A stage in Japan

July 30, 2013 at 13:19

doraemon

While I’m compressing all the data I’ve been working on over the last months (more than 250GB!), I’m thinking of how fast time goes by. It was still spring and everything was ready: my flight was departing soon and I was leaving Barcelona for the next three months. Destination? Ōsaka, Japan.

I had an amazing experience living and working in Japan and I’ve been writing about some of my adventures during this time in this blog (sorry, it’s only in Spanish). During my time in the hosting research center, I’ve met extraordinary people at Mizuguchi Laboratory: open-minded, brilliant scientists and, not less important, excellent people always kind and open to help me. Let me thank you again if you’re reading this post. You made me feel like at home.

But I also had the opportunity to meet other people apart from the office. Kaori and Snoo, from Bar Kitty. What started as “let’s teach some Spanish for fun” became “you guys are awesome”. In a few days we’re going together in a crazy road trip…I can’t wait for it! Edu (The Parallel Dimension), David (@CreativoenJapon, Un Creativo en Japón), Flapy (@Flapy, Un Español en Japón) and Víctor (Nihon Travel), it was a pleasure to share a couple (or more!) beers with you. I hope to meet you again in the future, but I’m not sure exactly where and how 🙂

I’m very sorry for having been complaining all the time about the weather: Kansai summer was really hot and humid, but oh, irony! I’ve finally got used to. Dealing with ATM’s and furikomi was complicated too…but I’ve improved my japanese language skills (when you’re starting from scratch it isn’t difficult at all 😛 ), worked hard and now I feel less gaijin than before.

This city will always be a part of me.

じゃね、大阪!

The Wakhan Corridor

February 20, 2013 at 23:56

Wakhan Corridor

Today I read an article at National Geographic about the Wakhan corridor and the nomads who still live in there. This region belongs to Afghanistan since 1893, when  Britain paid Afghanistan to create this buffer zone between the British India and the Russian Empire. But after the rising of communism in Russia and China, the frontiers became sealed, deeply affecting the life of its nomad inhabitants.

I’m fascinated about how the Kyrgyz nomads can survive at more than 4200 meters above sea level, moving from the north to the south face of the mountain range depending on the season. Furthermore, I can’t imagine how overwhelmed Marco Polo felt when he visited the region in the 1200s…

National Geographic. a family yurt in the Kyrgyz lands of the Wakhan Corridor.

There is an excellent image gallery here from the Varial and Nadjari 2011 expedition.

I’m becoming more and more interested in Central Asia as long as I’m reading about the region, its old history and its pristine nature. How beautiful will stars shine from there?

Cities I’ve visited

January 30, 2013 at 10:42

It took me some time, but here is a map of the major cities I’ve visited to this date. I’m a little bit stressed about the blank zones 🙂

Japan 2012 – Photos

November 13, 2012 at 18:57

Click to see Flickr Japan 2012 set

Japan, there I go!

October 24, 2012 at 18:32

Next Friday I’m flying to Japan. I’m going to spend a couple of weeks visiting the Kansai region (Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe and Nara), Tokyo and Hiroshima. I’m really excited about this trip because this time I can articulate a few phrases and even read in hiragana (wow!) and I’ll give a talk at Mizuguchi Laboratory. If I get the grant I’ve applied for, next year I’ll spend three months at Kenji’s lab, living in Osaka 🙂

Some pictures I took during my first trip to Japan in 2010: Japan-Flickr set.