Tuesday, March 09, 2010

travel notes and updates

Regarding the hinterlands festivals piece: Icelandic is slowly de-dickbutting their website, and even if trying to do Boston-Berlin connections makes the thing crash, booking now will probably get you a roundtrip fare in the vicinity of $1000 including tax and associated bullshit, even if you're thinking about doing something stupid like inbound to Oslo and back via Frankfurt over 2 weeks to do two festivals.

History passes away: a longfucking time ago I got sent to China on no notice and was able to do so by getting a zero-day visa in Hong Kong. Sadly, I found out last night through some bored Wikipedia random-surfing that this is no longer possible. ;_; Another bit of the wild old world is crushed beneath the wheels of uniformity and modernity. It's still possible, of course, to get a visa done up (for other countries, somewher out there) in a walk-up office with dimming fluorescent lights, Spanish moss creeping in the windows, and other expats sitting around sweaty and apprehensive, but the areas in which this is done tend to be a little tougher on the gwailo walking around without valid identification for six hours than Kowloon.

The net upshot of this is that the time to do something dangerous and ill-advised towards the edge of the map is not tomorrow, but today, and yesterday if at all possible. The trend, historically, is for travel to become merely transit, and actual adventure to be dumbed down and boxed in to prepackaged "adventure tourism"; go out there and try to see the world on hard mode before that gets nerfed too.

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