Been home for a week now. Want to finish up the Dutch design week posts and get that nagging tea ceremony post finished. (No disrespect to the tea ceremony, of course!) It’s awesome being home and holing up feels all kinds of right for me here. I think the cats are helping me out on that front. I’m finally sleeping normally, from 10:30 to 6:30, and I feel rested. YES. The first few days were tough because I was waking up at 4. I’d make my tea as quietly as I could and turn on AC Origins, also quietly, and would play until Ryder woke up. Usually though, it had me hooked until noon… the way video games tend to do.
I’m home. I can’t believe it. I CAN’T BELIEVE IT. Everything is so familiar yet none of this feels like mine. At least my body remembers where everything is and I haven’t knocked anything over or jammed my toes on anything while jet-laggedly fussing with stuff in the dark. As an added bonus, I get to write to you this morning with a soft, warm, purring animal in my lap. I’ll have to see what kind of moisturizer Ryder’s been using. The return home was a solid 25 hours of travel but everything went very smoothly despite my worrying that it wouldn’t. Let me tell you about it!
I’m overwhelmed guys. Now I’m back in Renkum and I’m still overwhelmed. I took 631 photos in two days at Dutch Design Week. Let me put that into perspective for you. On my phone right now from 2011-2012, I have 26 photos, 2013 – 112 photos, 2014 – 267, 2015 – 198. I don’t take a lot of photos… usually… and in two days I just did what it took me 5 years to do. I’m not even sure I totaled that many photos in my beloved Japan!
Lots going on over here. Gearing up to leave for Eindhoven to see Dutch Design Week 2017 in all its innovative glory and just finished sending my residency application off to Barcelona. Fingers crossed on that one. I have a little time to throw a super short weird stuff post at ya…. but it’s actually all cool stuff.
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.