Friday, January 17, 2014

Keeping Warm

This week has been especially cold, and even though the temperatures never dipped much below 3 degrees Celcius, my cardboard-like apartment has been completely glacial. I've been using a combination of air conditioner, a space heater, nabe meals, long baths twice per day and sipping on amazake to keep warm- can't wait to see my January utilities bills.

Last Monday was a holiday, and we took a small road trip to the IKEA in Yokohama. It's funny how we pretty much went there just to eat and stock up on food; I left with a jar of gooseberry jam, cheese and bread, which made for wonderful breakfasts all week. I didn't buy any furnishings except a vanilla scented candle, but we'll go back soon as I want to update my apartment a bit, so I made a wish list.

I also spent long hours writing at Inspired, which is the fancier version of Starbucks (and owned by them). I'm sure my American friends are familiar with this cafe, but it's relatively new in Japan, and I love how they serve wine, beer, and nice espresso drinks. It's more cozy and stylish than Starbucks, and the MacBooks outnumber the strollers. It's probably one of my favourite places lately. As much as I love the local cafes I find everywhere in Tokyo, I hate that they allow smoking and I really can't stand breathing secondhand smoke and smelling like an ashtray. In Japan, Starbucks is one of the only non-smoking cafes. I hope this nation catches up to healthier habits someday soon.

In other news, I've been working, working, working, and trying to be more healthy in general. I also met up with a new friend a few days ago, a lovely Italian girl who had been emailing me after reading my blog. Sadly, she's leaving Tokyo in a few days, and I really wish I had met her before, as I feel like we could have been really good friends. We both have been in Japan for 4 years, and have had such similar experiences. That's something I love about living abroad- the people you cross paths with on a daily basis, all have such fascinating stories and you can somehow develop strong bonds in such a short time. I think that's one of the things I missed the most when I went back home to Montreal after living in Korea for a year.

Inspired: my seat

They do latte art

Picking up this gem for a boy

Overwhelmed by the food

Dessert

Hej då!

Organic amazake- soooo good!

9 comments:

Timmy Ang said...

freezing up here in osaka as well. those heat packs help though. theyre amazing little things. almost placed one on my skin haha, was told its supposed to be on at least one layer of clothing.

Johanna said...

Since I'm a swede, I always find it so fascinating when non swedes go to IKEA. When I was younger I thought that only my family knew about IKEA- since we don't have a store in my home town but a few miles away.. and now the hole world go to IKEA!

I also went to IKEA for the food when I studied in Tokyo in 2010. The cheese, crisps and Swedish chocolate. Mmmm!

Uusi Aamu said...

Oh, that cafe is so close where I used to live! I love the cafes in Japan. Can't wait my next trip there:) Hopebyou stay warm...

Uusi Aamu said...

Oh, that cafe is so close where I used to live! I love the cafes in Japan. Can't wait my next trip there:) Hopebyou stay warm...

Vivian said...

Uusi: Oh really? We would have been neighbors!! Hope you come back soon, and ps- I love your blog, so gorgeous!

Vivian said...

Timmy: Haha, I've done that a few times too, ended up with a red patch on my skin!! It kept me warm, though...

Vivian said...

Johanna: Yup, IKEA is loved everywhere in the world! My whole apartment in Canada was IKEA-ed. It's out of control! I love it so much!

Chiara said...

I finally had some time after all the "moving-madness" to read your blog and I'm so flattered you wrote about our lovely evening!
I really wish I had met you sooner too dear Vivian!
See you soon somewhere around the World and take care!
Hugs

Chiara

Jim Corrion said...

Living in a Japan for 4 years? That’s amazing! You have the opportunity to explore their cultures, different places, food, and the most important thing is the people you’ll meet along the way. In my opinion, the only not-so-appealing in Japan is the cold weather just like what you experience. Below 3 degrees, that’s very cold. It’s a good thing that you have an air conditioner and a space heater. It’s a huge help to keep you warm.

Jim @ CandCheat.com