Hanna Gaita Blog

Fighting UTI - A Constant Battle

19 Jul 2019

Hello, long time no see.
Don’t know if that expression can be applied to a blogpost but still, you get the point. It’s been a while.

What a shitty day I’ve had..
Last time I wrote about how I’m going through a period of heavy tiredness at the moment. I still am. But then yesterday I had a great day together with my best friend. I felt happier and had a lot more energy in a long time. I was productive and felt motivated to work hard and get forward with my life. It was simply a great day and I was so happy that I could share it with Vindu and then come home to David after. I thought this regained energy might have been because a friend of mine took me to a special treatment on Monday. A woman who practise “bone correction” on her patients. I can’t remember the Japanese name for it and I don’t know what it’s called in English – no, she’s no chiropractor, she hardly touched me. She just put her fingers very lightly on different spots on my back, hips, legs, feet and face and then gently tapped my head with her fingers every minute or so. At some point as she was just dragging her finger up along my neck, I could literally feel how it stretched and got longer. It was the weirdest thing ever. And in the end when I got to see the before and after pictures I was just stunned by the results. My face vad become smaller, my hips had been moved up, my entire spine was stretched, and I was thinner than just an hour earlier. I was even taller. If felt great. The next days I felt sore, like I had been working out really hard. She told me that I would be my best self three days after the treatment, that my body would adjust to the knew shapes by then and that I’d just feel better. And I did. That was yesterday.

I was in such a good mood. I even made plans for this Friday evening and went to bed early last night. It was all great…. Until I woke up at 4am this morning and had to go pee. So I did. And then I felt a sharp sting in my little lady down there. I drank a lot of water and then went back to bed in hope that this stingy feeling would go away. But it didn’t, and I soon felt like I had to pee again. And so the cycle had started. It hurt. A lot. Every time I had to pee it felt like knives where piercing my genital.. It’s so painful. It’s impossible to focus on anything else. I very obviously had a UTI (Urinary Trackt Infection). Another one. I’ve been dealing with a lot of them lately. I’ve had many in my life so far and it’s quite common that women get it every now and then and since our urinary trackt is shorter than men’s we are more susceptible to infections than they are..

In October last year, shortly after I came back to Japan, after having spent 6 weeks in Sweden I got one of these infections right after I was treated for a large cyst on one of my ovaries. I got meds and it got better. But then one morning I woke up with a fever along with an intense pain in my lower back and I could hardly walk. By the time I reached the clinic I couldn’t take another step, I had almost given up on my way there more than once, feeling like I was about to faint. The doctor put me on intravenous antibiotics right away. A UTI (that I hadn’t felt) had reached my kidneys. After that I had to keep eating antibiotics for another five days or so and that obviously messed up my stomach. I didn’t go to school at all that week. After that I had other episodes of UTI and I got more IV treatments with antibiotics. And for more than three months now I’ve been dealing with it almost daily. Okay maybe not but I can feel it sting a little bit almost every second day at least. If I’m lucky only every third day. Usually it goes away after a little while if I drink a lot water but this morning it did not. And it’s strange because yesterday I was drinking well all day and I drank a lot before going to bed thinking that my good mood and more energized self would be even better today. Well, better luck next time. Hopefully.

Except my two hours in the shower I spent most of my moring like this..

So, from 6am I couldn’t take constantly running between the sofa and the toilet anymore so I spent two hours in the shower, until David woke up at 8. I don’t like telling him that I don’t feel good, I don’t want to be a burden or for him to worry about me.  But it felt slightly better by then. He asked if I wanted to go to the hospital, but I did not! Especially not since I’m not covered by the Japanese health insurance at the moment. And it was not as intense anymore anyway, and the intervals in which I had to pee became a little less frequent. By 11am I finally fell asleep again and had a 3-hour nap. I felt slightly better but still weak in my body after that. There’s a small pressure over my kidneys but I have emergency antibiotics that my doctor in Sweden prescribed for me when I was home in May, specifically for unfortunate occasions like these, so I started taking them this morning. So now it’s two pills a day for seven days.

I often get bloated and stomach ace when I have these infetions. It's not pleasant..

This is the antibiotics that I'm on now. I'm allerrgic to regular penicillin so I always get other stuff. I think this one is specifically for UTI's though.

Yeah.. It kinda feels like this. An explosion of sharp knives.

I had a breakdown in front of my mom over the phone earlier this evening. I felt really small and sad for a while with the desire to be hugged. Sometimes when I start crying it’s hard to stop. Even after our conversation. When I cry like that my whole body cries with me. I’ve always been like that. Meaning that when I cry intensely, I also start sweating to the degree where my clothes get wet. Much more than during a hard workout. I felt exhausted and tired of being tired and sick and not well. My mom said she would come to care for me if she could of course. I know David would come too if I needed and so would Vindu. She asked me earlier if I needed her to come over and stay with me. Just knowing that they would makes me feel so grateful and lucky. Especially since they both have a lot on their plates right now. Thank you for caring so much for me.

I felt a little lighter after getting rid of all those tears, so I went outside for the first time today and took a little stroll to the supermarket to get some fresh air, grapefruit juice and yoghurt and other stuff that’s supposedly good to consume when having UTI. I felt like an old lady, rolling a cart in front of me just to support myself and walking slower than the maybe 85-year-old Obaa-san looking at vegetables next to me.

And here I am now, sitting in a chair in my living room with my feet on the table and laptop in my, well, lap. I didn’t do any of the things I was planning on today. I was gonna go work out, do a café hangout with some friends near campus, work and then go see another quite new friend of mine in a bar in Roppongi this evening. Next time. David might come home in an hour or so and I want to be my happy and cheerful self when he does because he has an important presentation tomorrow and I want to be the one supporting him, not the other way around. Let’s see how I can muster enough energy; I’ll do my best.

I haven't peed in a while, but I feel the urge to now and I'm a little scared. I don't wanna go, I still feel it lingering.. 

I borrow this picture from Googerusan (google). I've seen similair pictures before so I think it's pretty accurate. Ladies and Gents, this is an infected bladder...

I drink a lot of lemon infused water, not just when I feel the sting, but pretty regularly these days. I also drink grapefruit juice when it's really bad. Craneberry and lingonberry juice is also supposed to be good but I haven't found that here. If you have any tips, please let me know!

For all the rest of you out there, thanks for stopping by and reading my blog, whether you’ve been hear before or if it’s the first time.
Please come back regularly, I will update more frequently once I get more energy.

Have a wonderful Friday night!

 

Cheers!
/Hanna

Tired

5 Jul 2019

Have you ever been tired?
Not because you didn’t sleep enough or because of the physical exhaustion you feel after a hard workout, or because you’re moody over the constant grey weather and haven’t seen the sun in a few days, but because of something else, something much deeper than that. The kind of tired that have you struggling with getting up from bed every single morning. The kind of tired that makes you want to stay in a dark room, all day without seeing or talking to anyone. The kind of tired that leaves you so exhausted you cannot so much as read a book. The kind of tired that makes you not even wanna to see your friends. The kind of tired that just kills all joy because it consumes everything. The kind of tired that leaves you with no reserves, no other energy than that needed to physically survive. The kind of tired that simply makes you want to hide from the world.

This kind of tired

I’m talking about feeling truly tired. Something that goes far beyond the ordinary. Something that cannot be fixed over a weekend by sleeping in and staying in bed a couple of extra hours.
Have you ever felt like that? I have. More than once and for both longer and shorter periods of time. And I am tired now. Not to the extent mentioned above but still far more than normal. I sleep around 10 hours every night and I still struggle to get up in the morning, I still have to force myself to get dressed and ready for a new day and sometimes, by the time I’m done, it’s already afternoon and I just want to go back to bed again. Most things feel like an effort right now. Anything that requires me to leave home is battle with myself. I don’t know why, not sure what happened that caused it, but I’ve been feeling like this almost since I got back to Japan. I think it might have started already in Sweden, but I might not have noticed. It slowly grew on me until exhaustion hit me with full force. I have no idea where it came from or why. Is something wrong physically with me that causes me to be this tired? Is mental? Am I stressed, burned out or actually about to be sick? I really don’t know.

I think I got mentally tired for the first time in my early teens due to a heavy loss in the family and then again in my upper teens because of teenage struggles andd relationship problems. Shortly after I turned 20 it came back once again, slowly sneaking up on me. I started to feel like something was physically wrong with me and I went to the doctor again and again and again and the answer was always the same: “You are a perfectly healthy young lady; nothing is wrong with you.” I knew something was wrong. And it was. It took them almost 2 years and a half to discover that I had an extremely hyperactive thyroid. That was the cause of my great weight loss (despite always eating), my bad skin condition, my constant low fever, my resting pulse of 200 beats per minute, the exhaustion, everything.. Battling the hormonal levels in your body is hell. I struggled so hard for very long. Today I don’t have a thyroid anymore. I have to eat medicine for the rest of my life to control the levels of TSH, T4 and other hormones that I no longer can produce by myself. I think this is a story I will go into in more details later on, in another blogpost because I think this a more common condition than we think and I think many people can relate to what it’s like and even recognise themselves.

Well, again, my current “condition” is not the worst I’ve been thorough. But it’s very hard to explain to people who haven’t experienced the same kind of tiredness, they rarely understand, even if they try. I didn’t understand before I got there myself. It’s not something that will be fixed by resting a little extra or something that you can ignore for a few hours to go hang out with your friends. If you do ignore it you have to pay for it later by being even more tired. It’s very hard to balance. Just writing this blogpost has taken me three days. I end up napping every time I try to write, and I feel like I can’t express myself the way I want to. I had a whole plan about what I was gonna write in this post but its just not there anymore.

Me when trying to write this post

Not that I’m doing much more than the very necessary these days but I still kinda wish I was on an empty beach somewhere, with a good novel, my notebooks and pastel colors. Looking at the ocean and listening to the sounds it makes always made me very calm and when there literally is nothing else to do I rest pretty well and when I rest well I also find a lot of inspiration. Right now I don’t have much.
I guess my dreams about the beach also might have something to do with the constant rain and grey weather here in Tokyo right now. Hopefully the rainy season will be over soon!

Tomorrow is a new week and hopefully if I keep taking it slow and rest a lot I will gain some energy.

Wishing you all a good night, or day, depending on where you are in the world.

Oyasumi

/Hanna

Odea

28 Jun 2019

Good evening!

As promised, it's time for me to introduce my first short story! I am very nervous actually. But just as excited!

This name of the story is "Odea". I spent an entire night writing this thing between 10pm and 7am, as I had a deadline (that I forgot about) to send in a story sample for a course in creative writing that I've applied to for the autumn semester. I was exhausted when I finished. The original is in Swedish which I later translated into English.

I've had help from two great people, going through this story with me, looking at the grammar, spelling, expressions and story as a whole. Thanks a lot, to Vindu and Ken for taking your precious time with me!

I know that this story might come off as incomplete and that it might be hard to understand the purpose of some of the characters, based on the feedback from my friends and looking at it from their perspective I can see that that might be the case. There's definitely a lot of room both for improvement and for developing the story and make it "more complete".

I'm publishing it as it is now and based on the feedback I've already received and hopefully will receive later as well I will try to build on this story and make it even better.

Well, here it is, enjoy!

 

Odea

Prologue

They walked in silence, a large eagle soaring over their heads. It gave her comfort in a way she didn’t understand. The only sound was that of bare feet stepping into shallow pools of water. Step after step, constantly in motion. They must have walked for hours, not once stopping or looking back. Keezeta carefully watched the dark silhouette of the tall, handsome man walking in front of her. He was her guide through this world between worlds, her way out of this soothing, yet terrifyingly lonely darkness. She didn’t trust him, knowing he was like her, but she knew he would take her where she wished. He owed her and she knew that he, older than the oceans, had never failed to repay a debt. So, she followed him, never doubting.
     The bright moon had disappeared long ago, filling her with a void. She knew this feeling and she hated it, couldn’t nourish from it. She took a deep, silent breath and went far into the unconscious mind of the young innocent woman whose heart she now held. It was full of sorrow and loneliness and yet there was still hope. Keezeta felt disgusted. Didn’t want to feel it, to acknowledge it. How could there be any hope left after what they had done to the girl? She kept searching until she found the deep well of anger and despair she had been looking for. She fed it, fuelled it with hatred until the well started boiling and filling up, more and more until it reached the edges and poured over. Only then did Keezeta open her eyes again and when she did the void in her chest was filled with a newborn rage. She smiled, feeling the peak of her essence. She was ready to execute destruction.
     The man in front of her stopped, turned around and gave her a smile that must have been as vicious as her own. He nodded and told her to come closer. She felt a cool, salty breeze on her cheeks. They where standing on a sky-high cliff, water splashing against the rocks far below. He made a motion with his hand, indicating they were there. They stared at each other for a short moment before he leaned in. He was so close that she could feel his hot breath in her ear before he opened his mouth and whispered “Jump!”.

About Writing & A Short Story To Come!

27 Jun 2019

こんにちは!

I mentioned in my first blog post and in the section “About Me” that writing is a passion of mine and something I would like to get better at and challenge myself with. It’s my creative calling. I always expressed myself better in written words rather than spoken. I grew up fantasising about being a pirate hunting for treasures on the seven seas, I wanted to be a shaolin monk, a ninja and a wizard and a superhero and a wildling living on the cold, snowy mountains with the wild wolves. Every day was a new adventure when I grew up and I never ever lacked imagination for a new character to be or place to experience. I guess that stayed with me as I grew older. When I learned to read it was always the grand and epic adventures that stimulated me the most, same with movies and any kind of stories. I wanted to be there, in them. The “real world” was never enough. It was and it still is too small for me. There’s not enough room, not enough adventures and excitement and most of all I think there’s no place in the real world for me to fully express and to live out my thoughts and feelings into something concrete, something you can touch, something solid. I don’t know if I explain this in a good way or if it even makes sense reading this, but it does in my head. And I’m not saying the real world isn’t good or satisfying enough, because I have everything I could ever wish for, I am so happy and lucky to be where I am with the people that care for me. I wouldn’t change a thing. I just need more than one world. I have so many thoughts and ideas and stories I want to share with those who want to take part of it. I don’t know if I am good enough to do something real with my writing, but I want to try and see where it takes me because I know it will be my biggest regret if I don’t.

Having a Matcha Latte (my favourite drink) while writing is the best combo for a good time!

So, tomorrow I will post my first short story here on the blog. It will be the first story I share publicly since 2012 when I won a regional short story competition during my last year of high school. It’s scary and exciting at the same time. It doesn’t really matter how many people read it, at least not for now, it’s more about the fact that it will be out there in the open for anyone to find, to look at, to judge. If you read it and have any opinion, please share it with me so that I can learn how to improve.

The story I will post tomorrow is pure fantasy, and if I ever become a real novelist, that’s what I want to write. It’s my genre, where I feel most at home and comfortable. Because in fantasy I don’t have to stick to the rules of society or history or any kind of realism, I can create my own, there’s really no boundaries. That’s why I like it think. Some people are not into that whatsoever and might therefore find it hard to understand the story since it takes place in a world very different from our own. But I want to try to attract non fantasy-lovers to read and enjoy my work as well. The goal for me is to make everyone feel like they can relate somehow, and when it’s fantasy and the story is set in a non-real world it becomes even more important to be able to connect to the characters. I don’t think it matters in what settings a story takes place as long as the author is able to express the reality of emotions, of strong feelings. Because if we can relate emotionally any story can be real. At least that’s what I think.

Writing on the computer is obvuoisly faster and easier but I love writing by hand. It's something magical with holding a pen, especially if you write in a beautiful notebook.
I carry this one with me almost everywhere.

I will do my best to regularly post short stories here and I will also try to write in different genres, not just fantasy, since I want to challenge myself to be good at different types of writing and being capable to express and tell different stories.

Please, come back and read tomorrow and any kind of feedback is welcome so don’t be shy if you have an opinion about what you read.

Oh, and by the way, if you just stopped by for the first time, or if you’ve been here before but not yet pushed the blue Facebook “Like” button (to the right further up in this blog post if you’re on the computer and at the very bottom, you have to scroll all the way down, if you’re on the phone), I would be very happy if you would take a second to do it! And while you’re at it, please subscribe to the newsletter as well! Thanks!

Wish you all a wonderful day!

/Hanna

Tamagawa - River Cleanup

25 Jun 2019

Good Afternoon!

I wanted to share with you something I did on Saturday morning last week.
I woke up early (for the weekend), around 6:30 and couldn’t get out of bed until 7:00. I left home half an hour later, biked to the nearest JR station from where I started an hour-long train ride to Futako-Tamagawa in the south eastern outskirts of central Tokyo. Tamagawa is a river where we, a small group of people, met up around 9am. Together we wanted do something for the greater good for the sake of the environment and clean up the area of trash around a small part of the river where there is a large daily motion of people exercising, walking their dogs, bringing their children and so on. It’s a very beautiful area with a lot of outdoors sports facilities.


Nice walking areas along the water

The area was a lot bigger than I first thought and it was almost a little overwhelming thinking about picking up other people’s trash. But to be honest it was kinda fun. Japan in general is pretty clean, at least in my opinion, but certain places are definitely messier than others. At first, I wasn't sure we would find much but we did and that's what made it entertaining I suppose. It's just like at home, it's more fun to clean when you can see the difference. We filled up our bags rather quickly and it felt really good. After a while it was almost like I started competing with myself. "Oh, I got this much over here, I wonder how much I can get over there".

This I got in less than half an hour.
Doesn't look like much but I had put my regular size bag in a bigger one to fit all the trash.

This is what we collected in about an hour.

Trash-Picking Crew

It always upsets me when people just throw their shit around, especially when there are trash cans around. This guy is a hero, sorting through the garbage, making sure everything is recycled the right way.

Not sure what the English name for this net-thing is but it turned out to be very useful when reaching for trash in the river.

Look at this!
It's upsetting, right?!

So much gomi in these thickets.

The full crew

Most of these people were strangers to me, but I enjoyed spending my morning with them. It was a great opportunity to do something good while meeting new people. I would definitely do it again sometime!

Humans are filthy, we can do so much better!
We need to care about the environment, now more than ever, so please make conscious choices, it makes a difference!

So, conclusion; volunteering feels great, try it!

Cheers!

/Hanna

My Journey To Japan

18 Jun 2019

Hello, I hope everyone’s had a good start of the week so far.
My start’s been so so in terms of the things I want to get done in a day. But it’s still only Tuesday so I have enough faith in myself that I will do better work the rest of the week. Yesterday was after all the birthday of one of my best friends and I wouldn’t have missed I for the world, so not too much regrets about my inefficiency.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how I am to introduce myself and this blog to the world in a good pace and a good way to start is probably to tell the story of why I ended up where I am right now. Something that almost always comes up in conversations with other foreigners here, especially when meeting new people, is the question “Why are you in Japan?”. I’ve been asked that so many times, by so many people. I think it’s a valid question though, because what brings us here is often also what brings us together in one way or another. Sometimes it’s our great love for this fantastic country (as in my case) and sometimes it is more because of completely other reasons, sometimes just by chance.

To me, Japan was a childhood dream for over 15 years before I came here, since I was 10 to be more precise. Before that I didn’t know much specifically about Japan nor did I have any kind of relationship to this country. However, I grew up in a home where Asian culture always were very present. I had a father who loved watching old samurai and kung-fu movies (when I was 5 my dream was to become a Shaolin monk and live in the mountains with a shaved head and break bricks and meditate everyday), an interested that I picked up very early as well. Then I had a mother who was very into both yoga, Qi Gong, Tai Chi and who studied Chinese medicine for a long time. Feeling closer to the Asian culture and mindset about many things therefore happened very natural. Wester cultures and traditions never appealed too much to me. I was the kid who went looking for “holes in the sky” during my breaks in elementary school, meaning a place where I felt the energy flow was high and I could just sit down and recharge – and yes that made me a weirdo.

One day, when I was 10 years young, my little brother, Simon, came to me with a comic that he really wanted me to read. It was the first volume of Dragon Ball, which was also the very first manga to be translated into Swedish back in 2002. I had a look at it and thought it seemed ridiculous. I was really not interested but my brother insisted and because I love him so much, I just couldn’t refuse and make him disappointed. So I read. It was indeed not my cup of tea. But Simon kept insisting that I should read only the next volume as well. Again, I couldn’t refuse that lovely and cute little face looking at me with excitement in his eyes. So I read the second volume as well. I still didn’t like it very much. Or so I thought because after that I decided to give the third book a chance too and since then I have been hooked. I couldn’t put them down. I went to buy the volumes my brother didn’t already have, and I impatiently waited for the ones that was yet to be published. By now I think I’ve read the entire Dragon ball series closer to 15 times. I still love it just as much and I still cry in the same places. When other manga series also started to be translated, I read them too. I devoured everything I could get my hands on and became absolutely mesmerized by these incredible stories, adventures, worlds and characters that reached all the way into my heart and touched in a way nothing else had before. I felt like I finally had found my thing, what I truly loved. I was always a fan of reading, especially fantasy, but manga took everything a step further. I felt like understood these worlds, like I could connect with them. Even my first love was a manga character. His name was (still is I guess) Dark Mousy and he was a master thief of the most exclusive art objects in Japan, a 17-year-old boy with big black wings. I was in love with him for years. I couldn’t have been more uninterested in real-life boys (in terms of love, most of my best friends were boys at this time). Until when I was maybe 14 or so and realised that I at least part time needed to live in the real world. So at some point I suppose I learned to be attracted to real people as well. Dark will always be special to me though.


First book in the series. Have you read it? 

The pictures above are from the early time in the serie.

And here he is. My Dark angel with the purple hair. Tell me he aint gorgeous?!
Not hard to see why he was my big crush for so long.
For the longest time I wanted to make a tattoo out ouf this very picture. I think I still do.. One day maybe!

That’s how it all started. With my interest in manga. My passion grew and threw them I learned about Japanese history and modern society, I learned about culture and people, I learned about places, cities and landscapes and so on and on. And when that wasn’t enough anymore, I started doing my own research. I have a bunch of books back home in Sweden about Japanese war history, samurais and ninjas, I have books about the Japanese society, about Japanese food and more than any other type of books I so much Japanese poetry. Every night before bed I would read new poems and I would collect all my favourites in a special notebook, I even started writing my own. 

One of my favourite Japanese books

Through all this my interest kept growing and I wanted to know more about this seemingly magical country. I google a lot, I looked up Japanese recipes, learned to love sushi and started watching anime. The Studio Ghibli movies were and still are my favourites. I’ve watched most of them many times. People told me how this was just a phase, how I would grow out of love with manga and Japan. I knew they were all wrong, and I was right. I never grew out it. I eventually found this fantastic bookstore (there’s only three of them in Sweden) called ‘The Science Fiction Bookstore’. They import manga in English from the UK and US and even directly from Japan and thus their selection is a lot bigger than other bookstores in Sweden. That’s where I spent all my money as a teenager. Literally All of them. Never regretted a single krona that I spent on manga or anime.

From there it went on. My dream about Japan became more solid and I knew I had to go. I knew it would be a place for me. Only during my second year of university did I get the chance to go. I basically took some ungranted time off from school and when for almost three weeks together with my mother in April 2016. We landed in Japan and katshiiing, I was home. Easy as that. We travelled around in Kansai and Kanto with Shinkansen and saw places and people. Japan turned out to be all that I had imagined and dreamt about and more.

Me in Hakone, April 2016

My first Made Cafe experience in Akihabara, 2016.
My poor mother deserves a medal for joining me!

Trying Sake for the first time, in a restaurant near Ochanomizu, 2016.

Never ever had I felt so much disappointment and even despair as when we had to go back to Sweden again. Nothing in me wanted to leave, I wanted to stay so bad. But leave I had to. So I went back to Sweden but 100% determent to return again. And a year and a half later I did. In the beginning of 2017, I was accepted as an exchange student to Tokyo University and I had never been more excited in my life. In the beginning of September that year I filled to big suitcases and finally moved to Japan and began a journey that would change my life forever. Tokyo University was actually only my second choice of Universities in Japan, initially I wanted to go to Kyoto University. But today I feel fairly certain that I ended up in Tokyo for a reason. This city, this country, has given me more than I could ever have imagined. Friends of the sort I’ve never had before, a new family, it gave me back to myself. Everything I knew of love and friendship and family, myself and the world was reprogrammed. I grew into myself. I learned what I wanted, to prioritize myself and my own needs first, to truly take care of my own heart and more than anything I learned what it means to live. I learned what real happiness is.
I finished my exchange year in what felt like the blink of an eye and I was NOT ready to leave this place. So I decided to enrol in a language school and study Japanese. So I did that for 6 months and now I’m looking for a job. So here I still am, in the city of my dreams, living the most exciting and sometimes also very challenging life. I wouldn’t change it for anything though. I am so grateful every day. That I took a chance and came here. That I took another chance and came back again. That I took yet another chance and came back a third time. I am so grateful. Right now, life is pretty tough in many ways, but it is my life, I own it and I live it and sometimes I remember to be proud of myself. Cause I was brave enough to leave my comfort zone for something more, something bigger. And all of this is pretty damn cool to be honest. And what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right?

My message to you who reads this is simple.
Be brave and take chances. Things might not happen the way you imagine them, sometimes they become even better!

Cheers!
/Hanna

Back in Tokyo, Celebrations and Picture Bomb

13 Jun 2019

Hello, welcome to my second blog post!
Thanks for stopping by again.

I came back to my precious Tokyo on Wednesday evening last week after a whole month in Europe spent with my family in Sweden and travelling around and attending a most outstanding wedding in Scotland. It was absolutely great but coming home is always the best thing and Tokyo is home to me.

Usually it's pretty easy for me to adjust to this time zone, more so than when I'm going in the other direction but this time it took me a whole week! Yesterday night was the first that I didn't wake up between 2 and 5 AM and couldn't fall sleep again until a couple of hours later in the morning. So finally I feel more or less acclimatised.

I've been thinking a lot about, not only what I want to write here but also about how I want to write it. What to share and what not to share. How to make it both interesting and personal without giving neither too much nor too little of myself. There's a fine balance between I think but I guess I have to figure that out little by little. What is important to me is that whatever I write and choose to share here, I want it to be real. Social media often portrays people’s lives as prefect, and it sometimes gives a fake image of the reality that is hard to live up to or feel a connection to. I don't want that. I want the people who come here to read my blog to be able to relate. To recognise themselves maybe. I do think that I live the most exciting life ever, probably much more than many others, and I wouldn't change this for anything, but it is by no means perfect. I struggle with life and everyday problems just like everyone else and I want to share those things too.

But today will be about gratitude. I feel like I've been living on a cloud since I got back. Coming back to Tokyo this time equals a new chapter in my life and it started with me being picked up at the airport by a friend of mine. He said that since this is a new start for me it shouldn't start with a long bus ride to the city late in the evening. So instead I was transported directly to my front door in a beautiful white Tesla and once home I was greeted by a happy boyfriend who was wearing the biggest and most beautiful smile I've ever seen. The largest bouquet of flowers I have ever received was waiting for me at the table along with a beautiful little birthday gift. A wallet sustainably made from banana leaves, very organic. Such a thoughtful gift, he knows me so well by now! It's made in Micronesia which I think made it even more special. And then I don't know if he felt like he needed to compensate for the fact the wallet was so small and thin because his other gift to me was huge! The man got me a new washing machine! And if you knew how much I've been complaining about the old one you would understand what a big deal this was and how absolutely satisfied I am. I love washing now! The machine is pretty (the old one was terribly ugly!) and it smells so good once the laundry is done. I love it! Tack Älskling!

 

Beautiful, right!

As if that wasn't enough, he took me to dinner the next evening. I knew we were going to Daikanyama but I had no more specific information than that. Once we got there I understood why it was kept a secret. A friend of ours, Mei, a super sweet girl that lives in David's old share house, is a chef there! She had recently switched workplace and I was so happily surprised both with her delightful presence and the fantastic food! Her specialty is dessert so by the end of the dinner we had the most amazing cake! I was full until afternoon the next day.
If you're in Tokyo I strongly recommend you to go there, the place is called Kashiyama Daikanyama.

Not only Mei-chan, the entire staff was amazing!
But she's of course the most special.

On Friday my best friend came over. We hadn't seen each other in over a month and hearing her cheerful and happy greeting screams as she opened the door to the apartment and how she then threw herself at me, giving me a ton of hugs and kisses was and always in the most wonderful thing ever! When your friend literally jumps in excitement when seeing you, you know she's special. That would have been enough. I would have been so happy just having her there but first she threw a big present in my arms and put a bottle of champagne my hand. There was only one thing to do after that - Let the celebration begin!
There was a lot of talking and catching up obviously, some fun cooking, good drinks, more hugs a lot of laughing and pictures taken. Couldn't have spent my Friday in a better way!


Cheers Sista!

She's my superstar! And a Beauty!

And she got me this very wanted mixer! Finally I can make smoothies again!

And then there was Saturday. And after those previous fantastic days, the best was yet to come. I knew that there would be a little birthday celebration for me that day as well, but I hadn't organized anything. I Just knew that some people were going to come over some time in the evening. What I didn't know was that when David took me out for that ramen lunch I had been craving for weeks, he left the door open and when we got back I was jumped at again, balloons were thrown, people sang and hugged me. The people who could make it early in the afternoon threw me a surprise party and the rest joined later. I got a taste of what it is like to be surprised of on your birthday last year here in Japan by the same friends, but I've never experienced anything like this. I can't even describe how grateful I am and how proud I am over all those amazing people. They all gave me the most joyful and fantastic evening and night that didn't end until 7 AM the next morning. You know it's successful when literally everyone is dancing in your kitchen and then continue throughout the night. THANK YOU EVERYONE! If everybody had friends like I do this world would be at peace.
And Vindu, a little extra thanks for dressing me and making me ready for the night!

The organisers of my surprise party (+ Anri and David)

With my princessses

Not the most flattering angle, but oh well!

Let's take a picture of us in the mirror!

Zaki and Daiki

Viktor, Vindu & David

Some yakitori, anyone?

Fiodar, Vik & Zaki

I'm a lucky girl!

More mirror pictures!

Me and Her

Anri & Katya - Spread the love ladies!

My frenchie and favourite dance partner - Maxou

Vndu and Ryosuke, heh

Ladies selfie time!

The bride and groom to be (in August)!

Party people in the mood!

Unwrapping my gift from mama Mason

She's a lot stronger than she looks ...

Vindu and I with Naomi-san

Spreading some more love with Vik and Fiodar

Last picture taken before going out, no one can expect it to be fully sharp

I am so overwhelmed by all of it. So happy and I can't express in words all the wonderful things I'm feeling! I just had to share it.

Again, gratest thanks to everyone who made this night so special. I will remember it always!

All my love

/Hanna

 

Hello and Welcome!

5 Jun 2019

Hello and most welcome to my new blog!

Some of you know me in real life, family, friends, etc, while others might know me from my old blog (which hasn't been active in a long time) and some of you are probably about to get to know me for the first time. Whoever you are I am happy that you found your way here.

My name is Hanna Gaita. I am Swedish, and as of yesterday actually, 27 years old. Japan is my childhood dream and I have been living in Tokyo since September 2017. You can read a somewhat more specific introduction about me under the heading "About Me" above. Take a peek there if you're curios.

This is a blog about me. About my, in my opinion, very exciting life in Japan, about all the travelling I do, within and outside of the country, about my thoughts on life in general and so on. But hopefully, it will also be a place where I share stories that I write - the short story kind. I have a passion for writing and would like to develop and improve in that area, and by doing so start pursuing my dream about becoming a real novelist. I think it's a very intimate thing to let others read what I write, scary even, but to become a good writer I know I have to be brave enough to share my stories and learn how to deal with both critique and praise. This will be a challenge, but I am very excited to try.
This will be a tool for me to daily keep up a writing flow.

Me

Since this blog is new, it’s still under some development, but since I’m technologically handicapped more often than not, it might take some time for me to figure things out.. But I will do my best!

Obviously, English is not my first language, and even though I feel like I sometimes express myself better in English than in Swedish, in certain context, that is not always the case. So I will definitely struggle from time to time and there will probably be a lot of misspellings here and there, but please bear with me.

I hope you want to join me on this journey.

So, thanks for stopping by, see you again!

With love,
Hanna

P.S. I would be most grateful if you could take a few seconds of your time and hit the blue “Like” button in the side bar up to the right if you're on the computer and just below if you're reading from your phone. Thanks a lot! D.S.