June 30, 2005

Friends to Malaysia

Good news - a couple of my Japanese girlfriends are coming to Malaysia for a visit. They'll be staying with me during their stay in Penang for a couple of days. I'm very excited. They will be visiting Kuala Lumpur for a few days before coming up to Penang; they are flying to Penang on the same day I return to Malaysia. The ironic thing is that they will be in Malaysia before me. Argh. Still, an itinerary of a Penang tour is currently being planned. I hope to show them as much of my hometown as I can. No prizes for guessing what we'll be doing the most (a hint - it fills our hungry stomachs) :)

At lunch today, I gave them (and two other friends) a couple of Malaysian instant noodle packets (Maggi Sup Tulang and chicken-flavoured bihun soup), as they were left to me by a Malaysian colleague who was here in Japan for 3 weeks. Hopefully it will give them a very brief taste of what Malaysian food is like. Oh, how I miss Malaysian food!

The weather has been really crazy lately. It is really hot outdoors. Imagine walking about in a sauna. Plus, it is also the rainy season in Japan right now, so it's hot one moment, raining and dreary the next. It's little wonder why I'd fall sick in such circumstances.


June 27, 2005

Hot Summer

It's been quite some time since I've posted anything. Life's been pretty good here. Work's been picking up, and the relationship between my colleague and I am improving. The project itself is getting tougher, but I am picking up a lot of useful skills and knowledge, which is a boon in disguise. Granted, I won't be here long, so any amount I can squeeze out of the Japanese, the better!

My weekends have been really fun and hectic. A couple of weeks ago, I spent my weekend at Odaiba with a couple of friends. The place is absolutely gorgeous, with its beautiful, futuristic buildings and all. My absolute favourite place there would be the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (aka Miraikan). We spent almost the entire day there! Venusfort was lovely too. It is a shopping mall in the style of a 18th century South European town.

Last weekend, I went to Ginza, Roppongi Hills and Yokohama. Ginza and Roppongi Hills are very exclusive, high-end shopping areas (aka places which I can never afford to shop at). Wanted to go to a salsa club at Roppongi, but it was closed when we went there. Shucks. Yokohama's gorgeous too.

The temperature is fast rising in Japan. Summer is hitting us full-blast. This morning's temperature was a hot 31C. I don't even want to think of how hot it's going to be in July, which temperature can hit up to 38C (what the heck, it was already 36C yesterday). It's also bloody hot in the office. No thanks to the Japanese government who encouraged the Japanese to keep their air conditioner temperature at a ridiculous 28C to conserve energy, these people are actually keeping to that rule. It is no wonder that I am hardly seen without a fan. I try very hard not to accidentally fling the fan and hit someone because I do fan myself quite furiously. Walking outdoors is such a feat as one feels as though he/she's stuck in a perpetual oven. Yet, the Japanese wear at least 2 layers outdoors. For the love of me, WHY???

June 09, 2005

Moving Music...

It just amazes me that no matter how many times I listen to the soundtrack of Miss Saigon, the music and words never fail to move me (makes me cry, damnit) or give me goosebumps.
It's not too good listening to this at the office, eh?

* sob *

PS : Anybody who manages to bag me tickets to a Miss Saigon play shall be duly rewarded.
PPS : No amateur school plays, thank you very much.
PPPS : I can't afford plays in London nor New York.

June 07, 2005

Birthday Weekend

Had a great weekend. My friend/neighbour moved out from Takasaki to Kodaira. Followed her there, and also met up with a couple more friends. They just moved from Sagami to Kodaira too, and are in the midst of unpacking. Sad to say, the girl's dorm is a lot smaller than the one I'm staying at Takasaki. Let's just say, they weren't at all pleased with their living conditions. The entire dormitory shares ONE bathroom. Sad!! I wanted to try out the ofuro, but it wasn't filled with water over the weekend. Darn. Still, I don't think I can drag the other two with me. They aren't exactly into the idea of bathing together (no funny ideas now!). One of them even found boogers on her futon! Euuuuwww...gross.

We hung out at Kokubunji, walked to town, went shopping at lil' quaint shops. It's definitely more happening than Takasaki, I'd have to say. Oh, and they got me a very lovely birthday cake too. Sweet!

Can't wait to meet 'em again this weekend. Kokubunji... my second home. Heh

Mumsy told me to get something I'd like for my birthday, which she will reimburse later. Gave her a lil' hole in her pocket by getting meself a Burberry purse. I am such a good daughter. I could have gotten an LV, y'know, seeing how darn popular the brand is over here. Still, I prefer the classics.

PS: Bea dahlink, thanks for the sweet blog on my birthday. Hugs for you.

June 05, 2005

Birthday Blues

Here's to me ...
Your Birthdate: June 5

With a birthday on the 5th of the month you are inclined to work well with people and enjoy them.

You are talented and versatile, very good at presenting ideas.

You may have a tendency to get itchy feet at times and need change and travel.

You tend to be very progressive, imaginative and adaptable.

Your mind is quick, clever and analytical.

A restlessness in your nature may make you a bit impatient and easily bored with routine.

You may have a tendency to shirk responsibility

June 01, 2005

Let 'Em Eat Cake!

For those who know me, I do NOT bake. Can NOT bake. Not even the simplest butter cake. For the second time in my life, I tried making bread and butter pudding yesterday. The first time I made the pudding was in the UK, when I was stuck indoors with the chicken pox. After all the hard work, I wasn't even allowed to eat it; apparently, according to 'em ol' Chinese Ah Ees and Ah Mas, eggs are supposedly "poisonous" to those with the pox. Go figure.

Naturally, for someone who has never baked (well, not in Japan anyway), I do not have any baking tools, except for a microwave oven (which can be turned into a convection oven, I must say) and a microwave-safe plastic container. Being as oblivious as I am to cooking, I had to call Mumsy about using that in the oven. Suffice to say, after being yelled at over the phone for even thinking I can use the plastic container in the oven, I cannot use the oven for baking.

Blame it on zest, but I still wanted to make bread and butter pudding that night. I already have the ingredients...why not try it out on the conventional microwave oven? Mind you, I do not even have any sort of weighing device which I could use. So I decided to use the ol' one-two, and guessed the amount of eggs I needed, or the the amount of sugar, etc. The recipe suggested one egg. One egg? No way... I'm sure the pudding would taste better with two. 25g of sugar? Okkaaaaayy... that would be, what, 10-15 pinches with the fingers? 150ml of milk...hmm... I'll just pour enough to cover the bread. Everything went into the plastic container. The recipe stated "4~5 mins on Medium on the microwave oven". So let's see...hmm...everything's in Japanese on my oven. Ahhh...I'll just press the Start button, put it in for 10 minutes, and we'll see how it goes.

Ten minutes passed. Hmm...the pudding looked rather gooey. I gave it another good 6 minutes. Still gooey. Uh-oh, the pudding started to dry out. I guess it should be done. It sure did not look like the nice, brown-top-crusted pudding I made before. In front of me was bright yellow goo in a plastic container. It smelt pretty good though. One mouthful of the pudding, and the whole thing went into the rubbish bin. It was one egg too many; it wasn't sweet enough, and baking it in the microwave oven only managed to produce soft gooey pudding, rather than the crispy crust I was expecting.

I shall try it again tonight, but with the proper tools this time.

Wish me luck!