Here’s why Japanese vending machines are the coolest

I was getting excited at the thought of coffee, standing in front of a Tokyo vending machine. I turned some 100 Yen coins in my palm, considering my options. The brown one, or the white one? Maybe the rainbow can? All the descriptions were in Japanese, but I was intrigued by one particular can because Tommy Lee Jones was advertising it. I loved the Japanese vending machine experience, and here are 6 reasons why!

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Enjoying Balinese coffee

I stared at the thick glob of sludge at the bottom of my coffee cup. This was the Balinese way of serving their coffee, unfiltered. But not bad, not bad at all. Over numerous cups of Balinese coffee, I did a lot of pondering. Mostly about Bali. There are many places to see on this tiny island, some with high expectations and famous reputations, others quiet and undisturbed, but all of them interesting. I enjoyed that cup on the island of Nusa Penida. Never heard of it? I don’t blame you, it’s not a hot destination. But it could be.


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The best (and worst) things about Malaysia and Vietnam

I’ve left South East Asia, and I’m pretty sad to say goodbye. Part adventure, part relaxation, but mostly just sheer madness, here are some of the best and worst of Malaysia and Vietnam (more countries to follow).



I was waiting for my boat driver on the rickety wharf at Bako national park, Borneo. The sun was hot, the bornean sky an impossible blue, and the receding tide had revealed long stretches of muddy mangrove, home to a million scurrying crabs, pulling mud from their flooded homes and rolling it into balls.dav

There was no shortage of monkeys here in the Malaysian jungle. Silver leaf monkeys played and jumped in the sky on a magic carpet of crawling jungle canopy. Proboscis monkeys barreled from tree to tree with clumsy urgency, their huge bulbous noses and swollen bellies making them look like living muppets. In nearby Semenggoh Orangutan Rehabilitation centre, the great orange apes showed us that their arms were longer than Tim’s, climbing down trees with the stealth of a dancing clown, taking four handfuls of bananas from the feeding area, and loping up their tree with the fruit grasped by each hand and foot.dav

While I waited for the boat, I held a plastic bag containing 3 days of jungle-ripe laundry. The scent attracted the attention of a rowdy troupe of macaques, who leapt upon the bag with fury, tearing at my laundry until I yelled and shooed them away. But thats just one bad egg. I still love monkeys!

Long-tailed macaque

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