Food For The Holidays

That was the spread at my family’s Christmas party on Saturday, December 14, just a few hours after I left the home I sold for the last time. I’ve been here since, enjoying the Holidays with family and will remain until I head out January 14 on the travels—likely lasting a year or two, around the world.

Here’s just a review in pics, to date.

I set up my “office.” It’s a bit more formal, now, as I’ve taken over my mom’s desk and extra large screen monitor.
Mom did classic chicken fried steak one night with mash and green peas. She prefers a brown gravy to the standard white country gravy.
Massaman Beef Curry for lunch at a local Thai Cafe. Tab was $14. Within a month I’ll be eating that locally in Chiang Mai for $2.
Mom fixed glazed salmon, rice & mushrooms, and toasted bread crumb cauliflower.
Mom comes through again with a family favorite. Swedish meatballs. The sauce is classic with the cinnamon and cacao flavor. But she makes the meatballs twice the size of the puny ones and it’s served with rice instead of noodles. Alongside is Texas style green beans (bacon and onion), as well as a spinach salad.
No caption necessary.
Last evening was leftovers night. Duh.

Now some reflections on what’s next. I detailed a portion of it here. So, it’s still going be be Chiang Mai, Thailand for about the first five weeks. Still no firm plans for the next three weeks in Thailand before my entry exception-to-visa of 30 days and 30-day extension run out.

Initial plan was to head to Saigon, Vietnam for two months (with excursions to Laos and Cambodia). It’s dirt cheap to get there from Bangkok. BUT, I’ve been doing a lot of research and reading, and one place keeps popping up: Sri Lanka, Weligama on the south coast, to be exact. Food is fantastic, beaches fantastic, weather fantastic, great surfing if up for it, great snorkeling, people are friendly, and you can easily live for $600 per month. So, maybe I’ll mix things up and do both Sri Lanka and Vietnam.

If all goes as planned for an intellectual symposium (of sorts) two friends are putting on in Lisbon, Portugal, in the spring, then that’s my intended first destination. Fortunately, a one-way to Lisbon is about $500 whether from Saigon, Bangkok, or Columbo, Sri Lanka. So, I have lots of options and flexibility.

If not Lisbon, initially, who knows? One factor is visa planning. Yea, you can enter the EU on a plain passport and you get 90 days (multiple entry and exit), but it’s 90 days in any 180-day period. That means you can’t stay in an EU country for 90 days and just do a quick exit and return. You have to wait 90 days to re-enter.

Then, there’s the issue of the Schengen Agreement, and I’m not sure how that plays into it. I want to spend some time in Cyprus, and while it’s EU, it’s not party to Schengen, so I don’t know if it counts against the 90 days. We’ll see.

As always: updates to follow. Merry Christmas, happy new year, yada yada.

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