Sunday, September 30, 2012

30.09.2012 - typhoon

Hey all,

So it's currently 6.30 in the evening here and according to current weather updates Typhoon Jelawat (for those who don't know: a typhoon is exactly the same thing as a hurricane, it's just what they're called when they're in the Pacific instead of the Atlantic.) will be hitting Tokyo at about 10 tonight, and be gone from the area by around 6 tomorrow morning.

Getting mixed reviews on the actual strength of it at this point. Some websites are saying it's actually only a tropical storm while others are calling it a 'super typhoon' which is like a category 4 or 5 hurricane.

I've gone all that can be done to the house. Brought in all the laundry stuff, made sure all the storm stutters are closed and locked, tied up my bike extra well using fancy fisherman's knots, all the essentials!

I just watched Pulp Fiction for the first time and just downloaded Captain America: The First Avenger to pass the time, so it looks like I'm in for a thrilling night!

I'm sure I'll be fine, no one seems particularly worried.
I guess I'm just out of the habit of living in somewhere where hurricanes are an actual issue, or maybe it's just very different in a city since everything's so much more sheltered.

coping with life by drinking copious amounts of hot tea & listening to Shawn Colvin.

But I just wanted to post this to let y'all know I'm fine and ready, or whatever.
I'll make sure to post tomorrow sometime once it's all over.


And as a slight aside today is my parent's 23rd wedding anniversary (it's actually their anniversary at home too, now!) and I love them so much and think they're too fabulous not to mention it.
I love you two, and I love how much you love each other, and I'm going to get misty eyed if I keep typing so I better just stop now.

photo I took of them last fall.


have a good day & pleasant tomorrow, all.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

29.09.2012 - I love Farmer's Markets!

On Thursday my highlight was Skyping with Da. We laughed, I cried, we yelled a bit.
It was awesome, not just Skype wise, but life conversation wise.

On Friday I went to Hombu only to realise I'd forgotten my pants and didn't have time to go back and get them before my Japanese Lesson. Boo.
Had Japanese lesson, I'm slowly, slowly, slowly, getting there.

Today I worked from 9 - 1.30 and then went to the Farmer's Market!
I've had some people tell me to stay away from them, because of radiation/where the produce is coming from.
But I guess my feeling is that I am being radiated constantly. Cell phones, planes, subways, cars, everything ever pretty much.
So to be pedantic about food just seems like too much, for me personally.
I obviously don't think it's wrong to be like that, plenty of people here are and they all have valid reasons and that is fine.
But given the length of time I'm here, the amount of other things I do that radiate me more…. I just feel fine going to stuff like that.

Anyway, it was amazing. One of the nicest things I've done since I got here.
I walked around and bought some pears & and smoothie, sat down for a bit.

Refresh Magenta, minus the tomatoes.

Got some vegan bagels and raw dehydrated granola bar thing.
Then a build your own salad for lunch (mine had lettuce, olives, onions, steamed pumpkin and potato, and a tahini/sesame dressing.), which I enjoyed next to an adorable hippie japanese family.

vegan bagels! well, except the chocolate ones unfortunately.

salads and vegan food and farmer's markets all make me so pleased.

cranberry and macadamia nut vegan bagel!

plus I tried some other fruit, ginger snacks, and smoothie stuff whilst walking about.

the most wonderful pears!

There was tons of van things (like my salad one) selling vegan and vegetarian hot food as well, I just wasn't feeling a massive meal. Even though I ended up eating heaps, it wasn't hot, so it felt like less!

Only had my mobile with me, so sorry for the photo quality. Next week I'll be sure to take my dSLR do document!
It's only a 10 minute or so walk from where I work on Saturdays, so I'll definitely be going most weeks, so exciting. For real.

Now I'm taking some time to relax, since I have nothing to do until I go to Hombu tonight.


Typhoon Jelawat is hitting Tokyo sometime Sunday night/Monday morning.
So hopefully it turns out to be a non-event, since that's what I like all typhoons/hurricanes to be.


I took a nap and then went to class. Suguwara Sensei was teaching, really like him too.
Good class, fast enough to get the blood moving but not killer. Great way to end the day!

Looks like Jelawat isn't exactly going to be a non event, but I'll be prepared. As always, yo.
After work tomorrow I'm acting in true Bermudian fashion and going to stock up on things at the grocery store.
Might even get some rum, just so I am really embracing my hurricane and hot toddy filled childhood.

I hope you all have a good day, and a pleasant tomorrow!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

26.09.2012 - ueno park, take two.

Highlights of yesterday:
1) I went out for dinner at Eat More Greens!
So delicious.
I had 'Tonight's Pasta' which was so fresh tasting. And vegan, boom.

2) skyped with my Uncle. I miss him, too.


And today!
I had the day off (by boss is, kindly, giving me some time to rest and make sure I kick this silly illness) so I slept in and then skyped with Da for a spell.
Ate some breakfast and out of the blue Josie Skyped me! This is exciting because she's at camp!
Anyway, ended up getting to talk to her, Magnus, Elijah, Liam, Ella, and Autumn for a while. As well as say hellos to Maggi, Zara, Blake, Josh, Aytch, and Kate.
I can't believe I'm not there, it's so bizarre. But Magnus says he's having an amazing time, so that's the important thing thing year!
I'm going to do my best to be back there next year, we'll see how my life pans out, won't we?

Elijah, Liam, Magnus, Ella, and a hint of Kate's face.

I did a bit of research on being vegan/raw (I'm not raw, but I love raw food!) in Tokyo and came up with a few restaurants I want to try, plus some tips on where to shop etc.
I love it internet for stuff like that.
I'm in a city that I know no one in (certainly not anyone who's vegan!) and I can come up with dozens of blogs, articles etc on being in my exact position.

I decided I needed to get out and go somewhere otherwise I was going to lie in my room in my pyjamas all day, which wasn't what I needed. In the ended I decided that I was going to go back to Ueno Park and see how I felt from there.

I walked around the park a little, but I just wasn't feeling it for the afternoon.

What I did end up feeling was the zoo again, to see the rest of it. Which I have now seen!
Other than some of the enclosures (mostly for the bigger animals) being a bit small, it's not too bad.
I did a really nice walk across a small lake and stuff to see lemurs and aye-ayes and it was generally pleasant.
Today was cool enough to not be sweating but warm enough to wear a sundress, perfect for how I felt.

hedgehog, for mum!

I think I'm hilarious.

red crested crane
giant salamander!

red pandas from above.

Left around 4, since a lot of the animals were going to their 'sleepy time enclosures' (which is what I will now be referring to my bedroom as, in case you were wondering.)
Came back, put away my laundry, and now I'm going to watch a movie or something and make myself some dinner.
And then go to bed nice and early, since I have to wake up for Osawa Sensei's class in the morning.
Which I hope he's at, because he's leaving to go to Halifax on Friday, so we'll see.
This weekend my father gets to be at a seminar smaller than most of his classes here, lucky duck.

Have a pleasant day, all!

Monday, September 24, 2012

24.09.2012 - tonsillitis & a trip to the grocery store.


I spent most of today just hoping I'd die.
(not really)

So sick. throat's still killing me, about 98% sure I have strep throat at this point.

stopped on the way back from work and got some vegan ice cream & some soup.

drank like 5 cups of my garlic/ginger/honey tea (seriously just put chopped garlic and ginger (not minced, you want it to be big pieces) in a mug, add hot water. And honey, if you want.) and watched the new Doctor Who. And ate some ice cream.

Took a bath, read the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy for a bit.
Nothing like your favourite book when you're feeling down.

Called my insurance company to make sure I'm covered/find out what to do etc.
It was scary. I've never really had to properly deal with stuff like that before.
It made me feel grown up, but it also made me burst into tears the moment I was off the phone.

Took some more painkillers, they don't seem to help my throat much but if I could just get my neck pain/headache to go away or at least mellow down that'd be fantastic.

Took a nap for a while, I'm so bloody tired from being sick and still working.

Now I'm going to see if I can force down some soup and drink some more tea.
Pretty much just waiting up until I can Skype with Da. I miss my family so much when I'm sick.
Magnus will soon be waking up to his second full day at camp, I miss talking to him already.
Though I hope it has a really outstanding time, I'm sure he will.


My day actually got better from there. The painkillers did help my throat a bit, or maybe  it was all the tea but I was able to eat the better part of a bowl of soup (indian dal soup, a bit bland for my normal tastes but it was good for the moment) and drink more tea. I hadn't actually eaten anything that could be called a meal since Thursday night, so I really needed it.

my throat! good lord!

poor me, what's a lady to do!

Skyped with Da, he's awesome. Gave me good advice, made me laugh, sent me a photo of my cat to cheer me up, I mean seriously. Best father ever.

Watched the new SNL, because everyone love a good laugh.
(I'm just going to get it out in the open and say I want to be best friends with and/or marry Kate McKinnon. Funniest most adorable person ever.)

Skyped with my uncle for a bit, but unfortunately I had to go to bed so it just our talk short.



went to the hospital, no one spoke English.
They gave me some number to call, called it. They sent me to some clinic (that was waaaay closer to where I live than the hospital) and the doctor there told me I don't have strep, I have tonsillitis!
Which is neutral? I mean it's almost the same medication, so.
Luckily they don't have to remove them, which apparently they don't always do?

I'm on 4 pills per meal (so, 3 times a day) for the next 4 days. Phew.

Going to take a nap, have some lunch and my first round of meds, and then go to work.


Went to work, it was ok. The actual working bit was fine. Kids were nice, didn't get too confused about stuff, my throat wasn't even killing me.

But falling is the thing killing me right now. I can't really hold my head properly because of how swollen my throat still is, so I'm tensing my neck as I fall which is what's been giving me all the neck pain.
And just being thrown at the floor something like nearly 100 times in two hours (even if it's by 5 year olds) is pretty much the worst thing I can think of doing while feeling sick.
Everything hurts again. boo.

My boss brought my my claims forms he printed, so I need to get that in the post tomorrow. Or maybe Wednesday since tomorrow's super busy for me.

Got home just in time to grab my laundry inside before it started pouring.
Then I went to Olympic to get some food, made a video about it!

boom. enjoy.

Something to look forward tomorrow is that since I can't go to Hombu until Wednesday night (well, I can do whatever I want. But since there's still a chance I'm contagious until 48 hours after my medication started I would never go to somewhere like that where I'm breathing all over people and their stuff.) is that I will probably go out to Eat More Greens! All my talk and I've still actually only been there once. So I think I'll do that and then come home and talk to da.

have a pleasant day, all!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

22.09.2012 - ill

I've been super sick since thursday.
I still went to Osawa Sensei's class and then went to Yoko Okamoto's class as part of the IAF.
They were both amazing, though needless to day I'd have enjoyed it more if I hadn't been feeling run down and gross.

current symptoms:
throat is raw, to the point where breathing hurts.
fever, I'm going hot and cold. back and forth.
shoulders, upper back, and neck is killing me.

I've been drinking as much water as I can bare (hard to stay hydrated when swallowing makes you want to cry), eating tons of ginger & garlic.
Have some flu stuff, but it's actually for sinuses and I cannot face going out to buy a different kind right now because loud noises make me die a little inside right now.

taken some hot baths (helped with my shoulder/neck pain) and have been sucking on Halls cough drops basically non stop.

this is what I did pretty much all afternoon, when I came back from work.
(my boss was nice! he let me be on gate duty and then did stuff so I had to fall as little as possible. made a big difference to my day.)

I made a video (since today is my one month anniversary of being in Tokyo) but I can't be bothered to upload it right now.
Not even sure it's ever going to go up, it focuses a bit on hard hard moving/my life is versus how cool it is. But let's be honest, I go through periods where my life feel pretty impossibly difficult.
So perhaps for honesty's sake I'll post it tomorrow.

it's 7 right now an I'm going to force down some more black bean soup (sick cooking with Signe: make soup consisting of black beans. garlic, water, and olive oil. Not too shabby considering.) and go to bed.
I work tomorrow morning until 12, but then I'm off again until Monday night. So hopefully tonight's rest and getting to sleep a lot tomorrow will make me better.

I'm going to be honest here and say being sick without anyone to care for you is the absolute worst feeling.
I mean, it's not like there's anyone in Tokyo that I want sitting by my bedside or whatever.
But it makes me feel lonely.
I can't think of anytime I've ever been sick by myself, either. I've been sick at camp, or when I was in Australia but I was with good friends, who were the sort of people I'd be ok asking them to grab me some tea or something.


have a pleasant day, all!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

19.09.2012 - tokyo national museum + ueno zoo.

a pretty horrid morning, just woke up sad and lonely.

graffiti in Shibuya.

spend a while skyping with mum, she made me feel better, as always.

went to meet Keiko and to work again and it was considerably better.

stopped on my way home and got this amazing drink which was pretty much just minced ginger in tonic water. Possibly the most refreshing thing I've ever tasted.

Dragged my butt to the dojo, since Osawa Sensei was teaching and I can only go about 3 days without training before I go mental.
Class was good, there were heaps of people who are here for the Aikido Conference.
Mostly practiced with this cool old man. I pretty much only practice with old men because they know awesome stuff and I learn so much from them. A lot of younger guys seem to feel the need to correct everything I do, and I guess the older men do too a bit but maybe I just respect them more?
I dunno, but I like practicing with them.

Sensei had a lady translating into English since there were all the guests, he's hilarious! But it was oddly confusing, I've just gotten used to never knowing what he (or anyone else!) is saying.
Since all the people were there, heaps of them were taking photos of the dojo, so I took a moment to snap a few. I had my 50mm lens on though, which meant I couldn't really take wide angle photos. Anyway, here's a few from the foyer. I still couldn't bring myself to actually photograph the dojo spaces since you're really not meant to.

stopped by FKGS (favourite korean grocery store) to buy some apple juice and olive oil.
Here are a few photos I snapped there, and on the ride home.

my bike!

Came home, grabbed some bread and stuff and hid in my room to eat it.
Tomorrow morning I'll be doing a class or two at hombu and then working in the afternoon.


slept poorly, woke up and it was pouring.
so I said fuck it to aikido, since I didn't feel like biking 20 minutes in the rain, and figured yoga would be good enough for the morning.
speaking of yoga, it's not something I've ever really done, but I've started doing the Sun Salutations in the morning, partly as a wake up and partly because walking everywhere has made me so stiff.
My hamstrings are about an inch long right now, it's killing me! poor baby.

had some cereal (tip: make your cereal the night before and let it sit, so it all soaks in. this only works if you're using an oatmeal based cereal, or are like me, and just eat cold oatmeal for fun. I did one part apple juice to one part water, for extra fun.)

skyped with Claire for a bit! she's really lovely, but I already knew that.

Then I decided to go to Ueno Park for the rest of the day, since I don't work until later on Wednesday's.
So I got the train there and started by going to the Tokyo National Museum, which was really good!

I saw some beautiful paintings and kimonos and statues and pottery.


this is the information for the mask, right above it.

and swords! I love swords. They also had heaps of sword paraphernalia like little decorations and tsubas.

I want a tsuba like one of these.

moon & hare sword pins.

rooster sword pins.

Then I got tired of the museum and decided I'd spend the rest of my time in Ueno Zoo.
Pretty good! I got to see a giant panda! it was cute as can be. Not overrated at all.
Seriously, I just wanted to cuddle it.

I walked around for a bit, I bet I only saw maybe a third of the zoo as a whole though. I'll go back for sure, maybe on my next day off when I could spend the whole day there and get lunch and stuff.

japanese black bear.

Eventually I had to leave, I did cave and stop by Starbucks because I really needed a cold drink.
Got an iced soy chai latte, look at how careful they are about not giving me milk! Bless them.

view from Uguisudani Station.

These are some fruit and vegetables on display outside my local vegetable shop.

Came back only to realise I thought I worked an hour earlier than I actually do, which is awesome because it means I get to sit around in the air conditioning and write some postcards and relax since of rushing out the door like I thought I had to do.


Went to work, it was stressful too. Learning the ropes of this job is really really hard.
It's just all so different from how I learned as a child/what I know now.
I'm getting there, I know I am. But it can be so frustrating sometimes.

I came home and made myself a nice dinner and skyped with my family, which made my day end on a high note. Which I like very much!

Tomorrow is going to be busy & aikido filled.
I'll be going to Osawa Sensei's class from 8-9 at Hombu and then to Yoko Okamoto Sensei's class from 11-12 at wherever the IAF is being held.
Then I work for a few hours in the evening.
And then! I get to go out for my weekly vegan meal at Eat More Greens.

have a pleasant day, all!