November 3, 2004

Trip!

November 3, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

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../pics/japan/320x240-20041103-142612.jpg Tomoko picking a persimmon

../pics/japan/320x240-20041103-160324.jpg ../pics/japan/320x240-20041103-160736.jpg Fuji-san

../pics/japan/320x240-20041103-160410.jpg Fuji-san, Tomoko-san and me

English translation follows. Don't worry. =)

(snip: corrupted Japanese translation)

The trip to Yamanashi was so much fun!

Tomoko kindly invited me. Last night, I slept at her house. Dinner was a delicious curry. I also had three sweet mandarins. It was my first time to drink dried plum tea. That was delicious. Everything was wonderful! Her mother and father were very very nice. I think they made their conversation easier to understand because I'm still bad at Japanese. We talked about various things. For example, fruits (Tomoko really likes mangoes; I should remember that), education... It was fun. After dinner, I had a bath. That felt good. Because I needed to wake up early for today's trip, I slept early (and well).

We had cake for breakfast, which made me quite full. We went to Odakyu Tama Center on a bus. Tomoko was surprised that I knew how to ride the bus. She said it was cool. After we changed to the tour bus, I fell asleep. (I think I had not yet really woken up.)

First, we went to a winery. Although I don't really drink wine, I tried different kinds of wine. I didn't like the strong one. The sweet one was better. I liked the cheeses, though. Smoked cheese was the most delicious, so I bought a present. (No matter how much Tomoko tried to dissuade me, I felt very grateful, so I really wanted to buy a gift.)

From there, we went to a kimchi store. We tried kimchi (prepared by Koreans), flavored garlic, and other things. We'd been eating since the beginning! It was good that we then went to a mountain and did some hiking. Stairs were carved into the rock, which was wonderful. It was a bit scary. It looked like it was easy for us to fall. We got a bit tired and parched... but the view was so beautiful, so we kept on going. It was good that we climbed!

After this exercise, we each picked one persimmon from a tree, then went shopping. We ate persimmons, grapes, and other things. (Waa. I think I gained weight.) After we were full, we went to a crystal museum. The crystal garden was beautiful. We were also taught how to distinguish crystals. (I don't remember anything.)

Lastly, we went to a lake. Mt. Fuji could be seen. It was so beautiful! It was like a postcard. We also went to a famous confectionary, and I bought a gift.

Today was so much fun. I am much obliged to Tomoko and her family, and am glad I went.

I think if you're talking about Japan tours, it's eating, sight-seeing, eating, shopping, eating, exercising... ;)

(Waa. If I don't translate this to English, my family and friends won't understand...)

Update on “Crazed”

November 3, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

UPDATE: Apparently, the only source for the Faye story is a paid advertisement, so the info is iffy. That's a pity, because there are so many other stories out there that are less outrageous and yet more inspiring. We don't have to have against-all-odds stories to take pride in being Filipino. There is also courage in the little things we do.

I find the original speech also a little over the top. I should get around to writing down my opinion on the thing. I guess that's why I'm not a debater, eh?

I also find it rather strange that a number of people who arrived at this site looking for information on "Faye" and the Intercontinental Science Quiz Net were strongly convinced that it was a hoax, and rather vocal about saying so. I think those people are focusing on the wrong thing. It's not about the existence or nonexistence of one person, nor is it even about this preoccupation we might have with media. I think the most important thing to remember here is that there is a world outside our cozy little niche with stories we do not know and perhaps never hear of, the truth or falsehood of which we do not personally know and cannot because we have not yet stepped outside our comfort zone.

You may think it's easy for me to say that, surrounded by autumn leaves in a First World country, but there is more to this than I can find the words to explain.

I miss the Philippines. I miss the way the streetchildren's stares shock me into realizing that all I have done so far is lacking, that there is still more to be done. I miss the way the squalor of squatter communities reminds me that I need to find something I can do to ease the urban pressure. I miss the questions in my students' eyes, questions that I try to answer but fail to explain to my satisfaction. The Philippines is not perfect. Far from it, even. It is that very imperfection that brings me out of myself and makes me reach for greater things.

What is one more candle in a land lit by a thousand suns? It is in dark places that light is needed most.

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ISWC

November 3, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

ISWC is _the_ wearable computing event.

Next year, it will be held in Osaka, Japan.

You have no idea how annoyed that makes me.

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Hikarunix

November 3, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

eclair wrote in her blog:

My sister [info]zhynchan seems to have been bitten by the Go bug again after I showed her Hikarunix, a Linux distro on live cd and it is dedicated to Go. Yes, Go, as in the Japanese board game with black and white stones.

http://www.hikarunix.org/