What to do in Fukuoka?

Have you ever wondered what to do in Fukuoka?
As I studied there for a year, I especially enjoyed daily life there, but let me attempt to list up what you can do when you want to get out! If I have a blog about it, I will add it as a personal experience 😀

First of all, type in ‘Fukuoka’ in Google images, sit back, take a deep breath and enjoy the view… Don’t you wanna hop on a plane and leave? Continue reading

To write or not to write? – that’s the question

“Remember that time when you sat down and didn’t stand up for a while – it was a bit shaky sometimes – there were movies everywhere around you – then it was quiet sometimes – and you got served food..
it’s called a flight
and it brought you back .. to people who do neither live in Japan – nor speak Japanese.”
quote from a friend 🙂

It has been months since I got back but I’m still rather goalless, worried about stuff and unsure what to do with my life. Japan has become a vague dream I haven’t dreamed in ages.

The day before yesterday a dear friend asked me to give her the link to my blog again, but I told her I stopped writing. Now I wonder: Is anyone interested in more of my rantings, even when they are not related to Japan?
In Leuven I have wonderful housemates from Hungary, Burundi, Wallonia (the French part of Belgium) and the West of Flanders; I can write about the stuff I missed here and the friends and events I miss in Japan, about my worries, Belgian culture and other stories. But who wants to read that?
Is there a point in writing?
Let me know by liking/commenting/… please 🙂


Another quote by another friend, which I can totally relate to:

“I just suddenly had this violent feeling of wanting to go back while in the car. It was strange! And it keeps coming back in smaller waves now.”

Some joys of being back home:

Blog’s birthday

Exactly one year ago, on September 7th 2014, I created this blog and if I had known then what I know now… I would be a bit less nervous, but still eager to leave my home country for lovely Fukuoka.
Today some girls of Fukuoka Women’s University arrived at Leuven and I helped them a bit finding their way (to the dorm). As I saw their eagerness to get to know Belgium, to try the food and to start living here, I got reminded how it felt for me one year ago, when I just arrived in Japan and I didn’t know a thing about anything. It made me feel… sad? Happy for them, that they still have so much to explore, but at the same time sad.
On my way home, while reading Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer, I couldn’t stop thinking a lot of things. I wish I had pen and paper, but even my phone had died and while thoughts were whirling in my head there was no way to put it down. Black on White. So this turns out to be another stream of consciousness.

-I am jealous of the students leaving for Japan now-

To a certain degree I feel like I am back where I was before. Nothing has changed. I’ve been gone for a year, but now I’m back at the exact same spot. I’m still a student without diploma, still financially dependent, still haven’t figured out stuff… Have Í even changed?
I think I learned some things, but at the same time I guess I’m still the same person. Aren’t I?

I got to understand more that I cannot trust anybody as much as I can trust yourself. I shouldn’t rely too much on others, double check information, don’t trust people on their word (doesn’t matter whether it’s a stranger or a loved one) and don’t expect them to always live up to expectations. People make promises and forget about them.
At the same time I should learn to let go… not dwell on things like I’m doing right now. I want to be able to do things without thinking, without worrying about consequences.

In Japan I always had something I wanted to do. After all I wanted to be able to talk Japanese fluently. I wanted to get better at volleyball, I wanted to meet friends, climb mountains, bike around, ace classes, be able to run faster and further, learn to cook (never happened) and especially hang out with friends and get to know them, their background and cultures.

Right now I guess I want to graduate, find a job and become independent. Then what? Wait, no, what kind of job? Good question. 😉 Goal: figure out what I want to do with my future.
Other goal: become a better person, try to do something for the world, starting with myself.

“The world is filled with nice people. If you can’t find one, be one.”

But it’s so more than that… Lately I’m starting to feel anxious about a lot of things. At first the climate, a subject that rose regularly, as my uncle and aunt told me about the change of the ice on the mountains, this year there is way less rainfall, the harvest isn’t very well and so on… And while we’re at it let me worry about the IS, the fate of refugees in Europe, intensive (animal) farming and so on… What can I, little person, do about these problems? :/ Tell me.

Trying to figure stuff out. Read. Have me-time. Lots of me-time. Avoid meeting too many people. Try to write the blogs I want to write…


I have tried over and over again to write this blog. Even now I don’t know whether I will just delete every word or share it with the world.

After almost a year with amazing experiences in Japan, I am home. Well, can I say home? I almost don’t dare to write it, but… where is home? Whàt is ‘home’? There are too many possible answers and I don’t know which one is right.

By now Japan feels so far away…

Do you know the kind of lucid dream, so vivid it feels real? Do you know that moment when you’re almost waking up and you suddenly realize it IS a dream after all? Then you try to grasp it but it slips through your fingers. You wake up and even when you try to get back to that dream, it is not possible. Continue reading

Green Island ~ Dream Island?

Let’s just forget the fact that I’m already five months late with telling this.

In Taiwan one of the main stops was Green Island (or can we say, Dream Island?). We went there by boat (boat! A boat! Hadn’t been on one in years!) and had planned to go around the island by bike.

As we arrived there an old woman called out to us and tried to get us to hire scooters, but we were like noooo nooo not necessary, we want bicycles! As we walked on, we only ran into shops with scooters though.. Where were the bikes??
And suddenly the woman of before chased us on her scooter, calling out to us in Chinese. I got my guidebook and pointed to the Chinese word for “bicycle” several times. She gestured to get on and well.. I did. My first time on the back of a scooter, hell, my first time on a scooter!
For a moment I wondered where she was taking me, this crazy woman.
It turned out the shop she worked for did not hire bicycles. At all. There were scooters which we could rent without a licence so.. well… there seemed to be no other option 😀 Continue reading

The teacher we admire the most

I cannot not write this, so.. here we go. I think I can truly say that there was one teacher in FWU whom we (the WJC’s who took the course) all admire. One year long we read Murakami’s books After the Quake, Blind Willow Sleeping Woman and Norwegian Wood together and analyzed it in depth. Why is one description so vague and then another part described in detail whereas Murakami claims not to be a huge fan of lyrical descriptions? What is really up with this or that character?

Okay, somehow I cannot find the right words, but I can say that it was the first time for me to read a book not pure for enjoyment, but read more between the lines and argued about… well, everything.
Mister Pugh never ridiculed our theories and even when we ourselves thought what we were saying was crap, he encouraged our ideas. Even though his class was the last of the week (and we were tired of the other classes), we were looking forward to it and everyone always felt welcome to share their ideas.

I will miss this… I wish I could have more classes by him, because I think there is so much he can teach and at the same time I feel so ignorant. I cannot remember ever having a better or more inspiring teacher.

Oh and… at our last meeting… I gathered the courage to ask for a picture, huhum.


And.. Erh… What everyone always wanted to say but didn’t do since it was too embarrassing:
We love you mister Pugh!
Thank you for everything.