Things I've Learned in the Last Ten Days

by Charles Miller on November 7, 2006

  1. Crossing the road in Hanoi isn't for the faint-hearted, as it relies entirely on the faith that all the oncoming motorcycles will swerve around you at the last possible moment (the occasional car, on the other hand, you have to dodge yourself)
  2. Crossing the road in Saigon is the same, there are just ten times as many cars
  3. Unless you're travelling to the moon, saying you're likely to spend two weeks away from the Internet is wishful thinking
  4. Like Hotmail before it, Meebo only really starts to make sense when your Internet access is confined to hotels and 'net cafes for a while. Then, it's indispensible.
  5. Saying you're going to spend two weeks not thinking about work is more achievable, except when you happen to check Google News the day Google buys your biggest competitor
  6. It's quite annoying when that happens, given you were strategically avoiding visiting any of your usual tech news sites
  7. There's a lot to be said for a country where you can get beer for as little as ten cents a glass
  8. ...not to mention full restaurant meals for the price you'd pay for a sandwich in Sydney
  9. You know it's nothing personal, but after the seven thousandth cyclo driver has demanded they take you somewhere, you start wondering "Does it look like I'm incapable of walking?"
  10. Street vendors never seem to master the elementary logic that if you've said no to offers of water and soft drinks from the last five along the road, they're unlikely to make any kind of sudden breakthrough
  11. The amount of ABBA and Carpenters muzak a human being can stand played over a hotel PA before losing his mind is... not something you ever want to find out
  12. Digital cameras are fantastic, up to the point you realise you're going to end up with 1,000 photos to sort through, crop, touch up, and eventually largely discard after you get home
  13. The slots by the door in hotel rooms into which you are supposed to place your key to make the lights work are simple switches, and don't check the magnetic stripe on the key. Hence, a business card works just as well.
  14. If you use your own business card, you can't really feign ignorance when caught
  15. You can spend a week and a half brushing your teeth with bottled water and avoiding anything containing ice, before realising that every morning you've been drinking orange cordial with breakfast (always labeled "Fresh Orange Juice"), and they must have diluted it with something
  16. I should take holidays more often

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