More interesting stuff from the Netherlands! This is a combination of Renkum and Amsterdam. Fair warning – there’s a couple of images in this post that might be seen as slightly NSFW in some circles. (No nudity or gore though.)
Perhaps it was because it was so cold when I arrived that I didn’t get outside for a walk until yesterday. It got up to 75 and it was marvelous. I had been anxiously watching the weather forecast for days with plans to walk in the nearby forest. I first went to my grand overseer’s house to ask which direction to walk. (I don’t have regular phone service so google maps won’t work if I want to plan a route.) Josien and her husband Peter warned that it was easy to get lost in the wooded area to the North and to try to listen for cars on one of the larger roads if I did. I felt confident that I would be just fine.
SO… there was a pokemon go event near Amsterdam and OMG I’m going to Amsterdam that day. Doing the math, that means I’m going to this event, in a foreign country, to catch a kangaroo. This stupid pocket monster is normally only available in Australia so it’s an amazing opportunity for me to catch two regional pokemon (Europe has a mime) in one place without having to purchase a ticket to Australia. I planned my visit to Amsterdam with an overnight stay with friends Margaret and Rene who live a little north of the city in a converted house that used to receive small ships. Margaret and Rene are the Dutch couple I met in the residency in Onishi, but being such a huge people-hater, it took me over 2 hours to warm up to them. Margaret is a top photographer and Rene is a consultant who helps brand companies to make them more successful and then guides them towards being a better and more responsible business ecologically. (I had to say this out loud here because I know that Margaret gets patted on the shoulder at the very least and most likely gets a kiss for communicating correctly to me what Rene does.) I think the Dutch have one of the most ecological cultures I may have ever seen. They are very ready to embrace ecological responsibilities.
Welp. I gotta tellya. This is a very different residency. It’s not bad. In fact, the old people-hating me from about 60 days ago, had she come here first, would be doing just fine. This is very solitary. I have a big Dutch house all to myself. It’s beautiful here and the kitchen area has a beautiful garden to look out on. Here, see for yourself.
I have some tiny movies for you.
Japan has a lot of themed cafes and restaurants. It seems like the very first place I would be interested in (aside from a cat cafe) would be the Robot Restaurant. Uh. Sure – if there were actual robots operating the restaurant. This place looked hugely overstimulating, so I gave it a big no go. There are also maid cafes, a vampire cafe, owl cafes, hedgehog cafes, etc. I opted for the Monster Cafe in Harajuku and I essentially took one for the team. It was overpriced, the food tasted like chemicals (What was I expecting?), the service was bad, and the entertainment was annoying. I’ll tell you what I did get out of it though: really good pictures. Enjoy.
I’ve written about food a lot, I know. I kinda like food. Japan has many wonderful food offerings but there’s definitely a dark side to food where Japan is concerned. I’m not sure what’s going on so I’m going to try to analyze some of the things I found aggravating.
Tokyo Edition! I still have so many images to share from Japan. Let’s get right to it.
This post could be called many things: “The Oni Cafe,” “The Best People in the World Live in Onishi (and/or Read this Blog),” “Why Wasn’t I Born a Japanese Person,” “Satan Created Goodbyes,” “I Adopted a Japanese Grandfather,” “Kurumi is Actually a Bear…” I could co on. It’s a bit of a big wrap-up of my stay in Japan though there will still be a few more posts about Japan before I’m done with this blog series. But alas, this post is titled Return of the Fluids for foreshadowy reasons. (Also, Fluids 2: Bigger, Badder and More Watery was messing with my website search engine optimization…)
Today is my first full day in Renkum, Holland. I was greeted at the nearby train station by the residency concierge, Josien Jonegan, who graciously gave me a ride home with my cumbersome luggage. I was shown around the house and quickly given a key. Josien knew I was tired as I had just come off of 28 solid hours of travel. (Let me tell you how grateful I was for the ride from the train station as opposed to wrangling a bus…) Had an ok night’s sleep. I’m fighting jet lag right now and staying awake as long as I can. I’m eating french fries and fried chicken wings with a sweet chili sauce and drinking a malbec. It’s glorious. Wanna see some pics? Of course you do.
This one’s for you Rosalie! Japan has an obsession with cute. Like… really really has an obsession with cute. In Japanese the word for cute is “kawaii” and there’s a massive culture built around it. I’m getting a little sucked in to the madness with anything that is a black cat, and of course, Gudetama. Let’s look at some pics.