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Born in Stockholm (Sweden), now live in Sapporo (Japan). Hold a Ph.D. in computer science and work with computers during the days, perform magic in a bar during the nights (and weekends, for kids). Also used to teach historical fencing back in Sweden.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Me in the newspaper


Last Friday there was a newspaper article about our magic bar in the Hokkaido Shinbun newspaper. There are two photos, one of my colleague Tsubasa, and one of me wearing a shirt that says: "I am not Japanese" in English and Japanese. I am also holding a set of cards that have photos of me.

The text talks about our magic bar, how our owner came to open it, about doing magic in bars in general, etc. It also talks about Tsubasa because he is the youngest (21 years old now, 18 when he first joined our staff, I think) and about me since I am the weirdest (not Japanese).

About me it mentions that I make a lot of props myself and that I invent new magic trick presentations, wear strange clothes, and in general do a lot of original things... It mentions that I started doing magic to pass time since I do not have any friends (when you move to a new country, you start out with very few people you know around you; in my case 0).

I do not get this newspaper (or any newspaper, since newspaper Japanese contains too many words I have never seen (I learned Japanese by talking to my friends and I learned reading Japanese by reading e-mails from them, and apparently their e-mail vocabulary has very little overlap with newspaper Japanese)), but the same day a Facebook acquaintance posted a photo of the newspaper with the comment: "I found Jonas in the paper today!"

I re-shared the photo with the comment: "There is a guy who looks amazingly much like me in the paper today" in Japanese. In Japan, people usually do not get sarcasm or irony and my friends state that they do not understand that kind of things. Disproving this, several Japanese Facebook friends left comments like: "Indeed [he looks like you], and he even has the same bad fashion sense!", showing that not only do they understand irony, they can even be sarcastic themselves.

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