Thursday, August 31, 2006

Fun with jetlag

I wanted to get out earlier, but jetlag seems to have the uncanny ability to have me wake up at sunset. So I go out to run some errands and set up new cell phone service with the GSM phone I got in Thailand. There, you can go to any 7-ll and pick up a SIM card for your GSM cell phone with a new number for THB 99.00 (currently about US$2.64), as well as prepaid minute cards. I was hoping to do something similar this evening... No such luck.

san leandro suburban skyline at dusk
This just isn't the same dusk skyline I've gotten used to in Thailand...

abstract image at the train tracks
Crossing the railroad tracks, I spotted a rabbit and tried to capture him on camera. Images of Alice in Wonderland came to mind, but this is what ended up on the Memory Stick

wittew bunny wabbit
I followed the rabbit up some stairs onto this patio -- he was trapped. I got you now, wittew wascawy wabbit! Unfortunately, he was too quick for a better shot using a long exposure.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

China Airlines foot massage, part 2

After almost seven months in South East Asia, I've finally landed in California again. The last time I returned to California after an extended time away - 19 weeks in Europe - it was with mixed emotions, and this time was no different. While I've missed my friends and family tons, I can't help but wish I could be in more than one place at a time. It appears my friend Yimei (who's letting me crash her spare room tonight) is right -- I've been bitten by the travel bug, hard.

Everybody always seems to ask, "So how was the trip home?" so I'll just answer here. The flight from BKK to TPE was about half an hour late, but it made up for it with the nifty multi-channel TV screens in the backs of the seats... The jetliner was even tricked out with multiple video feeds from the outside of the aircraft, so that even if you have a window seat, you can not only check out the view, but see it as if you were strapped to the belly of the plane. Here's a video clip:

Bangkok's urban sprawl quickly fades into the mist

These things are probably old hat for some of you. Okay and yes, that video was extremely cheesy. At least I kept it short, right? As you can see, I'm easily amused...

As for the flight from TPE to SFO, it was not as bad as the flight there last February. The sleepy foot massaging my arm this time ended up belonging to a cute, lanky Taiwanese girl with braces in her early 2os who was hidden completely, head to toe, under a blanket most of the flight -- as opposed to the brutal combo of the smelly socked foot of an Indian dad and his kids that were kicking the stuffing out of my seat while I tried to get some shut-eye. The delay on this flight was for about the same amount of time, however (2 hours) due to some sort of mechanical problem -- last time, we had to make an emergency landing in Osaka due to a guy that was having trouble breathing.

Upon arrival in at SFO, Customs decided that I needed to unpack my bags, but at least the woman checking out my stuff was happy and easygoing; it was entertaining watching her awed reaction to the Mac OS X interface on my Apple PowerBook G4.

At the BART station in the airport, I got to start practicing my Español right away with Manuel "El Peruano" García Godos, a friendly car salesman that works at the Auto Plaza in Hayward. I was caught a bit off-guard when I kept having the urge to respond to him in Thai... :P

After a basically uneventful BART ride to San Leandro, I finally got to Yimei's condo, where she made me feel right at home.


Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Last full day in Thailand

I decided that I needed one more day in Thailand, so I'll be leaving tomorrow instead of today. I made use of it checking out the Royal Palace in Bangkok. While I'm sure millions of others have posted images of the same subjects on the net, hopefully, you'll find something new in these photographs...

one of many golden Hanumaan
one of many golden Hanumaan

sad and blue
sad and blue

Throughout the palace compound, stories are told through long murals. Here's my favorite piece:

part of a legendary conflict
part of a legendary conflict

This guard appeared to be struggling not to look at me while I took his photo:

can't... look...
can't... look...

students at Sa Nam Luang Park

Labels: ,

Thursday, August 10, 2006

So far behind...

I'm really behind on getting back to everyone via e-mail, and I hope those of you that are waiting can forgive me. I'm heading to Phuket for a few days to relax and sight-see, and should come back refreshed with some good photos and some emails and web updates for y'all!

In the meantime, if you haven't already, check out the sites I've recently launched:

Ecotourism Training Center

And look at this cute bunny I saw at the Bangniang Market a few weeks ago.

bunny hanging out at the rambutan stand

Labels: ,