September 17th, 2010

NOTE: If I do not post anything new before November, this post explains why.

“Do you have any flash drives that don’t look like flash drives?” I asked the sales clerk.

“Um… what?”

I guess he was just stalling for time, to mentally run through his inventory, because the question seemed perfectly clear to me. I said it again anyway, though.

“Maybe… um… what do you want it for?”

“Smuggling porn,” I said, and then we both laughed.

Except I wasn’t kidding. Well, OK, except about the “smuggling” part. I’m not looking to sell anything, I just want to transport a few things, like e-books. Given that more countries, such as Australia, are now sometimes scanning laptops for “pornography,” I didn’t want to have to explain anything questionable. Would the cover of an erotica e-book be considered pornographic? Well, probably not in Australia. But how about in the Middle East? At the border is not the best time to find out!

For short trips, I’d just leave anything questionable at home. But for a longer stay, well… the e-books are ones I’ve promised to review. It’s work (albeit pleasurable work). And I would like to be able to take my work with me.

His selection of flash-drives-that-don’t-look-like-flash-drives was limited to skateboards and snowboards (and not in very “me” colors), and they were on the expensive side for the amount of storage space they were offering. In the end, I decided to use my Dropbox instead; that way, I’m not carrying anything on my person, and I can pick up my files anywhere I can get an Internet connection (which always sounds easy…). If I create new documents, I can post them there as well, and pick them up again at home on my return.

I’m not sure I’ll be able to access this blog while I’m away, especially since it’s tagged as containing mature content. If I can post, I will (with at least one review of a very interesting collection!). If I can’t, then you’ll just have to wait for November.

Traveling to places with very different cultures is a good time to think about abstract issues as well as very practical ones like carrying computer files. Is erotica “wrong”? Clearly I don’t think so, or I wouldn’t read it, write it, and write about it. But do I want to aggressively parade that stance around the world? Well, no, no I don’t. Certainly not on a personal level — I have no wish to be deported or jailed. Do I think though that some societies are too sexually repressed? Well… yes, I do (including my own). As to how that can change, and whether a non-member of that society has any part to play in such a change, that is a subject for a longer conversation, and my opinion on it shifts around all the time. For this trip, though, I know that any good I could do would be more than undone by my offending people around me. I write erotica to please and entertain, not to shock and upset.

The final thing I did here on this blog before leaving on my trip was to empty my spam folder. As usual, there were lists of links to pharmaceuticals and sexual aids; one to linoleum flooring; a few for meeting hot girls; a sprinkling of the kind that make me laugh the most, that say that they’ve found the article “very useful for my college class” (except they never manage to spell “college” correctly); and one that contained just this line, with a few links to shopping sites:

For me I am a fan of online shopping for the reason that we need not to go anywhere.

I like online shopping too — that’s the best way for me to buy only the item that I really need, and not get distracted by extraneous things on shelves. But! It doesn’t at all override my need to go anywhere. I love traveling. I travel mostly for work these days, yes, but I love it all the same. New people, unfamiliar languages, suspicious food, surprising schedule changes, breathtaking sights, shoddy facilities/palatial facilities, I love it all. My next collection of erotic stories will also be centered around a travel theme, but this time with more of a focus on settings.

So sucks to you, Mr. Online Shopper Spam Man, I deleted your comment with double the usual satisfaction!

This entry was posted on Friday, September 17th, 2010 at 11:53 am and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

12 Responses to “Traveling”

Craig Sorensen Says:

Travel safely, but have a great time.

Craig

D.N. Stuefloten Says:

Poor Australia…I lived there for several years, in the pre-computer era–in the days, in fact, when women commonly wore things like stockings, dresses, makeup– and thought of it as a rather liberal country, with a tolerant attitude towards the erotic. I remember shops on the high street showing quite daring displays of lingerie in their windows, and a lot of lovely young women who delighted in flouncing their skirts. I hope inspecting your harddrive (on the computer, I mean) is only a temporary aberration.

And meanwhile enjoy your trip. I hope you come back with lots of anecdotes for us to read!

Fulani Says:

Have a good time!

So far as drop boxes go, these days Google Docs would be one way to access the kind of material you’ll be working on, and a lot of other applications such as Apple’s ‘Mobile Me’ would probably do it for you as well. Or you could email the stuff to yourself and pick up email at the other end. Even blog pages enable you to keep/access/edit private material you don’t put online. Plenty of options there, provided you have internet access wherever you’re going.

Shar Says:

Hi there! This site seems to be half blocked to me–I could approve your comment, and I think I can reply, but I can’t view the main site. I haven’t tried posting yet.

I went with Dropbox for my, ahem, stuff, and that seems to work just fine–though Internet access has not always been a constant, and connection speeds aren’t super-fast. But to have email access at all, what a joy. ;)

Some odd sites get blocked–postsecrets was blocked (for adult content), but then also Oxford University Press (no reason given, but I suspect political).

so_hard Says:

I have a flash drive that is disguised as a pen. It really writes, but when you unscrew the non writting end, there is a flash drive to plug into a USB. I think it holds 4 or 8 gigs. It also records voice memos. It was very cheap on ebay.

I also think you could encrypt your porn. PKZip offers a pretty strong password encryption when you make an archive. Then change the name to look like an innocent system file. You will have to change the file name back to one with a *.zip extension to view it again.

I saw your post on Albuquerque craigslist. That is where i got the link to your website. Nice content. You must really enjoy your work.

Shar Says:

Oh, I like the sound of the pen one! Cute. I’ll have to look for it on eBay. It needs a spy camera too!

I do enjoy my work, yes. And I’ve found a way I can get into this site (obviously), so I hope to post again in about a week. Thanks for reading me, even though I’ve been awfully quiet recently!

a_bad_influence Says:

I’d be happy to loan you my flashdrive that doesn’t look like a flashdrive, but resembles a cock. Is that a problem?

TnRebel Says:

here is the flash drive the wife uses when she is traveling

http://www.flickr.com/photos/molotalk/3282417546/in/photostream/

Shar Says:

Post a pic, or you don’t really have one. ;)

Shar Says:

Oh, that’s quite nice! I guess my most “disguised” one is a Hello Kitty flip-flop on a keychain.

Anonymous Says:

I agree, Dropbox, or mobileme if you have a MAC, or any other ‘cloud’ source seems like the obvious answer. Did it work?

Shar Says:

Dropbox worked quite well for me. The disadvantage was that I needed Internet access, which I didn’t always have–but I had it enough. The trick is to get where you’re going, download what you need to your laptop, work on it, and reload it when you have a connection, rather than assuming that because you’re online on Tuesday that you’ll be able to go online on Wednesday as well. ;) The nice thing about a thumb drive is that it works when you’re offline, and it works on more than one machine.

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