I have this new telephone... hehehe.
I throwing money up into the wind and letting it blow away.
I am a pro-active person, not a reactive person, this means I am the person making the call and not the person receiving the calls.
I know how to call my Mother and Father, they pick up the telephone when they are home, and even have a simple answering service that they listen to and would reply if I asked.
I have a system on who I do or will do business with in the USA, this is includes friends. It is the person that answers their telephone... all other who cares?
The world of communications has missed the idea, it is not easier to call a person, it has become more complicated.
It is almost impossible to make a telephone call without lots of help, this link is great.
I click on the country I am in, and then I say what country I am calling, then I hope...
I have an operator that talks to me in the Thai language and tell me the problem, like this does me any good...
Then a person will send their telephone number and not include the area code, or the number is not separated and who can figure out the parts of the number.
My only consolation in making a phone call is that I really do not want to call anybody and will and would prefer to only talk with people that care enough to click reply on their emails and write me back. Strangely this does not mean my best friends in the USA will write me back, somehow they do not see the email as a priority.
On the other hand, I receive about 5-10 emails per day from real people who I do not reply to and this is annoying to myself. I am sure I miss or delete many who put...
In the subject line as every spammer in the world does this and I must delete or make choice how much I will work to write with people. I get tons of request for questions on the site like,
"Tell me about Thailand?"
Niger or Nigerians
"Help me get a Visa to UK?"
But all in all, I have thrown up in the air about 50 U.S. dollars and now the wind is blowing it away. I have decided, I will pay up to 30 U.S. to be able to call my family to wish them happy birthday per month.
As for the people on the planet that do not pick up their telephone ever, I will call about three times and remove...
My computer is crashing, I have everything backed up and all information is safe, however difficult to do things like write a newsletter or download photos, however I do not owe a person a newsletter, it is just something I do, as I do not owe anyone a blog report or to take photos.
Nobody owes anything to anybody except maybe respect.
I was laughing, last night I called a company in the USA about scanning books into a computer. The man said,
"What do you want?"
I thought I called Wisconsin, and the time was about 10:00 at night here in Thailand, so about 9 in the morning in Wisconsin. I was doing my best to try to call at a good time.
The voice was an "Indian Country" voice or I thought... Now I call the USA business hoping for service and a hello, good manners and such, service... hehehe.
The man was from Pakistan and helpful, however even though his manners were typical of Pakistan or India, he did what I really think a business should do, he answered the telephone.
The cost of scanning a book is about 3-5 cents U.S. per page, this does not include the OCR or Optical Character Recognition or converting to normal words and not a graphic image.
However this is now about 200 Dollars U.S. less than I first found a price, and makes the idea of scanning a guidebook reasonable.
This is the problem, I want to go to Seoul South Korea, then maybe to Japan, then to the USA, then to maybe Colombia, then to the Caribbean and all in the next two months. I need a guidebook for each country. I cannot carry 5 guidebooks, I can probably buy them here in Bangkok as Khao San Road probably has the best selection of guidebooks and travel books on the planet in one location, plus many languages.
I could send them to Wisconsin, he could scan them into a computer, send me the files and I would have the books on a computer and would weigh nothing, I only carry the computer.
I can buy a used book in Bangkok for 10 Dollars, send to the USA for 10 Dollars and he can scan for 20 dollars. I think the cost would be about 40-50 Dollars U.S. This sounds like a lot of money, however if I was not able to find a cheap hotel in some country like Japan, one night in a Hotel would save or would pay for three books.
The internet is still NO good for finding rooms. I can find the 100 dollar per night hotels easily, however only with a Lonely Planet or Roughguide, or Footprints guidebook am I able to find a cheap hotel and have a chance of finding it.
I took a bus to Khon Kaen to visit a friend. I did walk around today and found nobody but strangely the man in the hardware that spoke English.... hehehe
The girl that sold chicken spoke a few words, however what is precious about Khon Kaen is there is no tourist. The Thai people are happy to meet me on all and any level, they are delighted and their eyes light up when I walk in a store. They wave, slow down, this is the joy of travel.
Below is a comment from a reader, probably best to read first;
"Like Chicago with every speaking bad English, with a Chinese accent."
I find this comment of yours rather amusing. It's a shame you didn't have the opportunity to speak to educated Singaporeans who speak fluent English with real Singaporean accent. I'm not sure which Guide book you referred to before you came here, but I'm sure it did a pretty bad job in providing accurate information about the country and its natives.
I have to say though that us Singaporeans are an enigmatic bunch of people given the different waves of immigrations at different times, and how much British influence we had received over the years.
This is Andy.I did not have a guidebook so all the observations are mine. I do not go to great efforts to FIND a culture. It is the culture I encountere, no more, no less.
I find it very annoying that people think a visitor will or should go out and find the culture. Any culture they encounter is the culture.
However in many countries the USA or Europe, Western Travelers only sees the cream off the top because they are too afraid to leave the Five Star Hotel. I hope and expect they seen a great part of the culture.
I walked around for a long time in Singapore in the rich area. I went to a mall, tried to buy or talk about a hard drive, the man did not speak English. I went to the grocery many times in the bottom of the mall. No English again.
The two people that worked in the 7-11 spoke good English one did not. None of the staff in the Summer Hostel spoke English EXCEPT for the boy from India and the Owner from Jordan.
I think people like to put countries on pedestals and make them the best experience of their life. I will say that Singapore is a first rate place, westernized in every sense, very clean, however I do not think they speak that good of English, however 10 times better than Thailand.
I try to avoid meeting the rich sectors of countries as they will normally just put on a dog and pony show and hide the rest.
Monday November 14, 2005, 6:16 AM
I have been typing in a tip for my newsletter for the last hour, trying to explain how I live and what I do; it is not so easy to explain how I think or what I think. The newsletter is more of a promotional thing for the site and for me to make money to travel. My blog is easy, I just type and go, publish and forget. It is my daily thoughts, however to really explain some ideas, I need to collect idea, compile, digest, try my best to use good grammar and they put all this in one location.
I can honestly say, it is not enjoyable, it real work, I wish I could write the first time and explain everything I am thinking clearly, I wish I could use the proper words.
I am really learning the idea of the traveler nest is this; I need to make my Hotel my home. I have to stop believing or even considering the possibility I will ever enter the perfect Hostel. I only have two solutions, make a Hostel for me to live in or to buy, change, create in the one I am presently located all the things needed to make it perfect.
I spend a lot of time thinking about tips, in the end; I realize they are all just tips trying to explain how I convert my life on the road to a life at home. I want to move, however I do not want to give up all the conveniences of home.
I have had some readers and some persona messages written that you will never see tells me what an idiot I am because I do not understand a cell or mobile phone.
These people, NOTE: All of the people that post add good solutions and help, there are some people though that try to send or write nasty post trying to tell me how I am stupid. This is ok, I have exposed myself to the world, and I have told you what I am thinking, there for I am a soft target.
However, the cell phone is like my Traveler Nest tip I am writing. I am thinking to myself, how I can make a five dollar per night hotel into a five star hotel.
I want a telephone in my room; I am tired of searching for hours to make one phone call.
I was talking with a British person; Ian that has traveled for 8 years, we both was trying to buy a cell phone system. He wanted to un-lock his phone or pay someone to un-lock his phone. I walked into a cell shop, I thought.
“Screw the cost; I will pay them whatever to get them to make it work.”
Guess what, that did not work; they had this system called “Freedom.” The girl in the place gave up. She spoke about five words of English, I put 500 hundred Baht out on the table trying to say, I am serious, and I want to pay. Get this phone to work; I wanted to call my mother to wish her happy birthday.
I was on the 7-11 system before. I figured this, if they sell the cards in 7-11 I can buy them anywhere and I can use the cell anywhere in Thailand. I really did not want to be on the “Freedom” system as none of the four 7-11 store had this card. They had something called Happy, and strangely, one had a system called “Orange.”
I had seen this system called “Orange,” advertised on a billboard, It said international, roaming, all those words that should or I hope mean “worldwide.”
Truthfully, an easy system is just to walk into a cell shop and pay, stop the brain and pay; you can pay your way into having a phone.
However to understand is difficult.
Ian the British guy said,
“They need to try to read the instructions in Thai.”
The Orange SIM card had half in English and half in Thai, however mostly in English. I went back to the one 7-11 and said to myself.
“I am going to pay 500 Baht, about 25 U.S. dollars. I am going to make this work.”
I need a SIM card from Thailand to make this work; the Philippines card just does not work.
I give 500 Baht to the three girls behind the very busy counter in the 7-11. These girls have been laughing with me for a while. They had recommended in two words of English, to go to the Cell shop. I had just returned and they were laughing at the Farang, this person is clueless, he really does not understand how to use a cell phone.
This stupidity was my advantage.
The world likes to believe they are smart, so they love to prove it, and I played this card to the maximum advantage.
I gave them the phone, I gave them 500 Baht, and I stood there as if I was really a stupid Farang. These girls attacked the phone, tearing it apart, installing the “Orange” card. The got it to work, they got the time to show up, I now have phone. I still do not know what frequency my phone is or how many channels; however, I do have a phone.
I want a phone in my nest; I want to have my home away from home to have a phone in it. I want to receive a phone call; I want to make a phone call. I am not going to pay 100 dollars a night to live in a five star hotel to get this. I will pay one dollar per day
As I left the Cell shop, I said I have to figure this out, I am hmmm… Too smart to explain on mechanical things, however let us say this, I am way above normal when it comes to mechanical things. However, you still have to learn. I guess in the Philippines I needed to learn the Tagalo language first, and then I go into the cell shop and talk and learn. Here in Thailand I need to learn the Thai language then I can go in and ask questions.
I was thinking, why does this card not work in the Freedom Card shop?
There are two aspects to the phone, sort of hardware and software. I would call the SIM card the software part of the phone; however where does the software stop and the pre-installed software on the hardware stop.
When I left the Philippines I did just as the brochure in the “Smart” system told me to do, I pressed some numbers one hour before I left to go to a “Roaming” system.
All it could say when I go to Hong Kong was I have no money on the system, who knows if it works, I could not buy a smart card in Hong Kong.
As I walk out of the shop, I reinstall the Philippine card and find this smart section of the menu that only show when I have the smart card in it, it says something about roaming. I go to this area and deactivate the roaming.
I go into the 7-11 to buy the Orange Card.
Did the new Non-Roaming system help, I do not know, however it could not hurt.
My cell phone was having the word “Orange” pop up on the screen, I think this may be my hint. When the name comes up this is the system I may need to buy.
Nonetheless, I am using an “Orange” system, IAN the guy from Britain says it is a large system and respected.
What this comes down to is this; I am not inundated with Advertisements on Television in my home country telling me everywhere about Verizon or about come cell phone system. I think maybe in Europe there are advertisements everywhere explaining the system to buy. Then there is you mate or buddy next door, has a phone and will tell you in English the phone to use.
Here in Thailand or the Philippines there are two sets of people.
1. The locals that only know how the phone works in their country.
2. The S E X travelers that I do not want to talk with, they have telephones
Often my problem is I am a snob, I will not sit around talking to low lives trying to discover from some idiot how to use a cell phone. This type of person does speak English however they are low lives, they are scum, I will not talk with them just to learn how to use a phone. There is a balance somewhere and I can find a few person that know.
The normal system is this, the bring a phone from home, the local cell shop gets it to work. It works on one continent; this is an idiot’s solution to worldwide access. Get a phone to work in two places, home and the country or continent they are visiting and then say,
“My phone works worldwide.”
I am thinking, are you sure, have you been to Africa, Egypt, have you been to China, Japan, have you been to the USA, are you sure that phone will work in Berlin, what about Russia. I think they are idiots sometimes, it is just impossible to say the word
“Worldwide.” The vendors know, you are not going to travel worldwide, let us be real.
A business traveler does not travel worldwide. The only go to a few locations, then the five star systems fixed the problem. Then to pay their way though the too rich to believe NGO’s have a Satellite System. It is hard to believe however the most modern, the most expensive systems on the planet are used by the paid by you donation companies like UNICEF or Care or Doctors without borders, or maybe World Vision. They have the phone system that cost two to 10 dollars per minute and they have a phone. I am too poor and people are not giving me free money to pay this fee.
Nonetheless, in the end, the goal of art of travel is to make you nest you home. To take this 260 Baht room or 6 U.S. Dollar here in Thailand, that has a common shower and a color TV with HBO and BBC and install a telephone.
I purchased a phone in the Philippines used for 26 Dollars.
I paid 500 Baht or about 25 Dollars to install the phone in Thailand.
What this comes down for me is this, I do not like to sit around learning about cell phones, there is about nothing more boring and simple. I do not like to learn software program either. It is time consuming, not that big of challenge, the problem is always time. It took me four hours of figuring out the cell phone in Thailand, I do not consider this an accomplishment, just a complicated and time-consuming way of installing a phone in Thailand. I want to avoid this in every country. Four hours of my time is too much to pay to have a telephone, I cannot be bothered. I suppose as I learn more I will do it faster.
The bottom line on installing phones in my room or nest is this.
Just pay a kid or walk into 7-11 and pay them, the world is in love with the Cell phone and they love to prove how much they know. There is almost zero reason to learn, just let them show how smart they are and you have a phone.
Bottom line… to really travel worldwide, I think you need to buy an UN-locked FOUR channel phone, I think if you have a contract, however also UN-locked it would be the best. I have no idea if this is possible, however this seems to be the bottom line. I personally will only pay 1 dollar per day to have a phone.
In my game of life, I win at this price, I lose if I have to pay more. My game is to prove I can get that Five Star Service for one dollar per day.
I have to leave tonight on a night bus to Khon Kaen. Checkout for my room is 12 noon, it cost me 6 dollars per day to have a room, do I sit around with my bag until 8:00 or until I leave or do I keep my nest?
How much pain will I endure to save a dollar? In Thailand you can live on 3-5 dollars per day comfortably, however you have to give up drinking.
This is a typical street vender in Thailand, they carry on a long flat stick two sets of food, then set down and proceed to cook or serve food. This is not a normal food for the tourist or travelers to eat here, most a Thailand custom and not for foreigners.
Ooops… This is photo of FISH hanging in plastic bags on a few sticks. This was taken from the Travellers Hostel in the Chung King Mansions in Hong Kong. I just took the photos from the window, not a great thing to have fish drying or smelling the place up.
Six movies today are being shown at a local restaurant just off or behind the Wat or Temple near Khao San Road. A copy of a movie sells for 100 Baht or about 2.5 U.S. Dollars. You can what almost any of the newer movies, and they are still in the movie theatres however they have already reached Khao San Road in Bangkok, Thailand.
Strangely, this is steel scaffolding in Thailand while in Hong Kong in the Kowloon area they used Bamboo tied together with that plastic banding used for shipping boxes. Here they are using steel band.
A SAD DAY
I have to walk around and as I buy something, I know where the trash bins are located in the Khao San Road area. I know almost all, and even thought about making a fun map of them just for kicks. However, here is the location where they was in the past a trash bin. I am losing my desire to put trash in the bin as most countries just do nothing to help, and the Western person will often carry this trash for a long distance looking for a location, while a Thai person just will throw on the ground without guilt.
It has been raining torrents here every day and this is a photo of me trying my best to show how hard it is raining. I always carry a short umbrella in my bag.
This girl is selling chicken on a stick for 10 Baht, which is about 25 cents USA; I have to say this is some of the best chicken I have found. Marinated in something and cooked or charcoal not all the chicken taste, as this, this girl is located on the corner behind the Wat or Buddhist Temple.
They were carving up this big fruit or plant on the street, I am not sure what it is or the name.
What is Germany Doing?
Saturday November 12, 2005, 5:12 AM
Germany is having what they call a Grand Coalition to “Negotiate” who will be the next Chancellor of Germany. This seems like a dangerous process.
The most dangerous time for a country is the succession from one leader to the next.
The whole process in Germany seems unstable and in need of an overhaul. This process needs to be certain, inevitable and not negotiable.
Most of the world thinks that Fujimora leaving Peru was good, however many of the people in the country did not, because who is next and what they do was a big question, better to have the devil we know than a devil we do not know.
I often feel that countries that are unstable are afraid of the USA, because they can only empathize from a point of few of instability. While countries like Norway, Sweden and such are easy to deal with and not afraid of the USA.
I am here in Bangkok, a regular wrote, Lynn and sent me a site link to a great idea.
I cannot seem to get any to work, possibly a problem in the internet cafe.
QUOTE: It must be a site of the week somewhere. Thank you Lynn
Site of the Week:812 Wonders of the World (and Growing)
In 1972, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) sponsored an international agreement to start a World Heritage List of sites that make up the heritage of all humankind. There are now 812 sites on the list--812 world wonders--and more are added every year.
In 2001, the Taliban government of Afghanistan used tanks, explosives, and anti-aircraft guns to destroy two ancient and colossal statues of the Buddha in Afghanistan's Bamiyan Valley. Outraged, Belgian photographer Tito Dupret started the World Heritage Tour, an effort to photograph--using 360-degree panoramas--all of UNESCO's World Heritage sites, recording them for posterity and giving everyone virtual ownership of the cultural wonders of the world. Just click and see the world's cultural riches now.
See world wonders in 360-degree panoramas
I arrived in Bangkok last night.
I took the Ferry from Hong Kong to Macau, then caught a plane from Macau with Airasia.com to Bangkok. It as about a 2.5 hour trip and then I took the taxi to Khao San Road. The line for the taxi outside the airport entrance was about 50 meter long so I went to the second floor or just above and caught a taxi quicker or grabbed one of the taxis dropping people off. I did not have to pay the 50 Baht surcharge by the airport. It cost 200 Baht from the Airport to Khao San Road or about 5 Dollars. U.S.
I will go to today to talk with Nat about flights to Korea or Fiji.