daily, travel

~danced like the king of the eyesores~

newslang

On my last night in the village, Kat and I sat outside White House having a cigarette on the rusty swing. The sun was just setting and everything around slowly became hues of warm orange. We put on New Slang by The Shins. I tilt by head back and looked up while swinging back and forth, eyes locked on the tamarind tree above and the sky in sepia tone. Such a garden state moment.

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travel, weekly

もちもち、もしもし!

Japan was swell! 14 days went by way too quickly. Great food, long train rides, bento sets, conversations about life over Moscow Mules & 巨峰酒, zazen experience, indigestions & temple stays.

What I don’t miss is the freezing temperatures and the sniffles. Missing the flight home turned out to be a good thing because I had time to chill and do nothing. Guess t’was a fun trip but now my bank account says no. Constantly.

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ponderings, travel, weekly

2016 in Taiwan

I’ve had one of the most unexpected New Year’s ever. This would mark the third year that I haven’t spent back home. Couldn’t fight the feeling of being jaded so I booked an impromptu flight and within 24 hours I was on my way to Taiwan.

Out of all the impulsive decisions I’ve made in 2015, this might have been the best one. My first trip to Taiwan could not have been more perfect. It all started with an unplanned journey into the unknown, crossing paths with the most amazing people yet spending sufficient alone time to get some well needed personal space. It was almost as if everything that has happened on this trip seemed to have been planned from the beginning, just that I didn’t know it yet. How everything fell into place nicely, how I was hosted by this awesome Taiwanese girl I found from Couchsurfing, how I went from no plans on New Year’s eve till one that just happened 2 hours before countdown, how I explored so much and realised that a city is actually capable of making me feel so happy.

There couldn’t have been a better way to spend new year’s. Sure, there was no crazy party, or familiar conversations with friends. In fact I was surrounded by expats and foreigners in an asian country, with nobody cheering or hugging each other as the clock strikes midnight, with more views of people’s mobile phones than seeing the actual fireworks from the Taipei 101. There were no perfect moments that were worth remembering, I took my first piss of the year hiding behind a tree by the river because the porta-loos were in high demand. But despite the lack of perfect moments, this was sufficient. It was more than anything I had ever expected to usher in the new year. I pictured myself bored, alone and in bed watching TV and eating a tub of ice cream. But no, I’m so lucky and so thankful to have been at the right place at the right time.

 

I’ve always believed that a good start to the year determines how the following 12 months would unfold.  This year in particular I have a good feeling. I’ve been more motivated to get my shit together, I’m kicking off bad habits and attempting to pick up better ones. My positive vibes are tingling and I’m just mentally lifted knowing that 2015 is finally finally over.

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travel

忙忙碌碌

I don’t know if cities are cut out for me. Between struggling with cantonese and looking at the sea of people stuck in peak hour train’s human traffic, this must how it feels like to be a tourist in an overpopulated metropolis. Ironically, my favourite moments are those in cha chan tengs. It’s in every way frantic, uncomfortably crammed with 5 strangers squashed around a round table from elbow to elbow, yet strangely unpleasant and intriguing at the same time. It was the sheer madness that makes this experience so unique to Hong Kong. Constantly being rushed through meals as if we were little pixelated customers from Diner Dash, being yelled at for ‘HOT OR COLD’ options when not specifying the order and being tossed a bowl of macaroni soup or a plate of hot bun as if putting down the plate nicely is offensive.

Last time I visited Hong Kong must have been over 6 years ago. & I should have kept it that way, a place left in my memories. Because when a place as historical as the notorious Chungking Mansion has gotten a facelift that made it lose it’s character, the eventual removal of those neon sign boards will soon turn Hong Kong into any other boring city.

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