ben griffiths
an insight into the mind of a genius

2009 - a year gone by … part one

January 7th, 2010
Listening To  Daft Punk - Aerodynamic

Welcome back dear friends, it has been many a month since I wrote anything on here, infact almost a whole year has passed us by.

So what has prompted this return to all things blog? Well, a few reasons actually.

  1. Last year was mad, I actually did so many things and it would be silly to forget all about them. Admittedly, the memories have already started to fade a bit (getting older, lol) – but it would be nice to keep a run down.
  2. Increasingly I am finding myself sitting around bored, a writing hobby will be good for me – I intend to try and do one entry a week (or bi-weekly at the least)
  3. And possibly the most important reason of all – to try and reclaim my English ability. My language skills (of my own language…) have gone to crap. When the only people you really communicate with are using pigeon English, you start to use it too – and do this for 3 years and you’re in a whole world of trouble. So hopefully by starting to write again, I’ll become more articulate once more :)

Where to start then, well, seeing as the year just began, it might be good to start of with my resolutions – of course, there is no guarantee that I will achieve any of them, but it’s nice to make a list…

News Years Resolutions for 2010

  1. Fly on 50 planes this year. Actually, I might as well bump this up to 52, bringing me to an average of 1 a week. That sounds like a lot (well I guess it is) – but I did manage 38 last year, which is only 14 shy … just need to add in 1 extra a month.
  2. Take up one of either : Learning the guitar or Learning a Marshal Art.
  3. Properly study one of my languages. Easiest one to do would be Japanese, however Chinese is on my list of possibilities – possibly even Thai seeing as I will be living there.

2009 – A year in pictures

So let’s begin….

January : New York, Boston and Chicago

The year had barely begun before I was on my first plane, a Virgin Atlantic flight bound for New York. It was quite exciting as it would be my first time in America since my holiday there when I was 16 – and also my first ever time to the East Coast.

Apart from the cooker on the plane breaking, thus ensuring I had a nice supply of cold food, the flight was pretty uneventful and I landed in fairly good spirits. US Customs soon killed that though, after making me wait almost 2 hours in a queue just to get into the stupid country (I would discover later on in the year that this is perfectly normal .. NOTE TO READERS – always allow 4 hours for a transfer….)

The apartment we were staying in was AMAZING. A huge place which looked absolutely fantastic and right near to Central Park, even with its own kitchen!


The next few days were of course then spend walking around the capital and seeing what sights were on offer, in between eating ridiculously massive meals of course…..

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Before all too long though, time was up, and we had to jump on a bus to Boston and so began the beginning of our snowy adventure….

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However, we were actually only there for one night …. lol … and had to be up super early the next day to get the plane to Chicago, which, if you thought Boston was snowy, totally kicked ass in terms of white levels…

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The snow actually got my return flight cancelled, but, BA very kindly offered a support flight which only got my total journey delayed by about 6 hours or so. Not really too bad, as it meant I got one last meal in a local sports bar :)

February : UK and Japan

Snow was beginning to become a common theme this year, as Feb kicked off with a massive snowfall in England!! Yes, I kid you not. So unprepared was everyone for this, that the country was brought to a standstill with public transport being cancelled left, right and centre, along with most people just taking the day off work and going up to the park (good on them I say!)

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This only lasted a few days though and luckily didn’t affect my flights out – a good thing too as I was on my way back to Japan for a reunion with my good chums Ashley, Francesco and Chris – AKA the Osaka Crew :)


March : Hong Kong and India

I had got wind of a wedding party going on in HK with my dear chinese chums and not being one to miss a wedding party, made sure I was on a flight over there in order to meet up with everyone. It was a fantastic trip, met loads of great new people, played lots of dice games, saw the horse racing at Happy Valley, got to go over to Macau for some gambling, down to the beach for a BBQ and also to sit in the news desk at Bloomberg!

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Straight after HK it was my turn to be the host, as a few of my chums flew back on the same airline as me to come and visit Taipei. They only had 3 days, but we made the most of it and I’m pretty confident to say they left with some good memories.


However I had barely been back in Taiwan a week or so before it was time to leave the country once more for yet another wedding. This time it was Zak’s Wife’s Brother’s turn to get hitched, so off to Ahmadabad I was sent (a journey which from door-to-door took 36 hours!?!?!) – though not before meeting a new friend working in the business class lounge at BKK – say hello to Mint :)


I’m not quite if I can accurately describe the whole India trip in words. In short, it’s so much better than Pakistan, though I’m not sure why we need to bribe almost everyone to let me do almost anything…, Indian’s don’t mind having a hornet’s nest in the toilet, McDonalds is rubbish there and most of all, despite the fact you can cram 12 people in a 9 seater car – it most definitely isn’t comfortable!!!

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April : Thailand

After an amazing 2 weeks in India, I hopped back on the plane to Bangkok and then onto a connection to Koh Samui, where I would get to revisit the glorious “Green Mango” as well as head out to the monthly full moon party.

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Now one thing I totally need to mention is Koh Samui airport. It is the best airport in the whole world. Billing itself as a “Boutique Airport” – it looks like little beach huts, has free food, free drinks, free newspapers and free internet! Next time I go there, I’ll be sure to check in a few hours early just to make the most of it – you even get taken to the plane on a little train!

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I had been talking with Mint over email for the time I was in India and she had agreed to pick me up from Bangkok airport when I got back. Thus, I was whisked away from the airport in a very nice BMW and off on the freeway to Pattaya where we’d decided to go for a mini trip.

Walking Street was a very lively place with plenty of GoGo bars to see, however we stuck to more traditional entertainment and we to see a very good Philippine live band. Also met a few more friends there – bonus :)

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The next day we went to the Pattaya Tower to zip wire down it before finally heading back to the big city.

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Of course then it was back to Taipei – but it’s always so hard to leave Thailand…. too many memories like this …


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