Thursday, February 28, 2008

- the tai-tai, kiwi and anti-social: part 2 -

finally this post is complete.. i had 5 unpublished drafts at the dashboard, which 3 of the more recent ones were finished but couldn't be posted cuz THIS one wasn't done yet.... >.>


~ curry, museum and patisserie ~

since we failed to invade Ohno's exhibition on 23, we plotted our second attempt.

sadly it failed too. all because Johnny's Entertainment changed the entrance system for the event..
before: all visitors may collect their free entrance passes at 8am on the day they wish to visit Space-O.
after: only fan club members may apply for the entrance tickets online (only the day before their visiting date) and Johnny's will select the visitors RANDOMLY. also, one member will only be entitled 2 tickets at most.

of course we did try applying for the tickets, and the results were.. me: received an e-mail saying "Unfortunately you have NOT been chosen..."; Siti: a proper fan club member, but she didn't receive any notification whatsoever; Susan: ... nothing.

aww.. time to awe at the art book again. well i understand that Johnny's can't afford to have gazillions of Ohno-fans and Arashi-fans swarming in high-class districts such as Omotesando, which is different from crazy (crazier?) places like Harajuku or Shibuya, so they had to restrict the number of visitors per day.. but this definitely deprived many who solely wanted to appreciate his art works, not because he's the leader of Arashi.


enough said, we had to go for plan B.

so instead of going to an art exhibition, we went to a science museum - the National Museum of Nature and Science, at Ueno.

first we had lunch at a Thai restaurant COCA - which was soooooooooooo familiar i remember seeing it back home. at Subang, perhaps? the restaurant is located in Atre Ueno, the same building where the JR station is, and for lunch we could choose from 15 options at 950 yen - they're mainly rice/noodles with a side dish + salad and soup. i got the Thai curry and white chicken (which looked like the one from Hainanese chicken rice). the curry comes in choices of red, yellow and green, and i had the red one which was moderately hot but neutralised by the thick oily coconut milk. the chicken could have been better, but overall it was satisfying.


later we made our way to the museum through the park. while scanning the street map we came across this Spanish (?) family who were lost in the park. somehow we gave them some advice (in English) and headed for the museum. for once i felt lucky to be a member of Tokodai. apparently, students from universities or institutes that contributed to the museum may obtain a free entrance pass. yay~!! it's 600 yen per entrance for university students normally.

the museum has 2 sections - the nihon-kan (museum of Japan) and the chikyuu-kan (museum of the earth). we went to the latter since it has more floors to explore.

we started on B3F, the lowest floor, which mainly exhibits on the development of science and astronomy - the S.I. units and how they came about, short videos about the universe and the planets, modules of the cosmic ray (the guide came and explained to us using long complicated Japanese it was hard to absorb..), display of the solar system (lol Pluto's still there) and so on. not as interesting as it sounded like.

B2F is about evolution of species and we saw awesome fossils of extinct animals and plants. it started with arthropods and the earliest plants on earth.. and then their sizes varied as evolution took place.. 10-metre long dragon-like sea animal fossils hung from the ceiling looking down upon you with their eye-sockets, how cool is that? and there was this gargantuan sea turtle fossil it looked so heavy, as if it would fall off the ceiling in any minute. apart from sea animals there were mammal-like things too, one of them which looked very much like an antelope, 5 times the present size though.

and of course when it comes to fossils, you can't miss the dinosaurs. there they were at B1F. not much to say about good ol dino since everyone's familiar with that. it's the usual Land Before Time setting - Littlefoot, Cera, Ducky, Spike and company (weird i didn't see Petrie around.. maybe we didn't look upwards).

the 1st floor shows variations in species which came later, and the habitats like life in equatorial and temperate regions, mangrove forests, highlands, deserts etc...

there was a section about the evolution of mankind (i forgot which floor was it on..) and we saw 3 actual-sized primitive men - a very short primitive lady, a young Java man and a white primitive man. ignore the lady, but the person/people who made these figures had a stereotyped way of thinking. the Java man is dark (yeah understandable) and he's got very little hair, in fact no hair on his private part, and he's slender without any muscles. whereas the white man's awfully hairy - there was hair on every corner of his body, even his butt crack has golden hair - and he's big and muscular.

2F has more familiar things - the history and development of science and technology. inventions of machines and engines, experiment settings and the sort.

lastly, if you can tell from how things go by floors, the highest floor 3F is about the present ecosystem. the birds (also the dodo birds :D), the fish, the mammals, and even the exhibition of cacing pita in the intestines. the actual-sized intestine of a whale was gross.. but i guess it's similar for us human?

it was only then we realised we didn't have enough time to walk through the museum of Japan slowly. fortunately (?) things over there were about the same, except that there were interesting crystals and ores. but not long after, we gave up and went to the museum shop for souvenirs.

saw this when we got out of the museum haha..


that wasn't the end of our outing for the day. in the evening we walked to Patissier Inamura Shozo and had cakes and cream puffs on a bench, out in the cold. bought a strawberry roll and a rum puff. we finished our desserts while checking out the boy who's guarding the entrance of the shop, acting like tai-tais by guessing his age and gossiping. then we asked him for directions to the train station. he was so polite and formal but we couldn't stop wondering why it's bothering us.. "soko wo migi ni magatte massugu susunde itadakimasu to hashi ga arimasu... blablabla.. midori no kaidan wo o-ori ni natte susunde ikimasu to, eki ga miemasu.." maybe he looked too young for those words hahaha..


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