Saturday, March 04, 2006

My photos are up

I have updated my webshots page with my SE Asia pics so far. Enjoy.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Dr. Livingstone, I presume?

Heh... at least that's how I feel searching for this Bamboo Lady. I have had some luck this evening. I had dinner at a Balinesian restaurant called Arie's (yeah, I didn't think it sounded Balinesian either, but the food was excellent) and told Arie all about my search for the Bamboo Lady. "Ah ha!", he said. It seems that he could help me. The local library was run by a Balinesian married to an American woman. After dinner he walked me down the road to their house where many of the locals were practicing their drumming performance for the upcoming fire dance. I sipped on some mango juice (oooOOOooo....) and waited for their practice to end. Well, it turns out that they do know Linda Garland (aka Bamboo Lady) and were able to draw me a map to her house and to the Bamboo Foundation (when I retire I want to start the Cheese Foundation, a non-profit organization for the promotion of cheese worldwide, with a harsh bias towards Stilton). They also gave me the name of another foundation in town that is helping rebuild Aceh, that might be of interest to my company.

This all of couse means that I have to cancel my day of lounging around the pool tomorrow doing absolutely nothing. I suppose I'll have to fore-go (sp?) my three hour siesta and I might acutally have to move a muscle tomorrow. Oh well... at least I get to walk through the Sacred Monkey Forest to get to this woman's house. Perhaps I can watch some of the monkeys fight over the banana that I throw them again. That was fun. Must remember to take that candybar out of my pocket this time though... which reminds me, I need to go to the pharmacy and buy some more antiseptic.

(Just kidding about the monkey attack, Mum).

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Stuck in Ubud

Well, I know I am stuck on the tropical island of Bali trying to find the Bamboo Lady for my new job, which means that I can't really complain about anything...

...but I am going to anyway. I am bored out of my mind. Ok, I guess you are a little confused as to why I am in Bali. I also figured that I am bored so updating my blog would give me something to do.

Ok, I had my first meeting with my new company in Manhattan in Feb. One of those meetings was with Dr. Brown of the UN Environmental Program. He said that if my company is interested in bamboo, that we should talk to the Bamboo Lady who lives in Bali, Indonesia. My company then suggested that I go and meet her there. Who am I to say no?

After three great weeks in the US, my parents drove me to Trenton to catch the train to JFK. I got to Penn Station and boarded the subway to the airport. I had arrived in Penn Station two hours before my flight left, thinking that would be plenty of time... boy was I wrong. Did you know it takes almost two hours during rush hour to get from Penn Station to JFK? Well, it does. I arrived at the check-in counter 5 minutes before the flight was leaving and was told that there was no way I was making my flight to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I paniced (that word doesn't look right... I know how to spell panic, but how do you spell panic-ed?). And then good ol' Harvey luck pulled through. The manager of the airline was walking around, I grabbed his attention, and he got me on the next flight out on a different airline. Instead of flying West from JFK to Vancouver to Hong Kong to Kuala Lumpur, I would now be flying East to London and then Hong Kong, catching my original flight to Kuala Lumpur. And on top of which, the guy gave me an upgrade for the London flight. On top of which again, the ticket people gave me Valentine's Day cupcakes. It is great being me.

30 hours of flying sucks more than you can imagine. Even with an upgrade. I thought my 15.5 hour flight from PHL to Shanghai was bad... oh no. Double that and you begin to understand why some flights have air marshalls on them. I eventually arrived in KL, walked around in the most oppressive heat I've ever felt in my life, got some curry in Little India, and caught a train to Hat Yai in Thailand. I would have walked around longer, but the streets there were so confusing that I thought it best to head to the train station. The sleeper car was the first real sleep I had had in three days.

I guess I am going to split these entries up so that each one isn't quite so long.