Thursday, February 26, 2009

Leg 6 (continued): Angkor Wat: Part II

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Leg 6: Siem Reap and Angkor Wat: Part I

Yes yes, I deleted photos, I did! I promise that this is one of only two Angkor Wat installments.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Leg 5: Phnom Penh

Just how many legs does this critter have? We'll just have to wait and see.

Note to the facebookers: If you are logged in you'll notice how the link inexplicably leads to your fb inbox. Don't panic, breath slowly into a bag, and go to my account or just log out before clicking the link.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Leg 4: The Plane to Saigon to the Mekong River Ferry

"What happened to Leg 3?", you demand. Ah! I can see that you're no fool when it comes to discerning flaws in linear organization. Well, due to my camera being broken, there are no pictures of Leg 3 in Danang where I splintered from the group.

Pictures though, are no match for you imagination. Just try it: A beach with insignificant waves. Shawn foolishly trying to stand on a nearly stationary floating surfboard as the sun sets.

Wow, that was incredible. Ok, now onto Leg 4!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Leg 2: More Hanoi and the Train Down South

Hello all,

Leg 2 of the trip is posted.

Stay tuned for Leg 3.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Leg 1 of the Indochina trip posted to Facebook

For those of you not involved in the facebook craze, try this link and let me know if it doesn't work:

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Last minute addition: The Conga Line to Phnom Penh with Ms. Johansson

A dream in Saigon before leaving for Phnom Penh:

I was in a conga line on the way across the Vietnam/Cambodia border. It kept being interrupted by those who wouldn't conga in unison and I was worried that we weren't going to make it to our destination. Just when things began to progress, the person behind me starts giggling and depantsing me (some say pantsing, it means to pull ones pants down). I would get annoyed and pull them back up but this person insisted on repeating this preposterous disruption time and again.

I finally turn around to see Scarlett Johansson laughing while halfheartedly doing the conga line dance. I yell, "Ms. Johahsson, please! You may be gorgeous and you seem to be a nice person, but really! If you continue we'll never make it to Phnom Pehn."

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

(no) Kuala(s) Lumpur

If you are like me, then you are only vaguely aware that the world's second tallest structures, the Petronas Towers, are here in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. You probably have also noticed that Singapore was at the southern end of this peninsula named Malaysia. And perhaps like me, when you saw the name of the capital city, you were hopeful that there would be kuala bears. Alas, the bear is spelled 'koala' and none of them are extant in the city from my brief but manic and vocal search for them. It is perhaps due to this fallaciously anticipated excitement about our furry friends that I made the enigmatic error of applying the term 'marsupial' to a monkey in my last post. I laughed all night about that one.

After arriving late last night to our hostel, Hostel Cosmopolitan (which we like very much), we patronized a 24 hour outdoor food court with a view of rundown looking historic properties and the Petronas Towers dominating the skyline.

The best moment at this food court featured our waiter who spoke English fairly well as most Malaysians we have encountered. Azure pointed to an item on the menu, which was in Malay, and asked what it was.

Waiter: With chicken/beef/whatever you get mi.
Azure: Noodles?
Waiter: Mi.
Azure: You get noodles?
Waiter: You get mi.
Azure: Rice is mi?
Waiter: It is mi.

Azure got soup. Not sure exactly what the mi is, the plot thickens.

The short list of things I have learned about this place so far-

1. Three major ethnic groups make up Malaysia: Malays, Indians, Chinese
2. It was a Hindu/Buddhist region until the King in the 15th century converted to Islam and it is therefore now a Muslim country.
3. Kuala Lumpur, in addition to a train, has a functioning Monorail!
4. This city, and perhaps much of the country, is as 1st world as you get.
5. Head scarves seem to be more of a fashion accessory here than a means of displaying modesty.
6. The Malay language looks just enough like English to be frustrating and kind of funny.

Otherwise, at the end of a three week trip covering four new countries, Malaysia has taken on the quality of a mild tiramisu after a big rich meal consumed a bit hastily. Today was chillzville with the only real accomplishment being the National Museum which was rather small. Tomorrow, our final day, will be equally relaxed with a trip up the twin towers and a late flight home to the Northeast where I will post some pictures.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Temple ruins, a monkey, elephant rides, and two additional nights in Bangkok

Angkor Wat is but one temple amongst the many ruins, named for their most famous temple, close to the town of Siem Reap which seems to exist for the sole purpose of providing food and shelter to those coming to see said ruins.

After looking around Angkor Wat we came in contact with a monkey! He didn't seem as happy to see us as we were him. Nonetheless, he ate some dried pineapple and let Azure touch him before he charged her in marsupial rage yeilding a humourous sheik from his prey.

In our day of temple ruin hoping we accomplished one of the common life goals of many and rode the elephants. This was followed by feeding them bananas. We got some great pictures to be posted when I get back to the Northeast.

Concerning the subject of this post, I am sure you are bewildered by the word 'additional'. Please, calm youself and let me explain. See, it is now our third night in Bangkok, and as the song goes, one only needs one night, and let me tell you that it is nothing if not true.

"How is this?", you ask with your characteristic inquiry.

I was humbled by at least two things after one night.

1) It has been our goal to pay only the equivalent of $10 a night in between the three of us on lodgings. Well, in this large, cosmopolitan, iconic, metropolis, this proved very difficult resulting in a surrender to the equivalent of $14 a night. We stand humbled.

2) Not far from our guesthouse, in what we like to refer to as the backpackers ghetto, there is a stand serving fruit smoothies made from fresh fruit on the spot. I have never had a more delicious nor nourishing treat in all my life. My body was soon satiated with all vitamins which it had been previously lacking. Truly a humbling experience.

I don't precisely recall the lyrics of the song outside of the main hook, but I'm fairly certain that they are along these lines.

I'm running out of time at this cafe! Onto Kuala Lumpur, Maylaysia next!