Tokyo – the good shit!

Day two of Tokyo was right up my alley… No more Zara and Gap (I love you but come on I’m in Japan, gotta see some shit) this was what I came for!

Points to Sal and I for getting up at 3.30am to go the famous fish auctions… Only to arrive and find out they did it earlier for some reason… Eh, oh well take a few snaps and head back to bed! 

Cause things in Japan just seem funnier.

The little town of Asakusa was beautiful – clearly for tourists, but it was fun!

Poor bastard, it’s like 37 degrees

Trusty Selfie Stick at it again

Shaved iced! Yum.

Rituals are beautiful but honestly I have no idea why or what for … But I guess everyone just follows the crowd and you seem to be able to mimic the person before you… I go to so many temples and shrines these days I should learn a thing or two at some point.


Instructions in Japan are adorable!      







Tokyo Baby

Japan came up like a whirlwind… I had done a few excited Pinterest ‘pins’ when I booked a few months ago but that’s about it. Luckily Sal was prepared.

I packed my bags, left a couple pouches of cat food out for the Ayie and said goodbye to Loz… Tokyo here we come!

It’s been a few months since the trip – I had taken so many photos and been wowed by so much that it became a little overwhelming!

I did however take a few simple reflections back to China with me after the trip… Here they are.

1. Embrace the ‘girly’ from time to time, even if it feels a little cheesy 

2. It doesn’t hurt to be a little (a lot) more enthusiastic, it’s contagious 

3. Buy some 3/4 callots stat! Um, maybe in a Western country though (cue seams splitting… haha okay not quite, but you get me..)

4. Beautiful materials and brushes make life better, get in on that 

5. Drink more green tea (for fuck’s sake woman, you work for a tea company and live in China)

6. Time to ditch all the old make up and buy some fresh stuff… It will feel good! (Goodbye eyeshadow from high school)


Day one of Tokyo was a great big shop!I was exhausted by the time we left and could barely carry my bags but it was fun and it can only be good for growing bingo arms.

The highlight of my day was meeting Lena Dunham from Girls…. I’m a big fan of girls and just read her book ‘Not that kinda girl’ . Good spotting Sal.

I went and said hello and talked at her with verbal diarrhoea. She was nice and totally cool. I was a nerdy. I wish I had asked her something cool but hey I had something for Instagram lol

  Cute oragami at the airport currency change counter (and for free) – bravo Japan, you’re living up to my expectations already.  Kimono robes on the bed… oh hell yes!  Cause things in Japan are just funnier!  Best stationary shop ever and a surprise bit of star spotting.

Day two of Tokyo was right up my alley…
No more Zara and Gap (I love you but come on I’m in Japan, gotta see some shit this was what I came for!).

Points to Sal and I for getting up at 3.30am to go the famous fish auctions… Only to arrive and find out they did it earlier for some reason… Oh well we took a few snaps (below) and headed back to bed (almost $100 on taxis later)! 


The little town of Asakusa (below) was beautiful – clearly for tourists, but guess what I was a tourist and this is what I wanted to see!

       Poor bastard, it was like 37 degrees          

These temple/shrine rituals are beautiful but honestly I have no idea why or what they are all about. I guess everyone just follows the crowd and you seem to be able to mimic the person before you… I go to so many temples and shrines these days I should learn a thing or two about them at some point.

         Instructions in Japan are adorable!                                              Later we headed out to Shibuya             

Village Eats are the Best!

Such deliciousness! Some of the best food I have in China is actually made in these little rural villages… I don’t even think you could call them restaurants.

They bring you whatever they want and you guess as to what it is you’re eating.

With a longneck of the local beer to wash it down, they are the bomb!


Times Flies

Wow, my how times flies! I dont want to forget what a wonderful time I had in Australia when I went back…. so making sure I post a few pics!

I left feeling like I was going back to China for a holiday, but it was worth the rushing around to see everyone! Can’t wait till next time!

  First Stop Baby Will. Sooo happy to meet this fresh little guy… he’s beautiful

Too Cute!

Finally Girl Time. 3pm Bubbles…a good idea at the time

Beautiful Wedding and Beautiful Friends… bubbly is kicking in at this stage… but let’s not get into that

Love My Dulie…

Happy Happy and keeping it classsy… for now

Ah, Coffee at the beach in Mordi before work… so peaceful!

Oh Seaford I missed you!

Ladies Afternoon Tea like it was out of a magazine, thanks Cassie

Mum, in her element!

Girls Night out!

The City, just cause!

My Bayside Grove Family

Oh Ollie…

Oh Dulie, stop…. you spoil me too much!

Okay last one of this little angel!

The 5 day ‘Hangover’

Okay Okay, thinking back… now where was I. That’s right… I was in El Nido, I was Young (I was still 31), I was full of hope, I had so many dreams and I was eagerly awaiting my friends boat to arrive.

Yep, I can do this.


In tropical paradise style I met their boat whilst aboard my rented Paddleboard (of course I’d practiced a little yoga on the board first). It was great.

Me Got Some Friends!

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It’s important to stay hydrated


Everyone tells you when you arrive, you must do Tour A and C


We went on a tour, this was called Tour C – we had an amazing group of people with us so quickly made some new and awesome new friends. We nicked named it Tour F cause it was kinda dodgy and they didn’t know what they were doing so much, but we had a brilliant day… AND it was my Birthday!

Tour C it is….

a b c

Beatuiful Peeps made Tour F


Post the tour our new gang head to the local bar and played a game of Dart…. there was only one Dart, hence the name. Now I’m not usually one to partake in such things, I’m a bit of a party pooper around ‘man cave games’ but I surprised myself and had a great time (and I came 2nd out of like 7 people) …. and it wasn’t just the shots everyone kept buying me. So cut a long story short I had a brilliant night, ended it with a late night ocean skinny dip and prepared for Tour A in the morning.

Priceless. Gotta impress the birthday girl.


Time to hit the ‘town’


A bit of Dart


Some fun times and great people! Note the Twinings behind the counter, very good. haha.


I woke up on the day that was not my birthday (I was no longer special) and I felt horrid but hey I kinda expected that… goes with the territory. I wish I could say Tour A was amazing, but it was HELL. I was cold and shivering, I was vomiting and I really felt that someone should just euthanize me. Anyway, as we pulled up at 6pm that evening I gave my stomach acid one last chance of freedom off the side of the boat and went back to my room.

It’s no surprise I have no photos from Tour A

The next few days came and went, it became apparent a few days later that ah Tour F perhaps gave me some good old fashioned food poisoning… just cause I’m 32 now doesn’t mean that I get 3, 4, 5 day hangovers with cold sweats (well it better not). Okay, guess this isn’t going to be a scuba trip after all.

Anyway being a glutton for punishment I agreed to catch a 7 hour shuttle bus with a friend (it was so squashed, but it was a plus not to have live roosters) from El Nido to Sabang, which is more remote and quiet than El Nido. I managed it, I guess I was getting better… it was on and off but life was still not good in Sarah Town.

I did however perk up for what was the most amazing place I went to in the Philipines, the 7th Wonder of the World…. The Underwater River. Wow, wow and wow. My friend being a smart cookie insisted we go at the very end of the day which meant a private boat and no one else behind us – it was sheer brilliance!

We do a little walk in the bush and then this appears… Now this is the sort of beauty I have been waiting for. No words!


So so so pretty 


Yep, we’re going in there!


Sorry no more pics, it’s dark in the cave!


So night one in Sabang, we went out and I watched my friends eat as I picked at some fruit, then I walked myself back to my room early. It was progress at least and I loved the underground river today.

I was jealous of my Swedish friend who checked herself into the fancy resort up the beach. I was even more sad to find out that this new place was worse than the first night in El Nido. See below for where sensible people stay…


By now I am used to no flushing toilets, but this place I was staying in for $10 that night (I know what did I expect for $10, I don’t know how it all happened) had no power at all i.e. no lights and no sink. I used the last little ounce of power my phone had to find my way to ‘hug’ (yuck, as if i can touch it) the toilet bowl and again slept with a sheet shivering to sleep.

The next morning. This is the part where I bowed out – I am no backpacker, I try to be but seriously Fuck That Shit.

My new friend works at Volvo. Safe, reliable and Swedish. This is exactly what I needed in my life. Off I go to find her at the fancy resort. I feel better the moment I check in… oh the bliss.

I say no way to the rest of the trip to Puerto Princessa City (I aint moving till I leave) and slowly but surely, through steady hammocking and pool time I get myself back to ‘normal’.


What a happy ending.


Okay, so for those of you interested in more than just my dribblings…. that’s you McChonkies! But Kirsty, I know you enjoy the dribbling haha.

El Nido is a tiny little strip along the beach with some bars on the beach, average restaurants and really basic accommodation. The consensus with the group I was with was that we just came too late. The place has grown too quickly and hasn’t really been able to catch up quick enough, it was marvelled by the world but then the world came (last year it was voted best beach in the world by a French Newspaper)…. The beach itself in my opinion would struggle to rival Seaford Beach, but it is a great hub for island hopping. The islands, lagoons etc are all pretty damn spesh.. although not necessarily all that unique, they would be amazing to stumble across but when they are jamming with tourists it’s just not the same.

So Sarah says, it’s a B Grade Destination. No Brad Pitt, but still smokin hot. Good fun, really pretty but don’t go too out of your way for it.

El Nido

So here we go ….

Okay I take it back, I should worry about details…

So, I fly to Manila and then to El Nido – it’s boring but fine. I only wish that I’d thought about food. Oh well.

Anyway, I know I want to stay at Tony’s guesthouse… But apparently it doesn’t have a website. So, I’m a bit sceptical but I have details for 3 others as a back up… Look at me planning ahead 🙂

How cute is this airport…

And unusual to have this kind of chilled out vibe when travelling… Oh how quaint and lovely… I’m in some sort of paradise!

This is exactly where I should be right now! Okay now to find the place to stay… If Oprah was here she’s hi fiving me.

I’m blown away just by how beautiful it all feels

So I ride the tricycle to Rico’s guesthouse cause no one knows of this Tony’s place and feel so excited and inspired by the airport of all places… This place is going to be incredible I think to myself.


I arrive and it’s a small little strip with places everywhere. I pop into Rico’s which is totally cute and right on the beach. I go in and she tells me no rooms till tomorrow, hmm this is a minor problem. She tells me to leave my backpack and try along the beach.

I do, but everyone tells me no, no, no. Hmm, wasn’t expecting this. I go back to Rico’s and she let’s me use the internet and I chill and have a beer (I mean hell I’m on holiday right).

Seems I can go to some expensive resorts but it’s going to cost a fortune to get there as they are far away, I need to come back here to meet my friends anyway.

An older guy joins me let’s call him the Americanised Australian, he tells me he had the same problem and his friend stays here and he stays somewhere else, he’s had to move 3 times. Damn.

So the Americanised Australian tries to get me a room at his place, but no luck… Eh, well he wishes me well and says join his friends down the beach later. I’m on my own again.

Okay, time to go for another walk… No luck. Okay, shit is getting annoying. I find a bar and drink beer instead.

A Lone Austrian is chatting with the lady behind the bar about not being able to find a girl. I smile to myself and think shit, I nearly forgot I need a room. I search the net, find a place – go see them and they tell me no. My argument of the internet says you do is useless.

Eh, back to the bar. So it’s a tiny bar and my ‘things’ I left to save my seat have been moved next to Lone Austrian guy… Here we go…

“Oh they took your seat, but you can sit here” she says and smiles a little too sweetly. Ah, whatever.. I small talk a little, at least it takes my mind off having nowhere to sleep and the fact that some airport food is not agreeing with my body.

Finally the bar lady offers me her dishwasher boy to take me around to find rooms, the ‘last resort’ places. We walk around for ages in the dark (it feels safe and bustling not dark and creepy though) and I’m mentally planning how to stay awake all night.

I’m aware I have stuff all over the place, well okay just at Rico’s and the bar.. Ah shit Sarah, this was dumb even for you.

But finally, success…

Hotel: you mind shared bathroom?
Me: no, can I pay now
Hotel: you wanna see the room first?
Me: no, I’ll take it
Hotel: but it has shared bathroom
Me: take my money here
Hotel: okay, but come back in 1 hour I need to clean okay

So, back to the bar and my friendly bar lady and Lone Austrian – I ordered a pizza, it was huge. I eat what I think it acceptable to eat in public, but in my heart I know that when I’m finally in my dingy room I will gorge myself a little more…

Finally, in my room about 8.30pm I sit on the bed and then decide maybe my backpacking days are over and that I should stick to resorts and health spas in then future.

At this point it’s just good to have a place to sleep.


So, this is where I ended up…


Shit ain’t so pretty and cute anymore haha.



I munch a piece of pizza and hear a dog barking, I open the door and see someone’s kitchen and a little dog tied up… Naw, poor guy… I give him a slice. We can eat our troubles away together.

I go for a massage to pass the time and then decide I just wanna sleep early. The barking dog makes me feel a little sad, but I drift off reasonably easily.

However, I wake up and suddenly find this whole thing rather comical and humbling … And look forward to getting back to Rico’s!

I wake up do some yoga in my room (who needs Bikram when I have this hot box hotel room). I sit and wait for my egg, rice and hot dog breakfast and watch people do the accommodation scramble… Do you have room? No, no, no.

Okay, fingers crossed ‘my’ room is safe at Rico’s like they promised me!

Okay. So apparently El Nido is having a come back… Here I am at Rico’s


OMG, My Life is one big Pinterest Dream! (Thailand Part 2)

Kamalaya Program Description: “This program offers an experience of self discovery and growth both during the immersion in the program as well as a continuation with tools to take back home”

Sarah’s Brain on the first night (I arrived around 5.30pm): “Wow, I’m overwhelmed with excitement but I’m not here long enough…. eek. Okay, so next time I come i need to do this program but with other stuff, i need to come longer, hmm should i bring a friend? No, probably gives too much security. If I get married, should I come here on honeymoon or is that weird, I wonder if I should give this to Bhey as an 18th birthday treat to really help her not make the silly mistakes that can be avoided in life, but then what about my other friends kids… would boys want to come here, guys are here but could a young man appreciate it as much with their macho egos’, hmm but then it’s not really fair is it if you give to one and not the other… I could get them something else of value… but i hate boy stuff… i like girl stuff… hang on, maybe it’s too much money… who do i think i am Oprah…. Hmmm, if i came for a month it would use all my leave, could i work a bit too and consider it like working from home (one guy is doing that), hmm but it’s so expensive and would that kill the magic….I wonder if next time. Maybe i should quit my job and come here it’s what I need to do for myself, hmm and then maybe i need to become buddhist and a yoga teacher and could I be a monk, can girls do that? I think i need to go to an Ashram to fully experience what life has to offer… but I don’t know enough, okay I should buy some books and learn all there is to know bout Buddhism, but hang on….the metor guy everyone raves about is also Hindu… maybe I need to learn that to… I  wonder if i could live there (like in India)? Hmm, would I like it.. Hmm, where is my career going…. Oh wow there is a shop, I need to buy every book here, these must be the best books ever because they sell them here… how many books can i read here, I need to read, I should read… Chanting, I hear it’s good maybe I should do that too. Should I do Yoga morning and night? But then when do I run? I need to be able to run 10KM by the time i leave.”

“Woah… you cray cray lady…. Stop…. Wow, you really need this Rajesh guy to sort you out tomorrow….”

Rajesh (Not sure how to describe him, here are some words…Mentor – Indian Guy – Ex Monk – Buddhist – Hindu – Meditation Leader):

“Sarah, you must stop with the extremes…

It’s a cycle… It’s a Loop.

Your life has a pattern, can’t you see….”

Lightbulb! Wow, this is nothing new to me, I know this, I always new this… why did it suddenly click in my head… was it the fresh coconuts and balmy weather?

Sarah’s Brain: “Okay, I definitely need to come here again… Should I live here? How can I, what skills do I have? Can I keep talking with Rajesh after this – we could do Skype sessions… how many, like once a week? Hmm, I think I need a meditation room.. oooh I should go on Pinterest.”

“No, bad Sarah – you’re banned from the internet this holiday… now go medititate or some shit”

Anyway, I wanted to share a few things I learned (I am sure they taught me more or I even got things a little wrong.. but either way this is what I took from the experience) or did whilst I was there…. because one it helps me to remember when I write them down and two because a few of you were very curious about it all!

One: Question my plan mentally before I agree to it (with myself)

This is kinda the self talk I need to start….

Sarah’s Brain: “Okay Sarah, that’s a great plan but let’s try this plan a different way… if you wanted to find the middle ground… what would you do? Lightbulb! Okay, this is what I choose….”

So, this is how it could go…

Sarah Brain: “I love Yoga, Yoga is good for you. I should do it every day and then on my next holiday I should go to India. In India I can do Yoga. I can even become a teacher. I mean I don’t want to give up my normal job, but perhaps I could do it as a hobby… Yeah, that’s a great plan.”

Imaginary Rajesh speaking (but yes, it’s really me talking to myself) – “Okay, that would be pretty amazing… but if you decided to start a little smaller…. where could we start… before you do all this stuff… If the opposite is doing nothing at all, where could you find the middle ground”

Sarah Brain: “Hmmm, okay… what would I recommend to someone else… I got it, I say you try doing Yoga once a week consistently for a year first and perhaps go somewhere really wonderful for a holiday again and do some Yoga, maybe every few days but with good teachers…”

It’s like magic… although like most things in life, I gotta make sure I actually do it…. Damn, I think that’s the hard part…

Sarah… Step away from Pinterest! Okay, well maybe that’s the other extreme… let me find some moderation…

I was so proud of resisting buying ANY books in both Kamalaya and Bangkok … I was tempted I had some in my hands, I browsed for a long time… so many plans….. But don’t worry, I did take pictures of every single book in the store… just for when I’m ready haha.

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Two: What you Love and Fear comes to you whether you like it or not!

Sarah’s Brain: “Okay, but before i stop hating stuff… can you please just help me get rid of the bit of excess fat I have and then I’ll start doing this… I promise!”

Explanation from Rajesh….

Sarah’s Brain: “Ah ha, okay I’m just beating myself up…. I’m so mean to me…. be nicer. Sympathise…”

Sarah Speaking Out Loud: “Okay Rajesh, I get it but, like I actually DO need to lose a few kg’s – so my mean chatter is mean but technically right… my pants and scale can prove it…” Sarah’s Brain: “and I saw this cute little outfit on Pinterest and I think I could rock it if I lost a few…”

Hmm, okay we’ll see how we go. I will need to actively practice this….. wish me luck in my pursuit!

Three: Maybe you just don’t like your plans… And just because you could, doesn’t mean you should!

I’d recently started running in a small group once a week and it was fun, social, not too challenging and I got a sense of accomplishment at the end. All in all it made me remember why I did love running once I got into the swing of things….. but of course I had big plans… (see point 2 on extemes) I would plan to smash the treadmill or beach each day in Kamalaya and by the end of the 5 days I would nail 10km – I mean 10KM in 14 weeks is way too long (Soft APP people who designed my new Running APP), who on earth needs that long – it’s all about discipline, now I have time, I used to run I can do that again… Plus I’d already given myself a break by not choosing the detox program, so I practially owed myself this.

Explanation from Rajesh about perhaps you turn something you like doing into a plan, but you don’t like the plan….

Sarah’ Brain: “Get out! What? No, I love Yoga… Running…. Entertaining…. Reading…..Partying….. Cooking….. Learning….. etc. etc I just need to sort out my motivation sometimes, I get distracted or lazy. Yep, I’m lazy.”

And a little more explanation from Rajesh. You plan things and in the process move away from what you actually enjoyed about the activity and turn it into something else…

Sarah’ Brain: “Maybe he had a point… but the session is up. Off to the wellness centre for a massage.”

So, day 1 and 2 I had some excuses – I mean hello, I was sooo busy and this place was so amazing… Then I felt guilty and decided to smash the treadmill, because I missed two days, I would have to run even further and faster to make up for it……. It was hot, I didn’t feel like it and I wanted to meet some people for breakfast (so I better run faster and only be 15 minutes late, because there is no way I am not running 6.5KM today!). So I did it and went to breakfast as bright as a beetroot.”

Sarah’s Brain (a little later that day): “Running…. okay, I don’t run in this place anymore…..”

So, I relaxed, I listened, I walked slowy and simply observed everything I could for the rest of the trip! 🙂


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My Two Favourite Meals – Raw Pad Thai and Prawn Betal Leave Wraps

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Okay, I couldn’t help but do a mini recreation of the Nut/Seed Buffet (served at Breakfast) when I got home (well I did it at work… of course all the jars match) … And I had to schedule in a private cooking lesson with the amazing Head Chef Edmond (because I did one, but was going to miss out on the 2nd class)… Okay, so a leopard can’t change all it’s spots in 5 days! haha.


And a little more Relaxing….




Anyway, I’m back in the land of the living again and trying to remember the wise words I heard there 🙂

Eat Meditate Learn (in a Tropical 5 Star Paradise of Course)

It’s taken me over 10 years to treat myself to what I had originally called ‘Fat Camp’, but the Koh Samui Wellness Retreat I went to provided oh so much more than that…. Eh and I also decided it was far too much money to spend on a holiday only to deprive myself!

My lovely friend Jo (The Mindful Morning) was the one who told me about Kamalaya and when Jo tells you something is good, you know it’s good…. she’s like my own personal episode of ‘Oprah’s Favourite Things’ (except she doesn’t leave me free stuff under my chair…I forgive her for that because she gives me so much inspiration).

Hmm, so where to start…. do I chat about the lovely experiences, the spiritual (sometimes weird and uncomfortable ) aspects, how I would like to think it’s opening up a vortex in my brain for a new way of thinking, or the fact that I found myself happily chatting about colonics (a key part of the Detox Program they run) and past lives with my new found buddies at the communal dinner table?… Hmm, perhaps a few pics to set the scene first.

Oh and of course, I had to do the cliche and bring the book Eat Pray Love with me (once I got over how cheesey I was, it’s a briliant book I have to say, many more layers than the movie – I recommend). Nice book suggestion Lozzie!

I should say I brought a whole lotta stuff with me as enterainment but didn’t touch a thing – I only just, had time to read the book!


But first, I caught up with a friend the night before… It was cold and we had Mulled Wine… Ah, I guzzled it as if I was going to Rehab tomorrow and not a health retreat haha!


But don’t worry, we called it a night and I woke up excited (although a little nap in the taxi was needed – an early start!)

Oh yes, this will do just fine. I had this weird feeling of wanting to cry when the Thai guy picked me up at the airport… I was just soooo happy and excited (and yes I was creeped out by my own reaction)!


Every morning you have fresh limes and they encourage you to drink first things… also when you return at night they have turned down your bed, adjusted the lighting and lit an oil burner for you…

Little Plunge Pools (different temperatures) along the cliff… amazing and very peaceful/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/aed/70877506/files/2014/12/img_0284.jpg

Yoga, Meditation or Stretching at 7.30am…. yes please (I have to say being here at sunset is pretty spesh too… but strangely I prefered sunset in the shower)


Hammock at Sunset…. boy do I love Hammocks!

 Did I mention it’s all inclusive? Fresh Coconuts galore!
 Lazing about the place… doesn’t feel lazy at all
 Room Service…. for colouring in and art supplies. Why not?!

Namaste Peeps!

An Unofficial Chinese Tourist

So I know that I’m not blogging as much as I want to. I had (and still have) many expectations and thoughts on how much fun and simple blogging about stuff would be… And whilst I actually really enjoy doing it, from time to time life gets in the way and then I lose my window of motivation.

Anyway I’ve decided to use this dictation thing on iPhone maybe that will work a bit better and the beauty of it is that it doesn’t cost me anything!

So I went to Okinawa which is a Japanese island. It’s actually really close to China though and the flight was only two hours. After I returned I decided I couldn’t in honesty claim I had been to Japan.

It sits quietly, nestled in the ocean somewhere in between China and Japan.

It was a work trip essentially a bit of fun and team-building. Win! What I didn’t realise was that actually it was going to be more than just a regular trip overseas because I actually got to be part of a Chinese tour group and what I mean by this is that it was almost like I was some sort of observer.

So we land and then all pile on to this tour bus… Chinese guy stands at the front with a giant smile and basically he’s talking to us on a microphone at the front of the bus… Pretty much the whole time in Chinese and it’s safe to say I have no fucking idea what’s going on or where we are going.

Now I did of course ask people things and I get some tidbits, but I often felt unclear or like a pain in the butt, so anyway I just give up and just rolled with it.

I chilled on the bus and anytime we stopped, I followed the group I.e. get off and go shopping then repeat. Eventually I decide I am too tired of shopping on the last day and opt to finish Gone Girl (great book btw).

Back to the shopping – the first place we go to to my surprise was a giant duty-free shop, and theirs plenty more of these… Duty free, souvenirs, chemists… Oh my!

I bought me some goodies Of course….. When in Rome they say….

We of course stop off at the odd ‘attraction’, but mainly it’s a shopping exercise (China is really expensive). When we check in at the airport (going back to china) I see a ton of people with multiple rice cookers and even electric toilet seats to take back to China.

So, I guess the things that stick out to me about my trip Okinawa (besides the huge value people put on Japanese rice cookers) was the merged American / Japanese culture, the teeny tiny part of the history I learned about and a trip to a cool little old school Geisha bar.

Did I mention that I’ve since ditched dictation? Nice idea, but it’s like having a shitty secretary that hasn’t quite nailed English.

Hawaii Five O meets …… Japan

Palm trees, Hawaiian shirts everywhere, pineapples, Maui bars… Hang on I thought this was Japan?! I was reassured I was yes in fact, in Japan when I would go to the bathroom and was welcomed by a warm toilet seat and way too many buttons to figure out how to flush and of course the Japanese school girls in painfully short skirts. Oh and when I questioned why the waiter said ‘horse’ when I asked for some Sashimi…. (After a confusing conversation that went like this – Me: ‘fish’ Him: ‘horse’ Me: ‘fiiisssshhh’ Him: ‘horse’ … He then used his phone and finally showed me google images of black beauty…. Me: beer).



It was quite surreal this merging of two cultures. They have a few military bases in the island… So you see the odd army dude (or WAG) walking about the town. But it wasn’t in a tourism way (like Kuta making things ‘Australian’) but in a way that gave this little it’s own identity. Albeit a slightly 70’s throwback one…

American town was cool but weird, it had all these American stores, but it felt ‘wrong’ like it hadn’t moved with the times… Still I enjoyed a Budweiser, a burger and a random mix of usa tunes in the background…

The cool thing about American town was this place ‘American Depot’ that sold used but cool American stuff. I found old copies of Life Magazine and strangely found myself excited and buying a few copies from the 70’s with quite provocative headlines (I question myself, who is this person….) particularly around women in society. Blog post to come perhaps…






War History

We stopped at the USA airforce base lookout (totally bored out of my brains…) so I go to the gift shop and nose about.

I flick through a history book (it was a picture book mostly… Hence the ability it had to capture my attention).

What I saw was fascinating and so I had to read more…

Admittedly I don’t remember much about WWII (I mean from school), but at some point the U.S. decide they want to take Okinawa, I assume it’s cause it’s got a nice location… Good place for a base I guess.

Anyway, so the US take the island (I read it was a surprise attack so it happened quite quickly and easily – although I assume these things are quite relative).

The thing that surprised the U.S. Forces was that their were many many civilian causalities. The saddest part was, that it was due to murder / suicides.

Apparently the story goes that the Japanese soldiers in Okinawa told the people that a) the American soldiers would rape their women and kill their children and b) the honourable way to show your allegiance to Japan is to kill yourself and your family before the Americans do.

It’s reported that the soldiers gave people grenades or people strangled each other or even tried on themselves.

I don’t know too much more than that, but I thought it was incredibly sad.


Old School Geisha Bar (and I mean the Ladies not just the concept)

Again, a bit random but interesting all the same and on a lighter note.

So two girls walked into a bar, it seemed weird as we peaked into it – we went to turn away and leave and the staff all cheered us (a lovely Chinese girl and myself).. Mmm, okay one drink to be polite.

Over the course of many more drinks, we worked out this was a ‘real’ geisha bar – again not in the tourist sense. It was run by ‘old lady’ geishas. Almost like the last real ones left (maybe they are the last generation – I don’t know).

Service was amazing, they did traditional entertainment and doted on the big spenders – sitting drinking with them, talking, serving and telling jokes.

So cool, especially seeing pictures of them when they were young. Makes me want to read Memoirs of Geisha again!





Ahhhh, and that was Okinawa. Now I feel better 🙂