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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

FEAR THE DENTIST (28 days to go!)

UPRISINGS

Looking at this map from the only Arabic newspaper I know of, Aljazeera, they have printed an interesting map that shows all of the current 'hot' regions.Holy shit! I'm not a political science follower, but I think that may be most - if not all - of the 'Arabic world'. For tourism my initial thought is 'tricky'.



CLARIFICATION

As I have been asked, I did want to specify that at this time I am still (trapped) in the USA. What you are reading now is my planning, scheming and preparation. A lot of people who are traveling you read thir blogs and such when they are already traveling but I've always wondered things like 'what did they do to get to where they're at?' What kind of plans did they make before going? Is their trip happening the way they thought it would?

Some things I am planning on having in my blog when I get overseas (if things work out the way I'm thinking they will - though I could be wrong) include:

Pictures of 'the fat guy' in front of various tourist things. ("Oh, I like the pictures from Logan's blog but who is that fat guy in them?")

Prices of how much things cost? I've noticed that this seems to be a major oversight of most of the travel stuff I've seen/read. They don't say 'how much they spent and what they got for it'. I'm curious as to what kind of room they got in some remote place and how much it cost them. What kind of people will I meet? I'm curious as to whether travel costs as much as I think it does or is it less or more? I'm not sure what percentage of Americans even own a passport - I looked on the internet and found this but according to the author, getting reliable statistics is not really possible. But, I read somewhere that 80% of Americans don't travel. I would go so far as to say 'roughly 80% of the soldiers I met pretty much stay in the American sectors or on base when they are stationed overseas' as well. Not really sure on that part. Regardless, I think I am safe in saying that 'Americans, on average, don't leave their country'. Personally, I don't think people should be allowed to vote unless they've traveled a certain amount. What that certain amount is and where to is up for debate. To get back on track, I'm thinking that this blog might help someone who is thinking about going traveling ("If the fat guy who has some trouble walking can do it...") or wanting to live vicariously through my travels (a shocking percentage of Americans play sports vicariously through watching professional sports teams on TV so I don't see why this shouldn't work) then that's great. Maybe it will help someone out. Others will just read this blog for entertainment value. To be generous, one may say that I often see things in a different light than other people. Others may say (statistically speaking) that I am 'two standard deviations from the mean'. Still others may say "He's a weird fucker (not me in the picture)." However you want to read it, there may be some entertainment reading value here. Certainly better than some things you can find out there. Mind you, I don't think I'm anyone special - just a guy with an opportunity who is going to take it. Hopefully, I'll have more to talk about than movie reviews and 'what's on TV' when I get there. Speaking of that -



TV SHOW REVIEW - Francesco's Mediterranean Voyage

The narrator, Francesco, is from Venice. He has a pronounced accent. Some find it charming, I just found it 'very different'. It is a 12 part series, each part lasting half an hour hence six hours of documentary all together. It's pretty interesting. He goes and sees some interesting stuff.

One of the things he did that I really liked was go to a Turkish barber. After seeing that, I want to as well. The barber went after everything - regular hair, nose hair, ear hair, shave with a straight razor, back rub, hand rub, etc. I want that. I'm betting it didn't cost much either!

Since I'm currently not shaving often, I would really like someone (professional) to give me a shave with a straight razor.

The Turkish baths also look awesome.

There was a lot of stuff he did that involved hiking up places and such but I don't think I'll be able to do that stuff. This Francesco guy is one of the most tactile guys I've ever seen. He is constantly wanting to do and touch things I'd be hesitant to do and touch. Like oil wrestling - I'm not doing that. Touching archaeological things - I know better.

I've got to say that the boat tour he did really looked great. I'd love to do something like that but I couldn't afford to charter the boat (gosh, that would cost plenty) and I don't think I could get a 'working passage' due to a) general 'crippliness' and b) inexperience and c) overall incompetence.

Over all, it's a pretty nifty series, comparable to Michael Palins' various shows. I'm not sure how either would rate for people who weren't planning on traveling though. I rate it (and Palin's) as 'useful but not collectible'.



HUNGARY

After reading the interesting article Pete found that includes information on Budapest that said "Hostels in Budapest start at 6 Euros ($8 USD) per night and private rooms double that. Meals at the markets or at the plethora of Kebab and sandwich shops are around $2 USD."

After checking out the map of Hungary, I'm not seeing anywhere that really sticks out as 'I must visit here'. A few of the bigger cities (Gyor, Pecs, Debrecen and Szeged) look as though they might have some interesting stuff in them but nothing I must positively absolutely go see. I am interested to see if it is as cheap as the article suggests. Not including transportation, it's looking like under $20 per day.



DENTIST OF DOOM

In a few hours, Bert is taking me to the dentist. I am not looking forward to getting a tooth pulled. We'll see if they are competent enough to actually pull it this time. Either way, I'll blog about it...

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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

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