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Taipei street food

I’ve been making the rounds of the Taipei street food scene. It’s cheap, delicious, but some dishes are pretty unhealthy!

1st stop Shilin night market. Where I tried the famous ‘stinky tofu’; shown on the left below. The tofu is fermented and has a very strong ‘stinky’ smell, but the taste is not too strong. Fermented foods are great for digestion so I was excited to try it.

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Drumming is tiring!

On my recent visit to Taipei Confucius Temple and Dalongdong Bao’an Temple I saw some Taiwanese people practising drumming in a park.

It was a hot day in Taipei. I love travelling in Asia, but long walks in summer can be tough. I can relate to how this boy must have been feeling.

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Happy birthday Confucius

September 28th marks the anniversary of Confucius’ birthday. I think Confucius must be one of the most recognisable historical names. Do you know a lot about him? My knowledge was limited to some sayings of the form, “Confucous says……” On Sunday I went along to take a look at the Confucius temple in Taipei.

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Hello Taipei

I’ve had three days in Taipei. I’m feeling good about this city; it has positive vibe. Today I went for a walk along Dihau Street. It’s a fairly traditional area with a lot of shops selling things like tea and herbal medicine.

There are some vibrant, busy scenes. But even in amongst those you can catch people taking a rest from the hot afternoon sun. Check out the guy in the truck cab.

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Japan

Rainy days in Tokyo and thoughts on meditation

I’m enjoying a few rainy days in Tokyo; it’s Typhoon season after all. The rainy days are quite refreshing and a little cooler than the normal late summer heat.

Until the last few days I had been mostly in t-shirts and trainers/sneakers (converse or vans) due to the heat. I prefer to walk around with shoes (brown brogues) and a shirt, so I am kind of happy with it being a little cooler. I can wear a shirt w/out immediatly soaking it in sweat!

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Ford Ranchero, reading manga, and Nakano sights

I snapped a few nice shots around Tokyo in the last few days. I spotted another sweet classic parked up in Harajuku. This is a Ford Ranchero, it’s the first time I saw one in real life, I think it’s the slightly less popular competitor to the El Camino. This one looks awesome in gloss black.

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A short trip to Asakusa

Today was a chill day. I didn’t have any exercise scheduled. My main plan was to study some Japanese and graphic design and to head over to Asakusa and maybe take a few photos.

To be honest, the day was a bit of a fail, I couldn’t concentrate at all and it was way too hot to walk around taking photos for a long time.

However, I did take a few shots in Asakusa. The area is famous for Sensoji 浅草寺 – it’s a temple complex that many people visit. There are a lot of shops selling traditional japanese products. There are also a lot of traditional restaurants.

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Sendagaya Jeep

The highlight of the day was a classic jeep spotted in Sendagaya (千駄ヶ谷), Tokyo (東京)

I saw this on the way from the Tokyo Metropolitan Gym to Omotesando. The metropolitan gym has a training room, pool and finess studio available for public use for 600 yen per session. It’s great for visitors who don’t want the hassle of a membership.

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Germany

London to Tokyo via Frankfurt

My last three months – suits, ironing,  americanos, the client office, ms excel, paper, meetings, timetables, stress relief beer, stress relief chocolate and escapism netflix.

But I finished up last Friday in London, it’s Thursday now and I’m sitting in Starbucks Omotesando in Tokyo.

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Poetry Thailand

Look up, head raised high

Look up, head raised high,
Beauty hides plainly in sight,
Not just a blue sky,

In modern rushed lives,
Head oft down, in phones we drown,
Wake up! it’s a choice.

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Poetry Thailand

Through the window (on the bus in Bangkok)

Young or old,
Is there anywhere you want to go?

Look out for them,
Charging around, in a bright flash of red or blue.

You have to share,
But a sense of community can be found their.

Relax in your seat,
A moment of freedom is found.

Books, music, snooze or chat,
What will you do?

I will simply sit back and enjoy the view.

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Thailand

Getting wet in Bangkok

As I left my apartment I looked carefully in all directions; making sure it was clear, I immediately flagged down a taxi. I had to be quick, I knew they could be waiting, just out of sight, ready to get me. As soon as I was in the taxi the driver locked the doors and warned me not to open the window. We both knew the danger.

The roads were busy, but the driver was good, he rushed down some side streets. I might still make my appointment.

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Hakka No Togame・白霞罸

My blog name may sound strange in English. The reason is it comes from Japanese. It has a special significance to me which involves an ex girlfriend, travel across the world and around one hundred and thirty hours of TV.

The Japanese Kanji for hakka no togame is 白霞罸.

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Thailand Thoughts on Life

Life’s changing perspective

Yesterday afternoon I was browsing wordpress and I saw the discover challenge  to post about perspective. Coincidently earlier that morning I took a photo of two work men from an unusual top down perspective as they sat on a truck cab.

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Christmas in London – part II

I survived Christmas alone in London.

Actually; and I feel guilty saying this, it was delightful.

I missed my mum; it is a time when everyone is talking about family. However thanks to yoga, meditation, reading and learning I was able to keep a reasonable perspective. It’s just another day, I saw my mum recently, and I will see her again soon. The other matter; a girlfriend, hopefully I will meet someone I match with soon.

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Christmas in London

Too busy to write. Just over 4 weeks ago I started a new contract. Despite quite a bit of experience I still feel nervous at a new client. That’s my excuse for not posting on my blog.

But I want to write. I want to post. I miss it.

I hadn’t taken any photos in 4/5 weeks. I was starting to feel as though losing myself. I finally woke up and took my camera out on Saturday, the thought in mind; get some Christmassy photos.

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Walk around Shoreditch

I’d love to take you on a ‘blog photo walk’ around Shoreditch; my favourite parts of East London.

Historically a poor area, with low rents it became a hub for creatives. As can happen the art scene attracted others, prices started to rise and some have been priced out. But, to my mind, it now has a good mix of artists and creature comforts; good apartments, cafes, bars, restaurants, independent galleries and fashion stores.

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Poetry

Autumn leaves and Haiku thoughts

as autumn leaves us,
so do green leaves, goodbye with,
a final flourish.

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Moganshan 50 Shanghai (M50)

I had a dream-like three weeks in shanghai earlier this year. I want to introduce you to m50; the contemperary art district.

Shanghai itself is a bit of an enigma, it’s China of course; but also very much it’s own place. The history is fascinating and provides background perspective on the modern day relationship between east and west. Shanghai also has it’s own dialect and other Chinese people may consider the Shanghainese as overly proud.

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Poetry

Tower Bridge

Stately stone towers,
Stand over the Thames river,
Watching years go bye.

An iconic sight,
That sighs when misguided types,
Say “it’s London Bridge”.

Remember ’Tower’;
London’s majestic lady,
And favourite Bridge.

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Tokyo rail

Clean, shiny steel and birdsong soft and sweet. A place full of people, some fast asleep, where could I be?

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Poetry

Sense perceptions, writing 201 poetry ‘pleasure’

Sensory perception  everywhere,  each
Day I wake with a need to seek,  like an addict,
The sights,  sounds,  taste and touch that tantalise,
High and happy,  I reach for more, and more.

Physical beauty,  let me feast with shallow eyes open you,
Soft skin,  let me lay these greedy hands all over you,
Fruits,  spices,  fish and succulent meats,  let me gorge myself with you,
Fresh flowers,  let your fragrance carry me away.

Suddenly darkness comes,  alone,  I am without you,
Nothing to see or touch, skies became grey above,
Sensory pleasure has abandoned me, betrayed by my reliance,
I’m beyond empty, withdrawal; the pain that remains.

I realise now that unchecked sensory pleasure results in pain,
Instead I stay with the ever present breathe; a simple pleasure that in its essence is me.

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Poetry

A winter walk – writing 201 – cold poem

Winter is nearly here,
Let’s put on warming, woolly gloves,
Let’s put on cosy, cuddly socks,

Snow may be coming near,
Let’s put on heavy hoods,
Let’s put on some big boots,

We’ll go on a winter walk
We’ll go with a flask of tea
We’ll go with two cookies

Even if it’s cold outside
You’ll have my warm heart
I’ll have your warm heart

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Poetry

Our local friend Ben

he watches over,
river and square,  famous by
name,  a must see sight

announcing the hour,
and posing for photographs,
have you heard of Ben?

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Poetry

Flavour of a kiss – writing201 ‘flavour’ poem

Never much liked to kiss, but I found something in the taste of your lips,
delicate and sweet and light,
and yet full of your depth,

Now you are gone, how can I go on?, I can’t even describe my feelings,
fleeting and elusive and subtle,
and beyond words and yet deeply real,

Dream like memories, reality had overwhelmed all my sense,
Days and months and years pass, alone
Now I find I yearn for your kiss

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Poetry

A coastal harbour town in Scotland


Fishing boats in wait,
Metal clangs, a seagull calls,
But otherwise still,

Fishermen resting
In cottages, a respite,
From the cold hard seas,

Wire mesh, wooden slats,
Lobster pots piled by the side,
Waiting for their bait,

A visitor walks,
Taking photos, fingers numb,
Scotland’s winter coast

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Poetry

Nomadic (writing 201 day 7)

Nomadic, that’s my habit,
Never in one place, that’s my taste,
Mario running from a koopa shell,
Never afraid, just need my space,

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Uncategorized

Autumn is here

Autumn is one of my favourite seasons of the year. After the (sometimes) hot summer days I enjoy a return to crisp fresh air. The parks can be particularly beautiful. Many of the trees turn from green to yellow and brown; and countless other shades.

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Poetry

A portrait by love and sadness (writing 201 day 6)

A story of time,
As seasons pass,
Of dream-like
Love;
A teacher of heartbreak, which breaks hearts, and
Sadness;
Distance from intimacy and intimacy with distance,
With subtlety time paints,
Portraits.

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Poetry

Tokyo dining

Prepared like art, with heart,
Eaten with care, flavours rare,
Japanese food is really that good,
Cooking and dining are national pastimes,
Ramen is a passion and,
Sushi a fashion,
That powers Tokyo life.

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Poetry

Scotland’s mountains – an ode to Sir Hugh Monroe (writing 201 day 5)

Outdoor walking, early morning, hills loom above; a tidal wave of green,
Damp socks and wet boots waiting, silence but for the trickling of a stream,
Wild mountainous terrain; sometimes rolling, often rocky, by chance is it a dream?

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Poetry

A limerick about Tam and Cookies (writing 201 day 4)

Cookie

there was a cookie, gold like
the morning sun, with choc chips dark as
midnight comes, so crumbly to see
it’s comforting to me
But wait! – 500 calories, that’s just no fun.

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Poetry

A prose poem about skin (writing 201 day 3)

Magazines lie like dictators cries, beauty brands try to sell fake style. Naturally soft and smooth only when new, but like all forms decays over time. Popped pimples, rubbed rashes, cuts and scratches, laughter lines and frowning signs, these may all come over time. The book cover of our lives. A living journal. A unique story; where true beauty lies. Superficial values and photoshop aside, look closely to see the real me. When the inside is healthy, the outside will shine. Eat natural, drink water, love yourself, and a warm glow will arise. Mirror mirror on the wall, am I not beautiful? as are you all.

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Poetry

Kyoto umbrella

bright orange and blue
just a small shelter it’s true
but I still love you

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Poetry

An acrostic Christmas (writing 201 day 2)

Prompt: Christmas
Device: Acrostic

Poem 1 – Christmas

Christmas tree, standing free
Oh so bright twinkling like starlight
Sitting underneath with wrapping so neat
Your gift and my gift, waiting patiently

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Poetry

A haiku poem about screens (writing 201 day 1)

I’ve just started the WordPress blogging university ‘writing201’ course. The first poem is based on the word prompt ‘screen’, the form ‘haiku’ and the device ‘alliteration’. Here is my 1st ever poetry attempt!

just a small, slight screen
the data it can display
I can’t comprehend

bright electric light
but is it real or fake?
an imitation

staring at your screen
from early until late-night
who is the user?

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Thoughts on Life

Feelings of love lost

Last night I had a dream about a girl I loved. Let’s call her L.

I don’t remember the details of the dream, only that I saw her; and we were together, at least for a short spell.