Happy New Year 2023!

Happy New Year 2023!

The year has passed! Really, really fast! Finally, we have entered the year 2023.

But from the perspective of the history of the universe, my life is as short as a speck of dust. But we have crossed the year 2022 to 2023, one of the years in the history of the universe.




Relaxing near the fireplace. It’s nice to spend time like this. It warms me up

I had already taken a bath, but Jelena and her family had not yet taken a bath. I warm myself by the fireplace. Dominic and Jelena’s mother are talking all the time. Jelena comes downstairs after taking a shower.



Today’s pajamas were made of hemp fabric, or really good pajamas. I thought it was really nice. The fabric looks good, and the pajamas are a top and bottom set.

I wear sportswear, so I really don’t have any taste. I wanted to wear more tasteful pajamas like hers.

I thought she always put on perfume when she got out of the bath, and she smelled really nice. It smells so sweet.

I hugged Vigor, who had been left behind, and waited with him while Jelena took a shower.



Vigor’s eyebrows are really cute. They are very soothing. She told me that I should also buy him or she could give him to me, but I told her, “This is yours and it already has the name Vigor on it!” But honestly, I want Vigor. It’s so cute. I really want it lol.



Jelena had fallen asleep on the sofa after taking a shower, hugging Vigor. Her sleeping face is really cute.

I’ve been warming myself by the fireplace. For some reason, I feel a little cold. It’s not that I need the fireplace that much, but it’s definitely warmer to have it, so I warm myself by the fireplace.



Annual videoconference with my family

Then I called my family to wish them a Happy New Year. Every time I did this, it was by videophone. I talked to Grandma first, then showed it to Jelena’s mom and uncle, then Jelena, and she was very excited, and Dominic was very, very excited too. Grandma didn’t know what to say. So I just tell Jelena’s family that my grandmother said that “Thank you”. I called my mom and showed her everyone and said hi. I told them that my family really appreciate it.

Jelena’s mother said, “Please come to France to visit us. So I tell my grandma that she invite us anytime. My grandma and Jelena’s mother definitely get along. How could they not? They share the same wavelength, the same fashion style, the same inspirational stories, the same jazz, the almost same wine preference. Everything is almost the same. Really.

That’s how we greeted each other for the New Year. I was so drunk that I drank white wine, red wine, champagne, and rosé wine, and I drank a lot of champagne, so my face was very red. I thought I might have a fever.



Fever on January 1

Time was running out, so we decided to go to bed. So I went to bed with a racing heart. I had a feeling I had a fever. I kept sweating through the night, waking up in the middle of the night, wiping the sweat off, and going back to sleep. It was 9:00 in the morning and my heart was still beating very, very fast, amazingly fast. It was incredibly fast. I realize that this is definitely a fever. I’m amazed that I’ve had a fever since January 1. So, I took a shower. I feel a little woozy, but I go downstairs anyway and take a lemon-flavored antipyretic and 200 mg of ibuprofen, because luckily I had brought some antipyretics with me.

Dominic prepared hot water for me. Jelena’s mother was also worried about me and said that Jelena was going to the hospital tomorrow, so if I didn’t feel well, I could go to the hospital. So I decide to go to the hospital. I checked and it costs 12,000 yen for the first visit, but according to Jelena, it is not that much, but 25 euros.

She told me that the French nationals are supposed to be refunded afterwards, but since I am a foreigner, I am not. But if the price is that low, I’m willing to go.

From then on, I took some antipyretics, but my head wasn’t moving very well. Dominique gives me some apple jam and marmalade that Dominique’s brother made, but I don’t want to eat it, so I decide to have it with butter and a baguette.

Butter is really good, by the way. We also have our customary coffee, and breakfast is over. A little later, Jelena and Dominic was going to the supermarket.



Just enjoy the vast scenery

I wasn’t feeling very well, so I decided not to go, and instead enjoyed looking at the scenery outside, and with one chair, I would reply to various people and think about my goals for the year, while looking at the vast expanse of land. Then I write in my journal. Really, I think how nice it would be to come to such a wonderful place every year. After Jelena and Dominic return, I continue to write in my journal indoors. Jelena was really sleepy, or maybe she said she didn’t sleep well last night.



Her mom would turn on the light at 3 am and she couldn’t sleep from then on. So she hugs Vigor and falls asleep on the couch again. I couldn’t help but take a picture of her sleeping face, thinking how beautiful it is. I was admiring it, thinking it is so beautiful.



At the end of the year, usually more families get together and celebrate together, but in Jelena family, there are four of us, and then I joined them, so there were five of us.

So it was the best number of people for me. Not too many, not too few, the most optimal number of people. And it’s very comfortable.



We talk about college, we talk about really silly things, and we take our time

After that, Dominique, Dominique’s wife, and Jelena’s mother would prepare the raclette. During that time, we talked about college and many other things.

To be honest, I don’t remember what we talked about. But what I do remember is talking about the university and how quickly a year goes by. When I think about it this way, I realize that our lives are fleeting and surprisingly short. Besides, I will be 23 years old this year. But Jelena is only 20. She will be 21 this year. So I said, “How young!” and she said, “Kota is still young, too! Then what is my mother?” I lost my words haha.




But I am two years older than her. And yet, I really didn’t feel that way about it. I thought of her as if we were classmates. I also told her that when I was in Latvia, I was required to have a passport just to buy alcohol, and I was seen as 18 years old.
Then she told me about Jelena’s college.

She was still a senior in high school in April when the 2020 pandemic started, but she said it was much better because she didn’t have to do the biology test. And since it was remote, she only had to go to school twice a week, which was great. So, she enrolled in college, but then, because of Corona,she had to take almost all of her classes remotely, and she didn’t have any friends.

So she went to university for the first time in March 2021, and next to her was her friend Manon, and that’s when she met her. It was an amazing story. I would have been struggling to make friends, and I couldn’t believe that I would be a freshman in college and go seven months without a friend. But when I think about the fact that she did that in a normal way, I again think it’s amazing. That’s what she taught me.



For the first time in my life, I eat raclette in France!

After that, we had raclette. We had planned to eat raclette at the table, but the moment we used the outlet, the breaker seemed to trip, so we plugged the machine into an outlet in the kitchen, cooked the cheese there, brought it to the table and poured it over, and repeated. It was my first time to eat raclette.



It’s like eating a whole potato with cheese on top. Jelena taught me that. It was a true raclette.



The taste is the best I’ve ever had. The cheese for the raclette has grown on me, too, and as soon as you put the raclette on, you fill the cheese and go to bake it. Dominique and Jelena did that back and forth and did it, thank you so much. It really made for the best raclette I’ve ever tasted. It was really delicious. I even ate two potatoes.

After that, I ate a bit of cake. Today, they told me that I must have been sick because I drank too much wine yesterday, so they banned me from wine today. It’s sad, but it can’t be helped lol. Really, though, I know that’s not possible because I’ve never been sick from drinking too much wine before.



We decided to go to a nearby medieval castle!

After that, we were going to the castle. I was really tired and very sleepy when we were going to the castle, so I fell asleep the whole way. Meanwhile, Jelena was navigating on Google Maps the whole way. I was getting really sleepy, so I fell asleep on the far left side of the back seat. Jelena tapped me on the shoulder and woke me up.



When I woke up, I saw a row of very beautiful towns. The buildings were really beautiful. Beyond the town, there was a large castle. It looked like a medieval castle, and I had never seen anything like it before. It was called Benak Castle. It was really a medieval castle from around 1600 years, with a castle town where soldiers came and went. It really was a different world.



When we entered the Benac Castle, they offered me a machine that could also do Japanese audio, but I declined because I don’t want that kind of thing because it’s a pain in the ass. I prefer to absorb the story with my own eyes rather than knowing it.
We went inside the castle. I ask Jelena to take a lot of pictures and take pictures of me. She was cold, so I lent her my scarf and we went around the castle.



Really, the scenery looked like the backdrop of a scene from Pride and Prejudice, and everything was really beautiful. The places to eat, the fortress, the bathroom, the room to sleep. Everything was really recreated and was tremendously beautiful. Jelena is afraid of heights, but she was peeking down normally, so I wondered if she was really afraid of heights? I thought.



So we took pictures together at the top. Dominic took pictures of us. We all took pictures together. It was a really fun atmosphere as we toured the castle. It was a wonderful experience. It had been more than a week since I had spent time with Jelena, and we were getting used to each other and talking more and more, so it was a lot of fun.

We were touching swords and playing with shields and helmets. Our mental age is very low, so we are very comfortable with each other.



We took a lot of pictures at the castle, and then some video too.



So we circled the castle, then moved away from it and took pictures from there as well.



The history was really interesting to think that soldiers used to live here and various enemies used to come here.



Sleeping in the car

We got in the car and headed back home. Apparently, Jelena’s mother had been almost picked up by the ticket office staff at the Castle of Benac. Great. It’s so French, isn’t it?

Jelena fell asleep on the way to the car. She must have been very sleepy, because she fell asleep right away and laid her head on my shoulder. My shoulders got stiff lol. Then I decided to sleep with my head on top of Jelena’s warm head too, warming it up as I went to sleep, which made for a very deep sleep.



Exchange opinions on a variety of topics with her

After arriving home, we had dinner! We still had some time before dinner today, so Jelena was drawing something. She likes to write with a pencil and eraser and then trace it with a pen. But that was the only pen we had this time, so she had to redo a lot.

We also talked about politics. About Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen. Then we talked about how Italy has gone to the right. We also talked about Jelena’s favorite subjects and what she wants to do in the future. She is interested in international law. I have a feeling that she might work for the United Nations in the future. I imagine her wearing a scarf and giving speeches. And to be honest, I wanna work in United Nations.

I can’t help but wonder what would happen if I became the future prime minister of Japan and she became the future president of France lol. Of course, I don’t think that will happen. But I can’t help but feel that way. She told me that having an internship and the ability to go to a good master’s program. She has been setting that as her goal for this year for a long time.

Most of her friends and acquaintances are very rich, and one of her friend’s father is working in NGO. Some of them have gone to Africa, but she can’t do it because she has to pay her own expenses and buy her own airline ticket, and if she buys the ticket, she will lose her scholarship. I feel that she is also struggling a lot.




Jelena’s drawing is 30 points in my opinion lol

As the night went on, I felt like I was getting hotter and hotter. I don’t remember much, but I felt really cold and was really cold in the shower. I took some ibuprofen, but it didn’t help. So I kept getting warm by the fireplace and sweating sometimes.

Jelena had painted Dominique’s face. And the work was so funny, but it looked so much like him. It cost 50 euros lol. Then she was going to draw my face next, and I was in the same position the whole time. But she kept smiling from time to time. I was like a statue the whole time. And when I saw that she was done, it looked okay, but I couldn’t say it was me. But I kept it as a memorial. I was surprised that Dominique gave it a value of 500 euros lol.