#books

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大阪短期滞在

Spent 6.5 weeks in Ōsaka. Having had many things to do in mind and being aware of the limited amount of time, things felt a bit rushed at times. Nevertheless pleased with how the stay went in general and what I got done. :)

  • Book hunt
    After finishing 『九州は横浜のどこですか?』 on my Kindle last year, I struggled to really get into another book. Only my physical copy of 『日本語雑記帳』 found its way into my hands from time to time. I therefore went on somewhat of a book hunt this time and spent many hours in BOOKOFFs and a considerable amount of my short Tokyo trip in 神保町. What I ended up bringing home with me is:
    • 『世界の文字』 (done reading)
    • 『日本語びいき』 (almost done reading)
    • 『活版印刷三日月堂』 (half way through the first of the 4 books)
    • 『ユニコード戦記』
    • 『「舞姫」の主人公をバンカラとアフリカ人がボコボコにする最高の小説の世界が
       明治に存在したので20万字くらいかけて紹介する本』
    • 『文系と理系はなぜ分かれたのか』
    • 『字幕屋に「、」はない』
    • 『辞書編集、三十七年』
    • 『印刷に恋して』
    • 『教室内カースト』
    • 『同時通訳はやめられない』
    • 『鳩居堂の日本のしきたり豆知識』
    • 『タイポさんぽ』
    • 『ようこそ保健室へ』
    • 『パッタを倒しにアフリカへ』
  • 親指シフト
    I made a conscious decision to switch from QUERTY to フリック入力 on my phone years ago in order to internalize thinking of the words I input as being made up of かな and not Latin alphabet characters. While in Ōsaka I found out about 親指シフト and ended up getting a cheap keyboard labelled accordingly for testing. Got it to work on my Ubuntu 18.04 system using oyainput. Time will tell whether or not I'll have the frustration tolerance and endurance to make the switch. Will also have to test if a Votex CORE (the keyboard I'm using most of the time currently) can be programmed accordingly.
  • 漢字検定
    Took the 漢検 5級 as well as 4級 and passed both. :)
    • arrived early and saw a parade of ちびっ子 streaming out of the building :3
    • question sheets were basically huge (257×379 mm) 圧着ハガキ, resulting in quite the sound when a room full of people simultaneously opened them
    • sitting next to me taking 4級 was a 9 year old D:
  • Can recommend 大阪府立中之島図書館 to everyone in Ōsaka looking for a quiet space with air conditioning, power sockets and free wifi (registration required, was a bit buggy on PC but ended up working)
  • Entered a Carcassonne tournament (カルカソンヌ日本選手権). Won 2 games and then was destroyed twice by more serious (nevertheless super nice) contestants.
  • Visited people at 京大 and met again with colleagues at NII
  • Attended 活版WEST
  • Stayed at a 旅館
  • Finally got to the end of うぶんちゅ! chapter 12 after translating the first few pages some time last year.
  • Visited 遊舎工房 and got some keycaps
  • Was able to eat at 丸香 and MENSHO again while in Tokyo
  • Went to see 下赤阪の棚田, which ended up being a ride a train, then ride a bus, be the last person left in the bus, walk a bit, talk to the ground keeper of a school and be let through a few gates you're not supposed to go through as an outsider, arrive and be the only person around type of trip—i.e. a diametric opposite to the sad state of over commercialized tourist destinations—i.e. awesome :)
  • Saw a person poking out of a ticket machine for the first time. :'D

Location wise Ōsaka was nice to explore the Kansai region a bit, but didn't quite click with me the way Tōkyō did. Guess with a bunch of disparate, rather niche interests, Tōkyō is hard to beat just because of its sheer size.

2019-07-15

The Elegance of the Hedgehog (Die Eleganz des Igels)

A fortunate coincidence — or maybe a great estimation of what would be suitable for my person. : )

I mostly read textbooks, in the majority of cases about philosophy. Somehow novels aren't the kind of books that usually catch my attention. Sadly, because ... not enjoying something is in some way missing something.
I loved the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series, enjoyed Stefan Zweig's The Royal Game and occasionally read manga. But the rest of what I've read so far ... Precht, Dawkins, Postman, Watzlawick, Nietzsche, etc. — therefore I'm always keen on finding novels I like.

Last saturday a friend of mine lent me The Elegance of the Hedgehog (amazon.com/.de). She once cited a passage from the book in an e-mail. It looked promising, I got interested. As it turned out this book — at least in my opinion — is just perfect for a person which enjoys reading analytical, philosophical works. It has a touch of such works, yet tells a story, keeps you interestend, is written gorgeously and altogether is just a wonderful book. *recommended*

tags: books

2011-07-10