My Diary #146

Dear Tigey,

I hope you like potatoes. You know I’m getting old when I have potato drama that lasts more than one week and I get happy from finding new ways of saving a little bit on food.

Entry #146 (Jul 07 2024)

Life

So after bellyaching about Safeway’s new price of $7.99 for 5 pounds of their in-house brand (Compliments) potatoes, which were the cheapest potatoes they have, I went the other way from my apartment and visited the nearly Italian supermarket, about a 10-15 stroll away. This is the same supermarket where I had found UFO secret sauce at back in June 2021, and made a walking video in back in October 2021. I actually had not been back there at all since that 2021 visit. But when I went this week, to my surprise I found potatoes! 10 lb of potatoes for $4.49! Russet potatoes were even cheaper (though I don’t like them as much)! It’s too bad I didn’t point the camera at the potatoes back in the 2021 video to manage to capture their prices back then.

Eff you Safeway. I now know where I am going to get my potatoes from, from now on, and selected other things like macaroni (which has replaced rice for me as a dinner staple) since the prices are comparable or better there. My only issue is whether I can finish 10 pounds of potatoes before they start to go bad. I also came away with some new earl grey tea in a fancy box, and a jar of some ajvar spread, which apparently is a Balkan pepper spread. The Italian store has a lot of interesting sauces, and I figure everytime I go there to pick up potatoes I can buy a new jar of something or other to try as well, as I like finding new weird things to put into my soup. I currently have a bunch of pasta sauce of different flavours that I put into my soup too, which has been very tasty, so that together with the ajvar, and some Sazon Goya spice packets that are apparently Spanish in origin and that were 75% off at Safeway so I had to try them, has made my recent hotpot soups very red.

On the way back from the Italian market, I got to walk down some nearby roads I seldom visit, but that I like for their serenity and countryside-like feeling, for lack of a better term. In particular, I like this road, or at least the grassy area to the side of the road between the pavement and the houses. Plus the way the road curves down and up.

I also saw some boys playing cricket, of all things, on the way home, this was a rare sight since it’s not a popular sport here. I actually don’t know the scoring rules myself, but I at least know enough about it to recognzie it even when it’s being played with a chair in place of the wickets.

Monday this week was Canada Day, which was nice, but ultimately nothing special for me. There were a few fireworks set off somewhere nearby during midnight, loud enough that I heard the explosions, but I didn’t see any fireworks despite having quite a nice view out of balcony door. Tuesday was the first Tuesday of the month, and therefore Safeway Appreciation Day and 15% off the price when the total purchase is $50 or more. So I went down to buy a bunch of frozen meat, among other things.

Up until this point, I had basically only bought meat to use within a couple of days of the purchase, but with meat a lot more expensive now on average and only really palatable during sales, and after reading how even “use by tonight” meat is usually safe to store for longer periods of time if frozen, I instead made an adjustment and am now buying meat when cheaper, and partitioning and then freezing the meat in portions to use whenever I need them. This also lets me mix and match meats, which is actually nice.

However, this means I need more tupperware than I have, since I don’t have many larger food storage container boxes in my house, and one of the tupperware lids broke off this week when I removed it from the freezer and then tried to open it right away. I’ve also read about Stasher silicone reusable bags as a way to store food (unsure if coupled with traditional tupperware or not), and that’s something I’ll have to look into. Research isn’t easy though because a lot of posts about people asking how to store meat in a sustainable and more environmentally way instead turn into high-horse preach fests about not eating meat instead. I fundamentally do not think being vegetarian or vegan is a healthy practice to begin with so that’s a non-starter.

I also need to get a new tea strainer — the Yoassi tea infuser I got in March 2022 (that I talked about and linked to in My Diary #081) had its bottom break off entirely, which was disappointing. It got a toss and a negative review on Amazon for having its bottom drop out. That being said, I still do have the strainer from the tea flask that I had mentioned that I bought three weeks ago. I don’t think I actually linked the flask though — it was this Takeya iced tea maker and it actually works fairly well. It’s also why I bought a larger ice tray and bin at the same time which I really, really like. The problem with the tea flask though is how big of a flask it is, and how, if I don’t pay attention and drink the entire flask in the evening and night, end up waking up 3 times between midnight and 6 am to go to the toilet.

I also got another kitchen tool this week, a garlic strainer from Safeway that lets me crush a garlic clove and get a bunch of tiny garlic bits. More or less. This is good, except that what actually happens in practice is that there’s also a thin layer of garlic leftover that doesn’t make it through the mesh and stays on the side of the strainer mesh where the garlic clove started. I’m not sure what to do with this layer yet or if it is actually supposed to work that way, I think perhaps the quality of this gadget is just low (because it came from Safeway). I usually just toss it into the soup or whatever I am making anyway though.

I did like all this food prep though, so I have also turned my cabbages into cabbage slices and put them into a tupperware box in the fridge instead of leaving the actual vegetables themselves in the fridge. The lily petals that I bought last week also suffered the same fate, they got chopped up and put into a tiny little tupperware container. I felt very fulfilled after doing all this prep work this week. It makes it much easier to get portions of things when cooking my soups. I do eventually want to make dinner side dishes in bulk and put them in tupperware containers for the week though, which is something I’ve never managed to do but have had as a minor cooking goal for a couple of years now. For that reason too I need more tupperware containers (or similar food containers) than I have right now.

Also, I need to see if there’s any sort of a kitchen gadget to easily slice up green vegetable leaves, like cabbages and lettuce, into smaller bite-sized slices usable in soups and such without shredding them into little strips. I actually briefly tried to look for the existence of something that could help with this earlier in the week, but my Google-fu failed me as I had no idea to even succinctly describe what I was looking for.

I found out that I had miscalculated my finances again after last week. I had said that I would scrape by with about $5 left in my account after my rent payment at the start of the month, which was true. However, I also had my RBC credit card bill coming in on the 8th of the month that I had forgotten to account for, which was annoying since my paycheck typically arrives in my account on the 10th. This was a small bill in comparison, about $175 or so, as a couple utilities were still attached to it and I never bothered to remove it as I figured that having a bit of action on that credit card each month was probably important to keep it from expiring or something. But still, I had to dig deep and raid a bunch of boxes and old wallets in my house until I found another $180 in loose notes (and a lot of loose coins, but the bank does not accept coin deposits) to deposit into my account. And after all that I survived that July 6th deadline with $7.64 in my account without having to touch my investments, my extra money on the Scotiabank account, and the $400 or so in my RBC USD account. Giri giri safe, again.

There’s a store in Southgate Centre called The Seven 80, named after Edmonton’s first local telephone area code (780) and selling some local stuff, that I had never been into until this week. They sold some interesting things like uh.. beard soap and oils, and a bunch of someone’s Farmers’ Market style sauces that they named after local ice hockey players. Connor’s Hot Mustard, Leon‘s Backhand Sauce, and Elixir of the Hopkins.

This week, I also shot my first two pigeons with the water pistol that I bought last week. It was just loaded with plain water. Their presence in general has been lower the past couple of weeks anyway, but hopefully this encourages them to go poop elsewhere.

Our temperatures will rise next week into a mini heat wave (although for us, this “heat wave” is just 30-33 degrees Celsius or so, whereas in many parts of the USA, as well as inner British Columbia next week — they’re about to face 40-degree weather — that would be considered a heavenly cool day!), so maybe I will turn that pistol upon myself for some cool relief.

I spoke (or will speak) with Zian again this week, we hadn’t spoken to each other since I was in Taiwan on my trip, before I got sick, until she contacted me again this week. She had been busy with exams too and I had forgotten about our Sunday chats. Oops. I also finally caught up with all my mailbox ad scanning backlog this week on Friday, exactly a month (Jun 05 -> Jul 05) after I arrived back home from the trip, as well as fully unpacked two more boxes from my apartment move before my Japan trip, so this week definitely felt very fulfilling.

I also spent a bit of time this week weeding out and downthumbing a bunch of homes from the realtor portal site that I gained access to last week. Mostly older ones that had been on the market a long time, or that were way too far out on the edge of the city away from reasonable amenities and transportation. So many new ones get added so often that it felt like a constantly fighting a losing battle though, which is actually a good thing in that it means I have lots of choice to pick a good house from. But I wasn’t trying very hard this week at any rate due to the Steam sale and other games to play.

I don’t eat any of my medication pills very often anymore, neither the estrogen pills (because I’m lazy and am not producing testosterone either anymore anyway) nor my antihistamine ones, but I still do once in a while get a hive on my arm that’s often one of the first places that those hives (that I used to get a couple of years ago and complained a lot on the blog about) appear on my body. At that point I quaff a pill and it disappears an hour or so later and I never hear about it again. I always wonder what the cause of those hives or whatever is though, since there’s nothing obvious that triggers them.

Here are some sky pictures from this week. There were some more faint angel ladders on Tuesday this week that I captured.

And even more on Friday when it looked like there was a tear in the clouds and mystical beings were descending:

Then on Wednesday, there was an AMAZING red sun going down behind partial cloud cover. Pictures do not do it justice because the phone camera did not capture the colour correctly:

But it was as bright red as the top two red strips of the sun in this retrowave sun picture:

And as you can see in the third picture, it even eventually took on a couple of horizontal stripes across its spherical body as well as it went behind some of the clouds. It was very retrowave-ish, an aesthetic that I like quite a bit, and was quite a sight to behold even though it didn’t last very long.

This happened again on Saturday evening, and although I couldn’t capture the bright red hue again, I at least went to take some funky pictures of the large sun behind the clouds or smoke or fog or whatever was blocking all the light except the bright red wavelength.

The sun was reduced to a huge, squishy-looking, bright red ball that one could look at directly as it went down below the horizon. It looked very nice and mystical.

Next, here’s a nice evening sky from 10:57 pm on Thursday night:

And then another one from Friday evening at 10:03 pm.

I feel blessed to have this great view from my apartment, even though I probably won’t be here for that long, and even though in the late afternoon the bright setting sun means I often have to close my curtains. These are still glorious sunset palettes almost every single day and I look forward to the daily sunset surprise.

Games

I made my first round of Steam sale purchases early this week, coming up with Romancing SaGa -Minstrel Song- Remastered, Rune Factory 4 Special, Regalia: Of Men and Monarchs, Balrum, and a couple of small DLCs and soundtracks for games that I already owned. I tried the first three games, and although the game has some really annoying aspects like “Press LMB to continue” screens for every single screen transition in the game, I settled into a rhythm with Regalia and got through about 75% of the game so far.

In the later part of the week, Zenless Zone Zero, the latest game from MiHoYo/HoYoverse, launched, so I spent the rest of the week playing that instead. This is the same company that made Genshin Impact and Honkai Star Rail (as well as earlier games like Honkai Impact 3rd) that I have played, and while their gacha component is often too aggressive for me and eventually pushes me away from the game, I really like their world-building and story writing and characters, so I’m still nonetheless more or less a big fan of their games.

Zenless Zone Zero is set in a slightly post-apocalyptic modern world against a backdrop of megacorporations and rampant AI, with the male/female player character and their sibling running a video rental shop that’s also a front for a bunch of hackers and what are basically elite netrunners or mercenaries or shadowrunners from other similar games, though it’s still closer to a modern day setting than a fully cyberpunk setting. A lot of the levelling mechanics are borrowed from Genshin and Star Rail, and reskinned to fit this setting, but the “hacking minigame” itself, where you control a robot on a grid of television screens and run around to find good blocks and avoid bad blocks in a puzzle game sort of format, is new, though it’s not ever particularly difficult except occasionally when it’s not obvious which path is a one-way path and they forget to put a warning saying that anything you haven’t yet done is locked out.

There’s also combat in the game, and they moved away from Star Rail’s turn-based combat back toward Genshin’s real time combat with characters that have a regular chainable attack, a special skill attack that needs a personal type of energy to use, and an ultimate skill that needs another team-wide type of energy to use. There’s elemental reactions and stuff too so it is close to Genshin’s combat, but because there are also lots of perfect dodges and perfect counters and stuff that do additional damage, I believe it’s actually closer to Honkai Impact 3rd’s combat system, although it’s been forever since I’ve played that game.

Either way, I’m not a huge fan of the combat, it’s more a means toward an end (quest completion) rather than something to be enjoyed, and there’s a normal mode and a hard mode for combat, which is an interesting concept, but I think the hard mode just adds more hit points and makes it harder to complete the occasional timed objective in quests so I obviously turned that one off.

The game is sure pretty though. The generic combat looks like this:

The television grid minigame part looks like this:

There’s a walkable area outside the store that the player character lives and works at, and very similarly to the Persona series there’s a little neighbourhood slice that can be walked around in:

Like Persona, there’s also a system where the day is divided into chunks and different events happen at different times, although so far (in the early chapters) this seems woefully underused since very little actually advances the clock until you want to advance it:

The female main character is lovely, I love her look and vibe and short hair, and the way she wears two different socks.

There’s also a large portion of the story told through comic book/visual novel sections, which is weird, but I guess acceptable. It’s a lot of clicking to progress which is annoying at times though.

For whatever reason though, the first or second night I played this I ended up getting a bad case of motion sickness, I think due to wandering around and making too many abrupt turns in cramped areas in the slice of life city portion, and went to bed feeling dizzy at the end of the night. It hasn’t gotten that bad on any other nights so far, though I’m also acutely aware that it could happen now so I watch out for signs of that and take breaks just in case anyway when I feel slight twinges.

Outside of the atmosphere though, the game is not particularly compelling and I can’t yet see myself spending as much time on this as I did Star Rail, for example.

Plushie of the Week #141

This week’s plushie is this pink dinosaur plushie that I bought from an O.C.E. clothing store in Guangzhou China, right around the Nancun Wanbo Station area. There’s a bunch of shopping centers there, but I don’t know which one the O.C.E. store specifically was in since I wandered in and out of the shopping centres around there while I was there. I do know that the plushie cost 29.9 RMB though, coincidentally the exact same price as these persimmons featured a few months ago.

While I stayed with Kel in Guangzhou, we were leaning toward naming it Bronchitis or Bronchosaurus since Kel claimed that that bronchitis was probably what my sickness was, but I really don’t want to be reminded of my sickness there whenever I look at the plushie, so for now it’s Bocchisaur because it’s a shade of pink that I associate with Bocchi (Hitori Gotou) from the Bocchi the Rock! anime. I also got a t-shirt a few days earlier on my trip with a dinosaur from it that’s almost the same shade of pink as well, so the dinosaur also reminds me of the shirt (and both of them tangentially remind me of the anime).

There were a few of these dinosaurs in the store, but I picked the one with the least squishy and bending neck. Front:

Back:

Lying on side:

It came bearing 3 tags, and here’s tag 1 front:

Tag 1 back:

Tag 2 front:

Tag 2 back:

Tag 3 front:

Tag 3 back:

I like the plushie, she’s a nice mix of firm and squishy. Here’s the shirt that reminded me of the dinosaur too, from May 10 in Taiwan.

It’s basically the same character, right?

Song of the Week #118

Title: Yuzurenai Negai
Artist: Naomi Tamura
Album: Magic Knight Rayearth OST (1994)

Two weeks ago, I told Satinel that I would feature this song this week (I try to alternate between English and non-English songs so it wouldn’t have fit in last week’s Song of the Week snippet). In between then and now, though, it was announced that a new Magic Knight Rayearth anime project was coming soon, so now it just looks like I’m capitalizing on the hype to try to drive views to my website or something huh.

Nonetheless, I’ve never watched the original show but I do like this song, the opening song of Season 1 of Magic Knight Rayearth, a lot, it’s one of the very few songs in my top 20 anime OPs and EDs lists from shows that I have not watched, but have absorbed entirely from AMQ games. Partly due to all that though, I don’t actually have many connotations or memories of the song outside of AMQ itslf, and how we bemoan when the diluted version of the song (there’s an Unplugged Version that is an insert in the show) comes on instead of the opening song. What connotations I do have involve dim memories of listening to the song while walking around the University of Alberta or waiting for the train home, or else, for some reason, a rainstorm. The start of the song especially reminds me of a rainstorm, but I’m not sure why.

Writing Prompt of the Week #61

This week’s writing prompt reads:

My first kiss was with…

Tigey. Or maybe my bolster.

Real person? None, unless you count parental kisses while a baby or something. Let’s try the next question.

“My favorite high school teacher was…” Tell a story that you remember fondly.

High school? So from McNally. I already mentioned there that I was fondest of Ms Usher, our history teacher/homeroom teacher/IB coordinator, and I had listed a couple memory snippets of her there. I don’t really have many more memories of her though, those seem to all be lost to time, except that I remember that unlike many other teachers, she had an “office” that was located in a room at the back of the actual classroom she taught in, and that it was small and full of papers — some say messy, I say cozy. It had a nice big window that pointed out to the actual classroom, and she often talked to students in there 1 or 2 at a time for this or that. So while that’s not necessarily a story of her, it is still a lingering memory that I have of her.

Memory Snippet of the Week #125

One aspect of building these Memory Snippets of the Week is that I have an internal link in my blog to point certain keywords to sometimes. For example, I have links for my former schools that I can link to whenever I’m talking about them or people in them, like in the Writing Prompt section above.

This week is another one of those, except that instead of it being something formative like the people that I met when young and grew up with, it’s just a bunch of bottled drinks that I found and liked drinking when going through Asia. I kept some of these bottles and brought them home with me too, which is why I have all these pictures to post.

The first drink, and one of my favourite bottled drinks overall, is the Juurokucha (or Jurokucha if you ignore the extended U), or 十六茶 in Japanese. The kanji characters literally mean “16 teas”, and it’s basically a blend of 16 teas sold by the Asahi Soft Drinks company. The Wikipedia page above suggests that there’s both a caffeinated version and a decaffeinated one, but I think I’ve only ever gone for the decaf (“Caffeine Zero”) one, though I can’t tell for sure. I first found them in Kyoto during my RSJP study abroad program there, and first wrote about it on May 27 2023 in The Slightly Longer Way #20, but even then I mentioned that I had drank a handful of them already.

There are many different bottle patterns that I’ve seen, the one I posted on that page above looked like this:

I’ve found them all over Japan, as well as in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Edmonton, and they’re probably elsewhere as well, I just haven’t always specifically looked out for it. They can often be found in Asian supermarkets, plus Japanese stores like Aeon and Don Don Donki. In Japan itself, many (but not all) convenience stores, drug stores, and supermarkets sell it as well.

I did save a couple of bottles and bring them all the way home, though, so here’s the lineup of bottles that I have. I wished I saved more of my early Japanese ones, I probably will have to make a point of that the next time I visit the country.

The one on the left is one of the classical Japanese brandings, whereas the two right ones, from Hong Kong and Edmonton respectively, probably cannot be found in Japan.

There are apparently other similar teas from other companies according to the Wikipedia page above, but I don’t think that I’ve tried any of them. I do like the “smoky” taste of the tea blend, although it’s not too far off from what I imagine a weak form of coffee probably tastes like.

Other than Asahi’s Juurokucha, another drink that I was fixated on during my first two trips to Japan was the Sangaria Maruyama Banana Milk drink:

That one was easier to find in Kyoto, as I recall, and harder to find in Tokyo, but I eventually found them in Daiso 100-yen stores there too. I like banana milk very much, there’s a Korean brand that I like as well back in Edmonton, so it might be more me liking the general drink rather than the specific brand (unlike tea, where I like that specific brand of Juurokucha over many other types of bottled tea.)

There’s a strawberry version in a pink bottle that’s pretty nice too, though I imagine both probably have a rather high sugar content since they’re so sweet.

Another drink I really like is Bandung, or rose syrup, and although it’s most commonly found in hawker centre or coffee shop stalls in Singapore, there’s also bottled versions of it, and one of those bottles made it home with me from my previous trip to Singapore:

Again, in this case I like the drink rather than the specific brand of the drink, I think, but nonetheless it was a nice bottle, so I saved it to bring home.

Lastly, when I was in Taiwan on this trip, I found a really nice bottle of winter melon tea (冬瓜茶), from Vedan/Weidan (味丹):

For this one I tried a few different brands of bottled winter melon tea but found this one to be much nicer than the others. I haven’t seen that soft drink brand sold anywhere else, but I haven’t specifically looked hard either.

I maintain a personal list of teas that I have tried called Tigey‘s Tea-Testers Guild Report, which is a combined list of loose-leaf teas, tea sachets, and bottled teas from over the past 3-4 years. I’ve posted the raw list a few times but it gets a bit longer all the time, especially when I take new trips to faraway locales. Eventually I might make an actual page for it on my blog somewhere, though I don’t know that I want to add another “live list” on my website that I have to continuously maintain. Not that it updates very often.

Still, my Tigey‘s Tea-Testers Guild report as of early July 2024 looks like this. I should get the Japanese/Chinese characters and add them to the names too because a lot of the names on the bottles or boxes don’t actually contain the English translation of the brand, but that’s a future mini-project.

Great
Asahi – Juurokucha / 16 Blend
David’s Tea – Coconut Oolong
David’s Tea – Valerian Nights
Vedan/Weidan – Winter Melon Tea

Good
Asahi – Asahi Strong Juurokucha Blend Tea
Ayataka – Authentic Green Tea
Chai Li Won – Taiwanese Style Green Tea Drink
David’s Tea – Chocolate Rocket
David’s Tea – Forever Nuts
David’s Tea – Lemon Cayenne Cleanse
David’s Tea – Salted Caramel Oolong
David’s Tea – Super Ginger
David’s Tea – Wild Grown Rooibos
Harney & Sons – English Breakfast – Chinese Keemun Black Tea
Harney & Sons – Organic Earl Grey Supreme
HeyTea – Green Tikaman Orange Green Fruit (青提卡曼橘绿妍果)
Itoen – Hatomugi Cha/Hato Barley Tea
Itoen – Genmai Cha – Oi Ocha Unsweetened Roasted Rice Tea with Matcha
Itoen – Oi Ocha Unsweetened Roasted Green Tea
Kirin – Namacha
Kirin – Namacha Quality Roasted Green Tea/Houji Sencha
Panda Hut Express – Chinese Green Tea
Sokenbicha – Unsweetened Blended Tea
Suntory – Kyoto Blend Tea
T2 – Singapore Breakfast
Tung-I – Green Tea
Twinings – Irish Breakfast Tea
Uni-President – Winter Melon Tea
Wong Lo Kat/Wanglaoji – Herbal Tea
Yuanqi Forest – Ice Tea

Average
7i – Premium Jasmine Tea
7i – Premium Roiboos Tea
Bestprice – Oolong Tea
Beijing Tong Ren Tang – Gorgon Poria, Coix and Barley Tea (芡实茯苓薏米茶 / Qianshi Fuling Yimi Cha)
Celestial Seasonings – Country Peach Passion
Celestial Seasonings – Decaf Sweet Coconut Thai Chai
Celestial Seasonings – Raspberry Zinger
Celestial Seasonings – True Blueberry
Celestial Seasonings – Wild Berry Zinger
Chali – Black Tea
Chali – Classic Green Tea
David’s Tea – Blood Orange Boost
David’s Tea – Calming Chamomile
David’s Tea – Candy Cane Crush
David’s Tea – Cinnamon Rooibos Chai
David’s Tea – Cold 911
David’s Tea – Cream of Earl Grey
David’s Tea – Forever Frosty
David’s Tea – Hot Chocolate
David’s Tea – Le Digestif
David’s Tea – Lemon Lullaby
David’s Tea – Mother’s Little Helper
David’s Tea – North African Mint
David’s Tea – Peppermint Amour
David’s Tea – Pomegrateful
David’s Tea – Santa’s Secret
David’s Tea – Silent Night
David’s Tea – Sugar Pear Fairy
David’s Tea – Throat Rescue
Dim Dou Duk – Chrysanthemum Tea
Dim Dou Duk – Tieguanyin
Eikokuya’s Tea – Peach
Famimaru – Brown Rice Tea
Famimaru – Earl Grey Tea
Fung Mei – Instant Honeyed Chrysanthemum Drink
Happii Mukojimaen – Akachan Bancha
HeyTea – Grape Blackcurrent Oolong Tea
Hotpot Factory – Rock Sugar Fruit Tea
Itoen – Houjicha
Itoen – Kenkou Mineral Barley Tea
Itoen – Matcha Green Tea
Itoen – Oi Ocha-Koicha Unsweetened Dark Green Tea
Kirin – Namacha Quality Green Tea
Lupicia – Momo Vert
M21 – Earl Grey Tea
Mabroc – Night of 1000 Stars
Master Kong – Iced Black Lemon Tea
Matsukiyo – Mugi Tea
Meiyanshe – Rose Berry Tea
Millennia TEA – Raw Chopped Green Tea Organic Superfood Tea
Mr. Juicy – Mango Tea
Nitto Black Tea – Organic Black Tea Earl Grey
Ochaen – Oolong Tea
Ogawa Syouyaku – Hokkaido Daichi Hirobiro Corn Tea
Pengyou Shangcha – Oolong Tea
Pokka – Ice Lemon Tea
President’s Choice – Dreamland
Sangaria – Green Tea
Sea Dyke – China Fujian Oolong Tea (Tie Guan Yin)
St Marc Café – Red Tea
Starvending – Akatsuki Green Tea (急須風にごり本格緑茶)
Suntory – Fragrant Barley Tea
Surf Beverage – Barley Tea
Teapigs – Mao Feng Green Tea
Tetley – Immune+ Super Herbal Tea
Tung-I – Green Plum Green Tea
Twinings – English Breakfast Tea
Twinings – Spiced Apple & Vanilla Tea
Twinings – Thé Earl Grey Tea
Twinings – Thé Lady Grey Tea
Vedan – Green Herbal Tea

Bad
999 – Ganmaoling Granules
Asahi – Sou Green Tea
Café de Crié – Ice Tea
Chai Li Won – Ching Sing Oolong Tea Sugar Free Drink
David’s Tea – Sleigh Ride
David’s Tea – Sweet Potato Pie
Itoen – Kuromame Tea
Pukka – Elderberry & Echinacea

Dreams
Jul 04 2024
  • I was on the top level of a house that was at least three storeys high, outside a bathroom there and preparing to take a shower, while Uncle Robert was in the basement and Dad and Mom were both elsewhere in the house. Uncle Robert yelled something from the basement and I could hear him, which surprised me as I was not aware that the sound could travel that well upwards through the floors. I tried to yell back but the sound did not travel the other way.
  • A little bit later, possibly as a reaction to learning that acoustic fact, Dad said that it was time to start thinking about getting a new house. I invited him to come along and view houses with me since I was preparing to buy a house anyway, and he said that he wanted us to start by driving around various streets without looking at specific houses and just consider the neighbourhoods themselves to start. I said that I was fine doing that this upcoming Saturday.
Jul 05 2024
  • I dreamt that I was participating in an after-school Scouts ECA that basically was a game of Esports Godfather, but on a large square-grid world map instead of a small hex grid battle map. I was a rock-based tank support character and went down to the bottom lane, which was located in a swampy forest area, with my companion, who was a weaker carry character who did a lot of damage. One of the two opponents was already down there and had extended for some reason, so we surrounded him and I played a red engage card on him and my companion immediately destroyed him. After that, he recalled to base while I continued on to the tower since I still had 0 gold and wasn’t afraid of being ganked by the remaining opposing player.
  • After the match, I was seated in the school canteen, listening to some acquaintances play some sort of roleplaying game at another table as I packed up my bag and got ready to head home. I kind of wanted to join them but didn’t really know them well and it was late in the day anyway. I fished out my thick Samsung S23 Ultra phone from my bag and called Dad, and he seemed surprised when he picked up the phone. He was at the dinner table at home, and I heard Uncle Droy there, as well as Kel and Jon, who said hi to me through the phone speakers.
  • I told Dad that I was calling to check if he was on the way to pick me up or not since my school ECA had just ended. He told me that those ECAs were usually on Saturday and today was a Sunday, and I pointed out in a slightly annoyed tone that nonetheless, whatever day it was, I was obviously not at home anyway and I had mentioned going out to this event earlier in the morning.
  • He told me that he would come to pick me up and to wait there, but I said no, the trip here and home by car was about equivalent to me just coming home via bus and train, and there was a new train route that had opened recently that I wanted to try out anyway. Plus summer evenings were long and I liked the evening sky very much. I just wanted to make sure that he wasn’t already on the way here. He said okay and we hung up.
Jul 06 2024
  • 2 girls and 1 guy, all teenagers, hopped on a train heading south through the Korean peninsula towards Japan. The Korean peninsula in my dreams was arranged such that “North Korea” actually took up the entire eastern side of the peninsula, whereas “South Korea” took up the western side. The train tracks ran on the South Korean side of the peninsula, but was quite close to the North Korean border.
  • As they passed the station nearest Pyongyang, one of the girls suggested that this stop was too dangerous but that they should consider getting off on the next stop and visit the town there to get some last minute shopping for sweets done. The boy looked confused as to how this would work with their tickets, and the other girl explained that their train tickets were good for the entire day as long as they reached the southernmost Korean city before the evening. After that, the train turned into a nonstop overnight train and it didn’t matter that their tickets were for the previous day, as it would take them all the way to Japan.
  • The three teenagers got off at the next stop, but somehow North Korea had taken over the station infrastructure even though the station was still in South Korean territory. They detained all the alighted passengers, and lined them all up in a row. The Supreme Leader of North Korea was there, as well as a large bodyguard who might have been a bear or a robot in army uniform.
  • The Supreme Leader walked up and down the row of passengers, as there was some sort of scream in the background, and then another soldier came by with a bucket with three small bones in it, walking by the lineup of passengers and then dumping the bones onto the train tracks, as though they were trying to intimidate the detainees and let them know what was in store for them if they did not cooperate, never mind that the bones looked like chicken bones.
  • After a few minutes, the Supreme Leader released all the females into the town outside the train station, but retained the two males in the lineup, one of which was the teenaged boy. He took them off to a backroom office while the girls went to the nearby docks and frantically tried to figure out what to do and how to get help.
  • Eventually the teenaged guy was released as well after some quick “conditioning”. He wouldn’t say what actually happened, but the dream camera panned to him tucking away a green medallion on a green cord around his neck, beneath a scarf, as he approached the girls, so that the girls wouldn’t see it. He apparently had orders to do a conflicting quest in the Japanese city that they were headed to, which overlapped and contradicted whatever their original reason to go there was. The green medallion was bound to him and would watch over him (in a surveillance sense).
  • While picking up his bags that were stacked next to a plastic sheet propped up against the wall outside the train station, he noticed a strangely personalized ad from someone who proclaimed to be a wizard living in a nearby tower, who supposedly could remove curses from jewellery. The ad was arranged to look like two vertical menus and written in a font style similar to the splashy art in Persona 5, and was directed to him specifically, as it contained his name. The two girls were nearby but did not notice the ad, nor the medallion, and he took down the address to investigate the place as they finally headed into town together.
Jul 07 2024
  • Snippet: I remember a large, square bed with a trapdoor leading to an underground tunnel set into one corner of the bedframe. I knew that little hyena-like monsters came up through that trapdoor every now and then, and even though they were easy to defeat, it meant that someone had to be there to defeat them before they overran the room. To prevent this, I put a couple of large, rectangular metal panels or blocks on top of it, whose lengths were twice as long as their widths, and then spread out a bunch of other items on top of it, to first overlap the metal panels and then after that to overlap the items overlapping the metal panels, so that once there was a mattress on top of all the items and someone was lying on top of it, their weight would help weigh down the trapdoor even if they weren’t directly lying down on top of it. Some of the items I put on the bedframe were things I pulled out from my school bag, and I remember not being able to find my wallet from my high school days and asking Mom and Kel where it was — one of them said it was in the bathroom on the toilet tank, and I indeed found it there when I went to look.

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