Archive for September, 2017

Honeymoon 1997

Sunday, September 24th, 2017

Twenty years ago Naoko and I got married. It was a great moment for me – to become anchored to another person, to go forth in the world as a team rather than as an individual. Our love was great and strong, as it should be. We got married in Japan in April, and my family came. My brother and his girlfriend arrived first, escorting my grandmother from Germany, and my parents came a few days later. It was a fantastic experience, and I was so happy to have all of my loving family from both sides there on that very special day.

A special note – we were very blessed that my maternal grandmother Henny was able to make the trip. She was nearly 80 at the time and not very healthy, but she made the effort and it was her first time in Asia. My binding memory of her on that visit is that first night in my future in-laws place, a few days before the wedding, when we were having dinner. She said to me in German “are those shrimps? I don’t think I can eat those…” I said “no pressure, just eat what you want.” Some time passed and she said, “you know, I’m curious about how they taste… just let me try a small one.” She did, and she said “wow, these are great!” After the wedding, the family took a trip around a few nearby spots (Nara, Kyoto), and I’ve got great pictures of those visits.

After the wedding, we hung around Himeji for a few weeks, because Naoko’s sister-in-law was due to give birth soon to their second child – Naoko had missed the birth of the first child (and the family’s first of the next generation) as she was studying , so she didn’t want to miss another. Haruka was born on May 9th, and then off we went on May 13th (a Friday, lol), to a big party in Ako, where I had worked for four months and had many dear friends.

The only fixed plan we had was to be in Beijing on July 8th, whence we would be on a tour of the Trans Mongolia-Trans Siberia trains, which would get us to Berlin eventually. So we had three weeks to see whatever lies between Himeji & Beijing. A lot! During that time, there was also a lot of buzz about the handover of Hong Kong from British colonial rule, back to China. That’s what we were heading into. A newly married couple in the late 20s/early 30s, we headed into the unknown. This is what we saw.

(tip – you can always click on the image to see a larger picture!!)

In Geongju!
Honeymoon Korea Peter

The Cheomseongdae in Geongju, Korea. This is the oldest surviving astronomical observatory in Asia, and possibly even the world. It was built in the 7th century.
Honeymoon Korea Naoko

UN cemetery in Pusan.
Honeymoon Korea Naoko

Fighting off a dinosaur in Qingdao, China.
Honeymoon China Peter

Countdown to the Handover of Hong Kong to China.
Honeymoon China Peter

Cycling in Beijing.
Honeymoon China Naoko

Horsing around in the Forbidden City in Beijing, China.
Honeymoon China Peter

The Forbidden City, Beijing, China.
Honeymoon China Peter

The Great Wall of China at Simatai
Honeymoon China Peter Naoko Great Wall

Enjoying the Great Wall of China!
Honeymoon China Great Wall Peter Naoko

Looking down from one of the turrets
Honeymoon China Great Wall Peter

The Trans-Mongolia Espress, Beijing-Ulan Bataar!
Honeymoon China Peter Naoko

Honeymoon in Mongolia
Honeymoon Mongolia

That’s me eating a cucumber outside of our ger (aka yert, aka bao). We both got sick right around that time too, with different ailments.
Honeymoon Mongolia Peter

In the Gobi desert with Beth. Or was it Heather?
Honeymoon Mongolia Naoko

A Moscow subway. I love how Naoko wore her Guns N’ Roses t-shirt through that trip!!
Honeymoon Russia Naoko

At the Marinski Ballet in Moscow!
Honeymoon Russia Naoko

In Berlin with some dog… and Naoko.
Honeymoon Germany Naoko

At the Hun’s Grave in Diesdorf with my grandmother.
Honeymoon Germany Naoko Henny

Gone for a walk in Diesdorf with my grandmother.
Honeymoon Germany Peter Henny

In Wernigerode with my Grandmother.
Honeymoon Germany Naoko Henny

In Wernigerode with my Grandmother. This house is known as “the smallest house in Wernigerode”. I love how thre’s someone peering grumpily out the the window at us.
Honeymoon Germany Naoko Henny

In my grandmother’s garden in Diesdorf. That may have been the last time I saw my grandmother.
Honeymoon Germany Peter Naoko Henny

Hanging out with Ramin & Arash in Düsseldorf!!
Honeymoon Germany Peter Ramin Arash

Honeymoon in Germany with Naoko!!
Honeymoon Germany Naoko

Honeymoon Germany. I don’t remember which town this is.
Honeymoon Germany Peter

Honeymoon in Germany, visiting Manfred, Inge and Kai Kremser, and Manfred’s sister & her husband.
Honeymoon Germany Peter Naoko Manfred Inge Kai Kremser

Honeymoon in Germany – hanging out with Dieter and David in Düsseldorf.
Honeymoon Germany Naoko Dieter David

Hanging out with Marcelo & Canaan in Frankfurt!
Honeymoon Germany Marcelo Canaan Peter

At Schloß Neuschwanstein with Naoko.
Honeymoon Germany Naoko Neuschwanstein

At the River Lech in Bavaria.
Honeymoon Germany Naoko

Honeymoon in Germany with Naoko.
Honeymoon Germany Naoko

Honeymoon in Germany with Naoko.
Honeymoon Germany Peter

Bavarian hay – on the road to Schaffhausen.
Honeymoon Germany Naoko

Hanging out with Masako & Phillip and the kids in Schaffhausen.
Honeymoon Switzerland Naoko Philippe Masako

Naoko and Melanie in Schaffhausen.
Honeymoon Switzerland Naoko

Naoko & Masako’s son at the Rheinfall in Schaffhausen.
Honeymoon Switzerland Naoko

At Lake Constance.
Honeymoon Switzerland Peter

At Lake Constance.
Honeymoon Switzerland Naoko

In Strassbourg.
Honeymoon Switzerland Naoko

Swiss Lake with Nicole.
Honeymoon Switzerland Nicole

Naoko and Nicole in Switzerland.
Honeymoon Switzerland Naoko Nicole

Switzerland is for lovers!!
Honeymoon Switzerland Peter Naoko

At the Rheinfall with Ralph Hoflich, Nicole and Ingrid.
Honeymoon Switzerland Peter Naoko Ralph Nicole Ingrid

Hanging in Switzerland with Ralph & Nicole Hoflich.
Honeymoon Switzerland Peter Naoko Ralph

Naoko and Nicole in Switzerland.
Honeymoon Switzerland Naoko Nicole

Naoko’s birthday in Schaffhausen (her nickname was “Miki” at the time, lol)!!
Honeymoon Switzerland Naoko Birthday

In Strasbourg with Janice Jenny!
Honeymoon France Janice Jenny Bhavnani Peter

In Schladming with the relatives. Uncle Werner and Tante Gitti! Onkel Ernst! Tante Ingrid Onkel Karl!!
Honeymoon Germany Werner Gitti Schladming

In Schönberg am Kamp, Austria.
Honeymoon Austria Peter Naoko

Salzberg – the Undersberg, the Moos.
Honeymoon Austria Naoko

Going for a run in Schönberg!!
Honeymoon Austria Peter Naoko

Going for a 10 kilometre run in Schönberg with Norbert.
Honeymoon Austria Peter Norbert

Autumn colours.
Honeymoon Germany Naoko

On the road from Dresden to the Czech Republic with our car, which we named Rudi. That’s because it was the sound he made – “rudirudirudirudirudi…”
Honeymoon Germany Czech republic Peter Rudi

We tried to find the town where my mom was born. This is all we found, though…
Honeymoon Germany Czech republic Peter Rudi

In České Budějovice, where the original Budsweiser Beer comes from.
Honeymoon Czech Republic Naoko

Castle on the Danube.
Honeymoon Austria Naoko

Hot spring water in Karlovy Vary (Karlsbad).
Honeymoon Czech Republic Naoko

Taking a pilsner beer tour in Plzeň.
Honeymoon Czech Republic Naoko

Czech forest in Plzeň.
Honeymoon Czech Republic Peter

Naoko among the ruins.
Honeymoon Austria Naoko

At Cicmany in Slovakia.
Honeymoon Slovakia Naoko

At our homestay in Hungary. This woman only spoke Hungarian. She kept saying to us “kaput, kaput, kaput…” After a while we realised that she was talking about a key…
Honeymoon Hungary Naoko

Budapest.
Honeymoon Hungary Naoko

Random Japanese art exhibit in Budapest.
Honeymoon Hungary Naoko

Budapest.
Honeymoon Hungary Naokko

Our Homestay uncle in Budapest.
Honeymoon Hungary Peter

Balatonfüred thermal lake in Hungary. Nice place!
Honeymoon Hungary Naoko

Lake Balaton, Hungary.
Honeymoon Hungary Naoko

Hungarian art.
Honeymoon Hungary Peter

Our first night in Romania, in Timișoara, only eight years after the revolution began there that ended in the fall of Communism in that country.
Honeymoon Romania Naoko

Village life in Romania.
Honeymoon Romania Naoko

Village life in Romania – with local kids.
Honeymoon Romania Naoko

Village life in Romania – ducks crossing bridge.
Honeymoon Romania Naoko

In Skopje, Macedonia.
Honeymoon Macedonia Peter

In Skopje, Macedonia.
Honeymoon Macedonia Peter

In Skopje, Macedonia.
Honeymoon Macedonia Naoko

In Skopje, Macedonia.
Honeymoon Macedonia Peter

In Macedonia.
Honeymoon Macedonia Peter Naoko

In Macedonia.
Honeymoon Macedonia Peter

In Thessaloniki.
Honeymoon Greece Naoko

In Cappadocia, with our friend Masako.
Honeymoon Turkey Cappadocia Peter Naoko

In Cappadocia – we spent a night in a cave hotel.
Honeymoon Turkey Cappadocia

A turkey in Turkey. We were there for American thanksgiving, one of the guys in the guest house we were staying at insisted on having turkey for dinner, so off we went to a village to buy a turkey, but we left before it could be served.
Honeymoon Turkey

A boathouse in Olimpos, Turkey.
Honeymoon Turkey Naoko

Hot spring hotel in Pamukkele. I was so sick on the eight-hour drive that I collapsed when we got to the hotel we splurged on, slept 12 hours, but Naoko got to enjoy the waters.
Honeymoon Turkey Naoko Pamukkele

Ancient greek ruins in Efes (Epheseus).
Honeymoon Turkey Peter Naoko

Brindisi, Italy, after taking the ferry from Greece. Trying to do a Nevlana dance on the breakwater…
Honeymoon Italy Peter

Bocca della Verità in Rome.
Honeymoon Italy Peter Naoko

San Marino. We were sliding all over the road, almost wiped out.
Honeymoon San Marino Peter Naoko

Christmas dinner in Diesdorf… without Oma.
Honeymoon Germany Peter Naoko Ralph Nicole Oma Opa Bruno Renate

This is how we took “wefies” back in the day…
Honeymoon Germany Peter Naoko

New Year’s Eve at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin.
Honeymoon Germany Naoko

Paris, Naoko.
Honeymoon France Naoko

Paris, Naoko.
Honeymoon France Naoko

At the Dune of Pilat near Bordeaux.
Honeymoon France Peter

Kusama Yayoi exhibition, final day

Sunday, September 3rd, 2017

Since we’ve done practically everything that there is to do in Singapore, it was an awesome opportunity to go out and see our first exhibition at the newly-opened National Gallery Singapore, which is in the converted City Hall & Supreme Court buildings in the heart of the downtown. It’s a great location, and we were there to see the last day of the Kusama Yayoi exhibition.

The exhibition was amazing, but so was the building, and we had a lot of fun exploring. The four rooms of the exhibition were all very big, but there was a separate queue to enter each of them, and in three of the rooms there were separate queues for the infinity boxes/infinity room!! But all of the queues moved fairly fast, and there were no incidents (although some of the queueing areas are pretty narrow – not quite a top experience.

Afterwards we went off to have a beer at Tap, then to buy some sushi for dinner. Long weekend over, but almost completely satisfied!!

Here are some pictures of our wonderful day!!

With Zen at the start of our voyage, actually the “traffic mirror” installation in Room B.
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I believe this one was called “Marilyn Monroe”, whoever that is… 
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Time in the Infinity Room… 12 seconds!!
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Room C was full or large marker drawings, and an infinity box that you look into.
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This is what the inside of the infinity box looked like – people were poking their heads in from holes on the three sides of the triangular box.
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Infinity… box!!
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Infinity… box!!
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Zen enjoyed this painting, so I took a picture of him in front of it… 
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An angle of the marker drawing room.
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This Tulip Room made us feel so happy!!
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Naoko got a chunk of Zen!!
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Tulip power!!
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Tulip power = happiness!!
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These Christmas trees looked like they were made of aloe, or bananas, or sweet potatoes… or something!!
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I love this painting, not sure what it was that I dug so much but it was very cool!!
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After rooms B and C came Room… F! Mirrored balls!!
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A room of mirrored balls!!
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We hit Room A last. Interesting drawing!!
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Contemplating art…
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…up close!!
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This looks like entrails, but it has something to do with nerves, actually… 
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I loved this picture – here’s the close-up… 
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…and here’s what it looked like as a whole. I like how the people admiring the blue painting are also dressed in blue!
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Wow, what an effect!!
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The whole painting!!
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Not an infinity room, but a room installation with an infinity box. This one was mirrored outside as well as inside, so those are our reflections in the box.
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Our reflections in the mirrored outer walls of the infinity box. I called this place “the Yellow Lodge”. 
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That little square in the mirrored outer wall of the infinity box is the portal to look into the infinity box itself.
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The inside of the infinity box. Endless golden pumpkins!!
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Naoko stepping off of the pumpkin portal. I missed having a picture of her face in it by one second!!
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That was fuuu-un!!
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Help us, we’re trapped in the Yellow Lodge!
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Peter with silver pumpkin.
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Naoko with golden pumpkin!
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Golden & silver pumpkin!!
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The roof of the National Gallery Singapore!! That’s the new Supreme Court off to the right.
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The roof of the National Gallery Singapore!! 
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The roof of the National Gallery Singapore!! 
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The roof of the National Gallery Singapore!! 
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The old dome is now under a roof!!
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Exhibition flags.
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Hooray for us!!
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Hooray for Kusama Yayoi, hooray for Naoko too!!
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