Anxiety Lair

Anxiety Lair

[Caption: ALWAYS listen to the ALPACA]

Let’s start from the basics. Generally, I love Japanese lifestyle. I love how everything is carefully scheduled at least one month prior. I love how everything has a starting and a finishing time, which is meticulously respected. I love how every action is based on a clear motive, and the fact that reaching a goal is celebrated wholeheartedly.

However, what I don’t like is blindly focusing on schedules and goals only. Sometimes there is not enough room to sit and take a breath, or no time for divergence or adaptation. People running around with straight -though either tomato red or dead white- faces, trying to manage everything on time, trying to avoid the disgrace of being incompetent.

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Random break to enjoy today’s sunrise in my tiny village in Greece [live update – friends keep me informed]

Don’t get me wrong, my hobby is scheduling and I don’t consider myself lazy. Nevertheless, I know that you cannot be fast-paced all the time, else it’s certain that a breaking point will be reached. Yours, your colleague’s; someone’s in the vicinity. And that’s has been happening the past few days in my everyday life.

As I said, I love scheduling. Because of that passion, I save myself a lot of time and effort. I set my goals, and plan a tactic to achieve them early on, including emergency breaks or procrastination prognosis. This style has  proven effective throughout my years in school and university. It still works now in my postgrad course. Apart from one small thing; Now I’m anxious. Even though I know my plan, I know that I am moving steadily towards my goal, I feel uneasy. I never felt that before. The only time I get frustrated is just before receiving the answer sheets of a written exam; as soon as the exam starts, I’m light as a bird.

But here EVERYONE is anxious about EVERYTHING. And they transfer that feeling to you, even if you violently fight against it. I’ll present you two simple examples from yesterday. Recently my neighbor casually fainted on the cashier table – she didn’t eat much the past few days and 4 days after that she is still feeling weak. According to her words, it is a combination of the hot and humid Japanese summer (蒸し暑い mushiatsui – what a lovely, on-point adjective) and her anxiety about the exam. What will happen if she fails? She has to go back to her country, she has to rearrange her life; the unexpected turn of events scares her immensely. As for the second example, I was planning a meeting with a Japanese friend. We were thinking about visiting some waterfalls and one of the famous suicide forests, after I finish my exam. His reply was “I hope you do well to your exam, else I will be afraid to take you there”. In my mind, that was absurd. I would never have thought like that! I would never associate my failure with suicidal thoughts!

My point is, I care about failures, I want to be perfect always, but I know that it’s not always possible. I strive for the best, I gather any and every experience that a get the chance to live, and carefully treasure it in the back of my head, in case it’s needed in the future. Not the expected results? What’s done is done – Shikata ga nai. I’ll stand up, switch my thinking mode, come up with another plan, and at some point I’ll eventually get to do what I want. If you scatter your thoughts and loose your chill, though, nothing is guaranteed. There is a reason why people always advice ‘Calm down’ and ‘Don’t worry’. There is only one thing to do: Start over with a fresh mindset. Plus, remember what my Ghanian friend says ‘Bibia Be Ye Ye’ (=all will be well).

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Health, Fun, Happiness vs. Keeping tabs

Health, Fun, Happiness vs. Keeping tabs

Αιτώ δ’ υγείαν πρώτον, είτ’ ευπραξίαν. Τρίτον δε χαίρειν, είτ’ οφείλειν μηδενί.

–Φιλήμων

“Firstly I want health, second to have fun, third to be happy, fourth to owe to no one ” , ancient Greek comedy poet Philemon said.
Happiness is more important than money. 
We do all, but have some disturbances with the latter.
Health is foremost though. Never forget that.

Female thoughts

Female thoughts

[Featured image: The closest thing to a beach atm – Omotesando station]

The situation with big supermarkets in Japan is the following:

  • You buy what you want and put it in a basket.
  • The cashier scans the price tags and puts the products in a differently coloured basket.
  • You pay, the  cashier gives you some plastic bags, you go to a counter nearby and tidy up your stuff.
  • You are good to go.

But what happens if you bought female products like sanitary napkins? As soon as the cashier notices it, puts it in a non-transparent dark coloured bag, and even closes the top part with a sticker, so that the contents are visible in no way. The cashier’s hand movements were so spectacularly quick, avoiding a single glance from other customers was of utmost importance.

When I got back home, I expressed my surprise to my Asian roommate and her answer was: “But it is obvious that it should be hidden, I want no one to know! Why would anyone?”. I tried explaining my logic to her, but she was persistent on her opinion, so we reached no conclusion.

OK, I get that the female private parts are a sensitive topic that most women are not comfortable talking about. I get that all of us don’t want to vaunt about it either. But is it that big a shame that even at the super market we should completely hide it? Every woman has it, that’s where the mother functionality derives from. When you have to deal with the menstruation cycle, sometimes it may be hard, uncomfortable or even gross. But every woman has it, every grandma had it and every girl will have it. Fear of buying tampons etc is an emotion close to the fear of buying condoms. However, if we don’t accept it and don’t learn to talk or ask questions about our sex’s private parts, we may come across much more serious health-related issues, far exceeding in importance some trivial social shame.

Buying tampons or condoms, wearing no-sleeved blouses, wearing no make up: everyday things like that are no a norm for females in Japan and such a behaviour will probably give you some weird looks. I am ok with that, because as a foreigner I usually attract the attention just for existing. But what about a rebellious Japanese girl who got bored of all those rules and norms ?

El & stitch

El & stitch

Pt. 1

Yesterday was sewing day. Recently, I bought this wonderful woolen cardigan. One problem: it had a hoodie – and the hoodie had no ‘cool’ inside texture or pattern. So, I removed the hoodie, replaced it with a blue ribbon and attached a button (there weren’t any – such a shame, ’cause they are really helpful) to the neck part to keep the smiley shape in place. I like it better now! 

Pt. 2

After a month and a half of involuntary fasting  – I HATED EVERY MINUTE OF IT – I  begun eating again. First choice ? Junk food. Here are some pictures of food. No specific reason. Food is nice and I like to see nice stuff. 

Until next time! (Sketching and drinking on a late night evening)  16906671_398351217196418_2272492601045155840_n

Altering and Forgetting

Altering and Forgetting
Rusalochka (original title) or The Little Mermaid, 1976 film directed by Vladimir Bychkov

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Well, hello there and a Happy New Year! Many argue 2017 ought to be better, considering 2016 with all the celeb deaths etc., but I believe that’s not the point. Our everyday motives and attitude are what WE ourselves must change. And afterwards see the world in a new (bright? – I sure hope so)  light.

What’s up for today?

  • This marvelous article about translated literature by Stephen Snyder. Especially about Japanese literature exports.
  • Some short stories from Tip on a Dead Jockey by Irwin Shaw. Considering it was written post-WWII, the fact that all stories are easily relatable today  is truly impressive. I was tremendously moved by the one called “The sunny banks of the river Lethe”. What can happen when we start to forget? Dates, numbers, loved ones, our will and character? Here it is, for you to enjoy. the-sunny-banks-of-the-river-lethe
Wind and Fire change our Desire

Dusk – Fire 

Akeboshi – Wind

BONUS : This week’s stuck songs

Sweet Tempest – Mine (The Neon Demon OST)

Cepasa – Similar ft. Dasha Kolomiec

The National – Fireproof

Editors – Forgiveness

 

YAMANTAKA // SONIC TITAN – Hoshi Neko  (Last minute addition – thanks to a good friend)

 

 

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Ήξερες εσύ ότι υπάρχει λέξη ακυρότητα? (Week 10)

Ήξερες εσύ ότι υπάρχει λέξη ακυρότητα? (Week 10)

[Greek text]

Φυσικά και υπαρχει λέξη ακυρότητα, η μετάφραση του invalidity. Δεν ξέρω γιατί μου έκανε τόση εντύπωση, είναι απαραίτητο ένα ουσιαστικό που να περιγράφει την έννοια, αλλά δεν το είχα φανταστεί ότι θα υπάρχει αυτή η λέξη. Μου θυμίζει λίγο τις λέξεις που φτιάχνω μόνη μου στο μυαλό μου. Θα ξεκινήσω να την αναφέρω συχνά, ώστε να παρατηρήσω αν εντυπωσιάζει και τον υπόλοιπο κόσμο.

[English text]

Some interesting glossological stuff in japanese:

難民=REFUGEE comes from 難=DIFFICULT, TROUBLE and 民=PEOPLE

移民=IMMIGRANT comes from 移=MOVE and 民=PEOPLE

As a result, immigrants are ‘the moved people’ and refugges ‘the troubled people’. It gives us a hint about how to treat them. Kindness, compasion and solidarity above all.

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Well, not that kind of compassion (it’s a bit one-sided ^^ )

Highly Suspect – My name is Human 

Justice – Randy 

Röyksopp – Never Ever ft. Susanne Sundfør

Rag’n’Bone Man – Human

The Avalanches – Because I’m Me

Garbage – Magnetized

Warpaint – Whiteout

 

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