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Sunday, April 26, 2015

FORMAL PARTY - THE PREPARATION

THE BIRTHDAY

I'm writing some of this before it happens and some afterward.  It's more organic that way.  Plus, it would be cheating to tell everyone what happens before it happens.  Damned laws of physics.


My buddy I'll call Mr. Holmes (Sherlock - he's really really really clever) has a new special lady.  It's going to be her birthday in a couple days.  I got invited to her party at a very swank place.  I was given two instructions.  Buy a shirt and don't get drunk before the (open bar!) party.

"Logan?  Are you listening to me?  Are you drunk right now?  When I say bring a shirt, that does NOT mean pants are optional!  Now, what did I say?"

Clearly, I am one of those kind of friends who must be explained beforehand and apologized for afterward.

No clue why I am not invited to more formal events...

Fair enough.  I'm a lot like Duran fruit - only some people like me.

And, if you kill me I smell really horrible.  Sometimes, I don't even need to be killed to smell really horrible.  I'm versatile like that.

So I run out and buy an expensive (for me) button up shirt.  It is now my 'one nice shirt' and promise myself to wait to get drunk.   I do have several bottles of illegal liquor on the way.  Good times.

They also tell me they are getting me a hotel room in the swank area.  Really, I'm torn on this.  I know the people involved are all well to do (well, bloody rich compared to Logan) but it's only an hour and a half drive back to where I'm staying.  The upside is if I stay there, I might get to spend a bit more time with them.

They insist, I let it ride.

Yes, I'm greedy to spend time with friends.

What I imagine.  Not pictured, Logan who has been taken by the staff for the 'hosing off of extra food' ritual.

Bit concerned about this area.  It seems to be the kind of place where you can easily blow $100 on a bottle of wine.  Bit more than my normal $10.

Good deal.  So excited to go I have to get reminded by the owner of the hostel that it is not tomorrow (from time of writing) but the day after.

Crap.

Time is a confidence trick invented by the Swiss to sell watches.

Sitting in a mellow happy place when suddenly I remember...

...It's a birthday.

Oh crap!

My expression.

Present!

OK.  I've got to shop for a woman close to my age.  Who I've not yet met.  Or talked to.  Or been told about.

What the hell do you get?

It would be rough even for a guy but I could get him a shitload of little skull candles.  Men understand these sorts of gift - unless they are really sheltered.

Women, not so much.  Women like gifts that show you put time into it and thought about them.

Yes men - if it shows those two things, generally women like it.  Generally.

OK.  I've got one of those two.

I get a general idea of what to get.  Not going to write it down as I'm going to publish this before the birthday and she might read it.  It could happen.

I am one of 'Sherlock's' strange friends and she may be curious.

Not telling, will tell in the blog after.

As I'm walking around, I get hailed by some guy in a cab.  Normally, I just ignore strange men in the cabs.  They see a fat, white ATM wandering around who could be riding around and paying them.

You want a ride tomorrow too?

Turns out it is my buddy, his lady and another couple.  And their driver.  Weird.  They're going to lunch but they just wanted to say a quick 'hi' as they go by.

Neat.  Foreshadowing.

Back to wandering around eight - yes eight - kilometers while it rains on me through the shopping area.  They're really aggressive here.  Putting stuff in your hand and backing away type aggressive.  Irritatingly aggressive.

Decide on quantity.  Maybe one of the things I got she will like.

Who knows.

Escape the shopping area, discover I've lost my key at some point, buy a new one and drop off the gifts.

Go graze.

Think about alcohol.

Write a blog.

Smoke.


Now let's just review for a second here.

For those who remember the classic movie "The Blue's Brothers".  Remember the apartment Elwood had?  "You bring me my cheese whiz boy?"  Full of old men smoking?  That was a lot like the place I was staying at when I collapsed on the floor.  Twice.  A few days ago.

And in two days, I'm going to be at the kind of swanky resort that has an 'interactive website'.

Nobody can say I don't get variety...



TRAVELER'S TIP

Negotiation percentage - street stuff for Bali.  Go for a bit less than half, get talked up to approximately half of their asking price.  Note that shops either have a much smaller percentage or do not negotiate at all.



VIDEOS

Dani's Home Stay - the other room


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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 | Portugal: Faro

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