The collected writings of a Renegade Tourist

Category General stuff

Baby’s Second Adventure

Before becoming a parent I thought having a small child would mean being stuck at home most of the time. Recently I’ve found more and more that while there are some limitations, it is possible to go out and do fun things. Granted you have to make some adjustments to what you are doing and where you are going but still, you can go on little mini adventures. For instance me and my wife used to really enjoy taking the motorbike up into the mountains then go hiking to some semi-remote waterfall. We can’t go by motorbike anymore, but if … Read the rest

Baby’s First Adventure

A couple of weeks ago I was out with the motorcycle in the mountains and rediscovered a trail that we tried to hike many years ago but never finished because part of it had collapsed, then forgot about. From what I could see it seemed to be in good shape, so last weekend we decided to give it another go…this time with the baby.

It’s actually not much of a trail, only a few hundred meters long, but it leads to a waterfall which in my opinion makes it a worthwhile hike. The place isn’t particularly popular and it’s a … Read the rest

Making a DIY Knife

When I was in Japan a a year or two back I bought a kit for making your own folding knife from the big DIY department store Tokyu Hands. Since then I’ve been too busy with other stuff but now I finally had time to assemble it and I thought it might be fun to show how I made it.

The kit consists of two handle parts, a blade, two sets of screws, four washers, a stop pin, two pieces of sand paper, a small tool and the instructions manual. They come in different versions but I got the one … Read the rest

The Soda Can Stove

A little over a year ago I was unemployed meaning I had a lot of free time. I wanted to do something more meaningful with my time than just watching YouTube so I found a couple of craft project that I could do. One that seemed interesting was making a little stove, or rather a kind of alcohol burner, out of soda cans. To make it a bit more interesting I set myself a challenge. I wanted to see if I could build one of these soda can stoves using nothing but materials from the corner 7-11 and a Swiss Army Knife...continue reading

The Opium Eater’s Library

I’m reading Thomas De Quincey’s Confessions of an English Opium-Eater and I found a fantastic description of the library in his countryside cottage that I think is worth sharing. I leave it here without further comment:

“Surely every body is aware of the divine pleasures which attend a winter fire-side: candles at four o’clock, warm hearth-rugs, tea, a fair tea-maker, shutters closed, curtains flowing in ample draperies on the floor, whilst the wind and rain are raging audibly without

Paint me, then, a room seventeen feet by twelve, and not more than seven and a half feet high. […] it Read the rest

The Secret Beach in Yilan

October 10 is Taiwan’s national day and since it was a Thursday this year, most of the country got a four day weekend. My wife is pregnant and some pregnancy related medical conditions have kept her cooped up at home most of the time. As luck would have it, she was feeling well enough to go out that very weekend, so we decided to take a trip to Yilan in north east Taiwan.

The first day we drove from Hsinchu over to Yilan then spent the afternoon on the beach in Dongao Bay. It’s a beautiful beach with verdant … Read the rest

Dongmen Market, Day and Night

Near the center of Hsinchu City there is an old indoor market called Dongmen Market. It used to be a so called wet market where people would go to buy groceries, clothes and other everyday items. The place has been on the decline for a number of years with more and more of the little vendor stalls and shops closing down. Lately however, a lot of young people have been opening little restaurants, cafes and bars in the old vendor spaces. Most of these businesses are only open in the afternoons and evenings, so during the day the place is … Read the rest

Cold Stone Creamery ice cream review

Cold Stone has a lot of fantastic looking ice cream but I always found it hard to choose which one to have. The problem is that I only rarely went there, so I kept forgetting which ones I tried before and more than likely ended up trying the same ones over and over.

A while ago I decided to rectify this by simply trying all of them and writing it down. It turned into a series of mini reviews in the notes app of my phone. I finally tried the last one on the list, and for some reason I … Read the rest

DIY in the new apartment

Me and my wife recently bought a new apartment. To get the style we want rather than what a designer recommends, and also to save some money, we have been doing a lot of DIY for the interior decoration. I think it turned out really well, especially for two inexperienced people, and I just want to show off a bit.

Above is what the apartment looked like when we got the keys. The boxes are for the kitchen appliances that the construction company would install later. My brother inlaw was kind enough the install the floor tiles in the kitchen … Read the rest

The Passive AC Version 2

Back in May I wrote this article about building a passive AC. That time I attached it to the front of our living room fan and I found that while the principle worked the air flow was too low to give effective cooling. I also mentioned that I would like to try to fit one in a window to cool down the incoming air. Now, I’ve finally had a chance to test this concept.

The working principle is the same, as the air passes through the funnel it gets compressed which lowers the temperature. Last time I used standard 500 … Read the rest

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