No matter what an environment looks like, and no matter what’s in the news, it’s cherry blossom time again, even Bremen-Walle, a place which doesn’t necessarily epitomize beauty otherwise.
The earthquakes currently seem to come and go in Japan. Not surprisingly, the usual cherry-blossom tourism has suffered this year, too, while Britain’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office is now no longer advising against all but essential travel to Tokyo. (If the German foreign office issued a similar statement, many citizens would probably sense a political conspiracy to get them all killed. I have met people here who even reconsider scheduled travels to China.)
It struck me this week that I have learned much of my Chinese language skills, as far as they go, from Japanese people. To learn Chinese must be easier for them than to learn English, and some of them are easier with speaking Mandarin than with speaking English.
But to listen to non-native speakers who are still fluent in Chinese is always inspiring.