What’s going on in Aichi?

Aichi, home of Toyota and miso sauce, is normally a rather staid and sensible place; it’s emphatically not Tokyo – no maid cafes or love hotels here, thank you very much. But recently there have been some strange goings on. The national English language newspaper printed the following disturbing story This bizarre-sounding crime is actually…

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Categorised as Japan

Japan: a walk in the park

I love a walk in the park in Japan … you never know what you’re going to see around the next bend in the path … … perhaps a couple taking their ferret out for a stroll? Having spent a year walking round the local park in Bedford, I can faithfully report that all I…

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Categorised as Japan

Bend me, shape me

Mindful of the need to keep fit even when life is very constricted, I’ve done a 30-minute yoga class from the Yoga Studio app almost every day since the beginning of the Pandemic. At around 6 o’clock every evening I roll my mat out on the sitting room carpet, and pull on a hairband so…

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Categorised as England

How Korea is dealing with Coronavirus

Quarantine is taken very seriously here – you’re not allowed to leave the airport until you can prove that you have accommodation sorted for your 14-day isolation period. The Korean army is at the airport, processing everyone, installing the quarantining app on everyone’s phone, calling your named contact in Korea to make sure they exist, and checking up on your accommodation. Once they’re satisfied that you have somewhere to go, you are escorted to a taxi

Cuba: land of rum and Pringles

I’ve never been anywhere as different as Cuba before. The first hint of difference came at the airport in Mexico as I queued to check in for my flight and looked around at all the other passengers and the luggage they were checking in – Each family had about fifteen large bags, some so heavy…

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Categorised as Cuba

Ernest and me

There’s a pervasive Hemingwayness in Havana that’s hard to ignore. He had not one, but two favourite bars – La Bodeguita del Medio was his favourite mojito bar – so of course I had to try one – Then Floridita was his favourite daquiri bar – where he demanded a less girly version of the…

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How to pass for a Guatemalan

Step number one: buy a poncho – Step number two: take up salsa – … but don’t try to take a photo and follow your teacher’s instructions, or you end up making a complete mess of both activities. The lovely Martin was a tiny, swivel-hipped salsa god, who only winced slightly as I crushed his…

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Categorised as Guatemala

Swerving around cows

What is it with India and cows? They’re everywhere, and nobody takes any notice. It’s completely normal to see a cow … … on a railway station platform – … wandering through the city centre – … having a quick kip in the road – … inspecting a rubbish pile – … and even on…

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Categorised as India

Yet another painful experience

In the interests of research, I tried many different types of massage on this trip – deep tissue, aromatherapy, Balinese, to name but a few. The strangest was the chakra unblocking head massage, which I had in the Royal Palace at Bundi. The masseuse flicked and scratched my head and pulled hard on chunks of…

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Categorised as India

I’ve seen the future …

… or at least I’ve peered murkily in the general direction, but the pollution-filled haze would have challenged even the oracle at Delphi to see anything clearly. The pollution in Delhi is appalling – a smelly, foggy haze hanging over the city. It’s just downright lucky, for all my blog readers, that I look so…

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Categorised as India