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I have no idea why, but these flights to Tokyo seem so short. Despite staying up the night before I only managed to sleep for five of the twelve hours we spent on the plane. The rest of the time was spent entertaining the four year old next to me with magic tricks, reading her book about Disney princesses, and showing her how to draw on the computer.
The girl next to Todd slept in the most interesting position I've ever seen. Defying age old Japanese Etiquette, I took a picture for you.
Once we took the bus to Tokyo we were met by Blair, the guy renting us a room. Our room last year was fine, but nothing exceptional. This year we have a huge room with two beds, a couch, a TV, and a mini fridge. It's like a little hotel room. The rest of the house has a nice kitchen, living room, dining room, and bathroom shared by the rest of the residents.
My week in Hollywood has just finished and I'm now on a plane to Tokyo. Just hearing the Japanese announcements on the airplane's PA brings back fond memories of my trip here last year and makes me more excited to get there.
(Quick aside. The girl next to Todd is sleeping in the most hilarious position I've ever seen. She's kneeling facing the seat with her legs under the seat in front of her. Her head is face down on the seat of the chair, buried in the cushion. I cannot imagine that that's comfortable in any way. I wish I had my camera out to take a picture.)
I waited too long to call people so I didn't get to see all of my old friends, but I did get to see a bunch of them. I stayed at Style's place, spending most of my time working on CD on one couch while he worked on a new book on the other couch. His new girlfriend, an exotic half Indian, quarter Japanese, quarter something else, hung out with us a lot. She's adorable and a lot of fun, and they're in love.
We watched the plane that we were supposed to be on fly away. As it flew over us we waved our arms as if we were stuck on a deserted island.
In a way we were. With one plane a day, which is usually full, there was no guarantee we could get off the island any time soon. We looked to our canoe driver for guidance.
He stammered something in Spanish. I wasn't sure exactly what it was, but it certainly wasn't an apology. He turned the canoe around and headed for Rio Sidra. Rio Sidra is the "big" island of the chain, but that's relative.
Conquerability: Moderate. No national army, but there are tons of security guards with huge guns. Most of them seem to like us, though, so we may be able to co opt them. Experimental data will be available 2009.
Dangerosability: Disappointingly low. We insured our stuff and got pacsafes, and never had to use them. Even the weird old guy we met in the airport said that Colon was safe. The closest we got to danger was going to a bad area and having tons of locals helpfully guide us away.
Times we rocked the scene at karaoke: 3.
I just got into LAX last night. It's amazing how so much time can pass, but I still remember the nuances of the city. Take La Cienega down past the big plaster donut, over the traintracks, and into Hollywood.
I drove past the old Project Hollywood house. It looks just as it ever did, except now there's a family's SUV in the driveway. I wonder if they know who used to live there.
Within minutes I'm transported back three years. I feel as though nothing's changed. I'm home. Driving down sunset takes me past all of the familiar landmarks - places I used to eat at and visit every day. I make it to Style's house without a GPS.
We called Mr. Robinson, as instructed.
"Hi. We'd like to come to Isla Robinson on Thursday."
They're barely mentioned in guidebooks, but every seasoned traveler who goes through Panama City knows about the San Blas islands. They're stuck in the northeast of Panama City. By law, only Kuna Indians can own them.
I don't really feel like writing today. I've been working on the new version of my book all day, so writing's the last thing on my mind. Once I get going it's fine - it's just that picking a topic to write about and actually getting started are the hard part.
So I'll write about that.
For the past six months I've been doing Crossfit as I've mentioned many times. For the first four months I did it with a class that met three times a week. I never missed a single workout, even when I went up to Boston for christmas. I ran in the snow and did workouts in the basement with my sister.
AI Roboform is an awesome piece of software. When I tried out MacOS for a few days the one and only program I missed was Roboform.
Roboform has two main functions which are totally separate.
1. It automatically fills forms on the web for you. You put in your name, address, phone number, age, etc. and it will fill out any form on any page with just one click. This is insanely helpful for doing things like signing up for forums or buying things online. You can even put multiple addresses.
I usually buy ridiculously gaudy sunglasses with rhinestones in them. However, when getting ready for the 2008 trip around the world I knew I'd need something a little more practical.
After extensive research, I picked the Maui Jim Titanium Sports.
I was initially heavily biased against these glasses because I think the name "Maui Jim" sounds like something only tourists with Polaroid cameras would wear.
I got an e-mail yesterday announcing the 2008 Winter Sale for an outdoor gear company.
"That's strange," I thought, "their e-mail software must have messed up. It's not even close to being winter."
I guess you could say that I've adapted to the eternal summer of Panama. In five days it will be time to adapt again, this time to people who speak the same language as me. Eight days after that it will be time to adapt to the polar opposite of Panama - Tokyo.