Travel

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In Tokyo

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 25/11/2018 - 6:37am in

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Travel

Our first trip to Japan. After driving up the coast and waiting at the airport, the nine hour flight was not so bad. We spent two hours figuring out and getting the trains to our airbnb. We dumped our bags after 20 odd hours travelling and found a bar which was still open. The menu items where written in japanese on slats of wood hanging from the walls. Luckily the couple on the neighbouring table spoke English and helped us out. By the time we had eaten and drank our fill we had befriended Jody and Hiro, our kind translators.

Tokyo is a massive city. We are staying in Naka-Meguro which has gone through the global urban gentrification process. I found a secondhand clothes shop yesterday with a worn out overcoat for an eyewatering price. Every second cafe has a European or North American theme. We have been getting morning coffee and pastries at a pattiserie near our apartment. The streets at night are crowded with tokyoites along with Japanese and foriegn tourists. Mostly walking or riding bicycles. The cars are mostly wanker 1%ers driving like they own the place. I sound slightly bitter because I saw a Jeep tearing down a crowded street tonight without slowing for the toddlers they narrowly missed.

So, this post has been a bit of an exercise in publishing via the terminal using my phone. Publish and be damned!

Walking and Travel

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 14/11/2018 - 4:53am in

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Travel, reading

Bruce Chatwin in India
Bruce Chatwin in India

As a nineteen year old, Bruce Chatwin introduced me to the latin phrase, solvitur ambulando (The Songlines). Translated as ‘it is solved by walking’ I liked the phrase immediately. It has become a talisman to be kept in my thoughts. I have not only sought solutions by walking but also by running and cycling. Physical exertion is part of the process. This phrase to me is about abnegation of immediate responsibilities freeing myself to remember or discover my own core responsibilities. We bog ourselves in uneccesary essentials (lawns need mowing, dogs walking, gutters fixing… ) it is good to remind ourselves of what is actually important to just live and be happy. Solvitur ambulando is my reset button to living.

Tourists start out with lots of gold (suitable for shopping with),
a credit card, lots of food, some maps, and an expensive camera.
Most monsters don’t like being photographed.

(Nethack)

I have not had the chance to go for a walk/run/ride this past week. My work and home chores have taken precedent. Next week I am visiting Tokyo. I am starting to look forward to walking its streets. There is something rather lovely about landing in a completely new environment and wandering around like an interplanetary alien exploring ‘this city thing’. The aimless explorer who has been defined by Baudelaire as the ‘botanist of the sidewalk’ or the by the situationists as a drifting psycho-geographer. These romantic notions are appealing but in all honesty I will be a tourist. I will walk the city with my phone in hand and no doubt share a few snaps on social media. I will eat food that is new or unusual to me. I will buy souvenirs.

Readings

Chiang Mai Days

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 09/08/2009 - 12:46pm in

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Travel, Kids, Thailand

Our first night in Chiang Mai was pretty stressful but the rest of our trip has been awesome.

Riding around Northern Chiang Mai today I passed this:

Chiang Mai Computer Shop](/images/open.jpg
A computer shop in Chiang Mai

I woke the owner up, he spoke a little english and said that we open source people should stick together and share the knowledge. He looked a bit sleepy so I let him toddle back to bed.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Day 2 of our Muay Thai training and I am sore all over. My old bones are showing the wear and tear they’ve had over the years. After this mornings training we took the scooter for a ride around town. Ev was very scared riding round the corners. he does not like leaning.

Your browser doesn’t support HTML5 video. Here is a link to the ‘Scooter Commute’ video instead.

We also explored Chinatown, Cheri called and had a chat whilst we perused the crazy stalls and admired the rickshaws and bikes.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009 - 01:42

We saw a huge beautiful butterfly whilst exploring some waterfalls up at Doi Suthep. Evan also managed to snap a picture of a black dragonfly.

Later in the evening we revisited the Sunday walking markets and had a lovely time trying all the little snacks. Unfortunately by the time we found the insect stall I was full up. At least I know where to find it next week. Yum.

Bum is one of the dogs that lives at Lanna Muay Thai. Like most Thai dogs Bum has the wonderful ability to lay around and lick his balls all day, regardless of the crazy traffic or fight training going on all around him.

Your browser doesn’t support HTML5 video. Here is a link to the ‘Bum the dog’ video instead.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009 - 00:07

Hot and sweaty at training tonight. A few of our club are going to Loiktroh for a fight tonight. I think Ev and I will give it a miss. We are pretty stuffed.

Your browser doesn’t support HTML5 video. Here is a link to the ‘Exercises’ video instead.

Thursday, August 6, 2009 - 23:01

Ev has flaked out on the bed. We went to training this morning, and followed that with a trip to the Zoo. I had been looking for an excuse to hire Noi’s Songtaw. Noi and her partner (Nuu-ie, I think) looked after Evan when he got lost on our first night in Chiang Mai, see my last post.

So the Zoo was Zoo-ey. Animals needlessly imprisoned and all that. The biggest drawcard for the Zoo was a newly born Panda. So we skipped that and followed a heap of Thai’s into ‘The Snow Dome’. We had no less than three safety briefings and everyone had to don protective gear. I got in trouble because I did not put on the allotted snow boots. Then we were taken into an airlock and given one last briefing before being led into a room. It was about the size of a tennis court and full of snow and some plastic frozen pandas. Everyone went wild and squealed, then ran around like dills. It was nice to escape the midday heat for ten minutes.

Your browser doesn’t support HTML5 video. Here is a link to the ‘Lanna Muay Thai’ video instead.

Ev was buggered by the time Noi dropped us home. So he has been reading and is now sleeping. I went to training and am now sore, tired and hungry. Time to wake him up I think….

Saturday, August 8, 2009 - 18:46

Tired out today - usual stuff. A.M. Train, eat, sleep, P.M. Train

Your browser doesn’t support HTML5 video. Here is a link to the ‘Pad Work’ video instead.

Chiang Mai

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 29/07/2009 - 2:31pm in

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Travel, Kids, Thailand

Our first night in Chang Mai was pretty much a gi-normous stuff up. Ev and I got seperated in a crowd and did not manage to find each other again for about 4 very scary hours. The Chiang Mai tourist police, who are volunteers that work closely with the normal police helped look for him. I scoured those bloody markets from top to toe with the help of half the city watch for four hours.

The Tourist Police were very reassuring and explained that clueless tourists like me are always mislaying children, grandmothers and deaf uncles. Several times a week. At the time I must admit I did not feel very reassured.

As it happened Evan did what I sort of knew, deep down, exactly what he would do. He ran off in the opposite direction that we were walking and found a place none of us had been to. He waited for a short while then walked off into the city until eventually he decided to flag a taxi. He had no idea where to go so the poor taxi drove him around on a general sort of tour. Eventually the Taxi driver and his family (they were all onboard) took Ev to the police and we were all happily reunited.

So, if you are ever in Chang Mai let the police know that the volunteer tourist police are the best and always get your taxi rides with Noi on 0861806417

Today was a fine day. We bought a SIM card each and are now both trackable by mobile phone. No more getting lost! Cheri called us and she gave me a right good bollocking. I’m a bad man. Then we borrowed a motorbike and drove all over the city so that we could NOT get lost anymore. We finally had a late lunch up in the hills above Chang Mai. Out of the city surrounded by trees and water and it was lovely.

We also tracked down our Muay Thai School and have made a tentative time to start training.

Thailand 2009

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 24/07/2009 - 6:27am in

Tags 

Travel, Kids, Thailand

July 2009

My 14 year old son and I travelled to Thailand to explore the country, experience the culture and meet the locals. Read on for an account of our stravages..

Thursday, July 23, 2009 - 12:27

Well, we survived the flight and made it into Bangkok, we stayed at a place called Cosy Bangkok.
Highly recommended if you are ever looking for a comfy place to kip in the hualampong area of Bangkok.

Evan is still snoring, I think the nine hour flight took it out of him. Might have to go wake him I am itching to go out and discover what I shall be eating for breakfast…

Friday, July 24, 2009 - 16:06

Our first few days here have not been going so well. Evan and I both seem to have come down with a really annoying cold. We have been mainly laying around in our room coughing and sneezing. I went for an early morning walk today and took a few snaps. Now I am stuffed. I am hoping we feel better tomorrow as we will be catching the Chang Mai overnight train.

Saturday, July 25, 2009 - 01:43

Ev seems to be staging a recovery. I’m still dying though. Not much time left now, I leave everything I own to Scampi. Good Dog. Except my super sports socks, I’d like to be shot into the sun with them on, all of them.

Cheri says:
Please bring me home a trike, like that one. I promise I’ll give you a ride down to ‘Bambi’ on it.
Chang Mai

Monday, July 27, 2009 - 16:40

We caught the overnight train up from Bangkok to Chang Mai. It was lovely. our second class seats folded out into beds and the train staff bought us tasty treats. The other passengers were friendly and we all exchanged travel stories. I took some photos which I shall upload later.

Arriving the next morning on time at 9.45 we were met by the fantastic Ellen, Kaths Mum. She took us on a whistle stop tour of her neighbourhood and set us up in a swank apartment. We had a shower and nap. Then in the arvo Ellen and her lovely neighbour Donna took us out for an evening adventure. More of which later …

Tuesday, July 28, 2009 - 20:02

Well just before leaving Bangkok we visited Lumphini Park which was fantastic. Everyone in the park was dancing, jogging or playing around in boats. If I was homeless I’d live there. I loved the hat on the statue and wanted to pinch it but Evan pointed out that, It was made of stone and would not fit, and … I was an idiot.

Here is a video of all the people dancing in Lumphini Park:

Your browser doesn’t support HTML5 video. Here is a link to the ‘Dancing in the streets’ video instead.

So we caught the Chang Mai sleeper and everyone, except me, slept. It was very comfy and everyone was friendly but I just couldn’t sleep.

Here is a video of the train loo

Your browser doesn’t support HTML5 video. Here is a link to the ‘thai train loo’ video instead.

Shark Attack

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 26/04/2007 - 3:10pm in

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Travel, Kids

We went to the Curryfest last weekend which was pretty good. Of course we ended up spending most of the time with Emrys in the playpark with hundreds of kids.

Em at the curryfest
Em at the curryfest

I have just returned from a weekend at Station Creek with Ev. We hung out like feral boys. I bought Ev some of that Coopers Malt drink (fake beer) and real beer for me. We went fishing, peed in the bush and didn’t wash.
…and so his path to manhood progresses.

Whilst I was standing in the water, with my handline and a piece of pilchard, Ev spotted a hungry shark heading straight for me. So I told him to go get the camera for a macho photo opportunity but he freaked and told me to get out of its way. Then I saw it…

Shark
Carpet Shark

A monster… no not really and Evan didn’t even get the camera, but it did go straight for me.

I think it just wanted to hump my leg or be friends. It was a fantastic looking wobbegong or ‘carpet shark’. They get their name from the beautiful deep pattern on their skin which resembles a persian rug.

Anyhow I was in its way, so I hopped back onto the rocks, wasn’t scared… honest.

The wobbegong hung around a while, which sort of put us off fishing as we didn’t really want to catch such a beautiful creature - we had a tin of beans for supper instead.

…so much for us going all cave-man.

Evan makes himself comfy
Evan makes himself comfy

Evan catches some bait
Evan catches some bait

Ev Fishing
Ev Fishing

Off the rocks
Off the rocks

Campsite Marauder
Camp-site marauder

Camping in Sawtell

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 25/04/2002 - 12:52pm in

Tags 

Travel, Kids

Dang! Yellow is ugly, I’l have to change the colour again. ‘scuse me while I go upstairs to get another glass of wine…

Aaaaagh!! this keyboard is wobbling, Evan is watching a disney (aka satan) movie called, “dinosaur” very loudly. Emrys is sleeping on my arm hence the one fingered typing.
We just got back from a great weekend down the coast at Sawtell. It was great we camped out and got raided by a couple of huge lizardy dinosaur things. I got a few photos… on the way.

The baby page was getting a bit bulky so here is a more general one for everyone.
I’ll have to try and organise them a bit and maybe make them a bit easier to use… but then again I could just .. well not.

Negev Storm

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 29/10/1990 - 11:45am in

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Travel

I wrote this in 1990 and later copied it out neatly because I like the memory.

It was probably the first decent sub-tropical storm I had ever seen. Being in the middle east at the time lent a distinct Old Testament air to my thoughts.

Here’s a sample:

The sound was immense. The sun had set and the storm was unleashed, like a volcanoe dropping from the sky.Supernatural arcs of light intersected the clouds. Woven balls of light flickered within the writhing cloud. I expected something to be created out of the maelstrom.

I won’t copy any more of it out, although there are only 450 words. I have always found it difficult to copy text verbatim. I was easily the slowest writer in my class at Wendron School and regularly found myself working through the morning break. My handwriting became expressively erratic as a result of the frustration of copying off the blackboard.

When I copy my own text I fight the urge to change it. I see so many horrible sentences that need slimming down and reworking.

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