Manila

April 18, 2010

Unlike the beginning of the trip, we are now in ports nearly every other day, if not every day. I’ve taken in so much over the course of the voyage so far, and I have felt the way it has changed me. Although my writing has not caught up with where I am now, two months have gone by, my journey now over halfway complete. It has begun to feel like I have been here forever. However, that does not mean that I have grown tired of it. I just feel like the past has melted away, and all that ...

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Shanghai, Day 2

April 5, 2010

The goal for my second day in Shanghai was very different from the first. There is a three story mall called Taobao City, which is chock full of knock-off items of varying degrees of quality. Nothing has a set price. In fact, if you don’t haggle, the vendors assume you are not very smart. I had had a taste of that kind of bargaining in the Indonesian countries, and I was keen to try again. This time around, I went with a friend, someone who knew what they were doing. The different stores were more like stalls, roughly ten by ...

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Shanghai, Day 1

April 5, 2010

Shanghai is outside of my balcony door! It is night time now, so the buildings are lit up in different, changing colors. The skyscrapers across the Huangpu River have been built within the last two decades, and a lot of them even sooner than that, leaving nothing left of the farmland that used to dominate the area. Likewise, a lot of the buildings on our side of the river have been built within the last ten years, replacing the old buildings. Shanghai is in constant flux anyway, but now they are working furiously in preparation for the 2010 World Expo ...

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Singapore

March 21, 2010

Singapore! Preceding my time in Singapore, my only frame of reference to the city was the opening sequence in Pirates of the Caribbean 3. Obviously not the best point of comparison. Regardless, I had no idea that Singapore would be the city it was. To start out with, there are laws in place to help keep it clean. One such law is that chewing gum is not allowed. The reason for this is that there is a risk of people spitting it out onto the sidewalk. In fact, spitting in general is not allowed. And to really help enforce this, ...

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Semarang

March 12, 2010

We had arrived the night before in Semarang, a choice made by the captain so that those who wanted to go visit Borobudur, an ancient temple, would have enough time to make the 2 hour drive to and from the site. I had had no intention of going on the tour, especially after having been warned that the ride was as long as it was and that in all likelihood the bus would lack air-conditioning, in a climate that requires nothing but the best in chilled air circulation for the over-60 crowd. Despite all that, many people said it was ...

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Bali

March 10, 2010

With a group of about ten people, I spent our first morning in Bali touring around on a bicycle. It only lasted 3 ½ hours, and we were not cycling that whole time, but it was still a lot of fun. It was a different way of seeing a place. I wish Regent offered more bicycle tours, but I can understand why they don’t. In fact, I was surprised that there were enough people who wanted to go on the tour. Seeing a place through the windows of a bus is ok, but the biggest difference for me is that ...

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