Arriving in Tokyo – How I almost got hit by the trains!

December 7th was the day of my flight from Frankfurt to Paris to Tokyo. I was already so excited when I had to say goodbye to my parents and my best friend at the airport. And when I boarded the tiny jet to Paris I remembered that it was getting real.

The plane was so tine, it was the smallest plane I ever flew in. But it was comfy, no turbulences, and they even gave snacks.

In Paris, I actually had to rush to my gate since I had to take a bus to my gate area. When I arrived at my gate, people were already queueing to board. This was it! That should be my flight to Tokyo! I still couldn’t believe it.

My excitement disappeared very quickly though after realising that my seat neighbours – two french guys- were acting a bit awkward. That made me feel awkward. I can’t really explain it, but sometimes, people act in a rather awkward, distant way that makes you feel stupid and awkward yourself. I don’t know if you know what I mean. I also couldn’t sleep properly because the guy next to me (I had an aisle seat) turned to his right side, facing my direction and his knees were bordering to my area. So if I wanted to sleep I also had to turn to the right, the aisle side, which meant that many people heading to the toilet were bumping into my knees and shoulders. That was extremely annoying! I just hated this flight so much! I think it was one of the most uncomfortable flights I ever had. At least, the japanese school class heightened my mood a little bit with all of them wearing their school uniforms… on a long haul flight. That’s what I call discipline! :’D

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When I arrived in Tokyo, finally, I picked up my suitcase and went to look for a sim card. I found one for 7 seven days and I bought it. It was without a telephone number, only internet. But I would get a proper Sim Card in the city anyway.

First, I had to go to the office of my share house to sign some papers, read about the house rules and pick up my key. Actually, it wasn’t really that far away from my share house, but it was just annoying carrying around a big ass suitcase with you everywhere. It really sucked the energy out of my body and by the time I was done at the office, I could feel how tired I was getting. Luckily it was still bright outside. When I took the train back to the metro stop I had to get out at, I missed it and had to get out at one stop after. Luckily, the trains here in Tokyo come in 5-10 minutes and I also didn’t have to change the platform.

When I finally arrived at my metro stop, I struggled to find out how I was supposed to walk. I thought I had to cross the train tracks. The barrier was still down, and as soon as it opened, I slowly walked and stumbled across the tracks with my suitcase that is almost as big as me. I haven’t even crossed 1/3 of the tracks when the sound was ringing again. The barriers were coming down and I was still in the middle of the tracks. Actually, I wasn’t really standing on a track, but like a pathway between the tracks. Still, it seemed like I was in danger.

Luckily, a police man saw me and came for my rescue! He put the barrier up with his hands and took my suitcase, running, and me running behind him. When we were finally safe and sound I had enough! I spotted a taxi right in front of me, another streak of luck for me. Thank you for your prayers, dad! I think they actually helped :)

So I entered the taxi and showed the driver the address. He started driving but after a few minutes he stopped and searched on his gps again. Then after around 5 minutes he stopped and told me that I should better pay the 800 yen first before he drives around without knowing exactly where it is which would make it more expensive to me in the end. That was really nice of him to say that. So I paid and after that he tried everything to find my share house. He also asked a little boy on the street if he knew where it was. I was getting stressed and desperate. It was past 3pm at that time. The only meal I had was on the plane at 7 or 8am. I was starving, at the same time I was tired as hell and I just escaped death. And now it seemed like my share house was impossible to find. I was already imagining myself sleeping on the streets and was about to cry. I decided to look up the directions on Google Maps myself.

And then a miracle happened. We actually found it!!! I was so happy! And the taxi driver was really happy as well. When I asked how much I had to pay he said “daijobu” (it’s alright). I was even more touched and felt my eyes water. He was sooo sooo nice!

Still, the struggle was not over yet. When I entered the share house, no one seemed to be at home. I was on the second floor so I had to carry my stupid suitcase up the tiny stairs. And then it happened. I hit 23kg on my tiny toe and it was one of the worst pains ever! I had to scream and felt the tears in my eyes again. I was cursing this suitcase and the effed up tiny stairs. I quickly went into my room and what do I see between my fridge and my bed?!! A FREAKING DEAD COCKROACH!!! I sat down on my bed and cried. It was all just too much! It was the worst arrival of my life. I couldn’t believe that this was reality! In my imagination I was full of energy, easily finding my share house and then quickly leaving to explore Tokyo, see the busy Shibuya crossing, the loud streets, the colourful neon signs, eating Ramen on my first evening. None of them happened. The worst things that could ever happen happened to me. Murphy’s Law! I was hungry, tired, almost died, spent half an hour finding my share house, hit my f*cking suitcase on my toe, and now this disgusting cockroach was in my room. Although it was dead, I just couldn’t take it anymore. After crying my eyes out I tried to calm down. I heard someone outside so I looked and it was the cleaning man. I asked him if he could please remove the dead cockroach in my room. He laughed and said sorry and took it away in a tissue.

It seemed like as soon as the cockroach was gone, my thoughts were getting a bit more positive as well. I took off my clothes, and put on my pyjamas that I luckily put into my hand luggage.

I was tired, thirsty, as well as hungry, but I could surprise the hunger and the thirst. But my body just couldn’t stay awake any longer. I fell asleep right away, at around 4pm and woke up at 10pm. I slept 6 hours through. When I woke up my throat was dry and hot. I needed water! It was rainy outside but I really needed water. I knew there was a 7/11 around the corner so I prepared to go outside. After I just left my house, I saw 3 vending machines right next to our share house. I didn’t feel like walking in the rain so I just took a bottle of water out the machine. So convenient, seriously! Things were slowly starting to get more positive and easier now. I think sometimes, one just needs a good rest, and then everything just turns to the better.

In general I was still very lucky and thankful. Although I had a difficult start (Maybe that’s a bit of an understatement here), I had the chance to experience the kindness of japanese people right away. Everyone was extremely kind and helpful. More than I have seen in any other country. And after all, it was my suitcase’s fault that all of those bad things happened to me.

So this was my adventurous arrival in Tokyo. I hope it wasn’t too much or too boring for you guys. I just wanted to describe all my experiences coming to this city. And when I have negative experiences and write about it, you guys can be prepared if you ever plan to come here.

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To sum it all up, here are some Do’s and Don’ts when arriving in Japan:

Do’s:

  • Eat something small at the airport, or take some food and drinks with you to eat on the way. The commute from the airport to the city can take a bit longer than you expect.
  • Buy yourself a Suica or Passmo Card. It’s a rechargeable metro card. So much more convenient when using the metro on a daily basis. You can also pay with that at conbinis (7/11, Family Mart & Co.) or use it to buy drinks at vending machines (not all of them though).
  • Use Google Maps to navigate the metro system. The metro system in Tokyo is the biggest I have ever used (I have already used the ones in Beijing, Shanghai, London, Paris and Barcelona), and if I didn’t have Google Maps, I would have lost my way even more often. Either check the directions at the airport and screenshot everything. Or get yourself a sim card or pocket wifi for your stay. It’s gonna be extremely helpful! Trust me.

 

Don’ts:

  • If you can, try to take a middle sized suitcase with you and maybe a bigger backpack to carry on your back. The streets in Tokyo are not really suitcase friendly.
  • Take care at the tracks! Don’t walk slowly! Some people even run to cross it, because not even after 1 minute the bell rings again and the barriers close. The safest option to cross to the other side is actually by using the metro passages. They also have elevators, so that’s better for suitcases.
  • Make sure to sleep on the plane. I know, sometimes it is not possible, but if you can, definitely do it, please! You will be more wake and energised and positive when you have to navigate through the city to find you accommodation.
  • Don’t force yourself to walk to your destination. If you seriously are exhausted and can’t take it no more, just take the taxi. No money is more important than your wellbeing. And who knows, maybe you will encounter such a nice taxi driver as I did as well :)

 

This was everything about my arrival. I am sorry that you guys had to wait for such a long time until my first post. I was quite busy with all the bureaucratic stuff and editing photos and videos.

You can watch my first video about my arrival here:

 

Thank you for reading and watching!

Merveille.

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The happiest place in China!

It’s finally here! My video about the first time I have been to a Disneyland! Ironically, I had my first Disneyland experience in Shanghai with 25 years old :’D

I still love Disney so much, and half a day was not enough for Disneyland. I will definitely visit more in the future!

 

I hope you enjoyed this video!

Thanks for watching and reading!

Merveille.

I found the Rilakkuma Cafe in Taipei

As you might have seen at the beginning of this year, I went to visit Taipei in January and I was on a mission to find my first ever character café which should be the Rilakkuma Café. I had a hard time finding it, but I am so happy that I didn’t give up the search and eventually, I found it!

Other highlights were: seeing the Taipei Tower, meeting locals, eating street food at the Shilin Night Market, and being attacked by a japanese toilet’s water fountain :’D

You can watch all of that in this video:

 

Thank you for reading and watching!

Merveille.

Paris – The Beauty of Europe!

I was especially looking forward to watch all my Paris videos again.

Paris is such a beautiful city that I felt like I was back there again. It’s a city where you feel like you are in a dream world. I love this city so much and can’t wait to finally visit again. But until the next trip, I have to be patient while watching this video.

Feel free to comment and like my video or my blog post, and subscribe to my channel as well as this blog.

Thank you for reading and watching!

See you soon!

Merveille.

Goodbye 2016, Hello 2017

I know that for many people around the world, 2016 was a hell of a year, or should I rather say, hell on earth.

So many great people died, including David Bowie, Prince, Alan Rickman, Harper Lee, George Michael, Carrie Fisher and too many more :'(
And then, more political changes occured that will probably change the future of the world forever. The Brexit in the UK, Donald Trump being US president which was my biggest nightmare, and the war in Syria bringing so much grief into our lifes. Terrorism reached its peak with destruction in France and Turkey, both countries I was lucky to visit unharmed this year, and both countries with so much beauty that it breaks my heart thinking about explosions and destructions :'(

But I think we should always have some light to follow, or else, our world would be hopeless. That is also something I want to follow in 2017. I will try to stay more positive, try to accept more than I already do. I will try not to judge and gossip. I will try to learn more things about the world, about others and also about myself.
As a friend already posted today, my New Years Resolution is not about loosing weight or making more money. It is about exploring more and judging less. Being more creative and active. I hope 2017 will be even way better than 2016.

For me, actually, it wasn’t too bad. Many awesome things happened. I met a lot of great people and saw many beautiful places.
Here is a little wrap-up of the things I did:

Cities visited: 12 (Shanghai, Hong Kong, Chengdu, Jiuzhaigou, Beijing, Xi’An, Leipzig, Amsterdam, Cappadocia, Cesme, Selcuk/Ephesus, Paris)

Countries visited: 5 (China, Hong Kong, The Netherlands, Turkey, France)

Planes took: 15 (China Eastern, HK Express, Lufthansa, Germanwings, Turkish Airlines, Pegasus)

Books read: 24 (Check my goodreads account)

Just a couple of things to sum up. And now here are some of my favourite moments from 2016

January: Seeing new sides of Hong Kong

The first month of the year was probably one of the best Januarys I had. It was filled with mild weather, yummy food, and another side of Hong Kong which you can read about here.

February: Spring Festival in China

Spring Festival is Chinese New Year, as you could read in this post from a few days ago. I will write the following posts as soon as possible, so here is a little sneak peek already.

March: Beijing – Xi’An Trip, Birthday Parties, Goodbye

This month was filled with many of our friends’ birhtdays. It was also filled with some goodbye parties because it was my last month in China. A very sad moment, but I tried to make the best out of it and took a last trip to Beijing and Xi’An. It was probably my second favourite month this year. Posts are following.

April: Reunion with old friends

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April was meant for my friends I couldn’t see for 10 months. It was also the month of one of my best friend’s birthday.

May: Bridesmaids and Wedding Fever!

In May, our childhood friend got married and we were meant to be her bridesmaids. Some beautiful pictures were taken.
Plus, I got to give my cousin’s daughter some cute Frozen gifts I bought from Hong Kong :)

June: Kangaroo Cuddling

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I know, there is no kangaroo on this picture, I only got it on film, but I was surprised by a baby kangaroo at the zoo in Leipzig and I couldn’t handle the cuteness <3

July: Birthday Girl and Amsterdam Trip

July is one of my favourite months. It is my birhtday, it is hot and it is summer.Also this year, it was a very good month. I spent it first with my sister going up the TV Tower, and at the weekend I celebrated with my friends. At the end of the month, I took a short trip to Amsterdam with my friend. Read about it here, here, and here.

August: Hottest summer in Frankfurt

My highlight in August was our short trip to Frankfurt to visit my best friend there. It was probably also the hottest weekend of the year, so we did a lot of things while we were there.

September: Balloon flight in Cappadocia, Beach days in Cesme

You probably still know the most memorable things I did in Cappadocia. September was by far my favourite month this year. It was filled with so much beauty and magic in a world that is usually taken by fear and violence these days. Read about my adventures here, here, and here.

And if you wanna know more about surfer’s paradise of Cesme, you can read my blogpost here.

October: Paris mon Amour!

October belonged to my favourite months this year as well, and everything just because of Paris. I think no matter how bad your mood is, it will lighten up as bright as the Eiffel Tower as soon as you visit that beautiful city. Read about my experiences here and here, here and here.

November and December: Chocolate/Christmas Markets

As you can see, November and December were my least favourite months this year. Even February was so much more amazing, although I usually don’t like that month too much. November usually is a good month, but the only amazing thing was the Fantastic Beasts movie and all the Christmas markets, including the chocolate market in my old university town.