Thursday, March 17, 2011

Graduation day

It's graduation day today. These kids, my Wednesday class, graduated
from kindergarten today. It was a beautiful ceremony, can't hold my
tears watching them.

After the ceremony was finished, on my way out of the Yochien, all of
them, in a very loud voice said: "miss Shierly, thank you! Good bye
and see you again!"

Ah... Those kids! One of them said that she wanted me to teach him
English until high school LOL.

The money for this week's English lesson was donated to the earthquake
and tsunami victim through the Japanese Red Cross (^_^).

Leaving Tokyo

We are in haneda airport now, will fly to Surabaya via Singapore in
few hours. No, we are not running away from japan like many other
foreigners do. My brother is getting married tomorrow night, so this
is a planned trip.

I know that japan is not stable now after the big earthquake and
tsunami last week, but actually it's all good in Tokyo. Yes, there's
radiation leak from the nuclear plantation, but it's not harmful (yet)
in Tokyo. It's what the government said and I, and apparently the
people I know trust them. Because indeed, they can be trusted.

The food and basic need are limited, but people are not starving.
Basic food and needs are sent north to help the victims and people do
understand. Few days ago they bought a lot of food but now they start
to control not to overstock. So that more food could be sent north.
Isn't it touching?

Rice, miso, seaweed are the main food so these few days we ate pasta,
cereal or pancake; meanwhile veggies and fruit are sold in normal

To save energy people also voluntarily reduce the electric, gas and
water usage. We wore down jacket at home so that we don't need to turn
on the heater and save the bath water for the next day. Even kids
understand and are trained to turn off the light if they don't really
need it. Usually Tokyo was bright at night because of the lights but
now all are dimmed. Also voluntarily.

It's cold today. Can't imagine how cold the north is. I keep thinking
of those (mostly) old people. I feel cold here, it must be freezing
there. How sad it is to see the ruined houses covered with snow...I am
lucky that I live far away...

If you would like to donate, I did mine through the Japanese Red Cross:

What stressed me out is actually the aftershocks earthquake. Our apt
building Also has earthquake absorbent so it sways like jelly. Hiro,
grown up in Tokyo, is just so used to it. I couldn't sleep from last
Friday, and he couldn't understand how would those 'small' earthquakes
make me stress (・_・;

But again, I married a Japanese and might have to spent my old time in
this country. I don't want to be a frustrated old lady here later so I
think I need to learn to change my point of view.

We also try not to make the kids stress with the situation. They go to
school like usual and play. Iki even started to go to his fave
swimming club already from yesterday. Those kids....they were not
scared of earthquake but they know exactly what to do when it comes.

Today was the last day of school. We will spend spring break in
Indonesia. Hopefully it will be warmer then, and things will be much

Sent from my iPhone

Friday, March 11, 2011

8.9M earthquake......

I was riding my bike with Iki on the back. We were on the way to Iki's swimming school when I felt really dizzy. I park my bike then realized that everything was shaking. Earthquake!!!! Trembling, I tried to take Iki out of his seatbelt. I didn't know what to do, just hugging that shocked boy. People came out of the building and ducked down. Iki told me to do the same thing too. He said that he learnt it at school.

It was a strong and long earthquake. It was the first in my life to see the whole buildings, bicycles, and cars shaking that hard. After it stopped, we went up the the swimming school. The pool's water was like tsunami, that the pool was half empty. The swimming teacher told us that the class is cancelled today so we went down, to find out that the bottom of the pool cracked and the water started to spill down to the receptionist room. We rushed back home right away. I was so trembling I couldn't ride the bike.

As I arrived at our apartment building, everyone was ducking down outside the building. Then another big earthquake hit again. I didn't get the chance to park my bike, I just threw it to the parking area and joined other people ducking down while hugging Iki. Our apartment building is using earthquake safety technology. There's thick rubbery yellow line around the base of the building so that the building will move following it when earthquake happens. It was my first time to see that building moving within the yellow line and it was really amazing!

I was surprised that people were calm and knew what to do. Iki was the one who told me to duck down and cover our head with the bag and keep away from the building. My friend then told me that they have earthquake tsunami safety training since they were in Kindergarten so eventhough scared, they knew exactly what to do to avoid the worst effect.

We stayed outside for 2 hours and went back home because it was getting way too cold. I am scared. Really scared, so my friend also stayed with us at home. Earthquake still happens every 5-10 minutes so the gas was stopped for safety. We could only eat onigiri (rice ball) for dinner and followed the news from TV!! It was really sad to see how the earthquake and tsunami broke everything. All the phone line didn't work, couldn't contact anyone here in Japan, but internet was fine! So I was connected with Hiro and other worried friends by FACEBOOK!

But then her husband came back after walking 3 hours from the office, while papa-chan chose to wait until the train moves again- which I think is impossible tonight. Ah....the earth shake again just now, and we are alone....and cold...and scared... (_ _o)

March Flower Arrangement

The theme was White Day. I used papa-chan beer mug as the vase ;)

Thursday, March 10, 2011


Suddenly Iki showed great interest in learning Kanji -argh...something that is out of my plate! Hiro was home earlier last night so Iki got the chance to ask papa to teach him :)

Hmm maybe it's the chance for me to learn too - together with him! :p

Wednesday, March 09, 2011


Motsunabe is kind of nabemono (hot pot) with offal and vegetables (usually cabbage and chives) inside. It is originally from Kyushu, and last week I got a frozen one in package a friend from Kyushu. This one is the sweet one, so that Iki can eat it too.

But we ate it when Iki slept over at Obaachan's house!! So to meet Hiro's taste, I added 3 Indonesian fresh red chillies I just got from Hiro's colleague. It is basically a very simple meal to prepare. Cut the whole cabbage and chives, put them around the offal, add the soup, turn on the fire, and wait. The cabbage formed a little mountain so I was actually tempted to mix it with a spoon, but my friend said that I really don't have to touch it. Just wait patiently until all the vegetables shrink!

After about 10 minutes:

It was too spicy!! I didn't expect the chillies would be that spicy! Poor Hiro....!!

But I really love the taste! The sweet and spicy taste reminded me of Mie ayam soup taste from Sorowako. At the end we put champon (Fat ramen) inside the hot pot and boiled it a bit until it got all the good soup

Hmmmmm..................I L.O.V.E it!!!!!!

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Night ski and Ice Lake Fishing

We had lunch at McDonald's last Saturday when Hiro suddenly said, "let's go ski and ice fishing after this!"

Well, actually planned a day trip on Sunday, but still I was very surprised and not prepared!

Anyway in less than an hour we were in our way up north to Urabandai area in Fukushima perfecture. After having a quick lunch then we did our first night ski together. Boy, it was a beautiful night!! We went up and saw the beautiful lights from the villages down the mountain.
I (of course) fell off when I tried to turn on my snowboard and accidentally realized that there were millions of stars up there. I love spending few minutes laying on the snow, watching them twinkling.

Then we stayed in a Minshuku, a budget version of Japanese Ryokan by the end of narrow and slippery Urabandai road. It was very cheap. A good accommodation choice for our unplanned trip. Eventhough spoilt Iki asked once he saw the building: "What? we're staying here? is this really hotel?!" LOL

We spent the next day fishing wakasagi (Japanese smelt) on the frozen lake. What an experience!!!

At first Iki was very excited but then after 5 minutes he got bored and started to complain :p

We waited for 3.5 hours but got nothing!!!! not even one tiny wakasagi! (>.<). It was very cold and Iki looked very miserable so we gave up

We went back without any wakasagi but we brought back home an unforgettable experience

Monday, March 07, 2011


March 3 is Hinamatsuri in Japan. Iki's school entrance was beautifully decorated by hinamatsuri decoration made by the children

Then on the following Friday my friend invited me for a hinamatsuri lunch

We ordered the gorgeous lunch box. I don't have a daughter but I feel lucky to be able to celebrate this beautiful tradition with them

Especially when surprisingly the dessert baked was a late celebration for my birthday!

Thank you, girls! I enjoy my life in Japan so much because of all of you too!!