26 Juli 2007


Things Jakob likes

My car. My marbles. My birthday cake.

My books. My friend.

Last week, we invited the neighbours for a japanese dinner. Jakob really insisted that they finish all the maki. They finished the beer all by themselves.

25 Juli 2007


All that we missed in Kitakami...

I recently discovered this restaurant and shopping blog about Kitakami ... lots of places I didn't ever see. This town is much bigger than it seems!
Perhaps Thomas still has time to check out some of them.

23 Juli 2007


O-tanjoubi - birthday!

We had a quiet weekend, with lots of time for relaxing, playing and visiting friends. Unfortunately Jakob, while taking pictures (he started to take really good ones!) let the camera fall down - and now it doesn't work any more. So no more photos for the moment. unless I get some from friends, like these:

And today was Jakob's third birthday - I didn't organize anything, no cake, no presents (he got so many things in the last weeks!), just a little birthday song in the morning, which seemed to satisfy him as well. And then we headed to the home of our friends, who proposed to take care of Jakob this week (as his regular babysitter is on holiday for two weeks), every morning. They have two children, one three years and one three months, and Jakob obviously loved to stay with them. Especially as he got a birthday present. And I was able to work at least for four hours in the morning. Next week will be more difficult, I will probably have to take him with me to the office.

18 Juli 2007


Things I miss from Japan

Punctual trains - and polite and uniformed engine drivers.


Hot springs.

Some food.

(Other food I don't miss at all.
Most of all I miss all our wonderful friends there - if some of them happen to read this, know that Jakob and I think a lot of you!

17 Juli 2007


Last weekend at the lake of Constance

Again we had a very nice weekend at my parents' house, with great weather (more than 30°C) and much time to relax. I even swam in the lake - not very long, though, as the water was only 17°C.

Lunch in town, with lots of cars:

Making hay for the sheep (my parents have four of them) - see the lake behind,of an amazing and sparkling blue:

Freshly picked black-and raspberries from the garden:

Jakob and my father:

The journey back to Frankfurt was less comfortable: We left at half past five in the afternoon - ten minutes later the train broke down because of an engine trouble, and we had to wait one and a half hour (and it was hot, because the air condition broke down, too; and Jakob had fever) before being slowly pulled back by another engine to our departure station. At that time, there was only one connection left for Frankfurt, by which we would have arrived at Frankfurt station around midnight - poor Jakob, to olate for him. I thus decided to return to my parents' house and try again the next morning. We all got up very early - my mother insisted to have breakfast with us, and my father accompagnied us to the station, where the train should have left at 5:49 am. It didn't - it was cancelled because of a track switch problem: they just couldn't get the train out off the depot . So we had to wait for another hour, and I arrived at work three hours later than I should have.
That is one thing I really miss here: The japanese railway system. Always reliable and exactly on time. I don't think that such a thing like this journey could ever happen in Japan.

12 Juli 2007


Kampai with a new friend

In Frankfurt, we live for the moment at the place of my friend and old colleague, Karen.
The second appartment in the building is occupied by a family with two sons, who very quickly became Jakob's close friends (especially because they have LOTS of toys and are very generous when it comes to lend them to Jakob). It is getting almost impossible to make him leave their appartment, except if one of them agrees to come to ours, as yesterday afternoon.


10 Juli 2007


"Jakob schick!"

Jakob is very fond of skirts, which he considers as much fancier than trousers. Therefore he always insists to wear the towel like a skirt or a dress, after bathing. "Jakob schick!" (fancy Jakob!) is his satisfied comment.


Pictures from Germany

Jakob at my parent's house at the lake of Constance:

At the playground (in Frankfurt, very close to the place of my friend and colleague Karen, where we stay until our own appartment will be free again):

Eating ice-cream after the first day with the new babysitter:

My new - still somewhat improvised - desk (the computer will arrive tomorrow), and the view from my window:

My new bicycle (from home to work it's about 10 km):

Another playground - and some old friends:

Jakob sleeping on the floor at the professor's house, where all the staff was invited last Friday. I tried to carry him to the sofa, but he woke up and wanted absolutely be put back on the floor.

Anti-demonstration against a Nazi-demonstration last weekend in Frankfurt. Thousands of policemen were present to avoid a clash between the adverse parties.

More coming soon.

09 Juli 2007



Nach diesem schändlich langen Stillschweigen hier nun doch noch ein kleiner Rückblick auf die letzten Tage in Japan, und was seitdem passiert ist.

Es gab noch einen neuen Frosch -und kaum war ich weg, berichtete Thomas von Nachwuchs, der überall im Garten unterwegs sei:

Es gab z.B. eine wunderbare Abendessenseinladung bei Hiroko, mit anschließender Teezeremonie.

Schöne Momente draußen (auf dem zweiten Bild sieht Jakob aus, als wüßte er, daß wir gehen):

So sah es zuletzt überall im Haus aus:

Und dann all die Abschiede in den letzten Tagen!

Zum letzten Mal im Boule de Neige und im Mühlenrestarant.

Zwei Tage vor der Abreise gab es eine große Sayonara-Grill-Party, während der ich natürlich von einem Weinkrampf in den nächsten taumelte (vor allem, als im Chor ein unendlich trauriges Abschiedslied gesungen wurde). Aber schön war's natürlich trotzdem.

Am letzten Tag war Jakob dann nochmal so richtig Hahn im Korb bei den Nachbarsfrauen. Ich glaube, da habe ich am meisten Tränen vergossen.
Am Bahnhof in Kitakami aber auch.

Und in Tokyo dann natürlich nochmal.

Erholsam war die Übernachtung am Flughafen, im Marroad-Hotel in Narita. Der Blick auf die Startbahn ist unschlagbar.
Unser Flug war problemlos, und wir waren dann ganz schon froh und gleichzeitig ganz schön traurig, in Deutschland angekommen zu sein.

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