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If you are in for an adventure paired with lengthy, quirky, brutal honest thoughts then you are in the right place.

My name is Arisa and was a cosplayer for 12 years in Malaysia before settling down in Kyoto, Japan. Exploring Japan full time has been a long time dream of mine, so let's explore it together!
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Malaysia's 41st Bon Odori 2017

"I wish to see the fireworks together with you again when you are born #mylilparasite"

That was what i said last year's Bon Odori before you were born Mariko, and now for many years to come i'll always wish that you were here to enjoy them with me. The view from up there must be better than down here right? Makes me wonder if you still hate them because they were so loud, still remembered how you jumped and kicked my belly at the sound of the explosion and during new year countdown at home you gave that annoyed face because you wanted to sleep.
I miss every single one of them.

I already had a yukata and baby sized geta readied for you since last year because by now you would be 9 months old by now and learning how to walk or crawl around on fours, guess i prepared too far ahead sometimes and end up more disappointed than an average person. 
Constantly telling myself it's not fair because all my friend's children who were born during the same year as Mariko has grown so big and most of them are ready for the next phase in life already but while we are stuck in what felt like a stagnant eternity. Can we just go back in time and not move from there?

Never expected myself to attend the Bon odori at Shah alam after my first time attending in 2009 and back then aside from it being super crowded i never truly understood the culture as i was just a high school kid who found every reason to hang out with friends lel. It's been like 8 years how time flies and not to mention there's so many changes!  Almost couldn't recognize this bon odori, but i'm glad i took the effort to attend it because not only the weather was great as i've heard for the past few years it was always raining & there wasn't any fireworks but somehow this year was a good change. It was truly a blessing to have such good weather and companionship that night.

The older i get i purposely AVOID crowds whenever possible lol unless there's a valid reason for me to reconsider that decision of mine. No kidding, i grow more anti social every damn day.

I did try to attend back in 2015 but it was cut short over a squabble with my ex and there wasn't any parking, rather silly actually and he told me that he didn't like attending bon odori because of the crowd and humidity, but turns out he was just a big fat liar (as he always has been) because this year he was with his new girlfriend at Bon Odori, wow what an astonishing discovery and blow for me which i will save it for a next post instead of this because i rather focus on things i should be grateful about rather than the sadness that's constantly engulfing me.
It's rather funny though to see how men can so easily wash their hands clean and move on to the next girl that's willing to spread their legs for them and the amount of effort they put into trying to impress the girl during the courting stage. Such a mystery indeed, any guys here care to share with me on how the mind of a man works? I'll buy you coffee for the interesting insights & knowledge lel.

Recycled back my last year's Yukata because why not lol, had others but i still love this design the most and lookie we have a dude squatting in the middle of the field there 💩

7 months pregnant here but still can fit in my Yukata!
Which hair color wore it better? The silver or the black hair? ;)

This year wouldn't be possible as well if it wasn't for the designated parking space for all JCKL members *hallelujah* which I just found out since i became a member of the Japan club of Kuala Lumpur (JCKL) just last year to attend classes and use their library facility, this is one of the perks that came with it since JCKL organized this event anyway or else i think i would have given up on the idea of coming here altogether lol.
Such a coincidence that VAX was that saturday as well, managed to briefly swing by the event after work before landing myself here and i felt proud of myself for traveling so far alone especially since shah alam area is one of those areas (like cheras) i wouldn't touch since i have everything i need in PJ already lol.

I personally prefer smaller scale events that's why i also chose to attend the bon odori in Publika over this but since my sensei already invited along might as well be a sport and go kan?
Outings are so much fun when you are with a group of people whom you can actually call friends, i honestly almost forgot what it felt like to be part of something after all that has happened (betrayal) i just cut myself off from everyone so that i don't have to endure anymore of other people's drama & sh*ts after this and i've managed to keep my circle of friends down to a handful, still skeptical but it was a great decision to purge my friend list earlier this year which i will continue doing so every month because people these days don't know respect other's privacy and constantly bad mouthing behind our backs because their life is definitely lacking of excitement (sad case).

Enjoying my kakigori and don't know who's the dude at the back that photobomb me lol but thanks for being in the photo whoever you are.

For those who have yet to experience the Bon odori in Malaysia i would advise for you to try at least once, and if you feel too overwhelmed but the crowd you can always start small buy going to the one in Publika. 

Like every festival there will be tons of food vendors and long queues which isn't such a rare sight because almost every tent you'll see a train of humans waiting for their turn to order.
If you have such patience to wait in line like the rest instead of just forgoing food and starve, then you are most definitely mentally ready to brave the insane queues in Japan lol.
I have the tendency to just say "f*ck food" because i'm too lazy and easily tired from standing too long, and food has never been my life's priority anyways, going a couple of hours without it won't kill you. Another better solution is to eat before coming or to pack your own bento to enjoy with your friends while watching the dances and fireworks!

Japanese friends who are in Malaysia get to celebrate bon odori here as well.

I'm grateful for the fun classmates who can take a joke whenever we fumble with our words, it isn't easy being in a class full of adults especially when you know that your progress rate is much slower than an average person so it takes more effort to grasp something. The fear of being constantly being a burden in class is real man, but we all acknowledge that not everyone works in the save wave length, some of us are fast while some of us are slow but our sensei is always very patient with us.
Thank you for everything sensei and hope you enjoyed your first Bon Odori in Malaysia!

This year's bon odori's fireworks was spectacular as well as we were celebrating our 60th anniversary of establishment between Malaysia and Japan, definitely a huge milestone for us malaysian and Japanese, we pray that this continues on for years to come. 
Managed to capture some clear shots of the fireworks, thanks to my canon eosm10, though it's just a basic camera but I can't deny it's awesome performance. The flexible settings allows me to adjust to my needs though the only downside is that I can't take much night shots, wonder if there is such a camera that's able to perform as we as a DSLR. 

Who else here enjoys fireworks like me? I've seen the pictures of the recent fireworks in Japan and they are a 100 times more lavish than ours lol definitely Japan standard level liao, do hope one day I'll be able to experience their summer festivals as well :)

The sunset was beautiful itself, can see the sky painted in shades of pastel blue, yellow and peach

Usually people would gather around the stage and join the dance, you guys can learn a few of the common dances from YouTube or observe the demo section by the dancers before the actual dance starts, i tried to learn but i couldn't even make heads of tails of what i was doing lol, it's like my eyes and hand movements can never be synchronized. 
I myself know that i suck at dancing so best to not bother trying anymore haha!

Prepacked bento sold over here, it's one of the tents that doesn't have a queue because everything has been cooked and packed before hand. All you got to do is select, pay and go.

Look at the amount of people, scared yet? lol

This semester's Japanese class gang with bubbly Miwa-sensei!

Happy 60th Anniversary of the Establishment Malaysia and Japan

I hope you enjoyed the fireworks as much as i did Mariko, 
just probably your view was much better :)               

Bonus: Last year's Bon Odori @ publika

Ahh! Can't believe it's been a year ago already!
With Reno last year in Publika, was rather an impromptu outing but glad we could catch up and enjoy the festival abit. Hope you are doing well in Japan Reno, we miss you alot especially your swag-ness but we are happy for you because you are living your dreams, take care and i'll visit you this October-November k.

Also Publika will be hosting their Bon Odori next month and everyone is welcomed to join, it will be held on 10th September 2017 


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