March 31, 2006

Beautiful Sakura

Sakura, 桜, is the Japanese name for ornamental cherry trees, and their blossoms. It's a well-known and ubiquitous symbol of Japan, and has been celebrated for many centuries , thus taking a very prominent position in Japanese culture. The sakura blooms and usually fall within a week, before the leaves come out. The Japanese celebrate that time of the year with hanami (cherry blossom viewing) parties under the blooming trees.

Eastern Red Sky

People flocked Ueno Park on 25 March 2006, to view the blossoming of the cherry blossoms. Dad and I happened to be there last weekend, and managed to view the lovely sakura trees along the park's pathways.

Ueno Park

It was quite cool to see the people picnicking along the sides of the paths, having snacks, chatting, and enjoying each other's company. Some were even playing the guitar, and singing.

Sakura trees

There were several types of sakura trees. Unfortunately, its names are lost on me, who do not know how to appreciate its uniqueness, other than being able to differentiate between the different colours of the cherry blossoms.

White sakura

Still, my personal favourite's the pink ones.

Pink sakura

Tokyo DisneySea

Tokyo DisneySea is pretty much a land of many lands. This theme park attracts a more mature demographic compared to the young 'uns (but believe me, there's no less of 'em friggin' kids up and about everywhere), due to the picturesque landscapes and architecture. The younger generation (God, that makes me sounds so bloody old) prefers Disneyland due to the abundance of thrilling rides and attractions compared to the ones at DisneySea.

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An entrance ticket to DisneySea costs 5500yen (adult fare) for an all-day Passport. This enables one to ride and see any of the attractions for free at the park. Unfortunately, this ticket does not include meals, and most importantly, the gorgeous souvenirs which could ultimately burn an even bigger hole in the pocket compared to the entrance fare. Yep, trust the one who spent about 8000yen JUST on souvenirs, and they're not even for me!

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The Mediterranean Harbour would be my favourite land of all, as it resembles a southern European port town. Whether it's strolling the streets of a fishing village, or riding the gondola through the canals reminiscent of Venice (okay, fine, I stole this line from the website, but hey, it's true), you cannot help but sigh at the sheer romanticism of it all. I once compared a photo I took at the Mediterranean Harbour with a photo of the real Venice, and believe me, you CANNOT spot the difference (that is, if you manage to take the photo at DisneySea without any Japanese at the background making peace signs).

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I'm not really sure of what to say about the Mermaid Lagoon, other than I can't really find something to fancy there. A tad too juvenile for my tastes (incidentally, this is the section where you find the most girls at). I used to be (I stress the word USED) quite a fan of the cartoon, The Little Mermaid, but mostly because I wish I had her gorgeous, albeit totally fake, red luscious locks. By the way, I managed to take a photograph WITH the very gorgeous Prince Eric (and no, he was not a statue or soft toy), so if you wanna check it out, drop me an email. Or maybe I'll just send it to everyone to drool over.

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The Arabian Coast is a rather unique section of the theme park; it's a recreation of the exotic enchanted world from 1001 Arabian Nights. The architecture of the buildings here are fantastic. Unfortunately, this also happens to be a very popular land amongst the patrons, so it was extremely crowded. I had lunch there too, which was a rather pathetic example of nasi goreng with tandoori chicken, etc.

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Dad and I didn't ride any of the attractions at Lost River Delta, as the place was jam-packed with people. There was a 90 minute wait on the Indiana Jones ride, which was just ridiculous. Anyways, it wasn't much to cry about.

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The American Waterfront was quite a lively place. It's supposed to be an experience of old New York enlivened by new immigrants, and the New England fishing village of Cape Cod. The S.S. Columbia's (the ocean liner) the main attraction of the section. There was a barbershop quartet which I really enjoyed, who sang Disney-themed songs to the crowd. I think I was the only excited foreigner there clapping and mouthing the words to the songs!

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Mysterious Island was also another part of DisneySea which isn't much to cry about. It captures the writings of Jules Verne in portraying Captain Nemo's secret base. The architecture of the place was superb, but the rides were abysmal. The "20,000 Leagues Under The Sea" was absolutely rubbish (incidentally, that was the ride which my Japanese girlfriend and I waited 90 mins for, during my first trip to DisneySea). Unfortunately, once again, I missed the "Journey to the Centre of the Earth" ride.

All in all, I had a great time at DisneySea. Mostly because I was with Dad, who was such a blast. Bet Mum's green with envy after looking at the fab photos. Only spent 3000yen on souvenirs this time. Not too bad, eh? Hey, I gotta save the money, replenish the almost-dry bucket.

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Wish on a fountain of gold coins, anyone?

March 29, 2006

Car Wars 2006

I read this on NST today.

Car Wars - Up to RM40000 cut in prices for imported cars

Oh sure, cut the prices of cars now AFTER I bought my Waja. That's cruel irony for ya. Anyways, intrigued, I read on.

KUALA LUMPUR: Let the price war begin! Car importers have begun to slash car prices, within a week of the National Automotive Policy being announced by the Government. Consumers are expected to benefit from the move which has seen some high-end car importers bringing prices down between RM20,000 and RM40,000.

My my, that's a lot of money. If you tell me that they're cutting RM20,000 off the current Wajas, I'll go slit my own throat now. But wait a secc. High-end cars? Okay. No hope for Proton then.

Volvo Car Malaysia Sdn Bhd announced price reductions of up to RM20,000, depending on the models. The seven per cent reduction comes into effect immediately.

Volvo?!! How many of us actually owns a Volvo?! (By the way, the Volvo my dad's driving belongs to the company, not him, so shut up)

I nearly laughed my ass off after reading the next few lines.

DaimlerChrysler Malaysia, meanwhile, has announced price reductions of 6.5 per cent to 10 per cent for all its completely knocked-down (CKD) models, with immediate effect. "The CKD Mercedes-Benz C180K model previously retailed at RM255,800 but with the savings on duty, customers can expect to purchase the luxury make for RM233,888," the company said in a statement. The model with the biggest price reduction was the Mercedes-Benz E240K, which now retails at RM388,000, down from RM428,000.

Imagine this:

Trophy Wife: Lou kong ah, guess what?
Rich ol' Hubby: Whaaat?
Trophy Wife: Merce-dee now veli cheap. Gah-men say cut price for imported cars woh.
Rich ol' Hubby: Really one or not? Gah-men also last time say AFTA 2005 punya cars sure cheap one, also don't have. Somemore now with the AP problem with that Rafidah, aiya, you sure or not?
Trophy Wife: This time gah-men already confirmed liao. Lou kong ah, the E240K balu RM388K nia, so cheap. Buy for me lah!
Rich ol' Hubby: Okay loh. I also want to buy one. Maybe should buy one for Girl-girl and one for Boy-boy. Their BMWs already kena banged-up quite bad.

What utter rubbish. So typical of the government to insult our intelligence by making the price cut of imported cars such a hype, when it's so difficult to even afford mid-range-priced ones.

Car wars? Not blardy likely.

March 27, 2006

Weekend At Tokyo with My Ol' Man

Had a great weekend with Dad at Tokyo. Disneysea's great when you don't have to pay for it. Actually, anything is great when you don't have to pay for it. Tee hee hee! Of course, I enjoyed the company very much; these are certainly moments to treasure with yer ol' man.

We actually sat very few rides at Disneysea; 1) I've already sat most of 'em during my first visit, and more importantly 2) I didn't allow Dad to ride on any of the rollercoasters or any thrilling rides for fear of his health. It was only AFTER we left Disneysea, he told me that he's just ridden the Space Mountain at the Hong Kong Disneyland two months ago, and why was it that I wouldn't let him ride any of the milder ones at Disneysea?!! Geez, that's gratitude for ya. Tsk tsk tsk. In my defence, he was more interested in taking photos anyway. In 4 hours, he took hundreds! There were so many people at Disneysea that day, thank God for the Fastpass facilities! (with a Fastpass for each ride, you can skip the long-ass queues to the popular rides. Unfortunately, you can only use one Fastpass every 1~2 hours, which sucks when you wanna go for many rides in a short period of time)

Went to Ueno Park on Sunday morning. The sakura has finally bloomed! It's a pity that these flowers only stay bloomed for a week or so. It was a lovely sight, with the cherry blossom trees looming over the paths, and the pink and white flowers shade the walkways. It was a good thing that we went to the park early (well, the shops weren't opened at 9am yet), because in just under an hour, the park became very crowded with people, having picnics at the sides of the roads, just to enjoy the cherry blossoms.

The best part of the weekend? Akihabara. A gadget-freak like me CANNOT go to Akihabara and leave without getting anything. It's virtually impossible (and a crime too)! It's a good thing Dad was with me, or else it's credit-card swiping time. Bought a 60GB external hard disk for 9,800yen, which was quite a good deal for such a small and light one. Also bought a cordless Logitech mouse for 2,800yen. I stared at the Palmone LifeDrive for such a long time, drooling at it, until Dad had to drag my ass out of the shop. Sigh. Dad too had to resist the temptation from buying a hard disk recorder, which was really cheap (about 36,000yen).

All in all, fantastic weekend with Dad. Truly moments to cherish. Photos a-coming in my next post, so stay tuned!

March 24, 2006

No Email

Oh bugger. The remote email account I use at work is not working due to some sort of power failure back home. It's going to be bloody difficult for me to go without email. It's frightening how much I depend on email or the Internet, on the whole. My nights here are already dull enough without Internet access in my room, and now no email? Why don't you just shoot me now?

Well, on a brighter note, Dad's in Japan just now. Will be meeting with him at Tokyo during the weekend. Since he'll be paying for EVERYTHING, perhaps I can "convince" him to bring me to one of 'em Disney places again. Hmmm ...

March 21, 2006

I'm In Love ...

... with the new Treo 700w! (what were you lot thinking? Tsk tsk tsk!)

Treo 700w

I know it's a huge-ass piece of phone, but it's just simply gorgeous! I saw a lady using it at KLIA, and I thought, man, it'd be so cool if I own one too. Well, certainly something for me to covet for at least 2 months before I go home. Hopefully by then the temptation would have subsided by then, or else it's bye-bye to at almost RM3k for this. Sigh. Why can't I be normal and just be attracted to girly crap? It's less expensive that way (well, IF I buy less bags and less shoes, that is).

Donations, anyone? Alms for the poor?

An Indecent Proposal

So there I was, walking around in town, minding my own business, when out of the blue, a Japanese man beckoned me to him. You know that look someone gives you, which makes you think you know the person, but can't quite remember where from? Anyways, I had no idea who this man was. Perhaps he was a friend of my parents.

"...[Japanese gibberish] ..."

I looked at him, with my usual bloody-hell-I-have-no-idea-what-you're-saying look.


"...[Japanese gibberish] ..." he muttered, while swinging his arm up and down, imitating someone drinking.

Okay, this person's losing me big time.

"Excuse me, do I know you?", I said, in perfect English, I might add, just to intimidate him (hey, I was getting a little freaked out).

"You and me, let's have coffee together. Now?", he answered, in broken English.

I looked at him blankly.

"Err ... no."

I walked off, leaving him with his mouth a little gaped.

Hey, I'm all for guys hitting on me (*wink*), but it doesn't help if the guy's a middle-aged, hamsap-looking (i.e. perverted) uncle. Especially if he goes around asking perfect strangers out for a drink. He could be just looking for someone to have an English conversation with (it happens a lot here, as the Japs rarely get a chance to practise their English) or not, I'll never know. Although I'd have to say, I never did give him (nor anyone for that matter) the impression that I spoke any English now, did I, since I'm practically mute when I'm on my own? Hmmm ... oh well. No harm, no foul.

Still, if the next one's a cute Japanese fella, I'd be telling you a different story *grin*.

March 19, 2006

Purple Crocus

I have a thing for taking photographs of flowers these days.

Purple crocus

These purple crocus were taken using my phone's camera. The flowers were growing wild at the side of the road near my apartment.

Ice Skating Saturday

Had a fabulous time ice-skating yesterday. It's ironic that I've skated so many times during my secondary school and college days, but when I hit the ice yesterday, I couldn't skate anymore. Not that I was any good back then, but at least I had the guts to fall.


The skating rink was jam-packed with people, especially kids (whose necks I wanted to throttle, because they do NOT practise any skating decorum, i.e. they simply crash into you to stop. Plus, they hog the sides of the rink where you hold on to dear life lest you fall. Grr!). Apparently today's the last day for the ice rink to be opened, till which it will close till the next winter arrives. I guess today marks the end of winter sports for that sports centre anyway.


Well, all good things have to come to an end. I'm now stuck with sore legs, and blisters on my feet. Ouch!

March 17, 2006

9 More Weekends To Go

- Rant begins -

The weekend's almost here. It's funny how I look forward to weekends at home, but not here. It's all starting to hit me once again, the loneliness. It's frustrating as hell. And the sad thing is that, as much as I try to keep it all in me, it always manages to affect other people. Sometimes I think it's easier to maintain a cheerful facade to the world then to let them know how unhappy and disheartened I am. Especially when it's so difficult for them to accept me the way I am over here. These empty feelings hit me against my will, and it's not like I want to feel this way. Who enjoys feeling shitty? Geez.

The worst thing is that I've reached out to people. It has always been ME initiating things - hey, let's go out, hey, let's do this, hey, let's do that. If I don't, then it's every man for himself. Call me shallow, but when have they ever come to ME? What, if I don't say anything, then that's it? Worst of all, there were times when I'm not even included in their activities. So tell me, why should I even bother? I'd rather reach out to people who would appreciate me for who I am.

And you know what, I'm just flat-tired of doing that. I choose to be happy on my own. A friend once told me, that it's better that I feel good about myself when I'm alone, before I start reaching out to others. And by God, that's what I'll do. Screw the rest of the world for making me think that I need you to survive over here.

Nine more weekends (including this one) to go. I can't be counting down the days over here, because it'd seem neverending. Maybe I should do something drastic, something so over-the-top, something which I can still do whilst I'm still on my own. Well, that's an idea to ponder upon. No more knitting, cross-stitching, beading ... shit like that. What the hell was I thinking? Geez!

- Rant ends -

This weekend will be a long one. Monday's a holiday for us here (actually, Tuesday's a public holiday - March Equinox, but the company's adopting the holiday on Monday instead). Have no idea what I'll be doing then. Will probably head to town for a walk or something. I'll be going ice-skating with my friends tomorrow. Haven't done that in a while. Methinks I'll need to have pillows strapped to my bottom before I even attempt to touch the ice.

You know what the sad thing is? It's that I've *gasp* lost the will to shop. Yes, me, the one who made sure UK's (well, Dundee's anyway) economy stays robust with me buying all sorts of junk everywhere. The one whose credit card bills come short of half of my monthly income. The one who thinks that the creator of's my hero. Argh! I'd normally head to town at least once during the weekdays (oh, being in town during the weekends is a default activity, so that doesn't count), and at least once at Takashimaya. However, this trip ... nadah. I've only been to town last weekend, and I hardly bought anything. It's like, nothing interests me anymore. How sad is that?! All the pukingly-kawaii stuff did nothing for me. On the brighter side, I'm saving more money than usual, which is good. After emptying my "bucket" of money to buy the car, it's time to replenish it. Of course, there'll be days where I believe that I could help with the Japanese economy when I see a certain pair of shoes, or a certain bag.


March 16, 2006

Spring Is Here (?)

The blooming of sakura (cherry blossoms) marks the beginning the spring.

Cherry Blossom

I would like to kick the ass of the person who announced the arrival of spring, because it's still so bloody cold! Zero degrees is NOT spring. Zero degrees is bleak, dreary winter, which is what it is now. No thanks to the cold, my lovely pot of gerberas died last night. Well, I wouldn't exactly blame the cold for this, because the flowers actually wilted indoors. I was contemplating of leaving the potted plant outside, but I was afraid the cold might kill it. Well, lah-di-dah, the heat in my room killed it instead. Grrr.

What, and you were expecting a poetic post?

March 07, 2006

Flu and a Funeral

Yep, I'm finally back in Japan. Can't avoid the inevitable. Caught a cold on the flight to Narita. Not such a good start to the trip, huh?

On a graver note, my paternal grandfather passed away last night, just as I reached Japan. The funeral proceedings will be handled by the family. My family left for Seremban early this morning. I am not able to attend the funeral as I am currently in Japan (my parents have agreed that it would be unnecessary for me to return to Malaysia as the funeral will be held tomorrow).

March 03, 2006

More Lessons

Today I learnt a few important lessons. Some things to think about. How much am I willing to compromise to maintain a good relationship with someone? At the end of the day, is it worth it? What if the other person turns his/her back on you, and you’re left out in the cold? Whose fault would it be? All mine, because I assumed too much. In hopes of gaining the respect and favour of one, I may lose out on things which matter to me, which I deserve to achieve. At the end of the day, as much as I hate to admit it, I’m just a people-pleaser.

Sometimes I realise how easy it is for me to understand and handle other people’s problems than mine. When I’m related to problems which another is facing, it’s so easy for me to think objectively and rationally. And it’s ironic how they tell me that they could so easily tell me of their problems because I think so carefully FOR them, with my head. Yet, for problems of my own, I think with my heart. Emotions get in the way, and I mess everything up instead. And I end up blaming no one but myself for being so foolish.

Such are the lessons in life. I think it's time I take back what's mine. To hell with what everyone think. How many people can I please this lifetime? One hundred? One thousand? How about just one?

Yeah. Me.

March 01, 2006

A Moment to Ponder ...

An unforgettable moment. Of many things. Of happiness, of sadness, of joy, of pain. Of rediscovery.

Most of all, of love.