Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Wednesday was not so busy...

After a tiring first two days, today was much more relaxed. I only had one more thing to complete for my pre-contract signing thing and I managed to complete it before lunch time. Yay!

I left the house early for two reasons. One, I didn't want to get caught in the rush hour. Two, I wanted to learn how to get to my building.

Having left the house before 630, I reached my destination - Tokyo Station - just after 7. The office is located near Otemachi Station but I wanted to know if I can walk over from Tokyo Station and save 100 yen or so. As I suspected, I can do that. Yay!

The neighbourhood is not new to me. I visited the area last year. The building is a stone's throw away from the East Gardens of the Imperial Palace. There is an Issey Miyake, a Comme des Garcons, and Rose Bakery within walking distance. This got Mon and I-van extremely excited. Hehe!

It is definitely a swanky neighbourhood.

By 9, I walked to the other side of Tokyo Station and looked for the errand I wanted to complete today. I managed to complete it in less than an hour. That's Japanese efficiency for you. Hehe!

Initially, I thought of visiting my favourite places - Aoyama and Omotesando. However, I thought better and instead headed back home. I changed into something more comfortable and headed out again. My destination in the afternoon was to look for stuff for the room.

At first, I went to the malls at Kita Senju station but eventually decided to just go to IKEA. I was able to save on the stuff I bought even though the closest IKEA to my house is soooo far away! Haha!

When I got back from IKEA, I thought I'd check out the jogging path I saw when I was walking over to the train station. It is indeed a jogging path.

I went for a 5K run. It's my first run since I arrived in Tokyo and for some reason, I was able to complete 5K without any difficulty. Maybe because the weather was nice? Maybe because I was running along the path next to Arakawa River? Maybe because there was a nice view - the Tokyo Skytree can be seen. In any case, I'm sure the evening run won't be the last one.

Tomorrow, I was also thinking of doing tourist-y stuff but decided I should prepare for work. Hehe! I should be responsible. Also, all these train rides have cost me so much. It's ridiculous. The amount I spend for 2 weeks of train rides in Singapore was used up in 2 days in Tokyo. Haha!

I need to work, work, work to recover all these relocation expenses.

Anyway, with the panoramic view I saw during the run, I could only be grateful to be here.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Busy busy Tuesday...

Tuesday was a lot busier.

The day started really early. There were several things on my list that needed to be done today. I managed to finish everything but one.

My day started by going to the Katsushika Ward office. I needed to register my Japan address, register for a social security number and the health insurance. As expected, it was quite fast and efficient.

Afterwards, I needed to get a Japanese number and open a bank account.

I was only able to do the former. For the latter, I was told that I might need a hanko. It's a seal used for official business documents. So, from the ward office, I headed to the hanko shop I researched about. However, it was closed. For what reason? I couldn't tell because I couldn't read the characters. Hehe!

Good thing I had a backup and I went to the other one. The man at the shop didn't speak English. Thankfully, there was a lady who helped translate for me! She is indeed an angel. May she be blessed. I didn't expect the hanko to be really expensive but sigh, what to do? I needed it.

By the time the hanko was done, I went to a mobile phone shop. I researched about a shop in Ikebukuro where there was an English service. The guy was able to explain things to me quite clear and I was able to get my sim fast.

I did not have enough time for the bank account as it was almost 4PM when I finished at the mobile phone shop.

The last agenda for the day was dinner with my friend Makoto and his two kids. I went over to his neighbourhood and we had dinner at one of the izakayas in the area.

Tomorrow morning, that's the first thing on my list. After that, I'm free for the rest of the day. I'm also free on the day after... That means two days of being a tourist.

Not really, because I've been attending to all these errands/documents, I haven't had time to fix the room I'm renting. I need to buy some stuff for the room as they're not provided. I kinda miss my old landlord. Haha!

Oh well, that's Tuesday.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Good first day...

It was a good first day in Tokyo.

The flight arrived ahead of schedule, immigration was smooth, I managed to get the pocket wifi and train ticket on time.

By 1002, I was on board the Keisei Skyliner heading to Otsuka. I booked a hotel for one night since I needed to move around this afternoon.

The whole afternoon was spent at the housing agent. He discussed the conditions of the share house etc etc and I had to sign a lot of papers. After that, we went to the share house.

The neighbourhood was very residential. There were several food places around. I didn't get to meet any of my housemates as they were all away. I just pray that they are all nice people.

By the time we ended, it was already past 5. I thanked the agent and then I headed back to the hotel for a much needed shower.

In the evening, I met up with Dean for dinner and coffee at Ueno. I need to go back to that area. There were some shops I saw that I want to visit. Hehe.

It was a really goood first day! Tomorrow, I need to go to the ward office and do more paperwork. I hope things will continue to be smooth.

There's a typhoon arriving but I hope all will be okay. Prayers prayers.

New week, new day, new city, new country.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Wonderful Friday night surprise...

I just got home about an hour ago.

The guys threw a surprise party for me last night. Later on, I found that it was my friend Jon who went through all the trouble to organise the gathering.

I seriously thought that the gathering was for the birthday celeb of @MkSurf8. When I reached the lobby of Amara, @RKGreg fetched me at the lobby so that I could go up to the room.

The sweetest surprise welcomed me as soon as the door opened - my closest friends in Singapore, the most important people in my SG life all gathered together.

It was really a memorable night.

I stayed the night with Jon, Lara and Migs and we had brunch at nearby Group Therapy cafe.

What a wonderful gathering. I was deeply moved by the whole gesture and thank you, thank you, THANK YOU a million times over to @astralcowboy for organising the whole thing.

Now, I'm ready...

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Still a Mama's boy...

I brought my Mom to the airport earlier. I have to say I was somewhat emotional while I was waiting for her to get past immigration.

There is a somewhat hidden motive as to why I asked her to come over. I really needed her help with some things these past few days. Though I know I could've managed on my own, it was just a relief to have her here and help out with these things.

Moms really are the best.

Thank you, thank you, Mama! I'm already nearing my 40s but I'm proud to admit that I still need you.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Thursdate with RKGreg and MkSurf8....

Mom and I spent most of Wednesday out and about walking around familiar places.

More about that in another post.

Our day ended with dinner together with two of my good friends here in Singapore - @MkSurf8 and @RKGreg. The two guys invited me to dinner last week but it had to be postponed to this week.

It was a blessing that the dinner was postponed since my Mom also got to meet them.

We had dinner at Wine Connection, definitely one of my fave places (although I didn't spend as much time frequenting it).

It was an evening with good food, a glass of wine, yum dessert, nice chitchat, and terrific friends. Every evening should have endings like this.

Thank you again, @RKGreg and @MkSurf8, for the dinner treat and more importantly, for the kindness right from the start. I'll always be grateful.

And happppppyyyy birthday, MkSurf8!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Tiring Tuesday...

Though it's my first day of not having to think about going to work, I still woke up at my usual time - 545.

My Mom was up even earlier. Lol! I prolly got the morning person genes from her.

We did have a lot of things to do, so it was good that we were out of bed early. After having breakkie, we set about to do the things I planned to do for the morning.

By noontime, we prepared to go out. My brother and Tey were both asking for this salted egg chips as pasalubong. However, I have no idea where to find it. Lol! It's as elusive as the chocolate balls that Tey also wants.

Mom and I did cover a lot of ground walking. We alighted at Orchard station, had a heavy late lunch and spent the next few hours just walking around. From Orchard, we took bus 14 to go to Ikea Alexandra.

She wanted to buy chocolates. To my surprise, only the dark chocolates are available. From a poster at the cashier, it seems that the other chocolates were recalled because of possible allergies caused by the pistachio or almonds in the chocolates. So Mom just had to settle for the dark chocolates.

Afterwards, I asked her if she still wanted to go to another mall but she said she just wanted to head back. It's fine by me.

Just now, I went to the library to drop off some books that I no longer read. As soon as I left, I saw an elderly man walk over to the book exchange shelf and browsed the titles that I left. Hope someone would pick up the books, read them, and then pass them on.

Tiring Tuesday. Few more days to go!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Thank you, Wiley...

An exciting chapter in my professional life concluded today. The last 5 years at Wiley was filled with meaningful and memorable experiences! Many blessings came my way and my family's because I work with Wiley, because I am in Singapore. For the opportunity to work for a well-respected publishing house, for the amazing experience of working outside of the Philippines - THANK YOU, MARAMING SALAMAT PO!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Waiting for 5JXXX to arrive...

I'm at Changi Airport now.

Mom's flight was scheduled to arrive at 510PM. I just checked the flight info board now and it says the flight will arrive at 6PM. Ugh, it's an hour late.

Hmm, I suspect they boarded in Manila on time but it took forever before the plane managed to take off.

Sigh, it's a good thing I saw Ian and JB. They were in the airport to send off JB's friends who flew in for the weekend to surprise him for his birthday.

I tagged along with them and I managed to kill about an hour and a half with them. Now, I just have to kill another 90 minutes. It shouldn't be too difficult as I did bring things to being while waiting for Mom.

Before coming to the airport, I met up with David and Kok Kuan for lunch. They bought me lunch at a Peranakan place in Joo Chiat. I told Kok Kuan that I want Nonya cuisine and he was kind enough to give in. Hehe!

Our lunch finished early and that's why I'm early at the airport.

Okay, time to get some work done. :)

Friday, August 19, 2016

Dinner at Desmond's Creation...

It's been a crazy week at work and I'm just glad it's already the weekend.

This week is possibly one of the most memorable weeks in my life here in Singapore since I moved in 2011.

To celebrate the end of the toxic work week and the arrival of a weekend, I had dinner with PG Boy, Mon, and Richie.

Err, wasn't sure whether MonRich would be able to join PG Boy and me, but I'm glad that they managed to move some appointments tonight to accommodate us.

Or maybe PG Boy and I just didn't want to decide where to eat... or maybe I was just being too clingy.

We decided to eat Desmond's Creation. It turned out to be a good decision as I was craving for the superb food at the simple place.

After about two hours of dinner and chitchat, we decided to call it a night. MonRich had to meet with their real estate agent as they were moving houses. PG Boy headed back, I also headed back because I need to do my laundry. The weekend is going to be packed because Mom is arriving on Sunday.

Relaxing Friday night!