Mittwoch, 31. Oktober 2007

2nd day in New York

We woke up earlier that we thought becauce of the jet lag. In a comfortable bed, I saw buildings and Hudson river in fog. It was raining.

But I didn't care. Becauce it was the day that one my lifetime dream becomes true. I had a reservation for Broadway.

In the morning, we went for breakfast. It's an another city-famous restaurant where normally doesn't accept reservation. (concierge tried but didn't work) My purpose it to have egg benedict made from organic egg.

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Hmmmmm, Egg benedict...!! That's my favorite American breakfast which is only available in US. I was very satisfied. The restaurant called "bubby's" was also typical American restaurant which I like. When I ordered a bill to the waiter, he did "yeah" just like hip hopper:) Yes, I'm now is US.

We fully enjoyed breakfast but our schedule of the day was quite tight. Broadway starts at 2 and I had to pick up the tickets before 1:30. We really had to choose priority so after had a quick shopping in SOHO, my husband went Apple Store and I went Victoria's Secret. I really had to have pajama from their since my silk pajama from here had a small accident and been rippened:) I needed a new one.

It seems that the staff of the shop have to achieving certain number of selling the products. They came to me many times and asked if anybody helping me. First, I felt a little bit uncomfortable about it but they could be very helpful when I really require assitance. I asked for sizes and designs. It was very satisfying shopping.

When I finished the shopping, I thoght I have enough time until broadway starts. Another thing I absolutely wanted to try is New York bagle. Since it was only couple of blocks from Victoria's secret, I went to this famous bagle shop. As I arrived, I was astonished to see the line. The end of the line, there was Japanese girl. I concerned the time but seeing this Japanese girl, I was dragged to the line. I had a little chat with her.

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I grabbed one bagle, which is 85 cent and dashed into the taxi. It was 5 past 1:30. The bagle shop was not that far from broadway but I didn't counted the traffic. It was terrible. I almost fought with tixi driver being irritated by how slow it goes. At the end, I left taxi from one block away from theater and ran. Poor my husband was waiting for me in front of the entrace. I felt so bad. The show started as soon as we found our seat.

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I had to catch my breath and also my mind was occupied by bad feeling but it has been instantly wiped out by beautiful performance. My tear never stop during a song of Christine and Phantom. Her clear, transparent voice was so comfortable and his strong, passionate voice was indeed toching. My husband was first not interested but he also enjoyed. We had a seat in second row from the stage. I was completely overwhelmed when the show has finished. Just a little bit dissapointed when the Phantom started advertising their products upon last call. (anyway I bought his solo CD:))

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The rain has stopped upon we went out. Sky has cleared and I finally I really saw "New York". The buildings and many many people. It is similar to Tokyo but maybe I feel more pressure from buildings. Manhattan is smaller than Tokyo so It seems like all the building are built closer to each others.


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I also enjoyed watching stylish people. Rubber boots seem to be popular. They are very practical on rainy day. If I wear them in Zürich, everybody will suspiciously look at me.

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Another big event of the day still left in the evening. Meeting my high school friend now living in Boston!! I was really really looking forward to it. She and her American boyfriend came all the way to New York just to seeing us. I know my friend Kae for a long time and our men also already known each others. We had dinner together while we were all in Japan. So it was great to gather again in US! The Japanese restaurant I have booked, "GEISHA" was very stylish and was perfect for the situation. It's great to have men who are interested in Japanese culture and of course, seeing a good old friend again. When we were classmates in high school, we've never imagined 10 years later like this. Meetings each others in US, having both foreign man:) You never know what comes in your life!

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The above, you know how small Japanese girls are:)


Me and kae are both still new to live abroad and we could share many feelings and experiences. I like Switzerland but I absolutely miss my Japanese friends. That is same for Kae. I feel a hole in one spot of my heart not having a friend in Zürich. But the moment I saw Kae, I felt it has been healed. It was such a nice feeling to see a good friend after a while. And by learning that she also fighting with similar circumstances and making best out of it, I was even more cheered up.

With making another appointment for next day breakfast, we went back to the hotel. In the middle of the big city, it reminds me of my days in Tokyo.

Montag, 29. Oktober 2007

New York!!

One of the mysteries in my life is that.."I've never been New York!". Whenever I say so, everybody suprised since I was living in US for 5 years. During those days, I've been Washington DC and Florida in the east coast but for some reason, never in New York. Even after back in Japan, whenever I decided to visit US, I ended up in west coast. Flight hours to west coast is already too much and never had energy to fly all the way to the east. But now, as a resident of Europe, it's a different story. It's better to have a short stop in east, before flying to west. We could also adjust to the time difference slowly.

US is my second home. But I haven't been back for 5 years. I was longing to be back in US but when I realized, I was wiped to the other way around from Japan:) So I was absolutely excited for this trip.

But as I arrived, I have to admit that there are so many culture shocks. I tought US is the most familiar country for me beside Japan. But,, was US like this? We decided to take a bus from the airport but how unorganized it is. Driver was making joke all the time(not funny one). We had 2 drivers but both of them are putting strenght on the tips. At the restaurant, the waiter explaing about recommendations in very casual way. "ok, volks?" That was his favorite word. At the shop, staff always come over to me and tell her name like "my name is Cathy, if you need help just let me know". I was surprised that they told their name all the time. I don't remember that I felt this way in the past, either in LA or in San Francisco. It was the first time, I felt a little bit uncomfortable from the way they speak and behave. Without realizing, I got used to the European way of distance. All of the sudden, the American way of distance between people felt too close for me.

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Being shocked of the culture and also being shocked that the fact that I feel "shock", we anyway enjoed our time in New York. The room of Mandarin Oriental refreshed us up as soon as we arrived. First night in New York, we met friends of my husband. Such a cool, stylish and kind couple they are. They invited us for drink at their place and also booked a famous restaurant in the city.

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Their home with great view. Can't imagine how it's like living in the room with view of Empire state building just in front of you.
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The restaurant was full of people but indeed, they serve real Americal grilled food.
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At this moment, I was surprised by American style service, which sounds like the waiter is friend.

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It's been a while to see foods served in American portion.

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Shame but the first day was raining. We needed to take a taxi to go back to the hotel. The taxi for 4 people is quite expensive. One Limousime stoped in front of us. No doubt, we not gonna take it but suddenly Patrick started negotiating with the driver. And he made it!! It came to the agreement and we went it.

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First day in New York became as also a first limousine experience. It was huge and has enough space for more than 4 people.

Due to the jet lag, shame that we couldn't continue the party. We went back to the hotel room after dinner. But we had fun in full power from the first night. At this time, I still didn't know this power continue until we leave..
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Dienstag, 23. Oktober 2007

Cozy time at home

Last Saturday, my husband cooked for me again.
He bought turkey for dinner but I didn't know how I cook them. I'm not very good in cooking without following cook book. So something which is not in a book, I cannot be creative enough to find out by myself.

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So he showed me how!

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I was watching how it's been prepared.
I really enjoy watching back of my husband cooking. It reminds me of my childhood when my mom was cooking for me. I don't know when was the last time I saw her cooking since it's been a while since I living apart from them. I have to admit that it is so relaxing to see my husband cooking.

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He really knows how to cook. Sometime, I"m totally at lost what to do with tons of corrots. But he simply peeled all of them and fried.

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and he continued cooking the meat. Turkey.

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This is so-called "fitness teller" in Switzerland. Lots of vegetables and little bit of meat is known as the most healthy menu. The meat was cooked perfectly.

For the dessert, we had juicy pear and cheese with fruits bread. It was perfect.

I couldn't be happier!

Samstag, 20. Oktober 2007

Invitation from good friend

Last night was one of the days I was really looking forward to. It was the day a good friend of mine, Nadine invited me and my husband to her place. As I'm working in a very small office, she is the only colleague I have and we see each others every day at the office. But same time, we are being good friends even before becoming as a colleague.
Not only visiting her place but also meeting her boyfriend was first experience. I have been heard about him for 2 years and finally able to meet him!!

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Nadine often telling me that her apartment is small but I knew it is not correct. As I entered her home, I was very impressed how neat and comfortable the apartment is. And of course, the apartment is not small at all. She says so just because her parents have huge house. I really knew that! Indeed, her apartment was coordinated with white interior and looks very spacy. (my husband already making himself at home:)

We have been served apello and hand made tomato pie. I let her go earlier from the office but I've never imagined that she cook even for apello. I was too hungry and had to eat a lot from the starter. Maki, another good friend of mine joined us an a meantime.

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Nadine in already like half Japanese. She observe well and always like to treat the others. She was being busy to prepare many things. Her boyfriend is very kind and he constantly check Nadine in kitchen.

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The table was also nicely arranged.

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Main was,, torlilla!! Nadine and her boyfriend are vegetarians. I was very curious what they cook. Vegetarian menu was veryyyyy GOOD! Fresh friend vegetables are incredibly delicious.

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Conversation was continuously in German but interesting is that "high German" is not a mother tongue for anybody:) I found out that Maki has Spanish accent when she speaks German! She is Japanese but her mother tongue is Spanish. Even Nadine sometimes forget words in German:) But like this, entire of the conversation is fun for a German learner.

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Nadine was perfect also in detail.
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Special herb tea was served in even special cup.

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Dessert was especially wonderful!! Nadine baked lemon cake and Maki made Green tea ice cream!!!

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I was curious for the receipt every time I'm impressed by food.

In the night like this, I feel very happy that I live in Switzerland. I can meet and enjoy time with very interesting people which you could hardly meet in Japan. It expand my point of view and often motivates me in many respects.

So the fun night went on and when we realized, it was already 12am. We missed our bus;-) It was too comfortable to check the time before hand. Thank you for cozy night, next time,,, I will be happy to having you in our place!

Dienstag, 16. Oktober 2007

Business trip and home

Last Friday, I had business trip in Grindelwald. As working in a japanese travel agent, Grindelwald is one of the important place to know. The village becomes like small "Japan town" during the summer. The place is indeed beloved among Japanese, specially by old moutain lovers.

Now it's off season. Some hotels are closing to prepare for another high season during winter. Before their closure is the best time for us to check the hotels while they are almost empty.
Me and my colleague (who is actually a good friend) left Zurich 8am in the morning. It was approx 3 hours ride. Of course, it is a business trip, but the time in train with Starbucks coffee is a fun chat time for girls:)
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We tried our best for scheduling but somehow ended up with worst one. We had to go back and forth for 3 times, to the hotel up on the hill and soon back to the hotel at the station again. Since we had to carry around bruchures, we were totally exhausted by the end of the day.

Even no time for lunch.

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But the trip was indeed worth. I was selling all these hotels during summer without even knowing exact location. Now I have clear image of each hotels and can recommend client better. The above is a garden of one of the big hotels. View is amazing.

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Breathtaking view from the taracce. This hotel was my favorite.

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After succesfully finished all the inspection at Grindelwald, we walked from Interlaken Ost to Interlaken West. Interlaken is a major crossing in this area and we need to know about the city.


Our business trip was very a fruitful one.

But upon I back to home, I was crash. I didn't have enough sleep last night, plus no lunch during busy day. I knew I was starving but I even didn't have energy to think of what to eat. I could grab something from station but my heavy bag refrained me from doing so.

My sweet husband treated me very well.

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He prepared warm bath for me and mealwhile, cooked very delicious pasta.

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Ohhhh, this salmon tomato sauce pasta was better than any other restaurants!

After fully relaxed in a bath and enjoyed great dinner, I was completely recovered and had cozy Friday night.
The day of the business trip was also the day that I truly appreciated of my home and a sweet support from my husband.

Sonntag, 14. Oktober 2007

Another surprising wedding in Switzerland

This weekend, I had another very interesting wedding experience! I went REAL SWISS mountain, two successive weekends. This time, driving from Zurich for 2.5hrs to Avers-Juf. It was the wedding of a cousine of my husband.

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Upon we arrived, we found cocktail party being prepared on the surface of the mountain:)

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,, and church also at the edge of the mountain hill.

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Some were in black ties but many people dressed casual. I was very stupid to wear pin high heel which stucked into the ground every step I had.
There were family and lots of neighbor in the small village. A mother of the bride told me that the place is the community locating highest point in the world.

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Wedding couple.

I have to confess that it was a huge culture shock for me that the bride had no problem to drag her dress on the street, on the mountain... which is not clean.. Even I, who was not wearing a wedding dress was being very cautious of not stepping on to cows shxxx. So surprising how casual they are but that makes them look cute.

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We walked torwrad the church. The weather was indeed blessing wedding pair.

IMG_2871.JPG Another surprise. The bell are ringed manually:) Ding-dong ding-dong, two peple are busy to ring bells in full power. It must be a good excersice:)

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Another surprising incident. Priest is late! Groom are completely ready and waiting inside but the priest never came:) How can it be like that at the most important event in life:) But here, everybody are totally relaxed and just joked about it. I love these laid back people. A boy, who is hiding behind groom is a son. He is unbelievably a cute one.

Finally priest came and made such a borinig long long story. I thought it's becauce me who don't understand Swiss German but it seems that the other people had also same feeling. The priest was too much.

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Upon we left the church, there was a line of people. My god, what are they caring?? It's a sledge and ski board, in stead of flower shower!!

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Ohhhhhh, don't hit me!!!

I mean what an idea!!

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When it comes to the wedding pair..... :)) A groom pulling wagon for bride.

It seems that the joke level of this pair is quite high.

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What I have been impressed the most is how cute the children are/
The above is a flower girl who gently strew flower and candies on the grown where the pair goes.

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I like this idea of candies. On a green grass, colorful candies are also like flowers. But tasty.

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Boys dressed the best they can. Whan I focused my camera..

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They paused for me!! Oh, I really wanted to kidnap them. If that's not allowed, I have to make one by myself:)


While we are enjoying cocktails, another perfomance by wedding couple has started!

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Ski board??

A bride is in ski jacket:))

She is a professional ski teacher who is beloved by many children.
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And she started teaching skiing to groom!!!

So interesting that they could be funny with their dress on. In Japan, I must say that bride couple, especially bride are not allowed to be funny. In old days, calm, neat and shy women are appreciated. (even now, that's a symbol of Japanese women's character!) Now a days of course women are more crazy:) but if they are in wedding dress, they are still expected to be a symbolical Japanese woman. Wearing a ski board with wedding dress? No way.

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But such a wedding with no restriction create heart warming party. They do whatever they want and willing to entertain guests. Obviously guests enjoyed more with their casual style

I experienced another swiss style wedding..

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