Japan (Final)

So I just realised that I’m leaving for Japan in 3 days, and I ‘m not done blogging about the previous Japan trip (over a year ago). PROCRASTINATION! -smack self- Well, we know what’s going to be on my New Year’s Resolution list this year… Pffft.

So here it goes. My love affair with Japan, and the heart that I am returning to soon.

Anyway, more about my adventures.

Artsy Bit

Yuki and Shoichi are partners in a company that reads books (with music) in various places. They took me to their job today – a children’s hospital. Or more specifically, a children’s hospital and a care centre for those with physical deformities and special needs.

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We spent the entire day, from morning to evening there, stopping for lunch at a lovely udon place. It was becoming autumn, and the momiji were starting to appear above the koi pond.

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As usual, the food was AMAZING. I had mochi udon for the first time! All chewy and stretchy ahahhaa.

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Anyway… why I love Japan so dearly. Watching them work. Watching them read a book from their hearts, with all the commitment and love, even if it was to just ONE person who may or may not be listening at all.

The work ethic poured out from them. I met the director of the hospital and he showed me around the building as well. All their facilities and staff and protocols were committed to making their patients feel as good as possible, even though they were unable to fully express themselves. This is why I love. Everything, born and done out of service.

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The next day, I was supposed to meet Shoichi for a Festival Tokyo (F/T’13) performance called “the long field trip”, but it was only in the evening, so I decided to head to Omotesando to do my nails. That was my virgin gelish experience. So cute right! Ehehe.

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The sun sets over Itabashi. This is where I lost my Suica (train pass) and panicked, because the station masters asked me ??? Shinjuku ?? my Japanese very bad didn’t understand. So I called Shoichi, who just told me to stay put at wait for him to save me.

Which he did.

I just had to pay the fare from Shinjuku to Itabashi. Heh heh. Don’t lose belongings people.

It was an amazing show by the theatre company called “SAMPLE”. The space itself, the Nishi-sugamo Arts Factory was an old school gym, and the performance started with a freaking pick-up truck driving on the stage. Yep. It also had subtitles. Woohoo! I’m going back this year to the arts factory to watch Ninagawa’s “Ravens, we shall load bullets”. Such excite!

Touristy Bit

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The next day was a Chikage bringing me to do touristy things day!

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Because what’s going to Tokyo without going to Meijijingu?

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Looking at the trees becoming flame red in the fantastic weather.

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Eating yakitori in Ginza!

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Going to the Kabukiza!

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Going to the Asakusa Temple! (I obviously crammed being a tourist all in one day, poor Chikage… Ahahah..)

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Chikage, and our dessert. Which was the exact same dessert Yagnya ordered when she went to Asakusa with Chikage. This is why she’s my perfect friend. I miss you woman.

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We went to the Tokyo Skytree at night, looking over Sumida River, and I was awestruck.

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Food in the Solomachi, the shopping mall within/next to the Tokyo Skytree. CALBEE. CHIPS. Fresh and hot with ICE CREAM. I’m going back there, if not for the Skytree, for the beautiful potato chips. Unggggghhh get in my belly!

Also, had sushi and sake with Chikage. My first uni (sea urchin) experience!

.______. creamy.

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The next day was my final day before I flew home! Bought a matcha soft serve (this was the smallest size) in Nakano, and ate it ALL. ^_^

Shoichi had helped me book a Butoh performance at night, so I had the day to kill.

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So relax, I did. I went back to the Skytree Solomachi and had a katsu-omurice. I love omurice. YUM YUM IN TUM TUM. Obviously hungry while writing this.

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This was the dance studio where we waited for the Butoh to start… I was falling asleep because it began with 15 minutes of music and multimedia. But when they danced. WHEN THEY DANCED! Goosebumps! I wanted to stand up in the theatre and gasp and… it was electrifying. Their bodies were so fit, moving with such fluidity and simplicity. No extra movement wasted.

Leaving

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My flight was in the late morning, so I left the hostel early to take the train to the airport.

I took the train to Shinjuku, and changed to the Narita Express to NRT International.

As I was leaving, I knew I left my heart there. I had come to Tokyo, alone, to see if I still loved it. To see why I loved it.

I found myself falling more.

An unexplainable pull. A place that always finds me.

And this is why I’m going back.

 

22 Days

It’s 22 days to May 9, which is the final day of anything college related.

It’s about time I update ahhahha….

If you’ve been following me on Twitter/Instagram, you’d know that I’ve completed my thesis. It’s titled “The Smell of Truth” and explores the use of olfactory elements in the theatre.

So, some backlogged pictures.

 

More pictures of The Winter’s Tale lobby design! Fairylights in bottles. Fairylight anything.

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String installation.

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And a shameless picture of me with a bottle. So dreamy, right! Haha!

I also had a catch-up session with the awesome people I met from Harry Potter : The Exhibition at the ArtScience Museum. We went to Au Chocolat. BEST. PLACE. EVAR. Unfffffff their iced chocolate… #DirtyDirtyEats

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This was also the night that Nadia, Mina and I walked to Potong Pasir from Marina Bay Sands. I was in heeled boots. It got painful at the end but it was INSANELY fun walking with them. We should totally do that again. ^_^

In the food adventure department, have an omelette. It’s not exactly an omelette because it refused to close on itself. Honestly, how do you do it?! So it’s an open-faced omelette with steamed corn, cheese, and basil. Sooooo gooood.

In other news, we recently finished our grad show, Memorabilia. Thank you for coming if you saw it, and YOU MISSED OUT ON AN AWESOME SHOW if you didn’t. 😉 I really enjoyed the process and devising now that I think about it. It was a bit of a torture when I was in the moment, but it really was quite fun. Edith and Brian are geniuses. GENIUSES.

I’ve also been attempting to kick my body clock back to human times, so I’m up at 9AM typing this, then I’m heading to the gym. #HealthyLifestyle

Things Due:

  1. Composition Assessment (The Tempest)
  2. Japanese Accent Assessment
  3. Intercultural Theatre Casebook

Then Showcase. Mark your calendars for May 8 and 9!

Until next time…

Artist Date – #1

Adam told us in class that one of our assignments was to take ourselves out on a date once a week. Ourselves as in our inner artist. The muse. Do something just by yourself and for yourself. He said it’s just like taking someone else on a date, i.e. going for ice cream or doing something that you will never do for yourself but someone else will then taking advantage of yourself at the end of the night (his words, not mine!). So I thought long and hard about what my muse liked and how I’d like to spend some time with it/her/my muse is defo not a guy.

I’m a real snuggly and home-y person at heart. Which means most of the time I’d really rather stay home and watch a movie or snuggle in bed reading a book. I mean I like to travel but in Singapore, I enjoy staying in. Or going to a snuggly food place and having tea/coffee and cake.

My idea of an awesome date would really be staying home, cooking, and eating it in front of the TV watching Lord of the Rings. Unless y’know, it’s one of the first date things where you’re not comfortable with each other yet, then I guess the whole going out for dinner/movie is mandatory. But I’ve known my muse for a long time now and have a working relationship with it. My muse has been tired out and a little stunned lately and I’ve been putting off things that I/it’d really like to do. At this point I do sound like I’m talking about a partner/boyfriend (HAH I WISH) but nope. It’s just me.

So for the comfortable stay-in date with my muse, we/I decided to bake lemon squares! I absolutely LOVE lemon squares. Or any lemon dessert, actually. Or lemon food.

I got my recipe from Eating Well, but replaced canola oil with olive oil. It’s 126cal per serving, so it’s not too bad! The recipe makes 16 servings.

Except the zesting. I really hate zesting lemons now! Haha. You zest for so long and only get about 2 teaspoons per lemon. And the zest gets trapped in my grater! 😦

Combining it all together!

This is just the crust of the  lemon square! 🙂 It then had to be pressed into the baking tray and put in the oven for 20 minutes. After this point there aren’t anymore pictures of the baking process because my hands were all greasy. Just imagine me zesting more lemons and squeezing the juice out and separating an egg yolk from a white using the shell (a skill that I am proud of).

And onto the crust, into the oven it goes!

15 minutes or so later…

And out it goes onto the rack to cool for 2 hours.

Actually I couldn’t wait two hours so I just waited for one. It was cool enough! I didn’t take a picture with the camera so here it is off Instagram (@websteph)!

IT WAS FANTASTIC. Try it at home!

Or if baking isn’t your thing, why not take yourself out on a date? 🙂

S

Finishing A Show

A post about our last show of “6 Characters in Search of an Author”! The last show is always to most emotional / nostalgic for me because… c’mon, LAST SHOW. We’ll never get to do it again! Then the next day you wake up with what I would call a production hangover and you go, “Is this real life?” and then on Monday (today) you’re like “Back to reality WHYYYY”. Being in show is where I’m the happiest. And most tormented and depressed and excited and hungry and sleepy and hyperactive. And they’re not bad feelings.

So. #OOTD on that day! (I need a full length mirror -_-)

Dress from Le Derpina, outerwear from JEANASIS, earrings from Taiwan, and I wore my Lowry’s Farm boots.

Then, you know, the moment I got to the theatre it was a flurry of warming up, putting costume on, doing hair and make-up, running around in fear, excitement and anticipation, too busy for photos! I’ll post production photos soon!

Dex, Yibao, Naina.

This is the only picture I took of people in costume that day. Yeah, I wore that, too. -sucks fats in-

After the show we all went to Bali Lane, to a place called “Nabins”. IT’S SO COSY.

Warm lights and carpets and drapes!

Georgia!

We were in a room upstairs with low tables and we sat on the floor. Very very comfy and snuggly though it smelled vaguely of feet. Probably accumulated over the years.

On our side of the table…

Fries, onion rings, calamari, fish, drumlets!

Post show-hunger, y’know?

We just sat and chilled off our production.. stress. Haha.

Yes, everyone was all snuggly and collapsed. I would have fallen asleep there.

Here, have some happy couple pictures. Hahah.

Gokul + Shaf
Kristina + Rafael (Raffles lolol)
Dex + Qiao Sen

I edited Dex/Qiaosen’s picture first, which is why it looks brighter and the colors are less yellow. Then I couldn’t be bothered anymore haha.

 Silly pictures from the rest of the night.

Then on Sunday, I went to watch COMPANY with Sherri and Wendy! Sherri and I met for dinner, which made us a little late for the show! >_< But we made it inside before it started!

Top – Lowry’s Farm / Skirt – Cotton On / Shoes – Lowry’s Farm #

Yes,  you can see how the cleanliness of my room deteriorated from Friday to Sunday. I ALSO LOVE LOWRY’S FARM SO MUCH. -sob-

COMPANY was lovely, it was really nice to see the LASALLE graduates and catch up with them for a bit after the show. We missed supper with them though – had school the next day!

I got home, got a bit restless and decided to play with makeup before I showered.

THEFACESHOP – Blusher, Primer, Compact Powder.

I love getting new makeup. Yeah, my mom brought this back for me to try. The primer has been so awesome – WHY HAVEN’T I USED PRIMER BEFORE? Your face gets silky smooth!

Nekkid 2 – Urban Decay

This isn’t new, but it’s my favourite palatte of all time. Wendy has Naked (1) but Naked 2 has more matte shades I guess?

It was a good hair day. ^.^

Before

10 minutes later…

._. Well. At least I was going to shower after that.

Yeaaaahhhh this is why I choose to experiment before doing anything. I love awesome eyeliner styles, but I don’t have a steady hand. And it always turns out asymmetrical. Okay, my eyes are asymmetrical but BAH it never looks nice on me.

Yeah. No, Steph. No.

Well, I tried.

Off to do research for my essay. -deep sigh-

Until next time…

Taiwan #04 – Day 4 and 5! (Last)

Picture heavy post ahead, where I’m finishing up the Taiwan Trip posts! So… here we go.

Day 4

We are rolling later and later out of bed. Had rice noodles and onigiri for breakfast, and got ready to hunt for a hair salon! I wanted to have ombre (hey, this was in MAY so ombre was still kind of in then!)

Good morning~

I tried on grey contact lenses I bought from Ximending for the first time – for only SGD$5!! The diameter was too small for my eyes and I walked around with blurry vision all day, though. My pupils are too big.

#ootd

Taken in the bathroom before dying my hair! Okay, this is actually what my hair color is NOW, but try to imagine with me that we are back in May, alright?

So we went around hunting for a legit place and I showed them a few photos.

And we found a place! It was massive and had two floors! It looked more like a mansion that a salon!

 

Chlo doing hair treatment!

It’s quite cool, they have televisions to entertain us.

Chinese Cartoon Network

The dyeing process took 5 hours. I bleached my hair three times. I also couldn’t really understand what they were going to do to me because my Mandarin is terrible. So I sat through the whole ordeal. X_X

Don’t believe the smile!

The above picture was probably the second bleaching round or something because I wasn’t smiling towards the end. FIVE HOURS OF SITTING AND DOING NOTHING.

So after dyeing, we decided to have Japanese curry for dinner! (Going to Taiwan for Japanese food. Sounds reasonable.)

House of Curry

Decided to try this curry place with a massive gorilla outside that we walk past everyday.

My Katsu (curry separate)~

It was quite good.

Chlo’s kare-omuraisu

After dinner we headed to Zhongxiao to look for this brand called “Knightsbridge” at Mingyao but all we saw was a massive Uniqlo.

We went back to SOGO instead and I finally bought a white shirt! Japanese brands why you so nice and expensive.

Headed back to the hotel after buying snacks.

I forgot why Chlo was sad.

We were dead exhausted.

Hair. It doesn’t look like that anymore.

Yeah, my hair was an ash-blonde-grey color at the ends.

With Chlo!

Look at our bloodshot eyes haha. Mine is mostly due to five dollar contact lenses which I took out.

Showered and watched TV, trying to get sleepy enough to fall asleep. Some talk show about Taiwan ghost stories came on while Chlo was showering. We got a bit too spooked and decided to switch to Disney instead.

Watched Halloweentown and was thoroughly amused seeing them speak Mandarin.

Some Lawyer show.

We did facial masks.

Stuffed our faces

 

Day 5 – Homebound

Sleepily rolling out of bed around 9 to pack because we had to check out by 12.

We managed to stuff everything in the luggage!!!!!

Proof.

Oh yes, we showered and had breakfast and all that as well.

Yey.
Bad selca aiming.

We had two hours to kill before taking the bus to the airport. So we left our luggage at the reception.

Bye room!
Happy Chlo is happy.

It was a rainy afternoon. We walked around Ximending and got harassed by people with funny English who wanted to sell us stuff. Ahaha.

Ah Zhong Mee Sua

I think this is the famous mee sua, but I don’t like mee sua.

Bikes

Have some Taiwan street view. There were actually bikes everywhere and in long rows everywhere we went!

Headed back to the hotel to grab our luggage and wait for the shuttle bus.

Reception.

The receptionists, who were pretty awesome. And their uniform is so cute! They even have matching glasses!

We went to wait for the bus, which was late, so Chlo and I panicked. Us waiting in the rain also helped to our panicked misery.

The bus was to ferry us to a larger coach that would take us to the airport. The smaller bus was really cramped and my luggage kept rolling around. T_T

When we got to the larger coach where everything was stored snugly under the bus, I promptly fell asleep until we got to the airport.

Declared duty-free goods, checked in, walked around the duty-free shops. I bought Reader’s Digest to accompany me on the plane.

Before Boarding #successkid.jpg

We’re alive!

And back to Singapore.

Where we got lost at the arrival hall and couldn’t find our way out. Yes, getting lost in our own country. Well done.

AND THIS CONCLUDES TAIWAN!

fullhouse with len and chlo

Well, got loads of things to blog about, but here’s one where Len, Chlo and I went to Fullhouse @ Rendezvous Hotel for dinner.

It was meant to be a WAY belated birthday present presentation for me (my birthday is in October). Yes, we give gifts really late to each other. Ni Ta kor was supposed to be there, but he couldn’t make it. 😦 We still owe him his belated birthday present. Yeah.

The menu has a really cute comic at the back, but it looks like it’s been translated with google translate. T.T Really bad fansubs. Haha!

And this is us. I’m so glad to have known these awesome people. Chlo whom I’ve known for 7 years now, and Len for… Uhh.. 10? 11? 12? I don’t know. Len was the one who introduced me to Chlo in the first place. I’m a naturally introverted and socially awkward person so thank God for Len who makes all the friends for me and taught me human interaction. HAHA! -bricked-

And then the food~

Chlo’s Aglio Olio. It’s baby tomatoes, not cut-up sausages.
Chicken.
Len’s Fish
Wedges.

Yeah, the food isn’t that great. The mashed potatoes were nice.

The decor for the place is great,I guess. Food? Ho-hum. :\

My present!

Len and Chlo with my present. I don’t know why they bothered wrapping it up. I already know what it is. Haha. Yes, we have a system where we shamelessly tell each other what we want, and give them a helpful ebay link.

A la prize presentation
“Oh gee~ I wonder what it is!”

Then opening it..

Carefully trying to open it so as to not rip the wrapper.

5 minutes later…

“Arghhh screw you sticky tape!”
At last!

^_^ Jil by Jil Sander, which I can’t find in Singapore. ❤

Oh what a pleasant surprise!

After dinner, we headed to Cold Stone @ Orchard Central. If you look on the ceiling, you see stains of ice cream that they tossed up too high.

I love you girls. Mwah.

To more crazy things!

Long Overdue : Epic Shit!

Well it’s been ages since I blogged. It’s been so long that I don’t even remember when this dinner happened! But here it goes. Oh look, Oct 1st! Yes, I edited the images but didn’t blog.

Epicness is an artistic shot.

The dinner took place at Isa’s house this time, with her pretty chandelier. We met to buy groceries and trooped over to Isa’s place to prepare food. This time, our dinner inspiration was Gordon Ramsay’s Cookbook (that was a gift from me to Ben for his birthday), to fuel our love for Hell’s Kitchen. Hahaha.

"SHUT IT DOWN!"

Snippets of the said book. I’m not sharing the recipe – Get your own book! 😛 It’s from “Gordon Ramsay Makes it Easy”. That night’s dinner menu consisted of..

Food.

1. Mushroom Soup (Off the internet)
2. Bacon-wrapped chicken thigh (Adaptation of Gordon Ramsay’s recipe)
3. Lamp Chops (Chef Ramsay’s Double loin chops.)
4.  Macaroni Cheese (Adaptation of GR’s recipe)
5. Prawn. (Ben’s finger itchy)

omnomnomn

1. Mushroom Soup
Good. Cooked it, put cream, blended it. I don’t like mushrooms, so this was rather gross for me. >_>  The mushroom smell was so overwhelming I wanted to die.

The frying of.

2. Bacon wrapped chicken thigh.
Chicken thigh wrapped in bacon strips, poached, then pan-fried. Looking at this makes me hungry. Yum. Juicy. Fragrant. Bacon. Yes.

and this, ladies and gentlemen, is the result.

3. Lamp Chops (Chef Ramsay’s Double loin chops.)
Not worth mentioning. It failed, bombed, and died. The mint sauce also failed and looked like weed. We are terrible with sauces.

4.  Macaroni Cheese (Adaptation of GR’s recipe)
Yummy, cheesy, creamy.  😀

5. Prawn. (Ben’s finger itchy)
What you want me to say? It’s prawn that we bought and forgot about.

Dinner was very fun, nice, and epic. We made a review video, but too lazy to edit. I love you gaiz.

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Life update:

Semester One of Level 2 is over.
In the midst of preparation for LIMITLESS, a Joshua Generation Camp 2011. 🙂

I’ll blog about school soon.

Steph