Photo: Wong's Bar, Bangkok.

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Eight endangered travel traditions

Posted by somtam2000 on 1/7/2009 at 18:18 admin

Travel website WorldHum has a great little slideshow titled Eight Endangered Travel Traditions -- they all ring true to me, but what do you think? More to add? It reminds me of a similar conversation over at MatadorTravel on a piece I wrote about getting offline when you travel

#1 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,565
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Posted by CunningMcFar on 1/7/2009 at 23:30

we love postcards, religiously send them out to a growing list of friends, family, and work. I get a simple pleasure from heading to the local post office wherever we are to send stuff out. And we always bring along a stack of postcards from home (San Francisco Bay Area) to share with folks we meet along the way. This last trip we also brought along a small stack of burned music CDs to give away, we have a great collection of music from all over SouthEast Asia, old Thai and Cambodian pop, regional radio transmissions, morlam compilations, folk and ethnic music from Laos/Thailand/Cambodia/Myanmar, fun to share.

Our most recent trip was the first one I did not bring along my trusty Pentax K1000, a sturdy, no-frills workhorse. We had only my wife's digital camera, which was shared, and while I did enjoy the relative freedom of being mostly camera-free for the trip, unencumbered by the bulkier SLR, lenses and film, I am indeed lamenting the lost joy of flipping through 30 rolls of photos--although the savings of about $300 in film processing fees was also a bonus.

Didn't really carry a guidebook this last time out, simply photocopied relevant chapters for the areas we would be in, in addition to the stellar Chamapasak TravelFish Guide, of course.

#2 CunningMcFar has been a member since 20/8/2004. Posts: 163
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Posted by BruceMoon on 2/7/2009 at 19:11

Not all the eight have been part of the journey. Going through each:

1 - Postcard These are a right of passage, not so much for thou, but to brag to others.

2 - Getting Lost It truly wouldn't be a trip without getting lost (& getting frustrated), and finding something one wouldn't otherwise experience.

3 - Guidebook Forget the electronic stuff, the guidebook allows cross referencing, page folding for quick reference, etc. Nothing beats paper FULL STOP sorry Somtam.

4 - Music tape This must be a younger person's enjoyment, I grew up listening to the sounds around me, not an artificial ambience!

5 - Newspaper here, the internet has replaced newspaper. Anyway, how old would the newspaper be when it finally reached far flung faraway?

6 - Photo Album Yep, the best of the digital pics are printed, put into the album, then stuck in the cupboard for just in case.

7 - Sociable Hostel I'm sure they do exist, but with laptops, etc., it appears many hide their light under the artificial light of the plastic screen.

8 - Diaries While a chore, they do help when the memory fades.

Cheers

#3 BruceMoon has been a member since 27/12/2008. Location: Australia. Posts: 1,941

Posted by MADMAC on 3/7/2009 at 00:49

"This must be a younger person's enjoyment, I grew up listening to the sounds around me, not an artificial ambience!"

Bruce
You are dating yourself. You grow up before the days of the radio or what?

Most of the sounds around me are either bad or boring. I'm all for artificial.

#4 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by BruceMoon on 3/7/2009 at 05:22

John

Yes, I'm older and definitely grey haired!

My first radio was a cat's whisker.

It wasn't till my late teens that I had access to a transistor radio.

I must say, to me the sounds of both nature and of urban activity (though not close) are more interesting and appealing than much music, and especially repetitive music. The absolute worst noise experience is having those little button speakers shoved up the earholes: YUK!

Cheers

#5 BruceMoon has been a member since 27/12/2008. Location: Australia. Posts: 1,941

Posted by MADMAC on 3/7/2009 at 21:50

"The absolute worst noise experience is having those little button speakers shoved up the earholes: YUK!"

I like the "noise" from them (since I can select it), but they do get uncomfortable. They're a Godsend though, on the nightbus to Bangkok. That bus (which I must board next week) is sheer hell. Drive about four hours, then, just when I am nodding off, lights go on and we stop to eat!!! 20 minutes latter, wide awake now, lights go off, we depart, and I begin to fall asleep about three a.m. Around 5 a.m. we arrive in Rangsit and I'm getting off. Spend the rest of the day feeling like I'm hungover (maybe I should get drunk - since I pay the price anyway).

My hair is greying too. I don't care though. I don't have to look at it. Most of it's falling out anyway.

#6 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by BruceMoon on 4/7/2009 at 04:54

John

The [color=teal[secret to night time bus journey's is temazipan 10mg.

Cheers

#7 BruceMoon has been a member since 27/12/2008. Location: Australia. Posts: 1,941

Posted by MADMAC on 4/7/2009 at 15:19

Does this give the "hangover" effect I get from most other sleeping agents? I read up on it on the net after you posted, but the warnings there made it sound like a mild version of rat poison. I suspect there was hyperbole in the warning label.

#8 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by SBE on 4/7/2009 at 23:42

Seems we are all ready for zimmer frames eh?

Noise. I like the sound of waves, birds, jungle insects etc and I wish they wouldn't keep building bars blasting out techno music that drowns these sounds out. I stopped going to Freedom beach, one of the last "unknown" beaches on Ko Tao for this very reason a couple of years ago.

However the engine noise of planes, buses and boats, screaming kids, cellphone ring tones, toe curlingly cheesy Asian love song videos etc doesn't do anything for me so I'd rather drown that kind of noise out with music that I like via button speaker earplugs ... especially on 24 hour bus trips in Burma because they never seem to turn the bloody TV off and you get woken up by monks with megaphones asking for money to build yet more stupas at 3am too.



Speaking of which, my MP3 player has died but my cellphone can apparently be used as a music player if I put a large memory card in it. I haven't tried it yet. What is the quintessential difference between a cellphone and an expensive ipod as a personal music system apart from the price?

#9 SBE has been a member since 14/4/2008. Location: Global Village. Posts: 2,019
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Posted by BruceMoon on 5/7/2009 at 06:40

John

Temazipan 10mg works for me. My wife is an RN, and indicated that at that strength, it works for about 4 hours (so if you should awaken during the 1st 4 hours, you'll be back to sleep pronto). I've found that if I haven't used them for about 3 months, yes, i do feel a bit drowsy during the next morning. But, if I've used them within that 3 month (or so) period, I'm OK the next am. But, I only use them sparingly. horses for courses, I suppose.

SBE

My solution has been to try and get to the back of the bus, and if the noise becomes too loud, I ask the driver to turn the volume down. Sometimes works, but when it doesn't, I go and rip the wires out of the speakers. I take the attitude that they don't care about my (dis)comfort, so why should I care about them.

Cheers

#10 BruceMoon has been a member since 27/12/2008. Location: Australia. Posts: 1,941

Posted by SBE on 5/7/2009 at 08:13

In Burma or rural Indonesia you do not want to be at the back of a bus Bruce. When the roads aren't good, it's the least comfortable place to be on a clapped out bus.

Not only that, the emergency exits at the back are always blocked to the ceiling with luggage and there's usually more luggage and passengers (with vomit bags)on wee plastic seats blocking the central aisle. If there's an accident then those sitting at the back are most likely to perish because they can't get out.

Besides, even the most clapped out buses seem to have fully functional sound systems with speakers every couple of rows to ensure that everyone suffers equally.

#11 SBE has been a member since 14/4/2008. Location: Global Village. Posts: 2,019
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Posted by BruceMoon on 5/7/2009 at 09:35

SBE

In part I agree with you.

But, I've also found that in mainland SEA, the men grap the front seats and the older ppl and women are left to take the rear. And, these are the ppl that are willing to engage with a grey haired old western 'fart'.

Yep, sometimes rows and rows of speakers. So, if I'm up the back, I just pull the cords out from the back to the front until I get the volume down in the back.

As for bumpiness... If I'm wanting to travel fast, I take a VIP bus. If not, the local buses don't go that fast and bumpiness doesn't appear to be a big problem.

The chuck section... One can never avoid this (even up front I suggest). I long ago worked out that travel sickness is partly because the traveller doesn't keep eye contact with the horizon. So, the more the ppl are engaged in conversation and looking around, (hopefully) the less likely for the big technicolour yawn. I find it odd that ppl who feel sick put their heads down and wonder why they get sicker. Oh, well!!!

Cheers

#12 BruceMoon has been a member since 27/12/2008. Location: Australia. Posts: 1,941

Posted by SBE on 5/7/2009 at 15:03

"If I'm wanting to travel fast, I take a VIP bus."

You make it sound like that's always an option! I wish.

"If not, the local buses don't go that fast and bumpiness doesn't appear to be a big problem."

Try the trans-Sumartran highway and get back to me on that one.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=unELYmzEIw0

#13 SBE has been a member since 14/4/2008. Location: Global Village. Posts: 2,019
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Posted by MADMAC on 6/7/2009 at 03:02

Allrighty Bruce, I'll give em a try. Thanks for the tip. Hard for this trip to be worse than it already is.

#14 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by BruceMoon on 13/7/2009 at 05:26

SBE

Hey, that looks like a great bus journey. The scenery is lovely & green. The noise... well, just pull the speaker wires out.

But, for a real 'taste' of bus travel in SE Asia, go look at this.

Cheers

#15 BruceMoon has been a member since 27/12/2008. Location: Australia. Posts: 1,941


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