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Showing posts from February, 2017

An introduction to touring China

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Just some words for the first time traveller to China:
It's a huge place, more like a continent, so take your time, and avoid those refugee style tours which cover 10 places in five days.
It's a nice thing to sit down, enjoy the airs, sights and smells, meet people, especially since we speak their lingo, and immerse yourself in the place like a local. You will enjoy it more than if you merely sat in the back of a tour bus, seeing everything from the comforts of a bus.
Some places, or rather many destinations require some form of walking, so being fit helps. You will see much more. Food can be very different, especially for those who have only taken Canton food. Try them, be it insects, snakes etc. 
China is very crowded, and no matter where you are, you will see lots of people. If you don't like that, don't go and then complain. Chinese can also be very pushy, and it will take another essay to explain why. When in Rome, do like them and you will be fine.
The toilets, …

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back - movie review

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The first instalment was not bad, like a good beef stew, it was a quiet boiler, working it's way slowing through and only reaching it's full taste near the end. It was tiring watching the second instalment.. It felt like Forrest Gump Part II Quite simply, it was a running movie: "From that day onwards, if I was going anywhere, I was running!"
Tom Cruise didn't perform to his usual best, and look like he was dialling it in. I also made the mistake of reading the book first, so all the nuances, the thoughts in his mind were lost.
Here was a movie that didn't know if it was a straightforward actioner, a whodunit thriller or a bit of comedy.
Jack needs to solve a paternity suit, free a prisoner, and absolve himself of crime once again. Cobie Sumlders doesn't smoulder too much here, she also look old and tired here, and there isn't a real chemistry between them. No couple on the run feel. In fact Robert De Niro and buddy feel more 'couply' in Midni…

Skiptrace movie review

Jackie Chan is famous for his slapstick comedy roles that is peppered with nonstop action. Think Project A, Police Story, and you will recall a series of movies with breathtaking stunts, amazing choreography of action mixed with humor reminiscent of Charlie Chaplin. Now I won't put Skiptrace in the same league, but it harks back to his heyday and it's nice to see him back for one more rodeo. 
For the uninitiated, this movie goes at a breakneck pace, and I wish I could watch it in Mandarin and English, just to see the difference. Think of the plot as secondary to the whole buddy scene, and it's a throw back to the Rush Hour franchise, and the plot is a mash of Midnight Run with Planes, Trains and Automobiles. Johnny Knoxville makes a good counterfoil to JC, and they traverse China together, in a funny travel-doco way, that invites you to laugh with or at them, marvel at the various sites and relive some of the old Jackie's action magic.
Don't let the Rotten Tomatoes r…

Mercedes W246 B180 Facelift Review

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So after a protracted search which took place when my car reached the last year of it's COE, I decided on this car. A true crossover, with a bit of SUV, MPV and hatchback all mixed into one.

What was my buying decision process?


I have set myself a budget of around 130 but if I can spend less, that will be even better. i.e, with my car thrown in, my outlay should not extend 120.



What are the things I really need, and what are the niceties then?


Needs:
Reliability is paramount. No 'characterful' cars, a euphemism for unreliable. So most likely a Jap car, that is actually made in Japan, maybe a Korean one, or perhaps a Merc if they are made in Germany and not somewhere else.

Not too low slung - I need easy enter and egress for my mum.

Versatile seats:
Folding rear seats, the ability to carry large objects will be very good.

Fuel economy:
Given the high oil prices, this will be a good thing.

Enough power to merge with traffic. I don't need a speedster, but I don't really want to …