Tokyo, Osaka, Taipei, and Onwards


On 9 Feb, after catching up with a friend of mine and talking about some mundane, yet amusing things with her (we spent most of time analyzing and discussing personals on Craigslist Tokyo) , I hopped on a night bus from Shibuya to Osaka.

I’m not from Tokyo, but somewhere close enough. I didn’t have any special feelings for the city before. A friend of mine who is a fanatic lover of Tokyo converted me into a Tokyo fan.

Now I feel Tokyo is an interesting place full of hidden gems. When you know there are hidden gems in a place, the way you look at the place changes. That’s my perspective about Tokyo now.

Having said that, it’s probably the case that there are hidden gems everywhere. We just don’t pay attention enough.


The major reason why I went to Osaka was to catch a flight from there to Taiwan.

Why not flying from Tokyo? Because I scored a great deal offered by Peach, a Japan based LCC (low cost carrier): my flight from Osaka to Taiwan was 3500 Japanese yen, which is about 38 USD as of today. The bus ticket from Tokyo to Osaka was a little bit more expensive, indeed.

It was my second time to be in Osaka. My first time in Osaka was when I visited there to help Internal Affairs, a hardcore punk band from Los Angeles, as an interpreter/roadie/Japanese friend to hang out with. That was in 2007.

I had 24 hours in Osaka. I posted a note on couch that I’ll be in Osaka and if anyone local or international would be interested in exploring Osaka together.

I ended up meeting up with Albara, and I’m glad I met him. He’s from Saudi Arabia and now studying Japanese in Osaka. He’s probably one of the most enthusiastic people I’ve met recently. His eyes express great curiosity and love of his life.

He told me about and showed me this video. Your life is short enough on the astronomical scale, and it’s comparable to that of a mayfly on that scale. What do you make of it? Its definitely something to think about and to live by.

After spending the afternoon&evening with Albara, I headed to the airport. I spent the night there to catch an early morning flight. Kansai Internation Airport is clean and safe. It wasn’t too bad a place to have a little nap before the flight.


I arrived in Taipei, Taiwan in the morning on 11 Feb. Since it was during the Chinese New Year, things were quiet and all.

My main purpose in Taiwan is to train at Taiwan Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Academy. I spent 10 months traveling around Australia and South East Asia, training and competing, and I’m doing it again. There will be different destinations, though.

I enjoy being in Taipei so far. I’ve only been here for the last few days, and I already feel like I’ve been here for longer than that.

I like the structure of the city itself, and another big reason why I like this place would be because I already met some interesting people, which makes me feel I will meet more interesting people during my stay here.

For me, people come first. Temples and tourist attractions don’t attract me much. People… and food.

I look forward to my life in Taipei till I leave here on 29 March.


I don’t have a concrete plan for further trips. I have an intention to compete in Philippines in May (Yes, I said Philippines in May…), so I’ll probably be around South East Asia until then.

A vague plan is to move towards the west, and I had this plan last year, but it didn’t happen then. I’m really keen on exploring places new to me and doing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu with new people if that’s possible.

My freelance translation gigs barely support me for living this lifestyle, and I feel the need to expand my financial freedom.

I’ve been learning copywriting as my new sellable skill, through Copy Hour, and I’ve been enjoying it. In fact, I feel very natural about copywriting, because it intersects various areas I’m already interested in/have knowledge about. Let’s see if I can replace my translation gigs with copywriting gigs within one year.

Achieving what you want may not be easy, but it’s not impossible either. You gotta know what you want and do something about it to get closer to what you want. If you are the kind of person who takes action and moves forward, I’m here to support you.