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“D” Day has arrived!

Friday, August 26th, 2011

So have been on the road now for 3 months, 3 weeks & 3 days & what have I learned?

First of all, from the quick drive through, then talking with the couple we picked up at the Royal DeCameron resort near Sonsante, El Salvador is a pretty good place & being geared more towards the Latino population than Gringos makes it a different experience.

Next a couple days in Antigua Guatemala showed how too much tourism has, not only driven prices to the point of being ridiculous, it has also eroded the charm of a couple years ago but also the friendliness of the tourism workers.

Also while in Antigua, as the bus was arriving after dark, I tried to book a hotel room in Tapechula on the Mexican side of the border with Guatemala. Now this is an international border where for most bus connections an overnight stay is required one would think the hostel booking sites such as Hostel World, Lonely Planet, BootsnAll etc would have a few choices to pick from. Not so, only a couple hotels pushing $100, actually the same thing happened a couple weeks ago at the Thai/Cambodia border at Koh Kong. As a result of this indifference to independent travelers, I will no longer be using these sites. Shall just stick with touts, tuk-tuk & taxi drivers.

The Mexican executive buses  are still up to their same high standards but busier requiring, in some cases, 24 hrs advance booking.

What a contrast between the Mexican service & than the sad excuse for service offered north of the Rio Grande by Britain’s First Group, who got suckered into buying bankrupt Greyhound from Canada’s Laidlaw, who used some creative financing to show a profit during a year they were under Chapter 11 protection. On “The Dog” the law of the jungle prevails, No such silly things such as seat reservations, baggage check-in or meaningful schedules. First in line with their baggage/screaming kids in tow get on, when bus is full any remaining passengers are SOL, however should bus not be full, it sits at terminal until it is. Such is the way things are done in the US/Canada these days!

Oh yeah Homeland Stupidity holding people up for an hour at the border while the X-ray the buses would be laughable except there is no place to sit, so it’s just damned irritating.

San Antonio & the Alamo are cool while Memphis with Graceland & Beale street are interesting but the elevated police observation boxes on Beale St are a bit too much new age Police State for my liking!

Motel 6 doubling their prices upon crossing the border into Canada sucks as does the 13% HST rip-off tax in Ontario but then food, fuel etc are all ridiculously priced as well. After being shafted on the internet scam sales site eBay, trying to sell my Checker, I  was forced to spend 29 days in total in Ontario an average of $60/day to exist. Add that cost to the $2500 I lost on my investment in the Checker + the accountant cost of wrapping up mothers estate, it was a damned expensive farewell visit to Crapanada!

The next lesson was that if you want a reasonably priced flight to Bangkok, it has to be before June 1st. However Bangkok is still the amazing city it was, although not cheap in the tourist areas.

On to Cambodia which was my least favorite SE Asian country  on my RTW & remains so after 2 1/2 months there. Although as disgusting & screwed up as Phnom Penh is, the place kind of grows on you after a bit + it’s only a 4 hr bus ride to the beaches of Sinanoukville.

Also apparent is the fact that at 65 one is a dinosaur to be relegated to the scrap heap & pretty much unwanted as far as working is concerned! They don’t mind taking your money though.

Heard from my, former Canton de L’est principal contact, at the Chinese school, things moving slower than planned, so I have decided to cut bait & pull the pin on Cambodia. Door is still ajar at that school though so if all goes according to plan for them, there’s still a slight possibility of returning at some point.

Cancelled the plan to visit Bali, Indonesia requires more income than the pathetic stipends Crapanada doles out to native born Canadians, to retire there, so no point. Wi-Fi sucks here this aft, so can’t book a flight. Will head into town in the morning to a travel agent, getting to late to book a flight on line for Monday.

Plan is to catch the bus to PP Monday morning then evening flight to Seoul then Honolulu, be back in El Salvador by the weekend.`

Same O, Same O

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

Same, Same, but different! Not sure what that means but it’s on thousands of T-shirts in Cambodia & it pretty much sums up my waiting game. Same old waiting game, but different as, guess I miscalculated the extent of age discrimination in Asia, just as bad as in Canada & I’m not going to be happy with the outcome.

Over 20 CV’s personally delivered + a few more, to schools outside PP emailed, resulted in only 4 interviews.

One person on a forum posted that much of the problem with jobs in Cambodia was the US economy was so bad that a lot of university grads were coming over as there was no work for them at home. Of course he was jumped on, as is typical on forums, when a truth is posted that most don’t want to accept! However my observations over the past couple months have proven him right.

Went around to a couple of schools in Sihanuokville today, that use foreign teachers but of course no openings in Cambodia’s only port city.

Oh well just enjoy the rest of the week on Ochheuteal Beach & see what Friday brings, in the meantime pricing the trip home via Bali, want to touch base with someone, & Hawaii. 🙂


Saturday, August 20th, 2011

Reading posts on Trip Advisor has gotten me thinking about the meaning of friendship & the difference between friends, frens & acquaintances.

Some claim to go to a resort for a week or 2 & make good friends with ... [Continue reading this entry]

65 time for the trash heap!!!

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011

Yep it’s a great society we, in the west, have let the government simple serpents fashion for us.

When times were good, before capitalism ran amok, we in the middleclass were too busy living the dream to pay attention ... [Continue reading this entry]