I have had many of my firsts in Japan, things that might seem commonplace to people living outside the tiny island I call home- my first time living abroad and alone, my first earthquake and typhoon, my first brush with the beautiful spring landscape, my first sight of autumn foliage, my first touch of snow, my first time snowboarding, my first visit to a lake, my first mountain-climbing experience...
Yesterday, Japan robbed me of my virginity again. Yes, readers, there is hope yet. At the ripe age of 25, I finally learnt how to cycle.
Yesterday, E took me to the scenic Sakuragicho area near his workplace and taught me how to ride on two wheels.
It's embarrassing, I know, and I've always been secretly jealous of people who could cycle (about 99% of the population) but my parents never taught me and I have thought myself too old to learn since.
We rented a bike from the rental kiosk under the highway and then he proceeded to teach me very patiently (under the scorching hot afternoon sun, may I add) the basics of cycling. We started by learning how to kick-start, then how to balance, then how to move in a straight line and eventually how to loop in a figure of eight.
I couldn't stop giggling at first, and then I couldn't stop half-screaming at everyone in my path. E held my handlebars and huffed and puffed and ran aside me while I peddled with all the grace of a roadsweeper. Why that boy likes me, I have no idea, hehehe.
I was resentful of the people around me who breezed past me in their beautiful bicycles, some with just one hand, as if to mock me for my incompetence! But my shame turned into self-motivation and I told myself that if I could rollerblade and snowboard, surely this wasn't an impossible feat.
I was a road hazard, cycling between the beautiful bay area (much like along the Fullerton bridge in Singapore) and a busy street. I was waiting for a traffic police to blow his whistle at me and take me away in handcuffs. I even knocked into a Japanese man who was walking carefully by the side of the bridge, and he let out a big WOAAAAH as I rammed into him. And then I knocked into the bush/wall/barriers a couple of times, luckily none too serious.
But now I can cycle, and when I get more confident I can go on road trips with my boy.
Anyhow, I took half my Saturday off to attend the Bloomberg summer party in Shin-Kiba and it was good fun as usual. I stuffed my face silly with the buffet spread and drank to my heart's content at the bar. Unbelievably hot, today was, and it truly was the perfect way to end my second summer in Japan. It was also good to see everyone again, especially a certain someone who used to instill fear at the workplace...
Here are some photos that J sent us from his trip to Tokyo last month-
After E's weekly gig in Yokohama
The famous Midori sushi in Umegaoka
The Chinese couldn't hold chopsticks like the angmoh
Maybe that's how they do it in Melbourne...
And on a totally random note- my man got me my own rice cooker! It is the cutest and most thoughtful present anyone has gotten me, and he says that every Chinese girl should have their own rice cooker and he wants me to eat more cheaply. Who needs a Prada or Louis Vutton when I can have you, my dear?