Weekly activities

I definitely prefer action-filled weeks to those when I have nothing to do but to look at the falling rain (after a month, the rain gets rather boring) – and if it isn’t raining, I definitely want to be on the go. Luckily, last week was full of reasons for me to defy the weather and leave my bed (and by bed I mean my room, which is pretty much the same thing).

MONDAY
Indian “private restaurant” dinner – or how would you call a windowless room where you are the only people dining? Followed by pudding dessert (like being a kid again with the chocolate pudding!) close-by.

Spot the restaurant. Hint: it's not the one with the "cafe"
Spot the restaurant. Hint: it’s not the allay cafe

 

TUESDAY
Vintage furniture store opening, and organic cocktails (4 different kinds, tried them all and then some) and “fancy” canapés in Pure Bar&Restaurant.

Mojito, strawberry orange vodka, cucumber martini, grapefruit gin - mojito and martini were the stars
Mojito, strawberry orange vodka, cucumber martini, grapefruit gin – mojito and martini were the stars

 

WEDNESDAY
Zumba and yoga in my safe haven in Causeway Bay, mYoga.

 

THURSDAY
Karen Millen cocktail event in Central with a “healthy” theme (funny that they hire male candy to serve stuff which they have no clue -nor intrest on- what it is)

Cleanse shots - served as "spinach" or "celery" or "cinnamon". Yum!
Cleanse shots – served as “spinach” or “celery” or “cinnamon”. Yum!

 

FRIDAY
French Look My Baboush shoe launch in Common Ground, followed by dessert in Tin Hau (had 3 different kinds, I’m eating my way through China!)

Kinda like Tom's but "completely different!"
Kinda like Tom’s but “completely different!”
Shoe customization by le French "la mangue"
Shoe customization by le French “la mangue”

 

SATURDAY
Met my lovely friend Nick, who came to visit from Tokyo. We had a fantastic day in Lamma island, and it was raining only for about 15 minutes!

Without the junk boats Nick would'v gone skinny dipping
Without the junk boats Nick would’v gone skinny dipping

 

SUNDAY
Quick visit to the Hong Kong Cheese Festival (small, smelly and, well, cheesy – all in all a bit of a disappointment), followed by East Island Market and a stroll trough different neighborhoods with Nick.

First bite of street food (better response than with durian ice cream)!
First bite of street food (better response than with durian ice cream)!

Nick went back to Japan, and I started to prepare myself for yet another week of rain…maybe the junk boat summer sunny season will start soon and hopefully the rest of my weeks here would be at least almost as active as this one”

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Swedish Christmas in Japan

Christmas just isn’t the same without certain things. Here up in the mountains, I have been isolated from all of the Christmas hassle that is going on in the stores and around the “civilization” (pun intended), which has maybe been a good thing. Good thing because the Japanese way of (not) spending Christmas is so very different from what I am used to, look forward to and love.

Gift game after dinner: I got socks!
Gift game after dinner: I got socks!

 

Luckily, the Swedish girls who are also exchange students are big fans of Christmas, and their way of celebrating the best holiday of the year is pretty similar to ours back home. So, I got a chance to have a small, sort-of Christmas after all this year!

What's Christmas without a tree?
What’s Christmas without a tree?

 

Eating anything and everything with chopsticks comes quite naturally now, and it didn’t even feel weird. The Swedish Christmas food was surprisingly different from the ones we have in Finland: it was more like something we would eat other times of the year (or on a Swedish cruise!). Something both countries have in common: mandarines, glögi/glögg (glühwein) and chocolate, last two of which are pretty good quality here in Nippon, too!

Essential for Christmas: overdose on chocolate (because you have to try as many different kinds as possible!)
Essential for Christmas: overdose on chocolate (because you have to try as many different kinds as possible!)

Japanese confectionery selection: highly approved. In stead pineapple, the staple in the Finnish boxes, there was mango. Other options included salty caramel, green tea, darjeeling tea, marron, bitter (my favorite, surprise surprise!) and espresso. Plus about 20 other flavors.

Hostess cooking self-made köttbullar (meatballs), pile or mandarines and self-decorated mugs
Hostess cooking self-made köttbullar (meatballs), pile or mandarines and self-decorated mugs

We sang songs (both in Swedish and English), played a gift game, and enjoyed the jolly atmosphere for 6 hours. As everyone was stuffed when leaving the table, the Christmas feeling was just as it’s supposed to be.

Christmas spirit all around
Christmas spirit all around

Who needs snow anyways?

TGI It’s Friday Night

The gloomy, rainy day off work Friday turned to a night full of new experiences.
New York is currently having its’ annual Restaurant Week(s), with a myriad of participating upscale restaurant offering various cuisines for fixed price (lunch 24.07$, dinner 35.00$).
After doing few hours of research (browsing the menus, drooling) I made my pick for a friday night date based on three key factors: location, name and above all, menu. Kellari Taverna was not a disappointment – a Greek restaurant with (almost) no feta on the menu, and just one meaty entree, what could be better? My other options (and possibly, hopefully future restaurant experiences) were Asian: Haru, Tao, Nobu and SambaSushi (yes, the one from Sex and the City).

No pictures of the restaurant (whose name in Finnish means cellar or basement), nor the food. Both of them were good, and my date wasn’t bad, either. This was a suit up-date, including a bottle of delicious rosèe, and three over-sweet desserts. Three, because they had run out of the first and second option my date selected, but latere discovered that they did have the second one after all.

After dinner, we walked to Gansevoort Park hotel which already had an impressive line to the elevators. We got right up, to a party in 2 floors, outside pool area and few different rooms (all of which played the same music, though – the same music that we listen to in Finland). In this culture, it is beneficial to be a female, even if it means that heels are mandatory. Apparently clubs want more girls than guys in, and the latter pay the bill. In Finland it would be called discrimination.

Walking back home, we encountered a line of people sitting in fold-out chairs. They were clearly not waiting to get in a bar. I have seen lines in here before (20 people waiting to go to an interview in American Apparel, 50 people waiting to get tickets/seats to a Batman screening in 5 hours), but not at 2 am. Since this culture appreciates social confrontations and I was curious, my date asked what the people were waiting for. Answer: Michael Jordan. Enough said.

Long story, short finish – I got back home, the doorman got grumpy because my date walked me in. I fell asleep almost immediately, for the first time since coming here, and woke up at 8 sharp. After breaking The Laws of the Webster, I went to get coffee, toast and peanut butter (“behind the counter”, for some reason they hide it and don’t tell anyone it is an option) to my room before breakfast time ends (luxuriously at 9.00 on Saturdays). That’s it for sleeping.

Dinner in the Webster yesterday: Turkey burgers, pasta and breaded broccoli, also some green goo that was called “Korean”, the usual brownie or a cannoli (or the luxurious fruit) for dessert. Oh man, how do I not regret going out yesterday!