Aug. 1st, 2011 11:38 pm
All things considered, I did pretty well today! I followed my to-do list in spirit, if not down to the minute -- yes, I'd broken my day up into hour-long chunks, but when I start writing, I get really into it and it always takes longer than planned. Same as sewing. And reading. Well, it's not that reading takes time, it's that I can't stop!

Anyway. I'm three days into my summer vacation! So far I've:

- slept in once;
- gone to ballet class;
- seen Masa and Baba being dorks and wrote about it;
- had cake with Kimberly;
- cleaned my apartment;
- made some gifts;
- studied Japanese;
- posted to Travelpod;
- gotten my bike fixed;
- abused the drink bar at Royal Host;
- finished a book (Game of Thrones);
- made packing lists and to-do-before-leaving lists for my three trips.

I haven't actually packed for Seoul, but I can do that tomorrow morning. No stress, because I have a list! I also have some emails to write, laundry to bring inside and put away, and... there was probably something else. I'll check my list.


Good night!
Wow, it's been quiet around here lately...

Jet lag has never been so cruel to me. This is twice I've gone to bed around 11 and woken up in the middle of the night, unable to fall back to sleep. I was a right zombie at work on Wednesday, and today was only slightly better.

I need to get organised again this weekend. My apartment is a disaster (but that because I haven't yet finished unpacking) and I've been sliding on my nihongo study. Only a bit under two months to go before the test! *extreme fear*

Have started watching the third season of Slings & Arrows, finally, after only, oh... two years of it sitting on my shelf. It's way better than the second season was, but I'll wait until I finish to see if it tops the first. The snark about musical theatre is deliciously venomous, and as much as I love Paul Gross in this, Don McKellar steals the show with his bitchiness and aforementioned venom about musicals. I couldn't stop laughing at his, "If you want to communicate something to the proletariat, cover it in sequins and make it sing. It's noisy, vulgar and utterly meaningless. I love it." His delivery is perfect for every single line.

Speaking of perfect delivery, Oliver's ghost is pitch-perfect, especially during the therapy scenes. XD Also awesome are Richard and Anna -- omg the beancounters getting drunk together was so tragic/funny! And Anna's, "How does the new general feel about musicians?!"

Bwahahaha, and the Minister of Culture made a reappearance, much to my delight.

Tomorrow, I'm going to a Kpop concert featuring a million different performers, which I think means it's time to bust out the fake eyelashes with the silver strips. :D

Before that, though, I'm going to see if I can beat this stupid jet lag.

Bonne nuit!

I got home a bit over two hours ago, but I've just been reading back through lj, playing with Tabitha and not unpacking. I figure I can do that tomorrow night, if I survive work.

Surprisingly, I slept for nearly six hours on the flight back from London. After watching a movie and reading a bit, I thought I'd try to take a nap. When I woke up, the flight map said "Time to destination: 2:10" and they'd started the final meal service. I imagine I slept right through the mid-flight snack, if indeed there was one!

The wonderful world of reading has sucked me right back in. One of the things I'd asked my mother to bring me was "The trilogy of books by Robertson Davies that includes The Lyre of Orpheus*," which she wrongly took to mean the Deptford Trilogy. No matter, I all but devoured the first one (Fifth Business) over the course of my trip and managed a good chunk of the second one on the bus back to Kichijouji. Excellently written, though nothing so far has made me laugh out loud in sheer delight as did the dinner party chapter in The Lyre of Orpheus, and I can't wait to plough through the rest of his works, as soon as I can get my hands on them.

That's all for now, I've got two episodes of Game of Thrones to watch. And then sleep, blessed sleep.

* Turns out the trilogy I meant is the Cornish Trilogy
Can I write a coherent post in fifteen minutes? Let's find out!

My resolution to rise early to exercise and/or stretch has been going well, except for Monday. I had a headache Sunday night, went to bed early, called in sick and slept until half noon. Over thirteen hours of sleep, people! I can't remember when that's ever happened, except for sleeping on and off when sick. I went in to teach my afternoon classes, and the worst of the headache was gone by evening. I still went to bed at ten, though. Tuesday I was right as rain again.

This evening I've been productive, sort of. At least I'm ready to hop on the night bus tomorrow night! I made a last-minute decision last weekend and am heading off to Aomori for three days, just to be alone. Christmas back home was kind of exhausting, and I've been busy since I got back. A good kind of busy, with lots of good times spent with friends, but busy nonetheless. I need to recharge. Hopefully, a few days walking around in a new city (and a haunted mountain? :D) on my own will do the trick. I've got a book, plenty of yarn, an ipod full of music and my camera, so I'm sure I'll find a way to occupy my time.

In other news, an old mystery has been resolved! Last year, I had a stamp card from the Berry Café that entitled me to a free slice of cake. Only problem was, when it came time to cash it in, as it were, the card was nowhere to be found. I searched high and low, finally concluding that I must have accidentally put it out with the recycling. It had bothered me ever since, because that was so out of character for me. Then, when I finally cracked open my JLPT books the other day (after not having looked at them since I took the test, over a year ago), what do you think I found? The card! T____T It's way beyond the expiry date, but at least I know that I had kept it safe. A little too safe!

Speaking of the Berry Café, Hannah and I spent a long time there last Sunday. And the weekend before that, I spent a long time with Marianne, Jamie and William at Miravile Impakt, eating lots of desserts. And the weekend before that, it was Sweets Paradise with Alexis! I'll post pictures when I get back. Maybe. And maybe I'll find a place to have sinfully delicious pastries in Aomori, hm? ^_^

These made me giggle: figure skating costume commentary! U.S. Nationals ladies and pairs, and men and ice dancers. I can't wait for them to cover the Worlds!

When are the Worlds? Eda, you want to make a date to watch some of them? :D

Time for bed now, I have to be up early to Get Stuff Done.

Have a nice weekend, everybody!
Tabitha just curled up on my lap. Finally, she's being useful! =^_^=

My body feels... not exactly achy, but restless. That, combined with the protein cravings I've been having these past two days, have left me feeling at once tired and overly energetic. Go figure. I would have had steak tonight, but since it's Setsubun, I had the requisite futomaki instead, bought from a Korean counter at the department store. A "kinpa" maki -- tasty! And then I had chocolate. I feel kind of bloated now, but I'm not going to do aaaaaaanything tonight, except watch a movie and crochet, and read. I've decided that I won't do anything tomorrow night either, since I can go to a ballet class on Saturday instead. Maybe I'll go out for Italian food tomorrow.

B1 has started working out the logistics of our family trip over Golden Week. U.K., here we come! I'll be spending roughly ten days travelling from London to Glasgow, most definitely not in a straight line. Those of you native to the U.K., or those of you who've been there, suggestions of things to do/see/avoid at all costs will be much appreciated.
Let's have some numbers, shall we?

-12 is probably the coldest temperature I got in Canada, and that was only on my first day back. Most vexingly, it got warmer and warmer over my stay, culminating with ABOVE ZERO temperatures in Montreal! :P

1 is the number of weddings I attended. Though, since M-P and Pat have been together for 13 years, a wedding seems sort of beside the point, it was a lovely little ceremony.

2 is the number of times I ate pho at Pho 99, my favourite pho restaurant in Ottawa.

2.5 is the number of socks I knit during my trip.

4 is the number of clementines I ate at my parents house.

5 is the number of new bottles of nail polish I brought back with me.

6 is the number of times I napped between leaving my parents' house and reaching my apartment: twice on the plane from Ottawa to Toronto (I woke up for the snack XD), three times between Toronto and Tokyo (including during both takeoff and landing, as usual XD), and most of the bus ride from Narita.

7 is the number of pets and babies I was introduced to/took pictures of. Merlin and Beulah, the new family cats; Morty and Frida, ASK's bulldogs; Croquette, A-L's bird; Sam, Bashy Boy and Tango Chick's baby; Roo, Anna's baby (this was over the phone, though, and her real name is Keira).

10 is the number of hours of sleep I got last night -- in bed by nine, up around 7:30, with only one trip to the toilet during the night.

11 is the number of books I brought back with me.

13 is the number of movies I watched during my holiday (reviews forthcoming).

25 is the approximate number of glasses of wine I drank in Canada, not including glasses of port and also the copious amount of port my mum poured into the second trifle (seriously, the cake at the bottom was soaked through with it!) and I probably had a cocktail or two at some point.

45 is the number of episodes of Monster my brother and I managed to get through. Out of 74 episodes, that's not too bad, considering we only had one day where we could properly marathon it. Otherwise, we watched it in fits and starts, limited by other activities, me getting sleepy (in the evenings) and B1 not getting up early enough.

500 is the number of grammes less my huge suitcase weighed coming back than it did going. But I guess it doesn't really count, since I had an extra bag!

3475 is the number of different kinds of cookies, chocolates, cakes, trifles, cupcakes, muffins and pastries I ate.

2348907 is the number of jelly beans I consumed at A-L's place and that I still have to eat, because she gave me a huge bag of them.
How will I transport eleventy tonnes of books back to Tokyo?

By borrowing a small sports bag from my mother: it has at most 1/5 of the capacity of my huge suitcase, but because I put all the heavy stuff in it, it feels like it weighs the same. XD;;;

Where the hell are my sunglasses?

My mum invoked Saint Antoine de Padoue and not five minutes later, we found the sunglasses. (My mother is a vehemently lapsed Catholic, but she still believes in Saint Antoine. And it seems that he still believes in her!)

Will I manage to eat some of the delicious poutine I picked up at S&G Fries on the way home, over an hour ago?

I think so, if I ever stop feeling like a huge blob because of all the food and wine I consumed today.

What will Tabitha think of the cat toy I'm bringing home?

Not much, probably.

I could leave my winter coat in Canada, couldn't I? It's not like I need it in Tokyo!

I could, but if I ever manage to make it to Hokkaido in winter, I'll be glad to have it.

Will I remember to take all the vitamins my mother so kindly bought for me?

I'll try. In 2011, let's all healthy eating!

Aare the ketchup chips really necessary?


And all the yarn?


What will I do on the plane without scissors, when I need to cut the yarn?

Gnaw through it.

Will I again watch 6 movies between Toronto and Tokyo?

Probably not. I'll try to sleep a bit, so 3 or 4 movies sounds good.

What will I do once I get back to Tokyo?

Sleep. After that, my only goal is to have unpacked my bags by the time I go back to work on Monday.

When will I be back in Canada?

A-L has tentatively set a wedding date for May 2012. Barring any unforeseen circumstances, I doubt I'll be back before then.

That's all for now. See you on Tuesday, Tokyo time! ^_^
Christmas back home was wonderful, though we experienced a few setbacks. Originally, my plan was to only take half a day off work, leaving (and arriving) on Christmas Eve. Then I thought that that would be cutting it close, and that it would be better to leave on the 23rd, just in case there were any delays. B2, who was in Europe, was also supposed to arrive that same evening at roughly the same time I would, but in Montreal, so he'd arrive two hours later by bus.

My flights went as planned, with no delays, and I was in Ottawa by half past six.

B2, however... landed in Montreal at 2:30 p.m. on Christmas day. Originally, he was supposed to fly from Berlin to Munich, then from there to Montreal. As you may have heard, much of Europe has been thrown into chaos by the weather, which my brother said in most places was a joke (but it seems that Paris can't handle half an inch of snow), and his first flight was delayed, but he did manage to get to Munich, which was good because since he was officially in transit, the airline had to feed him and put him up in hotels.

So here's what happened to him:

He got to Munich late, but might have made his connection, except a security agent searched his carry-on bag three times, in the process damaging his gift for our mother. By the time he made it to the gate, they had already closed the doors. So he went and stood in a long line of people who had also missed their flights, waited for hours, and was finally told that he could get a flight to Zurich, and from there to Chicago the next day, and from there they'd get him to Montreal. They put him up in an airport hotel, and the next morning, he went back to the terminal and stood in line some more.

He made it to Zurich, then waited... and waited... and waited... and finally was on a plane to Chicago. By now it was late on the 24th. He'd been keeping us updated via phone and email, and called from Chicago on Christmas Eve to tell us that *fingers crossed* he'd be in Montreal the next day.

He finally got the airline to give him a hotel room in Chicago, and he also got a $45 meal voucher, but he said the cheapest thing on the dinner menu still came up to almost $30, once you added tax and tip. And the cheapest thing on the breakfast menu was $17, so he couldn't even have breakfast before plodding back to the airport, early on Christmas morning. We were at Dorval to greet him (with a sign, even: Baron von Latefürchristmas) and then rushed home to open our presents, with a pit stop at what was supposed to be Tim Horton's, but ended up being Harvey's because Tim Horton's was closed. On Christmas Day! Can you believe it?!

My gifts included books (very thoughtfully chosen by both my brothers, though one is a hundred-pound thing that I have to lug back to Japan with me -- thanks, B1! XD;;;), money, a pair of lovely peridot earrings (real gold and everything, which means I now own actual jewellery!), and the usual stocking stuffers, though my mother got me tights instead of socks this year! I got the lucky gratteux (lottery ticket where you scratch off numbers/pictures) this year, though I only won $3; I'm pretty sure that ever since my mother started the tradition of giving each of us kids one of those in our stocking, twenty years ago, it's only happened once or twice that either none of us won anything, or more than one of us won something. Without fail, there's one lucky ticket, though none of us has ever won more than $20.

Since arriving, I've gotten to know the two new family cats, Merlin (a.k.a. Merlin le malin, Merlichon) and Beulah (a.k.a. Madame, Toutounnette), both lovely black cats with yellowish-green eyes. They're not related, but strangely enough, neither of them can meow properly. My parents got Merlin when he was a kitten, so he's presumably always been like that, but they adopted Beulah when she was about two years old, and think she might have been abused and so lost her meow at some point. Instead of meowing, she creaks, and Merlin makes this weird noise that sounds almost like a pigeon cooing.

I've been checking the forecast and so far, there doesn't seem to be much hope for a snowfall before I leave. Bloh! Oh well, at least there's snow on the ground.

A last thing I'd like to note is that I'm sitting here typing in nothing but a t-shirt, track pants and socks, and it's no doubt at least -10 outside, and the heater in this room isn't even on. And it's kind of surprising that when I turn on the cold water tap, the water that comes out is ice cold.
At the moment I'm feeling...

...disorganised, for having decided that several things I wanted to do before leaving for Canada will remain undone, and I'm still not done all the things that really do need to be gotten out of the way before my departure;

...shallow, because do I really need to put this much thought in the clothes and accessories I'm bringing to spend a week and a half with my family? It's not like my father's going to say, "Didn't you wear that in Europe last spring?" (Actually he might, just to tease me!) But I guess there's that feeling, deep down, that I want to show everyone how well I'm doing, that I'm happy, that I look good. Not that anyone didn't believe I could make a life for myself here, but you know... I want them to be proud of me;

...exhausted, because last night was the Carmina Burana group's bounenkai, and I didn't get to bed until about 2:20 a.m. after having consumed beer, sangria (several glasses), some sweet Chinese liquor, some sweet Japanese liquor, and red wine. I was surprisingly coherent this morning, too! Still, scratchy throat and slight headache aside, last night was lots of fun, and I got to chat with some of the other women in the group that I hadn't really talked to before. One of them was heading off on her honeymoon to Tunisia and Thailand! *envy* We also had a good laugh when Kikuchi-san started asking me what the [French] names for ballet movements mean. She thought that "foissonne" was "poisson" (fish): "I thought it was because it looks like a fish leaping out of the water!" It does, and that's a really cute image. ^_^ Also, it was worth it to have a tipsy Inui-sensei try to pronounce "Brad Pitt" (he totally failed), "bicycle" (not too bad) and then ask me if there was a difference in pronunciation between "Mac" (the computer) and "Mac" the fast-food joint -- well, for starters, we don't call McDonald's "Mac"! XD

[ profile] akahannah posted this a few days ago. Let's see how I did in 2010, shall we? This year: )

The best thing would be to just go to bed right away, and get up early enough to finish packing (mostly done) and cleaning the apartment a bit more. Sleep, here I come!
Hotpot has got to be one of the best foods in existence. For one thing, it's delicious. But even better than that, it lasts and lasts! Here I am having my sixth meal from the batch Eda and I had on Saturday -- though technically, it was two hotpots, since we had Sichuan and satay, so there was plenty of leftover broth, but I haven't yet had to add any water. Best of all, though, is that it's so easy. Get home, turn on the gas, wait for the pot to heat up, and add whatever I want to eat. So far I've had in it, at various times and in various combinations: tofu, mushrooms, Chinese cabbage, beef balls, fish balls, shrimp balls, pork, lamb, noodles, pea shoots, broccoli, Chinese broccoli, komatsu, and some other Chinese greens.

God, tofu is amazing. Whoever invented it deserves a medal.

I've determined that before the end of the year, I'll have "visited" more than 100 cities, according to Travelpod. At the moment, I'm at 94, but once I finish writing about B1's visit to Japan, that'll have added another three, and my trip to Provence will mean another five. Still only 16 countries, though! Technically, I've been in 24 different countries. However, Finland really doesn't count (two-hour layover), Belgium doesn't really either (I took a train through it, though I walked from one train station to another, which took half an hour, so at least I touched the ground?), and I was in the U.K. (London) for under 24 hours. Of the other countries, Switzerland will be included in not too long, I hope, and the others are from over seven years ago, so I may never get around to posting about them there. Although, I guess I could make another travelogue and just group them there. I can copy-paste from lj for my first trip to Europe and my trip to Vietnam, after all. *ponders*

Last night's ballet class was good but as usual, mostly getting the small jumps (which I normally suck at) meant that I totally failed at something I usually do okay on, in this case the bigger jumps. I'm sore today, but in a good way, like I can feel all my muscles. It's kind of disturbing that my reaction to this is, "Yes! Develop more muscles!" But I don't want to see them, I just want them to be there and allow me to do cool moves!

I put up my little Christmas tree last week, as well as Christmas lights in my window, and it makes me feel all warm and cozy. These days, I'm spending lots of time fantasizing about my trip back home, mostly about all the food I'm going to eat, and the snow. Snow... And cheese. I just had a brilliant idea, which is to take my family out to Meule et caquelon. They serve Swiss-style raclette, which is basically just heating up a huge block of cheese and drowning bread, potatoes, and whatever else you want in it. It's incredible. They also have regular cheese fondue, and other fondues, but who cares about those? It's all about the cheese.

It's not even nine and I feel like going to bed already. Bloh. *lame*
How weird. Though I got home before 10:30, I feel like it should be much later. That's what happens when you get home near midnight every Tuesday for months, and then suddenly you don't need to stay late for rehearsal anymore! ^_^

This is it, folks, the last day of forced writing. From tomorrow, I'll be free! :D

I jest, I jest. Considering I only failed to post on two days, and for the most part, I had no trouble with the writing itself, I declare my Non-NaNoWriMo to be a smashing success. I'll check my final word count tomorrow. And then maybe I can get working on my million sewing/knitting projects, some of which need to be finished pdq!

So here they are, my last two anwers. Can I get a drum roll?

Great Expectations )

One last moment )
Me + camera + 8 1/2 hours of hiking in a forest = 12,908 pictures of moss-covered trees; 54,930 pictures of moss-covered tree stumps; 781 pictures of moss-covered rocks.

Okay, okay, slight exageration. I took approximately 1,100 pictures over the course of our five days in southern Kyushu, though only about 1,000 of the pictures made it back to Tokyo. Now I'm slowly going through them, but by my estimate, here is the general break down is (please imagine this as a pie chart):

53% -- pictures of trees, tree stumps, rocks (moss-covered or otherwise) and general foresty-ness
21% -- pictures of the sky, clouds and the ocean
12% -- pictures of various things of interest we saw, including several failed pictures of jellyfish
6% -- pictures of food that I ate
4% -- pictures of amusing signs, etc.
3% -- pictures of me or Sarah being dorky
1% -- miscellaneous

* * *

Right now, I'm thinking I want to curl up in bed with Tabitha, because it's Friday night and I'm an old lady! :D So maybe eating some chocolate isn't such a good idea.

Argh, I just remembered that I forgot to buy milk.

Oh, well. Maybe one day, I'll actually have something interesting to post about! I have ideas, I just need the time to get them out on paper, as it were.

With my sticker sheets, especially the travel posting one, I've come to a point where I'm doing it just for the sticker, and the reward sort of falls by the wayside. But I completed my second sticker sheet a while back, so I deserve some dessert! I will look through my dessert magazine and select a likely spot, then issue a general invitation. ^o^

* * *

Tabitha seems to have decided that instead of being bratty when I come back from travelling, she's going to be the most adorable cat ever. She just hopped onto my lap and spent several minutes purring and rubbing up against me. *melts* The fact that the weather's cooled considerably helps, as it's now open season on my futon, i.e. open season on whichever part of me is warmest.


Sep. 24th, 2010 08:11 am
I returned from Kagoshima last night, making it home a bit before midnight. I'm not sure how much you Tokyo folks saw of the typhoon (I just saw the tail end of it, i.e. the rain, last night), but down in Kyushu, it was pretty impressive. Rain, wind, lightning, thunder -- or so Sarah tells me; I slept through it. Our room overlooked the bay, too. XD

Our trip was awesome. There were boats, a rental car, a really funny minshuku owner, lots of hiking, large trees, a fancy ryokan and mountains of food, including the best eel I've ever eaten. <3

Now I must leave for work. Bloh. Fortunately, it's Friday, which means that in ten hours, it's the weekend! *cheers*
Inui-sensei didn't let us go until midnight last night. Or rather, he didn't kick us out until midnight. And I asked him to go over stuff with me, so he isn't really to blame for the fact that I got home at about 12:40.

I've been having some trouble sleeping the past few nights, and I don't know why. It's most vexing. Last night, I guess the four and nearly a half hours of dance meant that my body was still riding high, and even the 30 minutes' walk home wasn't enough to calm me down. I really hope tonight I'll sleep better! I should, considering I've had nearly two glasses of wine. Although, I sipped those over a period of nearly three hours, while writing my latest Travelpod entry, so the effects may be somewhat dilluted. But red wine tends to make me sleepy, so here's hoping.

I got some clarification re: the "You're Atsushi" issue. It seems that the kids don't like Atsushi (of Exile), and since they'd decided I was a bad guy during play time that day, I was Atsushi. And I guess the other Exile members they don't like have longer hair. XD

Sarah and I have beds for all four nights of our little trip! The first is in a Toyoko Inn, and I can put the coupons I got back in March, on the Road Trip That Never Ended, to good use. The next two nights, on Yakushima, we'll be in a Y1,600/bed dorm, which is incredibly cheap for Japan, so yay! Our last night is a splurge in a fancy ryokan on Sakurajima, with a nice meal and everything. And we'll get to bathe in an onsen while wearing yukata, because it's a shrine! It's going to be so cool!

For some reason, the prospect of bathing fully clothed is almost more appealing than doing it totally naked. And I'm alway happy to get naked! XDDD

That much ballet in one evening has left me seriously sore. And it's not the soreness of having strained my muscles, it's the soreness of, "Hey, you didn't give us a break for four hours yesterday! We protest!" Like, even my arms. :P

At last, I'm done my Travelpod entry, and my wine!

Time to stop abusing the exclamation marks, so I'll be off to bed, now.

Good night!
Deciding that I'd spent enough money on eating out this weekend, and also that the world didn't need to be subjected to my sweaty, unkempt appearance for a third time today, I stayed in for supper. Besides, that's why God invented Kraft Dinner.

As a measure of how sad inspiring my life is, I feel that I accomplished a great deal today, simply because I vacuumed, prepared two different kinds of tea to chill (ice tea, I <3 you!), got around to starting the reorganisation of my sewing room, and had a Great Idea.

My Great Idea: though I've begun several (three have actually gone at least into the cutting phase!) quilt projects over the past five years, I've never gotten any further than assembling squares. So I decided to slash and burn my wardrobe with extreme prejudice, i.e. cut up all the clothes that I don't need anymore, mostly the ones that have been demoted to around-the-house status but I can't throw out because they're still wearable, and use those clothes as a practice quilt. That way, the clothes will become something useful, and it'll be a good trial run for an actual quilt. Though I don't plan on using any batting for this one, I will attempt some sort of quilting. Maybe I can find a cheap fleece blanket to use as the sandwich filler.

Hey, I completely forgot to take a nap today! Oh, I remember why, it's because I told myself I'd nap after I'd finished vacuuming, but then I got distracted by other stuff and wasn't sleepy anymore. XD;

Now Sarah and I are finally getting around to making reservations for our little excursion down to Kyushu. So far we have plane tickets, boat tickets, a car for Yakushima, and one night (out of four) booked. We're doing good! ^_^b

I really, REALLY wish my nose would stop! I've been sneezing since yesterday, probably because of dust kicked up by my cleaning efforts. Spending time at Kimberly's didn't help, with all the dog dander in the air, and now my eyes won't stop watering. XP
Even though we took off an hour later than planned (same as when we left Narita!), I made it home before 5 this afternoon. Not that I've done anything since then, except for play "Let's see where Tabitha threw up on the tatami!". I think I found all of it.

So I spent the last two weeks being sweaty, but at least it was sweaty without 2+ weeks' worth of cat fur sticking to me. -___-;;; Someone's gonna be doin' some vacuuming as soon as she works up the will to get up.

Now my stomach is all confused, and I'm exhausted, and I can't decide whether I should put off my laundry until tomorrow morning, because I think I'm going to crash really early. I want to at least start uploading my pictures, though...

Why do I have to go back to work tomorrow? *whines*

I think I have some lemon ice in my freezer, maybe that will help. XD
[Tiffany, you can stop worrying, the landslide was nowhere near any place we ventured!]

We stepped back into the real world this afternoon, after our 3-day luxury cruise down the Yangzi. We're back in Beijing, and tomorrow we're going to do our best to get in as much as we can before spending the night at the airport (this is part of Emily's backpacker training, you see).

We'll be back in Tokyo on Sunday, and then I'll be uploading my 10,000 pictures so I can start posting about our trip!

Highlights to include: Emily almost falling off the Great Wall, early morning surprise fish, The City With Too Many Bus Stations, our awesome mini-bus and bus drivers (who had a sense of humour about the irritating French lady and who didn't believe in traffic cones, respectively), Chinese airlines want to feed you, eating the world's spiciest hotpot in 46 degree weather, not-completely-naked oarsmen, and a damn big dam.

See you soon!
Today we leave Xi'an, taking our first domestic flight. Our big question is, do they care whethe. We bring liquids on the plane with us?!

Yesterday was incredibly hot, hotter than anything Tokyo has thrown at us this year, but we survived. I was targeted by a group of incompetent would-be camera thieves (they didn't get anything from me!), we had a feast of dumplings, and saw a music and dance show.

We're not even in the south yet, and it's already this hot, but Kunming is supposed to be cooler. Chongqing, on the other hand, is known for extreme heat... So we'll see! ^_^;;;
Our first full day in China was pretty incredible, and today we're going to do some sightseeing before getting on our train to Xi'an. The night train tickets were all sold out, so we're leaving in the afternoon and will arrive in the middle of the night. I'll have made a backpacker of Emily by the end of this trip for sure! ^_^

It's very cool that I'm able to talk to people, and mostly understand their replies. Very encouraging! I love hearing all the Chinese around me, and the neighbourhood we're in is everything I was hoping Beijing would be.
The Great Firewall of China... is not? :O

We're in Beijing, we had hotpot for supper last night, and now begins our epic quest for train and plane tickets. Wish us luck! ^_^



February 2012

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