September 6th, 2010

Na, gut, vielleicht “geben Frauen gerne ihren Senf dazu”. Aber what the heck ist Frauensenf? Bei Wikipedia fehlt da noch ein Eintrag… vielleicht kann sich da mal jemand drum kümmern?

Das “Ministerium für …, Bau und …” macht seinem Namen alle Ehre

May 5th, 2008

Abgesehen davon, dass das Ministerium nicht mehr “Ministerium für Verkehr, Bau- und Wohnungswesen” heißt, sondern “Ministerium für Verkehr, Bau und Stadtentwicklung”, ist es wohl bezeichnend für dieses Ministerium – mit Sitz unter anderem in der Invalidenstraße 44 -, dass es tatsächlich selbst sein bester Kunde zu sein scheint… Ist doch die Baustelle am Dienstgebäude Ecke Invalidenstraße/Schwarzer Weg in Berlin nun seit Jahren in Betrieb und zu Gange. Ein Ende scheint nicht in Sicht.

Zuletzt fragte ich mich, was der Abriss der Treppe soll, die noch bis vor Kurzem recht gut begehbar – zumindest von weitem gesehen – aussah!?

German – popular in Japan

October 7th, 2007

The German language seems to be quite popular in Japan. I guess English is getting more or less ‘boring’ as many people can understand English by now, therefore German or French seem to be languages which are kind of fashionable to use. E.g. for t-shirt prints, names of cafés and stores etc.

Some nice shirts – some with funny German slogans on them – can be found in graniph stores in Japan. And Tokyu Hands – a by the way very worthwhile visiting store in Japan – sells this wonderful and funny German item with a really funny and very typically Japanese translation of the German ‘Glückspfennig’ or by now ‘Glücks Cent’:


At Juliation Gallery I collected some more funny translations and impressions typically for Japan:

Weird experiences in Japan: Maid café

October 7th, 2007

Akihabara is a district in Tokyo full of stores which sell electronic items of any sort you can think of. A lot of ‘otaku’ (term used to refer to people with obsessive interests, particularly anime and manga) hang out there and ‘maid cafés’ originate from this area.

As the name ‘maid café’ already implies, all the waitresses are dressed like maids, mostly with white lacy aprons, little white crowns and short skirts which look kind of like a dirndl. Furthermore and most important maybe is, that they all look alike some manga and anime character.

The idea of a maid café is to serve the guests as master or mistress. Unfortunately I do not understand Japanese, therefore I did not really understand in the first place how we were welcomed at the ‘@ home café’ we went to. Maybe it sounded something like this: “Welcome home, Master(お帰りなさいませ、ご主人様! Okaerinasai, goshujinsama.
But when we ordered some coffee and soda, we found out about the quite subservient attitude of the girl serving us. She even stirred the sugar into my coffee in a very suave way and she asked which colour of straw we would prefer. It seemed very strange to us. Others were playing cards with one of the maids, so you can even ‘use’ them as your friend and companion, if you are e.g. an otaku who has no friends to join you for visiting a maid café…

Another common habit for fans of maid cafés is to get some collectable pictures together with friends and/or a maid. We did not really know what will happen to us, when we asked about this ‘photo booth’ we saw in the @ home café. The maid serving us asked us to join her and we took some pictures there and here is the result ;-)

maid café

Toto – something typically Japanese

October 7th, 2007

toto washlet
The first thing I did after I getting off the plane in Japan was to use the bathroom at Narita airport. What I found there was a ‘Toto’ toilet which – how I later found out – was simply THE one and only toilet brand used by seemingly 99% of all Japanese households, companies and institutions.

Of course there are several types of Toto toilets and washlets. And what else to expect of Japanese toilets: most of them are very high-tech. Even at Narita airport they use a Toto type with bidet inside and various other technical aspects.

toilet slippersAnother interesting characteristic of many Japanese women seems to be, that most of them are embarrassed if someone hears them urinating. Therefore in most Japanese public toilets you will find a Toto toilet type which has an artificial ‘flushing sound’. You can press a button while urinating and everyone will hear this artificially sounding tone of a toilet flushing while you are passing water. Well, for those who are embarrassed maybe this is really a useful gadget…

Toilet slippers are by the way another typical accessories used in Japanese toilets… anyone interested to find out more should read this article on Wikipedia.

Pecha Kucha in Tokyo

September 15th, 2007

I had to come to Tokyo in order to experience the first Pecha Kucha Night of my life. After I somehow never managed to go to a Pecha Kucha Night in Berlin this was a really nice coincidence and I am thinking about doing a Pecha Kucha speech or presentation myself someday…? Maybe…

Anyway, anyone who likes to hear people talk about what they do or what they experienced or what they think about and if anyone furthermore likes visual presentations, you should try this and go to a Pecha Kucha or even start Pecha Kucha yourself in your hometown, -city or -village. Check out to find out more about how it workes and how it all started.

Pecha Kucha Night No. 45

At the 45th Pecha Kucha Night at the SuperDeluxe near Roppongi Hills I liked one of presentation best, which showed some funny knitting objects which were made of everyday life objects. I am not sure who held this particular presentation, but it might have been them: HARADA MASAHIRO + HARADA MAO : Mount Fuji Architects Studio

Tokyo sunset – the sky is burning

September 12th, 2007

After some more rain but yet an other exciting day in Tokyo the sky was burning behind the skyline. Seen here from Odaiba with a few on Rainbow Bridge.


Tokyo in the mist

September 12th, 2007

It’s foggy and rainy here in Tokyo lately, which makes the city even more cinematic, especially in the evenings and in the night. The air is so humid and warm though, that some people had a nice idea: if you search for “tokyo mist” on google you’ll find this: “Dry Mist to Cool People Down”.

tokyo in the mist

There is so much more to tell about Tokyo and Japan… I will try to keep on posting some more soon. So stay tuned.

Another animal came to visit us

June 30th, 2007

I was happy to find a little Silver-studded Blue (Plebeius argus) on our roof garden in the middle of Berlin today. What a beautiful animal!

plebeius argus - silver-studded blue butterfly

Who knows this animal!?

June 10th, 2007

This is a call for help: Today there was a strange little visitor on our roof garden. A very small and tiny (about 5 mm long) little white and hairy animal. You could clearly see it has a little “nose” or face which had a sandy colour and at his back it seemed to have a little forceps.

If anyone has a hint, I would be happy to know more about this little white and hairy visitor.

Strange animal