Saturday, June 13, 2015

Home from Cambodia and Vietnam

A couple of weeks ago I told you I was going on a trip to Angkor Wat and Hanoi, and then I never wrote anything else. I'm sorry I've been quiet for so long, the trip was totally wonderful and exhausting and overwhelming, and then almost as soon as we got back I came down with a cold and spent nearly a whole week lying around not doing anything.

Luckily I'm feeling a lot better now - just in time for John's sister Ellie to arrive. She'll be here for a full two weeks, and we'll be doing all sorts of great things, some of them old favorites for me and John, but some new things too, so hopefully I'll have some good experiences to share here. But before I get totally caught up in her visit I want to be sure and post all about our trip. Each segment deserves its own post, but for now I'll just share a few highlights.

This was my first time in Southeast Asia and I wasn't really sure what to expect. Living in Tokyo which is so clean and structured and formal I sort of expected Vietnam and Cambodia to be like the wild west, which was both exciting and intimidating. I shouldn't have worried though because everyone was so kind, the food was delicious, and while it was really different from Japan I never felt unsafe. 

In Cambodia our goal was to see the ancient ruins of Angkor Wat which were absolutely breathtaking, and in Vietnam we mainly wanted to eat a lot of delicious Vietnamese food and relax. We succeeded with both, despite an unfortunate bout of food poisoning, and I am so glad we finally made this trip a reality!

I'll leave you with a few photos and very soon I'll write more about the trip.

Banteay Srei Temple

Strangler Fig Trees grow over everything 

We stayed at a Moroccan Themed Hotel in Cambodia
Lots of women carry around baskets of things for sale in Hanoi 
There are scooters everywhere in Hanoi
It was surprising to see all the meat lying out to be butchered at the food stalls

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Ibuprofen in Japan

It's funny how many things I still have to learn about living in Tokyo. Up until a couple days ago I thought that ibuprofen wasn't available in Japan. But this past weekend when a friend was visiting I mentioned that I had a headache while we were out shopping, and just like that she popped into a drug store and bought me a box of ibuprofen.

It comes under the brand name Eve A, though there was also a generic in the store which I didn't have the presence of mind to take a picture of - I'll try to remedy that soon. Eve A contains a mixture of ibuprofen and caffeine. I find that a lot of Japanese medicines contain caffeine, possibly to perk you up, but also because caffeine speeds up the metabolism, resulting in the medication being absorbed faster. My friend said that Eve A is meant for treating cramps, but that lots of men and women take it for hangovers (particularly appreciating the caffeine) or other aches and pains. A dose is 2 pills, and a box that cost less than 600 yen (under $5) contains 60 pills.

Contains ibuprofen and caffeine

We've known each other since high school