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Trash to Tax to Morocco (not) to Memrise to Awesome App

Right after coming back from an excellent trip though the West Coast and Mexico I got an interesting message from London, through LinkedIn. Funny enough it was for a gig in Utrecht. Helping out the Dutch tax authorities with a MediaWiki project. I wasn't sure if I really wanted to do that so I came up with a silly daily price. Two days later I was in their office. In my jeans. In the first 5 minutes there was mention of Trashwiki which somehow was actually appreciated! So my finances were set for 2012.

Wanted: Wireless Researcher for project in Dharamsala, India

In 2005 I spent some time ICT volunteering for Geekcorp Mali.  And in 2001 I traveled in India and had a great time in the North.  Now, a ICT volunteer is actually needed in Dharamsala.  Contact me if you have the skills, time and you feel like an amazing experience:
AirJaldi, a nonprofit dedicated to harnessing the capabilities of the internet for the benefit of rural communities in developing countries, is looking for a highly-motivated and experienced person to take a central role in carrying out an innovative research project aimed at de

Back in A'dam

My unlimited MetroCard was still valid for a day and a half so I left it to the poor soul who was robbed from all of his belongings in Lower Manhattan - he was also staying at my host's place in Williamsburg. I had a good flight to Dublin, where I had a very pleasant stay with Dublin's superhost. The guy has been hosting more than 1000 people. Now I'm back in Amsterdam, and it feels good to be among friends. It was just a bit annoying to find out that a "1 zone" tram ride in Amsterdam costs 2,60 euro these days. I boycotted that and walked instead - with about 25 kg of extra weight.

Out of New York and into Groundcrew

I'm in Northampton MA right now, at Joe Edelman's place. It's nice to be out of the City. It's even nicer to see Joe excited about Groundcrew. The guy who worked on the user interfaces for Blogger and Twitter is doing the design and there are some cool opportunities. It also looks like the project has taken a clear direction on one side - while leaving open the community side for later. The main problem is the cost of text messages, which should have been free by now.

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.

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.

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

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.

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