Monday, August 25, 2014



The tribesman sat and listened to the Outsider through the translator.  Bright eyes shown out through faces darkened like the nuts of the Coula tree by the harsh suns.

"We take water, clean water." said the Outsider through the translator.  "So clean that it would taste odd to you but it would be safe for even your babies or old men to drink.  We place it into the vessel.  The vessel is more white than the most white clouds in the sky."

The outsider gestured upward but the sky was pale blue, an unrelenting sun have burned off the clouds soon after rising.

Fascinated, the tribesmen leaned forward.  The bravest of them all, the chief asked "And what do you do?"

"We shit in it."

After a stunned silence, the chief leaned toward his brother and muttered, "What an asshole."

Except from "The Book of Logan", volume 8, Logan describes flush toilets to tribesmen.


And now from the guys who are copying the "Time Life" book idea despite the internet, a new book series -

Coffee Table Books

Every month, you'll receive a new book including such titles as:

"A Beginners Guide To Bestiality"
"Necrophilia - How Old Is Too Old?"
"How To Cook Meth" combined with "Rebuilding Your Home After An Explosion"
"How To Dispose of a Fresh Corpse"
"How To Hotwire the Space Shuttle"
"How To Host A Tailgating Party From the Space Shuttle"
"How To Avoid the USA Government - The Snowden Way"
"Stealing Cattle For Fun And Profit" combined with "Chop Shops For Cattle - How To Find Them"
"Satan Lives In The Toilet" - a young children's guide to getting them to poop.
"It Scares The Shit Out Of Them!" - adult's guide to SLITT.
"Moist And Other Words Women Love"
"Committing Suicide - The Robin Williams Way!"
"Eat A Dick" - By Chris C.  (This is his followup to the book "Women Are Junk")
"How To Not Stress Out Before Giving A Panel On Writing" - By Jim G.
"A Is For Assrape - A Guide To The American Penal System"

If you choose to keep the volume, enclose just $19.95 in the return envelope.  Should you choose to return the volume, you pay only the shipping and handling of $19.95.

On a completely unrelated note, rest in peace, Robin Williams.


Once upon a time, a wicked witch put a curse on a young princess.

"She shall lie as though dead until a prince shall come and kiss her."

Unfortunately, the only kind of princes that go around kissing women who look dead are 'princes of necrophilia'.

Ladies, men who molest corpses they find in the woods do not good husbands make.

Especially, if like the prince who found the young princess, they carry a gimp mask.

She was never...well...kissed, at any rate.


Because there are people who are interested in such things, I'm putting my rough research notes here on research into Albania.

As usual, my first stop is Wikitravel.  Unless otherwise noted, any quote is from there.

For citizens of the USA, no visa is required for 90 days.  I'll probably be there two months (possibly a tick more) because

Since I'm neither rich nor cool enough to do winter in Hawaii, I will have to find somewhere closer - and cheaper to 'do winter'.   Going to stay in either southern Europe or perhaps northern Africa.

Back to Albania...

Pretty much everyone I've spoken to on Albania agrees that the south is nice, the north is bad - and potentially dangerous.  Because of my current location and potential next locations, south works out.

"There is a €1 road tax for the first 60 days of your stay. For every additional day it is €1 per day. Be sure to receive a receipt and keep it with you, as guards may request it upon exiting the country as proof of payment. The former €10 entrance fee per person has been abolished. The Albania guards are very nice and do their best to help out and will, on occasion, allow fees to be paid in dollars or will forget to charge you. It's worth making sure you've got the Euros on you..."

Logan:  OK.  Get a receipt and be sure to keep it.  Note that in some countries, if you don't pay something (ludicrous) like the 'road tax' and have the receipt, you get charged the 'per day'.  Hence it could go up from 1€ to 60€ quick.  That is a receipt that goes into my passport and stays there until I leave the country.  This is one of those 'taxes' I'd personally abolish for tourists.  "KISS" as they say.

They also have additional 'taxes' for using the airport, going into the city center and presumably the bathroom.  Since I'm going to be going in from the Macedonian border, I should be able to avoid that crap.

Looking at the map,
I do see that I am tantalizingly close to both Greece and the boot of Italy.
Unfortunately, I know the answer to the above question and that may just keep me out of both.

Judging by the bus prices they list for other destinations on Wikitravel, it should cost me under $10 to get from Ohrid into Albania and less than six hours.  Which is one of the reasons I decided to stay in this area - easy egress.

Where to hang out?

This statement caught my eye:

"In Gjirokaster you can buy a bus ticket to Athens, Greece or anywhere in between. The buses are new, cheap, air conditioned, and stop along the way at some service stations."

This might mean that the town - which I have no clue how to pronounce might be a good place for me to spend some time.  Maybe a quick in and out field trip into Greece.  Not sure.  Something to consider.

Another statement: "Ferries from Corfu to Saranda every day."

Note that Sarandra and the town I will never be able to spell, Gjirokaster, seem to be pretty close together.

Skipping over to the entry on Sarandra, I read the depressing statement "Saranda is characterized by a Mediterranean climate and warm sea waters. Saranda typically has over 300 sunny days a year. Due to its location and warm weather Saranda is one of the most attractive tourist towns on the Albanian Riviera, where honeymooners traditionally spend their holidays."  Read as "This is probably the expensive bit."  Fortunately, I was pleasantly surprised by reading of some 10 euro dorm accommodations.  Possibly cheaper as I'll be going in the off season.  I hope.  When staying in a hostel, I will again be looking for my next apartment.

It also mentions that to go to the Greek island of Corfu it is about $50 round trip.  Prices seem to be about double there but it might be good to go for a couple days, not sure.  Would have to do more research.

[Yeah, I know if I was a productive member of society money would not be such a limiting factor but since I am essentially a vagrant, it is.  I'm ok with that.]

A quick read through of some of the towns gave me this information:
The stuff with '?' seemed to be of limited interest.  Not a lot of places to stay, not a lot of tourist stuff listed, that sort of thing.  The places underlined seemed of more interest.

Given how I live however, it seems that anywhere with wifi would be just fine for me.

There could be a problem with getting to see Berat - if the map above is at all accurate, it's a lot of long looping roads (many of which I've read are unpaved) to get there.  Given that wikitravel says "In 2008 it was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site as it is a rare example of a well-preserved Ottoman town. It is one of the country's most beautiful towns, and is known as the 'town of a thousand windows.'", it sounds as though it may be a shame to miss it.  Hence, I'll have to do more research.

The route may end up going something like this:

The problem (again) is that the areas I want to possibly stay in are near the end of the route.  This presents the possible problem of needing to backtrack if I find an area I like better along the way.  Fortunately, Albania is not a huge country.

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{{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 | Thailand: Bangkok | Cambodia: Siem Reap

{{2018}} Ukraine: Kiev - Chernihiv - Uzhhorod

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