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2004may04. Google seach strings. Internet cafe, Little India Singapore.

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This travel thing is really taking a chunk out of me.

2004may06. Now I am in Kuala Lumpur. I took the train here from Singapore. There are people here, and also cars. I am sensing ... a temperature change? I think so.

2004may07. There are so many cute little cars and trucks here. Just like the food. And the utensils are smaller as well. Screw that Atkins crap, it’s all about portion control. I want a tiny car. There aren’t many SUVs here, but the ones that are here look like mega-monsters parked next to them.

2004may07. The piratical DVD industry here in Kuala Lumpur has been raved about by various backpackers, but all I’m seeing is current, horrible releases like “Walking Tall.” I’m sure you could get the same thing in Oakland California.

I had a Malaysian coco-nut yesterday. It was a young'un, nice and green and huge, almost as big as my head. top cut open, straw inserted. Not as delicious as the Thailand coco-nuts I have tasted back home. I have no explanation for this. Malaysia is the home of the coco-nut.

2004may11. Everyone’s chirping about how Blogger now has a “weblogging by email” function. I just want to say ... the system that Cardhouse uses, Sooper Hot Weblog Thing V2.1, has had this feature since THE YEAR TWO SCRATCHIN’ THOUSAND, thanks to the efforts of star programmer Dr. Scott Berk. In your face, Blogger.

This was so important I wrote it from Bangkok. Khao San road is like Burning Man except I don’t smell any patchouli. WHERE IS THE PATCHOULI I WANT TO RAIL ON THE PATCHOULI

Also while we are talking about overdue features, how about a copy-paste buffer array? I think today’s smart, smart computers can handle this small modification. Perhaps this is why I am a construction worker.

2004may17. I’m trying to think of a polite way to put this ... but I’m sick to death of bargaining for things. I’m back in Bangkok, but at Koh Samui everytime you wanted to take a trip by songthaew (two benches plus a raised roof in a truck bed), you bargain with the driver for a rate. Maybe. And in Bangkok, everytime you buy something that isn’t at the 7-11 or Family Mart, you bargain with the seller. Maybe. That is to say, sometimes the price is fixed, and sometimes it ain’t, and it’s up to you to figure out which is which. The songthaew experience was bargaining overdrive – sometimes you couldn’t bargain, sometimes the route was 2x than it was yesterday at the same time, sometimes the same driver would give you two vastly different rates only minutes apart, sometimes the driver would make a lemon face when you’d try to bargain, sometimes you’d tear your hair out and it was all over two dollars at most, but you multiply it out by how much songthaew travelling I did in Koh Samui and perhaps it was worth it. I didn’t rent a motorcycle like 99% of the other visitors because I like doing things the hard and stupid way, as evidenced by my Michael Palin dress shirt/pants get-up. See, I had read in the guide books that Thais found the Western style of dress – or non-dress (shorts/short-sleeved shirts) not to their liking, yet nearly every single tourist I’ve seen in Bangkok is doing the USA shorts/t-shirt thing, if they haven’t been infected by Thailand fever and are wearing “authentic” clothing that no one else is wearing except all of them. And corn rows. And tribal tattoos. Just trying to express my individuality. Also (getting back to the motorcycle thing) the highest number of accidents occur at Koh Samui because pretty much anyone can ride a motorcycle. Saw three eight-year-olds on a motorcycle one day. That’s a 24-year-old in terms of cycling experience right there.

Tomorrow, Japan. My understanding is that it is a different country.

2004may18. EGLUUUUUUUUUUU!!!

2004may25. I’m in Kyoto, Japan, being polite. My limited knowledge of Katakana is helping a little bit, but when I get to a temple, it’s pretty much all Kanji and nothing is translated. The temples are riddled with small tourist trinket stations, a lot of them repeat in case you were walking by too fast the first two times. I got a good luck charm for TRAVEL SAFETY (which of course had little cartoon representations of all the major forms of transporation currently popular with the “in” crowd) but I don’t know if I’m supposed to keep it with me, eat it, or dangle it over my head.

The major two food groups of visitors to the temples and other tourist attractions are single women, and schoolchildren. Boatloads of schoolchildren, all dressed like sailors. Schoolchildren in Japan are never actually in the classroom, they just tour Japan all year. At least that’s what a totally mythical tour guide told me as I bashed my head against the top of the nth small temple doorway that day.