(in the land of technology)

Day 8 – Busan, South Korea – 8464km travelled, 0km on two wheels

Well, today I left Japan bound for South Korea. In some ways, I feel it’s gone way too quick and I want to stay longer to see so much more of this beautiful country. Yet on the other hand, my days have been so full on that it feels a lot longer than 7 days since I kissed my wife and kids goodbye. I’m currently travelling on the JR Kyushu Beetle ferry across the Korea Strait so I thought with about 3 hours to kill I’d finally get the opportunity to try and get everything in my head into some sort of written word.

I’ll start off saying that my intention was to update this blog way more often (and still is) but as the title of this post suggests, my laptop decided it didn’t take too kindly to me plugging in a non-proprietary USB device (i.e not Apple) into one of its slots and proceeded to shut down on me on day 3. I mean dead, nothing. No light on the charger, no response to any trick. Like a dead flat battery but plugging in the charger doesn’t work. I know the battery’s got charge in it. I was just using it. Having this happen 3 days into a 5 month world adventure is not really what I needed! So the hunt was now on to find the solution. Thoughts of a fried motherboard and an expensive trip to a foreign Genius Bar scared me. I also didn’t want this to eat into valuable time I had while I was in Japan. So I decided to turn my back on it and shove it the corner so it could have a good hard look at its behaviour for 2 days.

I know full well dear reader, that this is a highly dubious form of high tech computer repair but I couldn’t exactly use the ‘turn it off and turn it back on again’ fix now could I?

During my frantic researching on possible fixes that fateful night, it was apparent there was actually a fix that may be the equivalent of the classic IT No-Help Desk suggestion. Although not officially made known by Apple, there seemed to be more than 1 forum poster who has succumbed to the same fate and had success with unplugging and plugging in the battery. It was the best lead I’d had so it was worth a shot. All I needed to do was to find somewhere that sold the tiny screwdrivers to remove the back off the laptop. Now where am I going to find an electronics store in Japan?

The fact you are now reading this kinda gives away the fact that this trick was a success. A huge weight off my mind. For those interested, it sounds like it has something to do with the order you plug things into a MacBook Pro if its not a Apple product. If you didn’t know like me, now you do. If you did know, thanks for the heads up, jerks.

So now I can get back to sharing my experiences as they happen. Rather than think back at what happened 5 days ago and have to park up for a day or two to write a behemoth post that no-one would have time to read anyway, I think I’ll start off from today and every so often I’ll add in a bit into my posts about my memories of Japan.

So today, what happened today? Ah yes, of course. South Korea. I said goodbye to the Land of the Rising Sun in Fukuoka on the island of Kyushu. I didn’t get to see much of where I’d stayed in Hakata unfortunately as I had arrived around 4pm and had to be at the ferry terminal by 7:30am the next day. I did enjoy the palm trees down the centre of one of the main streets though. Very Miami. There was also a particular subway station that caught my attention that I had to record for posterity and use when ever the need arises to tell someone what to do.

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The JR Kyushu Beetle ferry is a jet powered hydrofoil that can cover the 200 odd kms across the Korea Strait in around 3 hours. It an interesting old tub, little bit daggy around the edges, windows needed a good clean but it was comfortable and smooth for something that big crossing open water. It essentially just feels like being in a plane on a bumpy flight and that constant jet roar all around. It was relatively cheap too, I think. A one way ticket was about 8400yen which equates to a bit over AUD100. Another first for this trip occurred today too. First time crossing an International Border without using a plane. Might not sound like a thing to you international readers but my fellow Australian travellers will know what I mean.

So Busan is where I am reunited with by bike which should be tomorrow and the main part of this adventure can begin. Those of you following my exploits daily on social media will know that this process is the part giving me the most grief at the moment but I’ll leave that diatribe for the next post.

Stay tuned.

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