Travel Update #1
Delta can go piss up a rope. As per usual, they made a solid attempt to bollocks everyone’s evening. A late departure gave one dude near us negative minutes to get to his gate. Luckily we had about 45 minutes to get to ours, albeit, the international terminal at Hartsfield-Jackson.
The situation immediately improved when we boarded the KLM flight to Amsterdam. Honestly one of the best (significant) flights I can remember. That being in row 42 of 45. Not like stateside travel where a good flight is one that doesn’t make you miss a flight, is delayed, or doesn’t make you completely miserable for any number of reasons, no, this flight was actually enjoyable. And the attendants… Yes.
Waiting with my USD $4 cup of instant machine coffee for our hopper to Edinburgh. Beer and food and sleep await. Only here a few moments; sadly not enough time for a legal spliff.
Till the next free WWW hotspot…
Priorities one whilst visiting Edinburgh.
- Find Iron Maiden ‘Trooper’ Beer
- Drink said beer
- Plan export of said beer to USA
All other priorities rescinded. In the event Robinson’s is not shipping within my walking radius, non Iron Maiden affiliated beer will suffice, perhaps.
Depending on [free] World Wide Web availability, there may be limited blogging/twittering for the next week or so.
The joys of travel
Just got down right intimate with the TSA dude. It was all my pleasure. Rewards for opting out of an x-ray assault. Oh joy.
Lake Balaton, Hungary
In 2001 I spent some months in Bosnia-Herzegovina. While there I was able to travel to a few different areas, mostly as required save for the trip to Hungary. We were able to catch a chopper flight from our location to Kaposvár in Hungary where we stayed for a couple of nights. From there we eventually found our way to Hungary.
There were five or six of us. We stayed in Budapest for a few nights doing just about everything you’d expect a handful of 20-something dudes to do in Budapest, although, perhaps a bit more than you’d imagine. One of the days we decided to hop a train to Lake Balaton, the largest body of water in the land-locked country. This part of the story I tell often as it’s one of the more sharable and unforgettable stories, about the train that is. I cannot recall what it cost us for tickets, couldn’t have been much. At the time, the USD valued well against the Hungarian Forint- I mean, a beer was like 90¢. We were doing okay at $90/day or whatever per diem was at the time. One of the dudes was following the lead of a local gal and we were following his lead.
This train was a show. It didn’t have chickens or livestock on it, but it was of that ilk. People train it was, however, wood planks for seats and all. Why the story is memorable is not the seats or the constant feeling of post-Soviet era technology failure. It was the bathroom. Well, I could actually call it a toilet corner. There was a small enclosed area and technically there was an apparatus where to dispose of waste. However, this is not what I’d consider a proper toilet. It was a pipe, think aluminum tubing, perhaps 10” in diameter. There were three wooden planks attached and fashioned as a seat over the top. This wasn’t remarkable. Seeing the passing ground five feet below was. I must admit, even as crass as it may be, I’d love to say I took a nice dump on that pipe to Hungarian soil. I didn’t, although, number one was no less amusing. It’s amazing what you remember. That was twelve years ago. I’ve more stories from that period overseas than any other of similar time. One day perhaps I’ll jot them all down.
“I stood on a terrace in a small town in the Dolomites this fall, eating slice after slice of pizza margherita straight from a stone oven as the sun set. This is the pizza I should tell people about, I thought, the classy, gourmet, prepared-by-the-chef-himself stuff, the real deal. I was in Italy, eating pizza straight from the source in this idyllic setting. How much better could it get?
But I could not stop thinking about the half-dozen or so slices of eggplant pizza I ate over a few weeks in New York, at $3.50 apiece. The dive, with maybe eight seats, all mismatched, hidden on the side street, paper plates, sweating my ass off in the July heat, no air conditioning. I e-mailed my friend from New York and told him: Your neighborhood pizza joint has my heart, apparently. Go Mets.
You can look a million different places for the best food when you’re traveling: Lonely Planet guidebooks, Zagat, online reviews. Know where the best food you’ll ever eat is? At the end of a story. In some dive somewhere, that a friend or a local told you about. It’s tiny. Inexpensive. Bonus points if it’s served to you by the owner of the restaurant, food stand, or food truck. More bonus points if the owner is older than 65 years old. And surly. Or the friendliest person in the world.”
Read the entire article at Adventure Journal. Once again, Mr Leonard comes through with nothing but the truth. As a person who’s traveled more than your average donk, I can second, save the guide books for museums and historical markers; for food, go where the locals go. Do some research before hand or go with the flow. Either way, make your own stories and pass them on…
No plans. I like this. “Plans are overrated…”
Another great anecdote from Mr Leonard about “doing”. This story is great- spontaneous reaction, travel, just doing.
Grad school problems & other nonsense
I’m getting cised for school to start back up = words that I never imagined I’d ever say. I’m registered for four classes this fall, all half semester courses. My luck has it that the one bloody elective I was really looking forward to, a nutrition class, changed to the same time as another required course. I’m now forced to look elsewhere and will probably have to take some random finance or communications class which has absolutely nothing to do with anything remotely close to health or kinesiology.
Just spent $100 on two used books! The boondoggle textbook industry is a complete show.
I actually have a job interview Monday, place to be named later. Really pumped about it, however, it’s been years since I’ve had a legit, non-government related interview. No monkey suit required! I bought a new shirt to help my confidence. That is a lie, and I lose man-card privileges for one month for typing that last sentence. I should probably shave though. I look like a goddamned stinky pirate.
Last night I compiled a mental list of words I’ve not said in the past few days since road tripping with Maa: piss, fuck, asshole, ass face, shit face, fuck face, shit ass, fuck ass, god damn, goddamnitall, son of a bitch, and combos of any or all… among other regularly used vulgarities. This is hard considering I drove for perhaps 2800 of the 3200 total miles. I did slip up a couple of bullshits, gosh dangs and gee willikers, which I’m not too proud of.
I should run. I want to run. Today, I will not run. Rest and recoup day. Jet-lag.