Friday, January 30, 2009

Tune up

They didn't have all the parts. Need to go back next week. Today's cost $125.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Around noon...

My sister-in-law's father passed away. The doctors didn't expect him to last beyond Chinese new year, but he did. My sister-in-law flew back to see him, but had to return before the holiday due to high season pricing. She didn't get to see his last days.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Brazilian Pudding Pocky

Limited edition. Milky vanilla coconut. Is this "Brazilian"? Who knows. But it's good. The packaging give an impression of Hawaii. Hawaii would be pineapple... right??? Hmm... Now that you mentioned it, there has never been a pineapple Pocky... right? Seems like I've developed a liking of coconut recently. The content is separated into 2 bags of 10 sticks. $1.89 for 20 sticks is too expensive, though.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Depressing weather...

Monday, January 26, 2009

Happy Chinese New Year!

Happy Chinese New Year! It's year of the ox... Hey why isn't it "cow"? Likewise, why is it year of the "rat" instead of "mouse"??? (Thanks Sora for the cow chocolate!)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Chinese New Year eve

Ate out. Didn't expect to be able to get a table, but apparently this restaurant doesn't have enough business. Well, their food isn't bad. Let's say, it changed hand. It was a Moslem restaurant before. Now it adds to the original menu and turn into a Chinese restaurant. Sadly, seems like the old customers all left.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Internet trouble again

(Photo has nothing to do with subject.)
Yup, lost internet connection again. Apparently my 7-year-old computer can't handle the latest security measures.

And of course the vampire shows up when you least expect. 3 days early! Well, comparing to some people, 3 days isn't bad at all. But considering mine used to hit right on the same day... Something's probably wrong. (T_T) How I wanted it to hit earlier during my trip, so I won't have to go on a flight on the first or second day. But both times it managed to pick the worst days. Sigh... This totally screws up the weekend too. (T_T)

Friday, January 23, 2009

Getting worse

(Picture has nothing to do with subject.)
This is the second time my dad locked me out of the house. He didn't seem to notice I wasn't at home.

Caught dad getting up at 3:15 AM. He seemed to go on a hunt for food. I could hear plastic bags rattling. It was extremely rare that he would turn on the kitchen light. Then at 3:50 AM I noticed the lights were still on, so I went to take a look, only to find him standing in front of the water bottles... drinking water. Geeze... how long has he been standing there? I asked him what he ate. He answered "nothing". I said, you lied. Why did you lie? Because you knew you're not supposed to do that. He didn't answer, and went into the washroom. This was another unusual thing. Since the toilet is just a wall away from my mom's pillow, when my dad needs to go to washroom at night, he uses the one downstairs. And, after he was done, he flushed not just once, but twice. Yes, he needs to do that because his pee stinks more than a skunk. This double flushing would have woken my mom up for sure. Don't know if she noticed the whole ordeal. But I think my dad has crossed the point of no return. Sigh...

Thursday, January 22, 2009


First chiropractor visit after my trip. I've been ignoring my back for too long. (T_T)

Right: the pile of snow in Metrotown's parking lot that never melts. It's turn gray.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Striping paint.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Finally disassembled it without cutting the cord. Guess I wasn't thinking. Instead of pulling, all I needed to do is to push the other end in. (T_T)
Finally emptied and put away the suit cases too... But the 25kg FedEx box is still there...

Monday, January 19, 2009

Babysit (3)

Foggy! Can't see! It's been foggy for a while. Somehow I have the impression of Foggy April, not January.
Babysitting went smoothly again. The kids were behaving well. They showered on their own, and then even disappeared upstairs without saying goodnight. Hmm... (Or did they expect me to go to their room to say goodnight???)

On the other hand, thought I'd clean the toaster oven before my brother came home. Totally underestimated the layers of grim. Took 3 whole hours (plus the sinks, though). Didn't get to write any Japanese mail again... (T_T)

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Doll... help!

I wasn't paying attention and the ankle hooks went into the knees. Can't get them back out. Hey Miki! It's strung differently! Help... (T_T)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Day timer

Finally got one for 2009. Thanks Andrija for saving my computer!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Emergency clean up

Can't write any Japanese mail. Will have guest over tomorrow so I need to do an emergency clean up. Yup, my room is out of space. Not sure where I'm gonna put the extra boxes. Not to mention the huge FedEx 25kg box that came back as my mom's luggage. It's sitting on the floor in my room, containing my stuff.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Just one...

Wrote only one Japanese e-mail. Aaaargh!!!! Progress on the trip photos is painfully slow.

The dentist's office called again. They're calling every month or so to ask if I'm ready to book a cleaning appointment. Are they that desperate for business? To be honest, I don't like that new office ever since my dentist moved there. Plus, she's been having back pain. (I know because she's also my mom's ex-classmate and family friend. My mom gives her massages sometimes.) Is there any sane person in this world who would choose a dentist with back pain? So I finally got fed up enough to tell the receptionist that I've switched dentist. She was very polite, and told me the new dentist is free to contact them if he or she needs my record. Wow it's that easy? I should have said it a long time ago. Oh well.

Somehow I'm in a bad mood. Maybe it's because I didn't complete all the tasks I want during the trip. Maybe my day and night are still switched. Maybe I'm just constipated. Maybe my back has gone beyond salvage. Maybe my hair needs washing. Maybe maybe maybe...

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Babysit 2

Set alarm at 1. Need to wash my hair and be at my brother's by 3. Got there 10 minutes late. Took my netbook so I could compose desperately needed Japanese mail. Kept dosing off. 4 hours of sleep isn't enough. Drove the girls to my place for dinner. Brother took them home. Things went smoothly.

I should be tired enough to sleep early. But no, I didn't. My computer failed to connect to the wireless LAN and I haven't been able to surf. As if I need a revenge, I started organizing my trip photos, preparing them for this blog (delete duplicates, resizing and retouching etc). Of course didn't sleep until the sun rises. Sigh...

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


This was a bit shocking. By the time we got the news, my sister-in-law had already gone to Hong Kong... to see her father one last time. He's dying. I saw him once when I was there in November. He was in the hospital on the day we were supposed to visit, so we had to cancel. A few days later he managed to go home so we resumed. I can't say he looked too good. His kidneys were damaged from diabetes and he has been on dialysis for 35 years. No one believes he's hung on for this long. Recently he's got infection on his feet and this seems to affect his heart or something. There were many times that he came close but managed to come back. This time seems a bit too close. Not sure what I should say, or think.

Anyway, I'll be babysitting for a few days. Still sleeping at least 14 hours a day. Get up and it's dinner time already. It's not jet lag, I think. This must be hibernation. My day and night are still switched like before the trip. I was able to live normal hours over there. How come it's now like the trip has never happened? (T_T)

Monday, January 12, 2009

Overslept again

Aaaaargh! Is it too unreasonable to expect myself to get back to normal in 3 days? At least I got up around 7 pm and didn't miss dinner. The alarm was set to 4 pm, though. (T_T) Finally started unpacking. Clothes go to laundry, that's easy. Toys are mostly small stuff. I just need to stuff them into crevices. The craft and beading materials need sorting before filing. (Actually the toys need sorting too, but I'm kind of low in space.)

Again, still haven't e-mailed my Japanese friends... (T_T)

Sunday, January 11, 2009


OMG I totally screwed up.

Tried to take a half-hour nap on the sofa around 3:30 pm yesterday, woke up at 9 pm. Then sat down in front of the computer trying to catch up with what I've missed in the past month-and-a-half, ended up going to bed at 7 am. Next time I opened my eyes, it was 9 pm again. Didn't even wrote a single word to my Japanese friends who helped me so much during my trip. (T_T) Have to do it tonight no matter what.

After sleeping for 14 hours, my body just refuses to move. Anything beyond 7 hours is bad. This time, it's unbelievably bad...

Saturday, January 10, 2009

I'm back!

But half dead.

My luggage (2 suit cases) was about 5 kg under weight. Could have sent a 5 kg parcel instead of 10 kg. (T_T) My left shoulder is sore on the touch. Neck and back are so stiff I can't feel anything anymore. (T_T)

Things to do...
  • Phone my aunt to let her know her passport is back. (Done.)
  • Phone Andrew. (Done)
  • Phone Mandy.
  • Phone Mrs. Lau.
  • Phone Muranda.
  • Dig up stuff for my brother. (Done.)
  • E-mail my Japanese friends.
  • Check, sort, retouch photos and upload to sharing site.
  • Unpack, includes making room for the stuff I brought back.
  • Hand over $ to mom.
  • Shower and wash my hair. (Done.)
  • Sleep!!!!!

Friday, January 02, 2009


Today we visited Y in Yokohama. Miki and I managed to get on the opposite direction train and ended up in Ikebukuro. No big deal, just needed to go back. But we were late with no means to notify Y. The train station was very tricky. I thought we took JR, but couldn't find the central exit. How could that be possible? Turn out we needed to walk through another platform. But still, that wasn't the central exit. (Lesson: which escalator you take to leave the platform seems to be crucial.) Nevertheless, we exited and managed to find the JR station from street level, but it was more massive and confusing then I thought. There was a central east and central west exit. This spelled disaster. We were already late for half and hour. I didn't have Y's number, but I do have T's. So I tried to call T to ask her phone Y about our location. After waiting at the gate for a while, I felt I needed to clarify our location better. So I called T again. Those pay phones were for long distance and 100 yen only gives you a minute. Sucksssssss!!!!! My change and hope were disappearing. I got Y's number from T and was going to make one last call before giving up. Then Y found us! Oh~ thank God thank God thank God!!! (I was about to cry.)

As it's Miki's number one business, Y took us to Volks first. It was quite hidden. I found a Pinky from those clear lockers. Plus an interesting transparent polymer clay. It's more like translucent, though. Miki found some stuff to buy too but I forgot what.

Then we took the subway to have lunch at the food court of a mall(?). It was very crowed and when people were waiting for tables everywhere, you don't feel comfortable taking Pinky pictures. (T_T) After ordering, the clerk gives you a buzzer. When your order is ready, your buzzer will buzz and you can go pick up your food and return the buzzer. This system is awesome! I guess it only works in Japan. Anywhere else will have the buzzers stolen for sure.

After lunch, we continued walking to the red brick loft with yappy stores. Supposed to be a famous tourist spot but we didn't go inside. Time was tight. We walked some more to see the crashing of old and new architecture. Yokohama has been an international port since long ago, and foreigners have been bringing their culture here. It shows in the architecture. However, old buildings have been torn down to make way for city development through the years. How do you preserve old structures while building new ones? Some one had the crazy idea of "building on top of the old", so Frankenstein buildings were born. I don't thing you can see something like this anywhere else in the world.

It was starting to get dark. We headed for Y's home for dinner. I know her address from mailing but never realize it's this far away form the train station! We took a cab after the train. Yes we could have taken a bus, but it was cold and late and buses were far apart on holidays and we didn't want to waste time. (Thanks Y!)

I thought Y's sister would be around but only her mom was at home. She treated us with traditional Japanese sweets and green tea. Delicious and refreshing! Her mom made stew and salad. After eating out most of the time, this home cooked meal was oasis! It was completed with dessert and tea. Somehow I was expecting something more Japanese, haha! One strange thing was, mom didn't eat with us. Is it Japanese tradition that the mom doesn't eat with the guest at the dining table??? It felt a bit weird.

We read some of Y's books, took some pictures, and she played the violin for us. Awww~ I wanna play too! If it wasn't for the accident, I could have played very well by now! (T_T)

As trains in Japan don't run all night, we had to leave. Y ordered a cab and take us to the train station. We were hoping to visit the Ghibli Museum so she help us get tickets at the Lawson (convenience store) in front of the station. It's like Ticket Master, but Lawson is the only place you can buy Ghibli's ticket. You also need an address and cell phone number. This makes things impossible for visiting foreigners. (T_T) Luckily we had Y's help. Thanks Y~! (^_^)

When we got "home", there was a bag of stuff in front of our door. I thought it was something our next door neighbour forgot, and didn't touch it. It was not until an hour or two later when I checked mail, that I realized the bag of stuff was from S! It contained candies and key chains for me, and cookies for M, tomorrow's new year party host! Awww~ S visited us, but of course we were out. (T_T) So she dropped of the stuff to the staff. I guess the staff than left it at our door. Hmm... is it really true that Japan is this safe? Elsewhere, it would have been stolen for sure!

Thursday, January 01, 2009


OMG! It's 2009 already!!! (Well, happy new year...)

We were still very tired. Took it easy again and didn't go out until afternoon. Freezing!!!!! It's like Vancouver's winter! (But it was still many degrees above zero and no snow.) Although it was cold, most Japanese household has indoor heating. Unlike Hong Kong, it's much more comfortable. Oh, and when I was in Hong Kong (and Vancouver), I needed to use skin lotion after showering due to dryness. But not in Japan. Does this mean I'm more suitable to live over there???

The common believe is, most places are closed for new year. We might as well use this day for sight seeing. (However, it's not true. Many malls and department stores are open and selling fukubukoro, greatly discounted mystery grab bags.) Somehow we decided to go to Asakusa. M said it would be crowded, but I never expected the extend... (>_<;) Now that I look back, it was a bad idea... This was the first time I've been to a shrine on new years day. All previous trips were shopping on January 1st. We arrived at Asakusa around 3pm. Crowded like hell!!! (T_T) Cars were off limits. Police were fencing off areas and directing pedestrian traffic with yellow tape. The line moved slowly. We strategically dodged the suffocating crowd by going into stores on each side. Miki picked up small fans, umbrellas, and Japanese traditional print fabric (actually handkerchiefs) for making doll clothes. There were plenty of nifty little souvenir stuff, but my budget was saved for more useful things, like Pinkys, hehehe.

We ate agemanjyu from a popular vendor Kinryuzan near the end of the Nakamise. There were more vendor booths than Harajuku! Of course this was in front of a shrine and the real thing! Miki ate a 600 yen BBQ fish on a stick, and takoyaki. I had an ear of butter corn on a stick. There were chocolate covered bananas again, and I was tempted again, but decided to skip it again. The temperature felt like quite a bit colder than yesterday. It got so cold, my hands were frozen numb. (T_T)

Didn't know the time, probably 7 or so when we finished our "meal". It was actually very expensive eating at vendors like these. For the same price, we could have sat down in a proper restaurant instead of sitting on an outdoor bench or piece of rock in this freezing cold.

The place was still very busy but the crowd subsided and the police with yellow tape were gone. We were able to walk freely and went onto a side street. Lots of traditional-taste buildings. Nothing was opened except for places to eat. Wondered into a Diso! Ended up picking up a whole bunch of 100 yen items including household needs and instant noodles that didn't come with chopsticks. On our way to the train station, we came across yet another 100 yen store, and bought more stuff. Chopsticks (of course), craft storage boxes, junk food... etc.