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Re: Random Thread ~The Duck Saga Pt. 17~

PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2017 3:04 am
by esm
I'm going to Thailand for a little less than a week for my sister's wedding. It seems so chaotic because the school quarter just started.

I haven't flown this far in almost ten years though, so it's exciting, but with a 12-hour time difference, the jet lag will be as bad as it gets.

I'm also going to Hong Kong later in March for about five days for a workshop. My department is paying for the trip, so it's pretty cool. I might extend my trip in that area for a few days, since it'd be spring break anyway. I'd like to go to Japan, but thinking about being there for just a few days seems too overwhelming. :lol:

Re: Random Thread ~The Duck Saga Pt. 17~

PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2017 7:34 pm
by TotallyUncool
I spent most of the 90s working at a software company (in the SGV) owned and mostly staffed by people from Hong Kong, and it's pretty high on my list of placed-I'd-like-to-visit-if-I-ever-have-the-time. I feel a kind of personal attachment to HK, I guess - sort of like the attachment I still feel toward the Philippines (through my former marriage and in-laws), and more recently, Japan (through friends, as well as Jpop and pop culture).

Re: Random Thread ~The Duck Saga Pt. 17~

PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2017 9:37 pm
by Celedam
My random thought of the day: Wired (the magazine) isn't really about technology. It's about the fashion of technology and "interesting" people who work in technology. (And lots and lots of advertising; it's a Conde Naste publication, after all.) It's for marketing executives and venture capitalists who think they work in technology.

(yeah, i should've already known this, but i haven't picked up an issue of Wired since the late '90s. i don't remember it being this... conspicuous.)

Re: Random Thread ~The Duck Saga Pt. 17~

PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2017 10:55 pm
by TotallyUncool
That's exactly what it is - a slick techno-fashion magazine, with the emphasis on slick and fashion. That's probably one of the reasons why I can't recall seeing an article in it that held my attention past the intro.

Re: Random Thread ~The Duck Saga Pt. 17~

PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 12:20 am
by Reina
I logged in to make sure my account is not deleted :unsure:

Re: Random Thread ~The Duck Saga Pt. 17~

PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 12:34 am
by Zunu
The only way that would ever happen is if you became famous and we had to delete your account to protect you from snooping fans looking into your past!! :emo:
Or, I accidentally pressed a wrong button. :unsure:

Re: Random Thread ~The Duck Saga Pt. 17~

PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 6:12 am
by TotallyUncool
Hi, not-deleted Reinakathy!

Re: Random Thread ~The Duck Saga Pt. 17~

PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2017 1:49 pm
by CaptainBerryzGiraffe

guys, this is so fucking exciting :D
Anyone else watching????

Re: Random Thread ~The Duck Saga Pt. 17~

PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2017 2:45 pm
by Amped
the games for Switch look promising. But $300 for the system is a bit much.

Re: Random Thread ~The Duck Saga Pt. 17~

PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2017 3:12 pm
by Moh
No worse than the prices for PS4 and XBox. :lol:

The wall in the hall bathroom shower got busted last week. Someone with the insurance company came out over the weekend and said there's probably mold behind that wall. :|
We're still waiting to hear back from them re: if they're gonna cover any expenses. We have a thousand dollar deductible.
This house was built like 40 years ago, but they ~remodeled~ the bathroom within probably the last 10? Obviously not by a professional, because it's all drywall behind the tile instead of cement board.

Anyway, since that occurred, I've been suffering. My dad sealed off the hole and we only use the bathroom if the other is occupied, but once those spores get in the air...

Re: Random Thread ~The Duck Saga Pt. 17~

PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2017 9:39 pm
by Starra
I'll buy the Switch if it's the system Pokemon moves to :lol:.

Honestly if I had more money I'd probably be a gamer. Games are fun. But I'm stingy and I can't justify spending $60-80 on a game since I'll probably only play it once or twice. Except for Pokemon, since I've loved it since I was a kid and I know I'm going to enjoy it (Moon was fantastic, by the way).

Then again, I can't justify spending money on idol CD releases either and those are significantly cheaper, so... :unsure:

(Of course, I'm going to be buying a shitload of things when I'm in Japan. I'll try not to run the official H!P shop out of business.)

Re: Random Thread ~The Duck Saga Pt. 17~

PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 5:07 am
by erilaz
^ Make sure you have plenty of room in your luggage to accommodate it. Mailing stuff home is expensive.

When I go to Japan, I bring a large suitcase containing a small amount of clothes and essentials, with the rest of the space used for bubble wrap (to protect my purchases on the way home) and a smaller, collapsible bag (completely empty). As my carry-on, I have a small backpack, also mostly empty.

When I return home, all three pieces of luggage are stuffed to capacity. I've developed a skill for knowing how much to buy, so that I no longer have to mail anything home. I also spread the heavy stuff around (photobooks are dangerous), so that my big suitcase doesn't go over the weight limit and cost me extra. In 2011, the combined weight of my two checked bags was a couple of kilos over the limit, thanks to a 50% off sale on photobooks at BOOK-OFF, but ANA didn't charge me extra (the flight was far from full, which may have been a factor in my favor).

Here's what the inside of my big suitcase looked like when I returned home in 2015. The bubble-wrapped rectangles are shopping bags packed with CDs, mostly cheap, second-hand singles (on that trip I spent ¥33,870 on 124 CDs, 25 of which had bonus DVDs). Photobooks were mostly split between the collapsible bag and my carry-on.

Image

As Lafcadio Hearn wrote about shopping in Japan 125 years ago:
The shopkeeper never asks you to buy; but his wares are enchanted, and if you once begin buying you are lost. Cheapness means only a temptation to commit bankruptcy; for the resources of irresistible artistic cheapness are inexhaustible. The largest steamer that crosses the Pacific could not contain what you wish to purchase.

Re: Random Thread ~The Duck Saga Pt. 17~

PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 5:05 pm
by esm
I'm at Narita, waiting to go back to Chicago. Drinking some hot milk tea from a vending machine. Why are Japanese vending machines so awesome? <3

Thailand was fun, even though I didn't have much time to do anything. Bangkok is such an amazing city, and I forgot how kind and humble people in Thailand are and how they'd go out of their way to help you and not to trouble you. I hope it won't be ten years before I visit again.

Re: Random Thread ~The Duck Saga Pt. 17~

PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 5:41 pm
by TotallyUncool
I'm glad that you had such a good visit, and such a good time in Thailand!

Re: Random Thread ~The Duck Saga Pt. 17~

PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 8:37 pm
by Starra
@erilaz: Yeah, I am a bit worried about that :lol:. I'll have enough money to spend but I'm going to try and be as conservative as I can with it. At least I don't have to worry about buying clothes since I'm probably too big for most Japanese clothing brands anyway :fear:.

I have no idea how long we're going for or anything like that yet. My mum's coming with me and my dad and his parter might come but I haven't asked them yet (my dad wants to, I'm not sure about his partner since she's done a lot of travelling lately). I think I want to spend most of the time in Tokyo and only stay in Saitama around the days of the concert. I'd also like to go to the Kansai region but I'm not sure if I'd be able to cope. I am working on building up some stamina, but since I have to start from a level of basically none whatsoever I have no idea how I'll be in 5 months' time. At least there're a fuckton of things to do in Tokyo itself and at least most of what I want to do/see is right there. And I can always save up to go again some day.

Re: Random Thread ~The Duck Saga Pt. 17~

PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 8:44 pm
by Shoujo Q
Tokyo is a big ass place. So you'll probably live on the trains. Familiar yourself with elevator and escalator locations because every train stop seems to have a hell of a lot of stairs since most are underground. And with the amount of people coming and going, it's going to overwhelm you. You'll get disoriented rather quickly, especially in the bigger stations which are practically like mini malls.

Re: Random Thread ~The Duck Saga Pt. 17~

PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 9:10 pm
by Starra
That's, uh, another thing I'm worried about :fear:. At least I kind of know how the language works enough to ask for help if I need it. And since we're going in June there'll be less people travelling than in some other months, I guess.

I'm not used to trains though. But several of the rides (from, say, Ueno to Akihabara) seem to not take terribly long (to me, lol). We'll see. I don't do well in crowds but it's more the noise and randomness of them and as chaotic as Tokyo gets I think I might be able to cope a bit better. Maybe. Hopefully.

I'm going to try to do it for nerd shit, at least :lol:.

Re: Random Thread ~The Duck Saga Pt. 17~

PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2017 1:53 pm
by erilaz
Starra wrote:I think I want to spend most of the time in Tokyo and only stay in Saitama around the days of the concert.

There's not much reason to hang around Saitama except for the concert, anyway. (They used to have an incredible John Lennon Museum at SSA, but it's gone now.) Saitama's a quick and easy train ride from Tokyo, especially if you're staying somewhere near the stations on the eastern side of the Yamanote line. When I went to SSA in 2007, I was staying in Kawasaki, which is just south of Tokyo (Saitama is north of Tokyo), and it still took less than an hour to get there.

Starra wrote:At least there're a fuckton of things to do in Tokyo itself and at least most of what I want to do/see is right there. And I can always save up to go again some day.

The first time I went to Tokyo, I didn't venture any further away than Yokohama and Kamakura, and after a full two weeks, I still hadn't seen everything on my itinerary.

Shoujo Q wrote:Familiar yourself with elevator and escalator locations because every train stop seems to have a hell of a lot of stairs since most are underground.

Be advised that some of the smaller subway stations don't have elevators or escalators at all, just stairs. Case in point, Inarichō, the station closest to my hotel on my last three trips.

Shoujo Q wrote:You'll get disoriented rather quickly, especially in the bigger stations which are practically like mini malls.

Yep, I've been caught in the labyrinths of Ueno Station and Shibuya Station.

Starra wrote:I'm not used to trains though. But several of the rides (from, say, Ueno to Akihabara) seem to not take terribly long (to me, lol). We'll see. I don't do well in crowds but it's more the noise and randomness of them and as chaotic as Tokyo gets I think I might be able to cope a bit better. Maybe. Hopefully.

One positive thing about Japanese trains that will work in your favor is that even though they may be crowded, they will be remarkably quiet. It's nothing like having to listen to all the braying jackasses on public transit here in the S.F. Bay Area.

Ueno to Akihabara is only three or four minutes. I doesn't take very long to travel by train anywhere within Tokyo. Even when I was staying in Kawasaki, the train ride to Shibuya only took about 25 minutes.

My advice is to get familiar with the geography and the train lines before you even get to Japan. If you know where you're going and how to get there, it makes things so much easier. Being lost and bewildered can eat up a lot of time that could be spent doing things you actually want to do. (But if you just want to wander around aimlessly and see whatever you stumble across, that's fine, too. I've had great experiences doing that, but unfortunately I rarely have the time to indulge in it while I'm over there.)

If you don't know about HyperDia, it's an incredibly useful tool for planning train trips in Japan.

Another bit of advice: When choosing a place to stay, make sure that you're close to a train station, preferably one well situated for your travel needs, even if it's not necessarily close to all the places you're going. On my last three trips I've stayed about halfway between Ueno and Asakusa, which works well for me. Even though Shibuya is clear across town, it's just a 30-minute straight shot on the Ginza Line. The place I stayed in Ōsaka was an easy walk from Shin-Ōsaka Station, where the Tōkaidō and San'yō Shinkansen meet.

Re: Random Thread ~The Duck Saga Pt. 17~

PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2017 6:09 pm
by Starra
I think I might look into staying somewhere that's on the same train line as SSA (or as close to it as I can get). It all seems really logical/structured, I've just never had to deal with a system like it before :lol:.

I've lived most of my life in a city of 200,000 people and now I live in a town of 30,000. Although I have spent some time in Sydney (which is about 5 million -- way too many fucking people lol) and have visited Hong Kong. But I'm sure they're nowhere near the same as Tokyo, lol.

My main priorities are visiting Akihabara, Ikebukuro (Otome Road here I fucking come) and Nakano Broadway. And SSA, of course, but I think I'll plan the trip so that the concert is one of the last things I do before coming home. But I also want to avoid Golden Week in May, so I'm not sure. I also have no idea how long I want to spend there. Maybe 2-3 weeks? It depends.

Re: Random Thread ~The Duck Saga Pt. 17~

PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2017 6:19 pm
by Celedam
Starra wrote:My main priorities are visiting Akihabara, Ikebukuro (Otome Road here I fucking come) and Nakano Broadway.

Wow, you're not fooling around. Even with erilaz's packing tips, you might need to ship stuff back home.

The closest I've ever gotten was two different visits to Kinokuniya (once in N.Y., once in S.F., both primarily business trips), and each time I still wanted to buy half the store. It was the '90s, so nowhere near as much was available over the Internet.