25,794 reputation
675232
bio website en.wiktionary.org/wiki/…
location Tamarama, Australia
age
visits member for 3 years, 1 month
seen yesterday

Backpacking since Christmas Day, 1989. Hitchhiking since mid 2010.

I've just returned home after hitchhiking around Asia for the last 9.5 months.


1d
comment Finding public toilets in Taiwan
@AndrewGrimm: When you're busting to go that doesn't matter so much (-:
Jul
12
comment Dorm / Hostel: How to assert myself politely with roommates
Chill out and go with the flow if you don't want to change agencies. A lot of hostels (depending on country, location, chain, etc) are better for having fun than for resting.) Lock your stuff up and make some friends in other rooms in case you don't get along with your roommates. You can hang out or sleep in the common room / TV room if need be. Be flexible or you'll get more grumpy and tired. It helps if your itinerary isn't too crammed. Or so crammed that you'll be exhausted enough to sleep through anything.
Jul
8
comment Can I get by using only Spanish in Oaxaca?
@Blackbird57: OK I've changed it to an answer. It still feels a bit rough because I haven't been to Mexico for about six years and my memories might be imperfect.
Jul
8
comment Where can I buy Guatemalan quetzales (GTQ) in Benito Juárez Airport (Mexico City)?
Oh I've never been to an airport in CA so I didn't think of that. Could you buy with pesos or only with USD?
Jul
8
comment Can Albania be considered secure?
I've hitchhiked around Romania, Bulgaria, and Albania but not Ukraine. I never encountered problems in any of these countries but surprisingly, only felt safe enough to hitchhike at night in Albania. People were very friendly, hospitable, and helpful. I got the impression the "bad people" only "work" in other countries. I imagine the most likely crime you might encounter could be pickpocketing or theft in busy tourist areas in high season. I did meet one American lady who'd been visiting Albania for decades and had just been mugged in Gjirokastra. Even she felt it was just extremely bad luck.
Jul
8
comment Where can I buy Guatemalan quetzales (GTQ) in Benito Juárez Airport (Mexico City)?
Every time I've been in the area you could only exchange pesos and quetzales at the border and border towns. I never found any banks that accepted the currency of the other country as exchange. In Xela (Quetzaltenango) after much searching I found exchange bureaus near a local market that would exchange pesos. Generally I had the impression that Mexico doesn't even like to acknowledge that Central America exists. Within Central America people are only interested in USD. You may be able to find travellers going in the opposite direction or people arriving on flights from Guate...
Jul
8
comment Can I get by using only Spanish in Oaxaca?
Oaxaca City or Oaxaca State? In the city it's pretty hard to find people speaking indigenous languages, they seem to kind of "hide" it. If you keep your ears open you can hear local languages at second class bus stops, at local markets, etc. It should be also possible by going to less visited villages especially in the Valles Centrales. Last time I was in Mexico the government didn't really want foreigners there though it was less well known than in Chiapas. So unless you're doing a homestay somewhere like Candelaria you're unlikely to even hear anything but Spanish, let alone need to speak.
Jul
3
comment What is the difference between “Country of Issue” and “Country of Citizenship” of a passport?
This is more common in the Middle East. Most people I've met on my travels who identify as Palestinian had a passport of some other country - I think Jordan was such. And all but one person I've met from Kuwait don't have Kuwaiti citizenship but either had Kuwait passports or passports from other Middle Eastern countries.
Jul
2
comment Is there a powerstrip which accomodates most if not all AC power plugs?
@Bob: I haven't looked inside it but I've brought that one back to Australia and have things plugged into each AU outlet right now. It seems like a quality item to me. I've only used it with computer/phone/camera/chargers though.
Jun
30
comment Consider Hokkaido or not, if relying solely on public transportation?
I hitchhiked around Hokkaido, which might not be your cup of tea, but I saw a lot of long distance buses (coaches). I'm not sure if they were tours or just transportation but I assume both are plentiful.
Jun
29
comment Why do they sell luggage in airports?
Supply and demand. People want to buy luggage in airports. The question should be "Why do people buy luggage in airports?"
Jun
29
comment Where in Japan for nature, flora, and fauna?
Japan is as full of picturesque rural areas as it is full of metropolises. I believe it is the greenest developed country in the world. There's not much virgin untouched land though. Also you can get almost anywhere easily on the train system other than in Okinawa and Hokkaido. Of course the most backwoods areas are the least near the train system like in Okinawa, Hokkaido, and perhaps some of the harder to reach islands. Bears are rare but exist in mountains in the north, the only other dangerous wildlife would be the habu snakes in Okinawa and the giant hornets.
Jun
27
comment Does going to Russia on a travel visa require providing the proof of hotel booking at the border?
Are you actually crossing a land border or are you flying in?
Jun
27
comment What to do with your valuables on a low-cost holiday while swimming/diving in Central America?
One problem is that hotels and hostels have a certain degree of staff turnover. Just because a place gets good reviews doesn't mean a subsequent employee won't prey on a guest given a tempting opportunity.
Jun
24
comment Vantage point for photography in Panama City
When I was in Panama City half a dozen years ago it seemed these skyscrapers were all residential in a different area from the several areas that could be thought of as the "centre". Back then construction was just beginning though - it looks like a lot more pointy things than I remember.
Jun
23
comment Why do taxis in Japan have mirrors on the hood?
Until a few years ago it was law in Japan that all cars have such mirrors. You could see it on imported used cars originating from Japan too. Since even slightly old cars are pretty rare in Japan it's not surprising that you don't see it very often any more even not so long after the rule was changed. I guess the rule remains for taxis or taxis are just mundane and conservative and stick to the old way.
Jun
18
comment Would it be unsafe for an American to go to Moscow right now?
@IMil: Possibly, though am I quite well travelled and cannot recall similar first-hand stories about other parts of Russia or indeed other major world cities.
Jun
13
comment Where can I eat dishes that feature in western countries' Chinese restaurants?
Yes I think I finally found my first non-tourist burrito on a trip to Northern Mexico, where I hadn't spent much time. Only later did I find a non-tourist burrito place in Mexico City. My point is that what non Mexicans think of as representative of Mexican food is regional within Mexico rather than representative. And the same surely goes for all world cuisines when viewed from outside perspectives.
Jun
11
comment Where can I eat dishes that feature in western countries' Chinese restaurants?
@Geeo: It's all subjective in my opinion. American Italian food has been around for over a century for instance. Everybody can decide their personal cuttoff point between "history of food" and "nowaday dishes". There's no one of those opinions which is the "one right one".
Jun
11
comment Where can I eat dishes that feature in western countries' Chinese restaurants?
It took me three long tours of Mexico before I found my first burrito for sale in a place not designed specifically for American customers. I had started to believe burritos were fake Mexican food!