I was at something of a loss how to launch this site. What should be my first review? Should I write a couple of fascinating insights into life or make humorous yet powerful comments on the hot topics of the day? Something that will have people laughing out loud? There will obviously be a lot of that but as an opener? It seemed like a lot of pressure. I crack under pressure. As this site will be a mixture of blog, commentary, and review, I wanted to attack it from the right angle. I wanted something catchy that will attract a growing readership that will sign in and eagerly read my literary outpourings every few days. Eventually I just thought I’d talk about myself for a bit. At least then you’d have an idea where I’m coming from. By the time this site attracts any real interest at all, this entry will be archived and forgotten anyway. So here goes…
I was born in Hong Kong in 1972. After growing up there (and eight years at a boarding school just outside London), I got my first job as a reporter for a Hong Kong yachting magazine. I was uncertain if this was exactly the sort of journalism I was after until I reported on my first yacht launch which happened to include free champagne and a model in a bikini draped over a Ferrari. To this day I fail to see a connection with yachts but it was a good one and I went with it. Unfortunately I got drunk and lost all my notes and had to make the entire article up on vaguely remembered facts. Apart from the launches, the job seemed to involve way too much work for an immature fledgling alcoholic 18-year-old writer, so I quit.
There then followed a glittering career where I worked as: a barman, a doorman, a furniture deliverer, crew liaison for container ships, and leaflet deliverer. I eventually got a job at Star TV in transmission and realised that I enjoyed watching TV for a living. After two years my career started to take off so I quit, left Hong Kong, and went to Australia went I spent a year surfing, drinking, and picking fruit.
Even I failed to see a future in this, so I reluctantly moved to London and got a job in a film production house as a VT Operator and junior editor. The job required a little too much effort for me at the time and after two years I got a job back in transmission at MTV. There then followed 10 of the most debauched years of my already pretty debauched life. Fun though it was I realised I needed to get out.
Throughout the whole London period, I continued to travel. I got a week off a month and went to Europe to imbibe the culture, so to speak. The fact that I mainly went to the party hotspots of Amsterdam, Berlin, and Prague, was a happy coincidence. I also took a 6 week holiday every year to places like Morocco, Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand. The call of Asia was a strong one. I also continued to work as a freelance journalist, writing the occasional travel article and review. I finally landed a dream job as a computer game reviewer for a London magazine. The magazine promptly went under.
In a somewhat rash move I decided to move to Thailand. It was warmer and had better food after all. I worked full time as a journalist for two glorious years. I wrote travel reviews, area guides, film and book reviews and, best of all, bar and restaurant reviews. I worked as a news editor and wrote a book.I split my time between Bangkok and Hong Kong. I met my future wife. I slept in and drank a lot of Tiger beer. All in all – a damn good time. Unfortunately, in Thailand, it turned out I couldn’t get a work permit without a degree. It also seemed unlikely that I’d even qualify for my old job of furniture deliverer in Hong Kong without one. I realised this lack was really counting against me if I planned to stay in the Orient. Rueing my lack of education and fighting a desire to just buy a fake one in Bangkok, I came back to London where you barely even need to read to make money.
I got a degree in English Language and Literature, and moved back to Bangkok where I returned to writing full time. Only now, with a shiny new work permit. It seemed a shame to continue writing for magazines mostly based in Asia, so I have decided to broadcast my shallow opinions to the world. Why write articles in print that are enjoyed by just a few when I can be largely ignored by almost the entire world?
So here we are. My site. I shall review all that I read, write, play, see, and experience in the vague hope that someone will find it mildly interesting or amusing.
Welcome to the Word of Ward.