89 days in Tsuruoka

Monday, January 31, 2005

Lets have a no-bs assessment

Ok, that's enough of bullshitting!
You keep on writting about ping-pong, food and snow - who cares about this?
No word about the most important things in life ( at least of the age of 20 ): sex and alcohol!
And that is no wonder, since they have not much access to either of it. :-)
But they keep on trying!
Chinho and Yaomin have a daily routine of going down to the library with a camera in hand trying to make secret photos of short-skirted Japanese schoolgirls and possible have a chat with them and possible snap up a girlfriend.
Chinho has already learned the most important phrases: can I take a picture? can you give me my phone number?
BTW they call that kind of activity (girlhunting) "research".
to be continued....



Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Cold Crazy Cyclists In Town

Oh yeah. We have been cycling. And it was crazy, cycling on the roads, pavements... And who else crazy enough to lead such a pack other than Takatoshi-san himself, a.k.a. London-trained, Yaomin. Talking about London-trained... Iwakami-san! Where is the ping pong match between me and Ronnie??? Lolz...

We got our pay on Monday... The Monday blues just disappeared when 50,000 yen ($800) went into our pockets. Not much, but enough. Iwakami-san wanted to celebrate, but we were not up to it. Then today, he had a chance to celebrate with Gabor, and he took it. End up doing some hard work (Lolz!) and came back super tired. In fact, today was the first time he requested to go back at 10PM.

And yes, I agree Takatoshi-san is some cook, and if I were half as good as he is, I'll go get married and be a house-husband immediately! Below are some pics of my lunches and the big feast we had on Monday night.

Top => The big feast consisting of Japanese rice, fried chicken, scrambled eggs, salad, microwaved potato slices and of course, SALMON!
Left => One of my lunches last week, rice with boiled chicken and mixed vegs, and chicken soup.
Right => My lunch just now, prawn noodles.

The 3 of us have had our individual breakthroughs. Oh, even Gabor has his breakthrough, except that it wasn't in the field of Bioinformatics. He managed to beat me in ping pong after playing with me 3 matches on Monday. I won the first 2 matches, 2 sets to 1, but somehow, I lost the last match 1 set to 2. He was so estatic, you should have seen his face. Oh well, I hand it to you, Gabor, but next time, I won't be so forgiving. Lolz.

Now armed with our Library stickers on our security cards, we can go to the Library anytime. Me and Takatoshi-san will be going there to borrow books, but Iwakami-san will be going there to do his "research". In fact, the first time we went there on Monday, he was already so engrossed in it, he didn't hear me calling out to him that he needed to tap in! Unfortunately, he forgot his card that day, so he missed out on the first day of fun. Don't worry, there will be other days. Ha ha...

Guess I better sleep now. Gotta prepare myself to start another journey for another breakthrough.

And another. And another. And another...

Sunday, January 23, 2005

2 Weeks' Update

After 2 weeks in Japan, it's time to do a proper update on the trip from Singapore to Japan by me.

At Changi Airport, my family and friends came to send me off:

My Family

My Friends

And here is the 3 "Musketeers" (Chinho,Azhar,Me from the left) with their Liaison Officer (Ronnie, on the left)!

As we say farewell to our family members and friends, it's time to go into the airport thru the customs. This is inside the airport:

While on the plane, most of the air stewardess are Japanese, because we took All Nippon Airways(ANA). I still think SIA services are better compared to ANA.

When we reached Narita Airport, we took a Limosine Bus to Haneda Airport to catch our domestic flight. This is some snapshots of Haneda Airport:

When we reached Shonai Airport, Akiko-san was there to pick us up and we went to our Guest-House to put our lugguages, thereafter we went to our office. Here is how my office and surroundings look like:

Ronnie went to meet up with the key person for our Internship Program in Tokyo on that week's Friday, and we were left in Tsuruoka for another 11 more weeks. On that very week Saturday, Li Kai a friend of Dr Ng has brought us to an old friend to have a small party. We got to meet this old man by the name of Kanzi (Chinho has more information about this, he has his namecard). Li Kai is from Jiang Xi, China if I have not mistaken (poor memories in winter, hahaha). He is very nice to us and also Gabor, our supervisor for ITP, brought us to a nice small restaurant in Tsuruoka to taste some nice ramen.

That night which Gabor brought us to the restaurant, it was snowing, but hey, when you are hungry, you won't care about the coldness, hahaha. So we walked with Gabor and Li Kai to the restaurant and have our dinner.

I think that's all for these 2 weeks. More updates will be done if I have the time.

Here's one juice which is very interesting:

An orange mikan(mandarin orange) juice. If anyone can find me a blue mikan, please tell me. Hahaha.

Title: "take a look at my body"

The other day, I was saying I would show you people what I was really working on.
But then, it seems so that I was to change the shapes I designed to other stuffs, so the shapes I was planning to photo shoot is no longer there. Although its still possible if I really want to take it, but that would be too much hassle ... So, I think I will just forget about it for the time being, as long as I know ITS NICE.

OH and last sunday, there was a festival about fish(I cant remember the name). Me, Yaomin and Azhar went for a walk along that long street(Ginza Dori) where that festival was held.
Azhar took some photos(Uploaded on previous post) and Yaomin too, caught pictures, not much of the crowds and stuffs though he shot, I think his camera lens are much more 'homing' to the girls walking around; and if you want pretty stocks, you can ask him! LOLL

Well, not being fake, IAM the more NEUTRAL ONE. I shoot everything! The crowd... the stalls... the parade... and the girls :)
ARHEM' not like I really wanted to shoot the girls but I got prominent orders from from way back south. I dont wanna get prosecuted when I get back.

Friday, January 21, 2005


Ohayo! For today's program, we are going to show you how to prepare quite a decent lunchbox:

First, boil a pot of water. When the water is boiling, put in your noodles. Cook the noodles at boiling temperature for about 5 minutes and bring down the fire to cook it for another 5 minutes. When it is done, pour away the water and wash the noodles with some cold water.

When cooking the noodles, you could wash the vegetables and dice the carrot to small pieces. Next for the soup, you will need about 200ml water, which is the 1/4 or 1/5 level of your pot filled with water.

Starting boiling the water again and after it is boiled, put in the carrots (because it is a bit longer than the vegetables to cook) followed by the vegetables. Add in some oil and light soya sauce. Boil for about 5 minutes and you have your vegetables soup.

Finally, microwave the meat and you have your meat ready.

And TADA! You have this:

Thanks for tuning to the "Lousy Cook in Tsuruoka" proudly brought to you by Yaomin-kun aka Takatoshi-kun



It is Snowing! AGAIN!

After 4 days of absence, the snow has fallen upon Tsuruoka again. Except that it didn't really fall as snow. Something like hail, except that these are smaller pieces of ice. To give you a clearer picture, you can download the movie (1 min long) in my links of movies (at the toolbar on the right). In the video, you can see and hear the small pieces of ice tapping against the window. Very different from rain. Below are some pictures too. You can no longer see the mountain in the landscape picture as it was very foggy.

We went to a fish festival last Sunday. It was very crowded, but we didn't buy anything. Though we did take some pictures. Iwakami-san and Takatoshi-san has more pictures, but not sure if they are gonna post them up. (Lolz!)

Iwakami-san had to draw pictures of biological objects for the molecular editor. You know, amino acids, proteins, ribosomes, etc. The thing is, in order to draw the object, he has to specify the coordinates in the Python script. So there he was, doing trial and error, and after some hard work (really hard work! actually stayed overnight to do it...), this was what he drew for a protein!

Guess what? Gabor actually thought it looked like an... an... a BUTT! LOLZ! Actually I thought of it that way too... Lolz... The best part is, coincidentally, Likai (one of the students from China) just walked in, so Gabor asked him what he thought it was. After a few seconds of pondering, he grabbed Gabor's butt! Everyone burst out laughing! I guess sometimes, action speaks louder than words...

The next few days are gonna be hectic for me. My task is well, a bit huge, but I'm taking it a step at a time. I guess Iwakami-san and Takatoshi-san are doing fine, as they looked fine. Lolz. We'll see about that soon.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Some nice scenary

Here are some nice shots I took last week (it maybe a bit large):

Here's another one:

Fatigue really is setting in due adapting to short day and long night in the winter. Guess have to sleep early and wake up very early to keep oneself afresh. Therefore, good night for now, it is 12:10AM in Japan now. Oyasumi nasai.

Monday, January 17, 2005

Tired & Fatigue Setting In

I can feel it now. The tiredness and fatigue are setting in. I can see it in Chin Ho and Yaomin, and I can see it in me soon. Maybe we have to overcome this. This is definitely not good for work.

Yesterday night, was not exactly the kind of dinner I would have liked. Lolz. But at this rate, I'll eat anything. I'm just glad I bought the ice-cream so soothe the taste down.

Lunch just now was a pain. I wanted to add in beansprouts and long beans into my Maggi, but I had to clean them first. For example, beansprouts, I prefer to have the end removed. It was tiring, but I managed. In the end, I had a filling lunch.

The snow is falling again. Yes, after 2 days of no snow, but rain, it has come again. Although it doesn't look as heavy when we first came here. But I guess we're adjusting pretty well to the cold, as we start not to use our winter gloves. Maybe soon, we'll not even be needing our down jacket!

We had a small talk with Martin just now. He was here to drop by the library. A very rare opportunity to see him, as he is usually at the BioLab.

Now waiting for the Fedora Core 2 CD to finish downloading. Need to install MySQL so that I can do my work. Understanding KEGG API was just the first step. It is now time to move on.

Big time.

The Office, Scenaries-from-Office and GABOR 老板

Photos shot in the 3rd level 'Office'.

What we see from the 3rd level 'Office'.

Closed up view from the same place on ground level.

Gabor at work answering question from Azhar; thats Azhar's laptop if you remember.

Gabor again, with a pose readied for the shot.