God, please give me the strength to be grateful and content.
Happy 24 dear me.
God, please give me the strength to be grateful and content.
*warning : heavy images post ahead!*
About 12 months ago I decided I had no time and willingness to write on this space any longer. Because a lot of things happened and time mercilessly flowed through everything in between. There’s so much events to sum up and stories to tell, but i will draft another post for another day. Before all that, just to make this blog slightly alive again, here’s a travel diary to a country which I fell in love with when I first visited in 2013, and undoubtedly made me love it even more the second time I step foot on it. One of the reason that made me want to write here again is the urge for me to record in details of things that I did there. It’s a great thing to be able to recount your memories, step back in time when you needed a break and use it as a reminder to always be grateful for places you’ve been and things you’ve seen.
Let’s kick things off with a little travelogue i made! (And if you like the song maybe replay it again while you read the post below :p)
The trip started out in Osaka on early April. The plan was to get to Japan in time for the cherry blossom season, and it was a crazy and stressful one week to try and sort out the accommodation there, because it was all sold out! We lucked out on Airbnb and managed to find a decent stay at the center of the city for 5 nights. We flew with Peach Airlines, a Kansai based budget airlines, from Hong Kong to Kansai. All set!!
Day 1 :
Night flight, transfer to accommodation, had a 12 midn supper at Matsuya and first experience with food vending machine. Encountered the most patient and nicest waiter in the whole fast food restaurant chain.
mother of all budget airlines foods
Day 2 :
Starting our first proper day early morning to visit Osaka Castle for this beauty.
Picnic under the sakura tree with amazing, amazing ice shaves, noodles and fried chickens. My ultimate dream. Was afraid that the flower pollens would make me allergic so I bought some allergic meds and masks, but everything turns out okay and i can confirm i am not allergic one bit. YAY. To be honest that day we lucked out so much on the weather and had the most perfect day to visit Osaka-jo Koen. Where it was supposed to rain on the weather forecast turns out to be a real sunny day. Too sunny one might say as I overdress myself a bit and slightly suffocated underneath the sweater. But it was still a wonderful day. Real good start for the trip!
Also visited the Osaka Museum of History, then headed to the shopping street for lunch (and some Takoyaki)!
Dinner was sushi set, shabu shabu and donburi. Deeeeelllliiiish!
Day 3 :
Basically a day for shopping and accommodation transfer. Off to Shinsaibashi and Namba.
Day 4 :
Starting the day really early to head to Kyoto, for yet another Sakura viewing session and oh boy was it a view..
On the path to Ginkaku-ji, where all the sakura petals were scattered, rivers full of pink dots, giant Koi fishes swimming around and it was just the most beautiful scene I’ve ever seen. It’s unreal, and tens of times prettier than what I’ve imagined it would be like. One of those places that you won’t be able to forget easily.
Local market, fresh sea products and countless souvenir shops. Caution for ‘Sakura Special Items’ literally everywhere and silently beckoning you to come and spend your whole fortune..
Continuing to Gion temple alleys and Kiyomizu-dera night festival. The temple usually closes at night, except for Spring Night opening that runs from end of March till mid April. It’s packed, but not too packed to the point you can’t see anything. Most of the buds weren’t open yet when we visited, but it was still beautiful to see the famous temple and its grandeur.
Finished off the day with dinner at local restaurant and headed back to Osaka.
Day 5 :
Universal Studio Japan!!
Ok first thing first…
The Titans were Real™. And they were incredibly detailed asadacvhagadvjhvcd T_T My biggest regret ever in this trip (other than not taking picture with Sailor Uniform Uncle in Tokyo, details coming up on the next post) , was being unable to go on the Titans attraction. It was a timed ticket and i was late to arrive at the area and there goes my opportunity to see it. Stalked some people and it was meant to be like a mini museum inside and there’s supposedly Levi and Mikasa life sized figure wtf T_T goddammit GODDAMMIT pissed beyond belief at myself. Also the Survey Corpse cloaks i wanted so bad were sold out. *incomprehensible cries*
If you have a chance to go to USJ, this temporary exhibition is available until 10th of May. And maybe do those things I couldn’t. I think i kind of scared/gross out the cousins by being such an otaku -_-
also i included a bonus of Attack on Titan Live Action trailer here, just to add more excitement lol
Harry Potter world was pretty cool too. andddd bought professor Dumbledore’s wand for i don’t know what and will 100% be sitting at the cabinet collecting dust. But you just had to buy it… you know.. consumerism… ehm.
And after that, went to the station and waited for the train to come. That’s when my life got messed up 7 different ways as the craziest, most painful (and embarrassing) menstrual pain kicked in. I had to squat down for a good 10 minutes with tears streaming down my face and proceed to walk like an 80 years old grandmother about to give birth anytime. Then we made it back to apartment and I passed out pronto. To the cousins, if you’re reading this, I’m terribly sorry for being such a pain in the ass.(no pun intended.. maybe a bit) T___T
Day 6 :
Final Day in Osaka! Not much to do, but I was catching the Shinkansen to Tokyo later in the afternoon. Before that, went for a final omiyage shopping and lunch, still with my annoying severe cramps. Later in the afternoon, the cramp wasn’t getting any better so I went inside a drugstore and bought a pain reliever. Couldn’t read Japanese but it was meant to be especially for menstrual pain. I took a pill…. and see what happened in my next post.
Purikura with the cousins. Thanks for such wonderful trip, guize! Always such a fun trip with you all. x (y’all look real cute la, don’t be mad at me for posting this? ;D) Special thanks to Allan for organizing yet another great Japan trip! Kudos, sir. Arigato!
That’s about it for Osaka. Phew that was real long post that took a long time to write too! Almost forgot how good it feels to finish a blog post and seeing it displayed on the space. *pats back* Tokyo 2015 is coming and I don’t know yet if I’m gonna be able to fit all in one post 0_0 Bear with me while I try to put things in order!
still thinking of u :’)
PS: Don’t steal pictures! Credit or link me back if you wish to use any of the images above, k? Play nice! :)
All pictures are shot & edited by me using Iphone6 and Samsung NX1000, unless otherwise stated.
After leaving this space without any proper writing for the last 3/4 months, the best I could come up with is a gig review. Really? (really.) Because this gig is essentially one of the most unforgettable one I’ve ever been. Just a disclaimer that this review is based purely on my experience as a fan, so don’t take it too seriously?
So it’s about London Grammar. If you’re not familiar (and have been living under a big-ass rock), go to a new tab and type it on Youtube search bar. They’re a trip-hop (honestly, music genre name these days..) group that comes to the surface of music industry barely a year ago. I also learnt how they met each other whilst studying in University of Nottingham, busy with dissertation and eventually finding out that they are actually able to do music as living. I am currently in the middle of writing my dissertation and the thought of what comes next sometimes scares the shit out of me. Anyway I loved them on a first listen of their album, and so decided to come to the gig when opportunity arise. And on 8 February, I marched to Sheffield for London Grammar live in O2 Academy Sheffield.
The gig opener was @kyanmusic and @sayloulou which I have to say I enjoy very much. Especially Kyan, a Cambridge lad with the fusion of John Mayer voice and Bruno Mars look. Can never go wrong with that combo. Check out one of the track he played last night below. Free download too!
I was lucky enough to have stood at the front row without queuing too long. The vibe of the whole venue was just really chilled and relaxed, with a healthy mix of men and women. A bit put off from the last Maroon 5 gig where the audience; or should i say the teenage girls; were literally screaming their heads off all the time. Fair enough, it was a different genre, but it was still nice to be a part of a mature audience that appreciates music in a different way. Anyway I stood at the front row on centre-right-ish side of the stage which had me exactly in front of Dot Major and his equipments, which consists of drums, keyboards, synths, percussion drum, and a bottle of beer. I had told my friend before about the similarity of Dot to Harry Styles and in my opinion after seeing in real life the prior is incredibly easy in the eyes and *bonus* very talented to add in. Honestly I understand why we are enthralled with Hannah and her vocal powerhouse ripping through the venue, but I also came to realise how Dot Major multitasks in between songs with different equipments quite fascinating. Portraying himself to public eyes as “a pie of London Grammar”, he is also quite the producer/beat maker I’d very much like to see creating songs for big names in the future. Dot Major, major props (pun intended and not sorry).
London Grammar comes up the stage at 9:15 PM, started off with ‘Hey Now’ and I was originally planning to record the first song with my camera, but the first 30 seconds convinced me that I needed to put down my camera and really soak up this experience. It was such a surreal moment when she sings and the audience were eerily still (with a little bit of high hoops here and there), which results in me having chills all over. Not just because it was cold, even though it was actually freezing inside the venue, but a good kind of chills that goes deep in your bone when you enjoyed something so much. I couldn’t remember much about the night but it was an exceptionally beautiful evening and I could stay in that room for longer than I thought, standing there and listening to them take over the reality. ‘Wasting My Young Years’ and ‘Strong’ made me emotional for a while, as if the world goes slo-mo with the lights beaming and criss-crossing, I was in absolute bliss. ‘Metal & Dust’ as encore song was absolutely incredible live, powered by Dot’s drumming, great way to close the show and definitely leaves an impression.
Some funny moment when Dan, which was at the end of other side of stage, tried to crack a joke but failed miserably and charmingly. Your typical shy guy who could still feel the nerves talking to 2000 odd people after countless live shows. Beautiful Hannah, even more so in real life, has a really outgoing attitude despite the lots of interview saying she herself has stage fright. She sounds flawless, albeit caught her coughing/clearing up the throat a few times, figured she might still be recovering from the cold. I particularly enjoyed it when she picked up her ‘favorite’ audience from the crowd after ‘Nightcall’. Apparently a guy was wearing earplugs throughout the show, Hannah noticed him and joked about him offending the band by doing so. I can only imagine being in that guy’s position and became red with guilt, but it doesn’t matter because the band actually signed some merch for him at the end of the show. Moral of the story : wear earplug to LG gigs. The rest of the show went enjoyably and I managed to record a few songs and took some pictures. The show was a short period of 55 minutes top, including encore. A bit disappointed they didn’t perform If You Wait, namely because I think the venue asked the band to finish early since there was another event coming up later that evening so they need to pack up and rearrange things. I certainly hope so and not because the band was expecting another encore. Like, is that actually possible? Two encores in a gig? I wonder.
Off to pictures:
And footagezzzz :
Wow this post has amounted to be one of my longest post ever! Talk about something I’m really good at babbling on. Well, I think it’s fit to say that this gig is one of the most unforgettable one i’ve been, considering i left the venue feeling really happy and content with my decision to come and watch them. I also feel the slightest tinge of anger to my friends who are so lucky to have ‘this tip-hop trio’ performing in their university tonight, but don’t even want to go and see them. I’ll see them biting their nails when the band wins Best British Breakthrough in the Brits. London Grammar have one debut album, and it has converted me to a full time fan. I cannot wait to see what they have in store (or iTunes) in the future, and I will be there again for sure on their next gig.
Typing on Monday morning, it’s the start of the week and it’s the start of another battle with my dissertation. I can only hope I find my bandmates and/or discover what I want to do with my life this week. ffs.
Being 8000 miles away from home, sometimes the most daunting part of it is being unable to gather round family on special occasions.
Tonight I was lucky enough and grateful to have celebrated the lunar new year with kick ass friends, and made wherever feels like home with endless banter, laughter, foods, and foods.
View on Path
The Herb Garden
View on Path
so much about passing by 2013 in a blink, here’s what happened on its final week.
Will write soon, promise. xo