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Thursday, February 27, 2014

IGNORE THE PRESS

IGNORE THE PRESS - HERE IS WHAT IS REALLY GOING ON

UKRAINE AFFAIRS 24/2/2014

Well, it looks like the president of Ukraine has fled.  In accordance with the custom of many of the more corrupt countries, it was with a couple suitcases stuffed with cash.

The protests are done and I was informed of this a mere seven hours after it happened.

Hurrah for Ukraine.

Note that fleeing with a lot of money is normal for the presidents of many countries.

To me as perhaps to a lot of Ukrainians, this came as a bit of an 'anti-climax'.

Many people would have rather had the 'storm the Bastille!' moment.

Seriously though I'm glad the violence and killing is over.

Well, for now.  In a couple months they are going to have a new election where they will get a choice of a couple different corrupt scumbags and we'll see which one gets into power and if they try to tear the country apart while looting a few hundred million.


UKRAINIAN MOOD AND WILD SPECULATION 27/2/2014

Most of the difficulty is going on in parts of the country I'm not.  Odessa seems to be all about money.  So long as the money continues to be made, everyone is happy.

The news media has to really make things seem a lot more gritty than they actually are.  Now make no mistake, there may be some gritty shit where I'm not.  I totally accept that.

Walking around the town daily (for my British habit of a 'daily constitutional') I keep an eye on people.  They don't seem particularly more 'wary' than normal.  However, this is the time that the country could go a lot of ways.  They may get a breakaway state in the Crimea like Moldova has with Transnistria (yes, I was there before, very clean).  The country could be torn apart by some lady politician (forgot her name) who was just released from jail.  Ukraine is amazingly divided on a lot of stuff anyway.  Some want to join the EU.  Some want to join Russia.  Some want to just be Ukraine and not go either way.  Some people speak Ukrainian, some Russian and only Russian, some speak both.  Some politicians try to force Ukrainian down the throats (pun intended) of the Russian only speakers making them linguistically foreigners in their own country.   Has the storm finished or is it a lull in the action?  Nobody knows - but the media will speculate as wildly as I in this paragraph because we both need content.



DIFFERENT DRINKING CUSTOMS

USA

Go get drunk.  There may be some dubious nuts on the bar but if you want anything else you have to order it.  Most don't.   After getting extremely drunk, you go to any of the various places that serve breakfast twenty four hours a day.  Order way too much food, don't eat much of it.  Next day, suffer colossal hangover.


British

Go get drunk at a pub.  After getting extremely drunk, go buy regretable food such as a greasy shawarma from a place you'd never eat at sober.  Next day, suffer colossal hangover.


Eastern European

While drinking, dinner is served.  You eat a little, drink a little.  Order more dishes as required.  Next day, rarely get hangover.

Getting people to change their mode because it feels so 'foreign' is amazingly hard.



STRANGE TV

What kind of bizarre TV show is this?

I didn't catch the entire set up but from what I gathered some very strange sexually deviant woman had a patient delivered from the hospital to her house to have sex with.  The patient had some sort of disease which caused significant parts of her body to be discolored in disgusting ways.

Despite the disease not being communicable, the patient even wore a hospital mask as she lay in a stretcher.

The woman stood over the patient and just gazed down at her for a long time.  Their eyes met.  The woman saw fear but also hope in the patients eyes.  But not lust.  A sort of desperation.  She began to remove the mask.

"Don't - I'm hideous!" the patient cried.

Then the woman understood.  She removed the mask, smiled at the patient and just hugged her.  She instantly knew what the patient needed and discarded her perversion to have this tremendous mutual outpouring of emotion with the patient.  Or maybe that's how she got her freak on.

Some questions popped in to my mind as I watched this frigging weird scene:

Did the stretcher bearers wait outside or did they have the woman just sign for the patient like a UPS parcel and leave?

What kind of hospital normally delivers their terminal patients to people who want to have sex with them?  Is it a subscription service?  Flavor of the week?

Who is using my brain to watch this sort of shit while I am asleep?  It makes no sense to me.  I don't recognize any of the people and remember it way too clearly.  I don't find it creepy, I find it irritating.



WHO LIVES AT THE HOSTEL?

It's always interesting living with a bunch of different people for a while.  You get to know them a bit.  When you are talking about a hostel in a foreign country, the people tend to be a bit more interesting than usual.

After a time, everyone gets a nickname.  Since I am respecting their privacy, I am not posting any actual names.

Boss, aka 'Evil Cat'.  That's the person who puts up pictures of naked men with my head attached and such.

'Dancing Queen' aka 'The Irishman who teaches English but none of us can understand'.

'Nipples the town drunk'.  I'm not sure how he got the nickname 'nipples' but he does get drunk fairly quickly and has epic hangovers.

'Lord Byron'.  He isn't a poet and the actual LB had MUCH shorter hair than he does.

My nickname is the 'huge fat pain in the ass for christsakes stop bitching' - I think.  That's what 'evil cat' calls me anyway.

There are also a couple ladies that live here.  Since they don't really speak much English, they haven't gotten colorful nicknames yet.  One is called 'the girl with red hair' and the other 'the singer' because she is actually a professional singer.



IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

If you haven't seen this video, I'd suggest watching it.  May change your outlook on the muppets entirely.  Do I even need to say that it's NSFW?

Much like this picture:



MEMES

Often, I've felt like this...



THANKS TO EVIL CAT
The little people are in pursuit!  (Yes, it's photoshopped.  Sadly, I am fatter.)



PRICES

Giant shopping market, per bag of groceries approximately 100 grivna (10 euros)


Friday, February 21, 2014

VIVA LA REVOLUCION

ODESSA PROTESTING

Saw a couple hundred people marching near the cathedral in Odessa chanting "Stand up Odessa".   This was the first time (19/2/14) I'd seen any kind of protest here.  I mentioned it to the owner of the hostel.  He told me (paraphrased) "Odessa is all about money.  They'll protest unless it interferes with the money."

One of these days I hope to catch a daytime protest on camera so I can put it in the blog.  This one was pretty simple though.  Just a lot of people marching on the sidewalk.  Not even any signs.


20/2/2014

There were long lines at the ATM's.  I managed to get a bit of money out but not nearly as much as I wanted.  None of the ATM's that didn't work charged my card unlike South America.

So, I got a little money.

It was a lot like being back in the good ole USSR.  Lots of people standing in lines.  Sometimes you got something, often you didn't.  But you stood in line for a long time because it was your only shot.

For those who want to snidely say "How would you know?  Have YOU ever been in the USSR?"  Yes.  Yes I have.  Shut up and sit down.

Also today they closed down the borders to any of the 'western' countries.  I'm not sure what that means but apparently if I want to go to Russia I still can.  I've been told that (but not bothered to confirm) airplanes, buses and trains have all been shut down.   This doesn't worry me over much because I'm already where I want to be for a bit.

It may be a matter of time before the internet is brought down to try to keep the rebels from using it to organize.  This will irritate me because I then won't be able to read clever things from my friends and play Minecraft.

Fortunately, I already have several movies downloaded.  I'd also have Jim Galford's book if he'd hurry up and get it in an audio format for me.  Lazy lemur.

So, I may be trapped in Ukraine for a bit.  Ironically, I chose to come here so that's OK for awhile.  If my visa was almost up I'd be more worried.

For those who want to say "I'll pray for you" how about instead donate $10 or $20 to my paypal?  It'll help out later.  The paypal e-mail address is logan9a@yahoo.com.  Praying is just like 'raising awareness' - nothing happens.  If I get a few grand in donations something WILL happen.  What will happen?  See monetary goals below.

For those who want to say "Be safe" I would only respond "If I wanted to 'be safe' I certainly would not have come to Ukraine during a revolution.


21/02/2014

The owner of the hostel cautioned me not to go anywhere near the opera house.  That's where the government buildings are and it has been rumored there would be a protest there.  Also, the government might have 'hired goons' there to bust it up.

He smiled when he told me this because he knew I'd immediately head to the opera house.

So...I headed down to the opera house...

Yes.  Really.  Most people are so concerned with 'safety' that their lives are as bland as Wonder Bread.

The same people who continuously whine how bored they are never live a life with any risk.


The only stops I made were at various empty ATM's along the way to attempt to get money.   Eventually, I found a couple that were giving it out only 1000 grivna (about 100 euro) at a time so I got hold of some money.  I wanted to pay for March in the hostel and have a couple weeks of extra money.


Large groups of rough angry looking men with clubs absolutely failed to lurk around the opera house.
Absolutely nothing like this was happening at all in Odessa.

Pretty much the only change going on today was there were approximately twenty or thirty percent less people on the streets.  Compared to the 'bhans' (strikes) in Nepal, this was really disappointing.

It was so mellow, I went and got a shave and a haircut.

At least on some intellectual level, people have begun to realize that news reported in the USA may be a ...tad bit inaccurate.
So they rely on me for the news.  Not sure if that's much better but at least I'm not interested to lie to sell more copies of this blog.  Especially since the blog is only funded by your generous donations.  (If you've never donated but would like to, use paypal and donate to logan9a@yahoo.com.  If you have donated before thank you very much.  If you haven't donated and don't plan on it, then  you are KILLING BABY JEBEBUS AND YOU ARE HELPING CANCER.  You don't want to kill babies with cancer do you?  No.  So donate to the blog.)


MONETARY GOALS

Donation amount total, what will probably be done with the money

<$3000  Vodka.

>$3000  I will go to Scotland and Ireland.  There I will start a new game I thought of in the hostel called "What's the Irishman saying?"  We will try to find an Irishman to say five different sentences.  You get one point per word in the sentence you get right.  You can play this at home!  It could become a new game show.



TOO SOON?

For those thinking "Well, Logan is making rather light of the situation with those poor Ukrainians who are getting killed fighting for freedom..."

Well, perhaps.

However,

How many people have read up on, viewed videos and perhaps even started to care about the situation here who might not have before due to putting a darkly humorous slant upon things?



SPEAKING OF DARK HUMOR

From the notorious Felbrig:
For the slow of brain, this was Photoshop.  In the midst of such devastation, violence and tragedy as the riots of Ukraine I would not be smiling and drinking beer.  It would be vodka and probably straight from the bottle.



PEOPLE WRITING ABOUT LOGAN

From Tim VT:

"Before Logan Horsford was a buddhist he was the founder of Faith Healing. In his first year of faith healing he saved two lives out of seventy four with just the power of faith. It was a miracle the man is a saint. With out Logan I would not have found my true calling. Thanks Logan After being bitten thirty seven times and only losing my right hand and three fingers from my left hand I am still the head snake dancer at my local church. God is still protecting me from the devils venom."


From Carolyn N:

"Because what's an ice cream sundae without all the nuts?



SOME FUN INTERNET PICTURES, IN CASE YOU MISSED THEM
Or if the rest of the blog made you cry and you need a laugh to balance things out:







COSTS

Four packages of premium cigarettes (Camel lights for those wondering what kind), 50 grivna (about 5 euros).

Bottle of vodka, the biggest size I could find (naturally), about 70-80 grivna.  You can get cheaper, this is for the one we dislike least.

Single serving of Chicken Caesar salad from the deli counter, about 20-25 grivna.  Cheap meal, may be healthy.

Staying in a hostel during the off season, private room, about $12 per night if you pay for a month or so.

Shave and a haircut with the electric clippers, 60-70 grivna, less if you're a local.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

CONVERSATION WITH MR STONE

GO VODKA!
I don't get why the hell this guy looks sad.  Hell, I look pretty happy!  Go vodka!



WATER

I've talked to so many tourists who have said things like "I think their water is OK" and "the natives drink their water and they're fine" and "I like to build up an immunity to the local bacteria".

They don't realize their water goes through LEAD pipes.

"I'm sure nobody will notice your decreased IQ - they'll be focusing on your laziness and cheapness."

"Duh?"


WHERE NEXT?

As usual, a lot depends on money.  South America drained quite a bit.  If the money situation is looking good, here is the possible route
If the money situation is not looking good, I'll have to figure out something clever.  I could either piss off back to Asia or end up staying in some small town in Albania for three months renting an apartment.  I don't know what will happen.  Part of the fun there.



SOME OF THE GOOD STUFF OFF THE NET
In case you missed it...



Any Star Trek TNG fans?


Must not overlook 'little people'...







CONVERSATION WITH MICHAEL STONE
Hell, someone other than he and I may be interested in reading it.

  • Michael Stone
    so how many times have you been mugged, or attempted to anyway?
  • Logan Horsford
    Logan Horsford
    Mugged? 0.
  • Michael Stone
    Michael Stone
    nice. I read the blurb you had on that site. good write up.
  • Logan Horsford
    Logan Horsford
    Which? The five best?
  • Logan Horsford
    Logan Horsford
    Glad you enjoyed it sir.
  • Michael Stone
    Michael Stone
    Thank you much. I enjoy living vicariously through you
    BTW, and I don't want to be rude, but my wife was curious when I was trying to explain your spinal condition, and I couldn't remember the name of it at all.
  • Logan Horsford
    Logan Horsford
    It's just another thing to say "If that mutherfucker can travel, what excuse do I have?"
  • Michael Stone
    Michael Stone
    right. a pretty good excuse too Have you tried to travel to the 'axis of evil' yet?
  • Logan Horsford
    Logan Horsford
    I may end up visiting with the Kurds in norther Iraq at some point. North Korea no interest and Iran would get me shot as a spy.
  • Michael Stone
    Michael Stone
    Where are you headed after your current location?
  • Logan Horsford
    Logan Horsford
    I'm thinking west. I'd like to get some Greek cooking into my belly but we'll see what I end up doing.
  • Michael Stone
    Michael Stone
    Oh nice. that would be an excellent place to visit, I love the ancient architecture
  • Logan Horsford
    Logan Horsford
    It'll be the second time I've been there. First was about 3 decades ago.
  • Michael Stone
    Michael Stone
    which country as been the most 'boring'?
    It sounds like south america was anything but, but not in a good way.
  • Logan Horsford
    Logan Horsford
    Most boring? Um. Aside from the cool nifty people I visited, the USA when I did the Logan's Home Invasion tour. Other than that, everywhere has been interesting.
  • Michael Stone
    Michael Stone
    is that because you knew what you'd get there? Could you see where a foreign traveler would find the US interesting? Now that you've seen their country thru their eyes?
  • Logan Horsford
    Logan Horsford
    I think they'd initially find stuff very interesting. However, a LOT of the USA is suburbs. Once you've seen one, you've seen tons. Unless you are confronted by very different architecture (plantation style homes, etc) how difficult would it be to tell where you are by the architecture within the USA?
  • Michael Stone
    Michael Stone
    Yea it's largely regional, with the most 'interesting' being east coast and south, because of it's age and 'European' roots, I'd say.
  • Logan Horsford
    Logan Horsford
    Even then, the building I am currently lodging in right now is over 100 years old. Finding a building of that age in USA? Not easy, probably 'historical'. Here is is 'usual'.
  • Michael Stone
    Michael Stone
    Is there anything you 'miss'? Do you ever plan on coming back and living here, or establishing roots anywhere else?
  • Logan Horsford
    Logan Horsford
    The people. Fuck no. (Not to say I won't get deported or some silliness at some point. Or I might do another LHI tour through the USA at some point.) Probably not. I like wandering about as the mood takes me. Only people who get tied down with family, wives or like 'same ole same ole' get tied to one place. There is something refreshing about living a 'non-standard life' and I love it.
  • Michael Stone
    Michael Stone
    Would you say the worst part is finding food/water that your tummy won't try to leave a snail trail from?
  • Logan Horsford
    Logan Horsford
    Not knowing for awhile. That's always kind of a bummer. You sit in the restaurant eating and thinking "This tastes pretty good - but is it really good or will I pay later?" Part of the adventure. [BTW - since I'm getting an interview from you, mind if I stick it in the blog?]
    I'm enjoying getting interviewed - it's an easy article for blog. I will give you credit as Michael S. (unless you want your full last name -up to you) but I'm going to go smoke while you contemplate.
  • Michael Stone
    Michael Stone
    I don't mind at all, you can use my full name. There are probably a kazillion Mike Stones out there.
    Smoking is probably easier, no weird laws on where you can smoke or not smoke.
    Ok, and speaking to bathroom habits. I'm very much a 'my space' kinda pooper, is there that stigma in other places? Here in the US it's almost like other people don't think you poop. It's weird.
    Ah, language barrier. do you have a smart(ish) phone? I'd be curious if you've used it in a conversation with people where your grasp of the language isn't there yet.
  • Logan Horsford
    Logan Horsford
    Actually, there are weird laws here in Ukraine as to where you can smoke and not smoke. You are not permitted to smoke outdoors but the Ukrainians ignore this. Since the police are corrupt and may demand a bribe if I'm caught smoking not close to an outdoor ashtray, I am careful about that.
    When you say "my space" pooper, do you mean you don't like to poop where other people might or that you don't like to have several other people watching you poop?
    Yes, the USA has a lot of stigma against pooping.
    I don't own a phone.

After this, Mr. Stone either lost interest, wandered off, suffered a fatal heart attack or was kidnapped.

If you'd like to interview Logan and don't mind your conversation showing up in his blog, be sure to contact me on Facebook!

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

For videos with a Loganesque slant, be sure to visit here. You can also Facebook Logan.

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