Back in the Western World

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This blog entry about the events of Tuesday, June 29, 2004 was originally posted on July 03, 2004.

DAY 255:  Being in Spain, I was back in the Western World.  On a morning walk to make a reservation at the train station, I saw the familiar images of scantily-clad women on billboards and the sounds of Vespas whizzing by.  No longer would I be hearing Arabic, I was back to the language of Spanish, which I learned during the first two weeks of The Trip.  However, the main difference between Latin American Spanish and European Spanish (other than some words being used differently) is that the Europeans pronounce their soft C’s with a lispy TH sound.  I’m told that this was because a former king of Spain had a lisp and they changed the language entirely to suit him.

SEBASTIAN SLEPT IN A COUPLE HOURS later than I did as usual, but was up by mid-day for us to check out.  While killing time before my three o’clock train ride to Madrid, we moped around the port city, from its big food market to its pedestrian malls and its Plaza Alta (picture above).  It was all still a big cultural shock for me having been in Africa for the past four months, but slowly I came to accept the new Western vibe.  I wasn’t however, ready for European prices, but that would pass.

In attempts to eat on the cheap, Sebastian and I just bought bread, Laughing Cow cheese and tomatoes at the market and made sandwiches at a lookout point of the Rock of Gibraltar.  I had tried to buy fresh basil leaves for an added kick, only to be sold mint leaves instead.

After our minty sandwiches we check out the bus situation for Sebastian’s departure.  He was about to buy a ticket to Cadiz until a taxi driver offered to drive him and whoever else headed to Cadiz for a cheaper price than the bus since he was going there anyway.  I had heard this ploy before in Egypt, but as Sebastian said, “You can trust a taxi driver here more than you can in Morocco.”  He and an Australian woman traveling to Cadiz split the fee and rode off, but not before Sebastian and I had a final goodbye.

“Thanks for doing all the French speaking,” I said to him.  “And thanks for calling me the youngest twenty-nine year-old you know.  You’ll be thinking about me when you’re twenty-nine.”

“Yeah, I know that I won’t be married and I’ll still be fun.”

We decided to keep in touch and made tentative plans for a rendezvous in his hometown of Vancouver.  Perhaps we’d talk about cartoons then.


MY TRAIN SIX-HOUR TRAIN TO MADRID was pretty straightforward as I whizzed by the hills of Andalucia.  Second class on a Western European train was nice, with air-conditioning and headsets to listen to the in-car movies, Basic and Hollywood Homicide, both dubbed in Spanish with the lispy soft C’s.  Once in Madrid I felt at home again, a big modern city like New York where my intuition led me with no confusion or second-guessing at all.  I had two hours to take the local city Metro to get from the Atocha station to the Chamartin one, which was safe and easy, despite the fact that it was the Madrid underground was the victim of the terrorist attack in 2003.  More Western images filled my eyes, from teen fashions (no more galabiyyas here) to iPod billboards through the subway tunnels. 

A sandwich at the Chamartin station staved my hunger for the meantime as I boarded the overnight train to Barcelona, my final destination of a long journey since Fez, Morocco.  I took my second train of the night and rode straight on ‘til morning…






Next entry: Second Time, Second Nature

Previous entry: Out of Africa




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Comments for “Back in the Western World”

  • HEY ALL… Bear with me… these may come in piecemeal… in the Western World, a lot of people have internet at home so internet cafes aren’t as widespread as in developing nations…

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/02  at  09:45 PM


  • Erik. Are parts of the metro still closed down?

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/03  at  03:43 AM


  • Erik - so do mint and cheese/tomato sandwiches taste good?

    Posted by Liz  on  07/03  at  04:08 AM


  • Erik - also, with the letter X (as in Xavier), it’s pronounced “sh.” Just something I’ve learned having an office in Spain and international conference calls with them!

    Is this the new camera?
    Piecemeal is better than none at all - I’m fine with it! smile

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/03  at  05:01 AM


  • since you’re in EU now…some eye candy pics would be great!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/03  at  06:29 AM


  • Arrrrr, walk de plank!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/03  at  03:35 PM


  • Erik - The taxi driver was a maniac, and Sebastian reminisced all the way to Cadiz. Great blogging, by the way. grin

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/03  at  05:28 PM


  • LOVE YOUR BLOG…Your sense of humor mixed with the your writing style-mixture of oberservation and dialogue-make it so easy to read (without getting bored I might add)! Looking forward to reading along to the end of your trip-and to pick up some tips for mine…keep writing; we’re reading!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/03  at  06:40 PM


  • alas….bye erik…next year in Vancouver!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/04  at  12:41 AM


  • On your way to Barcelona, eh? It’s a beautiful city! Make sure you check out Gaudi’s Sagrada Famiglia…amazing cathedral!

    And hey, just don’t mention my name down there especially in the clubs, it can get you in trouble… wink

    Word Life!

    Moman

    Posted by Moman  on  07/04  at  08:23 AM


  • Hello Erik,
    I just had to stop and tell you that you kick ass… Someone (maybe you?) posted your site on LP and I decided to check it out, and, hands down, this is the best blog I’ve ever encountered.  I’ve been catching up on your past year since about 11:00pm.  It is 4:00am.  Pity me.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/04  at  03:18 PM


  • NICOLE / KNP:  Hey there and welcome!  Glad you enjoy…  sorry you’re joining in at a time when I can’t really upload or write everyday (entries used to be a regular daily event for the Blog Hogs)... but I suppose there’s plenty of entries for you to catch up on!


    NICOLE:  “best blog you’ve encountered?”... I’m blushing…

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/04  at  03:52 PM


  • SEBASTIAN:  Glad you made it back okay…  I have your backup files on CD, so don’t worry. 

    Seriously, did we get entry stamps into Spain and does it matter?

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/04  at  03:53 PM


  • BILL:  Yaaaar…  shiver me timbers!

    Great to meet up with you!  Your appearance on “The Trinidad Show” will be uploaded soon…

    Keep in touch, we could meet up again…

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/04  at  03:55 PM


  • HEY ALL… Greetings from Valencia, Spain… sorry I’m behind on writing, but it’s all a matter of circumstance:  I’m traveling with my friend Jack who met me in Barcelona…  He’s more of Night Guy and I’m sort of a Morning / Day Person, so between the two of us hanging out, there really aren’t enough hours in the day to do stuff AND write about it.  (Don’t worry I’m taking notes.)  Plus, like I said before, internet cafes here are hard to come by since people usually are connected in the home, and the cafes that ARE out there are franchaise ones that don’t really let you hook up cameras and stuff… 

    So bear with me!  (New readers, it’s not usually like this.)

    To make a long story short, I met Jack in Barcelona and we hung out for three days there.  I also met up longtime Blogreader Bill (who’ve I’ve never met before), who recognized me at random at the Barcelona train station.  (I was wearing my TGT shirt.) 

    Currently I’m with Jack in Valencia, crashing his friend Juan’s apartment…  We’re off to Pamplona on an overnight bus tonight for the famous Fiesta de San Fermin, aka the notorious Running of The Bulls…

    Pray I survive.  Blog you later!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/04  at  04:03 PM


  • ERIK - i don’t think it matters if you get a stamp or not in the EU now…

    i never got one in paris last year…

    how was being in EU for the eurocup?

    GREEK STYLE!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/04  at  05:24 PM


  • Blush away, my friend, I meant every word!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/05  at  01:03 AM


  • Erik - run like the bulls, just be faster then them LOL

    Posted by Liz  on  07/05  at  04:05 AM


  • Actually I put that on the LP site
    the guy (Erik) rules,

    he is the King of the Blog

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/05  at  08:03 AM


  • ERIK: I’ve been visiting your site since about two weeks ago and only now that I found time to post this. I was able to visit your folks in New Jersey last May.

    Ok just wanna say I’m proud of you. Have fun and see you here in your Philippine leg of your Global trip.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/05  at  08:10 AM


  • Erik,
    you asked a while back if your trip/blog inspired anyone out there. Well, just to let you know, as a long time blog reader, you have certainly inspired me to get out there and travel. Your incredible attitude in the face of adversity, sense of humor when things get down, friendly and youthful spirit and not to mention discipline in writing this blog are very instructional and also inspirational. I’ve since gotten myself around Switzerland on my first overseas trip alone and am going to china for 2 months at the end of the year. Thanks for keeping up with the blog!
    - a blog fan from sunny santa monica

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/05  at  10:20 AM


  • FRANK LEVANTE:  Awesome… thanks man.  In the immortal words of Sean Connery in Finding Forrester, “You da man now, dawg!”

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/05  at  05:44 PM


  • MELISA:  Aw, now you’ve made me blush…

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/05  at  05:45 PM


  • GREETINGS FROM PAMPLONA…. Sorry, I’m still behind… promise to catch up after the madness settles down…  Long story short, Jack and I arrived here 7am today with no place to stay but within two hours we ended up at a place with a balcony view of the bull run route for really cheap… 

    The opening ceremony was today at noon—FIVE TIMES CRAZIER THAN CARNAVAL IN RIO.  Everyone there was pretty much drunk by 10am… 

    Now, eight days for 24/7 partying with the first bull run tomorrow at 8:00 am Spain time…  Look for The Global Trip shirt on TV!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/05  at  06:01 PM


  • TOM TWH:  Hey… welcome to the madness… I went to your hotel this morning, but the room wasn’t in your name… I have Tim and Rich’s names now (I checked an old email) and will try again…  I’m gonna have to use some of your pledge donations to get us all a round of cervezas!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/05  at  06:03 PM


  • ERIK: I’ll watch for you on TV. I’m sure the station that switches between RAI UNO, TV5, and Telemundo will have nothing else to show at 2:00am EDT!

    ALL: THE AMAZING RACE starts tonight at 9:30! Is Chris from last season still on Blog?

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/05  at  07:01 PM


  • Hi Erik,

    I’m still trying to catch up on your adventures.
    I’ve just finished reading the Serengeti part and OH, MY GOD! It sounds like the worst safari ever. As far as I know ( in South Africa for sure) you are only allowed to stay at designated campsites at night in the parks, else you have a great chance ending up being cat food. These guys were so irresponsible, they were totally risking your lives. I’m glad none of you got hurt in the end.
     
    The photos with your new camera seem to be a lot sharper than the ones you made before. Is it just because of the African Sun?

    Good luck with the bulls, can’t wait to read more!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/05  at  08:17 PM


  • grab them bulls by the balls erik! woohoo…yeehaa…heehaw….moo.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/05  at  08:36 PM


  • i can recommend a youth hostel in France if you plan on being there soon. i didn’t actually stay there but the manager is an aussie i met through my friend Jacky while i was there in april. Her name is Sophie and she is very nice. She kicks you out of the bar when its closing time though.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/05  at  10:39 PM


  • TDOT - one of the ESPN’s should have some sort of coverage too…

    anyone gonna post The Blog on the AR5 boards?

    ERIK - run b…lock that ass if the bull’s horns near you…lock that ass, man….

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/05  at  11:25 PM


  • If someone sees the tee (and hopefully Erik in it), be sure to let me know, so I can attempt to find it online - I have no TV.
    I know, I know, so out of it…

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/06  at  12:17 AM


  • Don’t wear your Yankee hat while running with the bulls—you wouldn’t want to loose that!  And let’s try to avoid any new head wounds, ok? Will look for you in the frantic crowd—can’t imagine 5 TIMES CRAZIER THAN CARNIVALE! Now that’s saying something! Be safe, and get drunk *after*!

    Ruuunnn Forresst…. Ruuuunnn!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/06  at  01:44 AM


  • Erik - how do you ALWAYS luck out with the great places to stay?  Send us pics!

    Posted by Liz  on  07/06  at  04:18 AM


  • ERIK - good start to AR5…started on santa monica pier then it was off to uruguay…

    ALL AR5 watchers - so who are your favs and who do you hate?

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/06  at  06:33 AM


  • ALL AR5 watchers - Is everyone already annoyed with all the contestants, like I am? I mean really, who says ‘Gratzie (sic)’ instead of ‘Gracias’ in Uruguay? Also, who the hell skips a marker point? Oh, nice guys DO finish last and I’m calling it now…it will come down to PA and TX.

    ERIK - Good luck tomorrow morning. You MUST say ‘Beyoo’, ‘Chio Nob’, and ‘Skol Skol Skol’ as you’re running away and down the streets.

    MARKYT - As we drive away in the taxi…‘See you in Punta del Este…keyk!’ (middle finger showing).

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/06  at  06:43 AM


  • Former BB4 houseguest and her PA boy toy…SUCK…

    let’s VET and the daughter…

    i have to say that mirna and charla are annnoying…it’s a race mirna and you wanna play a hand of blackjack?

    ummm…charla should drop mirna…..

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/06  at  06:49 AM


  • Not checking the flight arrivals, and missing the marker, right across the street…it’s like they wanted to choose people who would not think straight!  Erik, you would have been too good for them, that’s why they didn’t pick you!

    I like the military dad and daughter….they did ok considering…

    Erik- Watch your butt out there with those bulls, I’ll be checking ESPN…hope you have the print on the *back*of the t-shirt…lol…


    -Harry

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/06  at  06:51 AM


  • You said it markyt. Charla should drop mirna who is annoying as all hell. Besides, did you see Charla handle that hunk off cow?!

    I like the military dad… He handled his situation.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/06  at  08:11 AM


  • Allison is just as annoying on AR as she was on BB4….....hopefully Donny will get a backbone and ditch her after this race.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/06  at  02:45 PM


  • Erik,

    I’ve just read a posting on Aardvark travel forum by a guy named Darren. He is looking for travel writers to write them unique travel articles in return for payment.

    http://www.aardvarktravel.net/chat/viewtopic.php?t=5553

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/06  at  02:48 PM


  • ahh barcelona, that’s our city rik…paella, gaudi, catalyan rebels, and tear gas….wish i was there!!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/06  at  07:28 PM


  • Erik:
    I’m trying to find out if I can some how get your website posted through forbes.com.
    Sometimes they do the best of the web and thought that maybe they would need a great travel site.
    I’ll keep you posted!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/06  at  11:08 PM


  • ok ok…so i plugged the blog on the AR5 chat room this morning…

    hahah…let’s see if anyone bites, or if they are all just into the show and not about globetrotting…

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/06  at  11:19 PM


  • “Several trampled by Pamplona bulls”

    http://www.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/europe/07/07/spain.pamplona/index.html

    I hope E’s butt isn’t hangin on a bull’s horn right now….

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/06  at  11:27 PM


  • Good link LP, but no Erik that I could see….

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/06  at  11:50 PM


  • yah…at least there’s no casualties.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/07  at  12:25 AM


  • Erik did you see the animal rights activists in their underwear?

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/07  at  02:01 AM


  • Animal rights activists in their underwear, Td0t? What’s that all about? How does that prove anything?? That’s damn funny!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/07  at  10:35 AM


  • I SUPPOSE my plan to lay off from The Blog to build up ambiguity of my bull run survival is foiled with LOVE PENNY’s CNN post…  Yes, I’m alive.  Was I injured?  Yes. 

    Details to come when I can get to it…  Man I’m behind…

    P.S.  PETA was there?  Funny how Western news picks a Western-interest story for the San Fermin festival… I didn’t even see them at all—the bigger protests came from Basque radicals…

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/07  at  10:12 PM


  • Hope you’re allright Erik!  Did you wear the cool red scarf?  I can’t wait for the report!  I’ve always wanted to go to the tomatillo (sp?) festival too, where the spaniards throw tomatoes at eachother.

    here’s a good link to San Fermin pictures.  Some really close calls with those bulls, jeez!

    http://www.sanfermin.com/2004/portada.php?day=080704&lang=eng

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/07  at  10:45 PM


  • Blog Hogs: I would like to announce that this is my first of many posts from my new 9-5 office job. So the competition is on LP!

    ERIK: That is funny… I didn’t read anything about the Basque radicals. But the real question remains… Did you see Dennis Rodman??!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/07  at  11:07 PM


  • good question Td0t…and welcome back. Was it Rodman that hurt u?

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/07  at  11:34 PM


  • oooh…TD0T back to 9-5….

    SARA - its La Tomatina in Bunyol, Valencia, Espana…i’m sure getting hit with a tomato can hurt too…

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/08  at  12:13 AM


  • Erik - what did the Basque radicals want? Just to draw attention to their cause?

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/08  at  12:18 AM


  • NOELLE:  Same old ETA Basque stuff… “Spain, get the fuck out of our country” sort of thing…

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/08  at  01:03 PM


  • HEY ALL:  Sorry about this long delay of stories…  I am playing to veg out in a Starbucks on Sunday all day to catch up with my laptop—just in time for the Monday morning Blog Hog rush!

    STAY TUNED!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/08  at  01:04 PM


  • What if I can’t wait until Sunday???!!!  LOL
    The withdrawal, the withdrawal… 

    So blog hogs, lets speculate in the meantime what Erik’s injury is.  I’m going for -  he got speared in the butt or fell off his balcony onto a running bull.

    Posted by Liz  on  07/08  at  04:14 PM


  • this BH…already knows….it’s good to be a producer in the show, huh?

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/08  at  04:27 PM


  • Liz: great idea. i guess he caught a splinter on the chopsticks he used to eat chinese food while he waited for the bulls to show up.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/08  at  05:06 PM


  • hahaha, I got one - while signing up for the Bull run Erik receive a papercut from the form & had to be rushed to the emergency room for 6 stitches to he’s pinky!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/08  at  05:54 PM


  • SIM - yup that would happen to erik…

    he’s prone to crap like that…like his extreme dishwashing…and he had this other xacto blade incident in college…

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/08  at  06:46 PM


  • ooh, I got one… he was minding his own busines… taking photos… oblivious to the sign swaying overhead. The vibrations from approaching bull footfalls caused the sign to crash onto our hero’s head, and he was rendered unconsious and dragged to safety before the bulls ever go to him.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/08  at  06:56 PM


  • Christy - LOL good one

    Posted by Liz  on  07/08  at  07:03 PM


  • My Dear “Santiago” you’ve maded back to Spain!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/08  at  07:15 PM


  • Sunday!!! You’re killing me. That’ll be a whole week’s worth to catch up on. You’re forcing me to goof off at work on Monday!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/08  at  09:41 PM


  • “Four gored by Pamplona bulls”

    http://www.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/europe/07/09/pamplona.bulls/index.html

    “PAMPLONA, Spain (CNN)—Four men were gored on Thursday, including an American and a Briton, in the third day of the annual running of the bulls in Pamplona, a Navarra regional government spokesman told CNN.”

    No mention of a korean/moroccan/japanese/guess -looking american national getting gored…so erik’s fine afterall.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/08  at  11:29 PM


  • Hmm, I’m curious about the history, I guess, of the whole area. Isn’t imperialism grand?

    I think that Erik was drunk and ran the wrong way into the throng of people running FROM the bulls and was trampled. By the people. Never even saw the bulls.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/08  at  11:43 PM


  • Any other speculations about Erik’s injury?  We’ve got about 24 hours to come up with some good ones. 

    I should have addressed the question to the blog addicts rather than the BH’s smile  Cuz the BA’s are here checking every couple hours for new posts… ok, maybe that’s just me LOL

    Posted by Liz  on  07/09  at  04:06 AM


  • I got one…

    Durin a desprate atempt to snap the perfect “bull in motion” money shot, our brave, but reckless photographer tripped over a stray funsaver lost in the furay.  As he fell to the ground, our famed blog provider was gored… Not by the charging bulls, but by the excessive piercings of a fellow bull evaider, none other than the former Mr. Carmen Electra and NBA star, Dennis Rodman.

    MARKYT: Technically I’m not back to 9-5 because this is my first. It’s a shame your conference wasn’t this month because my office isn’t far from the convention centre. We could have “done lunch!”

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/09  at  04:29 AM


  • He was mugged by a bull or got into a fight with basque radicals.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/09  at  11:16 AM


  • BEAR WITH ME GUYS…  I was robbed last night (Friday) in Valencia after I sort of took a 20-minute nap on the beach outside this club for Jack’s big last night out… Wallet (and 50 euros) and camera (the new one)gone… 

    I’m safe though, no cards were stolen this time—EXCEPT the MEMORY CARD with photos from the past five days…  Total bummer…  GRRRRR….

    I didn’t have time to do a backup before the robbery, so I will have to post pictures of my video stills and Jack’s camera…

    BTW, the wallet and camera have already been replaced within the day…

    SORRY TO KEEP YOU ALL WAITING FOR ENTRIES!  Jack leaves tomorrow, leaving me to be alone again with The Blog…

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/09  at  08:44 PM


  • P.S.  Blogreader TOM ran on Day Three wearing a The Global Trip shirt…  perhaps it can be seen somewhere in the gored press photos?

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/09  at  08:49 PM


  • damn dude!!! you got robbed again? you are going to have to bring out some of that ny attitude and bitch slap someone out there. better yet, you are going to have go around giving people the “crazy eye” like in that movie “the new guy”.  then maybe they’ll leave you alone. lol

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/09  at  10:21 PM


  • He Erik, welcome in Europe…. sorry to hear about your robbery…if you want to save some money , mi casa est tu casa, are you coming to Holland?? If so when?? you are very welcome… I need a trip down memorylane, have been working too much..

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/10  at  04:56 AM


  • Erik - ah man, that sucks!  Did this robbery take place while you were sleeping?  I hope so - you don’t need any more scary knives or other weapons pointed at you.

    Posted by Liz  on  07/10  at  06:59 AM


  • ERIK - seems we’re getting the shit end of the stick huh?

    My car got hit and got some decent damage while I was pumping gas!!!

    Out of all fuckin places!

    I’ll explain later…it’s quite elaborate…

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/10  at  04:37 PM


  • MAAIKE:  Arriving in Paris Monday morning, so perhaps within the week I’ll make it up to Amsterdam…  I’ll see…

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/10  at  04:38 PM


  • Erik There is a great dungeon-like basement jazz bar in Paris - sort of creepy with spiderwebs hanging from the ceiling.  “Le Caveau des oubliettes” by the St Michel metro.  The “bar Dix”, also dungeon-like is over there on the left bank with good sangria!  We met some fun French people in there.  Then I karaeoked to Lionel Richie’s “hello” (!) at some other bar with a random French guy.  I love Paris! 

    can’t wait to read about the running of the bulls

    -sara, the former SBR, now full-on blog hog

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/11  at  03:01 AM


  • SARA (BH)...  any other Parisien suggestions?  I really have no agenda here other than get my visas and maybe see Mona… I’ve been here before doing the tourist thing… what else is there out there?  (Yes, that’s a loaded question.)

    Oh duh… Bastille Day is in three days!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/11  at  10:39 AM


  • well, I’ve always wanted to see the catacombs but didn’t get around to it.  My request for a blog photo:  I think they have some funny sign down there with the skeletons that says “one day you’ll be just like us” or something like that.  And I believe there is some sort of sewer tour but I’ve never met anyone who actually did that.  Both times I went to Paris, it involved a LOT of eating and drinking wine for hours outside.  I like the Sorbonne/St Germain neighborhoods.  A cup of beer at the “american embassy” is always fun too!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/11  at  06:12 PM


  • I went on the sewer tour - probably because I am a civil engineer. It is a good tour and doesnt really smell all that bad once you get used to it. Kind of like MickyDs on a friday night.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/11  at  06:36 PM


  • It sounds like we are sending you into the basements of Paris like a mole - underground jazz, catacombs, underground sangria, sewer - haha - hopefully you will find some good above-ground things to do as well!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/11  at  06:44 PM


  • E - do your own Da Vinci Code tour….

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/11  at  07:13 PM


  • I went down to the catacombs. Very cool. More bones than you can imagine. Tons of skulls looking at you, but due to mass-desensitization with cable TV, a piece of cake!

    The sign on the way in says “Stop, this is the Empire of the Dead”, in French of course. Featured in Anne Rice novels. Good stop, but that dungeon club sounds better.

    If you’ve got some time tho, and want to see amazing stained glass windows, go check out Saint Chapelle (sp?) it’s really beautiful, and makes you scratch your head and wonder “How’d they do that?”

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/12  at  12:05 AM


  • THANKS for the suggestions guys… I take it I should go underground huh?

    I was thinking… perhaps it was a blessing in disguise I got robbed…  perhaps it was Fate’s way of preventing me of calling up Fred (Ethiopia) who I thought was a little weird anyway… he was all gung-ho about taking me into the illegal parts of the catacombs…  so perhaps the robbery prevented me getting arrested?  Hmmm… let’s just say it did…

    I will get to the good things underground once I finish my errands, i.e. applying for my Russian and Chinese visas…

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/12  at  12:26 AM


  • here’s the addresses of my basement places if you are in the neighborhood:

    Caveau des oubliettes (downstairs from the guillotine pub) 52 rue Galande

    Bar dix
    10 rue de l’Odeon - metro Odeon


    I hope they are still good!  I went 2 years ago.  I’m sure the Caveau des oubliettes hasn’t changed in about 500 years.  Nor been cleaned or aired out.  The spiderwebs alone had to be at least 30 years old….we loved it though.  The upstairs (guillotine pub) has a floor made of grass.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/12  at  12:57 AM


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This blog post is one of over 500 travel dispatches from the trip blog, "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World (Or Until Money Runs Out, Whichever Comes First)," originally hosted by BootsnAll.com. It chronicled a trip around the world from October 2003 to March 2005, which encompassed travel through thirty-seven countries in North America, South America, Africa, Europe, and Asia. It was this blog that "started it all," where Erik evolved and honed his style of travel blogging — it starts to come into focus around the time he arrives in Africa.

Praised and recommended by USA Today, RickSteves.com, and readers of BootsnAll and Lonely Planet's Thorn Tree, The Global Trip blog was selected by the editors of PC Magazine for the "Top 100 Sites You Didn't Know You Couldn't Live Without" (in the travel category) in 2005.


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THE GLOBAL TRIP GLOSSARY

Confused at some of the jargon that's developed with this blog and its readers over the years? Here's what they mean:

BFFN: acronym for "Best Friend For Now"; a friend made on the road, who will share travel experiences for the time being, only to part ways and lose touch with

The Big Trip: the original sixteen month around-the-world trip that started it all, spanning 37 countries in 5 continents over 503 days (October 2003–March 2005)

NIZ: acronym for "No Internet Zone"; a place where there is little to no Internet access, thus preventing dispatches from being posted.

SBR: acronym for "Silent Blog Reader"; a person who has regularly followed The Global Trip blog for years without ever commenting or making his/her presence known to the rest of the reading community. (Breaking this silence by commenting is encouraged.)

Stupid o'clock: any time of the early morning that you have to wake up to catch a train, bus, plane, or tour. Usually any time before 6 a.m. is automatically “stupid o’clock.”

The Trinidad Show: a nickname of The Global Trip blog, used particularly by travelers that have been written about, who are self-aware that they have become "characters" in a long-running story — like characters in the Jim Carrey movie, The Truman Show.

WHMMR: acronym for "Western Hemisphere Monday Morning Rush"; an unofficial deadline to get new content up by a Monday morning, in time for readers in the western hemisphere (i.e. the majority North American audience) heading back to their computers.

1981ers: people born after 1981. Originally, this was to designate groups of young backpackers fresh out of school, many of which were loud, boorish and/or annoying. However, time has passed and 1981ers have matured and have been quite pleasant to travel with. The term still refers to young annoying backpackers, regardless of year — I guess you could call them "1991ers" in 2013 — young, entitled millennials on the road these days, essentially.




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