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[COVID-19] - Things to do when under lockdown

Dan Kelly is Irish

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I'm starting to plan and work out a big Asian + Pacific trip.


I've moved back in with my rents cause I just wasn't liking how isolated I was getting. It felt a little defeatists at the start, but damn it's pretty easy to suddenly get comfortable with close to zero human interaction during the week especially with all these instant TV shows, movies and video games on top of community online forums such as reddit, discords etc.
(Also saving the rent money a month has been pretty nice)
 

TRF_Olyy

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I've moved back in with my rents cause I just wasn't liking how isolated I was getting. It felt a little defeatists at the start, but damn it's pretty easy to suddenly get comfortable with close to zero human interaction during the week especially with all these instant TV shows, movies and video games on top of community online forums such as reddit, discords etc.
(Also saving the rent money a month has been pretty nice)
Are you me, lol?
As much as losing my own space hasn't been great it has allowed me to pay off my credit cards, and also gave me the freedom to jobhunt and not have to worry about finding somewhere near where I had a 12month rental contract or anything

Plus I probably would've got cabin fever locked inside alone for 15months
 

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I just want to go to Japan again, but it's gonna be end of 2022 before they open up again at this rate :(



Anyone back in office yet?
I start a new job next week which is full time in office - definintely going to miss working from home but I'm quite looking forward to the novelty of....leaving my house.
As much as I enjoy working from home I can definitely feel myself becoming a bit of a hermit/enjoying the solitude a little too much
Hopefully they'll do mixed office/work from home in the future, but I'm glad it's in office for at least the start - when I was job hunting I was a bit cautious about starting somewhere new completely remotely - learning their systems etc. would be a nightmare
Japan's on the list probably look at that for a second time after NZ, I tend to plan trips myself and do all the booking so planning a big trip to a country which doesn't have English as a first language is requires something thing.

Not officially, I've been doing some office work due occasional requirements for hardware access. Made a request with my manager this week that we could have a day or two in office if we want it. Found a day or two in a week was really good for productivity and mental health. After over a year of home working I find a split of both is good.
 

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I just want to go to Japan again, but it's gonna be end of 2022 before they open up again at this rate :(



Anyone back in office yet?
I start a new job next week which is full time in office - definintely going to miss working from home but I'm quite looking forward to the novelty of....leaving my house.
As much as I enjoy working from home I can definitely feel myself becoming a bit of a hermit/enjoying the solitude a little too much
Hopefully they'll do mixed office/work from home in the future, but I'm glad it's in office for at least the start - when I was job hunting I was a bit cautious about starting somewhere new completely remotely - learning their systems etc. would be a nightmare
We were given a date in early September, can't remember exactly, to be fully integrated into the office. I can't wait to be honest, started a new job a couple months ago and only know the people on my team through teams and I don't like.

Been living with my parents the entire time and totally fed up, looking for opportunities to get out but Dublin rent is horrendous so they're few and far between.
 

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One thing this covid mess has done is given me the push to try and save up to do a year of non stop travelling, even if it's like 2/3 years of saving to do it comfortably (and hopefully the world might have some normality back in it).
Wifes 30th is during the next WC and ive persuated her to go to France so see a couple of games and she gets a south of france holiday! Win. Been saving due to covid so should be decent.
 

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Japan's on the list probably look at that for a second time after NZ, I tend to plan trips myself and do all the booking so planning a big trip to a country which doesn't have English as a first language is requires something thing.

Not officially, I've been doing some office work due occasional requirements for hardware access. Made a request with my manager this week that we could have a day or two in office if we want it. Found a day or two in a week was really good for productivity and mental health. After over a year of home working I find a split of both is good.

Japan is very easy to visit if you’re going to Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto. I am sure places like Nagasaki and Hiroshima will be as well. Though not visited the latter two yet, but want to.

Thankfully, big cities have many of the signs in English and getting around is a doddle with the JR pass.

I do miss the food, which was my main reason for going.
 

TRF_Olyy

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Yeah, I found Japan very very easy to get around - transport systems have most things in English, English language pamphlets etc.
Even the non-English speaking workers will bend over backwards to help - had an old guy helping me navigate the subway system in Kyoto after I'd paid the wrong amount on my ticket and couldn't get through the barriers - didn't speak a lick of English but we got there in the end
 

Le Frére Alpha

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First big trip I'll be looking at is South America. Machu Picchu and Buenos Aires are the two places I 100% want to go and I'd consider doing it alone but not having a word of Spanish might dissuade me on that one.

@Cruz_del_Sur any must sees/hidden gems you'd recommend, very preliminary stages of planning the trip mind.
 

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First big trip I'll be looking at is South America. Machu Picchu and Buenos Aires are the two places I 100% want to go and I'd consider doing it alone but not having a word of Spanish might dissuade me on that one.

@Cruz_del_Sur any must sees/hidden gems you'd recommend, very preliminary stages of planning the trip mind.
I plan to visit the South America again, maybe next year. Have been there in March 2020 : Rio-de-Janeiro →Iguazu + Argentinian Puerto-Iguazu + Paraguay → Saõ-Paulo→ Montevideo (Uruguay). I had Buenos Aires and 1 week in Rio in my plans as well,but had to cancel it due to pandemic restrictions :(
Can recommend you from a tourist point of view:
1) to visit Iguazu falls. These are the most beautiful waterfalls and really looks like a paradise...the place is called Triple Frontier (tri-border area: Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay).
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triple_Frontier
I read a lot of advices in Internet before to go there and most of people say that 2 days it's enough there,but it's not true imo. I'd recommend to stay there at least for 4 days: 2 days for Argentinian side, 1 day for Brazilian and 1 day to go to Paraguay (you can visit Ciudad-del-Este there + Itaipu dam)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Itaipu_Dam
2) Saõ-Paulo is quite interesting but..2 days is really enough there. There are direct flights from SP to Buenos Aires (quite cheap by the way)
3) You can also visit Montevideo from Buenos Aires,there are ferries between two capitals, plus most of ferries arrive to a beautiful old Uruguayan city called Colonia del Sacramento and you can take a bus to Montevideo after
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colonia_del_Sacramento

4) if you are going to visit Brazil, choose attentively your hotels, check what is around them..I had a hotel next to favela in Saõ Paulo and it was impossible to sleep during nights (that was quite a decent hotel though! )

Can't say anything about Buenos Aires, hope Cruz_del_Sur will recommend what to see there :) I'd also like to visit Machu Picchu and El Calafate in the South America

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_Calafate
 

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Returned to the office after more than a year yesterday. In my office the capacity is around 80 and there were only 14 of us in the office of which 7 were partners 6 of whom have their own self enclosed room to work.
 

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Returned to the office after more than a year yesterday.
Having my first day back today (ironically also my last day here)
Tables vaguely spaced out, and one (empty) thing of hand sanitizer...
 

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I definitely definitely don't want to go back to an office yet. Love the routine I have now where I can do my runs/sprints during lunch or before work if I'm tight on time. If I'm not busy I can go for a little walk or something without anyone noticing. Definitely think a split between home work and office work is the future for a lot of people. I know people with kids etc will want to get back though, I've just never liked office work personally.
 

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We use a sign in app on our phones when we go to the office for fire regs purposes etc. I was last in before yesterday over 10,237 hours ago. Lol.

133E24EC-0E8B-4ADE-BF3F-9061F7F3FE27.jpeg
 

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We have to work from the office at least one day every week unfortunately, can't stand working there now.. really difficult after home office where I can turn on the music during work and don't have to talk to people :oops:
I have questions to those who have been to Japan:
1) do you need a visa to go there (EU passport holders) or to fill some kind of e-visa forms?
2) have you tasted Fugu fish and what was the restaurant?
3) have you been to Okinawa and how did you go there? Are there ferries?
4) have you climbed Mount Fuji and how was that? Is it difficult?
5) is it easy for a non-Japanese speaker to use inter-cities trains there? (To visit Osaka from Tokyo for example)
 

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1) do you need a visa to go there (EU passport holders) or to fill some kind of e-visa forms?
2) have you tasted Fugu fish and what was the restaurant?
3) have you been to Okinawa and how did you go there? Are there ferries?
4) have you climbed Mount Fuji and how was that? Is it difficult?
5) is it easy for a non-Japanese speaker to use inter-cities trains there? (To visit Osaka from Tokyo for example)

1) Nope - obviously google for your passports rules, but I didn't need to

3) I've not been, but everyone I know seems to fly - believe flights are very cheap. Though there is a ferry too.
4) I've not but I know someone who lives there and climbs once a year - looks tough but manageable. Not exactly a Mt. Kilimanjaro expedition, but tougher than a trip up Snowdon.
5) Very - As I mentioned above: Most stuff is in English as well as Japanese, everything is well signposted (and mostly colour coded), there are specific English speaking help counters in the large stations and there's a million and one websites (and apps) that will describe in minute detail how to get from place to place, which trains/platforms/tickets etc.
Shinjuku station is the biggest/busiest train station in the world and I had zero issues using it at all (leaving it is another matter, though - never managed to leave at the correct entrance any time I used it).
I bought a 7 day Japan Rail pass for when I went from Tokyo to Kyoto (it was similar price to the return bullet train ticket, but could also be used to get to Nara etc. so worked out cheaper overall). It was a breeze to buy at Shinjuku and even easier to use (just flash it at the kiosk next to the barriers and they let you through).
 
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The_Blindside

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Also I would say stay longer in Kyoto if you also plan to go to Osaka as the train journey between the two is only 15 mins. I loved Kyoto and the calm vibe more than Osaka.

Also it was more tidy as well with less tangled overhead wires And found the streets in Osaka quite narrow compared to Kyoto.

I didn’t get to Mount Fuji but managed to get a train to Hakone and you can get great views of it from there, if it’s a clear day and take the Pirate ship across Lake Ashi.
 

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My two favourite Japanese words are:

Sumimasen- means excuse me when wanting to get a waiter or waitress’s attention or I am sorry.

Wakarimasen - sorry I don’t understand.
 

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Thanks for the info :)

Nope - obviously google for your passports rules, but I didn't need to
Yes, I googled for a Polish passport (I recently got a second citizenship) but I haven't used my new passport yet and wasn't sure if it's true that I can go there without any visa at all. With my first citizenship (Russian) I have to make a Japanese visa

Wakarimasen - sorry I don’t understand.
My favourite English expression:p

I'm so jealous to you, those who have been there, to be honest :) also want to go to Japan
 

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ATM the Yen is weaker against Sterling than when i went 2 years ago 153 yen compared to 140. So maybe better for you Yulia? Currently it’s 29 yen to 1 Zloty per google.
 

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First big trip I'll be looking at is South America. Machu Picchu and Buenos Aires are the two places I 100% want to go and I'd consider doing it alone but not having a word of Spanish might dissuade me on that one.

@Cruz_del_Sur any must sees/hidden gems you'd recommend, very preliminary stages of planning the trip mind.
Sorry about the late reply, been busy.
I would start from the very beginning before i suggest anything: what do you want to see? Culture, party, city, mountain, beach, etc? Time? Money?

Peru, for me, is a must. I love their people, their culture and especially their food. Out of this world stuff. I don't know (havent been in those shoes) but i would guess most of the places you'd visit are touristic enough, so I suppose you will be able to get away with English. Tone the accent down a bit, if possible. Nothing wrong with it but most people in latin america are used to american accents and strong accents (scottish, irish, etc) might perplex a few. Speak slowly, modulate and use your hands (not kidding). You should be fine. Be careful, try to use a call taxi, dont call attention, the usual.

I guess a few days in Rio are a must. The place is stunning. Just wander around, the location does the trick imo. If you are looking for beaches brazil is probably the place. Maybe north colombia.
I love Uruguay and would be my go-to place, but not for exploring which is what i guess you want to do. Might be a bit too quiet and cold depending on the time. I love it but i know the place, etc.
Chile is a bit like Arg in the sense that is long, has both coast and mountain, etc, so i would pick one.
Havent been to Ecuador i'm afraid.
Colombia i liked, but i was there with friends. Was more about the people than the place for me at the time. Didnt like Bogota much, loved Medellin.
Havent been to Venezuela.
Skip Paraguay for now.
I'll talk about Arg and i will make a few very hasty generalizations. Imagine Argentina as a right triangle.


1622036751595.png



Buenos Aires is the red dot. Right Side is mostly coastline (rivers to the north, ocean south from the red dot), left side mountains. Day/weekend trip to Uruguay from there, maybe.
North East: Humid and hot. Jungle. Iguazu Falls is probalbly the highlight of the region. Pantanal too: huge tropical wetland. if you are into animals and shite, go there. I would skip it unless i had tons of time/money.
North West: Hot but dry during day, cold at night. Depends how close to the mountains/high you get. Most underrated part imo. Beautiful, rustic, down-to-earth and cheap. Tucuman, Jujuy and Salta provinces. Amazing landscapes, decent wine, good culture/entertainment combination. Visit places during the day. Quite common for people to gather drink wine, eat local dishes and play traditional music (they are called peñas).
When i say amazing landscapes i mean that literally.

1622037412857.png

You can cross to Bolivia from there if you are interested.

West (from red dot): main wine region (Mendoza). Tons of vineyards surrounded by mountains and valleys. Amazing and quite fun. Wine tastings and eating all day.
South (patagonia): HUGE place, i mean, like huge by south american standards, not Euro ones. You can see whales on the sea, pristine lakes on the mountainside, outstanding food. Expensive (by argentine standards) and again, everything is far apart. I'd pick one or maybe two places here. If you like hiking quite a few good spots here.

Nota bene: if you go to Arg, a few things you should be aware of. Might sound silly but they are important. Argentina has basically two exchange rates (actually more but trying to keep it simple). Official and unofficial (or blue).
You generally get a lot more for your money (Euros i guess) if you change them there in the unofficial market. Most places will probably accept dollars, depending on the exchange rate you agree on. Pretty sure your credit/debit card would get converted at official exchange rate. If you can, bring us dollars rather than euros. I don't stay in hotels there but i am 99% sure you can ask the clerks where to change currency and they will point you in the right direction.
Good luck and enjoy.
 

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