Saturday January 29, 2005 6:00 AM
What can you say; foods are needed, but when you travel all the time restaurants start to become annoying. However, what is even more annoying is that the more or pay the worst the quality.
I have entered kitchens where the meals cost 100 dollars a plate and I as normal sit at roadside or homegrown restaurants. I have not discovered a great difference between cleanliness, so I like the roadside one because the kitchen is open for me to inspect. I like to watch the cook.
Nevertheless, food, why, why, why do I have to pay a lot of money for tasteless and bad food?
Thailand doe one thing very good, they copy anything, very little real creative juices flying around, but they are very good at copying. I was in Krabi with Andrew, a man from India, in the Rapala they had an Indian Menu along with their other foods. This menu was a book, and there were seven people in the restaurant. This worries me, there is no way to prepare and have all the food on the menu fresh and ready to serve when there are only seven clients. A roadside food stall has maybe 5-10 things on the menu and they do 5-10 foods very good. However, the large tourist Hotels in Bangkok or mostly on Khao San Road have a menu that is a book and nothing is high quality. Cheaper is better.
Here are two photos of chicken fried rice to show the difference. The food at the cheap place is extremely better in taste, quality; spice, flavor, and the cheap one even give you chopstick if you wish. The vegetable are abundant or peppers and such.
CHEAP IS BETTER! 30 Baht
EXPENSIVE CHICKEN FRIED RICE - 60 Baht
A lot of white rice...
Friday January 28, 2005 3:49 AM
One-step above a monkey, which is my rendition of human progress as I talk with my associate or colleague. I also call him boy genius, he is possibly capable of doing something I cannot do, and I am not sure if I can do what he can do? I think I can, but I am not sure I can apply myself or maybe I cannot become motivated enough to learn what he knows.
Why would I say?
“One step above a monkey?”
Andrew is here to talk with me about a travel site, the site is HoboTraveler.com and both of us are working on the site. Although presently I do 95 percent of the lifting, there is I hope a slow transition from me to anybody?
How to blog?
Let us get down to the truth or real goal.
How do I show my photos to my friends at home, or the world?
How do I write a daily story for people to read on the internet?
How do I send this story to my friends?
Then they ask the difficult question, how do I make money?
I despise when people use big words. I do not care if they use words I understand, but I do not like if they use a word they know I do not understand. Innate translated in my mother terms would is the…
“The God give abilities you are born with, everyone is different, and not everyone can be a rocket scientist.”
Andrew is a very smart boy or young man; sometimes what he can do very easily I cannot do, what is obvious to me, or to him is not obvious to a reader of the blog, newsletter or web site.
I am positive and feel sad, that I could explain to my mother and father for years my web site and I know they would not understand how it works. However, how it works is not important, what is important is my mother, father, friends, and some of the world can see my photos and read this talking. There is a desire to tell the world about what we see, feel, think, and talk about it; there is a human need to communicate.
I accept every day that I cannot begin to explain myself to the world, but I try to explain my trip or story. A reader of this blog experience or hears maybe one-half of percent of the story, the rest of the story takes too much time to explain.
I am a monkey, maybe an ape.
I am not a machine, I am not a computer.
I would rather go eat a banana, look at other monkeys in bikinis, have a massage than sit around and learn. I obviously to myself spend more time trying to have fun than trying to learn, so I am a monkey without a worry in the world.
TATTOOS AT THE POOL
I sat down in a lounge chair next to a swimming pool two days ago. I started to read my Wilbur Smith book, enjoying the heat of the sun with the pleasure of a few bikinis and water. A small paradise.
A man or boy can and sat next to me, he has tattoos on about 40 percent of his body. That means that he was about 50 percent blue colored as I was looking at a big ink spot. I was thinking, why would this guy come to the pool and lay in the sun. he is already a blue color. He had his whole face, arms; small tattoo in his ears, nose, there was an ink or blue decoration on every part of his body.
I blog because it feels good.
This man got tattoos because it feels good.
The tattoos make him feel complete.
Can you imagine trying to tell a monkey to not urinate? Impossible and it is impossible to stop people from doing what they want to do, because we are monkeys that have needs. Everyone is different and has different needs or wants.
TEMPT ME WITH A BANANA
I am a monkey, tempt me with butter pecan enough times and I will eat it, I am not able to stop myself. The only way to stop myself is to not go near the temptation; I am not capable of resisting.
So I surrender, I give up, I have learned there are too many temptations when I travel. I will or need to wander from place to place with no plan and look at what makes me feel good or tempts me, I give up, and I am going to follow temptations.
I am a monkey that cannot stop myself from urinating; I cannot stop myself from temptations.
So back to the issue with Andrew, why are we monkeys or one stop above a monkey and what does this have to do with making a travel web site or travel. Really, it has everything to do with blogging. Blogging really has very little to do with a travel site, but most people unfortunately define my web site as my blog. The blog is the easiest thing I do, I just start typing on the computer and the then it gets more complicated. After I type, I am then innately capable, or have the God given ability to easily put it on the internet. I am not sure I can teach someone to do what I presently do with my blog, I think it is too complicated NOW for 98 percent of people. If you can NOW make a web page, you can probably blog. If you cannot NOW make a web page then how will you blog? It is a web page.
I have seen this Australia woman about five times now in the internet café. Her son and family keep sending her pictures of her grandchildren or sons and daughters. She asked me how to save these photos !
Aagh Pain emotional, deep, frustration. I tried, but I know she does not have the God given ability to protect and save these photos. She needs help, I gave here some hints, like go to Yahoo Photos and save the photos, but will she be able to do this correctly tomorrow when I am not showing her? Then she shows me a different type of photo and it became even more complicated. I want to show her, but she is NOT smart enough, she does not have the brain to do this, her brain is made for another monkey like task, and I am a different monkey.
Every day we are told we are the same, equal, and have the same rights, but give me a break, we are not the same. I am terrible at learning languages and this lady may be a person that can learn languages quickly, I cannot. I wish it was easy for me, but learning a language is extreme work for me.
People for some reason think I am good at blogging, really, the secret here is not the blog, and it is the fact that I do it longer. I do no blog longer; I just travel longer and keep talking. I am a monkey that talks too much.
I receive a very nice email from a friend Bill that I think is or was in the Hospital while his father was very sick. He said he was happy to read my blog because it was real, and he wanted a real person, not a person saying all the things to make them happy.
Another person said to me in an email, I hope I wrote him to say thank you, but some times, I am busy and forget, but I thank him. He said to me that he like to read my blog because it was not predictable. He said you read many blogs and you know what to expect.
I get on travel sites and pretty much hate them, a lot of pretty pictures saying how great a place is, then I watch CNN or BBC and all it says is how bad things are, everything is so predictable.
This is a blog, start talking and someone will want to listen to you, but first try to tell the truth. If you tell the truth about what you think and feel, you will not be predictable. Nevertheless, even for the people that create a lie that works also because in reality I believe more people want to hear a lie, than the truth. But that is my opinion of the truth, maybe I am delusional.
What I keep telling Andrew the last few days is that a web cam should be so easy you plug it in and it works.
A blog should be as easy as writing an email, when it is that simple than we have taught a monkey to write a book, or more correctly tempted them with bananas. I suppose this all sound pretty jaded or cynical, but sometime I need to remember I am a monkey and I can only do what I can do.
A writer and student studying the Burma Refugees came to visit today, it was fun and exciting as we tried to help her connect her new cell phone to the Thailand Internet. It did not work.
She left tonight for Mae Sot on the border or Burma.
Here are two very large and slow loading movies or animated gif to view, you need to have a long time to download unless you are on a very fast connection.
Two Animated Gifs
Koh Phi Phi Tsunami
Film Clean Up
Koh Phi Phi Tsunami
Film Piles of Debris
What a name for a diary or log of my adventure, wonder who sits around and comes up with these names. Maybe the most creative parts of life are created by the anonymous.
I have been busy the last few days and am now back in Bangkok. It has been difficult traveling with Andrew or more correctly, it has been very difficult to learn about Andrew. For those of you that do not know, Andrew is a techie from Goa, India that has come here to talk with me about my page and teach me some things, I am trying to communicate my goals for my web site, and we are discussing all the problems and solutions of the site. In addition, trying to put some great toys on the site.
Well, Andrew like computers, but when it comes to Thailand he is very short on words. I am not sure he has told me anything he really wanted to see in Thailand. Oh yes, he did say he wanted to go to Panthip Computer Plaza. This large four-story building has a computer mall inside and is complete full of cheap computer type things. Notebooks, cameras, and copies of software, you can buy anything you wish so in some ways a computer heaven for a guy like Andrew or even me, but more for Andrew.
Long stories but I realized that Andrew did not care about Phuket so we aborted this trip and came back to Bangkok where I can help him stay on a computer 8 hours per day and let him do what he like to do.
I think I will fly round trip to Phuket to take photos. A lot has happened in the last few days to change my plans. I have two friends from Arequipa, Peru that taught English. I have discussed with them the idea of starting a Hostel in Peru and them managing the Hostel. Mary has expressed a big desire to do so, and now it has come to the head of the line. The place where they worked suddenly ended their job, so they are un-employed.
I told or wrote Mary and said I would return to Peru to start a Hostel with her. I started a Hostel in Iquitos, Peru for another person, but this one will be for me and her, or something like that. I am really not concerned it is more for fun than for money. I suppose or hope that it can help Mary to live comfortably and enjoy life easily. For me it is a project and fun, plus my helps me to define the perfect HOTEL or what is the perfect Hostel.
I have a site called Hobohideout.com
It is down I think, I need to check, but this site I started a couple of years ago to help the Hostel in Iquitos, but slowly the internet plots against me and wins some days. Hosting companies change, the internet is difficult. Taking a site down, moving, keeping it current is a big job. I have not done well with this site, but hopefully I will have it up and running properly soon. I am trying to delegate a lot of this to Andrew and to others, but if you have followed my newsletters, you know that I have man projects. Sometime I am able to keep them going well, and other times they drag to a stop.
The web cam project is up and at them, but who can say how it is going. I am frustrated at the number of variables that have to be considered to get this working properly. I define my goal and then keep striving to attain the goal presently after a long time of working I suppose I am 60 percent toward my goal. I want to put live television type cameras on popular places on the planet.
I now have a camera on Khao San Road, as most of you can see it is not close and easy to see the street. I hope to move it down, but like my friend Chris says, I am doing all the heavy lifting. I am having to push and shove to get this done, this is a real pain. I cannot just pay to have this done; I have to push everyone involved to keep moving toward the goal. When I stop for one minute on pushing they all stop moving. I suppose this is the same for anything frustrating, the desire to move or choose to be frustrated is not a normal decision. I am frustrated, but want to get this working. I want the completion high you get when doing a good job.
I need to get this camera “Idiot Proof.” My friend John used to define things as this, something that any idiot can perform or at least not destroy. These cameras really need to be idiot proof or so easy to do that anyone can just plug and play them. I am only 60 percent towards that goal.
Andrew has taught me a lot, but this is still a long way from idiot proof, I still have a long way to go before the web cam project is perfect.
Every day I take the bottom out of the salt shaker and leave on the table open, hopefully they will learn the problem, I do not believe they will learn. So every day I take apart the salt shakers. Maybe this is salt civil disobedience.
I just came from breakfast, I have ate breakfast in the same place the last few days.
Every day I get eggs, every day the salt shakers, not one but four of them are completely blocked, then do not work. They are a type with only one hole in the top, the tropics is always moist so what happens the salt clumps only solution I have ever seen is a bowl with salt and a spoon, then the problem becomes that people put their fingers in the bowl. The only solution is to carry my own salt and pepper shakers, what a drag. I personally do not think it would matter if I stayed in a 5 star hotel in these countries there would be no solution. Although great air conditioning could help, but who is sure. this is a very annoying problem, or maybe there is some God out there trying to get me to stop using Salt.
The bottom line on Kho Phi Phi is…
1. Almost no damage was done to the natural beauty as all of the coconut trees are do not appear damaged and the diving is almost the same I was told.
2. The concrete structure are ok and can be running very quickly, so most of the High End tourist accommodation has not been hurt.
3. All of the shantytown type structures have been destroyed. I think it is possible the government took this opportunity to destroy any structure that was not concrete. I did not see any structure left that had a wood construction unless the wood construction was of extremely high beauty or very significant. Any cheap type wood construction was destroyed and in piles of debris.
4. The bamboo type bungalows on the beach are gone and I believe that the Thai government will now sell all the land to only large hotels and there will not be any small type mom and pop hotels on Koh Phi Phi.
5. This type of development process was already in process in Koh Phi Phi where larger developers were purchasing small homes and hotels and converting them to higher end hotels. Therefore, this redevelopment project will not be accomplished in two years and not 20 years.
For me, there is no reason to visit Koh Phi Phi as I love the bungalow life of the Islands of Thailand, this I feel will be sold to the Five Star Hotels and Koh Phi Phi will forever lose the small Mom and Pop Huts that makes beach life in Thailand wonderful, It will be just another island made for the two week tourist resort people.
I visit Thailand to live in cheap bungalows on the beach. They are all gone on Koh Phi Phi. So destroy paradise and put up a Five Star Hotel, thanks to the Tsunami. Now they will have Five Star Hell.
KOH PHI PHI
Saturday January 22, 2005
It is 27 days after the hit of the Tsunami wave on Koh Phi Phi, the bodies have all been removed, the places has adequate generators, drinking water for workers, and ships coming and going for the workers. To me although I do not know the plan, there seems to be almost nobody working to clean up the debris that needs to be removed by hand. There are many building that are intact on Koh Phi Phi, however they all have large piles of rubbish surrounding them. There are maybe 50 workers that went to the island yesterday leaving the dock at 9:00 AM arriving around 10:00 AM working until 1:00 PM taking a long lunch, then working from 2:00 PM until around 3:00 PM. If you calculate this is only about 5 hours of work, plus only about 20 were working so the movement is extremely slow. This country could mobilize hundreds of workers I believe with a wage of 600 Baht per day or 15 dollars. If they do not get this hand cleaning done in the next 30 days they will effective destroy the whole year because no travel agents will send anyone for one to two years to this island?
The Royal Thai Navy showed up and worked an hour, but that was a joke and maybe arrived in time for the photographers.
The have adequate large equipment, but they do not seem to have a trash barge, or I am not sure where they will depose of all the debris. I suppose they could dig a very deep hole and bury this, but I am not sure. The island is very capable of being cleaned and ready for tourist in one month, but with the present work being performed and the organization it appears it will take at least another three months or more.
I could not recommend anyone go to Koh Phi Phi for at least one year if they are in any hurry to have a vacation. Much better to go to Ao Nang or Railey beach. Andrew thinks Railey beach is more beautiful and I agree. I have seen Krabi before the Tsunami and I have always considered Railey a more beautiful place. So maybe just change to Railey and get the same possibilities. Many people go to Koh Phi Phi for scuba and the same trip can be arrange I believe from Railey, same reefs, same coral, just a longer boat ride.
Saturday 5:27 AM January 22, 2005
I am in what they call “Krabi Town.” It is the staging or starting point of people that want to go to Railey Beach, Koh Phi Phi, and in some ways Ao Nang. It is the place where things are cheaper and more of a normal city and not the total tourist traps. The room is 120 Baht per night in this Gooddream Tours and Guesthouse that is maybe 3 dollars in U.S. money. Andrew has decided that he wants to stay a couple of days here, and I have agreed easily because this is his vacation and I have told him repeatedly that I he could do anything he wished.
I suspect the reason he wishes to stay is that the hotel is very clean, bright and has exceptionally clean looking sheets for Thailand. The price is extraordinarily cheap for the quality, so we are in a great guesthouse. It has a bolt-action lock on the door and he feels they are not able to steal his camera because he can place a lock on the door.
It has been a great experience for me to observe Andrew a person that is probably not comfortable in a beach country, has not traveled, does not have a backpack, and does not know much about this type of lifestyle. Most travelers I have meet dream of living this way, accept this as normal, and mostly consider themselves some type of experts on backpacking. Andrew is completely new to the scene and contrary to his personality. He does not seem to drink, smoke, drug, or have any bad habits, I could mention a couple of annoyances, but will not pull his chain.
Andrew has a Canon camera that makes AVI or MPG movies, we made I think four different movies and he is working to convert them from AVI to an animated gif. This type of movie is very easy to see and does not require a download. The quality though I will is anxious to check. I hope today we post them on the internet.