A phrase that took me 10 years to understand.

The back of two figures looking out to sea
The back of two figures looking out to sea
Photo by Michel Stockman on Unsplash

My friend Amy is older than me by 12 years and wiser than me by light years.

We worked closely in the same office and over a long period of time, our lives became happily interwoven. We were each other’s confidants and advice-givers on everything from work, to life, to love. Amy valued my insights just as much as I hers and, despite our age gap, she never viewed me as the young, naïve 25-year-old that I probably was.

I brought countless stories of heartbreak, family feuds and friendship troubles to Amy who listened patiently as I worked myself up…


Let’s all start saying no to more stuff.

Photo by Scott Warman on Unsplash

I was invited for dinner not long ago with two women 25 years my senior. They are different nationalities to me and to each other, but one of them speaks English.

I didn’t know them well, but I accepted the invitation because I thought what is life if it’s not about experiencing new things? If it’s not about embracing the unknown? If it’s not about making connections with new people and expanding your horizons? And also she was making tacos, and I do really love tacos.

What this evening showed though me is that sometimes you don’t always need to…


A real conversation.

King and queen of hearts playing cards
King and queen of hearts playing cards
Photo by Liza Pooor on Unsplash

Ben: So I spoke to Mum the other day and she told me that Prince Philip died. I don’t even know who he is!

Me: Really?

Ben: Yeah like who is he? Something to do with Prince Harry? Is he the dad?

Me: No.

Ben: So who’s the fucking dad then?!

Me: Prince Charles

Ben: SO WHO’S PRINCE PHILIP THEN?!

Me: He’s the granddad. He’s the Queen’s husband. How do you not know this?

Ben: Because it’s all just a bunch of old, posh men who all basically look the same. And an old, posh woman. How are you meant…


The eating habits of the Japanese as observed by an English expat in Japan.

Japanese woman eating in a restaurant
Japanese woman eating in a restaurant

It’s no secret that Japan has one of the lowest obesity rates in the world. Western stereotypes would have us believe that this is due to a scant diet of raw fish and seaweed. But having lived in Japan for nearly two years, I’ve noticed that there is a lot going on here besides diet. Sure, fish and other sea products are ubiquitous. But you know what else features heavily?

DONUTS. CAKES. TEMPURA BATTER. FRIED CHICKEN. FULL-FAT DAIRY. STEAK. PASTRIES. CHICKEN SKIN ON A STICK (yes that’s a thing).

Also, let’s just be real for a second, not everyone’s thin…


Omg one of the funniest things I've ever read! Brilliant.


Forget spiders, snakes and crocodiles, this is the stuff you need to be prepared for.

Photo by Michael Lämmli on Unsplash

Supermarket Bacon

Bacon looks like cooked ham in Australia, which is confusing and dangerous because it means that you’re that much closer to food poisoning… and death. Even more galling is the fact that bacon is placed next to ready-to-eat hams in the deli section of supermarkets like some kind of sick joke. Australians are born with a special type of discerning eye that is able to spot the difference; the rest of us are playing gastric distress roulette.

The deli section also houses continental cheeses, olives, antipasto etc, nothing too weird there, but if you walk a couple of aisles over…

Emily Bratt

Freelance writer and teacher, currently living in Japan. Write a blog about my awkward experiences and discoveries in travel and life. https://abrattabroad.com/

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