I’ve decided to go back to Japan for a while because of COVID-19. It was a last minute decision, I hadn’t even thought of that a week ago, but I’m here in Japan now.
Right before I left Berlin, the situation was getting more and more serious every single day. Most of the shops: restaurants, bars, coffee shops, has closed or still open yet partially for just takeaway or in some way.
Though I expected the situation in Japan would be different from Europe, it was far more relaxed than I expected. I was trying to be calm when I was in Berlin while people were losing their minds, but I’m now trying not to lose any of a sense of danger.
It was such a lovely week. One of my friends in London visited Berlin for work, then we hung out with some of my other friends in Berlin, having wine, beer, and tea. It’s always nice to catch up with old friends, we had a tight hug and hope to see each other sometime soon.
I also had my birthday party on 23rd. I invited some of my best friends in Berlin, and had a small party at my friend’s with nice food and drink he made. Since many of my friends were barista, I got so much beans / tea leaves as birthday gifts.
My diary reminds me of my birthday party in London last year. I had a big party since I wanted to introduce among my friends, my birthday was a good excuse to do so. That is surprising it’s been only a year since then. I’ve faced so much stuff in the year. I feel myself more relaxed than me last year, and stable to achieve long-term goals.
Thank you all very much for celebrating my birthday, wish you all the best.
Yuri Shimaoka is a freelance dancer based in Berlin. She started learning ballet at 3, and came to Berlin as soon as she graduated from a university in Tokyo. In the conversation, she talked about her dance experiences specialised in ballet and contemporary dance, her life in Berlin as a freelance dancer, and we also talked about sounds which she’s always been interested in. Enjoy the episode and have a nice weekend.
I’ve got an idea of having a part-time job at the moment for a stable income. I chose one small local shop from the 15 coffee shops I’d visited, and asked the owner about the vacancy there. He led me to have a seat outside and talked for a couple minutes. He asked me a couple of basic things – how long I want to work, how long I’ve worked as a barista. After a pause, he stared at my eyes and said.
“I’d only like to work with really nice people. Not average, a nice person of nice people. How skilled you are is not a priority since you will develop if you have a proper practice. So please have a think that, whether you are confident of that. Please have a think for a day and text me.”
I thanked him and left the coffee shop. Then I started thinking whether I’m a nice person or not. I used to be confident of that – but I wonder if I’m still so. I’ve kind of lost the confidence struggling with living outside my home country and trying to be competitive among the international people. I kept thinking about it until 3 in the morning and replied to him that I’m confident with that.
I had a trial shift and he told me he wants to work with me – I also loved his attitude towards customers and coffee and that made me even more willing to work with him at the shop. After the event, I knew I’d like to be a nice person, as selfless as even I could influence someone’s ideas of their life.
I’ve been meeting really nice people – the owner, the monk, and the kids who are truly pure and nothing crafty behind. And now, come to think of it, this is a turning point to change my concept of personality as well as my life.
The track this week is a song from Private Lesson that I heard at one of my favourite coffee shops: Oslo Koffee Bar. The owner recently visited Tokyo and heard this song when he entered a record shop in Shibuya.
Japanglish this week
Thank you for following my work – see you next week. Have a lovely weekend.