Monday, April 27, 2015

One Class Down!

I had a final this past Friday and it was so awful. The exam wasn't even that hard, but I just wasn't well prepared ;_; There was this one question that I got partially wrong and it was over the dumbest thing.

If you've studied accounting, then you should/might know that the Codification are all coded, and the exam was asking what are ways to search things on the Codification and I forgot to including that. Wtf. It's practically in the name too ;_; and it's what I've been citing all semester, sigh. 

I have another exam in like 14 hours, but you know, procrastination. After that exam, I'll be done with that class as well!

In the meantime, I still haven't gotten my laptop back yet :( It's only been four days, so it hasn't been excessively long, and I have a temporary + my desktop (since I've been home) so it really doesn't make a difference tbh. 

Hm.. what else.. in about one more month, I'll be moving to New York for the summer :D So that's kind of exciting, except also scary too since I'll be leaving so soon after the semester. But it's not like I'm leaving forever and I'll probably still visit home often if I'm nagged to.

Until next time!

Friday, April 24, 2015

MacBook Air Sent for Repairs :(

The other day I took my Macbook Air in to get it fixed because two weeks ago, the display spazzed out on me and started flickering nonstop and sometimes it just stayed off for a bit, but I couldn't prompt it to go back on. Imagine the horror of that when I had an unsaved paper finished... gah. But it hasn't really done that since, but occasionally it would randomly dims for a second before going back to normal. 
Prior to this, I noticed that the back strip popped out a bit and was a little uneven. For some reason... I thought it was normal until a few weeks later when I compared it to my friend's and realized mine wasn't aligned properly. 

I made an appointment around that time but I never woke up on time to go... so I ended up rescheduling every time and finally went. Originally, they were just gong to take it apart and see if something is loose, but since it's still under warranty, the guy said he'll just have them replace the display. I think in the process of toggling everything, the guy broke my bluetooth... Noticed it when he ran a test. So guess I'm getting that replaced too. Luckily, it's under I wouldn't have to pay for something that I didn't break. 

Err.. tbh, there was this one time when I did drop my laptop D: So I'm sure that might be why the thing got messed up. I didn't notice this, but when you close the lid, apparently my laptop is misaligned because of the whole issue with the part popping out. Not 100% sure if it's because of the drop, but I suspect it is. 

But now.. I'm wondering if I should buy AppleCare for an extra 2 years. This repair would've cost $560 if I wasn't covered... but I guess that's how they get to you. Clever, Apple. >:( I feel like I break these things fairly often (my last laptop started falling apart 4 months in) so it might be worth it, but then.. if I don't get to use it.. that's $250 down the drain. Plus my laptop isn't even worth that much to begin with, compared to, say a Macbook Pro or something. Which is kinda unfair if you think about it... I would pay the same amount for warranty for a $750 laptop versus a $2000 one. Decisions, decisions... 

Luckily, my friend has an extra laptop that I can use in the meantime :D 

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Seoul: First Stop, Myeongdong

December 26, 2014
(This was drafted on 12/27/2014)

Didn't get any sleep because my flight was at 9:00AM and I guess it never occurred to me when I booked all my flights that that meant I had to wake up hours beforehand because I have to check in even earlier for international flights. 9:00AM sounded so nice when I was booking it though :(

I used Google Maps for a way to get to Narita, and it told me that it would cost ¥1200 (200 for the train ride, meaning 1000 for the bus right, right?) but the thing is, it said "Airport Line" or something like that, so when I asked around trying to find it, everyone would ask me which bus company it was, and I had no idea >:( I'm not sure if it even had one because it sounded like that's actually what it was called, but I dunno. 

I ended up taking the Airport Limousine for ¥2000, but if I was going to take that, I might as well have taken that from Shinjuku instead of going all the way to Tokyo Station first! >:(
It was also a bit sketch cuz I was the only one on the bus but then I thought about it and I had this ratchet boarding certificate (and I paid at the next stop too)...
1) The price for the ride sounded about right (I paid more to get out of the airport...)
2) This isn't China with those sketchy fake buses (aka Beijing, will update this with post later)

The flight itself wasn't so bad but the takeoff was delayed by maybe 15 minutes? There were so many people O_O I was actually sitting near where they check your tickets to board but I had so much stuff to put on (luggage) that when I was done, I was like eh...line too long, I'll just wait a bit. But the more I waited, the longer the line got... even as time passed, there was just more and more people, eh.. 

I got on and started watching How to Train Your Dragon 2 (one of the movies I wanted to watch this summer, but didn't get to) but got tired a few minutes in and I passed out before taking off >< 
I woke up just in time for food though, heh. I continued to watch the movie as well, but after I finished eating, I passed out again ><;;

I exchanged money at the airport because I didn't want to get charged $12 for using the ATM again -.- I know it's not as good of a rate, but it's convenient and still a better deal than taking out from the ATM. I misread and thought my friend told me not that Korea isn't that credit card friendly, but it turns out to be (aside from street shopping or street food) so I exchange too much wah. My other friend got by 4 days without exchanging cash either, so clearly I did something wrong hmph. 

I took the train to Sinsa, where I was staying and it costs ₩4150 and took two transfers. Took me nearly 1.5-2 hours. My card was having issues too, so I had to ask someone to open up the gate for me when I had to transfer/get out. 

The subway has a system where you pay a ₩500 deposit for single-use tickets and get it back by inserting the card back into this machine once you tap out. I opted not to get a T-money card (₩3000), which isn't a lot but I figured that I would only be there for a few days and it wasn't enough to justify getting one. I bought one for Japan, and I don't think it was worth it (I didn't get a chance to get my deposit back). From what it seems, it's ₩100 more expensive per ride & the inconvenience of buying/returning the ticket without it. 

So anyways, I got to Sinsa Station later than I thought so my friend had to wait in the cold for me :( Sorry!! I stayed at 24 Guesthouse and it was $40 for a double room. The place was like a 10 or so minute walk from the station and it was at least four floors or something. Had a nice kitchen area, but the showers were a bit gross because it doesn't drain well at there's a good inch or two of water in each stall ><

It's my first time staying in a guesthouse o_o since I guess they're not a thing in the States and I don't travel that often anyways... No pics cuz the room was already messy haha. After I got there, I helped another friend of ours pack and brought her to the bus station to the airport.

We had lunch at Little India and it was a bit pricey given the small portions. We went at 4:00PM for late lunch/early dinner so it was empty. The basmati rice made me think that that's how eating plastic would probably taste like. The food wasn't that bad otherwise though...
The dish on the left was something something with cottage cheese o_o Sounded and tasted interesting, but I didn't hate it...
Saw a pretty sunset on my way to the station.

After food, we went to Myeongdong (Line 4 off of Myeongdong)
Tteokgalbi Meatballs ¥3000
I didn't like it or hate it haha. I dunno how to describe it..but it's worth a try. 
It's a very popular and crowded place with lots of shops, street vendors, and food stands. 
Super cool cotton candy

We did purikura here and it was ₩9000!! Damn expensive compared to Japan but then compared to the ones in North America that are like $20, I guess it's still cheap. 

I actually didn't buy anything from Myeongdong aside from the meatballs lol. I wanted a scarf cuz it was the same as the one I saw in Japan (except the color) but it ended up being more expensive than Japan...even though it's made in Korea lol. So naw... (I found it cheaper in Edae the next day too). I figured anything I buy here would probs be more expensive anyways given the location.
It was still kinda early, so we wanted to go check out Gyeongbokgung, but got distracted on the way so we decided to go to err...this shopping mall (forgot the name) but got distracted again and ended up at Namdaemun Market. It's supposed to be a traditional market, but when we got there, they were already closing up. Just looked it up...apparently they open from 11:00PM-5:00PM O_O So we literally got there during their off hours. 
Most of the stalls that were still open sold hats, gloves, or socks. I think socks are a really big thing in Korea...

We went home after this because it was so cold!! Neither of us got sleep either, so we passed out by like 9:00PM even though we were planning on going out. I also learned what bulgeum is lolol. My friend ended up getting food poisoning or something and was throwing up all night =( Ahh I'm such a bad person, she was miserable all night and I just slept through all of it :( 

Hehe, I'm not sure why I already have this post up when I'm still missing tons of China trips and Japan posts. Merp...until next time! 

Friday, April 17, 2015

Tokyo: Christmas in Japan

December 25, 2014
Our last real day in Tokyo was on Christmas because we all had early flights the next morning. Our main objectives for the day was: Christmas Illumination and cake.

To start the day, we grabbed a small breakfast at a konbini and headed over to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building for its observation deck. It is free to the public and there are two different towers that have different views. We just have to check through security and just ride up to the 45th floor. 
Next to the windows are lots of info displays that label what you're staring off into. Pretty cool, but you don't see a close view of Tokyo Tower or the Skytree or anything, but you can see Mt. Fuji on a good day! It was a bit cloudy that day, so we didn't really see it.

It wasn't too crowded here at all. There are also gift shops on the floor and a cafe o_o
After that, we went to Shinjuku to eat ramen for lunch at 博多天神 because it'd be our last chance for ramen in Japan :'(

Next was Yoyogi Park
 Holy shit, it was one of the most depressing parks ever T_T Probably because we came in the middle of the winter, so I wouldn't recommend going there at this time at all. Not to mention it was cold and windy...It was empty, for good reason too. Just stay away in the winter.

Went to Harajuku for the third time...but it's right there, so it only makes sense o_o

Calbee Royce Chocolate Covered Chips
Debated hard between chocolate or cheese xD

Uhh crepes anyone? Got it a strawberry kiwi one from Sweet Box.

By then it was already starting to get dark, so perfect timing to go to Roppongi for Christmas Illuminations!!

I made sure to properly research the exact spot I wanted and found out that it was Tokyo Midtown for the field of lights that I wanted to see. We took a wrong turn or something at some point and went in a big circle before finding it :X
Needless to say, there was a long line! I think it took 30 minutes to actually get to the illumination spot. It's because there was so many people and not because of line inefficiency either. The line was moving the whole time, like you're actually walking instead of staying in one spot. But the photo above is decorations from while in line to get to the real thing.

It starts off so-so, but definitely builds up to it:
 Pretty pretty pretty *_* My phone died though :( But I guess my camera was the most important anyway :P

The field had a light show too, which I watched probably 5 times before we decided to leave.

If you're ever in Tokyo during the Christmas holiday season, definitely check out the Christmas Illuminations here. Definitely a very good experience.
Here you can see the people, and it's not overcrowded. There isn't like a lot to see aside from this field, so people come and go pretty frequently. We stayed for maybe 15-30 minutes, but mostly taking photos.
Pretty decorations inside the mall.

We went back to Shinjuku because we had nothing else planned for the night. But we had lots of food :)
Pretty expensive for portions because there's like... 5 pieces for maybe $10. Also they had a ¥300 cover charge per person, what! Not sure if it's a super common or not, but it was the only place we had to pay a cover fee.
At some point the metal plating was covered with too much burned uh..residue so our meat wasn't cooking properly then it flamed up WTF. Like a lot.

When we left, I def smelled like food. There's no avoiding how smoky it gets.

We were trying to find a takoyaki stand yesterday, but couldn't find one, but luckily did on our last day. We made sure to stop by even though we were on our way to get more food wtf fat.

Cheese takoyaki from Gindaco Highball Sakaba

We were on our way to get sushi since it'll be the last time we get to eat sushi in Tokyo anytime soon. Mind you... we went straight from yakiniku to takoyaki to sushi.
We went to Numazuou (沼津港) and it's a conveyor belt sushi place, where you grab the plate that comes around when you want it and you're priced based on the color of the plate. We came towards closing time, so it wasn't too crowded and they didn't have much, but you can just order it directly. I ate more than what I took photos of :X I eventually gave up with photos and just focused on eating.

After sushi to get cake, but before that, we passed by this street performer, so we stayed to watch for a bit.

The first time I walked through Shinjuku, I saw that this place was offering honey toast, so I wanted to eat that again! We went to this one place and it was kind of weird cuz it was at a bar and there was a cover charge, so we were like nah.. let's check out this other place, because there was another one from the same chain down the street.

No cover charge, but they made us order a minimum of three things. We wanted to leave because we really only wanted honey toast but decided to just stay.

Strawberry sponge cake, ganache cake, mixed berry honey toast (guessing for all of them) from Pasela Resorts

Not sure if I'm just biased, but I still think the honey toast from Taiwan is much better

And our last stop is my favorite... the arcade :D

I won a bunny the day before and won another one. I was going for my third, but couldn't get it in the end. I think I spent like ¥2,500-3000 just trying to get it and failed. T__T It made me feel a little better that this guy next to me on another machine committed way more than me to get this Rilakkuma (I think).

Took a photo of this precious bunny that didn't end up going home with me :'(

I definitely splurged on the arcades because it's one of my favorite activities. And I don't even know when the next time I'll be in Tokyo again, so I think it was probably worth it. I'm very fortunate to be able to do so though :X

This basically ends my trip to Tokyo! I definitely think Tokyo was a city that I was able to fall in love with, which I didn't with 90% of the places I've visited this semester (even including the places I went to afterwards). It was everything I ever expected and more. Just the culture, food, pretty people, cute things, UFO catchers, etc. makes it a city that I can't help but love. I don't remember if I mentioned this in another post, but 7-8 years ago, I declared that I would go to Japan when I'm 20, and coincidentally, it came true :D

Until next time~

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Tokyo: Sensoji (Asakusa), Tokyo Skytree, & Izakaya

December 24, 2014
Part one of this day can be found [here].
So after Tsukiji, we walked through Ginza just to check it out but there wasn't really too much. 

Our next stop was Asakusa, famous for the Sensoji Temple. It's a huge tourist spot, with lots of shops catering to us.
Couldn't resist and bought lots of Gotochi phone charms, half are probably Hello Kitty, half being Hello Kitty. Forgot why I didn't get myself a Zodiac one, but I got my mom one :O 
I decided to draw a fortune slip (omikuji) and got the best fortune :D But I read online later that you're supposed to tie your fortune if it's bad..which is what I did WTF. But I just looked it up again and it says you can tie it for greater luck or take it home.. phew.
 But that's not all for today... we walked over to Tokyo Skytree (20 minutes).
We didn't actually go up to the observation deck though.

They have a Hello Kitty Store there ^^
Was tempting not to buy there bottles of water wtf
Got a little lost getting to the station to head to Shibuya because Cory hasn't been there yet and we wanted to get ramen :D The rest of the night was pretty much going to all the places that I went to on my second day in Japan (Shibuya and Harajuku)
Hachiko Statue
Have you watched Hachi: A Dog's Tale? Such a sad movie, but I highly recommend it! 
Shibuya Crossing. Went into a Starbucks to take this photo because it had a pretty good view. I guess from above you can more people and it looks more overwhelming than when actually crossing. 
We had dinner at Ichiran Ramen. It's like a private booth-style sort of thing and you get to choose how you want it (oiliness, spiciness, broth) after you purchase a meal ticket from the vending machine. Mine came out to be ¥910. I already got less oily, I think but I think I could've done with it even less.
After dinner, we went to 109 and I picked up some stuff.
Secret Honey had a Frozen collection and one of the skirts was super cute ;_; But it was like ¥6,500 or something and not something I would wear too often either.
This coat was also pretty cute. Anna-inspired.

We walked over to Harajuku and took some purikura.
They cost ¥400 per session and there's a lot of purikura shops in Harajuku. Probably 3-5 shops with two dozens of machines in each one.

Got myself another crepe from Santa Monica Crepes~
Reality vs. Expectation wtf

It also took forever for me to get mine and when I did, it was the wrong thing, so I'm not sure if I took someone else's or what. Oops... then had to wait for them to remake it. It wasn't even good.. it was so gross after a while because I was just eating whipped cream...
We took the train to Shinjuku to end the night. I made sure to bring my passport this time so we went to Don Quijote and I stocked up on Dolly Wink and Diamond Lashes. They're like ¥1,200/box and you need to spend ¥50,000 in one purchase to get it to be tax-free. I don't really use them now, but figured that I might as well stock up while I'm here =X I'm not sure if things are actually discounted as a lot of places say they are because the stuff I bought was like retail price.

We went to the arcade afterwards and played for a bit, I got really lucky and won a bunny! Hehehehe.. Watching other people play was also really fun. The UFO catchers isn't too bad once you get a hang of it.
Last thing we did was izakaya! Thought I took a picture of the place so I can remember the name but can't find the file. The manager of the place was super chill and came over to talk to us. I forgot his name though -_- but hey it's been over three months. It was just very interesting to learn that he came from China and started working in Japan knowing nothing of the language, but he was able to become the manager of the place and also learn Japanese + English + possibly more?

But izakaya is kinda like eating 夜宵 at a bar. It's like very, very small appetizers though, so it's kinda pricy because of the portions. But we already ate a lot that day, so I didn't order too much and spent less than 700 yen. The plum wine was really good though hehe

May or may not have hit the arcade again before going back to the apartment.