The Penguin is Packed


Monday, around lunchtime we fly out of Hobart for Tokyo, Japan. Mr. Penguin and I have always travelled to various countries on our own. Busses, Trains, Planes and have taken us through many countries. For Japan, because of the language neither of us speaks (though there will be lots of English there) and the masses of people, we decided to relax with an organised tour from a company in Adelaide, South Australia. We chose it because it has small groups. There is not supposed to be over 20 people on this 17 day journey (a “taster journey” as we think of it). We’ll see what area we enjoy and then perhaps go back in the future on our own. I love the fact they organise for us but my experience has shown me on every tour whether it be for days or minutes there is always one person. That one person who is in your face, talks all the time, gets lost and doesn’t get back to the bus on time. The general pain in the backside. I am looking forward to seeing who that person is. I know, a bit negative but it is a little game I play. The others will all be wonderful I am sure.

The cats have been taken to a cattery for the time we are away and the dogs will stay home with a house sitter who loves them. She works so we need the pet door open for them to come and go into the back yard. As our cats are not allowed to roam, living mainly in their home and outdoor cat enclosure they get boarded out. We tell them they are going to camp and leave it at that. They, of course are completely, unimpressed.

Snip20170402_4We will be in rural areas half of the time and in the cities half of the time. Three nights in each place pretty much. We fly into Tokyo and visit other cities. I thought if I am not too exhausted at night from the early breakfasts and the long hours of walking I will have the Penguin contribute to this post a bit. So hang on tight, here we go.

In preparation, I must admit there is little except clothes in the suitcase. My own ‘capsule’ wardrobe where everything goes with everything is rolled and bagged.  I do not read everything about a country before I visit it. I tend to get on the plane or in the hotel for the first night and then cram. Much like I did in university when something was due the next day. Quite often, I skid through life by the seat of my pants.

Snip20170402_5I picked this book up about two years ago when I saw it in a book shop in Sydney. I bought it because I love drawing and sketching. I would love nothing more than to be an excellent drawer and sketcher. I have decided I will take a small book and some pencils and sketch a few things as I go. I have had two lessons on You Tube and feel I am ready to hit the world. Haha, the circles will not be round, the cubes will look like they are about to collapse and the squares and rectangles will not have equal sides, I am sure. But I am going to do it. It will be fun. The pictures will make me laugh and no one needs to see them but I might share some of them to make you laugh. Go ahead, laugh all you want. I have always believed one should get out of their comfort zone and try whatever they love whether they succeed or not. Besides I know each and every one of you has something you can’t do so I stick out my tongue and say, “Nah, nah, nah? nah, nah.”


Tokyo on Foot by Florent Chavouet. Florent is a young French man who is in Japan for almost a year with his partner who is doing an internship. From June to December, 2006 (I believe it is) he gets a bicycle and a lawn chair and explores the neighbourhoods (his term, not mine) of Tokyo. He is very detailed in his sketching and there are lots of colours. I really love looking through this book. From temples to the cockroaches that infest his apartment.

He takes each neighbourhood, one at a time and begins each chapter with their local ‘boba’ (police station or service.) He has various poses for the policeman who introduces the chapter and they can be quite humorous.

From the back flap of the book:  Florent Chavouet is a young graphic artist and author living in Paris. When he returned from Japan, he realised that all the observing and sketching he had done had helped him develop his own visual style, so his stay there led not only to his discovery of a certain Tokyo but to his evolution as an artist. This is his first book. He is at work on his next one.

Snip20170402_1If you are interested in Japan, travels by bloggers, hilarious drawing by someone who does not know what they are doing or just following a little stuffed penguin who I now refer to as Penguino, then stay tuned for the next 17 days.

If you are completely bored and want nothing to do with any of us that’s okay too. I’ll be home again on the 19th.

For those spammers who sometimes read this blog and leave stupid messages the house will be inhabited by a determined house sitter and two rottweiller/doberman cross dogs who used to work for the police force. Go ahead, I dare you.

Snip20170402_8Wish the three of us luck and good weather and lots of scrummy Japanese food.

12 thoughts on “The Penguin is Packed

  1. Haha, love your threat to the spammers who know you are away. This is an issue I often wonder about when I make it clear on my blog etc that I’m away. I used to note my house sitter and dog but have given up now! What will be will be!!

    Anyhow, we have visited Japan three times now (each for 3 weeks) on our own – and into little towns at times – and have found it very manageable. Though, I am stretching the truth a little bit because the first two times our son lived there and on those times we spent the first half travelling with him and the second half on our own so we did get a bit of a leg up that first trip before we launched out solo.

    I can’t wait to read all your reports – and to see your drawings. A friend gave me some sketching pencils and a dear little sketch pad before my last overseas trip. I was tempted to take them but didn’t do the YouTube lessons so felt clueless and left them at home. I’ll know what to do next time because like you, I’d love to be a sketcher and whip off whimsical little drawings!!


  2. I am excited to hear about Penguino’s travels through Japan ! Your blog makes me smile each time I read it. Glad I found you !

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love your attitude! You’ve just given me a lift. I have no interest in Japan, but I’ll be following you on your trip and look forward to whatever you choose to share with us, drawings and all! Have a great trip!


  4. Have a wonderful trip, Pam. I’ve been intrigued by Japan since reading The Tale of Genji last year so I’ll look forward to seeing your photos & hearing about your experiences. I hope the cats enjoy the cattery once they settle down.


  5. hurrah! we’re off to Japan! We can’t wait to see pictures and drawings(I hope)… Mrs. M is an artist and i try to draw a straight line, without success, sometimes… but we both love fine pencil sketches and look forward to seeing some…

    the book sounds fascinating; i’ll look for a copy… good luck and enjoy!!!!


    1. Well you won’t be seeing fine pencil sketches from me but you might have a laugh. The guide will be keeping us very busy. We might end up still working on our sushi rolls as we climb the steps to a temple. I just can’t be rushed. Thank you for your comment.


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