Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Shopping: part II

So much to write about! Every time I think about it it depresses me and I have no idea where to start haha.

Zerefore, I shall begin with the camera.
A week after I bought it, removed memory card to import pix and after putting it back, started getting the following error message when turning it on:
"Check that there is no foreign objects inside the battery cover and close cover tightly".

After much removing and returning of battery and memory card, was still getting the error.
So I went to the camera shop and told them what was happening, and that the message would randomly come and go.
After much more removing and returning of battery and memory cardS, this time by them, they concluded that there was a defect in the camera and that they would give me a new one.

Got my new camera, put the battery and memory card in, and turned it on, et voila! Same error message lol.
So after a couple minutes in the back of the store, the woman in charge came back and told me that this is in fact not an error, just a warning message. We were so focused on the first part of the sentence, that the second part escaped our notice haha. Since this is a waterproof camera, the lid should be closed "tightly"! And if it is in fact NOT closed tightly, this message pops up when you turn it on...

Awesome thing however is that, since I had already bought and stuck the protection sticker on my new camera touch screen, I got to keep the new one, even though the "old" one had nothing wrong with it. Yay!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The MULES strikes again: part I

As I said earlier, I forgot my bank card pin code, without having used it even once...
So the procedure goes as follows:
  1. Apply to have it changed
  2. Get registered mail with the old pin code a couple days later
  3. Change pin code at ATM machine
Therefore, I started thinking of a suitable pin code that would not be easy, and as such rejected by the bank, but not too hard that I would forget it (although I was resolved to take it down this time :P).

I came up with the perfect pin code! (I'm not putting here for obvious reasons hehe)

Got the old pin code last night, and it turns out it's the "new" pin code I decided to use...


Saturday, May 15, 2010

Yum yum: part IV

Since I got my new bike, I've been doing all my trips on it. Subway transportation has been drastically reduced! Thus became apparent my huge miscalculation!
I had thought that by riding my bike instead of the subway I would save money AND work out at the same time. Although the second point proved to be spot on, the first one... not so much.
It is true I'm saving money on subway fare, however, I'm paying much much more on food :( for a while now, since I haven't been working out anymore, my appetite was partially tamed. The cage is open now! Run for your lives, or I might just eat you! Averaging 2 lunches for the past couple days, excluding breakfast (and maybe small snack after), and dinner (or two, depending on how late I stay up).

Second lunch Thursday happened when I passed next to a restaurant I knew nothing about except the name Dohton Bori. Well anyway while passing near it, my nose picked up a tasty scent. My appetite called. My body answered.

Traditional sliding doors (less traditional when they're iron and glass though haha) separated me from mah foodz! Inside, I was pleasantly surprised that it was all wooden. Took off my shoes and put them in a shoe locker, then followed the waiter to my table, which is a grill (turns out it's an Okonomiyaki place yay!).

After sitting down I went back out and did the trip again to film it :)

The entrance has a bell that rings when someone comes inside, so waiter was surprised to see ME again lol. I could see the bubble saying "Stupid tourists..." floating above his head. Also excuse the flip of the camera, didn't think that through lol.

So it is that I had my closest encounter with cooking in Japan! For 880 Yen (9$ish), you get a bowl of ingredients for the Okonomiyaki:

A bowl of ingredients for the Soba:

A small bowl of seaweed salad (very tasty btw (by the way)).
Glass (with the restaurant mascot and name lol) you can fill with juice or tea:

Ice cream (banana for me):

And so basically, you have to make your own food on the grill!
Good thing I was watching the cooks in the previous places I went to. Started with the Onomiyaki, which is basically a raw egg with cabbage and some other stuff (depending on your order). You just throw it on the grill and make it in the shape of a disk and the egg eventually sticks everything together. You then flip it (and try not to brake it...) and wait for it to cook.

Put some oil on the grill and threw in the noodles and just flipped the mix over every once in a while pretending to know what I was doing haha. Et voila!

A couple minutes later:

Salah vs lunch... round 2 victor: Salah! *cheers and claps all over the world!!*

Shopping: part I

OK so much shopping done this week!

First item on shopping cart:

Photo was taken using second item on shopping cart, my new Sony Cybershot touch screen waterproof slim camera yay!
I've had my eye on that camera for a while now, and after rafting, where I couldn't take my own photos (especially in the water hehe), I just had to go get it!
Once there, saw an unbelievable offer, for only one day, on a Nikkon camera. Most specs were better than mine, but it was bulkier, worse off with low light, and not waterproof. However, its price went down from 42,000 to... 18,000, just for that one day! WAT ZA FAK!?
Told some friends about it and I think 2 ended up buying it lol.

Last but definitely not least:

MUGIWARA KAIZOKU! むぎわらかいぞく!One Piece yay!
If you don't know what that is, then you suck hehe. If you do, then my good friend Michal showed me this shop where you can bring out the geek in you :) they have all that is related to manga! Toys, figurines, cosplay costumes, DVDs, comics, the whole works!
The shirt however is from the clothes shop on the floor above. They also have many others, but unfortunately no Fullmetal Alchemist :(

Speaking of the geek in us, kinda took a wrong turn somewhere in the convenience store when looking for the camera section and ended up at:

Lol annoying ass character but still cool usher to the DVD section imo!

Right inside, there was an old school section:

Behind the glass, some all-time favorite series on DVDs!
The original Star Trek:

MacGyver lol:

The original Mission Impossible!


And we're back! Dina がんばって!OK had to begin with that.

So since it's been a while and I have no idea where to start, so I'll start with rafting last Sunday!

It all started at 9:30 AM in the huge train/subway/convenience store building I've spoken about more than once, where I met Aiman (Libya), Barbora (Slovakia), Dasha (Russia), Julien (France), Ted (Mars), Vala (Russia) and we took a minivan towards... geh need to get the brochure forgot the name... NISEKO! Muahaha my memory never fails! Or rather since I KNOW that it will, I've come up with many methods to get around that fact, like for example:

Taking a photo of the subway entrance in front of which I parked my bike... just in case ;)

As always I sat in front to chat with the driver, but I hadn't thought about the fact that I can't really speak Japanese lol. Turns out he speaks little English though, and he works as a fisherman half the year, when the rivers aren't freezing, and different things the other half. Thanked him for contributing to my healthy diet of sashimi/sushi since I got here :D

Last Sunday was the last day of ski, still plenty of snow as you can see.

Coolest part of the drive:

That was a bridge, that went into this half-tunnel thing (to protect from avalanches I guess). Striking resemblance to that Need for Speed 2 track! Which reminds me of Niz rest his soul, he always used to kick my ass on that track :(

Finally arrived at our destination and were greeted by the evil puppy with plans to take over the world with his hypnotic powers.

20 seconds later, we had to hold this strange woman back. She was trying to scratch out the eyes of a poor unfortunate smaller man while he pleaded: "I'm sorry the dogu tolde me to grabu youro assu!" OK maybe that didn't happen. Donno why I just had the urge to write that, felt like a voice in my head compelled me to do it...

Moving on, we put on the wet suits, emptied extra air (if you have lots of air inside and fall into the water, the air might all go to your legs thus making you float legs up lol), and went outside to take the bus.

The guy with long hair was our guide. The other team of 7 Japanese girls had Spider-man for their guide... But ours was cooler! We called him Spider-man coz he was showing off (we assumed?) and hanging down from the bars on the bus' roof. Strange man with red hair...

Once in the water, the craziness began (again I blame the evil puppy!). Our guide miscalculated and started to hype us up by yelling: "HIGH FIVE" to which we would high five with our oars and scream while screaming it with him. I think he started regretting doing so the 38th time we did it haha. We did some rafting between jumping in the water, pushing each other in the water, and splashing the other boat full of Japanese girls every chance we got! Fun stuff.
(photos are on my FB so can't be bothered to upload them again here)

After finishing, the bus was waiting for us with hot tea. Then we were back at the puppy's base of operations, where we changed back into our clothes and went to the hot springs! Not sure what type of hot spring it was, but it wasn't Sulphuric which smells bad so that's cool. Hot spring with a cold 750ml beer? Yes please... No photos inside for obvious reasons ;) sorry ladies.

Video of a small drop we did yay! Unfortunately we had to take the silly side, the cool side (with much bigger drop was too dangerous for us... pansies...)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Golden week? Hey here's a homework :)

So golden week's basically over, good week it has been though!

The good:

Went out a lot. Photos I took are really bad coz of the dark, except for this one... of the stairs to the Cuban style bar where there was Salsa night:

Ate a lot (naturally).
Proof that choosing where to eat based on the hotness of a waitress is not always a bad idea!
Octopus pancake (unfortunately can't read the menu well to order it without mayo...):

Potato to go with that:

Fillet, spaghetti and omelet on rice... that been said, that meal was tough. Took all my willpower and strength not to look like a barbarian since I was so hungry :(

Last but not least, the other night, was hungry and it was really late, my fridge naturally only has liquids in it :P so decided to finally try the burger chain they have here, Mos Burger, since everything else was closed anyway, and well I gotta say it wasn't bad at all. But more importantly, the waiter suggested the new restaurant next door.
Tried it today, and this happened:

By far the most fatty meat I have ever eaten. Doesn't really show in the photo, but there's a whole layer of fat in-between layers of meat. And it's kinda hard to remove it with chopsticks :'( So I gritted my teeth and took it like a man! And it was much better than expected. Took a photo of the menu so that I drill the kanjis into my brain, in order to avoid trying it again, but all in all, wasn't that bad. If anyone can translate this, it'd be nice of you :) I'm too lazy to use the kanji dictionary, and I'm not really sure I really wanna know anyway hehe.

After that, this is a must. (Eh moz I actually bought fruit...)

Also, was walking around and came across this shop:

I've noticed the huge crab (gotta be blind not to) more than once but never walked near the shop. Yes Sherlock, they have crabs (err that came out wrong):

There's even fresh crab! No idea if you can just pick one and take it though :S

Finally, studied a lot... wait. No that's not right. Wrong section, and well, that didn't really happen anyway...

The bad:

This actually started before. What happened was that the zipper on my favorite black pants broke in the suitcase on my way here. Being the optimist that I am (and seeing how much experience I've had with gluing my fingers together with super glue), this was a simple job for me! Or so I thought... *enter dramatic music* TAM TAM TAAAAAAAAM!
So although I actually put the zipper back together, something is still missing, the zipper no longer locks when you close it and lower the handle, and so eventually it just opens by itself...
Now I am not a shy person, and wouldn't really give a rat's ass if my zipper were open, but I think I'm already scaring the native Japanese people enough without this.
So I went and asked a tailor how much this would cost to fix, 30$... I think I'll leave it like this for now lol.

More bad!
Japanese teachers it seems are more similar to French system teachers, who also believe that vacations should mean more studying, instead of less hehe. That been said, we don't have THAT much extra homework, just for me, ANY homework is a pain. But ya I'm guessing anyone reading this already knows that. So I guess I should finish this quickly and finish my last homework...

The ugly:

I haven't had the chance to talk about Japanese TV:
That been said, if you can get over the occasional disturbing image, even someone like me (who can barely understand a couple words) can laugh his/her ass off at how absurdly funny some shows can be.
Take this for example, the Japanese take on "Biggest Loser". Donno if it was directly influenced by it, but the idea is basically the same. These guys come in and do some exercising to lose weight. But...

Yes they're wearing red tights.

Yes they're training to dance on "Thriller".

YES this guy is TEH AWESOME!

Yes their teacher (who was really hot by the way) was crying by the end.

The dude in the jacket was the one who lost the least weight in the last weigh-in and had to ride around the city on bicycle while they danced. Or so I could make out...

The fluffy:

Couldn't really tell where to put this photo, so I made a new category for them. Was walking around, and saw this guy with these 2 fur balls, couldn't help myself. Asked him if I could take a photo and he agreed. Lol.

Hellos? Or goodbyes?

We interrupt our program to bring you these words from our sponsors:

The world is huge, and we are so very very tiny (and in the case of the famous net, evil too! Hmm Betty?).
So begins our journey to find out where it is that we belong.
Along the way, we visit many places, meet many people, some we forget quickly, some we don't.
Few things are nicer, or more interesting than saying "hello" to new faces, new places. Unfortunately, that sometimes comes hand in hand with saying "goodbye" to others. That is also not considering the fact that all "hello"s eventually lead to a "goodbye", for we all will leave this Earth eventually, making room for others to take our place, that is life, and life is good!
Which brings me back to the journey. Let us not worry about hellos and goodbyes, and worry instead about making the time spent in-between as great and as memorable as possible.

And now, back to our program.