A furry friend and the big 30!

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Good evening! Or day! Or whatever phrase fits your local time! Max, here again, a bit older, a bit rounder, a bit wrinklier, but happy as always! I’ll keep going with the format from last week with me sharing a few pictures representing each day. Hope you will enjoy it! Oh and let’s start it off with the surprise I mentioned last week!

Meet my new roomie!

Monday! This is Koko-chan who moved in with me exactly one week ago! Since I didn’t want to harass her with a camera the first thing as soon as she came here I decided to hold on to this big news for a week. Now Koko-chan is a bit more used to the new environment and gladly poses for pictures! Koko-chan is almost 1,5 years old and a proud mother of six. Her previous owners couldn’t bring her along when they had to move which resulted in Koko-chan moving in with me. She is a very sweet, smart, cuddly, talkative and mischevious little lady. One of the first things she did after moving in here was to remove all the bubble wrap I desperately put up on the windows to improve insulation. Thank you Koko-chan for putting your touch on the interior design!

Tuesday! I visited one of my favorite places in Minamioguni, the natural spring source Tateiwa Suigen. Both nature and the people in this area is wonderful. I visited for work and what was supposed to be a 1-hour visit ended up lasting for 2 hours just because it was so nice to sit around talking. But don’t think it ended after talking for 2 hours! After that, I got invited for a short stroll to pick some fresh wasabi. Have you ever seen fresh wasabi? If you haven’t, don’t blame yourself! It is pretty rare and only grows around the cleanest of water. It would be an understatement to say that I was surprised at what we found. A paradise of beautiful wild thriving wasabi! Yes, all those green leaves you see in the right picture! You can eat them right of the ground and believe it or not, they taste just like wasabi!

Wednesday! Combined farewell party for the intern we have had the honor of getting to know since the beginning of February, as well as a birthday party for a colleague and me! And of course, the gathering is taking place at the best place for food and drinks that Minamioguni has to offer, Piero!! ❤ And what is more amazing, Miyuki-san decided to open up a 40-year-old bottle of whiskey that was given as a present when Piero opened about 30 years ago!! Thank you so much Miyuki-san! Your kindness knows no limits!

Oh, and a word about the intern, Shino-chan. Such an impressive person! 20-years old and in her second year of university. What does she do with her spring break? She decides to leave Tokyo behind and come for almost 2 months to Minamioguni. Totally unrelated to her studies! Just because she wants to learn more and improve herself. I think that is both brave, inspiring and worthy of lots of praise. And even when things have been tough, she has stayed positive and focused which makes here strong as well! It has been a pleasure to get to know you and I look forward to seeing you again. Maybe here, or maybe in Tokyo!

Thursday! The day is here… I finally turned 30! At my birthday I got called into Kumamoto city for dinner with some colleagues and the clients for the Fired up Kumamoto campaign. It wasn’t how I imagined spending my 30th birthday but they are all amazing people so I didn’t really mind. But little did I know that secret plans where set in motion… Suddenly the restaurant turns dark and a cake is brought in to the sound of everyone singing happy birthday. I look confused at the cake that says “Happy birthday from mom and dad” in Swedish. My confusion doesn’t last long before I get a phone with a live-feed from Sweden with my parents put in front of me and slowly the pieces of the puzzle start to fall in place. My parents had planned together with my colleague Taro-san arranging a long-distance birthday surprise! I was so happy that everyone took time and effort to make this surprise possible! I truly didn’t suspect or expect anything so I was really happy and felt so blessed to be surrounded by such nice people! ❤

Saturday! Wait, what about Friday? I’m going to use the birthday-card here and request that you forgive me and I get a break on Friday. Sorry! Let’s keep going on Saturday instead. In Japan, the budget year for companies is from the first of April to the last of March. This means that most of the pressing deadlines had to finish by this Friday (also a reason why I don’t have anything to report since I worked like a mad man most of the Friday). But this also means that I had some time to lower the pace a bit and enjoy a slow and relaxing weekend. Going bouldering, washing, cleaning the apartment and such. I even had time to hand wash the car! And in the middle of everything I got a sweet birthday bouquet from Tokyo! ❤  Thank you, Madoka! ❤

Sunday! To keep on the theme of a slow relaxing weekend, but with a bit of activity, I also managed to get some necessary training done! As you turn 30 I guess you need to start taking care of your body. So I went running in the nice early spring weather. The beautiful Japanese rural landscape is perfect for jogging. It is so beautiful that you even forget how painful it is to start being physically active after a long period of beer, fried food, and over-all laziness! And especially this season with the cherry blossom just a moment away from bursting into bloom makes it even better.

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Another nice thing with physical activity in the Japanese countryside is that you can slip into any of the nice local onsen to revitalize your body after a hard workout! A fantastic way to soothe your aching muscles! ❤


Since this was the week I turned 30 I would like to say a few more word in relation to that. Bare with me. Leaving your twenties behind and stepping into the big thirty is a major event for most people. For me, 30 was big for another reason as well. I had decided for myself that if I couldn’t move to Japan by the time I turned 30 I would give up on this dream, stop obsessing over Japan and focus whole-heartedly on life in Sweden. Thanks to some luck, coincidence and the support of wonderful people I have met along the road, the dream of moving to Japan miraculously came true last year in October. If that hadn’t happened I probably would have entered my thirties with a significant feeling of disappointment. But now I can head into my thirties with excitement ready to do my best and enjoy the goal I have been working towards since so many years back! Well well, enough of my ramblings!
But I truly want to thank everyone who helped me get where I am today! ❤ Big thanks and love to all of you!

And see you next week!

Sincerely,

Max

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