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Archive for April, 2007

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Hello Michigan

Sunday, April 29th, 2007

Although it’s good to be home, I can’t really say I’ve been enjoying myself much; I’ve caught a killer cold and have spent most of my time sleeping, and when I’m awake, I feel sub-human at best.
Fortunately for my father, I felt good enough today to actually shower.
For those of you in the Ypsi area who’re interested, I’ll be poking my head in at TC’s Speakeasy the night of Wed, May 2nd. Can’t wait to see all the nutters, and I just hope I’m feeling up to it by then.
I’ll get a post up when I’m feeling better, so stay tuned!

Goodbye Asia

Tuesday, April 24th, 2007

As I walked around Beijing yesterday I couldn’t help but notice how quiet and orderly it suddenly seemed.  Beijing had always felt like a noisy, bustling, crowded, high-energy city, but coming from the chaotic, harey carey din of Hanoi has made it now appear downright docile.

As per usual, I’ve run into a couple snags in getting the last two things on my to-do list finished.  First, I was gonna post a couple pics that I snapped today, but of course I can’t get the computer to recognize my camera. 

[read on]

Honey, I’m Home!

Tuesday, April 24th, 2007

When I boarded my flight to Beijing this morning, I heard the people in front of me speaking Mandarin and grinned; it was like music to my ears, even if I could only understand a little bit. I was so sparked to be getting back to Beijing that even the Chinese men on the plane who continually cleared their throat demons (and thankfully spit ’em in their barf bags instead of on the floor) made me laugh.

As we circled the city I grinned down at the sprawling skyscrapers as, “Yessir, that’s my baby, nossir, don’t mean maybe!” played continually in my head.  Halfway through my forty minute cab ride I started coming down from the high; something wasn’t right here.

As soon as I walked in my room and saw the two twin beds the feeling was overwhealming; this is the first time in Beijing without The Ig, and it just feels wrong. 

I turned on the t.v. for a little company, to no avail.  To make matters worse, A.T. is inconsolable and refuses to leave the bed in front of the t.v. that The Ig usually slept in. 

To cheer myself up I headed straight for a place where I knew I could get candied crab apples.  Apparently all things are unaligned here now that The Ig is MIA, as the man is no longer there!  Wah!  AND, they’ve made my favorite internet cafe a no smoking place!  Lemme tells ya, The Big B is on a new health kick, and I don’t like it one bit, damnit.

Ah, where have the good old days when you could easily find candied crab apples to gorge yerself on and smoke yourself silly in the net cafe gone? 

Hanoi Is No Place For A Hangover!

Monday, April 23rd, 2007

So last night I ended up going for “a” drink with Sara, an Ozzie who’s been at the hostel longer than me.  We completely hit it off; so much so that we continued drinking gin and tonics late into the night and both woke up wrecked today in this Shibble-forsaken heat. Here’s Thema and Louise today sweating pure gin.            

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I’ll be fully recovered tommorrow, however, to catch my flight to Beijing–woot!  And oh yeah, there’s a new Random Photos page under “Cat Ba”. 

Wow, I’ll be home in three days!!  


Saturday, April 21st, 2007

I completely forgot I had these last two videos from Cat Ba island! The first is another festival video, and the second is of the kids from my guesthouse playing what I’ve dubbed Vietnamese Hackeysack. Yep, that’s right, once again I don’t know the proper name, so if anyone wants to help me out again…!

[read on]

Another Spin Around Cat Ba

Friday, April 20th, 2007

Once again I was treated to seeing parts of Cat Ba island that most tourists miss, and this time, thank Shibble, I was even chauferred on a scooter.

Pete (co-owner of The Noble House hotel where I stayed), Onslo, and yet another Pete and I set off for a drive around the island.

Onslo was in dire need of chilling out for a bit (the stresses of trying to set up a business in Vietnam were getting on his last nerve), and so our first stop was a house Pete owns in a quiet little village.

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Slo Pony Express

Friday, April 13th, 2007

The alarm laying next to my pillow never had a chance to sound off on Wednesday morning; stepping completely outta character, I woke at 6:10 am and couldn’t get back to sleep.  I was none too happy about this, but at least it gave me a chance to drink copious amounts of coffee before meeting Onslo and a slew of other travellers he’d recruited for the hike.

As new residents of the island, Onslo Carrington and partner Erik Ferjentsik are attempting to introduce rock climbing in the area via their company, Slo Pony Adventures.  Although rock climbing is Onslo’s specialty, the hiking was nothing short of astounding.

Starting with tea and a few spins in the hammocks,


our group set off with no idea what we were getting ourselves into. 

Before setting off, Trinh (Onslo’s friend and local guide) grabbed a machete.

Oooh, that’s a cool prop, I thought.  Gives it the ole Indiana Jones feel

Yeah, that’s right; fade in circus music, folks.

[read on]

An Easter Sunday First

Tuesday, April 10th, 2007


I’m not the only one who’s fallen in love with Cat Ba lately and decided to stay longer than planned.  My neighbor at the guesthouse, Pete from England, only planned on staying a few days, and has now been here for over five weeks.  When he admitted to feeling as sloppy and lazy and I was, he suggested a hike up to the  north end of the island, and I immediately agreed to go.  When he said he’d come around the next morning to wake me at seven, however, I squawked.  It took some pissing and moaning, but I finally talked him into rousing me at 8 am.  And starting the next morning, Pete was to step into The Ig’s big shoes and see what he had to deal with on a daily basis for eight long months.

[read on]

Around Cat Ba, My New “Job”, And Itchy Feet

Friday, April 6th, 2007

This is what I look at everyday from my balcony, and when I go for a toodle along the bay, it’s even better close up.

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[read on]

Videos Of The Day

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2007

Here’s a few videos from last weekend’s festival.   

[read on]