My Protanopic Life - Articles in blog category

The Engagement Party

Tuesday was the day of our engagement party. We woke up and went to the bank to withdraw some money that was a gift from my parents and my grandmother. This took a long time. We then went to a jeweler and Tien bought a lot of jewelry, then we …

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Visa Issues

Sunday was a rainy day. Everybody was hanging out because there's not much to do outside when it's rainy, and it's difficult to get places on a scooter while it's raining. I was on my computer fiddling around when Tien came in looking a little sad and told me that …

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A Tragedy in Binh Hoa

Saturday morning I woke up to Tien climbing back into bed. “I have some bad news from the people in my village..." She went on to tell me that the father of her best friend Trinh, whose family lives across the street, was on his way back from taking his …

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The Trip from Binh Duong, Conspiring About Visas

At about 1:40am the bus finally arrived at our guesthouse in Binh Duong. 40 minutes late is par for the course in Vietnamese transit. As we were getting on a man in a brown shirt shook my hand and tried to talk to me in Vietnamese. I just passed …

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A short stay in Binh Duong

While we were in Vung Tau, Mai was on the phone quite a bit talking with a friend of hers who she knew online and he invited us to stay at his place in Binh Duong, which was on the way to Saigon, so we decided to go. Unfortunately when …

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Trip to Vũng Tàu

My layover between Vientiane and Saigon was Phnom Penh. I thought this would be great because I could call Tien using my Cambodian SIM card and let her know that my flight was an hour late, but she didn't pick up. We were on the ground for about 15 minutes …

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Lazy in Laos

Having arrived late to Vientiane and taken the first guesthouse with an opening, Thursday morning I went to find a better option, an option with Internet. That is vital if you want to stay in touch with people who are scattered around the globe.

I checked into a...

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Bye bye Bangkok, hello Laos

I'm in one of those mid range SE Asian guesthouses again. The kind with the mini fridge stocked with soda, water and local beer. They're nice enough to have an air conditioner, but not nice enough to have free wifi. There's a shower, but no bath tub. Along with the …

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More Thailand

SE Asia has very deep roots in Buddhism. I didn't know this when I came here. I'm beginning to see that pretty much everything in the history of Asia revolves around politics and religion. I don't think that there is anything to see that is not modern that isn't a …

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Visiting The Emerald Buddha

When I woke up and came down stairs, My's mother Ratana greeted me. She had been in India for work and arrived while I was sleeping. She was really nice and outgoing and made me feel at home. She was the only one I'd e-mailed with about my visit and …

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Ancient Siam and the King's Museum

When I woke up this morning the first thing I noticed was the sound of songbirds outside, which has so far been absent from my Asian trip.

Michael Jackson had died while I was asleep.

Everybody was gone from the house except Max. I had coffee and a muffin and …

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24 hours from Cambodia to Thailand

As I was planning, and thankfully the hackers were keeping up, I was able to jailbreak my iPhone and install network unlocking software on it which would enable me to use it as a phone outside of AT&T's network. I downloaded the tools to do this and did so …

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Second day in Siem Reap

After the first day at Angkor Wat, Taka went to a nearby travel agency to square away his plans to go to Phuket. While I was waiting outside for him I saw a motorcycle with a food stand sidecar drive by.

We went and got dinner at some dead lounge …

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First Day at Angkor Wat

Along the way to Siem Reap it began raining heavily and shortly afterwards we pulled off for a rest. Some kids were playing in the warm rain that was dripping off the roof, running back and forth under it. Some of us ate little meat filled buns. Taka ate some …

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Melancholy in Phnom Penh

In the morning I went to find a bookstore and ended up first having breakfast and photographing the graffiti that had been done by Londoners. I found the bookstore and it was closed but a man told me it opened at 9:30. When I was on my way back …

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First day in Cambodia

The road north to Cambodia was immediately nicer than other roads I've taken into or inside of Saigon. They were more like the roads on Hanoi, more modern and maintained, and this gave promise to the many construction site billboards showing the future office complexes...

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Photographed and gone to Cambodia

I spent the morning on the subject en of a Kodak DSLR in a photo session reminiscent of that in "Lost in Translation". The photographer was good though, and Tien looked ƒ incredible. I felt like a doofus next to such stunning beauty, but her sisters flattered me...

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Rings and things

The fact that I didn't have a ring when I proposed to Tien did not mean I didn't intend to get one for her, even if Vietnamese girls don't traditionally get them. I wanted to get something for her before I headed off to travel so she'd have something to …

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Living the Dream

After a morning out with Tien walking around Saigon in the hot sun, after I asked her to marry me, we did what most people do during the mid day heat and napped it away in a cool place. We talked and were happy with all that had happened and …

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As I finished my whiskey the flight to Saigon began boarding, so with Kaskade in my ears I took my seat. I gave up the music for some more Jack Kerouac, which I'm really enjoying. My aunt recommended "On the Road" to me, and Rob had gotten it for me …

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Last day in Hanoi

This morning I woke up in Hanoi and went to work developing the photos I had meant to develop before I laid down. Around 7am I went upstairs and ate breakfast by myself. I peeled a banana for myself and thought about meals with Tien.

I looked around the building …

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A day among the islands of Ha Long

So there I was, back in the bathtub in my room at the Chains First Eden Hotel in Hanoi Vietnam. I was drinking a Tiger beer and had just used up all the hot water washing away the sweat from a long day of hiking and boating in Ha Long …

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A day in Hanoi

Hanoi was immediately recognizable as a more modern city than the rest what I've seen of Vietnam. There were many cars on the streets, there were less shanty shacks and more tall buildings, there were large bridges, a railroad, cleaner streets. There were mountains visible...

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Leaving Binh Hoa and Saigon

At 5:30 yesterday three long shadows headed for the bus to Saigon. Thu, Tien's sister, saw Tien and I off. One week after arriving in Binh Hoa we were headed back to Saigon, back to the airport.

One earbud and one earplug each, Tien and I lost ourselves in …

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A relaxing weekend

Sunday morning in Binh Hoa village, the plans to go to the beach fell through two different ways due to cultural customs. That stuff sure can get in the way... That's OK though, one more relaxing day in Binh Hoa will be fine. Read More

One Week in Vietnam

Saturday morning in Binh Hoa, I've been in Vietnam for nearly a week now and I it's been a good gentle immersion in to Asian culture in the tropics. Tonight Tien and I will go by overnight bus to Vung Tàu Beach, which is about 20km outside Ho Chi Minh …

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Another day in the shop

There's nothing incredibly exciting going on yet. We were going to plan my trip to Ha Long bay yesterday but the power outage kinda messed that up. Today we're going to square that away, and tomorrow we'll probably be going back to Ho Chi Minh City.

This morning I woke …

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Crusin' and Relaxin'

Today I was planning on taking part of the morning to check online for options to go to Ha Long bay and to call Igor to ask him about some comments he left concerning traveling Laos and Cambodia. Before doing that we had a somewhat American breakfast with eggs and …

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Anime Lunch

Today Tien and I sat at the market where her family store is and talked a long time about language, world culture and classical music. I tried to also explain some things about computers and networking, which was preceded by my saying that I was intrigued by the problem of …

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Trip to Câm Mountain

Yesterday morning I was greeted by a large spider on the floor of my hotel room. Mai showed up shortly afterwards and brought me back to their house where we ate and talked and showered.

We eat frequently here, though not a lot. There are 8 females in this house …

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Scooters and stuff

I haven't been in Saigon one day yet and I already know the one word that would sum it up. Scooters. It's like everything here is a scooter. I see people doing everything possible with them, from selling corn to hauling TV's 4 at a time. It's actually really really …

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Good Morning Vietnam

I woke up on a mattress in Saigon this morning, a rooster crowing outside the window and a lizard crawling up the wall.

I decided to throw caution to the windo and went against what everybodytold me to do: be safe. I jumped on a scooter with Tam and headed …

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1 hour left

Waiting for airplanes is always the same, they just can't arrive soon enough, but then you know you'll just be stuck on it for a long time anyway, so what difference does it make? It's a waiting game... So you wander around, look at cute girls and wonder what music …

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48 Hours

In 48 hours I'll be flying over the Pacific Ocean on an airplane bound for Tokyo.

This morning I woke up and wasn't sure where I was. The feel of the bed and the Wall•E bed set reminded me that I realized I was in Maks' room. Looking out …

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4 Days left

Today is Memorial Day and it will be the most memorable for me because as of today my brother is now out of Iraq forever! He's finishing his second tour and is now officially out of Iraq, waiting only one day in Kuwait before returning to Germany. So so so …

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5 Days Left

It's been crappy weather in San Francisco this weekend, honestly I've been thinking about heading back to the south bay. This is the freedom that being a vagabond gives you. Instead of doing that when I woke up on the 4211 couch, I went to Java Beach instead. I've been …

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My Last Friday

Today I headed out from work up to Lila's house to drop off some photos and pick up some stuff I had left up there. On the way up to SF to meet Rob and Donna for dinner I stopped to take some photos of the clouds spilling over the …

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10 days left

Ten days left until I'm on my way to the airport.

Yesterday my replacement at work started his job. He fell right into step, so that's good as I don't want to leave my co-workers in a tough spot with IT support issues.

On my lunch break I had my …

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Life is good

I am sitting nearly on top of the coastal range in the SF Bay Area at a familiar place, Lila's house. This place is as close as home as I have right now, as home as 4211 is. I have a dog and two cats nearby, a glass of wine …

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