Thursday, August 28, 2008

Dear Mom,

I know I haven't written in awhile, but I've been busy back here in Spain. Everything is fine, don't worry, I'll be home soon. Having fun, wish you were here, hugs and kisses, etc. etc.
My new Spanish friends and I enjoying deep conversation.
For deep intellectual conversation, you'll need to answer, Dónde está Che Pelotas?

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Friday, August 15, 2008

Leaving Norway

I'm not going to write about how expensive this country is. I think I pretty much covered that in the last blog entry. But since then, nothing has changed. It's still f*ng expensive.
I leave Scandinavia tomorrow, but I did manage to get up into the mountains for some hiking and taking in the alpine scenery. Unfortunately the weather was shite most of the time with rain and clouds, but somehow I managed to avoid getting wet while doing a two day trek. I stayed in huts run by the Norwegian Mountain Something (called DNT), and they're similar to the Colorado Mountain Hut system in guess which state, or the refugios that you find in Patagonia in Argentina. But can you believe it cost $40 a night for a measly dorm bed? Or that meals cost $20 each?!? Oye vay, I'm bitching about price again. Needless to say, I lived on bread cheese and tomato sandwiches. I'm becoming manorexic.
Anyway, here are some photos of the trip. They're not that great due to flat light and general travel exhaustion. But hey, what better things do you have to do right now.
Sheep and lake in Jotunheimen National Park
Gjende lake
Lake on top of lake on top of lake is the Norway norm. If you look at a map of Norway, it looks like it just rained and left puddles on the map since the entire country is lake after lake after fjord after lake after fjord.
Introducing reindeers Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, blah blah blah blah, no Rudolph
Sun came out long enough to capture the turqoise color of Gjende Lake
However, the DNT lodges were kept real nice, warm and cozy. The showers were hot and there was even a sauna. The most interesting thing I noticed though, were the toilet seats. They look more like basketball rims than seats. Overall, the Norwegians are tall, but not so gigantic as to have 22” rim seats. It made me curious since when I go to the bathroom, I usually throw down slam dunks. I wonder if Norwegians take jump shots. I was also concerned that if an eight year old used it, they might drown.

He's toilet seat is a 360 tomahawk jam,Dónde está Che Pelotas?

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Saturday, August 09, 2008

High Taxes x Semi-Socialistic Society + Crappy US Dollar = Really Expensive Norway

or in a simple equation form, HTx3(S)+CrUD=REN
I finally found the cure for drinking too much cheap rioja wine in Spain, or the binge drinking drink till you absolutely collapse mantra of the British. Head to Norway. Your cheapest drinking option is picking up beer at the grocery store which costs a whopping $16 for a 6-pack of crappy lager. And if you go out to drink at a bar, drinks are at a minimum, $10 a drink. But don't worry, if you decide to nurse your hangover, a cup of coffee costs around $5 a cup. Food isn't cheap either. A bag of chips cost about $8+. Entertaining isn't cheap at around $30 to get into a club. Low-income entertainment isn't cheap either. Renting a DVD costs $11. It would be cheaper to have NetFlix ship a DVD from the states to Norway.
It looks like I'll be losing weight on this portion of the trip and doing a lot of reading.
No these aren't models. Everyone here looks like this, chock full of caucasian goodness.
I think this was the original SMART car

I'm grateful that I've got friend's places to crash at. Don't even let me tell you what lodging and transportation costs......
Oslo street art near where I'm staying

The grave of Oslo's most famous artist, Edvard Munch
You know, the guy who did 'The Scream'. He painted some of the most depressed looking paintings that I've ever seen. But then again, tragic artists are the most talented. Maybe not the most likely to attend a company barbecue, but talented nonetheless.
The one good thing here in Norway is that they have the world's best health care. Full coverage and absolutely free. Education is free at universities as well......It's just too damn bad that none of this applies to me.
With these everyday low prices, I hope my wallet survives this ass-raping that it's been receiving............

Speaking of ass rape, Dónde está Che Pelotas?

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Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Coming Full Circle

Fifteen years ago, my first long overseas trip started here in Glasgow, Scotland. And like a prodigal son, I have returned. Some things are still the same here such as the weather is complete shite, drinking till you're absolutely pissed is the norm, and the Indian curry is still incredible if not even better.
like a tropical beach paradise with a UV index of 8+
But I also noticed some differences such as the value of the US dollar being equivalent to the Indian rupee has made things expensive here, there are a lot of security cameras everywhere as in an Orwellian police state, and this last one confused me. While walking the streets of Glasgow, there's a lot of people just sitting in cars doing nothing. There's a lot of this, but I'm not sure what it means or if it existed so prevalently 15 years ago. Usually it's just one guy just sitting there in his car.....just sitting there. It's a bit creepy, like Facebook.
a bunch of heads at the Kelvingrove Gallerythe cloisters at the University of GlasgowPosting bills in glasgow is illegal. To combat this, the city council came up with the brilliant idea of tagging all illegal bills with a 'CANCELLED' bumper sticker. I wonder if they see the irony of this, cancelling the next coming of god.He can never be cancelled, we just don't know where he is, Dónde está Che Pelotas?

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