A quick glance at the 2007 calendar shows I was away a hell of a lot. 2008 is even more blacked out with escapades around the globe. Being the AsiaScribbler involves seriously pissing off Al Gore with all the air miles I accumulate, and genuinely it is something I think about a lot. I don’t drive being perhaps the only person to fail a driving test because of a screeching, tire burning emergency stop 13 years ago, and the house I own has solar panels. I take long, long train rides often to avoid planes, but more often than not time or oceans get in the way of taking my preferred way of travel.
There’s a guy on Fantasy Island, where I live in Hong Kong, who is often pilloried for his extreme hippy looks, yet credit where credit is due he has planted more than 7,000 trees on our fair shores since I came here. In a vain attempt to rid me of my green guilt, I think I’ll pitch in with his tree planting sessions this year … if I am around at the allotted time.
So 2008, the Beijing Olympics year, sees me avoiding that sporting fest like SARS given the expected 10,000 journos to be hanging around the Chinese capital this summer.
Still, I’ll probably visit Beijing at least four times, Shanghai a couple, Chongqing, Wuhan and Chengdu each twice, excitingly the China/Afghan border (all 76km of it), Xinjiang province in the northwest, a return to Yunnan via Guizhou, plus obligatory trips to nearby Guangzhou.
So that’s China! Then there’s Singapore likely 6-8 times, the Philippines countless times, South Korea twice, North Korea in March for their game vs the ROK, Japan twice, Taiwan once, Dubai once, France and the UK three times, Australia once, Vietnam once, Thailand once, Tajikistan once, and possibly Russia’s Far East. These are just the planned ones.
In other words, this year I got me self a lot of trees to plant!