Archives for Month: December 2013

In Japan, where James and I are now, New Year’s Eve is generally spent with family and there are no official countdowns or celebrations to count in the new year. Some temples will ring bells, but the Japanese usually welcome in the new year by watching the sun rise, and by celebrating various “firsts” of the year. So in farewelling the year gone by — which is what the Japanese do too — this is a survey I did last year as well. I thought, what better way to reflect on the wonderful year 2013 was?

1. What did you do in 2013 that you’d never done before?

Photographed two gigs in a night, arrived home from a night out at the ungodly time of 3am, and a myriad of other things both before and after dark, including having my first Starbucks drink, and these particular “firsts”:

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On Christmas Day, James and I went to Ueno Zoo. It was a short trip away and a good way to spend a lazy afternoon.

We saw lots of animals, especially some we hadn’t seen in other zoos. We saw a toucan (several of them actually), armadillos (one rolled up sleeping and another one running around everywhere), meerkats, a polar bear playing with a rubber cone, some lazy seals and a lot of birds. I think the cutest animals we saw were two nocturnal leopard cats who were chasing after each other.

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A few days ago James and I went to Gujo, which was insanely far from our hotel in Osaka. It took us about four hours to get there by bullet train and three local trains. When we arrived, we saw snow covering the ground and the mountains in the distance. By then we were already used to the cold weather. I should also mention that at the stations there are heated waiting rooms, and all […]

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On Thursday James and I caught a bullet train (shinkansen) to Kyoto, a city about forty kilometres from where we are staying in Osaka. The bullet train was really fast, and it only took about fifteen minutes. We are getting used to the transportation in Japan: there is the bullet train, as well as the railway, and the subway; so there are essentially three different networks. It is a little crazy to get your head around at first, because major stations have at least two of the three.

Bullet train snacks: Chocolate with chewy bits inside.
Bullet train snacks: Chocolate with chewy bits inside.

Bullet train on the platform
Bullet train on the platform

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I had my first manicure the day before James and I left for Osaka, Japan. I was thinking of getting my nails done all fancy with some jewels and decor or… something, but I changed my mind because I’m a bit of a cheapskate. But I now understand why girls like to get manicures and why they are so expensive. They are great. I went to The Nail Library in Sheung Wan, near where we were staying in Hong Kong, after I heard about their great service on a blog.

After pondering whether I should get some funky colour, or a neutral colour, I decided to “play it safe” and go with my favourite colour, red. It would be impossible for me to get bored or sick of the colour if it’s my favourite.

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It’s been raining quite a bit in Hong Kong. We had to buy a couple of umbrellas. The exchange rate works out really well here, which means that sometimes we are paying the equivalent of $25 AUD for two bowls of noodles with entrees and drinks. Back in Sydney, $25 might get you one meal and a drink, if you’re lucky.

Following our first day here, James and I went along a 5.7km cable car ride over the mountains and walked up to the famous big Buddha which is over thirty metres tall. In the little village there (Ngong Ping village) I had a little taste of home by purchasing my favourite green tea latte from Starbucks (quite popular in Hong Kong). We finished up in the early afternoon. Here are some photos from around the village and the big Buddha.

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So James and I made it safely to Hong Kong. We had to change over at Singapore, so we had a couple of hours there. The flight to Singapore was eight or so hours, and the plane left kind of late. We left at about 2-something-pm in Sydney so by the time we arrived in Singapore it was 10pm our time. We only had some cheap $1 McDonald’s cookies on the flight because we didn’t […]

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That’s because James and I are heading off to Hong Kong and Japan in the morning for Christmas and new year! I am too excited… far too excited. I didn’t write about it much because there was a lot of planning to do and there was, of course, my wall of sticky notes, that I started after I lost my job, which contained a lot of little (and big) things that I wanted to do before I left Australia.

Some of these I did get done, which included:

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About four months ago I wrote about how it was finally revealed that, after twelve years, my high blood cholesterol was a genetic problem. No diet or vitamin supplement could permanently fix the problem. I was put on medication, an extremely tiny dose, and last week I had a blood test to see how things were going.

The weather has been quite warm lately, and last week I was feeling exceptionally headachey. Not sure what’s up, but I think the weather has just been getting to me. I also have low blood pressure, so bending over really quickly or having my head down for too long gives me headaches. So does exercising too suddenly. Warming up is important! More on that point later.

I was feeling a bit under the weather, but I dragged myself to get a blood test anyway. Surprisingly, the nurse didn’t take that long to extract blood. She said it would be just a prick, and I thought, yeah yeah.

I have a strange sensitivity to having blood taken and being given injections. If I have my blood taken, I can actually feel the blood being drained out of my arm, and I can feel my upper arm going numb. In the same way, I can feel vaccinations and injections going around in my arm before it floats all around my bloodstream. Slightly unpleasant… but interesting.

I have also had to train myself to keep breathing when I have blood taken, because I seem to hold my breath. I have to remind myself to breathe and relax.

When I returned to see the doctor for my blood test results, I was so happy I could have cried.

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Hey guys! Daniel pointed out that I am very overdue for a Fashion Friday post, my last post being on the 12th October, nearly two months ago! I also said I coloured my hair black, but I never showed a photo.

I don’t really have a good one either, heh. It was not a permanent colour and started to wash out. Since I plan to colour my hair a lighter colour next year, I decided to use my purple hair dye the other day. It is also a temporary colour and will wash out after some time. It was hard to see any of the purple but today I took some photos in the sun and the purple was more visible.

I also painted my nails with a watermelon-inspired design. I don’t have any nail-painting pens or brushes so

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