Monday, October 31, 2005

It's beginning to look a lot like Kitty...

How much more can symbolise Christmas as Japanese? You can buy this cute little Kitty Santa for you front lawn. How quaint. Back home in Aus, that will set you back about $50. Not bad considering she comes up to about my knee. BTW... Today is Halloween. Strange to be in a store and have scary pumpkins over one shoulder and Santas over the other.

Let's not!

Some word work perfectly well together grammatically but should never actually be seen side by side. I mean, who wants to scratch voluntarily?

Monday, October 24, 2005


Yep they are all pretty cute here. This little girl was pretty special though. She ran up to me to say hi (in Japanese). Her Dad was nice too. I like the parents that encourage their kids to interact with us and not shy away.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Oh wow... YUM!

Seems kind of strange to do a post about dinner. I am not too sure if anyone will understand - maybe Angela will. I was given some Haloumi cheese the other day after a friend returned from Cyprus. I decided to make a meal tonight keeping in mind a fantastic dish from a restaurant way back when (anyone remember the Green Dot?). I basically put together a whole lot of grilled vegetables, added sliced Aussie beef and finally drizzled over balsamic vinegar. Let me just say... I thought of nothing else but bliss as I ate my way through it. Thanks to Yoshika for the Haloumi. WOW! I even have enough for two more meals. Anyone want to come over for dinner next week?

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Thanks to Cindy, Jared and Everett for the following link. See my entry titled Abunai Ne! in the September section of this blog. The famed suzume bachi is chronicled in this great national geographic site. Make sure to watch the video. It's amazing.

If you want to find out more about Japanese creepy crawlies, check out Jared and Everett's blog page. They are experts...

Sunset near Kushigahama

Not a bad effort I thought. I took this pic with my little (old) keitai or mobile phone. I found a new setting to make the photos bigger.
To the right of this picture, just out of the shot, is a massive factory. Sometimes the factory even looks pretty bathed in these sunsets. Nice to drive past on the busy road.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

'J' fashion. Kat and Lauren try it on for size.

Again I ask... What?

The sea teaches a necessary thing that we live. Natural environment, sense of security, concentration, calmly, motherhood, severely, violently, harmony, room and languidness. Please do not forget the thing contained in the sea.
The street teaches a necessary thing for us to live. Style, truth, lie, enemy, family, friend, money, pride, and loe and hatred. Do not part with an important thing.

At least all the spelling is correct (I think) but seriously, what is going on?

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Fond Love Honey?


To slurp or not to slurp?

In Japan, it is manners to slurp your noodles whilst eating. This comes as a surprise to any unsuspecting foreigner who sits down next to a native and hears the emphasised intake of breath as noodles are consumed. The louder the slurp, the better your manners. Now the Japanese generally don't slurp spaghetti. Spaghetti isn't a Japanese noodle so is saved this consumer quirk. The theory goes, that slurping helps cool the piping hot noodles as you eat. I can understand this theory and I feel, as a foreigner, that I have mastered slurping quite quickly. I actually enjoy sitting down to a big bowl of ramen or udon, swimming in their delicious soup. Slurping makes me feel part of the group. My slurping prowess brings me to an incident that happened yesterday. I decided to drop by a local ramen shop (thin noodles in pork broth - originally from China). I was presented with my lunch and reached for my first mouthful with my hashi (chop sticks)... Try to imagine the lovely noodles hovering right before my mouth. Getting closer. Then slurp... wait... choke, choke, cough! I breathed in too hard and not quite in the right way and inhaled my food instead of swallowing it. Not pleasant. As of yesterday I have decided slurping could be detrimental to my own health. Too dangerous. I am going to now be the quiet, not so polite foreigner and eat my noodles in silence.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

The loveliness that is Oshima

Spent last night and most of today over on Oshima (oshima means big island). The ingenuity behind naming everything in Japan is amazing...
Saturday night was a BBQ at Chris' place. Great company and good food. Nice night but left early for a good sleep.
Today we went to meet everyone again and eat Jamaican. Yes, Oshima has its own little Jamaican van. Delicious food.
After eating our fill of Jerk Chicken, we drove across to the swimming beach. A few people got in the water but most of us chilled out and relaxed.
Great time. Thanks Megan and Chris

The gang all relaxing along the beach wall. Beautiful weather.

The mad and crazy Jet Skis. This looked like so much fun. The jet ski in the foreground is carrying three girls. Go girls!

Does a sunset get any more beautiful?

Jamaican Oshima style out of the back of this brightly coloured van. Mmmm Delicious!!!!

The boys relax with dominos whilst waiting for the famous Jerk Chicken. Who's winning?

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Thailand... Mmmmmm. Can't wait

I think it is about 11 weeks until I finally set off for Thailand. I know many of you have already made this journey but I haven't as yet. Lauren and I will spend 17 fun packed days there. Photographing anything that moves, touring and eating our hearts out.

Lauren, I have one word for you, 'ELEPHANTS'

Oh and Lauren, you know I am so looking forward to the food. I found this picture on the net especially for you!

I hope all the meat is this fresh. Bit scary actually!

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Sea Kayaking and Frogmonkyo

Alex and I relaxing beside the river in Chumonkyo (not really called Frogmonkyo as above). Chomonkyo is a beautiful gorge walk in Yamaguchi. Sunday saw our return for the annual gorge walk... In the rain. Ginny appears to have been for a swim when in actual fact the swim came much later. Her appearance is due to walking in the rain and then lunching in a down pour.
Dave thinking about going for a swim. The gorge was amazing. The rain gave it a rainforest/jungle feel. This atmosphere was added to by the many spiders, two snakes and millions of frogs jumping all over the place (hence the above name, Frogmonkyo)
Saturday saw me joining Sarah and Christine for one of my favourite Japanese experiences. Kayaking in the ocean... well sea. We meet at Susa (Korea side of Japan) and grabbed a boat each. We explore the caves in the cliffs and I even rang Dad from the boat. I think he was a little chuffed. We did spend quite a lot of time dodging the giant jelly fish that were out especially for autumn. Ugh!
Stomolophus nomurai - Giant Japanese Jellyfish. Can grow up to 2m in diameter. Can kill humans. Can be eaten by humans. Not much info on the web... sorry!