Life's tricks on me..

4 more days to New Zealand!!! To be honest, i am more stressed up then relaxed that i am leaving..

Life seems to be playing tricks at me recently.. Just when everything seems to fall into place, some issue crops up.. and then things fall into place again..

My new tenant moved in on Saturday around midnight, a ridiculous time for moving, if you ask me. His reason was that his mover was delayed. When he mentioned the word "mover", i knew something was gonna go wrong.. True enough, when he arrived on Saturday night, he literally moved "the whole house" into his one tiny room.. He brought a huge office desk (when we already bought one for him), 2 pedestals, a few huge luggage bags, and like 6-7 huge card boxes.. At one point, one of the movers who was lugging the office desk stopped and asked me where he should leave the desk, cause i think the room was already full. I just looked at him, rolled my eyes at K, and told the mover that everything will go into the room only. Before he moved in, there was already a super single bed, a wardrobe, a book shelf and an office table and chair.

I knew it was impossible to fit everything into his room, so the next day, i saw boxes in my living room. I was totally pissed off and kept complaining to K that it was not fair to treat my house like a storage place when he only paid rent for one room. On the same night, my tenant explained that this was only temporary until he finds more space in his room to store everything. It's been 3 days, and now there is only one card board box in my living room. Which he says contains empty boxes that he will dispose of. I guess i can deal with that.. = )

Then last week, i got an email from the family who was supposed to host us in Auckland when we arrived for the first 2 days.. They said they were not able to host us cause they had some personal commitments.. So i became stuck with no accomodation for the first 2 days. I was quite freaked out at that time, and asked K to quickly start searching for backpackers' hostel. Both him and my mom in law even suggested that we sleep in the airport, since we will be arriving late at night anyway, and it was dangerous to travel at night. I was totally not happy with that idea of sleeping in the airport after a 10 hour flight!!

Then 2 days ago, another family responded to my earlier requests and said they could host us on the first 2 days.. So now i am waiting for them to provide me with their home address and contact number.. it's been a day and still no reply, getting a bit impatient as the days passed by.. = (

So just when everything seems to be falling into place, i hear news of the Swine flu that has killed more than a hundred people in Mexico, and spreading to parts of US and even in New Zealand. Perfect. Exactly what i need. So this afternoon, i went to my company doctor for advice. All i can say was my visit was fruitless.. cause there is no vaccine yet. The doctor just gave me a few motherhood advice on washing my hands regularly, avoid crowded areas blah blah blah.. Don't even know why i bother to go..

Lastly, my house is in a mess!! And we haven't started packing everything in yet. But from the looks of it, i don't think we can fit everything into our luggage... = (

Also, K has been coming home late everyday because of his work and settling his business matters.. I'm a bit worried for him too cause it looks like he is fighting for time everyday.. really worried will both fall sick from all the stress.. My period has been late for 20 days now, not sure if it's because of the stress.. Then again, since life is playing so many tricks on me recently, maybe i am pregnant..

Sigh.. why is life playing on these sickening tricks on me!! I don't have the strength to fight them already.. don't know how long i can last..

A very funny teleconference

I had the most funny teleconference just now with my team of 7 people..

During the call, there was this constant sound of someone's heavy breathing on the phone.. at least it sounded like heavy breathing, or maybe the fan blowing.. Obviously someone didn't mute their phone.. But nobody said anything about it.

When it was my turn to present, i made the request.. I began with : "I seem to hear some heavy breathing on the background and i can't concentrate on talking.. " Then one of my colleagues cut in jokingly and said: "I'm sorry Adeline, I'll stop!!" It was hilarious.. of course, the breathing didn't stop and I was irritated..

When my boss took over and started talking, the breathing continued.. It got so loud that at one point, she had to raise her voice so we could hear her (and possibly so she could hear HERSELF!)

While my boss went on talking, I went online and started to send my colleagues who were online instant messages, asking them if their phones were on mute. At the same time, i was communicating online with one colleague and guessing who was the heavy breather in the call.. We never had this problem in our previous calls, so i guessed it must be one of the 2 new members who have just joined the team and having their first call tonight. I was giggling non stop (on mute of course) throughout the 1 hour call.. = )

And I was right.. It WAS one of the new guys.. So i asked him to mute his phone..And all was quiet.. Until my boss asked him a question, and there was awkward silence. The guy didn't know how to unmute back!! I laughed, this time not on mute, and laughed together with my team... haha.. after a while, he came back and replied to my boss' question. Then the heavy breathing came back again.. I almost died laughing... = )

After the call ended, i chatted with this new guy online, and suggested to him some tips on muting his phone during conference calls.. he was new to all this and getting used to making group conference calls not on his office phone. Luckily it was just my team, i can imagine how embarrassing it will be for him if it's a call with some important managers! Haha.. i think i've laughed enough for the day ! Never knew a boring business conference call can be so entertaining.. = )

Tuesday feasting!

On Tuesday, i had 2 big feasts.. one for lunch and one for dinner...

Lunch was a farewell event organized by my colleagues.. We had about 13 people and i had requested for Tong Lok. I had asked for the same menu that i liked so much during my Chinese New Year lunch earlier this year with some of my colleagues.. but it turned out that not all the dishes were the same.. that was quite a disappointment.

I did enjoy most of the dishes though, especially the dessert - coconut juice with mango ice cream and pomelo bits.. delicious!! We also had a surprise drink that was served in test tubes.. not sure exactly what i was drinking, tasted a bit like pineapples but the drink was green in color.. But it was really nice!!

For dinner, i went to Jumbo seafood at Riverwalk. This was an appreciation dinner for the regional sports meet where Singapore swept away the champion trophy and gold medals for 3 out of the 4 sports we competed in..

There was plenty of dishes.. but quality so so only.. There were the usual speeches of thanks, some videos of the stage performance we put up, and then presentation of souvenirs for each of us. The souvenirs was a really pretty acrylic photo frame with a photo of the team on stage with all our medals and trophies. It's now sitting in my living room TV console.. = )

I was actually the first to leave after dinner.. quite boring cause the people at my table didn't talk much.. only a few dominated the conversations, and they kept talking in Cantonese and private jokes i didn't understand. So i end up watching TV instead...

Before i left, my team captain asked me to train hard for the next games, so i told him i won't be around. He got a bit concerned about where they are going to find enough female players to represent Singapore.. Too bad!! = )

My 9 months medicine supply & a Nigerian dinner..

11:24 PM by Adeline Woo 0 comments
On Monday, i went to my company doctor to get medicine for my New Zealand trip. There is this particular doctor that i always see, and he's really nice.. We are like friends now. And he's always very generous in giving lots of medicine whenever i am going on business travel and also MC when i am sick.. (like 2 days MC for a minor flu!)

Anyway, i had a flu shot for the Southern strain of the flu virus.. And a whole bag full of medicine for my 9 months in New Zealand. It was SOOO much medicine that i felt embarrassed paying only the subsidized amount of $5 for all of that. There was vitamin C, creams for rashes and cuts and cold sores, drowsy and non drowsy flu medicine, panadol, diarrheoa medicine, gastric medicine.. you name it i have it! I also managed to get a contact of a doctor in New Zealand, my company doctor's cousin. What a small world!

When i went back to my office, one of my colleagues saw the huge bag of medicine and started laughing so hard i laughed too.. haha = ) I just look like a really Kiasu Singaporean!

After work today, i met up with Keson and his potential business partner, a Nigerian man named Tope and his wife Elizabeth, and their 2 year old son Teme. We invited them to dinner at Modesto's and chatted for a long long time.. mainly on political and economical situation in our respective countries.. It was a great night. They're really knowledgeable people with perfect english except for their strong accent. I could really sense the frustration that they are having with the development in their own country.

I think they must be pretty rich too, cause Tope must have had a good education to be able to speak so well and know so many things. And they travel quite frequently. Plus, they have a huge house in Nigeria!

The little boy was really cute.. but cranky cause he wasn't feeling too well. It was interesting the way they dress too.. the father and son wore clothes made of the same cloth and design, and the mother's dress was exactly the same design as a huge scarf that she used to wrap her baby. = )
A bit like the Malays' way of dressing in their Baju Kurongs..

During our dinner, K asked Tope how he keeps so fit and what exercises he does. Apparently, he is very very fit. And the guy just replied casually that everyday is exercising for him cause he walks a minimum of 10 km a day!! Wow!!

After dinner, we dropped by a pharmacy to get some Bonjela gel for the little boy's mouth ulcers.. I felt there was something disturbing about the way the parents handled the kid. I kinda liked the way they let him do his own thing, letting him run about the restaurant for a while before catching him up (versus immediately), letting him wail until he gets tired or something else caught his attention (instead of giving in to everything he wants) etc.. But there was a point when the boy's shoe came off, and he started biting at it. And the parents didn't stop him from doing that. I thought it was really unhygienic. No wonder the boy has all these ulcers on his mouth!!

Anyway, when Tope was at the cashier paying for his Bonjela gel, the cashier looked at him and casually asked: "Plastic?" Tope just stared back at him and said: "I beg your pardon?" The cashier must have thought this black man don't know how to speak English. But the truth is this black man speaks English 10 times better than him! We Singaporeans are just so good at shortcutting our words that sometimes it's an embarrassment! I had to explain to Tope that the cashier meant if he wanted a bag for the gel. Sigh...

Easter Weekend @ Cherating

I had a most enjoyable Easter weekend. K and I drove up to Cherating together with a few of our friends from the Miata club.

We set off at 445 in the morning, thinking that we would arrive in time at 615am to meet the rest at the Shell petrol station after the JB customs. But we ended up being 45 minutes late due to a terrible jam after the Tuas checkpoint. But alas, we were not the latest.. we actually had to wait another 1 hour plus before the last car finally arrive..

By the time we drove off, it was already 830am.. super over schedule! First stop: Breakfast! We went to this coffee shop that sells a huge variety of chee cheong fun.. I had 4 different types plus a glass of iced milo. Shiok! = )

Here are the 4 types of chee cheong fun we had.. there was curry (my favourite), the normal plain one with sweet sauce, the normal one with roast pork inside, and the other one is some kinda of radish / black vegetables inside.

We met up with a few more Miata club members at the breakfast place. This group was just there for the breakfast and were not joining us for the Cherating trip. So after breakfast, we parted and continued with our 7 hour drive up towards Kuantan.

Lunch was at a lousy place that sells lousy stir fry so i shall not mention it. I think we were all too hungry and tired to bother too much about going further to find a good place for food.

The journey continued after lunch.. I took plenty of pictures of the convoy along the drive up through the winding coastal roads.. it was really nice, at least for me. Driving with the top down, the breeze and just admiring the scenery.. = )

We finally reached Impiana Hotel at 3pm..checked in and got a pleasant surprise when we saw our room. We didn't know it was actually a suite, and a very nice one too!

After we unpacked, the whole group (15 of us in total) met at the pool for a game of water polo.. The guys played first while the ladies cheered from the jacuzzi at the side.. Then after they tire themselves out, the ladies took over.. it was really fun.. And because i didn't know how to swim, the ladies version involved walking a maximum of 3 steps with the ball in hand.. haha.. it was so fun! My first walking water polo game. = )

We got out of the pool around 6pm, bathed and then met up again for dinner. Dinner was seafood: really really amazing baked crabs with egg and crab meat stuffing.. We waited more than 30 minutes for the food to arrive, but it was worth it.. i don't think i have tasted such delicious stuffed crabs in my life!!

By the end of dinner, K and I were already tired out. We headed back to our rooms for an early night, while the rest continued wih round 2 at the hotel pub. I only knew about it the next morning when they were talking about someone getting hangovers, and showing us photos of some dancing at the pub. Damn!! I should have been there!! = ) Then again, i did had a good night's sleep. Our room was just in front of the sea, so i kinda slept with the sound of crashing waves coming through my windows.. it was really therapeutic..

The 2nd day was equally enjoyable.. We had sub standard Malaysia style buffet breakfast at the hotel, chatted for a while, then headed for the beach. K went to sun tan while i sat at the beach chair and chatted with 2 others for about 1 hour or so. Then it was lunch time.. This time it was seafood again. There is this chinese guy that i don't particularly like in the group. He's sort of like the loud mouth, egoistic type who likes to seek attention. And he has a very pretty Thai wife who is like 15 years younger than him, so there were some airs about him. When we realized that the chef at the restaurant was Thai, this guy took over immediately and started to order for everyone.. But the food was not enough. He ordered 2 types of salad, and crab vermicelli. That
was it. Where got enough?! But nobody spoke up. There was a kid in the group, and i seriously don't think he was full at all. So as usual, i became the bad person and asked for more food.
In fact, throughout the trip, i had to be the bad person quite a few times..

And so we ordered fried rice and phad thai.. While everyone benefited from the extra food, i was viewed as the one who requested for more food, so when there was leftovers, i was constantly being asked to finish it since i was the one who ordered.. I'm actually quite pissed off by that, even though they say it teasingly. It's not as if i am the only one who was hungry!! = (

After lunch, we headed back to the hotel, and hit the beach again.. K and I went to the beach first together with another couple and their 7 year old boy. The waves were huge and K had to convince me several times to go further into the sea so i could see the waves from behind.. I relented and followed him, until i got crashed by a huge oncoming wave. I screamed so loud that people started to look in our direction.. after that i refused to go any further. But it was really fun having the waves just crashing into my body, although a bit painful.. = )

An hour later, we met up with the rest and started a game of beach volleyball. That didn't last for too long, cause most of us didn't know how to play the game. So we ended up playing captain's ball by the beach instead. 15 of us. That was the highlight of my trip i think. Super fun! There was plenty of shouting, and also injuries from the game (fortunately not for me!) but overall, great game.

After the game, we went back to shower before heading out for dinner again. Back to the same Thai restaurant, but this time the food was much better. After dinner, we headed back to one of the hotel rooms and started playing blackjack and chit chatting. We laughed so hard while playing the game that the people next door called the reception to complain about us.. after that we had to really control ourselves like school kids being caught and given a warning.. The average age in the group was like late 30s so you can imagine how funny it was seeing everyone giggling and controlling their laughter.

We drove off the next morning after breakfast.. the drive was fantastic as usual, with all the nice scenery and sun.. we stopped over at an Ostrich farm along the way, and had some ostrich teppanyaki. That place was for suckers. 40 over ringgit for a few pieces of meat. I did however, see something interesting there though. An ostrich egg that was 1 hour old. It was half open so I could see the baby moving inside.. So fragile!!

We had dinner at a Chinese restaurant located in a Chinese town.. lousy food again.. Headed back to Singapore after dinner. Halfway back, our walkie talkie run out of battery, and K had to answer nature's call, so we lost the convoy and went back to Singapore on our own. Which was a good thing cause one of the cars broke down in JB and the group actually waited together for the tow truck to arrive. And you know what, the car that broke down belonged to the loud mouthed guy.. haha.. talk about karma! =)

I'm Back!!

I am back in Singapore!! Really very very reluctant to come back.. When i told Keson i didn't want to come back.. he scolded me.. haha.. so i asked him to fly to Tokyo and meet me.. = )

Anyways, yesterday's flight was delayed by 2 hours.. supposed to reach airport at 1030pm, but ended up reaching at past 12 midnight instead. Before boarding the plane at Narita airport, i went for some last minute shopping. When i checked in my luggage, i still had my laptop and 2 bags of heavy shopping as my hand carry. No fun at all. And because i still had some yen, i bought more food stuff and souvenirs from the airport shops. About 15 mins before boarding, i went to the lounge for my last round of Sushi.. I also took a lot of sandwiches and cakes from the lounge to bring back to Singapore.. now my kitchen got plenty of Japanese food stuff counterspy of ANA.. haha..

I ended up taking the taxi from the hotel to the airport because i was late for the airport shuttle bus. My taxi fare cost me US$250.. will need to explain to my boss tomorrow.. haha.. As usual, my life is full of drama. I was late all because of the shopping on my last day. In the morning, i went to the Meiji shrine to buy some good luck charm for my dad.. Walked 15 minutes one way to reach the shrine. And the road was a gravel path. I guess that's what they do to show devotion to their religion in the olden days.. I bought a charm for speedy recover of illness. Hopefully my dad will recover soon from his stroke! I also bought a charm for loving ties for EK and S, since they are getting ROM next month. Hope they will like it.

After the shrine, i headed to Harajuku. Had my favourite ramen again for the 3rd time since i arrived in Tokyo. My last bowl.. It was delicious.. will never forget!
After my ramen, i shopped around. Tried to find this shop i saw 2 days ago, but couldn't find it again.. sigh.. With about 1.5 hours left before i had to head to the airport, i went to Ikebukuro for some last minute shopping. I popped into the 5 storey Toyota showroom, snapped some pictures, then went to the Sunshine City, one of the largest shopping mall in the world, and bought some last minute gifts.

I had checked into a Japanese Inn (Ryokan)the night before, but had left my stuff there before i went shopping. So i had to go back to the inn, pick up my stuff, then head to Shinagawa to pick up my luggage(which i had left at the Strings hotel) and then take the shuttle bus to the airport. THAT was the plan. But of course, the plan was not executed to perfection.. haha.. By the time i walked back to the inn, i had 15 minutes left to walk back to the train station and reach Shinagawa.

I was super late. I had to call the hotel on the train, which was really a desperate move, cause using the mobile phone is strictly prohibited while on the train.. Anyway, of course the bus didn't wait for me. So that's why i had to take the taxi.

The Ryokan which i stayed in was pretty decent. And cheap too.. About $70 per night. On the 01 night that i stayed for, i went out shopping and eating until about 11pm.. Didn't realise they had a timing for the hot shower, so i had to shower in cold water at like 8 degrees outside temperature. I was literally hopping while i bathe! = ) Then after that, this Ang Moh guy came out and we were brushing our teeth together facing the mirror cause the bathroom area was shared.. That was quite funny.. was trying not to giggle while brushing my teeth!

All in all, it was a good trip, although i hardly got much sleep. Just finished unpacking my luggage this afternoon. went to my parent's place for dinner just now. My sister and nieces were there, so i brought all the presents i bought for them.. Felt like i was Santa Claus.. haha..

I will definitely go back to Tokyo again if i have the chance. Of all the countries i have been to, i must say i like Tokyo the best!! And boy am i glad it is just 6 hours away! =)

My exciting tour of Tokyo!!

Today was the last day of our meeting in Tokyo..

I did not go for breakfast today so i could sleep for another 30 mins more.. My sleep time is becoming so precious now!

Today's agenda was light. Our boss wanted us to define the mission and roles of our team, then we did some updates of Controls, and project initiatives.. Tea break today was not as good. Same as the first day break, just some Japanese cakes and chocolates, plus bananas. The chocolate was delicious though. But don't think it was enough to replace the buffet breakfast that i had skipped.

The last item on the agenda was a farewell for the 3 musketeers who were leaving the team. By the time we started on that, we were like one hour behind schedule. We were supposed to start our sight seeing tour at 145pm, and we were still in the office at 1pm, and that was including the fact that we haven't had lunch. I got a bit worried, so i called the tour guide and shifted the tour by another 30 minutes. When i reached the hotel, we had like only 30 mins for lunch at the hotel. I had to ask the waiter to serve our Chinese set lunches in "fast food" style. So in the end, we had all our dishes served at the same time, from appetizers to dessert... haha.. no choice. I apologised to everyone and explained that we had no time and that the Japanese were very punctual people so it was not nice to delay by too much.

The main reason why we overshot the timing was mainly due to the farewell. Each of the 3 (including me) who were leaving received a gift from everyone else on the team. We also had a mini presentation on some photos and the things we will not miss and be missed about when we leave. It was really nice to see all the comments from my colleagues about me.. I got a nice white wool hat and matching scarf from my boss for my New Zealand winter trip, an Italia soccer cap from my Italian colleague, coffee from Colombia and Guatemala, and cook books from Hong Kong. My Hong Kong colleague had called me during the peak reporting period last year when i was cooking K's birthday dinner. She felt bad and so bought me the cook books so i could fix more dinners for my husband in future.. haha.. so cute!

I also got a nice little pink Coach keychain in the shape of a passport holder for me to put 2 photos in. That was from my US colleague. I like it very much! = )

During the meeting today, my Italian colleague kept asking me to help him with his hotel accomodation.. I actually am a little pissed at him.. The way he do things is so last minute! First of all, on Monday, when we were out looking for lunch and shopping, he had to look for an ATM to withdraw money cause he had no Yen with him at all. That was one. Didn't understand why he couldn't change some currency back home or even at the airport. Two, he had extended his stay for 2 days as he wanted to go to Kyoto and spend one more day in Tokyo as well. But he didn't make reservations for his accomodation. So he was kinda rushing to do that during the meeting today cause he had no place to stay tomorrow.. And I was trying to get the meeting to move faster cause we were behind.. Sigh.. In the end, i asked my Japanese colleague to help. Don't know what i would do without him!

At 210pm, we headed off for our sightseeing tour in our chartered mini-van. My tour guide was a jolly old fellow called Hiro-san who was in his 60s. The tour company contact i had been liasing with all this while also came along, and he is totally dashing!! Canadian guy but lived in Tokyo for 10 years. Here are some photos of him.. I only managed to take 2 photos at Asakusa before my batt run out.. Didn't want to take too many also in case i looked desperate! haha = ) Isn't he charming?! Anyway, i don't think the photo do him any justice.. = P

Our first stop was to see cherry blossoms and attend a japanese tea serving ceremony at Happon-en Gardens.. it was a charming garden, and the blossoms were in full bloom today.. I could have stayed in the gardens for the whole day.. We also saw a few wedding couples taking photos in the garden.. so romantic! = )

The tea ceremony was for suckers.. I regretted choosing this as the activity for the team. We should have gone and watch sumo wrestling instead.. haha..

The poor tour guide had a hard time trying to maintain our group intact and getting everyone to move together, cause we just went our own ways, scattered everywhere and stopping to take pictures of everything.. haha.. it was funny.. Needless to say, our tour overshot the timing too.. and we had to push back our dinner reservations by 1 hour.

2nd stop after the gardens was Meiji shrine, the oldest Shinto shrine in Tokyo.. At Meiji, i bought some green tea to drink. Paid for 1 packet but the vending maching gave me 2.. haha.. We took some pictures, walked around, then went off again to our next stop: The Met Tower. e went up to the 40th floor i think, to the observatory deck.. I was all excited to see Mt. Fuji. But went up, cannot see any Mt. at all, much less Fuji. It was too cloudy and foggy cause it was close to sunset by the time we went there. I promised myself i will go again tomorrow just to see Mt. Fuji. While i was there, i saw this Donald Duck soft toy that i totally fell in love with.. I'm still thinking whether i should buy it or not.. Kawaii right?? I seldom feel this much love for a soft toy the first time i see it!!

After the Met Tower viewing, we proceeded for a long ride to Asakusa, where the oldest temple in Japan was.. We drove past the Imperial Palace, which was close to impossible to see.. cause it is surrounded by a huge moat and lots of trees.. Too bad.. By the time we reached there, it was 630pm, but looked like 8pm. I headed straight for the washroom cause i drank too much water. The washroom was shared between men and women, but i was surprised to see that the men's urinal was located right outside the toilet door for one cubicle. Then in between is the wash basin. So when i was washing my hands, there was this guy pissing right beside me.. So awkward!

Asakusa was totally spectacular. I took pictures until my handphone run out of battery. Took pictures of the famous big red lantern.. the cherry blossoms which somehow looked very different against the night sky.. the white contrast with the black sky was amazing.. There were more than 90 souvenir shops there.. but i didn't buy anything cause it was too rushed.. Will go back again tomorrow when i have more time. So i ended up chatting with my handsome tour company guy while the rest did some impulse purchasing..

Last stop was dinner at Ueno.. It was crab sukiyaki.. and during the dinner, i spoke a bit of Japanese to the non-english speaking waitress.. That totally impressed some of my colleagues.. haha.. the advantage of working with an international group! Dinner was overwhelming.. but good.. i think we had like 8 or 9 dishes each.. We also drank hot sake.. and i think by the time dinner ended at 9pm, most of us were totally stoned out.. = )

The ride back was uneventful.. we chatted abit.. one fell asleep and started snoring.. and me.. i just sat and enjoyed the Tokyo night scenery and started to plan for my day tomorrow.. I intend to go to the Tsukiji Fish Market in the morning, Shibuya for my ramen noodles again in the afternoon, and hopefully shop for some winter clothes, shoes, and hats.. Then evening go Ueno park again for my last cherry blossoms, and final stop Asakusa for my souvenirs.. Tomorrow i will be checking out from the fancy Strings hotel and moving to my Ryokan in Ikebukuro.. I hope the Ryokan will be of reasonable standard..

Tokyo Day 3 - April Fools!!

2nd day of meeting today.. Still surviving.. Today was a more heavy discussion.. with topics on the annual planning and budgeting cycle.. I was already in an ORD mood.. haha.. but still had to pretend to pay attention to the discussion = )

I managed to join my colleagues for breakfast earlier today.. Same spread of food.. and same super fresh orange juice!

Meeting tea snacks today was great. Sushi!! And fresh green apples.. Yum yum.. I took some photos of our office lobby in Tokyo.. As we go into the building, the entrance is lined with 2 rows of beautiful flowers, and at the end is a fake cherry blossoms tree.. it was so nice! Our singapore office should learn from them..

I had a short discussion on my work with my boss after the meeting, and then headed back to the hotel to freshen up, before heading out for dinner with 5 other colleagues.. Throughout the 2 days.. i was being "marketed" by my Italian colleague as being so knowledgeable about Tokyo that they should all follow the "leader" for dinner tonight since it was free and easy.. haha.. He kept saying he was impressed how i took him on the tour on Monday.. All of them thought i had come to Tokyo many times, cause i was able to navigate through the train network and stations.. and knew where to go for what..and could speak quite a few Japanese phrases.. I told them i just did a lot of research before i came, that's all.. which was true!! haha.. "smoke" one lah! = )

My boss, me and my Italian colleague walked back to the hotel together, as the rest had left immediately after the meeting. Upon reaching the hotel, my boss asked if she could have a few minutes with me.. I thought she wanted to ask me some personal questions on where to go in Tokyo etc.. haha.. i was getting a bit complacent after all the praises!! But it was not the case.. She pulled out a piece of paper, and surprised me with news of a salary increase effective today.. haha.. I was quite shocked at first.. when i came back to earth, i joked and asked it was an April Fools' Day joke.. = ) She laughed.. Bad news was, i will only get to enjoy the raise for 1 month since i will be leaving for New Zealand on 1st May.. Damn!!
Oh well, at least now i can afford to spend a bit more in Tokyo! = )

At 7pm, 6 of us met in the lobby and took the train to Shinjuku again.. this time for Teppanyaki.. The restaurant was at the same place i had soba on Monday, so i was confident we could find it.. Ended up getting lost again.. cause there were so many different exits at the train station. And it was raining.. we had to run in the rain to find the stupid restaurant.. i felt so bad.. especially after my Italian colleague had told everywhere i was good.. sigh.. so embarrassing.. The Teppanyaki was a bit different from the usual one.. where they have meat and seafood. This one specialized in Japanese pancake with seafood.. so ended up everyone had the same thing - pancakes..

Nonetheless, it was nice.. the portion looks small, but i couldn't even finish one third of mine!

My 2 hongkong colleagues and I headed back to the hotel after dinner, whereas the 3 remaining men - the Italian, Colombian and one from Guatemala headed to a nearby pub where transvetites supposedly hang out.. = )

And here i am, 130am and still blogging.. haha.. I should get to sleep! Tomorrow is another half a day, and then our sight seeing tour.. we will be having a mini farewell for the 3 people leaving the team, including me.. wonder what is in store.. haha.. so excited!!

Tokyo Day 2

12:13 AM by Adeline Woo 0 comments
Today was the start of my meeting.. I had told my colleagues we would meet for breakfast at the hotel cafe at 730am.. End up i went down at 8am for a quick breakfast. Really couldn't drag myself out of bed.. So tired!!!

Breakfast was quite boring.. the usual continental breakfast: Eggs, hotdogs, potatoes, and cereals and fruits.. the orange juice was amazing though! So fresh i think i can drink 10 glasses! = )

After breakfast, we met our Japanese colleague at the lobby. He was kind to bring us to our office for the first day. And apparently, many of our colleagues from other departments were in Tokyo as well cause we met a few in the lobby. Such a small world.

The walk was uneventful. .about 5 minutes only.. We had some difficulty cutting through the peak hour stream of commuters pouring out from the train station.. it was literally a dash to break through to the other side.. haha!! so funny.. =)

Today was a light day, we had some light discussions, lunch and then headed to a nearby hotel garden to watch cherry blossoms upon the suggestion of our Japanese colleague. It was nice, and we took a few group photos before heading back to the office.

I also enjoyed the tea break snacks during our meeting, we had cakes, sushi and fresh delicious strawberries.. i think i am growing fat!! After the meeting, we headed to the Prince Hotel Shinagawa for Shabu Shabu dinner on the 38th floor.. we got lost for a bit but a kind gentleman helped us find our way in the end.. I think most of my colleagues enjoyed except for one and his wife, cause they ate less than half of their beef.. Oh well, you can't please everybody.. = )

During dinner, the group asked me about my New Zealand trip and what i was going to do there etc. etc.. I also found out that my boss had the same interest as me.. she prefers to spend money on travelling rather than expensive LV bags, and she likes the same author as me - Jodi Picoult. Interesting!

Dinner ended around 10pm, and after checking emails etc.. ended up sleeping at 1am.. again not enough sleep.. sigh.. wonder how long i can last!

Tokyo Day 1

I am in Tokyo!!! But not after a 7 hour terrible flight.. I didn't sleep much, and was totally stoned to the max when i arrived at the airport.. I went past immigration, collected my luggage, and headed to the counter to purchase my train ticket for the Narita Express.

And true to the stories i heard, the train was super punctual on the dot! It arrived 1 minute before the stated time, and stopped at the exact minute. Amazing!

The train ride to my hotel was about an hour, during which i dozed off a few times, but woke up again for fear of missing my station. So i was nodding off like nobody's business.

My hotel was 5 minutes walk from the station. If there is one thing i will never forget about Tokyo, it's the human traffic.. There are endless streams of people everywhere!! And they are all walking so fast, one would feel like they will get run down if they try and cut through the stream of people! At first, i thought maybe it's just my station cause it's the business district area, but after taking the train a couple of times today, it was the same everywhere.

Anyway, when i arrived at the hotel, i was not able to check in as the hotel was too full to accomodate my early check in. So i had to roam around for 1.5 hours. Walked around trying to look for breakfast, but the restaurants were all not open either.. It was the worse 1.5 hours of my life.. Imagine me walking around in about 8-10 degrees of cold weather and totally stoned from lack of sleep. Nonetheless, stubborn me refused to sit at the hotel lobby and wait. Would rather walk around. =)

By 11am, i got my room. My Italian colleague was due to arrive around that time, so i decided to take a short nap and meet him for lunch. I slept for only 30 mins in the end.

First up, we took the train to Shibuya for the famous ramen store. It was the best i have ever tasted in my life!! The soup is to die for !

After lunch, we walked around the Shibuya area. I bought the LV bag for June's colleague.. Waited so damn long just to get the stupid bag.. Cause apparently, the salesman had wrapped the bag so nicely in a nice big LV box. And i had to lug the stupid box throughout the evening.. Regret buying it already..Anyway, i intend to throw away the box and just bring back the bag. Already told June! = )

After Shibuya, we took the train to Ueno to see the cherry blossoms. En route to Ueno, we stopped at a cafe for some tea and hotel chocolate in the cold weather.. damn shiok!

Then we strolled to the park.. It was beautiful to see all the blossoms although it was not in full bloom.. And i've never seen so many people in a park. People were just sitting under the cherry blossom trees having picnic and chatting.. So nice!!

We took a lot of photos at the park, before we headed in search of dinner at Shinjuku, the district of wining and dining.. We got lost cause we took the wrong train line.. So confusing the train network here!! But being the extremely nice and helpful people they are, a Japanese man actually alighted from the train to show us the directions to the right train line! After that, he boarded the next train.. We ended up at this soba restaurant in Shinjuku where we had tempura soba and grilled squid. Not very nice leh.. had better in Singapore.. wasted one meal! My colleague bought a nice Japanes style umbrella for his wife.. Maybe i will also buy one for my sister / mom before i go back.

We headed back to the hotel after dinner.. And i slept soundly throughout the night.. what a day..

JB Bah Kut Teh..

11:36 PM by Adeline Woo 0 comments
Last Saturday, K and I drove up to JB with B, S, and EK for breakfast at my favourite Bah Kut Teh store.. We woke up at 6am for that, after sleeping for 6 hours. The things we do for food.. = )
We drove over to B's place where we parked our car and had EK pick all of us up in his car before we headed to the causeway. About 2 minutes after we drove off from B's place, B saw K filling up the white immigration card, and realized we were going to JB for breakfast. He thought initially we were going to have Bah Kut Teh for breakfast, but claimed S didn't tell him it was in JB.. so he had to rush back up to take his passport.
It was smooth traffic all the way through into JB. By the time we arrived at the Bah Kut Teh shop, it was open but the food was not ready yet, so we just sat and chit chatted.. After 2 delicious bowls of Bah Kut Teh, we went shopping at Giant, and the Jaya Jusco and Tesco at Tebrau City.. S bought a pair of white shoes for her ROM (yes, EK finally proposed to her!), and K a mocha waffle. We had wanted to go for the 40 Ringgit an hour foot massage, but the timing for the next available masseurs for all of us were too late..
So.. we headed straight for lunch at the same place where the Bah Kut Teh was, but this time we had paper wrapped chicken at this chinese restaurant famous for this dish. It was a good lunch, we talked about how we should have a farewell party for K and I etc etc.. it was nice.
After lunch, we headed back to Giant again to buy Vitagen before heading back. By the time we reached B's place, it was 3pm. We drove home, then K sent me to my facial. My IPL session this time took 2 hours.. longest ever. I think the beautician wanted to do additional for me after i complained that i had been cheated of my money cause i don't see any results for my IPL.. haha.. End up K had to wait for me for 30 mins.. sigh..
By the time we reached home, it was 630pm.. K headed straight to bed. After doing some house work, I started to pack my luggage for Tokyo, and the packing took so long that i ended up having like only 1 hour to sleep.. I had to take a nap cause i knew I wouldn't be able to sleep much on the flight.
At 930pm, i got a cab to the airport, bought farewell cards for my 2 colleagues, and went to the lounge. It will be a long time before i can go to the lounge again. I had the most delicious clear corn broth, and potatoes.. Drank 2 bowls of the soup. After my meal, i went to use the internet. As usual, because there was no boarding announcement in the lounge, i ended up nearly missing my flight again. As i was walking out of the lounge, i heard 2 of ths lounge staff saying my name. So i turned around and asked them about it. Then i realized the plane was waiting for me, their last passenger. So i run all the way to the boarding gate.. haha.. = )
As expected, compared to SQ, ANA was super lousy. The business class seats can't even recline to 150 degrees, much less 180. At first, as i was reading through the movie catalogue, i was so happy, cause there were many new shows that i haven't watched. But when i was playing with the remote, i realized most of the shows were not available on the aircraft i was in. Stupid.. So i ended up watching only 1 show - Slumdog Millionaire. Don't understand why it won 13 awards leh.. not very good me thinks..
Food was average.. I cursed myself for a while for not choosing to fly SQ, but then quickly thought of how early i will reach Tokyo on my ANA flight for some shopping and sight seeing.. = )
Guess it was worth it after all..