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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

FUCK OSCAR WILDE

WOW, YOU HELD ON TO THIS AWHILE BEFORE PUBLISHING IT

Yeah.  I wanted to do some more research on Portugal before I published it.  Then, I got caught up in doing research for an upcoming tabletop roleplaying game I will be eventually running.

So not much got done for a long time.  I decided to take a couple hours out and do this.

I've still got about three weeks left in Morocco but I wanted to get through this now.



VISA RENEWAL

Went for breakfast at my usual place where my fixer was - as usual - there to scam coffee and cigarettes off me.

Super.

He said "Today is Sunday.  We should go to the border today.  No big lines."

And that the cost would not be 300d but 400d.  The extra hundred is supposedly for his bribe to the border guard.

OK.  Let's go.

Whole lot of walking at the border but other than my foot giving me some pain, it got done.

From the body language of the guy who did the stamp, I'm thinking my fixer may actually give him some if not all of the 100d.  Very tense dude.

But I got my passport restamped without going in the EU territory.  They don't have a very slick way of doing it here but it got done.

Glad I wasn't at the border during the summer when all the tourists from Spain flood in.  You could tell by the way it was built they are use to dealing with massive crowds.

So I have till after the first week of February here.  Not thrilled to be staying but it will allow my foot plenty of time to heal.  Plus, since we are getting close to the dreaded holidays (New Years at least is big - people get very excited to see a slightly larger number on the calendar) it is best to 'hunker down' instead of switching around residence.

In February, I will probably check out Portugal.  Everyone says it is cheap.

Come April, it will be at last time to visit the continent of my birth.  Very much looking forward to hanging out with my friends and perhaps meeting a bunch of new people.  Who will probably (and very disturbingly) remember my name despite my inability to retain any new knowledge.  Like their name.  Which distresses me to no end.



FUCK OSCAR WILDE

Logan's rant on immortality.

Who has read  The Picture of Dorian Gray?  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/5297.The_Picture_of_Dorian_Gray?ac=1&from_search=true ?

When you are young, you think "Oh, that's horrible!"  I first read this when I was young because they forced us to at school.

Now that I am older, I think "You lucky, whiny fuck!"

Let's break it down.

He is eternally young and healthy until he looks at his picture.  Then, all the bad shit suddenly catches up to him and he dies.

I don't see the problem.

We are all in the process of dying little by little every day.  Once you pass a certain age (40 or 50) you begin to feel it.  You don't have as much energy.  You pick up little aches and pains.  You break your feet from the extreme trauma of *walking*.

You are going to die eventually either way.

It's just Dorian's way you feel as fit as someone in good shape in their 20's until you do.  After how ever long the little prick managed to live.

Why didn't he have the picture in a vault in China?  Because he was stupid.  That's where I'd have kept it.  Not in my fucking home like some Victorian suicidal poser.  Nope - it would be in some vault.  Probably buried near some monument outside of a city that was too cool to ever turn into a parking garage.  Preferably on a different continent than I live on.  Chances of accidentally getting zapped, much closer to zero.

Stupid, whiny, angsty people causing their own demise after staying perpetually youthful - fuck them.  It's only a pity they didn't pull the plug sooner.

Two things are really good to have with immortality.  A way to pull the plug 'should it all become too much to handle' and not being imprisoned.

Having the US Government hold you at Gitmo site B (the even more secret one) in order to routinely dissect you to try to make some sort of super soldier doesn't give you the 'quality of life' one would hope for.

In conclusion, you are going to eventually die anyway.  Even if you are immortal and enjoying yourself, the eventual heat death of the universe is probably going to be a drag.  Better to be young and healthy for your whole time on the planet than having life slowly knock the vitality from you.



LOGAN'S CONCISE OPINION OF THE 2016 ELECTION


The fact that after the election so many were so vocally proud of the results concerns me.

Note - just a month later and buyer's remorse has started to set in among many who elected Trump.  Let's all try to look surprised.



SHOPPING IN THIRD WORLD COUNTRIES

I know the politically correct term is 'developing countries' but you know what?  It seems that the last major reshuffling of political borders (creating countries) was back after WW2.  That's over fifty years ago.

Folks - the countries are pretty much as good as they're going to get.  There's not a lot of 'development' going on in the countries I've been to.

So I call them either first world or third world.  I was told Russia use to be the second world.  After talking to a lot of Russians, it seems to be a mostly third world deal with some first  world cities (Moscow, Kiev, etc) which are really expensive.

Anyway,

Shopping in third world countries always sucks.

If you are lucky enough to find a big grocery store, they don't always have what you need.  Which is odd, coming as I do from the land of Walmart which has more than you need under one roof.

Since the day when everyone loses their mind over an arbitrary number clicking up one (aka New Years) is coming up and all of the small shops will undoubtedly be closed down, I decided to stock up on some food.

In the USA, your kitchen is 'broken' if you don't have a microwave that works.  Most of the rest of the world thinks microwaves are 'the work of the devil, Bobby'.

Since I don't have access to a kitchen or microwave for the preparation of food - and didn't want to just go hungry on New Years day - I decided to put my feet to the test for the 10km + walk there and back again to the store.

USA stores have loads of prepackaged no need to cook or heat food you can eat.  It is not good for you, but it will fill the belly for a time.

They had fuck all at the big store.  I couldn't believe it.

Unless I wanted sugar, everything there required heating up.  Like corn in a can.

Unbelievable.

So I went back to a small store that is in the Medina and bought a big can of not very good fruit cocktail.  Do you have another?  No, just the one.  Well, fuck.

Got a couple more days to try to find something else for the 'just in case everything is closed as I think it will be'.

At least I have something!



PORTUGAL PRELIMINARY RESEARCH

It seems that meals are about 7 eur, beer 1 and wine 6 euros per bottle.  Very reasonable.

The lodging seems quite a bit higher.  Around 20 euros for a dorm bed.  Not something to look forward to.

Going to try to find a not too expensive apartment to hang out in for a month or two.

First step - find cities with hostels.  These have enough tourists that go through presumably there is something interesting there.  If I can't find a place to rent, I can still get highly charged indeed for a dorm bed.

Towns in southern Portugal, first pass:

Faro (50k pop, international airport), Tomar (smaller than Faro), Cascais (200k pop, close to Lisbon), Sintra (300k pop, close to Lisbon, commuter train to Lisbon).


OK.  Weird shit time.

According to my research, I will be docking in Algeciros.   Great.  But pretty much no matter where I decide to go to get into Portugal, I will end up traveling through...Faro!  Via - Seville!

This makes no sense to me.  Apparently, they don't have a lot of roads there.

Hence, it looks like once I get to Algeciros, I will be trying to get an eight hour bus ride NW to Seville then SW to Faro.

There is no telling (once the sea gets involved, fuck your scheduling) exactly what time I will be able to get there or find the bus station.  So we'll just play it by ear.

If worse comes to worse, I'll have to stay a night in Seville.

A bit more research and yeah, Faro seems OK.  It's also an inexpensive train ticket and four hours or so to get to Lisbon (the capital for the geographically and google challenged) of Portugal.

So we'll see.

On the downside, according to wiki, it will be the time when Faro gets a crapton of rain.

So if I have to I can always hop on the train.

By April 2, I will be in Lisbon taking off on a plane to go to the USA.


IN CONCLUSION

Sorry there haven't been more blog entries but when I'm not doing that much in a country and not much is happening, I don't feel the need to make shit up or just put up non-posts.

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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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