Hello, I’m still in Bangkok and I’ll be returning to Singapore on a 6.30pm plane this evening.
I quite like Bangkok. I love the Skytrain. Any city with a metro system gets one thumbs up for me. Two thumbs if it doesn’t smell like pee.
I love the shrines along every street. I love how the king is loved so much that I see as many of his posters as I would a regular celebrity.
Unfortunately, I’ve only eaten one meal since I have arrived. Yes, the Glutton ate ONE meal in Bangkok. It’s a long story: I had to wait 1.5 hours for a massage and I was too lazy to find food. Plus, having a full stomach is not conducive for the wrestling moves I had to do.
Here’s a video I did before I head out into the streets.
The worse part of travel preparations is booking a hotel. Even with reviews, I’m never sure how a room would turn out.
Luckily, Hotel Maruchu in Tokyo turned out to be alright.
When I extended my business trip in September, I had to look for a place to stay. I found Hotel Maruchu online and thought that its location right next to Minami-Senjuu is great.
As a miser budget traveller, the 3,500 yen (US$44.5) price was what clinched the deal. In comparison, the price of a dorm bed at Sakura Hostel is 2,940 yen (US$$37.3).
The hotel was not too difficult to find. It’s just across the tracks of Tokyo Metro’s Minami-Senjuu station, and a bit more walking if you come from the JR station. There’s an overhead bridge with slopes to roll your suitcase around.
When I reached, the concierge was really enthusiastic and spoke a bit of English. I should have been ashamed of myself for not speaking more in Japanese. (Sorry mom!)
I chose the Japanese-style single room (which is also a two-person room according to the sign outside). The room is really tiny but I guess that’s what you get in space-constraint Japan.
There’s a Chinese saying, “A sparrow might be small, but it has all five internal organs.” The saying is a lot more poetic in Chinese, I assure you.
Well, Maruchu’s room is definitely has a sparrow’s innards. My room had a futon mattress, pillow, blanket fridge, TV, bathrobe, towel, a box of tissue, a table and a cushions. It also has free Wi-Fi, take that Marriott!
Bonus! A clip of me rambling on about the room.
(I never managed to visit the cemetery because I got lost.)
Outside the room, there’s the shared toilet and pantry.
The toilet has men’s urinals (though it will be really awkward walking in on a man peeing) and the cool modern Japanese toilets.
Not included in the my photos is the public bath. For me, this was actually the main attraction.
In a public bath, you take a shower and bath with other people. Some people might feel uncomfortable about this but I actually like the Japanese’s nonchalance of other people’s naked bodies. As they say, when in Rome do as the Romans.
Do note that the bath is open to women at a shorter timing than men.
There’s a nice Japanese restaurant outside of the JR station which is within walking distance of the hotel. A 7-11 is a short walk away too. The streets were quite deserted at night when I walked to the convenience store, although I don’t think it’s dangerous for a woman to walk alone.
Minami-Senjuu is near Ueno Park but it’s actually a lot further to the city center. I didn’t like the travelling.
In a nutshell
Stayed at Hotel Maruchu, Tokyo
Pros: Enthusiastic concierge, cheap cheap price, cool Japanese room
Cons: Train station is far from the city center, people who are shy about being naked with strangers might not like the public bath, small Japanese room
I have a confession. I have very bad taste in music: I love viral music.
Back when Rebecca Black’s Friday and Carly Rae Jepsen’s Call Me Maybe were popular, I listened to them repeatedly on Youtube not ironically but with full appreciation of the catchy lyrics and head bobbing tunes.
Currently on my Youtube loop (because I cannot buy it from the Singapore iTunes) is GANGNAM STYLE from PSY.
I thought about sharing the deep meaning of the song which parodies the dirt rich in Korea but I thought it would make you click the X button. Instead, I have compiled a list of Top 5 (in no particular order) covers of PSY’s song. (And leave the heavy reading to WSJ.)
ORANG SABAH STYLE (OPPA GANGNAM STYLE PARODY)
A Hakka version of Gangnam Style featuring my hometown (or homestate) Sabah. Lots of locations taken at places I am familiar with. The ending even has Bruno Mars.
Best line: Come to Sabah, wanna try the seafood. Go to island, Hey!
GANGNAM (SUPER KAMPUNG) STYLE
This is a version made by a Malaysian radio station. I think it’s really cool that the employees are sporting enough to do the invisible horse riding dance everywhere in KL.
Best line: “But in your kampung, you can wear sarong. Anywhere you go oh. Everybody knows oh.”
這群人 – 學尬乾那塞 (GANGNAM STYLE Cover/Skit/台語版)
“Studied like Shit”
A Mandarin + Taiwanese Hokkien version with a sexy dressed as a teacher/librarian. Sex sells, of course. Best line (translated): You… don’t study. Learn! Learn! Learn! Learn! Studied like shit
Singaporean Style (Gangnam Style Parody)
Best part: Instead of the invisible horse riding dance, they have a shake your fist up and down dance.
Best line: “Ehhhhhh give me Tau Huay”
PSY (ft. HYUNA) 오빤 딱 내 스타일
“‘Oppa Is Just My Style”
OK, I’m cheating with this video. It’s actually a follow up to the original song, sung from the girl’s point of view.
UPDATE: Oppa KL Style
From KL, again.
The original video
PSY – GANGNAM STYLE (강남스타일) M/V
Have you found any interesting covers of GANGNAM STYLE?