A Year in an Instant


Day 29

Instant photo for Day 29 of “A Year in an Instant” by Nuno Coelho Santos


Lunches are quiet, peaceful and lonely.


I haven’t seen you for over a year. Your dark hair is longer. Your tanned skin is still flawless and you don’t look a day older. I wish you were here, I wish you didn’t have to go and I wish I didn’t shut you out. I wonder how you’re doing, what stories you have to share. After we broke up I met an imaginary version of myself. He was like me in every regard, just not afraid of commitment. You two married in the fall.

Day 28

Instant photo for Day 28 of “A Year in an Instant” by Nuno Coelho Santos


This is a photo outside of my apartment in Sangenjaya. My home for the foreseeable future.


I haven’t seen Davide for more than 2 years. He’s my mentor, my Yoda. The one who made me take web development seriously after feeling like it was nothing but a distraction. What makes me take Davide, his opinions, suggestions and challenges so seriously is that he shares them so candidly. We see eye to eye. And I wish I could help him. But I only have to learn from him.

We met tonight for dinner at a yakiniku restaurant in Shibuya. Yakiniku is a japanese-style barbecue, served at dedicated establishments, where you grill your own small portions of vegetables, seafood and meat.

Davide has lived in Japan before. In his early teens he moved to Tokyo and worked at a restaurant for three months. He was already doing web development back then, so his adventure was a break, a lot like mine, from everything. I feel like he knows more of the challenges I am facing and I will face than he is willing to tell me.

I leave after dinner. It’s a shame to depart. These conversations should not end until the first train. But I told her I would meet her tonight.

Day 27

Instant photo for Day 27 of “A Year in an Instant” by Nuno Coelho Santos


It’s my first day staying in my new apartment. Momentary serenity. Sitting in the corner of the room with the light shining through the windows and my suitcase open on the floor. Soon, they will find me. My problems always do.

Day 26

Instant photo for Day 26 of “A Year in an Instant” by Nuno Coelho Santos


Where had I seen her before? Blonde hair, blue eyes, slim shape. I sit at the table where all the 3 of us wear black. I say hello to her friend, to her. Her friend’s name is Lim, her’s Elin. They are both Swedish so we talk about crayfish and Ikea, in what must have been 15 minutes of small talk. Where had I seen her before?

A few weeks ago she sat next to me when I visited the Oak House office. This was when I was looking for a flat. That day we talked briefly. What a coincidence to see her here. Surrounded by my ex-coworkers. Her friend is one of my best-friend’s ex-girlfriend’s friend. Or they met once, follow each other on Instagram—I’m not sure.

“You’ve had sex with her!?” Álvaro asked when I told him this. Loudly and within everyone’s ear range. I said no. What an idiot. I’ll miss him. 20 minutes later Lim and Elin had to leave to another party.


We sang Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen at the karaoke. It was a magical, bonding moment.

This is not my party, but I share some hosting responsibility with my brother Álvaro. One of our guests was getting too intimate with another guest. I talk to her. She said he tried to kiss her despite her having a boyfriend.


We go to the club, I kiss her for the first time.

This photo has already been claimed

Day 25

Instant photo for Day 25 of “A Year in an Instant” by Nuno Coelho Santos


Nad and Kate are visiting Tokyo this week, so obviously they knew all the must-see places in town. We followed them. We had dinner. Our task was to show them around Golden Gai.

Here we are again. One of the many filthy corners of Shinjuku, the filthiest part of Tokyo. These narrow alleyways are covered by signs and doors you can peek through to see small groups of people drinking. These doors used to be for rooms of prostitution. Now they became bars as big as a king size bed with space for no more than 3 or 4 slim guests where a single bartender provides his or hers speciality spirits.

Kevin takes us to the Waterfall. This could be a scene in the Casper Noé film Enter the Void. The Waterfall is a bar with a loft, probably one of the most spacious in the block. We get drinks, pass them around, we put our own music on, but we leave soon after because there are too many other bars to pay visit to.

The photo above was taken from the window of the bar Waterfall in Golden Gai.

Day 24

Instant photo for Day 24 of “A Year in an Instant” by Nuno Coelho Santos


I rarely see people eating or drinking in the street. Walking and eating never happens. Drinking is usually done only by the vending machine. And eating usually in a park. But having a tuna mayo onigiri on one hand, a Calpis on the other and making my morning walk to the station is the favourite part of my routine.

I believe Calpis, a sweet white-coloured soft drink widely available in Japan, never made it to western civilisation due to it’s name sounding a lot like cow piss.


I’m currently reading Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman.

The photo above was taken on my morning walk to Ikebukuro station where I get the express train to Shibuya.

Day 23

Instant photo for Day 23 of “A Year in an Instant” by Nuno Coelho Santos


I want to work until later. Harder. Longer. Because all these things I dream of can’t stay just that way.

This is a photo taken inside of the Creative Lounge MOV in Shibuya, the space where I work from, after they start closing the place. It’s the first time I’ve seen it this dark and empty.