This week, I have been running around like crazy, organising lots of little things and going here and there – and still I have the impression I did not accomplish anything at all…

I have decided to get a Japanese Hanko or Inkan, the seal that is used in Asia in lieu of a signature. I have ordered one and should get it tomorrow, next week I will have to register it at my ward office.

There are also still some things I need to consolidate in Europe – at least everything can be settled via emails and maybe a short phone call or two.

In view of approaching Christmas (in less than 5 weeks!) I have bought a stack of Christmas cards, which I will have to write over the next two weeks, since they take about a week to reach Europe. It was surprisingly difficult to get Christmas cards that do not feature Santa Claus or Mickey Mouse or the characters of Frozen… In any case, I am very glad I don’t have to buy any presents except those for myself, that makes my life easier, especially as I am not sure there will be any this year.

As a way to balance things, I have been walking through my neighborhood to see how far the momiji are. It will take one more week for them to be perfect I think. A friend of mine recommended one of the Imperial Villas (allegedly with the best garden in Japan) to go during the momiji, so I went to the Imperial Household Agency to make a reservation for a tour. The tours are free, but limited to a small number of people, and you have to register with your passport number. I am proud to say that I did (almost) all of it in Japanese, even though the lady at the counter spoke excellent English. On some days I actually think I might be getting there.

Besides that, there was a movie afternoon at the Kyoto International House on Tuesday; it was a Japanese movie from last year with subtitles in English. As subtitles are usually non-existent, I am always happy to go to such special events.

And amidst all this I am trying to keep my soroban studies up and my Japanese studies as well. Well, it’s just the crest of the wave right now, the through – with nothing happening – will come around soon enough again.