Monthly Archives: January 2017

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From Output Rock Bar to Sakurazaka

I visited Output Rock Bar and Sakurazaka in Naha, Japan in September 2016

‘You know what’ the bartender says. ‘I close the bar, then we go to Sakurazaka. I can show you good bars. Real Okinawa nightlife’ He has been telling me of this great bar district in Naha, Sakurazaka, he compares it to Golden Gai in Tokyo. Now he apparently wants to show it to me. Never mind he is currently working. It is a slow night, closing the bar won’t make much of a difference.

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Awamori – A Drink From Okinawa

I visited Okinawa and tried Awamori in September 2016

The bartender fills the glass with ice cubes, then pours the spirit. Only half full. He tops of the glass with water. A quick stir, hands me the glass. I bring it to my lips, take a small sip. No strong flavours right away, a hint of tequila maybe, but very mellow. A little bit sweet. Not my favorite drink, but quite good. Very watery when mixed this way. I look up at the bartender, points to my awamori. Suki desu, I say. I like it. I take another sip, larger this time. I could drink this.

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An English Book Store in Hiroshima

I visited Outsider Global Lounge in Hiroshima in March 2014

I walked through the book store, looked at every book shelf, was quite impressed by their selection of English books, this being Japan. I have never found many books in English for sale in Japan. Here I found many interesting books, was tempted to buy a few.

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Terracina, Italy

I visited Terracina in June 2004 and April 2008

I would start every day with an espresso at Caffe’ del Duomo on the square just outside our apartment. The sun was up, warming up the air slowly. It was so nice to sit down in a chair, relax, enjoy a cup of coffee. The town was still quiet, but starting to wake up. A few people hurried by on their way to work, tourists waking up early passing by on their way to the next site. Walking the old Via Appia, that old Roman road. It was not that warm yet, but you could feel the temperature slowly rising. Eventually I took my jacket off, a t-shirt was enough. A coffee in the morning, outside, watching the city come to life. What a great way to start the day.

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Sightseeing in Rome

I went sightseeing in Rome in April, 2008

I didn’t quite see what the thing with the Spanish Steps was. They were steps. Maybe more beautiful than other steps, I don’t know. I just did not see it. Tourists filled the steps taking pictures, selfies, blocking the way. We did the same ourselves. Have to document that we had been here.

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A Christmas Market in Gamla Stan, Stockholm

I visited the Christmas Market in Gamla Stan in Stockholm in December 2016

Gamla Stan (The Old Town) in Stockholm is beautiful. Old stone houses lining picturesque streets. Narrow alleyways twisting and turning around the buildings. The Royal Castle at one end, a massive building, constantly watched by the King’s Guards. It was my first time in Stockholm in thirty years, I was staying in the middle of Gamla Stan. As soon as I had checked into my airbnb-apartment I set out to explore. I was walking through the streets, no plan in mind. Just getting my first look at the city. Taking in the views. There was so much to see. Some many places to stop and admire. In a month this would be my home town. I was anxious to see what Stockholm had to offer.

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I have moved to Sweden

I moved to Sweden in January 2017

I am writing this in my new apartment in Hammarbyhöjden in Stockholm. It is my second day in Sweden, or more like my first day in fact. I came here very late last evening. After arriving at my new home I only had time to quickly unpack the stuff I needed today, then I went to sleep. This morning I went to my new job for the first time, a 20-minute metro ride from my apartment. I know it is early to tell yet, but so far I have a good feeling about the job. Hopefully I will be as optimistic about living in Sweden in a few months time as I am now.

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Book Review: History of Iceland

History of Iceland by Jón R. Hjálmarson

I read History of Iceland in December 2016

Iceland, that small island all alone up north in the Atlantic ocean. A country of vikings, sagas, volcanoes and geysirs. A country that almost took over the financial world before being dragged back down by the 2008 market crash. A country where a volcano grounded almost all European air traffic for weeks. And a country where one of the great showdowns of the Cold War happened, over the chess board that is. It might be a small country but it is a country with a long and proud history.

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I am moving to Stockholm, Sweden

I moved to Stockholm, Sweden in January 2017.

When I put down the phone it started to dawn on me. Little by little. This was a big decision I had made, life-changing. And I had made it without really thinking it through. Things had happened so fast, no chance to think. I had been on holiday in Japan and Taiwan most of the time as well. Had I made the right decision?

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New Year’s Day in Japan

I celebrated New Year’s Day in Japan in 2015

The throng of people started already at the Harajuku train station. Everyone on the Yamanote Line was getting off here, long lines of people were forming at the ticket barriers. As we got out of the station, into the large open area in front of Meiji Park, it was not so packed anymore. But a steady stream of people were exiting the station, everyone heading in the same direction.

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