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Karel’s letters written during travelling

Karel Kosman photo Back in Thailand, and I find the people are nicer here, which is more important to me. Been told the nicest in Asia. Been talking to a school director here about relocating me up into the mountains and helping a village with their solar setup and all that. Could be an interesting project. Occasionally a bit chilly at night, sometimes requiring two blankets, but sweaty 32ish during the day still. The mountains will be colder but a more interesting project I'd say. Rather be away from the cities. It's apparently close to the Thai/Laos border and the people aren't yet recognised by the government, as they live in the jungle still, so they don't get support yet.

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Just moved today to a larger village, riding on the back of a moped of my host where I stayed with her family for a few days. Last night the director of this school finally met me, brought his guitar and we jammed a bit to his own songs. Today he is off on his mission work to some small village somewhere, and it seems he wants to transfer me to the mountains to help one village with solar panels, computers, English and whatever. So while he's off on his mission I sit in his office, with highspeed internet and airconditioning, while all the teachers sit in an adjoining room without airconditioning. Anyway, loving the adventure.

Thailand photo

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Used this website Help Exchange to go to different projects, volunteering for a few hours a day in exchange for room and sometimes food. Varies, but find it a much more relaxed and interesting (not to mention cheap) way to travel. Network with the natives, I'm well received, and pretty cool and relaxed. Got a few projects I can go to in northern Laos. They just moved me to a Thai village next to the Laos border which the father of the school principal discovered some 40 years ago or something while walking so 40km through the jungle. Now they got a rinkydinky dirt road going here which they are slowly improving and the village survives off of solar panels, which I am supposed to help them set up better. So rather interesting, but no mobile signal, so I can't check my internet as frequently and for that I am dependent on the schools. Hopefully it will not interfere with my work too much. Sits on this big river and on the other side of it is Laos.

Thailand photo

I have lost my interpreter, do not have a dictionary yet, so it will be interesting how I will communicate here over the next few days. The father of the family I am being hosted at just offered me a snack for breakfast: looked like some roasted big locust or bee. I briefly held it in my hand and quickly returned. There will be some adjustment period.

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Moved to Asia and enjoying the discovering experience. At the moment in Thailand, in a remote village next to a big river bordering Laos. I've been traveling by volunteering at places for a few hours a day in exchange for room and sometimes food. A lot cheaper and more interesting than following the tourist paths. Not even sure if I crossed any of those so far. For this village I'm helping them with their solar power, and I've been received quite positively, although no one speaks any English (my English speaking host only comes here once in a while), but I'm trying to learn Thai fast.

Thailand photo

Anyway, my sister seems convinced that I could make at least a thousand bucks a month writing about my travels, as she is a publisher. I'm a bit sceptical but wondering what your thought are of my travel tales, since I believe you said you read some. Feel free to be honest - I'm trying to decide if there is any point to pursuing it. It would certainly be a cool way to make a living and the thousand would cover my costs, and then some. I know I'm no Jack Karoak and tend to write simply about what I am doing. Have seen a lot better travel writers. Anyway, just curious if you read some of it and what you think. When I first started I wrote quickly, expecting to come back at a later point and polish it up further. Over the years I've been putting more effort into the actual writing.

Anyway, hope things are going well with ya. Adio :)

Thailand photo

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Don't have a mobile connection, so can't get internet through that, but there is internet at the school here. Definitely wouldn't come if there wasn't that. Slowly making friends and they are keeping it open for me. Will try to sleep at the school instead, so can have internet and electricity all the time. Everyone works on solar panels and the school is better cause they have more panels and probably batteries, so I wouldn't have to worry about killing someone's battery by having my computer on all night. Last night they moved me to a room with no electricity and I woke up at some crazy hour and had to stare into the darkness for a few hours. So I took the opportunity to learn some more Thai from my notes, using my mobile phone light. Anyway, can imagine staying here for a while, if they can sort out those two points for me.

Thailand photo

It's not a farm but a village that I think the director's dad discovered some 40 years ago. Now they help develop it, build school, set up solar panels etc. Almost no one here speaks English, so perhaps I'll help them with that.

Don't know about malaria but my guts have certainly been adjusting. Everyone here eats with their hands and there is no toilet paper. Bought a bunch myself but somehow it was left in the drive up here or something. Will have to get some more from the local store. Anyway, Thais are pretty clean, take their shoes off even when entering regular stores, so I assume they wash their hands well but everyone eats in a circle, while sitting on the ground, digging with their hands into communal bowls, sharing the same cup to drink. Rather odd.

Thailand photo

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Yah, didn't send it until you said you might be into looking at it. Will approach a bunch of seasoned translators with good reputation as well. Want to save face to this client, but also need to know for myself, once and for all hopefully. I skimmed through it again and see that I should have proofread it a second time after I exported into Word (I translated it and proofread it once in the translation memory software, which does not show final formatting, and I was too rushed to proof again). Anyway, although I may have used improper legal words or jargon, it really doesn't seem "blatantly non-native" to me. But that is why I need the opinion of others. The first part is translation of legislation, and the easier stuff is later. Curious of your opinion.

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Heh heh, today was funny cause I started talking to the school head girl about helping with the solar panels in the village. Seems like the government or someone came in at some point and set these all up, but that they need maintenance, or some aren't working. Found out today that I am staying at the village leader's house, and he is doing everything to make sure I am happy. I took a brief look at his panels. Not only are they very dirty and blocking a lot of sun, but they looked scratched up and some of the wires severed. I sent my host and the director of the previous school (they will come on Wednesday) to get a voltmeter, soldering kit and other things, and said I should be able to fix it. When I explained this to the school girl here (we have been communicating through google translate), she said the villagers will think I am an absolute God. Later in the evening the leader was announcing some things through the village's PA system and she said they were talking about me. Already whenever I go anywhere they wave with big smiles and holler out "Hello!". It's so cute here. I just need to get more access to the internet and I could stay here indefinitely. Heh heh, just occurred to me, maybe after I'm done with this village there will be others I can go to, I will meet the king, get a visa extension or even residence from him, as the previous school director said he is friends with him (although everyone in Thailand might think something along those lines).

Thailand photo

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So the rainforest was fun, such as boating out on my own to the hotel to use their highspeed internet. We were planning on setting up an internet relay system, beaming a signal from a router hooked up to a hard line on the mainland, picked up by a satellite dish suspended from a tree at a half-way point, in turn hooked up to a repeater router with smaller solar panel to broadcast it around the island obstruction to our resort. Blazed trails on my own through the jungle, only to find out later that the strange purring sound I heard was not a bird, as I originally thought, but an Asian tiger, which grow to about 40-50% larger than African tigers and twice my weight. Never returned there on my own! We were also discussing about me setting up teambuilding weekends as a means of drawing in additional guests.

Thailand photo

Unfortunately, the internet on my mobile phone was extremely slow, the gas to the hotel and back was getting too much, electricity from their solar system was too meager and cutting into my computer time, and there was too much friction with one of their staff, so my lovely time there was cut short after only a month.

Fortunately, just before my departure, one host contacted me asking to come up to her school in northeast Thailand. I was very warmly welcomed there and they eventually took me up to a very small village in the mountains. Again powered by solar panels. I am to help them fix many of their panels, help them with their computers and occasionally teach some English to the children. They feed me endlessly, so it's pretty cool up here and I decided that I like the Thais (friendliest in Asia they say) so much I will try to get a year's visa. This should force me to the capital of either Laos or Cambodia, which I may combine for a short period with another Helpx.net project. Will hopefully be another adventure!

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Travel Tour Guide in Europe

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See Karel Kosman's Articles at TranslationDirectory.com:
Karel’s letters written during travelling
47. Making preparations for the big bike trip
46. The ONLY Thai girl I am attracted to
45. Miscellaneous letters
44. I have always felt I will be a writer one day...
43. About freelancing and travelling
42. Thai girls are like demon possessed little witches
41. Living on a mystical island of Koh Phangan in Thailand
40. From Malaysia to Thailand
39. From Laos back to Thailand
38. How to publish a book
37. Back in Thailand
36. Feeling increasingly uncomfortable here on the island in Malaysia
35. My belongings
34. Staying in Malaysia
33. About running a blog
32. A short travel update
31. Planning to publish a book about my travels
30. In Thailand, God’s hand
29. Getting ready to go to Asia. In the airport
28. Escaping from Galia’s place
27. About Bulgarians, earnings, plans
26. Starting to earn more after approaching thousands of translation agencies
25. About writing and publishing content online
24. How to find really cheap plane tickets
23. The girlfriend: would like to find THE ONE
22. Still staying in Bulgaria but planning to go to Thailand
21. Travel outline
20. About translation industry
19. About female friends
18. About computer, online marketing, translation, CAT tool
17. About blabber - waste of time. About wanting to be a writer.
16. About God
15. More about software sales
14. More travel updates
13. Staying at a pension
12. About borders etc.
11. Software sales
10. Travel update
09. Translation job industry
08. Partying is a waste of time
07. How much they pay etc.
06. Translator charges, programming etc.
05. Working as a translator and travelling
04. Travel life
03. Why NOT to cheat Google...
02. About opportunities for working as a freelancer
01. About advantages of working as a freelancer
Working While Travelling
26. Gone treeplanting (September 8, 2008)
25. First friends visiting me to Cyprus (February 29, 2008)
24. Staying in Cyprus (December 09, 2007)
23. Escaping the Cyprus heat (February 8, 2007)
22. Escape from boredom (February 8, 2007)
21. Barelling to Bodrum (November 20, 2006)
20. Staying in Stoliv, Montenegro (October 2, 2006)
19. Arriving to Montenegro (August 22, 2006)
18. Traveling through Croatia (August 9, 2006)
17. The trip begins - off to Croatia! (2006)
16. How to Live in a Caravan
15. How to Connect to Internet While Traveling
14. How to construct a caravan - Beautification
13. How to use solar panels to electrify your caravan
12. How to construct a caravan
11. Designing the caravan
10. Back to Czech - buying a travel van (April 10, 2004)
9. Mexico Trip - Off to Yosemite and Beyond (December, 2003)
8. Mexico Trip - Getting a Driver’s License (December, 2003)
7. How to Buy a Used Car (December, 2003)
6. Mexico Trip (December 14, 2003)
5. Traveling through Bulgaria (July 20 - Aug. 4, 2002)
4. Czech Republic: My Reflections
3. My life in Prague
2. My flat in Prague
1. Dream of working while travelling




Published - August 2013









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