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Friday, May 27, 2011

DEATH OF A DENTIST

NOTE ON EUROPEAN TIMES

All times are given on the 24 hour clock. One PM is referred to as 13:00. Since I was in the military, this is no big deal for me. We used it there. If you are confused by a time that appears too big, just subtract 12 from it. Personally, I'm glad they use it - AM and PM can sometimes get you into trouble.



DEATH OF A DENTIST

So I went back to the dental office. Today, they were telling me a different story. An X-ray of just one tooth is 40 UAH. Normally, switching the deal on Logan makes Logan say "Good day" and leave immediately but I figured I'd been delaying on this fucking tooth for long enough. So I bit my tongue, smiled and said "Certainly. Lets do it." They X-rayed the tooth. Two dentists took a look at it and discussed stuff. They then called Olga - the lady who has most of the English speaking skills of the office - and had her translate the verdict.

They said that they didn't particularly like the looks of it but nothing needed to be done. They suggested I have it X-rayed again in six months to get a new analysis then.

This concurred with my "I know I don't know shit about dentistry" analysis of the Xray.

I was a bit surprised though because this answer has pretty much zero chance of gaining them any money at all. I'm use to having medical places try to make sure I get their services so they get paid.

Weird.

So this issue is 'dead' for six months. At that point, hopefully I'll remember to get to a new dentist.



WANDERING AROUND

So, I was wandering around by the boat docks today and found one of those little cruise ships that was powering up to take off. I got lucky and found someone who spoke English. They said that the journey was about 45 minutes long and the boat returned to whence it started. It was only 70 UAH (less than $10) for a cruise around a tiny bit of the Black Sea. I'd never done it before so I figured 'why not'. Unless it turns into a Gilligan's Island thing I should have plenty of time to reach the church to meet Couch Surfer Elena by 17:30.

On the boat ride, I noticed that I was the only person who was staring out to see while we were riding around. Everyone else was looking back toward land. I had been talking to Adam the hostel owner about how a person would get work on one of the sail boats. Apparently they do take people who have no experience, skills or anything like that. They are looking for social compatibility for a small vessel for a few weeks. That I can do. And the ability to stand watch during various times. I was in the military and know exactly what standing a four hour watch starting at 02:00 is like. Tedious. But I can do that for a couple weeks to get a new experience.

The big problem is that you have to know where the boats will be leaving from and be there and available to go whenever. The availability is not a problem but these places the boats start from are fucking expensive places - like Monte Carlo. Not the kind of places you really want to sit around for a couple weeks hoping to get a boat ride for a couple weeks. So, the quandry continues. I'll get educated on it and put the info in the blog here. I'm sure that someone out there is also interested in where and when boats leave from and may want to try this out. The biggest barrier on this seems to be knowledge as well as luck to get taken onto a ship. I'm convinced I am a lucky bastard (look where the fuck I am now) so I just need to get the knowledge. And when I get it, so will you.

Note, I'm not thinking about becoming a full time sailor - I'm just thinking that sailing around for awhile in a small boat would be an interesting experience.


Through trial and error, I've finally learned how to navigate this city and find my way back to the hostel. What absolutely kills me is that Pete would have figured it out in a few minutes. Me it took a couple days. If you're thinking "Logan, you're too hard on yourself" - I've seen the man operate, I know of what I speak. If you're not thinking I'm too hard on myself, you're a mea person who sacrifices puppies to Satan. On the good side of the news though, I think I know this city better than Jana knows Prague. Zing!

According to Adam, most police shakedowns occur late night. They don't like to be seen doing it.



PHILOSOPHY

I've noticed in both Moldova and Ukraine - countries in which finding someone who speaks English is tricky, they seem to prefer American techno. This differs from the 1970's and 1980's music found further west. I suspect the people who like techno like it for the rhythms and such because they have no idea what the lyrics are. They haven't figured out a way to dub them like they do the movies (boo!) yet.

I've noticed a lot of girls (here especially) like to wear the tight/short shirts or short shorts - even if they shouldn't. If a girl has a beer belly, love handles or a muffin top I'm not sure why they believe that revealing clothing will fix this. Every time I see this sort of thing I am tempted to flash my huge hairy belly at them in retaliation.

I'm working on cutting a deal with the hostel for a reduced rate for the room if I am here longer. I may stay here a week and the go south to Sevastopol and check it out.

"A lot of people base security on routine." - Logan



COSTS

Skewer at an outdoor cafe, 59 UAH

Two cappuccinos and a fruit juice thing, 52 UAH.



ELENA

I met her through the 'have a drink' option of Couch Surfing and got to have a talk with her at a cafe. Here is what she told me [note that all of these are paraphrases!]:

Some people want to belong to Russia, others to Ukraine.

Russian people are rather aggressive, impatient, self centered and believe their point of view is the only right one. The Russians she talked to agreed and said "Yes, we Russians are like that."

The Russian government is very strict. In Ukraine, the media can criticize politicians and whatnot. In Russia, they don't have the freedom to.

In Russia, there are only five to seven cities with good infrastructure - the rest are villages. Ukraine is more developed.

People from Odessa love their city.

The older generation still likes communism. The younger generation thinks independence is better.

It's not about independence - it's about freedom of speech, thought and travel.

Corruption in Ukraine is as normal as saying 'hello'. You have to have the right friends (and contacts) to do things like open your own business.

She was a lot of fun to talk to and I think we're suppose to get together again later - though I'm not sure when just yet. I do know that I was surprised at how quickly the time went by. I'm looking forward to visiting with her again.



FUTURE PLANS

I'm going to try living cheaply here for awhile and see how that goes. I've paid through Friday, June 3rd and so I will be here at least through then. After that, I may head south to Sevastopol, Ukraine. We'll see what I figure out.



TRAVELER'S TIPS

Refuse or send back or don't touch the bread they bring to your table (unless you want it) because they will charge you for that shit. The bread served in the restaurants isn't really worth a shit. Bert makes much better. Go to Blacksburg and try to bribe him to make bread for you. Better.

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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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