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Interests, Pastimes & Hobbies

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Travelling to Hokkaido, Yes? No?

AkiraSabine has too many things on her mind at the moment, she has no time to update. Apart from her work up here in BKK, she's busy planning her AL vacation, doing research on accommodation, transportations, costs, getting around, things to do and others like visa for her vacation. Thus, she has been neglecting her blog for a while. She has been surfing and reading too many sites and deciding her plans, she has no time to think of new posts. Please bear with her for a short while.
Currently she's thinking of going to Hokkaido, partly homestay and another part couch surfing at some good samaritan's place. She's thinking if she could take the challenge to make things within 5k at most for the 2 weeks stay. Where would she go? She's planning to explore Sapporo for the city, Otaru forthe canal neighbourhood, Hokodate for the port city and Furano for the Lavender field. She would also go to the Asahiyama Zoo there to catch a sight of penguins, brown bears, brown polar bears and foxes. Maybe in the list would be Niseko during summer(though this place is known only for it's winter ski).Food to try would be the Sapporo signature noodle, Sapporo Asahi Beer, red crabs, lavender ice-cream and Shiroi Koibito(the Jap Choc).
On the cultural side, she'd be staying with a Japanese family living how a Japanese live and eating together starting with "Itadakimasu" and ends with "Gochisousamadeshita". She wishes to practise her Japanese skill in a total Jap environment. During the homestay, she would sleep in futon(sheets) and bathe in ofuro(Jap style bath tub). Then, she'll take the typical get aorund mode of transportation, Jap jitensha (bicycle)to town and take the JR rail to access other cities in the island. She's gonna experience the efficiency of the rail in Japan which provides access to national parks and scenic nature of Hokkaido.
So far the flight has been a turn off. Akira hasn't been familiar with flights to Japan. Is it always exceeding RM2000 for the cheapest ticket to the Chitose Airport in Sapporo from KLIA? The cheapest she refers to here is by the Cathay Pacific Airlines. Some sites even offers up to RM9k which she thinks is totally ridiculous. She's wondering if there's any below RM2k for a return ticket inclusive of the airport taxes? Wouldthe price drop should she book at the very last minute? She need's some advice from fellow readers. She's beginning to wonder if she should put visiting Japan aside for the moment till Air Asia begins flying there. As far as she knows, the budget airline is planning to make it happen this year in 2009 but how true it is, she wonders.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Going Jap

One day, AkiraSabine was too bored. So, she hit the regular mall she always frequent. She walked around the mall without a purpose. As it was lunch hour, she went scouting for nice good food. She could not remember when she actually boarded a flight to Japan. She had always wanted to visit Nihon, the land of sunrise but she never thought it actually came true, and that's without her knowing it. There were so many restaurants to choose from, ranging from MOS Burger, Ootoya, Zen Restaurant, Oishii Express, Sukishi to Doidomon. She couldn't make up her mind. In the end, Akira went into Sukishi. She was greeted with cheerful "Irassyaimase". AkiraSabine did not order Jap, as she was attracted to the image of a Korean Meal and she was curious on the tag stone grilled. The meal arrived and the sizzling sound was heavenly to Akira. Speaking of the little things that makes one contented...

After her meal, AkiraSabine paid her bill. As she walked out to the exit, the people behind said "Krob khun mak ka". She was finally awake from her dream.

-Rangsit Future Park-

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Moment of Solace

The reading bug is returning to me again and this time around I’m into Nora Roberts. Having just finished the first, Montana Sky, I’m moving into my second, Northern Lights. Not all writers can easily get me interested but this one did it successfully. Her writing style engages me and is easily understood for a typical Asian with English as my second language, I would be grateful to enjoy a book without much of unfamiliar vocabs. Most importantly the book would have some nice juicy parts to keep me picking it up and continue reading. This is significant(grins) as it helps sharpen my imagination and stimulate my senses. Otherwise, I would just dread continuing reading as I would not recall what I’ve read.

Montana Sky was about 3 half sisters who were brought together at their father’s funeral. The older 2 who respectively were not staying with him had only vague imaginations of him. Apparently, he was not a favourite among the people in Montana during his lifetime. During the reading of his will, the sisters were surprised to find that, a big portion of the ranch house and cattle he owned will be divided equally among the 3 of them . The condition was one, they had to leave whatever they were doing elsewhere to live here in Montana, a mountainous area of US for one year before they finally get their share. Of course, Tess (the nicknamed Miss Hollywood who lives in LA) and Lily( the most vulnerable of the 3 sisters) were not happy with the term especially staying with sisters whom they’ve only met for the first time. Their relationships weren’t good that moment, worse than friends and there were cat fight around. Subsequently, the twist took a brighter turn towards the end but not without inhumane gutting(cattle and man), humour, juicy stuff and sisterly kinship. All in all, it was close to 500 pages. This one, I can proudly say I read every pages of it without fail and returned way earlier before the 3 months’ rental’s up.

Come my new and current read, Northern Lights, it was set in another scenic mountainous setting in Alaska where the snow was as thick and the only access into the town of 700 population was only by a jet plane. The storyline revolves around a new police chief they call the Cheechako(newcomer) who apparently came for the new post from Baltimore. He’s one who’s leaving his past behind him in Baltimore and moving into a small lazy town to get back on his legs. This book is a God sent chilly stimulus when in reality I’m reading it in an un-airconditioned and unventilated room and needless to say typical hot sunny afternoon. Even from the first page, Nora Roberts talking bout frostbite, the surrounding being dark even at 9 am, the wearing of steam undergarment (I wonder how it exactly looks) over layers of clothing, a moose(which I searched the dictionary to be something of an anthler), strong chilly wind blowing on the window sill and the howling sound it made, drinking Vodkas and all to keep warm, etc. My dear friends, this is one of the great wonders reading can do for you.

You can help keep the earth green without using A/C but yet feel chilled to the bones. It stimulates your imagination. You get to imagine things you can’t do in this social setting and since you can’t do it, you don’t understand why people are actually enjoying it. It could be a crime, living in the mountains, living in the ranch, suicide, sex and so forth.
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