Page 12 of Shoshana in Asia Travel Blog Posts

Asia » Thailand » Central Thailand » Bangkok January 31st 2009

Deleted; re-posted with spelling errors corrected, time zones fixed, and parentheses opened or closed as needed; updated. And, I hope, with a transit map. 1/29 9:25 PM LAX After various disruptions, I was very happy to see N before I left—I wasn't expecting to. She did need to drop me at the airport three hours before my flight, where both my checked and carry-on bags were inspected, swabbed, and rummaged through. I then discovered that (perhaps due to software incompatibility, perhaps to the finicky nature of iPods) my iPod was empty, where previously I had loaded 56 hours of audio books. Two hours were spent unfruitfully (but at least I was interested) in trying to figure out why the computer knew all the files on the iPod but couldn't play them, whereas the iPod merely insisted ... read more

North America » United States January 29th 2009

Today's itinerary: to Portland Portland to Los Angeles Left to my own devices, I'd have a backpack with a spare duffel to throw it in if I needed to check it. Because I'm traveling professionally making presentations, and taking most of the trip alone, I have an extra bag with textbooks, gifts, professional clothes, a laptop, toiletries for one (a brush takes up the same amount of room whether you or you and your family use it), and medications I'd normally carry two doses of and send another member of the party out for if necessary. If I were going to be staying in one place for the month, I'd buy toiletries and Imodium when I got there, and carry a additional change of clothes.... read more
Suitcase and carry-on

North America » United States January 29th 2009

While my camera battery recharges, I'm making sure my other electronics will meet my needs. I'm typing this on my ASUS eee 8, one of the early series with a very small screen and keyboard. I'm using a tiny little Targus mouse. My camera SD card is in a plug-in reader, so let's see if I can upload a photo. Indeed, I can. I'll need to play around with the site to see how to display them throughout the text.... read more

North America » United States January 25th 2009

I like to carry a guidebook and a phrasebook in other countries, and I normally read 1-2 books on any long flight, and I read two books a week. Add to that a few textbooks I want to donate in Cambodia and materials for Vietnam, and my carry-on is suddenly overweight even as checked baggage. My intended solution: 1. Pay $12 to download the portions I want of the Lonely Planet guides and Southeast Asian phrasebook (bonus: This gives me a version with bigger type), load the PDFs on my USB and on Google Documents, and print out the first set and the guidebook back-to-back, printing the others as I need them. Leave the guidebooks with the lovely yet dense photo pages at home for later reference. I'll carry city maps. 2. Carry one book, potentially ... read more

North America » United States January 24th 2009

Some handy tools for travelers and their friends: Currency converter: Time zone converter: U.S. Department of State travel page: Travelers can register their itinerary with the embassies/consulates via this page so that they know to alert or look for you if there's a problem.... read more

North America » United States January 23rd 2009

My passport is back, with visas. Cambodia is only issuing single entry visas right now, so no Laos for me this trip--I don't want to risk not getting back into Cambodia. I have hotels. I do not yet know exactly how I'll get from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh, but have several options. Over the next 3 days, I'll be packing, getting my prescriptions filled, making sure my classes are organized before I leave, grading, putting together professional and travel documents, communicating with the universities in Phnom Penh and Hanoi, and distributing my itinerary. Suggestions from my colleagues who have recently returned from the region: Pack an ethernet cord, register with the US consulate, prepare for cold and rain in Hanoi, and buy a mask when I get to Hanoi (given my asthma and the current ... read more

North America » United States December 31st 2008

FedEx tracking shows that my packet arrived in San Francisco this morning, which is nice to know. Today I continued reading about Thailand. I also went to the sheriff's office and got fingerprinted again, and sent for my state criminal history check. I got two sets so I could send for the FBI check, though it won't get back to me until after this trip. I'm hoping that a state clearance will make it possible for me to volunteer with children. I have very mixed feelings about blanket background checks, and no bad feelings at all about checks for people working with youth and other vulnerable groups, especially for areas like Cambodia where human trafficking is such a problem.... read more

North America » United States December 30th 2008

My letter of invitation (well, e-mail of invitation) came from Viet Nam early this morning. I had requested it three weeks ago, but we had a communication glitch. As my time is comparatively short, I decided to use a visa expediting service and FedEx since I'm leaving soon and the bad weather in the U.S. earlier this month has resulted in a lot of delayed deliveries. This company requires a letter from your employer (if it's a business visa) with each visa application stating that you will get out of the country and no burden their government. Nobody who could sign the letter was around this morning, though eventually I got it worked out. The visa application for Viet Nam was straightforward; the Cambodian form was a little problematic and the live help chat from the ... read more

North America » United States December 29th 2008

Today I'm doing a lot of small but important tasks. So far today, I've *confirmed which electronics are dual voltage and which plug adapters I'll need *weighed an approximation of my clothes and gear (~20 pounds, or ~9 kilos) to see if I can carry on *listed the U.S. embassies in the countries I'll be visiting *Investigated the location of campuses of the the university in Laos (I don't think I'll get there, but it doesn't hurt to prepare) *Communicated with my Vietnamese host (Viet Nam requires an invitation in order to get a visa, and the holidays have slowed this process this time) *Checked the status of my packages (new shoes, a little new clothing) *Begun a list of gear to locate (travel towel, inflatable lumbar pillow, silk liner) *Looked at Lonely Planet's website to ... read more

North America » United States December 28th 2008

In the month before my trip, I'll be posting entries about my travel and gear decisions, as well as raising issues that may be useful for travelers involved with human services and counseling education and practice. My tour in Cambodia was canceled due to low sign-up, so I now have two weeks to schedule on my own. This is not my preferred way to travel, so it will be interesting. I will spend a couple of days in Thailand, then fly to Siem Reap, Cambodia. I have identified some social service agencies I might be able to visit there. I might take a side trip to Laos, but I haven't explored this yet. In the third week, I'm expected at the Royal University of Phnom Penh in Cambodia, then the University of Social Sciences and Humanities ... read more

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