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Archive for October, 2006

Age does matter Oct 31

I’ve noticed somehtibg while walking around the centre of Sydney. My first
reaction was how small it was, but that’s an unfair observation based on
relative experience. Once putting this aside I really started to look
around and then noticed what a wonderful mix of new and old the buildings
are.

I guess in Japan if its not over a thousand years old it’s game on to tear
it down and replace with something modern of dubious arhitectual merits.

Sydney being relatively young still values the buildings of yesteryear, and
its not until they are absent are they missed. A message to the planners
of Sydney ‘don’t rip your history down’
— Sent from My Blackberry Wireless Handheld —

The ultimate consumer! Oct 31

Well its time come back! Just been through duty free and remembered to
pick up some sparkling shiraz. Well. The lady saw me coming

‘Do you have sparkling shiraz?’
‘Right this way.’
‘That’s it I’ll take a bottle.’
‘Just one sir?’.
‘Two bottles then’.
‘If you buy three bottles you get a 10% discount.’
‘I can take three bottles into Japan.?’
‘Of course.’
‘Well then three bottles it is then.’

Three bottles are duely selected and prepared for packing.

‘Your not carrying any other wine are you?’
‘No, just a tin of spaghetti and a bottle of mint sauce.’

The ‘oh my god, he’s a fruit loop and he looked so normal expression’.

I think she gave me double packing on the bag in case I had future plans to
swing the bag wildly around my head and they feared legal proceedings.
Might explain why the second bag was inside out with no label showing.

If only she knew that sparkling shiraz is the perfect starter for a dinner
party of roast lamb and roast lamb really mint sauce to really make the taste buds
tingle.

The tin of spaghetti I hear you asking – well that’s has to do with the
morning after brekky!!!!

So my place roast dinner – lambo with sparkling shiraz, sorry no breakfast
only one tin of spagola.

On a jet plane. Oct 21

It is hsrd to believe that I have been here for 1 year now. Time flys when
you cannot tell the time! Oddly the language lessons are paying off as
things being said around me are registering. I am nowing waiting for a
flight to Sydney and already it is a little disconcerting having so many
conversations in english going on around me. Its like the filters are
currently wide open so its all flooding in. I am curios to find out how
long it will be before I drown it all out again. I’ll get back to you on
that.
— Sent from My Blackberry Wireless Handheld —

On a jet plane. Oct 20

It is hard to believe that I have been here for 1 year now. Time flys when
you cannot tell the time! Oddly the language lessons are paying off as
things being said around me are registering. I am now waiting for a
flight to Sydney and already it is a little disconcerting having so many
conversations in english going on around me. Its like the filters are
currently wide open so its all flooding in. I am curious to find out how
long it will be before I drown it all out again. I’ll get back to you on
that.

Re-zenninng Oct 16

For reasons unbeknown to myself I’m heading back to Kyoto for a long weekend. The place Di and her mother were staying at had a spare room!! And given that it was a long weekend and every person so possible can is heading to Kyoto this was a good sign! Booking tickets with my friendly travel agents JTB also worked out well, snagged for myself one of the last tickets out of Tokyo on the Nozomi Shinkansen Saturday morning, and get this, sitting across the aisle from Di and mum on the way back.

First stop was Nanzenji to meet up with them for lunch. There is something very special about Kyoto as within minutes of arriving the stress and rubbish of Tokyo just started to drain away, after just 30 minutes of aimlessly meandering around taking pictures it felt like I had gone a world away! There were some interesting shots of what you not wear when out Temple hoping. The small garden behind the causeway was open this time, and oddly not busy at all considering how many people were walking around the main temple complex, the changing weather of light rain to brillant streaks of sunshine gave the garden a timeless quality and kept its energy level up. Really time to just open up and absorb it all in!

Lunch of yodofu (simmered Tofu), completed the transformation. Di had been given the inside scoop to head off to Daigo-ji which is a temple in the south west and off the beaten track, and what a gem it was. Links below.

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3916.html
http://www.daigoji.or.jp/e/index.html

The garden (which you are not allowed to take pictures of) is totally stunning and you just want to sit and absorb. By the time we got the small shrine at the top we had the whole place to ourselves. The photos (when uploaded) are here at the gallery.

We had managed to avoid the madding crowds and returning to Kyoto to find our accomodation in North Kyoto we just travelled beneath the thronging streets! By the time we emerged at Kitayama station it was surberbia. The place Casa Nutu is just a little difficult to find and in the dark its quite the challenge but well worth it. The house used to belong to our hostess’s mother and father. She returned to care for them and after there passing decided to open the house up as a small guest house. Its an original Kyoto home and has to double rooms down stairs and two small upstairs. And forget on-suite and private bathrooms, this was a real home and has not been changed drastically to make it work as a small and totally unique guesthouse. I’m not even going to mention how to get there or the phone number – as we are heading back!!

Spot the Dog Oct 15

I learnt an interesting lesson today about when to get a haircut, or more specifically a cut and colour in Japan. I was a tad cautious about getting highlights done in Tokyo as the experience with non-black hair can be fairly limited. A great friend Di had run into issues with her hairdressor on this exact same issue. However with summer being here it just didn’t feel summer without going blonder, and given that it was just too damn hot to sit in the sun, le blond o natural was not going to happen.

Now I was aware that the guy who cuts my hair actually worked in ‘New Yorks’ (yes that’s how he says it, and it way to adoreable to correct!) so I figured with all of those bottle blonds wasps he must have some idea. And the first round was a total success.

Alas my appointment for the next cut was late at night and I fear his attention to detail my have slipped a faction, for this result does look like spot the dog, however not a total loss, with some wax and scrunching its great. and luckily the weather is such that wax works now instead of turning into a pool of goop and sweat. Just when its flat it really does look 101 Dalmations. Mind you here in Tokyo, its likely to start another fad!

Ahh Japan, either love it, or buy a ticket and get on the plane!

Culture intake Oct 04

Just spent the last three nights absorbing more culture than a months intake of yoghurt.a series of concerts over ramadan

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