Tuesday, 29 September 2015

22

So very, very recently (I guess a lot of you know the date, but let's try to keep it a secret), I turned 22.


Unlike last year, when I had this huge Studio Ghibli themed party, this birthday was very quiet. It was my first time celebrating a birthday alone, and my brilliant friend Nic suggested I take a photowalk. It turned out to be a great idea. I was feeling a bit down the day before, with school and all the assignments starting to feel overwhelming, so taking a day off to take photos and read was a good idea.


My aim for the day was to take pictures of the little things that caught my eye. So basically, flowers and bees and butterflies. And books. 



I don't know why, but normally, I'm always walking about, just trying to get through everything, I guess. Taking ten minutes to just tract butterflies was strange, but it was a good strange. I was a lot calmer.


I didn't intend to be a "how many book pictures can you take?" (Only 2, apparently), but I'll admit to not hesitating when in a fairly nice book-setting moment.  Ok, I'll keep quiet now and present the rest of the photos without commentary.











The cosmos fields haven't flowered yet (I want to go back when it's flowering and they have the night light-up!), but Nokonoshima was still really beautiful. For once, I actually took out my earphones and just walked around, listening to whatever BGM people had on. I don't know why, but whenever I'm out, I always have my earphones in, whether it be for music or for podcasts. I'm not going to lie, I like the constant music, but having my head clear for a few hours isn't a bad thing either.

I had a really relaxing day. Not all the photos turned out well, but I'm happy with quite a few. But the day was more than the photos and more than having time to finally read, really read without feeling the need to study; it was time God used to calm me down and remind me just Who is in control. Thank you for another year, Abba Father :D

To God be the Glory, for the Best is Yet to Be.

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Liebster Blog Award

My good friend Nic has apparently nominated me for the Liebster Blog Award. I've done it for the book blog, but not this one, so I'm pretty excited!



First things first, Nic's Liebster Blog Award post. Go over and read it! Apart from answering the questions, she also went to search about what this blog was, and shares what she found out.

Rules:

  1. Thank and link the person who nominated you – Answer the questions given by the nominator
  2. Nominate 5-11 bloggers who have less than 200 followers and link them.
  3. Create 11 new questions for the nominees to answer – Notify all nominees via social media/blogs.

So 1. THANKS NIC (But I'm sure you knew that already)

2. Nominate bloggers - this is the part I find the hardest. I don't think I can reach 5, but here goes. 
  1. Inas: Ok, Inas is a vlogger, and I'm not sure if she even makes anymore videos, but hey Inas!! Consider this a plea from me to restart your channel XD Hope you're doing well in school, ya?
  2. Charmaine: My cousin from With a Leap of Faith
  3. Bekah: Hey Becks! I know Nic also nominated you but... (Blog: BekahLIME)
  4. Teann from It Keeps Getting Better: I don't think I've seen you do this, so it'll be fun! 
  5. Whitney from Just About Everything I Can Think Of: This reminded me, I've been following her blog through Google+, now's probably the time to do so via GFC too
Ok yay! I actually have five bloggers to nominate! Could it be that I'm *gasp* making friends? The other bloggers I know, like John Asano are probably too big to qualify :p

As for my questions, I'd like to ask the same questions that Nic asked me. So just scroll down to see them.

Q&A Time
1. What kind of music do you listen to?

Uh, lately I've been listening to a lot of Colton Dixon. And Vocaloid (though my vocaloid songs are the story-based ones)

2. Is there a certain trend to the kind/type of characters you like in a story? (looks, personality, background etc.?)

Um, not a Mary Sue/Gary Stu? To be honest, as long as the character isn't annoying and overly perfect, whether I like him/her depends a lot on how she's written, the story, etc. There's no one type.

3. What other interests do you have besides what you write about on your blog?

I like to read and write stories too. And I like taking photos, though I've shared them here. I like playing the piano too. I could probably think of more if I continue - oh, I like to sew and knit, though I haven't had the time lately. I tend to get an interest in EVERYTHING.

I'm not good at them though.

4. Have you been to any sort of theatre production/stage show before? If so, what was it/were they?

Does From Eve to Mary count? That's the MG play. And I'm pretty sure I saw a few AC ones too. And I saw Wicked in Singapore the last time, and I'm pretty sure when I was a kid I saw Disney on Ice or something on Ice or something at Disneyland. In Japan, I've seen Les Miserables at Hakataza - that was good!

5. If you could choose one superpower to possess, what would it be and why?

I'd take Rogue's superpower so I can have all of them.

6. Do you consider yourself an introvert, extrovert, or a mix in different situations?

Mix, definitely. MG and AC taught me the happiness that can come from being with large groups of people, but I do need some downtime too.

7. What would your dream habitat be like?

Nic, what kind of question is this? House? Climate? *brain overloads*

Uh, I don't know. I'm sorry, but I keep changing based on the circumstances. Oh, but it's gotta be with family and friends.

8. Do you play/have an interest in any sports? If not, are there any specific sports you'd like to try?

I like Golf and Kendo, though I haven't practiced kendo for ages, because I kept hyperventilating.

I want to try dancing one day.

9. One thing on your bucket list.

I don't have a bucket list? But I do want to go to every prefecture in Japan, and every Disneyland in the world. Now that Shanghai got one (was it Shanghai??), I'm missing one location =.=

And as you can see, I like travelling :p

10. Besides English, are there any other languages/dialects you've learnt/are fluent in? If not, what other languages would you like to learn?

I also speak Chinese (Mandarin, and some Hokkien), and Japanese. Although at this stage, my Japanese might be better, because I don't really get the chance to use Japanese.

I also learnt Bahasa Indonesia last year, which means I can do a self-introduction, and ask people for directions. And say that I don't speak Bahasa Indonesia. Basically the survival stuff.

I want to learn all the languages!! Cantonese, Spanish, French, Russian, etc Ok, but first, I guess I should get a better grasp on some of the ones that I've taken classes in/am taking classes - that would be Ancient Greek, Latin and Italian.

11. Why do you blog

Because it's fun, and because I like to share things with each other :D

And one new thing to share with everyone: Today, a very nice lady from the finishing school I'm attending gave me 7 kimonos! I really, really need to find an occasion to wear them XD


Friday, 25 September 2015

Friends and Food Picture Spam: The fun parts of my Singapore Trip

I'm back in Japan! 13 hour flights are awful, and going back for only 9 days (and for a research trip) means that I didn't have nearly enough time to meet people/rest. I'm actually more stressed now than before the trip :p But, the trip was fruitful (let me know if you want to hear a summary of what I learnt - or not. It might be boring), and I managed to meet a few of my friends. It's a good thing they were either:

A. Working
B. On recess week (lucky Singapore uni students

Under interesting stuff I ate, there was the Banana Chicken from Swensen's


The chicken was actually really tender. And I like bananas, so.... I just wish the sauce had more to a kick of it. It was kind of bland.

Oh, but I know a place with awesome sauce. It's Old School Delights!! I went there with Nic and Bekah for dinner when I was back in Singapore (I spent about 4 days in Malaysia for a conference + factory visit)

The place is really adorable!


Although it seems like we were born just a little too early. Anyway, the tables had so much stuff from our childhoods, from toys:

 

To the comics we used to read:


And ordering was done on a portable whiteboard!!


While I have no photos, the Black Pepper Chicken and Chops was fantastic! The sauce was a little sweet, and even though my dish was the Fish and Chips (fish was good, the tartar sauce tasted like mayo), I asked for the Black Pepper sauce and dipped everything in it.

Everything but dessert, that is.


Dessert was a warm chocolate banana fudge cake and it was awesome!

Happy bunch ^^
After that, I managed to meet Amanda, Pone and Dinh!! We went to Tim Ho Wan for Dim Sum with my senior and classmate, and I managed to persuade them to come to my house for tea and more talking later. Time passed so fast - by the time I noticed, it was 10:30 :p


Also, my Japanese classmates have never seen me this hyper before. It's the company I tell you - I'm actually quieter in Japan, although it doesn't seem like it :p

Incidentally, the lanterns at China town this year include a huge, multicolour Merlion. I assume because SG50
 And after one of the conference (IOT Show Asia), we went to meet my cousin for dinner! Turns out, she had to do loads of overtime, so we started first. We went to Lau Pa Sat in the CBD for satay, and despite the fact that we sat down and ordered from the first stall, the satay was good! Really tender, and not dry at all.

Lau Pa Sat at night. 
At least we ordered so much satay that it was enough for 4.

My pretty cousin and I - The haze is really bad in Singapore now.
One day of contacts was enough. I switched to glasses for the night, and it was much more comfortable.

Oh, and another offering from Swensen's - Milo Dinosaur dirt pot. I wanted to have this, but the first time we went to Swensens, the staff forgot to put it on the order...

Good thing there's a Swensen's near Suntec City, so we managed to go there for lunch!!


And on my last night, we had steamboat!!


LOVE IT

I had my family and friends over, though all the photos with my family are on my camera. And I don't have permission to share those photos. Friends though, don't mind. 

Love you girls! Thanks for coming!!!
 Bekah couldn't make it (Boooo), but she sent a box of the cutest macarons through my uncle!

Look at the LINE characters! 

If it weren't for the fact that I had to go back the next morning, I wouldn't have been able to eat them. Too cute! But I had to. 

And they were delicious!
The next day/yesterday, I flew back to Singapore. Despite the plane leaving Changi at 8am, I didn't in arrive in Fukuoka until 9:20 pm. That's over thirteen hours, which is seven more than what I'm used to. I blame the two transfers (one at Hong Kong and one at Taipei).

On the bright side, I bought Terry Pratchett's Snuff at HKIA's Page One. 

And I like this outdoor camera thing the plane has. 

And that would be a really quick update on the Singapore trip. I think Nic nominated me for the Liebster Blog thing, so that will probably be my next post. And then I have so many things going on in October that I'm questioning my own sanity in taking them up, so there's either going to be more posts that normal, or I'm going to go into shutdown mode and not blog at all (I've got 2 papers, and I'm going to TUFS to talk to the Kouhai's, and probably to Kyoto as well).

I was pretty sure I wanted to blog about something else today, but then I forgot what it was =.= Or did I originally plan to blog about this and then forget but somehow remembered? I guess I'm more tired than expected - wish me luck for my papers (I've got one that's in the "DANGER" zone right now). Oh, and a warning on a company that I recently freelanced for - that's another post coming up.

I believe that's all. I've really got to start doing things regularly, instead of dumping them into one big post :p 

Thursday, 17 September 2015

ゼミ合宿 (Zemi Class Camp) Day 3

I'm in Malaysia! For my sub-zemi - we're attending an industrial show, which has been quite interesting so far. And now, time for the last part of my main zemi's camp.

So, most of you have heard my election-day story, where I had not enough sleep. Well, I probably mentioned in there, but I'll mention it again. The third day of the camp started with me waking up before 6 to go fishing.

Fishing isn't even my hobby. I have got to stop taking an interest in so many things.

Although I'll have to admit, I got some pretty nice shots of the sky.


My senior was actually planning to fish just outside the bay area, but when I scrambled up, I realised that skirt+ocean breeze = bad idea. I was going to wait at the bottom, but they (senior and classmate) were nice and came down. We ended up fishing among the parked boats.

And still, I was the first one to get up and start walking around. I actually decided to climb a sort of wall-like thing (that didn't have so much of a breeze), because I thought I could get a better picture.

You can decide whether that was a good idea.

Then it was back to waiting. One old man walking about actually came and started talking to us, which was pretty interesting.


And then we called a fish!! Apparently, it's a very small 関アジ (seki aji). But we had to release it.


When we were done, it was back to the hotel for breakfast, then back to Fukuoka! But first, we made two stops. One was to a wine factory:

The wine part was only from a distance

I think walking around the place was more interesting than the factory. Although sadly, I couldn't go pick the grapes.


The view from the top of the hill was pretty impressive though. Although climbing it was hard work. And of course, we took a class shot there. I'm not sure how, but I managed to use a timer to take a not-that-terrible picture.

Obviously not the class shot. 

After the wine factory, we went to visit some sort of shrine, which is apparently really important? I'm not sure. But it was big, and there were a lot of torii.


 Since I'm Christian, I just wandered around snapping photos while everyone else did their thing.


All in all, it was a pretty fun trip. I never really talked to my senpai's before this, so actually interacting with them for three days was a bit scary, but fun. They were all way nicer than I expected. 

And now, I should go prepare for Day 2 of the Trade show thing. And other zemi related things...

Monday, 14 September 2015

ゼミ合宿 (Zemi Class Camp) Day 2

Time for Day 2 of the zemi class camp!

So day 2, well, it's our only full day so we had to study. Only in the morning though, and for two hours. I think after day 1, no one had much energy or motivation to study. But, we all buckled down and did our best to study. Eventually though, we were released and went for lunch.

For some reason, we went to have lunch at APU (Asia-Pacific University). It's located in a really ulu place, up in the mountains. For some reason, my teacher was under the impression that I have lots of friends in APU - it's the opposite, really. Most of my friends are in public universities.

Grabbed a shot of the school from a car
The APU campus reminds me a lot of Ito campus - New buildings, extremely inconvenient location. And the food was basically very similar to Kyudai. (I believe the menu was almost all the same, though I did see pineapple)

The cafeteria was huge though!

After lunch, we went to the safari park, which was extremely near by. You know, I didn't expect Beppu to be so cold, since we are still technically in summer. But it was cold. Take a look at the mist surrounding the bus:

It's a car park behind, but you can't see the cars

The safari was way more fun than I expected. Due to certain circumstances, my senpai's and I ended up with one extra box (while the rest sitting on the other side had one box too little... oops!). It meant that we could feed the animals loads!

So, commencing animal picture spam!



The first up were the goats! I believe we fed them food pellets, and all of us were trying to feed the tiny, cute goat. But, the biggest goat always butted in and took the food. I think my senpai's made more noise than me, telling the bigger goat to go away.


Not all the animals could be fed though. Apart from the uninterested ones, there were a few, like the cheetahs and hyenas, who were left alone. We sort of us drove through their areas very slowly.

ROAR
I was actually quite surprised that it was ok to feed the lions.

Story time! When I told my mom that there were lions in the safari park, her first response was "You didn't try to do that thing you did last time, right?"

You see, when I was a little girl in England, we went to a safari park. I actually remember that, although I remember the handle that lowers the window more than anything. But I do remember opening a door. And according to my mother, that would be during the lion zone, AND the lion actually got up and made his way to us.

No wonder I remember her slamming the door and us driving away so fast.


The elephants were adorable! Their trunks are way flexible.  One got its trunk stuck in the gap though, trying to get more food:


After that we also saw the giraffes, who bent down to get food from us. I believe there were gazelles or some other, smaller creature there, that we also fed.


And there were camels! For some of my senpai's, it was their first time seeing one. I'm not sure how to reconcile that to the fact that two out of three of the senpai's around me have been here before. But according to one, he was really hungover, and the other said that the fog was even worse that day. Or maybe they all forgot...


After we finished the tour, I really, really wanted to go see the other animals. Apparently, there was another area where you could have more close ups, like a dog salon and cat salon. All paid of course. I wasn't really intending to pay, but I saw the one for the lion's cub!

And now I have a photo of myself holding a lion's cub!! I really want to share it with everyone, but it has quite a few of my classmates and seniors inside (we ended up looking like we took a family portrait), so I'm not sure if I can share it here. But yeah, trust me when I say that the lion's cub was way, way adorable. Too cute!

It was only one and a half months, so its paws were still very soft. Each of us went "Oh!" when we felt it.

The other animals were adorable, although I can't remember their English names.


The expression on this guy's face:

"Say WHAAAAA?"
The last place we went was the kangaroo encounter, and thankfully, none of my friends went "boxing" with the kangaroo. I though we would be fenced off from the kangaroos, but we could actually pet them!


So fun!

After the safari park, it was basically free time. We went back, and since the teacher's car was the first to arrive (as usual), we had quite some time. So I decided to go look for a sweet shop. You see, it was really, really cold in the safari, and one of my senpai's lent me a shirt. So I decided to buy a small gift to show my appreciation.

I can't believe it, but our timing was actually quite good. When we got back, senpai was at the lobby. Haha, yay. I didn't have to go to their room (I wasn't even sure which number it was)

Dinner was at a nearby seafood place, because most of us were sick of chicken. There were a few who went for Yakitori though:

Apparently, the place was fully booked on opening.
 I had the kaisen don, and it was fantastic! I couldn't finish it though :/


Like the previous night, we had a nomikai after, and again, I ended up talking only to one or two people. I'm really not good with situations involving crowds, I guess.

And so ends Day 2. There's still Day 3, but I'm also heading to Singapore and Malaysia to attended two trade fairs for research, so hopefully I manage to blog then!