I'm off for the week to visit my family for the Chinese New Year holidays. I'm not too sure what I'll be doing as I'll be internet-free and watching cable-less TV, might prove to be a good cyber-detox.
This series of photos actually remind me of something I read long ago. A book called 'Wrong about Japan' by Peter Carey. I didn't agree with everything he said about Japan, but it makes for a very entertaining read if you're not digging deeper.
The author takes a trip with his friend Frementle Jack to Tokyo years back for the first time, and he was in a car driving towards the city, awe-struck by the beauty of the 'concrete ribbon' that is the Ikebukurosen highway and later the 'perfect Elvises in Harajuku', when his friend Frementle Jack turned to him, visibly upset.
“It’s so American,” said Jack. “I didn’t come all this way for this.”
“Well, what do you want?”
“I want to see the Real Japan.”
I want to laugh out loud everytime I read it. It's funny the misconceptions we can have of people and places. In this highly connected world of ours today, I still get asked sometimes if Singapore is part of China when I travel, especially to more far-flung places.
I can't really remember how I got to know about this place, but I was intrigued enough to make 2 trips there during my last Tokyo visit (the first time it was closed). It's not so much the exhibition that was interesting but the building itself. It was a public bathhouse for 200 years until 1993 when they turned it into an art gallery for Japan's up and coming. You can read more about it here.
To be honest the gallery space is really small and might not be worth making a trip especially for that, but as the bathhouse is in the historic Yanaka district, it makes for an interesting stroll after that. Yanaka was very near where I lived before and I would often go there during the weekends alone just to check out the cats.(I've real potential to become a crazy cat lady). Besides the many many strays, there are also rustic cat cafes, shops selling cat goods and a cat art gallery. This was my all time favourite.
There are a lot of cool shops there too though they are a bit dispersed and hard to find. I'm dying to go to this hat shop next time I'm there.
Going out for a walk with my camera later to relieve some of the interview stress recently (I just had one with Japan early this morning). More photos soon hopefully.
Film can give such pleasant surprises. Sometimes they come out yellow, sometimes blue, and sometimes, just sometimes like now, such a sweet pinkish hue. Green I know is the reaction of daylight film with fluorescent, orange is tungsten, but I could never really understand what causes some of the other colours.
Edit>> Aninteresting article on film basics. The part on Colour Balance talks about the different 'colours' in light.
I've been meaning to upload more photos but suffering from a lack of inspiration lately.
Job search is in full swing now, lots of emails and lots of "Hi, my name is ... ...", I can't dump my phone anywhere and happily forget about it anymore. The prospect of a new job is at the same time exciting and daunting.
Edit>> I want this for my bathroom floor... ...maybe minus the grime.
I'm laughing as I'm uploading these because I can imagine the reactions from my friends, "What! You knit?!" Yes my dear friends, I've actually known how to knit since I was a little girl in plaits, it's probably one of my best kept secrets *lol*
I picked it up again recently because I wanted coasters for my home but couldn't find anything I like, so I've decided to go DIY. For now I'm finding it terribly therapeutic, highly recommended for people with insomnia!
Edit>> The deer was a toy I picked up from Nara recently, can't believe that was last year already, do you recognize it B?
I realized I've actually not introduced her properly yet, so here's 10 trivia.
1>> We found her when she was a couple of months old, leaping around at a construction site near our home. When we went near slowly she didn't run and hide like most kittens do. Instead she meowed a 'hello' and flipped over onto her back, wanting to play.
2>> We couldn't find a proper box, so she came home to us in a timberland shopping bag. She still loves paper bags now and you can hold the straps and carry her in one like you do groceries.
3>> The animal doctor we brought her to was surprised to find her a girl. Apparently most gingers are boys.
4>> She yawns at the specialty toys we get from the pet shop, but goes crazy over a leftover cable-tie or an old shoe box (we're not complaining).
5>> Her antennae looking tail is bent at a right angle, making her look like a fifth teletubby.
6>> She blends in perfectly with our birch and white home, prompting friends to ask if that was the reason why we got her. We like to joke that if we change the theme of the house we'll need to get another cat.
7>> Her favourite past-time include cliff-hanging from our window grills and dragging down clothes from the laundry line.
8>> She'll always greet us at the door when we're home without fail.
9>> She'll always give us wet-nose kisses and wake us up early in the morning without fail (we're complaining a little... ...especially on weekends).
10>> She's totally convinced that one day she'll catch a bird, even though our windows are completely mashed (we live on the 9th floor), so even after so long she's still crash-jumping onto the mash everytime a bird flies by.
In a nutshell... ...we're really fond of the little cat =)
Another hotch-potch of my travel photos, mostly shot in Tokyo.
I kind of like this series if photos because of how everyday they look. This is the Tokyo I know, and the memories that I have of the place. Not the Tokyo tower, nor the Rainbow bridge, or the famous Sensoji.
Strictly speaking for the Chinese, we're still in the year of the Tiger (Chinese go by the lunar calendar and the new year for that is in Feb), but for the Japanese, 1st Jan is the start of the new zodiac.
But one thing is for sure, 2011 is the year of the bunny so here's hoping for a sweet and extra fluffy bunny year for all ahead! HC and I have concluded that a lot has happened in the past year, lots of big changes, though we're lucky to say that most have been really good ones. I'm excited to see what 2011 will bring.