[Thursday, December 24, 2009]

22/12/2009: Nagasaki/Fukuoka, Japan
Final day in Japan before flying off tomorrow.

We went south to Glover Gardens--a very pretty park with historic buildings in a very pretty neighbourhood. Given more time, we would have gone into the Storybook Museum. It really is the best view in the city.

The downer of the day was the Atomic Bomb Victims Memorial and the attached Museum. It's another confirmation that the human race will end itself one day and it will be the decision of some crazy person giving a single order. And we've got so much better at it since 1945 too.

As I have been to the Hiroshima Peace Park and Museum, I could anticipate what was in store--all the sad, terrifying remnants of lives cut short. A, Ed and Xian were thoroughly horrified and I got horrified a second time around.

We decompressed on the train ride back to Fukuoka--Xian was seriously bummed by how the whole thing was so cold-bloodedly planned and executed by so few people. Yeah, that's how it'll all end.

Why can't we just stop killing each other?

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[Friday, December 18, 2009]

18/12/2009: Fukuoka, Japan
It's snowing in Fukuoka--we looked out of the window during breakfast and saw it. Unexpected cold front has shifted winter a few weeks earlier--even the locals were surprised by how cold it was.

Lunch was at Yoshida at Yanagibashi Market. The Deluxe seafood don was excellent. For the first time in history, Xian actually had fish left in her bowl in the presence of other sashimi-lovers--the rest of us were too stuffed to eat anymore.

Did the shop 'til we drop thing and marched up Tenjin.

Ate dinner at a roadside yatai stall for the authentic Hakata experience. Hooray for experiences done while it's brass monkeys outside the flimsy tent shelter of the stall. The beer and umeshuu made it pretty cheer despite the cold outside--less cold than yesterday, actually.

Favourite phrase right now: brass monkeys (As in 'freezing the balls off brass monkeys')

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[Thursday, December 17, 2009]

17/12/2009: Fukuoka, Japan

Managed to get the rental car back in one piece. (But GPS-chan kept tipping over during sharp turns as usual.) Ed and I jokingly argued over it--'GPS-chan is a klutz!' 'You can't blame her for being clumsy!'

Flew into Fukuoka via Skymark and took the subway into the city--fastest airport to city transfer ever. Met up with Xian in Canal City--a shopping mall to make the most hardcore shopaholic weep for joy. Which was why she did not meet us at the hotel. She was having too much of a good time. (Btw, we walked to Canal City from Hakata Station.)

The optometrist said the screws holding the lenses of my specs were sticking out too much. And they should have caps. I suppose they should, but they did not come with my specs. He tightened the screws for me, trimmed the screws and capped them. All this free of charge before he even got started on making my new pair of specs.

Dear Mr Optometrist, can I take you home with me?

We ate like kings at dinner time--shabu-shabu for dinner and fondue and pancakes to follow.

Walked through the city without looking at the map to get back to hotel. They jokingly upgraded me from homing pigeon to 'Hedwig the Snowy Owl'. (But do owls have good navigational instincts?)

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