Behind the Story

Before I close this year. Let me update my blog.

So this year I published a new novel: Jejak Hati (Gagasmedia) and 2 new stories (Je Danse Avec Le Vent & Pertanyaan) in an anthology: Kelana (Grasindo) with my fellow Ranesi Literature Competition finalists.

Pertanyaan & Je Danse Avec Le Vent, (on Kelana anthology) are two stories with one main character. It probably seems like two chapter of a novel. But it’s not. actually I was submitted other story along with ‘Pertanyaan’ to my editor. But she rejected that. So I had to write new story for the anthology. And it became ‘Je Danse Avec Le Vent’ that i wrote in 2 days.

Kelana (Grasindo, 2014)
Kelana (Grasindo, 2014)

The tittle ‘Je Danse Avec Le Vent’ I took from Indilla’s song lyric Darniere Danse.

Why French song? Well, because the setting of the story is in Jiyugaoka, Tokyo.

Yes. Tokyo. As in Japan.

First time I visited Jiyugaoka was  June 2013. My friend and I set a meeting around the station.

Crowd in front of  Jyugaoka Station
Bus Stop across Jiyugaoka Train Station

I came an hour early, so I spent the time strolling around the district.

Oh look there's Mozart Cafe
Oh look there’s Mozart Cafe. (First opened in 1981) One of many cake shop with their too-pretty-to-eat cakes in Tokyo

That experience took me by surprise because every store I walked in at Jiyugaoka was playing French song. Even Book Off (a chain bookstore for used book) here had a lot of book in French language.

I thought, okay probably it’s just a coincidence.

But I visited Jiyugaoka several times after and get to know the place more, and those French atmosphere was there.

This is a picture from the last time I went on rue Marie Claire, Jiyugaoka in January 2014.

2014 Jan 25th  at Rue Marie Claire
Rue Marie Claire, Jyugaoka on January 2014

Yup, rue Marie Claire, or Marie Claire Street, or Japanese called Marie Claire Dori.

Japanese peep doesn’t actually used to name their street.

In mailing address for example, they only use block number and building name. But for a shopping district they usually named them dori / street / rue / strasse, depends on where they took the inspiration as the name for the district. (I myself lived 10 meters from shopping street called Bremen Strasse. If you think Strasse is very Germany. Yes German was where they took the inspiration. They had German beer festival when I was there)

Talking about Bremen Strasse, I haven’t really made this place as a setting for any of my story yet. But I wrote half of ‘Pertanyaan’ on this little warm café named ‘Precious Coffee Moment’ at Bremen Strasse.

Precious Cafe Moment, Bremen Street, Kawasaki one night in January 2014
Precious Coffee Moment, Bremen Street, Kawasaki one night in January 2014

They had the best coffee i ever tasted. yet. (especially if you compare them to starbucks. Duh! )

Can you spot the café on this Bremen Street  picture?

Bremen Strasse, Kawasaki, Summer morning 2013
Bremen Strasse, Kawasaki, Summer morning 2013

(ps. I will write about ‘Jejak Hati’ in another post)


3 thoughts on “Behind the Story

  1. It is great when you come upon something unexpected like this (I certainly had no idea there were rues and strasses in Japan), and it does often start to trigger an idea for a story. That’s always fun.

  2. Thanks Anthony! Nice to hear my post inspired you to write. Is this mean it’s a good thing I only blogs twice in a year? 🙂 Btw. I visited your Blog, couldn’t leave a comment there, but happy Blogeversary to you. And Happy New Year!

  3. No, I’m definitely _not_ saying you should only blog twice a year. 🙂

    I think you’re registered on my blog. If so, you should be able to enter your email address and retrieve your password pretty easily.

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