Thanks to my brother who’s home from Japan, for the summer, the gadgets in our house (my computer included) didn’t just (finally) work the way they’re supposed to, but I had a pretty eventful week/weekend as well. So, this will probably be a long post.
Short background: My brother works for a Japanese Company, so that’s (Japan) where he’s been living for the past year or so. He gets to come back home sometimes, but it’s usually just for a week, which is why a lot of stuff happens within the week he’s around.
(Note: It’s the same case with my sister who’s currently living in New Zealand, and gets to visit us only once or twice a year, and also only for a short period of time.)
Let’s start at the beginning then, shall we?
Nintendo DS Lite
My brother bought me one from Japan! (This has a somewhat funny background story on it, click here to find out.) He already installed the Japanese-English Dictionary I wanted (Wahoo! I actually have a denshi jishou (電子辞書)! I’ve always wanted one of these.) and some other cool games (e.g. Elite Beat Agents). I’m really enjoying myself, even if the games are still few. One problem though: I said before that I didn’t want to buy any game consoles because I wanted to spend my free time reading books (because that’s the way to improve one’s writing!), but weh, I guess my geeky side got the better of me. Besides (and yes, this is my excuse, which I consider to be valid) it’s not just a game console, it’s a dictionary, too! It’s educational!
The best part really, is the fact that it’s the Crimson & Black Model, which I just really really love! Mostly because I love red and black, but also because I don’t see many DS Lites that are of that color here in the Philippines. That does pose a bit of a problem though–I can’t find a nice case for it! All the ones I see are light blue, silver or pink. I can’t find any red ones, and I really really want one right away because I’m afraid it’ll have scratch marks on it (and I hate scratch marks ). I know, I can always choose a black cover, or a white one, but… but… Black and white are boring. I want red! XD
Summer Outing #2
Me and My Family (sans sister) at the Patapat Bridge, Ilocos Norte
This summer, my mom wanted to go see the Blue Lagoon (in Maira-Ira, near Pagudpud in Ilocos Norte), so she booked us some rooms in Fort Ilocandia Hotel in Laoag City. We were there from April 30 until May 3, and it was great!
What I like most about taking trips/vacations with my parents is that they can plan a really balanced vacation–what I mean is, they plan the itinerary such that there’s enough time to see the sights, and relax, I mean, really relax, as in, the type of relaxation that borders on boredom. Hehehe. No, seriously, what we did was to stay at the hotel for the entire first day that we were there. We did nothing but sit at the cafe, and stare at the beach. And then on the next day, we hired a van to take us to the Blue Lagoon and some other famous tourist spots in the area (e.g. Bangui Windmills, Patapat Bridge, etc.). By the 3rd day, we again, had nothing planned but the flight back to Manila later in the evening, so we were able to rest from the tiring trip of the day before, and do whatever else we wanted to do again, i.e. swim in the beach/pool of the resort, order more room service, etc.
It was a really fun trip, never mind that it wasn’t exactly a new and exotic place (We went to Ilocos in 2000 too.), I don’t think there’s anything wrong with repeating going to a place anyway, especially when your main objective is to relax.
My aunt, nephew and brother, tossing around a balloon outside our house.
(I’m somewhere in the background, eating cake. Ahehe.)
Although my mom and brother’s birthday’s been long past, we celebrated it anyway yesterday (because that’s just how we are–we celebrated New Year on January 15 this year even, because we were in Japan on January 1), by having our relatives visit our house for dinner.
No, I didn’t help that much with the preparation, but I was the one who bought the gifts for my nephews (It’s their birthdays too–there’s 2 of ‘em), and the dessert (Braso de Mercedes galore!).
The food was great (as always–my aunts love to cook), and it was actually quite fun. Don’t tell my relatives, but I like it better when we’re the ones who host the get-togethers, because 1) there’s a bigger chance that the relatives I don’t like won’t be there, and 2) if there are people who I don’t like who come, my room where I can hide out in is nearby .
It’s kind of funny how my brother was really the “life of the party”, though. Everyone wanted to talk to him, and they asked him about a variety of stuff too–his life in Japan, his work, his new hobby of photography, his experience in the Tokyo marathon, his recent snowboarding injury, etc. I mean, it’s supposed to be natural since he is the birthday celebrant (and a “balikabayan” at that), but I can’t help but remember that when my sister was home last January and we were also celebrating her birthday (this time, it was an advance celebration because her birthday is technically during February), our relatives didn’t ask her that many questions. Sure, they asked her how she likes New Zealand, but other than that and a couple basic of questions about work, the only other thing they asked about was if she had a boyfriend already.
Personally, I think it’s unfair, and I’m beginning to think that maybe people have double-standards about migration too. Of course it could be that it’s only applicable to my family (although I’ve observed this from some other families as well), but it seems that if a single woman migrates to another country, people assume that she’s there to find herself a husband. But if a single man goes to another country, they think he’s there for fun, or for work.
Then again, it could also be that because my brother’s always been more friendly than my sister, maybe my relatives just feel more comfortable asking my brother about various things. I really don’t know since I’m their sibling, and since I get to talk to them more often than our other relatives, I don’t ask so many questions myself.
(Note: I do like something other than the food whenever our family has get-togethers though, when we sing Happy Birthday, we’re always in tune! Hooray for not having anyone tone-deaf in the family! Hehehe. )
Back to the Routine
What I hate most about vacations really, is how it’s so hard to go back to the routine you had before you took your vacation. I go back to work tomorrow (technically later but I haven’t slept yet, so it’s still tomorrow to me), and as excited as I am to see my officemates again and find out what’s happened in the days that I was gone, I can’t help but think that I’d still prefer a nice lazy day to a busy work day any day. (This is a sign that I’m getting tired, I just used the word “day” 3 times in the same sentence.)
One thing I do like about my old routine though, is that I’ll get to watch J-Dramas again! Yes, I’m aware that this isn’t work-related, but I don’t really like watching TV during vacations because to me, TV is the way to unwind after a hard day at work. If I’m watching TV while I’m on vacation, then instead of feeling like it’s a vacation, I’d feel more like I’m just killing time ’til I have to go to work again the next day.
I’ve just finished watching Dragon Zakura, actually. (I finished it just when my cousins arrived at our house for the birthday party. Okay, no, that’s a lie. They got here before I finished it, but I didn’t leave my room until the last episode finished. Yeah, I’m a lousy host. XP) I might post something about it later on. In case you’re curious, the next drama in line is Orange Days. Another old one, but it’s also another one that I’ve had many friends recommend to me, so… I do feel a bit sad that it’s not a Yamapi drama, but it does star Tsumabaki Satoshi–another face I miss, so it shouldn’t be too bad.
Just in case though, here’s something that’ll help me remember Yamapi, and it’s quite timely for us in the Philippines, too.
Summer Time by NewS