599th post: Experience from travelling

These past few years, I have traveled to several regions and countries that are quite far away from home. As I traveled, certain aspects about how different a place may be from what I’m familiar with is become more apparent. Things that I take for granted too.

Depending on what country it is, cost of living may be lower than where I’m from. Although, if I’m unfamiliar with the currency of the country, that can be a hard thing to tell, especially if the rates are not dividable by 10 without a remainder. Well, 2 and 5 too, but that requires more thinking. However, some products, especially ones produced from my country, or an another country, may be more expensive than back home if you calculated the exchange rate of the price you see there. Although, for some places, spending $100 (around there, and something like that in other currencies, and stated price might be before/after tax, and if the store participates) would allow you to refund the tax.

While planing for traveling, try to avoid those “travel packages”: you might be paying for things like hotel accommodation that may cost more, and/or things that you might not need. On top of that, you might be rushed from place to place like a heard with perhaps an inflexible schedule. You may look at a brochure at a travel agency and find it expensive, but keep in mind of what it’s made up of and you might be able to plan for a trip that would cost less. Mine makes up of the following order:

  1. Deciding roughly where and when to go – So you know where you are going, and see if you have free time / take time off work around that time.
  2. Booking the flight – some flights do not fly daily, or the cost of the plane ticket might be cheaper on certain days. It might also be cheaper to land in one airport, and depart from an another, than to backtrack to the airport you arrive in. Some airlines might have hidden discounts for certain routes and flights.
  3. Booking accommodation – Feel free to use sites that searches room rates, types, location and availability for you, but you may want to check with the website of the hotel in question directly if they offer cheaper rates. Also note that you might pay less if you pay the fees in cash of the currency of the country it’s in, but check with the hotel if cash payment is even accepted. The nights you might spend with overnight travel, or being at the airport because of a late arrival or early departure, should also be considered into the dates you would be staying at the hotel.
  4. (optional) Do not tell others that you are even going for a trip – Especially if you want to go alone: you wouldn’t want people you may not go along well to come along or being asked to buy something that would be troublesome for you to get or bring around.
  5. Bring as little clothes as possible – Hotels might provide a service that washes your clothes, or at least have a laundromat near the hotel. Clothes may seem light, but several clothes packed in a bag can add kilograms to its weight. Weight is something you want to reduce/avoid when taking a plane, or at least bring around.
  6. Electrical Plugs – Don’t forget to check the voltage, frequency, and the type of socket of the country you are visiting: it may be completely different from your home country. However, IT devices like mobile phone chargers and laptops usually are already designed to handle all the differences, except the plug itself. Things like bulbs and those with a motor…. maybe not.

Also, the things you bring along, including the bag that you bring your stuff in, should also be considered. That bag with wheels and a retractable handle attached weighs more and has fewer storage area than bags of the same design without them.

Among the places I’ve been to, the most eye opener was traveling through the towns and villages of Malaysia as practically almost every aspect of what I’m familiar with is very different: food, layout of places, *cough* waste management *cough*, transport infrastructure, the way people dressed, and so on. They are all very different from what I’m (very) used to back home. Food from back home itself is also hard to find.

Of course, not everywhere is safe. Try to dress and behave in a way that do not attract attention, though this particular step can be ambiguous: people of a country may not even bat an eyelid, but the same thing in an another can attract attention. Hard to tell, but how developed a country is, and/or how conservative/religious the people are, is usually related. Traveling in groups (females especially) can be better when the safety from being attacked is questionable.

598th post: Lost and corrupted images

This month, I had taken a lot of pictures with my new camera. However, something happened about 1.5 weeks later that caused the memory card to become messed up.

Cause is unknown, but I’m sure it has nothing to do with the camera itself as it wasn’t in it when it happened. However this caused the data on the memory card to become corrupted. Except for those taken on two days, pictures were mostly recoverable.

What makes me angry

People usually don’t see me angry. When I do, it would be because of the frustration of things I dislike built up over time.

My tolerance is high, so that means it would take a lot for that to happen. Of course, understanding the situation is also a contributing factor too, but it does built up faster if the anger of others are directed towards me.

If it to someone I had known for a while, it is usually for the things that has been accumulated over time that I had previously tolerated, but the most recent being too much.

Example: once in a while is okay, but too much of it is unacceptable. Maybe I’ll let it slide if enough time has passed, but if done again before then, my tolerance level is pushed closer to the limit.

In other words, try to tolorate, but if if kept pushing towards the limit, let them know. If enough time has passed, but still no improvement, it would be better to move on instead of still holding on.

587th post: Language "mode"

Having come across many things in many different languages and culture, I got exposed to several languages. Being exposed to at least more than two languages, I saw that words could not be translated directly, different sentence structure, requiring context that needs to be understood to be able to translate properly, and things that are just not normally used.

When thinking of what to say in a language, it would be different in an another. However, language proficiency and knowing the words to use does affect what to say.

If you’re seriously thinking of learning a new language, don’t just learn “hello” or “where is…?”, learn how to say things like “The rental rates seems expensive” and understand what the reply would be.

I’ve experienced the language barrier while I was in Shenzen (深圳市; a Chinese city north of Hong Kong). Every sign there is in Chinese, and there isn’t any other language besides terrible English. Roughly being able to read some Chinese characters, I noticed that some things are omitted or are phrased wrongly in English. Just cross the border at Luohu (罗湖) and you could see the difference. You may notice the name written as Lo Wu (羅湖) on the Hong Kong side, but that’s the Cantonese pronunciation and in traditional Chinese form of the same name. Do not expect the people there to understand the languages you are fluent in, including English.

(I didn’t realise until writing midway through this, but that image on the right gave me an idea for the 6th story.)

Dad, we don’t need a car

Dad, I want you to sell the car instead of getting a new one for the following reasons:
1. Tax
2. Depreciation in car value over time
3. Maintence costs, including other expenses and inconviences that may happen because of it.
4. Cost of fuel rising and pollution it causes
4a. Calculating the cost per liter, and fuel consumption, it’s already clear that a train fare of the same distance is less.
5. There is a direct train form the house to the workplace, and the time you head to, or leave from, work is within operation hours.
6. Parking and toll fees
7. I usually never hear you taking the public transport.

Don’t you see the expenses? You probably don’t as total price per trip is not shown in your face. Can’t you at least see the price of fuel and parking at least?

I don’t know how much more money there would be in the household as you had drove cars for about 15 years now, and a motorcycle for some number of years before you married mum.

570th post – Busy

I currently have an assignment that’s to due quite soon, and most likely a test a week after. Also, I’m having a hard time thinking of what to write for it.

I am thinking of writing of part 11 of “Tearful Promise” (6th story), but nothing has actually been planned or written yet. I’ll start doing it when I can.

Keep an eye on my twitter profile for updates, and the little things that indirectly affects me writing it. Updates for my blogs should have a #twitter hashtag.

Legacy URL

If you were to look at the URL of this blog, you would find that the odd name of ‘the1iam’ being used here. You might be wondering why that is being used, or why takhsiru.blogspot.com points to my anime blog instead of here, or the current @THE1IAM user on twitter is someone else.

Well, it dates back to when I created this blog in 2006 and that name was chosen simply I couldn’t think of a creative original name. In fact, ‘the1iam’ was the name I used when I first signed up for twitter. Long time followers of me there would also notice that I used ‘asuna888’ between that and now. Unlike quitting, changing the username also means that the former username is available to others. This means that my former usernames has been snatched up by other people on twitter: ‘the1iam’ by an African man, and ‘asuna888’ by (fortunately) my sister. I had used ‘takhsiru’ since 2010.

So, why did I use ‘takhsiru’ for the anime blog instead of here? Simple: I had written quite a number of posts since it was created (as mentioned above) in 2006 and contains quite a number of inter-blog links., and I don’t want imposters using my username.

Yes, I actually had imposters copying me in the past. This was also around the time I started twitter. They copied everything I had newly posted there back then like my blog stories, and even the blog layout, every single word. (An odd thing I noticed when they copied from the Japanese version was that when I typed 私, they would change it to 我 instead. I’ve also noticed some simplified Chinese-only kanji being used too.) What annoyed me even more was that I saw comments by others of the things the imposter copied from me as their own work. To be sure, first publications of posts since then had a trap for them where, if copied blindly, would not be noticed, and I would quietly remove the traps for them after they copied mine. Sure enough, they did copy me with the “trap” included. Fortunately, they couldn’t copy me on Twitter and I’ve never heard anything from that imposter since the New Year’s Day of 2010.

As pointed out by my followers at the time I changed the username from ‘asuna888’ to ‘takhsiru’, they think that the former was better than the latter. I’ve been thinking about it, but I couldn’t think of anything as I’m bad with coming up with a unique never-used-before names that is short, and does not have numbers in them.