migrated guaka.org

Hopefully no one noticed my blog has moved to another server.  After almost two years of excellent (and free) service on Callum's server it's now at hetzner.de, a company offering excellent value for money and that is running on green power.  I've been using hetzner for a lot of sites that I've worked on in the past 6 months and right now I'm considering giving up my Slicehost for a new offer by Hetzner.

Fire in the Middle East

While Erga and I were planning to leave the war crazed country where the instigators of the massacres in Gaza are hailed by very large parts of the population I found out that Chen, a friend of mine from my time at the Conservatory in the Hague was living in Haifa. So we made a slight detour. We first visited Erga's 90 year old grandmother who lives in Netanya to drop off some stuff. Very warm and cozy. The next day we tried to hitch to Haifa, but it turned out the worst hitchhiking experience in Israel so far.

Casper and Kasper in Ramallah

Of course I'm hypocrite to call for a boycott while being in Israel. But it's the least I can do. Today I went to the market in Ramallah. With Casper, a Danish guy who is living in Malmo. We took bus 18 from close to Damascus Gate in Al Quds (as it's called in Arabic). When we got to the checkpoint we heard several shots.

Boycott Israeli products

My Israeli friend Ram wrote:
What really appalls me, is the joyous reactions this "war" is received with in Israel, and the overwhelming support it gets. According to channel 10 tonight, 83% of the people support this war, though only 15% actually believe it will help. 63% support the war, but do not believe it will help stop the shelling. So what are they supporting? I think nothing but vindictiveness. I believe vindictiveness is a very bad motivation for life.

Something new is possible for the first time in thousands of years

It always makes me happy to hear from Joe.  He wrote something new: How mobile phones can replace a broken economy: The Mobile Manifesto:
When we talk about trouble with the economy, we’ve been overlooking an astounding opportunity. Something new is possible for the first time in thousands of years.

International Cost of Living Index Wiki - Blocked Again?

Through Hitchwiki.org I found wikicostofliving.org. From the Main Page: "Wiki Cost of Living is the world´s most up-to-date international price comparison index thanks to people like you. You can edit any page right now." So cool, I created an account, made an edit.

Slightly Bugged in Israel

In order to be able to be online a bit more I wanted to acquire a wireless router. Erga and I went to (believe it or not) a computer store called bug.co.il and bought an Edimax. Came "home" - the parents of a friend of Erga's are traveling in South America.  Connected the router.  Couldn't connect through wifi. Tried changing many settings - it takes 30 seconds for every setting. No wifi. Worked on other stuff. Tried changing many settings. No wifi.

Spammed for 20-12

Since my online time was slightly less than normal yesterday - free Indian trash food and clothing at Salon Mazal, dinner at a friend's place, Romanian/Israeli theater and a lot of walking through this eclecticity - I only noticed today that my friends had created the craziest birthday present ever: SpamWiki. Thank you, all you crazies!

Some questions and answers

> Hope you are doing fine... At the outset, I am V Kumara Swamy, a journalist > with The Telegraph, Calcutta, India... I am doing a story on the concept of > couch surfing and your friend Thomas Goorden recommended your name while > responding to my queries on the same.

How I got hold of my bag

The Bulgarian border guards didn't speak English.  They also didn't understood why I was sent back.  It gave me some courage to at least get my backpack back.  When I saw 2 more people on the Turkish side I decided to walk back and give it a try.  The baksheesh border cop was human enough to walk with me to the gathering of Turkish truckers dealing with bureaucracy.  I hadn't taken Ahmet's phone number, I just knew his truck was yellow.  There seemed to be 100s of trucks.  And I couldn't recognize Ahmet among the truckers.  The baksheesh cop said (in Turkish and body language) that my truck

Three days ago in Damascus

Whenever I set an alarm, I don't actually need it.  At 5:30 I woke up, took some food from Cocina Robino, walked to the traffic lights at the Jan van Galenstraat and smiled.  After about 15 minutes a painter with an Native American name listening to good old Gabber stopped for me.

Amsterdam - Istanbul

1.5 GB in my Aspire One

Thanks to Matt, who studied electric engineering, I now have 1 GB extra in my Acer Aspire One. Now I can finally run Firefox (and Firefbug) on my little work horsey. In the past week I hitchhiked a bit, and the longest waiting time was 20 minutes. The on-ramps were especially good and a French hitchhiker told me about a spot at the end of the Jan van Galenstraat in Amsterdam which worked like a charm.

Trash and Cash

In the past 2 weeks I've set up two new wikis. Trashwiki is a wiki about dumpster diving and anything else that's related to trash. There's already a tiny community, and I guess we'll soon have 100 articles.  We did copy some stuff from Wikipedia to get started, but do feel free to remove the dry encyclopedic stuff. After that I decided I needed some money.  Or cash.  So Cashwiki is a wiki about money.

1000 articles in Hitchwiki!

Today we reached the milestone of 1000 articles at Hitchwiki.org!  It took less than 3 years to get there.  Already before I found the then called "Hitchhiker's guide to Hitchhiking" I was sure that a wiki for hitchhikers was a good idea.  So I'm very happy that I moved the project to Wikia.com in December 2005. At some point I had been thinking to move it to hitchhikers.couchsurfing.com, but fortunately MrTweek was around.

Alta - Helsinki - Tallinn - Riga

Sorry about all the detail.  The last post has been a while now and I want to write it down while it's fresh. I can always rewrite it later when I'll work on my book. We tried leaving Alta for Tromso, but after 2,5 hours of a lot of cars and none stopping we decided to just head south.  It took another 1,5 hour before someone stopped. For the shortest ride of our trip, 2 km only, but it was encouraging, especially thanks to the strawberries we got from the young woman who picked us up.

Muy muy muy Alta (en el norte)

We didn't leave Stockholm the time we expected. It happened a couple of days later. And even on that Sunday we were very late, I got stung by a bee in the last moment. We went to a hitch spot I found on Hitchbase, which was rather bad actually. We got a ride after a long while and ended up in Uppsala. But we didn't want to stay there, so we hitched out while it was getting dark.

Amsterdam - Hamburg - Stockholm

We left Amsterdam last Friday, after 15:00 or so.  It took 50 minutes or so to leave Amsterdam at the liftershalte (which is also the longest wait of this trip!). We arrived at Julien's front door in Hamburg right in time for dinner. The third ride was great, a Danish managing director of 7 companies was happy to take us from the parking spot close to Osnabrueck.

Peer to Peer movies

The return of LegalTorrents made my day a while ago.  Now that I actually took some time to go through it my day is even better.  I'm about to watch two peer produced movies. Now just let's hope the Dark forces that are trying to ban P2P filesharing in Europe will fail.

Flying is diving into the Wind

Millions of rain drops fell down while I've been playing with Drupal and Facebook apps the past days. It feels good to be able to completely plan my own time again. I'm very positive about all the opportunities arising in many places and in many different disciplines.

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