Well, it's been a while since my last blog. No excuses. I've been busy. Where should I start? Five days after my last blog, Marcia and I went home for Christmas.
Had a wonderful time with our son, Stephen and visited many friends. I'm still recovering from all of the eating and drinking.
Christmas Eve dinner with friends. Notice the silver crown party hats.
Our band was able to get together in our basement for two great music sessions. I miss playing music with my band mates! A fun time was had by all.
We didn't get any individual pictures of two of our band members so I'll mention them here. The good looking tall guy in the back of the picture is our lead singer, Larry. The good looking woman in the foreground is our backup vocalist and keyboard player, Marcia.
Our drummer, Al.
Our lead guitar and marraca player, Don.
Me. Our bass player, Mark.
You may have noticed a subtle shift in the lighting. Well, this is the lighting that we use when we play. It sets a better mood. The other lighting (bright!) was for the photographs.
After two wonderful weeks in East Aurora, we went to Singapore where the temperature was almost 60 degrees warmer than East Aurora. Quite a shock to the body. Singapore is only about 40 miles from the equator and is VERY tropical.
East Aurora, NY (Our back yard)
Singapore (Our hotel)
View from our hotel window.
Marcia actually had most of the weekend off so we were able to do some sightseeing together. We did quite a bit of walking. Saw some beautiful botanical gardens and took a cable car trip to Sentosa Island. The cable car was really cool. Very high in the air. The cable car ride was quite the experience. To say that Marcia is uncomfortable with heights is an understatement. Six feet off the ground and Marcia begins to sweat. Well, this cable car at times was more than 300 feet off the ground!
This is Marcia putting on her brave face.
Actually, she did fine and enjoyed the ride. There was one point on the ride back when the cars stopped and we hung suspended over the water for a few minutes and Marcia became quieter and quieter. I started to make a few "We could be stuck here for hours jokes" but the look that she gave me convinced me that a little silence might be in order. We started moving again and Marcia regained her "inner peace".
View from the cable car.
Singapore is a very large shipping port.
We finally arrive at Sentosa Island.
This is a Merlion. They are everywhere and have some special significance. I just Googled this so I thought I would throw it in. "Designed by Mr Fraser Brunner, a curator of the Van Kleef Aquarium, the lion head represents the lion spotted by Prince Sang Nila Utama when he re-discovered Singapura in 11 AD, as recorded in the "Malay Annals". The fish tail of the Merlion symbolises the ancient city of Temasek (meaning “sea” in Javanese) by which Singapore was known before the Prince named it “Singapura” (meaning “lion” (singa) “city” (pura) in Sanskrit), and represents Singapore’s humble beginnings as a fishing village." I was going to pretend that I knew this, but I knew no one would believe me.
Sentosa Island had a great aquarium. With many really nice displays. Marcia took this close up photo (no flash, don't want to hurt the fish) of some jelly fish.
There was also a long, circular glass tunnel surrounded by water. When walking through it, I felt like I was walking under the ocean.
Manta or sting rays.
This is as close to a shark as I ever want to get!
Marcia was recently back in Singapore and took these next shots from a restaurant in a very tall building (70th floor).
Since I've been back in Japan I've had two more modeling Jobs (commercials) and have returned to my volunteer work in Tokyo. I've had to miss some of my Japanese lessons because of my schedule, but I study whenever I can. Learning Japanese has been a struggle and a challenge. It's been very enjoyable but, at times, quite frustrating. I keep getting distracted by other things to do in Japan so my progress is slow. It's definitely not easy teaching new tricks to an old dog like me.
We're getting ready to celebrate the Lunar New Year here (early February). There will be many celebrations, especially in Chinatown, and we hope to take in a few of them.
I hope that this whirlwind tour helps to catch everybody up on our ongoing saga of living abroad.