Monday, May 11, 2015

Hard times, good friends

Again a lot has happened since the last post. As the temperatures rise and the weather gets warmer, so does Tokyo and the Japanese.

I have been trying to get a job in Tokyo these last weeks, which proved to be much more difficult and frustrating than I expected, even with an university degree and more than 10 years of working experience. This whole thing has been so intense, that I kind of forgot the real reasons I came to Japan. I think I got a little carried away by the Japanese way of being productive, identifying with your job and sacrificing your own needs for something, that I don't even understand what exactly it is. In this aspect, I learned, I will never be Japanese enough, which is good, as I am European, and trying to be something else will consequently make me unhappy. That is why I choose not to think about it too much and focus more on the important things in life.

I have also finally found a good place for Cappuccino around Meguro and have been going to Chums appartment ( on almost daily bases for some time now and they seem to have finally accepted me there, greeting me now every time with big smiles and a Cappuccino without weird toppings like chocolate or cinnamon. The food looks really nice too, allthough I haven't had the opportunity to try it yet, since I'm cooking at home a lot and saving my money because I still haven't found a job. It is also at Chums that I met some really nice people which I have been enjoying some really great time with lately.

Being in a Café/restaurant for the most part of the day can be quite enlightening for an observant... Observer! Japanese social interactions are still somewhat eluding me, and therefore always a source of great pleasure to witness. The other day, I sat facing a woman sitting alone at a table, having lunch. She seemed completely absorbed by the sole action of eating, completely focused on every bite, every ingredient she took on her chopsticks, not directing her gaze away from her food once during the whole time, carefully chewing her food. I don't think I have ever seen such dedication to a meal in my whole life. Her attention seemed completely turned inwards, completely fading out her surrounding. And yet, in all this dedication, all this devotion for her nurrishment, her face was absolutely expressionless. Not one muscle twitch, not one emotion passed over her face. It was absolutely impossible to say whether she liked what she was eating so perfectly disciplined or not.

I have also expanded my knowledge on Tokyo nighlife going to Air ( and En-sof ( for some pretty good electro... Finally!!! Air is a club underneath a restaurant with 2 dancefloors, not overpopulated with gaijins and (for Tokyo) reasonnable pricing even though it was François K (NY). At this occasion I learned that in Japan there is actually a law that prohibits dancing. En-sof on the other hand was more a bar with a dancefloor in Shibuya, as Rubyroom, but not as overflowing with gaijins. In fact I was the only foreigner there, which felt really good, as it felt like being completely immersed into Japan for the first time... Like swimming for the first time without holding on to the borders of a swimmingpool.

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