Monday, 2 November 2015

The Tale of a Boy in a Coffee Shop #48

"Well, it's not like I don't know your name. I just didn't have the chance to say it," the young boy blushed as he answered.
"And I don't think it's a weird question, coming out from me." He dug in his pudding.  

The young lady waited, patiently. AS the time past, she came to understand that the young boy was not like any regular boy. 'He is a very observant kid. He must have picked up that question as he saw someone said something about never to forgive," the young lady told herself.

It was not completely wrong. The young boy did hear a sentence or two, came out of angry people around him, but that wasn't the main reason he asked.

"Two days ago, I was playing with the other kids around my house. As usual, we are kids, we played hard. Then, I accidentally hit the head of one of the bigger kid. I apologised immediately but he couldn't take it."

The young lady waited.

"He suddenly punched me, on my face, and pushed me, trying to take me to ground. I pushed him away, I tried not to punched him back. I just... lightly pushed him." The young boy stopped and sighed. The young lady could see a small bruise on the young boy's cheek which he tried to cover with his slightly long hair.

"I am not sure how, but we ended up fighting. The other boys were cheering on us as we struggled on the ground. He is bigger, but slow. I won the fight and he was so ashamed that he cursed on me. He swore he would never forgive me for the disgrace."

The young lady looked deeply to the young boy. She understood it then. It wasn't because of his personal observation, but from his own experience, she thought.

"I like him. He is a good friend with good humour sense. I don't want to lose a friend," he stopped, nearly cried.

"To never be forgiven for a lifetime sounds depressing indeed," the young lady touched lightly the young boy's head, as he put his on the bar. " But time will heal, trust me."

"Time... will heal?"

The day was getting brighter as the sun climbed higher. Would it shine the young boy's heart?


Tuesday, 21 July 2015

The Tale of a Boy in a Coffee Shop #47

It was a bright and sunny summer morning. The market was lazy but busy, everybody was buzzing like bees. When people tried to follow the road straight to the intersection, on the left corner they could find a very welcoming and humble bakery. There he was, our young little boy, trying to bring 8 big baguettes in his arms. He paid in pennies and pushed the half glass door with his left shoulder.

The young boy was whistling along his way, straight to the opposite way to the market. He turned right on the second alley and pushed the door of a warm-looking coffee shop with his right shoulder.

"Ow thank you! You are a big help!" A cheerful voice welcomed him as the door bell chimed softly.

"Well, you are alone today. I can help. I am not such a customer anyway." The young boy put the baguettes on the bar table.

The young lady paused for a moment. Then she chuckled and rubbed the young boy's head gently, "You are indeed a funny boy. Well, for my not-such-a-customer-ly customer, I will make my special bread and pudding. Luckily I've made some preparation yesterday. Do you prefer raisin and cinnamon, chocolate, or berries?"

"I'll take berries for today. But keep the chocolate for me tomorrow." The young lady smirked softly at the corner of her left lips. "Kiddo," she whispered to her self.

The young boy sat on one of the bar stools. His chin was on the bar with both hands on each side, stretching over the bar. He was staring blankly to the cupboard across him.

"Here you go, chilled berries pudding with sliced toasted baguette garnished with light home-made raspberry jam." The young lady brought 2 plates of bread and pudding and put it near the young boy.

"Tea? I have a chilled one too."

"Sure, with milk please."

The young lady walked back to the kitchen and mumbling while preparing the tea.

"Say it Lynn, is it even possible to never forgive someone?"

The young lady came back with two glasses of chilled milk tea on both hands, and a surprised look on her face. She put the glasses on the bar and sat just across the young boy.

"OK, first of all, I think this is the first time you ever said my name properly. Second, tell me why did  you ask like that, before I try to figure out how to answer you."

The summer morning just begun, and the serious conversation between these two young souls would add another colours to the day.


Sunday, 17 May 2015

The Tale of a Boy in a Coffee Shop #46

"There was once," the middle-aged started, "a young boy with a big dream. He would like to have a big farming house at the edge of the province. A peaceful place with no worry."

The young boy fixed his sitting. The young lady took a place beside the old lady. Everybody listened to the middle-aged man quietly.

"Therefore, to get some money for his dream, he went to the city."

"He did all the work he could, be it selling fruits in the market, cleaning the horse stall, be a bell boy, anything. Nearly anything, except one, " he stopped, gazing through the far behind the wall.

"What was it, that he didn't do?" The young boy was impatient.

"Except doing bad things, Funny Boy."

"But one day, a man approach him. That man looked like a noble, offering him to work at his house, near the border of the city." The middle-aged man suddenly chuckled. Others were confused, there wasn't anything funny in the story yet.

"But the noble was weird, he asked the boy to give all of his fortune into the noble man's keepsake. It's a guarantee that you won't steal and run from me, he said to the naive boy. Stupidly enough, that boy gave his all, a number big enough to buy a pretty big land that he dreamed."

Everybody was still listening to the middle-aged man.

"After a couple of months, one day the noble ask the boy to go to market, to buy a lot of stuff that was impossible to be finished in one morning. It took nearly the whole day to finish the task. It was nearly dark when the boy came back and found something strange. The big house was completely dark and scarily silent. It was as if it had been abandoned for years. The boy rushed to the house and found nobody, nothing. Not even a bed, not even a penny left. He was alone, and fooled."

"He lost years of hard work in a couple of months, for swallowing a lie coated in a noble man."

"Now, young lady, do you think that swindler is an easy work?"

"Is it even a real story?" The young lady was in doubt, how could someone looked like a nice noble was a swindler? It is supposed to be easy to sniff something suspicious.

"A real swindler will always act to the point people can't tell the real thing. Swindling needs a professional acting ability, a great scenario, a bunch of properties. It's a stage of play which needs a real patient, honey, " the old lady said as if she understood her granddaughter's thought.

The young lady blushed to ears, once she understood the point.

"It sounds like your story, Pizza Owner," said the young boy.

The middle-aged man shocked and touched his beard, "Smart aren't you?" He rubbed the young boy's head roughly.

"But I learned my lesson kid, I learned my lesson."      

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

JB #6: A bulimic story

This is a story of a girl who personally has never imagined that she would end up as one of eating-disorder victims. She is always convinced that she is a delusional kid with a slight OCD. But, never once... not even once she imagined herself as a bulimic until the last 2 years of her recent life.

As a note, she is normal with BMI around 20 and exercise regularly (not excessively). She loves outdoor exercises like cycling or hiking. She also likes sport plays, namely badminton or volley ball. You would say she is bubbly and pretty laid-back on the outside, but rather bitter and realistic on the inside. She doesn't really care about fashion or personal body care. Hence, there should be no reason at all for her to care too much on her body image.

Pathetically, there is this intense illogical fear of gaining weight. She feels like every additional pound is a sin dirtier than stealing, heavier than killing (and she would rather kill a mice than gaining another pound, a real everyday-psychopath). She is too afraid of gaining a pound by a pound, which led her to scale her weight every single damn-morning.
Ironically, she loves to eat, in or out. She is a person that you can say, not yet a good cook, but already a recipes-explorer. She is always happy every time she finished cooking something and ask her friends to eat together. Although she is too ashamed to eat a bunch of her own cooking in front of others. The demons inside her head are crying out loud.

"Eat it all, sneak it into your bedroom."
"You deserve it all, no need to restrain."

"Don't eat you fat pig, look at your flabby arms!"
"So you think your tummy is not shameful?"

All the YES(es) and NO(s) are screaming inside her head. It's like a ghost, haunting the back of her head.
She can't always hold herself. Sometimes, at really bad times, she gives in and eats all of those lovely food. She can't stop shoving all of the stuff into her mouth. She can't stop even after she feels sick and her stomach hurts. She can't stop even if she cries. SHE CAN'T !!

The one and only thing that could help her is forced-vomiting.

Thus, after every single cries she pours, she sneaks into the bathroom. With all of the guilt in her chest, she shoves her fingers forcefully to her throat. Despite all the blood and pain, she desperately purges and empties her stomach until all the guilt thrown into the closet. Until all of the naughty calories flushed down the toilet. And after every single purges, she cries silently. Blaming her weak self. Out of fear to gain weight, she damages her body even more.
It's a vicious cycle.

It doesn't mean that she is literally weak. NO. She is a rather strong-headed and strong-willed clever girl. She loves biology, she studies biology. She knows all the scientific facts about the effect of her behaviour. Yet she couldn't stop it.

It's almost like an addiction. A killing one.

She believes that she has gone mental because of her bulimia. She just convinced herself that she is good in faking her state of illness. Most important, she is tired.

She is tired as every time she tells her best friends, they will just say,

"Why do have to be so afraid to gain a slight weight? People's values are not only based on the body weight."
"Ow, there is nothing wrong with your body. It's smokin' hot!"
"The fat is in the mind of the beholder."


Prettier said than done. It is indeed only in her mind. And she absolutely knew that already. But what could be done when it has turned into a habit, a killing one?

Could you lend a helping hand?
Will you lend listening ears?

Because, even though her best friends ask the reason behind her fear, nobody really care to unlock the clogging heart. They just hear but not listen, they just ask but not seek.

If you meet her, will you listen to her crying soul?

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

JB #5: Madness in Paris

OK, I may not be the most excellent student of my professor. I don't have enough data up to now to write any scientific paper, I never join any conference, I don't even have any poster. In short, as a science master student, I am (somehow) a failure.

I know.. I know.. I should appreciate my own strength more!!

That's why I write this blog... I love writing (well, not the scientific writing yet, though...). I have a lot of interests that build up my general knowledge, and make me a fun person to talk to.

OK, enough bragging about my own-boring self. <-- contradiction (笑)

Anyway, as the title said, I wanna share about the short less-than-5-hours-madness I had in Paris..
WAIT??!!! I went to Paris???
INDEED I DID.!! Well, sorry, but I still can't believe it my self.
In addition, I went there for FREEEEEEEE!!!!

but HOW ???!!!

OK, let me start with when I got an email from my prof.

So, back in the beginning of July, there was an email from my university (they sent it to student mailing list but they are usually written in complete Japanese), but (as usual) I ignored it <-- sorry, too lazy to translate the whole email.
However, on the next day, my prof resent that email to me with a header, 'Flo, do you think you want to join this event?'
OK... what's going on? Since he never asked me to join anything before, I took a look at the link in the email.. and voila!! It's a link to Nov*rtis Japan Biocamp 2014. The deadline was just about 4 more days.
Hem... this looks interesting, I thought. Well, nothing to lose anyway. Then I applied.. easy.

A day after the deadline, an email from Nov*rtis came and OH WOW!! I got the seat in the camp! Yay!! Free food and nice hotel in Tokyo!! Hahaha, seriously.. that's what I was happy about in the beginning.
By the last weekend of July, I joined the intense 3-days-2-nights Biocamp. Well, I am not going to talk in detail about the content of the camp itself... I don't want to spoil the surprise.. just in case there will be some readers joining the next Biocamp... (COME ON!! I just hide 1 letter.. there is NO WAY you can't guess it!!)

Anyway.. crazily enough... I won one of the 3 personal awards !!!!
AND the prize is... FLYING TO SWISS to join the Nov*rtis International Biocamp.
I was trembling like crazy when they gave me the certificate and couldn't stop grinning.
I mean.. it was crazy!! I never dreamed to go to any European countries for free!! Unless, I get a scholarship and study there, of course.. But, nah... I wanna take a break from school..
So it was mind-blowing!!

They gave the itinerary and tadaaaa... we had to transit in Paris for approx. 5 hours.

1 month passed, and there came the time for us to fly to Swiss!!
Luckily, the other 2 Japanese representative (1 is an MD student at Ryukyu Uni / 琉大 and the other one is a PhD candidate at Waseda Uni) are crazy people.
One of them said, "Hey Flo, Yas said he has never been in Paris before, so at least he would like to see Eiffel and Arch d'Triumph. Do you wanna join us?"
Did he even need to ask? OF COURSE !!!

We landed just before 5 am in Paris.
And honestly... I hate my passport!!! I envy Japanese passport to the root of my heart.
Both of them just showed their passport, less than a minute.. and PASSED!!!
As for me, the immigration check was... well, annoying.
The guy looked at me as if I am a terrorist once he saw my passport.

"So you are not Japanese?"  "No."
"But you are living in Japan?"  "Yes."
"What for?"  "Studying."
"So you are a student?"   (Should I answer this?"  "Yes."
"So you are going to Swiss?"  "Yes, at 8 am. This is the ticket." (Gave him my ticket)
"What for?"  "Company's event."  (Gave him my event's booklet)
"When will you come back?"  "Thursday."
"Through Amsterdam?"  ".... (tired) Yes."
"And you are going back to Japan?"  "Yes."
"To Narita?"  FOR HEAVEN!!  "Yes."
He looked at me as if his eyes were X-ray eyes.
BAM!! He finally stamped my passport... I was EXHAUSTED!!!

So there we were, rushing on the first train to the heart of Paris...
Interestingly, even if the train starts so early... we basically don't need to pay until the ticket office opens... which we didn't know exactly at what time hahahaha... Maybe... 6? 7 am?
Pssstttt...don't tell the company (>_<  )

We did quite a lot of madness and all my complaints swept away by the peaceful Paris.

 Early morning in front of Notre Dame 

Stupid pose in front of Eiffel when nobody else was there

Too excited to reach Arc de Triomphe

By the time we finished taking pictures in front of Arch de Triomphe, we literally ran to the train and wildly looking for the train to go back to airport.
Our next flight to Basel boarded at 8.20 am. And there we were, riding the train at 7.40!!!! 
Luckily, it was a rapid train, so it didn't stop at every station. 
BUT!! After living in Japan for quite sometime, I have to admit.. Japanese trains are sooooo d*mn FAST!!! The trains in Paris walk like a turtle!!

We arrived at the airport at 8.03!! Sh*t!!
We ran again to catch a shuttle bus to terminal F... which were soooooo far from the train station.
In the end, we checked in just 5 minute before the final call... 
FIUH !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And we flew to Basel.. safe and sound.  

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

JB #4: Caramelised Pear Rice-cooker Cake

I just made a cake and post it in social media... YUP!! We are addicted to social media.. I am guilty at charged hehehehe

Anyway, since quite a lot of my friends ask for the recipe, here it is ^^

- Peel and cut pears (or apples); thinner is better (I prefer to cut it at 2 cm max thickness)
- Melt 2 tbsp of butter on a pan and cooked the pear
- Add 3-4 tbsp of sugar; cooked until it caramelised and the pear is tender
- Grease the rice-cooker pot and arrange the pears inside (also don't forget to pour in the caramel)
- For the cake; beat 2 eggs with 30 gr of sugar until light and fluffy ( I don't like it too sweet, since the caramel from pear is already sweet enough. But you can add the sugar up to 50 gr).
- Stir in 70 gr of all-purpose flour, 3 tbsp of melted butter, 1 tsp of baking powder, a pinch of salt, 50-100 ml of milk (depends on how smooth you like your cake be). You can also add cinnamon or vanilla essence for additional flavour.
- Pour the mixture to the pot over the pear.
- Put back the pot into the rice-cooker, and press ON
- Depends on your rice-cooker, you can cook it for 2-3 times continuously. I just need 2 times (17 minutes and 12 minutes)
- And here you go!!

ENJOY !! ^^

Friday, 19 September 2014

The Tale of a Boy in a Coffee Shop #45

There was a silence hanging in the cold air. The young lady was a little bit agitated and pushed once again.

"What did you mean, Boy?" The young lady asked again with an impatient tone.

"Why do you think it's easy, Lynn?" The middle-aged man asked her back.

The young lady shoved her glance to the right, directly to the eyes of the middle-aged man in front of her. She then turned her head to the left, seeking help from the old lady. However, she found a smiling face there, even bigger than before. The young lady couldn't believe it.

"Am I the only one who thinks that fraud is an easy money?"

The other three looked at her without answering. The young lady sighed, she started doubting her own reasons.

"First, they don't actually work their selves to the point of sweating. They don't have to deal with customers, recessions, capital lost, and so on. The just need to lie and deceive people. " The young lady answered indifferently

"How many people do you think would easily buy a lie?" The old lady asked back.

The young lady frowned her eyebrows. She wasn't sure how many people. She never gave a proper concern about fraud before.

"I am not sure," she finally said.

"Do you want to listen to a story from a former swindler?" The middle-aged man suddenly said.

Everybody in the room was looking at the middle-aged man. Did they mishear it? Did it mean that the middle-aged man sitting with them was a former swindler? It sounded like that.

"Hahaha, of course it is not my own story, if that is what you all are thinking right now. But indeed, it's from someone I know closely, hahahaha," the middle-aged man kept laughing while rubbing his tummy.

"Someone close to you, Pizza Owner?" The young boy stared with sparkle on his eyes.

"Yes, Funny Boy! Someone realllyyyy close to me, hahahaha!" He rubbed his rough hand wildly on the young boy's head.

"Hem, where should I start?" The middle-aged man brushed his greyish hair.

The sun was getting higher, but the story was just about to begin.