative thought found something positive. The history of Christian is nothing simple but people must be very proud of how they kept their thought and passed on to many generation, overcoming difficulties. I'm coming from the country where no one really serious about religion, celebrating Christmas, having wedding in church but funeral service is in temple. If I've been told to become a Christian, it requires strong will to make a decision while it's history is too deep for me. But same time, as I saw many believers, I was a little bit jealous how they could be so loyal. IMGP1730 IMGP1737 IMGP1833 IMGP1830

Lovely Romanians

I just came back from 4 days trip to Romania. Well, hard to decide where to write from.. It was my first visit to Romania. When we arrived at Otpeni Airport, I soon felt big differences from other countries in Europe. Maybe a little bit similar to Greece but more not exactly same. We tool a taxi and went to the city of Bucharest. Friendly taxi driver was keep explaining us about Romania, what is worth to see and often pointed out the places which is important. My husband start negotiating to have him as our whole day driver. I was sitting next him, thinking maybe this taxi driver will ask us an incredible price. He showed us a Hotel Mariott, where the best hotel in the city and told us there is a good outside cafe to sit down. My husband again asked him to wait for us and be our guide for a day but he simply told us we could catch taxi everywhere and don't need to keep him for a day. Charges was normal, even though he showed us a lot. I was quite impressed. He could try anything to make money from us, the tourist even doesn't have a guide book together. But he didn't. Cafe was beautiful. Then we walked through the city and saw people and lives. I didn't see any single Asian face. Then I realized what make this country look different than other. It's people. Of course Asian is not familiar to them and they look at me. But the way they look is not offensive at all. Something mixture of curiosity and friendliness. To be honest, city is big but maybe the most poor city "in terms of capital" I have ever seen. Walls are falling off from house, streets are rough and big house burnt during revolution are remained as it is. But people are all satisfied and friendly. You can get this feeling in other big cities such as Tokyo, Paris or Hong Kong. IMGP1675 My thought was proved when we arrived at the airport of Siceavina where countryside of Romania. Our propeller flight arrived on the land where no gate, no nothing, small airport like train station. It was almost 11 o'clock in the night and we suppose to have a pick up. However, he didn't show up. The airport is indeed MIDDLE OF NOWHERE!! I see lights of town far away but otherwise nothing. Just the bugs and frogs are singing in the fields. Airport is start closing and we were at lost outside. There, Romania gatekeeper tried to help us showing the place of phone and giving us the number of Taxi company even he doesn't understand a word of us. He approach us many time to help us out. We waited for our driver for another half an hour in silence, darkness. All of the sudden came mini bus. 5 or 6 people were there, one dressed like police, one woman is almost like pajama and others were T-shirts. I was first little bit frightened. One got off from the bus, who speaks perfect English and he asked us what is wrong. We explained him a situation and asked him to call a taxi. Then he suggested us to pick up one from the city which is much cheaper and fasted and offered us a ride to the city. We got on the bus, and when we arrived at the city, taxi was already arranged and waiting for us. We thanked him a lot and thought of paying to him but he just said "that's nothing" and left. This taxi driver is also super friendly, doesn't say too much but trust worthy. He made it clear how much it will be for a ride in beginning. Maybe I had already many bad experiences in countries such as Italy, Hungary or France so alway being suspicious. But here in Romania, man doesn't speak too much but sincere. Every Romanian I met during the stay was all very friendly. The family cooked for us really liked me and gave me a kiss specially. Young sister in church also gave me a lovely, wandering eyes and showed me affection. Very honestly, I'm a spoiled Tokyo girl in terms of traveling. Over all experience, such as food and accommodation was not that easy. But I want to return there again to meet these super kind people. What make the trip most comfortable is people in surrounding. Romania will not disappoint you. My last contact with Romanian man was at Duty Free Shop at the airport but he also showed me a lovely smile when I said "MULTUMESC" (thank you) IMGP1666

Montag, 21. Mai 2007

Birthday!!!

Yoooo-hooooooo!! Yesterday was the birthday of my husband, FIRST birthday of him that we celebrate together. I've never able to celebrate his birthday on the exact date for last 2 years. No, no, we never had problem, just due to the "long-distance relationship". Now finally, as a proud wife, I could celebrate his special day! Sometime I likw birthday of my special one, more than my own birthday. I really like to plan something surprising. But now, as we are living together, "surprise" is getting difficult and difficult. First surpsrise I planned is baking a big whole cake. I've never been so good in baking a cake but I wanted to try one, which is also totally new to me. A straberry cheese cake!! I decided to make it from pie itself. Coincidentaly, we had a guest for dinner on Saturday night so I had a good reason to stay in the kitchen without being seen by him! I let my husband to go swimming VERY heppily and able to finish baking a cake. My husband came home while the caking is on the table cooling down, so I had to instantly cover it up by towel:) Another surprise was ofcourse a gift. The idea was "how to make my husband comfortable". First thing came up in my mind was pajama. Next one is high quality soft towel. (he only have dried old towels!!) Third one is sun cream to protect skin of active, sporty man! These were all in a big bug and hidden in the corner of my room but somehow he saw it before birthday. Surprise was not that succesful:) I could never hide anything from him in his house!! Ofcourse the cake was hidden in the kitchen of parents place. I have no way to hide it without being seen by him. Ohhhh, SURPRISE is difficult! My husband suits cute colours very much!! He already has short one. Hmmm, I will protect his skin! On the morning of his birthday, I woke up many times. I think I was too nurvous and thought about the gifts lying on the other room over and over. So, now how we celebrated this special date! First of all we had big brunch at his parents place with special guest from Japan, Tomomi. Upon we went up, there stood two of them and singing birthday song! How lovely!! Mother baked many cute small breads call Zopt and traditional birthday cake of the family. The day was perfect sunny day. After enjoying big brunch, we went swimming in the lake. Shame, no photo available but it was indeed beautiful summer day. Even the water is still cold, we all went in! "when you are in Rome, do what Roman do" I have to adjust to this style here. Then we went to circue "KNIE". So many amazing performance went on and I was sweating in my hand! What I liked the most is performance of Elephant. I can't believe how they train Elephants. They have big ears but all they really listening to what people say? They have small eyes for big body, how they see person conducting them!? Anyway, they've done such a great performance. Look at this cute butts. I was specially freaked out by this air swings. But why woman was wearing bikini? After the show, we went back to the lake again. Two Japanese were completely heated up and worned out by sun tough mother was staying in the sun every seconds. Poor Japanese are hiding behind back of mother and covered by jackets and huts.. Well, then fine dinner made us happy again. Seat was outside, under umbrella where we can enjoy fresh air and no sun:) One sip of ginger soup brought me back in life again and one bite of crispy roasted chicken made me fit:) Detail of the food comes in other page. So, under nice cozy umbrella, we had fun chat, using German, English and Japanese. Tomomi is already like my small sister. I'm really happy to have her. Long but short happy day was ended with sweet icecream. Once again, happy birthday my darling!

Dienstag, 15. Mai 2007

Fun Friday Night out!

Friday night out.. This is something I haven't heard for a long time.. Well, maybe only half a year;) Anyway, last Friday, I had perfect night out with my friend couple and my husband. It was cultural, artistic and tasty:)) First, we went to Tapas Bar where serve spanish style small dishes and good wine. These must be post to my other blog "all about food" but let me quickly introduce it in here. Fried mushrooms and beans were my favorite. Then we moved on to Tonhalle. In English, it means "sound hall". This is the place where normally older people go with black ties and huts but this time, it was open in casual style. It was nice suprise to see the entrance hall designed very modern. Inside was very classic as I have imagined. I see people wearing sandals and casual pants. The whole atmosphere was relaxing. Here comes conductor, who is the most fun guy in the world! After a small talk, he start singing!! I was really interested in this fun conductor and paying attention to his every movement throughout the concert! There, unpurposely he did it again! He was too excited (?) and threw his glassed in front of the audience in first row!! First I didn't recognize what it was. Then, even a violinist who playing with frown expression smiled! I haven't been orchestra for a long time but it is such an emotional experience. Since we were in the front low, I was able to see all facial expression of people playing instrument. Sometime they smile each others and I found it very cute. Finale was uo-tempo italian music and I could see everyone was very enjoying both listening to it and also playing! European style concert does not finish yet. Now comes electronic concert with which people can dance. Hall was like a night club with REAL music!! Shame that I didn't have enough time to enjoy dancing but it was great experience! I thank to my friend who organize this ticket for us!

Montag, 7. Mai 2007

Birthday party at Circus!

Ok, I knew how people celebrate birthday is very different from Japan. In Japan, my sweet girlfriends or boyfriends always organized birthday party for me, often as "SURPRISE". They usually arrange nice restaurants with a surprise of decorated birthday cake. But here, it's a birthday person who has to arrange a big parth for himself! Even though it's YOUR birthday, he has to pay for everybody! Ohhhhh, I can hardly understand. Birthday is the only day you are be spoiled by everybody and why you have to have hard work of organizing!! But now I understood. Saturday was the first birthday party I attended which is organized by herself. Birthday person was an aunt of my husband. So, where we arrived was here. I thought it will be a rstaurant but,,, what a hell is this? I went in,,, and found out that inside of the tent is functioning as cocktail party place!! There was about 40 people inside, enjoying cocktails, snacks and introducing each others. I like this Swiss "Aperitif" style. You won't dine around immediately. Suprise went further.. There was another tent waiting for us which is perfectly prepared. 40 people, big group of family are all dining at the same place, inside of tent!! There was one or two speech, beautiful poem and we all celebrate her birthday. After the 3 course menu, salad, soup and main menu, another surprise! The entrance of circuse was already organized! My first circus experience!! Even the name is printed on the ticket!! Beautiful performance on the rope. This is not magic show. Her legs were just miracle. During the break, we went back to "restaurant tent" and had a bite of cheese. Whole show was full of surprise and laughers. The team had indeed great sense of humor! I had to crack many times. Back to the restaurant, dessert was waiting! Big scoops of icecream and cakes! I'm not the birthday girl but spoiled too much:) After all, we all chilled and enjoy sharing special date of aunt Hedwick. Now I understood the reason why birthday person organize the party by own. Aunt Hedwick looked really happy to spend time with everybody. It's nice to take intiative and arrange the party exactly on your birthday. Then you could celebrate your big day with many people, Otherwise, you never know what your birthday will be like. It was such a heartwarming party.

Donnerstag, 3. Mai 2007

First BBQ in Zurich!

Zurich is summer. Even though it's again a little bit cooler from yesterday, I already feel like I spend whole summer for this year. What I have not done is BBQ!!! So, my coolest friend in here Zurich asked me to join. This cool friend was organizing BBQ party without knowing how to arrange a grill:) At last, one of her kind colleague bought the grill in last minutes. Otherwise it has become raw meat party.. Swiss style BBQ is interesting! Everybody grill the food which you brought by yourself. "it's mine. That's yours". In Japan, someone is in charge of meat, someone is veggies and maybe someone is drinks and we all share it. It was such a beautiful location beside the lake. Party has start with sunset. For me, barbecue is hotdog, humbergur and chips. But here, everybody bring nice meats, beef, rib even rabbit!! Vegetables are also well prepared. BBQ is great way to meet up and chill with many friends. People sit down on the ground and enjoy food and chats until late. Some people bring fruits, cookies to share in a group. I was impressed by beautiful night lights along the lake and fresh breeze. At the end, I even played Frisbee in the dark! It was ligtened Frisbee in red colour like an UFO!!

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