Reading is FUNdamental

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This blog entry about the events of Tuesday, March 09, 2004 was originally posted on March 10, 2004.

DAY 143: Every now and then I need a day to just chill out, catch up on Blog duties, do a little freelance design work and — one of the favorite pastimes of the backpacker set — read a book.  Reading sure does stimulate the mind when your body is still sore from a bike ride the day before to do anything else.

I did managed to move my body outside and walk around for a while.  It was a beautiful sunny day, the kind like in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off where Ferris says, “How could I possibly be expected to go to school on a day like this?”  I walked down Long Street and the outdoor esplanade known as St. George’s Mall.  On the way, I ran into two film shoots, one for some South African television cop drama (I missed all the action), and the other for a commercial for France.  Crew members were simulating street steam with dry ice.

“Too cold [to shoot] up there?” I asked a crew hand.

“No, it’s just cheaper here,” he answered.


FOR A CHEAP LUNCH, I stopped at one of the many shops that sold the popular snack found all around town, pies filled with various meat fillings:  minced curry, pepper steak, chicken, peri-peri chicken or the one I had, steak & kidney beans.  After that and an iced coffee at a sidewalk cafe, I walked up Government Avenue, passed the Scandinavian(?) tourists in awe of seeing squirrels for the first time, and parked myself on a bench with a book.

Before I never understood why travelers “wasted” time on reading while away from home.  On all of my previously rushed, two-week corporate American vacations, I’d see readers and wonder, “Don’t you guys want to see stuff?!  Do things?!  My God, we’re not gettin’ any younger here folks!” 

But now with time to just chill out, I just sat there on the park bench next to a classical-looking building with the international edition of Michael Moore’s Dude, Where’s My Country?.  (Michael Moore books are huge on the backpacker trail I’ve noticed.)  Coincidentally, when I finished a couple of chapters and went to investigate what the nearby classical-looking building actually was, I discovered it was the Centre of The Book, a really ornate and beautifully constructed literacy center that promoted reading (picture above).


I WASN’T A TOTAL BOOKWORM ALL DAY.  C’mon, that’s crazy talk.  Later on, I enjoyed the other favorite pastime of the backpacker set:  drinking beer!  The bar at The Backpack was in full-swing and it was there I sat over rounds of Castle Lager with Richard, a paleontologist studying at the museum; Jason, a British Airways employee from Rhode Island that got airfare at an amazing 94% discount(!!!); and others that I don’t remember for obvious reasons.  Drinking beer is just like reading because it also stimpulates the brian… stiumpulsates… sitmeu stimulates FUCK I mean, the braaiinnnnnn…  the MIND…...  al;akjf;alk
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NOTE TO SELF:  Don’t drink and blog.






Next entry: Alumni Day

Previous entry: The Ride of Good Hope




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Comments for “Reading is FUNdamental”

  • 6:55 am our time.. FIRST (your dad tipped me. he is already in the office, I guess nothing to do yet.
    woke up on a low 30’s temp. Hard to get up in the morning.
    Dad & are are running off to puerto plata for a few days to catch some sun- mar 25 to 29.
    enjoying this very historical blog. don’t worry about finances. do whatever you wish there & we will back you up.  tita josie is already waiting for you in PI for very good treats..
    God bless.  we love you & we miss you..

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/10  at  08:13 AM


  • Drinking is FUNdamental….

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/10  at  08:57 AM


  • how is that michael moore book? is it good? i was meaning to read it but never got a chance to pick it up. i am also falling behind on reading my dan brown books.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/10  at  11:51 AM


  • Erik, I was worried that you might not be getting enough alcohol while you were on the trip.  The liver is a muscle, old friend.  Work it out whenever possible.

    Posted by matto  on  03/10  at  12:38 PM


  • Markyt: when it hits the lips ..oooh soooo good ...

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/10  at  12:50 PM


  • SIM: you are right… i think i’ll get a little fundamental this evening…

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/10  at  12:56 PM


  • SIM/MARKYT:  And so, the slang phrase “getting fundamental” was born.

    Use it well.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/10  at  01:59 PM


  • ATTENTION:  Dangerous blog!  Causes laughter while at work!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/10  at  02:27 PM


  • Erik: i’m so excited that your in a different place, i was getting so “tired” of So. Am”, so 142 days ago! Anywho, i would totally LOVE it if you could send me a post card or high res image of a baboon or a baboon’s Ass so i can use it for my desktop picture!!! thanks!
    n smile

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/10  at  02:38 PM


  • ALICE:  The book is great… it’s a follow up to Stupid White Men.  I heard that he’s making a new movie, similar to D,WMC? to be released just before the 2004 election, which states with evidence, how W. used 9-11 to police the world.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/10  at  02:38 PM


  • Hey Erik!

    Just wanted to say hey, and I’m still lovin your trip and writing!  Also, some really great pics lately!

    BTW, Bootnsall just posted up an article I had sent in.  My 1st published work! lol…

    I wanted to add to it how your blog was my fav, but I didn’t on that one, so just wanted to let you know that it is!

    Stay safe and have a blast for me too!

    Posted by Harry Z  on  03/10  at  02:49 PM


  • E-Rock.

    I just sent you drinking money.  And I don’t want a stupid postcard.  But since I just GAVE you money (even though I’m unemployed) I feel I have the right to demand that you only use that money for drinking (the extra 2 bucks is for tipping).

    Also, next time you’re in a bar, drinking off MY money, you have to find a local girl, go up to her and say “Some unemployed dude in New York wants to buy you a drink.”  Then buy her one.  And keep me posted.  If it results in a hookup, I want my money back.

    Posted by matto  on  03/10  at  03:22 PM


  • Matto: that IS funny, a little creepy but funny… Erik: enjoy your day not rushing like us silly folks “traveling at our desk” N smile

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/10  at  03:59 PM


  • MATTO: spoke to erik about 2 hours ago waiting to go out to get FUNDAMENTAL, so your request will probably have to wait till tomorrow nite…

    I, on the other hand, will use that line tonite, and say I’m unemployed, but would love to buy you a drink… (doubtful that’ll work in nyc of course)

    HAHAH..

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


  • haha…

    I’m going to Montreal for a STAG this weekend. How does this one sound?

    “Hi, I have a job, but I’m saving ALL my money for my 6 week trip to Asia next month… ALL except this $5.50 that I would like to use to buy you a drink.”

    But I’ll have to say it in French.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/10  at  06:47 PM


  • HARRY Z:  Thanks for the kudos and welcome!  Was there a recent post on the boards about this blog?  Seems to be a lot of Booties commenting these days…

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/11  at  08:42 AM


  • MATTO:  Thanks for the donation.  Mission accepted.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/11  at  08:45 AM


  • Hey Tita Nata,

    Want to back me up financially so I can travel too!?! =)

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/11  at  06:35 PM


  • FOR THE RECORD:  “Mommy and daddy” are not paying for this trip—me and mostly everyone on the backpacker trail makes fun of those people on a “free ride.”

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/12  at  05:16 AM


  • It’s pretty obvious to me that Mom & Dad are wise enough to pay for their own vacation… and are likely to not stay in hostels or become BLOG writers. They leave that craziness to you!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/14  at  06:15 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:
Alumni Day

Previous entry:
The Ride of Good Hope




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:

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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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