I have finally found an internet cafe where I can use my USB thumbdrive.
It still is limited for use, I cannot use my foxmail program for emails.
FTP works, but this place is on Overtoon which is mabye a 45 minute walk from my room.
The STA travel office is at 226 Overtoom.
The have charter flights one-way to Israel for 205
The flights to the USA are the same as the other ones, unless you are a student.
AMSTERDAM - STINKY DRUNK IN MY ROOM
Monday October 11, 2004 5:00 AM more or less
It is early morning and again I am out in the hall typing on my computer. I am now in the Globe Hostel or sports bar and it is better, but there are the same type of problems but less. The place is nice, but there is a bar in the bottom so you have drunks. Some drunk has presently flopped complete with clothes on the bottom bunk and is making all sorts of grunts, snorts, and bodily noises. I have no idea where he came from and will be sure and lock the door tomorrow night. There are doors on the dorm room and I had to pay a 5 Euro deposit to get the keys. There are some very high security features to the hotel.
Example are that cannot enter the upstairs area without being have the reception are buzz the door and it unlocks. There is a key to the dorm door and lockers everywhere. Normally security features like these are only implemented when needed.
WORST INTERNET ACCESS IN WORLD
The may have some of the fastest internet on the planet, but the most difficult situation if you would wish to burn a CD Rom of your photos, write a word document and save on 3.5 disk, or in my case to use and USB thumb drive to load information to the internet. I would say that the facilities in this area are almost only for tourist or bar drunks. The mid-range backpacker has no services that I would consider normal. The laundry is difficult here, the internet is awkward, there is no area to hang around except in a coffee shop or a bar. The extra or miscellaneous expenses in this city are extreme, while the cost of the Hostel is lower than England the Miscellaneous needs probably makes the cost the same.
But people come to Amsterdam to smoke, drink, and pay for sex with all the prostitutes and the place is very good for that, but for the normal Joe Blow a stay of over 3-4 days is not needed. There are some special museums here like the Anne Frank, and the Vincent Van Gogh museums.
I keep looking at the map of Amsterdam and trying to understand the canal system as it has a series of canals that are concentric circles around the train station area.
DO NOT EXPECT TO TAKE YOUR PHOTOS OFF CAMERA IN AMSTERDAM!
AMSTERDAM CANAL TOUR
8.50 Euros and I am on the boat, it leaves every 15 minutes I am told, so I can get easily get off at Amsterdam Central train station and take the canal tour and even get back on the train and leave. I am trying to buy a plane ticket or I would have got back on the train… only after taking the canal tour. There is an architecture tour advertised, but only on Saturday and Sunday, although today is Sunday, I do not know the price and am not sure I can arrange or move fast enough.
I have been thinking a lot about just sleeping on the train and doing Europe, the quality of living in the dorms is not much better than sleeping on the train, although the shower is the problem. But I can take hand baths for 3-5 days and take a full shower whenever I find a room easily. Buying a car or van is the other option. I saw huge storage areas for pull campers as I was entering Amsterdam.
I cannot yet find discount airfares, but before I just book a ticket I am going to find the STATRAVEL or student travel office. I am not a student although I do have a student card…. Hehehe from Thailand, and made in Thailand… hehehe… But they will book a ticket without being a student.
I have this gut feeling that I need to find the place where students or university people buy tickets here in Amsterdam as the ones around this area of the Amsterdam Central trains station are not discount ticket services, but pay though the nose, put it on credit-card ticket companies. I would guess that in reality only about 1 in 20 backpacker or tourist goes to more than 3 ticket offices before they buy, therefore only 5 percent of the world travelers even shop a little, they just buy, so the best type of travel agent to make money would be a gouger. Two way tickets are cheaper in Amsterdam than the one way, so the one say ticket is not half the price of the return ticket, but about ¾ the price. In Bangkok a one-way ticket is half the price of the return or round trip ticket. Bangkok is so far the best place to base yourself for around the world travel.
Battery is dead, and the plugs I cannot use without digging in my bag…. Aagh, one snafu after the other. I really do not like Hostel, if there was a common area of any kind beside the bar I could drag my bags around and open them up. I am in front of the toilet on the floor.
TEN - FIVE AMSTERDAM - NETHERLANDS - HOLLAND
4:50 AM Sunday, October 10, 2004
I am sitting on the floor outside my dorm room in the Durty Nellie Hostel in the more or less Red Light Area of Central Amsterdam. It has an Irish Pub below as is normal for most Hostels in Europe, not that they have an Irish Pub, but the normal status quo seem to me that there is a bar below most Hostels in Europe. I really would not call these things Hostels when they have a Bar below, more like Bar Flop Houses. By far one of the worst budget accommodations on the planet. I just left Nepal where for 6 dollars U.S. I had color TV, two beds, a private room and a balcony. Plus it was quiet so for 30 U.S. Dollars or 25 Euros I am paying 5 times the price to sit outside my dorm room and type. Miserable!
I have been warned by Bruce from the USA, Nicolas from Switzerland, by the lady at Hostelhunters.com, and everyone more or less, including the signs in the Hostel that they are not responsible for loss or theft, and that I need to be careful of robbery.
BOOK OR BOOK?
Do I book a room in Europe or do I go to Europe. I have finally decided that there is a huge need to book rooms in Europe. But when I got on Hostelworld.com or my own booking Engine on my site, which is Hostelworld.com with my co-brand it said all the room were full. Except for the 100 Dollar plus rooms. I have no idea how a room for over 50 Dollars could ever get into a Hostel booking site, but there are hundreds. I am becoming more and more disappointed in the Hostel booking services. They are ten time better than nothing in Europe, but for sure I am going to make a booking service that is better.
What is wrong with having a kitchen in a Hostel?
In England and maybe Australia they have Kitchens in Hostel…. I think, I am not positive, as I cannot afford to move around in England. The Tube or Metro, subway or whatever you call it is radically price too high, and is just a gouger. But the hostels are much better or more fun than Amsterdam so far. I suppose if you want to get very drunk than Amsterdam is perfect.
In my dorm room of about 20 people there are maybe five people awake and talking very loud, I have jet lag so there is no way for me to get comfortable or sleep through the racket. I would suppose that 33 percent of the people in the room have just stumbled in and fell on the bed, so their inebriation is helping them. I think the preponderance of people are Irish as I cannot understand a word they say unless they repeat it 3 times. I am happy to say even though they keep turning on the light, talking loud, stumbling, and opening and closing the door, they do say,
Funny, but the words excuse me are not really used in the world, the word to say excuse me is,
So I am moving today for the Globe, also in the Red Light district and recommended by my friend Bruce. I have already paid and booked a room there as it is 18 Euros and more secure. There are wooden lockers it appears in most hostels and a locker I think is standard, the problem here in the Dirty or Durty Nellie as they spell is that they are wood and they can be popped open very easily in some instances. The use screws and not bolts that go all the way through the wood. A screw can be pulled or removed pretty easily, while a bolt all the way through the wood cannot. In the Globe they have relatively deep STEEL lockers and almost impossible to break into quickly. Plus they have a wireless internet system inside the Hostel they tell me, I was told it was free if I understood correctly, and this would make my life easier here.
I have got to guess that the cost of living in Amsterdam is about 15 Dollars U.S. per day cheaper for a short stay than London, but Earls Court or Kangaroo Court in London has information on finding apartments and jobs easier. So the first week appears to be more expensive in London, but you could quickly downgrade the cost.
Amsterdam is a full on, no stop tourist city like Brugge, Belgium and there are tons of obvious tourist here and I have only seen maybe two normal like backpackers. Most are tourist and I looked extremely out of place walking with my large back pack and my front pack and wheels is the norm here even for the backpackers. Wheels though are best and am constantly trying to put light and strong wheels on my bags.
My backpack weighs exactly 20 kilos and exactly the weight for the plane.
My front pack weighs 14 kilos or 7 kilos over weight for the plane.
(A drunk girl in maroon pajamas just stepped over my bag, that is working as a desk. I am in front of the toilet and coke machine on the second floor.)
There is a 5 pound grace normally on the big bag, so I can go up to 25 kilos and really the airlines are not set up to take extra money for baggage. Except for the discount lines, Ryanair.com, Easyjet.com, Airasia.com. If you see a counter that collect money for excess bag weight you need to really work and adjust as much as possible quickly before you go to the check-in counter.
I am trying very hard to downsize my bags, but am starting to believe that in Europe the Eurolines bus system is a lot simpler and less of a headache than the cheap flights. Unless I need to get from one end to the other end of Europe. Heathrow is the only real easy airport for England and I am not sure of the status of Amsterdam and Brussels. I will get on the internet for a couple of hours today and only search for cheap flights. The cost round-trip to Boston from here is 420 U.S. Dollar with is pretty good, but not extremely good. The have an advertised price of 249 round-trip to New York that is in January. So I think January is the cheapest month to fly to USA.
32,000 FEET - 500 MILES PER HOUR
Saturday, October 9, 2004 Who knows what time?
I am on the Bimar or Bangladesh airlines flight from Dhaka, Bangladesh to Dubai to Brussels, Belgium, to New York, New York, USA. My trip ends in Brussels where I will hopefully catch a train easily to Amsterdam, I say easily because Europe is extremely difficult for travel. In 80 percent of the world I can take a taxi for one or two dollars and the taxi knows the way to the train station. In Europe unless I am willing to pay 20-50 U.S. Dollars to take a taxi I must learn how local bus system works. Local buses are always the most complicated to use. Sometimes they are simple but normally they are a maze for rats.
So I am high in the Air, flying around 500 something per hour, the plane is full of Bangladesh people going somewhere and a few Belgium people. I have the feeling a lot of these people are USA citizens, but very hard to say because they are wearing the Islamic uniform and talking in different languages. One young girl next spoke English more than she spoke the Bangladesh language and I finally asked her where she was from? She said that she was from Jersey with the appropriate USA Jersey accent. Quite humorous to me like a complete culture clash to see a woman with the long dress like shirt and silky pants, plus the scarf over her head. Skin color the light brown or Bangladesh color suddenly speaking like “New Jersey.” She even has the East coast arrogant, cannot be bothered, why do you ask questions attitude. Islamic people are normally very polite and well mannered.
The girl is getting married in Bangladesh and she is going back to the USA to…’
I made a Joke,
“You can make an application for a marriage?”
She finally went beyond the curt Jersey answers and told me or I finally guessed she was making application for her husband to have citizenship. It was funny because as we was leaving Dhaka, Bangladesh she said that she wanted to stay because she like it. So there is few missing pieces to this pie.
I did learn later her father is dead and her mother moved to the USA eleven years ago. I have not idea of the reason, but I am continuing my cultural investigations of marriage.
She has been explaining there is a quasi arranged marriage system for Islamic people. There is the same quasi arranged marriage system for Hindu also.
PLUS THE DEAD KICKER
If the husband of an Islamic or Hindi person dies for any reason it appears that the wife can never remarry. I am not sure if she can have a boyfriend. This is one reason in the past and in many ways in Varanasi, India the women jump on the funeral pyre with their husbands to kill themselves. Their life is defined by their husband and in most ways ends with their husband. So they often commit suicide. I would suppose moving to the USA would be a good solution also, but that is my speculaton.
WHAT THE H..?
They wake us up to eat on the plane and then the shut the lights off after breakfast so we can sleep. This is too silly, either it is time to BREAK the FAST or Break the day, or it is time to sleep. So now I am typing in complete darkness. It is ok, because my computer has light, but the light of the computer will for sure annoy people that want to sleep.
Just a not on crying babies. Islamic babies cry, western babies cry. Most Southeast Asia babies do not cry much and either do babies in South America. The Islamic babies and there are a few are making sufficient noise.
I was talking to a girl on the shuttle bus in Dubai. She was with one of them women in black that has every inch of her body covered. But the girl I was talking to was from..
She was talking as did the other girl about how busy, full of traffic Bangladesh was, and how dangerous it was to walk. Both of the women are half American and in the end only their family is truly Bangladesh.
This one tells me that she wants nothing to do with the arrange marriage and obviously from here western clothe wants nothing to do with covering herself.
What was even stranger was the use of the word to call her traveling companion. As she reachess out to hold the hands of the completely covered, non-English speaking woman as we proceed to get off the shuttle bus she says,
She smirks, then she says,
“They said she lives in the same place, so it would be no problem.”
So she called the woman she was helping to travel “Luggage.”
GNASHING OF CULTURE
Rip, bang, tear as the seams of culture rip apart.
This is the ripping apart that is happening in Islamic, Buddhist, and Hindi Religions and cultures as the world watches television and learns that some women have choice, and some women dress to be pretty they are starting to rip apart the older culture.
See to wear western culture is against as best I understand many of the rules put down by Mohammed. So you cannot just secularize or adapt the religion a little, you almost have to jump or completed separate. Hard to say what or how this will play out, but western clothing and the Islamic, and Hindi religions just do not work right, I can hear a lot of shrieking and ripping in the minds of the elders.
So as my Israeli friend in Panama said,
“Send them Televisions.”
I have moral dilemmas like I would with an Amish boy that would want to drive a car…
“Are you sure you father would permit you to drive this truck?”
I know the answer is no with the Amish.
But to encourage a person to do something against what they morally consider correct is in most ways not morally correct in my view. So to encourage a Islamic to watch Television in my view is morally bad on my part, because it will lead them into temptation to not obey the rules.
Iran and Afghanistan are great example of societies that have at one time westernized and suddenly the older generation fought back and destroy the modernization of the culture. But right or wrong a culture will change.
So I sort of laugh every time I see a person using a Mobile phone.
LAYOVER OR AIRPLANE STOPS?
Note that it seems like every plane between Europe and Asia is stopping in the middle east. I wam wondering…
Is the jet fuel cheaper in Dubai, Quatar, Bahrain?
IMPORT EXPORT KATMANDU NEPAL
Friday October 8, 2004 4:28 AM
I leave with Bangladesh Airlines for Brussels Belgium today. I will be in Amsterdam in the afternoon of the ninth.
It seems that buying things in other countries and selling would be a perfect way to make money as a traveler, but it is extremely difficult. But in theory I should be able to go buy a few things I would think would sell, pack them up and send them to the USA. What happens though is DHL, UPS and Federal Express seem to have it down to a science on how to make money. The cost of shipping is more than the value of the things I purchase, but the good part about these services is they will arrive in the USA and other means I have to worry.
Really in the world Federal Express and UPS are very difficult to use, while DHL is very easy. DHL to me is an obviously the largest and most successful or knowledgeable or may you would say widespread.
I am trying to make these products to sell on my website in Nepal.