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Friday, June 24, 2011

LAND OF BACON

CLICK ON THE TITLE TO GET TO MY PHOTOBUCKET PICTURES



BATUMI

Batumi is a very easy town to navigate. If you head north or west, you will eventually hit the ocean. While wandering around, I do get a few long, unflinching stares from Georgians. This is probably because I don't quite blend in. Other than America, Land of Bacon, I'm really not sure where someone my size would fit in. A friendly 'hi' or 'hello' usually changes the stares to shy smiles. These are, I think, an openly curious people. No, pretty girls don't look at me like that. Ever. Anyway, Batumi seems to me to be a well laid out city. Rather than the 'spaghetti pattern' used in some older towns - where the roads follow ancient wanderings of chickens or some such - Batumi is laid out on a grid. I have no idea how 'prepared for western tourists' the transport hubs are - I suspect they're not - but the road signs are in both Georgian and English. That helps immeasurably. Despite hordes of 'do gooders' and others descending upon Georgia to teach English, it doesn't seem it has really paid off in people who can speak English yet. I was told that due to school being out now it would be quite impossible for me to find a part time job teaching English so I'm just hanging out and talking to people. I haven't yet started contacting Couch Surfers in this area to meet up for cups of coffee and such but that time will come eventually. As Adam would sagely point out, I have plenty of fucking time.

Although I had a mild stomach pain for the last couple of days, it seems to have succumbed to the Georgian cure of bubbly mineral water and a light diet. We've gotten enough new people into the hostel today that I suspect there could be heavy drinking involved tonight. It's a dirty job but someone's got to do it.

This is not a culture that appreciates a good fart. I'm pretty sure there are a couple (which I can't remember) that take the passing of gas after a meal as a sign of appreciation of a good meal. One day I shall find them and they shall make me their king.

The police presence here seems strong but unlike other countries I've been to, they seem relaxed here. There was one whose body language told me that as I prepared to cross the street he was thinking of giving me a jaywalking ticket. So, I reversed directions and went back to the sidewalk. He shrugged and wandered off.



THE 'GREAT' UNDERWEAR QUEST

To my fat brothers and sisters - pack extra underwear. I found a shop (not the bazaar) that sells XXXL. They're not. And at 10 GEL for a try, I was leery.



BEWARE THE ORTHODOX CHURCH

I was hanging out with Andrew from Australia and we went in to check out an orthodox church. Some random guy in there told me (via sign language) that wearing shorts in the church was forbidden. Despite two women wearing them in the same church. The church itself was a fairly typical one and had nothing that really stood out from other churches so we left. Strange rules that don't apply to all equally.



GEORGIAN CLEANLINESS

Compared to other countries in Central and Eastern Europe, Batumi (Georgia for those who have failed to note where I am yet) is quite clean. There is liter around but the Georgian people seem to be diametrically opposed to the Czechs (in Prague) too littering. Oddly, there aren't nearly enough strategically placed waste bins around to throw out all of the garbage so I'm guessing they take it home with them. It does make for a cleaner city than many.



GEORGIAN BODY ART

The Georgian people have a high tolerance and disregard for such things on foreigners but will mock other Georgians who sport piercings and odd hair styles including the Sleeztak. [For those new to my blog, the Sleeztak is a hairstyle that makes the hair on your head into a point - like a penis. And yes, it makes you look like a dick.]



DRINKING IN GEORGIA

It doesn't look like I'm in what I have termed the 'Kahlua zone'. This 'zone' includes countries where you can easily buy Kahlua. I suspect that if I found a specialty liquor store I could indulge. I might at some point. However, I am following Adam's sage advice on this. "When in Rome, get drunk what the Romans do." [Note, I have left off the part where he added 'because it's cheap you silly bastard' because it doesn't sound as good.] So, I'm sticking with vodka, beer and wine (which are really cheap) right now. It's still a lot of different stuff to drink. My beloved Kahlua will have to wait.



STARBUCKS IT AIN'T

When I was in a grocery store, I found a can of chilled coffee. I always liked the Starbucks variety:
and the stuff they had in a much shorter can (1.6 GEL) so I said 'what the heck' and tried it. Take a pass on this - it was watery and not very good.



TRAVELER'S LORE

When I get to Turkey, one hostel I should check out is in Dalyan, Turkey called "Bauhans Youth Hostel". It's about 23 Turkish lira per night ($14) to stay. This includes breakfast. They also have a swimming pool, pool tables, and all kinds of stuff. The downside is that they are strict on the 'no outside food/drink' thing because that is where they make their money. They serve dinner for about $10 per person (but it is suppose to be good) and sell water, beer and such at a markup from what you can get it fro the grocery store. Sounds like kind of a good news/bad news thing but it could be good for a few days.


From Turkey, it is possible for me to get into Northern Iraq. This is where the Kurds live 'Iraqi Kurdistan'. They apparently really like Americans there and you can get a free stamp (visa) for Iraq. This probably pisses off the other government of Iraq but I'm thinking it could be an interesting way for me to visit it at some point. Go hang out with the Kurds and see what's up.


In Iran, the people of this heavily oppressive government blow off steam in quite a wild way. According to Gary (Ireland) two married people host a party at their home as it is impossible to do it at a hotel or some such without being discovered. The party involves homemade alcohol, drugs and sex - a normal teenage romp in the USA but I'm suspecting the kind of thing that could get you stoned to death there. I found this interesting but personally am not eager to attend one due to the high risk.



FUNNY YOUTUBE VIDEOS

Thanks to Lasha for sending me this and this.



PRICES

Reading light that straps to my head, 12 GEL

Train to Tbilisi in a 2 person coupe, 23 GEL (seems low, maybe a special deal)

The hostel named 'Why Not', 25 GEL/night

Turkishs in Tbilisi, 30-50 GEL, +20 GEL for scrub and massage

Open air Ethnographic Museum for English tour guide, 10 GEL to see homes of Georgia's past. Located in Tbilisi

4 comments:

  1. If you are going to be there for a while I can try and send you some appropriately sized underwear.
    -Bert

    ReplyDelete
  2. That thought has been going through my head sir but I've been seeing lots of big sized guys here. They all can't be 'going commando'.

    But if I give up the Great Underwear Quest, I'll let you know.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Land of Bacon?
    That makes you the Bacon Ambassador
    I guess.

    And another thing:

    Try slimming down to XL or 2XL rather than desperately searching for XXXL..
    You'll not only save money but then you probably will be
    'Logan the Toilet Seat Trasher'
    ...no more
    (I did notice that you failed to mention your utter destruction of the hostel toilet seat on this gabfest of yours)....we are still finding shards of seat in the most unlikely places, yet another reminder that

    Logan was here.

    ReplyDelete
  4. The weight is just dropping away. Really slowly. It will eventually go away but it could be a bit.

    I think it could have been farting that caused my position to shift and wrecked the toilet seat. It is fortunate I didn't blast myself through a wall!

    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 |

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