July 18, 2013 @ 11:00 am - posted by Drew Charles

So life is tough as I continue my half working half travelling globe trotting around Asia. Still the world is conspiring to amuse me.

Chengdu picture


Recently we threw a party with friends. Each person had to bring food, which resulted in some lovely creations, and also the one with “salad, French fries, ketchup, tortilla chips, and mayonnaise all in one bowl” (Chinese eat anything, but maybe not this!).

I needed to buy some shower gel here (I do wash), but unfortunately due to the Chinese obsession with paler skin I seem to have accidentally bought shower gel that makes my skin white.  As if my problem is an over-tanned skin?  In all my life, I’m not sure I’ve ever been accused of needing to lose some of that dark complexion. Currently the brightness of my skin puts me real danger of reflecting so much light; I interfere with passing satellites!


I managed to get so drunk that I missed an Earthquake! Apparently it even scored 4.8 on the Ritcher scale making it on the edge of “moderately dangerous” (luckily Chengdu has been built Earthquake proof). Here’s the problem with drinking, much of the effects are similar to that of an earthquake i.e. the ground appearing to shake, falling over etc… In fact I so competently missed it, that I only found out 2 days later when someone asked me what I thought of it. As luck would have it we had another tremor a week later, so I’ve now been thoroughly been initiated into the Earthquake Club.

earthquake chart


One of the advantages of being in Asia is the abundance of cheap massages. However, treating myself to one I found myself in a precariously dangerous situation. I was being massaged by a man (worse to look at, stronger hands for those knots), but unfortunately when I’d laid down I’d not appropriately arranged my dangly bits. The body part in question is hanging down one side, which left me in a difficult situation as he massaged the top of my legs. What do you do? His hand is brushing against my private part, something he probably

didn’t care about, but I’m pretty uncomfortable with.

Here’s the paradox, do I reach down and rearrange myself so its out of the way? What if this looks like I’ve been turned on? What if he takes a prompt and offer’s me extra’s? But if I don’t move it, what if he decides I’m comfortable with his hand being so close? What if this gives him a prompt?

I look around the room, the openness of the layout. The other waft of smoke from other Chinese customers, and I decide in the circumstances I should just grin and bear it (obviously not grin too much, don’t want to send out the wrong signals…).


So having done some work, seen a few panda’s, felt the burn of a spicy hotpot, made some new friends, and failed to understand why Chengdu houses don’t come with central heating (the winter was down to 5 degrees) – I bid farewell to Chengdu to get some sun in Singapore.

Chi, my Asian host proved that Asians can be the best hosts in the world. She hooked me up with a 5-star hotel for free, tried to pay for everything, and the one time I did force her to let me “go Dutch” she felt so guilty about it she bought me an ice cream!

Singapore itself was its usual clean self, with over-charged prices for everything. It turns out Singaporean drink prices are an effective cure for my drinking habit! (its more expensive than London!)

So I’ve quickly decamped to Phuket to stay in my friend’s mock style Roman villa complete with tiled swimming pool. Life is tough working in the tropics on a sunbed each day, but please don’t worry about me, I’m strong, I’ll survive. I have no idea which country next though?

Final word of caution – Never take Health and Safety tips from a friend who fell off a 5th storey balcony (and somehow lived).


More Tales from Drew Charles

A Winter of Thought and Procrastination

Motorbikes, Ostriches & Bribery in Vietnam


About Drew Charles

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