Moments that leave me speechless

When somebody in public transport gets het up about universities and students, rants loudly about the supposedly study-unability of today’s students and about the supposedly inferiority of today’s universities; at that, when that person gives me the impression that he hasn’t seen universities from the inside for decades and that he hasn’t yet once listened to the opinions of younger people. That happened in my town – a university town – in a bus full of students. Such ignorance and arrogance of older generations is something I violently dislike!

During my stay abroad in Japan I visited another city with fellow students. I needed to go to the bank and we agreed to meet up at a certain spot fifteen minutes later to eat out together. However, I didn’t find the bank and I got lost. When I arrived at our meeting point 45 minutes later, nobody was there. I went to the restaurant we all had agreed on and there they were, chatting cheerfully, with no worry about my whereabouts. They had went without me just like that, without even looking for me or calling my mobile number – me, a woman on my own in a metropolis that I wasn’t familiar with, in a foreign country. Almost needless to say that our friendship didn’t last much longer.

Promising things that come to naught

New Year’s resolutions.

A delicate basil plant that dies on me despite all care.

When I come upon a photo of a nicely folded animal in an Origami book, but then look into the instructions and realize that they are highly complicated and stretch out over several pages.

When I resolve to finally learn how to sew, get down to work with a small project while being in good courage, but then give up after a short while out of sheer monotony and boredom. Or when I dream of a pretty dress which doesn’t exist in that manner or is hard to get by or is very expensive and which I therefore would have to make myself, which I am not able to do.

An emperor as official head of state, theoretically, because he doesn’t really have a say and only serves as symbol – it has been like that for centuries (with a short break during Meiji and Shôwa period). If only Sei Shônagon had known this.

Things that I would like to try out

Bungee jumping, hang-gliding and whitewater-kajaking.

To put on a saree, a dirndl and a Kimono with twelve layers (jûnihitoe). Also, regency dresses similar to those which were common at the time when Jane Austen lived.

Traditional japanese hairstyles such as ofuku (おふく), yakko shimada (奴島田) or ichôgaeshi (銀杏返し).

Things that make me happy

To look at gorgeously patterned silken Kimono, to touch them and to put them on. Generally speaking everything that has got to do with Kimono.

When my teacher for classical Japanese who has high standards and demands approves of my attempt of translating a sentence and has no complain of my wording. What sense of delight!

A good grade for a term paper which I worked hard on.

Japanese food.

Being able to occupy myself with the Japanese culture.