Woot, took me a week to get over jetlag AND this cold. Explains for the lateness of this post. Urgh. =A=
Anyways, yesh, I’m back~
Sorry for taking so long to put out a post of some sort. I would have done so while I was in China (yes, WordPress does work over there…but not Youtube for some strange reason) but the usb modem I borrowed from my grandpa must have ran out of money. In only 2 days, too. So I was stuck and bored until we arrived in Hong Kong. By then, I figured I’d cram it all into one post. Much too exhausted to do multiple ones.
Hopefully, I’ll still be able to remember most of what happened during my Tokyo visit. It was basically just me walking around looking for otaku stuff while my parents lounged in some park cuz let me tell ya now, you’ll have to walk quite a lot before you actually get to where you want to go.
But eh, that aside, let’s just get on with how much I want to go back whenever I see the next chance for a Tokyo trip. lol
This was day 2 in Japan and my parents wanted to visit Shinjuku, which was more than fine with me cuz Ikebukuro was right next door so we wandered around the shopping districts all morning. Or rather, just me, my mom and my brother (who went off to some huge electronics store). My dad chilled at Starbucks since he can’t do too much walking due to foot pain.
This doesn’t have anything to with Shinjuku. We just came here for breakfast before taking the train there. xD;
Anyways, I first heard of MOS Burger in one of my Magic Knight Rayearth books. CLAMP being the adorable CLAMP as we know them went on and on about Haagen-Dazs (or was that just Umi freaking out? lol) and then someone mentioned Mos Burger. So on the first night we were coming back from dinner, I saw it and went “MOM! That’s the home fast-food franchise!”
So my dad decided that we’d have breakfast (yes, they serve breakfast) there before leaving and my brother was craving for burgers anyway.
Omg, it was sooooo good! I had a hot dog and it’s like any other hot dog out there while my dad tried this Spanish soup with rice in it whatever but the burger that my brother ordered tasted so awesome. It’s definitely because they use a leaner meat for the burgers so they don’t taste as fatty as McDonald’s.
Oh, and their green tea cakes are really good…and their toasts are like…HUGE. o.O;
I highly suggest that if you go to Japan, FIND THIS RESTAURANT.
And a note for lostty-san, I’m pretty sure they have vegetarian dishes. Not everything is all meat. You just need to know how to order although they might not have as much variety as our Western cuisine does. I’m not sure since I’m not a vegetarian so I can’t be of much help. Sorry~ ^^;
But going back on what I said in my previous blurb, that awkward silence while you’re eating? Yea, it’s here, too. It was still rush hour so most customers just ate their breakfast and left but still… I can’t stand the silence! I was about to break out laughing cuz my bro leaned over and whispered “Hey, you notice how quiet everybody is? Isn’t it depressing?” He’s not aware that I already said it over my blog so that’s why I found it so funny. This is why I can’t live under these circumstances. It’s not just because I’m from America. Us Chinese folk have to talk to each other and laugh out loud over a meal. It’s no fun otherwise. LOL xD;
God, I hope nobody bothered to remember us that day. Cuz I’m coming back and will probably be worst than before. lol
On to Shinjuku, before accompanying my mom on two hours of browsing through F*CKIN’!EXPENSIVE (this is going to appear constantly throughout this post) clothes, purses, shoes, what-have-yous, we strolled through the streets a bit and came towards the side where all the executive/government buildings were (there’s a couple of universities around here, too, so I’ve heard).
I instantly recognized the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building since on my first trip here, the tour guide brought us in there for a few minutes if I can remember right. It’s even taller up close.
We didn’t go in but I figured I’d take a picture of it anyway since it’s such an important landmark…and I remember it best cuz CLAMP made it one of the critical locations in their X/1999. I swear, CLAMP should just buy Tokyo already. xD;
And here’s the center of the big department stores. Or at least I think it is since a lot of tour buses stop here. It’s a few minutes walk away from Shinjuku’s train station and even further down are streets full of smaller shops.
Oh, and the mall and stores all open pretty late, too. 10 AM, at least (Hong Kong opens even later – at 4 PM!). Then again, it might be because we woke up early but for an hour, we had to sit outside waiting for the doors to open. My backside was all wet with sweat by the time it did. We walked in and I was like “AHHHH!!! AIR-CONDITIONING~!”
Other than that, nothing interesting to see here. It got very crowded around noon. My mom got this very cute purse and some cosmetics, which are cheaper than the clothes. I’ve never encountered prices like these before. It’s ridiculous. o.O;
As for your anime and manga needs, there are a few arcades and one store I found in the inner streets but compared to Ikebukuro and Akiba, you wouldn’t find much here so just go there instead of Shinjuku. There are several good restaurants with good deals around here, though. Just make sure you don’t go exactly at noon cuz that’s when all the workers have their lunch break and literally jam pack all the restaurants. It is especially suffocating for those shops that don’t have the A/C on. ^^;
So yea, I didn’t make any purchases here. Tried to win a 1/6-scaled Miku prize figure from one of the arcades (no, not that last photo) but I suck at UFOs and gave up on the second try before I spent more yen than it’s actual worth. My bro got fed up with me when I asked for more money so I was grumpy until we reached ‘Bukuro.
…I did get a Mayoi gashapon keychain from my mom, though (she wanted to try it out for fun), so it made things slightly better. lol xD;
Alrighty, well, if you’re taking the subway, you’ve got to walk through the underground passageway to get to Sunshine Street (which is on Seibu’s side). I didn’t know where the heck we were so it took us a while before we had to turn back to get to Seibu. And then after that, there was MORE walking and me being grumpy cuz it was hot, my feet hurt, ya get the deal.
Highly advise you to consult a map, too. Even when you’re out of Seibu’s station, Sunshine is hidden behind several blocks of buildings. It’s a rather small street but once a small square comes into view, you’ll notice it.
Janjan~! Here is Sunshine street! Told you it’d be small. ^^;
To me it was anyway. It’s DRRR!!’s fault for making everything in ‘Bukuro look so big and spaced out between each other but it’s really not.
No matter, though. It was still awesome to see and visit all the places that I saw on
TV the animated screen. Haha.
And here is the famous Sanrio store that was mentioned in our guidebook. I didn’t go in but figured I’d take picture of it anyway. According to that book, it’s 2 floors filled with nothing but Hello Kitty-related stuff and how Hello Kitty is revered as a god in the pop culture areas.
K, I adored and still love Hello Kitty ever since I was a kid but not to that extent. ^^;
Sunshine Cinema…looks so small up close. I thought it was another arcade at first. <D;
They were showing several English titles, none of which I recognize
because I don’t go out to the movies enough, but I don’t think I saw any that were anime-related. *shrug* :/
And…oh look, I think that’s the first meido I encountered in Japan! lol xD;
Then we (me and the brother I dragged along) passed by several pachinko stores and gaming centers, Sega perhaps being the most prominent out of all of them (ya can’t miss it, it’s impossible). I went in again to try and win that prize figure but of course, failed. My brother tried to help me cuz it was close to falling off the hook it was hanging off of but the claw was being retarded and URGH! It was so close! So close! *despairs* >A<
Anyways, it's more costly to play in 'Bukuro than it was in Shinjuku. Probably due to the location since 'Bukuro is more likely to attract the younger crowd so it makes sense.
First floor of consists of mostly prize figures. The upper levels are where all your regular arcade games are.
And I’m pretty sure that last picture is the pachinko game that Umi Monogatari was based off of. Didn’t strike me much when I saw it but thought the blond looked suspiciously like Marin… well, the ugly version of Marin anyway. There was a Warin and Sam
I can’t believe I remembered his name, he was so minor~ on other advertisements, too, so that’s got to be it. @~@
Right across from the Sega center, you’ll see this big sign with “Sunshine City” on it. It’s actually just a very big mall so we didn’t spend much time there and went off to find the Animate store.
But look at all those students! Mobs of them hang out here after school. It may not seem very different from how it is in America but…it is. Can’t describe it, it just feels different, y’know? ^^;
Yea, I also need to mention that countless Hetalia movie advertisements are plastered all over the place. If you look at the Animate photo below, they put up this huge banner of Hetalia chibis for promotion as well? xD;
Well, just as we were heading out of the mall wondering where the hell did we wander off to this time (we were actually looking for Ice Cream City or whatever it was called, no joke), the Animate building came into view like the rising sun on the horizon and THAT…is where we arrived at Otome Road.
Ok, I must have missed something while crossing the street cuz Otome Road is nothing more than a 3 or 4 stores next to Animate on the same block. Then again, my feet were severely hurting so I didn’t care much for anything else except the absolute need to go through all the floors in that wonderful structure below. Reason why I didn’t bother visiting the Mandarake store on the next block but eh, no skin off my back.
Anyways, as you might have heard, the merchandise here are catered to women’s taste (aka yaoi) and there are plenty of shelves of doujinshi to keep you occupy for hours. I wasn’t interested so I only stopped in each store briefly to see if they had anything I wanted. In fact, they did but it was double its listed price to which my oh-so-suddenly-thrifty-brother yelled in a very loud voice “WHAT?! That’s SUCH a ripoff! We’re going!” …Yea. ^^;
On another note, there’s a store on the very end of the block that sells nothing but cosplay costumes.
Omg, Yuuki’s uniform is so outdated. Change it for something else, plz. I was more amused by the Celty statue in their window, though. Cuz what else can be greater than glorifying the series which glorifies the town, eh? lol XD
Alright, moving along…
Dude, I wanted to bring THIS, yes, all THIS home with me and go “HEY GUYS!! LOOK AT WHAT I BROUGHT BACK??!!?!?”. xDDDD;;;;;
Isn’t it the greatest gigantic box of all the anime/manga stuff you’ll ever need in your life?
I don’t even care if it has such a puny elevator since if I owned one, I’m the only one who’s going to be using it anyway…well, aside from the people bringing new stuff in but they can drop it off by helicopter. :P lol
So the first floor, I think, is where all the latest issues of magazine subscriptions are being sold along with some other merchandise like posters, keychains, tumblers, etc. As you go up (8 or 12 floors total? Don’t really remember, sorry), you’ll pass by the shounen floor, the shoujo floor (though Starry Sky seems to be littered all over the place in here, oi @.@; ), skip skip skip, CDs, DVDs, figures, and eventually there’s likely going to be some sort of exhibition for a new or current anime at the very top, which I’ll get into shortly.
…haha, I’m actually not supposed to take pictures while I was in there but I managed to take a few without being notice. To be honest, I don’t think anyone would’ve cared. There were so many customers in at that hour. I even passed by some other tourists who seem to be from the States cuz they looked surprised when I shouted to my brother in English. lol xD;
Agh, so much good stuff! I should have stayed a little bit longer but got too tired out in the end. There wasn’t anything I really needed to buy either (that, or maybe I didn’t find anything) but I knew by the time we get back to my parents, we would have had to head straight back to the hotel so forced myself to decide on something anyways.
I was very thrilled when I got to the floors where the DVDs were being sold, though, and I’m not sure why DVDs above everything else. *shrug* Must be because they had such fancy displays for all the shows I was watching at that time. lol, of course, I already expected Angel Beats! to have one. That series is so damn popular over there, it’s crazy. But I guess DRRR!! won out in the end (at that time
for just being the overall best show of the year), especially since this is, y’know, ‘Bukuro. Hee~ /3
There was also a nice display for Arakawa under the Bridge which made me happy, even though I never got past episode 2. I have my reasons. ^^;
Obligatory shot of Nana Mizuki promotion is obligatory. I think the posters were advertising her next upcoming concert. I haven’t been paying attention to the music news surrounding her lately but ah~, one of these days, I will be lucky enough to get a ticket to one of her concerts, I swear it! Nana-samaaaaaaaa~~~~~~~!!!!!!!!!! <333
And finally! At the very top floor was none other than an exhibition held specially for DRRR!!
…It wasn’t that impressive. There was some tall cardboard cutouts of the main characters when you walked in, and framed screenshots set up like pictures in an art gallery (meaning, not a lot). Several fangirls going “kyaa~! Izayaaa~!” and some “Shizu-chan!” among them with “Complication” blasting loud over the speakers. It was a very small room so not much else to see except the stuff they were selling. So here are my Ikebukuro souvenirs…
A keyholder with Masaomi and my Mikapuu on both sides and Shizuo mini-cushion. Darn, I wanted a Shizuo or Mikado plushie (or both) instead but no one has made that yet. *grumpy* I’m nonetheless happy with these purchases cuz they’re from a special
cheap exhibit after all. I also got a small er…what is this? Mini-book? Well, it looks like a magazine and Yumacchi’s name is the title. Haha, Shizu and Izzy get the cover as well?
The world loves shipping them so much. ^^;
Yep, after that, we went to get some ice cream and headed back to the hotel to rest. That’s all.
Kyaa~, I can’t wait to come back here again! x3 This time with better shoes. :P
Final day of our stay here, I already told my parents that I had to visit Akiba and they were like “ok, we don’t know where else to go”. Haha. xD
This is probably one of the best vacation we had together in years. Kinda scary since we still argue with each other all the time. ^^;
Anyways, this was my breakfast. Yum~
My dad brought some “juice in a bag” home from the convenience store cuz he really liked it. It doesn’t taste like juice to me (cuz it’s missing the pulp and freshly-squeezed orange tang) but it tasted good and had some gelatin in it. I still prefer the bottle, though. ^^;
And we ate noodles (wheat, to be specific; the ones we usually eat are rice noodles which have more fat) while standing up. My parents thought it was quite a little phenomenon. xD;
It was so guud~ A little salty but so guud~! <3
And the inari was delicious as well. Before I realized that I’m giving up rice for
ever a while so I had to give it up to my brother. Buuhuu~ T3T
Sorry if this seems a little random but since food is part of the cultural experience, I have no choice but to rant about it. lol
I <3 food. <3
Moving along, it was a longer train ride to Akiba than how it was with the other places we visited. At least from our hotel, it was. By the time we got there, it started raining…and got worse. So I spent the next two hours walking several blocks in the downpour by myself while the rest of them stayed at Starbucks (eww, Starbucks xP).
It was still pretty awesome, though. I mean, I don’t think there would be any other place on earth where I can find a Sekirei (or whatever it is) ad that big. /P
Pretty much, the main street (?) is lined up with stores selling electronics, music, DVDs, eroge games (ha!), you name it. You’ll also see a few maids handing out fliers for the cafes they work at. They sorta lost enthusiasm by the time I turned back but given how they were standing out there so long, I don’t blame them.
I did see a Suiseiseki cosplayer, though. :)
So first, I went into a Sega arcarde AGAIN. Because I’m stubborn over that prize I wanted. *still didn’t get it* >:/
But I didn’t stay long since it was almost noon and bound to get crowded. I went to the second floor to take a close up look at the Project Diva for Vocaloid. There was a small line waiting to play it and it almost made me laugh. Haaa, Vocaloid. Or the power of Mikuism. Haha. |D
I have little knowledge to none on how Project Diva works so just go here for the details. Too tired to explain. *yawn*
The two guys who were playing when I took the picture set the song to “Melt”, one of Miku’s most popular songs and I suddenly wanted to start dancing all of sudden so I quickly left. xD;
Following that, more window-shopping, I suppose. If it isn’t the latest eroge game out, it’s Angel Beats!. Angel Beats! here, Angel Beats! there. Now I understand why there is such a backlash against the huge popularity of the anime. I still love it, though, so it doesn’t matter to me. Heh.
And here’s the famed Toranoana. *throws confetti*
First things first, you won’t believe what happened when I was about to go in. I just closed my umbrella and suddenly, all those guys (yes, those goes in the photos) practically stampeded pass me into the store. Needless to say, I was a little freaked out. Had I not moved out of the way in time, a lot of random someones would have gotten sued. -_-
But damn, that was crazy! o.O;
I guess they either had some special promotion at that specific time or there was some event going on. I dunno. Either way, with everyone crowding the entrance, I couldn’t get in so decided to come back later.
Seriously though, I wonder what caused everyone to rush in. ^^;
Anyways, here is how the building looks in full view:
Hehe~ Quite cute, ne? ^^
Didn’t take any pictures since there were reminders “No camera” stickied everywhere inside but I climbed all the way to the top, as usual. |D;
It’s probably the biggest store to house every single Touhou product in existence. I know I’m exaggerating but not by a lot, I don’t think. haha
Other stuff I remember seeing were Umineko (I need the full patch for EP 6, uuu~ T.T) …a lot of yaoi doujinshi for Code Geass and Gundam…and that’s it. Sorry, bad memory. ^^;
I’m sure they had some shoujo-centered stuff as well. Just none I was interested in too much.
So though I should’ve bought some manga or anime, I didn’t. I went hunting for nendoroids instead. Books and dvds I can get anytime even if the shipping will kill me but one nendoroid was enough to satisfy my whole trip. Heck, if you didn’t order them right away, you’re going to regret it so this was a good a time as any. I’d rather not go through those ridiculous prices (w/o shipping and handling) on eBay. -.-
I did find what I was looking for but Kaito was way too expensive since he’s very hard to find (15800 yen, yikes). No matter, he’s due to arrive in December for me. I was lucky enough to order a re-release of him a day ago and at such a reasonable price, too. Best decision I made all year. <3
In the end, it came down to Miku and Theia (from this MMORPG called “Lucent Heart”), both of which were around the same price (5800 yen or so). I never played Lucent Heart but I loved Theia’s design so much and kyaa, just couldn’t resist her cuteness! x3
Still, it took me forever to decide so I had to come back after lunch. And of course, I dragged my brother along again for his opinion. It was very funny. He thought I was going to get something like this and went “You are NOT getting that!”. I’ll get into more of that later. lol xD;
Oh, and on the way back to Starbucks, I passed by Mister Donut, another home brand franchise (thank you, Shinobu – Bakemonogatari). Didn’t try any doughnuts, though, so will have to remember to do it next time I go back. Knowing how Japanese people love their sweets, however, it’ll probably taste heavenly. :)
Right across from that Starbucks which is a close to the Gundam Cafe (it was so small and cramped… I bet its menu is ridiculously priced, too, just for being part of the Gundam franchise |D; ), we went into this one building that seemed to only have restaurants on every floor. With the exception of the fourth floor that sold and promoted some anime.
I have no idea what this is called. It reminded me a lot of Korean barbecue because we had to cook raw meat on a very hot grill but it’s not. Anyways, this comes with a raw egg on top and the bowl is hot enough that you can mix all the ingredients to cook it yourself. Pretty nice warm lunch after a whole morning of getting wet.
We went to that anime store on the fourth floor after eating but it was really small, selling merchandise for well-known, old titles like Kimba (my mom got two cups of these for our apartment in Guangzhou), Astroboy, and one or two more recent popular series.
Maybe not really popular but for those who followed it, Hanamaru Kindergarten was one of the more decent shows of the winter season for this year and a small exhibition was held on the other side of the store for it. Took some pictures of Hi-chan because she is just oh-so-adorable, my little Hi-chan~ <3
I'm especially fond of her when they add more details to her usually solid-colored eyes and make it glow~
Kyaa~ So cute! x333
Of course, I couldn’t forget my little yamato nadeshiko Hina-chama, who was the character I loved most in this series. God, she’s such a cutie, I want to huggle her. <333
Kaichou wa Maid-sama! DVD is coming~!
That’s pretty much the end of the day. We bought mochi ice cream on the way back to the station, went to dinner after resting and packed up for the early bus ride to the airport the next morning (but not before shopping there first, lol).
So as to what nendo I finally decided on…
I chose Theia. At first, my brother went with Miku (after slamming into my face about how collectors have no life, that 24-hr video game obsessive hypocrite) since Theia’s moe face annoyed him, making Miku less annoying or something. I was about to go with Miku until my mom came in and I asked for her opinion (srsly, what person does this? xD; ) and here’s what she said:
(looking at Theia) “Hmm…well, this one has the weirder, sillier face, while this one,” (points to Miku) “Is prettier.”
Then I told them that Theia was an exclusive while Miku was a regular release and they told me to go with Theia. |D;;
So yea, Theia-chan is sitting on top of my desk now. I haven’t taken her out yet and don’t know when I’ll do but she’ll probably be unboxed soon. Or not, I really don’t know. lol xD;
I have another souvenir that I brought from Akiba’s Animate store but I’ll get to that in just a bit.
*sigh* So that was the Japan trip. My parents won’t be coming back to Tokyo for a while since we explored enough here so the next time we plan a trip together, it’ll probably be more north or more south of the coutnry. Not in the next year, though. We might head for Germany next summer but nothing confirmed yet.
…I really do miss the hospitality in Japan right now. One of the reasons why I couldn’t stand being back home this past week. Everyone here (that I could care less about) is allowed to be rude and downright abuses it. /P
Then it was one and half weeks stuck in a VERY humid and VERY wet Guangzhou. If you follow news about China, it was in the middle of the flood season there. Our area, fortunately, did not get hit hard by any disastrous floods like the much more rural cities did but it was still mucky and miserable…and boring.
I don’t hate being in China or anything but really, I’m never staying there for more than 5 days if I can help it. A week is already my limit. My dad, on the other hand, goes back 3 times a year and stays there for like a month or something. @.@;
So here’s the living room of our apartment. It’s nice, eh?
We live by the river and have a balcony facing in its direction so it’s quite a beautiful view at night.
(Oh, and that person standing there is my cousin, not my brother)
Pretty, isn’t it? ^^
Hehe, my uncle’s apartment is even bigger and grander but ours definitely has the best view. If you can ignore all the mosquitoes (they gather in places where there’s lots of water). I got so many bites all over my arms and legs. They’re almost healed now and thankfully, I don’t think will leave any scars behind but ugh, those mosquitoes! That’s the only thing you can’t escape from during the summer here other than the heat.
This is my room. Would you believe the last time I set foot in here, I only had a mattress sitting in the corner where my vanity desk is? I also got sick that time, too…on my birthday, I must add.
Hmm, for the most part, this room is pretty bare when I’m not here. The only thing that I didn’t bring back with me is…
This “bad egg” Hello Kitty plush I got on my first trip to Japan. xDD
We were riding up this mountain (across from Mt. Fuji) and the tourist spot over there sold these “bad eggs” or “rotten eggs” as their main product. Let me just say that in no way do these eggs taste bad or anything. In fact, they taste exceptionally good. I just don’t know how else to describe it. From Cantonese, that’s how best I can roughly translate it… think Jack Sparrow singing his pirate song. “We’re really bad eggs…” Something along those lines. lol
Anyways, I wanted to get the completely black Hello Kitty I saw when were there but that one was so popular that it sold out very fast. So I settled for this one instead. You can only get this plushie at that spot so my dad told me I mind as well get it. Haha
Kyaa~ She’s so cute! I love her little black egg suit and the pebbles that are attached to either side of her bottom, making her look like a real egg that’s boiled up between the rocks on that mountain. And I wish I knew what her little sign said. Should’ve asked my parents since they can read.
And here’s my Nagisa cup that I bought from the Animate store in Akiba~! Nagisaaaa~~~~~!!!! xDDDDD
The thing is, my mom said we didn’t have any personal mugs for our apartment so we decided to buy some cute ones in Japan before flying to the mainland. She already had one for herself and my dad so I had to choose one for myself. ‘Course I would only want a mug with one of my most beloved characters on it and nothing really caught my eye until I got to the section where they were selling Key-related products.
I literally screamed inside at the sight of the Nagisa cup and when I showed it to my mom, she thought this was very cute, too, compared to the rest of the Key heroine cups on display. She says she likes the orange but I’m pretty sure it’s because of Nagisa’s adorable charm. No mother can resist a darling like Nagisa, after all. <3
Haha, something even more funny, when she was unpacking the cups and about to throw away the box mine's came in, I was like "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?! That has Nagisa's sticker on it! O.O!" And so I kept it to store my mug away in while I'm not there. To avoid letting dust get into it and all.
Haha My dad was like "Hey, where's the box for my cup?" when we were about to leave for Hong Kong. I'm sorry, dad. I couldn't save your box. XD;
As for my mom, aside from all the cosmetics and accessories she bought in Japan, she also purchased this adorable singing seal plushie at the airport. When you press the button on it’s tail, it sings “You are My Sunshine” and its arms start waving around. It has a little bell, too. Aww~ <3
Summer time is also the season for lychee~
Wah, so many people gave us so many lychee that we weren’t able to finish it all. On top of that, if you eat too much lychee, you’ll get a very sore throat. They’re fruits, yes, but not good for your health if you eat too much.
Guangzhou during the day…doesn’t it look awful? (It’s apparently better right now, according to my dad, who’s still there)
And all the garbage from the the villages and cities no thanks to the flood flow downstream. There’s no cleanup crew either.
It’s depressing as the weather. =_=
A lot of the old buildings are no better in state of appearance. They’re so old and worn out. Especially the ones in the countryside. Don’t get me wrong, compared to the last time I came, they’ve been building a lot of new ones but as far as sanitation goes, China still has a long task ahead of them.
Agh, enough with depressing stuff. Time to talk about food again…
Wonton noodles~ <3
Haha, every time I talk to my grandpa about going back to Guangzhou, he'd always remind me to go eat wonton noodles while I'm there. That's one of the
few things I love so much about Guangzhou.
It’s too bad that the day I got to eat it again, I got carsick right afterwards on the way to the grave site where we were going to pay respects to my dad’s grandfather (or someone) and I had to stay at the bottom of the hill while my brother climbed up and set off fireworks. *sigh* It sucks to be sick. Especially when you’re on vacation here. Brings back those bad memories of the sorta-flu I had on my last visit.
This, my friends, is the REAL dim sum. lol XDDD;;;;;
So other than going to the countryside to visit my dad’s relatives, we also went to other cities such as Shenzhen and Donggun to see his friends and had lunch with them. Other than that, I didn’t do much and stayed mostly at home either surfing what’s not banned by the government or watching some drama on TV.
Btw, the 16th Asian Games will be held in Guangzhou this November and when I heard about the news, I was extremely excited. It’s no wonder why the city has been doing a lot of cleanup and repainting.
I hope I get to see it on TV here since I don’t think I’ve ever watched the Asian Games before. Now that we have Chinese channels at home, I think I might be able to.
The mascots for this time is the ram as you can tell by the photo. That’s because Guangzhou is also known as the Five Goats City. I’m not sure about the actual legend but it’s believed that they had something to do with the mythical origins of the city. So what better mascots to represent the location than the city’s official, er, animal itself?
That sounded weird. I’ve heard people say “official birds” but not “official animal”. Hmm. :/
Anyways, I’m looking forward to it. I hope my dad bought me a set of those mascot dolls and left it in my room like I asked. Didn’t have enough time to buy them before I left.
So two days before we were about to head down to Hong Kong, we met up with my dad’s billionaire friend and his wife who gave us a little tour around the real estate project they were currently working on in Donggun. Here’s a model of the residential area that will be completely within the next year or so.
But the real thing is much nicer. You wouldn’t believe that these are ordinary apartment complexes either. With such nice gardens, pools. It’s very different from the ones in New York. Very different.
Hehe, soup in a melon. xD
We had a splendid lunch at the club where his office was located. It felt very odd to be waited upon by other people in such a fancy place. The guards at the gate saluting us as we drove out are normal but I’m not used to being attended to this way. ^^;
I swear, my dad’s friend, whom I address as “Uncle”, nearly has his biggest dream completed. He’s already finished a boarding school and a very big hospital. The last thing he wants to create is a hotel and all this greenery here within in the next two years will be turned into a resort. He’s such a nice man, too, and the sights he sets for his ambitions are truly admirable. ^^
After that, my dad borrowed one of his cars so that we can go get a foot massage. Which, btw, does not only include a foot massage but a back, head, and shoulder massage, foot bath, as well as free drinks and fresh fruit. And no, you do not have to strip. |D;
All for just a total of $7 (not yuan, US dollars) per person? Or was it $7 for the four of us? Hmm, I don’t remember but it was very cheap. My other cousins, when they come back to China, would go to get a foot massage everyday. It IS seriously that cheap. ^^;
And the girls who work here? They’re only around 15 years old and don’t enough money for a proper education. Despite the wage being low, it’s better for them to have this job than not having any at all. *sigh*
I certainly wouldn’t be able to do that. Massaging someone’s feet, I mean. But what can you do? Most of China is still very poor with a huge gap between them and rich. It’s making progress towards its goal of expanding the middle class but it’s still a rather slow process.
Finally, I managed to take a picture of the newly built antennae on the way back to Guangzhou. How I can relaxingly take pictures while my dad drives through highways without a driver’s license is beyond me. 8P
I wish I could’ve taken this at night when it’s all lighted up but I never got the chance and we can’t see it from our apartment balcony. It’s right next to where my uncle and aunt’s apartment is but from their place, I couldn’t see it either so this the best I can do. Up close, it’s very big and still in construction. I’m not sure if you can go up or not but I’ll find out the next time I go back.
Yep, that’s Guangzhou for now.
Last but not least, the final two days we stayed in Hong Kong. We honestly didn’t do much while were here other than shopping and eating out with relatives.
On the very last day, my dad, brother and great aunt went up to the the Big Buddha by cable car to pay worship and eat the vegetarian lunch they provide you with while you’re there. My mom and I decided not to go since we’ve been there several times already and went shopping around in Mongkok.
Hong Kong’s more to her taste even though the things here are pretty expensive but at least not as much as Japan’s. I, on the other hand, was looking for any stores I can get more anime stuff from. Though I wasn’t looking for any DVDs or books in particular since the last time I bought an artbook from here, it was completely in Chinese. I’m sure it was an official release but I prefer having the Japanese version.
Anyways, I went figure hunting again and I’ve heard that Mongkok was one of the few places where I would have more luck finding what I want. It’s quite difficult to search through Hong Kong for otaku stuff as they are only concentrated in certain areas and even those are small.
Luckily for me, I found an Animate store a little way down from Main Street and Ladies Road (or are they the same thing? I dunno) but it’s really small and takes up only one floor. They didnt’ have much either but I still bought something. And if you guessed if it’s a nendoroid, you’d be right. lol
As for the stores, like I said earlier in this post, they open pretty late between noon to 4 in the afternoon and latest they close is at 11 PM, I think. One reason might be because this is a tourist area so there’s likely going to be more customers during that time. Makes no sense to me since I always have to wake up early while on vacation so as to not waste the day ahead of me. We ended up walking around for a while doing nothing until the boutiques finally open.
On another note, you’ll find how these little stores (for manicures, clothes, shoes, etc) are lined up very interesting. They’re all packed tightly together on one floor and there’s no windows at all. It’s like walking through a maze of shops. Except instead of being outside on the street, it’s all housed in that building. Don’t really know how to describe it but that’s how stores in Hong Kong are like. Heh.
Yep, so after we were done, we went back to the hotel and later went out to dinner with our relatives. Nothing big.
Random stuff, this is a free hospital so you can see why there’s a very long line.
I found it interesting so decided to take a picture. Heh.
And did I mention that Asian people love their RPGs? They have all these commercials for them everywhere. It’s slightly insane. ^^;
A little night view of the harbor. Not as nice as the pictures I took when it was light out but that’s the camera’s fault. Or maybe it was just too dark. Still very pretty, though. :)
And my second nendoroid purchase on this trip: Sakuya Izayoi from Touhou! ^^
I only got into Touhou recently and am not an avid fan or anything but I just couldn’t resist the all these magical cute girls crammed into this game series. xDD;;;
Not sure if I’ll ever get around to playing the game or not but the exclusive Touhou nendoroids are on my must-get list now, just because they are so cute that I must have them! *crazy* <3
I wasn't planning to get Sakuya until later (I wanted Remilia to be my first Touhou purchase) but since she was one of the only ones available in that Animate store, my mom told me to get her over Marisa after I told her I already had Fate, who follows a similar color scheme. She also said she preferred Sakuya's purple to Marisa's black so yea, that's how I got her.
Luka would have been the better choice since she was on sale but I want Miku before any other Vocaloid. Puu. =3=
Yep, that was my two week vacation for ya. It was tiring but a lot of fun. Do I plan on going back anytime soon? Who knows? My dad will go back in the fall but I’m not sure if he’ll take us with him this time. In any case, no long-distance travel for me for a while. I’m going to spend the rest of summer relaxing as much as I can while trying to look for another job and preparing for a piano exam in October.
I also have to get my driver’s license. Egh.
As for blogging, now that I’m nearly back into the swing of things, I may or may not have my spring wrap-up post later today or tomorrow. It’ll be divided into two parts and yea, I know it’s very late but I’ll try to condense it as best as I can.
SoMT should resume shortly after I get all the posts I plan to publish out of the way.
And…I guess that’s it for now? I’m going to bed. It’s already 3 AM and I still haven’t brushed my teeth yet.
In other current news, I saw “Toy Story 3” with my mom and my brother yesterday and it was pretty damn awesome. I’m very impressed with Pixar this time even though I’ve grown tired of all the CG films coming from Disney but Toy Story will always be an exception. x)
Still, as much as I loved this third installment, it didn’t move me to the core like “How to Train Your Dragon” did, which made it my top…*coughs a bit* favorite animated film for this year. It may or may not be a detachment from Disney’s latest works but I’m definitely starting to like Dream Works’ productions more and more with each film they crank out (that’s not a crappy sequel). So I hope they keep this up and eventually win over Disney at the Oscars again. Haha.
K, k. I’m done. For real, this time. Sorry about the messy post. I’m still trying to get things organized now that I’m back to my (bad) regular schedule again.