After countless hours flying, I've finally made it to Vietnam. On my way here, I got to spend a night (well eight hours) on Bangkok before heading back to the (old) airport for the next plane. Despite never even getting to see the city in the day light, I could tell the city wasn't for me. I won't be too anxious to get back there for my flight out. Saigon, however, is far better. Not greasy like Bangkok and the people are much less pushy. There is still a good risk of being run over when walking on our across streets, but that seems to be expected in cities. I'll be spending the next day or two looking for a bike and getting tips from people who have been traveling by bike. From what I've heard so far, everyone gets scraped up, but I fortunately haven't heard of anything awful happening to people.
After countless hours of racing the sun into the west, I've finally made it to my first layover at Tokyo-Narita. Walking out into the terminal after thirteen or fourteen or hours of sitting in the same seat was very much akin to stepping out of a dark club at 11 am, still buzzed. Needless to say, walking did not come easily. Now I get to enjoy another three hours of sitting in only slightly less dim light. At least there is free WiFi and power outlets. After this, I'll catch the next flight to Bangkok where the sun will finally take its win and the night will finally catch up. From there, I'll only have seven or eight hours in Thailand before the next plane to Vietnam where I'll get to looking for a bike immediately (granted they let me in). Also: Phone typing sucks.
Despite being my longest trip, this is by far my lightest pack. Only three pairs of clothes, toiletries, and misc documents!
Just earlier today, I finally finished the first part of this little project. For the last two weeks, I've been working to put together a home-brewed application that will allow me log pictures and blog posts and tie them to geographical locations. I've also created a (my first) mobile application that will periodically (every minute) request my location via GPS and save it to my phone. Once saved, I'll be able to upload the data to this server whenever I choose so that my path can be outlined and followed as I make my way through southern Asia. Overall, I've worked up a nifty tool that I hope to use in the coming months to stow pictures, thoughts, and data, but the tool itself is only half of the work. The rest of the work lies in using this tool. I plan to constantly be updating my location history through my GPS tracker, which is mostly passive interaction: start tracker, stop tracker, upload, repeat. But I also want to keep near daily text entries. This is something I've never been good at and I fear it may be difficult to keep up with. Being without a proper keyboard will also make this much more painful and more prone to fail (not to mention all inevitable typos!). To combat the awfulness that is phone typing, I've created image posts or 'postcards' in hopes that I won't be so dissuaded from posting anything at all. Although images alone don't provide the sort of insight I'm looking to provide, I think that with thoughtful captions I'll be able to make a satisfactory compromise. All-in-all, I'm not certain how this project will turn out. I'll be happy if my server doesn't die or the database doesn't drop itself by the time I'm back (I guess *could* reboot the server/fix a db/etc remotely, but it sure wouldn't be fun doing it over a pipe on my phone). Also: My blog is way better than Ben's (although he'll probably be more consistent). Who makes a completely client-side website?? My phone practically melts when it tries to load it.