Japan

29 Nov 2015 – Suburbs Of Ayabe

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Wed: grey skies and a nice stroll around our farm-house accommodations on the outskirts in this small village of Ayabe. I can breath again in this beautiful nature.

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The public hot-bath on the hills app half hour walk or 5mins drive from the farm-house

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They serve a good salad with a good view. Here you pick what you want to eat and they weigh your dish and one pays by the weight (minus the weight of the plate). Best pumpkin tempura I have had.

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Lovely walk back and side-tracked to one of the many shrines where the old stone-stairs were treacherous to climb up and down.

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PP wisely decided against going further after one flight of stairs, while we continued. On our way back, I had to practically go on four down the stairs and one fell, thank goodness, no serious injury and nothing broken! To discover later that there was another safer way there, but it was an experience to climb the old stairways to heaven 🙂

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2 nights of farm-cooking with organic produce from Yoshime’s garden were a treat to the stomach. The first night we got to taste all kinds of home-brew, including shark-sake, not my favourite but was appreciative to have been offered and to have tried.

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Best mackerel sashimi tasted and the Camilla tempura was interesting

Yoshime drove us to catch our half-hour bus ride to connect to the trains. In contrast to our arrival in the dark, we could now see the lovely views of this country-side. Seemed like we were probably the youngest passengers on the bus. Even I stood up for a seemingly older passenger 🙂

Appreciations to a delightful hostess for this highly recommended wonderful farm-stay. 2nights+2breakfast and 2dinners JPY20,000 S$234. We were undercharged and had to tell her the mistake!

13 Dec 2015: edited…

We Care Pals

25 Nov 2015 – Marine Parade Residence Committee

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Fri: TGIF – a wonderful weekend to all. SIN is amazing, this was hand-delivered to me this morning by the MPRC because I am a senior and living alone in public housing

Sat: sewing, packing and stressing out – my walking shoes seemed to have gone on holidays without me???

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Sun: got to the airport in time to buy another pair of shoes. Saw a wedding party in T3Basement and asked if they were having a Star Wars Wedding? They were not aware that Star Wars is the theme at present. When I went up to the Departure Hall, there they were! May the Force be with them and with us all. Time and tide wait for no one and I need to ride on the Tiger (RT SIN-HKG-SIN S$265.77)

Change to JetStar in HKG and thank goodness flights were on schedule. Tiger arr 1810hrs and JetStar (OW HKG-KIX S$187) dep  2045hrs, had to go thru’ immigration and recheck in again. Even time for a bowl of wonton mee, expensive and not good!

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Mon: JetStar dep on time arr Osaka 0110hrs. Immigration took nearly 2hrs but no worries as the first train into town was not until 0545hrs. Was not about to take a cab as that would have cost as much as my air ticket. Found 4 seats where I could close my eyes and lay down for a couple of hours. Safe with the police station there.

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First train from KIX into town 05.45hrs (JPY92- S$11). Good to see PP safe and sound checked into the Swissotel 24Floor for 1night (S$175). Nice morning stroll on this Labour Thanksgiving public holiday. The lines for the 0930hrs movies started before 0830hrs.

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Fresh baked goods selling like hot cakes but they was just too much for PP & me. But PP needed her coffee, even when the cup is red 🙂

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Finally found where to activate our JR Rail Pass (JPY38,880 S$442 for 2weeks) after being sent around 2 other different stations the whole morning! Only a few stations will activate the pass and you will need your passport to do that. Once activate, you can buy your tickets at most stations.

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Osaka Floating Garden and Observatory of Umeda Sky Building (JPY700 S$8+) and the area around it.

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Appreciations to Kazumi Kobayashi (friend of Yoshie Osawa) for her kind help and hospitality as our guide for the day!

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Unforgettable 12 course meal at Fujiya****(JPY15,045 S$157, our most expensive meal in Japan) to start our autumn trip in Japan.

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Tue: train from Osaka to Kyoto (25mins) to meet with #3 and so starts with the 3monkees and their annual get-together and this year to celebrate our 60yrs of friendship 🙂  Delicious lunch at Tousuiro Gion****(JPY2,494 S$30) Kyoto consisting of tofu and veggie.

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Strolling for an hour+ in Kyoto before catching the train to Ayabe.

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Train from Kyoto to Ayabe (1hr) to catch bus at Oomachi to be picked up to our accommodations – Ayabe Yoshimizu.

Travel, in the younger sort, is a part of education; in the elder, a part of experience – Francis Bacon

12 Dec 2015: edited

Too Much Action

19 Nov 2015 – Need Some Quiet Time Before Travel

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Mon: the sewing machine is out to fix some clothes for the cooler Japan weather. Without the help of this needle threader, there would be no sewing! As it is, it is even tough to see anything with it – signs of aging 😦

7e62e67e9a_192x272_5e1e8da2dbTue: Miss You Already***Milly and Jess have been best friends since forever, they’ve shared almost everything from secrets, clothes to boyfriends. Their friendship is as strong as ever, and they plan to keep it that way, until Milly is hit with the life-changing news that she has breast cancer. While Jess wants to be there for Milly, she also desperately wants to start a family. Their bond is soon tested by their different fates.

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Lawrence&Mabel are in SIN for a few days. Tkx for home-cooked dinner at Les&Ivy.

acc5365c2a_345x518_8388e165c9Wed: Return of the Cuckoo***a film adaptation of the hit TV series by the same name, the movie continues the story where the series left off.

15yrs on, the city of Macau has changed a lot but not the people and their compassion. In a twist of events, Kwan-Ho’s husband dies in a car accident and she reunites with Man-Cho in Macau. Can true love really stand the test of time?

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Appreciations to Les&Ivy for this fine dinning at Buona Terra*****where their

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Uovo Soffiato, Egg Soufflé with Potato Cream, Porcini Mushrooms and Black Truffle is out of this world – a new dish to me.

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Les did an excellent job with pairing the wines with the different courses. Am blessed and if this is paradise, let me stay 🙂

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Thu:  started early today hoping to get off at some earlier bus stop to walk to MtE. Just as well I did – a fallen tree was blocking Marine Parade Rd at Neptune Court and no traffic would pass by there. Fast-walked to East Coast Rd to take the bus from there instead.

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Everything went smoothly after some minor diversions. Was just relief to be on the bus and as we pass by Park Mall, this sign caught my attention! Talk to a Fire Hydrant????? No not about to waste my limited minutes on my mobile. By the time the bus pass by the Thai Embassy, there was a man lying by the gate, hope that he is OK and somebody called for help.

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Blood test went OK. On the way to H&H people were enjoying their day painting here on Middle Rd. Thanks to Aileen for my travel print-outs and for dim-sum lunch at Bugis Crystal Gate***

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Was in and out of the Geylang Polyclinics within 2hrs. The Marine Parade Polyclinics is under revamp. Was delighted to catch the free shuttle bus from Geylang back to MP. Consultation + 3 different meds for 4mnd – S$0, completely subsidized. Nice to be a senior in SIN 🙂 🙂

I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. Which is what I do, and that enables you to laugh at life’s realities ― Dr. Seuss

Sjømannskirken

15 Nov 2015 – Translated Literally=Seamen’s Church

12239644_10153620290941550_5706021003730304012_nFri: prayers and thoughts to all effected in Paris. Condolences to those who have lost anyone in any of these horrible bloodshed,  destruction of life, killings, etc etc, where no words are able to describe or reflect the feeling of sadness within.

Is there a solution? Are there anyways to prevent this?? How and who can stop these atrocities, bombings and shootings???

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-34823938

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Sat: The Norwegian Church in SIN, 300 Pasir Panjang Rd is situated at the top of the steepest hill in SIN. Now this location is shared with the Church of Sweden, which is new to me. When I was last there over a decade ago, seemed like Sweden was not part of it?

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This venue is not only a church but here you can taste Norwegian waffles and gaze at one of the world’s largest container ports, very appropriate view for a Sjømannskirken.

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Helping with their Christmas Bazaar and for me, only the Scandinavians know how to celebrate a real Christmas – note that this is very subjective 🙂 Not being a believer or a follower in any organized religion, but still have respect for the Sjømannskirken where its original purpose was to take care of their seafaring folks who are away from home.

Blessed are those who can give without remembering and take without forgetting.

Those who are interested will also know that Norway has a long maritime and seafaring history back to the viking days. Even today they stand out as the world’s most reputable maritime nation.

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Besides a place of worship, all the Sjømannskirken around the world provide a comfortable roof where Norwegians can have a taste of home away from home ie to keep them safe off the streets! But also use for a social gathering place too.

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Such a small world, the flutist here studied in Tromsø Music Conservatory in the 1990s. Then Tromsø Musikkskole & Conservatory used to be where I was teaching, but was sadly burnt down in 1979.

https://www.sjomannskirken.no/singapore/

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Thank you to all, especially to Carmel & friends, Hannah, Faith & her parents, who came to support the bazaar yesterday.

Appreciations for a nice pleasant pot-luck dinner with Clem and Sue who brought enough food to feed an army 🙂 Great to be able to catch up in peaceful and quiet surroundings at Marine Cres, especially when the weekends where everywhere in SIN is like a zoo.

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Sun: thank you to Peggy for a yummy popiah (SIN burrito) lunch party in honour of MaryAnn who is visiting from NZ. Like the idea when I can choose the ingredients I wish in my popiah.

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Peggy’s Mt Kinabalu and old CHIJ classmates groups. Good to see Janet (PT sis), Angela and Pat. Tkx Angela for her yummy lemongrass fish jelly.

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Tastefully presented dried MeeSiam dish brought by one of the guests. Connecting more dotes – 11th aunt Diana (90) was the boss to MaryAnn & Constance when they were all working SIN Income Tax!! Amusing to hear about what they thought of their ex-boss before they knew that she is my aunt 🙂

MaryAnn & Constance, if you are reading this post, you might be interested to check out the posting below.

https://amylamsg.wordpress.com/2015/09/01/bye-bye-summer-2015/

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Lim Kay Tong

13 Nov 2015 – My Favourite Local Actor

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Thu: lunch at National Museum Food For Thought***The calamari-bacon salad was tasty and no matter what anyone says about bacon or any other food – everything to moderation.

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My favourite local actor, Lim Kay Tong was also lunching there. Saw him on TV first when visiting SIN in the 1990s with Growing Up**** Forever Fever (1998)**** and this year in 1965**** where he was LKY…

3811cef8a0_192x272_91ebb83db41telling the engaging and touching stories of immigrants and natives during the time leading up to the independence of SIN. The protagonists were a part of history in the making; they become the pioneer generation who live to see beyond the prejudice and fear of racial hatred and ultimately face the challenge of nation building – a mirror reflecting the fragility of racial harmony in our world today.

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SIN National Museum never fail to impress me. Really like the way how the contrast of old and new

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are jointed together without destroying or demolishing the old.

IMG_6448German Film Festival – Angst Vor Der Angst/Fear Of Fear**Margot knows that the anxieties she began to feel in the last months of her pregnancy and that have become worse since the birth of her child. She loses herself to a crippling fear of fear.

Two nights of Margit Carstensen’s acting is enough!

IMG_6446Fri: looks like another dark German movie tonight – I Only Want You To Love Me. Giving that a pass for something more cheerful and looks like I have broken a finger!!!

About a year ago, during SIN 25th International Film Festival/SGIFF, was unable to attend the last two movies as I was hospitalized. Getting paranoid about film festivals and Fri 13th 😦

When a man points a finger at someone else, he should remember that four of his fingers are pointing at himself – Louis Nizer

Deepavali 2015

12 Nov 2016 – Festival of Lights

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Mon: the advantage of being a senior and living in public housing in SIN – 4 safety handle bars (the white ones) installed in my bathroom for S$25.68 ie paying 3% and 97% subsidized by AhKong.

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Tue: to those celebrating, Happy Deepavali/Diwali, a public holiday here in SIN. To those who wonder what this is all about – the ‘Festival of Lights’ dates back to ancient India, commemorating the triumph of light over darkness and the victory of good over evil.

David SifryKhalzuri Yazid

For some, this also marks the beginning of the Hindu New Year. The diversities and multi-cultural backgrounds in SIN are quite unique. We celebrate new years for the Chinese, Indians, Malays and the 1Jan, public holidays for all.

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Feeling blessed and looking forward to tasting the food in colourful Little India. Being no fan of crowds+heat, will go another day to eat my favourtie chicken biryani at Tekka Market.

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/in-pictures-little-india/2248212.html?cid=FBSG

Diwali pix downloaded from various sites.

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Wed: Myanmar President Thein Sein congratulated democratic champion Aung San Suu Kyi on Wednesday (Nov 11), as her party appeared to have trounced the ruling camp in the first free election in 25 years and inched towards an absolute majority in parliament…

http://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/myanmar-president-thein-sein-congratulates-aung-san-suu-kyi-vows-stable-transition

MV5BMTk2NjY4NTMzNl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMTAxMDEzNDE@._V1_SX214_AL_Watched 2 movies and should have just not have done both on the same day as they were rather depressing flicks. Drop Box***One winter, a pastor finds an abandoned infant on his church steps, and builds ‘a drop box’ to rescue any future foundlings. Reminded me of the ‘Gate of Hope’ at CHIJ.

Award-Winning Documentary About Life.

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19th German Film Festival 2015 started last weekend. Managed to get 3 free tickets featuring at the National Museum. Martha***Marriage and patriarchal dominance where Fassbinder draws his audience into the complex emotional trap of Martha, an overly obedient wife on her path to destruction at the hands of a cruel possessive and sadistic husband.

There is overwhelming evidence that the higher the level of self-esteem, the more likely one will be to treat others with respect, kindness, and generosity― Nathaniel Branden

Historic Moments

9 Nov 2015 – In SIN & Myanma

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Leaders of China Mr Xi and Taiwan Mr Ma will be meeting in SIN Shangri-La Hotel for talks. This is quite a historic event. The last official meeting between China & Taiwan was in 1949! Let’s hope and pray that the outcome will be good and peaceful for all. Pix credits to ST.

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Fri & Sat: TGIF and have a good one. Let’s catch up at Campers’ Corner where I will be serving Sangria at their Arc’teryx Fall 2015 Sales. Quoting Garry – Amy running the drinks.? Like Dracula in the blood bank methinks...  🙂 🙂 🙂

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Sun: needed to recover from the Sangria and from standing for 2days! Woken by the drums and singing. Thinking it was another Malay wedding at the common areas, but it turned out to be some Malay Heritage awareness. Too tired to bring myself downstairs. Just these 2 pix taken on the way to the bus and was short of time.

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Supporting The Necessary Stage’s Theatre for Seniors at the Esplanade featuring brand new works by members. Rise of the Phoenix comprises two plays—Waste***chronicles the story of Peter Lee, a tour guide whose wife leaves him and is haunted by the ghost of his mother, and Lost***explores the relationships and the revelation of unspoken truths as a mother leaves her family.

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Pleasant surprise to bump into Eleanor who I have not seen for ages! Glad to learn about Semakau Landfill from the play. Had no idea about this island until today. Must visit this impressive island made of rubbish! Semakau pix downloaded.

http://www.zerowastesg.com/tag/semakau-landfill/

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Mon: good Mon morning. Safe journeys and hikes to Calvin, SengTeong and PengHann who will be heading to Taiwan. Testing out this HMG ultralite backpack for future use. Appreciations to Calvin of CC for the pack.

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http://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/controlled-excitement-among-myanmars-voters-as-election-is-conducted-peacefully

Another historic moment to be inserted into history books.

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