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Received My Manga Order

After a wait of two months — here they are! My One Piece volumes!

The package looked like this:

Outer packaging

And the inner packaging looked like this:

Inner packaging

There was another layer of plastic inside the white foamy wrapping. The books were pretty well protected, I’m quite satisfied with the packaging. Aside from the long wait due to my order being returned to Japan for no reason, I had a good manga buying experience using honto.jp, and I’ll definitely be buying from their website again soon.

Here’s a (badly taken) picture of my first four One Piece volumes received in this order:

OP vol. 1-4

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I’ve decided to officially start the One Piece manga collection I’ve been hoping to have since a long time ago. I’m going for the original Japanese volumes, and getting those is a bit harder than buying the English ones at Chapters. But it’s definitely worth the extra trouble in my opinion! As I start to understand Japanese more and more, I’ve found a lot of differences between the original dialogue and the translated version. They’re not big differences, but I like knowing the exact words the author used in his work.

Currently, out of the 74 volumes of One Piece, I only have volume 73. I also bought volume 0 and volume 1000 some months ago, both of them are special guide books for the series’ movies. My friend who recently went to Japan bought me volume 74 and I’ll get it in two weeks. Which means… I still have 72 volumes to go!

After browsing online, I chose two websites from which I can buy Japanese manga. One of them is honto.jp, a website recommended by many manga buyers. The other one is CDJapan which is completely in English, making it easy to navigate. The prices for the volumes are slightly cheaper on CDJapan, but the shipping is quite expensive at around 30 USD per four volumes. The shipping cost for honto.jp is unknown because it will depend on the weight of the package when it gets shipped out.

I’m starting with honto.jp to see how much the shipping ends up to be. If it’s less than 30 USD, then I’m going to stick with this website. I ordered the first four volumes and paid by credit card. I’ve heard that honto.jp has problems with Visa sometimes, so good thing I’m not using Visa!

It’s so exciting to place an order on a Japanese website! It made me realize that my struggles with learning Japanese by myself have paid off, because I can actually navigate around the website with enough ease!

I’ll keep this post updated and for future references, I’ll write a timeline for the whole manga buying process at the bottom.


Just received an email saying that my books were shipped out! They handled my order really quickly and even better, the shipping is not expensive at all! It was only 780 yen (around 7.50 USD) for four volumes, a big big difference with CDJapan. It also means that my order weighted less than 700 g, based on Japan Post’s rates chart. I really want to place another order for the next volumes immediately, but I’ll at least wait until I get my current one without problems first. If everything goes well, I’ll definitely keep using honto.jp in the future!

A quick calculation tells me that I’ll be getting each One Piece volume for about 6.25 CAD each, which means that for the price of an English volume I buy in a bookstore here, I can get two Japanese ones on honto.jp. Awesome!


I’ve finally received my books today after nearly two months of waiting. Shipping via SAL is only supposed to take 2-3 weeks, so after a month and a half I started to think that my order was lost forever. Apparently the package was returned to the Kawasaki Higashi post office in Japan (which handles overseas mail) for no reason, and they shipped it out again with a notice asking for the reason of return on September 18th. Good thing my books made their way to me the second time around!

I’m kind of curious about the reason why the package wasn’t delivered too… Anyways, I’m just really glad I received my One Piece volumes after all, and I’ll still be using honto.jp in the future because of the cheap shipping fees. Now that I have volumes 1-4 and 72-74, I finally feel that I’ve truly started my collection!


2014/07/27 — Placed order for first four OP volumes on honto.jp

2014/07/28 — Order was shipped out via SAL for 780 yen

2014/09/18 — Order was shipped out again by the Kawasaki Higashi post office after being returned

2014/09/23 — Received order in mail box

Copenhagen Diet – Day 13

Last day of the diet! One more day and it’s the end of my willpower training. I’m actually a bit surprised that I managed to last through it, seeing how eating junk food is almost one of my passions… Have to high five myself for that. The Tiramisu cake I’ve been wanting to eat for so long is waiting in my fridge right now…

I didn’t eat anything that isn’t mentioned in the menu aside from small quantities of seasonings, which are allowed. Not even a piece of gum. Yet I’ve only lost about 3 kg, and believe me when I say I have a lot more than that to lose. Plus, I haven’t seen any physical changes with myself and what has been lost is probably only water weight. My conclusion for this diet is that it’s not worth doing. The lack of carbohydrates can have some really bad effects, such as dizziness and constant fatigue. There must be better ways to lose the same number of kilograms in the same period of time.

And the yo-yo effect! It’s already starting! During these last two days, I’ve only gained weight. I can already see how bad the following week will be. At least I’ve increased my resistance towards delicious but fattening food. That’s the only good side of this diet I can find…


Day 13 menu:

Breakfast: 1 cup of black coffee w/ 1 sugar cube, 1 slice of toast
Lunch: 2 hard-boiled eggs, 1 large grated carrot
Dinner: 250 g of chicken, lettuce w/ oil and lemon juice


There is less chicken today than last Saturday… I wonder if it’s just a typo? This is another reason why a diet with no official menu (only versions found on Internet) can’t be that effective. While the rules are super strict and state that you must eat what is written, no more and no less, there are so many variations in the menu depending on where you get it from that the whole diet plan becomes untrustworthy.

Anyways, cheers for no more carrots! I really don’t like carrots.

Next week, I’m traveling to the Eastern Canadian provinces and I just know I’ll be eating a lot of good stuff… Lobsters and potatoes come to mind first. And afterwards, it’ll be time to really make changes in my lifestyle. Not something I’m looking forward to, but I’ve realized that it has to be done. Sigh…

This is my last post in the Copenhagen diet series and from now on, if I update my blog, it’ll be with posts focusing fully on my interests/obsessions (One Piece, Wu Yifan, MapleStory, etc.) and some describing random moments of my boring life. It’s pretty fun to type out some of my thoughts, even if just so that I can re-read them later and laugh at myself.

And now the final declaration… Day 13, complete. Copenhagen diet, complete!

 

Copenhagen Diet – Day 12

This is bad… I’ve gained weight instead of lost yesterday! Maybe it’s because I ate breakfast late… Or maybe because I ate another kind of cheese? Oh well… I was already prepared for this, I guess. It’s still kind of depressing when you’re nearing the end of the diet though.

I finally stepped outside of my house today, but there was a downpour instead of the good weather… Even so, I attended my friends’ dance practice, and well, it’s boring to watch other people dance when you can’t because you dance like someone who has three feet and no balance.

Anyhow, I finally broke my home-bound streak.


Day 12 menu:

Breakfast: 1 large grated carrot w/ lemon juice
Lunch: 200 g of cod w/ lemon juice and 1 teaspoon of butter
Dinner: 200 g of beef, lettuce, celeriac


I can’t believe I forgot the butter on my cod today when I liked the taste of butter so much last week! Oh well… Less fat intake should be good, right? Especially when I cooked the cod in a pan instead of boiling it…

I’ve been following the instructions less strictly during these last days, so that’s probably the reason why I gained some weight instead of losing it. But still, I haven’t eaten anything that is not mentioned in the menu… I just ate the food mentioned with slight variations. (Wow, that sounds like an excuse!)

The beef at dinner was roasted in the oven and it tasted delicious. Better than cooked in a pan! I really, really wanted to eat some of the potatoes too… I miss potatoes! Thankfully there is only one day left now.

Going outside made me exhausted for some reason, even if I didn’t do much, so I took a long nap when I got home. Result: I’m feeling very awake at 1 AM. Not a good thing… This often means “accidental” all-nighters.

MapleStory is calling for me again! Day 12, complete.

 

Copenhagen Diet – Day 11

I had to create this post in advance and add content to it later in order to keep up my rate of one post per day, haha. I’ve always preferred writing at night… It’s the only time I feel able to make sentences. My brain is sluggish during daytime.

No weight loss at all yesterday… I’ve lost a total of 4 kg up till now, less than what I expected from this diet that is said to be harsh. In my opinion, it’s not worth 13 days of boring food. Good thing it’s almost over for me!

I’ll definitely make changes to my lifestyle after this… And it’ll be harder than the Copenhagen diet because those changes are meant to be permanent. Still, it’s more fun when you set the rules for yourself!


Day 11 menu:

Breakfast: 1 cup of black coffee w/ 1 sugar cube, 1 slice of toast
Lunch: 200 g of natural yogurt, 200 ml of orange juice
Dinner: 1 hard-boiled egg, 1 large grated carrot, 200 g of cottage cheese


I woke up late again today and had coffee and toast at 1 PM… Oops. I guess I should sleep earlier, but that’s hard for a total night owl like me. My mind is so much more active and creative after midnight! In fact, I think I’ll go write a short story right after finishing this post.

I replaced today’s cottage cheese with another kind of low-fat cheese so that I could actually swallow it. I didn’t eat 200 g though, because that just seems like too much and the other kind of cheese has more fat than the cottage stuff. I don’t think it has to be cottage cheese… Hopefully not. Oh well.

This has been even more of an unproductive day than yesterday! Aside from sweeping floors (a task much easier done when listening to music), I searched the Internet for Japanese CD dramas featuring voice actors for anime characters I like. It’s fun to listen to Zoro’s voice in a completely different context! It made me realize that Zoro could actually sound gentle if he wanted to, by shedding that usual gruffness in his voice.

I’m finally going to step out of my house tomorrow. That is, if I can get up on time to attend my friends’ dance practice. I couldn’t go last week because I was too obsessed with the idea of not being able to eat outside, but this week I’m fine. Hurray for fresh oxygen!

Two more days to go! Day 11, complete.

 

Copenhagen Diet – Day 10

Another unproductive day! I discussed some outing plans with my friends today and they all involved food. We’re planning to go to Cacao 70 next Monday. It’s a cafe that sells lots of chocolate desserts and drinks, including chocolate beer! I just can’t stop mentioning food, even if I don’t crave anything.

Only three more days to go now! I already know what I’ll be eating on Sunday… Dim sum?


Day 10 menu:

Breakfast: 1 cup of black coffee w/ 1 sugar cube, 1 slice of toast
Lunch: 2 hard-boiled eggs, 1 slice of ham, lettuce
Dinner: 1 tomato, 1 fresh fruit, boiled celery


No… more… boiled… celery… please! It took me two hours to eat it. The celery wasn’t that bad last week, but eating that much of it for a second time in a month… Awful. I ate blueberries (negative calorie food) today for the fruit and they tasted so good. I’ve always loved blueberries!

Aside from doing chores today (sweeping the floor sure is tiring), I spent my time browsing online shops for One Piece figures. There are so many cool series! My favorite one is the Chess Piece Collection that features the characters as, well, chess pieces. I wish I could collect the figures… But the prices rise above $100 for the best ones and I really can’t afford that. It makes me sad.

I also spent a lot of time making sure that the one figure I already have of Luffy is authentic. And it is! I was really tempted to buy another one of Zoro off Taobao, but I could only find the Chinese version of the figures up there and even if they look exactly like the Japanese version and are licensed, I just prefer the “original” Japanese ones for some reason…

One Piece merchandise really is amazing. That’s what you’d expect from Japan’s top-selling series! There is a shop called the Mugiwara (Straw Hat) Store that exclusively sells official One Piece goods, like figures, plushies, posters, lip balms, clothes, etc. Sadly, that shop only exists in Japan (not even online!), which means that I have to wait at least one more year to visit it. I also found out that Uniqlo has this collection of awesomely designed One Piece T-shirts and I just had to get one, along with volume 73 of my favorite manga!

I love online shopping. Even if my bank account complains…

In volume 74’s SBS (Q&A), Oda revealed the sleeping and waking time of all the Straw Hat pirates. Zoro sleeps at 4 AM and wakes up at 7 AM, with naps during the day! That sounds like me on a school day. Also, we found out that there are two crew members on watch at the same time (instead of one like most people supposed) and that each person’s turn lasts two hours. I love to know this kind of information about my favorite characters! Thank you Oda and please recover quickly from your surgery!

See? The above is what I mean when I say “endless speech about my obsessions”. Back on topic, I only lost 0.3 kg yesterday, but hey, at least it went down.

Day 10, complete!

Copenhagen Diet – Day 9

Wow, already day 9? The diet is almost over! I can’t wait to eat a slice of Tiramisu cake… Chocolate waffles sound really good too. I think that starting from next week, I’m going to start learning how to make pastries and other desserts. Doesn’t that sound fun?

I have this friend who is dieting very seriously and compared to her, I’m really not considering this very important… As I said, this is more about willpower and less about weight loss for me. I don’t plan to eat boring food forever!


Day 9 menu:

Breakfast: 1 cup of black coffee w/ 1 sugar cube
Lunch: 200 g of ham, 200 g of natural yogurt
Dinner: 200 g of beef, lettuce w/ oil and lemon juice


I’m really getting lazy with my posts… But there just isn’t much to say about my days anymore without me going into one of my endless speeches about my obsessions interests! One Piece, Wu Yifan, MapleStory, you know it already.

Obviously, aside from making me reluctant to hang out around places with food, this diet doesn’t affect me much. I feel fine every day (save for the occasional dizziness) and as for the weight loss effects, they’re present. I lost another 0.6 kg yesterday, and that’s without exercising. I still wouldn’t recommend this diet though… Pretty sure that’s water weight.

As usual, natural yogurt tastes good after the ham. I’m looking forward to the toast tomorrow!

I asked my mom if we could have a dog today… She refused. I guess it’s time for me to make a plan and show her that I am responsible enough for a dog because I’ve wanted one since forever. They seem so friendly and fun.

Enough random chatter! Day 9, complete.

 

 

Copenhagen Diet – Day 8

Second week of the Copenhagen diet! I’ll have less to write in my posts for the rest of the days because the menu is a repeat of the previous week. The first seven days went by pretty quickly, now that I think about it…

The hunger pangs I felt at the start of the diet are pretty much all gone now, but not the cravings. Bread! Chocolate! Cake! Ice cream! Soda! Sushi! Pork chops with rice! I can’t wait to eat these again… (What is the yo-yo effect? I know nothing.)

Finally observed a weight change after three days of stability. I lost 0.6 kg! I hope it keeps going down…


Day 8 menu:

Breakfast: 1 cup of black coffee w/ 1 sugar cube
Lunch: 2 hard-boiled eggs, 1 tomato, boiled spinach
Dinner: 200 g of beef, lettuce w/ oil and lemon juice


My day started awfully, thanks to Mother Nature. I slept right through my alarm and ended up drinking my coffee at almost 2 PM. I hope that doesn’t mess up everything I’ve done so far… Sadly there was no toast to eat.

Once more, my plans of going out in the afternoon were ruined by horrible cramps. I finally managed to crawl to my computer near dinner time and like by miracle, I immediately felt better! I wonder why…

I swear that I’m going out at least once this week… I need to breathe some fresh air. The weather is great too, the heat being still supportable. Clothes shopping seems like a good idea except that I don’t really like it…

There’s really not much to write when my days are boring, so day 8, complete.

 

Copenhagen Diet – Day 7

Okay, right after publishing yesterday’s post, where I said I haven’t felt dizzy because of the diet, the dizziness came to me. It has nothing to do with hunger but more likely low blood sugar. Good thing is, when I focus entirely on something, I can’t feel the dizziness anymore, but whenever I’m in a state of inactivity, it just hits me again.

That’s why I’ve kept myself busy the entire day! With MapleStory… Probably not the best idea ever.

After this diet, I’ll plan my meals according to what one of my mom’s friends, who has successfully lost weight, said: fruit with natural yogurt for breakfast, normal meal for lunch and salad with proteins for dinner. Hopefully that works better. I won’t stop the Copenhagen diet now because I’m already halfway through.


Day 7 menu:

Breakfast: 1 cup of tea
Lunch: nothing (drink water)
Dinner: 200 g of lamb, 1 apple


A lot of people find day 7 to be the hardest day, but I think day 4’s menu is worse. Eating nothing for lunch isn’t a big problem for me, seeing how I often skip lunch because I sleep into the afternoon… It was nice to have tea instead of coffee for a change, but I wish I could have had a David’s Tea drink instead of plain old green tea.

For the first half of the day, I played around with Adobe Audition because my friend wants to do a cover of a song and got us to join her. Mixing the vocals with the instrumental is pretty fun. Then, since I mixed all the parts I have, I went to play MapleStory. For the entire afternoon and evening. I just started playing a Xenon and it’s so much fun!

The oven-roasted lamb at dinner was delicious. It’s another great way to eat lamb aside from in a hot pot! I really wanted some of the potatoes my mom roasted along with it… I shall eat potatoes next Sunday! The sweetness of the apple was much appreciated too.

Anyways, I don’t find day 7 to be too hard, and I wouldn’t mind if it were repeated instead of day 4 next week. A day with meat is a good day!

I didn’t do my exercises today because laying down to stretch makes me dizzy too. I hope I won’t be in this state for the upcoming week too…

Going back to MapleStory now! Just… can’t… stop… Day 7, complete.

 

 

 

Copenhagen Diet – Day 6

Day 6 started with me nearly pulling an all-nighter because of MapleStory. There are so many events to do! And it makes me completely forget about hunger. I can barely pull myself away from it long enough to write this post!

When I started this diet, I thought that not being able to eat much would make me cranky towards people and life in general, but I don’t think I am. The thing is, this diet doesn’t make you starve. It gives you enough energy to last through the day (but the nights are kind of difficult) and allows you to eat things like eggs and meat so that a carnivorous person like me has something to look forward to.

I didn’t lose much weight yesterday, and I’ve heard many people who did this diet mention a stable period where there is nearly no weight change. Some said that it started decreasing again around day 10, so hopefully that’s the case.


Day 6 menu:

Breakfast: 1 cup of black coffee w/ 1 sugar cube, 1 slice of toast
Lunch: 2 hard-boiled eggs, 1 large grated carrot
Dinner: half a chicken, lettuce w/ oil and lemon juice


My mom made the coffee this morning and she forgot to add the cube of sugar. I almost spit everything out… It’s horrible enough already with sugar, imagine without it! Loved the toast as usual. I’m really, really starting to miss wheat products. I prefer bread and noodles over rice, even if I’m Chinese and eat rice nearly every day.

As usual, I couldn’t go back to sleep, no matter how little I slept, after the coffee. I was supposed to go to Toys R Us with my dad and my brother in the afternoon, but something came up and we couldn’t go after all, so I stayed at home once more. I wanted to go get the Pokemon Y game… along with a 3DS…

Why Pokemon Y over X? I just prefer the letter Y is all.

Lunch was okay, I munched through the carrot entirely before touching the eggs, because I have the habit of eating what I don’t like first. I didn’t feel hungry until around 6 PM. I don’t have the problem of feeling hungry to the point of dizziness, unlike many others who are on this diet, and I feel full enough after each meal. But I have to say, this diet does lower your blood sugar, and I wouldn’t really recommend it.

MapleStory is so much fun… I played all afternoon! I leveled up my Demon Slayer from 98 to 102 in one day and am planning to start a Xenon character next. I found a really cool training spot, the Evolving System, where I can spam my mobbing skills and not worry about other players at all. It’s such a quick way to level up! And I love the 4th job Demon Slayer skills.

I feel really full now after eating dinner. I mean, half a chicken! Of course I didn’t eat that much, maybe about 300 g maximum. Still, it’s more than any other meal this week. We bought a roasted chicken from Costco. Probably not the best thing for a diet (a lot of salt, and a lot of oil…) but hey, at least it tasted good.

Now I feel super drowsy… Must… not… fall asleep…


I decided to learn video editing instead of sleeping. I have this One Piece video that I’ve visualized in my mind and I want to try to create it. Guess I’ll be busy these days!

While there are a lot of fun things to do at home, I still want to go outside… Food, why are you everywhere?

I’ll give my video editing software a try before going to bed. Day 6, complete.