Same, Same… But Different (Time Zone)

I have been living in Ireland for about two months now and have pretty much gotten the hang of life. I wake up at 8:00 am then get ready and eat. Then once I’m ready I bike to school between 8:50-9:00am. Wait for the 9:20am bell and then the school day starts. Small break is at 11:30 am and the big one is at 12:30 pm. School ends at 3:00pm. I bike my way home with Dad, finish my homework, play with my friends, then eat at 6:00 pm and go to bed at 8:00 pm. Read in bed until 9:00pm (11:00 pm sometimes 😉 ) Sleep. Repeat.

The only variations are when I go to piano or when Lu goes to choir. Or on Tuesdays after school, after Lu’s art class, I pick her up with 10 euro in the bag and we walk home. Also, the weekends, and the unexpected like being sick, and music lessons being moved back, etc., During the weekends we usually make it into Dublin. We also go to the Glenroyal pool to swim. Sometimes mom teaches me calligraphy. Besides that, during the weekends, my sister and I have to find something to entertain ourselves with. We usually find something to do that ranges from a chess match to a hair band launching contest. Our life here is not very different from our one in Colorado, but without 350 days of sunshine, and our friends (here we also have much more freedom but in the blog post I am just writing about the basics). Same. Same…but we are still different. (time zones)

As I am a big-ish D&D fan, I still like to do D&D with my friends in Colorado who have started an awesome D&D club at school. The thing is that 4:00pm (which is when the club starts) is 11:00 pm for us and it tires us all. “Yawn”. We get on with communicating with our friends via facetime and email. Luckily, we are only seven hours apart. In New Zealand, where we will be moving this summer, 4:00 pm in Colorado (Which I tried to spell Colourado after mom told me that it started with color!) will be 9:00 am for us in NZ, so no more D&D. Oh well it was fun. That will be even harder than being seven hours ahead and communicating with our friends. Our life styles are the same but we are in different times, past and futures. The end.

-HF

 

The Shakespeare stealer book review…ish

For school my sister and I are working on the book The Shakespeare Stealer. Our assignment is to write a book review for The Shakespeare Stealer on ideas of childhood morality up to the point we read thus far.

In the beginning of the book Widge, (the main character) loses his family and is brought up at an orphanage where he learns his first idea of right and wrong. Later on in his life he is adopted by Dr. Bright. Bright asked Widge to go and copy his colleagues’ sermons, he gives his own sermons, to put into a book of the best sermons. Later Widge finds out that Bright is actually using the sermons for his own. Widge has a flicker of a shadow of doubt, but then thinks “Right was what benefited you , and anything which did you harm was  Wrong.” With this thought in mind, Widge overlooks the doubt he had before. Also if Widge tattles on Bright, that will probably mean that Bright will disown him and then he goes to the orphanage again. That is not good for him. Soon Widge is caught, and the blame falls squarely on Widge. Although this is not shown, the reader can deduct from evidence given later in the book that this greatly changes Widge’s thoughts of morality. Furthermore, at the orphanage they set a foundation stone for Widge’s ideas of morality. To build a new and better morality stone takes a lot to understand that this new one is better. Also, going on with the theme of childhood, once a stone is set it becomes increasingly harder to break as you grow.

So far I have not finished the book, although maybe something will happen that drastically changes Widge’s ideas of morality. Honestly, I think that he should just take a spin on the wheel or morality with Yakko, Wakko and Dot!wheel-of-morality

 -Hf

 

long lost relatives

 

A few weeks ago my family and me went to (in this order) through Hungary, in to netra (one night), to Bratislava (two nights), out of Hungary, in to, Wien (Vienna) (two nights). Then we went home to Romania. besides the reason of just going to other places we went for a very special reason… our long lost relatives! the cool part is that they were really long lost to! My sister and I (as well as our Mom and Dad) had only learned about them before the trip! Dad had amazingly contacted her via his blog, which is quite amazing. after getting back in Romaina Mom told me that Eva was my, first cousin twice removed. Best of all I always wanted a first cousin twice removed.

The long lost relatives we met were, Eva, Eva’s mom Anna, her dad William, two of Eva’s children and one of their husbands. All six of them were very nice to us and gave all sort of gifts! We felt bad because we did not bring any gifts our selves.  😦

-Hf

“these are a few of my favorite things… in japan”

Among the many things in Japan that I enjoyed were the Japanese 7/11 stores. Usually the food in 7 eleven is not very good or healthy for you. (addictive though) In japan we almost ate half of our meals from 7 eleven. The things we got there were usually onigiri (nori wrapped rice covered seaweed or fish)and hard boiled egg… Both were delicious. Two reasons why you should eat them first to us lowly Japanese food tasters they taste good and they are cheap. Next are the toilets.

Another thing that amused me in Japan were the toilets . . . An odd thing to like to most people, unless they have been to Japan. The first apartment we went to, I spent 30 minutes in the bathroom working out how the toilet worked. And because everything is in Japanese, it’s a lot harder to understand. First, there is always a pink picture with spray coming out of the toilet and spraying onto the person’s butt. Next, there is always a blue picture of two upside down hills (Hmm. . . I wonder what those could be?) with, one could only assume, water shooting out of the bottom of the picture and on to the two upside down hills. These two buttons spayed your butt to wash away the stuff on it. Those were the main buttons. Sometimes there were other buttons such as flushing sound, and air dryer. I now hope you understand why I like Japanese toilets.

Food. All of the food was delicious. My favorite modes of food included ramen vending machines, sushi conveyor belts and vending machines in general. The reason I liked the vending machines is that they are different than ours in the USA and because they serve all kinds of drinks including Coca Cola as well as dashi, a fish oil base for soup. Also, the drinks inside the vending machines were good such as Calpis drinking yogurt, Pocari Sweat and coffee.

Conveyor belt sushi. This form of getting your food transported to you sounds just like it is. There is a conveyor belt going round and round with different types of sushi going around, although you can still order sushi by the means of either a touch screen with the pictures of sushi on it or from the waiters. Most of the places did not have a screen.

Ramen vending machines. They look just like regular vending machines and they sort of are. You push a small button that said which ramen you wanted and in our case we pushed the vegetarian ramen button and then a ticket came out bearing the code for the ramen and then you pushed other buttons to get toppings like more ramen, etc. The ramen was delicious, for coming out of a vending machine.

Public transportation systems. In Japan, public transportation is extremely good. Most of the highways are usually barely blocked up because so many people rely on the amazing public transportation of trains and busses. We relied on it a lot, too. While we were in Japan we didn’t have to get in a taxi or a car once. We could get from Shin-Osaka to Osaka minutes on a Shinkansen bullet train. Or, we could just go across Osaka on the amazing train system.

Lastly, Japan is amazing! The End

 

-HF

Toyko Disney

Continuing from my last blog post. Although my mom had always wanted to go to Disney early, counting the delay of dressing and the fact that you had to go away from Disney to get to disney it delayed us an hour 30 minutes. Mom had said  that the reason she wanted to get us out of there early is that it was always packed. But if you got there before the ticket booths opened you could get a head start on the rides with a longer wait. That is what we tried to to but we did not make it in time. But it was no loss. Everything is Disney too. On the Disney train to the Disney places, the handles and windows were shaped like Mickey Mouse heads. When we got there we oohed and aahed over the awesome costumes and dresses we saw.

a perry the plytapus spokeswomen

 Then we went to the Tower of Terror to get fastpasses for it. Having done that we went over to the Journey to the center of the Earth. Sadly, halfway through the wait the ride was cancelled for reasons why I myself do not know. For makeup, the staff gave us priority fastpass tickets. Then since it was raining like crazy and we did not have the foresight (another thing we did not have foresight for is the rain dose not stop the japnise from going to disnyland!) to get another umbrella when we had the chance. Because of the rain and because we were on mysterious island, witch is right next to 20,000 leagues under the sea ride. It was almost no wait and was right next to the Journey to the center of the earth ride. once we were done with 20000 leagues under the sea, We got another umbrella, now we have two disney umbrellas, one red and one blue. Then we went off to the Tower of Terror. The Tower is scary and my sister is still scared by it, two weeks after. Me too. The story is that there is a rich explorer who finds all sorts of artifacts and finally comes across the cursed idol. This was explained before the ride…in Japanese. But we sort of gathered the story from the stuff that was around us. Then the guide led us to a room where there was a stained glass window with the explorer and a few of his most treasured treasures(the idol was among these treasures) and a desk. Then the door closed and the idol began to speak in Japanese and the window flashed green and the explorere was holding the idol with a look of horror. The glass window was no longer beautiful. Another flash of green and the man went into the mansion in the window and a green light was pulsing up the side of the building. There was a flash, a scream, then silence. Then the idol grinned at us a toothy, creepy grin then vanished. Then, whimpering, and saying we did not want to go on the ride we were sheperded into an elevator thing with seats in it. The doors closed and we went backwards suddenly. Then we went up. The place we saw was a room where we saw the idol electrocute the explorer, turn towards us and grin. The lights went out but his eyes still shone like two poisonous points of green stars. Then more green stars popped up and we went up again. There was a mirror and we waved to ourselves, but then we disappeared one by one and heard a laugh again. We got the message. We were going to die. And then we plunged and we all erupted in screams. The ride went up, then plunged down, then up and down over and over. some parts I tried to steady myself and then others I gave into the terror. Soon it was over and we were miraculously alive. Now I know what falling off a mountain feels like…the Tower of Terror!

us at the hotel high tower. No the tower of teror!

After that and a little bit of debate we made our way over to lunch. We found out that the line was at it’s longest and Mom had told us the Japanese eat always at noon it was completely crowded. We went off to eat somewhere else a litle bit after lunch. Then we went to the castle. The castle was life sized. When I was led into the arched gateway I was amazed by the courtyard.(it was just a courtyard but I was in a castle!) At first I was disappointed because there wasn’t much there until mom pointed out a sign that said Da vinci challenge. It was a kind of mystery that we had to find the clues in the castle. Through our haze of excitement we did not consider the possibility that it was all in Japanese. It was all in Japanese. Then when that sad news was borne to us, our excitedment was sucked out. But after a moment of looking for another thing to do our excitement was rekindled more than ever. Mom had seen a sign that we could explore the castle. I ran up the battlements. At the top I turned right. And waited for my mom and sister to catch up. Then we explored the rest of the castle, going over the gateway and going up a tower, explaining about arrow slits to mom and then after that finding cannons! Although not the actual thing. When you pulled the fuse it hissed a little then the hissing was replaced by a loud boom! After playing with the cannons and tyring to synchronize them all we decided to explore more of the castle. As soon turning 11 year old, I was was excited by every little thing. One of my favorite rooms in the castle was, where there was a giant solar system and you turned one of the giant wheels around it and the planet would move around the sun. Also on the ceiling was the night sky and finally on the walls were fun and quirky diagrams. A bit more of exploration yielded an alchemist’s lab with fire and a bubbling cauldron, a camera obscura, a pendulum clock, and a 3-D room. Lastly there was a boat room where you could put in 100 yen to control the boat on the small lake. Me and my sister and mom. did it for a little then we decided to go eat lunch.

panorama of the castle and my sister and mom

For lunch, instead of the place we knew was good and becuase we are vegetarian we went to a place that had pizza. When mom sees a sign that says pizza she assumes that there is just cheese pizza. But no. The only thing that we were able to eat there was french fries. After that we decided to go to the Indiana jones ride. For soem reason the Japanese never use single rider. Luckily we do and skipped through the two hour long wait in a minute. Although the ride was a lot like the other Indiana Jones ride in california it was still fun ducking under the giant laser beams that the skull threw at you. Once we had finsihed the ride, we made our way over to the arabian castle section and did the two rides there, a two story carosuel and a sinbad boat ride. Finally when we were done with that we went over to the other side of mysterious island to get our disney themed garb. Mom got a black and gold polka dot minnie bow and a sully headband, lu got a tigger headband because tiggers are wonderful tings and a minnie mouse bow. I got a stitch hat and a pair of green alien socks.

  •  Then our day was almost over. After a few nameless things we sat down at the roosevelt lounge. After that we went home. Boy were we tired and hungry. We had basically ate a Mcdonald’s lunch with frieds times 4, caeser salad times one, cheese with bread times two and little desserts times 4. Sounds like one of those Mc Pick two things. Luckily when we got home thanks to our amazing dad because we moved apartments that day and he had to bring our four heavy bags across tokyo he made us some ramen and got us some bread to eat. By that time we were ready to go to bed and start another blog post.

The end!!

-Hf

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stich holds the world ! aka: me in a stich hat  

Arriving in Japan

This adventure of mine starts in Vietnam. The day was bright and sunny and we were all ecstatic about going to Japan. Soon our day collapsed on itself and soon we were all grumpy, especially me. Luckily we made it home and to some where we could eat. But we grew tired because our flight was at nine pm. Mom thinks red-eyes are better for us. They are NOT! We tried to pick our restraunt but we couldn’t find anything good. We finally decided on a place called Ha!Ha! Sushi. It was very close. It was okay but it was enough. Then we hastened to the airport. While at the airport, our gate changed twice. Since she was almost delerious with lack of sleep, lulubelle ran onto the wrong end of a moving walkway. In desperation of what to do my sister and I started some minecraft. I started a secret base that looks like a hill and somme underground catacombs. Even lu was fooled trying to find the base. Soon after that, we had to board the plane. Although the plane was really nice type, a 787, we went to sleep right away. When I woke up at 3 a.m. it seemed the rest of my family was up too. Since I was up I decided to watch Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone which I think is my favorite Harry Potter movie so far. And after waiting an hour or two we finally got off! We were all excited to see Japan and its’ amazing toilets. After we,we all had to go to the bathroom, got out of the toilets we got a ride from one of those random car that drive around the airport. It was quite fun. Then we were soon out of the airport and to our house. The next few days were fun but I have something more fun to talk about in my next blog post. drumroll !!!!!!!!!!!!??????????????????????!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! Continue reading

Temples, temples, temples!

Ring! Ring! Went my alarm at four in the morning to reminding us to wake up. The reason that we were waking up so darn early was because at five in the morning a taxi driver would take us to Angor Wat to see the sunrise over the majestic temple. The night before we had packed all of our stuff up because at the end of the tour we would be moving to a new hotel. Soon we had all woken up and gotten in the car and drove away.

To get in to the Angkor Wat complex, you have to present your passport and give them some money to get in. But in our hasty last minute packing, Mom had forgotten to get the passports and her wallet out of the safe. We still got into the complex. Sadly, the clouds were out and we did not see the sunrise over Angkor Wat although we still did a tour of it. The temple was amazing! We gasped in wonder at every turn. One of my favorite parts was the bas-relief. My favorite one was the one depicting the Ramayana. The Ramayana is an epic where, a devoted sage dose many a ritual and sacrifice, goes mad and starts to cut off his 10 heads. When he is on his last head, Brahma (the Hindu god of creation) came down and said that he would grant him a wish. Ravana thought and decided that he would ask to be immortal. But not even a god can make one immortal so then he said that he wanted to be a super powerful being, that could not be destroyed by gods or demons. Then Ravana was reborn with all his heads and 20 arms that is how the Ramayana started. Then he became a big bully and finally Vishnu (the Hindu god of preservation) said “This must be stopped”. Then the gods came up with a plan. The plan was able to happen because of a flaw in Ravana’s wish. The flaw was that he had not wished that human and animals alike could kill him. Armed with this knowledge the gods devised a plan. The plan was that Vishnu would be born into a family and he would eventually kill Ravana. Thusly it began. Soon through a few trials and tribulations the young prince Rama and his partner/brother Lakshaman destroyed Ravana. The end. For more on the Ramayana go to Ramayana: The Divine loophole. (Also available as a book on Amazon)

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Back to “temples! temples! temples!”. A few of the other amazing things about the temples is; one, this was before the Egyptians! And second is that the four way intersections at the Angkor Wat usually point directly North, South, West and East. After our stunning experience at the wonder of marvels temple we went to retrieve our passports. Also the breakfast server place gave us a take away breakfast. The next temple we went to was called the Ta Prohm temple. Unlike Angor What!?!? (our Angor joke) this temple had trees growing in and around it. The reason that Angor What?! had no trees was because (as many know) the roots can disrupt and overturn stone. But this temple was not a major attraction and the trees looked cool was probably why they did not remove the trees. This temple older too. Lastly, one quick fact is that tomb raider was filmed here.

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The next and last temple we went to was called Bayon temple. This temple like the last, was Buddhist. Angkor Wat was for Vishnu. Two things I learned from the temple guide was that the four headed Buddha’s that were everywhere were showing four different expressions. Also closed eyed Buddha equals mediating to get to enlightenment, open eyed equals that he reached enlightenment. After this we went back home and crashed on the beds and went to sleep. The End.

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-hf