Saigon, Consulate, Hospitals and Hotels

2010-06-10 23:06:00-0700

A lot of the days in Binh Hoa blur together with very little highlights. Most of the time is spent playing Wii, PvZ and Marble Mixer, going out for coffee and tea, and laying around in the heat drinking fresh fruit juice. This is how most of the time was spent between arriving in Binh Hoa and the morning of June 9th. That morning we woke up at 3:45 to catch a bus to Saigon to spend a few days working on immigration stuff.

I am not a morning person, and sleeping on buses is not fun, but somehow I manage to do it when I'm really tired. I managed to sleep for a few hours in the bus before we stopped for breakfast. Just after breakfast I realized that I had lost my iPhone 3G. As I had been miserably trying to sleep I wasn't really paying attention to what was in my pocket, and had no good idea of when I could've lost it. We searched the floor and seats in the bus, and in my pockets, and it was clear that I'd lost it. Tien switched to Vietnamese mode and began chatting away with the guys in the front seat, then she made some phone calls and when she turned back to English mode she'd located my phone and it was safely at the bus station in Long Xuyen. I'd lost it in a car that belonged to the bus service that had taken us from a meeting point to the bus station. The driver found it and turned it in. That was mighty nice of him, though he couldn't do anything with it since it was locked and armed to wipe the data after 10 failed attempts. I had actually given it up for loss, accepting that I'd simply have to buy an iPhone 4 when I got back to America, but it would be useful to have. Honestly, my iPhone is more useful than the iPad is because it fits in my pocket. I'd take my iPhone over my iPad any day.

Once we were in Saigon we headed straight to the visa service that Tien was working with to handle the final details of the process. We spent the morning there doing paperwork. Actually I mostly played Freecell on my iPhone while Tien did paperwork, but I ended up having to dig up some financial records off my laptop and the internet. I did get a little worried when I plugged my USB containing PDF files with all of my financial data and it was immediately attacked by a virus. I don't know all that happened, but I spent a few minutes back on my Mac doing some CLI-fu to delete all the .exe files that were now scattered around my USB drive.

Over lunch I explained to Tien exactly why a service than handles the personal details of immigrants, including all personal details, should take extra care to keep their computers free of viruses. I explained that how an infected computer is "owned", meaning the people controlling the virus have more control of your computer than you do, and thus have access to all of your data. I explained that it was possible that the virus had taken my personal financial information that was all neatly contained in two PDF files, one from Ameriprise Financial and one from the IRS, and sent them off to another computer where somebody could use them to do anything I could do with my finances, like open new lines of credit or transfer funds to other bank accounts. Her expression was something of a horrified wonder, and she said she had no idea it could be so complex. I told her that a lot of people don't understand that, like the people at the visa service, which is why online crime is so easy. I didn't tell her about the millions of dollars I'd made... er... nevermind... *ahem*

Since we'd be spending more time near the consulate we found a hotel nearby there and relaxed for the rest of the evening. Our room had two twin beds, a comical feature to us both.

June 10th was spent mostly at hospitals. Tien had to get some blood work, shots, x-ray's and some other medical tests for her immigration. We both spent most of the day waiting in the lobby. I watched all the people going here and there, doing their exams, and found it funny when one girl took off her high heels shoes when she got weighed, but put them back on before they measured her height.

That night we went to a nice restaurant on the 12th floor of a hotel with a view out over district 1 and had a nice dinner. The food was good, as was the wine, and we were the only people there so it was nice and quiet, a rare experience in Saigon. The waiter spoke in an interesting accent, and it almost sounded more Chinese than Vietnamese. I wished more Vietnamese people spoke that way because it was easier for me to hear the structure of the language. Tien said that it was the polite way to talk to people you don't know as opposed to the friendly banter where linguistic rules and elocution are tossed aside.

By Daniel, Category: blog

Tags: journal / life / travel /

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From Hanoi to Binh Hoa

2010-06-08 23:06:00-0700

Because our flight had been changed and was no leaving that night, we had another day to kill, so we took no care to wake up early on June 2nd. Tien was craving bao cake so we went and got that for breakfast, and of course coffee. While we were …

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Extra time in Hanoi

2010-06-01 23:06:00-0700

Since we had bought our tickets for June 2nd, June 1st was an open day to do anything. We spent the morning being lazy but eventually made it out to enjoy the city. 32::AM::143We found no shortage of camera shops, which was great because a lot of them had vintage …

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Returning from Cat Ba Island

2010-05-31 23:05:00-0700

After the previous days excursions, May 31 was a somewhat sore day. I actually wasn't as sore as I was expecting though, which was nice. Tien and I were thinking about finding more things to do on Cat Ba Island, but instead we decided to head home. We chose this …

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Geocaching on Cat Ba Island

2010-05-30 23:05:00-0700

May 30th was another rainy morning on Cat Ba Island. My hair was getting longer than I liked so I decided to shave my head, but when I went to use my electric razor the battery was practically dead. To top it off, I soon found out I had killed …

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A Trip to Cat Ba Island

2010-05-29 23:05:00-0700

On the morning of May 28th our alarm failed to go off, or at least we didn't hear it, but I somehow managed to wake up about 15 minutes before our bus arrived. We hurriedly packed and got downstairs with just a few minutes to spare. Tien tried to find …

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Consular BS, Interview Date, Traveling to Hanoi

2010-05-26 23:05:00-0700

On May 24th Tien and I woke up with a plan to head to Saigon. We booked a bus for 3pm and spent the morning playing more Wii and PvZ. We played PvZ all the way until the bus to Saigon was right outside Thu's house honking its horn waiting …

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A family gathering, video games

2010-05-23 23:05:00-0700

On May 22, Tien's uncle rented a bus and a bunch of us drove over to where Tien's cousin has just built a house. Many members of Tien's family were gathering to remember the anniversary of the death of Tien's grandmother. We grabbed breakfast in LX on the way and …

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Adventures on Phu Quoc and the trip home

2010-05-21 23:05:00-0700

On May 20 Tien and I woke up on the island of Phu Quoc, went downstairs for breakfast and then took the moto out to have a look around the town. We bought a proper swimsuit for her, some sunscreen, and tried to find me a helmet, which is a …

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Heading to Phu Quoc

2010-05-19 23:05:00-0700

The morning of May 18 we woke up with no power and again made plans again to go to Ha Tien beach. We went to LX to have lunch and surf the net and check out the bus station schedule.

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Hanging in Saigon, choosing Binh Hoa over Nha Trang

2010-05-13 23:05:00-0700

On May 12 Tien and I got an early breakfast and decided to walk down to the river. It looked nicer on the map than it actually was, due to construction and heavy traffic, but it was nice all the same. We ran into an Australian couple and asked them …

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From Taipei to Saigon, and more importantly, to Tien

2010-05-11 23:05:00-0700

On the flight to Saigon I sat next to a nice Vietnamese man from Canada who was going home to visit family. We didn't talk a whole lot, but he did mention that Saigon is different every time he goes back, always expanding and always building. He'd grown up in …

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Back to Vietnam in 2010

2010-05-10 23:05:00-0700

Friday, May 7th was my last day working my contract at GWOS. I had thought my contract ended a week earlier, and had bought a plane ticket for that timeframe. That detail was an oversight on my part, and it cost me nearly the price of a plane ticket just …

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Preparing for my third Asia trip

2010-05-04 22:05:00-0700

Time spent on San Francisco trainsRight now I'm on the L-Taraval on my way to the sunset. Rob is in new York looking for a place to live and I'm crashing at his place while he's gone.

I just finished a crazy, long day at work with network config, server upgrades, Linux active directory authentication …

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Catching up from Vietnam to Telegraph Hill

2010-04-17 19:04:00-0700

The View from The RoofMuch has happened since last time I wrote. I'm currently living at 425 Green Street on Telegraph Hill, but will be returning to Vietnam to be with Tien in two weeks. Before I get into the present and future, I should probably dive into what's been going on since I …

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My last day in Binh Hoa

2010-01-08 00:01:00-0800

On Nov 22nd we woke up in the familiar Ruby Star, pretty much a third home by this time. My stomach was a little bit upset, probably from the meds, but it was better than the alternative.

The last time we were in town I had seen a building I …

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Leaving Vietnam in 2009

2009-11-24 23:11:00-0800

Nov 24th was my last day in Vietnam in 2009. My stomach was a little upset, probably from some meds I was still taking for my lingering strep throat, which echoed from my last trip home to the USA.

Tien's sisters had prepared some gifts for my family and it …

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Strep Throat in Nha Trang, Back to Saigon by Train

2009-11-21 23:11:00-0800

Friday, Nov 20th, I woke early to a very rainy and stormy morning. Having less than a week left I decided to go ahead and figure out my plan for when I arrived back in America. Some of my friends were online since it was evening in the USA, and …

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Another sick day in Nha Trang

2009-11-19 23:11:00-0800

On the morning of November 19th I was just as sick as I had been the previous day, and my throat hurt just a little bit worse. We spent the morning laying around surfing the internet and being generally lazy. The weather was still a little stormy too, pretty much …

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Exploring Nha Trang

2009-11-18 23:11:00-0800

The winds howled through the cracks of the door and windows of our hotel room all night and the next morning was very breezy. I spent a large portion of the morning catching up on all the internet stuff I'd missed during my offline stay in Mui Ne. Most notably …

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White Sands and our arrival in Nha Trang

2009-11-17 23:11:00-0800

Tuesday morning we woke up with the intent to go to some white sand dunes that were about 20km north. We got breakfast at a place just up the road on our way. There was a modeling show on TV and I was watching it to see what gear the …

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Adventures in Mũi Né

2009-11-16 23:11:00-0800

I dreamed about Sarah Palin doing art projects for President Obama while he was busy running all over Washington DC trying to escape the secret service because they were holding him back from doing the things he wanted to do. I woke up with Doe-A-Dear stuck in my head.

I …

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Traveling to Mui Ne

2009-11-15 23:11:00-0800

Sunday morning when I woke up I noticed a recurring morning phenomenon; stiff ankles. I thought about how I should probably stay more active to avoid that displeasure.

Right after waking up Tien called a bus service and found a bus going to Saigon at 9:30. Thu got us …

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Can Tho and The Floating Market

2009-11-13 23:11:00-0800

We woke up at 6am on Friday to get a head start on the floating market which only lasts the morning. When we fetched our motorbike from the valet there was a tiny blob of bird crap on my seat. Only after trying to flick it off and getting it …

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Heading to Can Tho

2009-11-12 23:11:00-0800

Thursday I woke up in pain from the events of the previous day. My foot was definitely bruised in a few places and the cut was dry. My sandals are pretty soft though and did a great job of easing the pain.

Back at the market for breakfast Tien and …

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Hiking on Mt. Cam

2009-11-11 23:11:00-0800

We planned to go hiking on Mt. Cam on Wednesday. It's a long way to get there, so we had planned to wake up at 5am. I rarely sleep well before having to wake up early, and this was no different. I wasn't watching the clock though, since that doesn't …

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The trip home from Da Lat

2009-11-10 23:11:00-0800

Sunday morning was warm and glorious. Eating breakfast outside was a treat that morning. We hung around the hotel until a van came to pick us up at 12:30 and take us off to our bus. We had expected the van to arrive sooner and give us time to …

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A day on a moto

2009-11-07 23:11:00-0800

Saturday morning Da Lat was colder than it was the previous day. I couldn't tell if it was going to clear up or pour down rain on us. Regardless, Tien and I decided to rent a scooter for the day and go explore the town.

A man who worked at …

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A Tour of Đà Lạt

2009-11-06 23:11:00-0800

Friday morning I woke up to the delightful news that all but one of the files on my corrupt hard disk had been recovered and I knew I had that file, a photo from last new year, back in america.

Tien and I went outside and had breakfast on the …

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Going to Da Lat

2009-11-05 23:11:00-0800

Thursday morning when I woke up the first thing I did was plug in my dead hard disk to see if it had yet another life. Luckily it did and I put my laptop to work backing up my photos and music.

When Tien woke up we went next door …

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Heading out for Nha Trang

2009-11-04 23:11:00-0800

Tuesday morning at breakfast Tien's mom brought over a young boy who was big for his age. His older sister showed up soon afterwards and we all ate some snacks. They were Tiens cousins and I recognized their father from our engagement party when he came to pick them up …

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Day to day in Binh Hoa

2009-11-02 23:11:00-0800

Friday we woke up and did some internet stuff. I was catching up on a lot of Internet in the morning. Tien got me a breakfast sandwich and made me a banana and strawberry smoothie. What a lucky guy I am, my fiance bringing me food at my computer!

Tien …

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Returning to Binh Hoa and Long Xuyen

2009-10-31 00:10:00-0700

Wednesday we got breakfast at a new place. It was in the tourist area in Pham Ngu Lao and had a menu in English, French and Vietnamese. We both ordered orange juice that was fresh squeezed and not sweetened. Its natural flavor was delicious and a nice contrast to the …

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Killing time in Saigon

2009-10-28 01:10:00-0700

On Monday, Tien and I decided to find a new breakfast place. We walked several blocks through the heart of the tourist area at Pham Ngu Lao and found a lot of places that looked overpriced and inauthentic. I honestly don't like things to be too touristy, so when I …

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Hanging out with Dat and Trinh

2009-10-25 20:10:00-0700

On Sunday, my first morning back in Vietnam, Tien and I went to our old breakfast place. It was OK, but honestly it's lost its sentimental value with the realization that it's not that great of a restaurant. It is very convenient though. After breakfast we went back to the …

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October arrival in Saigon

2009-10-23 04:10:00-0700

Sunset in JapanMy layover in Japan was short and nice. I walked around a bit and Took pictures during sunset, then developed some photos from a photoshoot I did for Rob's friends last weekend. I didn't bother with the $6 Internet and before I knew it I was boarding the flight to …

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Heading back to Vietnam

2009-10-22 14:10:00-0700

It's been a long time since I've written anything, mainly because I haven't been traveling. Espiritu del solI left Colorado and drove back to San Francisco in mid August, over two months ago. In that time I've mainly been focusing on two things: finishing an I-129f petition for Tien and studying and …

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My 39 hour day

2009-08-04 23:08:00-0700

By the time Monday morning rolled around I had slept away over half of my weekend while doped up on NyQuil and Imodium. I was finally starting to feel better on Monday, so much so that I decided I was well enough to drive to CO. I think I may …

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38 hour Thursday

2009-07-31 21:07:00-0700

Thursday morning I woke up above the Pacific Ocean somewhere off the coast of Japan. I knew this because right after I saw the clouds and ocean below I looked at the helpful map showing where we were on the planet. I was given breakfast and the loudspeaker announced that …

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The Last Days in SE Asia

2009-07-29 20:07:00-0700

I woke up to an oncoming silence created by the absence of electrical power on Tuesday morning. This was a good way to get an early start because I couldn't sleep without the fan protecting me from the mosquitoes and cooling my body. I took a shower and headed out …

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Plans always change, next stop San Francisco

2009-07-27 22:07:00-0700

Like many times before, yesterday we had our plans and then they were changed on us. At breakfast this morning Tien told me that she talked to her school and had learned that she had employment obligations that required her to stay in Vietnam and work through September. With that …

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The return from Malaysia

2009-07-27 21:07:00-0700

Tien had expressed how happy she was to be back in her home country when we were walking through the airport, and it showed once we got in the taxi. She smiled a lot and was chatting up a storm with the taxi driver. I began to sink back into …

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Malaysia, Part 2

2009-07-26 07:07:00-0700

Wednesday I woke up to hurricane winds and our hotel shaking. I moved the love seat in off the patio expecting to have torrential rains hitting soon, then I went back to sleep. When I woke up 3 hours later everything was calm. I guess that's just how night weather …

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Malaysia, Part 1

2009-07-24 01:07:00-0700

Sunday morning we woke up and hurried out for breakfast at our usual spot before checking out of the hotel and catching a taxi to the airport. Tien had rarely been inside an airport before. She had never been on a plane before. She had never left the country before …

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One Day in Saigon before Malaysia

2009-07-19 19:07:00-0700

Saturday, Tien and I woke up at the familiar Ruby Star which is situated in the Pham Ngu Lao area of Saigon. Our room was small and had no window so realizing that it was time to get up was difficult from the darkness of our bed, but an incoming …

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Bad Breakfasts, Leaving Binh Hoa with Tien

2009-07-19 07:07:00-0700

Wednesday morning I slept through my alarm and the noise of the other people in the house and didn't get up until after 9, which never happens. Shortly after I got up the power went out, which is now pretty normal. Tien and I decided to head into Long Xuyen …

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Visa Issues

2009-07-14 20:07:00-0700

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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The Trip from Binh Duong, Conspiring About Visas

2009-07-12 01:07:00-0700

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

2009-07-11 06:07:00-0700

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

2009-07-08 01:07:00-0700

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

2009-07-03 20:07:00-0700

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 nice looking …

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Bye bye Bangkok, hello Laos

2009-07-01 08:07:00-0700

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

2009-06-30 08:06:00-0700

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

2009-06-27 09:06:00-0700

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

2009-06-26 05:06:00-0700

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

2009-06-25 08:06:00-0700

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

2009-06-23 20:06:00-0700

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

2009-06-22 04:06:00-0700

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

2009-06-21 00:06:00-0700

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

2009-06-20 09:06:00-0700

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 and industry sites that I've …

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Photographed and gone to Cambodia

2009-06-19 19:06:00-0700

I spent the morning on the subject en of a Kodak DSLR in a photo session reminiscent of that in "Lost in Transaltion". 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 into a …

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Rings and things

2009-06-17 18:06:00-0700

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

2009-06-14 01:06:00-0700

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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Engagement

2009-06-12 21:06:00-0700

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

2009-06-11 00:06:00-0700

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

2009-06-10 04:06:00-0700

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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Catching up with Ha Long Bay

2009-06-09 06:06:00-0700

Moonrise over Ha Long I am currently sitting on the patio of my hotel room on the 5th floor looking out over Ha Long Bay and the bridge, and watching the moon rise above the hills on the opposing shore. I'm just one girl and a bottle of wine short of the most romantic …

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Finally found WiFi

2009-06-09 03:06:00-0700

View from my Ha Long Bay hotel porch I've been in Vietnam for a week and a half and have finally found wifi. It's in the lobby of the hotel I'm staying at in Ha Long Bay. It is not in my air conditioned hotel room. The lobby is hot, and they don't refrigerate their beer so the …

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A day in Hanoi

2009-06-08 16:06:00-0700

Hanoi was immediately recognizeable 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 in the near distance and …

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Leaving Binh Hoa and Saigon

2009-06-07 23:06:00-0700

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

2009-06-06 20:06:00-0700

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.Tien and Ngoc

Yesterday afternoon was relaxing and wonderful. Nearly …

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One Week in Vietnam

2009-06-05 22:06:00-0700

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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Trip to Câm Mountain

2009-06-02 16:06:00-0700

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 …

By Daniel, Category: blog

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Blogging from a VN Hotel

2009-06-01 07:06:00-0700

Tonight I am staying near Tien's house in a $4 hotel room with no toilet seat and a dirty bidet nozzle.

$4 hotel room One hour ago I was on the back of a scooter riding through a warm gentle rain, sharing an earbud with Mai listening to Kaskade off my non-phone-functioning iPhone …

By Daniel, Category: blog

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Scooters and stuff

2009-05-31 07:05:00-0700

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 …

By Daniel, Category: blog

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Good Morning Vietnam

2009-05-30 19:05:00-0700

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 …

By Daniel, Category: blog

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Made it to Tokyo

2009-05-29 23:05:00-0700

Tokyo Narita Airport runway My flight to Tokyo was fantastic, best flight I've ever had. There were video games, movies, fresh fruit, wine, two meals served with metal silverware complete with wine, hot tea and coffee and ice cream for dessert. I almost didn't want to get off when we landed...

So here I …

By Daniel, Category: blog

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1 hour left

2009-05-29 11:05:00-0700

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 …

By Daniel, Category: blog

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Waiting at SFO

2009-05-29 09:05:00-0700

SFO, May 2009I am currently sitting in the check-in area of SFO's international area, waiting. I'm a little underwhelmed by having to wait in this boring section of the airport, but Lisa may come visit me before I pass through security so I have to wait out here.

I managed to pack …

By Daniel, Category: blog

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12 Hours Left

2009-05-28 22:05:00-0700

Go this wayMy last night in the USA is being spent sorting my things into ziplock bags and fitting them into my backpack in a way that will be conducive to easy traveling.

Liquids are in the TSA standard 3-1-1 fashion in the top-front pocket where they are easily reachable at the …

By Daniel, Category: blog

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48 Hours

2009-05-27 14:05:00-0700

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 …

By Daniel, Category: blog

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Memorial Night

2009-05-25 22:05:00-0700

Sunshine at Heritage It's the night of Memorial Day, the Memorial Night. I'm sitting in 4211 #1 having finished a bottle of Bogle 2006 Old Vine Zinfandel with Lauren. I was just developing photos from a day out with Donna and listening to jazz as Brianna got dressed for a date.

I love …

By Daniel, Category: blog

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5 Days Left

2009-05-24 10:05:00-0700

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 …

By Daniel, Category: blog

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1 week left

2009-05-22 11:05:00-0700

Calm waters in Santa Cruz This morning I woke up at Kyung and Kat's place.

Every morning I wake up and think "What do I need to do before I leave?" Buy a backpack. Get a shot. Sell my car. Find a place for my bicycle. Port my phone number onto a pay-as-you-go phone. Buy …

By Daniel, Category: blog

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8 Days left in the USA

2009-05-21 11:05:00-0700

Checking the Mizzon Every Wednesday my friend Bernadette goes sailing with friends in Santa Cruz, so yesterday Blake and I headed down there to enjoy some time on the water. This was going to be Blake's first time sailing. It was a small group, just 9 of us. The weather was beautiful, the …

By Daniel, Category: blog

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10 days left

2009-05-19 10:05:00-0700

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 …

By Daniel, Category: blog

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Life is good

2009-05-17 21:05:00-0700

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 …

By Daniel, Category: blog

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Thoughts from the back seat of a VW on the way to Santa Cruz

2009-05-16 15:05:00-0700

In the back of Blake's car cruisin' down highway 1 on the way to Santa Cruz after a crazy morning running around trying to handle my travel visa's. It looks like everything is going to work out, so that's good, but apparently Laos and Cambodia only give single entrance single …

By Daniel, Category: blog

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Back in the office... on a Saturday morning?!

2009-05-16 10:05:00-0700

*sigh* I forgot some paperwork at the office that I need in order to get my Visas for Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. It's funny how my mind works, I get so much good thinking done when I should be in deep sleep. And by "funny" I mean "kinda lame." Anyhow …

By Daniel, Category: blog

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Rebranding

2009-05-13 14:05:00-0700

Today I am rebranding and redesigning my website. In the near future this is where you can keep up with me and what’s happening in my probably to be mostly off the grid life as I backpack around SE Asia.

By Daniel, Category: blog

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Tuesday in the Office

2009-05-13 09:05:00-0700

I slept on Gecko and Brian's memory foam bed last night! It was interesting, I've never slept on memory foam before. They are letting me stay in their Menlo Park cottage while they attend a wedding in Arizona.

A girl named Megan Lau from Logitech came to my office to …

By Daniel, Category: blog

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Geeking out with Donna

2009-05-10 22:05:00-0700

White Gorilla Man Went to How Weird with Karen today and had an awesome time. Afterwards I realized I probably would've had a more exciting time if I hadn't had my camera on me. I'll have to keep that in mind while I'm over in Asia... remember to have camera-less days. One thing …

By Daniel, Category: blog

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Mother's Day

2009-05-10 11:05:00-0700

Crashed at Rob's place again last night. Just got back from picking him up at the airport.

Yesterday I taught Donna how to drive stick and moved some more stuff out of Lauren's place. I kinda freaked out about having too much stuff and nearly just threw most of my …

By Daniel, Category: blog

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Planning to meet my brother

2009-05-08 23:05:00-0700

I'm crashing at Rob's house to night. Right now I'm on his couch chatting with my brother in Baghdad. He's planning to meet me in Bankok on July 30 and we're working out the details right now. I'll probably arrive early and meet up with My. Hopefully she can show …

By Daniel, Category: blog

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Location Update: 2009.5.8

2009-05-08 18:05:00-0700

Last night I crashed out on Rob's couch. He's out of town until Sunday and I'm staying at his place.

I may go to Angel Island tomorrow with Sara and her BF. Really though I ought to be moving my shizz out of Lauren's apartment. Meh, we'll see.

By Daniel, Category: blog

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Gearing Up for Asia

2009-05-07 15:05:00-0700

I'm trying to not gear up too much for Asia. That is, I don't want to spend a ton of money on this trip, I want to make it cheap. Reason one is so there's less liability for lost, damaged or stolen gear. Reason two is that since I'm quitting …

By Daniel, Category: blog

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Location Update: 2009-05-07

2009-05-07 13:05:00-0700

Learning the Hills So much for keeping track of where I will be staying. I ended up crashing at Lila's place instead of B's because of some work stuff that was going on. Lila's house is on top of a mountain range looking out over the forest down to the ocean. It was …

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Location Updates 2009-05-06

2009-05-06 12:05:00-0700

I suppose I should keep track of where I go. I'm looking for a way to embed some kind of map about my journey, it will be great to have a geographically aware journal with geotagged images. For now I'll just log it.

Friday and Saturday nights I slept on …

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Resuming the Journal

2009-05-04 11:05:00-0700

A lot has happened since I last updated this journal, and now I feel like resuming this introspective personal outlet for my own benefit. I'm going through some changes in life right now and would like to keep track of the thoughts that are developing in my mind. The two …

By Daniel, Category: blog

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