Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Ok finally some pictures! First there I am before I left, haha, with all my stuff. Which turns out is quite a lot!Here are some pictures from Japan, the formatting is all a mess sorry.
Well I think the photos all went in backwards, but they include the Imperial Gardens, making and eating Mushi, Sumo Tournament and outside the temple in Asuksa.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

India and the end of Tokyo

I'm in india! The last few days in Tokyo were pretty full so I didn't get a chance to up date. We managed to get seats to the 11th day of the sumo tournament which was awesome! I will post some pictures soon, but I don't have my camera stuff with me at the moment. Sumo is a pretty crazy sport, there is tons of ceremony involved and the actual fights only like about 15 seconds, it was a cool experience tho. It was rainy and dreary the last days were were there, and cold but we still ended up doing some more sightseeing. We went to the electronics district which is where you go if you want some crazy cell phones or tiny laptops or robots, although we couldn't actually find any robots but i hear they are there somewhere. We also went to the imperial palace, which even tho it was rainy it was really nice. You can't actually go into it, but the gardens outside we really great. On our last night we got some great veggie tempura which i was pretty excited about.
The trip to India was pretty uneventful for me, although i think that eric had some excitement along the way in china, but we we managed to meet up in the end. My friend Pieter is here too, we actually meet in India 13 years ago with our familys so its pretty cool to be traveling here together again. We are in Delhi at the moment but leaving in the morning to Jaipur which will be good i think. Delhi is fun, but its a bit much for me really. Walking down the street takes effort to avoid getting hit by cars, motorcycles, rickshaws, cows none of which follow normal traffic rules. A cow actually head butted me the first morning i was here, haha, now i know to get out of the way. I'm actually suprised that the poverty that i've seen so far isn't quite a bad as i remember it. Its still bad and a bit hard to get used to, but overall it seems like it might be better then it was 13 years ago.
We have done some nice sightseeing, although because this weekend is Republic day lots of things are closed, like the Red Fort we were planning to do yesterday. We went out of the city for a bit instead to Qutb Minar, which was very nice and good to get a way from the crowd a bit. We also went to the huge famous mosque today which was also pretty cool. The food of course is great, its funny because thats what i remember disliking so much last time i was here, but now its perfect. I got a big box of sweets today and ate them all in one sitting, haha. I've given up trying to do the vegan thing here, all the best food has dairy in it, but vegetarian is no problem at all. In fact the menus have all the normal food and then a separate section for the non-veg food, which is great. So I'll try to update again after we leave delhi, but so far India has been a bit hectic but great!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Birthday Fun!

Well I think Tokyo is a pretty fun place to have a birthday. I managed to convince a few people from the hostel to come karaoking with us yesterday, which was what I wanted to do for my birthday. Karaoking here is a bit different then at home, you get your own private room, which is a little weird, but it was a good time. They had quite a selection of western songs, so that was good, although they were lacking in the country music, haha. Having your own room means you can sing more, but in the end I think I like doing it in a bar with lots of people better. The night before we also went out with the same people from the hostel and didn't get in until 5am, which was fun but that plus karaoke wore me out, haha. The plan tonight is go to bed early, then get up to get tickets to see a Sumo match, which I'm pretty excited about. I guess if you get there early you can get the cheaper tickets, so we will see how that works.

Other then all the crazy birthday fun we have been doing a fair amount of Tokyo sight seeing. We have been taking the train everywhere, which is great. Tokyo is full of lots of different neighborhoods, some which look very Japanese with cool buildings and gardens everywhere, and others which are full of fancy stores and huge flashing TVs. We went down a street that was just stuffed full of teenagers and crazy stores blaring rock music, but then just down the street is a great park with a big shrine and nice gardens. Tokyo is a crazy place.

The food hasn't been that much of a problem either, I was worried that everything would have fish all over it, but I've been able to find tofu and simple noodles pretty much everywhere. Even the sushi place we went today had inari, which is just tofu skins and rice and miso soup, and this crazy tofu layered stuff which was pretty tasty. And you can get tea and coffee everywhere, which its awesome. They even have hot vending machines which is the best idea ever because its been pretty cold. I'll be happy to move on to warmer places at the end of the week, although from what I've seen so far Tokyo is a pretty fun place.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Tokyo Time

Well we made it to Tokyo! The flight there was long but actually not too bad. Japan Air is a pretty nice airline to fly, everyone gets there own TV and everything. The vegetarian meals were a bit weird, the best one being when everyone else got an ice cream sandwich I got a real sandwich with just veggies on it haha. But we made it to the hostel with no problems, the train system here is good and not to hard to figure out. The hostel itself is a bit small and noisy, but not bad really.

I think Tokyo was a good choice to begin my travels because so far it seems big and crazy and different form home, but at the same time its clean and safe and easy to get around. We spent the day yesterday getting to know the neighborhood we are staying in. There are tons of temples and gardens to wander around, and we found a huge park with a pond that we rented a little boat and paddled around for a while. We also went to this crazy drum museum where you could play almost all the drums which was pretty awesome. I'll try to post some pictures soon, but for now I'm going to explore the city some more.

Also if you want to check out Erics blog its at www.dabearic.blogspot.com

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Only one week left!

Well, I leave for my trip one week from tomorrow. While we have been talking about this trip for over a year now, it seems pretty crazy now that it is actually happening. For those of you who might not know the details of my trip here is the basic itinerary:

San Francisco: January 12th -15th
Japan: January 15th – 23rd
India and Nepal: January 23rd – March 15th
Thailand and Southeast Asia: March 15th – May 15th
Hong Kong: May 15th- 18th
South Africa and Mozambique: May 19th – June 20th
Victoria Falls and Namibia: June 20th – July 4th
London and UK: July 4th –July 19th
Egypt and Jordan: July 19th –August 16th
Austria and Hungry: August 16th –September 5th
Spain: September 5th- September 18th
Peru: September 18th – October 18th
Chile: October 18th –October 27th
Ecuador: October 27th – November 6th
San Francisco: November 6th

I will be gone for just about 10 months. I got my ticket through oneworld alliance and its a great ticket for anyone who wants to do an extensive trip like this. I can change the dates of any of my flights for free, and if for some reason I need to change the location its only a small fee, so its very flexible. I don't plan on changing much, but its nice to know i have the option. My friend Eric will also be joining me for parts of the trip, about every other month, so I won't be doing the entire thing on my own. If anyone wants to visit me or is going to be near any of the places I'm going and wants to hang out let me know, I would love to have company!