Part 1: I flew to Japan for the Sailor Moon Musical (and it was awesome!)

29th August 2014

Dear Chibi,

I’m finally back from my “SAILOR MOON TRIP TO JAPAN” adventure~ flying to Tokyo for the Sailor Moon Musical :D Instead of always ‘wishing I was there’, I decided I was going to make it happen this time. The idea itself excited me just as much as being there :D Sailor Moon is one of my most favourite things ever, so being able to watch a live show for its 20th Anniversary, meeting other moonies, buying merch and shopping in Tokyo in general (I LOVE JAPAN)~ was going to be great. So the journey begins, with just me and Kaz (my twin sister) who’s also into Sailor Moon!

Unfortunately, the trip didn’t go as smoothly as I had hoped. The moment I got off the plane from Narita Airport, I was hit with the crazy humidity and 36°C heat and got sick… so sick that I end up wasting an entire day lying on a couch without air con :’D Thankfully, Kaz came home that night with some dinner and meds for me :D She spent the day exploring Shibuya herself.

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Kaz with our 7-Eleven dinner :’D We stayed in Shin-Okubo.

The next day was the day of the the Musical~ Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon: Petite Étrangèr :D :D Brad helped us and Cycyn get tickets to the first show, so we met up to see it together. Both Brad and Cycyn have been my long-time online Sailor Moon friends, and it was my first time meeting Cycyn in person!! SHE IS SO CUTE AND BUBBLY!! AHHH I’M SO HAPPY I COULD FINALLY MEET HER :D!! (She’s even appeared in my dream before…lol that sounds kinda creepy XD)

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Me with Brad (MoonKitty)!

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Kaz and Cycyn

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We dropped by several stores in Shibuya to check out Sailor Moon merch :D

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Wedding holiday in Bali

25th September 2012

Dear Chibi,

During the last 5 days I had the pleasure of joining Jacky’s family in celebrating Alan and Sandra’s wedding in Bali. This was my first time in Bali and it took me a while to get my head around the fact Bali is part of Indonesia and not Thailand XD (Chibi’s dodgy geography skills) The flight was 5 hours 45 minutes and we flew with Jetstar~ nice and cheap but no inflight entertainment.

We arrived late at night in the very humid and hot weather. The 15 of us stayed at Villa Bidadari in 4 massive villas, in a secluded area away from mankind it seems XD. It’s beautiful, spacious and open. Maybe a bit too open for my comfort..lol The villas are basically outside, so we have mossies and wild creatures wandering in and out whenever they feel pleased XD There were a lot of mossies in the rooms, you can watch dragonflies and bees while you shower (or have them watch you.. ), you hear frogs and roosters practically all night long~ and when it rains, it’s so loud you feel like it’s raining on you. It was all fascinating, strange and scary for little Jen. I wasn’t sure how secure the place was seeing as there’s no actual door to block access to the villas, but we got by with no issues :)

I didn’t get to sleep at all on the first night.  I wasn’t used to the temperature and was scared by all the noises I heard. (Frogs are the worst) Thankfully, sleep was a bit better during the other nights.

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Japan Trip 2012~ Part 3

5th May 2012

Dear Chibi,

Wooo! We’ve reached part 3! (Click here for part 1 and part 2)

Akihabara, Tokyo

Pachinko & Slots can be found everywhere all of Japan.

Our trip wouldn’t be complete without having a taste of the anime and manga culture from the country it originated from. Akihabara is seriously a male otaku paradise. Everywhere you turn there are billboards of anime girls, girls cosplaying as maids roam the streets and every building is loaded with anime, manga, doujin, figurines etc. However, I say ‘male’ otaku because everything seemed tailored to the male population. There is an awful lot of anime porn/hentai in every store you walk into. It’s practically unavoidable. It was kind of a turn off for me ^^; (lol, Sorry Marcus..had to say it!!)

I did manage to find a few Sailor Moon goodies in Akihabara. You can read about them here.

Oh, and while we’re on the topic of anime, from pure observation, One Piece is the single most popular anime out right now. There is a TONNNNN of One Piece merchandise found all over Japan. We laughed when we saw that Luffy has made it to every single souvenir and convenient store in every city we’ve been to.

Maid Café

@HomeCafe Maid Café, Akihabara

How can you go to Akihabara and not check out the much talked-about maid cafés? Unlike regular cafés, waitresses are all pretty young girls dressed up as maids, who address you (their customer) as their “master” or “mistress” depending on your gender. There are strict rules in place, such as no photography or video, no touching of the staff, minimum spending and 1 hour maximum time in the café. Admittedly, it was a little nerve racking walking into one. Jacky even considered not go in at all cause he was so embarrassed by the idea XD It was a different, unusual experience for us.

The food was pretty mediocre for the price you pay, though I doubt people go there for the food. The main appeal are the maids, who act all cutesy as your servant and play games with you if you pay them. I’m not sure how they intend to appeal to female customers though… maybe they don’t~
While the idea seems cute and innocent, I felt the concept was slightly offensive and degrading to women. I don’t know, I sure wouldn’t want to be seen as a sexual object o_O

As we left, they gave us each a “License Card” which I thought was pretty amusing. Lv. 1 MY MASTER. I wonder what they call you when you reach Lv 100? XD

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Japan Trip 2012~ Part 2

5th May 2012

Click here for Part 1

Dear Chibi,

Part 2 of my Japan Trip blog will be focusing on our days spent in Osaka and surrounding locations we explored via the Shinkansen and JR lines.

Osaka, Dotonbori, Shin Sai Bashi Suji

With each passing day, the cherry blossoms grew more and more pretty…

@Osaka Castle

Nightlife @Dotonbori where we had okonomiyaki and takoyaki :3

Nara

In Nara, we found lots of wild deers just hanging out at the parks! It’s a pretty funny sight seeing them so civilized XD They also bow their heads “kow-tow” at you after you feed them.. but I was kinda scared to go near them ^.^;

And of course, there were an abundance of shrines and gardens we visited in the area~

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Japan Trip 2012~ Part 1

1st May 2012

Dear Chibi,

After a month, I’m finally back from my first overseas trip with Jacky :D Although we went to both Japan and Hong Kong, this blog entry will be focused on Japan. There’s so much I want to say, but I’ll try to keep this short and not bore you to tears ;) I’m going to put down my general thoughts on Japan and reflect on the highlights of the trip as well as other quirky bits :D

I’ve actually been to Japan four years ago with my family on a one week tour. I blogged about it here and here. I had fallen in love with this place, but I knew what I saw was only a very small part of the country.

This time was pretty full on. Jacky and I explored Japan for three weeks on our own, with Jacky doing all the research and planning. I didn’t have to do anything XD Everything went incredibly smoothly for us, even though we’re in a foreign country with barely any Japanese! The transport system in Japan is also insanely complex with so many different lines, subways, train lines, Shinkansen lines.. but we managed :D Again, I didn’t really do anything.. I just followed Jacky who did all the work getting us to places :D yay.

Shibuya, Yoyogi, Meiji Shrine, Harajuku

I love Shibuya :D! It’s such a beautiful, vibrant and lively city! Everyone is really friendly and when we had some trouble finding our way around, passersby were more than willing to help :)

View outside Shibuya Station

Writing wishes @ Meiji Shrine
Meiji Shrine (which is next to Yoyogi Park) is the first shrine we visited and I really enjoyed it for its peacefulness. Other shrines, temples and castles we visit later on are packed with tourists, which lacks that intimate feel.

Shopping @Harajuku
I loved Harajuku, it’s a great place for girls shopping! Not much here for boys though, unless you just want to look at pretty girls ;) If you look around, most Japanese people look good, and it’s no big surprise because self image seems like a huge deal over here. Most people from little kids to old grannys really dress themselves up. Heavy make-up, fake eye-lashes, lots of accessories, mini-skirts and heels were a very common sight amongst girls in Japan. Or maybe they’re just fashionable. That could be another reason. XD

What I’ve also noticed is that there only seems be to “M” size clothing, no S, or L …  Is this because everyone here wears medium size? XD

Big Echo Karaoke (Shinjuku) “Where everybady is happy” :D lol
It started pouring while we were just outside Big Echo Karaoke, so we decided to check it and see how it compares to Sydney ^^ It was quite nice inside. I LOVE how everything is pink in Japan XD It gives everything such a cutesy feel… I haven’t been to any other country which embraces this colour this much :)

The song selection system was pretty good. I was so surprised to find Chinese songs in here (even ‘pian ai‘ from Chinese Paladin 3!), and what amused me most was the Japanese characters on top of the lyrics. Japanese people actually sing Cantonese? XD

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Trip to Adelaide

7th January 2012

Dear Chibi,

The 8 of us (Jacky, Burpy, Ray, MZ, Emily, Meeko, Mel and I) have spent the last couple of days exploring the city of Adelaide. Now you’re probably wondering the same thing I was: What’s there to do in Adelaide? Well, read on and find out :D

Day 1:
We met up nice and early at the Sydney domestic airport for our 6.45am Virgin flight. However, Emily and the girls arrived late which lead to the others all missing their flight since she had their plane tickets >.< Jacky and I boarded the plane first and decided to meet up with them in Adelaide later in the day. Thankfully they were able to catch the next flight 2 hours later, so it wasn’t too bad. The flight was a short one, no food on plane but at least there was a screen to watch some TV. There is a 30 minute timezone difference between Sydney and Adelaide, which didn’t really affect us.

Upon arriving, we had some breakfast at Hungry Jacks before catching a shuttle bus to our holiday house at Angas Court :) Looking out the window, the streets of Adelaide weren’t too exciting to be honest. It feels like a small old town with a tiny population (1.2 million, compared to 4.6 million in Sydney).

The holiday house at Angas Court was nice and cosy. A little small compared to the place we stayed at Nelson’s Bay, but I liked it anyway :) The arrangements were quite pretty and had a very homely feel. There were beds for 6 in total, with Burpy and MZ sleeping on the couch downstairs.

After the others arrived, we spent the day checking out the city and visiting neighbouring places.

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Back from Hong Kong-China

7th December 2009

Dear Chibi,

Yesterday morning Jacky picked me up from the airport- I’m home sweet home– Did you miss me? ^.^ I came back feeling a bit sick from the plane ride but overall the trip was pretty enjoyable :) I felt like a zombie, suffering from fatigue, jet lag and overall tiredness. I haven’t unpacked yet, everything is still in the luggage. I should start unpacking it sometime, shouldn’t I? hehe.

It is the strangest feeling being back in Sydney! It’s been almost 2 days now, and I still think I’m in some kind of dream.. Ah, the beautiful clear sky, the quiet streets.. no more dust storms everyday, noisy motorbikes, crowded streets and toilets without any paper :) My bedroom suddenly looks sooo pretty and cute XD ahaha? I went to work today, feeling like I haven’t been there in months. I suddenly realised how relaxing my work can be and how much I enjoy it :) It felt really fresh- I think holidays have brainwashing powers XD My collegues are saying they need a holiday, and I thought ‘not really?’ I forgot I just came back from one, so that’s probably why, haha!

Boy, is it hot over here! I heard it reached around 40 degrees while I was away. The temperature was quite nice over there, not hot and not too cool :) People in Hong Kong can’t handle coolness very well… I was there in a T-shirt, and people were dressed for the snows or something ^^; I felt a bit out of place lol.

Cousin’s Wedding in China

I attended my lovely cousin’s wedding and I must say it was a very interesting experience. It was different, fun, boring, and exciting all mixed together XD This is my second wedding I’ve ever attended, and I was privileged to be the bridesmaid. She was looking for someone young and unwed- and I was..well both  XD She’s in her early 30s, but apparently that’s considered old in China.

Mum, Bride and Chibis

At my cousin’s house with the beautiful bride

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Trip to Melbourne

9th January 2009

Dear Chibi,

Jacky and I were on a holiday in Melbourne for the past week and just got back to Sydney last night. Home Sweet Home! It was both our first time going to Melbourne so we were unsure what to really expect. Is it different? Is it exciting? Does it look like Sydney? What’s the weather and people like? And all those questions the curious would wonder.

As we arrived at the Melbourne Airport, we thought we went back to Sydney! haha.. except the airport is much smaller than Sydney’s but the similarity is there. So we hired our car and headed out the door.. first step into Melbourne! What did we feel? A blasting cold chilly wind, in the middle of Summer on a nice shiny bright day! We heard the weather fluctuates drastically everyday, but only when we were there we understood exactly what that meant XD

Day 1: Arrive – Pick Up Car – Check in -Explore the Melbourne CBD, China Town, Familiarising city locations and buildings!

As we explored the Melbourne City, it wasn’t hard to convince ourselves we were in London or something XD There were trams everywhere!! A lot of old fashioned ones too. It definitely had a different feel to Sydney. There’s also less population, the roads were more spacious, and there’s a lot more people on Bicycles. It was quite an interesting experience… especially finding out there were some slight new road rules ^^; Wasn’t Jacky having a lot of fun XD There is a “Hook Turn” road rule, where you essentially turn right by going onto the left lane! Kinda weird, I know. And of course, we saw A LOT of stadiums!! I’m not much of a sports fan, but Jacky was really really amused, haha.

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The Japanese Experience. Final

3rd March 2008

Dear Chibi,

I’ve reached Part 3 of the Japan Experience! There’s really only 2 more places I want to blog about, one being Tokyo’s Disneyland =) Previously I’ve only been to the one in Hong Kong and thought it was a bit small but still good. This one is MASSIVE. We spent a whole day there and still couldn’t get around to all 7 lands. There were a lot of people that day too and it wasn’t a weekend or any special day. According to the tour guide, it’s only 1/4 amount of the usual.

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In total, we went on about 10 rides/shows which I thought were mostly very amusing. I loved Fantasyland..Peter Pan’s Flight was magical! OMG I feel like I’m in a dream- flying over London’s night city on a boat. I can’t put any rides properly into words.. you just have to experience it for yourself! It’s also hard (or impossible) to take pictures while on the rides too.

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Snow White & Prince Charming, Sleeping Beauty & Prince Charming, Bell and..Prince Charming XD I think they have names @.@ lol.

I loved all the princesses anyway, so preeetty @.@

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The Japanese Experience Part2

29th February 2008

Dear Chibi,

After the FujiQ Amusement park, we travelled to the hotel where we were staying for the night. I liked this location, you can see Fujisan on the other side of the lake. Some of us dressed in a yukata (provided by the hotel) while we had dinner and wandered around the building. It’s quite a heated building so it was okay to wear XD That night there was also firework displays we could see outside our room window! It ran for about 30 minutes, and Kazzy was all excited and snapping pictures away.. (took too many, lol) Two which stood out most was a STAR shaped display, and yes.. a SMILEY face one! aww..the smiling face one was soo cool… but Kazzy missed it ;_; We weren’t exactly expecting one of those!

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Along with the yukatas, there was of course, hot spring baths! That was pretty relaxing…Um..no pictures from there XP

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Mt Fuji the next morning outside the hotel. Looky! No clouds covering its peak!~

Next we went up Mt Fuji’s skii resort o.o Ok, that’s just beyond freezing, hahahaa… *cough* At this point I was feeling a bit unwell. The problem with Japan’s temperature is that it’s reaally really cold outside (so we wear a lot), yet, really really hot inside buildings. It feels like I’ve been turned into an icecube, and then upon entering the buildings, we break into pieces XD We went up there to the snows for a few hours, but didn’t ski or anything. Didn’t..feel like it XD

Next was lunch! This was quite nice too…

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