If Tokyo is the hot blooded, sexy, pulsating supermodel of Japan, Saitama is its buck-toothed, slightly chubby, less attractive sister. …
You get this spooky feeling sometimes in Japan once you get out of the big cities and into the countryside. The Japanese countryside, with its traditional style wooden farmhouses and picture perfect rice paddies, is incredibly beautiful and scenic, but it doesn’t take long to realise that something is missing from the picture — people.
It’s not something that one often gets to say, unless you are fabulously wealthy and have a private jet, so I’m going to take the opportunity to say the following sentence because I may never get to do so again… “I woke up this morning and decided to fly to the Maldives tomorrow”.
As I sat there at the remote Cape Bise in northern Okinawa, with the sun setting, the warm sun on my shoulders, and a cold Orion beer in my hand, I felt I could stay there forever. And ever. And ever.
I am usually loathe to go to Tung Chung, the town on the other side of the mountain on Lantau, because at its heart lies an overpriced outlet mall, where hordes of mainland Chinese tourists arrive with suitcases full of money (literally) and quickly exchange that money for luxury goods, like Coach handbags, Armani suits, and Kate Spade shoes.
A few days ago in the Chinese media there was a news article about a foreigner fainting on the subway in Shanghai, and instead of someone coming to help him, or at least going to get help, every single person in the train disappeared like a fart in the wind, leaving the man laying on the floor.
It’s 8pm on a Friday night, and I’m sitting in the large dining hall of the Homer Senior Centre in Anchor Point, Alaska, surrounded by a large number of friendly white-haired folks who are all waiting patiently for their dinner.
It’s my first time in Vancouver, and already I’m in love with the place. Everything is just so clean, and beautiful. The people on the streets all seem to be young, well dressed, slim and healthy, and overall look extremely pleased with the general state of things.
A few years ago, I couldn’t imagine my life with a child. And a few years before that, I was convinced that I never, ever wanted to have kids. Ever. … Continue reading
The saying goes that necessity is the mother of all invention. If that is the case, then there are a lot of very inventive people living in Mui Wo, judging from the weird and wonderful bicycle baskets that I’ve been seeing around.
Naha — the capital city of Okinawa — is a relatively small place. I know this because I accidentally walked about half of it during my last trip there!
Something must be wrong with me! Addicted to alcohol… drugs… shoplifting… porn…. all of these are common addictions… but addicted to exploring the bush? Yup, I think I have a problem.
Yesterday I did something that I swore I would never do — I swam in Hong Kong. But before you go accusing me of being a snob, I have good reason for wanting to avoid dipping in the salt in the South China Sea….
99% of the time, I love living in the lush green villages of Mui Wo. But when it’s been raining for ten days straight, and I mean without stopping, I want to stab myself in the face repeatedly with blunt chopsticks from the kitchen.
It was my birthday recently, and my darling husband gave me the best gift that anyone can give to a woman with a one-year-old child: some time off from mothering. Which could only mean one thing — I was going downtown.
On my recent trip to Tokyo, I happened to be there for what is literally a once-in-a-lifetime event — the opening of the grounds of the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, where the Japanese Royal Family lives.
“The path and the road were covered with a layer of blossoms that were everywhere fluttering down, dying at the moment of their greatest beauty….”
True trails can be hard to find while hiking in Hong Kong. More and more trails are being paved and manicured to make them ‘safer’ or ‘more accessible’ to hikers, which just goes to show how many government officials actually like hiking.
It’s dirty. It’s noisy. The floors are wet and the chairs are plastic. You can barely hear yourself talk over the roar of a gigantic wok on the fire nearby. But it’s got some of the best food in Mui Wo, and it’s dirt cheap, so why complain?
Fresh, live fish is very popular in Hong Kong. The big restaurants all have massive fish tanks full of grouper, geoduck, lobsters and other edible sea creatures. But looking in a tank and saying ‘that one’ is not something I will be doing any time soon.