Thailand Travel Stories, Page 81

LUCKY DAY

Two really unusual and special things happened today.



1. I took a picture of a pineapple growing next to my hut, and then the lady came a picked it after I already had my picture. I have never seen an actual pineapple plant.



2. A rainbow formed around the sun in a large concentric circle. It was like there was a rainbow circling the sun. I was reading my book on the beach laying on my back, holding my book above my face and using the book to block the sun I noticed there was a circle around the sun, now looking at the sun is not easy, but I kept the book blocking the sun and for sure there was a rainbow around the sun. I went and asked some girls next to me if that was for sure what I was looking at, because my eyes were getting a little sun dazed. They agreed and I was sitting wishing I had an expensive camera that would allow me to take a photo of the sun, I went on back to my bungalow and by the time I was there the rainbow was gone, but I did then take the photo of the pineapple.



POT OF GOLD AT THE END OF THE RAINBOW

If this is true then I am sitting on a pot of gold!





Pineapple growing next to my hut on Koh Pha Ngan, Island Thailand.

Note that Koh means Island so redundant in a way.







Pineapple Plant



IDEAL SNACK FOOD

Wednesday August 18, 2004 7:26 AM



I eat too much and I like potato chips, French Fries and oily products, plus I am on a bus a lot that stops at places that sells junk foods, so I have realized that a good snack food for the bus is a can of tuna. They have come out with a pull tab top and if you do not know, you want to get the type with water and not oil or it defeats the purpose. One can is about all I can eat or I will get sick there is something in tuna that is overwhelming to the system, but as far as protein goes this is one of the best.



STILL NO BLOG

Tuesday August 17, 2004 1:27 PM



I received an email from Relio.com my hosting company and they wanted me to check my blog, I tried to publish my blog but still it will not post on my webpage.



I am really itching, I am not sure what goes on in Thailand but after every shower I itch until completely dried.



LEAVE THE COUNTRY ON 28TH



I need to leave Thailand on or before the 28th of August so that is my deadline in a way for when I either leave for Penang, Malaysia or for the Philippines, I am not quite sure because I am wanting to pick up my tent also in Khon Kaen and this is rushing things. I could just fly to Penang for a week on the beach to check out this beach as my friend Steven says it is one of the best.



I just received an email from a Susan saying telling me about a great beach in Egypt on the Gulf of Aqaba, just below Israel and Jordan. I am trying to make a list of possible good beaches or great beaches ot visit.



MENTAL PROBLEMS



There seems to be too much of my time being used by my day to day operations and not enough of my time being used to think or just plain think about anything I want to think about.



I am not happy when I must dwell on small issues that are more or less just normal living problems. I am waiting for a tent to arrive and my ATM card is being sent from the USA, both of these waiting problems are annoying as I cannot control or predict when they will happen.



Time is a funny thing, I have lots of spare time, but I also am always too busy. I am not really busy, but I cannot every feel like I have finished all my projects as there is always another project, so I am always working on something that I have not completed.



COMPUTER ALWAYS

Tuesday August 17, 2004 3:38 AM



I sometimes get very annoyed at computers because there always seems to be problems with a computer, or something is astray, never a moment when there is not some little glitch.



I have two computers with me and I think maybe that is the only way I can keep one computer working all the time, or when one is not working the other can be working. I am in Koh Pha Ngan and maybe the same problem is happening again. I am in the same Black and White bungalows and the same sort of electrical problems I had the last time I was here have started, I am going to move out of here because I am afraid there is some form of short or jump or something I am not sure of that is causing this problem. I only have 2 hours of time to type.



But in other annoyances or problems my blog cannot be updated because my hosting company has put on a firewall. I tell you, if it is not one thing it is another.



Note that one reason I just returned to Bangkok was to get the computer I am on presently fixed, it is under warranty while the other one is not anymore. Aagh!



Chris told me about a 40 Meg USB hard external hard drive, I am thinking about going to Panthip in Bangkok and seeing about buying one of these, as a 40 Megs would be a great backup.



NORMAL SUSPECTS ON THE WAY TO KOH PHA NGAN

Monday August 16, 2004



I am sitting at the ferry station or one of the ferry stations that goes to either Koh Samui or Koh Pha Ngan after a 14 hour trip to get to this point. I left last night at 6:00 pm on an overnight air conditioned bus to Koh Phan Ngan with a ticket I purchased from the Peachy Guesthouse for 300 Baht, that is somewhere around 50 Cents USA per hour of bus time.



I have all these little ways of evaluating the cost or value of transportation, like about 600 dollars U.S. should buy a ticket to about any spot on the planet from your present location one-way.



One dollar an hour of travel time is a good price to pay for land transportation, while in the USA or Europe this can be 10 times that amount.



On the bus we have,

Fat English girls.

Japanese people with their new color haired styles.

Italians girls that tell they are from England.

One seasoned British traveler.

An experienced oriental ex-pat that seems to be comfortable.

I scuba instructor from Koh Phi Phi that is tired of tourist.



And of course but not least the management that will take a ticket away and say follow me or sit here, but not explain, so all in all just normal life.



A young couple ask me if my ticket said 8:00 am for the ferry, I said,

“I have no idea, I did not look because it does not matter.”



I have never found in the underdeveloped, developing, third world, countries that there was a correlation between the ticket and what happens, so no point in worrying except when you start to go the wrong direction as of East, West, South or North, if I am going the correct direction I do not worry much.



BLOG PROBLEMS

I have not been able to blog for the last few days because my Hosting company has installed a firewall to keep viruses out of the system and also keeps me from leaving, not that is a wall, not what I think they wanted, but it is a wall or firewall.


RELIO.COM FIXES BLOG!

Hello,



blogger.com is the way I post my blog, but it is then posted on



HoboTraveler.com



Relio.com my hosting company installed a new firewall that keeps hackers and other out, but also kept me inside... hehehe

The firewall would not allow blogger.com to publish or FTP to my site, so now

Carlos and the others at Relio have fixed the problem.



Thanks Carlos and others at Relio.com the host company of HoboTraveler.com



They answer emails and make progress, that is what you want in a host company.


Testing BLOG

This is a test from HoboTraveler's host relio.com to ensure the blog is able to publish past the new firewall



cheers


NEED A CULTURE VACATION

Hello,

I was trying to decide which beach to visit.



Penang, Malaysia

Koh Mak, Thailand

Philippines

or my favorite. Koh Pha Ngan



I have decide I need a for sure culture vacation from culture, I will go to Koh Pha Ngan where there are very few Asian people and enjoy a guaranteed beach, and not a wanna be beach for me. I will leave tomorrow night.


HOME BASE BANGKOK THAILAND

Tuesday August 10, 2004 5:28 am



I have realized that flying in and out of Bangkok is probably my best base to visit the world, the plane tickets are the cheapest and I can bounce around the world with ease, so more or less I have made Bangkok my base camp to explore the planet.



HELLO

Monday August 9, 2004 7:22 pm



How are you today?



I just finished a book by James Michener called “The Novel,” it was inspiring and touching in many ways, but at the same time confusing. The long discussions in the book about books has made it even harder to write my daily blog, and easier to know that I should write my daily blog, or write when I write. My mother reads everything I write and she tends to write me emails to prompt me to write daily, although I try to refrain from feeling a need to write something and only writing when I want to say something. I am not ever sure what I have to say though, so I just write.



The thing that I remember or think about when I muse on the book the novel are two themes.



1. The now of life, that life is about now.

2. A quote from the book,



“It might lead to his membership in a cotorie”

she said,

“Membership in a group of young people like himself who convince one another that they live in a special atmosphere in which they see things more clearly than other do---see them differently---are responsive the superior demands of the immediate present.”

Page 351 Paperback

James Michener “The Novel”



I am not sure what this means, but I do know that young people form groups where they convince themselves they are different from the group and maybe special.



Hard to believe that a person could think of themselves as special, when there are so many things around the world and in the world that makes a person realize that we are not special, and just part of a big group of people on the planet.



Hard to think of myself as special when my goal today is to rid this room of these small fleas and bugs, and to read my book.


DELIBERATIONS

I have a High School class reunion on the 8th of August and I have been spending my whole time deliberating as to how to go? But I just do not have enough time and money for this, I have finally decided not to go, although I really wanted to go.



CHOICES

There are many types of choices in life and each day I need to make choices, I suppose I could go and hide in one spot in the world and never move and I would have less choices to make, but I suppose it is the choices in life that makes a person different.



I have been thinking a lot lately about a common question or a statement made to me by other travelers, it is hard to form the question, but it is a combinations of statements, the say,



“I could not do that.”

“What do you do?”

“Are you going home?”



THE REAL PROBLEM

This is not as simple as it seems, people go traveling with a set time and set destinations, they do not travel as I do with no time or plan, so this is totally opposite than how they view the world.



There is a grunt or comment from them when I say what I am doing, they are doing the same thing, but I am doing more, that is the problem, I am a traveler that works, this confuses them, because in their mind I am pretty sure they think to themselves,

“It is impossible to travel and work.”





They know they are the same, but we are not the same, I travel and work and they just travel, but because they do not see me work they think I am only a traveler and they really do not believe it is possible to work and travel.


I AM IN BANGKOK AGAIN

I think I set a record for me, I spent less time in Vietnam than any country I have ever visited, and was really trying to visit. The place just sucks so I decided to move on to better pastures.



VIETNAM AIRLINES SCAMS

I got to the airport early went to check in and they tell me that my ticket is a standby ticket and not a regular ticket. I was not happy to say the least and by the time I even got to what the lady said was the standby list she already had my name on the list.



A short time later they put another name on the list, but it took one-half hour before the guy showed up. To say the least this is a scam by the Vietnam Airlines. Luckily they was two seat for us to Bangkok,



I will tell the whole story about how Vietnam Airline runs a scam in my tips section of newsletter 157.

http://www.hobotraveler.com/newsletterhobo157insert.shtml



TRAVELED BACK TO SAIGON OR HCMC

Friday July 30, 2004



I am back in Saigon as most people call this city and the Ho Chi Minh City is just to difficult to say so they use Saigon instead.



I am leaving for Bangkok in 5 hours by airplane, I have had enough of Vietnam, and could see no reason to roam around in the country further. The beach at Mui Ne was on the low end of beaches I have encountered, so if I am going to sit on a beach, it would be better to sit on a Thailand beach. There is nothing cultural about going to the beach, Vietnam people do not sit on the beach and sunbathe.



The plane cost 152 dollars U.S. There is a 4 dollars Taxi fee, and 12 dollar departure fee, so the total cost one-way from Saigon to Bangkok is 168 U.S. Dollars. I have asked every single place here and the price only fluctuates between 147 and 152 for the ticket. I paid the high end because the other places seem sort of fly by night an the Happy Tours is the big boy on the block, and I purchased my ticket at 8:00 last night and leave today.



The girl ask me,

“Why do you leave so quick?”

I looked at her, and then slowly said,

“I do not like Vietnam,”

She said,

“Vietnam is OK.”

I said,

“You are right, Vietnam is ok, but some places are better.



If I am going to go to a beach and I know beaches have nothing to do with culture and I am returning to Thailand to fly out, then I might as well go to good beaches.



VIETNAM CULTURE

I would think the best places to explore Vietnam and would be very interesting would be in the Mekong Delta and north of Hanoi towards China, the bigger cities are just extremely congested cities.



If a man wanted to find a wife quick though you could do that pretty easy as lots of Vietnam girls want to marry to leave the country. I think they would probably make ok wives and being you can purchase them, all the easier. The do not seem to be all prostitutes like most of the Thailand girls and this is better. Lots of Vietnam people either seem to have no religion or are Christian, I see almost no Buddhist stuff, and have seen zero monks.



Thursday July 29, 2004

6:57 am



I am in Mui Ne, Vietnam, I was about to say a small village along the beach of lower Vietnam, but this place is not really small as I remember the time it took driving through here to the beach. I really have no idea where I am on the beach and really do not care as I am leaving today, I have ended up in some sort of resort hell and really do not care to explore more. Plus and a few of my friends that know me in Thailand would laugh about this as some have seem me eat Chicken Fried Rice and ask for Soya sauce or very adamantly ask,

“Is this fish sauce?”



In Thailand and I suppose most Asian countries they have as a condiment this fish smelling sauce or juice of some form, I really do not know what it is, but I have almost vomited one time when they put it on my chicken fried rice. I cannot eat or smell this stuff or I will literally get sick, my body just reacts to this fish sauce.



Well, guess what I think the make this stuff on this beach, the whole beach smells like this sauce. Everywhere outside the resort has lines of stands with bottle upon bottle of this sauce. I smelled the drying of fish smell as I entered the area by bus, and for sure there are some really good fishing ports here where you can look at hundreds of boats in the river or bays that are great. I will try to take photos from the bus on the way out of the place.



Lots of places near the ocean smells like fish, and go figure, that is how the people make their living, but when there is large scale fish industry, it is maybe like Cannery Row of John Steinbecks book and who wants the crap.



THE TRIP FROM SAIGON TO MUI NE

Saigon or HCMC as they seem to abbreviate Ho Chi Minh City is for from 7:30 to 10:17 a constant city, and you do not see anything but factory and more factories, there appears to be some steel, but I cannot be sure as I was in a bus, there were organized industrial parks and very large building along the way, but for almost two hours the city never ended. This is not normal, but does tell me why I think the Vietnam people seem pretty prosperous.



The bus from Buffalo tours which I would NOT recommend or I have no idea how I would recommend any tour company in Saigon sucked and this made the road worse, the bus did not have air conditioning that worked and luckily it was early in the morning and the cool air was ok, but the smog is very bad and we drove through a haze for two hours. I am constantly realizing that other travelers are in some for or over stimulation phase and cannot see what they are looking at, or cannot analyze the situations. I said something about this being the worst stretch of road I have almost ever been on in my travels and they seem to think that Cambodia was bad, they must have been talking about the bumps in the gravel road. I was talking about the scenery out the window. The great thing about a gravel road is normally outside the window can be great or full of beautiful things in a way, but I am sure most city kids do not care about rice or grains.



When we finally did clear the city enough to see a field I was surprise to see large fields of corn. This is the first time I can remember seeing fields of corn outside the USA like this, I am sure there are some in Europe and maybe in southern Brazil, but the normal and constant crop of choice is rice, and very seldom is there fields of corn, but Vietnam has machine planted fields of corn.



I think I left the Mekong delta and the water situation is not so easy for the growing of rice, so this is probably the reason.



We drove slowly from a flat area into a rolling hill area as we went north.

Well I am going to leave this fish smelling Mui Ne area and go back to Saigon, then catch a plane to Bangkok. I can fly back to Bangkok, then over to Manila, cheaper than I can fly to Manila from Saigon. Saigon is not a good base for much of anything.



I think I have completely missed any good parts of Vietnam, by staying on the backpacker path. I think I should have went down into the Mekong delta area and went to the beach or small villages along the way. But the truth of it is I really do not care to see Vietnam, as the only thing they sell in mass is the Vietnam War and that is like Cambodia, they only sell the torture and killing of Pol Pot, this is not my idea of a beach vacation or fun trip. I will go find nicer places on the planet.



30 Day Visa. This is the huge problem of Asia, every country makes it such a hassle and 30 days will not let me see a country the size of Vietnam, plus the only way to get to the place is across Laos or Cambodia and you have to pay for that visa. I would almost say to traveler to give Vietnam a pass and forget the place, not worth the hassle of getting here, you can go south to Malaysia and end up in Singapore, or keep going to Australia, but to go north here you just end up in china with some 30 or maybe 45 day visa and you need 6 months to explore China. I am thinking that they have to be fly in fly out countries to enjoy or I need a round trip ticket in and out so I do not feel trapped.



Mui Ne bus.. I purchased a bus, that too me to Mui Ne Beach, I have no way of leaving the hotel I am located at or moving around because they have me trapped in resort, there is no one here and the water has trash in it, there are sand dunes. This is resort hell.




TRYING TO LEAVE

I am not sure what to think lately as too much of too much is happening and I cannot seem to slow down the world enough to see what is going on, or why I am doing what I am doing? It may be the first time in Asia or South America where I feel like I am reacting to the world and not just deciding what I am doing everyday. I am sad to say it because of having too many friends and not enough time. Every friend I meet takes X amount of time and this means sometimes at the end I have no time left.



DREAMS

I watched some show about a Science Teacher that became a professional Baseball Pitcher last night on TV in my room, fortunately or unfortunately I have a TV in my room, this is nice, but sometime the TV does become my life also, as I do know Bangkok and it is nice to just sit around watching movies.



But the movie was about a dreamer that made his dreams come true, you have to ask yourself when you are watching a movie about dreaming,

“What are my dreams?”

So of course I asked myself,

“What are my dreams?”



I suppose my travel dreams are about finding the beach world where I can swim or walk between islands and on each island there are travelers and locals that read and write, and talk more than the have their heads in a CD rom player, or Drinking and Drugging. Some more cultural travelers like South American and less of the drug Travelers like Asia. Someone said to me the Hotel you life in can really determine your happiness, I know in the end this is everything, but not that easy to do, or not that easy to decide which hotel will make you happy.



I am in a very Beautiful hotel that I was sharing with Gai a Thai girl for the last few days and it is great when she is here, but I know alone this Hotel is Desolate. It cost the same price as the cheap one when you share a room in Thailand and you can live very good when there is two people, as far as the quality of the room, but that does not mean you are living with a lot of fun people. I am questioning myself if there is really fun people in Thailand, there are lot of girl opportunities and party opportunities, but I think the conversation is on the lowest end and the beach life is on the high end.



It is time to move to other areas of the world, but that is not always easy. I was watching news about Sudan in Africa and thought that it would be nice to go to Kenya, Sudan or Ethiopia. I had a man from Holland 6 years ago say that Ethiopia was his favorite country in the world, this meant a lot to me because he had been to 160 countries.



CHICKEN CROWING

I woke up this morning to a Rooster crowing and is still crowing a couple of hours later. There is nothing romantic about a Rooster crowing in the morning as they start crowing about two hours before sunrise and if there are two of them they will sit around competing to see who is loudest for a few hours. They can sometime compete with dogs barking, I suppose the repetition is what gets me.



There are black wood building behind the very modern hotel in which I live, so the Chickens and the people are living mixed in with the foreigners, a mix that is strange and does seem Thai to me, as there is never a consistency of life, there is always a choice of lives, you must choose the path you take and this does not mean the choice will allow you to not look at the other path.



TWO COMPUTERS

I am carrying two computer in my bag, one for working on letters and such and the other to work on big Web Page projects. The one I type on or the newest one just stopped working yesterday, it stopped in a serious way and not just a blinking way or problem way, it was like it said,

“I am crashing.”

It would not come on under any condition, I instantly took it to the Hewlett Packard Service center here in Thailand, it is going to keep me in Bangkok for another week until it is repaired. It is under warranty until December they say, although my receipt says it is under warranty until April, I am amazed that Hewlett Packard has such a screw up on warranty information inside their computer system and all is in favor of them and not the consumer. I am going to start a big list of letters to Hewlett Packard to get them to change the date of my warranty until it listed at the right date. If I lost my receipt it would be a problem and in reality the receipt is very little protection. I learn ever day that the computer should be considered a disposable item and not a permanent tool to use, the memory inside the computer is of value, but the computer is of no value, I need to be able to work on the nearest computer to me.



Backups. I use a Thumb Flash card to keep all my current downloaded emails and any type of Blog, newsletter or any crucial data like my different databases of information, and then back it up on the computer. The webpages are backed up on the internet. I am using a network wire to copy all the information from one computer to the second computer, although I had just started this and it was only half completed. I do have all information backed up in one way or another, but it is the time it takes to continue working as normal that is the problem and not the backing up, the only good of backup is the speed at which or before I can continue as normal. I am amazed at how little people use their hard drives for information. I told the techies at the Thai Hewlett Packard that I had 6 Gigs of Valuable information, they sort of looked at me like why would you save information on your computer? This is the same in the USA and nobody seems to care or value the data on the computer, they act like the programs are of value, but the time it took to take the photos and fill up the computer with information is more valuable than the computer. I am backed up, but not the way I wish, and really do not think it is possible to be as backed up as I wish as I would spend more time backing up than I spend making the data.



I presently backing up information in 6 locations and it is not foolproof, plus confusing.



1. Flash Drive.. (Too small.)

2. CD Roms … (Files become Corrupt)

3. Internet … I cannot put up critical information.

4. Extra Computer - If I lose both computers, I lose.

5. In my Yahoo mail box. (Cannot back up.)



So my dream of traveling and working is always difficult and very frustrating, but it does work in the end, but I can guarantee this is only for the best of the best presently, and not the normal person working on the computer.