Saturday, September 29, 2007

Ohrid, Macedonia

Made it to Ohrid after a totally grueling journey (yes, I figure grueling is totally spelled wrong, but I don't really care right now. As it is, my fingers are barely typing).

Wow... don't even know where to being about my trip here. I think that story will have to wait until I get back to the states. But I am here, and I have a room (to myself) and I will probably stay there three nights (recovery time). Naw, it wasn't all that bad. It is just that when I am about to get my period, everything becomes about five times more tiring and difficult, and spending two days traveling... well, that becomes like ten days traveling, I figure.

Now I need to arrange the next part of my journey.

Mom, can you try giving my cell a call? I just want to see if I can receive calls. I still have not gotten the blasted thing to work. I keep sending e-mails to the Czech O2, and they are just like "it's working" and I'm like "uh, no." So they are being less than helpful.

Hil, I tried to send you a text from my cell just to see if I could at least send texts. Did you receive anything?

Ok, I will keep in touch. Tomorrow is going to be a relax/recovery day. (Actually, this morning was kind of relax time too. I was in Skopje in a private room (long story) with a tv, so I watched part of Ocean's 12 (I think it was) in English with Arabic subtitles. Had lunch in an Irish pub because that was the only place I could find that had black tea (drank two cups... sooooooooo good).

I'll probably be back on the internet again tomorrow. This cafe has Skype, so I might get on and see if Mom has finally gotten her internet to work properly.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


... last you heard from me, I was going to go to Lake Bled. Did that, and the next day I went to Zagreb, walked around for a bit, then took a night train to Sarajevo (which was an interesting experience. I'll post about it later). Then, spent a day and a night in Sarajevo, took a bus to Beograd, walked around Beograd for a bit, then took another night train to Bar (and oh my god, that was absolutely an experience), took a bus to Budva, and now I'm just taking the day off. I walked around Budva today, and arranged a tour of Dubrovnik for tomorrow (it was a bit expensive, but I figured it was worth it so I could take a break from worrying about catching buses and fending for myself (there is just one bus to Dubrovnik and one bus back, so if I tried to do that and missed the one heading back, I'd be screwed).

Hoping to get some laundry done here today, but there is only one washer and a back log, so I may be completely screwed... as in, I have no more clean warm clothes to wear...

Still Alive

Currently in... where the hell am I?... Montenegro, in Budva. Will post more later.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Phone headache

Well, so far I have not had any luck getting credit added to my phone. I canćt call the number to add time, and I canćt use the internet. Not a big deal--I never really use a cell phone anyway--but it would be nice to have that option just in case. But oh well. I just sent an email to O2 about it--hopefully i can de-Czech-ify the response.

Light day today--just walked around the city. Came back to the hostel at about 5pm--gonna rest this evening. Still feel absolutely exhausted. Going to Lake Bled tomorrow--suppposed to be absolutely beautiful.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Ljubljana, Slovenia

So... made it to Slovenia. Car ride to Herndon (NOVA), lunch with Hil and Mom (Indian, yum), plane from Dulles to Montreal, plane to London Heathrow, bus to London Stansted, plane to Ljubljana, bus to Ljubljana tran station, walk, bus to hostel, walk. I figure I have spent well over 24 hours traveling now (no big, right. Well, that was going to be a question, but I canćt locate the question mark on a Slovenian keyboard.) Feeling very, very jet-lagged (but not so jet lagged that I havenćt been able to figure out the @ and the location of the Y on the keyboard. The apostrophie eludes me, however. Oh well.)

I may go out and walk a bit tonight, but that would just be to keep me from falling asleep at 8, waking up at 11, and then not being able to get back to sleep.

Anyway, here I am. I will post more later.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

The desert island album question

So, everyone knows that question about what five albums you would take on a desert island, right? I have my own version of it. What five to seven albums would you load onto a MP3 player to prepare for a four week trip.

This is what I have decided to take. I'm sure if I had more time to really agonize over the decision, I would change several things. This is just what I grabbed after glancing through my music folders.

1. Dead Can Dance
2. Keith Jarrett (La Scala)
3. Paul Simon (Graceland)
4. Massive Attack
5. Sibelius (Symphony 5)
6. Garden State (couldn't find my Romeo and Juliet, so this was actually my second choice)
7. Radiohead (OK Computer)
8. Josquin Des Prez (Missa Herkules)
9. Smashing Pumpkins (Siamese Dream)

Now, this actually does not coincide with my list of the top ten albums ever made. This is just my half-ass attempt at some variety (but with an emphasis on music that I know calms me). We shall see how it works. But I suppose I should ask (and I am actually very curious)...

What nine albums would YOU take on a four week vacation?

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Soooo... Next Tuesday, I fly out of the USA, stop in Canada briefly, then head over to London. Then I rush to a different airport, board yet another airplane, and fly to Ljubljana. From Ljubljana I will travel by train through Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Greece, Turkey (well, just to Istanbul), up to Bulgaria (possibly making a stop in Sofia--will depend on how much time I have), the up to Romania. From Romania I will catch a plane back to London, where I will rush to a different airport, then fly to Canada (again, a brief stop), then back to the USA... where my mother will meet me with the car so we can drive down to ROVA (Rest of Virginia--not to be confused with NOVA--Northern Virginia. If you live in this area, you will understand) to catch a Gogol Bordello show (and hit the Indian food restaurant and Asian market). After all this, we will drive back to Salisbury, where I will collapse and sleep for about a week (or two).

Anyway, I'm totally stoked about this trip. Just dyed my hair--I will have to post a picture. It is DARK. I've pretty much rounded up everything I need (except my backpack has not yet arrived). I also, as I was laying out possible clothes to take with me, realized that I own two acceptable tee-shirts. I honestly have no idea how this happened--how I managed to NEVER NOTICE that I only have TWO tee-shirts (well, that I can wear in public). I have rectified (what an awful word. Makes me think of Republicans) SOLVED this problem. I just hope they match my new hair. (Now I think I need new glasses to match my new hair).

Not thinking about the next job just yet. Well, I have a few options in the back of my mind... but I figure there is no point in even looking until I get back from my whirlwind tour of the Balkans/Greece/Istanbul/Romania.

SOOoooooo cool. My life ROCKS.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Open for Business

Currently zig-zagging my way across the country (the United States, that is).Went from the Ozarks in Missouri to just south east of St Louis in Illinois. Today I went through Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio. I stopped by the Serpent Mound (a dirt mound in the shape of a snake in southern Ohio. Figured that since I'd been to Cahokia Mounds and Teotihuacan, I ought to swing by yet another Pre-Columbus Earth Mound). Finally, got to Parkersburg, West Virginia, where I am spending the night... and where I will latch every thing I possibly can on the door and then move the furniture against it.

No, it is not that bad. But I did have the, ahem, misfortune of having to follow 50 through the city/town. At one point I lost 50 and had to drive around looking for it. At first (in the downtown part of town), I thought the town might be kinda cute (Well, I saw one interesting looking building). But then I realized that there is no hope for this place. Parkersburg is a dying town--and it looks like it has had one of those agonizingly slow and painful deaths, where it keeps everyone up with its racking cough that shakes the whole house. Every house I drove past looked neglected--siding falling off, windows broken or covered with plywood, detritus in the yard... basically what one would expect in a dying town. But what freaked me out the most was the sense that the town in on the verge of lawlessness. (Of course, I could just be imagining this. Keep in mind that I had been in a car for 10 hours and was trying to find the road to take me to the hotel, so my mind was pretty much fried at this point). But watching young, West Virginian guys tear through the town in ancient, oversized pick-up trucks, taking over the roads--well, it left me with a sense that I had stumbled onto some post-apocalyptic scene (pair this with Letna Park from Prague and some places in DC and Baltimore, and you have just about any dystopic post-nuclear holocaust movie).

Anyway, tomorrow I will cross over into Maryland, then up to Pennsylvania to see my sister's new house (where I will crash on the floor or, if I'm lucky, a couch). After that, back to Maryland to the Eastern Shore and Mom's place, where I will take care of some last minute preparations for my upcoming trip to the Balkans, Greece, Istanbul, and Romania.

But now I think I am going to venture outside to walk over to the Long John Silvers to get something to eat. I've already eater wayyyyy to0 much today (cereal, string cheese, pound of grapes, entire packet of cookies, ham and cheese sandwich, slice of quiche...) but my stomach is growling, so I guess I need to placate it with something warm (and hopeful not too greasy, but I know better than to hope for miracles).

Oh, and I guess I ought to explain the subject line of this post. When you cross into WV, the sign says "West Virginia: Open for Business."

Kinda sad, isn't it?