Some impressions from last year! Glad to have lived the best moments by the side of the dearest people.



Language Teacher

Finding the right language teacher can be quite a challenge. Last year, after about 6 months in Japan I realized my self-study wasn’t enough so I started to look for a Japanese language who could give me private lessons.

I needed someone who would not just explain to me how the language works, but also tune me up with its nuances and possibilities. It took me some time to find the right one, I asked my friends and colleagues, posted on social media and considered video call lessons.

During this quest, almost every Sunday I went to a café to study for a while. One late afternoon as I entered and was about to sit at a table I saw a man waving at me. Strange? No, shocking! Honestly, till then I haven’t witnessed much interaction between strangers in Japan. So I thought it must have been a mistake, probably he waved at someone else. Without thinking much, I went on about my business and immersed into study.

Later on I’ve heard a conversation between a man and a woman about finding English teacher. I looked up and realized it was the same waving man. It turns out that for some time he was coming to this café as he has seen some foreigners around. In his words, foreigners actually meant English teachers. Ah that’s why he waved at me too: a foreigner and assumingly an English teacher.

All judgements apart, his way of looking for a language teacher was quite amusing. I thought maybe I was losing my time: instead of going about all the trouble, I could just start asking strangers on the street?

After some time and options which didn’t seem right to me, a friend recommended me a language teacher.

It’s been now a year since I’ve been having lessons with Ayumi: she is not only a great professional, but fun and motivational.



Jane Eyre, Adele’s well admired caretaker and teacher

Welcome December

Ho there December.
Snow, stars, magic and sleep (or rather lack of it). I read Epilogue of “The Tempest” and liked it so much I just knew I had to read the full play. It’s the first time I’m reading Shakespeare (rhymes with fear) in original language, footnotes be blessed.

Last month has been really exhausting, cannot wait for NY break.

December be kind.

I wish everyone an excellent last month of 2017!



Frost Moon

You say the moon is oh so beautiful

Have you ever seen it

Last month, almost by an accident, I have noticed that the full moon was different, its luminous glow was more intense and it even seemed closer.

I wondered whether there was some special phenomenon on that day and discovered that each full moon is different. the way we see it from our planet depends on many conditions. Its names vary as well. There may be Wolf Moon, Snow Moon, Worm Moon, Pink Moon…

Last November’s Moon may be cold Frost Moon.

In Japanese there are also old names for months. Curiously,, November is also called 霜月Shimotsuki or Frost Month.

It is inpsiring to look up into the sky sometimes and discover something new.


Frost Moon as seen last November.

函館 いいか? イカ !

I have finally made it to the city at the southern tip of Hokkaido: Hakodate! It’s a harbour city with an interesting history and influence from overseas.


Also, the city boasts of its variety of  海鮮丼 kaisendon as well as イカ ika, squid!  I guess if you ask a passer-by on the street whether they happen to have a squid in their bag, the answer will definitely be yes!


My Your Wife: An Essay About Love, Language & Magic Of Misinterpretation

My Your Wife: An Essay About Love, Language & Magic Of Misinterpretation

Many thanks to ILY Magazine for sharing my story!

This is quite a honest piece written on subjects such as love, language and imagination. It revolves around society as well. If there is any allusion to preconceptions or stereotypes, it is to lead to nothing but their dissolution. 
Please read complete story here:

On a daily basis we create relationships with the people and places around us. Sometimes we happen to know a person through another person.  (…)

The way we imagine this person is based upon the narrative by another person and our own judgment. Not a minimum of direct contact. It’s like a character from a book. I find it one of the most fascinating things. Our perception is still about another human being, yet in many ways it’s also about us. (…)

Upon the first impression, she seems rather cold or even indifferent. Her expression remains rather serious and there is a distant look in her eyes. Yet, when she smiles her eyes break into thousand bright stars. In fact, when one comes into her presence, they are embraced by warmth. There is something both motherly and childish in this warmth: she’s protective, yet playful. It’s difficult to leave her presence. And it’s not just an appearance, this very warmth is stark naked honest.



Only if she could, she would take care of everyone and everything in this world. Even, when she breaks, she’s grateful to love and be loved so much she even feels guilty. She thinks this love is a blessing.

She could be that young housewife I saw at the supermarket, quietly going about her shopping business or that elegant lady working part time in a florist shop.

In my imagination, my colleague’s wife seemed to be an image of love and devotion. I didn’t know her, yet I admired her deeply.

Words by Mar’yana Kovalchuk, Illustration by Sam Liacos


World Atlas: a reflection

When I was a child I used to spend hours looking inside this book with a blue cover called World Atlas.  I thought it was the most fascinating thing in the house. There were many things I didn’t know and I wanted to learn.

Looking at my life now and given the fact it has been taking me on a ride across different countries, makes me think that nothing has much changed. There are many things I don’t know either and I still want to learn.

More and more I am surprised by all the differences in human beings, our social and cultural spectrum as well as uniqueness of each soul. And even more I am surprised by our similarities.

I have also realized that it is very easy to judge, blame and condemn.  The opposite is the hardest thing. Many times I am disappointed in others as well as in myself. Still the moments of bliss and mutual understanding outrun those.

For many, life is a power game, concerning winning or losing. Than if so, there is still a long way to travel. Yet, I believe if one is understanding and kind, one will never lose.


Interesting information about this map.