i cant embed a slideshow, here is the link
and other pictures here:
|Ireland & Scotland 2008|
i cant embed a slideshow, here is the link
and other pictures here:
|Ireland & Scotland 2008|
I gathered enough information in 2 weeks to confirm what I already suspected. Europe is a lot of hype. Some European stereotypes that I found to be true:
– They smell like shit
– They cut in line
– They have no elivator etiquette
– Some women don’t shave their armpits
– They refuse to put ice in your drinks
– Their food doesn’t taste that good
– It is dirty and crowded
– They try to steal you shit
– They try to hard to sleep with my new wife
– They try to sell you worthless shit everywhere – similar to Mexico.
– The streets are filled with dogshit
– They speak poor Engish
– They ruin beautiful historical landmarks with building shitty poverty strucken communities filled with garbage around them.
I assume most people’s love of traveling to these countries is more based upon the fraternity party lifestyle that continues at hostels, and less to do with the dirty, expensive and crowded cities that they visit.
Mostly I am refering to the country of Italy. Spain and France were wonderful. Particularly Barcelona, which is probably the best place in the world to live.
Im taking off for a couple weeks, but I just wanted to say that another year comes to pass where I have managed to avoid the siren call of Mexico. Pretty much anything can happen from here on out and I will consider 2008 to be a greeeeat success. At the risk of sounding like an arrogant vacationing asshole, I say, Mexico is a stupid place to go. Can everyone please stop trying to get me to go there… oh and while im at it you too Vegas. full disclosure: ive never been.
Ive been avoiding Mexico since my senior year in high school, when all the hot chicks got the trip as a graduation gift from the travel groups and then convinced everyone else to go to. For whatever reason I didnt, and instead drove to the mysterious and beatiful land of Canada in a camper me and 8 friends bought.
Seriously though, Mexico is like Mordor and everyone is in possession of the One Ring, heeding its dark call. (and yes, that does make Sammy Hagar the dark lord, Sauron). Now I am sure it is a great time and a real relaxing place, but Im also sure that I will enjoy it quite a bit during my inevitable timeshare ownership i’ll somehow obtain. Probably it will come in lieu of my social security payout, or however else everyone gets those things. Look, im not sure how it works, I just know everyone in the US gets one sooner or later.
So I ask the gods to look upon me favorably and allow me to put off Mexico until im 50 and bored as hell with my life and lost all interest in the culture and sights that the other 193 countries of the world have to offer, i’ll beg for forgiveness and ask for nothing more than to be wisked away to margarittaville.
Sorry about all that, but it keeps coming up in conversation and I needed to vent. I take my rediculously low 12 paid days of vacation serioiusly. I feel the need to go “backpacking off the beaten path” to overpriced far-off destinations to “find myself”. OK? Its the only way I have found that I can justify working for the man like I do… ahhh capitalism/consumerism, you are a harsh mistress.
So yep, I went to NY to see Eli last weekend with Joe. I went last year around this time to his old place which was up by Madison Square Garden. He moved in with two new dudes, still in Manhattan but down towards the East Village. I’m proud to admit that Eli has progressed on his path to become a socially accepted person of society. Maybe its purely the number of people that he is forced to rub shoulders with in the big city, but they must be rubbing off on him because he was about the most normal person we ran into. Of course this comes from a self-professed Eli supporter, so take it with a grain of salt. Hopefully Joe will have some other pictures. I will post a link to Joe’s blog when he writes something. He might have some better pictures and he is definitely a better writer. Unfortunately I didn’t use my camera much and managed to not even captured a picture of his girlfriend. He has been dating her for 4 weeks now and he is considering putting on the full court press of making her his Jewess princess back in Seattle. She is good looking and seemed like a really cool girl. A few red alarms went off while talking to her but I wont go into that, its probably nothing to worry about Eli. I am pretty pissed about not having a picture of her. I also don’t have much in the way of any disastrous Eli stories as I am sure people would like but he seems to have his shit together, so what can you do? Here he is now:
His new roommates on the other hand are pieces of work and took a lot of the spot light off him. Roommate number 1 is Phil and he was actually a pretty sweet dude. He bartended at place in Manhattan near Eli where we went the first night and basically opened up the bar for us. Eli worked the next day so Joe and I were going to leave with him until Phil accused us of attending Nursing School in Seattle. Eventually I ended up behind the bar (pictured), accusing people of attending various Nursing Schools, which turned out to be Phil’s favorite saying and one he repeated many times as the night proceeded while he handed out, and drink, an unprofessional, yet gracious, amount of free booze. Unfortunately Eli had another roommate, Brian. Meet this piece of work here pictured with his wench/assistant:
Brian is a friend of Phil’s from home and I don’t know where to begin about him, but I woke up with him on the couch next to me at about noon smoking a bowl in a towel, running his mouth to Joe about how he almost had his “dick eaten like a cheeseburger by a couple fat chicks” in the owner’s box of the Braves-Mets game. To which I said “nice”, gave him a nod of approval and tried to ignore him for a while, but for the rest of the weekend he didn’t stop talking unless he had a pipe in his mouth. I literally never saw him once not stoned. He also smelled pretty bad. So anyway
This one is me walking ahead of Eli’s old roommates who we hung out with the last night. They exclusively wear black sports jackets and talk about banging chicks, though I get the feeling there is a lot of talking about banging and little to no actual banging. They are even bigger Eli fans that I am and call him “The Sherif” because he “wrangles the cattle from the wild upper west side”. One of them is French and so he calls Eli the “SHAreeef”. They were nice guys and all and I bought them a couple $12 rum and cokes at the bar we went to.
In summary, New York is the place to be. I am in no position to up and move over there or anything, but Eli definitely has the right idea. Rack up a couple years of credit card debt and move out once you can’t pay your $1700 rent for a tiny room in the heart of the coolest city on the planet.
A little more than a year ago I went through a series of experiences in South America that changed the way I view the world and my relation to it. It was the closest I had ever come to tangible spirituality with each event occurring at the exact time I needed it to. Yes, it involved psychedelic drugs, but it also involved much more than that. Anyways for the past year I have been slowly trying to put my experience into words and my hope is that if I post this first part it will push me to finish the rest. Let me know what you think, even if it is just that you would rather not have me write on this blog anymore.
What the fuck am I doing here? What the fuck have I gotten myself into? These were the thoughts running through my head as I sat cross-legged on a sleeping bag surrounded by five of the most eccentric people I had ever encountered. Admittedly, I have made some pretty poor decisions in my life, but this was clearly the worst decision a person could possibly make. I was completely convinced that the small cup of vomitesque “medicine” I just imbibed had given me the South American Bird Flu. I was seriously considering the possibility of death or at the very least long-term hospitalization. Why the fuck did I listen to a guy who referred to himself as Medicine Wolf?
I had met Medicine Wolf around two weeks earlier in a small mountain town north of Lima. I was enjoying some pizza with some fellow travelers when we overheard a curly-mulleted individual loudly and expressively telling a story about being in Alaska overlooking a river high on peyote when a “goddamned octopus arm with an eye on the end comes out of the water to greet me with a blink then instantly vanishes” (only about every fourth word is an attempted translation into Spanish despite the fact that the people being told speak absolutely no English). My friend and I immediately joined in the conversation and soon learned that after a few years of solitary shaman work in Alaska (during which he would consume a daily ration of mushrooms) Medicine Wolf moved to Peru, got a woman pregnant out of wedlock, and is now involved in legal troubles preventing him from leaving the country. Also, he had been running a Shamanic Tours Adventure Program for the past two years in order to raise child support money. So far he had given three of these shamanic tours but received full payment from just one. To get by Medicine Wolf does massage therapy and attempts to get bartenders to give him free drinks. He also tries to find peoples coke stashes on the logic that, “if I find it they have the obligation to share.” He wears a colorful poncho, and a tad too much patchouli oil, has a tattoo of a cartoon devil on his bicep and (as we soon found out) is not welcome in the majority of the small town’s bars. Throughout a long night of bar hopping we learned many valuable tidbits from Medicine Wolf but most valuable was that the bartender at the local pizza place had a bottle of his San Pedro brew (a Peruvian cactus containing mescaline) that he was trying to sell and he gave me the email address of a shaman friend he knew in Cuzco that made the mixture if that didn’t work out.
The next day my friend and I had lunch at the pizza place, discussed some details and walked back to our hostel the proud new owners of a large drinkable yogurt bottle full of a green, supposedly mescaline-containing liquid. I split the contents into two containers giving my friend her portion as she was leaving and went to bed giddy as a schoolboy. The next day I woke up fairly early and marched down to the closest store to buy some water and snacks. On the way back I ran into the bartender’s friend who told me how to get to the giant cross overlooking town at which I intended to drink the brew. Unsure of my navigational skills while on mescaline I invited him to come along. Luckily he had nothing better to do than watch some stupid gringo drink San Pedro by himself and agreed to accompany me. After arriving at the cross we climbed on an abandoned lookout structure that previously served as a hideout of the Shining Path guerrilla army. I decided to share the contents of the yogurt bottle with him then waited for around 10 minutes before concluding that it wasn’t going to do anything and smoked a joint. I spent the rest of the day in a weird daze, not really sure of what to do or what to feel. I was disappointed that the San Pedro hadn’t given me the desired hallucinations but was nevertheless content with my detachment from reality. Shortly after I hopped on a bus to Lima and forgot about my foray into the next level of psychedelics.
Soon enough I would find myself in an experience so crazy and profound that this “trip” would be rendered inconsequential. In fact, nothing I have since experienced (not even that time I did three Richards and looked at my hand through a kaleidoscope) has even come close.