Friday, August 26

Fantastic summer Tokyo and retro gamers paradise

Finally in 1 place for 2 weeks, good to be home. But coming home means school every morning 9 - 12. Japanese is so so difficult to learn! My short term memory isn't really too great so it feels like I forget everything in an instance. I dare to say that this is by far the most difficult task I've taken in my life. Or at least it feels like it. Chinese seemed easier or then I'm just forgetting how frustrated I used to be when I didn't understand. Still remember us having 25 new words every day which means 25 new characters to write. Notebook after notebook full of writing. Maybe I'm just becoming old and slow now :D

The summer in Tokyo has been fantastic! Most days are clear blue sky and around 30 degrees. Wish this heat & sunshine would last as long as possible. Got a sofa from Ikea to the balcony, best spot to chill with killer view.

So much appreciate the evening runs when living in Tsukishima!
Harumi island river side 

They made sure NO ONE drives a bike or car under this bridge 
Morning coffee and weekend office  
Tasty looking tentacles in local supermarket
And other seafood
This gorgeous sunset one evening
Feels like your 24/7 standing on your toes when everyday is about learning learning remembering and trying to figure out the Da Vinci code
Had a "pera pera" night at the school. 1 hour only speaking Japanese with locals and 1 hour only english. 
Tokyo summers are so much more than I ever expected !
 Went for a 12 kilometer run one night, back and forth to Tokyo tower. Steel red!
 Been waiting to stroll around Akihabara ever since I moved here and now did so. This really is a retro games paradise!! You can buy all games ever made to old Nintendo machines or any other consoles for that matter. MUST visit for old-school gamers. Laakso I wish you see this!
 Re-buy an old Nintendo 8-bit! It's less than 100 euros
 Or a SNES
It's me, MARIO
 Or is you don't want to buy the machine home play some Mario on the original arcade machines
Anime shop with all kinds of geeky stuff 
Gundam cafe, huge let down. There is ALWAYS a que outside this place. First time I came to Tokyo 2009 I was wondering what was so special inside but didn't bother queing. Now I did and know that it's nothing worth waiting for.
Found these Matrix sheep on our backyard, dissolve!  
 Blue sky lover, still in a process of getting over the polluted Chinese skies
A Taifoon swept Tokyo. Most things in the city closed down and the rain made it look a lot like Silent Hill. Or if not Silent Hill, Beijing on a polluted day.
Hours after the Taifoon swept by, heavy clouds! 

Tuesday, August 16

Sri Lanka road tour! What a gorgeous island

Spent a whole week in Sri Lanka to launch our products all over the country. Been sitting in the car for hours and hours everyday! The roads here are scary to drive on, everyone ignores any kind of speed limit. There are usually only 2 lanes so the take-overs are riskyyy! But we managed just fine with my great driver :)

Sri Lanka's east coast looks amazing! Beaches as long as the eye can see. Need to go check it out someday. Only been to west, south and central parts of the country. 

Then there was a loooooot of waiting at hospitals and pharmacies. This was probably one of the busiest week I've had this year so far. Getting up at 7 am every day and coming back to hotel around midnight. Too tired to think about doing any workout, just crash in bed.

We started our "tour" in Colombo, then to Kandy, Galle and Negombo. I was really lucky with the trip to Kandy because this week they had the annual Perahera festival going. The Perahera festival is a very old tradition in Sri Lanka. There is a massive parade around the city for 10 days. The parade starts after dark and goes on for hours. There are thousands of dancers and performers and lot of elephants too. Really an amazing and unique experience. Never seen the likes of it!!!!

Galle Face Green on a Sunday evening is PACKED with people. Shangri-la is building a new hotel to the back right. Looking forward to check it out next year. Took this picture from my hotel room at Galle Face Hotel. 
Nice way to enjoy a coffee at 6 am 
Travellers Bar: Mark Twain, Carrie Fisher, Steven Spielberg, Kings & Queens, Nixon and many many more celebrities stayed at this place! Hotel was build 1864 by the British colonials
Mark Twain 
Galle Face Hotel has a nice restaurant that opens in the evening. Very nice seafood soooo cheap here! 
Last night when I came back from Galle the hotel was fully booked so they gave me the Ceylon Suite. Biggest room I ever had! 2 showers, 2 toilets and 2 meeting rooms. Too bad I just got to stay in it about 7 hours then had to get up and fly in the night back to Tokyo. 
Found this guy on the road while we were driving to Kandy. Almost 2 meter long! Not something you want to find in your living room or bedroom. 
When you missed the bus...
Stopped for some snacks pretty much middle of nowhere. Going on these sandy, dusty dangerous roads by TukTuk can't be great. 

Some crazy driving right about now
Biggest rock I've seen in Kurunagala! Very cool with the gigantic Buddha statue watching over the city. Getting close to Kandy now
Perahera Festival in many many pictures. Pictures don't do it right how massive and intensive the parade was with the fire and noise. You really have to see it! People lining up in the afternoon and wait for hours for it to begin. Thanks to Kapila's buddies we got chairs in a jewelry shop without any fee. I saw a lot of tourists pay quite a lot of money for just sitting on a sheet in the street :D 
 Some snacks? 

 Buddha watching over Kandy 
 The parade started with these fire ring artists 

 And then came the soldiers and elephants 

Was really HOT here with all the live fire. Wonder if there ever been any serious fire caused by this before. There was burning coal all over the street as they moved on. Fire Walk with me....Need to re-watch Twin Peaks someday. 

 The elephant dresses were really cool. On the last day of the parade the elephants have much more lights than this. 
 So much people in the parade!! They keep coming for 3 hours!! Hordes! Like Gears of Wars 
 Went to meet the Head of Department of Medicine & Pediatrics 
 Restocking a pharmacy 
 Waiting for a meeting in one of Kandy's hospitals. 
 Tiny tunnel, 2 bigger cars barely pass here 
 Amazing hotel called Emerald Hill. The rate is less than 50 USD per night. If ever in Kandy I strongly recommend this place if you want a view and quiet enviroment 
 Our products distributed in the biggest phamracy in Kandy. This place is run by the 4th generation already. Father and son to the left and Kapila to the right. Never been backstage surrounded by this much pills and drugs before. 

 Galle Town, an old Dutch fort build around 500 years ago. It's actually a copy of the fort the Dutch build in Kotchi city India. Went there about 2 years ago to meet a company.
 The Dutch Hospital, they got very nice food it's nice to sit down and enjoy this historical scenery! 
Old traditional Dutch lights decorate the inner ceiling 
Streets of Galle crowded and full of life 
This hospital had a very jungle feel to it, backyard full of monkeys and gigant lizards 
 Checking our stock at the Pharmacy 
On the way to Negombo we came across some problems. The engine overheated and left us stranded on the road a while. Luckily we still made it in time for our meeting. 
 Thanks Kapila for the nice last dinner! This place is run by an artist, very nice open air place with great food and low prices! And they had my name St Sebastian Street sing too. 

Last day in Colombo. What a week it's been! 
Goodbye Sri Lanka, see you next year again