Wednesday Morning Music and Sunshine

It seems as the days slowly swing by, my mornings focus themselves on doing little or nothing. Which is about what I always do. I read a little on this expat forum site I belong to.

I also look curiously at the amount of instant coffee left because I blogged about it yesterday I think. My daughter called me yesterday I think it was. I am not good with days. We talked for a long time about her life and mine. About her being glad to see me again and not being sad that I am leaving again. She understands me. She laughed because I told her not to tell her mom. She gets that too. We will meet in a week and a day for a late lunch and I’ll buy her a bbq lunch and a beer. Then the next day I disappear. That rhymes!

I have thought of going this time and written in Day One about it a bit. I’m not good with prognosticating over music and sunshine but this feels like a step to not be retaken. I don’t really want back to the US. Ever. I left before and have doodled around the last year between Mexico and loving it. Houston and hating it. Now it feels like this step is meant to take me to a new place or an old place or some place. It matters not new or old. What matters is the going.

Then the morning music spins around to Jackson Browne. He always touches the chord of my soul. Wednesday morning has right now. I have this little plan for today. I will take my laundry the last time to the friendly lavanderia. Maybe I will stop at Tony’s for the last time and get tacos. Or I could go have some eggs for breakfast today. So many possibilities with this Wednesday.

Other things?

Well, there really are not any this Wednesday. I have fresh fruit and even some donuts so my second coffee will include pastries and a banana. Ain’t life grand? I’m sure I will do something today like take a nice walk, maybe stop and get some food for dinner. I have been eating cheap in the room for dinners. I’m a regular at WalMart and keep an appreciative eye on their prepared food aisles. Perhaps today I will do a cheap Chinese restaurant later for dinner I know. It is buffet style so I usually get two plates of food.

There you have it. A Wednesday spent in the room. Now the AC going because I like AC. Merida is quiet. Peaceful like always in my neighborhood until the dogs get going because this guy rides by on a bike with his dog running by him. Now though, it is a Wednesday morning in the Yucatan. My last one.

Perhaps that is the main thing. My last Wednesday in Merida and Mexico. I would say forever because I am not coming back to Mexico. I’m done here. Just for you… A nice little sunset from Mexico.

Just like my time here. I’m heading to yet another Edge.

no digital camera for me

I guess perhaps I waited too long to get an older compact or pocket camera. I had my sights set on an older Sony RX 100 mark iii. It seemed the perfect match of function and size. Then I realize it would not ship in time for me. So I cancelled the order.

What it all made me realize though is that for me the most perfect camera is the one I have. The iPhone 12 Pro with a pro camera app or two not only satisfies me but for my uses is perfect. I want to capture my day to day wherever. My sights. Even sounds. This phone with all its wonderful computational magic gives me so much flexibility. Far beyond carrying yet another device. And it’s iPhone tough. And photos are mine to share and edit even right away.

I don’t often shoot in ProRAW but it’s there. I don’t worry about some look or composition or rule of thirds. What I do want is fun and ease and use.

A second camera with its batteries and cables and cards just seems like a lot to manage when all I want is to go. I will be getting the iPhone 14 pro next year either in Cambodia or Vietnam. I will still look at different digital cameras but it will be tempered with the measurement of what I have now, how happy I am with it, how it fits my lifestyle. How it does do my daily life.

Im happy in retrospect to not have yet another device to manage. This device gives me all I want plus more.

sharing the times

I’ve been thinking of ways to share stories, places and photos as I get ready to leave Mexico. One way is how Mikka did his wonderful Camino reporting. The use of the Find Penguins iOS app is appealing but it also seems limiting. There is no RSS feed and the steps and moments seem locked in to the app. Ray did create an RSS feed but not all of us can do that. I could share the step which links to the entry and it would be shared with text, maps and photos. This seems good at first view but I view the blog as the starting point for a few reasons.

  1. An app is not needed to view my steps if they are blog posts
  2. The blog post can be posted to my mastodon instance
  3. The writing can be continuous and I can then sum up the day in one post with different discussions and photos.

I think the last point is compelling. The blog serves as the baseline and not an app. An app needs someone to use it and then to share the post. The reach seems so limited and the production so stilted in some ways and that’s where the blog can shine. Finally is the writing and I’ve covered in usual roundabout methods the points. Each one seems to point at something like a daily post compiled during the evening with different photos and text through that day and then the post placed on my mastodon instance.

I don’t think I can just do the Find Penguins app as I prepare to move around the globe. It seems too confining and limiting. I want the words and meaning to just flow to the posts and not be locked in or limited by the very lack of reach of an app.

So what I’ve come up with is,

  • write a post at least once a day with a compilation of photos and writing of the day.
  • post to mastodon as I want

I’ll probably not share the photos on mastodon as well but that could change. To me the record is the movement and the movement goes from Merida Mexico to Siem Reap Cambodia. It is in pieces separated by a short stay in California and then a layover in Korea. Finally a longer step or steps in Phnom Penh and a bus ride to my new place. I hesitate to say “home” because I don’t feel that yet. It is a step and stop I’ve decided to grab the same daily evidence of and share. It is a longer step and stop too. I believe I will setup shop there with an apartment. That is something I have not had for almost 10 years. Perhaps it will become home.

So that’s where I’ve ended up. Just the beginning really but I want to just use this blog as the mechanism and not an app that immediately becomes limited in its reach and access. Now we can pick up and drive this thing down the road!

Make sense? Comments?

Almost a month now on Cloudways Hosting

It has been a really great month with using Cloudways to host the blog. Gone are the needs to SSH in and do updates or worry about issues or problems. I setup the instance for my blog to be on DigitalOcean in Singapore since I’m moving to Asia soon and Cambodia wifi is a little different. But the main thing is the transparent nature of their cloud hosting. I migrated the blog using their migration tool and things just worked from the accounts to plugins to themes. I only use a few plugins like the WebMention and Semantic plugins which let me see folks that like or comment on my blog on Mastodon.

For me, the difference has been very nice and I just wanted to commend Cloudways for providing such a superlative service and at a wonderful price point. They recommend a bigger VPS but the smallest premium scale works fine for my blog. They login and do security and maintenance, manage the server. They abstract all that stuff for me. At some point I will upgrade the block storage because I do upload photos a lot but right now I don’t think I have much to worry about with storage. I can see at a glance how the server is doing with storage which is nice and also if I were interested I can see information on traffic. I don’t much care about that so I breeze over the visits and clicks or whatever the heck they’re called. I only write this for the creativity and sharing not for clicks. If you like the blog, fantastic! I appreciate all comments and all the kind people leaving comments on mastodon. But in truth the blog is for me to write. Cloudways just satisfies the itch to have something out there but not have to worry about it running on a self-hosted platform.

I’d highly recommend them for someone like me who just wants to get on with the writing part, the sharing part, the creating part and not worry about the “apt update, apt upgrade” part or all the other things they just do as a hosting partner.

In other news or so

The days continue to count down for me. I have three weeks to the day left in Mexico. I am getting rather impatient to leave. I’ve lived here a year spread between a few trips here and there and longer stays once in Puerto Vallarta and twice in Merida. By far, I’ve enjoyed Merida the most. The people, food, city, safety here.

But I’m ready to go. Phnom Penh calls my name I think. One day I found a wonderful woman driving a tuktuk there. Her smile says it all I think.

Perhaps that is the essence of Asia in so many ways. And I am going back in mere weeks.

A year in Mexico, Part 2

My Wandering around in Mexico

I think part of the joy of a year spent in Mexico was also going to some places. I particularly wanted to visit places I had not been before.

I decided my last months I would find a few places I wished to visit and just go. This is a record of the places.


Wandering Merida

I have been in Merida twice and enjoyed both times but the love affair is about the going here. A lot of walks in local neighborhoods, to coffee shops and restaurants, downtown to the central district. I figure that of all the places wandering, Merida has treated me the best. Merida is one of the cities where there is simply more. More around the block. More to the people. More to the food. More to the joy of just living here. I lived in two different districts and found joy and fun in both. The best way perhaps is to take a look at the photo galleries and you can see my day to day adventures. If you want both the photo albums you are in luck. Here is the first one and here’s the last which is still being added to on my remaining daily adventures in Merida.

La Paz Mexico

From June 6 to 10th, I headed to La Paz Mexico for a week. La Paz is in Baja and I had never been there. So I did some research to see what other people said were things and then I either avoided them or did them. Several things mentioned that I took from Wikipedia around the culture and history but I also searched on Google Maps for restaurants, breakfast, coffee, and beer. The stuff that came out basically showed me restaurants and coffee shops in different directions from my Airbnb, different ways to reach the Malecon and see the city, and the downtown and central districts. Then I just divided things into days of walking and either changed everything or did something different each day. Most days I walked about 5 miles and then would stop and get cheap food and take to the room.

My days in La Paz were spent walking from my Airbnb in a few different directions to see different parts of the city I found on Google Maps or from wikipedia or just wandering around. I managed to find wonderful breakfast places every day no matter what direction I went. My Airbnb was located about a mile from the Malecon and less from the historic and business districts..

La Paz
La Paz

The next day I walked a different direction down to the beginning of the Malecon and by the boat docks. I came to the Malecon and decided I should have a few beers by the ocean so I found a nice small bar with outdoor tables. This is a common thing along this beachwalk. There are lots of small pubs and cafes from which to order cold beer and food.

I also walked to the historic district to see the older section of town and then find the shops and smaller malls and mercados that La Paz is known for.

Historic District La Paz
Historic District La Paz

Another favorite was the central district with older buildings and a lot of charm. This street was really cool with the wonderful buildings, shops, the barber. If you are looking for the Malecon it is just right past this district. Easy to get around La Paz on foot.

Downtown La Paz
Downtown La Paz

What were some of the best things? If you come here I hope you like breakfast. Like some Chilaquiles!

Chilaquiles in La Paz
Chilaquiles in La Paz

There are some mighty good breakfast spots. Just pick one on google maps. The people. Wonderful people here. Everyone’s friendly and open whether with English or not but a lot of people speak English. Don’t let language deter you. Just go to Mexico. Finally the walking. I had a great time doing my daily walks. I just went in arbitrary directions and streets. Fun times. I think La Paz would have been a wonderful city to live in for awhile.

My gallery of all photos is here.

Yucatan Tour

The Yucatan tour took us across the Yucatan area for 5 days to see a variety of archeological sites and visit wonderful beaches and smaller cities across the Yucatan.

I found the tour on Yucatan Magazine. I had decided I wanted to find some things that would take me through the end of my time in Mexico in a big way. This tour and its itinerary seemed like the best way to see a variety of the state and also take in a number of archeological sites. The other thing is staying at upscale hotels along beaches and just doing that lifestyle for a week. It costs some money but life costs some money too. We visited a few places and some beautiful archeological sites along the way. I’ll just focus on the highlights here.

Archeological sites

We visited three archeological sites but the mosquitoes were so bad at the last one we all left. The sites are just beautiful and not visited (perhaps because of those flying critters). It was easy to climb around on the ruins but for some reason just like at other sites, the stairs are meant as challenges I think.

Bacalar

My favorite spot of the tour and I love the photos from there. It was so peaceful and serene each day to just see the lagoon, find the peace and solitude of the moments. We also went into the Magical Village of Bacalar which is very nice and kind of touristy with shops and restaurants and an old fort. Our dinner at a restaurant overlooking the lagoon was very nice.

Bacalar and its Lagoon
Bacalar and its Lagoon

The downtown part of Bacalar is cool too and lives up to its Magic Town description. The views are of an old fort, small shoppes and restaurants along a central plaza area. Very cool. Always within reach though is the beautiful lagoon of so many colors. You can see why this place just captured me so well.

Bacalar Beauty
Bacalar Beauty

Puerto Aventuras

Probably my least favorite place. Just a gated community with everything one needs besides some real Mexico. Restaurants, gift shops, walking trails, boat docks, residences for the big timers. I really did not get a lot out of it besides a nice room and a few walks and expensive food. Breakfast in the mornings was pretty nice but I just spent time in the room. I think at this point I had reached a sum total with the other guests on the tour. I became I guess anti-social. Not that I ever am social but I found them rather noxious and irritating and I’m sure they found me the same way. I have never done good with a group of the same people in a continuous day by day thing. These people were all expats living in Merida except for one woman from Australia. I have this overall impression of expats the world over. I don’t like them.

Puerto Aventuras
Puerto Aventuras

I’m just being honest here and assessing what I found to be the worst part of the tour. The human part.

My photo gallery for the tour is here.

Finale. (no such thing!)

What is beautiful is so subjective. You think natural world. I think a wall with flowers of red and blue creeping over a wall with intricate patterns. Perhaps for you is something you work so hard on. Post processing and editing. I don’t wish to edit and post process. What I wish is just the ease. An iPhone 12 Pro does that. I capture my beautiful places simply going. Perhaps a walk. Or a Uber ride. A trip to a mall.

So everything wraps up on 6 September 2022. I know because I booked the flight to leave. I’ve had a great time in Mexico. Got to see a few places, meet people that were kind and authentic and funny. When September rolls around this story will have been told but the words will remain forever to be written. This is the thing about how I go and never truly arrive. Each place seems to live on in photographs and writing and people.

There’s not a point where I can really say “finale” to Mexico. I have a lot of feelings about being here that won’t just fade away into some sunset and I realized it on the tour watching the sunset over the beautiful lagoon at Bacalar. Just like before watching the sunset over West Lake in Hanoi. Now it is Mexico which has so much to offer but I realized I cannot just sit still. I have to be going. Feeling the slow movement of no finales. No ends. But always moments to come.

What happens in September is I go to Southeast Asia to live. Hello Cambodia!


Thanks for reading both parts of this year! I had a lot of fun compiling the photos and words to go along with them and also to figure out my thoughts and feelings as I get closer to leaving.

The first part of the story is here.

July ends

Another month sees fit to end for me. I went back and looked at some needs I have when I hit California for a few days. I hope to see my friend Sean on one of my three days but he has to come up from Santa Cruz so we will see. Also need the last booster shot. Found a few little things I want so I will probably get them.

The main thing is seeing my daughter I think and having a few American breakfast meals which I always miss. I will have something to pick up at the Amazon hub counter which is a handy way of getting stuff delivered. The nearest hub counter from my hotel is about a mile so I think a few small things there to get.

Finally there is 9 September and my sayonara song for the US. I’m reaching the point of wanting that long haul flight and the lay over for two hours in Korea. All told its 12 hours to Korea and then 5 to Phnom Penh. I will get in on 10 September at 1130pm so figure an hour to get the visa on arrival and get a taxi from the airport to downtown by the river. I decided to get this handy dandy e-sim for both the US and Cambodia so I have data when I get to both. Each place has a week plan for cheap. Once I get settled in Phnom Penh, easy matter to go to a Smart Store and get a monthly prepaid plan. Then I can top up the card from any store or even online. I have three weeks in Phnom Penh to do whatever it is I will do. Probably I will visit a few places I have not been in some years there. See a friend that owns a camera store. Try to find my friend AV.

But all that is after July and August ends folks. Now it is the last day of July and it is a Sunday. That means I take a nice walk to Starbucks later this morning and have my Sunday with grilled cheese and a cold brew coffee and then a longer walk back home. Kinda want to walk earlier so I miss the afternoon rain showers that seem to show up at 3pm or so each day.

Thinking Back

I happened to think back on last year. Perhaps it was July or so or August. I hopped the Amtrak California Zephyr train going east from Emeryville to its terminus in Chicago and spent days along the way at different stops. I bought the USA RailPass for this. Then I turned around and rode back to Los Angeles with a few stops in Albuquerque and Flagstaff. I spent a week in Albuquerque and a day and some in Flagstaff. Here’s a little going east. I posted different pictures on Mastodon :-). The trip east captured me easily and is probably worth a different blog post explaining the stops along the way. I’ll write something on that soon I think.

I do want to say riding the rails let me capture these moments that sometimes need no explanation. They are the view of a meandering rail voyage which seemed to always just move at my speed.

The travels are idyllic to say the least. Sitting in the observation car also let me find the scenes that make it the way. I also met people. Some interesting people going east. More on that later too.

Someone asked me once how to just go. Well, the answer is to just go. Don’t worry about arriving. That will take care of itself. For me, the main course has been going. Amtrak serves that up well for me.

But…

I’m done with Amtrak. I did two years of train travels. In 2020 across the US in almost both directions and then this 2021. I’ll leave you with a sunset from the train in 2020. Somewhere in New York State. Riding the rails. Hoboing the places and finding the vagabond always wanting to just go.

Bye bye for now.

Living awhile in Cambodia

Cambodia living is a day to day expression for me in both Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. I’ll be blogging and writing my daily experiences as well as posting photographs on both. The photographs and commentary will be here and on Mastodon.

Somewhere Cambodia
Somewhere Cambodia

Phnom Penh

From 10 September to 1 October 2022 I will be living in Phnom Penh Cambodia to get a retirement visa extension but also to just come back to my sometime home. I have Khmer and expat friends in both Phnom Penh and Siem Reap so I hopefully will get to see them starting September.

Phnom Penh has been my sometime home for some years. I enjoy the city quite a bit. Walking along the riverside in the evening can be very nice. Phnom Penh is located where two rivers meet. The Tonle Sap and Mekong rivers coalesce here and the Tonle Sap will change directions and usually there are cool boat races and shows when that happens. The Mekong just flows through it all.

map of phnom penh
map of phnom penh

This blogpost gives you the basics and gives you an idea what the city looks like; but then there will be regular posts on the day to day, thoughts on getting back, and other thoughts. Because I always have other thoughts.

Daily Life in Phnom Penh

Central Market is the one place I go to find everything I could want. You can see the distinctive dome of the Central Market below.

Central Market
Central Market

The Russian Market has some other name but I like that name and some maps still show it. Food and a lot of nice rip off north face bags and stuff can be found but the neighborhood around the market is key. Small bars, coffee shops, restaurants.

Wandering around the city always gives interesting sights and sounds of tuktuks going, motorbikes dancing the streets, and beautiful architecture. It all combines into a hectic and busy and sometimes unique view of the city. It all makes daily life so much better.

Phnom Penh
Phnom Penh

Day to day most people will spend some time walking the river walk area. The walk takes you through many park areas and a lot of people out doing the same. I like to do the walk in the mornings and evenings and try to end up at a bar for sunset and the obligatory draft Angkor Beer and perhaps some food.

Riverwalk Area
Riverwalk Area

Living daily in Phnom Penh is not much of an exercise. What I have found is that all the services, food, and shopping are easily available. Laundry is usually done in the neighborhood where the service is paid for next day delivery by the kg. Shopping is best at local stores or shops which are on each corner but it is easy to find 7/11, Circle K or other convenience stores. There are also at least two larger malls where a variety of stores are anchored. Aeon Mall 1 is downtown and 2 is farther outside the city. There is also a very nice mall close to Central Market. I’ve enjoyed the food, coffee and AC there many times. In the evenings, the night market can be fun to visit and there are lots of street food stalls along the riverside. Many riverside bars offer tables to watch the sunset.

I think after staying in the city a number of times, a person can be selective with the neighborhood. What I like you may not but in the city, I want access to shopping, restaurants, and the riverside area. One of my favorite stays was at an Airbnb very close to the Palace and Museum. I could walk down to a few favorite restaurants and pubs easily. Other neighborhoods are busier. This area by the independence monument and the Vietnamese-Cambodian Friendship monument gets busy in the evenings. I have stayed there before but it’s a little too busy with cars, motorbikes and buses.

Close to Independence Monument
Close to Independence Monument

One thing to always bear in mind anywhere is safety of your personal stuff. I never carry a passport, wallet, credit or debit cards anywhere. These are cash economies and Cambodia uses the US dollar. Find a cheap every day carry bag and secure your phone, some US dollars to get through some days, and get a copy of your passport and visa on your phone. Done deal.

Siem Reap Cambodia

After 1 October, I’ll be moving to Siem Reap to live long term or longer term. This will be a day to day thing for me for some months so I’ll be first staying in an Airbnb and then finding an apartment to live in.

City of Siem Reap
City of Siem Reap

Siem Reap is much smaller than Phnom Penh but has a very nice social life. I know a few retiree expats that live there so I get to go back and find them, drink some beverages and catch up. Finding apartments to live in the city is pretty simple.

Around Siem Reap
Around Siem Reap

I already have a realty agent who will be meeting me after October 1 and taking me around in a tuktuk to see some places.

I will also most likely tour Angkor Wat again too. Because I can never get enough of these wonderful remains. So unique and significant, mysterious and beautiful. A tuktuk tour for a few days comes to mind in the winter when it is cooler.

Angkor Wat Archeological Site Complex
Angkor Wat Archeological Site Complex

Getting around in the Kingdom of Wonder

I’ll be also posting an update on some other places I will be visiting once I get settled in Siem Reap. Most of the travel around Cambodia is easiest in a bus. There are websites that make it easy to do this. One of my favorites is 12go. This is a meta travel site much like rome2rio but with no booking.com crap. One of the better bus services is Giant Ibis. Another booking service is BookMeBus. I use this site to get airport transit or I just hop a tuktuk and pay the fees with a little good natured haggling.

To get around cities or book tuktuk services, PassApp or Grab work well. Or just stop some tuktuk that is empty. Show the driver where you want to go on Google Maps and he’ll quote some price. It used to be $5 for anywhere. I bet it is different now. Much better to use a service that tells me up front what the cost is and the route. If you have not ridden a tuktuk maybe you actually did if you were in India. They look a little different but basically the same except for the larger tuktuks which can seat 4 people or two drunk expats.

Finishing up and writing about it

All of this becomes the daily expression on the blog and on my Mastodon instance. I post the blog posts to Mastodon often and tend to write on both daily. You can also expect some kind of Substack newsletter. I have been playing with the doing of it for awhile and what I’d write there. I think micropublishing is something I wanna try out.

New week adventures

I woke up this morning feeling that 42 days left thing. I was thinking a lot out walking yesterday buying the new shoes and getting an iPhone MagSafe case that my time here is basically done. In so many days, I will go to Southeast Asia. A year ago I wondered how it would all play out when I left Vietnam after almost two years. I realized then I had to go. A failed business endeavor, changes to visa laws, and I think a basic desire to just go. I did not realize the last until I read my Day One journal entries for last year at this time when I had just left. Seems amazing what a year can do.

The last year saw me finding a place I really enjoyed but then realizing it could also not be some concept of home. Because I am basically homeless. I lost the security and stability of a home actually over 10 years ago and it felt good. I think basically having nothing means there are no ties to a place or a thing or people even. I had felt that perhaps, just perhaps, Mexico or Costa Rica or Panama could become something to replace it. They cannot. For many reasons I have elaborated on the blog before. I am not made to be tied down, settled, or feel like I have ties to some place. If I did I doubt in the end Mexico or any other places would offer me home. The word seems almost ambivalent to me bearing in mind these walls now disappear in 42 days when I board AeroMexico for SFO. Then 3 days later those walls disappear for Cambodia. I also know deep down Cambodia will not last and neither will Asia.

In 2020 I built this trip to see Egypt, Morocco, Turkey and end in Dubai and then back to Cambodia. I would have sailed the River Nile on a tour excursion. Seen the pyramids, found myself in a market in Istanbul. Saw where Asia and Europe meet up. All that disappeared due to a few things. One was our national disgrace of a president then. Trump basically scared me with his bully boy populism but then the covid pandemic came to be and I ended up changing the plans to travel across the US on Amtrak. Yeah. Another dream which came to be. It would turn out in retrospect I would do Amtrak train travels twice. Once in 2020 almost both ways across the US. In 2021, I focused down on a few train routes I had not done but I wanted to go at old retired guy pace. I bought the USA RailPass and went at a pace that meant I could stop at 5 places for days each and end in Chicago and then back west again.

I bring this last up because there is this forever desire in me to just go and I want that. Where it leads or I end up is not so important as the going. It has dawned on me I am going the opposite way. Away from Southeast Asia. I also thought what would be the purpose next year to simply return? I don’t know that one. It ain’t next year.

So Ray there is a blogpost on train travels I think. I have the notes and photos and I think in true Winnie the Pooh nature it was a grand adventure. But like the bear says,

Each thing takes leaving or walking away from but the getting part is always what I have wanted. Not the arrival.

The new week reprised

So a new week folks. New words to be bandied about. Just not so many more weeks left in Merida and Mexico. For that I am grateful and sad. I realized after June I could not simply set up some kind of home here either.

And what else could I want from a new adventure?

Days going by

I have this website I bookmarked that lets me see the day count between two dates. I’ve been kinda watching it tick down here in Merida realizing now I’ve reached 45. I’ll be publishing my part 2 of Mexico wandering after August 17th so I can include a last thing I am doing then. The last part is about some places I managed to reach. I won’t do a spoiler but I have to say that the place that stuck with me is Bacalar from a tour I did but we did more than that. I’ve posted more than my share of lagoon pictures here and on Mastodon. There were these wonderful and completely different archeological sites as well.

The really cool thing about these sites is the access. We basically had no other tourists or visitors on either site. I’ll remember visiting the sites and will also be visiting Angkor Wat again in Siem Reap when I get there in October.

At the opposite end of the country and the view had to be La Paz when I went there for some days. La Paz is a wonderful mix of beach city but so different from Puerto Vallarta. Wonderful stretches of Malecon with small restaurants and the cold, cold Dos Equis beer places I always found.

But then also were the historic and central district areas. I spent a day wandering the downtown and there is a lot to love about the narrow streets, wonderful parks and historic sites.

I guess one other thing is if you like food. I had some of the best breakfasts ever in La Paz. I just searched on google maps and found all these places. I only had three days so I was somewhat limited but if you ever get there you must try any of the breakfast places. Chilaquiles forever!

Anyways…

Getting back to the count of days, 45 seems like so little yet each day is rich beyond words for me even if like today I am lazy and just look at the photos and conspire on the words to tell you before my part 2. I’m pretty excited to leave to be honest. Mexico has been mighty good but it was always meant as a year endeavor after leaving Vietnam last year. Then I had no real idea what I would do but I kinda built it all in a airbnb room in Daly City, California in 2021. Get the covid vaccines, buy the USA RailPass and leave on the California Zephyr going east from Emeryville to Chicago. Then come on back. I had hoped to see some friends from the IBM days but due to covid and her husband being immunocompromised I could not make it. Instead I rode Amtrak back to Los Angeles and then caught the original flight to Mexico.

That was then. Now it is almost a year later. Mexico has been mighty good to me. I had some moments where I looked around and thought,

this is it for me

This happened in Bacalar mostly. There is something magical besides the town there. There is the peace and tranquility of the lagoon, the wonderful people there, and just the feeling of slowing even more. But, I think, out there always was going back to Asia and I had missed the chance because of visa law changes in March this year. That meant I came back for 174 days just to Merida. I had to leave Mexico after 180 days because of how the FMM tourist visas work but I simply love the no BS of being able to just come here and live for six months at a time.

From 174 to 45. What a count of days spent in a beautiful and unique city and some wonderful little trips taken. A friend in Vietnam asked if I would come back to Mexico but the answer is no. Once I go in September I go. I have this dream in 2023 of reaching the pyramids in Giza, seeing Istanbul, visiting a friend in Dubai I used to work with in India. Dreams folks. Stuff I still have as the 45th day left ticks on by.

What a wonderful set these days have been. Hasta Luego everyone! Have a wonderful day.

Then there was one

Its Mexico of course!
Its Mexico of course!

I woke up this morning thinking I would write this post. I change things up with domains so this time with WordPress I went with this one. Why? I dunno. It is the way it is. I also decided to not do the Substack thing on a whim and just publish it all on WordPress. Truth is it is easier to do that with Ulysses. I keep up with a few blog and writers out there so either visit their blogs in my RSS reader of choice or just visit the site itself. Particularly thanks to you folks. You know who you are.

Then there is this one silly little blog with yet another domain name because I just felt like it. I have a feeling this one will stick around because I have been thinking on how I want to write and where a lot during my little break from some networks. One of the things is to publish my year in Mexico retrospective. This comes in two pieces and I just decided to have this on WordPress (here) before end of August.

I leave for California on 6 September. I got to Mexico this time on 16 March. Time has flown by it seems and I’ve done a few things and gone some places. I get to go back and see my daughter and then see an old friend or two from the .com days doing Linux startups. I am particularly excited for both to happen but I also feel this siren calling. Asia has been more on my thoughts and feelings lately and I’ve been writing more the last few days on going back, building a story on Phnom Penh Cambodia since it will be my home for awhile. Really though, the time coming up signals a return to the slow wandering I love so much. I’ll get to Vietnam in October for a month and see some people I have not seen in over a year. My wonderful Lily awaits me patiently. Or not. I don’t think my Lily has a lot of patience. The last time it seems to see her was my birthday in 2020 perhaps or after that in Hanoi.

Gonna publish this about right now and will copy it over to mastodon so people can see I actually was writing and not doing nothing. I do nothing a lot so there is that too. I also have decided to make this blog more of a personal endeavor and let it be home to words and thoughts. I particularly liked Ray’s take on writing lately. Thanks Ray!

Also thanks to Mikka for letting us all follow along on his stories and walking his Camino 2022. Even in hotter temperatures!

Now it is another morning in Merida Mexico. The cool morning breezes will soon turn warmer and I’ll do a few little things today like wander around aimlessly, pick up my laundry from the service, and think on Asia.