Saturday, December 17, 2011

Glass, Smirch, Masochist and Chaos

The large glass snowmen wish you happy holidays.It was also Barry's birthday, so we had burgers at our new favourite place.Since Santa is coming, we took appropriate hygienic measures.Since Barry's joints have aged prematurely due to overuse in triathlons but he's still a masochist, we now have to design our own. Above, Barry is shown waking up at 5:30am. Below, phase 1.Home-grown triathlons are conveniently located.Barry was very lucky - he came in first place!And won the prize! It was a clock radio, go figure!In other news, Singapore's subway system seems to have melted down last week. One of the most modern in the world, it trapped passengers in trains in the dark for an hour, which leaves me with the question: Do trains not have emergency exits? What if there was a fire? Why bother showing emergency videos in stations, given this?

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Stellenbosch, South Africa

We went to South Africa, where there are scary animals.Although we saw the less scary guinea fowl.
There were also spice mix-up hazards.We practiced our African drumming skills.Barry got a little too into it.Then we had an 80's flashback moment.
The wedding was in lovely Stellenbosch.
It's known for its wineries.Cool wedding band - better than Barry on the drums.And here I am with the happy groom.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Merry Engrish

Right, it's Christmas season, so that means Engrish!
The above repeats for emphasis: "I wish you a Merry and Happy Christmas. May your Christmas be merry and happy".Chaff is a common theme featuring in my Christmas gifts.
The above wins the best Christmas Engrish award this year. Let us examine it more closely.In addition to flying Santas and donuts, there is the lesser known snowman gangster mushroom theft business going on. Maybe those are not mushrooms, but, giant strawberries? I need more information.
Finally, there is my new hero, Hungry Santa, who flies through space with cutlery. Let's go!
Anyway, this is a more persuasive gift bag.
And finally, another advantage of the Christmas tree - living in the middle of plants!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Japanese Characters

Ishigaki is filled with interesting creatures. I worried that taking a picture of an owl with my flash may have blinded it. This worry is clearly shown in my mangled pre-snorkelling hands.Around here, they are really into their Shisa statues. They are lion-dogs, which seems like a cool pet when you can't decide between a dog and a cat.Here, we demonstrate our support. Barry once again attempts his angry scary face, but this time somehow ends up looking like he has no teeth.The tourist shisas were more brightly coloured so we didn't miss them.They warded off evil all over the place.The local public school taught is about international cultures. Italians wear overalls, Aussies like fish patterns, and the Senegalese are angry.It seems the Brits stole a Hudson Bay blanket, and the Ghanaians enjoy their symbol-wear. Pretty sure the Iranian should be covering up a bit better, mind you.The Malaysian demonstrates that we haven't seen enough of Malaysia yet. Davy Crockett was a Canadian? I like the white socks with black shoes. But I like Indonesia and the Irish milkmaid even more.To complete our learning, we went to a restaurant in Singapore serving the same type of Japanese food. This may have helped us if we'd gone before, but also made life less interesting.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Ishigakijima Beef and Awamori

Looking for something to drink with loinclothed Grandpa and the kids at the beach? Well this poster at the Awamori museum, seems to suggest that the at least 60 proof stuff is the answer.The museum did not teach us much else, since we have not learnt to read Japanese yet. But apparently old rusty machines have been replaced by big shiny new vats.Barry and I enjoyed the tasting part, although we wore more clothes.
We were also confused by the references made by this cold coffee, as always.
I learnt much more quickly than Barry to order "Olion biru", shown above. We did not figure out why so many things referenced constellations and astrology, mind you.Barry got his points for learning to order Ishigaki Beef, albeit by accident and raw the first time.I'm going to repeat this a few times for emphasis. Cook for a few seconds on each side, look how delicious.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Remote Japanese Island

Ishigaki is a pretty little beach town with gravel and walls made of washed up coral. Back in, well some year, they started driving on the other side of the road, as illustrated by this monument.After that, it seems, things got a little quiet.Pretty from up high... But if you look a little closer, there are lot of big areas of creepy big crypts!Scary, no?Then we noticed that some of the houses were bit empty, and missing windows.Do you think the goat mural goes nicely with the curtains?We also found signs of Canada.Which, upon closer inspection, turned out to be Engrish!If Ishigaki gets too hectic, you can go to Taketomi island, population 361. You get the beach to yourself.
However, even here slightly creepy creatures linger. We learnt that some sea slugs are squishy and others hard.And also what restrooms do at night.