You know the phrase that time flies when you’re having fun? Well, late August I left the Netherlands for a one-week trip to Singapore for the KAS conference, two weeks R&R in Indonesia and a five-month project in Japan. Well, it was over very quickly. Well, that’s how I perceived it anyway. And now I’m already back in the Netherlands for three weeks. And yes, I sometimes I’m homesick for Japan. I mean it’s a very nice country to be. The people are very nice, the scenery is very beautiful, when you know where to look. And of course, the food is absolutely the best.
I had been to Japan three times before, as a tourist, mostly in the spring. Now I had the opportunity to experience autumn and winter, and the occasional typhoon. Christmas began early in Japan, at least for Starbucks: December 1st and all music and decorations were in the spirit of Xmas. Me, from the Netherlands, having Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet on December 5th Starbucks, reallllyyyy: 1st December is tooooooo early for Xmas!
The winter period can be quite cold, but is for the most part beautiful with a lot of sun. This year we had some snow, which is – at least for the east coast – exceptional. The west coast had a lot of slow too. Way too much as far as I could tell.
The project itself was financed by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, for which I am grateful. I also thank University of Tsukuba for acting as host. I really enjoyed the campus life.
A few thanks you for some people. First, the people at the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science for inviting me. Leslie Tkach-Kawasaki for all the tedious admin-work. I am glad I didn’t have to do that. Junku Lee for the occasional film and nice conversations. Muneo Kaigo for the nice conversations over dinner. And Naoki Fukuhara for our meetings at Starbucks talking about our paper. Also, a thank you to all the people I met during my stay, the dinners and drinks.
It’s been a productive period, having collected over 80Gb of social media data. It was pure luck that Abe announced snap-elections two weeks after I arrived in Japan. I’m working on a few papers on social media in election campaigns and newspapers strategies in the use of social media. that should emerge from this project. Let’s hope the editors and reviewers like them too 🙂