Saturday, 15 December 2007

Before I set my feet to Japan

Feeling a bit nostalgic and lonesome today, Zaini is out for a dinner function and Raimie is busy watching TV and eating mochi.

My brush with Japan started just like HE, by watching Oshin on TV in the 1980s when I was about 10/11 years old. The whole family (meaning my grandpa, grandma, aunts, uncles and half a dozen cousins) will all sit down in front of the TV (Can you believe it, Oshin is back on Malaysian TV after all these years?) Zaini watches it now, but I don't have the patience anymore. I hate series that show women suffering in silence no matter how victorious they will be in the end! - that also rules out most of Mexican & Latin America's tele-novela, Indonesian and Korean dramas too) But I watched it on and off when I was a kid as I traveled back and forth between Shah Alam and Raub. (If I remember correctly, Oshin was on TV3 which was not available in Raub back then). Seems I remembered wrongly. In Wikipedia, it was mentioned that Oshin was in fact aired on RTM (equivalent to NHK, I guess) in 1986. Heck, I didn't remember watching it with my mom.

Then it was an American movie (I can't remember the title) about an Englishman who tried to return a sword back to its rightful owner in Japan. I watched it every night when I can't sleep when I was in my grandpa's house in Shah Alam (that means a whole lot of watching).

While I like Oshin (back then!) and that movie, my interest in Japan is not developed yet. In school, we studied the history of Japan that was mostly of Japan's modern day political structure such as the Diet and the whatnot (all three pages of it)... Way too boring!

Fast forward to the 21st century! 2001 proved a bad year for me. I can handle being diagnosed with acute gastritis,a tumor in my head and the myriad of health related problem that I occupy my time with but my miscarriage was badly effecting me. As we both loved the Japan Drama Over Time (which I blog about earlier - on the same topic as this one) Zaini thought it will be a good idea (not to mention romantic) to take me to Tokyo to cheer me up.

The first time we set foot to Japan was in Feb 2002. Not a good time for us to be there as it was really COLD! (Imagine coming from a country that's averaging 30 degrees celcius).

The effect of that trip was all both of us could hope for. We were happy and in March 2002, in my Endocrinologist's office, I was confirmed pregnant again (this is despite the warnings from my Ob/Gyn that I will have difficulty conceiving). Alhamdulillah and Subhanallah!

That is why I love Japan so much. The country cheered me up!

p.s. My grandma is actually fluent in Japanese as she was a teacher during Japanese Occupation in Malaya and was forced to learn it. (If only I can make sense of what she's talking now, I would have gotten free Nihon-Go lesson from her). She'll even sing the Japanese Anthem if we asked her nicely...

Lesson learnt from our first trip : it' better to view Tokyo Tower from afar than paying 800yen to go to the Main Observatory. (Is it me or does the mascot resembles a condom?)


  1. You are kidding that your first trip to Japan was Feb2002!
    That was when I first stepped visited Japan also!!!

    I landed in Japan at 80KG, I left 90KG. I always remember that holiday fondly as it was then I decided to live here.

    Now the only difference is that you still visit and I live here. Nya Nya Nya. :-)

    Just kidding!
    Still, Feb 2002, wow!

  2. no kidding! Wow...

    I'm gonna let this one go as the alcohol talking

    Anyway, you're working tomorrow while I'll be home relaxing. Nya Nya Nya to you too! Hehehe

  3. salam lina,
    I reached sakura land first time on cold Feb. 1984, how's that for a winner?

    Almost died!

  4. Lina,
    I agree with u...reading about Japanese political structure (read:Diet) is a waaayyy too boring...kekeke

  5. usws ( December 2007 at 23:21

    Oh wow, so much background about your trip to Japan. But i guess it's only appropriate since it's not easy to just get up and go to some foreign country where everything is so different from it is here.

    Is Oshin a specific programme or a type of TV show that portrays women suffering etc.? Uhh, i wanna try watching it and see if i like it. I might not like every aspect of Japan as i expect to.

    Thank God about your pregnancy and that you're sounding healthy now. Wishing you more prosperity and good health in the years to come especially for this New Year!

    Cheers! BYE!

  6. Yeah, a little of the alcohol talking... Sorry.

    Well, I guess we are even as both of us have to work on Monday, ne?

  7. Shaun,
    What! You don't know Oshin???!!! Kids nowadays... It was on RTM in 1986 then back on recently on TV9. It's dubbed in Malay, so if your ask your Mom, she wouldn't have watched it.

    Well, I'm gonna work on Monday only. Then take leave on Tue & Wed. Public Holiday on Thursday. Show my face for a few hours on Friday, chuck a sickie the next Monday and Christmas public holiday on Tuesday. How's that for year-end planning? (I so hope my boss is not reading this. Hahaha!!!!)

  8. Kak Lela,

    You win! You win!Masa tu I baru darjah dua. Seberang Laut yang dijejak hanya Penang. :p

    boring giler... sebab tu lepas SPM takde sibuk-sibuk nak pegi jepun. gila nak gi scotland muahaha!!!

  9. Lina
    Do you think it wise that you write that you are going to chuck a sickie on your blog? What if your boss reads this page?

  10. I have never been known as a woman of wisdom.

    psst Boss, I'll show up on Monday I promise!

  11. im in the entry...yeyyyyyy


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