Monthly Archives: March 2010
Commentary: The More I Travel, The Dumber I Get
The first question you are probably asking yourself is “what is a video of Donald Rumsfeld doing at the top of this blog post?” Go ahead and click on it and watch the video. It is only 21 seconds.
I’ve seen a lot of people make fun of Rumsfeld for this quote, and honestly I think he has a point. There are things we don’t even know that we don’t know. Most of you probably are aware of something called quantum physics, and most of you probably have never taken a class on the subject. You are aware that you are ignorant about quantum physics. That would qualify as a known unknown.
Just last week in Singapore, I was being taken around the city by a Singaporean traveler by the name of May. She took me to get Peranakan food. What is Peranakan food you ask? It is the cuisine of the Peranakan culture in Malaysia. What is the Peranakan culture you ask? They are the descendants of 15th and 16th century Chinese merchants who settled in Malaysia and took local Malay wives. (more…)
Thailand Redshirt Protests – Day 1
This is just a quick update, because I don’t have time to do a full write up. Yesterday I attended the political protests in Bangkok. I spent several hours walking around the protesters with my camera. Everything was peaceful. Not only was it not an angry mob, it had the atmosphere of a festival more than a political protest. People were bending over backwards to get me to take their picture. The photo of an angry protester shouting just wasn’t in the cards. I’m heading back to take some more photos today, this time I’ll have some batteries for my flash and an extra battery for my camera.
Happy Travelversary: 3 years on the road
On March 13, 2007 I sat in the offices of Edina Realty near my home in Minnesota and signed the documents which transferred ownership of my house to the family which purchased it. I handed them the keys and from that moment, I was a man without a home. That is the moment I mark as the beginning of my adventure.
Fast forward 1097 days later and I’m in a pub in Bangkok, Thailand writing my 1,550th blog post on the second laptop I’ve gone through since I’ve started. Someone reading this will probably leave the 7,402nd comment to be left on my blog. 1,250,000 have taken a look at my site and tens of thousands have bothered to follow long on various social networks. I’ve been to over 70 countries, 110 World Heritage Sites, and I can’t even count the distance I’ve traveled. A helluva lot has happened in three years. (more…)
Daily Travel Photo – Dead Sea, Israel
This is the view of the Dead Sea as seen from the top of Mount Masada. The mountains in the distance are Jordan. The square in the lower right is the remains of an ancient Roman legion encampment from the siege of Masada.
Commentary: Of Things Which Are Different, Both Little and Large
The first time I ever visited Canada I was fascinated by all the things which were different. The road signs, the occasional sign in French, the metric system, and the different products in the stores. The reason why those things stuck out is because, as much as Canadians hate to admit it, America and Canada are pretty much the same. The things I found different were aberrations (to me) on what was otherwise a very familiar background.
I point this out because humans are pattern seeking animals. We evolved to notice patters in the weather, the environment, migrations of animals, and the stars. When I went to Canada I noticed trivial things because they broke up the patterns I was used to seeing. You can notice similar things as you go from state to state as well. I assume the same would be true of Canadians visiting the US or Germans visiting Austria or people from Beijing visiting Shanghai. What very few differences exist between people from Wisconsin and Minnesota are exaggerated and amplified whenever they get together. (duck duck goose vs duck duck grey duck) (more…)