23 August 2010


I guess from now on I'll start posting on at least a weekly basis, instead of on a daily basis.  Blogging about how your life has gone on a daily basis takes a little bit of time - precious time you could use to actually live more of that life.  Maybe someone else can just blog about me.  Or not.  Anyways, the past week was marked by post-Fuji tiredness.  "Tiredness is there."

As mentioned in past posts, TPU was closed until last Tuesday.  After coming home from Fuji on Saturday and taking a little visit to Tokyo on Sunday, Monday became nothing.  As in I woke up really, really late and slept relatively early; I only had one convenience-store meal at around 10pm.

Tuesday in Japanese is "kayobi;"  in my case it was "aikiyayobi" - IKEA day.  Left home a little past 11am, got to IKEA in time for queueing up at the IKEA restaurant for lunch.  I had a quite expensive lunch - nearly US$15 worth - but worth it, I guess.  I missed them swedish meatballs with the gravy and raspberry sauce.  I wanted IKEA's usual salmon but instead there was only marinated salmon (more like smoked salmon) which came with a few veggie leaves, and me being a Go-Grow-Glow guy, I had to get a couple of pieces of bread to go with it.  Whew, the bread was expensive.  US$ 1.20 for one, and US$ 0.60 for the other.  And there's a charge for the butter: 20 cents (20 yen).  Dang.  Well, it was all worth it, if only to experience a non-Japanese setting in Japan.  After that, I probably spent at least an hour or hour and a half at the showroom and marketplace.  I didn't really find much interesting.  Actually at the back of my mind, I was like, I'll buy only stuff that I could actually bring home to the Philippines that the Customs wouldn't charge me so much for!  After IKEA home stuff shopping, it was IKEA food shopping.  I bought IKEA-brand chocolate bars - one dark, one milk, and one hazelnut.  I've tried the dark one so far; I love dark chocolate the most and I liked IKEA's.  I do still like Meiji's dark chocolate, though.  Or Hershey's.  Anyways, I also brought home some ready-to-eat meatballs, and ready-to-eat potato gratin.  The potato gratin unfortunately got thawed on my way home!  IKEA itself is at least 80 minutes from my apartment.

Dinner for Tuesday evening was convenience store food, I think.  I also cooked Adobong Manok during the week, which I ate for dinner on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.  I ate the IKEA meatballs and potato gratin for lunch on the same day.  My 2nd try of Adobong Manok wasn't as great as the first, probably because I used different chicken parts this time, or maybe I just missed or over-seasoned with some ingredients.  But nonetheless, it was still yummy, as well as the IKEA food.  I didn't mind having the same lunch and dinner menu for three days.

On Friday we were supposed to play basketball but the basketball gym was closed, but we were able to play table tennis and so ping-ponging we did.  It was fun, we won a "betting" game (guess whose idea), and it wasn't as strenuous on my yet-to-fully-recover knees as basketball is.

For Saturday lunch, I forgot what I ate for lunch, but I think I still had some of the meatballs and potato gratin.  They are really yummy.  Did I mention they're a bit expensive though?  But I think it's not so bad.  I ate them with rice by the way and that's why they lasted 4 meals.  Oh yeah, I cheated by assuming potato as a Glow/veggie food. :D

Then there was our usual Saturday seminar.  I went to the seminar room at 2pm only to find out that it has been moved to 2:30pm!  And the presentations and discussions took quite a while this time.  We finished at 6:15pm!  For dinner, I had convenience store food again.  Torikatsu and a really huge burger patty.  A few days ago, I had a "yaki" trifecta from the convenience store: yakisoba (noodles, a Japanese-style pancit canton), okonomiyaki ("Japanese pancakes"), and takoyaki (octopus balls, a popular Japanese street/festival delicacy).  "Yaki" means grilled, but here, "grilled" means on a flat pan with a little bit of oil.  Think teppanyaki grill.  "Soba" means noodles, of course.  "Okono" means anything you want, but okonomiyaki that you did not cook by yourself usually just contains some vegetables, usually cabbage and onion.  "Tako" of course means octopus.

And then Sunday.  Woke up early enough and surprisingly a usual 1 hour 50 minute trip from my apartment to Meguro became a 1 hour 10 minute trip - I was too early for the 12 noon mass.  So I had brunch first at a place I am very familiar with - McDonald's.  Big Macs for only US$ 2.00 each!!!  The set though is still around US$ 5.50.  Have I told you I don't really like Big Macs?  I prefer Quarter Pounders to Big Macs.  Can't do without the tomato ketchup and onions.  I also like the pickle.  Then the mass.  My Filipino friends all had to go somewhere, and so I went back to Atsugi.  The first thing I did back at Atsugi was get a haircut. The lady barber cutting my hair asked me something in Japanese, pointing to my sideburns, and I replied yes. I thought she was asking if she can trim/cut it.  Apparently she was asking if she should leave it as is.  Oh well, this is the cheapest barbershop here.  US$ 10.00 for a haircut.  In 10 minutes.  After the haircut, I went to the secondhand store and got me a guitar!  It's a Yamaha CG-150, if I remember correctly.  It's a classical guitar.  This is the first time I will own a classical guitar.  And the first time I'll own a "real" guitar brand - a Yamaha.  But I still love my 14.5-year-old acoustic guitar.  Hmmm, I forgot now what my guitar brand is.  But it is made in Cebu, if I'm not mistaken.  Now I chose this Yamaha because it's the best among the cheapest priced ones.  It's another insurance investment for sanity while I wait for Mara to come here.

The guitar was too bulky, of course, and so I went back to the apartment first, cooled down (high was 34 degrees; cooler than Tuesday's and Wednesday's 37 and 36 degree highs - yes, and I was out during that day!), and then back to Hon-Atsugi with Ali-san to meet up with Okada-san to eat all we can shabu-shabu at Nabezo again.  $19 for a dinner buffet, drinks excluded.  Not a bad price for here in Japan.  And for the ambiance.  We again had beef, tofu, and lots of veggies and shrooms as main ingredients for our shabu-shabu.

I was "wa chuns lah" - very, very full.  But I still had to do grocery shopping.  I went to SATY then and bought 5kg rice, ~8 liters of fluids, around 1.5kg of meat, and some veggies and snacks.  That's around 14kg I carried from SATY, to the bus terminal, and finally to my apartment.  While I was carrying that heavy a bag, I thought, that must have helped me prepare for my Fuji trip - because I certainly did not feel the 12kg weight I carried then.  But, with that comes bad news as well.  My trusty TheNorthFace bag which I bought in Hanoi, Vietnam, has started to given in, probably because of that Fuji trip.  It is still useable though.  And oh I will still use it.  I don't think I'll be throwing this one away.  It was the only thing that was (physically) with me the whole 14 hours climb up and down Mt Fuji.

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