Jul. 13th, 2009

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I think I just brought "jumping the gun" to a whole new level. I'm leaving for Singapore in 3 weeks (!! Are you ready Lydia? PS Are there any goodies you want me to bring you?) but all I can think about is planning my trip to China.

I've narrowed it down to 3 days in Shanghai, a week in Beijing and 3-4 days in Hong Kong/Kowloon/Macau. Plus a day travel between Shanghai and Beijing and then two days from Beijing to Hong Kong. For a total of 19 days. :) For people who've been to China/HK, what are the highlights/attractions you'd recommend? Things you'd rather have skipped?

The Shanghai Ferry runs every Friday, unless they change things next year. I was looking at all the different classes on the ship. The cheapest fare is 20,000 yen one way, but all you get is a futon in a tatami room with 15 other women. The next fare up is 22,000 for a small room shared between 5 people with bunks and a TV. There are shower booths and public toilet facilities. There is a Japanese style bath on the upper deck, but only for first or upper class passengers. First class gets you a little bigger room with 4 other people, bunk beds and a washlet for 25,000 yen. Either way to slice it, it's going to be public bathing, not that I mind. If they are mostly Japanese passengers, they'll all be pretty conscientious about keeping the showers clean. I'd just as soon take the cheapest fare with the large tatami room and futon because there won't be a TV. Though I don't know what'll be worse: a room full of snoring women (Asian women are the worst I've ever seen) or a smaller room where someone might watch TV all night. But thank god for ear plugs!

I wrote Yuka today about crashing at her place and going to Kyoto again but she doesn't know where she'll be or what her family will be up to. She just got a job with Honda so she might have to come work in a factory in Saitama (which means she'll be close!) and her sister is having a baby in October so the family might go somewhere. And really, April is a long time away so I didn't really expect her to roll out the welcome mat just yet. But she knows now so it won't be such a shock when I ask again in March next year. I'm going to have to go to Osaka anyway and I wanted to make the most of the trip and stretch it out a bit. The worst case scenario, I can't stay with her and don't know anyone else to impose on, I take the first shinkansen out of Tokyo a day early and go to Kyoto for a day and spend a night in a capsule hotel or manga cafe or something (that's an experience I haven't had yet). It would be nice to have someone drive me or take me directly to the port and send me off but oh well.

Speaking of Singapore: I need to pick up Anna's mini suitcase for the trip. I only have giant ones which are just too damn big and heavy for only 4 days. I did that in Korea, although it was still winter and I needed the layers and I did end up buying quite a bit of stuff there. But I don't plan on doing a ton of shopping in Singapore because, like any other Asian country, it'll be a chore to find anything to fit me (just like it was 7 years ago) so I'm not even going to bother. I have a duffle but I hate carrying that awkward shit around with me. I want wheels! I think I'm just going to pack 3 changes of clothes and do laundry every night.

I'm going to have to figure something out for China too... I wonder if I should invest in a backpacker's backpack. One of those giant motherfuckers with tons of secret pockets. It's something else I have to think about. Maybe I can find one used somewhere.
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I wanted to watch it but I didn't know when it was on. Lucky me!

The first 20 minutes are promising and it actually looks like Yamapi can play basketball. It makes me want to play again... I wish I had done a sport seriously. Though OFS wasn't really top in terms of sports excellence. But how lame is the "star player dating the cheerleader" trope? But obviously that's going to end! Seriously, only in Japan are university students thinking about married. And have mom be all excited about it. I can't wrap my brain around it.

Aibu Saki and Yamapi have the same hair colour. XD

I'm going to enjoy this show if only for the fact that I know exactly what's happening on the court. And for the awesome cast.

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