I don't know how many people start their new jobs by attending a 3-day conference where the VP of the company actually put up a 1-page powerpoint slide with my name in big fonts welcoming me as a new addition to 'the family'. So there I was standing up to the applause of some 100 plus sales and logistics delegates from all over the world, waving my hands at them as if I'm Miss Universe. After which I have to attend a company gala dinner on the same night so I can make a lot of new friends. Gotta admit, these guys do it in style, and do it well. Oh, and I should be so proud of myself for rushing home, get showered, changed and dolled up all accomplished within 30 mins. But it's also in instances like these that I realise 1) I don't have too many dresses to wear, 2) I need more glamourous accessories, ....and most importantly, despite my fervent shoe buying habits, I actually do not have a pair of glam high heeled blinky blink shoes. And suddenly I recall ah V's new red Loboutins. Guess now I have reason to buy another pair of shoes. Heehee.
Japan is a great place to be vacationing. Armed with only flight tickets, hotel, and a JR rail pass plus a little spirit of adventure is all one needs. I must say I am most pleased with myself on the choice of accomodation; Swissotel Nankai Osaka could not have been a better choice. Direct express train access to airport, subway and right smack next to Dontonbori and shopping and nightlife districts. Does not hurt that Takashimaya is next door either. Random highlights of my 8 day journey:
Namba station (or any major train station for that matter) - they could film the next "Survivor: Japan rail station" here. Serious underground city with amazing complex mass of passageways one could get brain tumour almost trying to navigate it.
Takashimaya - err, for mature aunties only. Not quite fashionable like the one we have here. But fun experience grabbing 50% off last-minute bento box specials pitting our kiasu-ness with all the other oba-sans.
Cofes - afternoon teas are serious business here. No matter where, the afternoon coffee and cake sets are amazing. Slurp. Why would Starbucks think they could survive here?
Kobe beef - Navigating 2hours in train ride and walks to date this melt in your mouth cow meat. As C declared to the chef when he requested for the Wagyu dinner course (it was lunch time), he didn't travel all this way just to eat ordinary lunch time beef. I of course, had to renounce my vegetarian vows for the time being.
Movies - wahlaueh, $20 for a movie ticket. It makes GV gold class here a good bargain in comparison.
Vending machines - are everywhere. But how come every drink costs nearly SGD 2???? I start to miss the provision shops here in SG.
Himeji castle - a bit of Amazing Race style fun. We arrived at the station 20 mins before castle closing time. Pit Stop - either run 1km to the castle, or rent a bicycle at the bicycle park and cycle our way there. We chose cycle. Amidst nearly crashing into hordes of people, trees and couple of poles (me of course), and yelling at the entrance gatekeeper to "WAIT!!!!!!!!!" and with C leaping over the fence ala Mission Impossible style, we did make it of course. But damn in my past life I better not be a princess or maidservant at the castle. Those castle steps are not made for modern people.
Nara - Todaji temple and the giant 14m tall buddha inside is fantastic. Err, was temple built first or buddha first? Nara deer park is amazing. Hundreds of deers roaming freely amongst humans. There are snob deers, bambi deers, old deers, horny deers, zen deers and hungry deers. Humans come in hordes to feed them food, there's no need for park keepers to even feed them.
Universal studios - one can actually buy an Express pass (i.e jump queue) pass for $50 to get first in line for any rides. Gotta admit, C was right on this one. Would have been more fun if everything in the park weren't in Japanese. Best part? The studio picture we took. Gotta post it up later.
Food - curry rice, sushi, sashimi, tonkatsu, soba, omu rice, okonomiyaki, kobe beef/ teppanyaki, bento boxes. We ate it all. Food is amazing. Not cheap, but it's great. Gotta say McDonald's and Starbucks is consistent with standards in Singapore and was the only 2 places we could comfortably order without fumbling.
Fashion - Jap girls are really pretty. Fashion is a unique style (woohoo, I put my new boots to great use). Everyone there had huge fluttery dolly mascara'd eyes with sexy japanese curled hair and fair fair skin. Skirts were short short short but strangely enough no cleavage is seen anywhere. My unique fashion sense would be very happy in Japan.
Toys - figurine toys are big business here. These girl anime figurines are probably the fantasy expression of all these pervy japanese men. All come with big DD boobs, cleavage popping attires, tiny waist and pert bottoms and very suggestive poses. Price of possession? $300 and above. Err, maybe they should just invest in some porn magazines.....
Shopping - ok ok my friends would be aghast here. My total acquisition is only 1 pair of glasses, 1 belt, 1 box of sweets and 1 bag. Serious underspending. I think, better to shop in HK. hahah.
Chubby Hubby is my all time fav blog. I love food, I love eating, I don't eat much but i still love food. One of the hardest part of being a vegetarian is missing out on cooking beautiful meat infused dishes for my always veryhappytoeat bf (C is also capital for CARNIVORE). Chubby's latest blog on his new Dream Kitchen, is the blog that takes the cake. I am jealous, green with envy right down to the dirt clogged pores of my toenails and have moss growing out of my ears. I would plead, beg and grovel for THAT kitchen. My heart is palpitating my palms are sweaty, I feel as if I have just seen a glimpse of GOD. If I had my own apartment, half would be a walk-in wardrobe, the other half would be a kitchen. And if I had friends like Chubby's who makes such beautiful dinners, I'd surely have died and gone to food heaven.
ok ok but at least I have a good friend who does have a rather superbly equipped kitchen, which we love to use. And some day the wagyu beef and white truffle oil will come.
I'm unemployed and loving it. Well actually I love the fact that I am unemployed and will still get a nice paycheck at the end of this month. These things don't happen often but when it does, better love every moment of it. I wake up, nice breakfast, go to a good yoga class with all the other non-working tai tais, a lovely quiet dimsum lunch, shopping etc. This is the life. Orchard road is quiet since it's Monday. Then I realise as everyone else is busy working, there are still a lot of people out in the streets not (working) and enjoying their lives. I could go to the spa, facial, do my hair, shop, drink tea with my friends. This is THE life. Vegging out is just great. Rot rot and rot.
I've been 99% vegetarian since June, and I'm proud of it. Not as difficult as one thinks and there's plenty of food for the vegetarian, really. Except today which the colleagues had a going-away party for me, and at my request (thanks to C's corny suggestion) that we go to MacDonald's for a farewell Happy Meal, toy included. See, Happy Meal apparently only comes in nuggets, cheeseburger and chicken fillet. Huh. Ok so I break my vow of meatless celibacy and chomp down a cheeseburger. Hmm, not bad. Of course tonight at yoga I suddenly find my arse really heavy, and had difficulty jumping around or balancing upside down as I usually can. Must be the cheeseburger. OM yes I have sinned.
Since I already sinned, and have bad processed fat swimming around my big arse, I headed off to Macdonald's to get a DOUBLE cheeseburger. That makes 3 beef patties and cheese today. I have never eaten so much MacD's in a day. Well, that's another way of looking at maximum (sin) utility.