My bike was stolen yesterday. I reported the theft to the police using their online form. Within five minutes they called me and asked when they could come by to investigate the “crime scene” (the basement of my house).
At 7 this morning they were here, two uniformed police officers.
Maybe this is just common practice for most people, but I know my fellow Swedes are gaping in awe at this fantastic service from the city police – a house visit for a stolen bike!
(It was my old bike which I bought in June 2010 for 899 euro + extras ≈ 1,000 euro.)
Tetsuya Kuroko (黒子 テツヤ, Kuroko Tetsuya) is the main protagonist of the manga and anime Kuroko no Basuke (“Kuroko’s Basket”, or in the unnecessarily complicated official translation: “The Basketball which Kuroko plays”.)
“Kuroko is actually quite feminine compared to most boys and has a very small build for a basketball player. He has light blue hair that he styles to his left. His eyes are blue, and he has a blank gaze. His skin is fairly pale. He wears the white, black and red Seirin jersey with the number 11. He also sometimes wears black sweatbands. His basketball shoes are white with a blue streak.” (source)
“Kuroko has a deadpan and straight forward personality. He is very hard working and always tries to satisfy the needs of the team above his own. He is quite gloomy and unnoticeable. He has also displayed much respect towards fellow passionate basketball player and thinks that while senpais have pride, kōhais have respect.”
“Kuroko has metaphorically referred to himself as a ‘shadow’. With this he means that he is playing for someone else, and that he becomes stronger when the ‘light’ is stronger. With the ‘light’, he means the player he supports during a basketball game.”
I watched Kuroko no Basuke some year ago and enjoyed it. The series is extremely popular in Japan, Kuroko is on the cover of 2 of my 6 Shounen Jump (I buy one for each Japan trip).
I also bought a capsule with Kuroko on my latest trip.
Week 9 = 24 February – 2 March 2014
- 1 tandem session with Kohei (Mo). We have stopped our routine meetings since he got a job and doesn’t attend the school next to my building anymore. I’m happy for him and will focus on other means of study now.
- Hunter x Hunter, episode 46-53
- Äkta människor 2, episode 8-9
- Started reading Charles Duhigg: The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business
Koyomi Araragi (阿良々木 暦) is the main character in the Monogatari Series.
- Age: 18
- Height: 165 cm
- Weight: 55 kg
“Koyomi Araragi is a third year high school student who survived a vampire attack during spring break, and became a vampire himself.”
“He can see in the dark, his eyes turn red when he gets angry, and he heals incredibly fast.”
“He’s a poor student, close to failing every class except math. Other characters seem to speculate that Koyomi is a lolicon.”
I usually only buy figures from animes that I’ve watched. But sometimes it’s the other way around: I watched Summer Wars after buying Kazuma Ikezawa, and I’m now watching Hunter x Hunter after finding the fantastic figure of Gon (and now I want Killua as well!). I don’t know if I’m gonna watch Monogatari though, I just liked this figure because I like Japanese seifuku – school uniforms. Who doesn’t.
So I finally got two notices in my mail, asking me to come to Zollamt Schöneberg to pick up my packages – sent from Tokyo on 27 November 2013! This is normal procedure, I’ve been at the Zollamt before when ordering books from Amazon. It usually takes 1-2 hours, and today was no exception.
When it was my turn, a civil servant asked me to open the already opened and reclosed packages. They contained 10 kg doujinshi. He asked where I had got them, since I didn’t have a receipt. I explained that many of them had been given to me for free directly from the authors. Others I had bought at hobby events where you’re not given a receipt.
My biggest problem was that it was hard for me to prove that I had lived in Japan. He didn’t ask me for my ID, despite the customs in Niederaula had slapped a note about “Altersnachweis” on the packages. They had also told me when I called them, that I would have to bring a proof of age because of “Jugendschutz”. Well, maybe the guy saw that I had turned 18.
“VuB” means “Verboten und Beschränkungen”.
Then he took out some of the doujinshi and said that the content was fine, but that he was going to do some internet research to find out their market value. I would have to pay 7 % German VAT on that value. I was ordered back to the waiting room. After another 10-15 minutes I was called back. The same guy said that he estimated the total value to be under 50 euro, which is under the limit for when you have to pay German VAT. So I was free to go.
This shipment’s itinerary:
- 27 November 2013: Sent with sea mail, registered, from Tokyo
- 23 January 2014: Arrived customs in Niederaula, Germany
- 18 February 2014: Sent from customs in Niederaula to customs in Berlin
- 27 February 2014: I got notices to pick them up in Berlin
Meaning, the shipment took exactly 3 months to reach me!
A glimpse of the content:
Week 8 = 17-23 February 2014
- 4 tandem sessions with Kohei (Mo, Tu, We, Fr)
- Started chapter 5 in Intermediate Japanese
- Started chapter 5 in the Workbook
- Hunter x Hunter, episode 41-45
- Ashita no Joe 2, episode 45-47 = finished
- Yowamushi Pedal, episode 19
- Äkta människor 2, episode 7
- Tempelhof x 7 (46 km) today. Average speeds per lap: 30,3 – 30,7 – 29,6 – 29,7 – 26,7 (banana lap) – 30,3 – 28,2 km/h.
This one actually arrived on 19 February 2014, but I got a pickup notice in my mail box that I didn’t see until yesterday. It was sent on 16 December 2013 from Tokyo, together with another package which arrived two days earlier.
Both were untrackable and took about two months to reach Berlin with sea mail.
This package passed customs in Niederaula but was not opened by them.
The content this time: 14 manga volumes and 8 doujinshi, among other stuff.
The shipment list again – in order of arrival:
- Shipment 1 (sea mail, trackable): Sent from Tokyo 6 December 2013, arrived to customs in Hamburg 27 January 2014, arrived to me in Berlin 31 January 2014.
- Shipment 2 (sea mail, printed matter, untrackable): Sent from Tokyo 16 December 2013, arrived in Berlin 17 February 2014 via customs in Niederaula (who might have opened it).
- Shipment 3 (sea mail, printed matter, untrackable): Sent from Tokyo 16 December 2013, arrived in Berlin 19 February 2014 via customs in Niederaula. Not opened by customs.
It’s a bit ironic that the two untrackable packages arrived quickly and unopened (the inner package in shipment 2 was unopened), whereas the two packages I sent with recommended mail have been at customs for one month now – since 23 January 2014.
Today I’ve studied Japanese for 3,5 years. Things are quite up! The main things that have happened since my last half-year update are:
- In September 2013 I moved to Japan for three months. During that time I published 114 blog posts with hundreds of photos from my life in Tokyo.
- In October 2013 I made an internship, sponsored by The Swedish Publicists’ Association, at a Japanese magazine – read my report in Swedish here.
- In November 2013 I wrote a “practice test” for JLPT N3. No pass or fail, but here are my results.
- In December 2013 I wrote and passed the real JLPT N3.
- In January 2014 I exhaled.
Those were the concrete language-related points. Add friends, coworkers, experiences etc. Yeah, it was a good half-year!
I’m currently meeting Kohei almost daily. For the first half hour we speak Japanese and German (2 x 15 minutes). For the second half hour he corrects my answers in the workbook and then we switch to English. It’s a very good routine.
My studies will be less connected to concrete goals from now on. There have been so many kicks and highs during these 3,5 years, so I’m looking forward to study in a more solemn way for a while. That will do wonders for my kanji knowledge, which is the area where I lag behind now.
My earlier half-year reports: