Saturday, December 29, 2007
"Change is hard because people overestimate the value of what they have—and underestimate the value of what they may gain by giving that up."
Flight of the Buffalo (1994)
對, 人生中的大改變, 人總不敢輕舉妄動: 買樓, 賣樓, 結婚, 離婚, 轉工, 轉行, 移民, 搬屋, 買車, 換車, 做生意, 繼續學業, 流浪... 不過夠膽去改變, 往往可以帶來意想不到的結果.
我一向喜歡改變. 從小到大, 如髮型, 裝束, 光顧的餐廳等等都不喜歡永恆不變. 但近年來許多事情都迫使我不能改變(當然不只髮型, 裝束和光顧的餐廳). 近日都在放假, 有時間想想自己的人生, 其實數數手指, 我的人生已過了一半(如果有六七十歲), 真的有點mid-life的感覺. 回望過去, 再看看現在的自己, 我覺得是時候想想是否要鼓起勇氣作點大改變. 或許2008是我作大改變的時候. 叫自己不要高估現在擁有的及低估因改變而帶來的得著.
I have to make my life better!
排除萬難, 今天終於可以九時多從酒店開始駕車出發到阿蘇動物園(Cuddly Dominion)(熊本縣)見阿笨與阿占了! 先說萬難何是? 起程前大家閨秀和mad dog都並不贊成駕車, 怕危險和四人日語水平近乎零. 幸得我極力堅持, 事後眾人都異口同聲說駕車是明智之舉. mad dog說看了某篇報道說山路狹隘, 何來之有? 就如人生一樣, 未來是一個問題, 人總是怕但往往又充滿驚喜!
終於到了阿笨阿占動物園. 不論大家是否牠們的fans, 十分值得一來. 除了有阿笨阿占劇場(足三十分鐘)外, 還有超過30種動物可見到. 有些還可零距離觸摸, 包括小熊和小驢, 而我還可和阿笨拍照, 影貼紙相, 與及大掃"阿笨阿占"貨啦! 只有在動物園裡找到, 日本其他地方都沒有.
之後大家到了溫泉酒店check in, 原來就在動物園對面, 酒店十分大, 有數個溫泉, 又包一泊兩食. 雖然晚餐並不在房間內進食, 但十分豐富, 和食有十多款食物.
一天的行程終於完結, 亦來到這次旅遊的尾聲. 因翌晨便要一早離開回福岡機場還車回香港.
補充: 那晚我們都有再浸溫泉, 不過環境及質素都不及福岡市那個好, 且人也多, 不過都包在酒店住宿費內. 晚上九時多我們四人更玩了一個多小時的撲克; 另本來有一個Balloon Festival, 保險姐姐一直都說這個很吸引, 不過我們都不打算乘氣球, 其實她唯一來阿蘇的目的都是見阿笨與阿占, 其他什麼地方不去也沒問題. 所以我們也沒有上阿蘇火山...
有人喜歡在facebook放了一大堆搔首弄姿的近照, 一副搵佬溝的姿態. 看了, 不禁一呆, 乜事?!
只是, 晚上上跳舞課時, 找到一個不錯位置, 面對扶把時, 可以藉著窗子的倒影看到自己整個背面(全身). 然後發覺, 雖則近日吃得多了, 也希望可以減到八磅左右. 不過原來我仍然頗fit! :) 哈! (and I really have a nice butt! :P)
加多句無聊嘢: 上圍size普通也有好處, 就是可以穿一些有pat的背心加外衣, bra也可以不戴便跑上街, 一樂也! :)
Thursday, December 27, 2007
此先生不懂中文, 會說但不會寫不會讀, 所以以英語表達. 文中不少令我捧腹大笑飛眼水的文字, 沒想到他是如此搞笑抵死.
Those of you who are wondering why I have an entry here, it is because Mad Dog has been kind enough to extend an invitation to each of the member of our small group to write one day's account of our trip. The idea was actually put forward during a delicious dinner on a rainy day in downtown Fukuoka. Since I thought it would be fun, I have volunteered to write about the third day of our trip. Please forgive me if my entry is not very concise as this is the first time I am doing this. The entry will be from my personal view point and thus may be slightly biased. Other members of our trip may not concur with what I have to say.
Before I start my entry of the day, I think I need to give you guys a little information on my state of mind and background with regards to this trip in order to understand my point of view. As you guys are aware, our little group is made up of four members namely Mad Dog, the insurance highflyer (保險界女強人), the "Tai Ka Kuwai Sau" (大家閨秀) and me. While the first three members of our group have been close friends for more than two decades (must be wondering how old they are right?), I on the other hand am only close to "Tai Ka Kuwai Sau" and know Mad Dog and the insurance highflyer mostly through stories I have heard about them as I have only met them less than ten times prior to this trip.
From what I have heard, Mad Dog and the insurance highflyer are two of the more (shall we say) interesting people within their regular group of friends. Stories that stand out in my memory include the taxi kicking and police seeking incidents. As such while they may be more familiar to you as Mad Dog and the insurance highflyer but somehow I can't seem to shake off the image of taxi kicking and police seeking when I think about them. Therefore I shall refer them as Taxi Kicker and Police Seeker respectively in my entry. As for "Tai Ka Kuwai Sau", I would prefer to refer to her as Little Sweet Potato (小蕃薯).
With the above, let me start my entry.
New Otani Hotel (我們住的酒店)
We are on our third day of our trip in
At the revised appointed time, all four members congregated in one of the hotel room to discuss the itinerary for the day. Good thing for us, Taxi Kicker and Police Seeker have both done their research thoroughly. The discuss was not so much a discuss so to speak, but more of Little Sweet Potato and me listening while Taxi Kicker and Police Seeker told us about the suggested itinerary. In no time it was agreed that the itinerary of the day is to be as follow:-
- Go to Outlet shops (Marinoa City) have some food and do shopping
- Visit the Ferris wheel which is located next to the outlet shops
- If time permit, go to another shopping area in the vicinity
- Return to down town
to do more shopping Fukuoka
- And last but not least, have dinner at a "decent" looking restaurant in the words of Police Seeker.
Having agreed on the itinerary the next thing we had to decide was the mode of transport. We had two options either we take the bus which cost 400 yen each and will take us about half an hour or we take the taxi. Given the fact that our taxi trip from the airport to the hotel only cost us around 2000 yen, Police Seeker suggested we take the taxi. But just to be on the safe side we should ask the hotel receptionist how much it would cost if we do take the taxi. It turns out that the taxi trip to the Outlet shop would cost us a small fortune, so we decided to take the bus.
The bus trip was quite pleasant. We only had to wait for about five minutes before the bus arrived. We witness the hustling and buzzing city recede into the serene sea side town. Beautiful houses lined the road along the way. We even saw the Chinese embassy at one point. (個中國領事館好大吓!)
There were plenty of shops at the Outlet shops complex. But the first order of things FOOD!!! But what to eat?? No worries, we have been told by one of our member that
Lunch for four consist of Spaghetti Bolognese, Spaghetti Carbonara, seafood risotto and local pizza. The spaghettis were a total let down but the local pizza (明太子pizza) was quite nice. Can't comment on the risotto cos it's not my forte and I didn't eat any. Was told it was okay though.
It was shopping time after lunch. We (i.e. The girls and the guy) agreed to go our separate ways and meet back at around 3pm which mean we have about 1hr and 30 mins to shop. At 3pm the lone figure of Little Sweet Potato showed up at the meeting telling me that the girls need more time. Apparently they were at the Pharmacy for almost 1 hour. I was told one particular member was grabbing everything within sight. Anyway, we ended up spending an extra 1 and a half hours shopping. That effectively ruled out shopping in the other shopping area we have talked about earlier. Biggest spender of the day was Taxi Kicker. Not one to return empty handed, I managed to get a towel and a floor mat there!
在某outlet店見到這件原價近萬元港幣的Ralph Lauren jacket, 保險界女強人說很漂亮, 沒有人買下, 只拍了照片
給我發現Willy Wonka朱古力! 記得"Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory"(1971)及"Charlie and the Chocolate Factory"(2005)嗎?
這個outlet mall殊不簡單. 有難得的名錶, 有小型超市, 有一間頗大的旭屋書店, 還有Muji, Franc Franc, Vivayou, Ozoc, 藥房(勁多化妝品及護膚品), OshKosh, 一些集合多個品牌的店舖(如Antiprima + Sinequanone), True Religion(牛仔褲比Harvey Nichols便宜, 約七折, 不過款式較少), 太多記不下.
逛至四時多在Starbucks竭一竭, 這裡由於牛奶出名, 星記的咖啡也比香港的好味. 保險界女強人叫了一杯White Chocolate, 說非常非常好味, 還來了一件cinnamon roll. 我在星記買了一個decorated pretzels給自己作聖誕禮物, 很漂亮的!
Next destination, the Ferris wheel!! There were two Ferris Wheels next door to the Outlet shops. A smaller one and a bigger one. Being Chinese, we are of course "Kai Su" so we went on the bigger one (應該有三十層樓高, 你都咪話唔驚!). The view was pretty good. Can't help but think about the accident that happened earlier during the year though. The fact that one of our members is very afraid of heights does not help either. The look she had on her face seems to radiate fear. We had to synchronise our moments when we were moving within the compartment. (要同步移動因為四人中有兩位較重嘛!)
After the Ferris wheel, it was back to down town
The girls then decided to go to Iwataya (岩田屋) to buy some gifts for their friends. Iwataya!! The one place I was worried about. Cause, unbeknown to the rest of the group members I was fighting a lone battle within myself. I actually saw a particular item that I wanted to buy the night before. Although I did not mention it again during the day, I was actually thinking of whether to buy that item or not. To buy or not to buy. That is the question. While the girls were busy selecting gifts for their friends, Little Sweet Potato came up to me and asked if I wanted to buy the item. Alas, that was the last straw. How can I resist the temptation when it is so near? I ended up buying that item and overtaking Taxi Kicker on the amount of money spent during the day!!
Now for the last item on the itinerary! FOOD!! What more, in the “Decent” restaurant. But wait. What constitute decent? Your definition of decent may be different from mine. What is more, what does it mean coming from Police Seeker aka the Insurance Highflyer??? Anyway, while it was not explained to us in detail we have been told in no uncertain terms that, that is the expectation of Police Seeker for the night. Bear in mind, by now we have left the hotel for more than 11 hours practically shopping and walking around non-stop apart from lunch and the Ferris wheel. It was cold, raining and we were probably carrying around 5 to 6 kilos of stuff each. And to top it off, we were in the middle of a city we were not familiar with looking for a “Decent” restaurant which was not defined.
Anyway, we decided to try our luck down the road. Four practically blind mice were running down a road filled with puddles. The first “decent” looking restaurant from the outside turned out to be a weird place where people had to eat standing. That did not qualify as a decent restaurant to me let alone to Police Seeker aka the Insurance Highflyer. So we decided to run down the road for another 50 meters. Police Seeker surveyed the building and thought two restaurants looked barely passable. Meanwhile I looked at Taxi Kicker who was by now drenched in rain and wondered when she will show some of her taxi kicking attitude. To my surprise, she was very accommodating and even suggested we walk further down the road. Police Seeker in the meantime decided that although the two restaurants looked passable, they were not her idea of “decent” instead she has decided to go across the street to look for alternative. By now, the remaining three practically blind mice have decided to stay put while she did her exploration. To my surprise, Police Seeker bid us to go over to her indicating that a “decent” restaurant has finally been found. We were told that there were not only one, but two “decent” restaurants in that one building. At this point I commented to Taxi Kicker that whatever decision we are to make, we have to be quick as it was a Friday night and we are after all in down town
Anyway, Police Seeker has chosen the restaurant on the 4th floor as opposed to the 3rd floor. I was just glad that we will finally be out of the rain. Just as we thought we have found our perfect restaurant, we were told that the restaurant was full and that we were not even allowed to wait for a table. At this point, Police Seeker did not look too happy but we quickly suggested we try the restaurant below. To our relief, while they did not have a table for us immediately a table would be available for us in ten minutes. To top it off, they had five chairs for us to sit on while waiting. I can't begin to express how it felt to be able to finally sit down. At this point, Police Seeker requested that we should have a separate "compartment"!!! To which the waiter just gave a blank look (this is in a country where the waiters don't even understand "bill" in English). By this time, the rest of the three practically blind mice just laughed our heads off. One minute later we found out how lucky we were as the next group that came in were turned away.
是晚晚餐很滿意, 格局像香港的火間土但更好一點. 吃了這麼多, 結賬仍然是九千多日元, 平到笑! 那個雞翼(大的)好吃得不得了, 叫了兩碟. 抹茶雪糕加黑糖二十個正! 霜降牛有點荒謬, 只得三片, 不夠分! 不過也只是580日元. 那個後來才叫的蝦球, 每人有兩件, 好吃到暈! 也是五百多日元. 還叫了巨峰提子酒, 味道有點淡.
晚上吃飯前我們在三越買了許多手信, 因為翌日便會離開福岡往熊本縣阿蘇去, 而前兩天是幾近沒有買過任何手信, 連給自己的東西也差不多沒有, 所以今天是搶灘日.
一部份的化妝品... 有自用, 有送人的...
早上出發前在酒店附近的超市買了一些手信, 也再買了昨晚吃過的士多啤梨, 這次是1400日元兩包, 不過沒有昨晚的甜.
Anyway, the restaurant turned out to be a great restaurant and good food. And yes, we did get our separate compartment as every table within that restaurant was in a separate compartment. For me, I was very glad that everything worked out fine. By the way, it was at this dinner that the idea of each member volunteering to write an entry for each day. I just can’t resist volunteering to write about this wonderful experience. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mad Dog, the Insurance Highflyer and Little Sweet potato for their time and effort to make this trip so interesting and fun. It was my privilege to get to know them better. Hope we will have another fun trip together again.