My image of “Deer Paradise” took an unexpected turn

Hai-Sai everyone!!

Sorry it had been a while since I posted last… moving overseas and traveling all happened at once… but here I am back!! With a story! 😉

On the way back home from New York, I stopped in Sapporo, Tokyo, Kyoto, Nara and Osaka. My friend visited Japan last year and fed deer, posted insta stories that looked ohhhhh sooooo adorable!!

So when my good friend from New York said that she’s visiting Japan about the time I’m moving back – and visiting some cities I’ve never been like Nara and Osaka – I jumped on the opportunity.

Since I loooooove animals I was so excited to finally see deer, feed and pet them!! 💃🏻😘💖🦌 ayyyyyyye

3 minutes of skipping out of Nara station, (I don’t care what people think of  my happy behaviors,) I saw bunch of deer and oh myyyy😍😍😍😍 I was ecstatic!!

But my friends whom I travelled with warned me that deer that hang out around the “deer cookies” venders should be avoided. So we picked a place further away from the streets… and still my friends got chased around by 3 deer, because poor thing, she was holding the bag with bread in it. They can smell the food on her!! We also saw bunch of helpless tourists being chased by many beer everywhere in deer-crowded area. Oh no we don’t want that. Although it was very funny to watch that… 😂😂

So I thought I’d pick an innocent looking, baby deer to feed. I was feeding one… and I suddenly felt a punch on my butt. And again. I look back and a deer was head-butting me, because how dare I not see her and feed another!! 🙌🏻🙌🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻 Sorry dear deer!

Later, I was trying to make a deer repeat the trick of “bowing.” I had food in my hand, well –  never tease a hungry, potentially aggressive animal. I saw teeth, and he bit me right by the crotch!! 😱😳😖 Japanese deer ain’t so demure like Japanese ladies. 😒

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And later, as if I hadn’t learned enough, I saw a nice deer by herself on the lawn, on the hill away from other deer. All the way down there across the lawn I see poor tourists (oh yeah I’m a tourist too,) being chased by 8+ deer…

Luckily I’m all the way over here, and there’s only one. She approaches and… OH MY GWAD CAN DEER SEE LIKE A HAWK!? Those 8+ horde of deer see me all the way from there (that was like 50 yards) and charge across the lawn, very fast. I tear up my baguette and drop them all over the lawn and walk away as if I’m competing race walking at the olympics.

Lesson learned: yes Nara deer are cute, the baby ones away from the crowded area… AND DONT YOU EVER TEASE THEM. No one got the time for that and certainly not these deer!! They act like they haven’t eaten in weeks when they’re fed every 2 minutes!!

Expectation: 💃🏻💖🦌😘

in reality was 😱🏃🏻‍♀️💦💨🦌🦌🦌🦌🦌🦌🦌💨💨💨💨

But when you see only like 2 of them in sight, like the corner of a park and if you don’t see any other in your sight… you should definitely feed them!! They are more shy and not aggressive. I even grew attachment toward two babies 😍

Thank you for visiting, until next time… 🤗

Love,

Erina

Why do people toss their shoes over power lines? Here’s the answer

Last night I was walking in LES with my friend, and she said, “Look up!! How cute!”

I looked up, and saw a teddy bear hanging with bunch of shoes over power lines.

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And I wondered… why do people do that? I researched because I was so curious and came across this short film: The Mystery of Flying Kicks, by Closer Productions.

(Link at the end of this post.)

It gathered theories from all over the world:

– someone lost his virginity.

– gang is tagging the neighborhood

– a gang lost their members and is remembering them

– someone quit their job or moved so hang their shoes for memories.

A professor said (in the film:) “It’s as if we live on through memory. [Whether] you leave something on a wall or that you leave a shoe somewhere, you have proven to yourself that you exist.” – Marcel Danesi.

We all are looking for the meaning of our existence, we seek it in our career, human connections, children, art… books, buildings, photographs or videos… we all want to leave a trace of our existence in this world. That we were here. We all want to be remembered in some way, because we only have limited time in our life. (Although I wish I could live forever…)

So that’s why some people do it. To remember someone, or to remember their memories.. to mark and leave something behind, to let the world know… “we were here.”

Thank you for visiting, until next time… 🤗

Love,

Erina

Instagram: @erina_actress

Korean Sweet & Spicy Chicken Stew (Dak-dori-tang)

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When I used to live with my Korean best friend, she would cook this sometimes. It tastes like home, its so warm, spicy and sweet at the same time… this is hands down my most favorite Korean stew. (I also love Jiamppong but I think that’s soup… those are my two favorite.) This recipe is similar to the traditional recipe, but I made it the traditional way and it tasted different from what my friend made. (She never taught me her recipe.) After some trials of different versions, this is the one I liked the most. (For example, traditional one has sesame oil but I didn’t like it with sesame oil. My Korean friends said they don’t put it either.)

*Side Note*:  It takes about 45mins to cook this, and I eat it with rice. so cook some rice on the side if you like rice!!

but I soak chicken in milk for an hour or two prior to cooking, to help it become tender. (Americans soak it in buttermilk, Koreans that with milk, some of my Asian friends (from various countries) soak Chicken in Coke (Cola) and some mentioned canned pineapple juice…)

Ingredients for 2 servings (I don’t eat a lot):

  • Dark Meat Chicken – 4 Chicken legs (with skin because I love skin.)
  • 1 and 1/2 cup of water
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/8 cup of Mirin – Japanese sweet cooking wine

https://www.amazon.com/Aji-Mirin-Japanese-sweet-cooking-rice/dp/B000FJN9O0/ref=sr_1_4_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1521428913&sr=8-4&keywords=mirin+japanese+cooking+wine

  • 1 table spoon honey (I sometimes use manuka honey instead too)
  • 2 table spoon Korean Red Chili pepper paste (Gochujang)

https://www.amazon.com/Chung-Jung-One-Gochujang-500g/dp/B013HB0CC4/ref=sr_1_3_s_it?s=grocery&ie=UTF8&qid=1521430174&sr=1-3&keywords=gochujang+korean+chili+paste

  • 1 Russet Potato slightly bigger than a fist (for 2 serving)
  • 1 carrot (The regular size, not baby carrots)
  • 1/2 large onion
  • (Garlic and ginger if you want – I skip those.)
  • (Scallions if you’d like.)
  1.  First, soak chicken legs in milk or buttermilk in a medium sized cooking pot for 30mins – 2 hours depending on how soon you want it, how hungry you are or how tender you want the chicken to be.
  2. Get rid of the milk, put water in the pot and toss it to rinse milk off the chicken legs.
  3. Add 1.5 cup of water, 1/4 cup of soy sauce , 1/8 cup of mirin (the cooking wine), 1 table spoon honey and 2 table spoon Gochujang (Chili Pepper Paste) into the pot with Chicken.
  4. Stir it (Step#3 ingredients) without breaking the chicken. (Gentry, stir around Chicken legs)
  5. Cook it on medium heat for 15mins. (Make sure its simmering, not boiling.)
  6. Add potato, carrots and put a lid over the pot, but leaving 1/4 inch gap for the air to escape. Keep an eye on it and make sure its simmering, not boiling.
  7. After another 15mins, add garlic and ginger if you decided to use them.
  8. Keep it simmering till the chicken is tender and breaks apart easily, and potato looks soft.9038C915-BD3C-440F-8C25-DF71C5534546
  9. Add scallions and cook for 1 minute.
  10. Serve it in a bowl, over rice – that’s the best way!!

They use Gochujang, the Chili paste for all kinds of Korean food- you can get smaller size if there’s a korean grocery store nearby. I use it for Korean fried rice too! Mirin is also very useful for many traditional yummy Japanese food 🤗

Thank you for visiting, until next time… 🤗

Love,

Erina

Invaluable Messages in Okinawan Songs

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Hai-sai!! (Hello in Okinawan language.)

Okinawa is known for its longevity, and people believe its because of  locals’ healthy diet.

It is also one of the most peaceful place on earth, where everyone is calm, sweet, caring and relaxed.

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And today, out of blue, I thought of Okinawan songs that have invaluable messages – which is so unique and different from urban lifestyle mentality. And I wanted to share it with you, it might mean something to you as much as it does to me.

  1. Kogane no Hana (Flower Made of Gold)

It’s about a story of a young man, who heard about a place where there’s a tree that grows flower made of gold. He dreams of becoming rich, and he leaves his home  (Okinawa) and his family behind.

“Pure and simple people,

People with clear and beautiful eyes –

Don’t cloud your judgement by golden flower and wealth –

Golden flowers disperse and perish…

Are you happy at work?

Are you healthy and well?

Do you have money in case of sickness?

Be careful of people who take advantage of you.

Oh pure and simple people,

People who speak different languages…

Don’t let golden flowers discolor your heart

Golden flowers disperse and perish…

What kind of flowers grow in your home country?

The gift the gods haven given us –

It probably isn’t money.

Simple and pure people,

Let real flowers grow in your heart.

Don’t throw your heart away for gold,

Golden flowers eventually perish.

Don’t throw away your heart for gold,

Let the real thing blossom in your heart.”

… what did you guys think?

When my Okinawan best friend sang this in karaoke, it hit my Almost-New-Yorker-Heart really hard. What have I become? What is most important in life? Is it money, success, freedom? Or family and love, care for one another and human connections?

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Of course I want to make my dreams come true. But I learned that I can do that while I cherish those important things – human connections and love for those who are around me and cares about me.

Call your family, if you have someone – family is blood and friends and people whom you value. Let them know time to time, that you appreciate and love them. Because we only live once.

Thank you for visiting my post, until next time… (^3^)-v

Love,

Erina

Best Chicken and Waffle so far? NYC

Hello everyone!!

I finally tried place everyone talks about… Queens Comfort in Astoria.

3618 30th Ave, Astoria, NY 11103

(Its cash only, btw)

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Normally, I’m not a fan of comfort food because it makes me feel so guilty eating it. Lol deep fried a lot of stuff… my Okinawan dad would scream “outrageous!!” 😱😱 (Okinawans are known for our longevity and healthy diet.) 👵🏼👴🏼

So, usually I don’t really order Chicken and Waffle myself … I pick on others’. (Yep I’m evil like that.) But today, I looked at Queens Comfort’s menu… and everything looked good but the server said I should definitely have this over Fried Chicken salad with Brussels Sprouts (I love those!!)

So I did. And oh-my-god!! Chicken is fried with cornflakes but they are smashed to smaller pieces so its texture is almost like Panko but crispier. And I looooove Panko (One of the best Japnese inventions.)

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I definitely love Maple Syrup and spicy thing so it was perfect. If you like comfort food, or if you’re in the mood for it – definitely go to Queens Comfort!!

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Astoria today is full of good restaurants now. Once it gets warm you can eat here and head to the Bohemian Beer Garden, or even go to Hunter’s Point South Park after. All of that together will definitely  be worth your trip 😉

Thank you for visiting, until next time 😊

Love,

Erina

My favorite places to eat in NYC

I like to eat out a lot – and when you live in NYC – there are just way many choices.

Now I know there are countless restaurants in this city; and they have so many choices when it comes to them.

I mostly like Asian food – since I’m half Japanese and Thai – I can eat them anytime. I also like French, and American. I loooove Vietnamese food and buffet style Brazilian BBQ places.

There are some places I’ve tried and liked – but there are only handful of places that I keep going back.

*Astoria/Queens area *

One day a person asked me if you were to have the last meal of your life – what would it be? For me, it’s Hanger Steak vermicelli with extra topping of fried egg, at District Saigon. Hands down the best Vietnamese place I’ve been in NYC so far.

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37-15 Broadway, Queens, NY 11103

*N & W train, near Broadway stop. On Broadway between 37th and 38th st.)

 

I believe they only opened up few years ago – and their catfish is also super juicy. (My friend said the most moist catfish she’s ever tried.)

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*Midtown West/Manhattan area*

Another place I keep going back to is called District Social. (Haha they are both District S_____.)

I usually go there for a couple of drinks and the steak. The other day though, my friend tried Cod with Lobster sauce and ohhhh my gahhhhhh its to die for. (I mean I almost wanted to push her off the seat and take her food. Jk.) But yes if we had known the sauce was good we would have told the server to never stop and pour that thing all over us. Seriously it’s that good!!

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And I also tried their dessert for the first time. I had Creme Brûlée with fig. I love love love both of them so when they combine those two – heaven in my mouth. I’m pretty picky when it comes to dessert – even more so than food – and this one was perfect. Perfectly thin hard caramel and creamy & rich yet not heavy custard.

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252 W 37th St, New York, NY 10018

Its on 37th street by 8th Avenue, close to both Times Square and Penn Station.

Thank you for visiting, until next time 😊

Love,

Erina

Celebrate Women with Us

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Women: our beauty shines through our eyes and souls; not from how our bodies are shaped or look, because they change overtime…

Our strength comes from our intelligence, love and care for others. That would never change.

When we love, we love unconditionally and will always be there by your side. Celebrate us with us; and see us through our eyes and souls – not by how we are shaped outside.

Inspired by this beautiful mural I found on #frenchmenstreet in #neworleans

Thank you for visiting!! Until next time🤗

Love,

Erina

 

 

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