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Life in Kyoto | 2nd Month (short ver.)



Where did all those weeks went to, just like that my birthday month has ended and I’m one more step closer to unloading the #lilpenguin cargo. Okay, I’m very scared now, time can you please chill abit, it seems that my days here are shorter compared to Malaysia (not talking about the 1 hour time difference), like some time bomb or something. I have so many things to do, blogposts to write but there is never enough time in a day to complete anything, I’m starting to question whether it’s my typing speed that has slowed down tremendously or housework is the reason why I “ugh” everytime I see my laptop or it’s because I sleep 10 hours a day (don’t judge me, I’m busy growing an eyeball in there, how about you? – Ali Wong) lately so that cut short my productivity window lol.

Where do I begin eh? Mind is kinda muddled up right now as the memory degrading countdown begins, yes a mom’s brain shrinks and it’s not a made up excuse for our forgetfulness it’s a fact, you guys can read it up. So the more kids you pop especially within less than 2 years of each other, I don’t blame you for not remembering your kids names or birthdays correctly lol. Even with the 3-4 years siblings age gap, my mom still can’t get any of our names correctly, so she has to call out every single one before we say “bingo”. Birthdays are easier for her because I think she purposely planned for all of use to be born during the midyear school holidays (May-June) lol. So including herself that’s like 4 people in the family sharing one birthday cake but neither of us could be bothered to remember the exact dates unless Facebook sends us a reminder. That’s how my family rolls.


Last June in Osaka

Last summer (end of June) I came back to Japan to settle some stuff and took a break from work to enjoy some quiet time alone. I was afraid of everything, being alone back at the place where it all happened, everything, corner of this place reminded me of Mariko, it wasn’t easy having a hole in your heart that leaves you wondering if it’s possible to die from such loneliness. Apparently it’s possible for severe untreated cases.

This year is my 2nd time and summer in Japan, so the heat and humidity greeted me like a long lost friend (eww, sticky all over) but what changed this round was I’m a married woman, expecting and I’m celebrating it away from my family for the first time (still letting that fact sink in, slower than I expected tbh). First time in my life I experienced home sickness lol, maybe the noisy siblings trying to blow out the candles on the shared cake, my mom’s wrinkly no eyes smile (sepet lol) and her cooking. I have a major confession to make, I seriously miss nasi lemak and sambal A LOT right now and not to mention the refreshing coconut water that’s perfect for the recent scorching summer heat. Where can I find FRESH COCONUT IN KYOTO??? Please don’t say Okinawa because that’s not anywhere near here *sobs* if you mention box coconut juice I will stab you guys, have you tasted those stuff? Not even close to a coconut it’s gross, who the heck came out with it.

I’m having a #coconutislifecrisis now. Please send help over.

Without realising I rambled so much of rubbish without hitting the main topics for this blogpost yet wow…I’m amazed with my makcik skills. Okay, I better get into the topic or else you guys will click the close tab button on me lol.


Birthday Month 


It’s been a month long of celebration, first time because usually birthday is celebrated one day or sometimes 2-3 times depending on your group of friends but for a month that seems abit too over the top for me as well but I’m not complaining, blessed to be pampered by the danna, his family and friends here, I’ve never felt so special in my entire life until you guys came in. It’s true that time flies faster when you are having fun, every free time spent together makes me wish it would last longer but no worries still got another 50 more years to go, that’s ample time to paktoh with the danna unless one of us dies early lol (choi touchwood), I pray that we’ll have a long and happy life together and may he deal with more of my weirdness as long as he lives.

Facing Lake Biwa


This month without realizing was almost packed with adventures from visiting local temples and shrines to pray to going to the cinema here for the very first time (very expensive!! But late night movies there are discounts), and being so well fed that I’m not surprised that my weight gain this round is more than it should be.

Here is a list of things I was supposed to blog about for June alone but as usual it’s gonna probably carry forward for the next couple of month (typical lol) or maybe I should cramp all these into another single entry, any feedbacks? 

  • Visiting Lake Biwa (Shiga prefecture)
  • Kinkakuji Temple & Gold Ice cream
  • Shimogamo Shrine & Mitarashi dango
  • Kawadoko style dinner experience
  • Kyoto Aquarium 
  • Miyako no Nigiwai (dance by Geishas & Maikos)
  • Visiting Uji (hydrangeas & matcha) 
  • Universal Studios Japan
  • First full body massage in Japan
  • Meeting a Maiko-san Upclose

Taken at Kyoto Aquarium 

Impostor penguin

First Earthquake experience (18/6/2018)
Thank you everyone for the concern during this period, growing up in a country where we were shielded from such natural disasters, and only once we were hit by a tsunami (penang) because it wiped out part of Indonesia before reaching our shores. That was my only memory of natural disasters in Malaysia, yearly floods is a normal thing because the government didn’t bother investing in proper drainage system after so many years but comparing it to earthquakes it’s just one small speck of problem. 


Despite the less than 5 mins level 6 magnitude, it scared the living daylights out of me because one minute you were having your beauty sleep only to be cut short with your roof and windows shaking violently like it’s going to give way and fall on you. And a couple of minutes later another round of it comes along. Mind you that It only takes 10 minutes of earthquake to destroy half the city (Hanshin earthquake). Throughout the day aftershocks followed every couple of hours, and I wasn’t trained for such situations, the only think I know about earthquakes is to hide under the table because that’s what I saw in movies lol not sure it’s even safe to do that or not. My first instinct was to pack an emergency bag in case the house gave way at least we have some clothes, food, water, medicine and money, call me paranoid it’s better than being caught off guard. I seriously have no idea how Japanese people are able to calmly resume to their daily tasks like nothing happened, I was so fidgety and trying to hold back tears after each tremor wishing how I was back in earthquake free Malaysia. Despite transportation system being on hold for a day, most people had to walk to work or take a bus/ cab, nicer companies (super rare) would let their staff take a day off while some will just ask you to come in like normal. Not only public transportation was affected even overall city electricity had to do some maintenance so malls were closed early and free public WiFi is made available because some telco signal lines were down. 

  

It’s quite sad to hear the news of how 5 untimely death cases occurred during this period especially a young girl who got crushed by a wall, those who were living in Osaka especially Takatsuki area, fortunately friends who are living there are safe.

According to the danna this is one of the biggest earthquake he felt in years, last time was probably when he was still in high school. He asked me why am I so unlucky to experience something so frightening like this, i had a bad panic attack for almost a week because there were still some aftershocks.
Not much damage done for our house (landed property), just part of the roof fell off while friends living in higher buildings experienced a huge mess of things falling of shelves, thank goodness none of them were injured during this incident.

But after awhile, I finally understood how Japanese people respond calmly to such situations instead of me who panicked the sh*it out of myself, they learned to accept this force of nature as part of their country. The most they can do is be prepared for the worst because mother nature is unpredictable, there are actually minor tremors all over Japan but it’s not enough to send the warning alarms blaring until it reaches level 5 or 6. Learned a valuable lesson from this scary experience, time to stock up on can foods, make use of the underground storage place in the house lol.


Summer sales

Great time to shop for baby clothes!

It’s seriously no joke, their sales over here is beyond insane! It’s like everything has to be cleared out and for a fact I know about Japan’s fashion retail industry if old seasoned stocks don’t gets cleared out, staffs will be assigned to CUT UP BRAND NEW CLOTHES to ensure that it doesn’t get resold elsewhere, that’s how their retail policy works. Talk about major wastage, I cried hearing that from the danna because he used to work in this line like me but in Malaysia our old stocks just goes into the warehouse and brought out again during mid and year end sales.

#JapanSummerTip1
Sales in Japan starts usually towards end of June (early July) and lasts till August, best time to come and shop aside from year end (lucky bags), think I spent a lot shopping on clothes because it’s seriously cheap RM250 can get you up to 15 pieces of clothing if you know where to shop wisely.

Flights to Japan during summer is no doubt cheap because last year alone my flight inclusive of baggage with Airasia was less than RM900, but honestly in don’t mind paying abit for a more comfortable flight, better food, 46kg baggage allowance and wider leg space with Japanese airline, if you are lucky you can get them as low at RM1200-1400!

Everyone complains about the heat and humidity here, during June it’s probably noted as “rainy season” but there is a silver lining that comes with it like Hydrangea blooms. It’s probably one of the most unappreciated seasonal flowers around but if you know where to go and view them, trust me you’ll love them as much as the dainty sakura flowers.

I’ve blogged about it last year you can view my Osaka entry, found it more impressive than the one I visited in Uji this year- Mimurotoji
What bummed me out the most was that they increased the entry fee from 500yen to 800yen!

Taken at Mimurotoji

#JapanSummerTip2
Another tip I have for those of you guys who are planning to come here during summer is to always check the weather forecasts as these are usually 80% accurate and it can help you plan your indoor and outdoor activities accordingly.


For The House


We bought a new toast/ waffle/ taiyaki maker from Amazon, works well for something we didn’t bother paying too much for because how often do we even use all these stuff lol. It’s because of this toast maker I found out that Japan’s bread slices vary and most of them are usually thick instead of the usual normal slices we are so used to. Imagine my horror when i shopped for a loaf of bread for the first time, a loaf of 4 slices? Seriously, that four slices easily can be sliced up to 6 or 8!

Who eats sandwiches that thick??

Asked the danna and he assumed that Japanese people prefer it thicker as it’s more premium compared to thinner slices which can be found in the local combini (labelled as cheap bread). Sounds like a legit excuse but those bread can’t fit in my toaster =_=

Luckily I found those in 8-10 slices in the local supermarket and even better there are some that comes without the bread edges, trimmed for you to just eat it out of the pack. How I love Japan lol, makes lazy people like me even lazier because everything is just so convenient. 



Here is a simple tuna cheese melt sandwich I made with the toaster. Anyone can make it, haven’t managed to test out the taiyaki and waffle trays yet but I’ll update next time when I do.

And thank you guys for always cheering me on for our dinner cooking adventures, cooking isn’t my forte but I try to prepare home cook meals whenever I can because eating out isn’t exactly that cheap unless we go for half priced sushi in AEON lol. Not supposed to be eating too much raw fish either (occasionally is fine), best is always fully cooked food to also avoid not only parasites but also potential food poisoning.


Birthday Gift


When I first came to Japan I bought myself an early birthday gift which was an overlock and sewing machine, soon my little studio upstairs started to grow because there are new additions thanks to my in-laws, managed to get a mannequin that I can use for draping. Yay!

The best birthday gift I can ever ask for is having lil penguin grow healthy inside of me, knowing that she’s such a swimmer and a kicker, I’m in pain all over but it gives me assurance that she’s alright. I’m somehow extra paranoid now because whenever I don’t feel lil penguin kicking all those negative thoughts start running through my mind. “What if this..what if that..” it’s like I can lose her so easily, could be the nightmares who are the main culprit and trust me dreaming of miscarriages and blood almost daily isn’t something you can just brush off as a simple bad dream. Doctor already assured us that she’s doing fine and all I need to do is rest more. 


New Hobby

Posting postcards to myself from my travels, sounds weird but each postcard has a message written to my future self, a reminder of what has happened and some advises too. Prior to this i've only kept mementos like tickets, photos and landyards in my keepsake box , until i came across a postcard album at the local post office which had the concept of posting letters to oneself during travels in it. Sounds fun to try out, i don't travel much these days but i made it a point to post one card to myself from a new place i've visited. Also because the danna likes writing stuff on postcards like his proposal letter so i needed a proper place to store all these precious cards lol. 

Shobon landyards are so difficult to collect these days, guess postcards are more practical souvenirs for myself as well lol

A birthday card to myself from Shimogamo Shrine

Gonna end my post here because I’m very kiamsap to make sure my life’s monthly entry goes up every 4th of the month and not any later lol.

Definitely more to write in my upcoming entries so don’t worry!


XOXO,

CONVERSATION

2 comments :

Nur Hamidah Mohamed Rosli said...

I could not respond in your FB on the preferred version. If this is short, I'd love the see the longer version. The reading is endless, I felt it is never enough :p

Arisa Chow said...

Ah, yea Facebook is abit glitchy for the light ver. I decided to uninstall all FB apps after so many problems with it. Haha, glad that there are people who still enjoy a good long read, i do sometimes get feedbacks that most ppl prefer more photos and caption which is what Instagram is for instead of blog. Kinda torn in between lol.

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