Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Tokyo/Beijing Photos (long)

I really didn't do anything this trip to Asia. In fact, I sat on my ass in the hotel quite often since Sindy had several surgeries, usually first thing in the morning so I waited for her to finish. I'll just post some photos:

More Tokyo... this was walking away from Hamamatsucho station towards Tokyo Tower (Shibadaimon?). There were lots of interesting looking shops along the street (and lots of vending machines) but since it was before 6am, everything was closed, except for the 24 hour Yoshinoya.

I posted this below already; it looks like a dimsum place. The "menu" reads (L to R): egg rolls, shrimp shiumai, steamed buns, shrimp dumplings, something mantou, pork buns, and turnip cake. ¥480 is about $6... pretty expensive. Google Street view photo does not have the red stickers on the front window.

There was a massage place next to the Yoshinoya (5th floor). Judging from the prices, it's a real massage place. The "massage parlors" charge ¥25,000 and up.

It was only 6:30am and there were lots of people on the returning monorail. China has more people but I think Japan is probably more crowded in comparison since there is so little land.

Lunch on ANA flight from HND to PEK. I got the beef option (the other choice was fish) and it was surprisingly good. The cold udon was pretty good too.

Welcome to Chi**cough**na!

Sign on the back of my hotel room door, right below the useless Chinglish emergency evacuation instructions. Basically it says "Stop/Refrain from pornography, gambling, and poison (illegal drugs)". Oh, that explains the condoms and other "adults goods" for sale on my nightstand. The police cartoons are cute; not at all like the real-life thugs that beat up demonstrators and journalists.

Food items for sale at a market next to the hotel. They rearranged everything since the last time I was here. It's much more organized but the customer service is bad as before.

Lunch at Sindy's parents' apartment. They always cook too much food when I visit.

Sindy's Chow Chow "face basin"

Dinner at fancy restaurant. There was pretty much no one else there and it was already 7pm. This is some sort of root/yam that supposed to have some medicinal properties. The purple stuff is blueberry jam.

Since it was Sindy's birthday, we ordered fish with noodles which is supposed to signify long life or something.

It rained for two days while I was there. The second day was sunny and clear, though the PM2.5 and PM5 levels are probably still pretty high.

Some awesome Chinglish at a Beijing Capital Airport souvenir store. Someone tried to fix it with a thin marker but it was only marginally better.

My flight (NH1256) from Beijing to Tokyo. The air was crappy again.

Whenever there was turbulence in the air, the pilot would turn on the seat belt sign but a flight attendant also walked up/down the aisles showing a latched seat belt. I've never seen this on any other airlines.

Since international flights at Haneda were reinstated only awhile ago, the new terminal was pretty deserted. This is the central shopping area in the terminal, with stores like Gucci, Cartier, Rolex, etc.

Rolex watch for ¥3M+

Super expensive whisky from Chivas

The rest of the terminal was empty too. This was near my gate for the HND to LAX flight. People started arriving only about 60 minutes before the scheduled departure time.

What's this? Am I back in China again?!

Whew... I don't have to squat...

... and I get to wash my "posterior" too? Awesome!

This girl kept trying to take a photo of the runway area. I think this was attempt 3 out of 4 or 5. Hello? Turn off the flash so it won't reflect back and blind your camera's CCD.

MTA Green Line platform at Aviation/I-105. I was still trying to figure out the ticket vending machine when some old black dude came up to me to ask for change. Since the fare was $1.50 and I put in $2, I gave him the 50 cents. Really... even walking around at midnight in Beijing (in the rain), I was less worried than being in LA during daytime.

I wished I had more time during my first layover to explore more of Tokyo. I thought about going out again during the return transit but I only had 3.5 hours and I really needed to be there to dump my BRCM options. Now I'm thinking I made a mistake not exercising the remaining 5,000 options. Stock is down $2 since last week so I'm out $10k (before tax)... :(

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