Sunday, December 30, 2007

"I'll buy one if you'll buy one"

Wow! It's gonna be 2 years since this blog started... I gotta admit I am quite surprised by it all. It's been a great and unforgettable experience. The one main thing that I want to say/write right now is to say a big 'thank you' to anyone and everyone who has ever dropped by to read, leave comments and everything. I am honestly very, very grateful for your time. Have a great 2008!

I'm still giving out my movie postcards to anyone who wants them, just drop me an email with a mailing address and I'll mail a bunch of them to you, I'll take care of the postage. ;)

Thing bout the year-end holidays is you can always pretty much depend on a couple of things happening. It gets really, really windy as usual and I get the guys over for games just like before. We opened new games like the award-winning Zooloretto, Intrigue and Iliade. Other fun games we played were Ca$h and Gun$, Little Italy, Cheeky Monkey and Alhambra.

Oh yah, before I left for Osaka last month, I finally bought myself a Macbook! I was with my friend at the IT show and it was a case of 'I'll buy one if you'll buy one"... so he got one and I did too!

Which kinda led me to buying this while I was in Osaka. It's a memory card reader for the Macbook, thought it looks pretty cool. Strange that I couldn't find anything like this back home.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

'Rhymes with prawn DVD shop'

Meanwhile back to my little Osaka trip, like I said, not much food this time and also, finding my way across the city was a little harder than I expected. For starters, there were definitely less directional signs, subway maps and menus in English compared to Tokyo.

I guess I did more exploring here, underground exploring actually. This is nice little dessert place right next to Osaka Station, near Daimaru. There are like about half a dozen different dessert stalls in there with all kinds of pastries, chocolates, cakes etc. As usual, top makes to all on presentation. Now, the first is a kinda little coffee cake. Not bad. The next dessert is my favorite, a slice of banoffee pie, you can see the banana pieces in there. It was heavenly.

Like all my trips to Japan, I did a lot of shopping too. Although this time, I didn't buy as much outfits as before as all of the shops were selling winter wear. What I did buy were lots of gifts for my ex-colleagues. And a pair of Evisu jeans for myself for a little less than S$200. Thanks to the marvels of vacuum-packing, I was able to pack all my thick clothes into my luggage, thus leaving me space for other stuff. I bought several (thick, heavy) Japanese magazines for them as well as lots of snacks and little cutesy stuff. The days were shorter and by 5pm, it was already all dark.

I went to Den Den Town, which is like 'geeksville' if you know what I mean. The stores along the street, well, it goes something like this ... toy shop, gadget shop, game shop, 'rhymes with prawn' DVD shop, toy shop, gadget shop, game shop, 'rhymes with prawn' DVD shop, rinse and repeat. And sometimes, it's all in one building! It's no wonder I'm trying to get guys here to go with me to Japan next time.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

"Happy holidays everybody"

Hey, it's almost Christmas and I figured I'll take a break from Osaka posting and put up some old and I mean very old Holiday pix here instead. Been awhile since I posted any pix of myself during the holidays or otherwise so here goes. These are my kindergarden Xmas play pix and yup, that's me in blue as one of the three Wise Men, 'Wise Guys' as I prefered to call them, no disrespect meant. Happy holidays everybody!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

"Giant freakin' mutant gingerbread Christmas tree"

Didn't really take as much food pix as before plus some came out a little blurry, probably cos I was trying to snap as fast as I could. Now Osaka has this HUGE underground subway mall that just goes on and on. Lots of small shops and places to eat as well as leading to big departmental store buildings like Daimaru. It's a huge maze to me and I got lost more than once unlike Tokyo which I found easier to navigate.

Breakfast was always at one of the deli cafes. Here's one with something I call 'giant freakin' mutant gingerbread Christmas tree', it's bout 2 floors high and was right in front of me while I had my breakfast. Check out those bagels, coffee mugs and loafs hanging from it! Now I can't really remember what I had in that particular deli but here's a typical breakfast while I was there. I'm actually a big breakfast kinda guy so yah, most folks I know would say it's a lot.

In this pix, the hot drink there is a green tea latte (or was it mocha?). Was perfect, unlike the other green tea stuff we have back home here. Breakfast (pastries or sandwiches and a hot drink) was usually bout little less than 1,000 yen so that's bout less than S$13, maybe around S$10.

This was a pretty memorable and sinful lunch. For bout S$15, you get a large serving of ramen and 3 huge scallops with lots of roe (the orange part), as well as the usual stuff! And you see that white square thing in the middle? At first I thought that was tofu, nope, it's a piece of butter!

Now, whenever I visit Japan, one thing I always buy and try is the their new Haagen Daz ice cream flavors. I don't think you can find most of these unique flavors anywhere else. Here, here and here are the ones I tried on my last few trips. There were more this time but think was only humanly possible to try three, Creme Brulee, Mont Blanc and Kokuto & Kuromitsu. Heh. My favorite was the K&K which was like brown sugar.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

"Suit up"

So I was away for awhile to where else but Japan. Nope, it wasn't Tokyo cos there wasn't any tickets during that time (sorry Niki, wish I was there!) and neither was it Hokkaido. It was the city of Osaka where I spent a couple of days there.

Was real lucky the weather was sunny yet cool bout an average of 11C. Only time for me to, as Barney from 'How I Met Your Mother' would say, SUIT UP! And more importantly, to wear my buff! I call it my pirate hat. Nice to see those golden autumn maple leaves up close for once in my life. You know, you are not gonna believe this but there's actually an option for taking "autumn leaves" on my camera, yeah together with all the other weird features. But I only found out hours AFTER this shot. Well, it looks better on the tiny, teeny camera screen.

Food pix coming up next!