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Eastern Promise
Back On Our Travels

Sorry for the delay between parts of this review. This was due to fog. With the Millers now settled in at home and Heather studying in order to go to college, we need another vacationer to help us by showing us a new holiday destination. We've kindly got the help of a citizen from Simville.

Toshiro goes to Takemizu

My name is Toshiro Kanazawa and I am descended from immigrants from Osimawa. I live in Simville and have recently had the misfortune to lose my job as an Ambassador's Intern. Something to do with a decision about grilled cheese that I made during my superior's absence. Anyway, I find myself to be at a crossroads in my life but I do have sufficient cash reserves in my account to do something about it. I chose to book a vacation back in the Orient and chose the Takemizu Village resort. My parents always wanted to go back to the homeland. Now I had the chance to do so.

A red shuttle picked me up from home and took me to the airport. From there, another red shuttle took me to Takemizu Village where I selected the Flaming Dragon Hotel for my lodgings. The brochure made it sound very relaxing and spiritual.

Although outwardly impressive and the pagoda roofs giving me the clear impression that I was nowhere near Simsconsin, there were some small things that told me I wasn't in the orient of my ancestors. There wasn't a single futon in sight, although I must admit a canopied four poster double bed would suit my requirements for a good night's sleep. Secondly, the concierge or bellhop did not look oriental at all.

I let these thoughts pass me by as I spent a few hours grooming the Zen garden. I found this to be incredibly peaceful and made me realise that I was right to come here. After this time of peaceful relaxation, I chose to have lunch in the hotel restaurant.

One of the guests was dressed in a beautiful blue kimono. This made me think about buying some clothes more suitable to this location. The restaurant staff, however, looked decidedly occidental (Western). Also, I found that the menu was also quite western too. Their spaghetti was delicious, though. However, I knew I would have to find a food stall that sold local delicacies if I was to fully experience this vacation.

Experiencing the Orient

After having lunch, I chose to walk to the Takemizu Pagoda, which towers over the whole of the village. It also had a market and I intended to do some souvenir shopping at the beginning of my trip instead of near the end.

The pagoda was a very beautiful place and also had one of those food stalls that I was looking for. I firstly stopped there and got a bowl of Chirashi. It cost §25, but it was something I wanted to try.

I chose to buy a kimono. I ended up buying three. Although there were six kimonos for sale, on closer inspection, I found it to be three kimonos with two different colouring schemes. That aside, they looked beautiful and I could not wait to wear one.

There was a changing booth in the store and I immediately slipped into one of my new kimonos. It was very comfortable.

I also bought two local souvenirs. Actually, they were the only two types of souvenirs. One was a model pagoda and the other was an oriental doll. I looked at the jewelry, although it appeared to be no different than what I could find down my local branch of Mulligans. Actually, the girl who was at the cash register looks as though she could have worked there. The uniform was the same.

A guy greeted me with a bow. I can only assume he was a tourist or an ex-patriate as he had blonde hair and his name was Steven McAuley. I tried to copy it but I don't quite think that I had got it right. He was patient and I practiced a bit. I think that I was getting it right and bowing like my forefathers did back in the days of the Simogawa Shogunate. He seemed very friendly and I spent the next few hour getting to know him. He even took my picture. The pagoda's gardens were very suited to playing catch and hanging out.

It was getting late and I chose to walk back to the hotel. Before I left, I noticed a shrine in the trees. I dropped a simoleon in the bowl and wished. The shrine glowed and I felt I was going to be rich. The next thing I knew was that I was being showered with simoleons. After gathering them up, I found I was §1,000 richer.

Who knows what tomorrow might bring. Perhaps I might go on a trip.

Oriental Vacation

I found vacationing in Takemizu to be very different indeed to how it was in Three Lakes. Booking the vacation was no different, but once you arrived, you knew you were in a different world. When the first publicity shots came out for Bon Voyage, this was the area I wanted to visit. I am very impressed with how they have done this resort and the options now available for people to design their sim-oriental houses and communities.

The Frou Frou lion statue, formerly a Maxoidmonkey download from the official exchange, arrives in this expansion, albeit with a higher price tag but greater environmental impact. This is just one of many themed decorations.

The Zen Garden is one of the larger decorations. Although you can have one at home, it does take up some space. Sims can even have the want to groom the garden. It is relaxing and a groomed garden allows sims to meditate, but there will be more about that in the next part.

The Lucky Shrine does have different effects. Toshiro was indeed lucky to be showered with simoleons. I am yet to discover the other effects but I doubt that they will all be as fortunate.

Although oriental attire is not completely new as we have had some outfits in the basic game and also more added with the 2006 Happy Holiday (Festive Fun) Stuff pack, this expansion does add a lot more which also keeps well in with the oriental feel. I like what has been done, although more designs would have been appreciated. Although there are many kimonos, both for men and women, some are just recolours of an existing pattern.

I suppose not having everyone look oriental was a bit too much to expect. However, this is more than made up for with the effort that has been made on the far eastern theme in the Takemizu resort.

"Arrived at our new destination, a very different experience"

So far, we've only seen part of what there is on an Oriental vacation. In the next part, we continue to see what else there is for Toshiro to enjoy and experience on his Takemizu Village vacation.

Written at 22:35 on Saturday 8 September 2007 by Andy.

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