Mittwoch, 23. Mai 2012

irregular update

I've worked a lot and also met friends for chatting /coffee, went drinking with co-workers again and finally set up an bank account at sumitomo. The hotel restaurant company requires all employees to set up an account at sumitomo. But not just ANY sumitomo store would do, no.. It had to be the main branch store in Umeda. It is very common to get a specific bank account for companies in japan, but usually any store of a certain bank will do. I never heard it had to be a very specific city store before.
I can go to Umeda straight from my train station. You can probably do some good shopping in Umeda too, but I rather wanted to go to Namba or Shinsaibashi instead. I walked and walked and walked... luckily I crossed some shopping streets in Senba (?), where lots of cheap/non-brand stuff was being sold. I got two new tops (one for 500 and one for 1000 Yen) and they don't look cheap at all. Actually all the things had original price tags with really high prices ! Obviously someone got his /her hands on things from a chinese factory before they'd go to normal brandstores, where the same stuff would be displayed with ridiculous prices.
I eventually arrived somewhere in Namba but I realized I had to walk all the way back again and therefore decided against walking any further. Got another Ice cream (frozen yoghurt) and headed back to Umeda. I also checked out H&M but couldn't find any underwear. Does H&M Japan not carry underwear??? Damn. I was so looking forward to buy one of their comfy T-shirt bras :(

grapefruit/raspberry flavored frozen yoghurt base and toppings: azukibeans and aloe vera jelly

Things at work are getting a bit rough lately. I am not on good terms with one guy and I start to worry about how things will develop from now on. It is pretty stressful to work with him.

Monday I didnt do anything at all except washing (3 machines!), lazing around and eating (mostly dais food, sorry babe). Tuesday I went to Akashi to meet Naoko-san. She took a day off at work today because she felt like (?) and also because I am hardly free on weekends. We walked around in Akashi koen (park)  and a bit within the city. Then we bought random pastries from dans marché , sat down next to a river and ate. Bought some more sweets and rode the bus to 伊川谷 Ikawadani, where she lives. At her place we chatted over coffee and played with her two dogs and cat. 
me in one of my new bargain shirts, akashi castle and park, naoko and her pets

Oh and I got a new hobby (not that I really asked for it): killing cockroaches. I killed two and Dai told me he also killed some.. I am not super scared about insects or something but this isn’t really funny either :( I am pretty sure though, that they get in from the outside and aren’t living/breeding in our flat! We always leave the bathroom window open and I daily air my room, too.

Today, Thursday i am off again. I prefer to stay home today again, because the upcoming five days will be packed with work and meeting friends.

Almost two weeks ago I went to some lovely cafe with Naoko-san. It was my turn to pick some place to go to, so I spend hours and hours on tabelog and eventually decided on this one:
kissaten kissako

You can have tea and coffee and sweets. The tea is surely of great quality but the main point of this cafe is the interior and the exquisite selection of sweets. You are seated on sofas. Ok I know this isn’t something too special in Europe.. but in Japan it is fairly rare to have sofas or I am just going to the wrong places. After you sit down, you will be brought over all sweets that are available and get time to think about your choice:
I had houjicha and a matcha flavored dorayaki (tea set on the left)

It's not the cheapest place to go to but it wasn’t expensive either and once you ordered something, you can sit for hours and wont be bothered to order more. My choice of tea was 400 Yen and my picked candy was 300 Yen. I picked the cheapest stuff that was available. So one visit will result in something between 700 – 1100 Yen. 

And one last random photo I took at work. Suddenly I was asked to leave my usual work place and go to the restaurant on the highest floor. I was left there alone and instructed to do nothing and in case a customer comes to call my chef. So I had some time to enjoy the breath-taking scenery:

Kobe at night

Freitag, 11. Mai 2012

finally some time off

Wow, golden week was hell and I am glad I am through this. I enjoyed yesterday and today without any work. I used my time to do groceries by bike and go on a short date with my boyfriend. I forced him to go with me to harborland again. We did a bit of window shopping and then sat down at nana's green tea. It's a bit pricey, but worth it. they have such great matcha and azuki beverages to choose from *heaven*

I had an azuki float with shirotama (dango) and it was delicious:

the shop had a great interior concept

got free postcards
Check their menu out :

view from the outside... u can sit next to the artificial canal of the canal garden shopping complex

On our way back we also stopped by a kohnan store コーナン. Another „home center“ store. Actually we live next to one, but different chain. Kohnan is really big and quite cheap and is worth to check out for their sales and special bargains. They also had pets&animals and made me fell in love with super purrty american short hair cat. Forgot to take its photo though. They also had really cute rabbits, huuuuge cockroaches/insects and snakes. The thing that most surprised me was, that they offered owls. In Germany it's forbidden to keep them as pets:

By the way, my boyfriend has/had fishies :D He started with two and then bought another one, but the biggest, the red one died quite quickly. And last time I checked the mini aquarium, I could only spot one fish. Another one had died. My bf never says anything to me about them :D What is he doing with them or better asked what is he not doing? Omg, I keep thinking about the cute cat from the home-center store :/ But I strongly believe it is no good to keep cats in home all day and night. I feel it is a much more natural way to keep cats, when you have the option to leave them out. With our apartment that’s downright impossible, we live at a huge, busy main road and there's no green spot around. I checked out the snakes too, but they are damn expensive and I don't feel like keeping cockroaches... so no pet for me.

Today (Friday), I met up with Laura-san. Laura-san is an Italian woman (or Japanese /Italien mixed), has a six month old babyboy and is married to a Japanese. She lives a bit more on the country side of Kobe I think, but still very close by. We met at Minatogawakoen Station. I actually mixed sth up and first waited for her at the Minatogawa-Shrine, until I realized that it was NOT the right station :D So I walked and walked..and eventually found her. Through my mistake I was able to see my first traditional Japanese wedding ceremony though:

I felt creepy taking pics, so I couldn’t take any closer shots.

Tomorrow I meet up with Naoko for coffee and then head to work. Sunday & Monday will be filled up by working at IKEA and Tuesday another shift at the Hotel Restaurant.
At the Hotel-restaurant started another chinese guy and new Nepali. The crew gets more and more international. At IKEA is also a nepali woman. I didn’t know before, that there were so many people from Nepal in Japan.. or is it only Kobe?
And I officially signed some six months contract with IKEA as a part-timer. First official contract for me (apart from the mobile phone one :D). The hotel-restaurant did not provide me with any papers so far. I actually asked them for something that proves/confirms my employment with them, but haven't received anything so far.