Friday, April 21, 2006

Hanami Time!

Sakura, hanami, cherry blossoms. I don't know the freaking difference, but I do know that it is warming up here. Last weekend I decided to go and see what all the fuss was about (we have trees in Borneo you know). I went to the local park near the town castle on a sunny spring afternoon to check them out. I was told that the cherry blossoms sybolise the impermanance of life... that may be true but they sure do taste good. Loads of people seemed to celebrating their own personal impermanance by getting thoroughly pissed on chu-hi (more about this at a later date) and happoshu (more about this as well), WOO HOO. It is only now that the blossoms are all disappearing that I truely appreciate the temorary stuff. Pass the sake, I think I'm sobering up. Cheers.

Sunday, April 16, 2006


I ain't movin' until it warms up around here.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Flying is not for sockmonkeys

Here are a couple of photos of me on the plane to Niigata. It was only a short flight but a little bumpy and I started to feel that I would be seeing my bananas again. The attendant gave me a barf bag and I held on pretty tight. After a while I decided that sitting in between peoples feet would be much safer and the blown chunks could be hidden where the floatation devices are stored, or is that 'stowed'?

The flight attendant felt pretty sorry for this green sock monkey sitting on the floor, so she gave me this awesome blow-up plane to play with. It has kept me happy for days now.

NOTE: Is the phrase 'blow-up' one that you want to associate with planes? I prefer 'inflatable' or 'internally pressured'.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Moving to Niigata

This is very exciting. I've just moved house from Osaka, where the plum blossoms have almost finished and the sakura (cherry blossoms) are starting, to Niigata, where it was snowing when I April!!?? This is taking some getting used to and I have had to get a down jacket to keep me warm. At night I sleep on my futon with a sheet and top futon (duvet) plus my down sleeping bag. Even then my little fuzzy face gets cold so I have to duck under the covers!

Niigata is a long prefecture that is on the opposite coast from Tokyo, and then up a bit. There are beautiful mountains all the way down the prefecture and these are famous for skiing and hiking. It's really cold but apparently the summers are nice so I'm keeping under the duvet until then.

Because this is a rural area with a long coastline, there are a lot of nice veggies and fish for sale in the shops. I can't wait to do some cooking.

I'm also lucky because my friends that I live with have scored us a sweet apartment that came with their job. It's got one tatami room and two other rooms, plus a kitchen/ dining room and the bathroom. It feels very spacious compared to the one-room place we had in Osaka. I've got a lot of room to swing around in!

Oh yeah and I can see the mountains out of my window! But they're not as nice as the mountains in Borneo, of course. But they'll do.

Gotta go but I'll tell you some more later.