Routine week, ideas of support and some hiking

Dear All,

It’s this time of the week again. Time to write some blog!

This week has been quite energetic. I visited one really weird event on Monday, but was able to meet some friends there. Did kendo on Wednesday and Saturday and was working hard the other days. Maybe too much work, since I’ve been feeling a bit exhausted during the weekend.

I’ve been continuing on writing that learning diary. It’s kinda a fun to write down stuff and it takes only 5-10 minutes to do so. I’m not sure if it has helped me that much, but it’s a start. It’s going to be easier to keep track on my feelings for life, if I can record something written from time to time.

Today I woke up, studied some Chinese, slept again, woke up again and went out to see some friends. We decided to go on top of a small mountain to see the sunset. It was fun and not hard or exhausting at all. I should do that more often. I’ve just been obsessed with sleeping lately, so I haven’t had time to go hiking. I’ve still been looking for a balance in my life. I’ve been trying to avoid too much exercising and too much work. You know, work-life-balance. It’s difficult. Sometimes you have more energy than normally and sometimes you’re feeling more down than other times. I quess that’s life.

Today I was watching a short video that’s part of an online course that I bought last autumn. It was about mental support. Yes, I’ve talked about this before. I’m just thinking that, I should take some of my hobbies to the next level and try to include more people around them. Mainly the language learning. I feel that I would be more efficient if I got more support from… basically anyone. I used private teachers/tutors, but I would need someone to support me with studying outside classes. Like homeworks and so on. Something like language coaching. Peer support, setting goals, monitoring progress, giving me peptalk and such. I’m social and I need some kind of support in order to be more motivated. I can do stuff alone as well, but I work better, if I can do things together with someone. You know, “Let’s do it together!” kind of feeling.

In Hong Kong the atmosphere feels quite supporting. At least in my social life here, people seem to be happy to support me. Toastmasters, Kendo etc. The feeling is so much different than in Finland, although I’m starting to think that there were some few nice people in Finland…

Anyways, I still have few days left in Hong Kong. I’m flying back to Finland for the summer. I’m just running out of rye bread and Finnish chocolate. Good time on going back home. So next weeks post will be written in Finland.

Well, this is it for this week. Some new ideas again next week.

Lauri

Rest, Learning diary, Ice Hockey

Dear Internet,

It would seem that my new blogging routine is going to be on Tuesdays. I think Sunday is still better. Let’s hope I manage to write again this Sunday.

So what’s been going on. Last week I was super depressed first, but in the end I started being effective again. I’ve been catching up speed since Thursday or Friday and work has been going well. Huh huh. Still, long days are long.

Last week I had some sleeping problems. Yes, again. My rhytm went crazy and I wasn’t feeling good about it. From Friday I’ve been waking up properly. Having a proper daily routine actually makes me feel better. I hope I can keep it up.

Last Friday we had an after-work with my colleagues. Something we hadn’t done before, although we have been working together for few months. It was fun to have the team together outside of work, but I think we talked a bit about work related stuff. Anyways, we had some Lebanese food and went to a skybar. Hong Kong is full of skybars. So there are bars on rooftops of skyscrapers with great view.

I also started a new habit. I started writing learning diary. Or more like a short normal diary with some points of what did I learn today. I call it a learning diary. I try to keep it short. I have a small notebook (A5, I think) and I’ve restricted one entry for one page. So few points what was good today or bad or what made me feel good/bad/energized/depressed or anything. Maybe in time, it starts to look more like real learning diary. I used to write diary few years ago. Especially when I was in the army. I also found one entry from my current notebook, which was from January 2016. I was feeling down that time, so it’s nice to realize how much my feelings have improved in such a short time. Lots has also happened. I’ve been changing workplaces and even countries and cultures. I wonder where I’ll be in a year or two.

What else. There was the Finland-Sweden ice hockey match on Saturday. A group of maybe 30-40 Finns (and few Swedes) gathered in a bar in Hong Kong to see the game. Unfortunately we lost and had to endure all the hoorays of our Swedish companions. The match started past 1am. So I was super tired, but managed to talk with some people. We even had an afterparty at one couple’s rooftop. Wasn’t drinking, but we continued the evening until 7am. I was at home before 8am. I’m not sure when was the last time I stayed up until 8am and was sober. Probably when I was 18 and doing newspaper delivery during nights.

On Sunday, I just slept at home. It felt good. I had an online Chinese class at midday but after that I decided to stay home and rest. I think I should do that more often, since I have a bad habit of filling my schedule with too many hobbies and then being exhausted. I was thinking, maybe I should try to have Sundays free from any plans. Just stay home and read a book or watch TV or do something to take my mind away from the everyday stress.

Kendo has been good as well. Been getting some good vibes and ideas from the practice. Feeling like part of the team. I wonder what I’ll do in Finland. Continue there or just have a 7 weeks kendo-holiday. Since I’m going to live at our summer house, I can go running in difficult terrain (lots of uphills) and swim in the lake everyday. Don’t need a gym card or anything.

This week I’ll try to be effective and hardworking. So far it has been working. Just have to remember to sleep enough and not to drink too much coffee.

See you next time!

Lauri

 

Kendo, Finland, Marriage, feelings, huh huh

Dear Internet,

I’ve been silent for a while. First I was busy with kendo tournament. Then flying to Finland. I tried to start writing at Qatar’s Doha airport, but just didn’t have energy to write more than few sentences at the airport after a 8hrs flight. Then I was in Finland for a week. Then flew back to HK during Sunday. I had a 7hrs transit without internet, so again, I forgot to write. Then I started to forget that I actually had a blog. Interesting. Well, that’s life.

The kendo tournament went really well. It was a team tournament and my team won the first two matches, but at the knock-outs we lost. We had a nice international team and good spirit. Although the day was long, the feeling for the whole tournament was great. Never had similar feeling in Finland. I’m glad I decided to up kendo again at HK. We also have really quality practices and a lively group for after-parties.

Trip to Finland was nice. Although flying with transit flight is always a pain, Qatar airways was actually really nice. I spent the first flight watching movies and second flight sleeping. But you know, sleeping in airplane isn’t really a quality sleep. You wake up tired and dizzy. It was nice to visit Finland even for a short trip. My girlfriend’s sister came to visit Finland as well. So distance working and a family visit. Then came the actual purpose of the visit. My girlfriend and I decided to upgrade our relationship status from “engaged” to “married”. Yup, we got married. There’s going to be a bigger party later, but officially we have been married forΒ almost two weeks.

I also visited our (Asia Exchange) Tampere office on Friday of that week. It was nice to be connected to the main office after being in HK for four months. I’m going there for the summer as well. Looking forward for it! In Finland I realized that it’s so much easier to get around in your native culture. Although I’m used to HK already, staying here feels to be taking more energy than giving it. I’m sure that after being in Finland for the summer, I will be more settled with my feelings whether I want to stay in HK or move back to Finland. Life in Finland is more relaxed, but Hong Kong has more to offer to me. Such a dilemma.

I’ve realized lately that I’m actually quite busy. At the same time I’m trying to have several hobbies and relax. I work 40hrs a week, go to Toastmasters, do kendo twice a week, go to fitclub once or twice a week and usually have a Chinese and Korean class. I also have bought two books lately, that I barely have time to read. If only I had more time and energy.

Anyways, when I was stuck at the Qatar Doha airport, I bought this book “The 80 minute MBA”. Since lately I’ve been thinking that I could continue my studies by doing an MBA, this book seemed like a good purchase, although it was really expensive (airport prices…). Actually, I wanted to check online if I could buy the book on Kindle and read it with my iPad, but the airport wifi was out of order, so couldn’t do so 😦 so I ended up paying 10USD more for the book. Well, at least I was entertained for few hours at the 7hours transit. Oh yeah, about the book. It gives some hints on to what kind of things should you think when considering an MBA. Of course, it’s not the whole course, but gives some idea on what and how to think.

Also, what I have lately realized that I have actually build a nice social life here in Hong Kong. I have nice colleagues and boss, I have Toastmasters friends, I have kendo friends, I have fitclub friends. Also some friends outside these groups. When making the decision, if to stay here in HK or going to Finland, I have to consider, that I have to build the social life all again. So it’s not just work I’m doing here, but also my hobbies here are important for me.

I think this will be enough for this time. Let’s hope I will have energy to write again on Sunday. See you hopefully then!

Lauri

Relaxing Sunday and lost cultural identity

Dear Internet,

This week has been better than before. I suppose the change in nutrition and the start of exercising had its effect on my sleeping problems. I don’t say the problem has completely been solved, but this week I have been able to wake up much earlier than before and been much more effective at work.

So what has changed? I started drinking more water. Around 3-5 liters per day. I’m more aware how much sugar I consume. I also don’t consume that much caffeine daily. When I came to Hong Kong, I would drink 3-4 cups of coffee a day plus 1-2 cans of Coke. Now I barely have one cup of coffee. Haven’t had Coke since I came back from Japan. Also instead of eating bread and cookies, I eat fruits and vegetables. (Those who have been to Asia know that bread here is mainly sweet with lots of sugar, therefore not very healthy. I miss my ryebread 😦 ) Funny thing, I actually bought a cookie yesterday, but didn’t really feel like eating it. Eventually I ate it, but it actually felt a bit bad to do so. Interesting, isn’t it.

I haven’t been to Toastmasters in a while. First I was sick, then three weeks away for business trip. Then the meeting was cancelled because of Easter. The other day I was thinking of the impact of Toastmasters for me. I think that the one most important part has been that I have learned to be more open with my feelings. It’s like, when you are sharing a story, it doesn’t really have an effect if you don’t put feeling into it. This is also something I have started feeling in my everyday life. Although I don’t do it enough, I think I have started to take few steps forward on the act of sharing emotions. Somebody might think that, “hey isn’t that normal?”, but when you have grown up in Finland, you know that talking about emotions and feelings isn’t normal. I’m pretty sure there are people who come from cultures where talking about feelings isn’t normal. This also takes me a step away from my Finnish roots. Or at least, that’s how I feel about it.

With a few friends I have talked about the feeling of being left out between cultures. It’s like, when you live abroad and find something new about yourself, but cannot really get back to your own culture. You’re not part of the new culture and don’t feel that you’re anymore part of your own culture. You’re somewhere between. I suppose those who have parents from different cultures might have this feeling when they might not completely be accepted to the culture where they are growing up and live far away from the culture of their other parent.

I’m glad that I get to have some routine days. Being three weeks on the road was actually quite exhausting. Now I just have to keep exercising and preparing for the upcoming events. Next Sunday there will be a Kendo Tournament here in Hong Kong. The next day I will heading to Finland for one week. Busy busy.

This Sunday has actually been quite nice. I slept late, woke up, relaxed, went to Starbucks to write some blog. Have been chatting with friends. Picked up laundry and bought some fruits. Back in Finland, one person from our Toastmasters club once gave a speech about how you should relax, since that is the time when you can dream, learn new things and recharge your batteries. Quite often I forget that and try to put too many things in my calendar. Especially for weekends. It’s so easy to think up lots of things for Saturday and Sunday, but sometimes it’s good to just stay low and do nothing. Well, I also had a Korean class, which went much better than normally, because I was more relaxed than usually.

Some pictures of this week’s meals. I was able to take part in a fancy dinner. Also tried something new this week. There are few restaurants we go to everyday so it’s nice to have something else once in a while.

See you again next week!

Lauri

Personal Support

Dear reader,

This week has been terrible. Last time I was in a capsule hotel when I updated my blog. The following morning I took all my airline-weight-limits exceeding luggage and was able to board the plane. Although I had bought ten extra kilos for my luggage, I still had to resort to lying and smuggling about half of my stuff to the plane. I used to do this a lot, back in the days, when I went to Japan for kendo. I think I’m getting too old for that. Maybe next time I’ll just take the minimum amount of luggage and try to stay within the weight limits.

After arriving safely back to Hong Kong, I’ve been feeling exhausted and dizzy all the time. I also decided to do a life-change and start more healthier life. Before going on a business trip to Taiwan and Japan, I bumped into this personal trainer in Hong Kong. I contacted her and we started chatting and decided that after I get back to Hong Kong, we’ll start to work on losing some kilos. I’ve been about 20kg overweight for so long. I feel tired easily, I’m in bad shape and I’ve been having problems with sleeping and waking up. If working with personal trainer makes any of these three problems better, I think the money invested will be worth it.

This takes us to today’s topic. Yes, I decided to have a topic, instead of writing what have I been doing. Today I want to talk about personal support. Especially paid services. I’m not sure is it a Finnish-thing, but many times when I think of investing money into something, people around me start making up ways to get similar service for free. Very sweet of them, but usually it doesn’t really work.

Let’s take an example of a language learning. Few years ago I tried this service called iTalki (www.italki.com). In short: iTalki matches language learners and teachers/tutors for online (Skype) classes. It’s 1-on-1, so you get all the attention from teacher/tutor. So for about a year and half I was trying to learn Chinese every now and then, but from last fall I decided to become more determined with studying Chinese and Korean and started investing more money in private classes. These classes cost about 10€/hour. Especially with Chinese, many tutors are even cheaper than that.

Anyways, when I would mention about this to my friend, many would answer: “Hey, I have a Chinese friend, you can talk with him/her, don’t have to pay.” A nice gesture, but in the end it doesn’t really work. At least not for me. Having a private tutor is good, since you don’t have to feel embarrassed about speaking, since you don’t really know the person. I’ve tried similar with friends, but I would be really nervous about talking to friends that I usually talk with some other language. Also, many iTalki users contact me in order to have “language partner” relationship where you would purely exchange languages with someone without any charges. Sounds good? Yeah, but doesn’t really work. Tried that with about ten people. I think one or two language partners were helpful, but others either disappeared right away or the communication didn’t last for longer than two days. Or the people were real weirdos from the start. Really, lots of weird people!

I suppose the problem here is the inner motivation. I mean, when I was studying Japanese, it was really fun to write emails to friends in Japan or give them a phone call every now and then. I was highly motivated to improve Japanese, although I didn’t want to take classes or study “properly”. But learning through friends and interaction with people worked well in Japanese. I just haven’t had the same kind of motivation with Chinese or Korean.

Let’s get back to personal support. So I’m paying some people to teach me Chinese and Korean. It works well, since I can decide when the classes are and I get one hour of time to concentrate just in language learning. My teachers/tutors also prepare material and really try to encourage me to study. I think that is worth paying for. I’m just wondering, where does the feeling of not paying for services come from? I think I’ve been feeling similar earlier, but if you really want to improve on something, paying for help is not a bad idea.

This takes me to my latest activities. So I met this personal trainer who wants me to help me start eating better and lose weight. This includes exercising, every week measuring body weight and size and everyday reporting of what I’m eating and when. This is also a service I’m paying for. Personally I’m still on a trial-period, meaning that I will try for few weeks and if there are results, I’ll decide again whether to continue or not.

I haven’t mentioned this to too many people, but again, investing in personal support made people think that I’m putting my money into some magical beans. It’s nice that people start offering help with going jogging together or giving tips what to eat, but so far it hasn’t really helped. In Finland, I had one friend whom I was jogging together. It was fun, but finding suitable time from both schedule was difficult. Now that I’m in Hong Kong, it’s just much easier and efficient to go to some paid exercise rather than starting to look schedule for two weeks from now on what to do with who and where.

All in all, I hope that although I’m investing some money in this new lifestyle, it would at least make me start a better lifestyle, if not give me some results on weight loss or sleeping problems.

Well, at this point it’s just wait and see. I also have to prepare for a kendo tournament at the end of this month, so some workout is more than welcome πŸ™‚

Let’s enjoy the last days of Easter and get back to work on Tuesday πŸ™‚

Lauri

Two weeks in Japan, feelings and future plans

Dear reader,

I’ve been in Japan for the past two weeks. Also, I didn’t write a blog post a week ago. I decided to sacrifice one blog post by getting some much needed rest. Although writing a blog is fun, it takes time and energy. Sometimes you don’t have these and then you have to prioritize. Luckily I’m the master of my own blog, so I get to decide if I write or don’t. Quite obvious, right?

So what have I been doing here? In short, I attended Slush Tokyo for some work and after that continued to do some fieldwork in Tokyo. I met many friends in Tokyo and afterwards I headed to Sendai to meet more old friends. It was good to be back in Sendai, since I used to stay there for three months in 2008. Sendai city is not too big, it has wide roads and if you go out from the city, you can experience some carefree suburbs or almost a countryside. That is the kind of Japan I actually like. Not too much action, just being in middle of buildings and enjoying the day. Also Japanese countryside is something you should experience. Especially on summer. You can walk on a quiet street and listen to frogs ribbiting on ricepad and stare at stars.

So, I’ve been extremely busy with work in Japan and sometimes I have felt really exhausted. Still, I was able to meet some friends in the evenings and enjoy my stay in Tokyo. Sometimes I was so exhausted, that I started losing motivation. I’ve been trying to motivate myself with coffee and sweets. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. But I’m still alive. I could add a sentence about comfort zone here, but personally I hate it when someone says “you have to leave your comfort zone”, so I’ll write about comfort zone some other time. On the other hand, I learned a lot about myself on this trip. What kind of work I don’t want to do and what kind of work I would like to do.

On Friday, I was heading to one of smaller cities in Japan. The busride took over three hours per one way. Instead of taking my laptop out and start working, I decided to give a short moment for myself and enjoy the ride. It was such a zen-moment. I was thinking about the people I had met and feelings that I had during the past three months (since I came back to Asia) and how it has changed me. All the old friends that I have met, all the new friends that I have made, I’m glad that I had decided to take the risk in end of the year to come back to Asia. Although my life was more stable and balanced in Finland, I think it was lacking challenge and the atmosphere I missed from Asia. In the past three weeks that I’ve been in Taiwan and Japan, my thoughts about future have taken few steps forward. I still want to spend my next five years (at least) in Asia, but I’ve become more open for other options. For example, I’ve been planning on doing Masters or MBA in Taiwan or Korea, but now I’ve been starting to think about China. Also, I can get support from my friends who have specialized in China more. It’s good to have friends whom you can ask for opinions or help.

It’s funny how thoughts change. Last summer, I was still thinking of working in Finland. The kind of work that I wanted to do was difficult to find, but luckily Asia Exchange was able to take me in. Now I’m back in Asia and planning my future here in Asia. I feel like this is the place for me to be in. At least for now.

Also, a happy thing is that my internship (yes, I’ve been an intern for three months) ended in the end of March and my boss decided to hire me. Conquering Asia takes more than three months, so I’m glad that I can continue the work that I started in January.

Also, this week, when I was riding the bus, I was feeling that someday I could have my own business. Since I want to support students with their plans to study abroad, I could be councelling students about where to study abroad and what kind of information they would need. It’s just a thought, for now. I could even do it for free at first. Try it out, see how I feel. Of course, I wouldn’t quit my job for this, at least not at first. (My boss might be reading this, have to be careful what to say…) Anyways, this is one possible path for me that came to my mind during the past three weeks experience.

Well, it’s time to get some sleep. I have an early morning. Here’s some pictures from the past two weeks:

 

From Capsule hotel,

Lauri

APAIE and Taiwan

It’s this time of the week again. Sunday evening blogging!

This week I spent in Taiwan. There was this huge conference called APAIE. It’s the world’s third biggest conference on international education. Since I’m working for a university agency, I was there meeting for potential partners or old friends. I happened to meet many people that I have encountered somewhere. It was such a great week! Exhausting, but great πŸ˜‰

The conference was held in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. For me the city was already familiar, since I spent there 5 months in 2013-2014. Kaohsiung is the second biggest city in Taiwan. It has only two subway lines, which makes it simple to go around the city. Also going there from Hong Kong was really convenient, since there was very affordable direct flight that takes only an hour to Kaohsiung. I feel that I should start going there more often for example for a weekend.

Being in Kaohsiung was very nostalgic. The atmosphere there is relaxed and people are nice. Taiwanese people like to enjoy life so they are smiling a lot. Also, eating out is cheap. When I was staying in Korea and Taiwan, I had this 10€ per day budget. I’ve tried to have that in Hong Kong as well, but it’s very difficult. In Taiwan, you can get so much more in a day with 10€ than in Hong Kong. People also speak quite clear Mandarin Chinese so it’s a good place to practice your Chinese. For me, Taiwan is important, since four years ago I was going through a difficult phase in my life. When I arrived to Taiwan to study Chinese, everything became clear and all the worries disappeared. I started making new friends and enjoying life. I still feel that I want to return to Taiwan to study for Masters or MBA, but for now, I want to get some work experience before continuing study.

This week was a good experience to experience conference life. After spending time at the conference, you still spend time with colleagues or the new people you met. And when you finally arrive back to hotel, there are about 20 emails waiting for you. But hey, it’s life! I got a pile of business cards and lots of new contacts. Now comes the hard part… follow-ups and staying in touch with all those people.

What happens next? I came back to Hong Kong for one night. Tomorrow I’ll be flying to Japan for two weeks. First there is Slush Tokyo and then some work related stuff. After that, few days of visiting friends and then back to HK.

My blog posts are getting shorter and shorter. Also with less pictures. I have to brush up. Now need some sleep.

See you next week!

Lauri

 

 

Food poisoning and Taiwan

Almost forgot that today is blog posting day! So how was my week?

Last time I posted some pictures of seafood I enjoyed on Sunday evening. Well, it didn’t go that well. I got food poisoning and started vomiting at 5:30am. Then came diarrhea. Then came fever. I had to skip work for two days because of that. Didn’t really like it, since I had lots of things to do. It didn’t even go away after two days. I think the whole week I have been feeling a bit weird. I have to be careful with fish. Lucky I don’t eat fish that much.

What else. I was actually planning to try writing a blog little by little everyday, but coudln’t because of food poisoning. Next time I have to try harder. Anyways, the reason for this would be to be able to write about my everyday feelings more precisely. Writing about feelings from Tuesday on Sunday is sometimes hard, so maybe I could express myself better by writing eeryday. Next week’s challenge πŸ˜‰

Currently I’m in Taiwan. I came here for business trip. There is this huge conference on international education that I’m participating in. Going to be so much fun. Hopefully I can meet many new faces and some old faces as well. I was going through the participation list and there should be some people I know already. We arrived here today with my boss and colleagues. Getting to know the premises and eating some delicious local dishes. I didn’t really remember how nice place Taiwan is. Compared to Hong Kong, it’s so wide. In Hong Kong everything is small and there are lots of people. Here, the pedestrian ways are almost empty. We were talking about the goals of this trip and I set one of my personal goals to become more emotionally familiar with Taiwan. After all, this is my third time here.

This week was also interesting kendo-week. Although I couldn’t participate on Wednesday, on Saturday I had a match with one of our clubmembers. It was an intense match and I was able to see it on video afterwards. My kendo looks like I’m really old man. I have to start excercing more to get my speed back. I actually happened to bump into a personal trainer on a street (she gave me her business card). Now I’ve been chatting with her to make a plan to lose some weight after my business trips. I don’t dare to set any goals yet, but so far I’ve tried to be a bit careful about not injuring myself. I have some background on overdoing sports and some injuries related to that so this time I’m trying to be smarter than before. This also explains, why I haven’t been doing kendo more than twice a week. +20kg overweight might not be the best situation to start running around like a 19-year-old.

It was also a positive surprise to be able to get a prepaid-simcard at the airport. When I was here last time, 2013-2014, that wasn’t possible. In fact, it would seem that getting data-simcard has been getting easier in Asia. Same in Korea. Same in Japan. When I was studying in these countries, I had to rely on Wifi. At the same time, in Finland it has been super easy to get mobile-internet from the local convenience store. Having access to internet makes life so much easier.

Well, busy week a head. Life is good. Cheap food, cheap tea. Sorry, no pictures this time. Going to have a short post this time.

Lauri

 

 

 

 

Getting used to life in HK

Dear Internet,

This week I felt that I’m slowly getting used to Hong Kong. Although, I might have felt similar before, this time the feeling was stronger. On Monday, I went to Toastmasters, and people had started to remember my name. So I’ve been there enough times and made myself memorable. Yay! I also started feeling that I belong to the club Achievers.

Also at kendo, I started feeling that I was part of the club. I’ve been thinking about culture shock and how it would affect me, but so far my feelings have been getting better lately. I’ve also tried to stop drinking coffee, since it seems to make me hyperactive and I would lose my concentration at work.

Work has been well. Things are progressing. Business trip to Taiwan and Japan are coming soon. Looking forward for them.

I went to China on Friday for a business trip. My boss asked me on Monday, if I wanted to go for few meetings. It wasn’t mandatory for me. I wasn’t sure would it be beneficial for me. I mean, of course it would be, but would it be enough to spend a day in Shenzhen, rather than staying at office preparing for Taiwan and Japan? Then I remembered how our kendo-sensei (grandmaster) had talked about taking initiative in life. I have to be willing to take the step towards unknown rather than waiting for someone to tell me to do it. So I told my boss, that I want to be the main speaker at the meetings. He was okay with it. So I would be the one leading the speech as much as possible. And that’s what happened, more or less. There were some parts I wasn’t so sure, so I would let someone else to explain them, but other than that it was a good experience. As I’m doing sales work, I need experience on meeting people and some feedback on how I’m doing it. It was a good trip and a good thing that I took initiative to want to speak more on the meetings. I once heard, that participation works better for memory as well. I think if you just listen, you’ll remember 30% of the converstation, if you take part, it would be more than 70%. I have find source for that. I’m sure others have heard similar.

This week there was All Asia Hong Kong Open Kendo 2017 tournament. I couldn’t participate this time. I never really liked competing, but seeing people do it here, made me more interested as well. There is going to be another competition in end of April and I think I’m taking part there. Kinda excited. But from most of the preparation time, I will be on a business trip. I have to find way to make my self fit for the competition. Maybe gym or something. Huh huh.

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After the competition, I stayed with all the masters for dinner. There were also lower level kenshi, but most of them were master-level. The good thing about after-kendo is, that that is the time you get most of the new teachings. On a bus trip to the restaurant, one master was telling me the importance of how to hold the sword. Later another one told me his view on how to swing the sword without using too much energy. I think learning new things goes in small steps. It doesn’t really help, if someone tells you everything at once, but you have to digest everything bit by bit. This is what I have also liked at kendo in Hong Kong. I get small bits every time. I just still feel that my body isn’t up in the speed for practicing so maybe I should start jogging or going to gym or something.

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Kendo food

Getting late. Need to sleep. New stories next week! Probably I will be writing from Taiwan! See you then!

Lauri out

 

China, kendo and food

It’s this time of the week again. Time to make some ideas public!

This week was a bit out of ordinary. First I was trying to get back to working speed after my trip to Korea. Then on Wednesday my boss, my colleague and I headed to China for a business trip. One business trip after another. Nice. It was first time for me to experience China. I actually liked it.Β  I thought China would be really crowded and dirty. But Guangzhou was actually quite nice. But my boss was saying that it has changed a lot in past years. I have a double-entry visa, so I can go there again at some time. Maybe there will be a new business trip for me in few months. Who knows.

It was a good trip. We learned a lot about markets in China and how to develop our business there and met potential partners. Lots of new ideas came during and after the trip. For me, it was professionally and culturally a good experience. It was also nice to notice that I do know some Mandarin Chinese after all. I could follow some discussions and sometimes give really short (few words) comments. I’m improving! Yay! I think these past few weeks have been a real boost for my Korean and Chinese abilities. Now I’m more confident in continuing studying these languages. I think it was a good thing to come to Hong Kong πŸ™‚

On Saturday one person from the local kendoclub is returning to her home country. We had a farewell keiko (practice) for her and afterwards went to restaurant for a farewell dinner. Both occasions were really memorable. She was given a chance to practice with everyone for a one really short match (30sec, ipponshoubu). There were like 25 of us so it had to be given short. The dinner was traditional and we could enjoy local dishes and drinks. I decided to use my ToastMasters skills and was the master of ceremony for her farewell dinner. I organized everyone to share their feelings and later a question-and-answer session. We ended the dinner with Japanese way of doing Ippon-jime, where everyone claps hands together at the same time, representing the closure of the evening. It went really nice. I also got really good advice and comments from sensei (grandmaster). I’m glad that I decided to continue kendo in Hong Kong. A hobby is such a nice way to connect with local people. I’ve been wondering, do I have too many hobbies here in Hong Kong and should I slow down a bit? Well, let’s hope I don’t burnout. Wouldn’t be the first time… uhh.

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Kendo dinner

On Sunday I met a local friend. It’s funny, we hadn’t ever met, but since she also studied in Osaka at same university as I did in 2010-2011, we became friends. We had so much good food today. We went to a restaurant that arranged food in really cute manner. Unfortunately it didn’t stop me from eating these chic-shaped buns πŸ˜‰ (they tasted like pineapple)

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We also went to Hong Kong peak. Last time that I went there, it was so foggy that we couldn’t see anything. This time it was less foggy. Was a nice view. Nice way to spend Sunday.

We also went to Madam Tussaud’s wax cabinet. I’ve heard about it but never actually visited. All the models looked so real.Β  Huh huh. Had an important phone call with president Obama, change of seats with the Royal family and a pose with man from the stars (famous Korean drama, for those who don’t know).

Writing a blog is quite nice. What I find challenging is that during the week I get these good ideas to what about I should write. When I actually sit down to write, I don’t remember these good points. Maybe I should start to take notes. Or write during the week.

Well. This was for this week. China, kendo, food… had a good week. Time to call it a day. See you next week!

Lauri