I miss Japan, which is not news to anyone who reads this blog. But when I could smell Japan on the potato gems I ordered from Leonard’s House of Love, the local pub in my neighbourhood, I realized that my body ━ my olfactory memory ━ miss Japan too. So much so that it has started tracing the smell of Japan, my Japan, all the way from here. 8,191.28 km away.
I catch the smell of Japan from the freshly made coffee Fafa put on my bedside table. From the tempura soba, we drive 15mins to have during lunch hour. From the bubble tea face mask I slather myself with every Thursday night. From the matcha powder, I resort to drink when I still need a mid-afternoon boost after two cups of coffee. From Fafa’s Forest perfume and his SKII products that I occasionally use without asking his permission first.
Logically I know it’s best to curb this obsession before it gets more out of hand, but all I want to do is bring more Japan into my life until I can travel some eight thousands kilometre away to be reunited with it.
In memory of one year from the start of our first lockdown (Covidversary) here are some light pictures I took during that dark period.
It was an impromptu date in an unassuming restaurant, which I have seen plenty in Singapore but never in Melbourne.
For the lack of pretentiousness alone, I knew it would be a treat to eat at Soi 38. A place I have been wanting to go to since last year, but no-thanks to Covid and whatnot, it only happened this week.
Soi 38 is located inside a Wilson Parking carpark in Melbourne CBD area. I made a booking for 6.15 PM (booking is highly recommended) at 5.45 PM and went to The Paperback bookshop to spend time there while waiting for Fafa who had a gym class.
At 6.30 PM, we have put our order in: Thai BBQ set, Thai iced tea, coconut juice, Som Tum as the entree and my fave mango sticky rice dessert. The BBQ set came with various meat and seafood, noodles, vegetables and a single egg—all to be cooked on the tabletop bbq stove.
To say I was delighted would be an understatement.
The food, dipped in their homemade Thai sauce, was delicious. And the crowd was interesting. That evening, the place was bursting with diversity, from suit-wearing business people to pierced belly flashing student.
I will come back again, bring all my friends and recommend Soi 38 to anyone.
My morning routine stays the same ━ bed coffee, morning journal and tarot cards.
Today’s card was The Hermit. I also pulled another card to honour Valentine’s day and wrote a semi-lengthy journal about it. I continued with yoga, short exercise and a 5km run at the Albert Park, which thankfully is still within the 5km limit set by the government.
We then stopped by the South Melbourne Market where I got free-range eggs, honey-lemon potion, pumpkin-seed bread, and other things to make a typical Aussie brunch menu: chill scrambled eggs on toasts with smashed-avo on the side.
I quickly prep the food back home, declaring it as Valentine’s day meal made with lots of love when I served it to Fafa. He got me a bunch of gorgeous pink tulips and pre-ordered a tarot deck (I KNOW!) for Valentine, the least I could do was to cook the man a warm meal.
After lunch, Fafa went to study to read up on his upcoming project while I did a bit of reading. Then I started watching Contagion and dozed off half-way before waking up to Fafa sitting beside me, watching the finale of Your Honor.
There is nothing much to share about the lockdown nor my feelings about it, except maybe it looks like it’s going to last more than five days which gives me a bit of anxiety. But I have decided no point in dwelling about it today and ruin my restful Sunday.
Before I leave for the day, let me share one of my favourite poetry about love by one of my favourite poet, Bianca Sparacino:
My god, I hope you find love. And I don’t just mean that in regards to someone you wrap your tired bones around at night. I mean that I hope you find love in every aspect of your life. I hope you find it tucked into early morning sunrises, and the smell of your favourite places. I hope you find it strung between the laughter you share with your friends, I hope it bounces off of you when you hug the people you care for, I hope it swells within your ribcage whenever you hear your favourite song, or discover something that moves you. I hope you fall in love with growth, and change, and the messiness and the beauty of fucking up, and making mistakes, and becoming exactly who you want to be. I hope you find love in places that were once void of it, in places within yourself that you could have been softer to, kinder to, in the past. Because if there is one thing I have learned, it is that love is so much more than a boy, or a girl, who holds your heart. Love is everything around you. It is everything.
I truly hope you had a love filled Valentine day. Sending you virtual blessings and love 💌.
I drew the Nine of Pentacles today from the Fifth Spirit Tarot deck as a daily tarot reading. The card portrayed a banquet from the reader POV. Later, on the same day, Liz treated me the most delicious Italian dinner I have ever eaten in Melbourne at Cucinetta.
Right before we ate, I managed to snap a picture of our meals which reminded me of the image on the card. And that, my friend, was one of tarot-imitating-life moments for me.
Happy Aquarius season ♒︎ guys!
I haven’t been writing for a week here, the longest period since I started this blog last year. I am feeling a wee bit of a writer-FOMO, so here are some random observations I noted down in the journal recently —
I use a 400-page black Moleskine to journal. It was a birthday gift from Fafa. At first, I thought it would be my annual journal. But now, only five months in and having used up 3/4 of it, I think I will be getting myself a new journal for my half-birthday in March.
One of the reasons that I haven’t been writing much on the blog is because I am hitting a tarot-reading wall. For some reason, I have been feeling a little less excited about journaling about tarot recently. Not sure whether I am even allowed to say that, but that’s the truth. I have come up with solutions, though. I have started journaling tarot with prompts given by the Moon Void Tarot‘s creator, Stefanie Caponi to honor the Aquarius season (my Moon sign).
I also bought another tarot deck—my first-quarter purchase (hey, I lasted 20 days! Now, I have to go through the next 70-something days without buying another deck). It’s the Fifth Spirit Tarot which sits on top of my 2021 tarot deck list. Yesterday, I saw that Two Sided Tarot has it listed on their website and with only AUD10 shipping, I knew I shouldn’t wait any longer.
One last thing about tarot: I am looking for a tarot deck with continuity or a similar theme throughout the deck. The Moon Void Tarot deck has been the closest I’ve got, but the non-human court-cards broke the singular theme thing that it had going for it.
Even though I haven’t been writing much here, I have been compiling random notes I wrote here and there — paper and digital — into my Day One App. Maybe I can share some of the not-super-boring ones here?
Also, even though I haven’t been writing much, I have been running. I registered for a measly 10km run in October. That gets me going. I am clocking in 3km every run, but with an embarrassing pace to be shared here.
The last best coffee I had was well, not a coffee. We went to Brunswick last weekend to feast on a crab at Miss Katie’s Crab Shack. On the way back, we stopped at one of my favourite coffee shops in Melbourne for some sit-down
This month, I dreamt of Fafa bringing and or showing me a ladybug. Twice. Google told me that it’s a symbol of good luck.
This week, I tried a new Thai dish called Hor Mok for the first time. It’s steamed fish cooked with coconut cream, curry and basil leaf served banana leaf cup. I ordered it because it reminded me of Kerala Meen Pollichathu, but it tasted closer to Cambodian Fish Amok.
Yesterday, I found out that all this while I have been cooking and eating butter that has expired in 2019.
Today, I woke up reminiscing about my Uni time. Jik and I used to sneak into each others class. Even though we majored in different subjects and went to different Universities. And hers was more fun than my boring Accounting lectures. Then, I realized that taking up CPA is like adopting the worst part of schooling-the studying and exam parts. Ugh!
I realize more and more that I am a creature of routines and rituals. So instead of ignoring it, I should use those things as a foundation of my daily life.
Half-naked yoga brings me joy.
Our Meletos staycation at the end of last year turned out to be so-so only.
Although the weather was gorgeous that weekend, the winery was beautiful and their books collection was interesting; the food, the service and the room could be much better.
Some of my fave parts of the Meletos stay was the beautifully decorated lobby area, this time of Christmas theme, the aromatherapy smell oozing for it and the plenty of beautiful books laying there. In the room, I love the unbelievable nice smelling toiletries ($40), the big bathroom, the two sinks and the small nice touch wooden door closet and the super-soft bed and the windows that can be opened wide.
Meanwhile, enjoy the 5 frames of our winery stay which I took with Mjuii film camera using Kodak Colorplus 400.
I wish you a happier, easier and more magickally precedented year 💛
Today we checked out from the lovely farmhouse airbnb we have been staying for a week, leaving Echuca behind and went back home to Melbourne.
On the way, we stopped at Bendigo where we had not-bad-for-a-town-lunch at Cantina Mexicana – though having to pay $3 for their bland AF sauce pinched me a little bit. Before leaving Bendigo, I went inside the Bendigo Art Gallery gift shop to almost buy a jewellery which I thought was made by an indigenous artist. It wasn’t. I didn’t get it.
3 hour drive later, we were back in our cozy Melbourne apartment. I was tired enough to take a short nap before the Japanese dinner we booked to continue the tradition of eating Japanese food and drinking sake on the new year’s day, even though we weren’t in Japan.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t a good experience. The food was below standard, especially for the price they charge. Oh well, at least we got to eat Japanese food and tried a new thing (we had never been to the restaurant before and definitely never coming back) on new year’s day.
Back at home, I called my parents to once again wish them a very happy new year and promised that I would come ASAP once I got the vaccine. Then, I called Jik and we went on talking about everything under the sun that went on for more then two hours. After that, I listed down a few things I am grateful for today and with that I drifted off to the la la land.