18 08 2015

The “Godzilla view” room at the popular new Gracery hotel in Kabukicho, Tokyo, which opened in April this year. It looks like it is near the old Koma Theatre and where Liquid Room and Code nightclubs used to be, around a dusty concrete square where homeless people always slept and I went to see “Dreamgirls” in the rain. Ahhhh, Tokyo memories…

…and while you are there, why not try out this Tokyo Snake Cafe?

The strange tale of the Indonesian Chicken Church

11 08 2015

Why was a giant church, built in the form of a chicken, left abandoned in the Indonesian jungle? Read about it here.

Only in Japan

29 06 2015

A deceased train station cat becomes a Goddess

…and a ‘handome’ gorilla becomes an unlikely sex symbol.

Happy Valentines Day

15 02 2015

…although not everybody thought so. In Japan, the Revolutionary Alliance of Men that Women Consider Sexually Unattractive held an anti-Valentine march through Shibuya to protest against “oppressive chocolate capitalism”.

And in China, the single had already celebrated with their January 11 “Bare Stick” day, a cyber-rite which appeared out of the blue in 1993 and rapidly spread across China via the internet, whereby loveless men celebrate their singledom and buy themselves presents (a practice hastily commodified by online shopping portal Ali Baba, which has turned the bachelor ritual into the busiest day for online sales globally.)

Could the event soon by heading worldwide?

Mummified 200-year-old monk found in Mongolia in ‘very deep meditation’, Buddhist academic claims

7 02 2015


A tale of mystery, wonder, corpse-thievery, supernatural powers and Buddhist redemption – the full story at the Independent here.

Hundreds of cats to be crushed in building demolition

28 01 2015

Coconuts Bangkok reports on the tragic fate in store for hundreds of stray cats who have Murakami-esquely taken over an empty apartment block in Bangkok.

Bangkok Part 2: A city of surprises

4 01 2015

A few days into my trip, the surprises kept coming. I saw a white-haired white man stroking a white-haired cat at 2am at a table of hookers in sparkly minidresses, surrounded by the the sprawling bodies of sleeping kids and adults. I saw a man passed out in a Santa hat outside a temple on New Years Eve, with a pack of wild street dogs sleeping around him – one under his head like a pillow. A tut-tutting passerby snatched the few banknotes out of his begging tin and tucked them in to the sleeping man’s belt as he lay lost to the world.

I saw a homeless woman with four cats on plastic strings. I went to  internet cafes in the middle of the night filled with Middle Eastern tourists yelling down the phonelines to Cairo and Morocco, where the keyboard default language was Arabic and my browsing was interrupted by an amplified call to prayer.

I saw dwarf monks, and stumbled on to a huge kerbside statue of a gorilla. I found a coffee shop next to a mosque with an inflatable Darth Vader peering out of a top floor window. I saw a flock of pigeons roosting in the glittering eaves of a riverside temple and stumbled across an altar of offerings book-ended by enormous cigarette-like bundles of incense, each a metre tall, in the middle of an alleyway in Chinatown. I saw a clown in a blonde wig dancing in a vegetable market. And a Japanese porn star. And a friend’s ex.

And I discovered more and more of the strange and unexpected sights with which the city is so richly endowed.


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