A Travellerspoint blog

January 2012

Wanna Job???

View Overland debacle on beatski's travel map.

Hong Kong Airport – December 8th

I had a return flight from Tokyo back to Hong Kong, I didn’t want to have to go back to Hong Kong, I would have preferred to travel direct to my next stop which, after some deliberation, I decided upon Bangkok. I had thought about Manila but I was still recovering from the Japanese Finger and just wanted to travel easy, and Thailand is exactly that, you don’t really need to worry about anything when in Thailand, everything is on a plate, and travellers in Thailand are really just holiday makers dressed in baggy pants. Thailand is also cheap and after spending the equivalent of a garage extension in Japan then I needed to do some pound cost averaging. Like everything in Japan though, flying out of Tokyo is expensive, so I had to do the return flight and get a cheap flight out of Hong Kong. I would have preferred to have continued the travel overland but i hadn’t thought this far ahead and hadn’t arranged a dual entry visa into China or a Vietnamese Visa. Nevermind, I can't do everything and some places I will have to do on another jaunt.

The flight I booked out of Hong Kong Airport left at around 8am on the 8th December and the flight from Tokyo arrived the night before at around 10pm. I only really had 10 hours to kill so I decided to spend the night in the airport like some crusty vagabond. There are websites dedicated to sleeping in airports and train stations so I did my homework and set up my bed in the arrivals hall just underneath the industrial sized air conditioning unit.

I was in good company, there were plenty of us smelly cretins all camped up for the night in the same place, so I found a seat and made myself comfortable.

I must have been the only person awake still when I heard someone dragging their feet towards Skid Row. I looked out and I saw a woman dressed in bright red pajamas, red slippers and with some scarlet red decorations in her scatty hair. She was pushing a luggage trolley with a smashed suitcase on top that looked like it had been salvaged it from a skip. ‘Here we go!!’ I thought.

The lady in Red spoke good English but she was clearly on day release from the local mental asylum.

‘We are looking for people to join us and help us with the children.’ I looked around to find who ‘We’ were. She started, pulling out a homemade book of all her nasty scribbles on paper which had been stapled together. ‘Would you like to buy some paintings?’ They could hardly be described as paintings, more like indiscriminate Ebola bile on tatty paper.

‘Err, no sorry,’ I always struggle for something clever to say at the times I'm confronted with insanity. Don’t you just want to exercise the demons and see what real mad shit is going on in that deranged head of hers? Yeah, I did but I was a bit lost.
‘Do you want to join us in our performance, we need western actors in our show tomorrow.’

‘Sorry, but I have a flight tomorrow.’

‘Would you mind delaying your flight, we will pay you 5,000RMB per day.’

Is this a wind up, I have this crazy woman offering me an acting job for the equivalent of 500 pounds a day, how did she know I was such a good actor, maybe this is the big break that I have been waiting for, a chance for me to shine on the big screen. I knew someone would recognise my talent, she isn’t so crazy after all.

Reality hit me…. I wasn’t going to become an actor.

‘No, sorry I can't, thank you for the kind offer though.’ I tried to be kind, I didn’t want her to start humping my legs while gouging my eyes out.
‘Okay, here is my number, if you change your mind then give me a call.’ She handed me a scrumpled up receipt with a phone number written on it.

She then opened up her case and started foraging inside, I could see nothing but cuddly toys and a bra. She handed me a bottle of green tea she has probably just pilfered from the local 711.

‘Thanks but you please keep it’

And at that she turned and started dragging her slippers along probably to find the next recruit for her performances.

It’s a shame, I think I would be a great actor, maybe one of the best and at £500 a day, I think it would be a steal. Nevermind, a vagabond life it is for me, and so I fell asleep on skid row after being teased with the heights of Hollywood.


Article By David Beattie of Rounton Coffee

Posted by beatski 03:57 Archived in Hong Kong Tagged tokyo airport bangkok hong kong hall sleeping overnight arrivals mental Comments (0)

Japan, Bloody Expensive...

View Overland debacle on beatski's travel map.

Cost of Japan

The pound isnt as strong as it used to be, and as long as the treasury are printing money then its not likely to get any better soon. If you want to have a cheap get away then Japan might not be your cup of green tea, Japan is expensive, ridiculously so and it was painful at times to pay through the nose for some of the things that you would take for granted in the UK.

Just check out a few of the prices to understand what I mean, and one thing I noticed.

Apple £2 each – it was red though
Oranges £3 for 4 small ones
Guinness (not full pint) £8
Coffee £4 – average price
To sit at a table in Shibuya area, Tokyo £5 each, this included NOTHING…. So for £10, Victoria and I had a seat!!
Domino’s Pizza - £30
Muesli (I have missed Muesli) - £5 for a bag fit for maybe 1.5 bowls, I will have to miss it a bit more
Frosties £3.50 for a bag fit for 1.5 bowls (haven’t eaten Frosties for years but I bought a few packets over here)

Even the 100 Yen shop was 105 Yen per item, work that one out, that’s got to be the most expensive 100 Yen shop going.
Japanese do not tend to eat fruit and vegetables, tending to prefer Rice and Noodles, with meat or fish. I can't wait to get my hands on a Broccoli or a Cauliflower, and Spinach; oh man my mouth is watering.

I have loved Japan, but after spending 3 weeks here you do begin to resent paying extortionate prices for things that you know would be a tenth of the cost back home. I'm now off to South East Asia where things will be a hell of a lot cheaper, and I just might be able to get hold of that Broccoli.

Article By David Beattie of Rounton Coffee

Posted by beatski 03:39 Archived in Japan Tagged japan of living expensive pint cost price Comments (0)

Japanese Toilets

View Overland debacle on beatski's travel map.

Japanese Toilets

One thing that I have realised is that I seem to have a fascination with toilets and the different types of clap traps that I have seen throughout my journey. So far there has to be only one country that wins the ‘Best Shit House’ awards, and that country has to be Japan. Japan is a lot of things but Toilet Champion it will remain until Mongolia drags itself out of Nomadic hibernation and buys the first musical toilet with heated seat.


1. Heated Seats for that ‘Somebody has just been on here feeling!’
2. Speaker System to emit those pre-recorded flushing sounds for those times when you need noise to conceal your toilet murmurs
3. Odorising mist sprays to quench your foul smell
4. Water jet with variable pressures, and joystick control to position the High Pressure wash where appropriate
5. Automatically Opening and Closing Lids
6. Water saving option, fill up your cistern and wash your hands at the same time…

Many times I spent longer pissing about with the controls than actually doing my business.

So well done Japan…. You have achieved the best shit house award 2011!!!

From this.........
And this.....

to this.....




Once again, well done Japan, your the greatest!!

Article By David Beattie of Rounton Coffee

Posted by beatski 03:25 Archived in Japan Tagged tokyo kyoto japan toilet nomadic mongolia toilets controls Comments (0)

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