Sake to me Baby – Japan Day One

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It was so emotionally hard to leave Canada.

It’s always hard to say goodbye to family even though we know we will be back.

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We got into Vancouver quite early and had about five hours to kill before our next leg to Tokyo.

I had to share this pic that I took from the first leg of our flight. Yeah, that jacket shouldn’t be a problem to anyone at all shouldn’t it?

Luckily one of the cabin crew told her to take it down a  short while later.

We had a pretty good flight – no complaints. Got a great breakfast at Vancouver Airport. So good I had to share pics.

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Oh and the airport itself is huge and has lots to look at including these colourful fishies.
We should know, we’ve spent over ten hours  at Vancouver airport in the last few weeks.

 


I don’t think it really hit me that we were flying into Japan until we touched down! I hadn’t even really been thinking about this portion of our vacation time.

IMG_0396I was going through the Japanese phrases I know and I’m completely fluent in Hello, thank you, excuse me AND water. If the situation I’m in calls for more conversation than that, I may be in trouble.

The train trip from Narita airport took just over an hour.

The man sitting next to me must have had some sort of OCD as he was always opening and closing his luggage.

I saw tons of things I could have photographed while we were on the train but I felt like it could have stressed the OCD man out so I didn’t take many.

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I did manage to snap one of their well designed “stack em on top of each other” type car parks.

It’s pretty common here seeing as they’re space poor.

We found our apartment very easily and went straight on in. It’s very hard to describe it. Its certainly one of the roomiest (in terms of floor space) we’ve had in our many trips here but also one of the oldest.  As space is always an issue, we’re used to things being tight and awkward but this one definitely wins the prize. Although it’s roomy, the appliances are all shoved awkwardly into one small space.
I don’t want to say anything negative. It’s certainly clean. And some people don’t mind not shutting the bathroom door so if there’s not enough room for you to sit on the throne AND shut the door at the same time, it’s not a big deal is it? Hubby and I like to keep a little mystery in our marriage so we’re definitely going to have to work out a system there.

First thing to do was go shopping for some basics. As soon as I entered the supermarket I saw this.

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I’m pretty sure I heard angels singing.

We had to get milk as well. I’ve explained before how difficult it is because although we have that fab vocabulary of four words, we don’t read Japanese. So how do we know we’ve bought regular milk for coffee?? Is it Soy? Skim? Almond? We just wanted regular milk! I haven’t tried it yet so hopefully what we bought is ok.

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And speaking about buying things I have no clue about, I bought this drink (bottom left) because it was zero calories. I don’t know what it tastes like and I say that AFTER I’ve had some.
Have I told you before how difficult it is to buy diet lemonade here?? So this will have to do.

We didn’t buy sugar because finding it seemed to be an issue again and we were too tired to keep trying. Looks like we’ll be having sugarless coffees in our apartment.

We also bought our regular Milk Tea because, well, we are in Japan.

 


I’m pretty sure I’ve been up over 24 hours now so it’s time for this tired girl to get some shut eye.
Oh, I haven’t mentioned that this apartment, bigger floor space than most, doesn’t have one double bed, it has two beds that are slightly smaller than a double. So instead of putting a nice sized bed in the bedroom and allow for food traffic, somewhere to put your luggage etc, they took up the whole floor area with two beds. Hubby (all six foot seven of him) and I are going to try to sleep in one bed. This can only end badly!!!

So Sumimasen if I say Konichiwa.  By the way, do you know where I can get some mizu? Arigatō (gozaimasu)

 

Girls Gone Mild – Day One

There’s nothing like getting a text at 4AM saying “Your 6.10AM flight has been cancelled” to bring a bit of stress to your morning!!

I had been up since 2.30AM because I was just too excited to sleep and I wasn’t about to let an early morning wake up go to waste so… after frantic texts and phone calls, and hubby entering the picture to lend a steadying hand, my daughter and I were on a 6AM flight with Qantas (life savers) and my mum, sister and sister in law were now transferred to a 6.40AM Qantas flight.

Because we were now on different flights we missed out on taking a pre boarding flight photos but there were enough separate ones to make up for it.

On the left, my daughter and I, and on the right, the birthday girl!! My mum.

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My mother, sister and sister-in-law were on the same plane but spread out a little.

 

But what’s a seat or two to get in the way of a selfie?

 

Finally we were reunited in Melbourne and annoying delighting the other passengers on the SkyBus to Melbourne with our giggling and occasional outburst into song.


I was in the back row and my sister in law was quite a few seats ahead but it didn’t dissuade us from enthusiastic conversation.

I asked my mum if she’d liked the birthday meme I posted to her Facebook page. It was of one of her favourite Turkish actors. She started giggling and said “You know, I heard he was married but I also heard he’s gay” and when she got to the word “gay” she didn’t say it, she mouthed it. As if it was a dirty word that the rest of the passengers weren’t allowed to hear.

We had to wait a couple of hours before we could leave our bags and wander around unencumbered so we went into Melbourne Central Station and I got a little bit too excited to see a Bread Top Store there (guilty pleasure – and yes, we have them in my city too so my over excitement was not warranted)


We found a few Asian supermarkets and stocked up on a couple of essentials.


My favourite, Milk Tea and who wouldn’t want a creamy colon collon. Oh and check out those Pokemon Noodles!! How cute are they!


Bag drop complete it was time to get to Lygon Street and have our traditional “we’re in Melbourne” meal. I just love Brunetti’s. I think just about every server was born in Italy. Those accents!!


And the food was soooooo good, I didn’t even think to take a picture of it!! We were hungry and over excited.

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So with full bellies we hopped on a tram and got to Harbour Town for some not so serious shopping. Last year when we came here, there was a lot of construction going on and only a handful of shops were open.
This year, many more shops were open but it still looked very sparse.
Still we did manage a bit of shopping! The serious stuff starts tomorrow!!

 


We didn’t have to worry about getting lost. These two with their red hair were like a beacon keeping us together.

Later on in day it was time to celebrate the birthday girl with a cake and a shot of Bailey’s. We had to improvise!

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With such an early start we were pretty wrecked early and seeing as this is #girlsgonemild felt ok about sitting back on the couch and watching some Netflix.

Tomorrow is going to be a fruitful shopping day, I can feel it!!!

Ladies, let’s get our card tapping hands ready!!

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Vay Cay to Jay Jay – Part Two

Today was a day of travelling which ended with us in Japan!!
We went for a beautiful morning walk along the Cairns foreshore, then spent most of the rest of the day in airports or in the air.

I had to get some Japanese money at the airport to pay for our train tickets. Japanese yen… all those zeroes!! Hubby was hurrying me up because there was a line behind me but I was just trying to work out how much money I was actually getting out!!! I saw 50000 yen and I thought oh, that’s about $62. I only wanted a bit of cash for the night… Turns out, I actually took our about $620 Australian. I will get the hang of this money before we leave this country I’m sure!

We got to our Air bnb place at about 9pm. We were quite tired after a full day of travelling (that’s our excuse). Our place looks fantastic! We are so happy with our apartment but I’m not sure that the picture of the couch in the ad was to scale…

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There was a funny thing that happened tonight. Instead of going out to eat, we thought we’d go to a grocery store and pick up a few things to eat in our room.
The supermarkets are just something else!!! We don’t know what a lot of products are. We walked up and down the aisles to find some butter and finally we found something that we assumed was butter but to our surprise there was only ONE type of butter/margarine.
We almost bought salt instead of sugar…..

But back to the funny thing…
We left the grocery store and were walking back to our apartment. We were just yakking away stupidly about nothing when we noticed “our” building.
“Oh, we’re here already” I said in surprise. Hubby agreed saying “I didn’t realise we were so close to it already”
We walked in and tried to use our key to get into the tenants area. It didn’t work at first however someone was coming through from the other way so the door opened..
I said to hubby “This doesn’t feel right, are we in the same building?” But there were enough similarities that we persisted. Plus, I think we were also so tired that we really really really wanted that to be our building.

We got up to the fifth floor where our apartment is and again it felt weird. Wasn’t our apartment in front of the lift? This one was slightly to the side…

Hubby put the key in and turned but the door wouldn’t unlock. I have to say, that although there were little differences, there were a LOT of similarities!! Enough that we persisted for a while then decided to go back down to the ground and retrace the whole experience.

When we got down to the ground we realised we’d walked into the wrong apartment block. The name was the same, but it was an entirely different building!!! So we’d been trying to get into someone else’s apartment! Oh geez….

Instead of carparks, the apartments and stores here have bike parks. Places where you can park your bike.
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They are just everywhere! Everyone rides a bike.

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We got home and ate our grocery goodies….

spring rolls, dim sims, dumplings, bread,
butter/margarine, some fruit etc etc.

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We wanted milk… we assume this is just normal, full cream milk

 

 

 

 

 

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And I got some of that Tea Latte that I liked last time!

 

 

 

 

And a few more items for the supermarket… I hope that was diet cola because that’s what we were after.

Tomorrow we’ll go out exploring!!