Sunday, January 29, 2012

Working with children

After volunteering at a nursery for the first time ever last weekend, I was quite certain that I will never be good with kids. Err, at least kids that are not my own.

I had a hard time blending in with them, especially because they only spoke Japanese and my Japanese ability just wasn't (isn't) quite there yet. I made myself useful only by taking care of this little baby girl, whom was about 1 year and 2 months old. She was really cute, but since she was so young, she wasn't very verbal - which I guess worked out well for me. Although all the volunteers were really nice, and spoke English, I felt kind of out of place at times because I didn't know how to socialize with the kids. However, I left with the intention of coming back the following week, because committment is a committment.

Yesterday morning, I got up and ready to go, perhaps a little reluctantly, but I did it anyways. I showed up at the nursery, and Noriko-san (fellow volunteer) and her two kids were there already. Noriko-san prepared drawing papers and crayons for the kids, so we started drawing while waiting for the other kids to come. I was able to join in, probably thanks to one of the other volunteers (a girl around my age), and we just sort of drew random things together. At one point, Noriko-san's two years old son was palm-to-palm play-pushing me. He was so cute! Of course he didn't have enough strength to push me over. /laughs/ When his older brother saw this, he wanted to try too. He was 5 years older, at 7 years old, and MUCH MUCH stronger. Basically I was on my knees while he pushed me and he could actually push hard enough that I have to keep backing up. Of course if I had a better stand he wouldn't be able to do so, but of course it didn't matter. After this little pushing game, he started to warm up to me, and throughout the rest of the day, he would make me play with him. Although it was really tiring to play with a genki 7-year old boy, it was a lot of fun and I felt like I could blend in much better than last week!

One of the kids brought in a banana for snack time. Noriko-san joked about David being a banana. He didn't get it at first, but then I explained that he was "yellow (asian) outside, white inside." He laughed. It's interesting because Chinese people have the same concept when describing CBC. This time, David-san was taking care of a 1 year old boy named Hibiki. He was so cute, and he loved David /laughs/. David was carrying him around all the time and we called him papa-san. This time was David's last and I felt a little sad because he was the only other person around that didn't know fluent Japanese. However, I get along pretty well with everybody else so it should be fine.

After this week's volunteering, I changed my mind about kids. They're alright really :)

Oh, and I did my nails! :)
cake themed - and it miraculously matched my new table mat /laughs/

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Nothing Much

As wintery weather finally hit, I got sick last week. I had to miss volunteering for Nobody's Perfect because I knew I couldn't risk passing on my sickness to the kids.

Luckily, I still had the medicine I bought while I was sick in Taiwan. Together with tylenol, the medicine enabled me to recover within a week. The weekend was still really harsh though. Having to take care of myself, cook my own congee, stay at home, alone. I was really homesick and wanted my mommy. I wanted to go home! I'm 90% recovered though. Life goes on! :)

-life saver! I would totally recommend it to anybod-- (err...LOL?)

Went into JSS today, and it was hot lunch day so Mrs. Maekawa was down in the kitchen, though Mr. Maekawa was at the office for the most part.

The first thing he said to me today was, "hey, how many of those boots do you have? I've seen 3 different pairs so far..."

The first thought I had was "alert ! alert! hentai ojichan!!!"

Second thought "wtfbbq, why he pays attention to my shoes?! but he's a cute ojichan hahahaaha.."

Third thought "hm...which 3 pairs was he referring to...(mentally trying to recall what shoes I wore to JSS..."
haha that was so random! :P

Today, we had Tonjiru & gohan (rice) for lunch. Before today, I had never tried Tonjiru, nor did I know what it was. (I still don't really...) It was yummy nonetheless. /laughs/

Well here's a picture:

At lunch time, Mrs. Maekawa pushed a trolley with our lunches on it, calling out "room service!!"
She is so cute too wtf.

Kuge-san came out to eat with us (another lady and I), and they asked me about my Japanese learning story. I told them I started learning at a nihongo school in HK, but now I just learn by myself by watching dramas and stuff. So Kuge-san asked me what I watched, and thank god I just started watching Nankyoku Tairiku (a story about a team of Japanese explorers going to Antarctica), so I could talk about that (instead of the usual idol stuff that I'm too embarrass to admit that I watch - but I love it anyway). Kuge-san actually heard about it too. He seemed to know quite a lot about Japanese entertainment actually. He said kimutaku became an ojisan (I don't agree on this!).

Took a lot of phone calls today, and I think I'm getting better at it. Also, I'm starting to warm up to Kuge-san. To be honest, at first I was a little intimidated by him. With him, I think I went into that 'little girl' mode again, which worked against a lot of grown-ups (except that mean lady T-T"; actually I didn't even try cause I don't like her). People generally treat me well when they see me as a nice (little) girl. LOL. When I delivered messages or phone calls to Kuge-san, I would knock on his door, say 'message!' or ask 'can you take a call now?' with a big smile on my face. He would reply in a very nice way (usually with a smile on his face too).
win (^ - ^)v

I was happy when Mrs. Maekawa came back to the office after lunch, I got to help her instead of the strict lady :)

She had an orientation session with new volunteers that came in, just like my first time. /nazukashii!/
They were University students just like me, and I overheard that they are thinking of helping out at Nobody's Perfect for childcare - so I might be able to meet them later ;)

Left a little bit earlier today. Before I left, Mr. Maekawa said "I would call your boots giraff..." I said to him "they are zebra!!!" Why old people cannot tell the difference?!/tears/ On my way out, I gave Kuge-san a little wave since he was on the phone, and he waved back. That put a smile on my face because I feel like I'm finally getting used to everyone at the office ^_^

It's a school night again, and it was terribly boring. I tried so hard just to stay awake. I don't think I was alone in this. From what I heard from my fellow group mates, they thought it was really dull too.

It was 10PM when I got home, and after I washed my face and stuff, I crashed on the couch.
This will probably be the pattern for the next couple of Wednesdays.

Monday, January 9, 2012

The last of my winter break 2011-2012

FIrst day back at school. I guess it has to happen sometime. /sigh/

I actually had about a week of holiday left after the New Year hit.
This is just a post about how I spent this last blissful week before the hectic school life resumed.

I went to JSS to volunteer again, it's going to be a regular thing now that I know I have Wednesday mornings off school. It was not busy at the office at all that day, except my supervisor was involved in the hot lunch program (JSS makes lunch for seniors twice per month), so I was pretty much left with another lady at the office. There wasn't too much going on, just some phone calls, updating old files, and such. In fact, it was rather boring - except I had the chance to try Osechi for the first time!

At lunch time, Mrs. Maekawa brought up lunch for the three of us at the office (volunteers and counselor). We had Osechi and Salmon gohan. Osechi ryori is something Japanese people eat at New Years. Traditionally, it's consist of little dishes with special names and is served in a box. Of course, ours were much simpler, and were served on plates; nonetheless, it was very tasty!

Although I was a bit embarrassed, I couldn't resist sneaking a picture. /laughs/
Osechi at JSS.

At the end of the day, I got driven home again. Mr. and Mrs. Maekawa really treat me well.
Starting this coming Saturday, I will also be volunteering for childcare for a parenting workshop. I hope it goes well!

I also learned to make chicken congee this holiday! It was actually very delicious. Normally I don't really cook Chinese food because it seems so complicated to me, but I had a craving for good congee so I had to try making it myself. It's not as simple as dumping raw chicken in a pot of rice and water (as Ray have thought), but it wasn't too complicated to make. :)

eating in front of my laptop ♥

I've also been doing some online shopping, and I finally bought my very first coastal scents palette!
I got the Prism palette because it has the pinks and browns that I've been wanting.

so pretty!

The laptop I ordered online on boxing day also came. Terri helped me pay online with her credit card since my credit limit was a pathetic $500 CAD. Ray helped me set it up and stuff. Thanks to my awesome helpful friends, I'm now all ready to tackle some school assignments!

My new friend! Please take care of me XD

 Weekend, Ray and I went a bit further to do our grocery shopping. We went to J-town to have lunch and pick up some grocery items. However, the main point of the trip was to get a --

Takoyaki griller!!!!!!

I've been wanting one of these ever since I knew about their existence /about two years ago/. Angel and I went to J-town to look for them one time but the lady we asked said they didn't sell any. I guess we just asked the wrong person! Since Fiona got her stove top takoyaki hot plate at J-town, I decided to look for them again and I finally found it! #tearsofjoy

We had omurice there, and it was yummy. Although it would've been better if the food was warmer.
yummy lunch

We also splurged on Uni sashimi (sea urchin). Ray and I LOVE these. It was quite expensive at $26 for about 10 pcs. It's expensive to eat them at restaurants anyways. We have ways of justifying ourselves. /laughs/

I made some sushi rice at home, and made homemade uni sushi! too bad I didn't have seaweed, but it was still hella delish!

I always have images of fireworks going on in my mind whenever I have fresh Uni; and also negitoro sushi and fois gras sushi - they're quite popular in HK. *drools*

That night, we went to watch the new Sherlock Holmes movie. To be honest, I didn't catch a lot of the conversations in the movie, but I did get the general jist of things. In my head I was thinking "omg my English is so bad!", then later on I found out everybody was just the same! #relieved

The next day, I had a takoyaki party with Ray, Terri and KK. It's like my dream finally came true after lusting over the takoyaki griller for 2 years. I also made kimchi udon, which, to my surprise, everybody loved. We bought コロッケ (potato cake & pumpkin cake), ready made salad at Metro and dinner is served!



almost done...

finished! :D

I love having dinner parties like this, especially when everybody takes part in preparing the meal :)
For the takoyaki, we had different fillings, such as tako (octopus), cheese, bacon, and sausage. My newest invention - and it was quite a popular filling - was a cube of mozzarella cheese wrapped with a piece of smoked salmon. Heavenly!!

Of course, dinner isn't complete without some good drinks!
rice wine and ume shu (plum wine)

I like to mix some plum wine with Sprite. I have a kiddish taste. :)

With that, my winter break has come to an end.
I'll end this long post with self cam picture from a while ago...


Looking forward to my next break - reading week in mid Feb. Also, Bella would be back around that time!

Until then, ganbarimasu!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Countdown 2011-2012

The year end partying started on the 30th... We went to Jason's place for a house party.
Chef Woo (Jason) - along with a few others - cooked us dinner, and we had fresh oysters!

I don't eat raw oysters but the other dishes were awesome!
Fiona's weiner-yaki


The night was filled with laughters. We had a drinking party afterwards and although I didn't drink much, I had a good time laughing at people being silly (um... mainly Terri).
We went home at about 7AM - Ray and I only had a few hours to sleep because we had to get our haircuts the next day.

New Years Eve
Went to get a haircut. I like the way Kazuma-san cut my hair. I just feel like he really knows how to shape my hair the way I want it. It was the second time I went to him and both times I was very satisfied.

We came back uptown and grabbed a quick dinner, then we had 2 hours to rest/get ready for our night out.
For countdown, we went to a bar/lounge at a hotel this year. It was pretty quiet but it's kinda nice to just share the moment with some good friends.

spending the last day of 2011 with good friends ♡

Terri and the others went to Doug's house for an after party. I opt-ed not to go since I was really sleepy and tired. Instead, Ray and I got take out and we came back to my place to just chill out and watch a movie.
We were watching the Smurf movie but towards the end, I had to try really hard to stay awake because I was just so sleepy!

New Years Day

Spent the first day of 2012 catching up on Kouhaku - music battle between the red (female artists) and white (male artists) teams - and Johnny's Countdown (Countdown show featuring all the idol groups from Johnny's Jimusho). It's been my own little tradition to watch these shows for the past 3-4 years. It's always good to start off the year with something fun. /smile/

Met up with KK and Terri for dinner - haven't seen KK for 3 weeks and I missed her so much!

It's pretty great to end 2011 and start off 2012 with good food, friends, and awesome music!