Thursday, December 1, 2016

It's December....

I can't believe it's already December!!! Time flies!

What a year it's been! 2016 is definitely one of the best years of my life. Haha!

Today, I went to the Philippine embassy because I need to renew my passport. Initially, I made an appointment to have it renewed in Singapore. But then, the whole move to Tokyo happened.

The biggest difference is that it's sooo much easier to get a passport renewal appointment here in Tokyo than in Singapore. I dunno. Maybe I'm just lucky. In Singapore, I didn't have time to renew my passport because the next available appointment date was two months (or was it a month?) later. Here, I made the appointment online two days ago and voila, there was an available date today.

The online appointment can be done -- http://tokyo.philembassy.net/pponline/

The second biggest difference is the required documents. I only had to bring my old passport, a printout of the application form, a self-addressed letter pack, a copy of my IC, and that was it. (I've to find out though how to register with POEA/OWWA and also how to pay my SSS and PhilHealth).

My appointment was between 1:30 and 3:30. Singapore taught me to be kiasu so I was in Roppongi by 12. Haha! That gave me enough time to grab a quick bite before heading to the embassy.

The whole thing took about 90 minutes or so.

Looking forward to get my new passport.... in a month or two.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Ugh!

My best friend from Manila was supposed to arrive next week. I've been looking forward to it for weeks.

This noontime, I got a message from her saying that we hit a snag. Ugh.

Hope things will be sorted out.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Terrace House on Netflix...



So I finally succumbed and signed up for a Netflix subscription. Haha!

I've been asking Tipz how to set up an account. Of course, I was too lazy to read about it. But I think Tipz is lazier to teach me how to set up my Netflix account. (Peace, Tipz!) Either way, it turns out it's super easy.

Just a few clicks and voila! I have Netflix. I'm still on the one-month trial. I don't know how much subscription costs in other countries but it's very affordable here in Japan.

People have reco'd shows to watch. So far, the only one I've started on is Terrace House. I thought I could find it on Youtube but I can't. Hehe!

It's entertaining. Plus, it's good practice for listening skills. I'm not watching the Tokyo season. There's also a new season that's shot in Hawaii. That's up next after I finish the Tokyo season. Some friends also reco'd The Crown. I'll find time for it.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Freeezinggg... brrr...



So, today, I had my first experience of extremely freezing weather.

Ever since I moved to Tokyo, it has become my habit to check the weather forecast for the day. I rely on the Weather app a lot and so far it has been accurate.

I did see the forecast about the temperatures dropping to 2 degrees (even negative) but I'm stupid and decided to see if I can brave the weather. Lol!

Turns out I couldn't.

When I stepped out of the house this morning, I already felt that it was a different kind of cold today. I only had my trusty CDG scarf with me. Lol! Thankfully, it's only a 3-minute walk from the apartment to the train station.

By the time I reached my office, I was already freezing. I checked the Weather app again and there were no signs of the temp getting warmer today or anytime soon. For some reason, it also felt cold inside the learning center.

After my morning lessons, I had to go to the library in Kudanshita. The book I borrowed was due. I thought the return date was tomorrow. Good thing I checked it this morning and to my horror, I saw that the return date should have been last Monday.

The library is a short walk from Kudanshita Station but because of the weather, it took me forever. I was cursing every step of the way. Haha!

I decided I really have to get a coat. There's no escaping it.

Sooo, I headed to Ginza. I didn't want to spend too much on a coat so I thought of going to a certain department store. If I'm not mistaken, it's part of the Uniqlo family. The price points of the items are really good. I headed to the 5F and tried on a number of coats. I sent photos to some girl friends in Manila to get their opinions.

Well, guess what, I walked out of store empty handed. Haha! I decided I'll go first to my favorite store at the other side of Ginza to see if I can find any awesome piece.

I DID! And it only cost a few thousand yen more than the coats I was looking at.

The difference was I'm in love with the coat that I got. Nah, it's not Comme des Garcons. Again, I didn't want to spend too much on a coat since I know I'll store it in the closet come March next year. Hehe!

There were actually two choices. The other one was an Agnes B Homme. It was a light all black trench. I tried it on but I wasn't happy with the fit. I looked at the other racks and I just wasn't willing to pay the amount. Hehe!

I was almost decided to go back to the other store until I walked over to another rack that sold outerwear/coldwear. There I found it!

It didn't take me long to decide to get it. I thought it was really a steal. Hehe! Thank you, my dear store! You're so bad you're so good!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Morning with Van Gogh, Gauguin, and other Tokyoites...



Finally, I got to visit the Van Gogh and Gauguin exhibit at the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum.

A friend and I agreed to meet before the museum's opening time hoping that most of Tokyo would still be asleep since today is a holiday.

It was a good idea! When we reached the museum, the ticket queue was short and the queue to get in to the gallery was also short. There were 62 art pieces on display. I spent about an hour and a half walking around the galleries. It was a bit crowded but it wasn't as crowded as the Monet exhibit I visited in the same museum last year.

I still remember the first time I saw a Van Gogh (and a Monet and the works of other Impressionists). The National Museum of Singapore had a collaboration with the Musee D'Orsay and a few Van Gogh pieces were brought in. Be still my heart. I never imagine I would ever see a Van Gogh in my life. Like I usually say, I'm a guy with simple dreams. Lol!

Van Gogh, Gauguin and the other artists during their time prolly didn't have any idea that a hundred years later or so, they would become some of the world's most celebrated artists. So, today was another experience to be grateful for.

By the time we exited from the gallery, there was already a long queue of people waiting to get in. Good thing Singapore taught me to be kiasu (sometimes). Haha!

There are still a few museums on my bucket list - The Louvre, Musee D'Orsay, British Museum, the Met, MoMa, The Cloisters (Met), Frick Museum. Oh wait, those aren't a few. Those are a lot! Gotta work work work to be able to fly fly fly! Haha!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

No work tomorrow...

Hooray, there's no work tomorrow!

While I was finishing my last lesson earlier, the thought came to mind and I have to say that I'm relieved I don't have to wake up at 530 tomorrow morning.

As you may have read in the news, this morning was quite interesting.

Usually, I take either the 550AM train or the 559AM train. Earlier, I noticed that the 559 train was delayed. It finally arrived at 6AM. I got on the train and I wondered why it took so long before the train doors closed.

At the same time, it felt that the train was being gently rocked. I thought it was nothing special.

The train driver made an announcement but I couldn't understand it. The only word I caught was jishin, which was the Japanese word for earthquake.

It was only when I reached the office that my suspicion was confirmed. It was indeed an earthquake.

The whole time, my concern was "I cannot be late for work!" Lol!

Oh, I was so touched by the thoughtfulness of my friends. When I checked my phone after my morning lessons, there were loads of messages from Manila, Singapore, and the US asking if I was okay. Thank you for these friends!

Saturday, November 19, 2016

It was all yellow...







Some more photos of the lovely trees lining Icho Namiki.

FALL in love.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Fall in love with fall...



The highlight of the day, or maybe the week is going to Icho Namiki to see the autumn foliage.

Originally, my plan today was go to the Van Gogh exhibit. However, my friend was late and I felt we didn't have enough time to explore the exhibit. Also, I was discouraged by the huge crowd of people visiting the exhibit. Well, it's my fault. It's Van Gogh! Of course, it'll be crowded.

So, instead I suggested we go to Icho Namiki. A client this morning told me about it and that it's a nice spot to see some autumn colors. He was right.

It's my first time to experience Fall and if only for the beautfiul spectacle of seeing brilliant colors, I'm loving fall. Lol!

The Icho Namiki is very near from Aoyama-Itchome Subway Station.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

The power of toasted bread...

In my current home, the wifi access is only limited to the common area - living room and kitchen. I'm not sure about the reason behind it but that's how things are. However, there are LAN ports in every room.

Since I moved in, I've been the only one (or so I think) who goes to the common area with his laptop to connect to the net. Hehe!

So I figured my other housemates prolly have a LAN cable or their own routers in their rooms. I could have gone to any of the electronics shop to get a LAN cable. However, I've been delaying it because I was fine working in the common area. It allowed me to say hi to the other housemates. I'm more concerned with looking for Comme des Garcons deals than a LAN cable. Haha! Priorities.

Anyway, I'm happy to write that I'm now finally typing this on my laptop in my room.

Yesterday morning, I woke up 30 minutes than my usual time. Since I had a lot of time, I figured I could have breakfast at home and save a few hundred yen.

When I got into the common area, my housemate Hiro* was there. He said he forgot his room key at the office so he ended up sleeping at the living room.

After the hi and hello, I opened the fridge and took out my stuff. I needed to buy some groceries again. I still had some hotdog, ham, cheese, butter, jam, but I only had three thick slices of bread left. There was also not much coffee left. Initially, I wanted to make a ham and cheese sandwich and a half strawberry jam sandwich for myself.

My parents raised me well though so I asked Hiro if he wanted some toast. First, I asked him if he wanted butter and jam on his toast. He said he just wanted butter. Stupid me, late did I realise I could also offer ham, cheese and hotdog. Haha! It was still way early I guess. My brain was not yet properly working. Anyway, I did end up offering him other stuff and in the end, I prepped two half ham/cheese toasts and a butter jam toast. I also offered him coffee. Thankfully, there was enough to fill up two mugs. Hehe!

Hiro and I started talking about work and stuff. I told him I needed to buy a LAN cable. Surprise, surprise. He said he has an extra one, which he could lend to me. Hooray!

He also had other stuff to say. Our neighbor is an okonomiyaki/monja place. Hiro told me that the son wants to practice his English because he's going to study in the US next year. Hiro said the family can't pay me in cash, but they were willing to give me good food. Hehe! In my head, I thought the son can afford to go to the US to study but they can't pay my measly fee. Hehe!

Of course, I'm just kidding. I'd be happy to do it for free because it's also good practice for me. I didn't say that, of course. I gave Hiro my free time sched and he said he'd talk to the family. Nice.

See how powerful toasted bread is! It can make a huge change in your life! LOL!