Wednesday, September 9, 2015



This is Holger!  His hobbies include killing zombies.

I was talking to Holger (my Munich host) and he said that in the USA they put fluoride into the water.  Yes, I agreed.

In Germany, they were thinking about doing it because it makes sense for health.  They decided not to because it was considered 'medicating people without their permission'.

Today in Germany,  the tap water is considered 'cleaner than some bottled water'.

Note that this is a huge change from a mere thirty years ago.  Back then, the specter of lead pipes still loomed large.  If you went into a restaurant and asked for 'fifen wasser mit eis' (pipe water with ice), it was like saying "Your restaurant sucks.  Give me a glass of cold poison."  Ice was (perhaps still is - not sure on that) extremely unhealthy.

Even today, finding ice in Europe is still a touch and go thing in most homes.  You can get it in restaurants.  Places like McDonald's put very little ice into the drink.  A shockingly small amount for people from the USA.

What can I say about Munich?  It's a very comfortable place for me.  Everyone under forty can speak English well and I can speak bad German.  The public transport system is amazing.

Holger was nice enough to show me off at the bus station.


After a couple of ten minutes to get to the next train changes, I eventually reached Groningen, Netherlands.  Most people won't be able to pronounce it correctly.  Let's just say I'm in the northern part.

It's a really nice town, made much nicer because of this lady...

This is Henriëtte! Her hobbies include getting flirted with by Logan and telling Logan he is insane on an hourly basis.

So, I'm wandering around here.  It's a nice college town.

Unbelievably, Henriette took me in longer than expected (one of the guys cancelled on me) and she gave up her whole house for me.  She moved in with her boyfriend.  This was totally unexpected.  Turns out she is in a one room flat and doesn't want me to stare at her while she's dressing.  Sad, I know.

The downsides include a three story hike up and down stairs to smoke (she wants me thinner, I think) and NO WIFI.  It's torturous.  So I got a phone sim card and put on some bandwidth.  Total, about 30 EUR I think.  Not sure how long it will hold out.

After Groningen, I'll be in Bruges (pronounced 'Brooge').  I was quite excited when I discovered this as it was the home of one of my idols.

Much of my life is based on his teachings...


A conversation that has stuck in my mind was when a friend told me he was calling ahead to let his friends know we were on our way.  Despite it being his place, he explained, they might be running around in various states of undress.

I cocked an eyebrow at this.

He said "I like my friends to be relaxed when they're at my place."

Logan:  "So if a guy was just standing there naked in the middle of the apartment with a really grim, determined look on his face masturbating...?

He gave me the 'wtf is wrong with you' look I get more than most people and said "That is too relaxed."

It could have been worse...


This was on sale for over $3000.  Yes, really.

I've never understood why people buy these.  Just live up a few floors in a building with no elevator.


Modern day Munich

PRICES (Munich)

Wine, 4 EUR
Day pass, public transport near the city center (zone 1), 6.50 EUR
Beer, in grocery store, 1 EUR (3-4 EUR in a bar - stay home and drink)

PRICES (Groningen)

Rum, 1 liter, 14 EUR (?)
Meal, microwavable, 5 EUR (I'm living on these)
Note that it is way too easy to spend a lot of money eating out - like 30 EUR plus.
Beer, in bar around 4 EUR

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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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