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Archive for February, 2011

Endgame

February 23rd, 2011 No comments
2220

When setting forth on my current journey, I purposefully chose to leave everything other than the flight and the first few days completely open to anything. From a game theory standpoint, the branching factor is very high — I can do nearly anything as long as it completes prior to my flight out. As my time here flies forward, the available options and activities decline sharply and the branching factor begins to vanish.

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Human Communication

February 11th, 2011 No comments
1734

In the last couple of years I began becoming interested in non-verbal communication and specifically non-explicit communication such as sounds, movements, and expressions where the communicating parties have no prearranged denotative form for the sound, movement, or expression. Prior to my interest, I eschewed imprecise communication.
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Wat I Saw

February 7th, 2011 No comments
1382

I start the day with a visit to Wat Pho near the Grand Palace. Wat Pho is known for the reclining Buddha which occupies an entire building. Leaving Wat Pho, a man approaches and tells me that the Grand Palace is closed. I know he is lying. He also tells me that there is a Turtle exhibit which is special and today only at a Wat across the river. He then tells me to be sure I only ride on Tuk Tuks with a yellow license plate. And lo and behold, a Tuk Tuk driver pops his head up.

1400

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Getting Situated

February 7th, 2011 No comments
1307

I wake in the morning to still sore feet and a few blisters. In response to this stimulus, I decide to spend the next phase of my trip to Thailand scuba diving.

Let’s rewind a bit. Last year I visited New Zealand on a trip where I booked nothing beyond the airplane trip into and out of Aukland and the only goal was to hike and see some New Zealand sights. This worked extremely well. I hiked, went to museums, kayaked, met people, traveled via bus, boat and plane, and generally had an awesome time. Since this is my first visit to an Asian destination, I have reserved a hotel room in Bangkok for three nights to give me time to get my bearings and learn enough about how things generally work before diving into the unknown. Four days and three nights seems like plenty of time to get at least a tenuous handle and proceed with some assurance that I will not be starve or sleep in the street without previous arrangements.

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Thailand adventure begins

February 7th, 2011 No comments

The plane departs at 12:05 Wednesday morning from SFO toward Hong Kong to land at 6:45 Thursday morning. I have a 10 hour layover so I head into town on the train to explore the city. I walk, and walk, and walk and walk. Up and down the hill and occasionally stopping for coffee at any place that was open on the first day of the Chinese new year. After about 6 hours of walking around and absorbing the city, I tire of the 4 dollar coffee and it’s apparent strict separation of the natives and the occupying caucasians. We depart from HKG to Bangkok at 16:00 and arrive 3 hours later around 18:00 and take a cab to my hotel. All in all, approximately 30 hours of travel time with perhaps a total of 4 hours of sleep.

By the time I am situated, it is 20:00 local time so I ask the hotel concierge what there is to do nearby. She directs me to take the sky-train a couple of stops over to a night mall. The Bangkok night malls are a garish spectacle of lights, music, go-go bars, with couches in the streets and vendors packed in shoulder to shoulder selling sundries from sunglasses to pornography. It all reminds me of Burningman if everyone attending Burningman was trying to buy or sell something.

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