Donate Button Test



Note that the government investigates any transfer of money of $10,000 or more. Please limit your donations to $9950. Thank you.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

BANDA ACEH AND SABANG ISLAND, INDONESIA

Making this blog on Notepad as the internet is mostly down.

Says I've got a lot of bars but in Indonesia - especially on a small island - this is what we call a 'lie'.

Eventually, I remembered getting taught how to tether my phone to create a temporary wifi hotspot.  That works.  Love my phone.



COUNTRIES IDEALS AND FAST FOOD

It's amazing what you can get out of the way even something simple - like preparing fast food - can tell you about the ideals of a country.

What's Burger King's motto?

Disclaimer:  They are getting rid of this motto because apparently, fuck your way.  The new model should be "Take it our way - like the little bitch you are."


In the USA, where individualism is important this is true.

Asia says 'The nail which sticks up gets hammered down'.   Japanese proverb and a lovely thing to teach the kiddies.)

Order off the menu.  Want extra tomatoes?  Too bad - doesn't come with those.  No, we won't even take extra money to make it that way.  There is a reason our country is poor and we want to demonstrate that.



STUPID IS

Really didn't like this movie but it is damned quotable...

Stupid Logan goes to a fast food place while sitting around the airport.  Since public masturbation would get me thrown into a cell, better eat something instead.  Either way, I get a little joy.

And mess.

While I was at the fast food place I got to see three examples of extreme stupidity.  There were more, but these were the ones I excitedly wrote down.

1.  After eventually explaining to the girl working the counter what BBQ sauce was and that I'd like some, she said they didn't carry it.  "What goes on the chicken nuggets?"  Oh - there is BBQ sauce for those but it is impossible to purchase it unless you want the nuggets as well.

2.  In India, getting menu 'sets' is extremely common all over the country.  Watched the counter girl try to explain - for five minutes - to an Indian gentleman that he had the option of getting fries and a drink with his meal for just a little more money.  Eventually this virgin to all that is fast food shook his head and just walked away.  Fortunately, he seems to have married someone with a higher IQ as she stepped in and took care of it.

3.  When you type an order into the computer, it appears on nifty computer monitors.  They were working fine.  The folks who make the food had no truck with this 'new fangled gadget' and yelled back and forth several times about the same order until it was prepared.  Hate to see what they do during a rush.  Of course, nobody thought to drop some fries in the frier while this was going on so those got delivered about the time I'd finished eating the burger.  One thing at a time is all they can handle.



NARRATIVE

Getting from the unimaginative airport in Bali back to Kuala Lumpur was not a problem.

You can't check in your bags - or get a boarding pass - until three hours before the plane is ready to leave.  This prevents you from entrance into the vaunted inner airport where all the comfortable chairs and less music, screaming babies and narcissistic loud phone users.

The inner courtyard is almost deserted.

At least I got to gorge myself on Johnny Rockets...

Clearly, I ordered with my eyes and not my brain.  'Merican style.  I ate most of the onions rings and ate less than half of the burger.  Pulled off the 'bacon' - it wasn't.  $17 of food.  Note, there were more onion rings originally...  Some have mysteriously disappeared.


The time passed slower than a loading screen.  It was like getting groped by eternity.  Ever wonder what immortality can feel like?

At this point, I discovered the cool new umbrella I got may actually suck.  I like the umbrella because it's an extra three inches or so longer.  Which now makes it a 'checked' item.  Which gets put in the over sized items bundle.

But it's become my cane.


Eventually, I arrived in Banda Aceh.

Before coming, I'd read on the internet the fare from the airport into the city itself is 100,000 IDR.  After taking that long assed drive, it seems 'fair' to me.  He even told me by tuk tuk it was three thousand to go from the city to the ferry and five thousand from the city back to the airport.  Remember those figures.

Got a taxi from the airport with a guy who didn't seem to tricky and evil and made it to the hotel I'd researched.

Full.

And the backup hotel close by.

Full.

And three other hotels in the area!

Full.

And one had no free wifi in the room.  Double fuck you Logan'.

Universe?  Is that you?  Trying to tell me something?

Looking around the small town thinking uncharitable thoughts about the houses and the corrugated steel and crap look of the place I said 'fuck it'.

Usually a tuk tuk is a motorcycle pulling some sort of wildly unsafe metal cage which has wheels and a couple metal chairs inside.  Here, it's almost a side car.

If we get into an accident, I have unimpeded access to the street.  This is why normal side cars you sit down low.  Here, you sit on level with the driver.  Guess I shouldn't have watched that horrific video of motorcyclists getting taken forcefully off their motorcycles.  To the tune of Benny Hill.

The ride to the ferry was not a big deal but when I gave the guy five thousand and wanted change he thought I'd lost my mind.  Holding it up ahead of the ride and asking if it was correct apparently wasn't.  He wanted 30,000 not three thousand.  Not a big deal (it's under $3) and the length of the ride justified it.  The ferry was 27,000 IDR.  On websites they talk a lot about different classes and such.  Don't know where that came from and all the seating looked the same to me.

The ferry itself was a couple hours of 'fun' - even got a little sleep on it.

After the ferry dropped us off, I was offered the price of 80,000 to take me to the place I'd written down.  Again, the price I'd read about.  Normally, two people would sit in the sidecar I was told.  "How?" I asked filling it like jello.

We crawled up hills and raced down them.  Street markings and other traffic ment very little to the driver.  Over an hour later I was deposited but not at my destination.

Oh no.

Where I wanted to go there are no roads.

Begin the game of 'choose your own death march'!

Back in the airport, I'd already begun to stink.

"...Why do poor people smell like sour milk?" - Eric Cartman

I was pretty ripe.

The trail through the jungle (yes) had been built sometime during the time of the Pharaohs and not repaired since.  Since leveling land is difficult they just built it up and down the steep hills.

It was awesome.

Naturally, the place I had read was the 'good one' is at the end of the line.

Just like Colonel Kurtz.


How far could the walk really be Logan?  Going to measure it with a GPS later but the locals said one or one and a half kilometers.  With all my stuff.  Up and down hills.  Through the fucking jungle.


Before I go in to detail on the place I found, let me state that this looked like the best of the places I saw.  Yes, really.

To restate my earlier position, any time you are near the sea or ocean, all of the buildings are shit.  If it isn't, you're paying several hundred dollars a night.  "Sure, you are staying in a dilapidated shit box but look at that view!"

There is a hole in my floor to allow mosquitoes to come in to the room.  From there, they can fly in through the gaping holes in the mosquito net.

Mosquito netting is very delicate.  Every place I've ever been to desperately needs to replace theirs.  Including this one.

Tomorrow I'll get more pics of the room.

I do want to apologize in advance though.  This is the kind of vacation area most people frankly dream of.  I can throw rocks into the ocean from my room.  There is interesting coral really close.  The only thing lacking is booze.  Muslim country.

Monday, May 18, 2015

BRAIN BLEACH

LEAVING BALI

Tomorrow, I'll be leaving Bali and decided scribing my feelings would be a good wrap.

Coming to Bali to recover from the dread Dengue fever which had wracked my body with deathly illness and my mind with the fever bright visions was the tonic needed.  If my body were a temple, worshipers would still think some throw pillows and Molotov cocktails would remodel it nicely.  Doctors condemn my lifestyle but are baffled as to why my liver and kidneys do not show any stress or exploded like hand grenades.

Looking at this pic makes me want to rub my nipples.

After less than a month here, even the taxi drivers are starting to ask "Exercising?" rather than mindlessly saying "taxi?"  They've come to grips with the fact they will never get to rob me as they do other tourists.

Though anyone in shape would laugh at my puny six kilometers of walking I've laboriously built back up to, I'm happy to shuffle that far.  According to my phone, my moving speed averages at three kilometers per hour for those who wish to try it at home.

Not to downplay the Bataan Death March but I've got a good imagination and feel a bit like that if I do more than ten kilometers.

Though Ubud has a lot to see, walking here isn't really advisable.  You are lucky to get a sidewalk chalked full of pit traps and ankle twisters.  Better than the side of an extremely narrow road with cars moving fast on blind turns and scooters attempting to pass them without concern of safety.

Using this pic I found on the internet.  Though photoshopped, the driver looks happy and a dog is driving a car.  When you are either killing people using a motorized vehicle - or getting killed by one - happy pictures are important.

It's not ideal for walking here.

After a month, you settle in to a place.  Your possessions get spread throughout like children's toys.  Fortunately, it only takes an hour to pack everything.  Unlike the people who live in houses or apartments, I don't have the clutter of a lifetime to slow me.  Too much detritus.

With as little stuff as I have, yes, most people do appear to be hoarders to me...

Feeling rejuvenated, it is time to do something a little harder.  Bali is a common stomping ground for tourists, even those as low as the hipster.

The place less visited awaits on the morn.



ADVERTISEMENT



WHERE TO GO, WHERE TO GO

From this excellent website, I arranged countries in order of restaurant prices.  Then, I commented on them.







FOUND ON THE INTERNET




STRANGE DREAMS

So I was running some sort of inter galactic hotel/guesthouse/hostel.

Working on slowly seducing some sweet young thing.

Could speak all of the languages in the world but not sure how.

Problems came when some military guys on leave came in to town.

Encountered them while out getting food at a restaurant.

They wanted my cigarette butts.

Needed them for the 'war effort'.

They told me why, but it just wouldn't stick in my brain.

Because it's classified.

One of the lady soldiers wanted some cigarette butts but with some cigarette left on them so that she could smoke them down.

"Well, why do you keep calling them butts then?"  Chimed a different soldier.  "Don't call them butts."

The commander was a creepy, tough, stalk the guy who might take my daughter to the prom, knife him and hide the body so it will never be found kind of guy.

"We're not unreasonable - we can even buy them.  How much do you sell them for?"

One hundred fifty five - which is way above the going rate, I know.  But you have to remember we have an intergalactic place.  We get people from all over.

(Commander looks creepy and dangerous)

"You know what?"  I say  "We'll just give them to you.  We don't have many left.  I've got like seven left back at my place.  You say the word and I'll go get them.  It's only a few blocks away.  Just say the word and I'll go get them."

"That won't be necessary." Says the creepy commander in a voice that says he will get me back if it's the last thing he ever does.

I find less than a half dozen there and give them to him knowing he is already plotting revenge.  The female soldier sulks because she wanted to smoke a couple of the butts.

I wake up thinking I need to get back to my place and make sure we've got a resell license and that I'm getting drafted to go fight the aliens soon.  Maybe I need to flee?  Or get final revenge on the creepy commander?

Dreams that make you say "Jesus, my brain may be broken."


STRANGE DREAMS 2

One of the nice things about taking a brief nap is the chances of remembering your dreams goes up.

In my dream, I was writing an autobiography and it started with this:

"You owe it to your children to torture them.  You need to do stuff that would have been widely condemned at the Nuremberg trials.  Psychological manipulation, suffering, fear all need to be inflicted with such sadism and cruelty it would make Charles Manson blush.

If your children ever become famous enough to write an autobiography, it will make great reading.

Sadly for the reader, my parents didn't do any of these things so my autobiography will be a bit dull."



USER MADE PICS

This one is from Eric H who I'd first met back in the very old days when I was in the military.




TRAVELER'S LORE

According to a couple tourists from New York I chatted with, having about three thousand dollars for a month in SE Asia is a good amount to go for.  This includes airfare out of the US (though you may not wish to return) as well as 'security money'.


From Bob B., here is a great article on bits of etiquette from a few countries.



PC GAME REVIEW

Review of Euro Truck Simulator 2 demo:

After half an hour of messing around with it, deleted that crap.

The graphics were pretty good but the AI of the NPC's was shit.  Sure, some of the cars I can see trying to 'carry on'.  There are a lot of idiot drivers out there.  But if you saw a big rig either piloted by a mad man or some sort of retarded monkey, would you continue to drive as though everything was OK?  No.  And not once did the police seem to care about what I did, even when I'd bash an occasional car off the road.

Bashing cars off the road, not much fun either.  No Hollywood explosions or bodies getting tossed out.  Things we've come to expect (in defiance of reality) in the USA because we love gore.  So long as only a certain amount of nudity (and absolutely no penis) is shown, having blood and guts is fine.

The controls are pretty shit but it was just as confusing and irritating as driving a truck would be IRL.  Going backward, complete nightmare - just like real life.

Not seeing a lot of 'fun' in delivering packages back and forth especially when you have to worry about getting tickets and such.  I'd personally prefer something like the old fashioned 'car wars' computer game from the ancient days where you did have cargo but it was a bit more 'arcade' feel and people were trying to kill you and you could kill them.

Or a space game.

I'd rather worry about 'pin point' driving only during small amounts of time like combat rather than 'I'm going to be driving down this highway for a long time with a clumsy trailer on the back and need to pay attention the whole time'.  That's what this game offers.

(If anyone knows of a free demo or free game like what I was talking about above, please let me know...)



PRICES

Fuck the other travel blogs that don't show the prices of things.  That always pissed me off.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

KILL ALL HUMANS - BENDER

FAT KIDS

Because Europeans think I'm exaggerating.  

I'd like to have random readers send me pics of fat American kids to show it is an epidemic, but we have so many perverts (and suspected ones, and overly paranoid and protective parents) that taking a picture of someone else's kid would immediately get the cops called in.  If you are not white, the police then may shoot you.

Note that I have no clue where these kids are but the language is showing probably not in the USA.  Looks like Thai or Cambodian, perhaps.  [Later edit:  One of my friends fluent in the language said the picture is actually from the Republic of Georgia!  Surprised me.]



STORIES FROM UBUD

The invasive passive aggressive hippies:

Every now and then I like to stop and eat somewhere a bit nicer.  While it is possible to stick to the one to three dollar meals, every now and then you have to go nuts and get a five to ten dollar meal.  Mind you, I don't make a habit of it but every few days it is a nice treat.

Sitting around a bit nicer restaurant than what I am use to when suddenly two bongo drum wielding hippie fashion statement losers enter, sit down and begin to play.  To me, starting up noise where there was none before is very invasive and selfish.

Not this one but the 'hippie uniform' makes them pretty interchangeable.   This is a miscellaneous dirty hippie.

The customers all ignored them.  The Thai women running the restaurant didn't want any trouble.  In the USA, a fat guy wearing a wife beater T-shirt would have brandished some sort of firearm to drive off the hippie menace.  The women just looked embarrassed.  After it became obvious the two hippies weren't going to stop banging on their drums they turned off the restaurant music.

After a song which might have gotten them run out of even Burning Man, one of the hippies went around with an upturned bongo drum to collect money.  Due to the 'gosh I love to murder dirty hippies' look, he didn't approach me but his collection took in ...nothing.

The hippies went away with a shouted 'fuck you!' and the music was turned back on.

XXXL?  Same color?  Yes, I would totally wear this shirt all over the world.  If you want to get one (for yourself - sending me clothing is stupid expensive) the only website I know of is here.  If you decide to get yourself one of these and find other websites, just put them in the comments below.



WALKSIES!

People say 'walksies' to their dogs.  I say it to myself to attempt to get motivated.  When it's not bucketing down rain or looking like that is coming soon, I try to get out and move my fat ass around.  It's not really a walk so much as a sweat drenched stagger with frequent stops for sitting and complaining while drinking something cold and smoking.

If you get a bit from the usual tourist area of Ubud, the land of the touts ("Hey mister, you want taxi?") are left behind.  Friendly, smiling natives (who don't speak English) and are a big part of why people often come to Bali are encountered.  If you travel (stagger, stagger, stagger...) further you enter a new zone...

Welcome to the 'what the fuck are you doing here' zone...

This is where very few people speak English and they look at you like 'did you get dropped off here and then your driver took off'?  'Were you robbed?'  'Did the family you use to live with decide to release your fat ass back into the wild?'

After seven to nine kilometers my legs were telling me that if they were forced to continue carrying my 'Santa got nothing on me' gut around snapping off was an option, I got a motorcycle taxi.



COCKFIGHTING

Dani's Homestay is one of the few places I'd be happy to return to over and over.  Like everywhere else in the world it has disadvantages.  One of the minor disadvantages is that it is not easy to find.  You have to go through some alleys to get to it.

Or out of it.

Down one of the alleys I encountered a group of men several of whom each had their own rooster.

One called to me "Cockfighting!"  The voice tone made me think he was wanting to shock me.


If it had been kids fighting to the death with hook knives, that would have shocked me.

If the roosters had big hook knives strapped on, that would have shocked me.

If the men were using their actual cocks instead of roosters to fight, that would have shocked me.

My answer of "I know!" seemed to deflate him.

Going to have to step it up quite a few notches if you want to shock Logan.  The stuff I've seen...

For the more mild mannered among you who want to condemn cockfighting, I will put in a couple extra details that will help soothe your pansy asses.

1.  They humans weren't strapping on the barbs and such that makes cockfighting really dangerous to the birds.  It was more of a 'squabble'.

2.  If you object to cockfighting, you've obviously never lived near roosters.  After you do for a couple years you may change to a 'kill all those sonofabitches' mindset.

And this will appear to be a bit of good natured fun.



VIDEO GAME REVIEW

Yes, I'm behind the times and have just started playing "South Park - the Stick of Truth"

Not a lot of video games where you can watch things like this happening to your character...

Good stuff:  It is South Park.  If you like South Park, you'll like the dialogue and such.  Turned based combat and it actually seems to work fine in this game.  It is interesting to wander around the town and loot it.  Questing system seems fine and interesting.  The back story (extensive) of South Park is in the game.

Bad stuff:  The retarded system of save points is an unnecessary pain in the ass which will make it more difficult if you want to later try a different character class (like 'the Jew').  Also, there is no way to remap your keys.  I've checked out several forums on this and a) everyone hates both and b) the company that made the game has your money and doesn't care.  Missing an arm?  Fuck you - you don't need to remap your keys you commie lefty!



TRAVELER'S TIP - INDONESIA

Bring extra dental floss if you use it.  They don't here and it is freakishly ($20) expensive.


Saturday, May 2, 2015

RANTS ON PANTS

LOGAN'S VOYAGE

The blog of gritty travel.  More popular than even Bill Cosby after all those women came out saying he drugged and raped them.  (Note, to the best of my knowledge this blog has never gone out and raped anyone.  If it has, please report that to Bill Cosby.)



WHAT TO DO AND WHERE TO GO

Another bout of indecision.


When you have the whole world it is harder than 'pick one'.

Where ever I choose to go, the current plan (since I already have a ticket) is to head back to the major airport of Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia, where I got dengue, AKA 'KL') and immediately - or after sleeping the night in the airport - fly out to the next destination.  This quick bounce will be assumed on all of the choices below.  Flying out of major hubs is much cheaper.

Some current possibilities including possible good points and bad points:


Back to Indonesia.


     I have no earthly idea what is drawing me to the town of Banda Aceh and more specifically the island of Pulau Weh.  Stuff costs more on islands.  The internet is much worse - and Indonesia has shitty internet as it is.  It is possible to do diving there but do I want to drop a few hundred dollars to get certified?  It is Indonesia so it is possible to live cheaply here but generally I find islands dull.


Myanmar.

Will it look this cool when I get there?  The fuck it will.

     After doing some research it still seems pretty rough by comparison to other places.  While they say they want tourists, visas on arrival are looking pretty sketchy and they don't yet have much in the way of tourist infrastructure.  After looking in to it, I'm thinking 'perhaps later'.


Back to Cambodia.  To drink.

I googled 'drunken Logan Horsford' and this image came up.  I've no idea why.  Perhaps I become Mr. Spock when I drink enough?

     Given the increases in prices within my favorite city (Siem Reap, the rest of the country I found unappealing) it's not really a 'good place to save money any more'.  I'm sure you can live cheaply there but I know myself when cheap alcohol is available.


Thailand/Laos/Vietnam

If this picture offends you, wait till you actually get there.  Then, you'll learn what being offended really means.  But nobody cares if you are offended.

     Still baffled as to why people enjoy these places so much.  Not really thrilled by them.  Not in a big hurry to go back though I do like Thai food.


South Korea


     The fact that a lot of people make you specify which one when you mention 'Korea' should be punished with a slap.  Few people and perhaps none in their right mind really ever consider a vacation in sunny North Korea.  According to everyone, Korea has amazing internet.  The problem is that it is a bit expensive.  Wouldn't be saving money here but it would be leaking out of me a bit.  The chance for Korean food (and alcohol) is tempting.


Philippines.  The non-violent parts.

As you may have guessed by how thin the guy with the covered head is, this is NOT Logan.

Within striking distance of those at a fairly reasonable price.  This might be a possibility but a lot more research would be needed.  Where are the safe areas?  Can I afford to drink a lot of rum?  Prices even on wikitravel look a bit higher.  I'd have to find a good, cheap, safe area close to Cebu where I'd be flying in to lay low for a bit.  But given recent events - might be a bit dicey for slow moving fat man.  Not sure but it might be something to look at again in a couple months.  Especially since I will be wanting rum then.


Eventually, I decided 'fuck it' and stuck with the original plan.  Booked a $110 (with return to KL) plane ticket to Banda Aceh in Indonesia.

Some people might ask "Won't you already be bored with Indonesia after a month?"   It is possible but Bali is a very different place from the rest of Indonesia.

So I will take off to a pretty remote city and from there go to a more remote island and from there a pretty remote place on the island.

No not that island and yes, I am old enough to have seen episodes in black and white on TV.  Back when you could say 'black and white' about the TV and not get called 'racist'.

We'll see how that works out but I'm guessing the internet will be shit.


It's still mentally painful to me to buy tickets ahead of time but when you are stuck in an island country with a short assed visa, it is necessary.



TYPICAL DAY IN BALI

Because people may be curious as to what I do on a daily basis, I'll give them a typical day.  When I am 'just hanging out' in a fixed location as I am now, it is much less exciting than fighting with the transport people and looking at new grotty places to stay.

Woke up at around noon.  Didn't get any word from some expats I was going to meet so figured the rain wiped out those plans.

Coffee and cigarettes.  Dani (Dani's Homestay) makes good coffee.  Sit around and drink that while blearily gazing around the grounds.  Since I got a new cell phone in Malaysia, I've got John Cleese's book "So Anyway" (autobiography) on it and read some of that.  Usually, I don't have breakfast at Dani's.  Although his breakfast is a whole lot better than the stale cereal, stale bread and gnarly jam offered at most places I'm just not hungry when I first wake up.  Often Dani will come hang out with me while I'm drinking breakfast.  He's not super talkative but he does make an effort.

There seems to be a movie called 'Coffee and Cigarettes' so I'm not the only one who enjoys these things.

It was pouring down rain but unless I walk for at least five kilometers, my body gets sore and upset.  Wrapped up some of my electronics (phone) in a plastic bag, grabbed the umbrella and walked through a whole lot of overflowing gutters.  Best not to think about the gutters too much.

While out wandering around, stopped by a convenience store to buy a Nescafe cold coffee.  Sat around talking with the taxi drivers who were desperate to get someone - anyone - into their money box.  They were depressed because nobody was wandering the streets.  The Balinese people thought I was nuts for walking around in that weather.  The questions often peter out after the usual ones - "where you from", "how long you stay here".  I'm pretty open to answer all of the questions except "where you stay".  On that, watch me get vague.  I'll point out the general area and 'forget' the name of the place.  Self defense there.  Aside from getting a chance to speak with the locals, talking to the cab drivers also has the added benefit that they don't repeatedly yell 'taxi' or 'transport' at you - just 'hi'.

Always be cautious of which information to be free with.

After traipsing around for a couple hours, stopped at a noodle place and had noodles, meatballs, mystery meat and some sort of green chopped up weed.  Sounds like a lot of food but it all fits into a small bowl and costs around seventy five cents.  Probably not the healthiest thing to eat but I do enjoy it.

Waded back to the home stay and had a shower.  Oh, sweet irony!

A picture movie buffs can feel smug about knowing.

Stressed and researched for an hour or two about where to go next.  Eventually just bought a ticket so I wouldn't have to keep thinking about it and could go back to relaxing.  Researching is one of the parts of travel I don't relish.

Sat around typing the blog until night started falling.  Since I only had one (rather than my usual two) bowls of noodles, began to think about food.  Unfortunately, I'd completely forgotten my first time out to get more soda (diet because I am a fat bastard) to drink tonight so I'll have to go a lot further to procure that.

No, I'd said 'night was falling' not 'the dark knight was falling'.  There is a difference.

Walked to a far away Delta (an in-convenience store) to buy diet Coke as I'd bought all the closer one had.  "No have."  "When will you get more?"  Shrug.  Pretty much unless a store has something you can see right there on the shelf, that's it.  The people usually don't care about looking in the back room (which may have no stock in it anyway), getting more stock (fuck it, it's gone), knowing when more stock will arrive (assume never) or really even appearing to care (they don't).  Asking about stuff they don't have is just an exercise in futility and frustration.  Move on.  So I did to the bigger further away store which had a nice display of them.  Grabbed a few and lugged them through the bumper to bumper traffic.

These clerks would probably be more helpful.

You will have to either cross the road several times or walk on the road most of the time.  Asians view sidewalks not so much as a place for people to walk but as a place to store things on, work on, ride motorcycles over pedestrians on and such.  You will be a streetwalker in no time.  Moving on.

After a meal in a local warung (small cafe, cold food but cheap) I headed back to my lodging.  Once there, alcohol, write the blog and play my latest video game "South Park - the Stick of Truth".

Which I haven't gotten to yet.  Because I'm busy entertaining you.  You ungrateful person.  :)

Eventually, when my brain becomes too soggy to continue on I will watch some shows which fell off a truck then go to bed between three and five in the morning.

Not a bad time.



RANTS ON PANTS

Due to my immense size (nearly double everyone else in weight if not in height) I have to take what I can find for clothing.  Fair enough.

Bought some shorts and they have netting in them.

Note these are not Logan's actual pants because the camera simply wouldn't zoom out far enough.

This is pretty common for men's shorts which are supposedly swim trunks.

Are they afraid that once you hit the water in them your cock will try to escape?

Is it mosquito netting?

Could it be for a survival show where Bear Grylls cuts out the netting, shows you how to fish with it then spends a sleepless night swatting mosquitoes off his cock?

What is this for?

In frustration, I googled it.  Apparently, it is somehow made to try to keep your grotesquely large nut sack from bashing repeatedly into your legs while attempting to swim.  The heavy balls could actually knock one of your legs right off.

Don't let this happen to YOU!


PRICES

Alcohol about x3.  Seriously, saw a bottle of Captain Morgan's on the shelf for about $60.  Religion can equal excessive taxes.


Wednesday, April 29, 2015

THE SOIREE

THE SOIREE

One nice thing about wandering the planet is when your paths cross with old friends.

Granted, this doesn't happen as much as sitting in the same town all your life when you may run into other people in similar ruts at the local grocery store you've both shopped for years.

This makes it more special.

My buddy (who I will call Sherlock Holmes out of respect for his privacy and because he fucking is Sherlock Holmes) has a new girlfriend I shall call Irene though she has nothing in common with Miss Adler.

It just fits the Sherlock thing.

Note that I mistakenly - and often - give out their real first names later.  Like in the video I made of the room.  This is because I am often found to be doing stupid stuff.  But the whole Sherlock and Irene thing helps keep me amused so I'm sticking with it.

It was a 'significant birthday' and gathered a whole bunch of her friends to attend.

And then Logan farted and killed the dog...

This gathering is to take place in the Australian haven for drinking, southern Bali.  Since it is only a four or five hour plane ride (drunk it is no time at all) from Australia, folks from there have been flooding in for years and attempting to equalize the prices of third world Indonesia with their homeland.  They've nearly succeeded.

As I am convalescing in Bali from my latest near death experience

"NOBODY SYMPATHIZES WITH ME HAVING SO MANY 'NEAR LOGAN' EXPERIENCES..."

...Sherlock contacted me and kindly invited me to the party.

Fortunately, I was to go out a few hours early and that would give me valuable one on one time to hang out with them.  Because hosts are always swirling about and chatting with different guests I didn't want to attempt to monopolize their time at the party.

Irene also insisted on getting me a fancy - and extremely expensive - hotel room for the night.  She said there was no arguing.  When a woman tells you that, it is best just to graciously accept.  If you want to argue you can but you will still be sleeping in the hotel room but with hard feelings all around.

So I took the room.  Here is a video of it.  I apologize for the sideways view but have no idea how to change it.

After a quick lunch in the Australian town (though we did spot some of the locals) Irene went for her pre-party freshen up leaving Sherlock and I to discuss life over several drinks.

Even while it was taking place I knew this was the 'golden time', the 'jam in the jelly roll' or 'the money you find in your jeans which has not been destroyed by the washer'.

Just getting to sit and catch up with him was great.  [And yes other people reading this, I would like to do that with you all too some day.  Sherlock was even clever enough to bring booze.  While I didn't want to have any alcohol he managed to force some down.]

Mr Sherlock Holmes. Pictured here in woeful under dress and disarray. Lacking items include top hat, frock coat and laser guided chainsaw.

Though we were continually warned by Irene to stay trim (was it?  Not sure - the message was 'don't get drunk before the party) I was slurring my words by the time she got back.  I wasn't drunk by any stretch but messing with people is always fun.

And on to the party.

There were about twenty people in attendance including old and current co-workers and their assorted significant others and families.

It was a nice, quiet crowd.

They stack food to show you it is 'fancy'.

The venue (read as place the event was held) had one good aspect, one bad and one 'wtf'.  This is pretty common in Asia.

The good aspect was (up to a certain point) they were amazing at taking care of people.  If you lit a cigarette, an ash tray appeared next to your hand.  If you ran out of a drink, there would be someone to find out what you wanted next.  They were friendly, quick and remembered your name.  Probably the best service I've ever experienced.

The bad aspect was that a rooftop venue (over a place which liked to play loud music) was for some reason chosen.  This rooftop had - to be blunt - no roof.  Nor did they seem to have any idea that it sometimes rains in Indonesia.  They were short about thirty umbrellas.   Fortunately, it didn't rain all that long.

The WTF aspect happened after the (extraordinary) bill was paid.  All of the great service immediately stopped as though someone had thrown a switch.  The staff pretty much avoided the party goers and ignored them.  It was like "You've paid, we're not getting anything else for being nice to you, get the fuck out."  Very strange indeed.  I'd have made sure they kept being nice until everyone went away.  That's how you get repeat business.  Better than the Aussies saying "Be sure not to pay them until everyone is headed out the door because once they get their money they don't give a fuck about you."


Baffling.

In the morning, got a decent breakfast with my 'breakfast voucher' from the hotel and paid a moderately unhappy (that I knew the correct price) driver to get back to Ubud.  I wouldn't have minded having more chatting time but they had stuff to do.

Where all of that amazing food immediately took the other exit out from my body, claiming it was 'too rich for my colon'.

The important thing was Irene seemed happy with the party.  I was happy to get to go there and visit with an old friend.  Got to meet some other nice and interesting people at the party as well.

And Holmes?  He seemed bemused and happy to see me as well.

In a few days, he will be back in Australia chasing down Moriarty.

The kind of master criminal we all want to be.





LAST WEEK TONIGHT

After watching S2E11, I put this on their Facebook page.

Low prices vs slave labor in other countries.

Adorable.  Partially because I couldn't find grown men whipping kids to make them work like in the second Indiana Jones movie.

We Americans will always choose the slave labor in other countries because a) we're cheap, b) we spend more than we make due to the black magic of credit cards  c) the injustices and horror are not in front of their face.

Having traveled to and lived in those countries for the last four years (continuously) I can also tell you some other things that never seem to be in the news.

Those kids were not abducted in the middle of the night by roving bands of gypsies.  They got those jobs because it is often 'that or don't eat'.  Most places around the world the kids help with the income for the household and get a little schooling when they can.

There is a lot of talk about 'safety standards'.  They don't have them.  Not in the factories, not anywhere.  Because of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia killing everyone who wore glasses, I've witnessed people welding doing so without even the benefit of sunglasses.  Not a welding helmet, sunglasses.  People in other countries sometimes use those because welding helmets cost money hence are not supplied.  Like fire extinguishers.

In conclusion, while it is horrible compared to the USA and other westernized countries the rest of the world uses a much different measuring stick.  It's shorter and has barbs on it.  Due to less than half of the people in the USA owning a passport - much less using it to go anywhere other than Canada, Mexico or some beach resort to get drunk and pass out - their understanding of the rest of the world doesn't seem great nor realistic.



MY IDEA FOR SOUTH PARK (written on their Facebook page)

Announcer 1:  "Sadly, survival shows have been going really downhill in the ratings."

Announcer 2:  "That's true.  They've tried both A and B list celebrities pared up with survival experts!  It's just not boosting the ratings like they'd hoped."

Announcer 1:  "Fortunately, they have a new show they are airing a pilot of where they are trying something radically new!  They are paring a survival expert with someone who would have no chance of surviving!"

"Next week on Dubious Survival - Bear Grylls is pared with...Timmy!"


Bear:  "Normally to drink urine, you place it in a bottle and drink from that but we don't have a bottle.  Timmy is looking pretty dehydrated.  I'm going to have to help him!"

Timmy:  "Timmy?"  (pause)  (very wet)  "Timmy!"



COSTS

'Warung' means small cafe.  A meal there is generally .77 to 3.09 USD.  Eating at restaurants serving foreign food can cost three times (or much, much) more.

Hotel room in southern Bali (where the people from Australia go) can be around $100 USD.

Getting back and forth from the southern part of the island to Ubud, 250,000 IRD.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

FORMAL PARTY - THE PREPARATION

THE BIRTHDAY

I'm writing some of this before it happens and some afterward.  It's more organic that way.  Plus, it would be cheating to tell everyone what happens before it happens.  Damned laws of physics.


My buddy I'll call Mr. Holmes (Sherlock - he's really really really clever) has a new special lady.  It's going to be her birthday in a couple days.  I got invited to her party at a very swank place.  I was given two instructions.  Buy a shirt and don't get drunk before the (open bar!) party.

"Logan?  Are you listening to me?  Are you drunk right now?  When I say bring a shirt, that does NOT mean pants are optional!  Now, what did I say?"

Clearly, I am one of those kind of friends who must be explained beforehand and apologized for afterward.

No clue why I am not invited to more formal events...

Fair enough.  I'm a lot like Duran fruit - only some people like me.

And, if you kill me I smell really horrible.  Sometimes, I don't even need to be killed to smell really horrible.  I'm versatile like that.

So I run out and buy an expensive (for me) button up shirt.  It is now my 'one nice shirt' and promise myself to wait to get drunk.   I do have several bottles of illegal liquor on the way.  Good times.

They also tell me they are getting me a hotel room in the swank area.  Really, I'm torn on this.  I know the people involved are all well to do (well, bloody rich compared to Logan) but it's only an hour and a half drive back to where I'm staying.  The upside is if I stay there, I might get to spend a bit more time with them.

They insist, I let it ride.

Yes, I'm greedy to spend time with friends.

What I imagine.  Not pictured, Logan who has been taken by the staff for the 'hosing off of extra food' ritual.

Bit concerned about this area.  It seems to be the kind of place where you can easily blow $100 on a bottle of wine.  Bit more than my normal $10.

Good deal.  So excited to go I have to get reminded by the owner of the hostel that it is not tomorrow (from time of writing) but the day after.

Crap.

Time is a confidence trick invented by the Swiss to sell watches.

Sitting in a mellow happy place when suddenly I remember...

...It's a birthday.

Oh crap!

My expression.

Present!

OK.  I've got to shop for a woman close to my age.  Who I've not yet met.  Or talked to.  Or been told about.

What the hell do you get?

It would be rough even for a guy but I could get him a shitload of little skull candles.  Men understand these sorts of gift - unless they are really sheltered.

Women, not so much.  Women like gifts that show you put time into it and thought about them.

Yes men - if it shows those two things, generally women like it.  Generally.

OK.  I've got one of those two.

I get a general idea of what to get.  Not going to write it down as I'm going to publish this before the birthday and she might read it.  It could happen.

I am one of 'Sherlock's' strange friends and she may be curious.

Not telling, will tell in the blog after.

As I'm walking around, I get hailed by some guy in a cab.  Normally, I just ignore strange men in the cabs.  They see a fat, white ATM wandering around who could be riding around and paying them.

You want a ride tomorrow too?

Turns out it is my buddy, his lady and another couple.  And their driver.  Weird.  They're going to lunch but they just wanted to say a quick 'hi' as they go by.

Neat.  Foreshadowing.

Back to wandering around eight - yes eight - kilometers while it rains on me through the shopping area.  They're really aggressive here.  Putting stuff in your hand and backing away type aggressive.  Irritatingly aggressive.

Decide on quantity.  Maybe one of the things I got she will like.

Who knows.

Escape the shopping area, discover I've lost my key at some point, buy a new one and drop off the gifts.

Go graze.

Think about alcohol.

Write a blog.

Smoke.


Now let's just review for a second here.

For those who remember the classic movie "The Blue's Brothers".  Remember the apartment Elwood had?  "You bring me my cheese whiz boy?"  Full of old men smoking?  That was a lot like the place I was staying at when I collapsed on the floor.  Twice.  A few days ago.

And in two days, I'm going to be at the kind of swanky resort that has an 'interactive website'.

Nobody can say I don't get variety...



TRAVELER'S TIP

Negotiation percentage - street stuff for Bali.  Go for a bit less than half, get talked up to approximately half of their asking price.  Note that shops either have a much smaller percentage or do not negotiate at all.



VIDEOS

Dani's Home Stay - the other room


PICTURES

{{2011}} London, GB | Rail N Sail | Amsterdam, Netherlands | Prague, Czech Republic | Budapest, Hungary | Sarajevo, Bosnia | Romania | Chisinau, Moldova | Ukraine: Odessa - Sevastopol | Crossed Black Sea by ship | Georgia: Batumi - Tbilisi - Telavi - Sighnaghi - Chabukiani | Turkey: Kars - Lost City of Ani - Goreme - Istanbul | Jordan: Amman - Wadi Rum | Israel | Egypt: Neweiba - Luxor - Karnak - Cairo | Thailand: Bangkok - Pattaya - Chaing Mai - Chaing Rei | Laos: Luang Prabang - Pakse | Cambodia: Phnom Penh | Vietnam: Vung Tau - Saigon aka Ho Chi Minh City

{{2012}} Cambodia: Kampot - Sihanoukville - Siem Reap - Angkor Wat | Thailand: Bangkok | India: Rishikesh - Ajmer - Pushkar - Bundi - Udaipur - Jodhpur - Jasalmer - Bikaner - Jaipur - Agra - Varanasi | Nepal: Kathmandu - Chitwan - Pokhara - Bhaktapur - (Rafting) - Dharan | India: Darjeeling - Calcutta Panaji | Thailand: Bangkok - again - Krabi Town | Malaysia, Malaka | Indonesia: Dumas - Bukittinggi - Kuta - Ubud - 'Full Throttle' - Gili Islands - Senggigi | Cambodia: Siem Reap | Thailand: Trat | Turkey: Istanbul | Georgia: Tbilisi

{{2013}} Latvia: Riga | Germany: Berlin | Spain: Malaga - Grenada | Morocco: Marrakech - Essauira - Casablanca - Chefchawen - Fes | Germany: Frankfurt | Logan's Home Invasion USA: Virginia - Michigan - Indiana - Illinois - Illinois - Colorado | Guatemala: Antigua - San Pedro | Honduras: Copan Ruinas - Utila | Nicaragua: Granada | Colombia: Cartagena | Ecuador: Otavalo - Quito - Banos - Samari (a spa outside of Banos) - Puyo - Mera

{{2014}} Peru: Lima - Nasca - Cusco | Dominican Republic | Ukraine: Odessa Odessa | Bulgaria: Varna - Plovdiv | Macedonia: Skopje Bitola Ohrid Struga | Albania: Berat Sarande | Greece: Athens | Italy: Naples Pompeii Salerno | Tunisia: Hammamet 1

{{2015}} 2 | South Africa: Johnnesburg | Thailand: Hua Hin Hat Yai | Malaysia: Georgetown | Thailand: Krabi Town | Indonesia:
Krabi Town
For videos with a Loganesque slant, be sure to visit here and you can Facebook Logan if you wish.

If you enjoy this blog, please donate! Help Logan keep on traveling.