02 September 2010

Very Weekling

It has been 10 days since my last post.  I am calling Japan Blog 2.0 quits.  I am just too busy nowadays I think.  And I think it will be this way until the end of my 3-years here in Japan.  I've been here just 4.5 months so far.

But this don't mean I ain't posting nothing no more.  I'll still be here.  Just not regularly anymore.  Certainly not daily, but no, I can't promise weekly posts.  My intention also is to post more photos.  Or do a videoblog.  But I can't promise anything.

And, as you can see, I've been blogging on practically a daily basis for my 1st 4 months here.  That is a world record.  4 straight months of daily updates!

Unfortunately, like for most part-time bloggers, and now, the end is near, for daily blogging.  I do not have anything in mind yet for Japan Blog 3.0.  But I do know that I plan to gather together all my Japan posts into this one blog, which means my posts for my Japan Blog 1.0 (from 2005) will also be found here in the near future.

Anyways, just to let you know, I finished two papers the past week.  I had been delaying it because I thought it would be easy enough - supposedly I have the materials to write them.  But, no, it wasn't easy.  I was just too busy last Thursday and Friday, and then Saturday - Microsoft Word crashed on me!  Well I was doing structural analysis and other stuff in the background so that might have added to it.  What happened though was that I was already 90% finished on my first paper and boom, I went back down to probably 70% finished.  I just thought, 70% is better than 0%.  Thank you (or not) for those Auto-Recovery functions of Word.  Anyways, I was so on a roll those two days, but when that happened, I just went blank.  I just didn't wanna do it anymore.  I spent just two hours or less on it during the weekend.

But that is so also because we went to this eat-all-you-can/tabehodai place called "Carnival Buffet."  Western food?  Nope.  It's "Western."  (Emphasis on the quotation marks.)  It is actually Japanese-style Western food.  There's a salad bar, a drinks bar, your choice of ramen, udon, or soba noodles.  There are 4 kinds of pizza - two are more like Indian-style pizza.  There is curry.  Japanese love curry.  There was roast beef for a little while.  There are these small hamburgers that you heat on a teppanyaki grill yourself.  And hotcake mix for making hotcakes for yourself.  There was fried chicken and sausages, and pizza - did I already say there was pizza?  I ate mostly the fried chicken, the sausages, and the pizza.  I have been craving for real pizza.  Or the taste of cheese.  It was good enough.  The fried chicken tastes a lot better (more Western-tasting maybe?) than the fried chicken at the cafeterias here in school.  Then there was a salad bar where I had me a medley of fruits and an ice cream.  Then "ka-ching!"  I thought, I could have a float as well. So I made a Coke (Zero) Float.  Yum.  I was already "wa chun la" (200% full) just before eating dessert.  I was "wa chuns la" (so full, I'm almost like dead) after the float.  It was a good ending to a 1500 yen meal.

And then we rode our bikes back home.  It was quite a long ride, and then I checked using Google Maps how long our trip was.  It was 6.4 km each way!  By the time we got back to the apartment, we were back to "wa pao la" (100% full) again.

Anyways, it was probably that long bicycle ride, maybe 40 minutes each way, that got to me.  I was so dead tired on Sunday.  It was a no-day.  I was just at home.  But I did find the need to go the grocery store.  But I just can't ride the bike again.  No sir, not yet.  So I took the bus.  And then, lo and behold.  The supermarket was probably nearly half empty of groceries!  I saw two of my fellow students and they confirmed, we should just come back another day.  Anyways, I did go back the next day, and it was still probably close to half empty.  But there were a number of employees putting some stocks back on the racks.  It is so weird.  I noticed then that apparently the furniture outlet store right beside it is closed.  Is something going on?  I really don't know.  I wasn't able to find some of the stuff I needed so I went to the nearby grocery store #2, "Coop."  It was my first time ever to visit a Coop grocery store.  My friend told me about it already but I forgot - you have to pay a hefty amount for plastic bags.  Anyways, it was a good thing I had extra plastic bags.

On Wednesday night, I feasted on sweet, sweet Tacos.  12 of them. :-D  And then just today, I finalized probably 3 dishes: tokwa't baboy, postek, and sinuglaw.  It was my first time ever to prepare tokwa't baboy - not a problem actually.  But it was my first time ever to prepare kinilaw na tuna.  I wondered how come my kinilaw at first didn't look at all like the ones I order from most restaurants.  I think, based on what I read, that kinilaw actually has coconut milk or something.  Anyways, I bought so much pork, I converted the kinilaw into sinuglaw, a mix of sinugba and kinilaw.  Sinugba of course is Bisaya for inihaw.  For the tokwa, I used Japanese tofu, of course. :-)

Wait, Ronjie, you bought so much pork??????  Yes, I bought them last Sunday but because I felt so tired that day, I was able to cook them all only now.  It's not that I eat pork only.  The last couple of days, I've been eating beef.  I had tapsilog the last two days, and Tacos (ground beef) last night.  My tapsilog looked better than ever.  It is because this time I was able to buy a cut of beef that was more appropriate for tapa.  It tasted great as well.  Recipe was from my mom.  I didn't use patis though.

Last Sunday, my engineering mentor, Doc Benny, arrived here in Tokyo for a 3-day conference and so we met up Tuesday night, together with my former thesis adviser, Prof Fer.  We went to the Imperial Palace and the Asakusa area.  I didn't realize that the walk to the Imperial Palace was that long.  Actually, we did a lot of walking, even just for getting to/from the train stations and transferring between stations.  Anyway, the Palace grounds was just so huge a place.  Sunset actually caught us there.

When we got to Asakusa, most shops were closed.  The good thing was, there were very few people.  I didn't think the Sensoji Temple would look so much better in the evening.  And then, we had dinner at this ramen and gyoza resto wherein they serve...  just one kind of ramen, and gyoza!  Their specialty, apparently.  Not the greatest, but pretty good.  Not so salty ramen.  They had beer and Japanese sake (or rice wine; beer is also sake, actually because sake literally translates to alcoholic beverage.) as well; we had a cup each of sake.  Pretty strong.  And overall, a pretty good dinner: the ambience, the company, the food.  It was a fun evening and it was nice to meet up with fellow Filipinos and chat in Tagalog.  Doc Benny, who probably spent 6 or more years here in Japan for his PhD and associate professorship back in the 80s, still had very good Nihongo.  But he wisely chose when to use it and when not.

So, well, that's it.  Back to the books.  Stay tuned for updates here and there.  God bless, everyone!

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