Journeys of a Young Traveler

Over the past month, I have enjoyed scrolling through photos of our journeys. This brings me back to the original idea of Misplaced Map Case, comprehending the memories of travel. One thought comes to mind is our conscious decision to provide our daughter with experiences more than things. Nothing so original about that idea, but here are a few photos that brought back fond memories of the results. Most of our photos include her but I only post a few of those here.

Monaco 1997

At 6 months old, we went to Malaysia to visit pillion rider’s family. After that we continued on to Europe for three weeks visiting London, Paris, San Sebastian and Valencia Spain, Lisbon, Montpelier France, and Monaco. Today, her memory of these experiences has completely faded. Here’s one showing the November weather a little milder on the Mediterranean.

Monte Carlo_Nov 21-22, 1997

Iceland 2000 / 2002

With a 3 month contract in Germany that lasted almost five years, we crisscrossed the Atlantic a number of times. Twice we stopped in Iceland, once in winter, once in Summer.

Aruba 2006

In the summer of 2006, we needed a break and booked a trip to Aruba. On very short notice, it was easier to choose an all inclusive resort. On arriving with just two small bags, the receptionist queried, “Is that all you have?” 

“We just need swimming suits, right?” She agreed. We drove around the island one day. Another we rented bicycles. We splurged on a submarine ride for a unique experience.

Ecuador 2007

In 2007, I had a few extra days of vacation and decided crossing the equator would be a good experience. We traveled to Ecuador so we could do it on foot. We stayed in Quito and then at an Eco Resort in the mountains.

Wales 2009

We traveled around the world with her several times when she was quite young. In 2009, we decided to book Round-The-World Tickets to give her memories to remember. We started in Minneapolis and visited: London, Zurich, Kuala Lumpur, Phnom Penh, Tokyo, Honolulu, and finally back to Minneapolis. Besides side trips to Oxford, Stonehenge, Glastonbury, and the Southern Jurassic Coast, we headed up to Cardiff Wales.

Puerto Rico 2010

In 2010 we made a research trip investigating whether to relocate to Puerto Rico. I would be able to work remotely, but still be in the United States. Along with this, we checked out a couple of high schools. High priority on our list was the access to fresh roasted coffee. Here are beans collected at a co-operative ready for processing.

Some observations about traveling with children

  • We kept the focus on experiences and sights interesting for her age.
  • Priority was on activities more than seeing. Parks and playgrounds took priority over museums and buildings.
  • The pillion rider always had creative toys, books, and art materials whenever we went out. One flight of 13 hours (Kuala Lumpur to Frankfurt), she brought PlayDoh type clay. At three years old, she played with this until she slept, then played some more.
  • Adjusting schedules for meals and activities according to her internal clock.
  • We let her help out with packing, pulling luggage, carrying groceries. We let her choose a few things to pack in her bag, a few things to buy when we were out

Santiago, Chile – New Memories

Two main reasons for me to write this blog are first to record thoughts on travel and second to understand the context of the experiences I’ve had. The recording has been pretty satisfying.  The understanding of my experiences is still maturing.  I felt this especially on returning to Chile after 45 years. So much history, so many stories.

It was interesting to see the International Women’s Day demonstrations. Getting around Santiago was easy using metro subway, buses, and walking, and we wandered around neighborhoods both near and far. Nothing reminded me of my journeys so many years ago. What I am left with are amazing visions of street art, open air sculptures, monuments, and a garden in the foothills.

We spent several hours wandering around the murals of the San Miguel neighborhood Museo a Cielo Abierto or Open Air Mural Museum . I loved every mural both official and unofficial art works. I uploaded many so click on the ones you like.

A few more inspirations from the streets.

There was also time to reflect on my younger days and an earlier September 11 in 1973.

Check out the temple near city of Amarbayasgalant, Mongolia

Ulaanbaatar is modern with the character of a Western city. It is a world apart from the rest of the country. Having said that there is not a great deal to see or do. But no one comes to Mongolia to see the cities! We spent a day exploring the city on foot. The Narantuul […]

via 17/10/17 Ulaanbaatar and North Mongolia — Why would you want to drive to Kazakhstan?

Artifacts 2: Rain Jacket

I thought about sharing some of the lessons learned from our travels. One direction on this path involves what we carry. This is a theme I have touched on before.  It is interesting to me to experience how the artifacts both physical and electronic define the modern self and its relationship to its environment. No tips and tricks here except to keep experimenting and be observant.

Our rain jackets are essential for any trip. Beyond keeping dry and warm, they offer freedom to explore even during bad weather.  This has led us to many interesting discoveries and appreciations of the neighborhoods we visit.

My simple jacket folds itself neatly into a zippered pouch which I store in an outside compartment of my bag for easy access (see below). Sometimes, it stays stowed for a month. Here I remember Malta, Kuala Lumpur and Cape Town.  At the other extreme, I wore it every day in Vancouver.

 

 

 

My photos provide more of a documentary experience than an artistic one. Over the past seventeen years, this raincoat became a central theme of my travels and showed up in way too many photos.

RainCoat1

 

 

RTW01 1980-81

In 1980, my company, NCR Comten, sent me to NCR Japan for software support of the first installations of our Networking Communications Processor.  Recently, a reply to my comment in Cook the Beans blog reminded me of that trip and my visit to Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, East Malaysia on the island of Borneo in 1981.  This was one episode of that first trip aRound The World (RTW). This brings me back to the original idea of this blog to reflect on journeys and paths that brought me here.

I saved the diaries of my travels during those times for many years.  With our moving on, I wrote up some summaries and highlights and saved on Google Drive.  Much of the information written was technical notes and contacts.  Certain parts of that fourteen month trip are very vivid; other parts are just a mesh of several trips through the same areas.  My notes suggest I left Minnesota around 1 October 1980 and returned to my parents home for Thanksgiving in late November 1981.  Unfortunately, only a few blurry pictures and some scraps of mementos remain from that trip.  The many transitions of life and work resulted in a box or two purloined in various archives and the dumpsters of life, later to be left for collection at the side of the road.

Collecting and Collating digital searches, memories, and artifacts for this post reminded me of several amazing coincidences and connections that played out over the years.

First, a link to the itinerary contains a few notes gleaned from my diaries.  It’s a placeholder for my memory as details begin to fade.  The experience was so new and fresh, I never expected the frustrations trying to remember details today.

Itinerary RTW 1980-81

Itinerary1980-81

Here is the list of cities I visited in approximate order.

St. Paul, MN; Tokyo, Japan; Nikko, Japan; Yokohama, Japan; Kyoto, Japan; Kamikura, Japan; Busan, Korea; Seoul, Korea; Taipei, Taiwan; Hongkong; Macao; Manila, Philippines; Batangas, Philippines; Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia; Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei; Singapore; Melaka, Malaysia; Georgetown and Penang, Malaysia; Bangkok, Thailand; Rangoon (Yangon), Burma (Myanmar); Rome, Italy; London, UK; Paris, France; Milan, Italy; Belfort, France; Bitche, France; Basel, Switzerland; Mont Saint-Michel, France; Cherbourg, France; Windom, MN

Three artifacts:

Three meetings:

The hardware tech assigned to NCR Japan was Sanford “Charlie” Brown.  After Japan, we worked together in South America, New Zealand, and SE Asia. Our paths still cross.  He taught me how to wirewrap.

In a Singapore hostel shared breakfast table with sisters Bea and Ev from France.  Years later they would pick me up from Luxembourg airport after spending ten days crossing the Soviet Union.

Anura Guruge at ICI UK.  He sent me to consult in Paris and Milan on a remote printer problem.  Some years later, I would find and read his first book, SNA Theory and Practice, in the NCR Japan technical library.  Some years after that, I would work with Lisa Lindgren an associate of Guruge’s consultancy.

Three things learned

Don’t be surprised.  Different cultures, different languages, different circumstances all have their ways of dealing with the situation of the moment.  Some of these will be completely different to what you might find usual.  Observe and Appreciate.

Grammar and Language: “Order word not necessary is.” Along with: “Verbs not necessary.”

In those days, I could live in Melaka, Malaysia for U$S 3 / day.  Knowing that, I only worked for fun from then on. I always knew that I did not have to put up with a bad job after that.

Here is the full map thanks to Google:

RTW_1980-81.JPG

In the years that followed, I circumnavigated (both westward and eastward) the earth many times providing onsite computer networking support.  There were some trips to South America and to Africa.  The type of technical career I did no longer exists.  In the past years, we have deviated from the original route more and more as we have free time to venture to different countries.  Here is my TripAdvisor Map:

TripAdvisorMap

Looking up at Szent István Bazilika

Szent István Bazilika (St. Stephen’s Basilica, Budapest)

We climbed the stairs to the top of St. Stephen’s Basilica on the Pest side of Budapest. After we came down, I took two photographs with my iPad from the very bottom. On one I used the regular rear-facing camera while the other was taken with the facetime front facing camera.  Seeing the two photos together surprised me with their interesting symmetry.

Two ipad views looking up the tower stairwell
Two ipad views looking up the tower stairwell


The views from the dome were magnificent on that clear day. Very hard to choose only one to illustrate.

 

Looking North Towards Parliament
Looking North Towards Parliament

 

 

Impressions of Ljubljana in Autumn

We traveled from Trieste to Ljubljana by local bus. There were express busses but they did not fit our schedule. It was much more interesting stopping in a number of small towns, traveling down two lane highways, and seeing the passengers board and alight. There were grandmothers and tourists and high school students at various intervals.

This entry I am trying a new style with more photos and editing from the iPad. We found our apartment next to the art museum square.

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An apartment gem hidden by a grim facade

There are the mandatory cats in the neighborhood. This black one on an orange car made us think of halloween.

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I registered for the public bike service for € 1. Every day I get an hour to feel like I’m 14 again. I have zipped through the old section and over to the new city developing north of the railway station.

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The old town has a comfortable feel settled among old churches, the active market, restaurants, and boutiques, overlooked by the castle.

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We hiked up the mountain to the castle. It is an interesting space for artistic exhibitions and for scenic views. By the funicular station the stone base is exposed. The actual view is nice for the misty mountains in the distance but somewhat unsatisfying. This contrasts with how excited we have been to be in Ljubljana, discovering our own little treasures.

IMG_2789.JPG   IMG_2783

c_in_b (version 2)

I’m c_in_b (chained in the basement) no more.  My display name now refers to the preferred morning drink in Triestino, c(apo) in b.  I have referred to this in other posts not realizing the perfect solution to my display name dilemma sat right in front of me on the table.

Capo in B (pronounced “bee”) is an abbreviation for a small cappuccino served in a faceted glass called a “bicchiere.”

My gravatar is updated from this picture taken at the Caffè San Marco.
C(apo)_in_B

I posted another beautiful example previously:

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Capo in B at Bar alla Transalpino, Trieste

For reference, this was my gravatar previously, sitting in the basement in Edina, MN, drinking South American mate with a bombilla:

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Lost in the nostalgia of books.

I have been tagged to post the names of ten books that have made a lasting impact on me. It used to be a list of five books. I can hardly remember the names of seven books. Luckily, I took a picture of my bookshelf before we moved to the apartment two years ago. I might be able to provide more details on author, language, dates, impact if you are interested. This list does not even include my favorite book, Vargas LLosa’s La Guerra del Fin del Mundo. The book is a masterwork, and I was sad when it ended.

I am also going to cheat on this list. If it can be five books or ten books why not twelve books. Is there something magical about making a list to match the number of fingers we have? I could group them into ten categories. Does this make it any easier to remember? Daughter tells me that studies show short term memory does not extend beyond seven items for most people.

  • Exploring Mathematics on your own
  • Diccionario de la Lengua Española
  • Gabriela Cravo e Canela
  • Temple of Dawn
  • Go and Gomoku
  • 3270 Information Display System Component Description (parts possibly written by Amy Tan).
  • Calles que dan al Mar
  • Cien años de soledad
  • The Yogi Cookbook
  • Hidden Words
  • Southeast Asia on a Shoestring
  • Songs for Peace
  • IMG_2626.JPG

 

The list ends here for now, and so does the chain. Feel free to comment and ponder impacts in your life. No need to repost or even write down. It doesn’t change the impact.

I discovered in researching this list that the video I took of my office and bookshelf back in the house is missing. I thought I had uploaded it, but I do not find it among the clouds. It might be on a harddisk I have left in a safety box. If not, it really was made just for my whimsy. Here is the photo now forever saved on WordPress

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Two Weeks in Trieste

It is now just over two weeks since we arrived in the Stazione Centrale on the first warm day of the season.  It appears the real summer weather began on our arrival.  The last few days saw thunderstorms and the hot humid air changing to brisk sea breezes.  We are learning more about the city through walks and taking care of the day to day chores.

Trieste looking north towards Dolomites with Castle Miramare (white spot on right)
Trieste looking north towards Dolomites with Castle Miramare (white spot on right)

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Here are yachts reflected in the bay after the Saturday rains.  It has not been all walks and vistas either.

 

Streets down to the bay
Streets down to the bay

Recharging razor batteries
Recharging razor batteries

 

 

 

 

My initial impression was that Trieste was quite flat.  From our central location, we get plenty of aerobic exercise.  Definitely better to head out in the morning during the hot days.

There have been technical adventures too.  My solar energy interest continues and I am staying clean shaven.  No more mustache with freshly charged batteries.  Our kitchen only gets sun from nine to ten.

 

Beyond this, the PC crashed in windows requiring a complete rebuild from the recovery partition.  The worry about choosing the wrong option and losing everything raises the anxiety level.  Over three days, I re-installed apps and verified the recovery.  It looks like nothing was lost.  Nearly everything exists in some form in some network cloud somewhere.  It was nice to not have to recreate from those sources.  Connectivity like the sun is a bit limited by our interior location.

The websites I have found the most useful are those for transportation:

Trieste Buses

Italian Railroads

Switching between the Italian and English pages helps with my vocabulary building.

Ciao amici.

Day One

Monday, 28 July 2014. I should probably be writing about great ideas and plans for the future as I embark on 65 years plus, retirement, and beginning medicare. I am waiting here at a hotel preparing to go the airport to fly off to Frankfurt Germany. That has my full attention. Rucksacks and bags are packed but the mind keeps going over the lists. How many trips have we taken and yet I never feel comfortable. Even those years when I was wandering around the world for months on end, there was always that alertness and anxiety getting ready to travel. Once we are checked in and through security, I will begin to relax.

Today, we have a late flight. It will be over six hours after we checkout of the airport. I might as well plug the Quality Inn near the Mall of America where we spent the night. Yesterday, we removed the very last stuff from the apartment and turned in the keys, dropped off our car that we sold to our friend, dropped off the cable equipment. Then took a walk to a nearby store to buy fruit for dinner and relaxed at the hotel. Quality Inn Mall of America

I will drop in a picture of our bags in another post or comment. Now, it is time to check out.

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Cool Hot Sauce

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Here is a very simple hot sauce. Two Chili’s (one Ghost, one Bhut Jolokia ), One Tomato, One Clove Garlic.

It has a strange psychological effect. The food does not taste so spicy to my tongue. Sure, it’s hot, but not overwhelming. The interesting part is that my scalp tingles and sweats. In fact, writing about it now has caused me to begin sweating.

Reality Check?

This weekend was one of those artistic moments where everything seems to synchronize together.  I have been reading The wind-up bird chronicle by Haruki Murakami.  Friday night, we attended the play, These Shining Lives at Normandale College.  Today, we watched the Video of Isabel Allende’s book, The House of Spirits.  In Murakami’s book, I reached the part where an old Japanese WWII veteran tells his adventure of survival in Manchuria and Mongolia during the Japanese occupation beginning in 1937.  He survives knowing that he will not die on the continent, but returns as just a shell of a human with no feelings.   The House of Spirits follows three generations in a South American country from the 1920s to the 1960s.  The father who is a fighter but also a controller until it almost costs him this daughter and granddaughter.  Finally, These Shining Lives was performed on an experimental stage with only seats for 80.  We were right in the midst of the action of women working in a watch factory during the 1920s and 1930s.  They painted the radium dials on the faces.  The opening quote, “This isn’t a fairy tale, though it starts like one.  It’s not a tragedy, though it ends like one.” really catches my take on the world this weekend.  Life is life and all that we can do is live it.

Busy August-September

After “I fixed it myself – 2”, I continued to play with my mini-networking laboratory and did not write much on weblogs.  Along with that there has been a lot going on.  My thyroid has finally found its stride.  On checking my levels, I mentioned to my doctor about a little anomaly.  So, through the gauntlet of tests.  I now know what a mammogram is like.

The US Bank Technology picnic took place the same day Daughter was competing at the Minnesota State Fair with the robotics first team 1816, the Green Machine.  I put my bicycle on the back of the Hyundai and parked at the Como Park picnic site at 8:30.  Then I bicycled over to the State Fair with its excellent bike lots.  While the team prepared and competed, I checked some of the education booths.  Afterward, Daughter and I saw some exhibits that made us laugh and took a couple rides, one which really thrilled us.  Then, I went back to the picnic and returned later to see the completion of the team activity.  Then, I picked Daughter up and had one last round of food at the picnic.

The Friday before Labor Day, I had a couple of biopsies.  The day after Labor Day, Daughter began her sophomore year in High School.  She has a full schedule but really enjoys the challenges and her friends.  She is also pretty excited about the different activities: Team Robotics, Latin Club, Anime Club.

That brings us up to last Thursday when I had a cancer operation to remove a couple lumps in my chest.  Friday, we all went to the Minnesota Orchestra sampler concert.  Saturday, Daughter and I laughed for three hours at the Cinematic Titanic stand-up comedy and B-movie screening.  So for now, it is dealing with an occasional stab of pain and waiting to see what the final tests show to determine what the next course of recovery will be.  I can tell you, I am not so motivated about work right now.

Global Home / Network Home

Here is a post by email used for my WordPress account. Will this allow me to save my ideas better whenever I have them? Maybe a quick snippet to be reviewed later, or a copy of an idea as I send to someone else. This is expanding on the idea of the definition of self in relationship to electronic connectivity, a basic aspect of the concept of our home in relationship to the network. Cheers,

roots and origins

After spending many hours, the good wife brainstorming with me, misplaced map comes closest and states concisely what I want from this blog.  Spanish has a verb, extraviar, that captures the meaning of “misplaced in transit or travel.”  That is what has happened to some of my memories, like a small pouch, they have been set down and then forgotten until miles down the road.

In the end there is the self-conflict. Do I retrace my steps to retrieve the map case or do I continue on without a detailed understanding of the territory? In the case of this web log it is returning to the location where the memories were left and reconnecting.

japan 1980
japan 1980