Liou's quiet little life...or is it?

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

It’s been a week now that my internship has finished, and I am currently enjoying some holidays at my grandparents house in the countryside. Even though there is no internet at home (obviously), I was smart enough to bring my laptop along with me, so I can watch all the series and movies I meant to watch the last past year. For example, the last few episodes of The Office (painfully realistic), and a lot of old Hollywood movies such as The Philadelphia Story, nice cast (Cary Grant, James Stewart and Kathryn Hepburn) but a bit disappointing.

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Last week was a little bit hectic, as I had to settle the last things for the end of my internship. I managed to go out with a couple of colleagues to a yakitori-street near Shinjuku, downtown Tokyo. Yakitori are basically skewers of meat on barbecue. Although it means grilled chicken, pork and vegetables such as onion and green bell pepper are used as well. This street is narrow, crowded, smokey and full of tiny yakitori bar with usually a maximum of 8 clients or so cramped between the bar and the wall. But this only adds up to the atmosphere, which is really convivial. If you want to know how it feels to be a japanese worker drinking and eating after work, this would be the place to go.

I must say it feels nice indeed not to have wake up early and to be able to relax, study some Japanese and watch movies. Although I know this can only last for a bit, as after a while the monotony will starts setting in. For now, I will travel a bit around Japan, not necessarily in the most logical order. Next weekend I will go to Nagoya, take a look at the city, and visit a friend nearby. After returning to Tokyo, Tuesday 12th I will take the airplane to go to the other part of Honshu (Japan’s main island) to Tottori prefecture. There I will visit some remote family - my grandmother’s niece and nephew. The latter lives in the house where my grandmother grew up. This house is considerably old, probably somewhere between 100 and 200 years, although I am not sure. I mean to bring my camera and make some nice black & white pictures, as I think this is a really interesting part of my family history.

Frankly, I am amazed at how healthy my grand-parents still are, especially considering my grand-father is almost 90! He managed to go up a ladder and crawl around in the attic to find our family's family crest! I am not sure if I will be able to do so at that age. Especially if I recall the elderly in the Netherlands with their walking devices. I haven't seen any of those her, but maybe that's just a bias, as don't see that many old people in the city anyway.

My family crest:
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After this I will stay one more week in Tokyo, probably meeting the interns that haven’t left by then, my family and buy some last-minute items. My return flight is the 26th and I will arrive the 27th in Paris. I’ll probably stay there one week before going back to the Netherlands. Of course, I hope to see most of you guys by then!