la vie au hasard

I wish that I had spoken only of it all.

Last update for a while. Phuket and a little trekking in Bali.

Finally (more or less), we headed to Phuket and took a boat tour of some of the islands in Krabi. Crystal waters, tropical fish, powder sand, a speedboat! It was a beautiful day.

Angkor Wat was the real highlight of the trip for me.

We got up at 5am and cycled there completely too fast for my brakeless bike to handle, so that we could see sunrise over the temple. And it was amazing.

We meandered around the other temples in the Archeological Park all morning and afternoon on bikes. The history and logistics of it all are overwhelming. And there’s so much more to see! I hope someday I’ll be able to go again.

Things you can eat at a Cambodian rest stop.

During the darkest days of the Khmer regime (according to Wikipedia), when food was at its scarcest, Cambodian people took to eating fried spiders. Specifically in the town of Skuon and its surrounding villages, they were bred in holes in the ground, and then trapped and fried in oil. After Cambodia was liberated from Khmer rule, the habit stuck, and Skuon remains notorious for its fried a-ping, the Thai zebra tarantula.

While I didn’t quite try one, apparently the legs have a crunchy texture, but the centre is runny, and if you eat a few you run the risk of hairballs from the fur. 

The turtles I can’t quite explain.

Kuala Lumpur, where the wheels of my health started to fall off the wagon. As soon as we got in and found our hotel, we went out foraging for food. Obviously, I wanted laksa. 

Obviously, I got sick. 

Anyway, in between toilet breaks, I took a few photos.

First stop, Taipei. 

We had an 18-hour layover there, so we grabbed a cab into downtown Taipei, saw Taipei 101, a Night Market and Longshan Temple, then got really cranky because we were exhausted and couldn’t find an open restaurant, were forced to eat in (middle-class horror!) McDonalds, then gave up and found a dodgy hotel to crash in for 8 hours before our next flight. It was swell, Taipei, but I don’t think I’ll be coming back anytime soon.

Winter Travels

So I’m currently quarantined with the plague. Well, OK, the flu, and not quarantined so much as just not allowed to go to work for a week. Japanese people get REAALLY freaky about spreading the flu.

Anyway, I figured I might as well use all this forced alone-time at home to catch up on uploading photos, so here are some I took during winter vacation, a glorious 2-week respite from the freezing cold of Japanese winter that I spent with a couple of friends in South-East Asia.

Enjoy!

Taken in Tamba City where I live, and more specifically Sannan Town, where I currently work. 

Taken on a day out in Uji, Kyoto Prefecture (京都県宇治市). Uji is the home of green tea, the Uji River, and Murasaki Shikibu’s Tale of Genji. Of the wide range of temples and shrines in Uji, Byodoin is the most well-known, particularly as the 10 Yen coin features an image of the central Phoenix Hall on its face.

I Miss Autumn…

I am admittedly not a Winter person. While I can appreciate some of the cool things that come with it - Christmas, skiing, snowball fights - after a couple of weeks of having to de-trench my car from its snowy bed, fingers frozen to the bone and ears wind-chapped, I mostly just want to swaddle myself in bed and not come back out until Spring. 

With this in mind, and coupled with the knowledge that it would be my last year in Japan, I wanted to experience Autumn here to the fullest, taking lots of photos and seeing some new places. Which I did, and then totally forgot about as the weather got colder and the nights got longer. So, when I went onto iPhoto to edit some holiday photos I found a whole abandoned folder of photos taken on a few gorgeous, crisp Autumn days last year. Here are a few of them…

Are words necessary? Just listen.

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