Planning my Trip to Japan

Planning my trip to Japan: Learning Japanese

In September, I’m going to Japan for six nights. Part of planning my trip to Japan is learning some basic Japanese beforehand. I have no real language knowledges regarding Japanese, but I really want to travel there knowing some of the language. Hence, I’m putting my language learning skates on to learn some Japanese.

The only words I really remember without looking them up are:

oishi (delicious (I think)), konichiwa (Hello/ Good Day), sumimasen (Sorry/Excuse me), namabiru (draft beer), ocha (tea)

And that is pretty much it, whoops. I’m not even sure on the latin spellings without double-checking. (I double checked all of them, and I’m still not sure on the translation of delicious). 

I look forward to learning Japanese, hoping I can understand at least a little in Japan. But I am very scared of not being able to understand anything, not being able to communicate with others or understanding a menu at a restaurant.

Luckily, some of my favourite youtubers have uploaded some videos on Japanese phrases that are useful for when travelling through Japan. I’ll link them up down below. I’ve made note of the phrases and translations, and hope to learn a lot more kanji, katakana and hiragana. Not just for the six nights I’ll actually be there. I really hope to buy some manga there, in Japanese, to enjoy reading them at home. I’d absolutely love to get my hands on Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone in Japanese, but that’s not a main goal of mine during these six nights.

Photo of the Day

City in a Crater
John Chiang

Video of the Day

Writing Challenge: Day 18

Day 18: Post 30 facts about yourself

  1. I love Harry Potter
  2. I’m a proud Ravenclaw
  3. I hate mushrooms
  4. I love travelling to Malaysia
  5. My favourite colour is blue
  6. I was born two months prematurely
  7. I have depression and general anxiety disorder
  8. I hate wearing a swimsuit
  9. But I love swimming
  10. I can’t remember ever being skinny
  11. When I was younger, I used to lie about what my favourite colour was. I just copied others
  12. I also used to lie about what I wanted to be when I grew up, and just copied other people
  13. I think I was about 13 when I thought about committing suicide for the first time
  14. I love the sea, but hate the feeling of stickiness after.
  15. I only really got into Photography, because a family friend once said I “had an eye for things” a few years ago. My stepdad had tried to get me into photography for years prior to this, but I wasn’t very interested until this moment.
  16. I started puberty when I was 9
  17. I was bullied for being the first person with a growing chest
  18. I was also called Gorilla at school, because of my skin colour
  19. My Granny left me a lovely doll. Her name is Sonya. She survived the bombings in Berlin
  20. I never thought I’d leave Germany. Now I can’t see myself ever moving back there
  21. Most of my friends are non-british. By “most” I mean all of my (few) friends.
  22. I used to ship Harry and Ron, Hermione and Draco.
  23. I also ship Harry with Cedric.
  24. Every summer, I promise I’ll lose weight before I go back to school/university. I usually just get fatter.
  25. I have brown eyes and black hair. In summer, some of my hair looks dark brown.
  26. I nearly had counselling once because of my suicidal tendencies, but we went on a family holiday instead.
  27. I have very fond memories of my childhood. Until puberty started. I then tuned all emotions out as best as I could.
  28. I once wanted a guitar so badly for Christmas, I got a new TV instead and nearly cried (I was such an ungrateful little shit, I hope nobody noticed. I hate myself for my materialistic selfish past)
  29. My favourite flowers are red roses.
  30. I love playing Harvest Moon games.

Photo of the day

See beautiful spot through the stone bricks

Video of the day

30 Day Writing Challenge: Day 16

Day 16: Something that you miss

I miss being a child, and riding my bike everywhere. I used to hate riding my bike at times, when it was rainy or windy. But really, I miss it now.

Very often, wherever I went, I’d go there by bike. I miss that feeling in my legs, or the wind in my hair, or the sound of a bike. I’m not quite sure why I miss that. Maybe it’s the childhood memories. Everything was so innocent then, and I didn’t have any worries apart from my imaginary tea party.

Riding my bike as a kid is definitely something I miss.

Photo of the Day

Shallow water
Taavi Salakka

Videos of the Day

30 Day Writing Challenge: Day 13

Day 13: What are you excited about?

I’m currently on holiday, but whilst scheduling this, I am VERY excited about the holiday. I can’t wait for the food, the (sandy) beach, the (warm) sea, and the wildlife. I just really love Malaysia. I also look forward to making plans with friends, and hope that some friends will be able to come over from Germany.

13 Things I am excited about on Holiday

I thought about doing a separate post for this, but it would be a shame to waste this opportunity to tell you some things I am excited about regarding my holiday in Malaysia

  1. Malaysia itself: Every time I visit Malaysia, it just feels like I’m going home.
  2. Food: The food in Malaysia is so delicious. I have not once had a bad meal. I can’t put it into words, quite how much I love the food in Malaysia. There, you can find so much different food: Malay, Chinese, Indian, and its all SO amazing.
  3. People: I also get excited to meet Malay people? They’re super nice and I just like being around people in Malaysia. They’re really friendly and kind.
  4. Photography: I actually really hope to try out Street Photography there. For some reason, nothing in the UK excites or inspires me. Hopefully, I am going to be inspired in Malaysia.
  5. Beach: I’m excited to sit on a sandy beach and enjoy the waves. I live by the seaside anyway, but a sandy beach in Malaysia is just that little bit more exciting and special to me.
  6. Pool: I actually really look forward to swimming in a pool? Pool, beach and Palm trees are like THE holiday aesthetics.
  7. Book & Beach/Pool: Weirdly, I also really look forward to reading a book either by the pool or by the beach, under some neat palm trees.
  8. Breakfast buffets: They’re amazing and diverse and just so good. I am going to eat ALL the food (apart from bread and the stuff that has very obviously got gluten in).
  9. Wildlife: The wildlife in Malaysia is amazing and I can’t wait to visit a nature reserve. There are also many geckos around, if I remember correctly. I love geckos, they’re super cute.
  10. Snorkelling: We’re going snorkelling, which I am super excited for. This kind of works with the last point. I love snorkelling in Malaysia. Once, I saw two baby sharks and they were adorable!
  11. Shopping: I used to get more excited about the shopping than I do now, since I am way too big to fit into any clothing there. But, I still enjoy the night markets there.
  12. Weirdly, even the flying there and travelling within Malaysia excites me. I’m scheduling this ahead of time, so I will probably feel differently about this at the time, but right now I am very excited about getting on a plane.
  13. Not being at Home: Just getting away from the usual surroundings is going to be amazing to relax and enjoy myself.

Photo of the Day

last train from the castle 2
Michael Marsh

Video of the Day


Blogmas Day 12


Despite the fact that I could wallow in my loneliness and uselessness, I think I should wallow into something else. Something more positive.

Today, I was able to use public transport safely. I went to the cinema and enjoyed my movie. I have money in my bank account, and in my savings. I have a somewhat good relationships with my parents and live at home rent free. I just have so many little things to be grateful for and it annoys me that the little, annoying things are really quite annoying.

Cinema trip

On a more obvious positive note, I went to see Office Christmas Party today. It was quite entertaining and funny. It isn’t one of the funniest movies I’ve seen, but I did crack up a few times. If I had to rate it, I think I could give it a 6.9/10. I liked the characters and the storyline, it was amusing and I laughed. I would go and see it again.

Question of the day: Do you prefer the festive season in the UK or abroad?

I thought I liked both, now that I have experienced both. Today I have realised, that I actually like the festive season abroad in Asia, away from christmassy stuff. The long dark nights, rainy weather. It’s ok in October, but now I just feel even more fed up, tired and like I could really do with a break. I miss the warmth and the beaches and the general feeling of feeling better.

I have never really realised how the seasons affected me, but this year I feel like the cold season is having an effect on me. Luckily, I have a lot of colourful things around me and some comfy clothes that help.

Photo of the day

Ciarán Rhys

Video of the day

Blogmas Day 11: TB Thailand and Vietnam

It’s been two years since I’ve visited Thailand. We went for Christmas. Last year, we went to Vietnam. This year, we aren’t going anywhere for christmas. It feels weird, but nice. Nice, but also weird. It was the first time we went on holiday over Christmas. As a child I used to hate the idea of travelling abroad over Christmas (what would you do with all the gifts?!) Now I actually really like the idea of being away over Christmas.

I loved the experience of visiting Thailand in general. All of it was a great experience and I really want to go again. Bangkok is a city I really want to visit again.

In Vietnam, I loved the food and the people. I really miss the coffee, and I would love to explore more of Vietnam.

The next family holiday is in June, back to Malaysia.

Thailand pictures:

Ciaran Rhys
Ciaran Rhys
Ciaran Rhys

Vietnam pictures:

Ciaran Rhys
Ciaran Rhys
Ciaran Rhys
Ciaran Rhys

Videos of the day

An Interest: Photography

Quote of the day

You don’t take a photo, you make it.
-Ansel Adams

Photos of the day

Ivry-sur-Seine, 2016
End of season

Videos of the day


I couldn’t resist adding a Harry Potter related video, but I thought I’d mix things up a bit more topic wise.
Even though I’ve been taking photos for years now, my actual knowledge of cameras and settings is very slim. Not only have I now turned to youtube to inspire me, but also to teach me.

Somebody in our house is causing trouble again, and I feel exhausted. What fun it is to be in a family where people have foster kids. Ugh. I had high plans for this post but this is the most I can come up with and I aint feeling bad about it at all.

Throw back Thursday

I finally found a reason how I can share my weekly findings with you guys apart from just being a really random person who likes to share things. I’ll only be “throwing back” to past week’s videos or other internetty things I’ve stumbled across in the past week. This week, there are only youtube videos.

Smile ~

First of all, a favourite video of mine is Sharla’s video. She is my favourite youtuber still and I’m just quite happy for her that she’s getting married. It just made me smile, because she’s so happy and I had some flashbacks to happy memories when my friend got married nearly two weeks ago.

There are two videos by Venus Angelic, which made me smile.

Chocolate Frogs! I love the chocolate Frogs from the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and I will definitely try out to recreate mini chocolate frogs.

Something book related. This video amused me a lot more than I expected and it is SO MUCH FUN.

Japan ~

I am so happy I found Kristina’s Youtube channel. Especially this video about her experience in Japan is really important to me. As much as I want to experience Japan for myself, this particular video has shown me more of what I can expect through two first hand experiences.

Back to Sharla, she talks about Spring in Akihabara. So it nicely relates to the spring tag and the spring book tag I did 🙂


That is it for this week 🙂

Ciaran ~

Happy New Year!

It is finally 2016 and I am going to write about plans for the new year and review my last year very briefly. It all looks longer than it actually is.

Reviewing last year briefly, I have grown as a person. I believe in myself more and I actually, officially came out as trans. I have learnt a lot about myself and have travelled to Germany twice and I visited Vietnam. I am more creative, I believe. I visited the Harry Potter studio tours, which proved to me that I can deal with my anxiety. I’m dealing with it a lot better, hence why I could travel to the studios mostly by myself, and I didn’t freak out once, not even when my phone died on the way home.

Now, to 2016. I didn’t read as much as I hoped to. This year, I hope to read more. I hope to write more and be more involved in photographic projects. I hope to spend less money on material things and more on non-material things. By that, I can’t wait to meet up with a friend in London to see 21 Pilots in February and I can’t wait to go to Amsterdam with this same friend in Summer. At the end of Summer, around September, I hope to travel to Malaysia again -a country I love to visit.
I hope to spend my time more productively. Not just academic wise, but also privately working on photography. I don’t feel awfully proud of photos I have taken in the past year, so I hope to change that.

My main aim I guess is to make it into my third year at University. I’m not a good student but I like what I am studying, and although it’s difficult, I’m not disliking any of it so far. On the academic note, here‘s my link for today. Textbooks are always a hassle and a tip on saving money is always a good one.

On a side note, I hope to see my friends from Germany again. Hopefully they can come over in summer. I also hope, I can take at least one of them to the Harry Potter studios, as none of them have been yet.

Ah this post is a lot longer than I expected. Sorry?

For this blog, I don’t want to be just another trans person writing about their story. But thinking about it, I might just do that -write about my story. Not just as a trans person, but as somebody who grew up bilingual and in Germany. So my story, if they’re not specifically about a certain event, will have a twist to them (hopefully). Even though I’ve lived in England for a while now and have a mostly British Family, I still find myself walking around with a non-British mindset. That might be fun sharing with the internet.

Anyway, before I talk too much.

Happy New Year, I wish you all all the best.


Night Market in Phú Quốc 

Yesterday we visited a Night Market in a town whose name I know as Dun Dong but I’m not at all sure about the spelling.

I had some Ice Cream and some butter and garlic chicken. Both were very yummy. I also stumbled across some very cute key rings with One Piece and Totoro pictures on them and they were so CUTE but I didn’t buy them -I have so many key rings and so have my friends haha.

Now I’ve figured out how to add a watermark to photos on my phone I’ll try to upload more 🙂

Sunny hugs,