Monday, October 31, 2005

Yasu back from his Eurotrip

The two weeks of Yasu's Eurotrip were two very long weeks for me, but it in the second week of October the Eurotrip was finally over. Yasu and Yuka 'train'ed from Switzerland to Brugge, Belgium. They heard that this city was so beautiful that it should seem like one big open-air museum... At the station in Brugge, Yasu and I crashed into eachother after having missed each other so much. It was only two weeks, which is nothing compared to the many months we normally have to miss eachother... but still those two almost unbearable weeks were behind us, finally! In the city we did a decent amount of sightseeing, Japanese style! We inspected buildings, paintings, statues and some strange urine-art. We found a tiny and very cute chocolateshop, where Yasu crawled behind the counter to retrieve his dropped coin and scared the old lady working there. We bought many different kinds of Belgium chocolate bon bons to make up for it!

Yuka, Yasu & Lou in Brugge

Back in Neerpelt, Yasu claimed his space in my room again and this time we also had to make room for another guest, his sister Yuka. Yuka stayed with us for a week until she was going to travel on to Paris to catch her plane back to Osaka. She visited Antwerp, Brussels, The Hague, Delft and Rotterdam by herself, but of course we could not let her go to Amsterdam unsupervised. Gyano, Yasu and I joined her during her discovery of the prostitutes in the red light district and joints and spacecake in the coffeeshops. Later she ate her chocolate spacecake at home, and found out that she will never ever eat some again. It was a once-in-a-lifetime-but-never-again-experience for Yuka, and great live entertainment for Yasu and me!

Gy, Lou & Yasu in Amsterdam

When Japanese people think of the Netherlands three things pop into their minds: windmills, cheese and wooden shoes. So my uncle Henk took Yasu and Yuka on a trip to the Zaanse Schans, and Gyano and I came along because even though we are Dutch we were also quite unfamiliar with those 'typical' Dutchie things. At the Zaanse Schans, we took a look at the Cheese Factory to see how all that stinky matter gets produced, Yasu and Yuka were brave enough to taste the many (goat) cheeses. But I am sure they enjoyed the taste of their syrup soldiers, bought at an old fashioned Dutch candy store, much much more! Next was a tour through a real working (color) Windmill, where we had to watch out that we did not get grinded ourselves. At the wooden shoe factory a demonstration was given of the production of wooden shoes, and afterwards Yasu and Yuka enjoyed a whole lot of wooden-shoe-fitting-fun at the Factory store where they sold thousands of wooden shoes in every size, color, shape and taste.

Yuka & Yasu sucking on stroopsoldaatjes (syrup soldiers)

Of course during their stay in Europe food also needed to be eaten. Dinner at my uncle Henk and aunt Janny's house; my aunt cooked a fancy 3-course-dinner which was another big success with our Japanese eaters. Then on Yuka's last night in Neerpelt she cooked us a traditional Japanese festive dinner: delicious sukiyaki. And of course I could not let Yasu go home without having had dinner at a Japanese restaurant in Europe with me. Nobody ever wants to join me for a Japanese dinner because they are all afraid of Japanese food, Yasu being Japanese did not have this fear. So we enjoyed a very tasty Japanese feast at Yokohama in Eindhoven, and Yasu my Japanese food expert was very impressed by the food!

Yuka cooking sukiyaki

The day after Yasu's return from his Eurotrip I took him on a trip through the Efteling. We were lucky because in October the Efteling is not busy at all and therefore there were no insane 90-minute-lines-for-a-3-minute-ride situations at all that day, instead we could almost run into the roller coasters, fairy tale rides and (wild) water boats. I heard Yasu (and myself) scream of excitement but mainly fear several times and oddly we thought the scariest ride was the Carrousel (merry-go-round) horse.

Yasu in a revolving cup at the Efteling

Another October highlight was a Backstreet Boys' concert in Brussels where we went to with my sweet mom, her crazy boyfriend Guido and Gyano. Yasu is a living Backstreet Boys jukebox for some reason, maybe it's because he has done too much karaoke in Japan? Anyway therefore it was easy enough for him to sing along to all the tunes played on stage. And really you don't have to be a 12-year-old-girl to enjoy a BSB concert, it is actually entertainment for all ages and both genders!
Yasu and I visited some more places, one of which was the cow farm of a friend from the gym, Coen. Yasu enjoyed inspecting and fearfully petting the cows, which ended in a whole bunch of huge cows being scared of the tiny Japanese man jumping around the stables trying to pet cows and at the same time trying to jump away from the cows. Antwerp was another place we visited which is cow-less but it did have a funny looking statue with some midgets staring with awe at some Giant's crotch.

Lou & Yasu in Antwerp

But what we enjoyed most about Yasu's stay in Europe were the days we stayed at home and simply played house. Of course to most people this is utterly boring but to us it was new and fun. He lives in Japan, I live in Europe we have never really been able to enjoy some normal uneventful life together. So to us the days we just hung around in the apartment doing our own things but still being together were absolutely wonderful and a nice change from chasing around from city to city and event to event.
We closed October with a 1.5-year-anniversary. We were in different countries for our 1-year-anniversary and so will we be for our 2-year-anniversary, so we used our being together for 18 months as a big festive occasion instead. My mom, Guido and Gyano were so friendly to leave the country (as in go to Guido's house in the Netherlands) and be gone for a day, so that Yasu and I could enjoy a romantic day together, complete with breakfast in bed, dinner, flowers, candy, and a midnight walk through (not so) beautiful Neerpelt. Of course there were also presents, Yasu bought a beautiful heart shaped necklace for me and I ... I gave him chocoladebollen (big chocolate balls filled with whipped cream) and pantoffels (winter slippers)... oops. But rest assured, he loved it anyway!

Yasu's anniversary presents for me :)

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