Here we go!

Month: February, 2013

Power was out this morning

Alarm went at 5, I turned on my light, and then set my timer for 20 minutes and turned the light off.

At 5:20, my alarm went.  I tried to turn on the light, but there was no power.

I went to the bathroom, but there was no water, so I couldn’t have a shower.

I got ready and went to breakfast, it was dark in the canteen, with no fried eggs to go with my rice.

When I was leaving breakfast, the lights came back on, power was back.

I felt so sleepy this morning, it felt like I hadn’t woken up yet.

When it was lunchtime, I came back to my room for a shower, and then my day began!

It was a busy day, up and down the site repeatedly.  My legs are sore now.


and… I’m back (in New Caledonia)!

Now sitting at Tontouta airport waiting for my bus to site.

Saturday was my final day in Tokyo.  First went to the station to book my seat on the Narita Express, then went to Oimachi to buy snacks.

After buying snacks, had some snacks!



Also got some gifts for people at lonely Koniambo.


Then got the train to Ochanumizu to see guitar gear.  Lots of music shops!


Caught the train back to Tokyo station, then walked to Ginza.




Had lunch in a restaurant my mum found hidden away the day before.


Bought a cheap luggage and went home to pack my snacks.

Final looks.


Caught the train to Shinagawa, then waited for the Narita express.  Mum bought snacks for me, which I’m thankful for, as I was getting hungry before boarding the plane.



After check-in, went to look at the shop and saw Mark in there!  Mark was using up the rest of his Yen, and bought icecream for me!  Check this out, individually wrapped!


Many people taking selfies, so we took some too!



On the plane.


It wasn’t very comfortable on the flight, but I managed to get a few hours of sleep.  The guys behind me smelt like body odour and cigarettes.

Still waiting for the bus, another 5 weeks until my next trip!


The end is near again.

Went to Yurakucho BIC Camera to get a roll of film developed.  Browsed gear for an hour while waiting.  Got to play with some new cameras including the Sony RX1, Fuji X100s, Fuji X20.  Used the X100s side by side with the X100, can feel the difference in operation – a quicker camera!


Walked through Ginza to Tsujiki and had some sushi for lunch.  Fresh.  All the sushi restaurants are small (seats less than 10).



Walked back to Ginza.


Then to Shinbashi.


Then on the train to Shibuya.  Went to Daiso, visited a guitar shop and looked at gear, then walked around.


Went back and had Korean food for dinner.  I had 김치 찌개. Nice hot soup for another cold night.


Came home and saw Tokyo Tower lit up.  I will miss the night view.



One more day to go!

Here’s some photos from the film I got developed today!



Thursday–Yokohama and Kamakura

Went to Yokohama this morning with Julie and Mum.


We met up with Dad for lunch.


Then for a drink.


After, Julie and I walked to Yokohama station, stopping by Nissan on the way.


Got on the train and 25 minutes later, arrived in Kamakura.


Walked around and saw vending machines.  I love the advertising here!


Crossed the road to a shrine.


Saw signs.




Took photos of a tree.


Walked around more, then back to Kamakura station.


Back to Yokohama for dinner: 300 gram pork loin.


To the station to get the train home.


Stopped by the grocery shop on the way home.  Almost home.


Home now.








R&R 3–Day 2: Monday


I went to Kawasaki with Julie and my mum.  I went to BIC Camera and played around with all the gear while they were in Uniqlo.  So much fun just picking up all the cameras and fiddling.  I got to play with the Sony RX1 and RX100.  Spec-wise, I really liked the RX1, and the image quality is great. However, at first holding, it’s a bit difficult for me to handle.  Maybe my hands are too big, or I just need more time to get used to it.  The controls aren’t easy to reach for me, or too cramped together.  I do like how the aperture ring clicks though!  Also played with Nikon V2 which feels a lot better in the hand though its a small camera.  Also handled the X-Pro1 which I also think would have to take some getting used to. I preferred the compact size of the the X-E1.

Unfortunately the Daiso next to BIC Camera is no more Sad smile

I bought a couple of things at BIC Camera.  As Julie brought the wrong charger for my GXR, I needed to find a charger.  Managed to find a USB charger than I can use for my batteries!  Also got some film.


After that, we went for lunch – Tonkatsu WakoIMG_8627


Then I went to Kanto camera to check out their cameras.  They’ve got a nice display, limited edition Leica including a Kanto edition M6, and a gold one as well with engravings.  Also exploded views of lenses and cameras including M6 and Summitar.  Very cool to see!  I bought an accessory shoe cover for my camera there.



After, went to Yodobashi camera and got a screen protector for the GXR, maybe a bit late because the screen has marks all over it already.





I went to Jins to look at glasses.  I asked the shop attendant if the cost was just for the frame, and he said no it includes lens!  Then I asked how much more for anti-reflective coatings, and he said that it’s included!  Then  I asked how long it takes to make a pair… THIRTY MINUTES!  So I selected a pair, took my contacts out, he checked my eyes and half an hour later, a new pair of glasses!  I want to get more!!!


After getting glasses, we went to Shibuya to meet with Peter and Fiona for dinner at Beacon.  A very nice restaurant, and the waiter really did speak beautiful English (as described by the guy who welcomed us in).

My photos don’t show how nice it was.

Today’s soup was chorizo soup.


Then for appetizer, I had Atlantic lobster cakes with remoulade sauce.  Julie had New Orleans style spicy BBQ jumbo shrimp.



For mains, we had grilled Wagyu from Hokkaido.  I had the sirloin, Julie had the fillet.  It was so good, one of the best ever!




Then for dessert, I had apple crumble with vanilla gelato while Julie had the lemon mascarpone cheesecake with ginger snap crust.  Big serving but a pity we couldn’t finish it all because we were too full!


Finished with a lemongrass tea.


I was so happy to meet with Peter.  Thank you so much Smile

R&R 3–Day 1: Sunday

Woke up early because I’m still in New Caledonian time.  Looked outside and saw Tokyo Tower.


A little later on, as usual, lots of taxis lining up outside on Sunday morning.


Had breakfast, then caught the bus to church at Roppongi.  It was nice to attend church again, and meet a few people!

After church, we had lunch.


After lunch, we caught the train to Ebisu, then walked to Daikanyama.  At Daikanyama, I saw a guy with two cameras out, the same as me! A Leica and a GXR with M mount! haha…  After leaving the Frenchness of New Caledonia behind, I was surrounded by Frenchish area in Daikanyama, with cafes and shops with French signage.


Stopped by a cafe for some desserts.  Mum checking the receipt as usual!


Then we walked towards Shibuya then Harajuku.  Went to Yoyogi park for a walk.


Then saw the rocking dancers!



Then we walked to Shinjuku and did some Uniqlo shopping before getting the train back to Tamachi and having dinner then walking home.







R&R 3

Here I am again at Tontouta Aeroport, but this time not in the lounge since I’m not on a Qantas flight.  I’m flying Air Calin to Tokyo for a week.  I did not have to pay any extra as it was cheaper to go to Tokyo than it is to go to Perth.

This time, I didn’t bring any luggage.  Just my backpack.  It makes things faster and easier.  Packing my room was quick and easy.  However, there was a mosquito that woke me up.  I spent a while trying to find it, killed it, and went back to sleep.  Then was awoken again by another mosquito.  Killed it as well and then managed to sleep.

I had 10 minutes before the bus departure time, so went to the canteen and had 2 pain au chocolat and 2 croissants for breakfast.  It was easy because I didn’t have any luggage – I left my backpack at reception to look after.

After breakfast I went to the bus stop and waited, and waited…  The first time I took the bus, it left at exactly 5:15am, the second time, 5:10am because I was the only one on the bus.  This time however, when it was 5:35am, I called the transport manager and asked if the bus was still going to come.  He called back at 5:40am and said it’ll come in half an hour.  Rob T. was flying too, but he had 3 flights (to New Zealand, then to Vancouver, then to Toronto), so if he missed this first one, it would have made it very troublesome.  I wasn’t so worried about the bus being late, because my flight is at 12:20pm, while his flight was at 10:15am.  So Rob T. did most of the calling to the transport manager asking when the bus was going to come.  Finally it came at 6:10am and we departed site at 6:15am.  The driver drove really quick and didn’t make the mid-way stop, so we arrived at the airport at 8:55am.  That’s really good timing, considering that we left an hour later than usual, and only arrived about 15-25 minutes later than we normally do.

When I arrived, I saw Christelle and some of her friends going on a trip to New Zealand, and also saw the HR director and health and safety manager travelling together Winking smile.  Later I expect to see Rob W. here as he is demobilising!

This time I had done my web check-in so that I could beat the lines of people.  However, because I was so early, there was no line anyway.  Checked in and was happy to have no luggage to check in.  Sat down for a bit then went through security.  I forgot to finish my water, so drank it all before xray.  Then through immigration was quick as there was no line… since I’m so early.  But as mentioned earlier, could not access the lounge to eat Sad smile 

This is all my luggage!  So easy.


I’ve got 2 hours to spare before my flight and should arrive at Narita at 7:30pm tonight.  I’m so excited.


I didn’t have much opportunity to update this blog during this swing.  Things have been busy as usual, and really tired every night after work.  This break will be good!  It’ll be good to have nice dry cold weather rather than warm humid days.

Update after landing in Japan:

Boarding the plane:


The plane was fitted out with entertainment! I watched a few movies.




Plane landed about 7:05, then it taxied to the terminal and we got out of the plane about 7:30pm, by 7:45pm I was out through immigration and went to buy my Narita Express and Suica.  Then the train departed at 8:44pm.


Lots of leg room in the ordinary carriage.



Finally got to Tamachi where I met mum, dad, and wife Smile  It was super cold!  A nice dry change from humid warm Koniambo!

Chinese New Year 2013

I was invited by Mr Zhang for dumpling making.

I went there after breakfast.  On the way there, I saw a room full of emergency food!


I also saw some Chinese doors.


I got there and watched some CCTV New Year Program and learnt how to make dumplings.  There were 4 of us there.






Very tasty.  Had a good time.

The New Year program on TV included funny skits, singing, dancing, a magic show and even Celine Dion singing in Chinese!

On my back, saw bingo being played at the bar.


Then saw rainclouds coming.



It’s raining outside now!


Super busy morning, not as busy afternoon.

Have a headache since afternoon, I only feel it in short pulses near the back of my head every few minutes.  Is it from vigorous stair climbing?


I went to the Chinese canteen for dinner tonight.  It was nice, they gave us red packets with chocolate coins inside.


After dinner, went for a walk.  Then went to the bar and watched a magic show.  It was entertaining.



Lots of people watching.


At the end of the show, there was music and everyone was encouraged to dance.

Five danced, while two hundred watched.


The night finished with impressive fireworks, where I was eaten by mosquitos again.


Happy new year! 새해 복 많이 받으세요! Chúc mừng năm mới! Bonne année! Selamat tahun baru! oh yeh, and 过年好!