About Me

My photo

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.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Who walks around with a lemon?

The magic bar I work in is relocating, so only one of our two magic bars is open. The staff of two magic bars are all in that magic bar, so there is little need for me to help out there (though since also the customers of both magic bars end up in only one place, it is more busy than normal) and also almost no space for me to stand, haha. I take this opportunity to take some time off and do other things. Yesterday I went to our big fireworks festival.


On my way home, I stopped by our open magic bar to see what is happening. They turned out to be quite busy, and there was no free seat for me, so my boss asked me to come stand inside the bar counter (and work) instead.


While I was away watching fireworks, a pair of customers I have performed for in our other magic bar showed up, and one of them had found my explanation of my name very funny. "Jonas" is not a name that Japanese people can relate to as a name. Japanese names are completely different, and the Western names they are familiar with here ("John", "Mike", etc.) do not include Jonas. So I usually explain it like "Younasu [what my name sounds like in Japanese], with the 'you' from Hokuyou Ginko [North Pacific Bank, a bank here in Japan] and the 'nasu' from the vegetable 'nasu' [eggplant]". Japanese people often explain what kanji they write their names with in this way, since there are several ways to "spell" the same name in Japanese.


It is of course strange to spell out a Western name with kanji, and my choice of examples is also strange; you would not normally exemplify with the name of bank but with some mundane word. The customer that came yesterday, after hearing my explanation, now says "Ah, this reminds me of that weird magician" every time she walks past a North Pacific Bank office. They had been talking about this quite a lot with the other magicians before I showed up, and they went nuts when I entered the bar. It turned out that she even had a present for me!


I very very rarely get presents from our customers (or anyone else, for that matter), so I was quite happy. I received a lemon. Why would someone walk around with a lemon in their purse? I do not know. But I ended up walking home with a lemon in my yukata sleeve on my way home.


Monday, July 22, 2013

Ridiculously big changing room

Last Friday I did a magic show in a hotel. There was a party for some top people of a big company, they were changing the local boss or something, and I was asked to do magic for them during their dinner. I was asked to show up before 19:30 for some pre-show preparations, and later it turned out that they wanted the actual magic show to start at 20:50... This was a longer wait than I had expected, but they did give me a very nice waiting room. I had a great view (the magic show was done on the first floor but for unknown reasons I got a changing room on the 12th floor!), and the room was larger than my whole apartment... by a lot. I also got a can of sweets.

Everyone seemed happy about the magic, and people laughed a lot.



Hanatare Nacs magicians gather

When I stopped by the magic prop shop here in Sapporo, I ran into several other magicians that I know. The whole day turned into a series of strange happenings.


When I entered the shop, three magicians were searching the store for "boxes". Especially the owner was running around looking everywhere for these "boxes". I sat down on a chair in the middle to wait for whatever was going to finish, but they never seemed to find whatever it was that they were looking for. The owner kept saying he was sure these "boxes" were around somewhere and one of the customers were saying that since she even called before and asked if he had boxes available, she was disappointed that there were none.


After this going on for a while, I asked: "You are not looking for these boxes, right?" and held up a small plastic box that is built so it is hard to figure out how to open it. There was a big cardboard box full of these boxes right next to the chair I was sitting on, in the middle of the shop. This was indeed, what they had been looking for for quite some time...


One of the magicians left, and another magician I know showed up. Then they asked if I wanted to tag along to a soup curry place and have dinner. Since all four of us were on the same TV show doing magic, I was more or less forced to go along, haha.


Magician looking like a tourist, and a tourist.

On the way there, we ran into a group of tourists carrying huge bags of souvenirs, so one in our groups was almost mistaken for a tourist since he was lugging around a similar bag.


At the restaurant, two more magical people joined us. The master of the place also hang out with us a lot, and kept giving us free stuff (like desserts). Many strange things happened, like some suddenly producing and enormous flag. There was also some magic being performed out on the street during smoking breaks.


The restaurant was full of old sewing machines and other antiques. The most interesting thing was a hand pumped street organ that was programmed with ten different tunes. I got to try to play it, which was fun and loud.


Free desserts!
A huge flag suddenly appeared out of nowhere.

Street magic

Antique street organ!

The organ has different programmed songs that you can switch between!

A variety of very spicy sauces.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

In-Flight Magic?

When I was flying from Narita to Frankfurt (we had to go from Sapporo to Dagstuhl in Germany to do some computer science work), the PET-bottle of water they gave me opened up without the seal of the cap breaking. Without me doing anything. It was tempting to do a "signed card in unopened PET-bottle" in the plane, but since everyone else in the plane was sleeping it felt like a waste of a perfectly good playing cards so I did nothing :-)