I’ve finally fulfilled my biggest dream and between March and April this year I flew to the land of sakura, anime, AKB48, sake and wasabi, to spend there almost three weeks. In general it was no spontaneous ,last-minute sort of deal, which would be built around visiting those few places that pop up on the first page of Google, after writing down ‘Japan things to see’. After buying the plane ticket (more than a half a year beforehand), the real fun began, as I wanted to pick the most interesting spots to catch a glimpse of. The temples like Fushimi Inari or Kiyomizu-dera in Kyoto (which first impressed me in an animated form – through anime Lucky Star), or the memorial plate of my favorite Japanese singer – late Yutaka Ozaki, in Shibuya, Tokyo were on my trip’s must-see list from the very beginning, but the rest of the itinerary was a real dilemma. It turned out my knowledge about Japan was mostly based on countless watched anime titles, movies and TV series, and dozens or hundreds of pop and rock bands I listen to. For the next few months, I had to learn a bit more about what Japan is all about, when it comes monuments, and otherwise. Continue reading →
Na przełomie marca i kwietnia spełniłem swoje największe marzenie i poleciałem na prawie 3 tygodnie do Kraju Kwitnącej Wiśni, anime, AKB48, sake i wasabi. Generalnie nie była to spontaniczna wizyta, opierająca się wyłącznie na zwiedzeniu kilku miejsc, które pojawiają się na pierwszej stronie Google po wpisaniu hasła ‘Japan things to see’. Po zakupieniu biletu na samolot (z ponad półrocznym wyprzedzeniem), zaczęła się prawdziwa zabawa z wyszukaniem najciekawszych lokalizacji do odwiedzenia. Świątynie Fushimi Inari i Kiyomizu-dera (która zaimponowała mi po raz pierwszy w wersji animowanej – anime Lucky Star) w Kioto, czy tabliczka upamiętniająca mojego ulubionego Japońskiego piosenkarza, Yutakę Ozakiego w dzielnicy Shibuya w Tokio miały od samego początku zapewnione miejsca w moim planie podróży, jednak cała reszta była wielką niewiadomą. Moja wiedza o Japonii głównie opierała się na niezliczonych obejrzanych tytułów anime, filmów i seriali oraz dziesiątkach przesłuchanych zespołów popowych i rockowych. Przez kolejne kilka miesięcy zacząłem się douczać o tym, co tak naprawdę warto zwiedzić. Continue reading →
Even by itself, my recent trip to Japan had a very special meaning to me. But there were also several crucial objectives planned way beforehand to be ticked off from the bucket list – some were related to cuisine, others to culture, history, nature or entertainment. However, one of the places I visited had also spiritual significance of sorts. While the stopover there lasted maybe 20 minutes, it was a very emotional moment, and it left a powerful impression on me. Located relatively close to Shibuya Station, I paid a visit to a memorial plate of Yutaka Ozaki, late rebellious singer of the 1980s, whose music and charisma actually hugely contributed to my interest in Japan, and he was among the main reasons for my travel there. Continue reading →
Years ago, the first Polish president- internet meme Aleksander Kwasniewski, encouraged one of the ministers at that time to kiss the Polish ground, upon getting off the airplane. The poor guy eagerly did what he had been told, which was immediately met with heavy disparagement and people assumed it was an act of mockery of the Pope John Paul II.
After over 10 hours of flight I arrived at the Tokyo – Narita International Airport, and although I don’t have any desire to kiss the ground, I feel like a huge burden has been lifted off my chest. Continue reading →
Niegdyś pierwszy polski prezydent-internetowy meme Aleksander Kwaśniewski, zachęcił Marka Siwca do ucałowania ziemi kaliskiej po wylądowaniu, a ten ochoczo uczynił jak mu powiedziano, co zostało uznane za szydzenie z JPII. Dotarłem po 10 godzinach lotu na lotnisko Tokio-Narita, i chociaż całować ziemi nie zamierzam, to pojawiła się wielka ulga. Continue reading →
I’ve been listening to random songs on Youtube and that was when I came upon this song by Lovely Summer Chan (ラブリーサマーちゃん), called 202. Soothing vocals, mellow music vibe, and a colorful music video immediately won me over. Quick Google check, and I had pre-ordered the limited edition album, LSC. Few weeks later, I was already a huge fan. By the end of 2016, the CD which got released in early November became the most listened to album on my playlist. Continue reading →
My culinary spirit has been growing in strength these days. I mean I suck at food preparation because in general I rarely do any cooking, as by the time I get back from work the dinner’s are mostly ready and all I need to do is just dig in. Every now and then however it’s good to make something yourself and get that sense of accomplishment (not too often though, I’m fine with someone else doing the cooking as a rule). Today I decided to give a try to a variation on gyros salad that my friend made for a small house party some time ago. Continue reading →
In a time when glam metal ruled the world and almost everything sounded the same (just like the shit pop of today) there were very few bands which stood out among the countless copycats. Guns N’ Roses reinvigorated hair rock with Slash’s hat, grand guitar solos, Axl’s outrageousness and the bluesy vibe in the vein of Aerosmith.
Jane’s Addiction seemingly also originated from the glam scene (which in all honesty seems more and more ridiculous the older I get), yet what they offered was this explosive blend of music genres which can’t be easily defined. This L.A. band were pioneers of the alternative rock and everything it came to be known as in the 90s (at this point alternative is a crazy mishmash of styles and ironically it is the new mainstream, really). With Perry Farrell’s distinct dreamy delivery and one of a kind music sound Jane’s Addiction quickly rose to be one of the music acts closest to my heart. Continue reading →
Over the last few weeks I’ve been familiarizing myself with the economic mumbo jumbo and reading up on the financial crisis of 2007-2008. Not going to lie, the economics and politics are 2 major things I tend to stay away from, as I don’t fully understand the former, and I get angered way too easily by the latter.
The recent Academy Award contender The Big Short, and the 2010 Matt Damon-narrated documentary Inside Job are the two movies responsible for my sudden interest in this subject matter.
They were not only compelling, but also made all the effort to present the circumstances of the crisis in an extremely coherent and straightforward fashion, so that even a layman like me got a lot from viewing them. Then again, ultimately I wish I didn’t know the dirty machinations that went on at that time.
So are the banks as bad as the filmmakers often make them to be? The short answer is they are far worse. Continue reading →
Living in Poland has its perks (kielbasa, breathtaking landscapes, castles, the Winged Hussars), yet unfortunately getting to taste authentic sushi is not one of them. Obviously I haven’t visited every sushi restaurant in the country, been only to few that offer the dish in reasonable price range, but I imagine that what they offer is only a weak, overpriced imitation of the real thing. I’m planning to travel to Japan in 2017 and I’ll definitely eat as much sushi, ramen and other foods that come into my sight as it’s humanly possible (even one step beyond). For now I’m doing what I can and so I decided to make my own sushi. Continue reading →