joh

December 2007

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Dec. 10th, 2007

joh

india v2

It seems only fitting to write another entry when in India again.

I do so in a very posh Bangalore hotel room while trying to remember all the fun adventures i've already had on this trip. Just some of the highlights/interesting points so far.

- making my airplane to heathrow by mere minutes since i went through the wrong security line
- making friends with my whole row on the plane to London and realizing that i bond much better with an older crowd of artists.
- surviving taking a second class unreserved cattle class train to agra
- avoiding emporiums at all costs
- see the Taj Mahal and realizing its overrated, the agra fort is so much more intersting architecutraly
- Being overjoyed that as I was waiting for my train to Delhi, i made lots of new friends that were heading off to Jaipur and could form full english sentences
- Discovering that I could upgrade my 77 rupee ticket to a reserved seat
- Not being bothered by rats at the train station
- Finding a roommate to split a room with in Jaipur. Was a really nice one too
- Being deathly sick and bed ridden for a whole day. Thank you CiPRHO!
- Experiencing the masses and busyness of the old pink city in Jaipur
- Seeing the grand astrological instruments at Jantar Mantar
- Meeting a wonderful couple from Sheffield England and chatting the day/night away
- Seeing the city palace and its pretty doors
- Realizing the wonderfulness of India trains being so late
- Having to guide my tax drivers to find where i was staying
- Seeing India railways in every class possible. First class is so food rich and worth it after riding cattle class
- Having to fix my own toilet in Delhi
- Visiting the red fort and wanting to bull doze the British Barracks that ruin the piece
- Chatting with young Muslims from the middle east within the biggest mosque in all of India
- Realizing that not all of Delhi is a clusterfuck and that the new parts resemble a real first world city.
- Being dumbfounded that a 2 hour flight from DEL -> BLR includes full dinner service
- Having to find my own hotel after my reservation was botched in BLR
- Realizing the eye candy that awaited me in India FHM
- and much more that im sure will come up later

and now i just need to write up the Kerala/Bangalore portion to sum things up and finish them out...

Jul. 2nd, 2007

joh

(no subject)

Three days in India and I'm starting to feel just fine wandering the streets in each and every way. I've even started venturing out when the sun sets to see how my surroundings change.

The streets Bangalore now make (more) sense and I can even help navigate tuk tuk's when needed.

Some overall observations of India..

- It took me half a day to see another white person. Not a problem at all .. just amusing. I've to this day only seen five or so others in town and a handful more outside of town at shrines and monuments. They still have about 20+ years on me.

- So many contradictions in India. From movie posters showing American movies with cleavage markered out to scantly clad music videos. To commercials stressing individualism and change followed by marriage ceremony web sites.

- Within 15 minutes of watching Indian TV, i saw 10+ musical numbers and countless commercials for such. The best one was a musical number created for John Deere tractors .. i kid you not.

- Tuk-Tuk's can really be best described as a frankenstein piece of machinery that combines the front of a motorcycle and the back of a squashed polish maluch. Think tiny death mobile. The tuk-tuk experience is best described as that video game that you played as kid where you had to dodge all sorts of insane obstacles like zombies, flying projectiles, pot holes, puppies .. etc (think paperboy) and made you think .. "wow, this is a lot of fun but ` sure glad no real street in the world is as insane as this." It took me getting severely lost to trust one to get across town and now i cant get enough of of the little guys.

- Lanes are a very loose concept in India. What at one point is two way north bound lane, quickly turns into a single lane with cars coming at you because they feel it is more efficient. You honk and proceed to play chicken to see who is more stubborn.

- Sidewalks are merely elevated roads for bikes.

- While at first the traffic seems like chaos it all starts making sense after you wander the streets for an hour. Just like on the playa, you are more then welcome to cross any roads/highways/intersections whenever you please with little regard to traffic as long as you can make it over. But unlike the playa, no one will run you over here. I'm serious, i have yet to see any accidents at all. No collisions between cars and no one getting hit by anyone. Now im sure if anyone hit a pedestrian there wouldnt be too much caring involved, but i still see it as a miraculous feet when compared to San Francisco drivers

- I have yet to find where seat belts plug into within cars here. think its mostly decoration for westerners to feel safer.

- Honking is a way of life if your anywhere near the streets. Whether its to get someone out of your way because your speeding or to get a cow out of the road, honking remains the voice of all that is on wheels. Yet again, it all makes sense if you pay attention even though it does seem a bit obnoxious at points.

- I rode an elephant and was terrified.

- Monkeys are cuter up close

- Walking through waterfalls is too much fun.

- If someone can figure how to get in-n-out to me, you will be handsomely rewarded

- Upkeep of buildings, monuments, .. basically everything but shrines seems to be a cute idea that never happens

- I died a little, when trying to find beer at my hotel, they showed me fosters.

- Having a personal fleet of taxis rocks

- Buses are always in perpetual motion as they load and unload passengers. There also seems to be a law that states that all buses must be filled at capacity at all times no matter the time of day. Doors are non existent for better airflow and ups delivery man efficiency.

- I've done worse damage to my lungs from inhaling the air here then all my smoker friends combined (which is saying a lot for all of you chimneys out there). I assume that my life span is now -5years

- I have never been so in danger of walking into walls then when a seeing 90% of the adds here. Brown mecha of hotness .. check!

- The Castro is now second on this list of places where people check me out most.

- I've become a morning person here. Note: its because of the time change and I shall remedy this more each day.

- Haggling is a way of life here. Especially when you get perceived as a walking wallet.

- Best way to get merchants to stop trying to sell me everything is to start speaking polish to them. Face of confusion ensues and they walk away.

- Need more companions here to share thoughts on India and explore

- Haven't died yet

- Am having a blast if you cant tell :)

Mar. 25th, 2007

Toby

just cause

Cant sleep. Not a bad way but ever so happy with things that i had to say it.

Mar. 15th, 2007

Cirqu de Soleil

(no subject)

Am joining the circus. Stay tuned for crashes.

Feb. 27th, 2007

Cirqu de Soleil

(no subject)

19 cities, 12 countries, 33 days, 15,672 miles and it looks like we took some pictures

Jan. 30th, 2007

joh

(no subject)

Lands conquered so far..



create your personalized map of europe
or check out our Barcelona travel guide
joh

(no subject)

Mucha museum tomorrow!!!...feeding all of my art nouveau lustfullness. Pragues not bad too. Good beer and bridges. Best when combined.

Jan. 28th, 2007

joh

(no subject)

Buda for the sights and Pest for the booze, food and climbable statues. My gramdma would love the hungarians, as they like to serve schnitzel thats twice the size of my head. Seriously, how big was the piggie that was butchered to make it tonight .. and where can i get more. The mustache is strong here and everyone one of the statues seems to try and rock it. Fails horribly and tries again.

Moats that have been drained to make two full size ice rinks are awesome, all statues of horses need to be mounted, late night heated pools in almost freezing weather rock, and hikes to crystal clear city tops almost make me fall over.

On the other hand, ballet at the opera house is meh and former communist house of terrors all in hungarian is meh.

Friendliest people ever are from here and they arent afraid to start chatting it up. Hungarian doors are not weighted like their American counterparts so please remember to close them after leaving any establishment.

Jan. 26th, 2007

joh

(no subject)

ive lost all sense of what home means. but...... i did manage to find home in old country (Poland) and found my own way and even spotted my old street! and that is hard when every communist building looks like the other. i was betting that'd id be able to spot it by my old playgrounds. if you dont know how awesome communist playgrounds then your really missing out. none of these new plastic pieces of crap, the old communist swings could split your head right in half if/when you/i did something stupid like jumping of off it and standing there. those were the good days.

sadly, just like the giant buddhas in afghanistan, the swings no longer survive. prolly due to the ravenous little children around or the armies of cats. and i do mean armies. steven started playing with one and sixteen of the cats nearest friends came by. i half wanted to find some catnip and make sven the piped piper of gdansk with kitties in tow.

getting into Gdansk and out was a bitch plus one. From storms in Germany to broken down engines to sleeping in airports we persevered and cursed the Polish nation at every turn. Especially when our bus to the airplane on the tarmat nearly collided with a fire truck. Not holding on at that point, i did a superman interpretation toward the nearest child for cushioning.

in Krakow now and the only thing that i need to say is that every city needs an ominious castle from the medieval ages to scare the towns children if they do bad things. "see there johhny, if you misbehave then ill take you to the torture chamber right up the hill."

.... i should report on the other countries that ive been in but a) im lazy and b) i have some locals to meet up with

... on a side note: google ads wants you to buy me a sushi conveyor for the next gifting holiday.

Jan. 20th, 2007

joh

Cant get enough of sauerkraut

Amsterdam was a bitch to leave. Something about 123MPH winds, 18 hours of waiting and both of our bags being misplaced that made getting to Berlin all the more fun. But i must say .. i do love it here in Berlin. Its starting to rival Belgium in favorite places visited. Will have to update more as our bags have just been delivered and i need to change out of the rain soaked everything.

A miraculous thing happened last night. I had sauerkraut and loved it .. so much more that i was hunting it out today ... Could mushrooms be next?

Oh yeah Amsterdam, that was a colorful and drunken good experience filled with winds that blew bicycles into canals and nearly did the same to us. Overall even the allure of smart shops, absinthe and canals werent enough to rank it high for me. Granted the colorful blur that was the nightlife made it both delicious and wonderful

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