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Sunrise in Tokyo

January 1st, 2007

Hi everybody!

It’s now time for yet another of uncle Mat’s travel story! I’ve been travelling for 4 months and have met many many great people in every country I went to. I was sad to leave Russia and wish my visa would have been longer, 21 days was not enough! I’m currently in Japan and manage to see the sun rising this morning! That was pretty cool, the first sunrise in the country of the rising sun 🙂

Hi everybody!

It’s now time for yet another of uncle Mat’s travel story! I’ve been travelling for 4 months and have met many many great people in every country I went to. I was sad to leave Russia and wish my visa would have been longer, 21 days was not enough! I’m currently in Japan and manage to see the sun rising this morning! That was pretty cool, the first sunrise in the country of the rising sun 🙂
In Russia I stayed a lot at people houses (locals and expat) and they were all very positive experiences. The first person I stayed with was a Hungarian girl that my friend Cyril put me in contact with. She was very interesting girl who travelled a lot and now teach german in a university while learning russian. She was really hospitable and a good drinker as well. I then went to stay with Pavel a Russian guy I’ve met in Egypt about a year a go. He’s the owner of the local internet provider and also a Matrix lover. We had a few geeky talks, a lots of drink and we even went ice fishing! He’s now doing the Lisbonne – Dakar motorbike rally and I wish he’ll manage to reach the end! I was sad when I had to leave his place to go catch the boat in Vladivostok. But when I was there I had a great time staying with 3 young russians. They even took me out a party where I ended up talking all night we new people. At 6:00 am I had to leave the place to pack my bag and run to the arbor to catch my ferry to South Korea. They told me to get there for 7:00 but they didn’t let us on the boat before 10:30! If I knew I would have had some sleep! I was a bit fucked up on the boat and I was sharing my room with 10 russians who invited my to drink vodka! “Awwww snova vodka!” (Awww vodka again!?) I tried to drink a little as possible because I was not in very good shape after that weird night. One of the guy had a black eye when I woke up, I have no clue what happend to him. I was really sad on the boat to leave such a great country and I know I’ll go back there sooner or later as there so much more to see and the people where so nice to me. It strange because I’ve been told by other travellers that the people where cold and unfriendly.. it was all the oposite for me. I miss Russia and Russians! (espacialy the tall and blonde one 😉

I got to Seoul and spent 5 days in a guesthouse where I was the only foreigner. There was another guest, but he was a Korean student, good thing he could speak relatively good english but he was not often there. I guess the most interesting thing I did there was to visit the DMZ (demilitarise zone) between the North and the South. Very crazy what happend there. I visited an infiltration tunnel that was digged by North Korean to invade South Korea. It was not very high (I had to walk with my head down), I called it : Made by Koreans for Koreans but it was apparently big enough to let tanks go throught. From that tunnel, troups would be less then an hour from Seoul. They found 4 tunnels so far and that one (called the 3rd one) was the biggest of them. There was also the enevitable visit to shrines and temples but I think I’m getting templed out, I prefer a lot more the contact with the people than visiting buildings.
I then went to Pussan where I surfed another couch (you can have a look at www.couchsurfing.com if you don’t know what I’m talking about) with an American girl who teach english in Korea. It was strange to be with native english speaker after such a long time. She also birng me in a club where 98% of the crowd was foreigners. Quite a shock I have to admit, and not the most interesting night of my trip. I still enjoy a few conversations of course and what didn’t help I drop my first draft beer in a while on the floor after the first sip! That was a real tragedy!! We had a very nice dinner and a video night with some of her friends.

I spent the last 3 weeks (roughly) in Japan and it’s another succes! I mean, I love this country and I’m acutaly thinking of comming back to work here for a while. I love the culture, the way they scream at you when you get in a shop to greet you. I stayed with 3 couchsurfer so far in Japan and I’m heading at another one tomorrow. I love that concept of staying at people’s house either locals or expats, it gives you a another insight of the country and peoples and I find it very interesting. The most disturbing and yet interesting thing was my visit to the Hiroshima’s Peace Museum. I wrote a little text about how I felt when I got out of there. If you’re interested, it’s on my webpage. I have fun spending Xmas & New Year’s eve partying with japanese and I loved it. You might think I enjoy any party but that’s not the point! I still have a few more days in Japan and then I leave by ferry for China where I’m meeting with my friend JF and will travel south of China for a month. The funny thing is I’ll be turning 30 on the Chinese new year so all the Chinese will celebrate for my birthday! Imagine a billion people partying with me, who can say his birthday was that big an event?

I wish you all a very happy new year, hope it’s gonna be a very healthy and fun one.

Take care,
Mat.



Tought of the month : Live your dreams till the end

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