One Year Ago…

…I was crouching on the floor in my laboratory at Tohoku University, feeling the ground shake violently, watching the walls shift, shelves break and things fall down. When the earthquake finally stopped, everyone asked “大丈夫?” (Japanese for “Are you OK?”) while coming out of the places where they had taken cover. Fortunately nobody in theContinue reading “One Year Ago…”

Goodbye, Sendai!

My exchange program is complete, so the time has come for me to leave Sendai. To be precise I had scheduled the departure for today, but typhoon “Roke” insisted on traveling the same route in the opposite direction (Tokyo to Sendai), so I’ll have to stay one more night. Nonetheless, it is now time toContinue reading “Goodbye, Sendai!”

What planet are you from?

One day during my second month in Japan I was waiting for my turn at the doctor’s. A mother with a very young child, I guess just a few months old, entered. When the little boy noticed me, his eyes became very wide and round, and for minutes he didn’t look away. The mother seemedContinue reading “What planet are you from?”

Exchange Student Goodbye Party

Last Wednesday we had the Closing Ceremony for Tohoku University’s exchange programs and afterwards a goodbye party. While I still have a few weeks in Japan, many exchange students have already left or will leave soon, so indeed a lot of goodbyes had to be said. Naturally, there were many speeches at the ceremony andContinue reading “Exchange Student Goodbye Party”