Archive for July, 2012

Street Drink Vending Machines

If you walk through Japan at all you may wonder what all those huge boxes are that you pass along the sidewalks and in many doorways.  It’s impossible not to notice these drink vending machines.A typical Japanese vending machine with three rows behind a plactis windowOften in sets of two or three, most blocks  in a city have at least one vending machine on them and those who live in suburbs always have a machine within walking distance.  The drinks are usually 100 yen to 150 yen, roughly $1.20 to $2 a drink depending on the yen rate that day.A closer look at a bottled drink machine in Japan

The drinks offered in the machines are anything from warm coffee to cold coffee to teas to juices.  I once saw a pancake breakfast in a can which was rather popular at work until they got removed from the one machine they were in.  I commonly see the creamed corn in a can so that must be good and their can of hot cocoa is delicious.  All the bottles in the picture above are cold drinks, they have blue prices, but hot drinks are available in most machines.  My favorite drink from a machine is the Apple Tea from Lipton.  It is very tasty and a treat I look forward to every time I leave Japan.A bottle of Apple Tea as seen through the plastic of a vending machine.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Hong Kong Disneyland

The entrance sign to Hong Kong DisneyLandHere you leave today and enter the world of yesterday, tomorrow, and fantasy.

That is what the sign says that hangs above the walkway into Hong Kong Disneyland.  One of six Disney amusement parks in the world, it was the first one I had gone into and I had looked forward to the day since I had planned it with my friend a few days ahead.  We took the train through Hong Kong and got on the special Disney train  to the Disney station.  Once outside we stopped so my friend could smoke and I could put on sunscreen.  I had to work over the next few days and the last souvenir I wanted from my first trip to Disneyland was a painful and obvious sunburn.

Once we were set, we walked down a sidewalk lined with trees and lamp poles with flags of popular Disney characters rippling in the wind to a water fountain of Mickey Mouse surfing on the air leaving the air hole of a A metal Mickey Mouse surfing a whale's sproutwhale.  Other popular characters, like Donald Duck, held various poses in the courtyard.  After a few pictures we moved on to the entrance.  Having already bought our tickets, we skipped that line and went straight to the entrance line.  After the attendant searched my bag for dangerous items, we walked past the Mickey Mouse likeness made of flowers, and entered the park.  The first area we entered was the area designed to look like a town from the early 1900’s. Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse characters posing for a picture with an Asian family We passed Mickey and Minnie Mouse posing for pictures in a gazebo and windows of various Disney scenes, like Woody and his toy friends, and went to Tommorrowland.  Flying in the saucer ride while my friend "drove"There we drove a flying saucer (okay, so it circled a giant sculptures of balls designed to look like planets and my friend pushed a button to move us up or down while I took pictures, but it’s the closest I’ll ever get) and helped Buzz Lightyear destroy his enemies on a ride where we shot at Zs among the characters lining the track.

After lunch we walked over to Fantasyland where we spun in teacups at the Mad Hatters Tea Party,Huge decorated teacups that spin at the riders desire. traveled the world in the It’s A Small World After All ride,Blury photo of signs saying farewell in many languages. entered a book with Winnie the Pooh, took pictures with Mickey Mouse and Goofy, Me and my friend posing with the lifesize Goofy character.watched a magically disastrous preparation to a concert when Donald Duck tried to control Mickey Mouse’s magician hat, and saw Cinderella and Tinkerbell through the crowds as well as Minnie Mouse, Winnie the Pooh, and Pinocchio.  After that we went back to the center of the park to watch the parade.  We saw Mickey Mouse and his gang on a float with a wooden ship that flew,Mickey and his friends on a sailing boat with an air ballon attached Winnie the Pooh in his honey jar with his friends walking around him, the Disney princesses on a swanThe Disney princesses on a swan float followed by a jungle of animals with monkeys playing on bungee lines,Monkey characters from Tarzan on a jungle float and Stitch surfing a massive wave high above our heads.  Then came the toys from Toy Story and TinkerBell.Tinkerbell in her balloon dancing in the parade  After the parade was over and the music had stopped, we walked over to the area where little green men kept everyone in line,Green soldier characters drill children at the Hong Kong themepark. the area designed around Toy Story.  After watching the green army soldiers drill some visiting children, we went parachuting and rode the Slinky Dog as he tried to catch his tail.

After toy land, we went on a safari around Tarzan’s tree house

A mechanical elephant face seen through the boat window

A mechanical elephant we saw while on the safari.

before exploring his home where we ran into his tiger nemesis.The sculpture of an angry tiger in Tarzan's tree house

After supper we decided it had been a long day already and wandering for three hours before the fireworks didn’t appeal to us.  With that in mind we headed for the train.  On the way we stopped at a gift store and found glass roses as well as a few animals for sale.Small glass roses in covers designed like The Beast's cursed rose.  All in all, I enjoyed my first trip to a Disney Resort and am looking for when I can get to the two in Tokyo, Japan and all the ones back in the United States.  It was a delightful trip back into my childhood and a fun day with my friend.

Click here to view more of my pictures from Hong Kong Disneyland on my Flickr account.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

The Mall of Indonesia

The colorful entrance to Mall of IndoonesiaNot too long ago I went on a very short trip to Jakarta, Indonesia.  While there I visited the Mall of Indonesia, a huge mall they term an “Entertainment Mall”.  This means I’ve hit three “country malls” in my life so far: Mall of Indonesia, Mall of Asia (in the Philippines), and Mall of America (in Minnesota).  They were built to be the biggest malls in the country, if not the world, but I would be surprised if the Mall of America was still the largest mall in North America since malls keep going up.
Anyway, MOI is a huge mall with an amusement park designed for very small children, a huge movie theater, a large food court of local restaurants, a number of restaurants popular in the United States, as well as stores from all over the place, and a dentist. The door sign to the children's dentist Yes, the Mall of Indonesia has a dentist in it, just down the hall from the amusement park.  It also has a bridal store where I saw this beauty.A white mannequin in a beaded wedding dress

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter
Customized Social Media Icons from Acurax Digital Marketing Agency
Visit Us On TwitterVisit Us On FacebookCheck Our Feed