Thursday, February 11, 2010

Caribbean Misadventures #1: Our Brave New World

Brave New World #1 ;
Net Books
My brave new world started this year when I picked up a little Acer notebook computer, thinking it might come in handy when travelling. Of course it took me nearly a year to fiigure out how to use it, and I am still in the dark about a lot of stuff, but I think I have the basics. It turned out that a lot of places I plan to stay have Wifi (free internet connections) so I decided to pack this little baby on the trip, and see how it went. I was able to download the appropriate LP chapters for the islands I am visiting for a few bucks. My Acer weighs less than the equivalent lp book and isn't much bigger.

Brave New World #2
Last year I joined a number of other travellers and wannabe travellers in posting five photos every day on Photoblog365, with the intention of posting every day for a year. Now it has become an obsession. I have noticed my photography has improved with the daily posts. I also enjoy following friends all over the world through their daily photos. So I am now posting my tavel 'diary' daily on photoblog complete with drawings, when applicable. Sometimes it is easier to post a link to them here in my blog than posting photos.

Brave New World#4:
New Airplane boarding rules
I had the delightful experience of having to go through the increased customs vetting experience in Toronto, and aside from having to arrive three hours early, at three am for a 6 am flight, it went smoothly. The RCMP, who were doing the body searches, did it with humour and grace. The worst thing was not really knowing what you could or could not take on. They said NO BACKPACKS - no day packs even, so at the last minute, in toronto, I had to make packing adjustments that were a pain. Then I arrived at the airport to find that day packs WERE being allowed. I was thoroghly pissed off!!

The irony was, that after all my shopping around for the perfect carryon luggage, in the end, I couldnt even carry on my day pack. The other irony was when I had to change planes in Miami, the Merkins were all hauling the biggest damn carryons I have ever seen, and jamming them into the overhead bins. It turns out that Canada turned on the MOST stringent boarding rules in the world.

Brave New World#5:
computers when you travel
Well it seems like the Acer or Apple netbook (depends on how rich you are) is becoming a staple piece of travel gear. Wifi is widely available, and Internet cafes are not as numerous as they used to be. Here in Antigua, it costs fifty cents a minute and theyh are pretty sterile places. Aside from the money, as a single traveller, I enjoy my connections with home.

Right now, it is about 7 am, I have used my immersion heater to boil up the water for a cup of coffee in my travel thermos (that new Starbucks instant stuff is quite adequate for travel), am sitting in my nightie, listening to the cocks crowing outside and enjoying a quiet moment before the day begins, and I am checking mail online. While I am a friendly person, and enjoy chatting with others, etc., there is lots of alone time when reading a book or washing your undies is not what you want to do, and the computer can be your friend - like right now..

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