Saturday, October 02, 2010

Souvenir Shelf: Tampon

My friend Stephanie is headed to Hanoi soon with her family. That reminded me of this stamp that I bought in the old quarter of Hanoi during MariesWorldTour, on a street devoted entirely to tampons, which means these stamps.

I was worried that my little running Marie character might be too complicated for the stamp-makers, but take a look at this blog, and you'll see photos of much more complicated images.

I went back to MariesWorldTour and looked for photos of this stamp, but there were none. I remember was 2001. A different technological world. Now, I would just shoot it with my digital camera and upload it via my netbook or MacBook in my hotel room, using wireless internet. Or I'd photograph it with my phone and upload it via the mobile networks.

In 2001, there weren't many people doing online travel narratives, because it was hard. You couldn't just type into Blogger or WordPress. I coded entries in HTML as I went. Digital cameras were new and heavy, and batteries ran down fast. You couldn't get the files off your camera without installing drivers on computers, which no internet cafe would allow. There was no point in putting your files on your laptop as there was no such things a USB sticks and you couldn't hook your own computer up to the internet. No wireless.

I could have gotten the images off the laptop a few at a time using a floppy disk, but no internet cafe would let you put your own floppy into their system, for fear of viruses. In the end, I left my laptop and digital camera at home. I shot film, and scanned in images in the computer centers of the world, using various quality scanners and half-assed imaging software. And video? That was out of the question.

What a difference a decade makes.

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