Monday, October 27, 2008

A First Class Passenger #2 ファーストクラスの乗客#2

Read part #1 before hand.

Recently Korean movies/TV dramas are getting so popular in Japan. So it is told that the international relationship between Japan and Korea is getting better than before because of them. Korea is our neighbour country so it is a good thing that we can keep such good relationship as well.
By the time I had this "incredible flight", the condition between the countries were not good; so to called "cold war". It was caused by "That politician's activities. "

Under such circumstances, my seat mate on that flight was a Korean business man. I was nervous when I've learned it.
What kind of feeling toward Japan does this guy have? What if he doesn't have any friendly impression toward us? If it would be effected by "THAT political matter..."
I will have about 10 hours long flight. I have to be next to him for a long while. I was very nervous about it.

I had a chance to talk with him and learned about him. This man, a company president, had experienced the World War II, however, he rather had good impression toward Japan. (Sigh..) It's good to know it. He is a very nice gentleman and speaks English, Chinese, Japanese and Korean of course. He gave me his business card when we got off the plane. Later we had exchanged season greeting cards.

I was lucky that I could have such friendly exchange with this gentleman with no political effects but such "delicious effect". Very nice and lucky me!

Since my seat mate was a nice guy so I could keep forgetting those uncomfortable matter I have had before and could relax myself with after-dinner coffee. Well, when you get full yourself, you know what will happen next. Yep, you want to go "somewhere..."

I never imagined what will happen on me the next moment. Who can imagine such thing?!
What did I faced? Well, just wait. I'm telling you.

After I have finished "my business", I was called by a cabin crew.
He asked me if "it" is mine. I gazed what in his hand.....

I saw something hairy in his hand....
I had a better look. Then I realized that it is moving!

Gosh!!! Oh, no!!!
It was ..... it was a.....

Ha..., Hamster?! And it's alive!!

Wait a minute! Where am I now??!!
We are in the aircraft that flies several thousands meters above the Ocean!

Who can NOT be in panic under such situation? Tell me, who can be?!

気を取り直して、キッパリと「NO! Definitely NOT!」と言うのが精一杯の私でした。ほとんど倒れそうになりながら(笑)、席に戻った私に、お隣の紳士が「どうしたのですか?」とお声をかけてくれました。
I was almost fainted anyway, I tried to put myself together and said,
"No! Definitely NOT!"
and managed to totter back to my seat with a pale face. I think I was like 'almost dead person.'
The seat mate asked what was wrong with me.

When I began to tell him what I have seen, there was an announcement of the hamster. It told that the owner of the hamster should give himself up to the cabin crew.

At the same time, it caused quite a stir....

It does make sense. Just think where we were.
Inside the aircraft that is several thousands meters above the Ocean. And it's first class cabin! How come such thing is moving around?

Or what else? Is it just normal to this airline that the hamster should be able to live in such luxury? Look at me. I could have such luxury (and it's one way only!) because of the airline company's fault. Any comments? Ur?

After the plane landing, I saw the crew on the way to immigration. I asked him if they found the owner. He said that they could make it. I wanted to see what kind of person he/she is.

It was even before 911 case so I guess that the security condition was not good enough. When we travel abroad with animals or plants, we have to have quarantine regulations. Because of the regulation , there are many limitation and that protect from the effect of inflow/contaminate bacteria or sort of it that normally don't exist in the residential area. It should be the nation wide rule. (Some of them don't do so well though...)

搭乗チェックイン時の騒動に始まり、色々体験させられたフライトでありました。 Anyway, what kind of fool did such thing? I have faced so many incredible matters from the beginning; check in... What a GREAT flight, ha!

Later I told this story to my best friend in US. She guffawed at my incredible stories. Then she mentioned,
"Can you get another first class seat on the way back home?"
Unfortunately it didn't happened. For next time, I rather accept such mistakes without complaining though...

What would I do if I see the rat again?
It doesn't matter any more. Now I can handle with no matter what would come; either rat or cat.

In addition, several years after this case, an American cat accidentally strayed into a cargo of the aircraft. It was taken to somewhere in Europe. Then the airline company has sent the cat back to the owner in the US by first class seat. It was broadcasted by mass media in those days.
I think that the cat learned about this matter and wanted to defeat the forever rival?!

Ah, I want to be either cat or rat of such kind!!

A First Class passenger #1 ファーストクラスの乗客 #1

It had happened more than 10 years ago. It was when I was visiting my best friend in Ohio, USA. Then I have faced incredible experiences there.

I think there was an omen by the time I have checked in. I have taken the same airline of same flight many times but I was asked if I am an US resident then. However I felt "??(very strange)", I just replied "No."
It was before 911 case but they should have known where I live from my mileage membership card information.....

Somehow I was heading to the seat number that the ticket showed....

There were a large number of American family group have occupied(?) my one and around my seat. There must be their mistake since it could happen often. I had another look on my ticket for make it sure. It was sure that one of them had taken my seat.
Then I told her very nicely,
"Excuse me but you may take wrong one."
She replied me with obvious uncomfortableness,
"I take the RIGHT ONE."

No way! One of us should be wrong. We showed our ticket each other....

What?! Oh, boy!

I couldn't believe that! Both of our ticket showed the same number of the departure flight and the seat on the SAME DAY!! Total double booking?!

She gave obvious uncomfortable look and acted to stay stubbornly there.

It is absolutely the airline company's fault. Not me! She can't give such nasty look toward me. So I watched her face like what she did in return.

I reported it to a cabin crew that went through near me.
What she told me was; I should go out and make it sure by myself at the counter.

Her reply made me really disgust.

Who made such thing? It's their fault!
Then think of my circumstances. It had begun boarding already and lots of passengers were coming toward me. Under such situation, how come I could get out of the plane smoothly with my luggage? Give me a break!

I was really angry with this crew's attitude so I have ignored her words at all and was standing there still. It rather be a problem toward them so the crew got my ticket and went away for checking the factor. (Who do you think you are?! She should do so, ha!)

Of course I added this important notification.
I said, "I'm traveling by myself so it's OK for me to move to the other seat. But it has to be an ales seat. Since I requested it and paid extra for it."
Yep! I have a right to say so! I paid a lot more than buying the fixed ticket.

After a while, the crew returned with another ticket and passed it to me. It showed my name with first class up-graded seat number!


Wow! What a nice surprise!

Oh well... It was their mistake, however, I may forgive and accept them... Actually, I jumped for joy in my mind : ) Hooray!

I still remember her face at the moment.....

Hey. You said that you won't move! I said it's OK for me to move if only it would be ales. Remember?

Well,well, I should say it's such a happy ending... Nope! It wasn't yet.
But it's a kind of long story to tell whole thing right now.
Why don't you enjoy in-flight meal? Since it's a rare chance to have such ones.....

残念ながら、当時の食事の写真がありません。それで、貯まったマイルでアップグレードした時の機内食を掲載します。近頃人気の和食をチョイスしてみました。 Unfortunately there are no photos for in flight meal of those days. I traveled with upgraded seat recently with my mileage so I use the photos from it.

on the above The first dish I have had. I think it wasn't so bad for such in flight meal condition. It is for inbound Japan. The one for out bound Japan was much more gorgeous.

on the bottom Just about the time I was finishing sashimi, they served another warm dish. It was like "nimono; simmered vegetables and tofu based food." It rather not be anything special to me. But it has served inbound Japan so it should be good enough.

写真上 メインが終わるとデザートです。チーズと果物、それからデザート用のスイートワイン。ここからは洋食・和食どちらを選んだ場合でも共通になります。
on the aboveEither Japanese dish or others you choose from this part, the lest of them as desert part are the same. We had cheese, fruits and sweet wine (port wine) that I requested.

on the bottom Don't forget Ice cream! This was served by American company so everything goes "American size!"

It was more than 10 hours of long flight. I need to take a nap. I need wine as my "sleeping pill" as well. It is mandatory... or I should say I just want to drink (whoops!)

In case I would be hungry, I may have ramen (noodle) soup... did I eat too much, urh?

"Wine pill" worked and I slept well. ZZZzzz....

In this flight, they serve us breakfast also. I had a clod plate. They have omelets, serial and yogurt as other choice. Well, generally I don't have such big breakfast. But my body clock rather felt dinner at that time. It was almost midnight for me though.

Do you feel the atmosphere?

で、事件はディナーの後、コーヒーを飲んで寛いでいるときに起きたのです!Well, the case occurred by the time I was enjoying my coffee after dinner.

#2につづく To be continued #2

Good sleep makes you happy

Terry is a very active boy. He also sleeps well. I think it keeps him active and healthy.

How about you? Do you sleep well? If not, what makes you so? Too stressful everyday? Well, I guess these Terry's sleeping aura may bring you sleepiness.
Look at his face below. He seems so happy. I bet he is dreaming about something nice. In fact he acted as if he is running somewhere. That day I took him to a off leash dog park with glass field. He was so pleased there, chasing after a tennis ball, ran around the field a lot. So he surely is running in the field in his dream.

How do you feel now? Do Terry's pics make you relaxed?


Not yet? Then I advice you to relax yourself as well as possible.

まだダメですか? それじゃあ、出来る限りくつろぐよう努力してみてください。

Just like him below!

Oh, boy! Too relaxing!
But this is his life. Just learn from him that how well you would get such good sleep.
Sleep well!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

New cooking knife

There was a big bargain sale at the department store recently. This store is relay on a Japanese baseball team. So they had "victory sale" and I happened to be there. I didn't know which team won until then.

Anyway, I love shopping so I have looked around and found a good stuff for me. I was looking for a good cooking knife for me. I've already bought 3 of them for myself but all of them are in LA. The ones in my house now are kind of old. I really wanted to have good ones. Then I can get a professional knife sharpener to sharpen my old ones. Since it takes a while and I still need my knives during the days.

Well, I found it! It costed lots more than I have had in LA but it's worth to pay for. This time I also got a small knife. I usually work with just one knife. I decided to try something new.
I may cook much better than before.... I hope so.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

unexpected surprise gift 思いがけないギフト

My friend gave me this chocolate. The package is just timely one by now. As a matter of fact, I couldn't have Ghirardelli ones last summer. So it made me pleased.

I have heard about this shop when I stopped at San Francisco last summer. I even went by the shop however, I didn't have enough time to shop there. The photos below are the ones I took at that time.
Well, my friend didn't know about such episode though. I have wanted to have it. May be that's why it has happened. It was a nice surprise.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Terry's coffee BREAK

Terry's coffee break is very short. It takes only 5 minutes. Why he has such short break?




Look at the pic below.

This is a nice cup with coffee that Terry's Mom (my sister) has got at a coffee shop. Then Terry liked it and wanted have it. So she gave the one for him as a coffee break....



Within 5 minutes, it went as below.......


Absolutely coffee break!


Saturday, October 18, 2008

Autumn herb garden 秋のハーブ園

I feel the taste of autumn day by day. Then I went to a herb garden in Saitama area. It was a very fine autumn weather. I enjoyed blue sky with cool breeze, the typical fall climate of my area.
In this place, there are a restaurant of herb dishes and Indonesian style spa. I like this place very much. Since I eat here and have had some herbal massage before. You see some leaf color changing into reddish ones at the street in front of the shop. In the garden inside, there are many kinds of herbs and pretty plants that showed the various fall colors. I'd like to name it "fiesta".

The yellow flower below is called "winter cosmos."
Everytime I visit here, I always enjoy the plants. From season to season it shows different tastes. I love them all.

Oh well, my main purpose this time was to have a herbal massage named "Ayurveda." I had it before. I just got a coupon as a deal for my birthday. I am very fond of coupon and can't resit it!(笑)

The massage goes like the photo below. They pour body-temperature herbal oil into my forehead for 20 minutes. It make me feel so good!
Ah, if I were rich person, I could go more often though...

Too bad. It's a real life. Well, I would save money again and hopefully I can come again soon.
It is well known as healthy herbal dishes. I really like it so I wanted to eat there after the massage. But I could not eat in. Since there were a large number of group made reservation on that day. It was totally full. Too bad.
Now I have good reason to say, "I have to go."

It was such an autumn day.

Friday, October 17, 2008

High technique Subaru ハイテクスバル

I am having my car inspection now. We have to have it once in every two year in Japan. So my Subaru Impreza is in the garage now.

While my car has gone to the shop, I can have substitute car. I pay insurance and gas but I don't have to pay rental fee. It's one of the good service system in Japan.

They gave me a brand new Subaru Impreza. See the photo below. Isn't it cool?!




It came up with lots of amazing high technology. The most amazing one for me was the car key.


Look at the photo below. There is NO KEY HOLE!!

Then how come I start the engine? Well, see the "engine start/ stop" button on the right side. Just press this and the engine would start. When I cut it off, I press the same button and the engine would stop.

下の写真を見てください。何処にも鍵穴が無いでしょう!!それじゃあ、一体どうやってエンジンをかけるのでしょうか?右側の"engine start/stop" ボタンを見てください。エンジンをかけるときに、このボタンを押します。停止するときも同じボタンを押します。

It also came up with a small "black box" kind thing. When I come by the car, it recognize that I am by the car. Then I touched the door, it would unlocked so I can get into the car. When I get out the car and go away certain distance, it would lock up automatically.

Of course I can lock it with that "black box."

これは、通常の鍵の代わりに"black box"の様な小さいものが使われています。私が車に近づくとそれを感知して、ドア開けようとすると鍵が解錠され、車内に入れます。その逆で、車を降りてある程度の距離になると自動的に施鍵されます。勿論、鍵の代わりの"black box"を使って鍵をかけることもできます。

And this is very quiet car. Not only smooth running of engine but also the audio system......


Well, actually there is no sound system at all. No car navigation system. Not even a radio!


Anyway, I am waiting for my car's return. It will be back by tomorrow. then I can go anywhere.


Sunday, October 12, 2008

黒茶屋 Kurochaya, the Japanese restaurant

Last day, I went to a Japanese restaurant named Kurochaya with my friends.

Here is the site.↓ It has both English and Japanese ones.

They also sells many nice baskets and containers. It's sort of a gift shop besides the restaurant. But it really seems nice photogenic one.

The photo below is also a shop that sells sweets which we had as desert at our lunch. It was on aired on our TV station named NHK the very next day.

The photo below are the scenery from our dining room. We could have our lunch at personal room that was isolated from other customers. We, three of us , enjoyed our time by ourselves only.

It's been almost 20 years since I have visited there last time. It has not changed much. They still have beautiful nature and serves tasty dishes.
I enjoyed myself a lot and have had great relaxations.
These were what we had there. Very tasty!

These were what we had that day. Great Japanese cuisine!Envy me! Ha, ha!


We even could visit both Yoshikawa Eiji Memorial Museum and Gyokudo Art Museum also. Wow! We had lots of fun there!
I appreciate I could share such fun with Ms Y and Ms H. Thanks for sharing such great time with me.

I like Gyokudo Art Museum so much. Actually I often visit there. In fact I have been there at the plum season of last March.

The photo above is a dining place named "Imoutoya". It is known as "tofu cheese cake" that shows below. But I was full and I didn't ordered it this time.The photo is from my visit in March.


This is the entrance of Gyokudo Art Museum.


Gyokudo Art Museum:

Who is Kawai Gyokudo?

The photo above is the studio that Gyokudo used to work painting job there.

The photo below is Tama river that runs right beside the Museum. The leaves are changing into autumn colors.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

別のブログを試作 Trying another blog

My first blog went something wrong and can't change the lay out at all. So I'm trying to make another one. I wonder how it will work.
Please visit part 1 also.