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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Thursday, June 13, 2013

LOGAN'S HOME INVASION


LOST IN TRANSLATION

Innkeeper:  I hope the child isn't making too much noise.
Logan:  Don't worry - the noise they make is only one of the two reasons I don't want to have kids.
Innkeeper:  (pause)  You don't like children?
Logan:  Their little voices cut through my soul like broken glass.  Other than that, they're fine.
Innkeeper:  (smiles uncertainly)  So kid no problem?
Logan:  None for me thanks, none of that immaculate conception rubbish either.  If I end up being someone's father I want my five seconds of joy in return for eighteen years of suffering.
Innkeeper:  I don't understand you.
Logan:  I get that a lot - even in America.



FES AIRPORT NOTE

They have two different money changers.  The government one you must produce a receipt showing you got money out of the ATM or a receipt of exchange in order to use them.  The non-government one, you grab your ankles.



CONDOR AIRWAYS

You check in either via telephone (ancient tech) or online.  For online check in, you are required to reserve your seat.  According to the website, if you don't check in two  hours or more before your flight, they threaten you with losing your seat.  Online, the seat reservation is either a 'joker' reservation where they put you in any seat they want for 5 EUR or pick a seat for 15 EUR.  I picked a seat away from everyone else and ended up getting two seats for the ten hour flight. Worth it.

Also, unlike Ryan Air, Condor was very helpful in the terminal and printed off my boarding pass.  Condor Air seemed much nicer to deal with.

If you are too lame to carry standard headphones, Condor Air is happy to rent you some to watch the in flight movies for 3.50 EUR.



AIRPORT NOTES

Sitting and people watching at an airport is a good time.  I lost count of how many people I saw sprinting through the airport, apparently late for their plane.  Even a couple people who completely missed it.  Why more people don't show up several hours early when they have so much money riding on the line is a mystery.



FRANKFORT AIRPORT NOTES

They have two different airports.  One is Hahn which is no where close to Frankfort and the other is Frankfort International Airport.

For 14 EUR, you can take a pretty comfortable bus between the two for the couple hour drive.

While on this bus, I met up with a German girl who is 'from' and has lived in more nations than I can remember.  We chatted until she literally fell asleep.  If I were able to strike up conversations with pretty girls this easily when I was young, I'd have been a menace.



ARRIVAL IN THE STATES

First thing in the states, I told the people at customs I was 'jonesing for a cigarette'.  They informed me smoking on airport grounds was an 'arrestable offence' and this late at night all of the taxis were gone so I'd have to walk off airport grounds to have a smoke.   I made dismaying noises and they all had a good laugh at my expense.

This is good because they were so busy laughing they didn't search my bags.  I had 'a few' extra cigarettes and my meds which might have otherwise been seized.

For those wondering, yes, I intentionally fed them that straight line.



ORLANDO AIRPORT NOTES

Homeland security seems to have taken over the airports and is now making people remove their shoes and hop into the "I can see you naked" machine in order to continue justifying their huge budget.



NOTE ON TRAVEL DISTANCES IN THE USA

For my European friends, a good example why you need a vehicle:  My friend Tim lives approximately 50 KM away from where he regularly shops.  Bit too far to comfortably walk.  Everything in America (aside from in the big cities) is a ways away.



RACIAL PROFILING

My friend Tim was wearing a Ghutra (traditional Arabic head wrap) because he likes it and during the summer it keeps your head cool.

We were approaching a Chinese restaurant to see if it was still open.  As we walked toward it, we both heard a 'click' from the door of Stafford Ballet Academy.

They locked the fucking door in fear we might think about entering.

It wouldn't surprise me if the proprietor was hiding behind the counter, frantically dialing 911.



BIG BAG WEIGHT

Bloated up to 16.7 KG.  I'm going to dump a bunch of stuff very soon.

In the US, it was 36.5 LBS.  I looked shocked and protested - so used to kilos.  "It's in American." she explained.  Yes, welcome back to  the land of obsolescent measuring systems.



PARENTAL IRONY

When I told my parents I was going to Central and South America, they immediately warned me of drug cartels.  In Morocco, one of the cities I visited (Essouara?  The 'Blue City')  actually produces one quarter of all the hash consumed in the world.



PHILOSOPHY

Why was the person who invented 'babble headed dolls' allowed to live?

On idealistic 18-20 year olds and those who 'want to save the world':  "Kind of like watching someone paint their house with water colors.  It's amusing and a little sad.  You know that after the first big rain, most of it will be swept away and that the whole thing is ultimately fruitless."



QUOTES

(From Dave, Tim Van Theemsche's friend):  "If you do meet Logan, you'll know why Tim is the way he is."

Touching!



VIDEOS

Weaving in Fes

And, from America:
Swing Hat
American Dream
Malls explained 1234
Sunlight hurts
Tim in native environment



COSTS

Duty free cigarettes (on Condor Air), 39.50 EUR in a 'two for one' deal.  I'd heard smokes were 8 USD per pack.  In Virginia (tobacco growing state) they are 5 USD per pack.

In USA:

Beer, in restaurant, on sale, approx .3 liter, 3 USD
Lunch special (two meals of food), $11

Note, in the USA how they keep the herd fat is they offer insane deals like "If you want half an order (of food) it is $8 - full sized order is $9."  For a 16 oz (?) drink it is 1.49 USD.  Double the size, 1.69 USD.  Americans have no chance.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

POOP

POOP

Asked the guy at the hotel I'm staying at for more toilet paper.

Guy: "You want more toilet paper?"
Logan: (pause) "I like to poop."
                                                             EVERYBODY POOPS!



CAMEL BURGER

Just got done eating a 'camel burger'.

Real camel meat.  It's not just a name.

For those wondering what 'camel' tastes like, to me it was a rough sort of meat with a slightly 'curdled' taste which mustard helps with.

It is understandable why this hasn't caught on like our friend the cow, but if you're in the desert with an extra camel it would make some fine eating.  Especially compared with sand.
BTW - the salad is an IQ test.  If you eat it, you have failed.  For those wondering why, ask yourself what water they use to wash it off...  Hint:  not bottled.  So, yes the salad is probably healthy for you but is it worth the risk of 1-3 days sitting on the toilet with 'traveler's tummy'?

While I was at the Clock Cafe, I met up with a group of Americans there studying Classical Arabic.  Why they would go to Morocco (which speaks Moroccan Arabic) to study Classical is a complete mystery to me.  It's kind of like going to Brazil to learn Spanish.  Sure, you can learn it there but they don't normally speak it there and many other countries do.

In addition to this baffling behavior, one of the girls was excitedly babbling about being half an hour away from anyone she knew in a country she did not speak the language of.  Clearly, she and I have different definitions of 'adventure'.



WHY THEY DON'T EAT CAT'S AND DOGS

Found out this is against religious law.  Not eating of cats and dogs specifically but eating any animal which eats the flesh of another is prohibited.  If the chickens had learned about that years ago they could have saved themselves a lot of grief.



UNDERCOVER POLICE

Unknown to Logan, undercover police prowl around keeping tourists kind of safe.  They will make sure you don't get assaulted.  No problem with you getting scammed and pestered but they will keep you from getting beaten or killed.  Morocco knows that protecting its tourist trade is important.



PRICES FROM GREECE

My friend Conner is traveling in Greece and sent back these prices:

Bottle of ouzo: 8.50€
Waterfront dinner: 12-20€
Nice Dinner off the waterfront: 5-10€
Mid range hotel for 1: 20-30€
2 bed dorm: 12€ (where I'm staying)
Dessert: 3-6€
4 apples, 4 carrots, 4 sesame honey bars: 5€
They seem to have an amount that is preset as the locals' bargained price (usually 15-25% less) if you are willing to act a bit.



PRICES (FES)

Camel Burger (Clock Cafe), 95 MAD
Almond Shake (interesting), 20 MAD
Note, the Clock Cafe staff expect 10% gratuity - and it actually seems to go to the staff...

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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