- Thursday, May 26, 2005. On this day: BBC, Wikipedia, HowTo
- Settling In
Well not a whole lot to talk about now that I'm back. Most of the last week has been sent just adjusting to the jet lag and lack of sleep.
Last night I started my colour photo class so that was pretty cool.
I've pretty much adjusted from the jet lag but still get really tired at odd times sometimes. I'm trying to make the most out of the time that I have now to get some stuff done. I have to sort through all my photos that I took while away. Unfortunately, my old slide scanner won't work with the G5 so until I get a new slide scanner there's not likely going to be any pictures posted. It's one of the top items for me to buy but I'm trying to wait until I find work first so that I don't blow all my savings while I'm unemployed. The good thing is that I do have some money saved so once I find a job I can get the scanner right away.
I'm hoping to get a router in the near future which will allow me to setup my linux box again. I have some plans for how I want to develop the site and it will be good to have the linux box back up and running so that I have a test platform again. At the moment, I'm really looking at moving the site to use Mambo for content management. I'm trying to find out if I can get a good photo gallery that will work with it. Gallery seems to do a lot of what I want but it's not database backed so I'd have to do a fair amount of work I think to get it to work with my photo database. Ideally, I'd like to find something that already uses a database which could be modified to include more photographic information.
# Posted 9:47 AM (1) comments
- Thursday, May 19, 2005. On this day: BBC, Wikipedia, HowTo
- Back in Canada!
Well I've made it back home now. The next few days are probably going to be too busy with recovering from jet lag to worry about much else. I'm somewhat optimistic but we'll have to see what happens with the job hunt.
# Posted 1:52 PM (0) comments
- Friday, May 13, 2005. On this day: BBC, Wikipedia, HowTo
- Back in Laos
Well I've been pretty slack on blogging but I'm back in Laos now. It feels a little strange to be back in a country where things are more familiar after travelling for a month.
Cambodia was pretty good but I did get a bit worn out from all the temples. My motorcycle driver was really good though and he helped me see a lot of cool places.
Honestly though, I found that Angkor Wat itself was kind of disappointing. I think part of it is that it's so hyped that your expectations get raised too high. The other thing is that it's completely overrun by tourists which really takes away from the experience. I found that I enjoyed a lot of the other temples much better as I found them much more atmospheric and they tended to not have as many tourists.
What was particularly odd about Cambodia though was their complete aversion to their own currency (the riel). I'm used to having prices quoted in other currencies (such as USD or Baht) but they honestly seem to prefer to deal in USD or Baht in Cambodia. I went to a money exchange place and tried to exchange $50, they told me they didn't have riel but they could change it into smaller bills. After that I gave up on trying to use riel, I just paid in dollars and got back riel in change.
I also have to take back everything bad that I said about the aggressive sellers in Vietnam, they have absolutely nothing on the sellers in Cambodia. Particularly little kids would come up to you and keep pestering you to buy something for really long times. I saw some people have the same kid harrass them for well over 10 minutes.
Well now I'm back in Laos. Only a for a few days and then it's back to Canada. I'm not really sure how I feel about that.
# Posted 4:03 AM (1) comments
- Saturday, May 07, 2005. On this day: BBC, Wikipedia, HowTo
- Holiday in Cambodia
Yes, I am now living out the title of a Dead Kennedys song.
So far Cambodia seems a lot poorer than Vietnam, not too surprising. Also, just in casual walking around for less than an hour I saw at least 4 amputees, signs of the huge amount of land mines that have been laid in the country I imagine.
Mostly just relaxing today but will head to Angkor Wat for sunset. I guess if you enter after a certain time they don't count that day on the pass you buy so you basically get a free sunset which is pretty cool.
It's really hot here but it's a dry heat again like it is in Laos so it's not bugging me as much. Going to try to do an early start tomorrow to avoid the heat and hopefully the crowds. We'll see how that works out.
# Posted 6:21 AM (0) comments
- Friday, May 06, 2005. On this day: BBC, Wikipedia, HowTo
Well I've made it to Saigon. The 7hr bus ride wasn't as bad as I thought. Unfortunately, I forgot my Tiley hat on the bus so that sucks a bit. I wasn't too attached to it but it was nice for keeping the sun off me so I need to track down some option here in Saigon if I can.
Saigon is busy but not as bad as I feared. Don't really have much time to check it out though since I leave tomorrow morning.
Still a bit tired but a lot more rested. I'm looking forward to spending a whole week in 1 city since that means I won't be moving around as much. I'm worried it's going to be really hot in Cambodia though which will suck. The forecast shows it being mid-30's every day and over 40 with the humidity but I'm also seeing more thunderstorms in the forecast so hopefully that means the rainy season is starting which will mean lower temp.
# Posted 8:39 AM (0) comments
- Thursday, May 05, 2005. On this day: BBC, Wikipedia, HowTo
- Extra day in Dalat
Well I've been really run down lately from the travelling and lack of sleep. Vietnamese get up super early (5-5:30am as far as I can tell) and start driving around on their motorcycles honking away at that time. So every morning I get woken up at around 5 and then try to catch some more sleep before I get up (usually around 7 these days so not exactly sleeping late here). My hotel in Dalat is fortunately the quietest I've stayed in so I've been sleeping better. I was beat this morning so instead of going to Saigon today I decided to spend a day just relaxing in Dalat. Means I won't see much of Saigon but I had a decent day and feel a lot more rested.
In 2 weeks now I'll be back in Canada so that's a bit freaky. I'm looking at jobs a little bit but it's tough to work on covering letters when you don't have your own computer. I have mixed emotions about what being back "home" will mean. In a lot of ways it's a fresh start and it's good and bad because of that. One of the first priorities is going to be finding a job. Hopefully I can find something that won't completely dominate my life like call center work has in the past.
# Posted 8:21 AM (0) comments
- Tuesday, May 03, 2005. On this day: BBC, Wikipedia, HowTo
- In Dalat
Well between being a bit worn out and then not having an internet connection for a few days I've gotten behind in the blog posts.
Hoi An was nice but very hot. I didn't see any of the historical stuff but did do some shopping and had a ton of clothes made. I ended up having to buy a huge "North Face" backpack to carry it all. I say "North Face" because I have doubts if a $19 bag is really the real thing. Sometimes it is from the actual factory, sometimes it's knockoff. Seems pretty good and it's carrying all my stuff so I'm not complaining too much.
I then headed up to Danang to fly to Nha Trang. I was expecting to not like it much and just relax a bit on the beach but it turned out to be pretty nice. Not as hot as Hoi An and not as over-developed as I had feared (well it's developed, but they seem to have done a few good things with the city planning to make it not so bad).
I spent 2 nights there and then took the bus to Dalat. I wasn't really prepared for how the place would be. It's ridiculously hilly, you can be walking on a street and look over into the 3rd or 4th floor of a building right next to you! I went to Stop and Go cafe which sounded like a basic backpacker type place from Lonely Planet's description of it but it turned out to be this old french villa with an interesting owner who's an artist and poet. It felt a lot more like I was just visiting his house rather than being at a cafe. Tomorrow I head out on a tour with one of Dalat's famous "Easy Riders", should prove interesting. The guide was very nice he talked with me a bit but let me check in to my hotel and relax and waited for me (a few hours at least) before giving me info on the tour, I really appreciated that compared to how aggressive some people are. I'm contemplating hiring one of them to drive me down to Saigon on a motorcycle so I can see more of the highlands but I'm not sure if time will permit. I leave Saigon on May 7th in the morning so I really have to be there no later than the 6th so that doesn't give me a lot of time.
# Posted 9:14 AM (0) comments
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