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Words words everywhere... At the age of twelve I began writing a diary, to record the devasting tales of unrequited love that seemed to fill my life.

Since then, it's been hard to stop (although thankfully the unrequited love has, it is now mere ink on old pages), and with the exception of a two year break when I was busy mopping up after the washing machine, I have pretty much written it on a daily basis.

I am now writing the 50th edition. I think the main reason for my dedication is that my diary has come to be a good friend that listens to all I have to say, and doesn't answer back no matter what words I record within its pages.

Anyhow, there's a few more words here, and the collection below will continue to grow as I struggle on through the sheer adversity and pain of life... !

Travel Tales

I've always wanted to travel, ever since I was a wee nipper. Unfortunately it wasn't until I'd reached the grand old age of sixteen that I took my first step by myself, and embarked upon a hitch-hiking tour of Ireland.

Despite the difficulties involved (almost being abducted by two dirty old men, completely running out of food and money, finding a bloated dead cow on the beach) I had a fantastic time, with the exception of that hot Easter Sunday when no-one passing through Kilkenny would give me a ride (never in my life have I wished so hard for rain).

Anyhow, since then (with the exception of a slight glitch in 1998 when I bought a house in order to learn about leaking washing machines) I've either been living abroad or working in the UK saving for my next ticket of escape. In that time, I've had a few adventures, some of which you will find recorded below.

As with everything around here, it is work-in-progress, and so the collection will continue to grow.

9000 miles

In the summer of 2007 I embarked upon my longest adventure to date - 9000 miles halfway around the workd in 28 days.

Rather than take the train from Tokyo to London, I opted to go by train, ferry, bus, bike, car, horse, bicycle and on foot.

To read all about how I (a vegetarian) ended up gnawing on goat bones 9 hours from the nearest city in the Mongolian outback, and much more, visit www.9000miles.info.

 
 

Japanese Tales
Please note that most of my Japanese tales can be found in The Daily Mumble Archives, click here for more info.

 

Solo Volcano Night Climb ...What does one do having reached the top of a volcano? Walk around the crator I guess - so that's just what did. It was pretty treacherous going. The rim was very narrow in places, with a drop on either side that could easily be classed as lethal... (An extract from The Daily Mumble Archives)


Earthquake ...the table started crawling, the TV stayed still whilst the trolley that it stands on wheeled back and forth across the moving floor. Kae laughed at my reaction as I could hardly believe what I saw...


Japanese Sentos and Onsens: A User's Guide ...It's been well over a year now since my first trip to a sento, but I can still recall the traumatic experience. At the time I was completely ignorant of the few simple but vitally important rules that one should obey when within the walls of these steamy places...


Calling all Feminists! ..it seems Japan is somewhat behind many other westernised countries when it comes to political correctness. Whilst studying today I discovered the literal meanings behind the Japanese words for "husband" and "wife"...


Modern fashions ...Sabotaged lacy school uniforms were also quite common, and naturally there was the token camera crew and amateur pop group fighting the background drone of traffic...


Fried Crickets anyone? ...the crabs, although small, still looked vicious, and I really wasn't sure whether my teeth were strong enough to grind their pincers sufficiently so that I could swallow them. No problems on that score though, it turned out that they were just like Pringles. The crickets, with their pin sized legs sticking out were even more off putting...
<An extract from my online diary>


Joseph becomes an Office Worker ...my black suit is heavy on my shoulders and my tie is wringing the very life force out of me as the stiff collar of my shirt bites into my aching neck... ...I am beginning to feel that I AM Mr Sato who has "a wife and a daughter and a son and is 45 years old and likes to go scuba diving ..."
<An extract from my online diary>


Parasite Museum...the highlights for me included the 8.8m tapeworm that one poor man had the misfortune to play host to, and a lovely photo of a man who had an infection in his...


Electric Slippers ...will you be requiring the extension lead Sir?


 

Kabuki Theatre ...a typical performance begins at 11am, and runs right through until approximately 7pm. A prime seat for the entire performance will set you back about £90 ($130), although we managed to get tickets for back-row standing spots - a bargain at £5...


Electric Toilet ...my attention then turned to the 10-button remote control nestled in its cradle on the wall above the loo roll. Although of course I'd spent many hours with my eyes upon it, I had never had the opportunity to experience the delights behind the buttons...


Wwoofing at Milky House, Summer 2002 ...putting up fences around tennis courts, acting as secretary for foreign guests, chain-sawing, erecting a big canopy on the veranda, shovelling snow, avoiding the phone when it rings, accidentally driving over big stones with the ride-on mower, cutting telephone lines with a bush cutter, operating the mini-digger (no accidents as yet, touch wood)...


Japan 2000, a lengthy tale ...on October 28th I flew from Zurich, Switzerland, to Sapporo, Japan. The flight, via Amsterdam was ten-and-a-half hours too long, and by the time we'd landed my backside was completely numb. Having regained the use of my legs, I staggered down to the railway station, only to find that I was unable to buy a ticket as I couldn't make head nor tail of the characters used to list the place names...


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European Tales

Cow Hut Camp Fest 2001 ...was billed to be the biggest all-night open music festival to be held in Switzerland in the summer of 2001. It was organised and hosted by Mr. D Hill and yours truly, and in the end seven people showed up. Well, it was the first year for an event of its kind to be held at over 2,100 metres, so a low turnout was expected...


Racing Swiss trains and fracturing bones ...after we'd been biking for a couple of months, we were going at increasingly crazy speeds as we then knew the twists and turns on the way down. Up until that point neither of us had had bad accidents. I mean, of course there had been minor mishaps like the time when Dan went straight over the handlebars...


Get Rich Quick Scheme #294: Another great failure ...that evening in the staff room everyone was informed of the amazing deal on offer from room 415 - a cool beer for only 50 pence! It was less than half the price of any other beer in Scheidegg, and would give me a 150% profit...


Get Rich Quick Scheme #435: Another great failure ...well, the more he talked the more I heard the ring of profit. The normal retail price according to his brochure was over 1,800, and he was offering them to me for a third of that. I mean, if I sold them on for 1,200 that would be a 100% profit!...


Road Trip ..having been granted two days off work this week, Dan and I decided to take off south in search of sanity and relaxation. Yearning for freedom, we hired a car from Bruno, a local taxi driver, and took the highway towards the Italian region of Switzerland. For the first few kilometres I struggled to remember how to drive, frequently riding the kerb and attempting to change gear with the door handle on my left...
<An extract from my online diary>


How to spend £1,800 in Istanbul ...as soon as we'd settled, exotic fruits, beer, champagne and sticks of carrot were brought to the table. Thinking no more of it I began to indulge, perhaps this was a courtesy snack. "Little do they know that they'll get nothing out of me" .or so I thought...


Hitch-Hiking by Freight Train ...sensing that he was not "one of them" I told him how I'd ended up there, to which he replied, "Shit! We've got to get you out of here or you'll be arrested! They think you're here for an interview like the rest of us!


Camping on the roof of Hereford Cathedral tower ...I'm sure that other teenagers have also scaled it's lofty heights, although I'd be surprised to hear of a similar party taking place. I did actually attempt it once again a few weeks later with my two best friends. Unfortunately we were caught by the police just after we'd begun our climb and, as a result, we ended up having to spend that night camping downwind of a sewage treatment plant...


Interrail trip around Europe, a lengthy tale...I came careering down the piste at speed and skied slap-bang into some chap who stopped right in front of me. At the time I wasn't aware that I'd broken my left collarbone... ...following two weeks of immense boredom I was on the verge of insanity, and so when on a trip to my local village I found myself returning to my hotel not only with the bag of apples I'd set out to buy, but also with an Interail ticket, entitling me to free carriage on virtually any train in Europe for a month...


Switzerland 2001, a lengthy tale ...I was longing to get on the road again, and so within a month I had left my job, my girlfriend, my house, my friends and family, and exchanged it for an organic Wwoof farm in the valleys of central Switzerland.


Switzerland 1996, a lengthy tale ...It was now 7pm. I was exhausted following the ten-hour hitch and getting a bit desperate as car after car passed me, despite the placard I held which read 'FRANCE: 10?' Just as the streetlights began to buzz a van screeched to a halt a couple of hundred metres down the road, I grabbed my impossibly heavy rucksack and lurched after them. "Ten Quid?" he asked, before opening the door of their small van. I was to share the back with several crates of beer that they'd just bought in the duty free...


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Relationships and other stuff
this section is currently under construction and therefore lacking in material!

Thinking about buying a house? Read this first! ...the washing machine flooded the spare bedroom on Friday, causing the ceiling to fall off in the lounge below. I tried to convince Ruth that it was a fault with the machine, but when the chap came round to fix it he laughed, telling her that I hadn't attached the hose properly...


The Tale Of Ruth & Joe's Camping Trip ...they soon reached the small town of Ashburton, and using Joe's unique sense of navigation they proceeded to walk in the opposite direction to that in which their campsite lay. At this point it hadn't started to rain...


The day my passport went missing ...After three months, departure time was looming, and so I began to get my stuff together. I was horrified to find that my passport was missing - I hadn't used it since my arrival. I'd been searching for several days and phoned the British Embassy for advice a couple of times when...


Physical Violence ...Oh, there was one other incident: when I was about eleven years old, a load of schoolmates were about to throw me in the nettles . I bit one of them on the finger so hard that he screamed and they all dropped me...


Dear Diary: It's not all laughter ...I remember drifting around a jungle at Disneyland in an old boat with the funniest guide driving our little steamer. There were animals all over the place, incredible reproductions of elephants and the like. It was such fun. I laughed so much, and I didn't even understand a word she said...
<an extract from my personal diary>


Epilepsy, my blessing in disguise ...I was 16 years old when I was first diagnosed as having epilepsy. For a couple of months I'd been experiencing "dizzy spells" several times a week, during which I felt as if someone had muffled my senses. My vision became blurred, my balance went wobbly, and I was unable to say anything that could be understood.


The Rat Race ...You may be miserable today, but happiness IS just around the corner! Earn more money, that's what you need to do. After all, money = happiness! Sacrifices are neccessary - sure you may be bored stiff in your job or even hate it to death, but don't forget that for every moment you are sitting behind that desk you are earning more money. It doesn't matter if you're miserable today, because tomorrow immeasurable happiness will be on your doorstep...


My old online diaries four pages dating from 2001 when I first started to keep an online diary.


© Joseph Tame 2000~2009 | Contact Joseph