Saturday, March 03, 2012

An update

So after not posting a single blog for two months, I figured it was probably time to put something up here before I forget all the interesting details.

Managed to get quite a few different groups of friends over to my place for drinks last night. Most of them had never met each other so that was a bit of fun. But a lot of people were coming and going at different times so I'm not actually sure who met who in the end. And it probably didn't help that I left half of them at my place to go clubbing around 1am haha (which was a bit of a fail - A-Life was so damn crowded it was like riding a peak hour train for 3 hours...).

Pleasantly surprised that not a single piece of glassware was broken when I got back. Although there were two drunk people passed out on my bed haha. As I type this I am still trying to find the motivation to vacuum (... there does definitely seem to be a fairly close link between my blogging and procrastination when I think about it...), but after taking out all the bottles and cans and rubbish my place is looking relatively clean.

Anyway now for a few photos.

Cocktails at some swanky fruit cocktail bar in Ginza in the "Boss" building... I have completely forgotten the name but the cocktails were nice.

Mel and I after we got to the top of Takao-san. Was a nice walk with some green after being in the giant concrete jungle that is Tokyo.

Mel and Susan at some random cafe / bar thing in Harajuku

One of the models at the Tokyo-Edo Museum. Worth a look around if you are at all interested in the history of Tokyo...

Seafood bbq - Japan style. Was good.

A fat cat we found in a pet store somewhere in Roppongi (I am pretty sure this was after a few drinks between some bar and some club)... Rubi liked it.

Really good unagi-don (eel on rice) at a place in Ginza

The lighting decoration in Marunouchi. Took this walking back from a long lunch (that went until it started getting dark enough for the lights to be on hah) with Sohei, Tomoko, Joon and Chihiro

Another one of my cooking experiments (Hainanese chicken rice + spicy eggplant). If only I had used proper long grain rice...

Awesome lunch teishoku (lunch set) at a little place not too far from work

Till next time (which will hopefully be in less than 2 months)

Friday, January 06, 2012

New Year's Celebrations - in pictures

The start of it all: Blue Label in the Hilton, Shinjuku

Mel and I at Gonpachi, Nishi-Azabu

Joyce enjoying miso soup at Midori-zushi, Shibuya

Joyce when the sushi came

The Melbournians waiting in line for Ageha, Shin-Kiba

Possibly the only photo that came out from inside Ageha

Emil after Ageha, at my place

Emil, Mel and I waiting for our ramen. Sobering up.

The start of the last crazy night, in Ginza

Still looking ok...

... a few drinks later...

... no comment...

... when the glasses just aren't big enough...

Whiskey-goggles (if you look closely we are actually all smiling)

A day walking around the Imperial Palace. Sobering up.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas

So the festive season sort of came early here in Tokyo.* Merry Christmas in advance!

The girls and their Santa outfits... (this was one of the more appropriate photos haha)

*there was a public holiday on the 23rd of Dec for the Emperor's Birthday, so we had a Christmas Eve Eve party at Daisuke's place

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

A short trip home

Being back in Melbourne a bit over a week ago was nice - and made me realise again how fast time flies. Two months away hardly felt like any time at all. The conclusion from lunch with an old friend the other day is that time goes faster once you start working, because only the weekends really count towards (most of) your memories.

Anyway, highlights from the last few weeks in no particular order:

- Alex and Grace's wedding, and catching up with a whole lot of people from uni
- Stumbling upon, and having lunch at, Tian Tian Chicken Rice while wondering around Singapore with Romain
- Brunches, lunches and dinners with friends back in Australia while I was back
- Having the "This is an emergency, oxygen masks will drop from the ceiling above you" announcement turn on (by mistake) on a flight to Canberra, after we had landed and were waiting at the gate
- Finally having a night out with (almost) everyone from the Tokyo office
- Enjoying a few too many drinks with a friend via What's App (cyber-drinking?)
- Having a week at work where I left before 9pm every day

And of course, some pictures to round the post out.

Friday munchies @ L.E.K. Tokyo. Don't ask me why the salmon is that colour...

Some of the L.E.K. Tokyo crew enjoying above munchies

Romain. Ignoring me.

Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice. This stuff is awesome.

Supper with Aileen @ a funky little cafe place in Melbourne. I learnt that cheese fondue is awesome until you try to eat that much of it.

Melbourne coffee. If only it was easier to get here in Tokyo.

A funky cocktail (left) and even funkier water glass (right) with Amy after dinner one night

Steamboat @ home

Sam enjoying a mega sized Hoegarden (yes, the angle is a little deceptive... the glass nearer to the camera is the same size)

The end (for now).

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Training in Boston

So after three days in Boston I am now back in Tokyo, and I'm pretty sure my body clock has no idea what the time is anymore. Three days, I've realised, is just long enough to start adjusting to a new time zone...

Anyway so enough complaining and a bit about what's been going on. Training was fun. I had a good time catching up with quite a few different people: attendees included people from the Sydney and Melbourne offices (who I obviously don't get to see so often now I am in Tokyo), and it was good catching up with a few others in Boston as well (who I got to know last year while I was there).

The training itself was actually pretty well structured and thought out - I guess the advantage of having a bit more scale in the US means there are more resources to dedicate to training. It was interesting to see how the different business cultures influenced a few of the sessions though - particularly when it came to the ethics stuff.

Boston itself was pretty much the same as last year, although a little colder. But it was amazing to see how many new faces there were in the office (and how many old ones had departed) just 12 months since being there.

And to save myself trying to entertain with plain words, here are some pictures too.

Tess, Jono and I enjoying some late night Chinese food (and beer)

The beer tap at Boston's 'Hard Rock Cafe' (the closest suitable place Jono and I could find for a quick beer late on Friday evening)

Dan and Tiff at 'the Tap' (the name of a popular pub with the LEK Boston crowd)

Tian trying to show everybody the rather small size he expected for the seafood hotpot (the actual thing is that huge bowl sitting between the beer bottles). Tanya listening but not looking impressed.

Piotr (working in Chicago, from the Paris office, Polish), Tess (working in the New York office, originally from the Sydney office, Kiwi) and Richard (working in the Boston office, Chinese-Taiwanese roots, American)

Boston lobster. Enough said.

This is what I got when I ordered vodka on the rocks (yes that is all vodka...)

Monday, November 07, 2011

November already

Having a second weekend to relax has been good. And has also made me realise how quickly the last few weeks here have gone by. I am finally starting to feel like I have settled in a bit more, but at the same time there are still quite a few things I haven't got round to doing (like setting up a local bank account!).

This week, though, I finally got myself a commuter pass (i.e. a half-yearly train ticket) - which in hindsight I should have got a long time ago (buying train tickets every day actually adds up quite quickly here). I'd been assuming I needed to go to this office place within opening hours to buy it - but I should have known that I'd be able to buy the thing from a vending machine at whatever time I went by...

I'm off to Boston for training on Tuesday so that is going to break things up a bit - but looking forward to seeing some old friends there (and hopefully making some new ones too). Downside is tomorrow is probably going to be quite busy making sure that the project I am allocated to here in Tokyo is on track and does not fall apart while I am away.

And now for some pictures.

Good wine, good food and good company: dinner with Sayaka at Marugo (in the Maru Park Building)

Kamameshi (the rice thing) and anmitsu (the japanese sweets on the right) with Sohei, Joon and Chihiro in Ginza. Was delicious and is yet another great place to eat near my apartment - need to go back again sometime.

A simple dinner: eggs, veges and rice (and a copy of the Wall Street Journal)

One of the new grads having some fun with the old phones that have just been replaced - if only they were actually connected...

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Some time to relax at last

So with MBA applications out of the way for the moment, and my last project finishing up, this weekend has been really nice and laid back. Was planning to spend most of it just reading and catching up on sleep but ended up spending a fair chunk of it out and about, which was good too of course.

Not having something at the back of my mind that I have to finish is quite refreshing. Although I think I am already starting to miss the discipline: just this afternoon I went walking around Ginza and ended up in Zara, where I ended up buying a jacket I probably don't need (but I guess when the temperature drops it will come in handy).

One thing I did manage though was going to bed early on Friday night and getting up at 6am on Saturday to go for a run. Only problem was that I managed to snooze my alarm until about 8am, and didn't end up going running until closer to 10. But that said, I ran today as well so that's a lot more than I've run on any other weekend here so far.

Other highlights were:
- finding a reasonably priced hairdresser, who speaks English AND is only 5 minutes from my place
- drinking Yamazaki whiskey with a Yamazaki
- catching up with some old Keio friends: Satomi, Yuki and Akiko

And a few pictures to finish ...

Some nice whiskey to keep things nice and warm as winter comes round

Yakitori bento - delicious but a little lacking on the greens side :)

This is how the dinner delivery came the other night at work. Sure beats those plastic / foil trays back home. Downside is you need to rinse the stuff so that the restaurant can come back to pick it up later.