Spent the large majority of the day at the Victoria and Albert Museum (faaaaabulous) but eventually Nikki and I wandered around the area enough to window shop at Harrods. We didn’t actually go inside, mostly because I’d almost had a panic attack at the Natural History Museum 20 minutes previous. (Who knew I didn’t like dark rooms and small pathways in a total crush of people? Well, now I know.) But! Both Nikki and I fell madly in lurve with this colorful, playful, and exotic display of the mermaid scene during Peter Pan. When, apparently, she offers him some Chanel to keep him under the water. Huh.
😀 A good day! I love museums. I’d like shopping more if the things I wanted weren’t over 50 pounds.
Spent a single day in Paris, and Nikki and I scooted over to London via the chunnel. Despite the cool temperatures (it was actually quite fine during the daylight. Said daylight lasted maybe four hours), we strolled to Trafalgar Square, ate some super good Chinese good, then (bad idea) visited the National Portrait Gallery. Nikki and I are both super big fans of art and could have probably spent a full day wandering and reading (OMG, I can understand EVERYTHING here. England = Genius!). However, we booked it around 3:30 for more walking. Did walk-bys of Big Ben and Parliament, the London Eye and a Christmas faire, Waterloo Station, and capped it all off with the Tower of London and the Tower Bridge (above). By that time, I could barely feel my face (also: thighs. Must remember to wear thermals). But zoinks, it’s so interesting! I love the contrast of the older gothic/marble/carefully carved architecture versus the clean lines and glass of modern buildings.
Also: I LOVE MY NEW LENS. Seriously. How did I live with a 50mm for so long? Wide angle = wooooonderful.
The port at Fukuoka. One of my last glimpses of Japan.
Well, I’ve been putting off taking a photo of this shrine since it kinda shows how silly I can be. But we’re getting near the wire of 2010, and in order to show off Iki, I have to talk about this shrine.
This is the infamous Iki fertility shrine: Sen Jinja. It’s one of the places (usually the first) I take any visitors. Mostly because I’m super immature. It is right smack dab in the middle of “downtown” Gounoura (the largest “city” on the island), sitting between some clothing stores and restaurants. And, if you can’t tell because I purposefully blurred it, it’s also home to a giant–maybe 2.5 meter–wooden penis. (There’s a smaller, golden one inside the shrine proper.) Any new ALT to Iki must take a picture with the penis. Preferably hugging it. We are simple, silly folk here. And though the shrine may be holy, us westerners gaijin smash our way through it.
I do love Japan.
This was me:
Oh yay! I am hungry! I shall get an onigiri (rice ball) and apple, and be fabulous. But self, do not forget the shortening for our classes tomorrow.
[Guess what? Yeah. Forgets shortening.]
Fast forward to 11:30 pm. I’m just about to go to sleep.
Lalalalala, I can…NOOOOO! I FORGOT THE SHORTENING. Grumble grumble. Now I have to go back out. Grumble grumble. And buy the friggin’ shortening. Grrr. Thank goodness this is the only place open on Iki past 10! Grumble BUMBLE. BAH.
After taking the Thanksgiving Turkeys to Nat-chan’s house (and his lovely normal-sized fridge) for defrosting, I realized I hadn’t taken a photo. there’s a great deal of construction happening on Iki, so this is pretty indicative of my drive…anywhere. That was also the first time I ever went to Nat-chan’s house after two+ years of living and hanging out together. Well, this is good. Now if there’s a disaster, I know where his house is. Whether my kei car can get to that house is another idea entirely…