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Sunday, June 17, 2012

LOGAN - POETRY JUDGE

ONWARD

When you switch countries rapidly, you have two choices.  You can either rapidly accumulate a wad of different sourts of money and play the Bourne Identity Game or get raped by te local money changers.

After getting my taste of sodomy, I headed over to try the local speciality in Malaysia - chicken and rice balls.  I even found a restaurant named after it, so I figured that would be the place.

Cold balls of rice with cold chicken.  Whoopie.  The wildly over taxed (hence over priced) Carlsburg beer was the highlight of the meal and it is not a good brand.

Overall, Malaysia is a good country for those who want to make a gentle approach into Asian culture without the massive culture shock.  They do many of the same stupid things as their western counterparts there.  Like have a ton of stuffed animals in the rear window of their car.  [If you are thinking "But *I* have...  Yeah, it's silly.  Sorry, but everyone who is over fourteen is thinking it.]  If you want culture shock instead, join the hordes of tourist flying into New Delhi India and "open wide for Chunky!"

I didn't see a lot of tourists (people who looked like tourists) in Malaysia.  My guess is they normally go to the better known (and cheaper beer) Thailand.  If the looks I got were anything to judge, tourists are fairly rare in the areas I hit.





DOLPHINS KILL, PEOPLE

To try to convince the wait staff (and everyone else) not to serve me seafood, I've begun telling people it will literally kill me.  Dead.

Most of the time, this is effective.  Every now and then, I'm given a small hidden dose and then a waiter wanders around looking very disappointed wondering why I'm still alive.

I really hate seafood.

For all of those who wonder "Ah, but have you tried THIS?"  I've tried seafood in numerous countries and the smell and texture make me want to gag.  Really.  If it is so processed no scientist could tell it was seafood (fishsticks) it is edible.  Otherwise, no.  I wish I did enjoy it - lots more to eat.  But I don't and can live with that.

Despite what I tell people.

Although I can sell the fact that seafood kills me, I haven't been able to convince people that having bones in my food will.  Bones piss Americans off.  Americans generally want an uninterrupted flow of food from plate to mouth without all of the messing about removing stuff the cook should have.



FACEBOOK, AETHISM AND INDONESIA

I read on Facebook that (Al J newspaper) that a man was going to prison in Indonesia for saying he was an Aeithist on Facebook.  People forget there are actually very few countries with 'freedom of speech'.



ON TO THE FERRY

I arrived a bit over half an hour early to board the ferry.  Usually when I am switching countries I am a couple hours early to the train station or airport however the ferry was literally five minutes walk from the hostel.

Naturally, it was raining.  Fortunately, I'd already prepared for this by having my backpack water cover on.  I figured since I was boarding a ferry and didn't know what their set up would be, water, water cover - why not.  I was covered because I had my boonie cap and had already lost my umbrella in the previous country.

Before leaving, I exchanged the last bit of remaining ringots (MYR).  I am often still haunted by the memory of the Bosnian Konvertable Marks.

Unfortunately, I had been feeling quite ill.  The get up to rush to the bathroom several times during the night and hope you haven't soiled yourself type of ill.  I suppose it is a lot like parenting really.  Will the kids come out OK or will they be a little shit.

In addition to worrying about my bowels, I hadn't slept well.  For some reason beyond my ken, Malaysians like to indulge in karaoke from ten at night until three or four in the morning two blocks from the hostel.  It was loud enough I could have sang along if I knew the words to Malaysian crap pop.

Physically and emotionally, I had achieved just where you want to be before embarking on a half to three quarters day trip.  Note that when I say 'half a day' I am talking about literally twelve hours.  Since I'd already blown thirty dollars on a three (actually, four) hour boat ride I was damned well going to go, even if it killed everyone else on the boat.  [I've always disliked the phrase "I'll do it if it kills me."  Americans are more extroverted than that and a murder is just an extroverted suicide, hence my new and improved phrasing.  I can not even imagine what someone reading that who is not fluent in English must be thinking right now.]

Customs between Malaysia and Indonesia was prefunctory.  For those unfamiliar with my terms, that means no questions and no interest in anything your carrying unless it looks like a weapon or a bomb.  Toss your pack on the xray belt, give me your passport to stamp, move along.  Done and easy.  In fact, I would go so far as to say the easy border crossings and no entry costs were the thing I liked best about Malaysia.  Really.

Because I hadn't hit my quota yet, the cabins of the ship were set up with video monitors and overly loud speakers to blast me with more Malaysian crap pop.  I got to watch lots of horrible, unimaginative and unsmiling dancing, men and women staring moodily off into space and wondering why the person they were after didn't love them.  There is a reason American music is heard, covered and sold all over the world and none of this crap is.  God aweful and all the same.

For awhile, I had my own cabin with fifty seats and tortorous music.  I figured everyone else was getting packed into other cabins to keep them clear of the strange foreigner.  They were - but eventually five or so drifted in.

The ferry was carrying approximately a quarter of the passengers it was designed to but they tried to make some money by jamming a lot of cargo into the passenger areas.

The ferry left sixteen minutes late - to me this is 'on time'.  Sea craft are tricky that way.

For those curious, yes I got to sit next to my backpack.  That is my favorite thing to have sitting next to me on any transport.  Nice people are well and good but being able to keep an eye on your crap wins every time.

I was disappointed there was no observational deck where I could escape the music and stare moodily off at the sea.  People are less likely to do stupid shit when packed into a small room and not given access to things that can cause them death.  Or so I thought.  Later, I discovered the secret smoking area at the stern (back) of the ship.  I managed to keep aboard while smoking.

As I sat on the ferry, I did wonder if buying a plane ticket would have been cheaper than ferry plus all of the buses I'll end up taking toward Bali.  Doh.  Well, I can always tell myself "I'm seeing more of the countryside."

I've heard a lot of people who are traveling across the countryside tell me how great it is.  For me, this is not the case.  After about a half an hour, most people lose interest in the countryside generally.  If there is something interesting (landmark), they will pay attention for the first say five hours.  After the fifth hour of overland travel it takes something really major - like an asteroid hitting the earth and wiping out all life - to get your attention.  The mind can only absorb what the ass can endure.

The entry customs (aside from prefuntory bag scanning) were done on the boat.  No big deal then we arrived at Dumai.



DUMAI - HORRIBLE CITY OF PIRATES

Good news, I managed to avoid getting anally violated by pirates. I have made it to the 'what the hell am I doing here' town of Pekanbaru. This is a big modern business city. From the looks I'm getting from the locals, I am either the first ever tourist here or the only one right now. Outstanding. A look at wikitravel shows that the hotels in this area are on the sucky side. I am going to try to get to a town tomorrow with the unfortunate name of Bukittinggi. According to the internet, it looks nice. According to wikitravel, it should have some decent places to stay. We'll see if any of that is true or if I've (again) been lured into a trap. And yes, I'm sure the pirates (butt pirates?) are giving chase, intent on sodomy. For everyone who has ever met me before, I'm sure the main question you'd want to ask the pirates is "How can you look at Logan's hairy ass and find love?"

When I got to Dumai, I was literally swarmed with drivers who all wanted to take me somewhere despite the obstacle of being totally unable to tell what I was saying and me not being sure where I was going.

But they still wanted money so hassled me anyway.

Eventually, I got very lucky and found a guy who had a car that was going to Pekanbaru.  This was the town people on the boat had mentioned I needed to go to if I was making my way south (ish) toward Jakarta.

It seems that in Indonesia, there isn't a lot of haggling that goes on, so I haggled for the extras.  I wanted - and got - the front seat.  Unlike in other countries, it is a regular car with bucket seats.  Instead of cramming two or three passengers up front, there is just me and the driver.  When you don't share a language this is hard to bargain and it involved me going and pointing to the front seat then myself.  After his protest, repeat.  Repeat and wave money.  When he sighs and shrugs I get the front seat.  Later, you then have to remind someone else the car owner had already agreed to it.  Huge pain in the ass but totally worth it not to be crammed in the back with everyone else and all of the weird boxes of crap they are transporting from one place to another.

When the car took off with my bag in it, I freaked out for a bit but it came back.  Apparently, they have mysterious errands they have to run from time to time.

Since the car I had negotiated for took me from the docks to the station we eventually departed from, I didn't have to pay any of the swarming masses.  And the journey to the station was free.  I am a very lucky man.

While we were on our very long journey, there was only one person in the car who spoke more than a few words of English named Danu.  This was a very helpful, friendly man.  He gave me a list of cities to visit while I am on my way toward Bali.  I'm going to research them to see which to hit.  Because the travel is so wearing here, I'm going to try to keep it under six hours per trip - but I doubt I'll succeed.



BEER

While I was in the large business city of Pekanbaru, I went looking for a beer.  I got directed to (then driven to) a grocery store inside of a mall.  They didn't have any cold so I just scoped out the prices.  For a large beer, it worked out to $2.50.  I figured $3 in a bar.  [Note, I was correct.]  Back to Thailand prices.  It's a step in the right direction but still way too expensive.



ONE NIGHT IN PEKANBARU MAKES A HARD MAN CRUMBLE

After twelve hours of travel by boat and car, I was shot.  My back was hating on me and I was out of it.  Part of the service of the ride to the next city is they drop you off where ever you want within that city.  Amazing!  Free - I was instructed not to tip for this service either.  No problem - I'm poor.

The drive through Pekanbaru had told me everything I needed to know about the city - big, modern, no tourist candy.  It wasn't what I'd come to Indonesia for (think 'drunk lying on a beach' people) but since I was here, I'd check it out if I got a comfortable room to stay in for the night.

I checked into a very mediocre room for 135,000 ($13.50 - easy conversion, eh?).  They assured me it was a quiet room but since it was right next to the check in counter I had to ask for then demand a new room.  Again, the staff was making more noise than the guests.  Kind of a recurring them.  The room itself sucked and was in no way worth the money other than it allowed me to grab some sleep despite the horrible noise the air conditioner made all night.

This gave me the energy to flee the city.

Research (on some free internet as the hotels didn't work) showed me there were no other reasonably priced places to stay in Pekanbaru but it did give me a list of places within my next town 'Bukittinggi' to check out.

These all proved to be a pack of lies.



TAXI SAY WHAT?

I managed to catch a taxi and ask how much it would cost to get taken to a bus to go to the unfortunately named Bukittinggi.  The taxi driver told me 8000.   Later, he claimed he had said 80,000.  Always use a calculator or hold up money when talking about fares.  Have several 10,000 bills to use for this.  It was the only time in my life I got stuck negotiating for a fare after getting dropped off.  This is the worse time to do it but paying someone $8 for that short of cab ride was not happening.  Despite the tarriff card on his window saying 20,000 was his maximum tarriff, we settled on 30,000 and he went the hell away.  Thus far, this has been the only Indonesian who has tried to fuck me.  I'm sure there will be others.  I'm writing about it partially as a warning but also for contrast.  Everyone else has been so 'over the top' nice to me it has kind of freaked me out a bit.  As an example, the guy who I asked where I could find beer who then drove me on the back of his motorbike to the store.  The young couple I sat with in a restaurant (the kind where you just grab a place to sit where ever it is free) I asked a couple questions about words to.  "How do I say X" sort of thing.  They wanted to buy me my dinner and seemed disappointed when I very politely refused.  So, the taxi driver we can (for now) refer to as the only 'ass clown' in Indonesia.  If he was the only one I met on my whole trip, I'd be really freaked out.



ON THE ROAD AGAIN...

Once I'd finished haggling with the taxi driver, I wandered over to the bus guys to discuss things with them.  I got the impression the price was actually fixed so I haggled hard for (you guessed it) the front seat.  Got it.  I was told there would be no smoking in the car and we would be leaving in one hour.  Once they were sure I understood, we got into the car immediately and left smoking.  It made no sense to me either, I just did what everyone else did.  The driver didn't want to have the radio turned off but when we stopped, I just happened to buy an extra juice and the bribe worked.  I heard him tell the others "We have to leave the music off.  This guy doesn't realize he is now in Indoneisa."  Yes, I can understand some stuff.  He doesn't understand that I know a small bribe can go a long way.

What I didn't understand is that was not the actual driver but the car owner.  His job is to take the car around, fill it up with people then pass it to his lacky that then drives for hours.  Him, I didn't need to bribe.  I just whined when he turned on the radio and thanked him effusively when he turned it off.  Later, I accidentally hit the gismo that stored songs with a soda bottle and it stopped working all together.  Note, this was a real accident.  Yes, I am a dick but I really hate the music.  My phrase is currently "No, I don't hate all music - just YOUR music."



WELCOME TO INDONESIA - YOU ARE OUR FIRST EVER TOURIST

I'm not sure if it was that I was off of the normal 'tourist trail' or if they just haven't seen many tourists here.  The people were friendly and seemed a bit awestruck.

Kids and adults would dare children to touch me.  I'm not kidding.

I had a group of school girls come up and want to practice speaking English with me.

Today, a lady asked me to come judge poetry at her school for her English speaking students.  [I am going on that tomorrow and will get pictures and videos - already cleared it.]

Unfortunately, I've already had the 'what relgion are you' interrogation.  Everyone wants to see if you fit within a box they can either accept or be critical of.  I've been going with 'Pastafarinism' because they have no clue what it is, it gives me an ethos to express belief in, avoids questions and any possible conversion waste of time conversations.

If the fifty or one hundred Indonesians I've met thus far are any indication, most of this country are dedicated smokers.  Not the women mind you - keep your hair covered and don't make a nucience of yourself.  But the men chain smoke.

When I write in my journel, people often gather around and attempt to figure out what I am writing.  Usually, it's some observation or the price of something.  Sometimes it is "As I write this, everyone is watching...fascinated."  Yes, really.  I'm waiting for the 'sleeper'.  That is the guy who actually understands English but pretends not to.  I found one in a car after I'd asked if anyone spoke English.  He didn't pipe up.  I made a joke to what I thought was the only other guy who spoke English and that guy started laughing.  I responded with 'ah ha!'



BUKITTINGGI

Eventually, we reached this town.  The place I'd carefully researched on Wikitravel was full (and didn't have wifi as claimed) so I hiked to a couple other places.  Several were full.  Eventually, I got into one for 100,000.  If I'd wanted a hot water shower, they'd have charged me 130,000.  Bugger that, I'll spend that on a beer instead.  The guy wasn't interested in haggling at all.  A real shame.  If the room had wifi, it would be one of those places I could see myself staying for a long time.  Since everyone in this town seems to believe it is somewhere in the 1980's instead (see their music videos for proof - wait - they are lamer than that) I will be moving on in a couple days.

I did spend my day wandering around looking at other hotels.  The only one that had wifi was 350,000 per room.  It looked a bit sleezier than where I am staying for a third of that price.  Even the biggest, nicest looking place here "The Hills" with rooms from 850,000 to 4,500,000 (yeah - four and a half million - that's $450 - FOR SE ASIA) didn't have wifi in their rooms and only a crappy illegible xerox of a town map.  You kind of expect more from a place like that...

As I was headed back to my room, a teacher waylaid me and asked if I would be available to judge a poetry reading contest.  What the hell, I said.  Sounds like a new experience.  She was very greatful.  My guess is having a foreigner at one of these lends a great deal of prestige.  I was delighted because she offered me transport there and back again and lunch.  It didn't sound like this was one of those 'donate your money as well as your time' organizations so I cautiously accepted.  [The rest of SE Asia has jaded me a bit to the concept of 'volunteer work'.  Here's a hint - if you're paying for the privilage it's not what I consider actual 'volunteer work' so much as 'give us money and you can putter around here - but mainly we're in it for the money.  The offer this teacher made was in no way like this.]



THE POETRY READING

Totally not what I expected.  Not even close.  Here is what I envisioned.  Setting - a classroom.  Children have made up poems and come to the front to read them then go sit down.  I rate them on some criteria only known to me and pick out the one I could understand and liked best.

Here is what actually happened.  We got taken to a stage.  They had hired a MC (master of ceremonies) from the government.  There were press.  Parents with lots of cameras.  Everyone dressed nice.  One other judge.  [There were suppose to be three total but one guy didn't show up.]  And me show casing the latest in 'backpacker wear'.

It was freaky.  They told me to score from 60 to 90 in multiples of five.  Due to the way the totaling up and dividing worked, this ended up not mattering at all, but I went with it.

I was told to show up at 10 AM (negotiated down from 8 AM though honestly I'm not sure what I'd have done then but sit around for a couple hours) and the show ended up starting after 10:30 AM.

For the opening, the Koran was read.  Since this is a very religious and very Muslim country that didn't take me by surprise.  What followed did.

After a couple very long and incomprehensible speaches in Indonesian we were treated to extremely cute four or five year olds in costumes dancing around to songs - including 'Barby Girl'.  ("I'm a Barby girl, in a Barby world...")  This is what happens when people can't understand the lyrics of the music they are playing.  If you watch the video, you will see they even had one little girl in a little wedding gown.  That freaked me out a bit.

Nobody had briefed me before hand, but these were not original poems.  Each kid had to memorize one of three different poems and say it with as much clarity and pronouncing the words as well as they could.  I confess that the second kid got a much lower score than the first because I thought she was just reading the same poem as the first.

For an American with the need for 'individualism' drilled into us and praised, it was odd having everyone just doing one of the three different poems.

Eventually, I got on track.  Speakers were rated and Heri (pronounced Harry - the other judge) got the places assigned.  I could tell that the teacher was a bit shocked or disappointed with our choices but we figured if she wanted a certain person to win she wouldn't have recruited judges.

We got fed lunch.  Beef, rice and vegetables eaten with hands off of a bananna leaf.  An excellent lunch.  It struck me as very odd that I was eating off of a bananna leaf in Indonesia.  I thought I would be doing that in India but it never came up.

After finishing with the contest, Heri (the other judge) volunteered to take me to his village 5KM away.  I decided to go and see what the day brought.  It was a lot of fun.  Everyone kept trying to feed me, which is always nice.  He took me to see cousins of his who ran a store and worked as civil servants.  After that, we went and hung out with some reporter friends of his who worked for a small newspaper.  Apparently, they have seen enough tourists to not feel the need to inverview me.

After getting dropped home (my hotel) off the back of the motorcycle, that ended a very long day.  Tomorrow, I'm going to take it easy and wander around the city but I suspect I'll be seeing Heri again later.



SE ASIA AND LINE DANCING

Line dancing seems to be extremely popular here.  I know they do have it in the USA but there it is kind of quirky and reserved for only a couple of songs like the 'Electric Slide'.  Here, it is everywhere - including in early morning exercise routines.  I am not joking.  People get up early and go to these things presumably to work out and possibly socialize afterward.  Naturally, there is a lot of line dancing on videos as well.

In my mind, line dancing kind of fits the whole 'lack of creativity' I've seen within the 'Asian Business Model' described in earlier blogs.



SIMPLE YET UNPREDICTABLE

I've been giving some thought to what one reader called my 'simple yet unpredictable tastes' and heres what I've come up with that I would like for now.  Note, that all of this has to be cheap because Asia is where I come to save money.

- Decent place to stay and it must have wifi.  It can also include little exras like a balcony, little fridge, western style toilet, my own bathroom, hot water showers a desk and chair.  [For those thinking 'that is too much', piss off I had it in Cambodia and yes, I will be visiting there again.]

- Cheap beer/liqour.  This paying three dollar shit for a beer (large or small) due to excessive government taxes is stupid.  [Yes, again Cambodia wins.  Yes, I'll get good and drunk there when I go back.]

- People to talk to.  Usually, these end up being tourists but that is only because of the language barrier.  As heavily demonstrated, I'm delighted to talk to anyone who can speak English.  Or German.  [I may find a hostel to stay at for a bit in Cambodia - or at least to drink in.]

- Moderately interesting place to go for walks.  Fuck hills.  It doesn't have to be 'fascinating', just moderately interesting.  I find a lot of stuff interesting, like the bazaar that sold only automotive parts I wandered for hours in Cairo, Egypt.



INDONESIA - WHAT IS A 'STANDARD HOTEL'?

If someone is talking to you about a 'standard hotel', I've been told this is one costing between 80,000 to 150,000 INR.  I'm guessing this price is flexible depending on the area, but generally it is a 'middle of the road' hotel.



INDONESIAN CUSTOMS

When shaking someones hand, do not let go and touch it to your head.  This is done by younger people to show respect to older people.  Alternatively, after shaking hands with someone, place your hand on your chest.  The latter I am thinking is also respect done by many people who have shaken my hand.  I find myself placing my fist against my chest in the American 'gangsta' tradition of 'yo'.  It's hard to stop.

If someone messes up, older women will go and yell at him causing him to feel shame.  This is much the same custom as I have heard about from Azerbijan though not seen yet.

If two people are having a conversation and you need to walk between them, duck slightly while walking.  This is body language for "I am sorry for needing to walk between you, please excuse me."

In Northern Sumatra the Batok tribe, the women work and the men stay at home to keep the house and raise the kids.  I'm not sure how that custom came about.  I haven't witnessed this but it sounds interesting.



FRESH FRUIT IS BAD

They have a spikey cool looking fresh fruit called 'durain'.  Pictures of it are within my files.  It took a cigarette to get the taste out of my mouth.  It is a cool looking, interesting fruit but I really hated the taste.



GOOGLE MAPS AND TRANSPORT TIME

For overland, multiply by 1.5.  If you're needing to make any connecting stuff, multiply by two.  There are a lot of factors that go into this.  Before departing, the 'mobile' (local word for 'mini van') will make a bunch of stops to get more customers.  They may even stop along the way to pick up more people.  In addition, your speed will vary between 10 and 100 KM/hour depending on other traffic and road conditions.  Believe me, this is often faster than it is safe to go.

I don't see a lot of realistic chase scenes done in SE Asia.



LARP FUN

The older you get, the more you ponder the past...

[Special note for non-native English speakers on this part.  These are NOT crimes I have done or contemplated.  These were done by a fictional character within a game.  Several people who have played this game read this blog and may enjoy reading about them as the character I played was well known.  Again, this part is all FICTION.]

For those familiar with NERO, this is something I was pondering on the long road through Indonesia:  Crimes Lumsie has done and actually gotten away with.  I've discounted all of the standard crimes (necromancy, murder, etc) and listed only the more interesting ones.  Also I'd like to make special mention that I do distinguish between PC's and NPC's.  People have told me it is cheesy and you shouldn't but to not do so drives off people from the hobby.  While Lumsie may butcher NPC's indiscriminantly, he wouldn't kill a PC unless left with literally no choice than dying himself.  Note that there are things worse than death (long term paralysis) and I have done those to repeat offenders.  I have also messed with PC's who didn't deserve it but messing with people is lots of fun.  They didn't lose their stuff (gear, money) or lives to Lumsie and I am happy about that.  [Exception, I did kill a PC once by accident thinking he was an NPC spy but when I found out he was a PC I gave him enough gear he got embarrassed, so I felt the debt was paid off.]  On to the crimes of Lumsie:

Cannnabilism (and devouring other sentient beings)
Sedition
Conspiracy
Treason
Regicide (though honestly with royalty death by assassination is often termed 'natural causes')
Necorphelia (and various devient sexual acts so heinous they would be considered crimes.  This could include putting entire groups of adventurers into various holes within my body where they actually had adventures...)
Kidnapping
Enslavement
Trafficing in stolen goods, slaves, etc.
Running criminal syndicates
Consorting with undead (it was mostly family, being the 'Fa-King son of a lich')
Destroying order nodes, creating chaos nodes
Creating a rift in space and time to establish a permanent gate between Fa and Tyrra (remember all of that copper Lumsie collected?  It was turned in to a plot member to do this.  The plot member then quit NERO and presumably threw away all of that copper.  The NERO plot teams then utterly failed to do anything with the gate Lumsie had been working on for EIGHT actual years.  Sad.)
Dry humping (if you don't see how this is a crime, you're doing it wrong)
Inciting several riots

Ah, memories...



PRICES, MALAYSIA

Melaka:  4 KG of laundry, 28 MYR - holy crap.



PRICES, INDONESIA

Special note for Indonesia, India rules apply here.  Horde small bills - change is often tricky to get from the smaller shops.

Gudang Garam International cigarettes, 10,000 pack of 20.
Marlboro, 14,000 INR
Lucky Strikes, 12,000 INR

Note, unless you like 'clove' cigarettes, avoid the local ones here.  Awful.  Especially 'in mild'.  Horrible.

Strip of pineapple from a roadside vendor, 1000 INR

Small piece of chicken, 9000

Huge meal (chicken, rice, some green shit and an over spiced piece of dead cow), two coffees 58,000

Coffee, 3000-5000

Juice bribe, 5000

Decent dinner, 19,000.  Food is roughly $2-3 here.  More than India or a decent restaurant in Thailand but still very affordable.

Cookie, 500

Shave, 10,000 (The barber I went to tried to save money by not changing the razor blade before using it on me.  Fortunately, I was keeping an eye out for those scheninagins.)



VIDEOS

Malaca Museum

More videos will be posted as soon as I find a town that realizes it is post 1995 and offers wifi in the hotel rooms.

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PICTURES

{{2011}} London, GB | Rail N Sail | Amsterdam, Netherlands | Prague, Czech Republic | Budapest, Hungary | Sarajevo, Bosnia | Romania | Chisinau, Moldova | Ukraine: Odessa - Sevastopol | Crossed Black Sea by ship | Georgia: Batumi - Tbilisi - Telavi - Sighnaghi - Chabukiani | Turkey: Kars - Lost City of Ani - Goreme - Istanbul | Jordan: Amman - Wadi Rum | Israel | Egypt: Neweiba - Luxor - Karnak - Cairo | Thailand: Bangkok - Pattaya - Chaing Mai - Chaing Rei | Laos: Luang Prabang - Pakse | Cambodia: Phnom Penh | Vietnam: Vung Tau - Saigon aka Ho Chi Minh City

{{2012}} Cambodia: Kampot - Sihanoukville - Siem Reap - Angkor Wat | Thailand: Bangkok | India: Rishikesh - Ajmer - Pushkar - Bundi - Udaipur - Jodhpur - Jasalmer - Bikaner - Jaipur - Agra - Varanasi | Nepal: Kathmandu - Chitwan - Pokhara - Bhaktapur - (Rafting) - Dharan | India: Darjeeling - Calcutta Panaji | Thailand: Bangkok - again - Krabi Town | Malaysia, Malaka | Indonesia: Dumas - Bukittinggi - Kuta - Ubud - 'Full Throttle' - Gili Islands - Senggigi | Cambodia: Siem Reap | Thailand: Trat | Turkey: Istanbul | Georgia: Tbilisi

{{2013}} Latvia: Riga | Germany: Berlin | Spain: Malaga - Grenada | Morocco: Marrakech - Essauira - Casablanca - Chefchawen - Fes | Germany: Frankfurt | Logan's Home Invasion USA: Virginia - Michigan - Indiana - Illinois - Illinois - Colorado | Guatemala: Antigua - San Pedro | Honduras: Copan Ruinas - Utila | Nicaragua: Granada | Colombia: Cartagena | Ecuador: Otavalo - Quito - Banos - Samari (a spa outside of Banos) - Puyo - Mera

{{2014}} Peru: Lima - Nasca - Cusco | Dominican Republic | Ukraine: Odessa | Bulgaria: Varna - Plovdiv | Macedonia: Skopje - Bitola - Ohrid - Struga | Albania: Berat - Sarande | Greece: Athens | Italy: Naples - Pompeii - Salerno | Tunisia: Hammamet 1

{{2015}} Hammamet 2 | South Africa: Johnnesburg | Thailand: Hua Hin - Hat Yai | Malaysia: Georgetown | Thailand: Krabi Town | Indonesia:
Sabang Island | Bulgaria: Plovdiv | Romania: Ploiesti - Targu Mures | Poland: Warsaw | Czech Republic: Prague | Germany: Munich | Netherlands: Groningen | England: Slough | Thailand: Ayutthaya - Khon Kaen - Vang Vieng | Cambodia: Siem Reap

{{2016}} Thailand: Kanchanaburi - Chumphon | Malaysia: Ipoh - Kuala Lumpur - Kuching - Miri | Ukraine: Kiev | Romania: Targu Mures - Barsov | Morocco: Tetouan | Portugal: Faro

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