More on my blog with some thoughts about „cycling etiquette“ thrown in…
Tagesarchiv: 27. Dezember 2008
UPDATE 28. December 2008
So far, David, James, Ludwig and me will attend the Ekiden ride on January 2nd. The meeting point is close to the Tamagawa at the Family Mart at the cossing road 15 and road 409 in Kawasaki [see Google map below] at 8.30 AM.
If there is interest, we can do the Hakone climb and then the best downhill in Japan from Hakone Pass to Atami pass on route 20:
David suggested to do the first ride of the new year on January 2nd from Tokyo to Hakone. As the Ekiden is hold on this day, the roads are sealed off and one can go on the bike in front of the field almost without traffic from Tokyo to Hakone – a once a year opportunity. I could convince my family to go to an onsen in Hakone the same day already, so I would be very much interested to do this ride, but the details, where to start, how to go etc. should be clarified with David. It would be nice to have a larger group of Positivo Espresso Riders together for this trip. Please let me know if you would be available.
Being in Japan for more than years, Juliane left on December 20th for London. After david, – his departure somewhat related to hers – and Marek, this is the third hard core Positivo Espresso member that left Japan in 2008 and I feel very much obliged to write something about it – from my own perspective.
In the last two years we have something like a Positivo Espresso Team and Juliane was one of our core members. Needs more to be written?
Going back very much in time, Juliane came to Japan with the same scholarship from the German Academic Exchange Service as I did. She stayed on and could somehow convince a German curtain wall maker to establish her as a representative in Japan. Which she than did despite all obstacles for a very long time, considering the average shelf-life of (in particular female) expats in Japan.
Juliane did a lot of interesting things here and I am glad that I could be part of some of them. She tried to sell my crappy sandwich panels from SKW when I was still working for Schindler Elevator.
She lived in Gotanda and an old wooden house with a huge garden by Japanese standards and invited us every year for cherry blossom viewing. One night we were all sitting in the garden, a strong wind blew through the trees and the cherry blossoms fell down in huge clouds, just like snow flakes. It was most beautiful and impressive.I in turn took her and her boyfriend at this time, Nils, to my favourite hair dresser in Jiyugaoka which was almost the end of our friendship. We shared some of our secrets nevertheless.
I guess the first time we were riding on a bike together was in 2001, when Johanna, Tom (my boss at Schindler), Juliane and me embarked on the first Yamanote Challenge, a round trip along the 42 km long Yamanote line, stopping at each of the 28 stations and taking photos of all three of us. It took us eight hours. Which was mainly due to the time the photo taking took, we had to ask a harmless bystander and explain him what we want. I did not even have a digital camera at this time.
We did some races then together when we both joined Tamagawa cyclists (then : Veloz) and we were together at the first race I ever attended, Tsukuba seven hours endurance in 2003. And we raced also at Shuzenji and then later at Saiko the same year.
We had times when we were closer and we had times when we were not. We met often and we didn’t. It was not always easy with here, but out of the hundreds of friends she made in Japan, I was one of the few that accompanied her from the beginning to the end of her stay here. I am not the one that took her to new shores, although.
By chance I watched „Balzac and the little Chinese Seamstress“ on video which includes a scene when the little Chinese Seamstress is leaving her small mountain village and parting from her lover and her friend to search for new luck in the big city. There is no relation whatsoever between this story and the story I am trying to tell about Juliane. But the sadness is about the same.