Archive for August, 2011

Road to Germany

Germany inspires much ecstatic jumping.

Rasmus just couldn't resist the fusion of German sweets with Japanese cuteness.

I and the two friends above recently rented a car and undertook somewhat of a road trip to Germany! Now, perhaps a better picture to post above would have been one of us next to the car in which we drove nearly a thousand kilometers, alas I never thought of it. 😛

We first went by train to Hamburg, then rented the car there, a very nice KIA – appealing to my fondness of all things Korean. From there we drove directly to a small city, Klausthal, located in the mountains to the south of there. A university friend of ours, Rasmus, has been studying there for the past year, so reckoned a reunion was timely.

We started out just driving randomly through the mountains, enjoying the scenery and stopping at whatever interesting things that popped up: A waterfall, huge lake, national park, castle, and more! Just going for spontaneous sightseeing like that is a load of fun!

Then we also took a short trip to Berlin. It was surprising how clean and tidy the city was, considering both size and status of capital. Really a charming and interesting place, and I would recommend anyone to visit. and saw some of the major sites: Brandenburger Tor, museums, Charlottenburg, Berlin Zoo, and Checkpoint Charlie.

I can't believe its not urine!

On the way back to Hamburg we camped on the bank of the Elbe and just relaxed before an early departure the next morning.

Now, that might not seem like a lot of action for a week, but you forget that Germany is famous for its beer, which was amply sampled by all participants (maybe except Lars, the part-time alcoholic designated driver.) Our drunken adventures involved such shenanigans as ‘Silly Hat Day’, ‘Speed Drinking with Random Germans’ and visiting the infamous Das Klo in Berlin.

All in all a great trip with some great guys!

If you are a friend of mine of facebook, check out the rest of the pictures there.

Over and out.



The Son of the Sun

Heart tempered by the fire that burns within, the youth ventures out into the gloom of night. Ominous clouds have breathed in the sky and no stars dance on this night, only shadows in the corners of those weary eyes. Unperturbed and at brisk pace he arrives at the banks across which his supposed sire slumbers. A thousand bright eyes and another thousand fuming nostrils greet him across the black void.

“Beast, hear my words!” he roars into the nothingness. “If thy blood truly fills my veins, then grant me one wish.”

The eyes seem to eerily sharpen upon his slender frame.

“End this subjugation of spirit,” he says  “allow me to shine my own sun, and to give shelter to others like you do to your subjects.”

From the depth of his unconsciousness comes the answer: Impudent whelp! What if you crash and burn?

Not as words, but such a primal feeling of fear and dread that tears well up in the young boys eyes. He steels his heart, and replies with resolution: “I shall not fail you, but if so, give me to the heavens, so that I may shine my meagre light were you cannot, and aid other travellers in the dark of night.”

The youth kneels and softly utters: “Please grant me this wish, for you are my father, and my glory is yours.”

The Fall of Phaeton at the Bode Museum in Berlin

I went to Berlin recently, and fortunately was in cultured company, so that the opportunity to visit one of the exquisite museums of the city was not wasted. There, I stumbled upon an absolutely fabulous marble statue depicting the fall of Phaeton, which really moved me. A few weeks earlier, I had written somewhat of an epic poem (albeit a short one, hence the “somewhat”.) In the end I decided to merge this draft with the myth of Phaeton.

As for the results, well, you can be the judge. I wrote it because I enjoyed doing so and hope to improve by practice. Constructive criticism is welcome, sincere (if possible) praise more so, and anything else will duly be ignored. 🙂

Until next time.


Achieving Life Goals

The setting and achieving of life goals has become increasingly important for me over the last few years. It started out with a feeling of slight dissatisfaction with my life, and although I was unsure of the reason, this ultimately prompted me to want to go to Japan. It was a good (and slightly irrational) choice, in that I learned the basic algorithm of success.

Intrigued? Well, here it is, the official Kurisuchanchan Über Success Algorithm of Doom™

  1. State your goal clearly
  2. Find people who have achieved this goal
  3. Figure out what they did
  4. Model them
  5. Win

This is very basic, but don’t let the apparent simplicity fool you – it is effective. I became (according to some of my friends) fluent in Japanese in a year with this. Also, a little past New Year’s I finally took responsibility for my on life. This is a little difficult to describe… It is not I have been irresponsible, but that one day from the very bottom of my person I accepted that no one but myself can create change in my life. This would correspond to a shift from Willingness to Acceptance in David R. Hawkins levels of human consciousness, and was a very powerful experience. Just looking at me my friends immediately noticed a change – probably because my body-language reflected this newly found strength.

Anyway, there are many minor things that deserve mentioned to the algorithm, among others I would recommend reading Unlimited Power by Anthony Robbins, but I have found one in particular to be important: Environment.

When learning a language I have previously stressed the importance of exposure, meaning immersing yourself fully in the target language. Whatever you do, do it in the target language! Sure, it will suck in the beginning, but you will learn. Both passively from just listening and catching something (more important solidifying what you already know) and actively when trying to figure out just what the hell this blog post says, or how the hell to write “my hovercraft is full of eels” to a friend.

For other life goals, I (and others) believe that exposure is also a critical element. None of us want our kids to hang out with bad elements, because we know that bad behaviour rubs off. The same is true for smoking; if you wanna quit then a good start would be to stop hanging out with smokers. The same is true for good behaviour. Have you ever had someone in your life that you looked up to? That inspired you to be more than you were at the time?

It is not only the social environment that matters. I know for a fact that if I want to get some studying done, the first thing I need to do is to get on my bike and go to the university. I’ll still be sitting on a chair and staring at a laptop screen, yet the change of setting puts me in a different mindset. Being in my apartment is associated with relaxation, while the university with studying. This physical environment also includes the shortcuts on your computer desktop and the bookmarks in your browser. These are the places you are likely to go to when needing a break, and if this time is also spent with your goal in mind, odds are it will eventually be internalised, and not yet another failed project.

Here are my current life goals, and the kind of behaviour that is likely to lead to them being successfully reached:


  • Travel the world
  • Become socially gifted
  • Publish a novel
  • Japanese fluency
  • Learn conversational Mandarin Chinese
  • Buff up (put on 10kg in muscle mass)

Appropriate behaviour:

  • Travel Asia from September this year
  • Read about the above topics in books/internet forums
  • Blog about my research and progress into these goals
  • Spend more time with friends that have some of these skills
  • Make new friends that have achieved these goals
  • Use effective time-management to do work on these goals
  • Setting up a conducive physical surroundings

Here “work” is defined as the kind of activities that aren’t particularly interesting, but need to be done anyhow. Researching, blogging, reading manga, chatting with Japanese friends and whatnot is not (and should not) be considered work. The Now Habit is an excellent book about time-management. Those strategies enabled me to finish my Master thesis doing only around 20-25 hours of actual work a week and still get an A.

Inappropriate behaviour

  • Any time alone not directly or indirectly related to these goals
  • Hanging out with people not supportive/conducive to attaining these goals (actually two of my best friends seem to be on this list)
  • Undertaking doctorate studies

It might seem obvious, but doing this short analysis made it clear to me that I wholeheartedly should dive into to upcoming trip to Asia, spend significantly less time with two of my good friends (unless they will become more supportive,) and that going to doctorate school is not something I really want to do.