From the Kardashian motherland

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From the Kardashian motherland

Decided to go there simply because I thought I’d go to a former Soviet Union country before Russia decides to annex it too. I went to this place not expecting anything. I was told though that it’s not as pretty as Georgia, and I saw for myself that it was true. However, I learned that I cannot decide which former USSR country is a better place to visit and it would be unfair to compare. While Georgia is probably more pleasing to the eye, this country has a certain charm in itself. This place is much richer in history (it is the first Christian country in the world and still practice one of its oldest forms) imo and there are lots of those little things that are quite amusing for me. Like how their statues pose.

It also has one of the best tourist crowds I’ve ever had the privilege to be part of and made me appreciate how enjoyable solo travel is again. No hordes of Chinese tourists or busloads of American rednecks. They’re quite educated and are eager to discuss its history that most of us just learned right there because it’s not exactly in the school curriculum and mutually agree on how amazing the place is. Must be because it’s a bit off the beaten track and as our tour guide from Batanes said, the more uncommon a place it is to visit, the more quality tourists you get. Particularly noteworthy are the ethnic Armenians, part of the diaspora who came back for a visit to their motherland. One lady I sat on the bus with said she grew up in Syria, then moved to Australia, and now lives in Canada. A couple of grannies grew up in Lebanon then moved to London. They still make it a point to preserve their culture and teach the language to their children even if they are already the third generation in the family who has lived outside the country. Then there’s the guy working in a restaurant whose family has lived in Syria for a long time but decided to come home to Armenia because they’re killing off Christians there now.

I love how they never forget how millions of them died in a genocide committed by the Ottoman Turks early in the 20th century so a lot of those who escaped are now scattered all over the world. And how deep the hurt still is on losing the most sacred part (Mt. Ararat) of their historical territory to Turkey, among others they’ve lost. But they don’t bitch about how much they suffered and remind the rest of the world every chance they get nor do they play the eternal victim in the world stage. That kids, is how a people can get respect. Even if what they have endured consequently brought the Kardashians to our lives.

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techiegirliebarbie

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okay, i’m not exactly a techie. but i do love gadgets and i am more into electronics and more than most girls i know. i’m also not into things that are stereotypically feminine like bags, clothes, make up and all the same shit.

however, i realize that i am a girl after all. i do love shopping like most girls. it took me a phone conversation with a friend after a night of impulse-buying and splurging on stuff i don’t need at amazon to realize that i do treat my gadgets like dolls. i like to dress them up and buy toys for my toys. i have lost count of the number of times i bought bags for my very first laptop, my ancient compaq presario v2000. i’ve brought it with me everywhere, even peed on squat toilets with it in its samsonite backpack while travelling.

i’ve had a couple of laptops since then but i didn’t really buy bags for it anymore since they simply served as home laptops. i did buy a couple of bags for the free acer netbook that came with the 14″ laptop i previously bought. i never bought anything for my toshiba since it’s too big to carry around.

but i did buy sleeves and cases like crazy when i bought my ipad 2. they were pretty expensive too but most of them ended up gathering dust in my room. did that to a lesser extent with my ipad mini,  although it does still boast a decent wardrobe.

and now i have started doing it for my new macbook air, my newest baby, even if it’s only a few days old. it’s so pretty, i just want to dress it up with different clothes (bought 3 and counting), buy a doll house for it—god, i just bought furniture—a laptop table, at amazon, who would’ve thought? and i think i will buy more once i set foot in villaggio or ikea. i bought the table at amazon just because i couldn’t get to ikea last weekend to buy the laptop table/pillows i was crushing on.

what more if i get a car or something high maintenance? i dread the day

macbook air 13″ 2013

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and so this is my latest almost impulse buy. i’ve always been susceptible to getting brainwashed by people around me. i buy my phones because of the korean dramas i watch. and now i bought something that’s just in essence an iPad with a keyboard. because a friend of mine bought one and he is delighted by it. because my bosses bring their MacBooks to work and they look pretty. before i knew it, i wanted one. i had to get one. even if i thought i will never be crazy enough to buy overpriced laptops. after a week or so of supposedly thoughtful thinking, i did. i convinced myself that maybe this can make me creative again. it’s such a pain to type on the iPad and i tend to get distracted by the other windows i can open on my laptop. i can never write anything decent there. and mac apps are, in my mind, mostly used by the really creative types. my boss being a big apple fanboy might have helped too.

there’s lots of pictures of it everywhere on the internet so i won’t bother posting pics and this machine unfortunately is not equipped to take selfies of itself. full specs can be seen at apple.com or on websites easily googleable everywhere. i’m not sure if it can really last up to 12 hours and by now, i have forgotten what time i pulled the plug so i cannot accurately count anymore. this is my first experience with a mac and while there was a bit of a struggle to figure out how the fucking trackpad works, i got it eventually and the rest was quite easy to get.

first impressions:
i thought i was gonna get a mouse again. so far i’m liking the trackpad experience and i probably won’t need to get a mouse. the space is bigger than those of other laptops and it’s used quite differently. i initially thought there was something wrong with the product because a) it wasn’t charged right out of the box as was mentioned in the reviews i saw. i had to plug it in to work and b) the mouse pointer didn’t work at first when i tapped on the trackpad. it took me around 3 attempts to read and understand the quick start guide before i learned that the way to make it work is not press and hold your finger a bit to click, not tap like all the other laptops i loved before. and yes, i needed to realise that it was not, after all, an iPad so nothing happens when i just tap. tapping to click works fine as usual once you log in though

it’s really thin and light but for some reason, i’m drawn to the macbook pro with retina display. probably because of my dislike of anorexic, stick-thin girls. or because i like symmetry. the macbook air’s edges are quite sharp i think i could slice something with it. the main thing that made me decide to get this is the amazing battery life that’s promised to last around 12 hours. nothing officially beats that at the moment. apart from the price difference and the light weight of course. i ended up getting the 128 gb ssd version unlike what i originally planned because there’s no 8gb ram sold at the shop where my credit card offers a 0% interest monthly instalment option payable for one year and the price difference between the 128 and 256 gb options are just simply ridiculous. the base lowest price for the pro is almost a thousand riyals more expensive and you’d end up with a 128gb storage too. although i’m sort of regretting that decision of not getting 256 gb now. i think there are a lot of wonderful apps to be had and i can’t put them in external storage.

the best thing so far is that the keyboard is such a joy to type in. i’m beginning to believe that this thing really is going to make me keep writing again. i haven’t turned the lights off in my room yet so i don’t know what the backlit keyboard will look like in the dark. i hope i won’t end up making it dirty too.

however, this is not gonna replace my 3 year old toshiba qosmio. this thing is just for my writing, or maybe for my photos when i figure out how. toshiba tosh is still my main work horse and even if it has significantly slowed down and i didn’t take care of it properly, it hasn’t disappointed me yet and i will still do my downloads and connect my hdmi cable from there. this thing is just something i can take outside or use in bed like what i’m doing now so i can write. however flawless the manufacturing of apple products are, they are still overpriced pretty things that cannot do real work. unless i am willing to pay more than i can afford.

what worries me though is that i think i have too many gadgets already. much more than i actually need. but i still can’t let go of any of them. and the high probability that i will be scourging the stores to get my new baby a sleeve or a bag. and the tray table/laptop table i saw at ikea because i convinced myself that i need something to put it on if it was gonna be my bed laptop

Article: All the headaches facing the two lucky winners of Myanmar’s mobile licenses

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All the headaches facing the two lucky winners of Myanmar’s mobile licenses

http://qz.com/98548/all-the-headaches-facing-the-two-lucky-winners-of-myanmars-mobile-licenses/

I find myself cheering for this country. It has so much potential and i can feel a lot of optimism among the people. They are just so eager to finally become a part of the world. I just hope the buddhist-muslim problem gets sorted out properly though.

Just so roaming can finally work there

Random rambling

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I feel bored. Again. I’m tired of this life and i want to move on to the next. To have a fresh start. To know how it feels like to be a kid again, with all the hopes and dreams childhood can bring. I dont want to wallow in nostalgia anymore and keep remembering how fun it was back then

I love life. But i want a new one. A better one.

Bagan vs. Angkor

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I promised myself i’d write something comparing the temples of angkor and bagan. While i do not think it’s proper to compare since i stayed for only one day in bagan and spent five in siem reap, i’ll do what i can anyway.

First things first, tour guides are more considerate in bagan. In myanmar in general actually. They recognize that the heat is too much at noon so they all gave me siesta time and resumed the tours only when it’s not too hot anymore. I remember being severely dehydrated in Siem Reap, when the tuktuk driver dropped me off at the Bayon Temple, showed me the map and told me where we were and pointed the place at the other end of the map after the Terrace of the Leper King to show where he would be waiting for me. At noon. No choice but to go through all the other ruins in between.

The temples of Angkor have more variety in terms of architectural styles, but the Bagan temples have more, and they are continuing to build more, albeit smaller ones. The bigger ones in Bagan also tend to look more majestic especially from afar.

of course i would forget the name of this temple in bagan


if i ever go back to angkor, it will only be for the perfect shot of bayon. i need to get a shot of when sunlight gives a glow to these faces

Many of the bigger temples in Bagan have staircases inside the buildings, unlike Angkor who has them mostly outside to get to the top of the structures.

more later…

there’s something different with the order of the universe here

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i have changed my mind several times over the past couple of months about coming here. but i’m ever so glad i decided to push through with my trip. i wanted to come before the hordes of tourists descend on the land of the golden pagodas. unfortunately they already did. it’s thankfully still not at the levels enjoyed by the thai temples or angkor, but they are already there. busloads of american retirees are present everywhere i go.

can you spot what's wrong with this picture?

can you spot what’s wrong with this picture?

this is the most interesting thing i’ve seen in this part of the world. i didn’t know that it was even possible. a couple of hours after i landed in yangon, i noticed that the cars are right hand drives. but everyone drives at the right side of the road! how cool is that. my guide said that when a previous government decided to change things in the country, it included the road system. they unfortunately forgot that they’re getting knockoffs from japan that had right hand drive vehicles. no one made an effort to have the cars converted.

another is that women are mostly doing road construction work. i don’t know the reason for it, but i’m pretty sure that is not a common sight everywhere else in the world. unlike this part of the world, women have traditionally been part of the labor force. at inle lake, i can see even little girls doing some fishing. happy women’s day everyone!
leg rowing girl

unfortunately in mandalay and inle, women are restricted from entering the main altars of some temples.

boys with makeup

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probably the most quirky thing i saw was that boys put on makeup on some occasions. the pics above are boys about to enter the monastery, it’s like a ritual before they shave their heads. they’re even wearing shining shimmering splendid clothes