23 September 2008

Hi from Singapore!!


Nothing beats the feeling of being back HOME!!! =D

The first gush of joy rushed to my head when the pilot announced during touchdown, '... and to all Singaporeans, home sweet home... ' =DDD

I've been diligently feasting for the past 60 hours, the proper 3 meals and much in betweens. =D Weight isn't an issue, I'm a self-confessed unstoppable local food warrior! Whahahahaha!! A pact I'm imposing on all acquaintances I'll be meeting up : Let's have local, Thai, Indonesian, Vietnamese and any other cuisines, but strictly NO Japanese!! =P

There's so much to catch on TV! Got to search for goods meant for Singapore's first F1 race, remember the friends to meet up with and schedules to plan carefully. It's definitely going to be another enriching trip!

Of all things, I've forgotten to bring the cable that enables download of photos to pc. Grr... So, sorry folks, please put up with my picture-less posts until my return to Japan!

Poor Bear has no chance to join me for this trip. I can imagine my F1-fanatic husband jumping all day long if he's here counting down to the race with me. I bet he'll be examining his tickets like an anxious little boy, and performing his happy dance...

Oh well, no good dwelling on what's impossible. I really should concentrate on making the trip a fruitful one! =D

Ciao! I'm leaving for lunch. =D

19 September 2008

Goodbye Summer

BUSY! I've been incredibly busy!!

In addition to the hassle of preparing for the recent trip, and clearing up the mess that came after, I am desperately trying to clean the house to utmost perfection because...


Unfortunately, at this moment when I'm extremely in need of time, some impossible person has to bug me with his unreasonable emails that totally pissed me off! &%$#%!!!!! And the fact is, he's been harassing me for weeks since August! Excuse me, but I really wonder is he any least concerned about being a gentleman, for his unjustified behaviour is outrageously unbelievable! I'll be most grateful if anyone out there could teach me how to deal with an irrational person, with integrity and composure! Admittedly, I confess that his constant provocation has got me, but I have no desire to behave like a brute beast that I totally despise. GOD, I need wisdom!!! There's none but You who can bestow the wisdom that helps me approach this matter, with righteousness! Anyone out there, please pray that I will receive the wisdom on tackling this issue!

I regret about expressing my frustration here, it's something I least want to do, but I truly need some breathing space, and hopelessly need to expel my fury! Argghhh! GOD, let your spirit reign in me and help me curb this anger within!!! =*(

This is definitely not what I've planned to write for the last post of Summer, dear friends. I truly hate to end this post with a disturbing tone, and I thank you for listening if you've spared your precious time. No... I've decided better, that rather than lingering over what's ugly, let's dwell on the goodness of life instead, like Blogger friend BP has coded,

Finally, brothers, whatever is true,
whatever is noble, whatever is right,
whatever is pure, whatever is lovely,
whatever is admirable— if anything
is excellent or praiseworthy—
think about such things.
~ Philippians 4:8

Sniff... So, before I go, let me share what is intended for this last post of Summer... Just some sights that have touched my heart much...


I'm born in a tropical country that Summer reigns all year round, and stayed for some 28 years before I had to move to Japan to live with my partner. Being a person weak in constituition since birth, with a body that shivers non-stop once the room temperature hits 26 degrees, I wonder if it's truly unimaginable for many, how tough it is for me to pull through the chilling seasons in Japan...


In fact, the mention of ' Winter ' alone, sends a chill down my spine...


For all the near 4 years I've resided in this country, there hasn't been a single Autumn or Winter was I spared from the wicked virus of flu, something that I've got my weak immunization to thank for. Autumn alone is capable of knocking me down with a nasty flu that won't go until it has romped for at least 3 weeks!


Unlike the biting cold seasons, Summer is like a best friend who visits me, and offers his warm comfort though for a truly brief period in a year.


There must have been times when I've complained about my Summer friend though... about his vicious heat and the unforgiving tan he so generously etches on my skin! Hahahaha, some of those antics he's known for...


But Summer is undoubtedly the kindest to me! =D Especially Summer 2008, that is definitely less hot than Summer 2007 that I can remember... I could walk about in my shorts and sleeveless tops, get a cool shower, gobble up my favourite icecream, dry my laundry in mere hours, enjoy the caress of the gentle breeze, so much more and not forgetting the fun we had in the rain or sun, all thanks to lovely Summer!


It'll be Autumn by the time I've returned to Japan 3 weeks later. Summer buddy bids me goodbye this day not with his usual sunny smile, but a drizzle that only adds to my melancholy.

His stay is all too transient...


Goodbye Summer 2008, and thank you! You've really been great!

I'm not sure how much I'd blog when I'm back to Singapore, but I'd surely like to roll out a post or two if I can. And I hope that it's not too much to ask, that you won't forget this God-Blessed Box for good from now... Hahaha!! All you out there, be blessed.=D

YIKES! I've got so much to do!!! =P

18 September 2008

Summer trip by the sea ( II )

The Summer trip ain't over until we've seen more fishes!

For first, we've got God to thank again, for the good weather! As I've said in Part I, the weather was forecasted to be thoroughly bad over the weekend, but where we stood, we were spared from the rain; plus the grace of pretty blue skies! Praise the Lord for He is good!

The next morning, we participated in a local event organized by the fishermen by the sea, held as early as 7a.m.! Know that this event could never be possible if it had to rain...

It was a fishing game, whereby everybody teamed up to catch fishes by net and have a taste of a rugged fisherman's life!

How it works : Fishermen set out to the sea to cast a huge net, the participants would then pull the net back to the shore over 2 ends, in order to gather the fishes.

It's a lot of hard work actually! The net and ropes are roughly textured, every pull feels like fighting an enormous resistance. I've participated once before and it felt like I was the only one in the line pulling the net. Hahahahha!! Just exactly how tough it was.

2 lines of participants, Bear was helping on the left side. =P

Anyway, I've become wiser and decided to excuse myself from the game. So that I can show you how the Bear was doing! =D


The harvest was then distributed to participants in a small bag, mostly fishes and squids. Japan is a nation that has no qualms over having fresh seafood, raw. I've actually seen people ripping squids on the spot for consumption. Skillful as they are, in a matter of seconds, unwanted parts are flung into the sea, and the flesh washed with sea water before savouring. Something I know that I can never be capable of... neither does the Bear.

Bear received 2 squids and they were released to the sea as usual. It's our family tradition, remember?


Afterwhich, all particpants received a drink-all-you-can seafood miso soup invitation! Bursting with flavour of prawn, crab, fish, shell, squid and others, its richness is something I can never achieve at home. Call me a cheapskate, but I seriously think that this soup beats any other soup served in so called high class restaurants.


We had a sumptuous breakfast after the event, a mineral bath, a little idling and it was time to say goodbye. How I wished that the snakes-and-ladder game by the window would never have to end, but it was time to leave.

A view by the full length window in our room. The spot that I love best.


I found a butterly while we were strolling by the beach! Look how beautiful it was!! Little did I expect to find such a big and beautiful one by the seaside!


Later, we moved to another location for Bear's fishing session, and so began my waiting game. I did not have a hard time though, I'll tell you why!

I've got my own reward too! Spot the Heart!!


Do you see the smaller heart against the big one? Like a mother and child! Silly Bear said that it was him and me ( roll eyes* ), or maybe I should agree with him =P. The bigger cloud wasn't in a shape of a heart earlier. I was actually watching it, hoping that the near-heartshape cloud would transform with the help of the wind, and it did!! =D

The Bear got his returns too! Small fishes but he was totally exhilerated!



The trip was closed by shopping at the local market for some straits produce, and fresh seafood of course! Everything was totally cheaper than what we could get in Nagano, best souvenier ever. =D

So the last trip of Summer is over, with loads of precious memories and surprizes I know I won't forget, now that they've been blogged in the God-Blessed Box... =)

I hope you've been blogging about great times too! =D

16 September 2008

Summer trip by the sea ( I )

We were off for a short holiday over the recent long weekend, at Niigata ( 新潟 )alongside Sea of Japan.

The near 3 hours travel on highway provided a rare chance for me to run at 130km/h, definitely not a speed I get to drive on normal road, especially when I'm under the scrutiny of the Bear. Hahaha! Driving on highways makes me HIGH!

We were especially thankful about the weather, which was supposedly awful as forecasted. True enough, it was raining all the way during the travelling, but the skies cleared up by the time we've reached the sea! We couldn't believe our eyes as we watched the sky transform! God is so gracious to us!!

Watching the transforming sky.

The sea is probably a rare sight to those who reside in mountaineous regions. Like a little boy who sees the beach for the first time, Bear is often fascinated by the crashing waves and the scent of salted air.


For the love of the fishing sport that Bear is so passionate about, and the picky me who prefers seafood to meat courses, a holiday by the sea is a pick that can't go wrong. We love the place so much that we returned for the 3rd visit. =D


It's the time of the year that the Bear catches a breather and lays hand on his fishing rod, while I enjoy embracing the seaside nature. Watching the setting sun dyeing the sea and others in champagne gold, looking for special finds, and fiddling the camera...

Not forgetting to search for a heart rock I've hoped to find, but to no avail... Yet, let me show you what I've found!


It was a broken shell that seemed to be crafted into a shape of heart! I was filled with awe when it caught my eye, and pondered how nature worked to create something this incredible... Imagine my joy when I spotted the rare Heart!

And more to this, a beautiful sunset that took our breath away... Again, not something that we took for granted, for our room maid claimed that sunset could not be seen for the past 2 days due to a cloudy weather!



Fishing maniac Bear achieved his top purpose too! His patience duly rewarded with a puffer fish catch, which he promptly released back to the sea after this shot. It's our ' family tradition ' to release fishes caught. =)


Our stomachs growled as we watched the sun retiring to the horizon. Quickly, we had our hot spring bath of rich minerals before the sumptuous dinner of fine seafood!


Just a glimpse of what we had. I was too engrossed feasting, unwilling to stain my camera either. Hahahahah....For those who enjoy cooking and food presentation, I hope that some pictures do help as reference.

Enjoying Japanese cuisine or courses, can be pleasant and rather uncomfortable experience at the same time. Notice the number and variety of plates used? Note : I've not captured the entire course and the several dishes served later! Seriously, I often pity the person who does the dishes... what a chore it must be to wash up everything!


To hardcore seafood-lovers and friends who enjoy travelling Japan, here's a fact I feel a need to share. Forget the cities if it's supreme seafood you're looking for. A trip to prefectures adjacent to the sea, promises the most fleshy, fresh and sweet seafood at totally irresistable prices!


Niigata is especially famous for its produce of delicious rice, making the fresh seafood cuisine a total gastronomic delight. One of the reasons that makes the Bear return to Niigata faithfully over the years.


As we recollected thoughtfully, all would have been less than perfect if not for the goodness of the Lord. The miraculous change of weather that allowed Bear's fishing, a beautiful sunset, and the discovery of the ' Heart '. We really couldn't be more grateful!


A lovely memory it is, for Summer 2008. =)

I'll be sharing Part II tomorrow. Stay tuned!

12 September 2008

Iced green tea with japanese plum wine, a delightful concoction for Summer

Late Summer in Japan is usually blowing hot and cold. I find myself changing attire 2 or 3 times a day this week, in order to tackle the fickle temperature!


On outright sizzling days like these afternoons, I'll jump at the opportunity to make some cold drinks to beat the heat . I know... ( sheepish grin ), it's awfully late and Autumn is closing in... I should have blogged about this much earlier... Honestly, I forgot to! Hahahaha!!! Well I thought I better blog about it now for ' amnesia ' may find me again next Summer. Wahahaha...


Anyway, anybody remembers the Japanese Plum Wine I've blogged about here and here? Yep, the same wine again, and this time with... guess what? Japanese green tea!


Now this isn't my formula, the TV commercial of the Japanese Plum Wine shared this ( I thought I heard ' phew 's =P ). Simply prepare some green tea, and get it chilled if it's some harsh heat you're battling there. To serve, mix green tea with Japanese plum wine, the ratio is 3:1. Add rocks for an icy cold finish.


You may wish to figure out your preferred alcoholic level, and give it an extra punch. I thought that the combination as it is, is totally brilliant! I relish the subtle taste of wine within the refreshing green tea, it's a total delight for grownups, and perfect with a good dinner. Hic*

We're having a longer weekend as Japan is having a public holiday on Monday! I'll catch you soon when I'm back. Have a great weekend!

11 September 2008

3rd award for the blog


Blush... much as I try to, I don't think I can conceal it very well especially when this heart is bursting with joy! The humble blog has received a new award! My heartfelt thanks to Sharilyn, whose blog is a hot pursuit of ' Heart ' images, and also penned with intimate devotions of her daily walk in Christ. Honestly, I often wish that I can write anything half as good as Sharilyn's, for ' My Daily Bread ' corner.

Thank you Sharilyn, for sharing your fine thoughts and inspiration so selflessly. I'm often collecting smiles when I drop by, and I love the way you share. I hope that our friendship is here to stay. =D

Now it's time to spread the joy!

1. Sharilyn : I don't see why your blog is not loved, after having mentioned my point above! Hugs.

2. Kimberly : You've opened my eyes to the spiritual facet of heart rocks and images of heart... I've come to know that they are not just mere rocks or images, some are obviously tokens and promises from the Lord. As I continue my search for one, I know that I shall find plenty more from your place, which carry stories that encourage my soul. I thank you much for sharing.

3. 梅子さんへ : Blog をやめない事、ありがとうございます。 そして、新たな’Blogの旅’、おめでとうございます。 再開のお祝いを兼ねて、いつも癒してくれるBlogにアワードを渡します。 この友情が長く深く続くように。。。これからもよろしくお願いします。

Believe me, there are truly too many blogs that I love and can't stop going back to, like my favourite cheese cake bakery! Hahahahah!!! All you people who are ruthlessly hunted down, nope you're not responsible for the fats I've put on, it's all the evil cheese cake's fault. Hahahahha!!!

What if visiting great blogs can be a fattening affair? Can you imagine that? Hahahahahah!!!

Ooops, I've digressed. Anyway, I've observed that some Bloggers aren't very comfortable recipients and I thought it's best not to impose carelessly. However, it really doesn't mean the I love your blog any less, especially those that I've been visiting regularly, I'm sure you know who you are!! <3