Tuesday, September 30, 2008

in this installment, james learns english from matthew.

in this installment, james freaks out.

Unlucky for me, the only English-speaking TV station is CNN.

To everyone in the States, we're praying. I hope everyone is thus far unaffected, but I'm sure the real repercussions won't show up immediately.

I wrote a whole blog about living in a commune on the Burnson's property, but erased it because it was more scary than funny.

Who knows, this could all be smoke, and likely overblown in our minds. But I'm sure there was a similar reaction in 1929.

God bless all of you, and to a lot of the folks that read this blog who all are friends and see each other semi-regularly, I'd like to say that in the very near future you all may be called to depend on each other in ways we're not used to. Assuming things get as bad as the media seems to think they can. If anyone needs anything, let's not be afraid to ask. I'm not sure what I can or could do, but I include myself in there as well.

Here's to hoping I'll look back at this blog post and laugh.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

in this installment, james gets an offer he can refuse


Right off the plane you're handed a pamphlet that reads SEX WITH A CHILD IS A CRIME.

It makes me wonder, if someone needs reminded, is this really going to stop them?

The streets are third world-glorious, rotting garbage in random corners, parked motorbikes spill into the street and force you to walk in traffic, and most corners are dotted with beggars and peddlers ... of which, one make offered me a blow job.

Now, I find this disconcerting. Not that I was offered sex on the most infamously sexual land mass on the plant, but that I was only offered once. By a dude.

Is it simply neurosis to wonder why this is the case? Cause it sucks, for ego alone.

So far the heat has gone from unbearable to strangely lovable. I think it's like an abusive spouse: it pounds you into submission until you believe you love it. On my first day I took three cold showers ... today I took two, so that's an improvement.

I also got a look at the parts of Siem Reap that are NOT on the main drag ... shanties on rickety poles above the river, peddling strange meats and jewelry. It was here that Matthew promptly turned towards the side of the street and vomited water ... scared us for a bit, but seems it wasn't food, just didn't drink enough water to prepare for the heat. It really is impossible to describe unless you've been here.

Anyway, he's fine now. We ate and drank (enormous entrees $2, a half liter of beer $2, so I eat for about $10!) and feel much better. We also slept away the heat of the afternoon, so God help us on the temple climbs tomorrow!

Miss you all - the strangest part of all this (the Thailand stretch, anyway) will be not sharing it with anyone. If anyone wants to go, I'll be glad to come back here, so far it's pure, filthy magic!

Friday, September 26, 2008

in this installment, james goes hiking in a graveyard

in this installment, james finds almost free internet, in cambodia

Well, I'm in Cambodia ... safe and sound, relatively speaking.

Matthew will be here in a few hours and I'm a bit worried he'll find me, the guest house we agreed to meet at has changed its name from Green Park to Green House ... my driver seemed to know the name had chaged recently, so let's hope Matt's driver does as well.

My driver also wanted 20/day to drive me to the temples, regardless of me telling him over and over that we couldn't fit two of his on his bike, and that MY friends had gotten a car for $7/day, and he balked. Dammit, I hope prices havn't risen that much in a year. I doubt it.

The country is beautiful ... absolutely stunning. The energy is unlike anything I've ever experienced ... I hopped on the back of a Moped right out of the airport and we jetted down the main highway during rush hour ... mororbikes EVERYWHERE.




It impossible to describe, really. No helmet, no jeans, just bare legs and bare head clinging to a mike that weighs less than me, swerving around buses, pedestrians, bicycles, and a hot Cambodian girl in high heels driving a Vespa.


I can already tell this will be a challenge for me. I hate, hate, hate bartering and sleazy dealing with money. To the very core of me I've never understood why anything, even poverty, needs to lead to shady dealing. Easy for me to say? Maybe ... my family's been on pretty hard times ... not third world hard times, but pretty damn hard. And I hear so many stories about poor folks across the world that are generous. The church I staid with in Mexico was incredibly poor, but they were kind and trustworthy.

Ugh. I hate it.

One woman begged me for money and I refused, so she followed me down the street, demanding her toddler scream and shout and beg to make me feel bad. They followed me for a block and I could have socked her in the mouth. What kind of mother does that to her child? Ever. Ever. And at the same time, my heart broke to hear that from a child, even a child that was obviously well fed.


Well, off to wait for Matthew. And a geckoo just climbed down the wall to stare at me, so I think it's time to go!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

in this installment, james finds free internet

Hooray for free wireless lounges at Inchion Airport, and for free computers (for 30 minutes at least).

Inchion is, so far, the largest airport I've had to navigate. I'm sure Narita was bigger, but I just popped from gate to gate so it wasn't so bad.

When you walk into Inchion, there are giant islands marked with letters, and there are about 2-4 different airlines in each island ... and you have to walk around them to find which ones. It's really quite intimidating, there are about 8 of them, stretching through the "great hall".

I made it through security ok, it turns out there was a nail file in the shaving kit I bought ... right next to a pair of sharp scissors I also failed to notice.

They took the nail fail and left the scissors. You know, terrorists DESERVE to win.

Oh, and for all of those planning on visiting Korea, it's notorious for being the hardest Asian country in which to use a foreign debit card. Found that out the day before my trip. *sigh*

Luckily all the ATMs in the airport are global.

That's it for now, I'll try and post in Cambodia!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

in this installment, james lays down the law

Just a bit o text for information purposes.

I have made comments available for all users, not just other bloggers. Sorry about that, didn't know I'd selected that setting!

Also, I'm delay posting a lot of videos so that some will play during my absence in Cambodia when I won't have editing software. So if you're following me on YouTube you might notice videos there that aren't on the blog ... they will be, they're just in a holding pattern for a bit but are all scheduled to post in regular intervals.

That's all!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

in this installment, james posts the second best facebook ad he's ever, EVER seen.

Blogged with the Flock Browser

in this installment, james needs a power adapter.

I have only 26 minutes before my computer goes kaput, so unfortunately there's no video now.

Last night was an adventure. Which is what I signed up for, it's just that adventures are very tiring.

While my flights and connections to Korea were incredibly simple and error-free, and customs/baggage claim/currency conversion at Inchion airport was also glitchless, I had a great feeling, even though Matthew's first words in his email to me were "I don't know where I live."

Apparently, neither do all the taxi drivers in Korea. I know this for a fact because, whilt driving in circles trying to find the address that Matt typed out for me in Korean, my driver stopped an asked all his fellow drivers where he was going ... when this failed he resorted to asking random people until a woman and her school daughter helped us. They got Matthew on the phone, rolling their eyes when they heard him speak English, and managed to decipher where he was.

All this started because my bus driver let me off at a dark corner that did not seem to be one of his normal stops.

to Matthew's credit, the address he gave me was directly off a business card ... so I have no idea what happened.

All I know is I found Matthew and got to eat "Kimchi" (SP) and walnut ice cream and didn't have to sleep in the street.

Today should be fun, walking around town and trying to find a power adapter for this computer. Hopefully I will and can post some footage!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

in this installment, james battles bad technology with more bad technology.

My camcorder is still dead in the water (get it, cause, you know, the water killed it ...) and chances are slim I'll get it back in time for the trip.

So, since I might not be able to post the awesome footage I took of our sailing trip I thought, well, let's post some photos.

But the website that hosts them won't let me select the ones I want! So here is a limited, but nonetheless completely true account of my sailing adventure last weekend.

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We took off from LA Harbor - Natalie didn't handle it too well.

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We cleared the harbor sea breaks and made it to open water; that's when the drinking began ...

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I fell overboard and tried to swim to shore ...

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... but they baited be back.

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And then we saw pirates. The End.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

in this installment, james fights a cold with his bare hands and swims with the fishes.

Hello boys and girls, I apologize for the delay in posts.

I planned on posting some video but then I hit a snag: my video camera was destroyed. Turns out that "underwater housing" means "a place to house water tightly around your camera so it can corrode the insides and render it useless."

Should have read the fine print. Anyway, I have to ship the damn thing off and chances are it won't be ready in time for my departure. This makes me really, really sad.

Also making me sad is my complete lack of Unemployment checks, which I applied for two weeks ago but haven't received because some government stooge hit the wrong key and told the computer, "James hasn't made any money in over two years."

Oops. Then they wanted proof of my existence before they could cut me checks for the Trump-esque amount of $0.00.

Not even joking, that's what is said on the form.

Thank you California.

All that aside, things are well. Last weekend I started my sojourn with a sailing trip to Catalina island. On the way back we stopped the boat in dead calm, with no land in sight, and went swimming. It was amazing.

But then I got sunburned. And then I caught a cold. And I've barely had the energy to pack my backpack, so I'm going to sign off and sleep.

See you in Seattle!