July 31. Seven Trips.

I go out when my couchsurfer goes to work and get back home when she is back too. I write in my favorite coffee place, caffeine doesn’t make up for flawed inspiration, then I buy myself a cellphone and call my friend Ann. We meet in front of a shopping mall and I am sorry I am too late. I must have lost a lot of weight because she immediately notices my straw appearance. It’s no big deal: on our next meeting I will have lost a lot of hair. We hang out in a park and talk about the past year. I learn we’ve not changed much, from the outset. Change still in the phase of enzymes. Ann surprises me by taking me to a genuine German beer place for dinner. I’ve seen a “Bierhalle” in Irkutsk, the Russians seem to like it. We share a plate of Bratwurst and three glasses of good draft beer.
My fantasy wandered off at night, before I crash in the hallway out of empathy with her flatmate who might have to get up early.
SEVEN TRIPS
You are short of ideas about where to travel? Here are seven options that require only the smile – the grin – of Mammon. I want to go.
1) Manaus, the Amazon, Ecuador and Galapagos. Fly to Rio and continue to Manaus, take the boat ride over the Amazon and then go to Ecuador. Explore Quito and the coast. Book a one week Galapagos tour.
2) Hiking Patagonia and experiencing Antartica. Tango in Buenos Aires before you bus down to the famous glaciers where you hike for a week. Then take the ship to Antartica and swim with the penguins.
3) Through the Stans to China and Nepal. Fly to some city in the Stan-Republics and find your way overland to China, following essentially the old silk road. Make your way up to Nepal and enjoy Kathmandu. Return from India.
4) Hiking Kamchatka, Alaska and Canada. On this trip, see the vast pristine nature on both sides of the Pacific. Fly to Kamchatka and hike there for a week. Then make your way to Canada via Japan. Travel up to Anchorage and beyond.
5) The Middle East to the Sahara or Gobi. Fly to Tblisi and make your way down through Turkey, Syria, Jordan, Libanon, Israel, Egypt. Ride a camel. Either continue towards Marocco or down to Ethiopia.
6) Awesome Africa. Kilimanjaro, Heart of Africa. Start in Ethiopia, then go to Sudan, Kenya, Tansania, Mozambique, South Africa and Namibia and up towards to Congo in a 4 by 4.
7) Polynesian Pleasure. Fly to Australia and explore the east coast from Brisbane to Melbourne. Then hop over to Tasmania. Spend some time New Zealand before you fly to Fiji and Hawai. Connecting flight home via New York.

July 31. Seven Trips.

I go out when my couch surfer goes to work and get back home when she is back too. I write in my favorite coffee place, caffeine doesn’t make up for flawed inspiration, then I buy myself a cellphone and call my friend Ann. We meet in front of a shopping mall and I am sorry I am too late. I must have lost a lot of weight because she immediately notices my straw appearance. It’s no big deal: on our next meeting I will have lost a lot of hair. We hang out in a park and talk about the past year. I learn we’ve not changed much, from the outset. Change still in the phase of enzymes. Ann surprises me by taking me to a genuine German beer place for dinner. I’ve seen a “Bierhalle” in Irkutsk, the Russians seem to like it. We share a plate of Bratwurst and three glasses of good draft beer.
My fantasy wandered off at night, before I crash in the hallway out of empathy with her flatmate who might have to get up early.
Seven Enticing Trips You Should Not Take Because Of Their Large Carbon Footprint
You are short of ideas about where to travel? Here are seven options that require only the smile – the grin – of Mammon. I want to go.

  1. Manaus, the Amazon, Ecuador and Galapagos. Fly to Rio and continue to Manaus, take the boat ride over the Amazon and then go to Ecuador. Explore Quito and the coast. Book a one week Galapagos tour.
  2. Hiking Patagonia and experiencing Antarctica. Tango in Buenos Aires before you bus down to the famous glaciers where you hike for a week. Then take the ship to Antarctica and swim with the penguins.
  3. Through the Stan’s to China and Nepal. Fly to some city in the Stan-Republics and find your way overland to China, following essentially the old silk road. Make your way up to Nepal and enjoy Kathmandu. Return from India.
  4. Hiking Kamchatka, Alaska and Canada. On this trip, see the vast pristine nature on both sides of the Pacific. Fly to Kamchatka and hike there for a week. Then make your way to Canada via Japan. Travel up to Anchorage and beyond.
  5. The Middle East to the Sahara or Gobi. Fly to Tbilisi and make your way down through Turkey, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Israel, Egypt. Ride a camel. Either continue towards Morocco or down to Ethiopia.
  6. Awesome Africa. Kilimanjaro, Heart of Africa. Start in Ethiopia, then go to Sudan, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, South Africa and Namibia and up towards to Congo in a 4 by 4.
  7. Polynesian Pleasure. Fly to Australia and explore the east coast from Brisbane to Melbourne. Then hop over to Tasmania. Spend some time New Zealand before you fly to Fiji and Hawai. Connecting flight home via New York.

July 30. Moscow.

Early arrival in Moscow Kazanskaya station. Walk around that station looking for the internet. O how dependent I have made myself. Don’t swear. Buy a cup of hot water and sit for a moment outside the station building in the drizzling rain, observing three women putting a raincover on a pram. See the long line at the metro ticket window. Buy a ticket to the Lenin Libary and finally find a coffee place where I can connect to the internet. Sit on a wooden chair with a sore ass for many hours. Finally I get my blog updated and some writing done. I spend the whole day in “Le Pain Quoditien”, my favorite place in Kamergenski street, close to the Red Square. They have internet and I can contact my couchsurfer. She lives with three friends in a flat southeast from the city center. We have a beer together and I sleep well on the floor.

July 30. Moscow.

Early arrival in Moscow Kazanskaya station. Walk around that station looking for the internet. O how dependent I have made myself. Don’t swear. Buy a cup of hot water and sit for a moment outside the station building in the drizzling rain, observing three women putting a raincover on a pram. See the long line at the metro ticket window. Buy a ticket to the Lenin Libary and finally find a coffee place where I can connect to the internet. Sit on a wooden chair with a sore ass for many hours. Finally I get my blog updated and some writing done. I spend the whole day in “Le Pain Quoditien”, my favorite place in Kamergenski street, close to the Red Square. They have internet and I can contact my couchsurfer. She lives with three friends in a flat southeast from the city center. We have a beer together and I sleep well on the floor.

Kiev #1. мистер снек.

The trainride was comfortable, and the other three guys on the bunk beds in my compartment were very friendly. They offered me some cold chicken for dinner. We spoke in some kind of RussianEnglish that I came to like as the train rushed to the Ukrainean border. We went to bed, only to sleep a few hours. The border crossing was not spectacular, but weary. Instead of being haressed and arrested by some Russian special forces, highly trained to recognize foreign travelers who don’t register their stay or have other irregularities on their paperwork, and take them in to squeeze some good money out of them. Didn’t happen. A friendly Russian lady just took my passport and gave it back after ten minutes, nodding that everything was fine. My fellow travelers congratulated me ‘officially’ and welcomed me to the Ukraine. After another hour however, the Ukrainean border control wanted to see my id, too. As I handed it to them, with a kind smile as always, one friendly uniformed man became suspicious, and looked to my photo and me, slowly nodding his head, then signaling me to come with him, to his colleague who was to give a second opinion. So it went through my head “what if they don’t recognize me? What if I turn out to be a different person than the guy in the passport? But he was me, wasn’t he? Yes, but he couldn’t proof it. And the passport guy looked much younger than I did, too. So they’d take me to a cold prison cell, connect me to strange equipment and make me very sad.”
…Fortunately, this colleague said yes, that’s him. To cut the story short: if you travel to the Ukraine with an old passport (without fingerprint id) make sure your picture looks like you. Shave yourselves, for example, because that was of course what I had forgotten to do, and my ridiculous tourist beard gave the highly trained border guard a hard time in comparing me to my photograph.

So, Kiev. The climate was cool upon my arrival at 5am. Fortunately, we found a cafe where we had some breakfast. Then we parted, and I walked around the station, ate an apple for 1 griven (about 10 eurocents; the griven dropped during my stay), and went to the cafe again to write. The waitress would not allow me to sit without drinking more coffee than I could endure, and wanted to send me out. I gave her a concise English lecture on moral code and general hospitability, the coffeehouse rules and a codex of courtesy principles every human being should obey, which of course was buried unattendedly in the cafe rumours. I thus let it be, and went outside.

The morning grew older, and I decided to take the metro to the center. There are only three lines, and the system is similar to Moscow, so I felt comfortable with it right away. I bought a blue chip to enter the system (price: 2 griven; a few weeks ago it was 1/2 griven. Anyone remember the last fourfold rise in public transportation fares in the Western World? Exactly). I got off near the Maydan, the central square, in the most expensive shopping district (all the fancy names were in the shopping windows). It had a touch of Paris, I felt. Anyway, my backpack began to feel heavy, and I stepped into мистер снек (mister snek) to have a sandwich and write.

Kiev #1. мистер снек.

The trainride was comfortable, and the other three guys on the bunk beds in my compartment were very friendly. They offered me some cold chicken for dinner. We spoke in some kind of RussianEnglish that I came to like as the train rushed to the Ukrainean border. We went to bed, only to sleep a few hours. The border crossing was not spectacular, but weary. Instead of being haressed and arrested by some Russian special forces, highly trained to recognize foreign travelers who don’t register their stay or have other irregularities on their paperwork, and take them in to squeeze some good money out of them. Didn’t happen. A friendly Russian lady just took my passport and gave it back after ten minutes, nodding that everything was fine. My fellow travelers congratulated me ‘officially’ and welcomed me to the Ukraine. After another hour however, the Ukrainean border control wanted to see my id, too. As I handed it to them, with a kind smile as always, one friendly uniformed man became suspicious, and looked to my photo and me, slowly nodding his head, then signaling me to come with him, to his colleague who was to give a second opinion. So it went through my head “what if they don’t recognize me? What if I turn out to be a different person than the guy in the passport? But he was me, wasn’t he? Yes, but he couldn’t proof it. And the passport guy looked much younger than I did, too. So they’d take me to a cold prison cell, connect me to strange equipment and make me very sad.”
…Fortunately, this colleague said yes, that’s him. To cut the story short: if you travel to the Ukraine with an old passport (without fingerprint id) make sure your picture looks like you. Shave yourselves, for example, because that was of course what I had forgotten to do, and my ridiculous tourist beard gave the highly trained border guard a hard time in comparing me to my photograph.

So, Kiev. The climate was cool upon my arrival at 5am. Fortunately, we found a cafe where we had some breakfast. Then we parted, and I walked around the station, ate an apple for 1 griven (about 10 eurocents; the griven dropped during my stay), and went to the cafe again to write. The waitress would not allow me to sit without drinking more coffee than I could endure, and wanted to send me out. I gave her a concise English lecture on moral code and general hospitability, the coffeehouse rules and a codex of courtesy principles every human being should obey, which of course was buried unattendedly in the cafe rumours. I thus let it be, and went outside.

The morning grew older, and I decided to take the metro to the center. There are only three lines, and the system is similar to Moscow, so I felt comfortable with it right away. I bought a blue chip to enter the system (price: 2 griven; a few weeks ago it was 1/2 griven. Anyone remember the last fourfold rise in public transportation fares in the Western World? Exactly). I got off near the Maydan, the central square, in the most expensive shopping district (all the fancy names were in the shopping windows). It had a touch of Paris, I felt. Anyway, my backpack began to feel heavy, and I stepped into мистер снек (mister snek) to have a sandwich and write.

Kiev #1. мистер снек.

The trainride was comfortable, and the other three guys on the bunk beds in my compartment were very friendly. They offered me some cold chicken for dinner. We spoke in some kind of RussianEnglish that I came to like as the train rushed to the Ukrainean border. We went to bed, only to sleep a few hours. The border crossing was not spectacular, but weary. Instead of being haressed and arrested by some Russian special forces, highly trained to recognize foreign travelers who don’t register their stay or have other irregularities on their paperwork, and take them in to squeeze some good money out of them. Didn’t happen. A friendly Russian lady just took my passport and gave it back after ten minutes, nodding that everything was fine. My fellow travelers congratulated me ‘officially’ and welcomed me to the Ukraine. After another hour however, the Ukrainean border control wanted to see my id, too. As I handed it to them, with a kind smile as always, one friendly uniformed man became suspicious, and looked to my photo and me, slowly nodding his head, then signaling me to come with him, to his colleague who was to give a second opinion. So it went through my head “what if they don’t recognize me? What if I turn out to be a different person than the guy in the passport? But he was me, wasn’t he? Yes, but he couldn’t proof it. And the passport guy looked much younger than I did, too. So they’d take me to a cold prison cell, connect me to strange equipment and make me very sad.”
…Fortunately, this colleague said yes, that’s him. To cut the story short: if you travel to the Ukraine with an old passport (without fingerprint id) make sure your picture looks like you. Shave yourselves, for example, because that was of course what I had forgotten to do, and my ridiculous tourist beard gave the highly trained border guard a hard time in comparing me to my photograph.

So, Kiev. The climate was cool upon my arrival at 5am. Fortunately, we found a cafe where we had some breakfast. Then we parted, and I walked around the station, ate an apple for 1 griven (about 10 eurocents; the griven dropped during my stay), and went to the cafe again to write. The waitress would not allow me to sit without drinking more coffee than I could endure, and wanted to send me out. I gave her a concise English lecture on moral code and general hospitability, the coffeehouse rules and a codex of courtesy principles every human being should obey, which of course was buried unattendedly in the cafe rumours. I thus let it be, and went outside.

The morning grew older, and I decided to take the metro to the center. There are only three lines, and the system is similar to Moscow, so I felt comfortable with it right away. I bought a blue chip to enter the system (price: 2 griven; a few weeks ago it was 1/2 griven. Anyone remember the last fourfold rise in public transportation fares in the Western World? Exactly). I got off near the Maydan, the central square, in the most expensive shopping district (all the fancy names were in the shopping windows). It had a touch of Paris, I felt. Anyway, my backpack began to feel heavy, and I stepped into мистер снек (mister snek) to have a sandwich and write.