shinagawa beauty

Being a foreigner in Tokyo, I have come to know the Immigration Bureau quite well; during my two years here I have already gone there five or six times. And now time had come to visit the Immigration Bureau once again to apply for an extension of my spouse visa. With the Corona virus affecting …

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goddag yxskaft

When moving to Japan, I was used to almost never using cash. Many stores and other establishments in Sweden do not even accept cash – you need to pay with a credit card or more recently with your mobile phone. In that way, living in Japan feels like living in the days of my adolescence, …

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sleeping beauties

Apart from love and patience, being a parent seems to require flexibility more than anything else. In many ways I find that my wife and I are acting like a zipper, taking turns to care about our baby and connecting with each other to seal the space of love we are carrying. It is a …

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eye

the null-point of life

Looking into the eyes of a baby is going through a portal opening up to a dimension beyond what was previously possible to encounter; that is how I have felt while giving milk in a bottle to our little son, meeting his big, unwaveringly eyes. Apart from a memory of the first time my wife …

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teddy bear

vocabulary for new parents

One week with a baby at home has taught me some new Japanese words. First comes lack of sleep, or 寝不足 [nebusoku], where the Chinese characters, kanji, mean something like “sleep non-sufficient”. (I really like the Japanese way of expressing this, although I do not so much like the experience in general.) The last kanji …

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hospital entrance

becoming a father

This has been the happiest week of my life, but in some ways also the most difficult. Let me back up to last Friday, May 29.  When I start writing this, I am sitting in a car park outside a children’s hospital in Tokyo. The time is 2.25 and the rain has finally stopped. We came …

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pregnancy insomnia

I love the ceiling in our apartment; in a way it feels like we live in an old factory when I look at the ceiling and see the uneven surfaces, the rough unpolished cement, the imprints that the wood used for making the ceiling has left behind. I fantasised about living in an old factory …

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park under the highway

a story of a little bird

Under the big highway, on the other side of the road from our apartment, there is a little playground. My wife calls it a park, though for a park it is a quite sad place, a patch of dirt for ball games, a little bit of vegetation, and from our window we can see a …

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silence

I could not imagine Tokyo being this quiet. It has been Golden Week, the longish Japanese spring holiday, and with traveling out of the question and shops and parks closed, people seem to have been quietly staying at home; streets almost empty and only a few trucks on the nearby highway. I woke up early …

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a piece of the past

While we were wondering what kind of world our baby will grow up in, a delivery came – a piece of the past had found its way to our doorstep (actually our genkan, but never mind…). A few weeks ago I tried to send a postcard to Sweden – these days that is not possible, and apparently …

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non-essential person

Is this the new normal now? To be afraid of people, to see a city shut down. When going to the supermarket I felt like I was in the middle of a zombie-movie. And I really do not like those – a half deserted town with stores closed and where people are slowly walking, hiding …

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