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Thursday, February 10, 2011

46 DAYS TO GO

EGYPT

After reading this and seeing "The Obama administration got what it said it wanted when Hosni Mubarak surrendered power." I'm curious. Did the US government somehow overthrow another foreign government? Also, I had no idea we wanted it overthrown. It had been around forever and speaking from my time over there a couple of decades ago it was safe for us. I didn't think we wanted to muck about with it.

Guess it shows what I know about high level politics.



MOVIE TIP - YELLOWBEARD

Not an easy movie to find but if you are fans of Monty Python (or even Cheech and Chong) it is a 'sleeper' film that you are sure to like. Full of great lines and funny scenes. Check it out.



CONSPIRACY THEORIES

I found a list of different ones online - there is some wild stuff in there. Maybe they will be of interest to someone who wants to find a new outlet for their insanity. A current relevant one is on their section entitled 'Coups d'état'. Given some of the news of late, I'm thinking that the list may need to be updated.


MONEY

From this site, some interesting quotes on dealing with money overseas.

On exchanging currency: "The most convenient location (such as at airports, or major hotels) can be the worst rates available. If possible, check the difference between "we sell" and "we buy". When this is more than 10%, you're definitely being ripped off. The best exchanges can go as low as 2%. Also, check if there is an additional commission for each transaction."

Then entire section on 'black market exchange' is worth a read if you are going to that kind of country.

On coins: "You can't exchange coins once you have left a country." - Found that out at my bank. Hopefully, I'll be able to sell some of the Canadian coins I've got to a currency exchange - not sure on that. I will try it as I don't think I'm going to make it back to Canada any time soon. Also, "To avoid accumulating too many coins in the first place, use them as much as possible to pay (instead of notes) during cash transactions." If I can't exchange them, they will be of use in poor boxes, for tips to service personnel (who may have more ability to get them changed than I do) and anyone else I can schloff them off onto.

On 'Carrying money across national borders': "...if you carry large amounts of money (typically more than $10,000 US, Euro, or similar hard corrency) you will need to declare it." - God, I'd love to have that fucking problem.



UPDATED MAP

I've made a new map.


I think it should be pretty self explanatory.

The UK has the £ sign on it to show that they are really expensive to Americans. And everyone else.

Schengen for those just tuning in refers to the Schengen Agreement which allows you to stay inside of any countries within the dark red border for a maximum total (regardless of which countries) for a max of 90 days.

Romania and Bulgaria have a different border on them. I did this to show that they are not yet in the Schengen Agreement, it is pending. I'm not sure if going to them will count against the Schengen time ticker but I'm guessing it won't. I'll have to check closer when I get there - it might be interesting to spend some time in those countries while waiting for my Schengen Agreement time to reset. [You have to be out for three months then you can go back in.]

The countries with flames on them (Tunisia and Egypt) are countries currently in some sort of rebellion. Best to be wary though by the time I'm ready to visit them, they may have calmed down.

The countries with skulls on them. Quite frankly, I'm a bit concerned about my safety. If I had a different passport than a USA one to travel on (God, I'd love a Canadian passport) I might be tempted to get into those but I'm just not sure if the risk/reward ratio is absolutely worth it.

The countries with a guy pointing at his painful ass are - you guessed it 'pain in the ass countries'. From what I've read, these countries are currently (at the time of this printing in 2011) a pain in the ass to visit due to things like a high border cost and low amount of time you can stay there. Some of these countries also require proof you are leaving - like an airline ticket or some such. Honestly, after looking at a lot of the PITA countries, I'm curious as to who would try to stay longer than 90 days and why the heck they would. [Disclaimer on Israel - I know they themselves are not a pain in the ass but if you get their stamp on your passport, other countries won't let you in - you pretty much have to buy a new passport. At this time there isn't a lot I really have a burning desire to see that would justify a $160 cost of replacing my passport and all of the hassle of doing so. So, I'll just stay out of it until I've seen everything else I'm wanting to see or the passport is getting close to expiration. Then, slip in.] It would perhaps be best not to have the border guards from say, Belarius take a look at this map...

The small countries East of Italy and North of Greece are interesting - they might be a way to spend some time before creeping back into the Schengen countries. Sadly, they still have problems with unexploded land mines and such.

After making this map, it seems that there are a couple easy divisions of countries and a big swath of them I could check out if I wanted to get back into the Schengen countries quick.

I'm very curious as to what Georgia has to offer with it's 'we fucking love tourists please come to our country and stay for almost a whole year' visa. Gosh, I wish other countries did that.

I'm very glad that the 'Schengen' thing hasn't spread over more of Europe - it would be a lot tougher to do what I'm going to do if it did. I'm also curious if you can bypass it by purchasing (or getting) a special visa into one of the countries rather than using the Schengen agreement. But, I've got enough of the world to see I'm not too worried about that just yet.

Asian map of visitation will come soon.

2 comments:

  1. Georgia is currently occupied by Russia and there have been on going conflicts in the region. Some interesting Docos about the conflict. Some with the spin from the Russian side, some with a spin from the Georgian side. You may wish to track them down to get a better understanding as to the situation there.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Are you talking about http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008_South_Ossetia_war

    That?

    ReplyDelete

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 | Bulgaria: Varna - Plovdiv | Macedonia: Skopje - Bitola - Ohrid - Struga | Albania: Berat - Sarande | Greece: Athens | Italy: Naples - Pompeii - Salerno | Tunisia: Hammamet 1

{{2015}} Hammamet 2 | South Africa: Johnnesburg | Thailand: Hua Hin - Hat Yai | Malaysia: Georgetown | Thailand: Krabi Town | Indonesia:
Sabang Island | Bulgaria: Plovdiv | Romania: Ploiesti - Targu Mures | Poland: Warsaw | Czech Republic: Prague | Germany: Munich | Netherlands: Groningen | England: Slough | Thailand: Ayutthaya - Khon Kaen - Vang Vieng | Cambodia: Siem Reap

{{2016}} Thailand: Kanchanaburi - Chumphon | Malaysia: Ipoh - Kuala Lumpur - Kuching - Miri | Ukraine: Kiev | Romania: Targu Mures - Barsov | Morocco: Tetouan

{{2017}} Portugal: Faro | USA: Virginia - Michigan - Illinois - Colorado | England: Slough - Lancaster | Thailand: Bangkok | Cambodia: Siem Reap |

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