Tuesday, 21 August 2012

girl v. Japan

Japan is a thrilling assault on all your senses. It is beautiful. An amalgamation of deep tradition and neon-fuelled modernity. It's robotic toilets with heated seats. It's fresh food. Bowls of rice. Sushi made from fish that morning. It's deer, temples, Buddhism and incense that crawls up through your nostrils and whisks you away to tops of mountains. 
Tokyo is like Bangkok and London combined, on crack. It courses through your veins and makes you gasp for air while you stagger to take in your surroundings. The neon lights towering above, the fashion, the cabs and the sweet scent of BBQ sizzling on street corners. 
I stayed up late wandering around Shinjuku, climbed mountains to Buddhist retreats, ate sushi in the world's biggest fish market, shopped in Ginza, fed deer in Nara and chilled with snow monkeys in hot springs in Jigokundi (that's Hell's Valley to me and you). I was sombre in Hiroshima and galvanised by Miyajima. I ate Kobe beef BBQ in Kobe and blended in with the locals. But mostly, I was inspired.
And I am so excited to be relocating (temporarily) to Tokyo in 2013 for work. 

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

living (breathing, showering, peeing, vomming) with the other half

Last year I was lucky enough to go travelling with my (then) other half which was honestly one of the best opportunities and experiences you can ever have. Nothing says true love like waking up with bed bug bites all over and an armpit fresh from a night without air con in your face. When people ask, we tell the romantic “how we met” story that was a deserted island in Vietnam; he was the island bear, I was the innocent half Asian who he tried to seduce with moonlight skinny dipping, a bowl of Pho and eventually a Zac Efron movie... yeah, yeah you get the picture. 
And yes of course it’s ridiculously romantic to run away around the other side of the world with a hunky American. And yes, look at all the great places we went to... HOWEVER, (and I do not let this dilute how magical it all was) there’s something those romantic novels don’t tell you about. And anyone who has lived with their other half can vouch for it. Living with the other half, especially twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, it’s enough to drive anyone a little barmy. (well mainly if you’ve been stuck with me) You’ve got to find your FLOW. It’s not like those romantic weekends away to the countryside in your little convertible MG, no... SHIT GETS REAL.

So here are the brilliant, and not so brilliant things I enjoyed about being with my other half TWENTY FOUR HOURS A DAY....

Sunday, 19 February 2012

a sombre time..

Over the weekend I unfortunately found out that a friend of mine had committed suicide.
I met him about 6-7 years ago at a revision session for AS Level Politics, we kept sporadic contact over the years but became closer in the past year or two... We even went on a couple dates but decided we weren’t the greatest romantic match. I introduced him to good sushi, sake and dim sum from the best kept secrets in London... and he introduced me to pina coladas at 3pm!
I remember him telling me that he liked our conversations because he felt he could talk about stuff he didn't always feel comfortable talking about with other people. I was more than obliging to talk about everything from the struggling times to mundane affairs like what was on the news and he made me see positives when I couldn't see through the grey cloud. I admired him and envied him but most of all, I liked the person he was. I knew he was showing me a side rarely seen by others. My thoughts go out to his family and girlfriend and to all the other thousands of people I knew he made an impression with.