Good old Copenhagen 古き良きコペンハーゲン

A couple of weeks ago I went for a weekend to Copenhagen with some girlfriends. I visit Copenhagen at least once a year, preferably twice. It is so close to Sweden, it’s almost ridiculous and Copenhagen is such a nice and relaxed city.
二週間前友達とコペンハーゲンに週末旅行に行った。せめて年に一回コペンハーゲンに行くけど普通二回行くの。デンマークはスウェーデンとくだらないほど超近いしコペンハーゲンという町とてもリラックスで雰囲気がいい町だ。

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Copenhagen is only 40 minutes by train away from Malmö in Sweden. My colleague and friend Joanna who works at our Malmö office came to join our little group and went with us for dinner. And did some trampoline jumping🙂
スウェーデンにあるMalmöからコペンハーゲンに40分間で行ける。なので、うちの会社のMalmöオフィスで働いてる友達が遊びやディナーしに来た。トランポリンも楽しんだ:)

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As always in Copenhagen, you get great food and great beer. We had to visit Mikkellers Öl & Bröd, which is the beer brand Mikkellers restaurant. Very very reasonable prices for great seasonal danish food. Nom nom…
いつものように、コペンハーゲンで食べたものすごく美味しかった。もちろん、MikkellerのÖl & Brödというレストランでディナーを楽しみに行くしかなかった。理想な値段で最高のスカンディナヴィア季節料理。美味しかった。。。

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Another really nice thing about Copenhagen is that you can walk anywhere. But still there is always something new to discover. Until this time I’ve always stayed and spent most time in Westerbro, but now stayed in Norrebro. Norrebro also had many great cafes and second hand shops and next time I go to Copenhagen I’d like to explore further.
コペンハーゲンの長所の中の一つは、どこにも歩ける町の大きさなのに、新しく発見できるエリアが何回行っても必ずある。今までいつもWesterbroに止まったが今回Norrebroにした。Norrebroにも面白いカフェや古着屋などあって、面白い街だった。今度また行こう。

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Actually, my mom and I already planned going to Copenhagen after summer. I’m looking forward already!
実は夏の終わりにまたお母さんとコペンハーゲンに行く予定なの。もう楽しみ!

Stockholm isn’t that bad though. Last weekend we went to Rosendals Trädgård, which is a garden located at Djurgården in Stockholm. Great weather and a really lovely garden. I need to do more exploring at home too it seems. I mean, how cute isn’t that green house?
ストックホルムにもいいポイントがあるけどね。例えば、先週末 Rosendals Trädgårdという庭に行った。晴れて素敵なガーデンだった。多分だけど、ストックホルムももっと探検しなくちゃいけないかな。だって、この温室超可愛いくない?

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Pictures from London ロンドンから写真

Wow. It’s been 5 months since I last wrote something here. I don’t know, I just haven’t felt like writing anything. However, my mother is bugging me all the time, saying that there need to be more new stuff at the blog or she will get crazy. So here I am.

あら、もうこのブログで5ヶ月間何も書いってないよね。さ、ただ書くやる気なかった。ただ、私の母はずうっともうブログで何か書いてよって言う続いているからまあ、仕様がないな。

One and a half week ago, we went to London for a longer weekend trip. I didn’t really have any great expectations to be honest, but it was amazing. I really enjoyed it, the parks, the gardens, the food, the coffee, the shopping, the people, the pubs. We had great weather too which might have influenced my opinion quite a bit but still, it is a great city and I can’t wait to go back. This will be a brief blog post text-wise, but I’ll compensate with loads of photos. I think that’s what my mum is looking for anyways…

一週間半前ロンドンに週末旅行に行ったの。そこまで期待がなかったけど、最高の街だった。公園やガーデン、食べ物、カフェ、買い物、人々、パブ、全部よかったよ。しかも天気がとてもよくて最も最高の旅になった。戻りたい。今日は文書が短くて写真が多い。たぶん、母親の希望通り。

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First off is Kew Gardens, this huge garden west of London that’s so big you can’t see everything in a day. It also has little cafes and restaurants. I really liked it there.
まずはキューガーデン。でっかい西ロンドンにある植物園。カフェもレストランがあるし、とてもいい観光地だった。

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Look at these huge water lilies in the water lily house! ほら、このでっかいスイレン!

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We also had afternoon tea at Fortnum Mason, which I had been looking forward too a lot. It wasn’t that good though. I could have done it better myself to be honest. Especially for the humble price of around 60 euros per person…
フォートナムメイソンで有名なアフタヌーンティーをしました。超楽しみにしてあったけど、結構がっかりした。高くてそこまで美味しくない。一人1万円ぐらい。自分が作るクッキーの方が美味しいよ、正直に言うと。

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We walked a lot, along the canals, looking at different parks, dropping by in nice shops. I want this flower pot boat.
ロンドンで結構歩いた。川沿い、公園を見たり、面白そうな店に入ったりした。この植木のボートが欲しい。

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In one shop I found this amazing cantaloupe drink. Tasted like drinking a blended cantaloupe, straight off. It contained only pressed cantaloupe so no wonder.. but still it was awesome.
ある店でカンタロープの飲み物を買った。そのままカンタロープをミックスしたものの味した。素材はカンタロープだけでありえないほど美味しかった!

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There is good coffee everywhere you turn in London. And they are great at breakfasts. I enjoyed everything we ate (besides from the afternoon tea).
ロンドンのどこに行っても美味しいコーヒーが手に入れる。カフェの朝ごはんも最高だった。食べたもの全部とても美味しかった(まあ、アフタヌーンティー以外かな)。

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And then we walked some more. Through Hyde Park, Shoreditch, Soho, Camden, Notting Hill and along the Thames.  The houses in Notting Hill with the blooming wisteria looked amazingly expensive.
もっと歩いた。Hyde Park, Shoreditch, Soho, Camden, Notting Hill, テムズ川沿い。フジ属が咲いたNotting Hillの家が非常に高く感じた。

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And then we had fish n’ chips. And that was basically it! And I’d love to go back to London any day.
そしてフッシュアンドチップスを食べた。それぐらいかな。ロンドン旅は。また行きたい、いつでも戻ってもいいよ。

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Japan and tidying according to Konmari 日本とコンマリ流

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So it’s 2016 and I’m back from Japan. Drinking green tea while waiting for my boyfriend to finish dinner (we’re having Japanese curry). It’s winter and cold outside, not 15 degrees and sun. But still, things are good. The Japanese trip was also good, but very intense. Since we were only there for a week and a half everyday was filled with stuff to do, friends to meet, shopping errands to run and in the midst of it acting guide for a couple of Swedish friends who were in Japan at the same time. It was fun though, and I didn’t have time to think about work – which is good – and relax is something I can do at home so all in all the trip was good.
2016年になって、日本から帰った。彼氏はディナーを作りながら、私がお茶を飲む。外は晴れと15度じゃなくて冬でマイナスど。でも、いい感じ。日本の旅行は楽しかったけど、忙しかった。一周間半しかいなかったので毎日出かけて友達に会ったり、買い物したり、スウェーデンの友達のガイディングしたりした。楽しかったけどね、しかも仕事の事を考える時間全くなかった。リラックスの方はスウェーデンでできるし。

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When going to Japan one thing we always look forward to is food. Eating food and buying ingredients to bring home. For me the Japanese kitchen is the best in to world and there are constantly new flavors to discover and also new flavors to learn to like. There are plenty of weird things that Japanese people eat that taste bitter or just strange and some things you just have to learn how to enjoy, and it really takes time but once you start liking it you are hooked. For example, getting to like green tea took a couple of weeks for me (my host family in Hokkaido during my high school trip, like many Japanese, drink cold green tea instead of water so I just had to learn), mochi took some months, and just this year (after 7 years of disliking it) I learned how to like shiso, a Japanese herb related to mint that tastes really weird. It’s often served together with sashimi for decoration (the green leaf hidden under the tuna in the picture below) but also used for flavoring on top of rice etc. I even bought seeds this time so I can grow it at home.
日本行く時食べ物がいつも楽しみ。食べるも材料を買うも。私にとって日本の料理は世界1だ。新しい味がまだ発見できてだんだん好きになってくる味が色々ある。和食では苦いは変わった味の食べ物が多くて、慣れて美味しく楽しめるまで時間がかかる。でも、やっと好きになったら大好きに成るものが多い。例えば、冷たいお茶に慣れるのは2週間とかかかって、餅は数ヶ月、でやっと今年紫蘇にはまった。家で育てるよに種も買ったし。

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I also bought loads of kitchenware. I love wooden kitchenware, it looks and feels really nice for serving food. And it’s really common in Japan so I bought a lot.
日本で食器を沢山買った。とても気に入っている木の食器は日本で人気だからいっぱい買ってしまった。

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We spent New Years Eve at the boyfriend’s house as usual, just eating typical New Years food (soba noodles and small little dishes of various kinds) and relaxing. New Years is the big family holiday in Japan so staying in the house is the standard thing to do. On the New years day we watched the first sunset of the year from the top of Mori Tower. Tokyo really is huge. And then there were the usual things to do, going to the temple (with one million other Japanese people since we chose Meiji Jingu, one of the most popular ones) and get your fortune telling for this year. However, we kind of failed and instead of the usual fortune telling strips we accidentally bought quotes from the Meiji emperor. It turned out to not be such a bad idea after all, since my quote said in short that life is full of bumps and goes up and down and one’d better be prepared. That is basically exactly what I needed to hear – thank you Meiji Emperor! My boyfriend’s quite stated that to get what you want you need to work hard, and since he work all the time I don’t know what to apply it on… Our friend Erik’s quite was something that your heart is a mirror and it should be polished. No one could figure out what that meant😀
大みそかを彼氏の実家で過ごした。蕎麦を食べてゆっくりした。元旦に森ビルから2016年の初めてのサンセットを見た。東京はでかいね… そしていつもの通り初詣に行った。今度は明治神宮に行ってすごい人が多かった。御神籤を買おとしたら失敗して明治天皇の引用句みたいなものを買ってしまった。でも、その間違いの結果はいいことになったの。私がもらった引用句のメッセージは大体、人生にいい時も大変な時もあるから準備しろ、ってことだった。丁度そういうのを聞きたかった。ありがとう、明治天皇様!彼氏がもらった引用句の意味は、ゴールをリーチするようにもっと頑張らなくちゃ。まあ、すでにいつもいつも仕事してるからもっと頑張れるのかな、と思っているけど。友達がもらった引用句の意味がなかなか理解できなかった、誰でも。”心が鏡だから、拭かなくちゃ”みたいなことだった。よく分からないな(笑)。

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Anyhow, back to real life. In Japan I bought a book called The life changing magic of tidying up, by the Japanese tidying expert Mari Kondo. She has developed the Konmari method for tidying your entire home and her book has become a huge bestseller internationally. The basic idea is that you should only surround yourself with things that make you happy, or spark happiness. You hence discard all things that don’t make you happy. This is the way to get a clutter free home which Mari Kondo claims will make your life better in so many ways. You do the process in order of category, starting with clothes and then moving on to other things such as kitchen stuff, bathroom things and so on. It sounds easy but it’s a bit tricky. Getting rid of things that don’t really make you happy but make you think “you might use some day” or “might fit if I loose 5 kilos and it did look kinda good in the shop” or “I spent so much money on this is would be a waste to throw it away” is hard. But once you get started it feels really so much better. I started with my clothes, just like the method suggests.
とにかく、日本で人生がときめく片づけの魔法の本を買った。日本人の皆んなさんがたぶん本の内容を大体分かっているからここで説明しない。一応面白いかなと思って読むことにした。読んだらだんだんコンマリ流に興味ができて、やろうとした。方法は簡単だけど、意外と難しかった。”いつか役に立つかな”や”5キロ痩せたら使えるかも”、”これ高かったから捨てるのはもったいない”などの考えが簡単に現れる。でも、やってみるとだんだんやりやすくなる。私は服から始めた。

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The method also suggests a special kind of folding for your clothes, involving standing all items up instead of stacking on top of each other. I was very sceptic towards this folding method at first, but once I started using it I realized that it felt rather natural. And as for discarding, it felt great to get rid of things that I don’t really like! And even better, the feeling when you realized that you are “ready” to part with an item, that you have made up your mind. I know that there probably are some items left that I just couldn’t get rid of and kept although I don’t know if they make me happy or not. Some items I felt I really like, but they annoy me a bit in some ways – so they make me happy and confused. Not sure what to do with those items. Anyhow, I ended up giving away 3 big bags of clothes to a used clothing store today, and one huge bag is going to be thrown away. There is also a small bag for things to sell online. I did the wardrobe yesterday and my makeup/bathroom equipment today. It feels great to get rid of things you don’t really enjoy that are actually just a burdon and most of all to know what you own and where it is.
私は本で提案される服の畳み方に対して最初結構懐疑的だった。でもやってみたら、とても自然にできて好きになった。だからコンマリ流の通り全ての服を片づけた。いらないもおを捨てるのはすごく気持ち良かった!ただ、たまに欲しいかいらないのは決められないもがあって、捨てられなかった。まあ、とにかくでっかい袋を三つ古着屋にあげて、一つのもっと巨大な袋を捨てて、一つの小さい袋は売り物。それは昨日の作業だった。今日はメイクアップのものを片づけた。いらないものを捨てて、後は持っているものはどこにあるのか分かるのは平和な状態だと気付いた。

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I know this sounds messed up, but I already feel like a happier person, although I have not done even half of the apartment yet. It might be a coincidence, but I start to believe that since we spend so much time in our home it is important that it’s a place filled only with things we like. Things we own after all, are a big part of our life, so we should choose them with care.
変だけど、すでにもっと幸せな人になったかも。偶然かもしれないんだけど、家で過ごす時間が長いから好きなものだけで大事にしないと。持っているものは人生の大切な一部だから気を使って選んだほうがいい。

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Well well, we will see, maybe my house is super messy in two weeks and I’m back to total confusion. Or maybe this changes things, just like Marie Kondo says. Maybe I get better at decision making and in general understanding what makes me happy? In any case, I feel good right now, and that must count for something?
まあ、どうなるかな。2週間後また家がめちゃくちゃになって混乱の状態に戻るかも。それか変わるかな、近藤麻理恵さんが言う通りに。意思決定すること上手になって、何が好きかを理解できるようになって来る?とにかく、現在はいい感じだからいい。

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