25 November 2010

Hula Happyokai!

I know it's been a while... We've had no internet for a week now and only just managed to get it back up and running last night!

A few friends and I have been getting together every now and then to practice some hula! On Tuesday, we performed for some friends and family and had a really good time mixing and mingling afterwards. 

Following us were all the primary kids that did a Disney dance! So cute! They were all dressed up as Ariel and Tinkerbell ^_^

Anyways, here are some pics!


15 November 2010

Numb Thumb??

Hey! Can anyone help me with this?

About 2 weeks ago, I went to school as usual. Nothing new, nothing old. When I was there, my nose got itchy and so I rubbed it with the side of my thumb. It was only then that I realized that my thumb felt funny. Kind of like steel covered in stocking material. Cold and smooth. It felt like it wasn't a part of my body anymore, like a prosthetic limb acting as my thumb.

After much pinching and prodding, I concluded that from the knuckle down, the thumb on my right hand was numb. Why? I have no idea! I just woke up that day and it was like that.

Oddly enough, when I looked online, there were a lot of other people that complained about the exact same thing! Numbness in the right thumb from the knuckle down. As if it wasn't weird enough already!

I thought it would have gone away by now but it looks like “Numb Thumb“ is here to stay.

Has anyone had this before? Can anyone tell me what this is?!

Save my thumb!! >___< lol

11 November 2010

Apple Sponge!

I was craving some real dessert the other night so I opted to make the classic Apple Sponge ^___^ I was kinda getting bored of the “Here's an ice-block for dessert“ thing.

For dessert in Japan, what I have found is that they usually eat light things, like fruit. I always thought it was strange when a single peach would be brought out of the fridge, with everyone crowding around watching it being peeled and sliced, and then divided amongst everyone, using toothpicks as the choice of utensil.
At first I thought, OK... maybe they didn't have time to make some real dessert or forgot about it or something.... But it wasn't until one time I was given about 10 grapes as dessert that I started to question what was really happening here. I was even more mortified when everyone started to peel their grapes and then eat them. Who does that?? No one I know in NZ does that. 

In New Zealand, when we say dessert we mean pudding and trifle and pavlova and ICE CREAM and custard and cream! The works! None of this healthy business! You can imagine my disappointment every time that peach comes out of the fridge when I'm visiting with friends.

Back to the sponge, this is exactly what I needed. I finished it off with some warm custard (Edmonds of course) and just about licked the bowl!

So quick and easy. Jun liked it. I liked it. Beats a slither of peach and peeled grapes any day.

Here's the recipe (taken from allrecipes.com.au):

1 apple, peeled, cored and sliced in thin sections
90g butter
1/3 cup caster sugar
1 egg
1 cup (125g) self-raising flour
3 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon sugar

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Grease a pie dish.
2. Heat the apples in the microwave until softened. Heat butter in microwave until softened.
3. Put butter and caster sugar in food processor and mix until light and fluffy. Add egg, flour and milk alternatively.
4. Place hot apples into pie dish and sprinkle 1 tablespoon of sugar over them, pour cake mixture over and bake on middle shelf in the oven for 30 - 40 minutes in pre-heated oven.
5. Serve with vanilla ice cream or custard.

09 November 2010

Morning Madness!!

O h . . .  M y . . .  G o s h h h h . . .
The rush hour in Japan is soooo crazy!! If you think the rush hour in New Zealand is bad.. wait until you catch the Chuo trains in Tokyo -_-

This morning started off the same. I woke up, got dressed, and rode my bike to the station. As the train pulled up and the doors opened, a sea of faces stared back at me. A thousand beady eyes plastered on sleep deprived faces. What is usually a partially filled train at 7:30am was now a jam packed train, all filled with Japanese, and then me. It was like the deal with the clowns and the car, except on a much larger scale. All of the population of Niue was on that train. Well, maybe half. The train that is.

I stared at the wall of people in front of me and then glanced behind me to assess the damage, and possible pain, that I was about to inflict on myself. It was obvious that there wasn't enough room for the large group of people waiting behind me. Yet everyone stood unfazed, all baring arms and waiting to battle their way through that, apparently penetrable, wall. The concept of personal space does not apply to Japanese.

The air was hot inside and clung to my body as I squeezed and squirmed my way onto the train. I twisted and turned trying to find a pocket of space for me to move. I managed to secure a small spot right by the door. If you've been in Japan long enough, you know that this spot is like the blind spot to the crushing sea of people that board the train at every stop. If you stand here, the people seem to glance off you without you having to budge an inch. So I secure my position and arm myself with a bottle of lavender oil to sniff to calm my motion sickness and mild claustrophobia. Not a good day to have these ailments.

Stop after stop, more and more people cram onto the train without hesitation whether they're young, old, male, or female. And more and more, my little bubble of sanctuary keeps being invaded by elbows and knees. Speaking of knees, I stopped feeling mine about 5 minutes ago. I literally could not breathe being so cramped up like that. I don't know how Japanese can do this every day! My bag was wedged between one mans back and another mans chest, my legs were tangled around other legs, my right arm was stuck above my head while my left arm was squashed against the wall behind me. If you froze this moment and took all the people away to look at the position I was in, it would have looked something like this:
Johnny Bravo is the man
The windows were dripping with condensation, the people around me were all sweating, I was sweating, it was sooo gross! At one point as the doors opened again, I saw a few people literally fall out and land on their hands and knees! That is how insanely packed it was!

Of course, the trains aren't always like this. Something went wrong with the traffic lights which caused a build up of people and delayed the trains. This meant more people on less trains.To cut a long story short, what should have taken 40 minutes, took an hour and 20 minutes to get to work.

If commuting to work everyday means riding the train from hell with Hades as the driver... than I quit! Either that, or it's time to learn how to drive ^_^

Check this out: Japanese Rush Hour

05 November 2010

The BIG 24!! O_O

My birthday crept up on me again this year. 
Before I even had a chance to fully accept that I was crossing the border line from YOUNG to have-some-babies-already!!-OLD (sorry to all my elders out there ^^), I dragged my feet over to the dark side. To me, 23 is the cut off age for claiming youth. From there on up you only gain more weight and loose more hair. Having said that, I turned 24 on November 3rd.   
Jun's craftsmanship
The week started off with receiving packages from my parents back in New Zealand! From my Pup, I got 2 pairs of shoes (which I desperately needed, as Japan has no Polynesian sizes apparently... but thats a whole other blog), and some NZ chocolate! I loved the shoes and dug into the choco stash straight away.
From Mum I got a a "Sweet As" art panel which I LOVE and a Pandora's Box bracelet charm! THANK YOU!! ^_^
Mum... why did you write Daniel? lol

On the actual day of my birthday, I woke up to a confused husband, fumbling around in the kitchen, apparently trying to bake me a cake. After a lot of effort, but not much success, we decided to got to Harajuku for some butter chicken and shopping instead! 

Soooo packed!!

After that, we went to Shinjuku to look for my present from Jun which was a brand spanking new MACBOOK PRO!! OMG!! It's so pretty! I love it ^___^

For dinner, we met up with Chieko, Tomo, and Shun at a fancy Japanese restaurant. The place was really nice but was way too expensive for the portions they gave us. I think it's safe to say that we all walked out starving.

Then we went to Karaoke! I hadn't been in so long so it was a very much anticipated trip. I sung my usual fav's along with some newies. Tomo and Chieko did a duet which was fun, Shun sung the types of songs Shun always sings (I missed his singing so much!), and Jun stuck to his B'z! I kept on telling Jun and Shun that it didn't feel the same singing News and Utada without Ric -_-.


After karaoke, we went to grab some ramen coz we were still hungry!

This whole week has just been awesome. People from work and church, and heaps of others, have practically been stuffing presents and cards into my arms!

I guess being 24 isn't so bad after all ^_^