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Thursday, September 11, 2014

ALBANIAN SYNCHRONICITY

Warning:  There is a picture of a cock in this blog.  If it offends you, think of it as less offensive because a douche is holding it.  If that still offends you, why the fuck do you read my blog?  I mean, seriously - there was an article called 'Africa and the dead hooker problem'.  Also, if you are under eighteen and reading this, your parents are either unaware you are reading it or they are bad parents.



EXPECTATIONS VS REALITY

Walked my fat ass over to "Panorama", possibly one of the most famous restaurants in Ohrid.  A couple guys at a nearby table were giving me the 'WTF' look as a series of waiters came to greet me topped off by the acting manager.

In Macedonia, you get a warm welcome.

(Note, the above phrase is copyrighted by Logan so the Macedonian tourist association can just figure out how to get me a 'show up whenever you want and stay for as long as you wish' visa in trade for it.)

As the lunch progresses, I ask Risto (the brother of the manager who is currently running the place) if I get a bus from the station a couple blocks away from the restaurant to Albania.  Of course - and here is the head of the bus stations in Ohrid!

Cool.  The head honcho makes a couple phone calls to where I do not know and information is given.

Double checking the information you've been given often prevents the 'Dildo of Disappointment' from taking you up the 'ole chocolate whizway of sadness' later.

The bus station employees told me, no.  You can't get to there from here.  You have to take a ($1) bus to a different town (Struga) further around the lake toward Albania.  Yes, they did indeed recognize the guy's name but gave me the 'Regardless of who you are or know, you can't get to there from here.'

From there, it should be possible to get a bus to Albania.

Within the next couple days, I'm going to get a bus to go into Struga for lunch and have a chat with the folks at their bus station.


The next day I indeed went to Struga.  To get there you can either take a bus at 50d (40d to get back - why?  Who the hell knows) or a shared taxi for 50d each (must have five people) or rent your own taxi for 500d.  Yes, it should be 250d but the guy thought "This person dressed in ill fitting odd clothing must be rich!"

When I was going up there I ended up taking the front seat away from some thin girl who was pretty huffy about it.  I can't do back seats well.  She seemed embarrassed about being huffy when I paid for her ride when we got there.  It's not about the money - it's about fitting into the damned vehicle.

Struga was a slightly less pretty version of Ohrid.  Not bad, still had the beach setting but nothing to really write home about.  Or you guys.

Found out the bus was far from the '20 euros' I had been told at Panorama.  To get to Durres (obviously a Klingon city) would cost me either 650d if I leave early (9:30a) in the morning or 800d if I go a bit after noon.  Different companies, different prices.  Buying on the day of the trip is not a problem.  Since I'm going to be passing on from Durres to Berat getting up early in the morning (groan) is probably a better idea.

Arriving after nightfall sucks.



LEG DAY

Was chatting with one of the young (16 year old) guys who works at a restaurant I frequent named Petar.

Told him about the extremely muscular guy with the toothpick legs I saw.

Logan:  "You can't miss 'leg day'!"
Petar:  "You can't have 'legendary' without the 'leg'!"

Wow!  That would be excellent if English was his first language!



ALBANIA PLANS

After more research Albania is starting to look like this:

Struga (Macedonia) to Durres (Albaia).   Should be 2.5 hours + the border.

Since Durres doesn't seem to have any cheap places to stay, immediately hop the bus to Berat.  This will be the first place I can stay.  It looks to be a bit more expensive in Berat than the next two places (why?) but doable.

Berat to Gjirokaster to Sarande to Unknown.



AFTER ALBANIA PLANS

Hum.  Trying to figure out where to flee to and hide for a few months during the winter.

My guess is that I will be in Albania during September and October.  After that, it will probably get cold.  And, fuck cold.  Had enough cold in my life.  Happy to sweat instead.

November, December, January and February.  These are the four months I'd like to hide out.

It is tempting to go back to northern Africa.  Morocco was so so hence not in a hurry to go back there.  According to Wikitravel, Tunisia is very cheap but all of the computer literate people who advertise on Hostelbookers (etc) have expensive rooms.   I'd like to do Egypt but they are...having issues there.  Not sure when the region will stabilize.

Not sure if it would work but something beginning to percolate through my mind is a 'Mediterranean Caper' where instead of flying I take ferries.  Albania to Italy.  Italy to Malta.  Malta to Tunisia.  The only thing I'm not sure on is the cost.  Clearly, more research will need to be done.  If I can find a way to do it (possibly along with renting a cheap place in southern Italy for a month or two) that would be super.  This would leave me in Europe for another season.



And now, we take a brief intermission to bash on Justin Bieber, completely unnecessarily.



JUSTIN BIEBER

Fortunately, I've never heard any of his music.  Having left the USA a few years ago and not watching TV or listening to radio have protected me from this trauma.

But I do enjoy viewing some of the evil memes people have put up about him.  Here they are...



<Note:  Justin Bieber Singing Into Cock picture removed due to new Blogspot policy.>


Hell, they even form a story!  Amazing.


If you think my blog is 'safe for work', you've probably got a good job.  Enjoy!



And now, through the magic of the internet (not porn) we take you live (live-ish) to Albania!



ALBANIAN SYNCHRONICITY

If you are tired at reading about the strange lucky things that happen to Logan, just click on the word 'Synchronicity' above for an outstanding song by the Police.

After saying sad goodbyes to Spase, I got a cab to Struga (350d).  From there, the bus (650d) eventually arrived a bit over a half hour late.  A student from Japan thought it was very amusing the locals showed up late to get the bus.  Everyone knew it would show up late.  In his home country, transport is on time...

Nobody came out to check the passengers of the bus as we crossed the border out of Macedonia.  Entering Albania, a border guard was on the bus just long enough to assure himself that nobody was disguised as Fidel Castro holding a rocket launcher.

Sadly, I couldn't find a picture of Fidel holding a rocket launcher.

Fortunately, I did find this toy that looks a lot like him and comes with it's own rocket launcher.

Inexplicably, the bus decided to stop just inside the Albanian border.  Because I am freakishly outgoing, I struck up a conversation with a young Albanian woman who discovered I was headed to Berat.  "That's my town!"  Turns out she was headed that way too.  Rather than going the way I thought I needed to, she invited me to 'follow her' and get a more direct route.

Synchronicity.

We got off the bus in pretty much the middle of nowhere (some village) and waited for the Albanian equivalent of a 'marshrutka' - a van that gets packed with people.

She turned down several people who offered cab rides because she didn't trust them.  I was grateful she decided to trust me so quickly.

After reaching Berat, she left the vehicle.  I continued on to a random location within the town then disembarked.  Within one minute I had found a place to stay (10 euro, my own room) with a market across the street, a restaurant next door and a quiet bar downstairs.

Synchronicity.

Hell, even the internet I am making this blog on is part of the great luck streak.  Someone has some unsecured wifi I am piggybacking in on.

Even though I don't like the room much (nobody outside of westernized countries really has figured out the bathroom, it seems) I may stay here for a few more days.  The owners are super nice people and I've already been invited to drink half a dozen shots of rakia with them.  It freaks out the locals just how much of this stuff I can actually put away.  After that much, they were done.  I thought "Good start but I want to go make my blog now."

Today it is rainy and I am pretty exhausted.  Rather than go out tonight (nighttime is when the CHUD's come out) I will go explore tomorrow.

Here's hoping everyone who reads this experiences some positive synchronicity in their lives!



VIDEO

Brief look at a back road in Macedonia.

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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 |

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