• Life,  Real Estate

    What’s Ayers Rock Got To Do With Getting a Mortgage?

    Reading Time: 3 Minutes “Idō shite kudasai” I looked back… a smirking Japanese boy of 8 looks up at me. Hesitantly, I snake around the chain link fence and let him move past. This is it, I say to myself… if a kid can do it, I can bloody well do it. ~~~ OK so you might be thinking, what is he on about? Well, MrsFrugalSamurai and I spent the last few days in the Australian Outback… or more specifically, in the dead centre of our great country, where we visited the famous Uluru, or Ayers Rock. It was quite an incredible experience and I can totally see why many…

  • Travels

    Beijing, Hong Kong and Taipei

    Reading Time: 3 Minutes Hooray! Finally have a moment to settle back in from the epic month we just had! Excuse moi for going AWOL during that period, first going overseas and then being KO-ed with this suspicious flu-like illness. After the short post last week (here) to let everyone know we are still alive, here’s a longer version of what transpired on our trip. Beijing People ask me why I am always heading back to Beijing? Is it the crisp, clean air? The generosity and agreeableness of the locals? Well, er…not quite. It’s because Beijing is my home town and a lot of my close relatives are there. In…

  • Travels

    And We Are Back!

    Yes that’s right! Back from a full 3 and a half weeks across 3 legs of Beijing, Hong Kong and Taipei. Thoroughly enjoyed that time off I tell you! And you know, the best part about going overseas? Is going overseas! The journey, the adventure, the exploration of new sights and sounds. Experiencing the local culture, sampling the local cuisine, visiting the local haunts. British accent on. ‘Positively DELIGHTFUL old boy”. British accent off. And I really want to give you a proper recollection of just what transpired over the last month, to explain TheFrugalSamurai’s absence from the airwaves. Yet alas – I seem to have picked up some nasty bug…

  • Travels

    Chinese Golden Week

    Reading time: 5 minutes Whew, we are back boys and girls! Back from where? Well, China of course! Been a pretty epic trip this time, as chronicled in the last two posts (here and here). Although we spent the majority of the time in Beijing, we were pretty lucky (or unlucky) to experience Golden Week. What’s Golden Week? Well, Wikipedia explains it as the “week from the 29th April to early May containing a number of Japanese holidays”. Nice, nice – the Japanese really deserve it you know? What with their car-making, raw fish and exemplary manners. Good for them. Eh? Why’d you tell a story about Japan, weren’t you…

  • Life,  Travels

    4 Things to Know in Beijing (and My Brush with the Authorities)

    Reading time: 6 minutes “Halt!” Shouted the voice outside the barracks. I turned, to come face to face into the glaring eyes of a soldier on duty. “What’s wrong?” I enquired with a quizzical look. ”Show me your phone”. I looked around, there were now FOUR soldiers in a semi-circle facing me. Without further protest, I handed it over to the first soldier, who proceeded to scroll through my photo album. “Delete this”, he pointed at the last two pictures I took. Meekly I obeyed, what else could I do? Because this here is China – the country of my birth. In China, taking pictures of government buildings and military…