Showing posts with label travel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label travel. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Nationals 2009, Day 1.

I have no idea what makes this true, but poets are usually pretty cool people. I've spent the last 24 hours hanging out with poets and it's been great.

I woke up at 4:00 Monday morning, so I could catch a 7:20 plane. As unpleasant as that was, I did get a bagel, and a new poem out of it. I really like this new poem, and I'm hoping to find somewhere to perform it today. The flight was okay, I met someone from Amarillo, who was also a slam poet. He also produced a comic, which he gave me a copy of. This comic is amazing, and is also a webcomic that you can find at: He gave it to me a few minutes before we were supposed to be boarding our plane, and I was so engrossed, I almost didn't get on the plane.

Upon arriving in West Palm Beach, the first thing I notice is the humidity. The air is sticky. I am not sure how this is possible, but trust me. This year may go down as the sweatiest Nationals (though I hear Austin in '07 was pretty bad)

I got some pizza, and then went to the kick-off party. This years kick off party I think was better than last years. Last year it was more of a dance party with loud music, which made conversations tricky. This year the event was much more social. And since I don't drink or dance, I come to parties to socialize. I gave away 13 copies of my CD. Speaking of that CD, it now has a different cover. This is it:

After the after party I went back to the hotel, looking for ciphers. For those of you who don't know, a cipher is when poets do poetry for each other, instead of for points on stage. It's really informal, and a huge part of the slam culture, not to mention a huge part of Nationals.

That's pretty much everything important that happened yesterday (or at least everything I'm willing to mention on the internet for everyone to read (I'll let you decide if I'm kidding or not)) I'm off to go and find some breakfast.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Japanese People Are Amazing

I have heard many people tell me that the Japanese are very polite. They have a very formal culture, and rudeness just has no place in it. I believed them, but it was never really cemented for me until I requested a guide map for the Pilgrimage to the 88 Sacred Places of Shikoku. For more info on that go to I was so impressed with the response that I sent them a thank you letter. Here it is in it's entirety:(The characters at the bottom mean "thank you" in the most sincere and formal form)

To Whom It May Concern:
My name is *Insert Real Name Here* and I recently requested a copy of the Pilgrimage to the 88 Sacred Places Guide Map. From my experience with other organizations, I expected to wait several weeks for my package to be shipped overseas by traditional post.

Imagine my surprise when my package arrived only one week later by Express Mail International. According to the packaging, you not only spent more than many organizations would consider necessary, so that the package would arrive promptly, you shipped it out the day after I sent my email request. At this point I am already very impressed, and I have not even opened the package.

However, the surprises did not end there. When I opened the package I saw a sheet of white paper. I expected some sort of printout detailing my request. Instead there was a letter. Not a form letter, as shown by the broken English, but a short letter written for my benefit only, thanking me for my request. The letter also informed me that you sent two copies of the Guide Map. Not necessary, but impressive nonetheless.

When I explored the contents of the package more fully I found that you had also sent two copies of a Shikoku Travel Guide with information more suited for a tourist, than a pilgrim. That information will certainly be very useful if I ever visit Shikoku with less time than would take to complete the pilgrimage.

Let me say again how incredibly impressed I am with your organization. You have impressed on me a lasting image of kindness and dedication that I'm sure will be further reinforced when I visit Japan.

*Insert Real Name Here*