As I stated on the „About“ page already: I am from Germany, and my husband is from China. People who don’t know us might be confused about the significant role Japan plays in our love story. People who know me were seriously confused by the fact that my husband is not Japanese. Most of them would not be surprised if I find a Japanese boyfriend. Someone from China was unexpected – also for me.
You cannot plan who you fall in love with. Sometimes life starts leading you on strange paths, but everything is going to make sense in the end. If I would believe in faith, I could say that my fascination and love for Japan led me to my husband.
At first, this seems like a simple question: “Why do you like Japan?” But giving an accurate answer is quite tricky. Explaining why I like Japan is similar to describing what love is. I tried to explain: others find their first love in a person. I fell in love with a country. Starting with a period where I saw the whole world coloured in pink, and everything seemed impeccable. Of course, over the years, some aspects and peculiarities of this country started to bother me. Nobody is perfect and not even my favourite country. Now that I learned more about other countries and their cultures, I began to appreciate Japan a little bit more again. Yet it’s a strange relationship I have with this country; it’s my favourite place to visit and explore. Soon, it’s going to be my 10th trip, but still, there is so much more to discover. As a tourist, you are only able to scratch the surface, and it’s hard to dig deep.
Mr C.’s “Why Japan?” story is a different one. Together with his first girlfriend, they made a promise: one day they are going to live in Japan. Because of her love for Japan, they set this goal for themselves. But after they broke up, he continued realising this target. Mainly not because of her dream, but since he wanted to finish this challenge. Besides, he was lucky that his company had a branch in Japan and wanted someone to support them there. He ended up in Japan because of someone else’s dream. But in the end, he fell in love with this country as well while living there.
In Spring 2017, I decided to go back to Japan with a friend of mine. One of my big passions is planning, so I made up an itinerary for this three weeks long trip. On my list were places I’ve been to before and some I never visited before. Also, I included concerts and festivals, as well as my first date with Mr C. Via AirBnb he booked a beautiful traditional Japanese house close to my most favourite city and we planned to have a lovely first date there.
For sure there is one thing I’ve learned since I met Mr C.: it doesn’t matter how well you might try to plan something, in the end, your plans are going to change. Or you need to have plan B ready.
We added another meeting before the original one so that I could pick up some festival tickets Mr C. managed to get me. Since the festival was before we planned our first date, we had to add another spontaneous meeting.
But first, let’s start with one of my passions: travel
Travelling together with a friend can be an adventure. Usually, I would mostly visit Japan by myself, but this time I had someone with me. You have to compromise on what to do and take care of each other. A fun experience for sure, but I noticed that you have fewer interactions with strangers. Meeting new people from all over the world and spend some limited time together can expand your horizon. Many of these people I never talked with afterwards, but the short time we spent together, I’ll cherish forever.
To refresh my memories, I will only share some pictures I’ve taken and let them speak for themselves. Japan is incredibly beautiful, and everyone visiting it will notice it as well.
The first date
Finally, it was time to meet Mr C. for the very first time. He waited outside of the underground station to pick me up. We have “seen” each other before while doing video calls, but meeting him in real life still felt a little bit weird. I tried to be on time but managed to be a little bit late. He told me later, that at first, he didn’t see how tall I was, while I was coming up using the escalator. Of course, I noticed his surprised look. We have talked about my height. He is 10 cm smaller than me, but that’s a fact which made me his type. If you check out most couples the guy is taller than the girl.
I chose to hug him since we have communicated over months, and I knew this person well already. In Germany, it’s common to hug each other for a greeting. He was surprised about it. It was his first time hugging someone this casually. Also, at this moment, he seemed to realise our height difference.
We started our date with Hong Kong food for dinner. He chose what to eat and managed to get us some shrimps. In China, they tend to serve them with shells. Since it was our first date and I wanted to make a good impression, I avoided eating these shrimps. I am not a fan of their shells and had no idea how to get rid of it with chopsticks gracefully. I think both of us were a little nervous, but in general, managed to have a natural conversation. There are times when you meet people online, and when you meet them in person, it’s like they have always been part of your life. That’s how I felt while we were talking about all different things.
After finishing dinner, we went to a hotel to spend the night there together. I remember the negative response I got from the friend I travelled with about my decision. Indeed, I can confirm that getting close like that with someone you just met feels weird. I was never the type of person who was down for any one-night stands, and that never changed. Despite the hours we spent writing with each other, he was still a stranger to me. I know women who need another person in their life, I, on the other hand, side, always felt fine just dealing with myself. But the only thing we didn’t know back then was how compatible we are on a physical level.
Sorting out the last mysterium of our relationship, we committed to being officially a couple from this moment. If you keep it old-fashioned: just on the day we „met“.