ben griffiths
an insight into the mind of a genius

Archive for July, 2008

It may be Asia, but it certainly doesn’t cost it!

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008

It’s funny really, a year or so ago when I first went to Hong Kong, I believed it to be a fantastic place with super low prices. Indeed, I was considering moving here - tech heaven as it were.

Last December I returned, again, I also thought it was a good place, though the prices seemed a little higher this time.

And now let’s roll into now … after living in Taiwan for almost a year, a return to the Tech Island and what do we think?

OH MY GOD IT’S EXPENSIVE HERE!

It’s funny really how everything is put into perspective. Living in Japan made me believe that prices in Asia were almost on-par with the UK (albiet a little cheaper), technology certainly wasn’t cheap there - which was why coming to Hong Kong was also a refreshing change.

But alas, Taiwan has really blown that magic out of the water. No longer is HK the place to come to buy cheap electrical items, hell, I can get them cheaper at the electronics store next to my house (AND it’s a chain store!!).

Going out for food too … yikes! Walking around last night, I wanted to go back to the Indian I found so favourable last christmas. I remembered the location well enough, up the big hill - and indeed there it was. What I hadn’t remembered so well however was the sky high pricing - 3 pounds 50 for a curry and chips, plus 70p for a can of sprite .. WTF?!?

Maybe I’m just being spoilt living in Taiwan (ha, never thought I’d say that!) - but what I do know is, coming back home is going to be a reality check and a half (just how much is a London bus these days anyway, I’m sure it’s not going to beat the 22p of Taipei!)

Actually, just to end this on a happy note - I’m delighted to inform you all that the game centers haven’t increased in price - thus I’m still able to go and play all the latest games for a mere 6p a shot …. bliss!

(That reminds me, it’s still 16 HKD to the pound - impressive seeing as everywhere else in Asia the pound has crashed - the poor pound vs TWD rate dropped from 67 to a miserable 60!! Although that in itself is a bit of good news, it was 58 at one point!!!)

Asia and the travelling bug

Friday, July 4th, 2008

I know I haven’t updated for ages - and sorry, but this isn’t going to be a biggie - but I was just doing a random jot down of all the flights I’ve been on since I came out to Asia - and as the list grew and grew, I realised I just had to write this down so as never to forget the insanity of it all.

It starts off simple enough, a few flights here and there - just wait until it hits 2007 …. and then the fun begins!

  • August 2005 - London > Shanghai
  • August 2005 - Shanghai > Tokyo
  • January 2006 - Tokyo > London (Transfer in Seoul)
  • February 2006 - London > Tokyo (Transfer in Seoul)
  • August 2006 - Tokyo > London (Transfer in Kuala Lumpur)
  • August 2006 - London > Tokyo (Transfer in Kuala Lumpur)
  • December 2006 - Tokyo > London
  • December 2006 - London > Tokyo
  • April 2007 - Osaka > Okinawa
  • April 2007 - Okinawa > Osaka
  • April 2007 - Osaka > Phuket (Transfer in Hong Kong)
  • April 2007 - Phuket > Hong Kong
  • April 2007 - Hong Kong > Taipei
  • April 2007 - Taipei > Osaka
  • May 2007 - Osaka > Taipei
  • May 2007 - Taipei > Osaka
  • June 2007 - Tokyo > Taipei
  • June 2007 - Taipei > Tokyo
  • July 2007 - Tokyo > Okinawa
  • August 2007 - Okinawa > Osaka
  • August 2007 - Tokyo > Seoul
  • September 2007 - Seoul > Bangkok
  • September 2007 - Bangkok > Phuket
  • October 2007 - Phuket > Tokyo
  • October 2007 - Tokyo > Taipei
  • December 2007 - Taipei > Hong Kong
  • December 2007 - Hong Kong > London
  • January 2008 - London > Amsterdam
  • January 2008 - Amsterdam > London
  • January 2008 - London > Milan
  • January 2008 - Milan > London
  • February 2008 - London > Taipei (Transfer in Hong Kong)
  • April 2008 - Taipei > Bangkok
  • April 2008 - Bangkok > Surat Thani
  • April 2008 - Koh Samui > Bangkok
  • April 2008 - Bangkok > Lahore
  • April 2008 - Lahore > Bangkok
  • May 2008 - Bangkok > Taipei
  • June 2008- Taipei > Bangkok
  • June 2008 - Bangkok > Taipei

So there you go 40 flights in total (46 including connections), however if you want to make it impressive, in the period of April 2007 > June 2008 (so 14 months) - I’ve been on 32 different flights!

I wonder what July will have in store for me !! :)