With the sight of that giant Japanese lantern, there was a flashback. Vivid memories of my day in Asakusa (blog post here : http://docgelo.com/2010/04/06/letters-about-tokyo-12-asakusa-temple/ ) after I rode the train in Tokyo from Gotanda to its tail end just to experience that much celebrated temple and my very first glimpse of cherry blossom. Fourteen long days in Tokyo back in the first quarter of 2010 were already etched in my cerebrum and shall never be forgotten. Cue dramatic music here! Toinks! 😉
Reality instantly kicked in and I lost that state of being surreal. I wasn’t in the Land of the Rising Sun any more and it’s no longer Asakusa but Tokyo Street -the Japanese themed precinct located at the 6th level of Kuala Lumpur’s premier mall – Pavilion.
Vibrant colors of gold, red and green decors greeted shoppers and tourists like me at Pavilion’s lobby.
15th November 2012, Thursday. It was a public holiday in Malaysia; exactly a day prior my filed-work-leave to renew my passport at the embassy. My stomach was still empty; I can almost hear its borborygmi growling after that 4-hour-bus-ride from Penang. Well, not actually since I munched on a hotdog sandwich and drowned myself with a bottle of Coke on the bus en route to KL. But that was hours ago! It was way past lunch time and I needed to hail a taxi cab to Pavilion Mall in Bukit Bintang from my budget hotel after a quick check-in-and-drop-the-bag- plus a hurried shower.
SUCCESS! At 2:45PM, I was already strolling around Tokyo Street and snapping my cam on a whim. I was even a bit early to the 3PM call time with fellow Filipino bloggers who work in Kuala Lumpur and requested for a casual meet up. When I was about to make a call, I found out that my mobile prepaid load expired already, and I had to hunt for a shop that sells top up in a jiffy.
Just before I went down to resurrect my mobile again, I was happy to take all those photos around Tokyo Street. Apparently, the place is a pretty slice of Japan in Malaysia’s metropolis. Everything from food, gadgets, bags, toys and even potted bonsai remind you of Tokyo! It certainly adds to the infinite reasons why people should troop to Pavilion Mall!
As I reached the 6th level again and stepped out of the escalator, I easily spotted Sky and Summer -the Filipino bloggers who invited me for this meet up. After cordial greetings, we didn’t waste a second and went to Tokyo Teppan for that much-needed-lunch.
SILENCE. We immediately browsed the menu and ordered something to eat. Not long enough and we’re talking about our experiences adapting to living and working in Malaysia. Glad we shared almost the same views and insights about being OFWs.
I was a happy diner once more with my two lunch plates. Yes, you read it right. I had two plates. Perhaps, this clearly proved my delusion that I’m a half-blood Japanese in the past life! 😉 I thought it so because I believe, when in Japanese, must eat sashimi! 🙂
Then my second plate was Chicken Teppanyaki. Tender, tasteful, terribly delightful! 🙂
Except for the next photo, the bloggers -Sky and Summer together with their friend, Leo ordered their own which I didn’t photographed. I was too shy to do so! *insert evil laugh here*
Aren’t those fish roe embracing each maki’s a visual feast? Mouthwatering to me!!!
Meet Sky and Summer, the bloggers behind Boundfortwo.com. Thanks, Leo for taking the pic!
After that shot for posterity, I thought everything’s done with the nice meet up and great lunch, not after Sky brought out a printed copy of my photo that was fortunately published on LONELY PLANET ASIA MAGAZINE (blog post here : http://docgelo.com/2012/07/17/surreal/) a few months back. I honestly didn’t expect he was serious when he mentioned he’ll ask for my autograph on it. Imagine, he even brought a permanent marker for my signature as if a simple ink would not suffice! It’s an oh-em-gee-facepalm-moment for me!
What can I say but THANK YOU! According to them, this photo that they actually saw on a page of Lonely Planet Asia Magazine in Popular Bookstore in Kuala Lumpur inspired them to travel to Hat Yai via crossing the borders of Malaysia and Thailand on foot.
Maraming salamat for that kind words and gesture of respect!
Hope they get to visit Penang soon!