hostel recommendations

episode 39. day 178, the end of 2007.

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Recoded: 31 December 2007
Locations: Ushuaia, Argentina
Tags: freestyle hostel, new years eve, bbq, end of the earth, antarctica, adventure, ushuaia, argentina, video diary, luck of seven
Music: highway to hell - AC/DC
About: after a hard day (see episode 38), i head back to the freestyle hostel, for a bit of R & R and one massive blowout. sorry if the last few frames are blurry, but so is my memory past 3 AM... :P

episode 35. day 173, christmas day.

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Recoded: 25 December 2007
Locations: Ushuaia, Argentina
Tags: freestyle hostel, paul lacoste, free hugs, christmas, end of the earth, antarctica, adventure, ushuaia, argentina, video diary, luck of seven
Music: chocolate jesus - tom waits
About: on a bright and sunny day, paul and i headed down to the waterfront to see if christmas cheer and free hugs will get us anywhere. after a few hours handing out hugs and waving to ushuaia, paul and i get picked up by my buddy matias, carolina and malo for a christmas adventure we will never forget!

episode 34. day 172, here they eat beef.

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Recoded: 23 December 2007
Locations: Ushuaia, Argentina
Tags: freestyle hostel, paul lacoste, coworking, cowork central, fernando maclen, end of the earth, antarctica, adventure, ushuaia, argentina, video diary, luck of seven
Music: dirty water, by the standells - once in a lifetime, by the talking heads
About: today, i met a new traveler, paul lacoste. while he's from france, he's really a brother from another mother. after the two of us kicked around fruitlessly looking for a ride to antarctica, we ended up at the freestyle hostel's christmas dinner.

episode 29. waiting in vain

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Recoded: 17 December 2007
Locations: Ushuaia, Argentina
Tags: end of the earth, ushuaia, argentina, video diary, luck of seven, antarctica, adventure,
Music: Don't Stop Believin' - Journey
About: i've made it to the end of the earth and don't have a ride to antartica. in his first bartering attempt noneck strikes up a deal to make an advertisement for a small tour company.

day 45. a month & a half (now in cairo)

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it's been a month and a half since i left NYC and now i am in cairo!!

after a 15 hour bus ride from tel aviv, i have finally made it to africa. upon arrival and in the confines of the Sheraton Cairo business center, i discovered that i had no place to sleep. the super kind attendant, imat, hooked me up with an internet connection and offered a special hotel rate with the price tag of $260 USD. in all honesty, i thought about it... and decided to let my fingers to the walking.

twenty mins later, i discover a little hostel named Lialy. after a herroing taxi cab ride that ran three lights with one featuring a near head on collision, i "arrived" at 3am. with complete understanding of my situation, the midnight attendant shepherd me into freezing three bed room.

waking at 9am, i was presented with two options...
1. wait to see if a room is available.
2. make my own booking at another hostel.

in haste, and after looking at fellow blogger reviews, i have made arrangements at Meramees hostel but have also been told that there is no availably after tomorrow. so, if you are reading this and know someone in cairo... help a brudda out and have someone contact me via my american sim (+1.917.657.6999).

in the meantime, i'm going to find an egyptian sim, check into the meramees, find an internet connection and start pounding away in some IRC chat rooms.

(update 13h30)
well it appears that i have more night in the luxurious accommodations of midan talaat harb square. in a striking similarity to columbus circle in manhattan, cars, scooters, motorcycles, bicycle peddlers, street merchants, and pedestrians all vie for the right to pass. littered with parked cars, torn up sidewalks and air conditioning water droplets, the sidewalks wreak of mayhem.

there is one sad passing note that i should mention about the little hostel named lialy. when i went back to pick up my bags, the day attendant told me he now had a room for me. a little shocked, i told him that i already had found accommodations and that i would be moving on.

after already charging me a egyptian pound (EL) for one hour's worth of internet usage (25 US cents), he proceeded to ask for payment. despite the fact i had already paid him 50 EL (10 USD), he now wanted 150 EL (30 USD). full aware of this scam, i politely told him to check his records. after confirming my payment, he asked that i hurry up and clean my barely used room.

in the room, i was pleasantly surprised to discover the two other travelers whom i awoke at 3am. (btw, they also loved staying at the big apple hostel in istanbul.) in my departure i mentioned the small billing snafu, and they proceeded to tell me about another little shamble. apparently, while my roomies were eating their falafel breakfast, a group of three arrived. at 100 EL per person (twice the normal price), the three french started their negotiations to secure a room. after a few fleeting moments of delight, one of the day attendants noticed my roomies and ended negotiations.

note to fellow travelers in cairo, be armed with a big smile and distain for comical negoiations. don't be rude, but be prepared for the unexpected.

first - get a receipt!

two - once you have decided to move around, get to a hostel quickly. while many people might have great things to say about their experience, most of these places are on a first come first serve basis. while hostelworld.com really does not overtly tell you, the small deposit you are charged is just a shrewd formality for the possibility of a booking. hostels are not big chain hotels and are frequently owned and operated by a family or a few friends. things change at a moments notice.

three - always remember, get in good... get good service...

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on the luck of seven was an open-source, around the world project by noel hidalgo, a new york city based activist, organizer, barcamper and coworker.

for seven months, he traversed the globe. using a new media voodo (blog, vlog, wiki, flickr, couchsurfing, twitter, myspace, dopplr, and facebook), noneck harnessed the collective knowledge of the internet, and report on seven topics of freedom. this trip was funded by 253 people and supported, house, fed, and loved by countless others.

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