Reverse Culture Shock and How Not To Fly To America

“Ahh, sorry I don’t think maybe you cannot go to The USA today” Said the Japanese lady at the check-in counter, polite as ever. My heart started racing as I realised I hadn’t thought about the fact that on my 3 prior trips to The States I always had a ticket out, and that it would be a problem if I couldn’t prove that we were in fact going to leave before our 90 days were up.

“Ahh, sorry I don’t think maybe you cannot go to The USA today” Said the Japanese lady at the check-in counter, polite as ever. My heart started racing as I realised I hadn’t thought about the fact that on my 3 prior trips to The States I always had a ticket out, and that it would be a problem if I couldn’t prove that we were in fact going to leave before our 90 days were up.

We were told that we had 25 min. to purchase a new ticket to either Europe or Australia (something that isn’t exactly cheep and something we would normally spent hours or weeks researching prices for) or face loosing our tickets, which were non-refundable. The airport’s wifi was free but not very fast, so we ran to the nearest bench, pulled out both of our laptops and frantically started clicking away.

At the beginning we were optimistic. We had plenty of time, we could do this! But as time ticked away slowly my spirits fell until I found myself in a state of full on panic attack complete with hyperventilation, hysterical sobbing and phrases like “I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO – TELL ME WHICH BUTTONS TO PRESS!!”, “I CAN’T BREATHE!”, “I-CAN’T-SEE!” and the all-time favourite “MY BRAIN HAS STOPPED WORKING!!”

Ultimately we made it as far as pressing “buy” two minutes before the counter closed. The page started loading – and loading – and loading … and nothing happened. I ran around the hall with the computer, trying to get a batter connection, literally praying to God, but I guess even He is helpless when it comes to crappy wifi. The really ironic thing though, was that just 10 min. prior we had dropped off our rented wifi modem in a mailbox at the entrance hall. The wifi that was so stable I could instagram from the top off a mountain literally lay 50cm out of reach.

In the end, we didn’t make it. They wouldn’t let us board without a confirmed ticket and we lost 10.000 DKK (around 1400 USD). But worse than that I felt like THE-BIGGEST-IDIOT-IN-THE-ENTIRE-UNIVERSE. Don’t get me wrong the money thing sucked big time but what I was most afraid of was telling other people and having them ridicule me all over again.

I guess to no ones surprise it turns out that I am actually my own worst critic and all our friends were all very sweet and encouraging when we told them what had happened (how did we get such good friends?)

But we still had to go to The States for Jonas’s conference so we bought the exact same tickets two days later: KIX to IAD in Washington D.C with a 1,5 h layover in Beijing. Only our first flight was delayed so much that when we touched down in Beijing we had about 25 minutes to get through 3 security checks and queues of 3 billion-trillion Chinese people (okay maybe my counting was a little off but I was in a hurry)

The China Airlines personnel fortunately knew that we were running late and got us in front of most of the lines. Only problem was that they hadn’t really coordinated the whole thing so every time we got to a new line someone would tell us to “hurry up” or “go over there”, “no, over here” or “in here” pointing us in different directions. At one point I even lost Jonas for moment and started freaking out and running back where I found him having been pointed to another and faster security line. The Japanese politeness we had been so accustomed to was nowhere  to be found and had been replaced with fast-paced Chinese impatience.

When we finally made it through security and started running towards our gate we were picked up by an airport official on a golf cart to get there faster. We thanked out lucky star until suddenly he pulled out a 20 dollar bill and started gesturing at us to tip him – “very cheap” as he said. Jonas gave him a one dollar bill and explained to him that it was all we had. He then turned to me for more and I think I might have yelled at him a little but it seemed to help and he drove us to the gate without another word.

The whole thing was so stressful and frantic that when we finally boarded the plain I started crying (again) out of pure exhaustion.


We are now in The States and I have to admit that it hasn’t been an easy transition for me. The differences in cultures are HUGE in the most literal sense of the way. Coming from a country where I was if not a size L then at least a size M and seeing the size of people, houses and cars here has been a real shock to my system. The bed in our first AirBnB in Washinton was the size of our old room in Osaka and so soft that I actually slept on the floor because it felt more comfortable. (Okay I know this is a serious first world problem but what can I say? Japan has ruined me)

On top of that we have both been extremely jetlagged and I have felt more homesick than I can remember having felt for years. I don’t mean to sound ungrateful but I also want to be honest and the first couple of days in Washington were tough.

One thing that city has got going for it though is the cherry blossoms.

I'm really sorry to say this #Japan but so far #Washington is kicking your ass at #CherryBlossom 🌸

Et billede slået op af Isa Lykke Hansen (@isalykke) den

To end things on a happy note we are now in Waxhaw, North Carolina with my old host family and I believe you have to search the Planet pretty well to find a nicer, more hospitable family. They have made us feel right at home and I am so happy to be back and for Jonas to have met my “other family” over here 🙂

We bought a tent and an Epic Road Trip of The South is starting to take form. We also found a farm up in Maine where we will be doing some farm work for a couple of weeks in June which we are both excited about.

That’s all for now. Sorry we haven’t been around much lately, but as I mentioned things have been a little hectic and I didn’t really feel like writing because of it…

/Isa

A Night With Friends

On the 7th of March we flew to Okinawa, Japan’s southernmost islands, to meet up with my Japanese friend Fumi.

On the 7th of March we flew to Okinawa, Japan’s southernmost islands, to meet up with my Japanese friend Fumi.

We stayed in Okinawa for a week and despite rain and wind we had a great time and saw many beautiful things. Many words could be written on our time there, but what I wish to share is but a simple meal. A simple, home cooked meal eaten in the company of great people. Because as all who has travelled know, most of the time it is not the place, but the people who make a trip memorable.

Having a Japanese with us in many ways made everything easier. E.g. Where as we in our search for a hostel have to either drive/walk around from place to place or book online for a higher price, Fumi would of course just call up and hear if anything was available. In theory we could too but 1. many web pages are in Japanese and thus hidden from “our part” of the internet and 2. many Japanese don’t speak English, which is okay when you are face-to-face with them and able to use hand gestures and Google translate but considerably more difficult over the phone.

Pictured: correct use of rooftop + Jonas ✌️#Okinawa

Et billede slået op af Isa Lykke Hansen (@isalykke) den

The honour of finding Okinawa Motobu Guesthouse therefore also befalls Fumi. Without her we would have never met the owner Niku and have been invited to join him and his friends for dinner.

Left to right: Teruya Jinshi and one of his sons, Fumi, Isa, Jonas, Tamaki Atusi, owner of the restaurant, Asami Kotouge and Morimoto Yuka, two girls from the hostel. In the front, Tamaki Natu, Atusi's daughter, and in the back Niku, the hostel owner.
Left to right: Teruya Jinshi and one of his sons, Fumi, Isa, Jonas, Tamaki Atusi, owner of the restaurant, Asami Kotouge and Morimoto Yuka, two girls from the hostel. In the front, Tamaki Natu, Atusi’s daughter, and in the back Niku, the hostel owner.

We drove with Niku to his friends restaurant, where food was already waiting on the table when we arrived.

The night was filled with laughter as a mix of English, Japanese and Danish was translated back and forth, mostly through Fumi, who speaks Danish almost fluently after a one-year exchange programme 3 years ago. This continues to amaze me.

At one point Asami looked at me very seriously and asked if I loved Jonas. Slightly blushing I answered that yes of course I did. He then turned to Jonas and gestured for him to get down on his knees and ask me to marry him. I declined laughingly and Fumi had to explain that in Denmark everyone is “bare kærester” (just dating) for a very long time.

Tempura fried seaweed. Seriously delicious.
Tempura fried seaweed. Seriously delicious.

Except for the one above we don’t have many pictures of the food – it was just too good for us to stop eating long enough to take a picture.

We learned the hard way that Japanese and Danish dinner party manners are a dangerous cocktail when we sat, on the verge of bursting after 7 different dishes of Chinese “mabodofu” (a tufu and chili stew), rice, sausages, tuna, gyoza and tempura and all of a sudden a bowl of Spaghetti Bolognese appeared in front of us (!)

Turns out that in Japan it is impolite for the host to stop serving food when the guest finishes – and in Denmark it is impolite for guests not to eat up. You guys, It’s The Eternal Circle of Eating!

Later Atusi turned to Jonas once more. “Please come back next time you are in Okinawa, Mr. Jonas”. And we intend to.

Ode to Osaka

On arrival you stole our hearts
with your quiet charm and your street smarts
you’re vintage in an old school way

Osaka you make our day!

On arrival you stole our hearts
with your quiet charm and your street smarts
you’re vintage in an old school way

Osaka you make our day!

Owls and cats and dogs and maids
in Osaka you can make all kinds of trades
just as we think we have you all figured out
you throw us a curve ball

Osaka you simply have it all!

Ozumo wrestlers big and – bigger
you have to you a certain vigor
your streets are bustling but feel like home

But Osaka, what’s up with all the styrofoam? (That’s really not good for the environment, you know)

Old and new stand side by side
we take in you a kind of pride
we’re gaijins here – we know, we know

But Osaka, boy do you know how to put on a show!

Okonomiyaki in our favourite spot
where the company’s good and the plates are hot
you keep us coming back for more

Osaka you always have something good in store!

On top of it all: a city prairie
Harukas’s heights can feel kind of scary
but you look even more spectacular from the 60th floor

Osaka you’re such an attention wh**e!

Otoro available right there in your streets
side by side delicious eats
ramen, tempura, udon  – oh the joys!

Osaka you have us spoiled for choice!

On and on and on it goes –
the sushi train where tuna, shrimp and salmon flows
you never served us anything crappy

Osaka you make our bellies happy!

Chaos and Tranquility In Kyoto

Beautiful, isn’t she?

The world famous Kinkaku-ji better known as the Golden Pavilion in Kyoto. She is the symbol of cultural Japan, the epitome of nature and beauty united.

Beautiful, isn’t she?

The world famous Kinkaku-ji better known as the Golden Pavilion in Kyoto. She is the symbol of cultural Japan, the epitome of nature and beauty united.

The truth is we have been very fortunate with our timing so far. Arriving in quiet Osaka, driving around in the beautiful and mostly secluded Shikoku mountains. Being here in the off-season has cost us a few cold days but given us so much peace and serenity in return.

But Kyoto doesn’t have an off-season. And in reality when you get to Kinkaku-ji on a Thursday morning at opening time on a grey and somewhat rainy March day, 3 weeks before the cherry blossom has even begun to consider waking from hibernation it looks more like this:

And for much of our Kyoto trip I looked more like this:

Sartre said:
Sartre said: “Hell is other people”. I think he and I would get along. Which I realize is in itself a contradiction, but you get the point.

The worst place we went though was the Fushimi Inari Shrine. Our first day in town we rented bicycles and when we got there we found the place was flooded with visitors. At one point we had to stand in line to walk up the mountain. This too was on a weekday morning.

I am not saying this to appear superior – I realize that like everyone else we are tourists in this place and it’s not like I didn’t know these sites would be popular. However I was surprised at just how many people there were and I must admit that for me at least it ruined some of the experience.

It took a lot of patience and good timing to get this shot.
It took a lot of patience and good timing to get this shot.

That being said many of these people arrive in big tour buses and merely walk to the first gate to take a picture (avec selfie stick of course) and then move on. So by embarking on the one-hour hike to the top we thought we might leave the majority behind. And we were right.

A side trip into the forest proved that when you leave the beaten, tori-patched path behind you can have it all to yourself.
A side trip into the forest proved that when you leave the beaten, tori-patched path behind you can have it all to yourself.

The temple is open 24h as far as I could tell so if you are not afraid of the dark and the Japanese forests – which I think can be kind of eerie with the scattered temple grounds all around – you might escape the masses if you go for a midnight stroll here.

From Fushimi Inari we moved on to Ginkaku-ji – the Silver Temple and sister temple of Kinkaku-ji. I can’t tell you much about it simply because we didn’t go in. Disheartened by the amount of tourists and sore-butt’ed from the cycling we opted instead for ice cream and a leisurely stroll along the the well-known but less visited Philosopher’s Path. It was beautiful even pre-cherry blossom and probably my favourite memory from Kyoto.

The next day was our month-a-versary (and yes we still celebrate this after 5.5 years together because cheesy as it may sound it is also a great excuse for eating good food and drinking expensive drinks)

The weather wasn’t great so much of they day was spent indoors enjoying the fact that our hostel had a very well equipped and clean kitchen and cooking our own food for what was essentially the first time since we left home.

Everyone told us that Kyoto should be at the top of our list of places to go in Japan. And maybe they are right, but it wasn’t our favourite so far.

As you might have guessed we didn’t see that many temples when we were in town and we found that our best experiences were had wandering smaller streets and stumbling upon hidden gardens. In Gion we were even fortunate enough to see a real Maiko (Gaisha in training) in a back alley. We stood fixated, spellbound with her beauty and other-worldly (or should I say other-timely) appearance as she click-clacked her way past us on her getas. Afterwards I wasn’t even sure if it really happened or if I had just imagined it all.

And I think this must be what people mean when they say you should go to Kyoto to experience the real Japan. It certainly can’t be all those touristy temples. But it might be these little pockets of beauty that transcends the normal and takes you back to a time of Shoguns and Samurai. They are out there, hidden, and with a little luck and a closer look you might just happen to stumble upon one of them.

Owl My God It’s a Cat Cafe!

Hanging out in the common room of our Osaka hostel one day we started talking to Italian Rik. Rik has been living in Osaka for a year and kindly offered to show us around town.

Hanging out in the common room of our Osaka hostel one day we started talking to Italian Rik. Rik has been living in Osaka for a year and kindly offered to show us around town.

After a short stop at the post office (postcards coming your way people!), we went to find a very special cafe Rik had visited 7 month earlier…

From the outside it didn’t look like much, on the first floor tugged away over one of the million other Japanese shops.

Inside, as always, we were handed slippers.

… and the place was filled with cats. Rules were not to stress the cats by waking or picking them up. But other than that we could just hang out for an hour.

Cat cafés (or pet cafés in general) are ment for people who don’t have the time or the space for pets at home. It’s kind of brilliant if you think about it. But as always, the Japanese have taken it a step further. And so you can also go to a “cuddle café” and have a girl lie down and look you deep in the eyes for half and hour – You know, if you don’t have the time or the space for a girlfriend. You’re allowed to hug them and they are allowed to clean your ears (because Japan) but that’s all.

Anyways, back to the cats. I’m not sure if the cats were trained, or if they just really loved blankets. But when you got a blanket cats flogged around you and went to sleep. They were really tame and cuddly.

There must have been 12 – 15 cats just roaming around the 3 rooms and it was a surprisingly relaxing experience.

Chapter 2

Returning to the hostel all excited we showed our pictures to the others and one girl replied: “Oh you haven’t seen the owl cafe?” Then she pulls out her phone and shows us pictures of her friend holding this tiny owl. I believe Isa’s comment went something like: “OH MY GOD WE HAVE TO GO WHEN CAN WE GO WE HAVE TO GO OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD!?!”

Next morning we were scheduled to go to Kyoto, but with Rik’s help we found the Owl Family Cafe on the way. It was then that we were introduced to Bibi-chan:

This little girl is probably the cutest thing to have ever set foot (claw?) on this earth!

There were around 15 different owls in the cafe including some really big ones. Having never seen an owl before this was a really unique experience. Their plumage was extremely beautiful and surprisingly soft to touch.

As to weather or not the owls were being treated well, we don’t know. They seemed at peace with us and they had time to rest in between visitors and so there were some owls we were not allowed to touch. I really hope they let them out sometimes to fly but it’s hard to tell when everything is Japanese…

However they seemed healthy and this was really one of the highlights of our time in Osaka.

A Legendary Oscar Party

We looked at each other desperately. Was this it? Had we exhausted all our options? I couldn’t believe it – how could this be happening? Could it really be, that we were going to miss the most important event of the year? Could it really be that we were going to miss – The Oscars?!

We looked at each other desperately. Was this it? Had we exhausted all our options? I couldn’t believe it – how could this be happening? Could it really be, that we were going to miss the most important event of the year? Could it really be that we were going to miss – The Oscars?!

Okay okay, I know this might seem like a bit of an overreaction. After all it is just a TV-show. But the thing is; we don’t dress up for Halloween. We don’t go out on Valentines Day. We don’t care much for the New Year. But watching the Oscars, that’s Our Thing (and, I guess, a couple other people’s Thing but that’s beside the point)

So after having unsuccessfully tried different kinds of streaming services and having made our friends and family promise to try and record it for us, we decided that we should at least have some sort of celebration. Because of the time difference the Oscar wasn’t until Monday morning on the 23rd, so Sunday evening on the 22nd we raided the nearest 100yen store for balloons and DIY garlands, put on our nicest clothes (which wasn’t so nice after all, but you have to give us points for trying) and turned Momonga Village into Shikoko’s very own Hollywood Boulevard!

Valerie on garland duty
Valerie on garland duty

Back to front: Ian, Shun, Babee, Jonas, Isa, Victoria and Valerie
Back to front: Ian, Shun, Babee, Jonas, Isa, Victoria and Valerie

We discussed re-watching The Theory of Everything but decided on Birdman instead, since non of us had seen it before. It ended up winning everything, so I guess it was a lucky pick.

We had such a great night and then … well to be honest we all got piss-drunk on cheap, leftover saké and when I woke up the next morning (in Victoria and Valerie’s room) I was still drunk. And thus begun one of the worst hangovers of my life.

Blissfully unaware of the hangover that lies ahead...
Blissfully unaware of the hangover that lies ahead…

It wasn’t all bad though because 15 min. before the Oscar show started, Jonas managed to sign us up for TV2’s streaming service and we watched THE WHOLE SHOW with only like 3 fall-outs!

So a tip for all you new travellers out there: make sure to always bring an IT-guy on your trip. It’s sure to make everything just a little bit more … legendary! 😉

Japanese Onsen: Cleansing of the Mind and Soul

There I was. In the middle of the Japanese highland, the clear night sky above me, the soothing sound of clucking water cuddling my ears. There I was. Alone and naked as the day I was born.

There I was. In the middle of the Japanese highland, the clear night sky above me, the soothing sound of clucking water cuddling my ears. There I was. Alone and naked as the day I was born.

My
My “private” onsen.

It was really just bad planing (or no planing) that led us to this heavenly place. Earlier we found a promising AirBnB apartment up in the mountainous Mimasaka prefecture but we never heard back from the guy, so we decided to just drive in that general direction and hope for an answer before nightfall. On the way up we saw a sign towards Yonogo Onsen Village and I remembered reading something about it, so we turned right and found what seemed to be a quiet and mostly empty (Japanese) holiday town.

First things first. We went straight to the local public bath to relax after the long, exhausting drive. (left-side driving is not something we’re used to, mind you)

The public bath in Yonogo is less like a bath and more like the most luxurious spa I have ever been to. There are three large indoor onsen and five outdoor stone “tubs”, three of them overflowing into each other like miniature waterfalls.

The thought of what it would cost me to go to a place like this in Denmark is dizzying even if just for an hour. Here we paid 700 JPY (~39 DKK/6USD) pr. person including a fresh towel and you get to stay as long as you like.

This is a picture of a picture of some of the outdoor onsen and does IN NO WAY do this place justice.
This is a picture of a picture of some of the outdoor onsen and does IN NO WAY do this place justice.

Most of the onsen in Japan (with a few exceptions like the private and super expensive ryokan onsen) are separated between men and women and so everyone is naked. Before you enter you sit on little stools and rinse yourself with buckets of warm water and soap. This ritual – besides obviously preventing dirt in the onsen – is really relaxing and prepares you for what’s lies ahead (spoiler: It is heaven which lies ahead)

The first time I went, I didn’t know you were supposed to use a wash cloth for washing. On the way out this older woman signalled for me to take one of hers and when I tried to give it back to her (after having thoroughly washed it of course!) she smiled and waved me off with a “present-o!”. People here are so nice.

Afterwards we went to look for a hotel in the neighbourhood, since the AirBnB guy had written us back that he couldn’t host us. After driving around to a couple of places, tired and not in the mood for more adventure, we settled on a place that was really over budget, but we figured, “what the heck” and settled in. As it turned out that extra money bought us a 6 person bungalow and the above mentioned in- and outdoor onsen which might as well have been private since nobody else was using them. Sometimes it pays off to travel in low-season.

The indoor part of the onsen. Pictured on the left are the washing stools.
The indoor part of the onsen. Pictured on the left are the washing stools.

We stayed in the city for two nights and the next time we went to the public bath I had some of the basics down. I knew to wash myself with a wash cloth as supposed to using my hands and I knew not to put my hair in the water (which I had unknowingly done the first time and only afterwards noticed that nobody else did. Of course no one said anything to me because, as it seems, the Japanese would rather be dead that impolite)

This morning the outside area was completely empty but for me and one old lady. Her skin looked like it was 3 sizes too big. Her breasts went to her stomach and her butt to her knees. She looked like a small, wrinkled apple with sticks for arms and legs. I loved it. She was beautiful.

Which brings me to the real reason why I love these onsen so much. In the onsen there is no pretending. No pulling in your stomach or straightening your back to look skinnier, no covering yourself with a towel. Everyone is naked, and nobody cares. Everyone is beautiful in their nakedness and the Japanese know this and have accepted it as a vital part of their culture.

We nodded in recognition of each other but stayed silent. One time she pointed to the sky and smiled – I take it she was commenting on the sun which had just burst out from the ever-changing sea of clouds. The weather shifts quickly in the mountains. We discovered that the day before when we went to the top of one of the hills overlooking the valley. We kept putting our jackets on and off as the sky presented us with a mix of sunny rays and chilling wind.

Later in the dressing room I saw one of the older ladies applying a cream to her legs. On the bottle was a picture of a human body so I applied a gentle layer to my legs, arms and back, doing so noticing a slight smell of camphor and peppermint. It reminded me of my grandmother. By closer inspection I discovered it was a muscle-pain reliever. I guess I still have a lot to learn…

Harukas 300

Valentines day we set out in a new direction from the hotel. Turning a corner we were suddenly at a pretty high building.

Valentines day we set out in a new direction from the hotel. Turning a corner we were suddenly at a pretty high building.

“I think that’s the highest building I have ever seen…” Isa said. My reply was; naaah it’s not that high… We then started counting and both got to 60 floors. Turns out Harukas is the highest building in Japan. Access to a little garden at the 16th floor was free, but to go to the top floor (58-60) you had to pay an admission fee.

The view from 16th floor garden was impressive. The city went as far as the eyes could see in all directions. But it was early in the day and we needed food so we opted for a nearby shopping mall.

We found a huge collection of photo booths that was heavily visited next to a very nice food court. Denmark could really learn something from Japan when it comes to eating out. Even a food court in a shopping mall serves really good food. We spend the day browsing shops and eating.

As the sun set we went back to Harukas, this time to the top, and was meet by this view:

On our first day we came by this tower which suddenly didn’t look so big any more.

North
North
East
East
South
South
West
West

We had fun playing around with the shutter speed on our camera and annoyed everyone around us by crawling around on the floor and moving things around to get the right framing.

We ended up spending almost 3 hours up there and was kicked out as the last ones by 10pm.

This Week In Japanengrish

Everyone knows that half the joy of travelling in non-english speaking countries – and Asian ones in peticular – is the sheer abundance of Engrish. In this article John Spacey argues that it stops being funny after you have been here for a while. But clearly we havn’t been here long ’cause I still find these hysterically funny:

Everyone knows that half the joy of travelling in non-english speaking countries – and Asian ones in peticular – is the sheer abundance of Engrish. In this article John Spacey argues that it stops being funny after you have been here for a while. But clearly we havn’t been here long ’cause I still find these hysterically funny:

The first thing you have to do is to wake. the second thing you have to do is to look up the word “coherence”in a dictionary.

“Fashion & Make Your Style / The New Style, It’s Just For You / If You Want To Make Your Dream Come True, The First Thing You Have To Do Is To Wake”

Hitler agrees…

“If the result is beauty, the method is justified!”

You can’t slip out!

“The shock of “GYZA” again. You can’t slip out from the “GYZA” world of more high sense and edgy.”

This actually kinda makes sense …

“Contents: my face”

This was taken at the aquarium …

“Brought into the hotel, please refrain from”

Mind = BLOWN!

“These jellyfish usually live at the bottom of the sea without swimming under the sea”

We didn’t stay there …

“We prepare the floor for exclusive use of the woman”

To be continued.

/Isa

Great stuff in Japan #1

Japan is all about the little differences. At first glance it might look very similar to what you’re used to, but once you start looking…

Japan is all about the little differences. At first glance it might look very similar to what you’re used to, but once you start looking, you find things like this:

I had a laugh when I stumbled on these packs of sliced bread. I never wondered about the slice thickness of bread, but clearly i missed out on something in Denmark. Sliches in the 4-pack, is at least 3 x the normal size. Still I like the idea; A bread is 15 cm, now choose how many slices you want…

I still don’t get why they have these photo booths all over the place. They make “subtle” changes to the pictures, like slightly bigger eyes, or make you look more “caucasian”. And afterwards you can spiff up the image with text and graphics. In one place we found 6 – 9 booths packed together and they were obviously in use. It was fun though and a good souvenir.

As this was the day before Valentines Day it might be a special case, but I still think that individually packed strawberries running at 4,5 USD (~ 30 DKK) is a bit steep. They looked really good, but still…

The first public toilet I visited after 24 hours travel, was the one on the left. I didn’t learn until later that the seat is heated and it plays music. (Others shouldn’t be able to hear what you’re doing) And it can wash you “front” and “back”. I have to say it’s growing on me, even though I thought they were strange at first. This is the standard of most public toilets we have visited, and it makes me wonder what their private toilets look like.

At our hotel at the moment, the toilets look like the one on the right. I didn’t realize at first but the small sink is filling the cistern. That is, when you flush, the water starts running and you can wash your hands while the cistern fills up. Genius 🙂

 

/Jonas