Category Archives: Thoughts from the Hatter

Tea Sampling in Wazuka, Kyoto

Last April I visited the tea farms featured by Obubu Tea in Wazuka, Kyoto. It was a bit hard to get to since only a few buses go there, but it was well worth the trip!

Japanese Rural Towns
Japanese Rural Towns

Continue reading Tea Sampling in Wazuka, Kyoto

Food for the Lazy Brat

There are times when you just feel extremely lazy but at the same time entitled to gourmet food. You think you deserve better than cheetos or satisfying your hunger with mere instant noodles, and somehow you just read Paul Lafargue’s “The Right to be Lazy“. Yes, the bastard in you is bloating your sense of entitlement, thinking “Well, even if I’ll find myself stranded on a deserted island, or even orbiting another planet on board the L2 Colony, I still deserve restaurant quality food without going to the restaurant and paying for it. Nor will I work hard for it.” OH, SHAME ON YOU! But this is how I feel almost everyday so give me a high five! Continue reading Food for the Lazy Brat

Tea Sampling in Taipei, Taiwan

Following a lead in Lonely Planet about the “oldest tea selling shop in Taipei”, I took the #306 bus to the Daqiaotou bus stop right in front of Lin Mao Sen Tea Co. It looked so different from the image on Google Street View where it could have been taken years ago. I was greeted by a very modern-looking shop with the standard large, airtight cans for rows and rows of different teas. They also had beautiful teaware and tools. Continue reading Tea Sampling in Taipei, Taiwan

Google Maps Surfing

There are times when I drift off from work or planning a trip and end up Google Maps or Google Earth surfing for hours. It usually starts out as trying to draft itineraries for business or vacation trips then gradually progresses into aimlessly scrolling over satellite photos of the surrounding areas, going further and further away.

The latest episode of map surfing happened just a couple of nights ago. I bought cheap round trip ticket to Tokyo on a seat sale, and wondered whether I could spend a couple of days in nearby islands or countries to the north (Vladivostok or Korsakov) or east (Jeju Island, Korea), or even much further east (Taiwan). Its not going to be my first time in Japan. Last time I was there, I spent 10 days making at least 6 rides on the Shinkansen west and south of Tokyo and back, plus countless rides on the JR lines. It was the Cherry blossom season of this year and I loved it! Continue reading Google Maps Surfing

Dilemmas of the Pet Loving Traveller

If there is one thing that prevents me from being a nomad forever, it is my love for my pets. In fact, I would go as far as saying that most of the big decisions in my life have been made with my pets in mind, always considering my proximity to them and their well-being. Its not easy to enjoy your new found love of pho in Vietnam when your mind is back home, worrying about the simplest things like whether or not their caretakers have been providing your dogs and cats with fresh water twice a day. Continue reading Dilemmas of the Pet Loving Traveller

Superstitous Practises on Edible & Potable Things for the New Year

Writing about this just popped into my head after one of my friends wrote on his Facebook “What if, after all the superstitious things people do on New Year’s Day, it turns out that your entire year is determined by the quality of your first poop of the year?… I wonder if there any pseudo scientific studies on this shit“. It’s definitely something to think about! But you do end up wondering why a lot of cultures fixate on superstitions on food (and its remnants) in particular. I’d go as far as saying that we have made cultures around food, or perhaps food itself made cultures just like this new study on “How Beer Created Civilisation“. For a long while we thought that our early ancestors cultivated grain in the pursuit of good bread, but it turns out that the development of bread-making was a consequence of experimentation of grains from its cultivation for beer-brewing. Continue reading Superstitous Practises on Edible & Potable Things for the New Year

The Hatter in 2014

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New Year’s Eve dinner with the family is over. As I sit here in our provincial dining room at half-past 4 in the morning munching on crunchy pork rind dipped in spicy vinegar, I contemplate about my goals for this blog this year among other things in my life. I am expecting a very VERY busy year ahead, a year where my passions and ideals will be crossing over to how I actually make a living. There will be lots of changes ahead, so where would I get the time to mind my presence online as The Hatter? Continue reading The Hatter in 2014

Pick a Language & BE GOOD AT IT!

Something to digest for the general food & tech nerds out there who loathe the task of explaining their work to the rest of humanity. I’ve been there once, but realised how everyone should not just be fluent in a language (any language) but be very good at it. Its hard for people whose work doesn’t directly require being a good communicator to accept that they are also required to be one, as everyone should be able to share their thoughts & ideas effectively simply because they are part of society. Continue reading Pick a Language & BE GOOD AT IT!