Saturday, January 31, 2009

Japan day 2

Rise and shine! Its exploration day! To travel from our small town to Harajuku took ages. And the subway is super confusing. So many different lines and so little directions in English. Traveling there is an adventure itself ... and an experience too. Though I am used to the packed LRTs in KL, Japan subways are far worse. They push you in to the brim. You end up having to stand on your toes and even so, you can't fall ........ cos there are people supporting you all the way. Talk about being uncomfortable, fortunately it was winter. And I think I got my jacket torn in the train. bah .......... its not going to ruin my vacation.

Yeah! We reached Harajuku! Time for shopping ... but I still wasn't in the mood for it yet. But it is the ultimate place for people watching! One of my favorite past times and I really don't mind spending the whole day doing that. Well, there were many eye candies, both girls and guys. And 'creatively' dressed people. Oh, what were they thinking? Blond Jap girls dressed in pink tutus with a pink roller bag fixed with ribbons, carrying a pink umbrella though there was no sun or rain, with thick make up and pink patent heels? How about guys with skinny jeans, purple streaked hair with fringes covering half your face and silver studs all over ... oh, and the white face paint? I tried to laugh but I'm afraid that if I do so, that image will haunt me at night.

Another thing worth mentioning is that so many decent men, dressed in coats and ties will just stand by the road. And when they see a pretty girl walking alone, he will approach them and lead her to a shop lot. Heaven knows what its about. But pretty scary too. I was told that it had something to do with the porno industry? But its up to you to decide ....... So sitting by the streets while waiting for the rest of the gang to shop was totally worth it. You get to observe so much in just one sitting. Fashion, cosplay, men in uniforms, weirdos and many many more. All worth a good laugh and even a scare or two.

Lots of walking late, we went to Ometo Sando Hills, the Beverly Hills of Japan. You can really see the difference in class in this area. Just a quick walk in the complexes and I'm back out, sitting in the cool winter air, chatting with friends and people watching again. The ultimate way to kill time. And lots of time was killed waiting for the shoppers but that also meant lots of observations were made. One thing to note ............the doggies are extra fluffy in winter!!

We then went to Meiji shrine. A beautiful sanctuary. Though the entrance was set near a busy train station, the scenary was beautiful. There was a huge toweing wooden arc and you had to track though a long pathway filled with pebbles. Super tiring, super long walk but very worth it. Deeper in, we saw the shrine. There was this water cleansing ritual where you had to was your hands then youjr face. Traditions! The settings are breath taking. Very plain, simple, wooden and pure. I could just sit there the whole night observing the tranquility. It was getting darker and the lanterns made the area so romantic ... too bad the park was closing and we had to leave.

Then we went to this area that is full of IT complexes. Cameras, computers, phones and all sorts of IT shops. You won't even know which shop to step in to. Prices are all so competitive but there is always theissues of international warranties and language settings and taxes etc ... sigh, so close yet so far from my touch screen camera.

My legs are killing me. But Shinjuku was our next stop. Just more walking in the rain, some food and a short trip to the pachinko shop! I've heard so much about this Japanese addiction that I've just got to see it. These centers are everywhere in Japan! But its no different from our slot machines at Genting.

Japan day 1

My vacation started a little earlier than the rest as I travelled from KL to JB to SG for work and some passport stuff. Well, I hardly call that fun as if was so burdensome ... and the sress really kills all the anticipation and feelings of excitement. Imagine leaving for Japan in 24 hours and I did not feel a things on Sunday?

Anyway, once work ended on Sunday night, it was total shutoff for me .... a whole 11 days of relaxation. Monday was spent lazing around and just chilling out in Johor. The feeling of excitement was slowly creeping in, but it was too slow. The clock was ticking and finally it was time to go.

Everyone congagrated in one house and we left JB for Changi airport together. Well, I had the feeling that something interesting is about to happen but sheesh ........ where has my emotions gone? Its going to be my first time in Changi, my first time so far away from home, my first time in a cold country and my first time out with such a big group of friends, 8 people to be exact. Does it hurt to feel a little excited? Well, give it the benefit of the doubt, it was 4 am and I might have been too sleepy.

8 hours later and I am in Narita!! Land of the rising sun!! It was only 8 degrees then and its true! The air does smell fresher!! Standing out in the open really makes you feel so comfortable ... so clean! And for the first time I felt happy and excited. I am in a foreign land ....... ready to explore and ready for great fun! The ride to the little town that we were supposed to be in, Machida, took us 2 hours from the airport. But it was a good trip. Got to see those bare naked trees .. so artistic. Got to see nice traditional and wooden houses and also vast fields and brownish hills. I knew that I made the right decision to tag along to Japan.

There was of course lots of traveling and tugging along the luggage, and when we reached Sensei's house, it was a nice welcome. Cosy room, warm comforters, small toilet but a feeling of togetherness ....... a perfect place for a slumber party hehe. Our room was on the third floor ... better view, fresher air, stronger wind ....... ahh ... just perfect though it doesn't help that the stairs are out in the open and the railings are made of steel .... brrrr cold to the touch.

So off we went for our first Japanese dinner and a tour of Machida city. We had ramen and trhe cute thing about this was that you order via a vending machine. You put your money in, select your food, out colmes your ticket and you will be served shortly. Thoughout Japan, there are many more shops like this. Talk about technology. But even in fast-food Jap chains like this, food is exceptionally good. I love Jap food and its even better to have it from its original kitchen.

Time for shopping and walking and snacking. Shopping centers are a plenty in Japan. I guess thats one of the few things that people in this modern metropolis do to kill their time. But we also went to this street where there were bargains in little shops. Thats where you can get the real good buys but the shopping bug has not caught me yet. So for me, it was just walking outdoors, enjoying the cool air and people watching. I just love to cool wind blowing in your face (and I can feel it right now as I am sitting in my hot room on a typical warm sunny Sunday in KL). I really didn't mind waiting for the others out in the open ....... its not often I get to enjoy this weather. Call me a 'jakun' but thats my cheap thrill. Street snacks was good too and the best ..... eating green tea ice cream in winter! Slurp!

Friday, January 30, 2009

I miss Japan!

Sitting here in the office, less than 12 hours after I reached my home, I am wondering .... what the #%%*! am I doing in the office? Its CNY after all and I am not expected in the office anyway ... and post vacation stress disorder can be pretty bad.

The symptoms are .... boring your colleagues with your vacation stories, viewing pictures over and over again, smiling for no apparent reason and feeling hot even when you're in the air conditioned office.

Oh, how I miss Japan .... the air there was really cool and fresh! Though I froze my ass off, I didn't mind at all .... The weather was one of the main reasons why I traveled, not to mention the friends, the experience and food. Being able to shut your self out from the busy world back home works wonders too. And its a great benefit that my GSM phone was not supported.

Looking back at the photos, I regret why I did not take more of them. They're so beautiful, so happy ... and I notice that everyone's smile was extra sincere. It was true happiness .... true relaxation, letting go of all the stresses back home ..... and just being your self for a week or so. Well, at least it applied for me .... no responsibilities, no need to follow my brain ..... as my heart did the talking here. Perhaps it was the winter that gave me a brain freeze.

I can't really explain the feelings I had over the past week, but it was just like Joycy 2 came out. There was a period of time I actually forgot what or who I was back home .... or I forgot my purpose of being there ... everything just felt so natural .... like I was meant to be ... just enjoying my existance and enjoying the environment around.

Now I recognize the importance of taking time out ... time just to shut out from all troubles and enjoy your being.

The past 2 weeks was really an adventure for me. Something I will treasure for a long time. Though I came back a lot poorer, loaded with lots of rashes and sore muscles from that stoopid flight home .... I think I gained so much more from it. The experience was great! I made new friends and got closer to those I already knew. I created memories that will remain forever. I opened my heart in a way that I forgotten that I was able too. I let my self discover the meaning of pure joy. I realized how light I felt and how peaceful my soul felt. Is it the magic of winter in Japan or is it the miracle of vacations?

So more of my adventures coming soon.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Things have got to change

Words cannot really explain what I am feeling now.
Why can't things just happen as it does?
Why can't today just be like any other day? 
Life goes on business goes on and relationships go on 
Why overlap the issues and lead a miserable life?

Why has things got to be so crazy before events?
Why don't you trust the people around you?
Why must you make life difficult for everyone?
Will you be happy when you drive everyone else up the wall?
Will you be happy when you mess everyone's plans up?
Will you be happy when no one else is by your side?
Will you be happy when you manage to blame everyone else for your wrongs?

You are not the only one with stress
You are not the only one who has to deal with difficult people or events 
You are not the only one who has sleepless nights

Can't wait till this is over. I know I brace my self for times like this- pre events. But no matter how much I prepare, I always feel like things won't change. When will help come? When will the happy environment resume?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

January blues

Phew, its been a hectic week. With the open day in our KL center and having to organize 2 workshops .... I wish there would be more hours in a day. Have been working from 8 am to 8 pm for the past week and finally welcomed a nice break over the weekend ... well, sort of, still had to work in Singapore but I got to travel for food and sleep in the bath tub! wahahaha ... anyway ... another crazy week of work coming up.

But I kind of like it ... working your A$$ off for a project only to have it succeed and bask in the glory of it. Open day was great... people came and went, they understood about hypnosis, experienced hypnosis, and listened to talks. Having 35 people in my small tiny office itself was great too! Fortunately they were only here for 1 hour, if not we will suffocate in this tiny match box office.

Goal Directed master class in KL was good too ... or so that was the reviews I got from my friends. From hotel bookings to participants and facilitators, I can say that event organization was not easy. But everyone enjoyed the course ... I can't wait till I go through it in SG this weekend.

Well, I strongly believe that you can enjoy the fruits of your labour if you nurture it well.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Merry New Year 2009

Its a brand new year & I don't care what the forecasts or the economists say, but I think that its going to be a good year. There is so much more to expand in my career, so much more stuff to learn, opportunities are everywhere ... and in other words ... I feel good!

The critics are not you! So don't let the media influence how your year would turn out to be.

My resolutions? I want to lose at least 3kgs this year .. can't fit into some clothes. Buts its not good to start my year with negative self esteem ... I'm not fat! I just enjoy food! So this resolution is out. I want to travel and explore new places. Well, I've got a few plans lined up ... but I don't mind more! Even a trip to the town beside my home would be an adventure for me. So open up your eyes... hmm... I also want to try out a variety of cuisines. Life is short .... so enjoy food! The chefs prepare the dish with love and I'll savor the dish with love.

This new year's eve was great! Ahmad said I just learnt to count ...3 ...2 ...1. And I was rewarded with a great display of fireworks at Sunway. And its my first time seeing fireworks so close ... less than 1km away. I get the sight, the sounds minus the smell. Was in Sunway hotel ..birds eye view of the lagoon ...nice!

Went to Euphoria @ Ministry of Sound. An interesting place. Pretty crowded but what do you expect? Its the eve .... music was so- so as it was house night ... but the cool thing was the vibrating dance floor. It vibrates to the beat of the music ... giving you so much more feel to groove to the music. Oh! And there were 2 stories to this club .... lovely! And with an international deejay to beat ... it was a great night.

Lots of fun, good company & well wishes for the new year!