Thursday, January 29, 2009

Yokoso Japan!

On 21st, Kevin, Ziv and I boarded the SQ A380 and off we endeavor on a 1-week Tokyo exploration.

There is a mixture feeling when we bring Ziv along.

We know that he needs to be with us. But at the same time, we know that it is IMPOSSIBLE to shop with this little terror. In fact, its true.

Kevin didn’t manage to shop wholeheartedly since most of the time he was clutching Ziv in his arms, awake and asleep. It’s a pain to see Kevin making such sacrifices; I feel remorseful to do shop-hopping with shopping bags on hands instead of Ziv in my arms.

So anyway, I told myself, no more bringing Ziv to holiday unless he is much much older.

Back to Japan.

I simply love this country.

First day arrival at the airport, we breathe out mist when we talked.

The People

The people are very disciplined and polite. The toilets are clean. The Japanese ladies looked eyeful and dazzling especially with extravagant makeup! I can safely conclude that 75% of the Japanese ladies are a hundred times better-looking than Singaporeans. Its sad, but the truth is always cruel. Having said that, I too, am a Singaporean. To console myself and many others, well, perhaps thank to the advancement of cosmetic surgery enhancement or the miracle of cosmetic (makeup). Most of the Japanese ladies looked like they come straight out from the romantic comics or TV.

Dazzling eyes, lushly long lashes, hairs with perfect curls, long lucious legs, slender body and the killer voice that nabs every man’s hearts and souls, welcome to Japan.

Not to mention the guys, even female like me is tempted to take pictures of them! But not take pictures with them.

The Subways and Train Stations

I believed the reason behind those slender body frames can be due to their subway and train routes. To be frank, taking a train around Tokyo is almost mission-impossible if one can't read Japanese or Chinese. Even the locals have to literally stare at the subway and train map long enough to figure out which route to take to reach the destination in a shorter time, with minimum transfer and at the cheapest rate.

After the 7day training in Tokyo, I can very well say that I am trained. Not a guru yet, but definitely not a “gun-do”.

There are simply too many subway lines, jr lines and whatnot, and the transfer can mean a 5-10 min walk from transfer platform A to B. And even though alighting at the right station, will also mean having to walk 5-10 minutes to reach the right exit.

Especially Shinjuku area where we stayed, it has like more than 10 exits to different places! The train stations are like a concrete maze. Each time after we arrived at our station, we have to walked the tunnel for at least 10 minutes (without Ziv stopping to walk on his own) to reach our hotel. And most of the time we reached our hotel weary, panting and our feet cramped to the max!

Perhaps due to that, after enjoying all the good food in Japan, I did not put on a single pound.

The Food

I am addicted to Japanese cuisine. On the plane, I briefly suggested to Kevin my “must eat” list. 1. Sushi
2. Ramen
3. Curry Rice
4. Grilled food
5. Bento
6. Crepes
7. Gyoza
10. Tempura and other fried stuff
11. Pastries

I achieved them all! Some may not know that apart from their traditional and staple food for all, sushi, the best pastries that I have tasted comes from Japan. Every where I go, there are places selling cakes, chocolates (just like Canele here) and lots of assorted, exquisite desserts. Especially during this period it is near to Valentine’s Day, lots of shopping centers are currently promoting their chocolates and sweet treats.

Japan is the heaven for pastries lovers. Even Ziv knows what is best, he ate a slice of chocolate cake almost everyday! Throughout the 7 days, we had all sort of desserts ranging from mouth watering cakes to the sinful crepes with oozing whipped cream and chocolate fudge (which I ate for 2 days consecutively). I wish I have more on my last day there!

The next best thing apart from pastries will definitely be the bento boxes. Every box is exquisitely designed and it comes with a hefty price tag. Sometimes, to avoid dinner crowd, and prevent Ziv from disturbing our dinner session, we would go to the major departmental stores like Takashimaya and Isetan to pack dinner back.

Believe it or not, the total bill for all those bento boxes are far more expensive when we eat at the restaurants. A typical meal can cost around $80. Well, maybe Kevin and I are extremely big eater, and yes, perhaps we are somewhat overboard.

Fashion in Japan

For many people, the mention of Japanese conjure up images of kimono-clad ladies, or oddly dressed in Coldplay costumes (which I never fathom what is their problem?), well, in Tokyo, Japanese ladies, be it working class or students sauntering down the streets confidently making their very own fashion statement. Dyed tresses, black stockings, big sun glasses, branded bags, Tokyo is just like a fashion parade whereby ladies trot on the “fashion runway”. Every inch of these Japanese women scream “trendy!” Despite of the cold weather (4 Degree Celsius), they braved the wintriness with just raiment that barely cover 50% of their bodies, baring their long legs wearing just and only minis and at least 4-inch heels or knee-length boots.

The good thing about Japan is, despite having winter season now, there is never lack of summer clothes in the shopping mall. The women simply refused to give up their summer wardrobe and usually, a furry jackets and knee length boots will do the trick to keep them warm.

And guess what, to adapt to the environment and blend in just like every other ladies on street, so that I won’t look like a country pumpkin which I seriously refused to be one, I wear the same way they did. Indeed, it was cold initially, however, after much walking around the shops, I did not feel the chillness and was very well adapting to the weather.

Spending in Japan

Everything cost a bomb. Japan is nothing close from China and Taiwan. Don’t expect any cheap bargain or cheap steal. It never happens on the land of the Rising Sun. From accessories to jeans, nothing comes cheap. Jeans from the Shibuya 109 can easily cost about close up to S$200!

For myself, throughout the trip I bought lots of stockings, hair accessories, sun glasses, winter wear, a pair of boots, a pair of shoes, lots of Hello Kitty accessories and a dress and of course, not forgetting the only-available-in-Japan Burberrys Blue Label wallet. Oh, and also almost the entire product range from Fancl. Exaggerating, I know.

Kevin bought himself a Burberrys Black Label bag (Black for men, Blue for women) which cost easily all my spending excluding my wallet. Apart from that he bought himself a pair of super cute Addidas sports shoes only available in Japan.

Ziv had his Disneyland toy train that cost a jaw dropping 7700yen that translates to about S$120, and only train with irritating train announcement and track. He too, being the son of the vain Daddy bagged 2 pairs of sports shoes, Nike and Addidas respectively.

Anyway, I have no regret that we changed our itinerary from Europe to Japan. It is a country worth going. And I plan to go there again during Sept, but it will only be with Kevin.

Some of the pictures taken:

Every child's dream place...

I went to the temple and prayed for a lot. It was a good lot. (is it called a lot?)

After a day outside, it always feels good to be back to hotel.

Banana is freaking expensive.

Free photography anyone?

Talking about food...

It was -4 deg at Mt Fuji, which explains the presence of the snow. What a sight.

Thanks to another annon best photographer in the whole wide world. I have to edit this picture because he snapped his bloody construction gloves into the picture. Can you believe it? Bloody construction gloves at Mt Fuji. Get that man a pair of proper gloves, someone! *&)*&)&%&^#@$%^

Why is Ziv so happy? (Answer after a few other pictures)

Snow boy. Ziv is not afraid of cold.

This is why he is smiling...

Inspiration to write....
Food Food Food!!!!

Some other random pictures.


Sunday, January 11, 2009

Family Vacation

Yes! After much heated debate over to go to Japan or Europe with my parents, everything is finally fixed!

We are going to Japan! Although our intial plan was spoiled by my parents, but I understand where they are coming from. Indeed, flight to Europe will be taxing for Ziv and they understand that we are trying to compromise that by changing our destination to Japan.

It will be the first time that Ziv is traveling on plane and our first time on the A380.

A few more days to fly. Ciao!!


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

First Birthday Present

Almost 1 mth away from my birthday.

I got a surprise this evening.

Limited Ed Chanel Melrose Jumbo from the States that sold out world wide.

Welcome to the big family!


Thanks to dearest Kev for the wonderful gift to kickstart 2009!

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Yr 2009 Resolution

My 2008 Resolution Review
1. Shop less, Spend less. – This resolution is expected to fail from the day I declare this.
2. Stop taking cab. – Yes, for the first part of 2008, Kevin drove me to and fro work, and at the second part of this year, I got myself a CAR!
3. Get the Chloe padlock bag. – Kevin bought it for me as my birthday present. And I got the coveted Chanel from Macau trip.
4. Earn more money. – Yes!!! After 3 job hop in a year, I finally get what I want!
5. Pole dancing class. – Failed!!
6. Spend more time with Coby. – Failed!!
7. More couple time. – We certainly do. Talking about common hobby, yes, still shopping, but it has gone up to another level, which is car accessories shopping.
8. Holiday – Bintan with Ziv and Macau with Kevin.

Alrighty, my New Year resolution for year 2009 is perpetually late, but hey, that is better than never, right?

Generally, I have been doing pretty well in year 2008, fulfilling almost 70% of the 2008 resolution. 2008 is a significant year for me, a turning point, may I add, after 3 job hop, I finally landed on a job which I truly enjoy (but not, sometimes) and most essentially, pay me well.

Well, many may maintained that resolutions may sound the same and seeing them as part of the holiday nostalgia, but in this New Year of Recession, the reasons driving them are different. And hopefully, I can abstain from all the enticement and don’t fall off the wagon by the very next day.

Here’s my resolution for 2009.
Came late, but better than never.

1. Have a Baby No. 2
2. Get 2 Chanel bags. (1 down, see latest blog entry)
3. Earn more money.
4. Discipline Ziv, cultivate independence in him.
5. Weight shall not exceed 43kg if not pregnant.
6. Spend more time with Kevin and Coby.

This year I have pull out the “Shop less” resolution mainly because I hope to be realistic, if it is something which I don’t think I can achieve perhaps it will be better to remove it and continue with “Earn more money”. However, I know that with plan to add on to our herd, it is always better to save more, spend less.

With the years goes by, and now, being a mother, I started to learn to appreciating the little things is about maybe not having big fancy things around.

Happy New Year to all.

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