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Archive for March, 2012

So after whining a bit in my last post, I went to immigration on Friday to pick up my new visa and they gave me a period of stay of… 3 years! Apparently this is not super common (maybe because I just came off a 3 year work visa? or because I submitted an adorable picture of us as Disney California Adventure?), so thank you Tokyo Immigration. I hope I don’t see your drab insides until 2015.

For future reference for my Tokyo peeps, never go to the immigration office after it officially opens at 9am. If you get there at 8:30, you can take a number before the counters open and be out of there by 9:15-9:20 if you’re submitting an application. Coming back for my passport stamp, I was done by 9:10. (Then I had to get a re-entry permit which took another 25 minutes but I still got back to work before 10:30am).

I’m taking advantage of my parents’ Kindle library and reading The Hunger Games trilogy. No complaints with my baby Kindle yet. I think the best part about it is not having to hold open a book and flip the pages. Does that make me sounds really lazy? It really makes a difference when you’re in the train and only have one hand free or when you’re curled up in bed with the Kindle propped up in some silly position. No opinion on THG until I’m done with the whole thing. Noji said “This sounds like Battle Royale,” which I can only assume will be the main narrative once the movie is released here. No Hunger Games mania in Japan at this point. But Twilight wasn’t really popular here, either.

Just one more week left of March! Where has the time gone? This is also the two year anniversary of starting my current job. Thank you for funding my beauty addiction. xoxo

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chindle

Monday morning, I called DHL to try to arrange some kind of delivery option that would include me being present to receive it and after a lot of back and forth, they said they’d attempt delivery after 7pm when I got home from work. Success!

This arrived yesterday in an impossibly tiny box. It’s so tiny and light! I am completely overwhelmed looking at the Kindle store and have bought exactly 0 books so far, so I can’t really attest to its readability or anything at this point. Instead I spent most of the day scouring etsy for an adorable sleeve for it. #priorities

Today was the Vernal Equinox which is a public holiday in Japan, so Noji and I had the day off. We’re slowly but surely trying to go through all the restaurants in our neighborhood we always say we want to go to but never do– last week was pizza, this week was monjayaki.

When you order monjayaki, you get a bowl full of different toppings (vegetables, meat, cheese, mochi etc.) in a really thin batter. With a spoon, you spread all the toppings on the grill and cook them a bit, then make a donut shape with them to dump the rest of the batter into. Then you mix it all up and eat it with tiny spatulas while it’s still a bit goopy. You get a mix of different textures and it is delicious! Noji and I had never had it before but it was far superior to the standard okonomiyaki we also ordered. We had a pretty boring beef + vegetable combo today but there are dozens of different possible varieties. muuuust retuuuurnnnn

We were pretty neutral about our neighborhood in the first maybe six months that we lived here, but now that we know where all the cats and the restaurants are, it’s grown on us quite a bit.「住めば都」as they say. Things I would change: remove all the bicycles and set them on fire, knock out our wall and take over the apartment next to us.

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boom/shaka/laka

Today it was 40 degrees and it rained nearly the whole day. Happy Saturday! I have never been sick of winter as much as I am right… now. Tomorrow Noji’s taking the TOEIC so this weekend is a bit of a wash.

So, I’d been thinking about getting an e-reader for a while but I pulled the trigger a few days ago and bought a Kindle touch. Noji and I going to California in May for a hot second and I can’t imagine facing this 14 hour Delta flight without being armed with all kinds of media, plus I get worse and worse at English the longer I am here. Unfortunately, Amazon shipped it via DHL so who knows when or if I will ever get it. DHL’s inability to deliver on: Saturday evenings, Sundays, holidays, after 6 etc. is mind blowing, after you get used to Japanese delivery companies (which are nearly all amazing). I’m going to see if they can leave it in our delivery box or deliver to my work (on Monday– CS not open on Sunday of course), but if not I might not see it until next Saturday. DHL has a slightly better reputation in Asia (IIRC) than elsewhere but I don’t think I’d ever use it if I didn’t have to. Anyway, book recommendations are welcome!

Speaking of mail, I got my immigration postcard today asking me to come back with some cash which basically means that my spouse visa was approved. They’re a bit pessimistic at immigration and I think first-time spouse visas are basically all 1 year so I’ll have to do this all again next year, but being on a spouse visa makes it easier to get Permanent Residence later, so we press on.

ps I bought some nail stickers at Donki on Sarah’s recommendation. “These are so cute, they’re not like you at all!” – Noji.

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half eaten parade

Here’s a post entirely comprised of things we’ve eaten in the last 4 days:

American style pizza! We had huge pepperoni slices with garlic knots covered in butter.

Afterwards, we went to the Pierre Hermé store in Aoyama so Noji could hit me back for Valentine’s Day. They were handing out samples of the macarons and we both tried the raspberry chocolate one which was tdf. They also had a collection of sorbets and frozen treats at the Aoyama store which would make an indulgent summer treat (~700 yen for a 120ml Haagen Dazs sized cup). We ended up buying one of their special White Day cakes (got a bit smashed on the cake box alas), which was a strawberry & rhubarb with cheesecake/cheese mousse, sponge cake, and a passionfruit infused crunchy bit at the bottom.
We meant to eat the rest of it that night but then forgot this bit in the refrigerator until yesterday. Sorry tiny heart corner.

Last in our half-eaten collection, a strawberry Montblanc thing from 7-11 which Noji brought home for me tonight. In Japan, all the convenience stores put a lot of work into their dessert collections so they tend to be relatively well constructed– same with this lil’ guy. My favorite is 7-11 almond jelly, though.

Japan is rockin and rollin and shaking all over the place once again. It’s like being in an extra turbulent airplane! But for like, 365 days.

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productive

This week I have been very productive in that I:

  • Submitted my Japanese taxes
  • Wired the money for my new ring
  • Got my hair cut
  • Submitted my change of visa application

In a few weeks time, I will [hopefully] be a blinged out, tax abiding, properly coiffed lady on a spouse visa!

Tomorrow we are going to do a mini White Day celebration, listen to Big Bang, and keep the TV off as much as possible. The obsession with anniversary and remembrance can be exhausting.

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~*~cos i’m so real

This song is unabashedly my new jam but this video is awesomely bad. I should start offering my services as a k-pop video girl as the standards are apparently incredibly low??

This weekend we did a whole lot of nothing. Noji bought Dead Rising 2 which means I’ve been lulled to sleep by the sounds of zombie attacks for the last week. We did get out of the house today to have some crazy course lunch at the Korean place near our house and it was so much food. I think we got like 6 salads. Right when we were perfectly full, the waitress came over and was like “Shall I bring out the bibimbap now?” Noji overate and  I had to roll him home, Willy Wonka style. He’s still complaining 9 hours later.

Yesterday we saw on TV some crazy tour to Korea where you got 4 (!!) hours in Pusan and then you come home for a couple hundred bucks. “For people who want to shop or eat.” But I wouldn’t mind doing a day and a half shopping and eating through Myeongdong. Also, I hear they have Taco Bell in Korea. I’m home!!!

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