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Zen and the art of bowel maintenance

Friday, February 15th, 2008

Hey kids: Have you ever tried a shaking public squat toilet on an overcrowded train. It’s like an extreme sport! It makes all other comodes feel dull and boring! And hey parents… it’s actually more sanitary too! [read on]

Enter the Big Boss

Saturday, December 29th, 2007

A long day of transport via motorcycle from Murud to Alibaug, a short hike to the bus station, bus to the jetty, catamaran to the Gateway of India, taxi to Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, local train to Chembur and finally an auto-rickshaw to Ratnadeep’s home is only continued a few hours later with a car–ride to Madh Island and the beach cottage where we would celebrate the changing of the year. The day is mostly uneventful, yet unfortunately uncomfortable due to the return of my old arch-rival, the stomach bug which has plagued me since Nepal. It is on this fateful day that I come face to face with the Big Boss, king of all toilets! [read on]

The Big Boss’ Bodyguards

Tuesday, December 18th, 2007

The last nine months of travel have thoroughly introduced me to squat toilets; from my first experiences in the relatively sterile Japanese karate dojo to the stinkiest shit-holes high in the Himalayas.  My earlier fears have long since past.  I can now see the benefits of sanitation and the fact that everything just comes out easier.  Still, as I draw deeper into the Indian subcontinent, I keep finding more and more standards to judge the worst toilets of the world.  I can already feel his presence, the Big Boss is near!     [read on]

Ambushed on a train…

Saturday, October 20th, 2007

Today is Saturday.  I got on a train on Thursday and I’m still on board now.  The trip from Nanjing to Chengdu takes almost two days.  It is the longest continuous stream of transport I’ve endured so far.  At least no hard seat is involved.  Rather, I’m comfortably residing on the bottom of a three-tiered hard-sleeper bunk compartment with my journal, a copy of ‘Memoirs of a Geisha’, deck of cards and the most excellent travel companion, Carrie.   [read on]

Pangainoon Uechiryu Karate and the Apartment

Monday, June 25th, 2007

Monday, Osaka was spared another downpour but had to endure an incredibly hot and humid day.  Unfortunately, it was a day filled with a good deal of strenuous activity.  Around 10am, I checked out of the hotel, strapped on my full travel gear and biked to a friend’s house to drop it off for the day.  I then took the ride across town to meet Hugh at the Pangainoon Uechiryu Karate-Do dojo.   [read on]