Thursday, November 27, 2014

Why I love Japan-cleanliness


Why I write this entry

I think that is too easy to guess. I don't know why it is hard to maintain a clean toilet in Malaysia. I have experienced a situation where toilet in a newly built building, got so dirty just in weeks. Another example that I think most people can relate is ones in KLIA2. My first experience in KLIA2 was just about a few months ago. That time KLIA2 just started to operate. My flight was late at night and if I have to board AA, I will always always use the toilet on land. I can't explain how relieved I was when we landed in Japan because  it will be just time know. But, not all the time that plan is successful. Anyway, the toilet at KLIA that time probably around 2am, recalling it is enough to make me nauseous. As I opened the first cubicle, there are urine so visible on the toilet seat. The person who responsible must have come from a country who doesn't have toilet. And the next one, no flushing, and the next one blood stains (you are so optimist if you think that somebody got cut) on the toilet seat, so visible that I got a headache right after. Only at the 5th cubicle I can finally use and that was a squat one. Still, I wasn't entirely comfortable with the experience. 

Problem 1: Ethics

In my opinion, one of the factor is the user. In this case, us, the citizens. If we are more appreciative, less selfish, and responsible, I think the government wouldn't need to spend much in maintenance. However, this theory is not necessarily true at some place that I've seen to have very good maintenance, not just toilet but the cleanliness of the entire compound. 

For example, at the Rest and Relax area (RnR). When I was in Malaysia, the idea of road trip will make me think many many times before I can say ok. In the matter of nature calls, I'm pretty much like Sheldon Cooper. So, I'll try my best to make sure at that time I wasn't at some random places with creepy toilets. But in here, my perspective for road trips has change. In fact, I love love traveling around here. One, is the view, and another is their RnR. It was too dreamy, you don't think such toilet even exist!

Some says that Malaysia's toilet's prone to get dirty that fast is to the fact that we use water for that business. Well, if that's so, ours should be more clean. How do you explain all the urine and blood and not flushing, then? Because you have a lot of water? Toilets in Japan are now equipped with bidet (or other types of bidet for different businesses). The way to use this facility is trickier than having a proper tap in the toilet. That can make a bigger mess if you mishandled it. 

Problem 2: Poor facility

I know, sometimes it's not the people. Have you been to situation when you found the flush isn't working after you finished your business? Worst, when the tap does not dispense water? And most of the time, public toilet in Malaysia doesn't provide toilet roll (note: the number of places does so is growing, I noticed). I have! But so far not that unfortunate that both weren't working at the same time. If that happened, I don't know what to do. I've never really though about that.

Writing this entry made me reminisce the time when I was in boarding school. Our hostel has three floors and there are plenty of toilet and showers at every floors. So, what was the problem? There were no water supply! Only one or two sink can dispense water (although the flow will make you go crazy) and so did the shower. Only two or three that was usable. The toilets? I don't remember if they ever work. I think they were only one or two toilets that worked for the second nature calls (that is, the cubicle has tap and the flush is working). It was located at the ground floor and I remember I keep wishing for the toilet to not give up on us. Showering was not a problem since we have a sunway (a huge water pool). So most of us resort to this place when it comes to worse. 

Sometimes, I encounter human's waste product at you know where, and that time we know that it is because there are no water supply. I think the water are there, but the pump or something wasn't working. I really hope our education ministry can look into this matter and amend this very simple problem. But, it's been ages since I've been into any hostel. Probably the condition now is much better. If that's so, alhamdulillah..good for our young generations. 

Current views

How about malls?
In the late 90's I think the condition of toilet in the malls was like...still disgusting. Starting in the 2000's I think the condition has improved so well. I now can stay outside longer than usual and not to worry to pee or you-know at these places. I like to go especially to places where I familiar and I know they have a great toilet. I am from Petaling Jaya so, I'm a frequent to MidValley and The Gardens (such a big fan), OneUtama, Ikea, The Curve and Sunway Pyramid. All of them, alhamdulillah has the nicest toilet. I still not liking the idea of jalan-jalan di bandaraya Kuala Lumpur, like the Sogo area. If I need to go there, it would just be for maximum 2 hours just cause..I still couldn't find a nice toilet around that area. Oh well, it wasn't my favorite place to be either.

My mom remembers me with many characters. One of it, is a child who hold her pee or whatever waste until I reach home. My mom told me, as I arrived at the door, I will always run towards the toilet. haha xp. So, I guess Japan is the right place for me, to stay for a very long time. Sadly, this water supply tak sampai condition did not stop at the school or hostel. I still had to hold my pee and others until I reach home, even at the university. Believe it or not, that time only one toilet for the whole huge department. And later I moved to another department, they have a nice toilet...with no water (most of the time). So, expect 'the expected' when you check out the cubicles. Uwekkk!!

I intended to write numbers of whys. But, I was so pumped out writing just for one why; cleanliness. I think this is enough to tell you that. I'll see you in the next why:)

Take care!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Sandankyo -the place where I burned my calorie the highest in a long time..

Looks like this year we have no choice but to disregard our autumn tradition.
This year we go local to enjoy autumn's scenery. By the way, our autumn tradition was a visit to Kyoto on every peak day of autumn in a year. This year, my schedule disagreed with the tradition, hence we have to resort to an alternative. Going local it is.

We chose Sandankyo just cause that's the only place I have been wanting to go but reserve it to go with 'A'. Well, pretty much every nice place I reserved to go with him. It's like having him with me or not going at all. It's no use of going if my mind keep thinking of him..yea..I'm so pathetic like that!

If you google 'Sandankyo' you will see a lot of picture that entitled to the word 'picturesque'. You will have a hard time to tell yourself that it was not photoshopped and then you want to see it for yourself. But here, I want to remind you, the experience wasn't all walking blissfully while hearing the birds chirping then after 5 minutes you'll see so many levels of natural waterfalls. It wasn't.

After we parked our car, we followed the other visitor to wait at the 'entrance'. I thought it was only 5-50minutes walking forward then we can see the picturesque view. But most of them waited for the bus. So, did us, although we had no idea where the bus will take us. The bus journey took about 30 minutes.That long! I know, so I was thinking, if journey with the bus took us 30minutes (!) then how if we walk towards the taki (waterfalls). That would take us probably about 2 hours (minimum). I was glad we were taking the bus, although it was a little bit pricey. But the experience was worth it.
Where we found many people were standing, waiting for the feeder bus. 

The journey with the bus was my first time ever. The bus will pass through a very narrow lane climbing out to a higher latitude of Sandankyo area. The road there was impossible. The roads are narrow, most of the time it can fit only one car. Most parts don't have the barriers, so we can see the endless ravines. That was a bit scary.

The bus took us nearer (deeper) into the mountainous area. From that point, we have to hike a bit further up the mountain which is not so bad. There were two main taki and it took us about an hour to complete the visit. Don't worry, it was really fun! But, make sure to bring pizza with you. Hiking in a cold weather, my stomach couldn't stop making sounds.

This was when suddenly I stopped. My leg refused to move until I was allowed to eat pizza. Not a second late. So, 'A' will just had to feed me right away (di tengah-tengah jalan).

One of the Sandataki. It has so many levels and that's the only part that fit the lense.

I captured this with my own camera. This is one of the photo you will find abundantly in google.

The path to the taki is one to cherish. It was all breathtaking in their own way. It's like you gotta stop at every step to record the moment. 

Oh, and you know what, 'A' thinks is a good idea to walk (hike) back to our car. I was of course went against the idea the moment he proposed. But, he successfully dragged me and managed to make me forget that the course was about 6km. How? The view for the course is 10times more beautiful that at the taki area. Turn out, there are so many takis along the way, and that made me not understand what is the fuss about the one we went!

The night arrived very early now. Maghreb is at 5pm, guys. Or earlier. So, as the day getting darker, we arrived at the foot of the mountains, welcomed by a jungle of pine trees. Standing among the tall pine trees at night..that was a bit spooky! Then a few minutes later, I can see the light coming from the rest house. It was finally over. After 2 hours. And surprisingly, I didn't feel tired at all! I was proud of myself and 'A' was right. It was a journey worth taking, although we agree that it is only for one way! It was a great bonding moment too.

At the start of the 6km course. Just cause I can't remember where the bus is, and..I can't read kanji.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Usagijima-a place on earth claimed by rabbits!

Although 'A' and me has been in a relationship for years before we finally tie the knot, but, we were living in different continents, separated by oceans! So, I have to say that, there are a lot I still don't know about him. Let's get real, even some couple has been like belangkas before they get married, they still can surprise each other afterwards.

As soon as we are official, we immediately settle in Japan, until today. I started to get to know his friends little by little. And from them I hear about him, the part he wouldn't tell.

One of the story which made me laugh so hard and explain why he never gets my craze for cats or fluffy animal including pandas. 

The story starts when he had to babysit a pet rabbit of his friend or his senior I can't remember whose. I remember he told me that part. The part that I didn't know was, when the rabbit was accidentally let loose. This one evening, a friend of his came into his house. The culture of boys (or rather everybody) is, they don't lock their doors. I mean the home. So, whenever we feel like wanting to borrow or drop something, we could just do that even they are not at home. So, he entered the house and there....he saw 'A' standing with kitchen knife in hands..looking so ready to stab on something! He asked "What are you doing?"
"I'm chasing a rabbit!" like the rabbit is some kind of ferocious animal that u need a bloody senjata to catch it!

As far as I remember, I always have pet. It could probably start from the day I was born, because my siblings are all used to having pet. So, before I got mine, I've been playing with theirs. Among us, my brother is one of the most chronic. He always have cats all his life. On top of that he had rabbits (a huge ones) and turtle. That's what I know. I don't know if he kept some other animals that are better left unknown to his family. 

Back to the rabbit story...

I have known about an island which had once been wiped off of the world atlas to hide its existence.
Now, the small island is now inhabited by one of the irresistibly cute creature we have known on earth; rabbit! Because of that, these island is more famous for its nickname; usagijima (usagi=rabbit, jima=derived from the word shima, when combine with noun, the 's' is replaced with 'j'). The most exciting part to me is that..this island is located in Hiroshima prefecture!OMG!! I could go there for weekly basis if I wanted to. As soon as I know about this usagijima which is only about 40minutes away from our home, I immediately call for 'A' hoping the same excitement. But...naadaaa...after months and months..he managed to make me forget about this island with shopping trips. Sigh..I don't know myself. Easily get distracted by handbags.

Well, anyway, finally I managed to drag him to the island on a spare public holiday. I can't tell you how guilty I was looking at his kelat face while we are on our way there. Geez...

The trip was pretty simple and so did the island.

This is the the boat to Okunoshima (Usagijima). The jetty is unlike one you would see at a more famous attraction in here. But I don't mind it still. I saw there are a ferry too you can ride. But I'm not sure the pick up point. But, the boat is more than enough. It took us about less than 10 minutes ride, and cost us about 310yen each.

As soon as you step onto the island...these furry little creature will greet you!!My heart immediately felt very warm as warm as the weather that day. It's like I have kept this so much love for animal that I hadn't been able to pour ever since Lilo died and 'A' does not want anything to do with animal.I have to choose only one, don't I?

The rabbits there are wild rabbit, you should note. They are very sensitive to human touch that made them a little jumpier than usual. What I hate the most is when 'A' started to move when I tried to mingle with them. He is so big, that his movement made them scared, thus run away! tsk.. But, if you are lucky, there are a few who will run to you and let you pet them:')

This is one of the example I was talking about. I was walking with 'A' and suddenly, this orange rabbit came running towards me. I saw it and I reciprocate, and hand it the cabbage. 

Just sharing with you a part of Usagijima. Look at 'A' there. FYI, photos can be deceiving, you know.

For me, Usagijima was really fun. There are small area of the island reserved for beach activity. There are also a limited camping sites, etc. That day, I saw a family camping and their tent was surrounded with rabbits! How awesome is that! What's more, there are not many people came to this small island. This made me like this place even more. Finally, I found one place to relax that are not crowded and full with rabbits!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Adam kun is ONE!

Although the month of October has left me with a few scars (not literally!), it was indeed a busy month. There are so many events (put aside the unfortunate I just shared with you). As I said, so many wonderful people I know are born in this month.

One of them is, the cutest boy; Adam.

Adam is now 1 year old. Happy and healthy boy. Alhamdulillah :)

Adam, mummy and friends :D

Part of the guests! and Adam is sleepy over there..

Happy birthday baby boy! Mummy doakan Adam grows up to be the proud of your parents and ummah.

By the way, Adam and his biological parents! bahaha xp

Monday, November 10, 2014

Bad month

Yours truly is supposed to be adoring October since there are so many wonderful people who was born in this month. The closest to me is of course the love of my life and his beautiful mother. However, the year 2014 has brought some bad memories to me instead. It was so ridiculously unfortunate that you would have a hard time to believe my story. Here are the list of endless unfortunate events that have befallen on me since day 1 of October 2014.

1) On October 1st, 2014, I felt something off in my mouth. You know, the kind of annoying pain you feel when you have ulcers in your mouth. I told myself that it is the time of the year for me to deal with ulcer. I rarely get ulcers in the mouth, hence my low tolerance to the discomfort in renders. The next day, I realized that it wasn't ulcers, but it was pericoronitis; the type of infection you get when you have an erupting wisdom teeth. Yeah, our worst nightmare. I have been contemplating in extracting my other two wisdom tooth as the x-ray image did not show any problem for it to naturally grow as the space is or was enough. But, that was 3 years ago. They must have grown bigger and making way out of the gingiva. 
         It was also irony for me as I was just finished my task to teach the undergraduate students about pericoronitis. The next class they saw me with half swollen cheek. I could have just taught them with my real infection, then -___-"

2) After a few days with antibiotics, I could then eat properly. I'm back with cheerful mood as I always set myself into in the month of October. It was weekend again, and we went cycling around town, getting our brunch and shop a little. The kind of weekend I love. Then, on the way home, I was hit by a huge super bike while I was cycling in a straight bicycle lane. Now I know how it feels to get involved in a road accident. When my husband asked me what happened, I can't answer. I just could not remember how it happened. The chronology. I have no memory at all. All I remember was I managed to break, and thrown off. Luckily, I landed on a mozaic floor. I escaped the accident with no apparent injuries. When the motorcyclist approached me, I think I was giggling while trying to stable my shivering body. It was involuntary, I swear. Then my husband came. He saw the accident as he  cycled just in front of me. The motorcyclist and me said sorry to each other and left the scene peacefully. I tried to get onto my bicycle with shiver. 
     It was very hard to hit the paddle home, but I made it. Just because our home is just 2 minutes away. Soon after I reached home, I checked my body for any injuries, there are none. But a minute after that, I saw red, nasty bruises appear in many parts of my body. I thought, well, it's just bruises. Then I lied down thinking to hold my body together cause I still shiver. After 10 minutes, I tried to get up, I can't! My joint and muscles were all sore! I've never felt anything like this. Sitting down and getting up a few days after was difficult tasks. Fortunately for me, it was a long weekend for Japan. I spent it lying on the sofa, temporarily handicapped.

3) I went to work although my leg still sore. I was very happy to finally out of the house. I was so looking forward to the next weekend because it was my husband's birthday. I am excited to spend the Friday with shopping for the present and cake stuff. Alhamdulillah, when Friday came, I was healthy. I went to various places searching for the right gift. 
   I decided to make pulut kuning instead, for he will be turning 30. I came home early preparing the pulut tuning and everything. Hiding his present and pretend like I don't care. When the clock struck 12, I made him blow candles on top of a heart-shaped pulut kuning. I remember I was so hyper that night and I sleep high in happy hormone as he loves his birthday gift! (which is so rare cause I could never get him the right thing T_T). 
May Allah s.w.t grant this man with longevity, prosperity and happy family of his own. 

   The next morning, the day I have so many plans for him turning 3 series, I woke up with sore throat. The kind of sore which you know fever is coming. I felt so sad, but I fought the feeling and went through with the plan. When the day ends, the fever gets really nasty. 
October 18th, morning. My body already hinting that they are going to get a long holiday...

    I suffered fever, flu and cough for more than a week! Normally, Japanese doesn't like to be around sick people. I mean, sickness which are infectious. So, I didn't come to work for a week! sigh..So unproductive, I tell you.

4) The fever and flu gone first, but the cough is quite persistent. That might be due to the fact that I did not take meds for that. And, I don't know why Japan doesn't have the cough syrup like we used to have in Malaysia. Anyway, when I think this illness is no more infectious, I decided to finally come to work. I was so spirited the night before. My Japanese friend told me, "Don't worry Wani, after you have 3 consequent unfortunate events, the forth one would be in a very long time." 
I believe her until..the next morning I wake up with the most terrible hives in my life! Instead of cycling to work, I cycled to the private clinic before its opening time! It was so terrible I can feel it moves towards my face! It started from the bottom half of your body. That morning, it already infested the top of head, making me feels like wearing a very think scarf! I tried not to scratch the hives although it was so itchy like hell. When the doctor saw me, his jaw literally dropped and prescribed me with 2 weeks anti-histamine. Until today, we still don't know the factor.

Panjang tak?

Yea, that's how I endure the bad month of October.
I felt like myself again on my birthday, the last day of October.
From that day, everything seems to fall into its place again.


To 30 more years of life. InshaAllah.


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