Saturday, 9 August 2014

Travelogue : Neon Goes Japan (Hokkaido Day 5)


Risssse and shine and Day 5's adventure begins! Ok, well, honestly, we started off the day with a really bad footing. So if yo've read the previous post, and if you haven't here it is. And the night before we told our Japan parents we will wake up at 7:30 tomorrow so we can have enough time to do whatever we are going to do that day. 

So I was in my beautiful NATURAL cold Hokkaido snooze, and I heard the alarm from my iPad go off, and it was 7. So I turned over to see Vishnu happily snoring away, so I reckoned, 'aiya, you know what, 15 minutes more of sleep wouldn't kill'. Right? WRONG! Cause the next time I woke up, 


In my defense, I wasn't the only one ok, Vishnu woke up at that time too! And both of us looked at each other like 'FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK, are we going to die?! Do they hate us already?! Fuck, ok we'll release their parakeet.'. HAHA! Cause back in Singapore and even in Japan the lecturers was like punctuality is a BIG THING THERE, everyone usually is not just on time, but like 15 minutes earlier. I should've known, but I've never been on time ever! Not even for classes, so let's be honest, if I ain't on time in Singapore, there's no way I can be on time here. 

So we heard them say 'Good Morning', in their cute Japanese English, and our plan was to apologise PROFUSELY and don't even attempt to look them in the eye. The moment we opened the door. Our guilt rose up to like MAXIMUM, cause THEY ALREADY PREPARED BREAKFAST, and they were waiting for us LIKE WTF. Gone already, their good impressions for us is gone with the wind. 

The worst thing was, they were still so nice to us wtf, they were like 'Good Morning, how was your sleep?', and they were smiling at us, telling us to eat breakfast. OMG brb going to cry. And for the whole time we were google translating how apologetic we are and how bad we felt. And they were like it's ok, it's fine, let's eat. 

Now that the guilt is over. 


My editing skills are on point ok! Anyway, breakfast that day was mackerel, rice, miso soup with tofu, and veggies. 

Ever since coming back from Japan, I AM IN LOVE WITH JAPANESE RICE. IN L-O-V-E. I are head over heels on the sticky Japanese rice, it's not like undercooked sticky, but mmmm moist sticky. Aiya, can't put it into words, but just go to any Japanese restaurant and you will understand. The mackerel was amazing ok, like it was nicely seasoned, and little bit salty, and they were nice enough tot de-bone the fish for us! WTF, they are so nice! As for the veggies, if you read day 1's post, you will understand how I need meat to survive. And veggies were never my thing, and I don't want to be rude leaving a plate untouched, so I literally DROWNED the veggies in mayo and downed it almost without chewing. That's just shows my resentment towards veggies, unlike Ambrella, she can down it like it's goddamn chocolate milk, like *slurpslurpslurp*, can I have another 25?! HAHHAAH.

I don't know if this is a placebo effect, but I feel like Japan makes you naturally better looking, HAHA, but I just randomly took a photo with my real glasses, which I usually look ratchet as fuck, but I look cute in it ok. 



I know I look like crap ok, but for lucky reasons, Japan made me look nicer. Ahhh, god bless Japan. ANd those glasses aare RayBans, so don't be talking smack.

 OMG, they have a giant hamster, and it is super fierce, I tried to touch it and it shouted and trie do to bite me. And if you think a hamster's bite is very inoffensive, think again. I had hamsters before, their bite may be small, but it hurts like a bitch. It's a small but sharp pain.

AND VISHNU LET THE PARAKEET OUT WTF. AHAHAHA, no I'm just kidding, they let it out. And once we're done, we quickly packed whatever we needed and headed out. And the weather, must I repeat again, was amazing. It was so cold!

Destination 1 : Family Farm!

So apparently, the family I was staying with I think are super rich! They have their own house, their parent's have a house and they have 2 farms and another farmhouse to store all the barang barangs! A 10 minute drive and we've arrived!

 They own a melon farm! And on the picture at the beginning, you saw how many farm 'shelters' they have right?! And according to my mum, Japanese melons are super expensive! But it's so cool to see melons growing for the first time, cause I don't think melons can grow in Singapore right? Baiscally it was a cool experience, and it's even more amazing because the whole farm was managed by their parents! And despite being old, they are still really active!


It was a short visit, cause that was really it, like nothing much there to see anyway.

 Their farm house! And after this, we took yet another quick drive to their actual house, but we didn't manage to go, in, cause our Japanese dad, just went in to take some stuff. 

 ^ And this above, is their second farm! I was told this is a pumpkin farm, but for some reason, there was no pumpkin. And since there was not pumpkin, PHOTOSHOOT.

Loved all the jumpshots, they're were taken so timely, and ALL THE PHOTO CREDIT goes to Vishnu, a.k.a celebrity photographer. 

Once that was done, we quickly headed back into the car, and we were told the trip was going to be a 2 hour drive! OMG right? That's how big Bifuka is, and that's how far we were away from civilisation, I mean in Singapore you want to drive one round, also around 2 hours you know! But anyway, the ride was just basically me and Vishnu talking among ourselves, since there's no internet on the road and it was hard to communicate. 

But the drive towards there was really calming and in a way sort of therapeutic, cause it was so peaceful looking out the car, and the contrast of how life in Singapore in just made me want to just move here. The traffic there was literally nothing, with a few cars passing, there was no noise pollution, all that I heard was the car and wind, and the tranquility of the scenery was just like walking through a long painting, where everything was still, and at ease. 

I think Singapore has made us such work-driven monsters, to the point we stress about it even when we're resting and doing nothing. 

And soon before we knew it, the modern world was once again, upon us. As much as I love the peacefulness, I think I've been conditioned to the point where I feel a little bit more at home when we finally saw a mall. Well, you can take Neon out of a mall, but you can't take a mall of Neon. #bloop

When we reached the AEON mall, I thought we were going to like do whatever activities that we're gonna do that day, but instead, we went for lunch first. 

LOOK! How cool, in Singapore or most countries, a waitress basically asks you how many people blah blah, and then bring you to your seat or make you wait. But IN JAPAN, gurrrl, nah-uh, you get machines to do that shit. So you press how many people you have with you, and if it's a full house, they'll direct you to this sitting area, and you ermmmm, wait. BEING THE IDIOT THAT I AM, I didn't take any photos. STUPID. 

But in my defence, there were quite a number of patrons as well, and they were super quiet, and it's a culture there, to basically conduct yourself properly in public, so I didn't want to be rude. AND ALSO, they were all looking at us, like who the fuck are there 2 people, one still can consider Japanese, the other one, don't know what. THEY WERE STARING AT VISHNU THE WHOLE TIME. LIKE AHAHAHA. Cause he's indian and having dark skin in a country where Indians/African-Americans are almost scarce, they were looking at him as if a black unicorn just arrived. #justsaying

The lunch that day was a little bit hitting closer to home, because it was SUSHI, Tried some interesting ones, but I reckon what is the point of taking sushi when you guys know how it looks like. EXCEPT, there was this one sushi, where the topping was NATTO. Basically it is fermented soy beans, and their nutritional value is LIKE GOLD, it has numerous health benefits, except, the taste, hmmmmm varied. AND IF YOU DON'T KNOW HOW IT LOOKS LIKE, I've got you covered. 

 NATTO part starts at 0:39, but watch the whole video anyway, super interesting!

And after lunch, guess where we went?! EVERY TYPICAL WHITE GIRL'S SECOND HOME.

 STARBUCKSSSS. OMG gurrrl, how exotic huh? It's all in Japanese. But there is SUCH A BIG DIFFERENCE between the Starbucks in Singapore and in Japan. Firstly, the baristas there are SUPER POLITE and good looking wtf. It's like those TV series where the customers falls in love with the baristas, I thought it only happened in dramas, turns out it just doesn't happen in SG. AHAH, wait, why am I laughing, fuckmylife.

And also, in Singapore you only have a few baristas in the counter, but on that day, I dk if it was special or what lah, but there were like 5 - 6! And they were super nice and smiley, ughhh thumbs up. Also, they have the elusive drink that Singapore NEVER had, the base for the 'Cotton Candy Frappe', the ELUSIVE VANILLA BEAN FRAPPE. You know, the one that MacBarbie made trendy. Still don't understand the craze, but thank goodnesss that was over.

Ordered some cinnamon cookie crumble thingy, something that Singapore doesn't have. And no, I'm not talking about the stupid mocha crumble thing with the chocolate whipped cream, and they cheated by just sprinkle the cookie on the whipped cream. I'm talking about luscious, sweet, creamy, 'you-can-actually-taste-the-cookie' drink. Ughhhh, I'll just let the pictures talk ok.

And the colours are so pretty, I dk but it has this summer/autumn feel to it. And I think they did actually crush a piece of cinnamon cookie inside, cause every sip is filled with crumbly cookie and the texture is just mmmm, WHY DON'T THEY HAVE IT IN SINGAPORE. T______T

And for some reason, I think it was the awkwardness, our Jap parents were so focused on drinking theirs, they emptied the drink in 10 minutes! And it's a frappe, ICE BLENDED. And for some reason Vishnu felt bad and finished it on the spot too, and as a result? He froze his jaw. Hahahah! 

The next destination? The snow museum a.k.a Elsa's home! Ok, I'll be frank, I was quite unimpressed about this place, I mean there really wasn't much inside, except for a few video booths on the formation of snow, WHICH I COULDN'T UNDERSTAND cause it was in Japanese, so there goes that. Besides that, the only main thing was a block of ice? Like I dk what's the significance to be honest, but I just assumed it was the ice that sank titanic. 

The wind and weather that day though, was so nice! Like it was quite strong, and in case you don't know, the weather was 14 degrees or less, so like cool lah, the scarf flying all. We then went to 2 other museums, textiles and fabrics, but it was pretty much like a exhibition, and photo-taking weren't allowed inside, nothing much to say there. (On a sidenote, I was super jealous to find out Ambrella's family brought them to the zoo!)

After the visit in the museum, we went for a little bit of shopping. Initially I was thinking of like, 'YAY, clothes shopping, time to update my wardrobe, WHOOP WHOOP'. But then instead, we went to the Japanese Daiso, called the 100yen shop! Not gonna put photos because firstly, the place is exactly how a Daiso in Singapore would look like, so if you want, direct yourself to Orchard/Dhoby/Sembawang/VariousDaisosinSG. Didn't buy much though, only got some gifts and snacks so I can munch on while we have yet another 2 hour drive. 

The thing about Bifuka is that, since it is mostly nature, to get from each place is like a landmark, like you made to get from station to station almost, and in between is just a long stretch of road to connect you from point A to B. It was quite early for dinner we thought, except the 2 hour drive meant that that we were BANG on schedule when dinner came along!

I think they restaurant we went was a international restaurant, cause they sell all sorts of foods, western and eastern. Cause they things we ordered weren't Japanese food, but like different stuff! But I love the concept of this restaurant, I don't know if this is the design generally or just specifically this restaurant only, but basically, you are given a 'room' and a TV too, and partitioned away from the other patrons, which I think really gives a sense of privacy, but you still can hear the general noise which adds to the atmosphere I think!

And if you're gonna be in a private room, how are you gonna get the waitress if you have additional orders? The button! it's pretty cool! Not gonna say much, so here's the galore of what we ate. 

 THE POTATO WEDGES WERE THE SHIT. It's like normal wedges, but the pat of butter that later melted on to the wedges gave it this buttery nuttiness and a smoothness that you can only experience if you try it. Mmmmm, the crispy crunch on the outside, the soft potato inside, and the melty butter that makes all the dieting beforehand so worth it. But I guess it's good also be because potato is like their speciality over at Hokkaido. Definitely a tip, if you are ever frying wedges, put butter afterwards, cause it'll be so delectably guilty, but so incredibly decadent.

Before we left, well, what should one do? Photoshoot.

 The coolness of the night Japanese breeze is just everything. And it was a much shorter ride home. And the roads at night in Bifuka is CRAZY CREEPY. In Singapore it's fine cause the street lights are overhead and they are very regular like every few metres there's one. And there is constantly traffic. But over there, the lights are super far away and it is SUPER DIM, which means that you can only see what's in front of you where the headlights shine. And if you forgot, THE ROADS IN JAPAN ARE ALWAYS EMPTY. Like imagine if your car breaks down in the middle of the night, cold and helpless. Being surrounded by nothing by nature, god knows what kind of night terrors you may face.

But thankfully that didn't happen. Haha! Back home and we were in our room doing our own stuff until we were asked to come outside for a while. And our Jap mum played a few songs on this traditional Japanese guitar, forgot the actual name of it, but yeah.

 Pretty bummed that it was the last night here, because it was so much fun with them and they were so nice and hospitable to us wtf. Basically after that, we took a shower and slacked in our rooms. And oh yeah, THE FUNNIEST THING IS, I think they gave up on us on waking up early so they were telling us

'You can wake up anytime you want.'

AHAHAHAH! But it's probably for the better. But I slept late though, cause I was panicking cause we're suppose to write a farewell letter but I conveniently left my writing cards in the luggage. Vishnu THANKFULLY brought extra, but in the end I used like lined paper, cause his cards were glossy and being a left-hander, it smudged EVERYWHERE. Took me so long cause I wanted to be nice and write a english and Japanese version, and it took me so long to translate, and even longer to write it, cause it's like drawing rather than writing, I had no idea how. Like I don't know know if it was written correctly. Cause it looked like art to me, hopefully it'll look like words to them. If it looks like art to them also, then gone.

Wonder what took me so fucking long to finish this post, seriously. It's a long post I know, but you better read it ok, cause it was really fun. Or at east look through the photos lah ok. Ending off with the photo of our cozy room, messy as hell cause I was too assed to even bother tidying up for a photo. The bed/mattress was super comfy!

1 comment:

  1. Omg best post ever Neon please. I read this entire thing out loud (coz that's just how i do) and my sis who was beside me was like in fits of laughter HAHAHAHAHHA especially the black unicorn part lmao i swear i almost passed out.

    Anyway I'm pretty sure I had just as much fun reading this whirlwind adventure of a post as you did on the actual trip itself, which is kinda sad when you think about it...o what an interesting life i lead.