Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

November 2013 Desktop Wallpaper for Download

November 2013 Desktop Wallpaper for Download red leaves
With calendar: 320×4801024×7681280×8001280×10241440×9001920×10802560×1440
Without calendar: 320×4801024×7681280×8001280×10241440×9001920×10802560×1440

Needless to explain about this month's theme: Red Leaves
One of my unfulfilled wishes is to see red leaves at Kyoto…

You can find my wallpaper now at Smashing Magazine!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Monday, October 21, 2013

The grass always look greener at the other side

I miss Singapore very much, but when I'm back home, I start to miss Tokyo too~ But hey, now I'm back in Tokyo for 5 days! But I had a long day so I will continue tomorrow!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Going to Tokyo as a CoFesta Ambassador from Singapore

cofesta ambassador
I am going to Tokyo again, but this time as a CoFesta Ambassador because of my activities related to Japanese content. So yes, I will be saying "Hello Tokyo" again tomorrow! ;D

So what is CoFesta? It is a Contents Festival that brings Japanese contents like games, animation, manga, characters, broadcast, music and film to international audience and vice versa. Examples of events underneath CoFesta include; Tokyo Game Show, Tokyo International Music Market, Tokyo International Film Festival, and Tokyo International Anime Festival.

The festival is part of Cool Japan Project, which is funded by Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI), Japan. I thank them very much for sponsoring my air flight and hotel accommodation during this period. In return, I will be blogging and updating about my experience. Don't miss out anything, so please like or follow Evacomics on various social media platforms now!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

What I learnt in Japan while traveling with family of 7 and a baby stroller

My family came to visit me in Tokyo from 1-5th September but I got very ill soon after... But I managed to recollect memories for this overdue post!

What I learned:

  • Baby stroller is called "baby car" in Japan.
  • Meiji Shrine is difficult for elderly and baby strollers because of the long walk through the park and pebbles on the path.
  • Elevators in train stations are very small.
  • Gap between the train and platform can be very big.

What my family learned:
  • Toilets are always conveniently located inside the train station after entering the ticketing gates.
  • Toilets are very clean and have bidets and water sounds to play with.
  • No soap in many train station toilets.
  • You can buy food inside train stations.
  • People do not give up seats to elderly and toddlers in trains.
  • Most train stations are not wheelchair friendly.
  • Free newspapers everywhere.
  • Beautiful wrapping.
  • Many people were using plastic umbrellas and left them outside the shop. Nobody steals them.
  • Safe to leave your bag and go away to order food.
  • Need to take off shoes at some restaurants so the place is cleaner.
  • Many eateries use disposable wooden chopsticks (not eco-friendly).
  • There are vending machines everywhere, no fear of going thirsty.
  • No chilli sauce.
  • Less oil in many foods.
  • No trash-bins on the streets. (So that's why we have pockets in our bags right?...hehe....)

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Things to do before leaving Japan

Terminating services and dying to pay them is never easy in Japan... but if you must leave, here is a detailed account of my experience:

1) Cancelling utilities (water, gas and electricity)
They can come on your last day (only weekdays and half a Saturday) to tell you how much you owe them and pay cash on the spot. Otherwise you can also request them to deduct from your bank account if you had already setup automatic payment deduction. Gas will be stopped immediately but water and electricity will continue to run.
★Call 1-2 weeks ahead of time.

2) Selling off furniture
Bulky trash, called "soudai gomi", is always troublesome to get rid off because you have to pay for their disposal. This includes bulky furniture and large futon. My friend's tip is to cut them up  or dismantle them into smaller pieces to reduce cost or free if you can squeeze into smaller bags. Alternatively, you can contact recycle shops like what I did to see if they can remove everything without paying them. Of course if you live close to schools like me, selling to new students is always better than to recycle shops.
★Start listing and selling 2 weeks ahead of time.

3) Giving away things.
There are many things you might use till the last day or maybe not towards the last day. It's always better to ask some friends who would come to accept your "leftovers" like detergent, soap, toilet paper, towels, etc...
★Prepare 2 weeks ahead of time and ask friends to come down on your last day to help clear your leftovers if you don't want to just trash them away.

4) Shipping things back home.
My post office was a pain in the ass and Yamato Kuroneko opposite them wasn't anyway better. For example, when I wanted to ship skincare, the Japan post office wanted me to list each item exactly, like toner, moisturizer, etc. and even wanted me to list the prices for each item. I had to tell them  I bought them in sets and the guy reluctantly allowed me to just put in an estimate. However, when I went to them for the second time, they told me that they could not ship my skincare because most of them contain alcohol and they are forbidden by Singapore customs! I had to argue that they allowed me to post the other time and they became so confused that they simply rejected my shipping.. ... ... So I went to Kuroneko, and unfortunately, they told me that they are weak in global logistics and could not accept my parcel if it contains skincare because of the alcohol content. Ok, that's really crazy but fyi, my mum received the skincare parcel within 5 working days although the post told me that it will take 2 weeks. Another ridiculous instance was when I listed my item as "toy" and the lady asked me to specify what toy. I replied that it was a Daruma, so she told me to write "Doll (Daruma)"... ...
★Try to ship at big post offices like the one in Shinjuku because other post offices behave like countryside and weak in dealing with complex shipment like personal effects. Cheapest is by sea via Japan post although it will take 1-2 months. I used both SAL (2 weeks) and EMS for very important items. You can find out the charges and duration here: http://www.post.japanpost.jp/cgi-charge/

5) Cancelling residency card and national health insurance.
Head down to the municipal ward to cancel your residency. Then the insurance department will tell you how much you owe them. I had to pay for the entire month of October so they gave me an envelope to return the card at the airport's post office. Strangely, I think you can just leave Japan and not pay anything. The amazing trust in Japanese society...
★Can be done anytime or a few days before you leave Japan.

6) Cancelling Flets broadband internet.
It's weird but the broadband provider and the internet providers are different and you have to cancel each one by yourself!? (Japanese system is not as automated, centralised nor efficient) I tried to cancel my Yahoo BB on the day I had to leave via the internet, thinking it will terminate immediately. But instead, the website say that they will mail me a postcard...  -___-;; Luckily there was an option to leave a new address so I left my friend's address. What if I just closed my bank account and left the country? ... Once again, the amazing trust they give despite making the termination and payment process so inefficient and troublesome.
★Cancel 2 weeks earlier so they can mail you the envelop to return the modem and mail you the mysterious postcard... (I wonder why they don't just terminate and accept credit card payment, oh wait, it's Japan...)

7) Cancelling mobile phone.
I went to Softbank near my place to cancel and waited for 15mins for processing. Then I was told that I needed to wait for another 30mins-1 hour for the payment invoice to be generated from their central system. Wow... there I was dying to give them my money but they won't take it! Then I went to the Softbank retail at Narita airport and was told that because I had already setup automatic monthly payment deduction from my bank account, they might double charge me next month if I pay them in cash now. It is evident that their finance system is not well-integrated and centrally controlled. Hmm... once again, I could have just closed my bank account and left :/
★Terminate on the day that you're leaving. It will take 30mins-1 hour to terminate an account and generate an invoice so you can pay them. "Amazingly fast".

Monday, October 7, 2013

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