A new country, So time for a change...
I know that I'm not quite there yet, but I've been given an idea
(thanks Lol) and I'd like to try it out.
Basically, instead of my usual long blatherings about stuff that
don't have much of a basis in time, I'm going to try to write a
proper diary type of affair with a short piece or page per day.
I also need to limit the number of pictures that I'm taking. I took
well over 200 in Israel, okay not all of them ended up on the site,
but a great many of them did, and they take a very long time to
load up onto the internet. So the idea is just to have one picture
a day - to capture the mood. So that's the plan. Whether it'll work
or not, only time will tell (I give it a week myself!), so we'll
Today was spent buying final bits and pieces for the trip. Israel
gave me a great opportunity to trial out all of the equipment that
I have. The trip gave me an impression of traveling, of the equipment
I might need and more importantly, didn't need. The tour gave me
an idea of what lugging 25kg around a country is actually like (40C
- not too much fun!).
For anyone wishing to travel light, my tip is simple - it's the
same in all good travel books, but I ignored it, so others probably
will as well, "Don't take denim". Ditch the jeans,
lose the 501's. I know they're great, they're comfy, you wear them
all the time, they're like a second skin. They are your worse nightmare!
Forget about even trying to clean them, they take around three years
to dry - even in the middle of the Negev hours after all my other
clothes were baked to a crisp, my shirt (yes, not only did I take
a pair of jeans, but I took a denim shirt as well!) was still damp.
The other reasons concern denim's weight and bulk. Most clothes
you can squash smaller. Denim is an exception - it takes up more
space in your bag the more you crush it. I'm sure that somebody
can make use of this amazing property of the material, but it's
a real pain in the back, hands, wrists when you're trying to close
your bag. Finally, we come to the death blow for the fabric, it's
heavy. Not only heavy, but really heavy (so heavy in fact
that simple italics do not do the stuff justice). You don't notice
when you're wearing the stuff, but it's a right royal pain in the
back (quite literally) when you have to cart it around.
I digress, useful bits and pieces. Medication wise, Rescue Remedy
is great and you can pick it up in most good health food shops.
It's a welcome pick-me-up when things get a little bit too much.
More mundanely, pack in a good few packs of imodium and diarolyte.
Don't use the imodium unless you have to (it's better out than in
as they say) but the diarolyte is essential. Well to be honest,
flat coke works equally well. Important point though if you're gonna
drink the cola, make sure that it's not diet, the artificial sweetner'll
only make things worse!
What else? Oh yes, well it's not really something to take, more
something to use. Everyone has email these days, and for some reason,
everybody uses hotmail. Well, I know that it's good and there are
lots of features and it's pretty and... Simply the problem is that
it's slow. When you're at an internet cafe and you're paying by
the hour for some wickedy wack ISDN or ASDL connection (if you're
lucky) you want to spend your time writing emails to your friends,
not spending most of it waiting for your inbox and messages to load
up. This is not meant as some anti-Microsoft propaganda soapbox
type of thang, but simply what I've noticed watching people in the
cafes. Want an alternative? Try something like yahoo!,
they're equally as reliable, with many of the same features, but
they seem to be faster. Why the service is faster I don't know,
possibly because the mail appears to be split by country, but it's
quick and that's all that's important!
Anyway, no picture today. I tell you what, next time I get the
imodium tablets out, I'll take a picture of one of them and stick
it up here... On second thoughts, perhaps not.