Mittwoch, 27. Februar 2008

Sunday with friends

Last weekend we had lots of visitors. My friend who is my ex-colleague visited me on Saturday and on the next day, Zeno's friend who is living in Japan visited Zurich. He, Alessio, is a swiss man but speaks very fluent Japanese and enjoying Tokyo's life style for a long time. Another good friend Alex, who is going Copenhagen and Switzerland back and forth due to his business also visited Zurich. These 2 friends incuding Zeno had great fun old days. They once visited us for dinner in summer.

Weekend Feb 23

We went popular cafe on the top of the hill.

Since it was a beautiful day, the terrace with full of sunshine was packed. I'm a typical Japanese who hates direct sun heat so I preferred staying inside.

Weekend Feb 23

Inside was also nice. The ceiling is high and fresh carrot juice was great.

Weekend Feb 23

One of my main pupose this day is to ask Alessio about his new Japanese girl friend! I was so happy to learn that he takes his girlfriend with him for his visit. She will arrive Switzerland next week so we are planning to have dinner altogether. he seems to be very much in love with her! He showed me his camera full of her photo! She is indeed a pretty Japanese girl. I look forward to seeing her..

Weekend Feb 23

One shot with happy Alessio! Zeno said that Alessio looks very different now. More relaxed and satisfied.

Weekend Feb 23

So now, this sweet face Alex is looking for a steady girlfriend! Zeno is married, even Alessio is now setteling down, it's time for Alex to find Ms. Right:) It's HIS request to put ad of him on my blog:)

Weekend Feb 23

Another shot from different angle! He is half German, half Swedish. Very gentleman. Anyone interested? Please contact me:) Only those serious girls please!

Weekend Feb 23

It was such a beautiful day. Some walk was nice...

Weekend Feb 23

We found some spring on the ground.

Weekend Feb 23

But too long walk is pain for me. Going up to the hill, down to the city, continue along the lake grab sausage at the stand (no seat!) and walk further along the river.. That is way too much! I like walking and I do quite good as Japanese girl but sometime Zeno doesn't care if it's too much for me or not. I got sick on Sunday evening.. This is one disadvantage of mix culture marraige. I try not to say NO without trying but it could collapse cozy Sunday night.

Mittwoch, 20. Februar 2008

Stein am Rhein

It was very cold weekend. It was frozen most of the time but good friend of mine who is visiting Switzerland asked me to go Stein am Rhein. If I stayed in Zurich, I think I was being lazy and stucked in home so it was nice that she asked.

Stein am Rhein

It really worth. In Switzerland, Bern is a world heritage, the city itself. Stein am Rhein also remains the atmosphere of those middle age but different from that of Bern.

Stein am Rhein

The city is famous for these paintings on the houses. These houses are all built on 16th century.

Stein am Rhein

The town itself is like a museum. You can look into each paitings on the wall. Each are different.

Stein am Rhein

Along the street, there were many small shops. We spent an hour in this small chocolate shop.

Stein am Rhein

But I realized myself first time that I'm not patient enough for shopping! I believe it's because of Odie who never spend long time in shopping. Always zac zac zac!! I was already getting used to his style.. In this shop, I quickly bought what I want and couldn't spend a minute anymore. Sorry, Natasha..

Stein am Rhein

Beautiful Rhein.. The water was so clean. I want to come back here on summer. You could swimm and same time can enjoy coffee time at terrace. This day was just freezing cold. I could hardly stand there and enjoy the view. I was jealous to the beautiful thick fur coat of Natasha.. She looked all fine, cheerful and delightful:)

Stein am Rhein

Here is her perfect coat and hat against cold winter:) We went up to the castle where you can overview the beautiful scenery.

Stein am Rhein

It was indeed beautiful. I felt if time went back to old days. It's way away from ordinary city life.

Stein am Rhein

Witch grill?? It seems that people enjoy huge berbecue during summer. Good idea.

Stein am Rhein

The castle is also originally built in 11th century. Very old one. It has overviewing the river and the town for many centuries.

Stein am Rhein

It was very nice excursion from Zurich. I could enjoy enough only in half a day. Short visit but I felt long flow of time, the history. I think I never came here withouh being asked by Natasha. Thanks Natasha! Switzerland is always waiting for you.

Samstag, 16. Februar 2008

Valentine's Day

Again, valentine's day came this year. When I was still living in Tokyo, I sent my husband twice a valentine's chocolate. To the man who is living in the country where produce the best chocolate in the world.. I really had difficult time to chose which one to sent to, from Japan,-)

Well, now we are living together, I don't have to worry about the quality of Japanese chocolate anymore. But now has different problem.

I like to arrange surprise.

But how can I arrange something without being known by him??

Last year I was not working so I could bake cookies while he was working on the day. But now I'm working until 6pm everyday, plus I go school twice in a week directly after work. I thought I cannot manage to bake something this year. But luckily, the week of valentine was school holiday. Which means, I have time from 6:30pm to 7:30 pm, after my work before Zeno comes home.

This year, I wanted to bake cookies with Zeno's favorite jam on the top.
cookies.. The problem is that you have to lay the dough for an hour in the fridge before bake it in oven. 1 hour.. that's too long. Zeno will back home by the time. So I decided to make dough on Tuesday and bake it in oven on Wednesday. Thursday is Valentine's day.

On Tuesday, I rush back home and quickly mixed butter, sugar, egg and vanilla oil.. add flour.. Oh, how slow they mix up, common! Faster faster, before Zeno is back...

and I've managed. I wrapped up the dough and hided on the bottom of the fridge. Meantime I cooked dinner. I did very well.

Ok, so the problem is "baking" part. Even I finish baking, Zeno could smell something sweet from oven. I have to open up all the window before he back but then I need time.

Wednesday morning during breakfast, I asked Zeno. "Don't you go ice skating tonight?". "ahhh, I'm not sure yet". "but tomorrow I will go dinner, It's better you go today" "That's right, then I will be back home at 8pm".

Yes!!! When he says 8pm, he won't be back until 8:30. I will have plenty of time to bake all cookies and exchange the air in the room. So I back home on Wednesday, I cut the dough, decorated them with jam and nuts and out them in the oven. Hmmmm, I've done indeed great job. Now I just have to wait, let's listen to music..

Valentines Day with my sweet Honey

Then the door is open. "Tadaima-----!!!" (I'm back in Japanese). What?? Zeno is back!? It's still 7:20!! "didn't you go iceskating??". "I went earlier today" Ohhhhhh noooooooooo, it was not in my plan...... Zeno saw the oven and found out..that I'm baking something... My "surprise plan" was not successful. Damn.

At least I didn't allowed him to taste is this night. I already have nice box to put cookies in.

We had beautiful valentine's dinner.
Valentines Day with my sweet Honey

Even he knew what I have with me, he really appreciated my gift.

By the way, valentine's day in Europe is something men organize special to women. But since Japanese style Valentine has already deeply rooted in myself, I willing to arrange something to my husband. Back to 10 years, I always enjoyed making something to someone I liked.

Valentines Day with my sweet Honey

But back in home, my husband also had small surprise. A box of Champaige chocolate!!

What!? I didn't expect this!! Even I planed that our valentine day will be in Japanese style, it's great that my swiss husband shows me a bit of European style Valentine. How sweet of him.

Valentines Day with my sweet Honey

But actually, it was not a choclate he bought himself. It was a gift from his client (friend)... Oh,,, then you better not give it to me as "valentine's gift".. His opinion is that "without his work, he didn't get this chocolate". Well, but gift from someone is not a gift to me. In this case, he really has to do something for "white day" which is March 14. In Japan, men who appreciated women's "love" on valentine's day have to do something on March 14. At least, Zeno was putting this day on this schedule. Let's see.

Valentines Day with my sweet Honey

Arranging valentine's to someone living together is not easy!!! But still I like this day, the day I re recognize "love" to someone special.

Sonntag, 10. Februar 2008

Operabal 2008

I have to say that it was the day I became Cinderella. My third visit of Opearabal in Budapest.

2 years ago on my first visit, I didn't know the dress code and I brought my best dress I had that time. The legth was down to knee. However, I was about to be kicked out since the dress code for woman is full legnth dress and mine was too short. We forced to get into the hall but I had this bad feeling whole night long that maybe someone seeing me as inproper girl. 1 year ago, I had full legnth black dress. I borrowed from Ursula. It was beautiful dress but still it makes different in feeling if you wear your own dress or not. This year was revenge.

Operabal Budapest 2008

I had more than proper dress.

Not only myself but also Zeno. Before the marriage, he can be opposed to everything. He knew the dress code of "black tie" but wore normal tie which against the rule. But since last year, he follows the rule. I was so proud to be the guests which appreciated by Operabal.

My dress is actually the one which I wore on my wedding day. Most of Japanese people just rent a dress for a wedding but since our family goes to the bal evey year, I bought one. In Japanese, there is a saying "third honest" which means third comes the real one.

Operabal Budapest 2008

As we got off from the car, we have been taken many photo. A castle made by ice was frushing by many blitz. They were all professional photographer.

Operabal Budapest 2008

First we went Gozilla's second house locating close to the opera house. All the friends were already ready.

Operabal Budapest 2008

I look funny on the couch:) My dress is indeed huge.

Operabal Budapest 2008

Taking photo in front of Godzilla's master piece.

It's always great fun to gather at Godzilla's place and move on to the Opera house together. Unfortunately a good friend of ours, a hungarian girl was not able to join this year.

Operabal Budapest 2008

Again photo shooting time. A photo with Ursula.

Surprise continues. All of the sudden, a TV reporter came over to us and started interviewing us!! In Hungarian.. Of course we both had no chance to understand but luckily it was a broadcast in Berlin and they could switch to German. I'm curious if we were really on air or not..

Operabal Budapest 2008

Operabal Budapest 2008

Ohhhhh, very beautiful Hundarian gate guard...!!!

and we went in. I had no idea when I was here 3 years ago but now I know at least how to enjoy:)

The opening performance is always gorgoues. With a live orchestra, "Debütanten" the pair dancer who perform in front of all the people in the beginning. These dancer are chosen among the large number of applicants, and once they are chosen, they could dance as "Debütanten" only one time.

Check out video. You can see all the Dabütanten going round and round the hall. So interesting to see each faces. Some look nurvous, some look very proud.

Kid dancers were also super cute and same time they indeed danced very well.

The show continue to opera. During the song, there was a happening. One Debütanten fainted who had to keep still and standing during the whole show. I could understand. Being nurvous in front of many people with tight dress and high heel,, it's not easy.

But what I have amazed is that she was about to be carried out but she stood up and back in the row. She could finish the performance. What a tough hungarian sprit! Yes, it was a big experience for her once in a life time!!

Operabal 2008 Budapest

After the show, we danced. "third honest" didn't happen here.. I still can't dance Walz well. With a right dress, I really want to dance at least in an average level but maybe I have no talent.

Operabal 2008 Budapest

Other families and friends were dancing very well.

After trying couple of songs, I had to take rest and watched how beautiful the bal is.. It could be better if I can dance well..

Operabal 2008 Budapest

Shame but we went to the bar and took rest. Barternders here are always totally busy. You can get as much drinks as you want here for free. Last year, there was a twin girls baternder. They were cute but I didn't see them they year.

There is also a live band where you can dance like in disco. My dress was not proper in this atmosphere but I danced.

I danced 80's rock'n roll with real walz dance:) Many people looked at me and smile. I just continued dancing and made fun myself.

My dress has advantage and disadvantage. I was seen like a star but it's really difficult to find a space everywhere. My skirt is HUGE.

I was treated like CIndellera that Odie helped me to hold my skirt going stairs up and down.

But the dream of Cinderella is finished at 12 o'clock. After rock'rolling with tight special underwear I had and also high heel, I was completely exhausted. We went back to hotel at 1 o'clock. This is relatively early but I thought I enjoyed enough.

Operabal Budapest 2008

I promised with my Uncle-in-Law (another soft Godzilla) that we dance together next year. I have to convince Odie to take more dance lesson together so that I'll be good enough to dance with him. Maybe I have to reconsider about my dress as well in order to stay longer.. Godzilla and Ursula stayed until 4 o'clock! Maybe before taking dance lesson, I have to physically train myself from beginning. Whatever..

But night of Budapest was again very beautiful. As being a Japanese girl, it's really a miracle to participate in such a party where you can feel like an Europen noble in old days!

Dienstag, 5. Februar 2008

Art on Ice

Again, we went to see this famous show held once in a year! Last year, I enjoyed the performance specially that of gold medalist from Russia.


Becauce our princess, Shizuka Arakawa, a GOLD MEDALIST FROM JAPAN will perform!!! I was really rellay looking forward to it!


Special thank to Odie who organized very front row.. I could see even the facial expression of all the skaters.


What's so interesting about this show is that since it's name is "Art on Ice" you can enjoy variety of performance on the ice, not only figure skating. All of the sudden, piano shows up on the middle of the ice!!


Skaters can perform with live music. The perfomance of dancers on the stage was also exciting!


But I have to say tht figure skating was more than impressive. I always love to see the performance of figure skate in TV. In winter olmpic, my only interest was to figure skate. How powerful the performance is to see in live..

Shizuka Arakawa

and how elegant it is....

Shizuka Arakawa

Here is the STAR of Japan, Shizuka Arakawa. I thought I will scream and be so excited when she performs but actually, I couldn't say a word. Her performance was adorable, even celestial. My eyes were following her but my body were frozen.


Her performance was unlike anybody. It's like a slow flow of the river.

Yuko Kawaguchi Alexander Smirnow

There was also a Japanese skater who plays pair with Russian skater. Her name is Yuko Kawaguchi but I've never heard of her. I asked to some Japanese friends but nobody knows. Somehow I felt that these two doesn't match so well. She is too small compare to huge russian skater. But I'm curious how she goes.


Another performance I've enjoyed a lot was that of Stephan Lambiel, the most popular skater from Switzerland. To my surprise, he performed with the back music of Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake!! He showed up on the ice with many sexy dancers, just like Britney:)


Ice turn out to be the stage of MTV music award:)


He even used chair during the performance! Wow, I've never seen such a pop ice skating. It's changed my image torward figure skating which suppose to be more classic! I understand why he is so popular in Switzerland.


The show continues. Many funny performance was also held. They were swinging rings like crazy.


One of the best part was here. At finale, all the skaters gathered once on the ice.


and here! This part!! We, the people having seat on the front row have right to touch hands of skaters when they skate around the link!! Zeno got also excited and he gave up taking photo but I did, I touched the hand of Shizuka!!
When she came at first round, I scream "Shizuka chaaaaaaaaaaannnn!!!" and she saw me! She recognized that me, a Japanese girl is here in the first row. So on her second round, she came to me and I touched her hand!! Ohhhhhh that was unforgetable experience... I was very very excited and again shouted "Aligatoooooo!!!"(thank you). Shizuka's special performance is called "Inabauwer" which bend body backward. This is so beautiful. After the show, our family tried Inabauwer together and see who bends back the best:)

When Shizuka got her gold medal, I was here in Switzerland to engage with Zeno. It was such a coincident that I happen to be in Switzerland and watching her performance with Zeno. Now I'm living here and seeing her performance in live in Zurich, again with Zeno.


Thank you to all the performers for such a touching night.