January digest!

Do you ever feel that time is passing too darn fast? I feel like I blinked and January was gone in an instant! Or am I so used to the Japanese working life rhythm that I actually stopped paying attention to time slipping through my fingers? I remember not opening my class schedule until 5 PM for the first few months of my teaching career. Oh the memories of sleeping in until 2 PM… Now? 10 AM to 9:30 PM, an average of 9-10 lessons in a day, waiting for a day off and a longer vacation. I swear, if it wasn’t for the photos that prove January actually happened, I would have thought I just hibernated and slept through it all. Can any other person who’s been living over here in Japan for a while relate to that? Anyway, you know what they say — time goes faster when you enjoy it, so I guess I should take it as a good sign! That being said, here’s a fresh recap of my January adventures!

JANUARY 2015

* Shitamachi Museum in Ueno! There’s a lot of reasons why you should go there, and one of them is the ticket price – ¥300! Another reason is: I really recommend it!

* Japanese style shinnenkai (New Year Party)! Real shitamachi sake bar, Japanese snacks and shochu with gold flakes! I can’t say I’m a big fan of shochu, in fact the taste is way too strong for me, so I had no other choice than to order a chaser and sparkling water to mix it all. The killer look the Japanese customers and the owner gave me for ruining the purity of the drink was priceless.

* Happy day! The boyfriend came to Tokyo for a week, which also meant I had a long vacation! And that also meant a whole lot of January outfits! YAY for my boyfriend visiting!

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* “Please! Pick up poop” aka why I love Japan… You know, in Poland we have a lot of blocks of apartments, and people love keeping small dogs. Nothing special, it’s pretty common in Japan as well (providing that it’s okay to have a pet in your apartment). But living in such area in Poland means also that every day you’ll have to struggle with those little brown landmines of horror left by these barking creatures, because people DO NOT CARE. But here’s Japan. People pick up everything their pets leave on the ground. They would feel ashamed if they left it behind. They also have a special spray to clean up. I love Japan.

* Pokemon lights in Sunshine City in Ikebukuro! 10 year old me would be so happy seeing this….

* Korean food! Because the boyfriend still has special diet requirements, he could only eat Korean food during his stay here. I’m not complaining ♥

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* Double date with Kathryn & her husband! You have to go bowling when you’re in Japan — especially in the evening, when it’s full of slightly intoxicated salarymen. Trust me, you have never seen people this happy about every failed / successful throw.

* On the last day of my boyfriend’s stay in Japan we wanted to treat ourselves to something fancy, but it was too cold to actually go anywhere far away, so we decided to explore my neighbourhood. We found this super-duper cute soba shop and it was super delicious! I shall return there soon.

* I might have mentioned in my December digest post, that shin ramen always finds its way to my shopping cart…. That sneaky little ramen….

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* Tokyo fashion pt. 3

* The most dramatic, cutest, fluffiest cat in the world. I’m super jealous not only about Garyo’s wicked tattooing skills, but also about his cat. I’ll steal him one day.

* Lunch… Don’t judge.

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* Comfort package from my parents! Polish sour rye soup. I cooked 1 litre of this goodness and ate it all straight from the pot. I regret nothing.

* Everybody’s laughing at selfie sticks. I’m not. That’s one high quality selfie I snapped the other day with this cool little thingumabob.

* Japanese people are not religious, trust me. They don’t really name what they believe in (If they do, in fact, believe in anything), and basically it’s just tradition anyway. Yet, these pamphlets keep jamming my post box somehow.

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* What a crazy week that was… Getting my side tattooed at Garyo’s atelier and my inner arm filled with blue ink at my favourite studio LaRuche. All the painful spots.

* I’ve been craving Guiness for ages! I wasn’t exactly an enthusiast of Guiness during my student days, but here — oh sweet mother of the bitter brew! Also, I know a place where you can get a whole PINT for only 750 yen! I shall review it here one day.

* Hobby OFF find, pretty self-explanatory.

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* As someone commented on my Instagram post: Evolution of food! It’s okonomiyaki AND taiyaki. With spicy sauce. Spicy okonomitaiyaki. I’m addicted. Send help.

* Let me make one thing clear — I really didn’t know what I was buying! I needed a book that would help me with my Korean studies, especially vocabulary. When I saw this ‘point and say’ kind of book, I didn’t think much about it and just bought it. When I finally decided to open it up and study some useful vocabulary, I saw that some of the most useful phrases recommended by the author to memorize were… Well, take a look at the photo.

* Donki always delivers! “Reproduce like the baby skin” and my name on it. I should claim copyright or ask for royalties.

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Thanks for reading and expect a whole lot of new posts coming up soon! ♥ Also, thank you so much for over 50,000 views! Seriously though, the fact that someone actually reads my posts means the world to me! Thank you guys! 

December digest!

Ever since the first of December, I had been waiting for two things: a long holiday and specifically New Year’s Eve. I was supposed to have 5 days off and I was already planning 5 outfits for each one of my cherished days off, on the 31st of December I planned to go to the Tokyo Tower Countdown event and drink some amazake sold at Zojoji Temple. Yeah, I planned. My body decided to play a very unfunny joke on me and caught a nasty flu on my last day of work before my carefully planned long break. Aaaaand this is how I spent my holiday at home watching Hulu (on demand video site, like Netflix) and listening to 90s hits. Well, at least I had time to prepare a few blog updates, including this one. It will be a bit lengthy, but there were so many things happening in December, I’m a bit surprised it all happened in one month!

 

 December 2014

 

* something else than a Subway sandwich and Starbucks for lunch… Onigiri are getting pretty intense these days.

* I met up with Pilar from Chile. I’ve never met anyone from South America before, so it was great to learn a bit about her country. And we had tons of fun talking about South American soap operas we both used to watch when we were kids. If you know Esmeralda, Clarita, Maria (though there were like 15 of them) you know what I’m talking about.

* Mint beer at the December bloggers meet up! We may not be as big as the J-Vlogging community, but we have our meetups too! Oh, and about the beer… Don’t order mint beer. Take my word for it.

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* Sweet potato tea I found in Family Mart… Take my advice and DO NOT buy it. Dear jasmine tea, I will never betray you again.

* A little sneak peek of a blog update and a video coming soon! Lots of fun things happened that day in Asakusa.

* Something I found in TSUTAYA (DVD and CD rental store), just Jesus and Buddha chilling, no big deal.

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* You thought leaflets are getting out of control where you live? This is what I get every week, and I can’t count how many times actually important things went missing somewhere under a pile like this…

* Korean dinner in Shin-Okubo with the stunning Kathryn (Kitsune-kun) ♥

* Speaking of losing important documents under a pile of useless flyers… I missed my tax payment deadline and I got this wild idea that I might be able to pay my taxes at the tax office, but guess what, my idea was too wild for Japan. Because in Japan you pay your taxes in the city hall.

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* There are days when I get the urge to eat something salty and unhealthy and that’s when snack experiments happen. Fried beef flavoured dry ramen snack thingy and fried camembert flavoured balls kinda snack. I won’t be repeating this particular experiment.

* I got this riddle from one of my students saying “If you know the answer, you are genius”. But because I’m more of a lazy cheater than a genius, I googled it. So the text reads: “Hanano no nonohana hana no nanaani nazuna nanohana namonai nohana” and it is just a simple poem for elementary school students. Here’s some more details (in Japanese) →  click ←

* When I was in South Korea in October, I saw this thingy everywhere. Not much time has passed and it’s getting more an more popular in Japan. Ladies and Gentlemen I present to you the amazing selfie stick!

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* Finding myself in any bookstore still feels surreal, but so good. 😀

* Shin Ramen will burn your guts and make you hate yourself for your poor diet choices, but I guarantee you’ll buy it again and again and again… Every time I say “It’s over, we can’t see each other anymore”, yet Shin Ramen always finds its way back into my shopping bag whenever I’m at a supermarket.

* On the 15th of December I got this glorious haircut and I’m totally in love with it! I’ve always wanted long hair, but apparently I was wrong this whole time.

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* So I am not a fan of pork. I am not crazy about bean sprouts either. Onion is not my favourite, too. I’d say I kinda hate them all. Yet I listened to someone’s recommendation and ended up with a bowl full of them. Oh well, at least the eggs were excellent as always.

* Real Tokyo Fashion pt.2

* I’ve heard legends about this book and I finally found it! It is pretty hilarious indeed.

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* Japan is a land of warnings, safety posters, and odd labels, and a vast majority of them is pretty obvious, and they must have some cute character on them. This one here says “Watch out for bird poop”.

* I was looking through some serious newspaper someone left at a family restaurant and a wild Pikachu appeared.

* A shrine in Akasaka with Prudential Financial building in the background.

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* Donki is a real treasure trove, selling literally everything. Plus baked purple sweet potatoes.

* THIS RAMEN. It was so good I left the bowl empty. I must go back and write about this place in more detail.

* I happened to have something to do in Akasaka, an area of Tokyo full of broadcasting companies, filming studios etc. This is a skate rink, where I tried ice skating for the first time 2 years ago, with my boyfriend. Oh the memories…

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Amazake! It tastes like milk with honey and lemon and costs only ¥90? Awesomeeeee!

* Tokyo Dome. VIP Seat. Me. BIGBANG members. Just a few meters away. I screamed my lungs out. (ohhh, there’ll be a blog update and a video!)

*  I’ve seen many of ‘those’ people in Seoul, but it was the first time I actually saw them in Tokyo. Japan is not a super religious country. Mostly all they believe in is traditions, customs, celebration— not really religion. And suddenly I see people around Shinjuku station holding placards saying that “Christ carries not only the cross, but also human sins”. Hmm.

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*  Kinako (roasted soy bean flour) KitKats. If you’re wondering, if they were good — yes, they were.

* Did I mention tons of flyers jamming my post box? This is what I found among them recently. I don’t watch TV, so I don’t really know for sure, but I think that broadcasting companies are not very willing to show what’s going on like every week in my city, and probably more often in central Tokyo. There are many peace / anti-nuclear power demonstrations, and the participants often hand out papers like this one. It says “NO to a country in war!” (ごめん gomen functions here as ダメ dame = something bad, 戦争する国 = country that can/might go to a war)

* Who else remembers Togepi? I got some gifts from my students; hand creams, USB warmers, calendars …. and a Togepi. Not that I’m complaining.

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Thank you for reading and Happy New Year! ♥