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Bit O' Business

Well, I wanted to make a few points that don't have to do with any particular destination that we are visiting, more just updates on our trip and thoughts in general.

First, our plans are starting to solidify a little more. I bought our plane tickets from Kathmandu to Taipei , Taiwan, on January 29th. In my mind, I had thought that we would be heading from Rome to Nepal on the 12th, but upon looking at our tickets, I realized that we will be in Italy until the 14th. That is good in that we get an extra two days in Italy, but it also makes our stay in Nepal less than two weeks, which is too bad. Nepal looks like a truly fascinating place to visit, I think we are going to be incredibly busy trying to see as much as we can in our short time there. Like I said, we then are heading to Taiwan, which was a little unplanned. We were wanting to pop by an Asian country before we go to New Zealand, so it looks like Taiwan is the one. It should be pretty cool, too, if people are to be believed about it. I've been told it is like China-lite, or at least a China where the leaders aren't planning world domination.

In other news, I think that I should be an advertising idea for Apple. This is our second trip abroad with our iPad ( we took it with us on our trip to Finland in May, 2011), and I keep finding great things to do with it. Of course there is Skype so that we can call our parents in the middle of nowhere, as long as we score some wifi. There is Messages so we can text folks as well as send pictures. We can look at pictures in larger format on it. We have all of our Lonely Planet guides packed on this thing, as well as the books I want to read, so I can actually say that I do not have a single paperback book with me, a huge change from the Long Trip. That trip, because I had this odd desire to keep all of our LP guides we had used, I literally carried a backpack filled with books through 20 countries, with guides to each of them. That 80+ mile trek in Patagonia? Yup, had 'em. Finally, I am typing all of this from the iPad. Yes, even my sausage fingers can use the screen keyboard.

Now for a couple of critical reviews: first, I have to say that I am less than thrilled with our LP guide to Italy. I am not sure if it is because we have the ebook version from Amazon (instead of buying PDF versions on LP's website) or what, but it seems to be lacking in a lot of vital information, and frankly the maps suck. I can't even find map for the full country. Maybe I am dumb about it, but I can't tell, because it is difficult to navigate through it. At any rate, I need to check the paper version of the guide, but if it too lacks a bunch of important info, then LP truly is slipping. I have been using them since 2002, so I know what information usually is in their guides; maybe I won't use them in the future. Boo, Lonely Planet, boo.

Also, the spell checking function on the iPad is frequently very frustrating, though I wouldn't know how to make it better. Like I said, this is all typed on the screen, and the spell checker is a busy little function. It often comes in handy, popping up suggestions and making corrections. On the other hand, it also makes a lot of corrections that I can't figure out how it managed to get from what I am typing. Sometimes the corrections are so far off that I feel like it is purposely trying to throw me off. All in all, it is a very handy function, and its usefulness still outweighs its issues. You'll have forgive any glaring and unusual mistakes you find, just blame it on the iPad.

(This is the iPad. Don't listen to that guy. He's an idiot. He blames me? Right. You should see his fat fingers, he can't spell, and he is already into his third spritz. Apple didn't tell me I would have to deal with such a fool. He doesn't even go back to check his work, he won't even see this!)  

Until next time, be safe.


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