Recoded: 22 December 2007
Locations: Ushuaia, Argentina
Tags: holiday wish, hitchhiking, traveler, end of the earth, antarctica, adventure, ushuaia, argentina, video diary, luck of seven
Music: When The Night Feels My Song - Bedouin Soundclash
About: frustrated at the fact i couldn't seem to get the feeling of this video down, i spent two days editing. in the long run, i think this is the best hook i could cast. well this is my ehook, over the next 24 hours as most of christian world beds down awaiting santa clause, i will spread my net fast and wide. i know that if enough people see the dream, they will know that anything is possible. thank you all who have contributted. i will not give up on the thousand of you who have supported the dream. from the end of the world, yours truly. noneck (youtube video
i'm sending you this message in hopes that you can help me complete this journey in a fan-tabulious manor. from the 13 - 28 i am planning on cruising the streets of Sao Paulo with options to visit Rio and the Federal District.
from the outside, brazil seems to have adopted / promoted open-source at every level of government and culture. i would love to prove this or disprove it if it is incorrect. from what i've read, it seems that everything points to the fact that brazil is the foremost adopter of open source and creative commons. with that in mind, i would love to interview people who are influential and users / benefactors of open conversations. for example, i am looking for internet cafe owners who couldn't exist without work government funding of open-source programs or teachers, educators, schools that couldn't use computers without open source.
it is important for me to gather footage that completes the full circle of open source - from a geek's passion, to government funding, to non-profit training, to an educator's use or a business owner making profit / serving the community, to a user participating in the local/global community. since i don't know Portuguese nor do i know all of the players, i hope you can help me connected the dots and help me place brazil as the keystone on this global documentary.
in the meantime, i'm also looking for couches to surf, random art events to attend and peers to meet. consider me just a one man camera crew with a framework. please use me to help you document your community and compile your story with the global story of open source and free culture.
can you help me translate this in portuguese and help me communicate with all the nodes?
(click on your favorite unfocused smile to see more photos from my time in houston. the back story to this photo is fairly remarkable. i walked into the Brazilian consulate and discovered that i had forgotten my headshots. with a point to the closest CVS over a mile and a half away, i knew that i'd never make it there and back before the visa window would close. as a buckeye, i knew microcenter as one of the first computer super stores to have fully functional products on display. located two blocks from the consulate, it was serendipity. with a quick "hello, i'm a geek traveling around the world..." mike from the printer section "demonstrated" the printer's ability to print out photos. in less than 15 mins, i was back at the console. THANK YOU MY GEEK BUDDY! YOUR RANDOM ACT OF KINDNESS SAVED MY ASS!)
today marks my fourth day in houston, tx and i already feel at home. i must thank erica o'grady, matthew wettergreen, michelle calabretta, patrick and christina kwiatkowski and the mike from microcenter. like a long distance runner, i can feel the weight of every step. i know that this run, no matter how long i'd like to extend it, must end; ever step brings me closer to the finish line. yet, somewhere over the oceans of humanity, i know what i've set out to accomplish will never end. the final jaunt between houston and new york lies the sprint of a lifetime.
while my houston adventure is shaping to involve debauchery, religious, intellectual, artistic, spiritual, social and technological adventures... my psychosis is carefully balanced between the fine line of editing 15 hours of footage and planning out the last two exploratory months.
it's important to note that the next few steps are extremely important. while my travel funds are running on fumes, i still need to balance the acquisition of tickets with the need of cash to pay for these tickets. after much research and soul searching, there are two goals i must achieve
- visit antarctica
- interview the largest open source community in south america (aka brazil)
i'm tossing in argentina for a bunch of historical, logistical, political, and coworking reasons. if you're in buenos aries, you now have a coworking facility to visit - check out Cowork Central. i know i'll be looking forward to my time.
the following is a sampling of events and/or interviews i'm looking to achieve.
Dec 15th - Jan 11, Ushwaia, Argentina
- start my hitch hike to antarctica
- christmas and new years at the bottom of the world
- interview couchsurfers
Jan 12, Buenos Aries, Argentina
- back for a night / layover
Jan 13 - 27, Sao Paulo, Brazil
- Andre Avorio, barcamp & open source evangelist.
- citizen journalists
- potentially mozy on over to brazilla or Rio to interview a bunch of government officials / business owners who use open source. (i still need contacts!!!)
Jan 28, Buenos Aries, Argentina
- one last night in Buenos Aries / layover
Jan 29, New York City, USA
- arrive in my home city and couch surf for a week before traveling to an undisclosed location to present my findings.
if you know of someone who has a couch to spare, shoot me a line...
if you're in any one of these areas and would like to meet up. please, contact me...
if you know of any cool organizations that would augment this global documentary, shoot me a line...
if you have access to a government official or educators who promote open source, hook me up...
as i've cooled my jets, it pains me that i'm not going to take a road trip across america. since ciaro, i've realized that i haven't sat still in one city for more than four days... SF is one town where i know i can get a bunch of interviews, talk shop, and get some work done (edit video too). so instead of hoppin in a jaloppy, i'm going to bus, train and plane my way up and down the west coast and then fly to ohio. it really does make me sad, but it's what time, energy and money can afford.
the following is a list of people whom i'll try to interview. the list isn't complete so if you have any good peeps to recommend, holla at http://luckofseven.com/contact
San Fransisco Metro Area
david cohn from new assignment / freelance networked journalism
eddie codel from the hat factory - sf coworking & vlogger
neil drumm - advomatic, drupal, hack4dean
craig newmark from craigslist
darian rodriguez-heyman from Craigslist foundation
amit gupta from photojojo and "work at jelly"
colin brumelle from MixedContent LLC & drupal and ruby on rails developer
zack rosen from Chaper Three LLC, drupal association & mission bicycles - a SF bike startup
chris & tara from Citizen Agency / barcamp / coworking / online grassroot communities
schlomo rabinowitz - coworker, vlogger, socialite
erica olsen - second lifer
tantek celik - microformats & open standards
brad neuberg - coworking originator & programmer
ben rigby - Mobile Voter
david sasaki - outreach director of global voices
OAK to SEA - $180
Thursday, Nov 01
Departs: OAKLAND CA (OAK) at 2:20 PM
Arrives: SEATTLE TACOMA WA (SEA) at 4:15 PM
Seattle to Vancouver
Train: 510 Cascades
Monday, Nov 05
Departs: Seattle, WA (SEA) 7:40 am
Arrives: Vancouver, BC (VAC) 11:35 am
Michael Meyers and Michael Tippett from NowPublic.com & citizen journalism hounds
Robert Scales from Rain City Studios - Barcamp Organizer, Drupal
Boris Mann from bryght and Drupal Association
Kris Krug - flickr photographer & president of bryght
Workspace - a coworking facility
Vancouver to LA
Friday, Nov 9
Departs: Vancouver, BC (VAC) 5:30 am
Arrives: Seattle, WA (SEA) 9:15 am
Train: 11 Coast Starlight
Departs: Seattle, WA (SEA) 9:45 am
Arrives: Los Angeles, CA - Union Station (LAX) 9:00 pm on 10-NOV-07
photohunt with julia
zadi and steve wolf from the jetset show
micki krimmel from revver / world changing
Halcyon from Hug Nation
Jerad - Movie director, Vlogger
julian bleecker - scholar and researcher
ben cerveny - theorist & philosopher
tony katz - radio personality
scott smith - programmer
BUR to CMH
Thursday, Nov 15
Departs: Los Angeles (Burbank, CA) at 8:54 AM
Arrives: Columbus, OH at 3:58 PM
this morning, Janet Hawtin sent me the YouTube video above. to my surprise, Juan from Free Hugs has crafted an open invite for anyone to stop by his house and hang out. as a huge fan of people allowing others to work / hang out / hack at their house, this is surely going to be a treat!
not only does it seem that i'll be one of the first "youtubers" to visit, as my Sydney plans unfurl, my last few days seem to be overwhelming! nonetheless, you can count on me to make the best of a limited schedule... if you have any advice, tips, tricks. send them my way!!!
WED NIGHT - 17 Oct
- sleep on bus.
THURSDAY - 18 Oct
- 08h30 arrival at Sydney's bus station.
- morning, find wifi, have breakfast, coordinate contacts. (anyone have recommendations?)
- post-noon, meet up at Pitt Street Mall in the centre of Sydney with juan from FREE HUGS. we will hug people. (thanks janet for the introduction!)
- 19h00, sydney web standards meetup to hear jo kay talk about second life and mick liubinskas talk about "a trillion tiny transactions" (thanks christy dena for the invite.)
ps - anyone have a place for me to lay my head? it appears i forgot to coordinate a proper place to crash?
FRIDAY - 19 Oct
- 08h00 blogger breakfast at single origin. (thanks emily reed)
- Free day to document my final thoughts on australia with nice touristic backdrops. (editor's note - if anyone want's to be my host that would be fan-tab-ioulus!!!)
- Work my way to Juan's house and document any YouTuber's who show up / make our own YouTube video discussing the importance of an "open door policy" - (also see Coworking & Work at Jelly)
- Evening - Dinner with a Barcamp Sydney Organizers
- Spend the night at Juan's house.
SATURDAY - 20
- pack / organize / fret.
- 14h00 depart for airport and subsequently the United States of America. (i can't wait to find out what questions i'll be asked at customs.)
ok, now i'm off to explore melbourne!
for the past three months, i've been super diligent in making up an itinerary and following it. today, i screwed up. for some-reason, i didn't look at my flight details until it was too late. stuck in darwin two more days than i really want, i have many thoughts mulling an escape. conversely, i'm given much needed time to reflect. with my back up against the ocean, i have laid out a tight time table for my journey to adelaide, melbourne and sydney.
friday morning at 3 am i depart darwin; i arrive in adelaide at 6.30 am. upon touchdown, i am to trek to the central market, meet my friend jo, make fun of her, wish her a happy birthday and then get further instructions.
jo is also the second person who's meeting will span two continents (matan you were my first). jo and i first met in prague while she participated in TOL's New Media course. with the utmost joy, i get to spend the weekend celebrating her birthday and picking up where we left off... starring into the bottom of a glass.
with much sadness i am having to cancel my dinner plans with benbalbo.com and his coworkers. on monday, 15 October at 6.40 pm, i will arrive in melbourne via the Indian Pacific train. my hopes are to spend two nights catching face time with drupal enthusiasts, reconnecting with ben balbo and his peeps, ride trams snapping pictures of the notable street art and attempting to get a bite on the colonial tramcar restaurant.
on wednesday night (17 oct) at 20h i will depart via bus and spend the night driving to sydney.
with aspirations of a glorious sunset on camera, i will arrive at 8.30 in the morning. with 36 hours to gallivant through the sights, i am looking forward to getting the inescapable photo of the opera house. before i depart on the 20th, i am hoping to meet as many geeks as possible, have dinner with a bunch of bloggers, play a little AD/CD kerroke and visit the national maritime museum or the Art Gallery of New South Wales.
in just a few short days i will be in hawaii. that's right, in just a few days i will be in the United States of America. i'm heading back to the USA (pronounced OOOH-SSSA) to scratch off one of the two states i haven't visited (hawaii), sniff the followers and partake in the great American road trip.
coincidentally, hawaii and my reason for being back in the USA have a lot in common. in short, both are younger brothers - hawaii being the youngest of "the Union" and Joel Hidalgo being the youngest brother my parents have told me about. both are islands of culture surround by an unknown worlds. both are skinner and have had more girlfriends than i. in the next few weeks i will share beer with both of them.
hopping back into the USA is also an important milestone, it marks my halfway mark, and the smaller milestone of me circumnavigating the globe!
my plans for America are a bit different than the rest - they actually have quite a few people and locations to visit.
when i land on the continent, i will have three weeks to make it from oakland/SF to seattle - back to san francisco to Lodi (michael david wineries) to LA through san bernindio / loma linda (where i was born) to las vegas. in vegas, i want to pick up route 66, throw her over my shoulder and marry her. seeing how that's impossible, i'll follow her perfume through the plain states detouring in kansas to hop on I-70 and high tail it to ohio. through this long winded three week continental drift, i will have the least amount of money to spend, and will be purely dependent on contributions (ie meals, floors, couches, etc...).
the offer still stands if you want to join me... you just have to pay your own way, or fundraise your own way... but you are more than welcome to join me.
to ensure proper documentation and to give you a un-holds-bars voyeuristic view of my road life, i want to go live 24/7. sure you've seen it with justin.tv and justina.tv but this is noneck.tv. this is the guy who's dared to enter the lions den of Amsterdam, ride a bicycle, crash into a trolly track and live. this is a guy who has no qualms walking into a strip bar dressed like your stereotypical sheik to buy everyone a beer (offer only applies in the following countries - beerastan!) this is the guy who braved the israeli/jordainan border. this is the guy who braved cairo's dinners, contracted a 110° fever and lived. this is the guy who rode michael jackson to the prymids of giza (yes, i did use a saddle thank you berry much!). this is the same guy who walked phenom phen without a firearm. this is the same guy who's walked into cities across the globe not knowing where he'll sleep. this is the same guy who ate food off the floor after the 15 second rule. this is the same guy who's going to provide YOU a rockin four week road trip across America.
are you ready? are you ready to go live? (tap, tap, tap.) is this thing on?
if you're a corporate entity who has the wherewithal to provide a "capital investment" i'm willing to cut a deal. i'm ready to go cobranded. we take your logo plus my 24/7 show and for the entire time i'm in the USA, you'll have me as a walking, talking, internet loving advertisement. i'll even wear your corporate logo/badge/loin cloth/cheesehead/etc... as long as you let me keep the copy "open" AND i retain the rights to all footage shot during this time period. if you're interested, keep reading...
thanks for reading, i now have less than two weeks to convince you to pay for two things...
1. an awesome headset setup / service like justin.tv to bring you the LIVE american adventure. if you're willing to buy it, set it up and get it ready we'll start the show from your office.
2. a rental car (hybrid or zero-emitions please) and gas or electricity to putter from here to there. otherwise, just give me a boat load of batteries and i'll hitchhike. if i do hitchhike, i'll also need a gps so you can give you my last coordinates to pick up my body.
how does that sound? oh and mind you i'm also heading south, so if you're willing to pay for the bandwith i'm willing to go live on my south american journey... (can you hear me now?)
(Route 66 Motel photo by flickr user dawnnakaya)
i've landed on your big island with equally large ambitions. like the first taste of vegimite, i've tossed up my plans and now have something a bit milder. mind you, these plans are equally as exciting!
as i write these words, my ass sits in an overly priced internet booth which i can no longer afford. (and if you're just tuning in, i'm traveling around the world kicking the man's ass and saying "we're here to make this a better place!") SO with that in mind, mark these words as my little request for your contribution.
right now, i have contacts in adelaide, melbourne and sydney.
right now, i only have two set transportation plans.
- fly into adelaide on 10.10.2007 at 18.30h.
- fly out of sydney on 20.10.2007 at 18.00h.
right now, i'm thinking of the following schedule and realizing i won't be sleeping for the next 13 days while you fill in the blank spaces.
- Oct 10 - 13, Adelaide
- Oct 14 - 16, Melbourne
- Oct 17 - 20, Sydney (blogger dinner on the 19th, aka my last night.)
if you have any questions, please feel free to call me at +61.404.653.631
noel (a^t) noneck.org
in the whole scheme of things, i don't have too much time on this side of the planet. it really feels weird to be on the other side of the world and start making plans for halloween on the American west coast. it feels weird to think that i only have 13 days here in australia. like this trip, the clock is ticking and i don't have too much time to sleep.
after a few hours of sleep at chilli's backpackers, five to be exact, i got up took a steaming-piping-hot 20 min shower. then i walked the desolate streets of darwin to find an overpriced hamburger and beer. (btw, everything has the name backpackers in it.. i'll show you in the photos.) after a bit of scrumming, i found a vodafone shop, plopped down $30 ASD and ticked off to watch a glorious sunset.
if anyone wants to call or txt me, feel free to ring +61.404.653.631. it will soon be the only way to contact me in OZ. (i love that it's called OZ. some how i want to look to my left and see a bunch of flying monkeys and on my right a few munchkins.)
as for today's planning, the next few days seem to be more expensive than anticipated. (btw, will the fourking US dollar get back up there!?! it's really killing me that it is as cheep as the canadian dollar. btw, if you're not watching the news, one of the reason why the US stock market is really the US stock rocket, because it's cheep to play in a stock market when your "foreign" currency get's a two for one deal. ) darwin is kinda of a backpacker's trap and a drunk's heaven. everything is twice the appropriate cost. maybe it's a healthy economy. maybe it's the low population. none-the-less, i want to get out as quickly as possible but my options are limited.
1. i can hitchhike and run the risk of standing out in 110° heat for hours only to end up in a ditch under a few feet of soil. (most adventurous option)
2. i can take a bus for $700 dollars and spend 5 days on the road to Adelaide. (most outrageous option)
3. i can train south to Adelaide for $300 - 800 and spend 4 days winding through the country. (most romantic option)
4. i can fly for $200 - 300. (most sensible, least tourist option)
5. i can get "creative" and flyer every backpacker hotel/hostel/rv camp. then cross my fingers and find something suitable. (most idealist option)
note to anyone else planning this type of journey. DO NOT LIVE OFF OF A SCHEDULE! don't get me wrong, i love this trip. i love this journey. i love the people (well except for the mid-20 year old buxum, blond ozzy travel agent who looked at me and point blankly "ewww, indians!?! what do they eat? rat?!! i don't like them because they miss treat their animals."). i love the heat. i love the adventure, but at the same time i feel that my adventure is coming to a bit of a plateau.
now that i'm back in a "civilized" "culture" the luxury of walking into a supermarket (which i also did today) seemed so tame. i no longer have to doge mosquitos, flies, scooterist, bad fruit, bad meat, hawkish vendors and pickpockets. nope, now it's a world of "q's" and canned pees. oh the woes of coming back to "civilization"
oh well, at least i there's a large hot water tank someplace around.
this was original written somewhere over the south pacific.
as the hour turns, i cross the equator for the first time. in a nondescript tiger airways airbus, i find the toilet really doesn't flush counterclockwise, i find no big celebration, i find nothing special about this landmark event.
yet my heart, my head, and my stomach bounce in delight. it might have been the most recent copy of the economist or the $3USD korean ramen or 100g of a dark chocolate and hazelnut concoction. but somewhere deep down inside, i think it's because i'm finally making it to australia.
many years ago, when i was in junior high, i use to hang outside the principles' office. surround by wood paneling and a trophy case of the school's awards, my hacker/geek/outcast friends sat under the sole pay-phone wondering how we could harness it's copper to escape from our dreary midwestern lives.
on the weekends, my father and i would drive to book's and company (the most cosmopolitan book store in dayton, ohio) and pick up our monthly addiction of computer magazines, mondo 2000, and 2600. during the week, my friends and i would sit next to the principal's office and scheme up plans to take over the school's PA system or hack the LED student council sign or plan our next 24 hour LAN party.
we were kids. we were geeks. the internet had yet to find it's way into our daily life.
one day, in a fit of youthful frustration, i called quantas and made a reservation to Australia. before the agent hung up, my dreams were dashed. somehow i would have to muster $5000 USD and apply for a visa.
seventeen years later, i have taken care of the two.
while my original plans had me in country much longer than two weeks, my flight to hawaii came at a high cost - fly out on Oct 20th for a few hundred or fly out later and pay close to a thousand - SO my first three days in australia will be spent in darwin sorting my bearings, catching up on emailed contacts, planning my US roadtrip and gathering steam for my trek across australia.
on monday, 8.10.2007 (or 8.10.2007 depending on which side of the world you're on) humpy doo, katherine, newcastle waters, tenant creek, alice springs, coober pedy, woomera, adelaide, melbourne, and sydney will no longer be names on a map nor places a crocodile dundee movie. they and the places in-between will be filled with faces and their stories'.
as i plan out my last four months, i am not just seeking interviewees, sponsors, drivers and hosts... i am seeking out traveling companions. i have always stated this is not my journey but our journey. as i reflect on the the people whom i've encountered, i want to bring you along with me.
while i can't pay for you (heck i can barely pay for myself) i want to open the door and invite you along. i can tell you this will not be an opulent journey. the trek will be hazardous to our mental health, but i can attest there will be nothing like it in the world.
within the mix of interviewing and traveling, i want to hit the ground and traverse the ground we tread. i'm not looking for midnight buses. i'm looking for a car, van, truck, scooter, camel, elephant, moped, etc... i want the banality of road signs, maps, and gas stations. if we can remove gas stations, that would be sweeter!
AUSTRALIA - on Oct 5 i'll land in darwin. i'd like to hop into humpy doo, katherine, newcastle waters, tenant creek, alice springs, coober pedy, woomera, and into adelaide; then through victoria and melbourne, finally trekking into new south wales for sydney. this should place me right through the heart of the outback. where i can interview people, asking them how the internet has changed their life. with only 13% of the australia on broadband (and a majority of that is in the south) i want to travel through the center - walking, talking and driving around, asking people about their connectivity.
UNITED STATES - i'll land in hawaii on Oct 20 and then fly to the northwest. i'm looking to drive down along the coast through northern california, san francisco, lodi, and into los angeles. from the city of angels, we will hunt out route 66 and travel through my birthplace, loma linda, and venture east to meet friends in las vegas, new mexico, oklahoma, kansas and the plainstates. somewhere along the way, we will divert to my parents home town of dayton, ohio.
in addition to the standard work that i'm doing, i want to add a live Ustream feed. i want to bring you into the heart of luck of seven. i want you to follow every drink, contact and step... you'll get to watch me meet old friends, find new ones and see my family for thanksgiving.
SOUTH AMERICA & ANTARCTICA - i have plans. yes, i have plans to make a grand conclusion to the luck of seven. as i have always stated, i plan on making antarctica before the summer season ends.
right after thanksgiving, i'm turning south. from the southern united states, i want to hit mexico, central america and then work my way along the west coast of south america. somewhere along the way, i will find a route to antarctica and then work my way up the east coast.
out of all the journeys, i know this will be one hell of a trek. i look forward to kick earth and seeing what few get to see. i know internet will be next to non-existent, but this does not dismay my grand journey of enlightenment. with every step and fumble, i want you with me.
WANT TO GET INVOLVED?
are you an NGO working in the area? are you an startup and have grand ideas of kichy press? are you a backpacker with a pinion for excitement?
here is your opportunity! contact me and we'll turn the world on it's head.
day 80. current travel plans for india, bangkok, cambodia, singapore, australia & hawaii (working on new zealand & US west coast
while a detailed set of interviewees are forth coming, i have planned the following flights for india, bangkok, cambodia, singapore, australia and hawaii. all travel times are local. if you know of anyone who's up for a road trip in Austrailia or when I'm back in the USA, hook a brother up! over the next week, i'm going to detail my heart's desire for my great American journey. like tommy, you're all welcome to join me!
depart mumbai, india on 25 sept at 7.30
arrive bangalore, india on 25 sept at 9.00
note, geek dinner on the 26 sept
depart bangalore, india on 28 sept at 3.35
arrive bangkok, thailand on 28 sept at 9.10
my home slices in thailand are hooking me up with some crazy plans. while i don't know exactly what they have in store, it looks fantastic! apparently, i'll be flying to Price of Songkla University and might have a TV interview lined up.
depart bangkok, thailand on 1 oct at 14.50
arrive phnom penh, cambodia on 1 oct at 16.00
interview KhmerOS guys and explore.
depart back to bangkok, thailand on 4 oct at 16.30; arrive at 17.40
since i'll depart the following day at 14h, i'll need a place to stay close to the airport.
depart for darwin on 5 oct at 14.05. depart singapore at 20.20 and arrive in darwin, australia at 2.35 (in the ass crack of morning)
i'll need a place to crash and then i'd like to start a road trip from darwin to sidney. who's game? i want to see the inner part of australia, rural communities and their internet/mobile access. in sidney, i'm still looking for subjects to interview, and hopefully drop by one of the friday night blogger dinners (thanks Emily Reed).
if time allots, i hope to make new zealand to interview some e-gov folks and donald lobo from CiviCRM. in the meantime, hook me up with geek dinners, NGOs and couchsurfers!
depart for hawaii on 20 oct at 18.00 and arrive on the 20 oct at 7.45.
it will be weird traveling through time! sometime on the 25 - 27th i'll depart back to the mainland. it is so weird to think that i'll be back in the US before the end of october, but(instructions on turning your university degree into a paper airplane and photo by flickr user davekellam.)
dear mr. and mrs. india,
i know it seems a bit weird to be addressing the whole country of india, but seeing how i really don't know whom or what i'll encounter, i thought it would be polite to cast a wide net. after many days wondering close to GMT, i'm hoisting my sails, setting east and heading back to asia. after 36 hours of planes, trains, taxis and airports, i will beach my self in new delhi on the september 7th.
first, let me tell you about my little project... in my mind's eye it is a little project, but on the grand scheme of things it's a very large project. i hope you can help me... for the past two months, i've been traveling around the world - departed nyc on 7.7.07, slid through europe on a bar of soap, sped through jordan & threw stones in israel (asia), and created a dust storm in egypt (africa).
in all honesty, i trying to see the world through my own lens. i'm also trying to understand the worlds we inhabit - organic (pinch yourself) and digital (poke a friend on facebook) - i'm doing this by interviewing bloggers, political activists, covering open source technology projects, events and attending a protest or two. you can see what i've seen at < http://luckofseven.com >.
so back to how you can help...
on the 8th and 9th, i have plans to attend F/OSS camp new delhi. (that's free/open source software camp, not the teethey stuff). maybe attend a couchsurfer's going away party and hopefully catch an interview or two. afterward, i'm sailing to the taj majal, and then on to bangalore before hoping a flight to thailand.
after the 8th and 9th, my timetable is as flexible as tinfoil. my visa is for three weeks, but i really should not spend more than two. while i know i should stay more and say less, i can't help to express my upmost desire to see the entire country... from north to south - east to west, i hear you have a magical place. so, let's make a date with destiny, and schedule a time to meet...
8 / 9 Sept - Delhi, taken by F/OSS Camp and hosted by Prashant Singh
10 / 11 Sept - Delhi, hosted by Daksh Sharma
12 / 13 Sept - Akor, open
13 / 14 Sept - open |
15 / 16 Sept - open | <- any of these dates can be compounded into one location
17 / 18 Sept - open |
19 / 20 / 21 / 22 Sept - Bangalore, open
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.
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...
perched in the arid land of zionist deliverance, i mull over the next few hoops. from these mounds of sand, i move southwest into the land of the pharaohs. all along the way i am perplexed by my next journey. after visiting the river nile, i am to venture onward to india.
like an impatient child, i neglected to pick up a visa in new york, and with less time to waist, i ran away from the visa services line in paris. now i am faced with a dilemma. relinquish my passport to a travel bureau, wait 10 days bouncing up and down in israel and miss an opportunity to visit the occupied territories, or i can venture onward to egypt, re-negotiate my travel plans, and hope that i am not detained more than necessary.
i should note that within this predicament there is a silver lining. my original departure would have shuttled my soul before the full moon. now with a vague statement of 10 days to process my visa, i will be in forced to capture my second full moon on my second continent. oh the pain and agony of watching a bright and beautiful moon amongst the company of random strangers.