Monday, February 18, 2008

Family Day

Every year after the Christmas-New Year Holidays, we have to endure a long ice-cold winter before enjoying another long weekend in Easter. I don't know which 'smarty pants' politician suggested adding a statutory holiday in February to break up the boring winter, thus 'Family Day' is introduced in Ontario. Now I normally would welcome any holidays, especially a bonus like this one. BUT what did they do? While I have been living in Ontario most of my life, they have to actually start it on a year that I move away from the country!! Hope you enjoy your day off, my dear gosijo :)

Fortunately, my son also had his winter break this past weekend. We decided to venture out to Yokohama, a beautiful port city that I always meant to visit for the last 20 years. Yokohama is located on the southern part of Honshu, and is only 30 minutes train ride from Tokyo. With its city subway system built around major attractions, we really don't need a car to enjoy our visit there. We met up with hubby's colleague, who is also visiting here, and started our 'blind leading the blind' exploration day.

We took the out-of-town MinatoMirai line from Naka-Meguro station and hopped onto the Limited Express train bound for MinatoMirai station (confused already?). Along the route, there are English signs clearly visible, but you can still see tourists reading their maps and looking up with a lost look. Because the kind cloudnine has already briefed me on the routes to take, so we googled and studied all the details ahead of time.

It was a beautiful sunny day, the first structure that caught our eyes when we came out of the station is this :

Hey, why not? What a fun way to get an unobstructed view of the harbour!

Oh no, we caught these people being dragged into a black hole!

Hey now, wait a minute, isn't that building taller than us?!

Now Yokohama boasted a few 'first' and 'most'. It was the first Japanese sea port that opened up to foreign trade in 1859 under the shogunate of Tokugawa, therefore you can find traces of western architecture remained here. This is Yokohama Landmark Tower, the tallest building in Japan - 70 storeys high. It houses the world's 2nd fastest elevator (after Taipei 101).

Look at the spectacular harbour view from the 69th floor observatory : (you can actually see Tokyo and Mt. Fuji from here)

Ahhhh, isn't this romantic, stealing a quiet moment sharing a frothy mocha latte with your loved one staring out at the Yokohama sunset? Haha, don't let the crystal chandaliers fool you, there were a hundred people standing behind my back waiting to grab my seat when I'm done with my last sip!

Of course by now, we were starved to death and couldn’t wait to have a big meal. In case you haven’t heard, Yokohama actually hosted the biggest Chinatown in the world! So after missing Chinese food for 6 weeks 3 days and 8 hours, we charged into Yokohama Chukagai. Ha, I can read all these words, finally a language I understand!

Omigosh, Chinese food, muah muah! I love bao bao (steam buns)!

There are streets and streets of brightly-lit and ornately-decorated restaurants competing for tourists’ attention. We were so hungry that we picked a restaurant that serves from dim sum to Peking Duck, all the way to dessert to satisfy our cravings. Hehe, we even got a private tatami room so nobody could hear how loud we ate :) By the time we got back to Tokyo, it was really late and we were very tired but fulfilled.

Afterthought :
We passed by the harbour square in front of the Landmark while a street performer was just about to start his show. I noticed my son's eyes sparkled with excitement and his steps beginning to slow down, so we decided to sit down on the steps and prepared to turn into an icicle in the next 45 minutes.

As the afternoon sun warmed up my hands and the breeze from Yokohama harbor blew gently onto my face, my heart lit up while I started to look around me. There were the innocent laughs from children, sweet smiles from young lovers and contented grin from old parents, our family have not been this relaxed since we learned about our move. These are the simple pleasure of ordinary people, yet so precious and unattainable for some. I started to think about how much ordinary family life our Yong Joon has missed. Of course he is no ordinary folks, I can’t even picture him sitting here in the audience like any of us. He is Bae Yong Joon, just too outstanding among a crowd, he will shine like a diamond in the sand.

Yong Joon, I wish one day you will have this simple pleasure of a relaxing afternoon with your own family in some corner of the world :)


vegasbyj said...

hello dear jaime!

sorry i've been MIA.
I have been reading your posts and as always enjoy them very much.
thru your eyes, words and pictures, i am able to experience all that you have...(ok, not the same as being there, but you know what i mean).

thank you for sharing with us. one day i hope to experience all that you have in Japan.

take care!

Anonymous said...

Dear Jamie,
Your last sentense in this post is my very wish for him too.
As much as I want to see him more of Great King in TWSSG2 or as a doctor or as a government agent, what ever his next project is, My sincere wish for him is to relax and enjoy in the social circle.
As we all know, when he starts a new drama or movie, he'll be concentrating in his work only, will be so tensed, will be so into that character, won't be able to notice/find/feel someone who can capture his heart.
I remember the times when I fell in love, got married, made children together with the love of my life and experiencing ups and downs together with/for the loving family we made, how challaging and exciting to raise the children ..... I wish him to have all these while he is young.
He is wealthy, healthy, famous, successful in what he does for living, is a good son who makes his parents proud, a good citizen of his country, good to the environment, and many many more ... all he needs is to make a happy family and enjoy every moment of it.
Hope he gets it soon ....

Anonymous said...

Oh .. it's me, forgot to initial ...


jaime said...

my dear vegas,

so good to hear from you again, glad you're doing fine. I do hope one day you can come to Japan and experience all these and much more :)

love ... jaime

jaime said...

Dear yee,

Thank you for sharing your experience. I agree with you, while it takes so much out of you to raise a child, but the reward of watching him growing up day after day is just so wonderful. I do hope that Yong Joon will fulfill all his career and personal dreams. He is such a kind person and he deserves the best :)

love ... jaime

Anonymous said...

Hi Jaime,

Oh you made it to Yokohama at last!! Must have been a big day for your family and your hubby's colleague. I'm so happy to know you had a great time in MM21 and in Chinatown. Too many places to go, so one day is not enough, right?

As for the place where you saw some steet performers, you find this place right after you come out of Landmark tower. Oh I know it all depends where you come from, but what I want to say is that Brokoreland used to be at the very end of Landmark tower, very close to this square. Looking people aroudn you sitting there, you started thinking about our prince, I bet it was not just accidental.

Hi vegas,

I missed you! Hope all is well.

cloud nine

flowerbossa said...

Hi Jaime,

I was in the middle of writing about Brokoreland when cloud nine beat me to it! Yes, that's where I had the honor of meeting Maestro Seikyo Kim, and you could see THAT famous torso! (So Jisub surprised his fans and staff by making an unexpected visit! Imagine what it would have been like if it was BYJ!)

So happy to know that you had a relaxing day with your family and friends. Although I live in "Yokohama" it takes me about 40 min to get there. I loved the pics that you took^^

You know, I have similar thoughts too...
I'm not rich or famous but I have a loving family that I can share the ordinary joys of life with. Tough BYJ claims that much of it is by choice (with his philosophy of how an actor should lead his life), I wish he would not be so hard on himself - like you say, he deserves the best.

Dear Vegas, Japan will be here for you! I miss the States too^^


jaime said...

Hi my dear cloudnine,

Thank you so much for all your useful information. Haha, you won't believe it, I was guiding our 'troops' like a local! I owe all the credit to you.

Really, I didn't know Brokoreland was this close?! Hehe, I guess our minds are never far from Yong Joon. He's already in our hearts, especially when you see goodness and beauty, you'll think of him.

love .... Jaime

jaime said...

Hi dear flowerbossa,

Nice to hear from you again. You know what, I thought about you when I was in Yokohama. Of course with a population of 3.6 million, what's the chance of bumping into you?

So this is the place where you met the famous Maestro Kim, is he still linked to IMX? I remember the torso that you risked breaking the window trying to take a pic of its back view, so did Pallet manage to take it home after the exhibition?

Yokohama has a beautiful port, I heard that it's even more spectacular when it is lit up at night. I hope to bring my sister there when she visits next month.

Please send my regards to Pallet.

love ... Jaime

P.S. Yes vegas dear, so please start planning now. we're all waiting for you :)

flowerbossa said...

Hi again,

Yes Maestro Kim is still under the management of IMX - I hope it stays that way... with all that's changing with that company, I don't know what's going to happen next. It would be wonderful if he could lead the orchestra when BYJ comes to Japan.

and the torso.

If pallet had the strength to take it home, you would have seen drawings of it from every angle imaginable by now.

Your sister is coming next month?
How exciting! I'm sure you are a much better guide than me at this stage. Have fun!


gosijo said...

Hi Jaime,

It's so wonderful to be able to discover Yokohama through your eyes! I think we're all the same when we find ourselves in happy situations among a crowd of people: we think of dear wuri YJ and hope there is a way for him to experience something similar, one day, especially with a family of his own.

As for the new holiday in Ontario, I heard that only 60% of workers got the day off, due to various reasons like collective agreements, etc. What was most unusual was that there were no plans, no major extended family gatherings, just time to relax. For the 3 of us at home, we tried something new: a Korean bbq at home in winter! In order not to smoke up the whole house, we set it up in the small space on our covered back porch. Yummmm!

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful place,
I love this,
now I know one day I have to visit such a port, Thank you for sharing that expirience.
A day with your family hasbrough so much joy to us.

And yes I agree with you on this to, I wish that wondeful man, happinesss and love to.
Something so simple and yet those times make such a difrence in a person, making them happy and content.


jaime said...

dear gosijo,

thanks for reading. I am happy to hear that you had a wonderful family BBQ in the middle of winter. Actually my old neighbour used to do that in his garage, and I just wish he would invite us for dinner. The Korean BBQ must be yummy :)

love ... jaime

jaime said...

hi dear moontime,

Thanks for your comment. I think there is always this attractiveness of watching the ships come and go in a port city. I thought you live at a port too, no?

Yes, I hope our prince's next project is to find a girlfriend :)

love ... jaime