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June 5, 2001

Why is it that June

Why is it that June always arrives so suddenly? After winter dragging on for so long, June just appears and it's summer. Nina finishes university in a couple of weeks and she's taking a break until February so we're thinking about going off to Asia. June, of course, also means the start of hurricane season in the Carribean so it's not a good idea to go off sailing on the boat, hence, the thoughts of Asia. I've discovered that Aeroflot flights out there are really cheap, but Nina doesn't want to take one as supposedly their planes aren't in such a good state! I think it could be an exciting flight.

I just had a text message from Chris; apparently he's in Hamburg later this week and he's talking about coming up to Copenhagen for the weekend, so we may have guests again.

June 14, 2001

Well, I haven't been updating

Well, I haven't been updating this much over the last week as nothing very exciting has been happening, so there was no point in boring you. The weekend was pretty good as Chris took the train up from Hamburg and I gave him a tour of Copenhagen. No, that's not true, we just went out drinking but he did get to see the famous statue of the mermaid.

It's amazing to think that I've been back in Copenhagen for three weeks, but already I feel the lust of new places pulling me away again. I've spent much of the last week looking into flights and reading travel books as Nina and I plan how to spend her time away from university. We haven't made any concrete decisions yet, but when we do you'll be the first to know.

When we were in South Africa in January we passed a serious looking motorboat on the quay in Cape Town. It had www.ms-starship.com on the superstructure so I wrote it down with the intention of finding out just what it was up to. Tonight I finally got around to their website, and it is very impressive with daily updates of their position and photographs from the day online. One day I want a satellite uplink for Zamindar! Check it out.

Today I paid a visit

Today I paid a visit to the doctor to get one of my jabs for going to Asia and so my ass now hurts. The doctor wasn't too happy to touch my mould covered vaccination book when I handed it over. I blamed it on the Amazon but I think she blamed it on a personal hygiene problem.

The best thing about Scandinavia is that they glue the pages of the newspapers so they don't fall out when you're reading them. Why did no-one else in the world think of that? Danish people do seem to be significantly happier now that it's summer. The streets are full of people drinking beer in the morning sun, and the parks are strewn with semi-naked girls sunbathing. In fact Danes like the sun so much that nearly every flight to Asia is fully booked for the next month, even Aeroflot!

June 19, 2001

Nina finished her university course

Nina finished her university course today and is now officially a bachelor. We now have seven months free before she plans to start her next two year long course. After she finished her exam today we headed to the travel agents to try to finally sort up some tickets. After throwing what must have been about twenty different possible flight routes at them, we seem to have finally decided on flying out to Bangkok. The flight, with Finnair, leaves on Saturday and we plan to return around January from Hong Kong after hopefully travelling overland between them. I spent the weekend trolling through websites for information on possible overland routes, visas, innoculations and so on, and today I bought the Lonely Planet guide to SE Asia to take with us.

This evening we dropped by Nina's parents and told them that we were leaving in a few days. We felt quite guilty doing this, and I feel bad for taking Nina away again for so long, but she has been in Denmark for 10 months now and she needs a break. Tomorrow we hope to get the tickets finalised as well as getting more jabs from the doctor.

June 22, 2001

Yesterday we confirmed the flights

Yesterday we confirmed the flights to Bangkok and bought the tickets. This in itself was not too easy. The travel agents, like most shops in Denmark, don't take Visa, and the ATMs don't allow me to take out enough money to cover the tickets, so I went off to a bank to make a Visa withdrawal. Usually the banks simply make out a Visa slip, call for authorization, and give you the cash. This has worked for me in banks all over the world, including third world countries, but did it work in Denmark? No. I was sent from bank to bank across Copenhagen as they each refused to do it until finally, three hours later, I managed to withdraw the money from a branch in the airport.

Suddenly now, I've lots of things to do and no time to do them in. Today I got hold of the Lonely Planet guide to China and did some other shopping in town, and tomorrow we have to get more immunisations, pack, find a dozen things that don't exist in Denmark, then go to Nina's parents for dinner. Now back to that list...

June 23, 2001

This morning we paid another

This morning we paid another visit to the doctor for yet more immunisations. After Hep A, Hep B and Japanese Encephalitis, I was feeling suitably punctured. It should be interesting going through Thai customs covered in needle marks! We also picked up malaria tablets which cost a whopping sixty-five pounds each (for three weeks cover!).

This evening we had a lovely meal with Nina's family (lots of meat and wine!), then we came back here and did most of our packing (hence the time). I'm taking very little with me, especially considering that it's for such a long time, as I want to be able to travel light, so we shall see how it works out. We still have a few last things to sort out, but we don't have to be at the airport until the afternoon so it shouldn't be too rushed. It feels very strange to be going off for so long with so little, and it's hard to believe that it's suddenly time to go but I guess I'd better get some sleep now...

We're just taking care of

We're just taking care of a few last things before we go to the airport in a couple of hours. I've been trying to call and email people before leaving, but if I haven't managed to get in touch with you, then you will of course still be able to contact me by email or (hopefully) sms while I'm away. If you can avoid sending any pictures or large files to my email address while I'm travelling it would be appreciated as bandwidth could be very limited in many places, but please do keep in touch and I shall reply when I can get a connection. Due to the fact that we're not taking pc's with us, we do not expect to be able to upload pictures while we're away - they'll have to wait until our return to civilisaton! I will be updating this page, of course, to keep everyone in touch with where we are and what we're doing. Now where's my passport...?

June 25, 2001

We arrived in Bangkok yesterday

We arrived in Bangkok yesterday and the trip went smoothly. We had to catch a connecting flight in Helsinki, and so with a few hours to spare, we took the bus into town to try out the local McDonalds (and to see some of the city). We had a quick walk around the centre and as it was midsummer's day it was daylight until vey late. Then we grabbed the bus back to the airport and caught the nine and a half hour flight over to Bangkok.

On arrival, it was about 32c outside, and we headed into town on the airport shuttle and booked into the first hotel we stepped into. It was so nice to put our bags down and have a shower. Then I found a problem. I tried to switch my Palm on and it refused to work. It had been trying to die for the last few months, probably due to the fact that it gets carried everywhere and thrown around a lot. It had basically everything I needed in it - telephone numbers, addresses, notes; none of which I wanted to lose. Finally I managed to reboot it, but lost all of the data! It is of course backed up on my pcs in Denmark, but I won't be able to get to them for a long time. To put it into context, today I feel a bit like I've lost half the information in my brain.

After recovering from this shock, we took a tuk-tuk into the centre of Bangkok. These are like motorbikes converted to carry passengers in the back, and the drivers tear around the roads between all the traffic. We walked into a huge shopping centre that seemed bigger and more advanced than anything we'd been to in the Western hemisphere. It had 8 or 9 levels with a huge central atrium criss-crossed by escalators and walls with video screens. We were starving, so we headed to the restaurant section, which was filled with lots of Asian delicacies we'd never seen before. We were just deciding what to eat when we looked closer and saw cockroaches crawling over the food. We didn't feel quite so hungry after that.

The streets are filled with endless things to look at. We're surprised that much of the city is so advanced. Many of the walkways are built in the air, suspended above the streets and traffic, and above that is the skytrain, a (mono?) rail system that crosses the central area. There are shops everywhere, and it seems that you can find just about anything here.

June 27, 2001

Just a quick note as

Just a quick note as the internet place is about to close. We've just been spending the last few days wandering around Bangkok, looking at a combination of temples and shopping malls and enjoying it all.