I spent the whole summer in Prague, the longest stay of my trip. It is without a doubt the most architecturally beautiful city I’ve ever visited, and I can’t imagine that any city in America comes close. We have our natural wonders, that’s for sure, but we’re too young a country to have truly beautiful cities. I mean, name one city that has a real castle. You can’t.
“Let me show you a miracle.” said the beautiful Ukrainian woman. “Give me your hand.” Without a second thought I placed my hand in hers. Then, despite my immediate protestations, she pulls out a fancy 2-sided emery board and begins buffing and polishing my right index fingernail to a brilliant shine. “Really, that’s OK. I don’t need-” She interrupts, “You have girlfriend? Wife?” “Why, no but-” Oh right, she’s trying to sell me 2 of these. Thus I was introduced to Kyiv. I will say, the product worked and that fingernail was shiny for 2 weeks just like she said, but I never saw any Ukrainian men walking around with ultra-shiny fingernails. Just gullible Americans. (more…)
Tokyo is a city of wonders and isolation. I wanted to wait until I left to write this up, because I didn’t want to besmirch the city. Keep in mind, I had the highest hopes for Tokyo, and expectations are everything.
Tokyo is clean and modern, perhaps more than any other city I’ve been in. What was interesting was how something had to go wrong for me to realize that everything was going right. While walking near the prime minister’s residence, I smelled something bad. Was that… the sewers? Yes, it seems so. In Bangkok, you are constantly walking past a sewer that had become ripe, but that was the only time it happened in Tokyo. Someone beeped, and I realized that unlike Cebu, people aren’t doing that constantly. The weather predictions were accurate. In Bangkok and Cebu, not once was the current weather report correct with regards to precipitation, much less what would happen in a few hours.1 A train is a minute late. Huh, that never happens. Unfortunately, the biggest timing problem in Tokyo was the cherry blossoms arriving 2 weeks early, followed by rain and powerful winds, ruining my chance of seeing them on all but one tree. Thus were dashed by dreams of walking around Yoyogi Park while listening to Cherry Blossom Girl. (more…)
- It was clear in Cebu that nobody even bothered checking. They just looked up at the sky and made an educated guess about the next few days. [↩]
I’ve recently arrived in Cebu City, Philippines. My impressions of the city are colored, of course, by living in the US, but also by spending the previous 2 months in Bangkok. Here’s what struck me. (more…)
I’ve been in Bangkok for a week and it’s an interesting city. Even though I heavily researched it (including spending time on expat forums and talking to former residents) there were some surprises. Here are some of them. (more…)
I am beginning a grand adventure. Well, for me, anyway. At the end of this year, I will be flying to Bangkok, Thailand to start a 6 month (or longer) trek abroad. You know, like Caine in Kung Fu. Well, not exactly.
This isn’t a vacation. It’s an experiment in nomadic living, inspired by the likes of Expat Software and The 4-Hour Work Week. Even after the success of Tim Ferriss’s book, this is a pretty foreign concept to most people. Upon hearing it, they think I’m going on a really long vacation, and by extension, I’m some secret millionaire. I’m not (yet). Or that I’ll be backpacking and living in hostels and villages. I’m not doing that either.
I’ll simply be living in other countries, much like I would here. The countries I’ve chosen are more affordable than Southern California (I know, not saying much), although that does get offset by renting fully furnished apartments in major cities, as well as airfare. My goal is to spend the same or less per month than I would here, while making things a lot more interesting – you know, meeting people and getting in adventures. But for the most part, I’ll be coding and learning new things.
Why now? What prompted this? There are several factors: (more…)