Food: Eggs Benedict

#twoislanders

Being in Japan for a while makes us crave for non-Japanese food. Maybe, the same thing happens to those who have never been here and think that they can eat Japanese food every single day. The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.

For us, Egg Benedict is more yellow. Most likely, it doesn’t make sense and I do not know what it means, but I thank you for entertaining me. Bow.

Both of our hometowns – Singapore and the Philippines are cultural melting pots. (Singapore: Malays, and Chinese and Indian immigrants under British colonization: The Philippines: Spanish, American and Japanese colonization. Look it up on Google.) We grew up in places with a great variety of dishes which may be a big factor why we love all sorts of food. Well, you might have heard of chilli crab and adobo, yes? We take pride in…

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Food: Asakology – The Art of Japanese Cooking

Still feeling grateful for this experience.

#twoislanders

#twoislanders have been living in Japan, on their own, for a couple of years now. Living alone or being hitorigurashi should have at least helped them develop decent Japanese cooking skills but all they can be proud of is the famous throw-it-all-in-the-pan style of cooking: sukiyaki, nabe, and instant noodles? lol Sadly… not that impressive. (Note: Let’s just say that this sentiment is heavily felt by the Singaporean. Too much of a perfectionist, perhaps.) To be honest, she’s a good cook. And, you’ll agree once you try her roast chicken with baked potatoes and zucchinis on the side. Homey and filling.

But this time, they bagged gold with Asakology. (Yes, they finally learned legit Japanese cooking skills.)

Photo by Serkan Toso So, one lovely Saturday afternoon, we went to Shin-Koenji, an area we’d probably never visit…until now. It’s pretty normal. Lovely neighborhood with little stores and lots of traditional Japanese…

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Travel: Yanaka, Tokyo

#twoislanders

PH works shifts. YT works even on public holidays.
Someone always has to compromise. Voila! Now, that is what we call a relationship.

Someone is feeling down, so both decided to visit the cemetery.
When you feel like there is nothing left for you in this world, it seems to be better comparing yourself to the dead.
But in a weird way, aren’t they in a better place – detached from the physical world?
*Disclaimer: Death is not a funny topic. Really.

The place looked serene. We just had to violate it with our amateur picture-taking skills. And selfish talks about our career.

Wondering who’s buried in that big hall

This is not my first cemetery (leisure) visit, actually.  I took a tour to Mt. Koya once, expecting to visit temples, do some praying, have some vegetarian food… But instead, I received a guide through the graves, staring at tombstones of people I don’t really know.  Some…

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Shigoto: Ohayogozaimasu

#twoislanders

Shigoto means work and we are like Princess Leias in a world of Jabba the Huts, just minus the iconic sexy slave costume. (We both know PH can’t fit in that metallic bikini.) Well, let us just say we feel like slaves here in Japan. Corporate slaves, to be exact.

Some may say we are already “living the life” or that we “have it better” than others. But our privileged asses refuse to be contented and so we continue to bash, hate, complain, insert-whatever-negative-verb-here on our everyday lives in our respective companies. Although, take whatever we have to say with a grain of salt and a little sip of Cuervo because at the end of the day, we are just “venting”.

I am sure you have all heard of “the stories” about Japanese companies. Let me tell you… THEY ARE TRUE.

Morning Exercise

This is probably practised on a nation-wide scale. Kids are forced to do it in schools…

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Shigoto: Everyone is in uniform.

#twoislanders

Spring is here! It’s the season when Sakura blooms and YT turns into a crazy woman hunting flowers.

It’s also an exciting time of the year for many Japanese people as it signals a time of embarking on a new journey! Working adults may get posted to a new location/position, students begin a new school year, and the fresh graduates enter the working force and become a “member of the society” (社会人, shakaijin).

As much as I love seeing little children in their fixed attire–cute yellow safety hats or super expensive but also super cool backpacks (ランドセル, randoseru), my friends and I are rather amused by the fresh graduates’ attire.

Pre-schoolers (Credits goes to the owner of this photo) Look how cute this fashion is!

Elementary school kid (Credits goes to the owner of this photo) Nope, we don’t stalk little children and take their pictures without permission. Nope. Nope.

Most people who…

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Music: ONE OK ROCK Ambitions Tour 2017

#twoislanders

ONE OK ROCK!!!

We are fans.

We are, we are…♪ (We Are–One OK Rock)

(Mostly written by the great YT but with occasional comments from the lazy me: PH)

Actually, I have been feeling rather sad. Growing up, I was always into something—drawing, TV shows, idols etc. I was mildly crazy but at least I was passionate. Even after I started working and had my daily routine changed, I had this intense urge to move overseas (particularly Japan). The inability to do so made me dread my daily life but it also got my ass moving every day.

These days, I find myself dull. Super dull. Nope, haven’t been crazy about anything. I get little spurs every season because there are so many seasonal activities/ sceneries in Japan. But aside from that, nothing or nobody is making me crazy. And well, I like myself crazy.

2 years living in Japan…

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Danang, Vietnam: More than just Pho!

There was a limited number of Vietnamese restaurants back in Manila (I’m not sure at the moment though) so I never had the chance to become a fan. Wasn’t sure what Vietnamese food originally tastes like and the only thing I knew was Pho. ‘Cause all Vietnamese restaurants back home just had to have it in their name. (Which probably is the reason why a certain professor thought I was Vietnamese… PH→Pho?) But ever since I came to IUJ and met my close friend Diep, I developed a love for the cuisine, even including those dishes with fresh leafy vegetables. Yep, even those.

My Danang trip didn’t disappoint when it came to food. Everything I had was delicious and almost everything was cheaper than I’ve imagined.

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Lobsters? Prawns? Whatever! It’s seafood and it’s good! Note: Unlimited refill of beer over ice is a thing here. We didn’t mind it. Cheers!

Aside from the classy food we had in the hotel reception, let me show you some of the places we went to and instantly became a favorite in our hearts… and in our bellies.

Quán Phở 75 Ngô Gia Tự

Pho 75 was recommended to us by one of the groom’s friends (I think). They say this is the best Pho in town. We had it for dinner before our dancing night at the rooftop bar. It was an interesting dinner with conversations about gout, illnesses and old age. Kids, remember, health is wealth. It’s a little scary to see wrinkles on your face or high levels of sugar in your blood but it’s not yet too late  to address these “growing old” problems. Just wash it away with beer and drink a delicious soup of sodium.

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I love how the “best” looks so simple and casual. Reminding me of a nearby turo-turo store in Manila. Like the goto place I used to go to in G. Tuazon. Gosh, I miss that! #GOTOISLIFE

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Chicken Pho

91 Ngô Gia Tự, Hải Châu, Đà Nẵng, Vietnam

Madame Lan

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Madame Lan has a French colonial architectural structure and is spacious which is just perfect for a big group like us. Also, the food is more than satisfactory. I’m a newbie traveler in the country but I can definitely say it’s a must visit. Just look at how happy we are!

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I may have to ask what the name of this roll is (totally forgot). But if I have to explain, it’s a roll with a fried pancake, veggies,  green mango slices, etc. You have to roll the thing yourself and I’m quite proud with my work. (Pretty good at rolling stuff, yeah haha) Also, coconut water (buko juice) should be ordered because #tropics , #vacation , #coconutislife . As you can see, hot guy Robin is having a beer at noon because “we are on vacation”. 

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Shrimp rolls. I think I can have two plates of these during a movie night.

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I know I could have done a better job with the photo but I know you get what this is: Oysters!  Just so happy to be able to eat it again because it’s just so expensive in Japan!

4 Bạch Đằng, Thạch Thang, Đà Nẵng, Thạch Thang Q. Hải Châu Đà Nẵng, Vietnam

Cơm GÀ Bà Muội or let’s just say… The Best Chicken Rice Restaurant

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The set: fresh salad, chicken meat, innards, soup (not shown), rice (not shown)

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Innards! And the circular-shaped things are eggs.

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And here is the finished product! You put all ingredients in one bowl and eat it. Seriously my favorite meal in that trip (except for the oysters).

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Here is the breakfast crew all fed and happy!

22, Phan Châu Trinh, Minh An, Tp. Hội An, Quảng Nam, Vietnam

Banh Mi Phuong

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Best Banh Mi (at least according to Sir Anthony Bourdain). There were a lot of flavors/types to choose from!

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It was an interesting place. Kinda reminded me of a small carinderia back in Manila where you choose the ingredients/food on a glass-walled counter.

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Shared this piece with Bi and Yuka because we were just too full from eating all the time. It was really delicious! We took the “mixed” flavor one which includes liver pate, bacon, veggies, and everything else on the menu.

2B Phan Châu Trinh, Minh An, tp. Hội An, Quảng Nam, Vietnam

Bonus (A seemingly-foreigner-owned-bar-by-the-beach-which-was-hella-expensive)

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That’s a normal cheesecake there but the highlight of this place was the coffee-yogurt drink which definitely didn’t fit my taste buds. I had to order a normal iced tea to wash away the weirdness of it.

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Wishing this could be possible to have on a normal weekend here in Japan. Chill vibes and awesome people.

I know I may have eaten a little too much. But trust me, I’m trying to be healthier these days.

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