Our Greatest Ally

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This blog entry about the events of Thursday, February 24, 2005 was originally posted on March 02, 2005.

DAY 495:  In a stirring post-Nine Eleven speech that was obviously written for him because I sure as hell know he didn’t write it himself, U.S. President George W. Bush once ended a sentence with the words, “...our greatest ally, Great Britain.”  While historically speaking that may be true (except for that whole little American Revolution thing), I beg to differ (yet again) with the American President.  Based on my experience on my trip around the world, “our greatest ally” is not the UK but Canada, the U.S.A.‘s friendly neighbor to the north.

In my experience, I have met nothing but the nicest, friendliest, funniest, and most hospitable people when it comes to Canadians, from Angie and Denise in Egypt, Sebastian in Morocco, the pub-crawling Torontonians in Berlin, Liz in Japan, and “The Other Erik” in Boracay.  Of course I mustn’t forget that many hardcore and enthusiastic fans of this Blog post their comments from Canada, including Td0t, Janice, Lisa, and Rose.

And so, in true Amazing Race style, I decided to make my last destination before re-entering the States a cold one, one offering outdoorsy snowy challenges — and there was none better in Canada than Vancouver, British Columbia.


“WHOA, IT’S REALLY COLD HERE,” were my first words as soon as I stepped off the plane and onto the catwalk linking to the terminal gate in Vancouver International Airport.  Having traversed the north and south hemispheres in accordance with spring or summer for sixteen months, I hadn’t felt cold temperatures like that at sea level in a long time, and it was a good thing I had kept some warmer clothes in my baggage after all.  Despite the cold temperatures, I was happy to be back in North America and was ready to be greeted by the ever-so-friendly Canadians.  However, what I was greeted with felt a bit more “American.” 

“Passports.”

Up ahead the Royal Mounted Canadian Police (Canada’s federal police, a.k.a. “The Mounties”) were sternly checking individual passports of everyone getting off the plane, right at the gate even before the customs lines, just to weed out suspected terrorists.  Not surprisingly, the two innocent Arab-looking guys on the pre-dominantly Asian-faced China Airlines flight were flagged and delayed for questioning.  Later on, randomly selected people were selected for a hand search of baggage, right at the luggage carousel.  That’s pretty fucked up, I thought.  I thought The Mounties wore red uniforms, not blue.  Has Dudley Do Right been deceiving me all this time? 

Canadian hospitality was back on track when I finished entry formalities and pushed my stroller into the arrivals hall.  “Erik!” called an unfamiliar voice.  It was Vancouver Blogreader-turned-“Trinidad Show” character anthony (real name Anthony) who had e-mailed me saying that he’d be willing to pick me up at the airport so that he could meet me, and more importantly, to see the famous blue clamp I have to attach to my iBook laptop computer to keep the screen lit up.  “What do you want to see?” he asked as we drove away.  “[What do you usually see first when you enter a new city?]”

“I usually go around and get an overview.”

In his luxurious Mercedes-Benz, the 34-year-old Canadian entrepreneur drove me around town, from the downtown sights of downtown Vancouver — the coliseum-like public library, the art museum, the Euro-styled Fairmont Hotel Vancouver; to Stanley Park, “Vancouver’s version of Central Park,” as Anthony told me; around Northern Vancouver; and to the hippie-turned-yuppie neighborhood of Kitsilano in the south. 

“Everyone raves about Vancouver,” I told him from my experience.  “They always say you can go snowboarding in the morning and then to the beach in the afternoon.”  While that was possible — Anthony proved it by bringing me to a beach where you could see the snow of a local ski resort in mountains just behind — it wouldn’t have been at a world-class ski resort (Whistler is still 2-3 hours away), nor at a world-class beach. 

“It’s not really sand,” Anthony told me.  “It’s sort of a sand-like substance.”

While driving in and around central Vancouver (picture above), Anthony pointed out that Vancouver boasted a huge Chinese population, with most of the downtown city land bought and developed by Hong Kong companies.  “[They call it] Hong Couver,” he told me.  Vancouver differed from Hong Kong in one immediately recognizable respect; it wasn’t nearly as crowded.  My initial impression of Vancouver, a city of just two million people, was that it was very uncluttered with moving bodies and had a lack of “hustle and bustle” — very unlike a city in my opinion.  Where is everybody? I thought.  “It seems empty around here,” I told my host at the wheel.

“You think this is empty?  I think this is crowded,” Anthony said. 

“Well, I was just in Jakarta.”

He was starting to get concerned with whether or not he’d be able to get used to the heavier-populated cities in his upcoming trip around the world — a trip he’d been postponing and postponing until he could find a reliable person to manage his company.  Anthony was quite an industrious entrepreneurial type, the kind of guy with Donald Trump books on the shelf and a playlist in his iTunes software labeled “Tony Robbins,” who had built up a lucrative and profitable business in auto detailing, which was way more than a mere “car wash;” he serviced mostly luxury cars for Vancouver’s business elite, guys who paid $15-$20 as a tip for professional services costing much more. 

Anthony went back to work, but extended his Canadian hospitality by giving me the keys to his nearby downtown apartment, which was a much-appreciated gesture.  I mean, I’m always wary if I’m being invited by potential ax murderers, even if they are from the country of “our greatest ally,” but it turned out he had similar qualms.  “[I left this new girl at work] to pick up a stranger at the airport whom I’ve never met before and hope is not an ax murderer,” he told me. 

Anthony’s downtown apartment was a great place to crash for the day, with a PowerMac on the desk with really nice speakers and more importantly, a high-speed DSL internet connection — although for him it was too slow and would soon be replaced with a higher-speed fiber optic connection.  I only used it for so long because I was jetlagged like hell, and just spent most of the afternoon sleeping on the couch.  I was soon joined by his curious cat Goofball

Goofball climbed off my chest when I woke up later that afternoon, refreshed.  Anthony came home, followed by his girlfriend Kathy, and the two of them took me out to dinner that evening for sushi and conversation about the inner workings of maintaining a Blog on the road.  Anthony’s non-murderous hospitality was only extended even more when he offered to lend me all his snowboarding gear if and when I went snowboarding during my stay in B.C., a stay that would not be with him but with another Canadian, a rather funny and hospitable one that I traveled with through Morocco, who went by the name of Sebastian — or so I thought.


“UH, I SHOULD PROBABLY TELL YOU SOMETHING,” Sebastian said as we moved my bags from Anthony’s car into the house in Kitsilano where I was dropped off.  “I’ve been deceiving you.  People around here sort of know me as David.”

“David?”

Apparently, during Sebastian’s semester abroad in France, he had reinvented himself by going by his middle name “Sebastian” and not what his Canadian friends in and around the University of British Columbia (UBC) called him:  “Dave.”  More specifically he was sometimes referred to as “The Dave,” at least in the on-goings of that night; I had arrived just in time for a Friday night college house party he and his roommates were throwing, that was billed as a “Spring Fling” cocktail party so that not only could they dress up in neckties at an age when that still might be fun, but get trashed on mixed hard liquor drinks instead of the regular college beer from a keg.  Mixing the cocktails were the resident hosts of the evening:  the studious but enthusiastic Aviv, the ever-grinning Adam, visiting backpacker passing through Mike, and of course, my liaison to the UBC scene, Sebastian — er, Dave.

It was hard to adjust to the sudden change in monikers, but at least some things didn’t change.  The Dave’s sense of humor remained in tact, and there was Laughing Cow cheese and olives available — staples in our diet in Morocco.  David Sebastian’s hospitality didn’t end with cheese and cocktails; he really rolled out the “red carpet” for me, and by that I really mean a floor mattress with a pillow and pillow case with Spider-Man on it.  Awesome.

“I have a song to play for you,” he said before running over to the PowerBook hooked up to speakers.  With a flick of his fingers in iTunes, out came E.S. Posthumus’ “Pompeii,” the super-charged song that I used in the Day 503 trailer

“You downloaded it?”

“Yeah, this song’s awesome!”

And so, with the hard-driving electric guitar, drums, orchestra, and apocalyptic-sounding chorus, the reunion party of my first night in B.C. began.


I HAD ARRIVED FASHIONABLY LATE, just as everyone else, but soon the three-bedroom basement apartment of a big house was filled with college kids not only from UBC, but also from Toronto, Holland, Denmark, and France.  I drank enough not to remember any names or details of the party, but to sum up, it was your usual college party where alcohol flowed as much as the hormones, a night of dancing in the living room and sucking down Jello shots in a bedroom, a time when some guy shoved me because he thought I was hitting on his girlfriend.  For some reason, thirty-year-old me fit right in, probably because I didn’t look my age.

“So are you a UBC student?” someone asked me.

“Actually, I’m a lot older than a student,” I said.

“Twenty four?”

I gave him a thumbs up, and had to explain it meant “higher,” not “correct.”

“Twenty seven?”

“Thirty,” I revealed. 

“Thirty?”  He could barely believe his eyes and ears.  “Are you married?”

“No.”

“Do you have kids?  A house?”

“Uh, I’m at a UBC party.”  What do you think?

For me, the experience was sort of like being in the movie Old School, where thirty-somethings revert back to their partying college days by opening a community-wide fraternity.  While there was no late night streaking — it’s cold in B.C., remember? — there was the time I chugged from the big bowl of Sangria like Frank the Tank (Will Ferrell).  Once it hits your lips, it’s so good!

It’s too hard for me to reconstruct the happenings of that night — my brain was still too busy trying to process the fact that his name was “Dave”, not “Sebastian” — so here are some pictures I took, along with some that David Sebastian and Aviv took, all in a little series of photos I like to call:

“Random People Having Innocent College Fun”
1 2  3 4 5 6 7 8 9

(I’m told the guy in that last picture “chucked some vom,” as they say in Canada.)

In the end, the night was a big success for the boys and their social lives, and a great welcoming for me on my first night in western Canada.  The Canadians, truly my greatest allies, I thought the morning after.  Now if could just get this stain off my shirt...

SAVE THE DATE; DAY 503 IS COMING.  MARCH 5, 2005, NYC.
CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE TRAILER. 
PLEASE R.S.V.P. WITH YOUR HEADCOUNT BY POSTING A COMMENT BELOW.






Next entry: The Canadian Identity

Previous entry: The Day That Never Happened




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Comments for “Our Greatest Ally”

  • DELETED SCENE:  For my first official lunch back in North America, I walked around the corner from Anthony’s apartment building to the Subway sandwich shop and was actually happy to get service from what appeared to be a disgruntled teenaged employee.  On my way into the shop, I was asked by a homeless guy if I was willing to give him my Sub Club frequent customer card stamp if I didn’t collect them. 

    “Sure,” I told him.

    On my way out of the store I gave him my stamp, just like the woman before me, and his eyes lit up. 

    “Whoa…  Maybe today I can get a foot long instead of a six-inch!” he said very excitedly.  “Thanks man!”

    I smiled.  When you’re living off the hospitality of Canadians, sometimes you gotta give something back.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/02  at  03:21 AM


  • IN THREE DAYS, WHAT GOES AROUND, COMES AROUND.

    DAY 503:  The Return To New York
    Saturday, March 5th, 2005
    Slainte, 304 Bowery (at E 1st St.)
    New York City, USA

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/02  at  03:29 AM


  • Took a peek and just couldn’t save reading the latest post till the morning…

    Sounds and looks like that party was a blast!

    Can’t believe the trip is almost over, I feel like I’m watching the last couple of episodes of a favorite show coming to an end!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/02  at  04:09 AM


  • That’s HILARIOUS!!! I haven’t been to a college party in ages!!

    Thanks for the pics of Vancouver, eh? I haven’t been there in ages - looks similar - did you get to uh… the island that has a video arcade and a market on it? Granville??

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/02  at  05:30 AM


  • I have to admit, I downloaded Pompeii too (and Nara, actually).  You have good taste in music.

    This post reminds me of when I was the random non-student at a UBC party.  But I don’t remember much about that.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/02  at  05:46 AM


  • NEIL:  If you like E.S. Posthumus’ CD, buy Rob Dougan’s.  Yes, I said BUY; these are two struggling artists worthy of forking over money to.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/02  at  06:16 AM


  • Fibre optic internet owns all. http://xitemedia.net/media/images/fast.jpg

    I would like to take this time to mention that in preparation for my oft-delayed trip I grilled Erik on the inside details of his journey. I wanted to get beyond the blog and find out about the true adventurer.

    I asked Erik what was the single most challenging thing he dealt with on his trip? Was it corrupt border guards? Killer Russian Mafia? Hole in leg?

    Without hesitating even for a second our seasoned traveller turned to me and replied.

    “Slow internet.”

    Posted by anthony  on  03/02  at  06:38 AM


  • Erik: Thanks for the honourable mention!  The pleasure has been all mine…........and yes, we are your greatest ally as I hope you are ours!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/02  at  06:52 AM


  • oh canada! my home and native land!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/02  at  12:36 PM


  • remember, you don’t have to be at college to party like you are in college grin

    come experience college like partying behavior at Day 503….

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/02  at  12:36 PM


  • Dude,

    You’re thirty?  I thought you were 21.  I’m thirty and I’ve never been around the world yet.

    Looks like I need to get my ass in gear.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/02  at  12:42 PM


  • A shout out goes to all those people born in 1975!!!! people might ask, would you want to do your 20’s over again? i say NO WAY, I Had too much fun, i would hate to be dissapointed the second time around

    N smile

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/02  at  01:35 PM


  • all that comes to my head is “blame canada” a la south park.

    wow, say it isn’t so!!! 3 days it’s all OVER???  well, 2 now…

    Posted by stephanie  on  03/02  at  01:40 PM


  • cheers to 1975ers .... “once it hits the lips ...  so good” ...

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/02  at  02:06 PM


  • woah… I’ve never been called enthusiastic and hardcore in the same sentance before! Thanks!!

    “chucked some vom.” I like that, I’ll have to import it over to Ontario.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/02  at  02:24 PM


  • Henry, if you need to feel young - I’m 34.  Well, 34 going on 25 or so…  I just started seriously travelling around 30.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/02  at  02:36 PM


  • I’m so hardcore…..reminds me of School of Rock!  I like having my name mentioned in the Blog….damn I want to go to NYC this weekend!

    As for twentysomething college parties….they’ve got nothing on the thirtysomething girls weekends….now that’s a party!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/02  at  02:47 PM


  • after watching your trailer, i went and brought the E.S. Posthumus’ CD online. it is awesome.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/02  at  03:05 PM


  • Thanks for the mention!  Hardcore enthusiat for sure and will be going thru withdrawls very soon….I second your DAMN Lisa….I too would love to be there Saturday night!  Shall we run away from home??  Tdot, represent us well please!  How about us more mature partiers?? We have had alot more practice and know how to do it right!!!  We will never match the writing and tenacity of Erk & his Blog but does anyone know of another good blog that we could all follow…..If we all moved to another blog it sure would blow that person away to have so many dedicated followers!!!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/02  at  03:26 PM


  • ANTHONY:  Well you asked what’s the most “frustrating” thing…  To me “frustration” comes when you can’t accomplish an obligation.  If I wasn’t pressured to do the Blog with mental deadlines, I probably wouldn’t have minded the 56K for regular e-mail stufff…

    I think I told you that I didn’t mind waiting on buses that didn’t take off until they were full, simply cause “I had nowhere else to go.”  It’s funny how deadlines make us Westerners uptight.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/02  at  03:56 PM


  • NIKKIJ:  What are you talking about?  The 1974ers know where it’s at!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/02  at  04:06 PM


  • Rose, Lisa - you are right.  We have more valuable experience and practice!  I bet by my age, a lot of those 21 years olds will be settled down.  I still dance on the occasional table and stay out until 4…  When you’re older you can laugh at yourself more and not care about making an ass of yourself, I guess.  Or maybe that’s me!  haha.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/02  at  04:16 PM


  • erik: 1975ers! RULE~

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/02  at  04:56 PM


  • As the self-appointed representative, I am obligated to put in a good word for the 1981ers. We?ve been on the receiving end of a lot of flack from ?70-79ers but our hazing is over. This is our year! If we want to chat up an attractive ?77er, we are now free to do so without being ?way out of her league.? If we want to Wild?Out on the dance floor, we are now free to do so without engendering disapproving looks from older peers. Brothers, Sisters of 1981, the wall has come down! WE ARE FINNALY FREE!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/02  at  06:51 PM


  • Td0t, 1981ers are too old for me….I’m a 1973er…..oh shit I keep forgetting about that silly little thing called a committed relationship or marriage…..sorry!  I’m such a dirty ol’ lady!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/02  at  07:02 PM


  • Dammit…I pulled a Td0t and didn’t preview….

    I meant aren’t too old for me!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/02  at  07:03 PM


  • Now you’re all making me feel ancient—I’m such a 1970er. But I’ll be damned if I act like it.
    Can hardly wait until Saturday. I may have to bring Kevin Kall along (remember him?)—compared to him, I’m a child!

    BTW, another excellent fact about Vancouver—that’s where all the good seasons of the X-Files were filmed. The Truth is Out There.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/02  at  07:43 PM


  • Oh yeah, I just got my TGT2004 t-shirts!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/02  at  07:44 PM


  • Since no 1976ers (BICENTENNIAL BABIES) are speaking up, I feel it is my obligation to do so…

    Am I the only one out there that is a reader born in 76? Seems that way…

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/02  at  09:31 PM


  • Ai can wei fo yu tu cum tu morro

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/02  at  09:44 PM


  • hearing all these old folks babble.. wink

    what about the 85ers

    doesnt mean a thing wink

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/02  at  09:49 PM


  • I feel like ancient…...........but I still know how to party with the best of them!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/02  at  11:32 PM


  • RSVP UDPATE:  I’m definitely coming out…+4 too smile

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/03  at  12:25 AM


  • Yo Trinidad.
    Sad to have missed you in Gastown; would have been good.  I too am a 1981er and would have given’er good that night.

    How about all them maple leafs adorning most signs and products?  Nice money, eh?  How about that loonie and twoonie?  How about politeness? (try stepping on someone’s toe in a lineup or something, I guarantee they will apologise to you).

    To complete your Canadian experience, I suggest a screening of the cult classic, FUBAR… be sure to have a few cans of beer to shotgun, though.

    PS.  It’s called University here in the Great White North.  And that saying, “chucking up some vom”, must have come about while I was backpacking, because in my 5 years in the west I’ve never heard it.  (maybe I’m not cultured enough, though?)

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/03  at  12:38 AM


  • Noelle, you’re not alone.  I’m a 1976er, but next year I’ll be telling ppl I’m a 1981er.  smile

    Erik, it’s official.  Me, Howie, +2 more are going.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/03  at  01:26 AM


  • Right on Dennis, it’s all about the 85’ers people!!! 20..what a great age! wink so close to 21….
    haha smile

    Posted by Kailani  on  03/03  at  01:35 AM


  • “Pulled a Td0t”  Now there’s a new saying that might stick!  And it can be shared with Americans and Canadians!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/03  at  02:26 AM


  • me

    Posted by Alyson  on  03/03  at  03:28 AM


  • weird.  it didn’t post everything i said.
    i typed an arrow pointing to the “me” and it said ‘80er.

    Posted by Alyson  on  03/03  at  03:30 AM


  • ummm…age ain’t nothing but a number….

    thanks…

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/03  at  04:41 AM


  • Oh my.. am I the grandfather of this bunch???  1969 dude!!!!!

    hmm, no I don’t think so, I checked out Moman’s site, he might have a year or two on me! smile

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/03  at  06:17 AM


  • Years, schmears - you’ve ALL got it wrong.
    ‘71 is number one!

    Posted by dunlavey  on  03/03  at  09:16 AM


  • 68’er here…But Markyt is right, tis just a number…or a set of…

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/03  at  11:53 AM


  • Harry - Yup, can’t have 9 without the 6….

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/03  at  11:55 AM


  • “Pulled a Td0t.” - Lisa

    I love it!!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/03  at  12:17 PM


  • Seem like I’ve started some sort of age war.

    Sorry guys, make age peace not age war.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/03  at  12:28 PM


  • one more day.. noooooooooo (ADDITIONAL ooo’s DELETED FOR FORMATTING REASONS)

    tdot please represent to the fullest for us 1981’ers (NO AGE WAR!) from Toronto who can’t make it to day 503!

    Posted by kisha  on  03/03  at  12:54 PM


  • TDOT - wow…you have to rep all the canadians and the 81ers! 

    you have a big task ahead of you!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/03  at  12:58 PM


  • woah… the burden of not only a whole country, but also a whole generation rests on my shoulders!

    It’s a good thing I thrive under pressure!


    I don’t think this thread has become an age war. I think it’s more like a comment on our respective stages in life, and the fact that our age does not necessarily correspond to our stage in life; nor should it. Right Janice?

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/03  at  01:34 PM


  • Erik, another shout out for the 74ers! We rule! We’re not old, we’re just fabulous!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/03  at  02:40 PM


  • Im leavin on a jet plane….

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/03  at  02:58 PM


  • Not trying to start an age war here - I just was glad that I was the only 1971-er.
    Gotta rest up for tomorrow - I plan on getting there early and grabbing a good seat!

    Posted by dunlavey  on  03/03  at  04:06 PM


  • what time do the festivities begin?  i thought i saw somewhere that it starts 8ish.  is that still the case?

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/03  at  04:08 PM


  • Rina - If you’ll be a 1981er, you’ll be as old as Jay.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/03  at  05:43 PM


  • Erik - Steve and I will be there

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/03  at  06:12 PM


  • I wear my age proudly… I won’t be regressing back to 81er status anytime soon, Rina - it would put me at the same age as my little bro - that’d be scary.

    See y’all tomorrow night!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/03  at  06:43 PM


  • so is the blog officially done?  or are there a few entries left to come?

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/03  at  06:54 PM


  • 1976!!!! year of the dragon, baby!

    erik, bring me back some canadian bacon! =P

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


  • i was born in 74, she was born in 81, who the hell cares???....pic 5 shows two girls on a sofa’s about to get it on!  am i the only one who sees this??? hello?????

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/03  at  07:56 PM


  • i was born in 74, she was born in 81, who the hell cares???....pic 5 shows two girls on the sofa about to get it on!  am i the only one who sees this??? hello?????

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/03  at  07:57 PM


  • Michelle and I are about to leave to catch our flight!  Yay!! 

    I’m so amped about the 503 festivities… but at the same time, so sad that it means the blog is over.
    Oh, the emotional conflict…  :-(

    Erik: In case you (we) are too hammered to communicate by the time we officially meet on Saturday, just wanted to extend you a HUGE thank you for allowing us to travel with you and share in your amazing experiences.

    MarkyT: Big up to you too for all your behind-the-scenes effort!!

    (PS: 1974 in the house!)

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


  • Hey!  I haven’t had time to read all your latest entries, but i definately want to congratulate you on finishing your trip!

    Posted by marquee  on  03/03  at  08:09 PM


  • Actually, many helpful people are axe murderers.  Hey, works for me.

    Kiiiiiiding.

    With you in spirit tomorrow Erik.  Welcome back, what a great trip.

    Now, sit back and pop the top off a cold PBR, the most American beer you can get, and remember, taste isn’t everything.

    Thanks for taking me along for the ride!

    TWH

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/03  at  09:34 PM


  • Actually, many helpful people are axe murderers.  Hey, works for me.

    Kiiiiiiding.

    With you in spirit tomorrow Erik.  Welcome back, what a great trip.

    Now, sit back and pop the top off a cold PBR, the most American beer you can get, and remember, taste isn’t everything.

    Thanks for taking me along for the ride!

    TWH

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/03  at  09:35 PM


  • Td0t: Very well said.  I totally agree!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/03  at  10:04 PM


  • Td0t: Very well said.  I totally agree!
    Age is just a state of mind.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/03  at  10:04 PM


  • Erik, NOW you choose to become a BLOG slacker?! You’re short 3 entries pal. Don’t blow it in the last mile!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/03  at  10:36 PM


  • Erik’s prolly still stuck at Customs with his bootlegged DVDs.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/03  at  10:41 PM


  • Well… I’ll be in NYC tomorrow and would love to swing by the ‘503’ gig at Slainte’s.  What time is this thing starting/going to?
    B

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/03  at  11:50 PM


  • Day 503ers - 8ish sounds good…but come whenever you have the urge to wet your whistle….

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/04  at  12:07 AM


  • yahoo to 1975!
    30, flirty & fabulous!!

    i’m ready to party! see you guys tomorrow:) wow..tomorrow already?!

    can’t wait!

    what’s on day 504??

    (i’m jealous)

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/04  at  01:04 AM


  • yahoo to 1975!
    30, flirty & fabulous!!

    i’m ready to party! see you guys tomorrow:) wow..tomorrow already?!

    can’t wait!

    what’s on day 504??

    (i’m jealous)

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/04  at  01:05 AM


  • yahoo to 1975!
    30, flirty & fabulous!!

    i’m ready to party! see you guys tomorrow:) wow..tomorrow already?!

    can’t wait!

    what’s on day 504??

    (i’m jealous)

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/04  at  01:06 AM


  • yahoo to 1975!
    30, flirty & fabulous!!

    i’m ready to party! see you guys tomorrow:) wow..tomorrow already?!

    can’t wait!

    what’s on day 504??

    (i’m jealous)

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/04  at  01:06 AM


  • Wow!  I just discovered your site (was googling something about the Philippines) ... better late than never.  As a Filipino in the diaspora, I am very proud of you and I am sure my readers will be too ... you’re a Best of Cyber Pinoys site at Tanikalang Ginto (Golden Filipino links) at http://www.filipinolinks.com .

    Posted by Ken Ilio  on  03/04  at  03:30 AM


  • one more day . . . .

    . . so exciting.

    Posted by Alyson  on  03/04  at  06:16 AM


  • Yeah….....but…........we’re only on Day 495…........here…........where’s
    Waldo…......er…........I mean….....Erik?

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/04  at  08:06 AM


  • oh it is already saturday,
    everybody have fun at erik’s party and do a lot of pics for all us folks abroad and at home wink

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/04  at  09:30 AM


  • Happy Day 503!
    Maybe when I’m in NY at a later time I can buy you some late drinks!

    Have fun..do a blog entry about it…(as your final blog for us!)

    Posted by Kisha  on  03/04  at  01:44 PM


  • HAPPY DAY 503!!!!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/04  at  02:17 PM


  • YES, I’M BEHIND, AGAIN.  So sue me.  It’s been a whirlwind of activity until the big day… which is TODAY! 

    SEE YOU ALL TONIGHT.  (I’ll stroll in, 8ish.)

    The Blog will be caught up when I recover from the weekend…

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/04  at  02:57 PM


  • Congrats Erik!  Hope day 503 turns out to be a great one at the festivities in NYC.  Really wish I could have been there to meet you, although I’ll be there in spirit, representing the 73’ crowd.  I will definately have to tip a few back tonight in your honor.

    Oh no, the blog withdrawls are officially setting in…..looking forward to seeing the day 503 photos and your final thoughts on the trip…its been a great one for all of us.

    Cheers,

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/04  at  03:21 PM


  • WORST NEWS EVER!!!!

    Brothers, sisters of 1981 and fellow Canadians, I regret to inform you that I am unable to represent you at day 503. I have fallen victim to an EXTREAMLY untimley snowboarding accident which has severly affected my mobility.

    This couldn’t have happend on a worse day. I guess it’s my fault for thinking I could snowboard on day 502.

    Erik, Markyt, Sim, and everyone else… My sincerest apologies, I am with you spirit.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/04  at  04:17 PM


  • its day 503rd!!! congrats erik!! hope that everybody will have fun on your party tonight! greetings here from texas and philippines!! no more blog for us to follow!! huhuhu

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/04  at  04:58 PM


  • Now pulling a Td0t has a whole new meaning!!!!

    Hope you recover quickly!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/04  at  05:15 PM


  • TDOT just put himself back on the 1981er black list….

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/04  at  06:29 PM


  • Hey Toronto!
    Pull it together man, get in that wheelchair, roll up to the Pearson Intn’l, board first (gimps first), and crash that party!
    Sorry to hear aboot your accident, eh.
    I hope there will be a Canadian contingent there to represent?

    Erik, congratulations to you for finishing your trip…

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/04  at  06:36 PM


  • Erik, and readers of this blog:

    In all this months that happen to just pass by sense Erik started his trip I have been more than curious how to make such an adventure possible. I come to the conclusion that its all about faith,  to set up your mind into something that u love and never look back.
    i cant tell you that i am not jelious.  But the most scary feeling of all is because i dont have the tools (papers) to live the country or to even work in decent job for more than 2 months (after they found out).

    Its sad, i know. who cares.
    I am opening this space so 1 fine and sweet lady of this beautiful and crazy USA accepts to marry me. NO $ or strings attached.
    im freelancer: writer (in spanish), painter, bartender, massage therapist, latin lover (!)

    wanna contact me? u know how to find me.
    peace out, and viva la Revolucion.
    “hasta la victoria siempre”
    Che Guevara

    Posted by alex the conqueror  on  03/04  at  08:24 PM


  • Erik, and readers of this blog:

    In all this months that happen to just pass by sense Erik started his trip I have been more than curious how to make such an adventure possible. I come to the conclusion that its all about faith,  to set up your mind into something that u love and never look back.
    i cant tell you that i am not jelious.  But the most scary feeling of all is because i dont have the tools (papers) to live the country or to even work in decent job for more than 2 months (after they found out).

    Its sad, i know. who cares.
    I am opening this space so 1 fine and sweet lady of this beautiful and crazy USA accepts to marry me. NO $ or strings attached.
    im freelancer: writer (in spanish), painter, bartender, massage therapist, latin lover (!)

    wanna contact me? u know how to find me.
    peace out, and viva la Revolucion.
    “hasta la victoria siempre”
    Che Guevara

    Posted by the conqueror  on  03/04  at  08:26 PM


  • Woke up to a warm sunny day here in China.  It’s 10:43 am Sunday…....that means it’s 9:43 pm Saturday in NYC and the party is under way!  Wish I could be there. 

    Td0t, what a misfortune that you could not go and respresent us.  Get well soon!

    Erik: looking forward to the last few days entries and the BIG ONE. I am planning to start at the beginning and read up to Malawi, Africa which is where I joined in.  But it surely won’t be the same knowing you are not really out there. 

    You have been an inspiration to many people including myself.  From the song ‘The River’ by Garth Brooks:  “Don’t you sit upon the shoreline and say you’re satisfied.  Choose to chance the rapids and dare to dance that tide.”

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/05  at  01:12 AM


  • Erik - hope you have made it to Day 503 festivities and are celebrating the end of an amazing journey!  Thanks so much for sharing - I think most poeple have no idea just how much time and effort you put into keeping the blog up to date (I’m still 3 days behind on my own trip to China over x-mas!).  This blog is truely amazing.
     
    You have entertained thousands of us, BHs and SBRs alike, who have anxiously checked your blog every day for new entries.  I’m sure you have inspired many to travel themselves, and given those of us who already want to travel, new ideas on where to go. 

    I know I am not alone in that I will suffer withdawal now that the trip is over… so hurry up and save some money so you can hit some more countries LOL

    Wish I could join you in the 503 festivities.

    Posted by Liz  on  03/05  at  01:30 AM


  • Wow it has finally come down to the wrap party.  Hope that you are having a blast.

    Erik, it has been great following your trek but will miss your stories from “on the road”.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/05  at  03:13 AM


  • well, i just got home from the 503 festivities. i had a great time!
    thanks, erik, for the invite. it was great to meet you and some of the bloghogs (and your mom, too!). i had a blast reminiscing about the last 16 months.

    we should all do that again sometime. and maybe td0t could make it then. (that was seriously a shame, man.)

    Posted by Alyson  on  03/05  at  05:00 AM


  • Thanks for the kind words everyone… I’m really not that bad… just bashed up a bit. I’m just totally bummed.

    Me and Simf2p were planning this for a while, and Markyt was holding it down NYC side. It hurt more than the fall when I canceled my flight…

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/05  at  05:14 AM


  • .... If you guys get a chance… Sim has my cell number. Some drunken monkey noises in my voice mail would really cheer me up!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/05  at  05:16 AM


  • Erik, congratulations on making it home!! We’re all gonna miss the blog and thank you so much for sharing your travels with us.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/05  at  05:18 AM


  • I just got home from the party. Good times. Like I said before I split Erik, glad your home—it sucks your back here—but glad you’re home. For those who couldn’t make it…  Erik looks great, decked out in a brand new TGT2004 t-shirt. I’m sure he’ll explain why later. Saw what’s left of his Yankee ball cap. It’s due for retirement. Spent some time with Alyson—we even managed to get Erik to drop trou…. well, rather unzip the bottom part of his ever-present conversion pants so we could examine his massive leg wound scar. Very nice. Hey LARA, if you’re out there, we missed you. WARREN you slacker, what happened to you? One of the highlights was meeting Erik’s parents & chatting with his Mom—she’s really amazing! There were tons of people there, just wish one of us was bright enough to bring “Hi, my name is _____” stickers. It’s the only party I could think of where most people only knew one person. Well, Erik you did it buddy, hope you had a great time tonight. Can’t wait to see those last few entries—I expect you ended your RTW with a bang!

    Now get a job!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/05  at  05:41 AM


  • grrrr…sorry i missed the festivities…hope y’all had a blast!!!  i started to come down w/who knows what and i wasn’t feeling well.  is there a possible part II?

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/05  at  12:59 PM


  • Erik,
    Sorry I missed the bash ... It’s about 7 PM in Saudi, and I bet (and hope) you’re still sleeping off the festivities.  Can’t wait for your final (?) entry detailing the festivities.

    Thanks again for The Blog, and let me echo that, while I’ll miss the day by day blow by blow, I’m glad you’re finally home too.  Welcome back.

    Staying tuned for future adventures…

    Posted by Dave of Sand and Tsunamis  on  03/05  at  02:25 PM


  • hold on….there was a party last nite?...what is everyone talking about?

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/05  at  02:50 PM


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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.


Next entry:
The Canadian Identity

Previous entry:
The Day That Never Happened




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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The views and opinions written on The Global Trip blog are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the official views and opinions of the any affiliated publications.
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