Sunday, May 21, 2006

Traveling Tip: Underpacking and Gifts

Underpack! You will buy stuff! You can always find clothes..unless you're in Ghana. Even then, it was easy to have clothes made. You can usually find whatever you need in terms of toiletries, etc. So, underpack and use either ziplock baggies to organize or those cool travel bags that go in your huge bag to comparmentalize (Hilary knows more on this one).

Gifts. Though it somewhat may contradict with the whole underpacking idea, it might be helpful to have little things with you to give people --i.e. Kristofer's impromptu gift for people is music mixes. Me...whatever I pick up in one country, I've given to someone in another country: jewelry, cards, tea. I usually end up giving my own stuff...even gave two women in Cairo my shampoo and conditioner. In other words, also be ready to give something of your own. You yourself will receive plenty of stuff from other people, too. That should also fall under Universal Traveling Truths.

Traveling Tip: US Dollars and Secret Stashes

Always have some US Dollars on you throughout your trip. It's also good idea to always have a hidden stash of US Dollars in small denominations in the bags you carry around. US Dollars can be exchanged anywhere- there's no guarantee that the country you're going to will exchange the currency you have unless it's USD. Having a hidden stash of money- whether it be $5, $10, $20 can really save you in a tight situation. Having a five dollar bill hidden in my backpack saved my life when i lost my wallet and atm card the day before i was heading off to thailand.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Survival Travel Tip: Pre-departure travel clinic visit

I think of this now only because I have been sick for the past few days, and a random visit I made to a travel clinic back in September has made the difference.

Around 2 months before you go, book an appointment with a travel clinic. They're trained to work with people like us and brief you on all the health issues you may or may not encounter in the countries you are headed to. They give out all the shots you need; even the really weird ones that the local hospital won't have. Like Japanese Encephalitis. They also steer you away from shots you think you need but actually don't. I know they saved me some money. But go sooner rather than later, I say two months at least because some shots you need require being given in a series over weeks and sometimes months. Immunity is sweet.

Travel clinics also have the ability to write out prescriptions for common traveling sicknesses. I was able to get prescription drugs that saved me from la duzi (diarreah) in China, and anti-biotics that have recently cured me of bronchitis in Holland. They also provide you with a directory of all the major hospitals and clinics in the countries you are traveling to, should things get a little crazy. And "Travel Clinic" gives it all to you in "Travel Size." It's great.

Peace of mind when you travel, as you can't prevent all illness and injury, but if you can cover the little things, it helps.

Then it's the big things you have to worry about.

::pause to think about that::

::hits Holland bike rush hour::

Hey, you do the best you can.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Tarantula. . .

Most people know a great deal about Bob Dylan. Me. . .not so much. I know that my brother loves his music, that he's a lyrical genius, and that even though he can't sing, he's an ok guy.

As I was having dinner tonight at my friends Autumn place, I was looking through some of the books she and her housemate Nicholas have collected. One of them happened to be Bob Dylan's "first and only book" as the cover advertises. From what Autumn tells me, he never thought they'd publish it and it's really just him messin' around. But I think there happens to be some funny shit in it. So here are some excerpts:

translate this fact for me dr.blorgous: the fact is this: we must be willing to die for freedom (end of fact) now what i wanna know about the fact is this: could hitler have said it? de gaulle? pinocchio? lincoln? angnes moorehead? goldwater? bluebeard? the pirate? robert e. lee? eisenhower? grouch smith? teddy kennedy? general franco? custer? is it possible that jose melis could have said it? perhaps donnald o'connor? i happen to be a library janitor, so could you please clarify things a little for me. thank you. . .by the way, if you do not have a reply to me by this coming tuesday, i will take it for granted that that all these forementioned people are all really the same person. . .see you later. have to take down a picture of lady godiva as the mental students are touring here in an hour. . .

consideratly yours,
Popeye Squirm

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Universal Traveling Truth #12

Fried dough.