Saturday, November 21, 2009

Sleepy-time Rant in Berlin

I feel like I should be writing e-mails right now. I'm in an email kind of mood, but I don't see that happening. I made a list of people that I should email though, and that's progress. So, rather than something private and personal, I'll write something public and open ended. Well I don't really know if it will be open ended. I'm not really sure where this is going. All I'm sure of is that the one person in this room of ten beds most likely hates both me, and my loud keyboard right now. But he'll (maybe it's a she'll) manage. Hostellers are notoriously polite – I imagine this is because fear keeps us all in line. It's so easy to rob a fellow traveller, or snuff out their life deep in the night. Why tempt fate my making someone mad at you? Best to just lay there and pretend your asleep, cursing them internally, or imagining their various deaths. Tried and tested tactic for success!

It's nine fifteen right now – so let's not get crazy ideas that it's really late and I should be more considerate. I'm being considerate enough. What more can I do? I don't really feel like being drowsed out by the music being played in the bar downstairs, and I felt like listening to my own music.

I actually have my own music here – not just a single here, or a single there. And I don't mean to seem unapreciative for these singles, because that wouldn't be correct. The lovely Aye Bee hooked me up with some music that was both requested (stairway to heaven), much loved (unicorn kingdom club theme), and previously unknown but very well received (gregory and the hawk.)

But here's the thing about singles – you can't relax into the music, and let your mind shut off. There's something about an album that just allows everything to flow. Even if it's a mash up album. Which I've never really given much credit to before – but then I'd never given credit to Tom Clancy either. It's amazing what you'll force yourself to get into when your choices are limited. This mash up? American Edit. Current track? Dr. Who on Holiday. Charming.

The one problem about this particular song is that it's drawing my attention more than most pop-punk sound does. I think it's due to the fact that it has the Dr. Who connection – and I couldn't, for the life of me, watch Waters of Mars today. I made it half way after start stopping it so many times. When you can't even stream from You Tube you know that the network is being hammered.

I'm going to pause here to write a top ten list. It will actually be typed into this file, but will unfortunately be removed as a separate file. Why? Because it needs to stand alone. So why type here? To not break my stream of consciousness. You see that, that's a behind the curtain view at my process.

I just caught a flash of the waterfront in Oslo. It's strange how these assaults of memory keep hitting me. The catalyst? My thought process. My flippant and varried thoughts are unique enough, and yet also archetypal enough, to work as mnemonic devices. That's one theory anyway. I've had a lot of deja vu this last week – so maybe there's a correlation there too. So long as it's not like the end of the movie Michael, I'm cool with that.

Anyway – time for the break:

There – written and filed as 22-120, despite its humble beginnings right here as part as 22-119.

A guy from Halifax has just hopped in and out of the room. I can not explain how much I love being able to say “I'm from Toronto,” when people ask where I'm from – and then not having to follow it up with, well actually I'm from the suburbs of Toronto, but most people haven't heard of it. Nope. I can give a downtown address that I used to rock. In fact, I even have a piece of mail with me to prove said address. But never mind about that.

You know, no matter how much I try to connect to the open network named “Default” there's just no love. It shows 100% but that does me no good.

I don't think I'll brush my teeth tonight. I know what you're thinking – but I am already in bed, and I'm in the top bunk. I keep forgetting how terrible top bunks are. While hosteling they don't symbolize independence, and rebellious separation from the ruling party of the household (notoriously parents.) No they just literally translate into separation from baggage, and belongings.

Now we'll break here for a list of things that are awesome:

The video game Amplitude. And playing it back in the days before people expected plastic guitar controllers, or microphones with their music games.

Potentially Fallout 3 Game of the Year edition – I just read about the five expansions it includes on the internet over breakfast this morning (who needs a news paper.)

The fact that the sequel to Forest Gump was never made. Who knew it was based on a novel? Who knew the second novel continued on from the movie, rather than the first book? Who knew that they would turn such a heartwarming film into a god awful train wreck. Can't we just all love Forest's son played by that kid who sees dead people? Why must he die from aids?

Monopoly, Battleship, and in a non-board game note, Independence Day 2, and 3, are in the works. Wait – I'm not sure this is awesome. But it's, well, interesting to say the least.

Alright, enough of that. I'm looking forward to going to a mall in Florida, not to see different stores, and not to waste time, but actually to shop. For example, I need a new glue stick. The one I've been using for all my scrapbooking needs is almost at an end. And I also need some conditioner. My hair hates me, and is fighting against my no-name brand shampoo that I picked up in Munich. Well it has been full of hate since my 2in1 ran out, and even that wasn't well loved.

I'm considering getting a new netbook too – but then I might have a real computer. There's something quaint about this little guy that is really only good for basic internetting, and typing. Do I really need to play games, manipulate photos, or do any other such high end things on the road?

To be honest – the only thing I'd want is a newer version of Firefox, but I don't know how to install that on this linux system without destroying everything. So no Google Wave for me.

I've been on the road for two and a half months. That's it. So little. And there's so much more ahead. I've been trying to figure out how it's going to break down – why not take a moment to explore it, for my own sanity if nothing else. Dates are approximate.

Dec 1 – 10: Florida (family and friends meet up in a country I understand fully - ish.)
Dec 13 – Jan 2: Africa (bus tour – no fear, work, or effort required. Maybe only not going insane.)
Jan 3 – Jan 31: SEA (I need visas, hostels, and not dying. This could be the most effort aside from these three months in Europe. Also the flights in and out are awkward, and worry me. No they're not booked, hence the worry.)
Feb 1 – Feb 4: Hostel in Lima (this should be no worry – just book a hostel, hang out.)
Feb whatever – Feb whatever2: Peru trip (no worry, just hang out, stay with the group.)
Feb whatever 2 – Feb 26: a week in Buenos Aires. (hostel booked – I think the fight is booked too. i'll have to check. This should be fine, aside from spending a week in the same place. After the bus tour though it should be good.)
Feb 27 – March 15: Antarctica goodness. (stay with the tour, don't die.)
March 16 – March 31: L.A. / San Fran (I know and understand this country. And I should be visiting an old buddy who lives around here. No worries.)
April 1 – April 30: Japan (hostels booked, country understood. Zero fear or worry here. Like a warm bath.)
May 1 – May 30: China... Kind of. (I don't really know. - a month in China? A week in Hong Kong to deal with visas. Maybe I'll look into Tibet? I'm sure China will come together when it needs to. It's still far off, and I understand this backpacking thing for right good now. Maybe Singapore too?)
June ?? - June ???: New Zealand (no ideas at all – but I now now people out there, and I have some ideas. It's not a scary country, or a tricky country. Worse to worse, I buy a tent and make my way my own way.)
June ??? - June ?: Australia (should be visiting a friend here too – then once that visit is over, I'll see if there's anything else for me in the country. I may also zip back to New Zealand. Finances will answer that.)
July – Whenever: Here's where things get tricky. In theory I could come home, but the site is called oneyeartrip so I feel I should stay out until September – but, there are some other considerations. My ideas right now focus around heading to Canada, picking up my Kathy (who hates that name by the way – which is, of course, why I use it) and either a.) seeing northern Canada – pros: it's the last part of Canada I need to see – I could go north of the Arctic Circle cons: super expensive, not that great on the Wow! factor – just something to do to say I did it. b.) The grand American road trip pros: lots to see, lots of ciites and towns to visit, driving is fun. while expensive, there are a lot of important things to do and see, and it has a wow factor. Camping could work here too. cons: still bloody expensive C.) Grabbing a flight to Eastern Europe with an Iceland stopover. pros: I can check a lot of other countries off my list, lots to see, should be good times, relatively cheap, she's seen a bunch of the countries already and could be a good guide. cons: she's seen a bunch of the countries already. D.) I don't know – something.

And lets not forget all the places I want to see, but haven't added to this trip for one reason or another: Chernobyl, Easter Island, India, Russia. Those are the big four that come to mind. There's a lesser scale with Greece, and an even lesser one southern Italy on it. And there are a number of Micronesian islands I want to see – but I doubt that will even happen, because it's not worth the money for what it is, when there are so many other places I could hit up that I also want to see.

If you're wondering when this will end – it will be soon. I told myself I'd keep at this until I finished listening to the mash up album. Eight minutes left.

Time for another retrospective on things that are great:
Starship Troopers: Roughneck Chronicles. I tell you – that was a fantastic CG cartoon. It never got the love it deserved, and thus the final four episodes were never created. And that's just sad.

Ebert's movie reviews – They have always been good. If you've never read them, check out his new one for the Twilight sequel. Then go through the archives and read them from the past decades. He's one entertaining guy.

The theme song to Heathcliff – He does what no cat should. This is almost as great as the Denver the Last Dinosaur theme.

Well there we go. An end to that. So this is a travel blog, in theory – and my innane rantings are osmething that comes from travel, so there's a connection. But an even better one...

Top Sights of the trip thus far:
-The Castle outside of Fussen
-Barcelona Magic Fountain
-Oslo Sculpture Garden

Those are the ones that come to mind without needing to put any thought into it. And thus they have a very special place in my heart. If someone were to ask, “what did you love?” those would have come first and foremost.

Did I know The Castle existed? I did not. If Stew didn't research Germany and come join me here, I never would have known about it or seen it. Was I planning to see the fountain? Nope, I overheard people saying it only happened twice a week. Just turned out that that day was one of them. And the sculpture garden? Read about it in a brochure. Had no idea Oslo wold hold a treasure like that. And it was there I was told the other secrets of Oslo.

So if you're not one to travel, or don't know a reason to go somewhere – just think – the things I love best, I had no idea they were even out there. Just throw yourself into the mix, you'll come out with something.

And for the love of whatever, if you're travelling on your own do NOT sleep in hotels. I don't care if they're cheaper than hostels – if you're under the age of 30 (I can imagine them maybe being annoying if you're older than that) stay in hostels. It's there that you share secrets, tips, and learn of other places to see – in the current city, neighbouring countries, or half the world away.

Well, the album is coming to an end. Time to wrap up here and get some sleep.

Two thousand plus words. Not bad for an hours typing.

A big hello to all my friends out there (In a Romperoom style shoutout with a giant magnifying glass) I see Tsangerag, Queens, Don-Don, C.Mace, Matty P, Mike P, Stewboo, Nick, Schmoo Schmoo, Leitch, Rains, Shirles, [editors note: with late edition (this is what i mean when I say I'm tired and forgetful)] Annia-Bonania, a handfull of students – more whom read this than I know about... as I only know of two for sure, a heap of family members, and all number of other people who I forgot to list because, lets face it, I'm exhausted, and if you don't have a nick name that I think is kinda goofy, and thus charming – and also slightly leading to not saying your full name here, so you can hide behind things – well what could I do? Ugh – lists are no good cause you only upset the people who weren't there.

If you'd like to be part of my special Romperoom style video blog that will happen when I get a giant magnifying glas (Oh – it's coming... some time) then email me or comment. You too can be part of the inanity!

O.K. that's it. Music over. Ten Twenty Two. People trying to sleep.


Oh – fun fact! The sleeper wakes. He is a very Japanese male. Confirmed.


  1. I was thinking just the other day about whether you had a sort of master list of your travel plans, and now I don't have to go looking for it! Less effort=good

  2. the first master list - which is more accurate, except for where it's changed o_O can be found in my "About Me / Where I'll Be and When" drop down.

  3. This Aye Bee you talk about sounds pretty awesome. And I have to agree Ebert is really funny and I would love to see him rip apart new moon. :)
    I enjoyed reading your album! keep them coming.

    P.S. when you mentioned you'd be out at sea, I couldn't help but imagine you in that classic "titanic" position. You know, where Leo and Kate winslet embrace.

  4. I want to be part of the inanity!


    Or something like that.

    I'm king of the world?

    Also - you haven't read Ebert's new moon review?! It's so good:


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