Archive for November, 2008

Changing in Mai

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on November 22, 2008 by bobbyvanilla

After the depths of Thailands under belley I decided to shake things up and arrive to the shunshining lushing greenery of Chang Mai. The far north, surrounded by mountains and jungle, this city is much more relaxed then Bangkok…oh and a lot less lady boys. Perfect.

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Chang Mai. Green as far as the eye can see, not as much pollution…you can actually breath the air here. Hearing about the north, all the talk is about trekking…well after you gaze upon the flock of jungle, you can’t help but want to….Especially if you get to ride an elephant

A jungle excursion…white water rafting and riding a fucking elephant…can’t pass that up mother bitches. Except…for some reason, people do not like arriving on time here. So after waking up fucking early(yes it was only 7am…buuut still) I get picked up in a rickety old truck with some boards in the bed…hmmm…this should be fun.

this is the transport

this is the transport

It was an absolutely stunning day…the sun gleaming over the trees, the leaves with the fresh morning dew glistening…the fresh air…ahhh…breath in that glorious fresh air…anyway…the hike was pretty sweet. Going through the jungle, after a fresh rain…ya a little slippery, and if you know how klutzy I am…well just imagine(lets just say my pants weren’t perfectly clean when I got back) But we saw, waterfalls, spiders and tons and tons of trees.

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My main objective of the trek was to ride on the back of an elephant…and that my friends, was soon to become a reality.

These massive beasts who have roamed the earth for hundreds, maybe thousands of years are an absolute marvel in themselves, but to actually ride it…well…it needs to be experienced. Much comfier then a camel, but alot scarier. Everytime they go up or down a hill it seems as though you’re going to fall off. Then comes the part where the elephant is hungry or just feels like it needs to go somewhere else. Still…riding atop this giant animal I felt like the king of the castle…just think of Borat.

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After the elephants, it was white water rafting time…or more like brown water…sheesh the river we were taking…fucking sick…but the rafting…absolutely raw. Definitely not the hardest rapids or course I’ve ever taken, but sooo much fun. I got soaked, ate a shit load of dirty water and almost fell out…good times indeed. Almost the entire time while rafting I was thinking how sick it was that I was in the northern part of Thailand and rafting down some river.

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When I first arrived in Chang Mai I actually thought that there wasn’t much to do. Hahaha There is a shit load of stuff here. All of Thailands history basically started here. Also they have the best fruits, vegitables and therefore cooking. So next step…learning to cook Thai food.

One of the best choices I made in Chang Mai. You were taken around a local market, shown the best vegitables and spices for particular dishes…then guess what…we got to cook those fuckers. You were able to chose from two soups, three curries, three meat dishes and three noodle dishes. I chose Tom Yum soup, Green curry, Chicken and cashew nut and finally Drunken noodle. I also learned how to carve fruit, make spring rolls and one of my favorite…mango and sticky rice.

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So maybe if any of you are lucky…Iron Chef Bobby Vanilla may come back and visit your town. Still the best part wasn’t the cooking…it was what we got to do with the pans…light them on fire…ya just take that in…nice and smooth eh…good ol fire. Unfortunately, the guy taking the picture for me…SUCKED…so this is the only fire picutre I’ve got…geez amateurs.

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Still this wasn’t even close to the best fresh food I’ve had thus far…it was time for a real Thai treat…rice farming. In the hostel I was staying at, the owner’s family owned a patch of land where they did rice farming…well shit…I couldn’t pass this opportunity up. So me and a few others headed down to the land and begun the process of cutting down the rice stocks.

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I thought It would be a very messy job, but it turns out, before they start to harvest the rice they make sure all the water is drained, and the rice stocks are basically dry. All you have to do is grab a…scary movie type of blade and cut down the collection of rice stocks. Hot, sweaty, sore back, but completely worth the experience. Especially with the bonus of a free dinner at the end…Rat.

Mmm...Rat

Mmm...Rat

I know what you’re thinking…WTF…ur gonna eat rat…thats sick…rat would be fucking nasty and dirty and funky…well…no. These are special rats…they only live in the rice fields..eating the rice, then you smoke them out of the hole and kill the little fuckers. We caught eight…so that means…big eats. I’ll be honest tho…at first I was a little skeptical, but after watching them burn off all the skin and clean it and prepare the meat…well…it looked like pork. I wouldn’t know the difference if it was on a plate full of other meats.

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So we helped prepare the meat, cut it, spiced it and then voila it was ready to eat. Boy the family was awesome. Free beer and eating rat…nothing else would have made this day better. The only thing was…it was spicier then a naked devil chick in hell…wow…I seriously thought my mouth was on fire…and then the family members kept rubbing it in by eating the hottest parts…sheeeesh…I like spicy…but not lava, scorching the inner parts of your mouth and guts…whoooeee. Still after eating the rat…it tasted like pork…if I served this dish to you…ha…you wouldn’t know the difference.

You wouldn't even know it was rat

Bam…Chang Mai was the surprise of the trip. I’ve heard it was a great place, but arriving I thought nothing more then relaxing…maybe walking the jungle and that was it. Turns out, I accomplished, experienced and did so much more then that…most things I would never have done in North America. Hahaha…eating rat, havesting rice and even riding an elephant, once in a lifetime baby. Do I recommend this place? Yes…it was all completely worth it.

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It sure lives up to its name…Bangkok

Posted in South East Asia on November 17, 2008 by bobbyvanilla

I witnessed one type of crazy in Cairo, but arriving in Bangkok…well…it’s taken to a whole new level. Here’s the break down…I arrive to Kohsan Road(backpacker central) and boom…I’m bombarded with hoards of people…streets cluttered with stalls…tuk tuk’s harrassing you left right and center and me standing there with my eyes popping out not knowing where to go.

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Still…I think the real Kohsan comes out at night…talk about an explosion. You may think its busy during the day…buuuut it’s even more outlandish at night.

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The funniest part is getting harrassed for suits and ping pong shows. My most memoriable suit harrassment was when one of the guy’s says…”cheap suits…cheap suits…cheap suits” So I pull out the Chris Tucker, Rush Hour Two card and go…”how cheap?” Ahhh made me laugh…I was actually able to get a pretty pimp suit for a hundred dollars…I love bartering now.

I’ll get to the nightlife in a little bit, but lets go to the brighter side of Bangkok first. Markets…they have regular markets…thieves markets…chinese markets and even floating markets. Bangkok has it all to fix your shopping needs. They even have this crazy black market type mall where you can get almost anything fake that you want…goood shit. Really able to craft the art of bartering.

floating market

floating market

Now…ladies and gentleman…pimps and hoes…step into the world…that is unlike anything you’ve seen before…that will shock you…stun you and possibly make you cry…welcome…to Bangkok nightlife…

(This music video just HAD to be put in my blog…especially here)

I  don’t think Bangkok sleeps, because when the sun comes down…all the madness comes out. Time for the tuk tuk drivers to get on ur case like flies on shit…they pester you for ping pong shows, sex shoes and sucky sucky five dolla.

img_1474Ya check out the pic above…this was a cart on the street…selling bugs…this one was crickets…mmm.

Still…my favorite hang out spot was a place that my buddy back home recommended. Gullivers…absolute majesty…except for what I ended up finding out the hard way…and no you sick fucks…not a lady boy.

Basically…I’ve heard Thailand is an easy place to pick up…but I thought it was more on the island parts…well that’s not completely true…

(those who know me personally know I love girls, but I do have a special taste for a perticular kind) So when I eye up a Thai chick and after bout 15 minutes…she grabs me outside…I was shocked…WTF is it actually this easy?…hahaha…nooo. As we’re walking she stops and tells me I “NEED” to buy this fucking bracelette…hahaha…what? I look at her stupified…she inisists…well fuck that…so I walk away…there’s soo much more out there

…or so I thought.

Turns out I get about four more chicks…buuuut all want money (in some form or the other) One even told me…”no money no honey”Bwahahaha…uh ya right…I won’t…and will never pay for sex…unless its buying a nasty hooker for a drunk friend…hahaha…those are priceless.

Unfortunately, night after night with all this sleazy ass shit, well…it was starting to put a damper on me…but not to fail…one last try…this time I get my first chick with fake tits. Now a motto I like to use from a guy I know is this…there’s no sense fucking around when ur fucking around…so I straight up ask her if she’s a working chick…she says no

…we will see.

To test the waters I decided to do the ol bathroom pull…and it works…she sucks my dick…but guess what…just take a fucking guess what she may want…sex?…o…you would think so…but no…she wants money. Fuck this…enough for me.

Its a weird mind fuck actually…you see tons of hot chicks(just to point out…some aren’t even chicks) and most are working for money…gay shit. Turns out the bar that I was frequenting was also a hooker bar. Guess that would explain it. Still…the sickest part is seeing these little cuties with these fat…nasty ass old dudes. Ur like…WTF mate…so are you saying I could pick up a little hottie and she mighta slept with grandpa nuts over there…ya not a pretty idea.

So ya that was pretty much the same ol…I’d keep getting the working chicks while others were getting the regulars…fuuuuck…therefore I actually just started going there to…ahem…dance. Ya man…literally fuck chicks…I’m dancing.

After a few days in Bangkok I decided to jet on some day trips…so I hopped on to an Elephant show. It was pretty sweet seeing the elephants up close, doing crazy shit like playing soccer, jumping, spinning and doing basic human stuff…man I love elephants. They’re soo nice too.

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Next was the crocodile show. Now if any of you have seen the video of a guy getting the crocodile closing its mouth on his head…ya that’s this place.

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That was probably one of the collest shows I’ve seen. Specially since the guys doing it seemed sooo inexperienced…one guy actually got bit…another guy fell on a croc and almost had it attack him…ohh man. It may draw loads of tourists, but seeing someone stick their full hand and head in the crocs mouth…balls o steel my friend.

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Still one of my most memorable moments of the Bangkok experience was…no not a ping pong show…hahaha…I wasn’t planning on going by myself to one of those joints…but I’m def going to see one before I leave Thailand…geeez…how can you not see one before you leave? Sooooo anyway…the memorable part was getting driven around Bangkok for free.

How did I pull this off you may ask? Well I was able to persuade the tuk tuk driver to take me around by stopping at two of his “shops” I admit…the one suit store was sketchy as fuck…but the travel agent was the easiest stop. The ol tucky took me to some great temples.

Got to see the worlds tallest boodha

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and even the longest leaning boodha in Bangkok

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During one of the stops I even met a cool local who set me up with a private meditation class.

I love trying knew things…so I thought…hey I’ve never really medidated…lets try this shit out. I went to one of Bangkok’s biggest temples and at a side house area was where the teachings took place. I was set up with a monk who spoke some slight english. I first had to read the meditation booklet, then he taught me the proper meditation format.

He went through all the steps, and then told me to try it. He wasn’t impressed with how I began, so he said, “I’m going to leave you for half an hour, then come back.” I was shocked, but nothing I could do but practice.  At first I felt very awkward…but soon enough I started internalizing what the monk had said. During my meditation process, it finally started clicking and I was at complete ease with myself and my surroundings. It’s very tough to explain how I felt during the half an hour, but for a brief explanation it was like this. I couldn’t hear any outside noise…I was completely focused on my body…feeling everything that was going on. I lost track of time, and anytime a thought came in, I would acknowledge the thought…then let it go. The coolest thing, was when I snapped out of the trance, and my legs, and body instantly became numb and started hurting. During the entire process however, couldn’t feel a thing…weird shit.

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Walking home that night was one of the most blissful things I’ve ever done. Overall it was such a great feeling and intriguing process that I’ve researched out a temple in Chang Mai. It’s up in the mountains and I want to spend a couple days there trying to perfect this art. Now… I’m not going to become this crazy bald monk or anything, but If you ever get the chance…I recommend trying it out.

Welcome to Egypt…Where are you from?

Posted in Uncategorized on November 10, 2008 by bobbyvanilla

The most common phrase you will ever hear if you enter Egypt. I personally think it’s the first phrase they learn to speak in school. At first you think they’re all being friendly, but soon enough you realize…they’re after your fucking money son.

the inside of an old beater of a cab

the inside of an old beater of a cab

Its true…I got ripped off hard on my first ever experience in Egypt. Over charged on my cab ride to the hostel, but guess what? I learned my lesson pretty quick. I was a little skeptical about doing the whole “hostel” thing, because I didn’t want to get more bed bugs, or whatever could happen in the third world. However, as it turns out…this was one of the best and most fun hostels I stayed at. Met some great people which makes the stay all the better.

The couple from England I met on the first night I ended up headed to the Pyramids with.By the way…I was given some good information by a friend of a friend in Rocky. Most of the tips really worked well, the funniest tho…was calling the cab driver she sugested. A sum up of what ensues, is him yelling at me for five minutes asking me the same questions over and over. I had to pass him over to one of the guys at the desk to deal with him…wowzers…prolly just got him on a bad day.

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Now the Pyramids…and a once in a lifetime opportunity…camel ride. (Opens a door to the left, outsteps a hooded figure) Now introducing…scammer number two. The camel dudes.

Of course a camel ride is sweet, but I wasn’t really sure how much it would cost. I was able to haggle to a pitiful amount of about 60 dollars a person.(at the time…I thought it was reasonable…I was able to drop the price by 10 dollars…looking back…yipeee) Turns out another guy got it for 45 dollars and another group after that got it for 25. So ya…learned another lesson…be a hard ass.

booya...camels

booya...camels

Still the price was basically worth the experience. It was exhilerating, riding this tall, stinky beast through the dunes of time. Finally…rounding an enormous dune…and there in front of me lay…the pyramids. NIne to be exact…ya bet ya didn’t know that one.

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Anyway, riding the camel was one of the coolest things I’ve ever done. Yes they fart, are uncomfortable as hell when they start trotting(I even pinched a nut) and sometimes… they feel the need to break loose and take off(one broke loose, but trotted only a small distance until the guy caught up with it) But I can’t put a description on the neat “O” factor of ridding such an ancient beast around the magnificient pyramids.

The pyramids are in a category all to themselves. Taking only ten years to build(took 20 years to assemble all the stone and get it perfect) the pyramids stand as looming figures to the land below. Standing far away or even at its base…these triangles of rock just radiate glory in all its pure form of extensiveness. The unfortunate thing, is all the garbage and miss treatment of these massive stones. Of course I climed on the pyramids, and would do more climbing on them, but really that shouldn’t be happening. The things are already deteriorating enough with all the pollution of Cairo. Still, the pyramids lived up to all and any hype.

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As for the Sphynx…well that’s a different story.

One…I never realised how small the thing was, until I arrived, second…its pretty much complete shambles. Ya they’re doing some small restoration, but all in all…its a mess…not all that appealing. Still an awesome form of ancient artwork, but nothing to write home…or…on a blog about…(sphynx writting stops…here.)

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Basically in Cairo, and all the other places I saw…there’s garbage and shit everywhere. I swear I saw five dead cow carcasses floating in a river. Still that’s not the biggest shocker. Ya the garbage can be bad…but holy speeding fuck…the traffic is worse.

mmm...lovely trash

mmm...lovely trash

They have lanes in Egypt…buuut they don’t use them. Cars are a jumble fuck everywhere. You really need to watch yourself…and learn the proper way of crossing the street pretty quickly…here…take a look at this quick informative video I created.

This is actually part two of one…the other video I created, has me crossing 8 lanes of traffic…sooo maybe another time.

Aisde from those shenanigans…onto one of the greatest museums of the world…the Egyptian museum. Chalk full of everything Egyptian that you could think of…it’s basically like a huge warehouse…with explanations on the ancient items.

The best two rooms in the entire museum are King Tut’s collection of gold, jewlery and the amazing mask. And the Royal Mummy room. The mummy room costs extra, but it was sooo sweet seeing these mumified former rulers. One of the mummy’s even had a face that looked like he was screaming when he died…pretty grusome. Also some look sooo life like. I hated getting to close for fear that one…might just…jump up and grab me.

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Still, my third day in Cairo wouldn’t be complete unless I got ripped off some how…yes…ripped off in the Egyptian Museum…and no I’m not talking about the entrance or mummy fee. The thing is…you’re told not to take pictures in the museum. However, not once did I ever see a sign…so fuck that shit…picture time. I snap about three and begin to walk around the corner into another room when I hear someone yelling something. Instict takes over so I ignore the yell. Then I hear running…o shit…I turn around, and its a museum guard. He sticks out his hand and asks for my camera…I play dumb and tell him “what camera?” We jabber back in forth, until he says he saw me take pictures…here…here…and here as he points to the cameras overhead. Ohhhhhh…thaaaaaaat camera. I tell him, yes I have a camera, but if the pictures are the problem…I’ll just delete them. Again he asks for my camera…saying if I don’t give it to him he’ll take me to the security office. Shit…maybe this is for real…so repeat I’ll delete the pictures and begin to do so…until he stops me…and extends his hand…wanting a tip to keep him quiet. Awww fuck…you cheaky bastard. He wants about 20 dollars worth, but fuck that…I say no and hand over about a dollars worth…he gives me a moking smile and walks off.

Fucking hell…do they all want my money?

Basically I started noticing a new trend. The Egyptians have a different tactic when it comes to getting money, then do the Europeans. The Egyptians act friendly (as I mentioned above) Therefore, my friendly Canadian manerisms started coming out…ya…not a good thing. I started being friendly back…and thus…they wouldn’t leave me or anyone alone. I finally realized…even though this made me feel like such a douchebachery bag…I couldn’t responde or show any acknowlege of their presence. Shitty perspective, I know, but its the only way for them not to follow/pester you around everywhere.

Woah...lookit him go

Woah...lookit him go

Still…even though I’m being a little harsh on the Egyptians…they’re not all like that. Some turned out to be extremely friendly and sincere. One guy allowed me to use his cellphone while making a long distance call to Bangkok, and then he bought me a pop…pretty cool guy to.

Oh…I don’t know how this relates…but it reminded me of something….I never thought I’d say this, but I could not WAIT to see a Western dressed women while I was in Egypt. Yes I know its their culture, but damn…long loose fitting clothing…ya definitely not turning me on. No wonder these guys go crazy when they see a western style chick. I almost started staring myself whenever I saw a chick not dressed in those sexy looking bed sheets….sheeesh…now I’m all worked up.

Let’s slow things down…juuuust a little.

I SAW THE NEW JAMES BOND…hahaha…fuckers…it’l still be about a week by the time this post comes out until any of you “North American” types will see it. Don’t worry I won’t ruin it…specially since I didn’t even get to see the sex scenes or any “physical” contact for that matter…ya…it was all edited out. How fucked is that? Anywho…the movie is fucking sweet…I recommend it…action is top notch. This was one of my best movie experiences ever. Not only did it only cost me three dollars, but right in the middle of the movie…at no perticular spot…they just stopped the film for an intermission…hahaha you should have seen the face of the English guy I was there with…oh was he ever pissed. Still…I don’t know what the fuck Quantum of Solace stands for…if anyone else see’s it…please fill me in.

NOVERMBER 5

NOVERMBER 5

K then…onto the crazy mayham…that is…the El Kahlili Bazaar…or if you perfer…big ass fucking market. Now at first I ended up wandering into the wrong area, because I walked through this semi market and thought…geez what is everyone going on about…this place is tiny. Then I asked around…found out I needed to cross the street and then…BOOOYA GRANDMA…swarming with tourists…locals selling their wares…chattering…bustling…anything you could image was pretty much there.

Baaaazaaaar

Baaaazaaaar

This is the place you slap on your shades…and put on the fuck you look…or the people will eat you alive. I visited the market twice, and both times, the people I was with almost got literally dragged off into a shop.(just a hint…don’t take the dudes hand if he wants to shake) In the early going of the market…the sellers are ruthless…it was sooo tough to barter with them because most tourists only go to the outskirts…they don’t venture deep into the jungle. Best deals and ability to barter…middle to end section.

I bought some unique egytian items for under twenty dollars…ya I definitely improved my bartering skills.(took notes from some other world traveller extravaganza dude) Anyway…I normally don’t allow these tricky con artists to lead me to their shops…however, I have a good feeling on this one…so saddle up partner.(dumb and dumber quote…just incase you missed that one) Ends up that this dude leads us to this back section of the market with all the most wonderful smelling spices.

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This magical aroma filled my nostrils and made me feel like a floating star….then he tried selling me the stuff…buzz gone. Super unique…and if I could travel with spices…I would’ve bought some. Best part of the whole leading me to the shop thing was this…I actually asked for a postcard shop.

After a hard day of shopping extrordinare…it was time for the party boat down the Nile. I was talking to the owners of the hostel about a faluka boat ride for the next day, but they mentioned these cheap party boats…so me and the crew at the hostel…we couldn’t pass this up. So we grabbed some beers and floated the nile.

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What a unique experience this was…floating the Nile…listening to crazy Arabic music, having trippy lights spin around my head…and drinking one of the worst tasting…skankiest smelling…ass licking beers I’ve ever had in my whole life. If you could think of the worst things in the world and mix them together…ya that…plus death. Seriously it was that bad…you could ask anyone on the boat and they would agree. Buuuut it was cheap…and ten percent.

Dancing…singing…yelling welcome to Egypt at all the Egyptians…ahhh yes…it was a good night. The best part of the boat was when I got the smart idea to hang upside down by the bars hanging from the roof…hahaha…the following is what took place.

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Surprisingly, after the boat ride, me and another guy(the guy with the red shirt) went off to the most authentic Egyptian beer hall. The reason I know it’s that authentic because one…all the windows were covered, and two…NO CHICKS. Yup a big ol sausage fest…but the beer was cheap and hey…who has two thumbs and has been to an authentic Egyptian Sausage fest?….THIS GUY(points to self)

Waking up the next day…ya the head felt a little worse for wear(I think the food at the beer hall was tainted), but it was faluka boat time. The hostel quoted the three of us at 100 pounds per person…well…we were able to negotiate our own fare…ya bitches…got it for 50 for a two hour ride down the Nile. This was the most relaxing boat ride ever…slowly floating, like a feather falling from the sky…landing into a pile of the softest…fluffiest whip cream you could think of. Ahhh with the breeze caressing your face…looking at the bustling city of Cairo…which is larger then Canada…this is how to experience cultures at its finest.

img_1380Finally…boarding the plane to get onto my next destination, I felt utterly thrilled to have experienced Egypt the way that I did. I can see why people love it…and why others loath it. Still…I’d love to go back…oh ps to all the chicks out there…France may be the creators of lingrie, but Egypt…they’re the creators of the sexiest and best priced lingrie I’ve ever seen. Definitely taking my chick shopping there in the future…don’t know why there’s so much of this…I didn’t see any locals buying it.

off to bangkok yo

off to bangkok yo

Europe Musts

Posted in Euro Trip on November 8, 2008 by bobbyvanilla

So if any of you out there are planning a trip to Europe(which I highly recommend) these are a few places, that I enjoyed…so I’m pretty sure, you’ll enjoy them too. I ranked the cities out of these categories: Things to do(sight seeing) Nightlife(pretty straight forward), Budget(cheapest areas) and Overall appeal(extra tidbits/easy to navigate/not stressed)

MY TOP 5 PLACES TO VISIT IN EUROPE:

5: VENICE, ITALY/MADRID, SPAIN:

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I had to split these two because they were sooo very close for me. Venice doesn’t really have much for sightseeing, but just walking the canals/streets and seeing what you can see was enough for me. Its super relaxed. The food is outstanding, best gelato and pizza I tasted in Italy. However you do have to work to find it cheap. Cafe’s are really cool, and you can basically see new shit everyday…as you end up getting lost a shit load. But if you’re someone who just likes to see tons of sights and not much of a chilled out person/don’t like classical shit, then Venice would absolutely suck for you. (Also no night clubs)

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As for Madrid, well…its reasonably priced, there is sooo many historic sites to visit and see and the nightlife is awesome. Unfortunately, the reason this place didn’t get much higher is. Getting around the city can be a little more of a challenge. Yes the metro works alright, but it closes very early, and if you’re out of the downtown location…tough to get back. Secondly, the sites don’t last too long with my interest. When I saw them…well I saw them…not overall that thrilling. Buuuut still interesting enough to visit…maybe see a bullfight and great food. Just get away from the downtown touristy area or you’ll be ripped off.

4: LAGOS, PORTUGAL:

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This small beach town is jammed with people ready to party, get sun and do the water sports. Cheap drinks, cheap accomodation and sooo close to the beach that you can smell it, this place is a must on many peoples lists. However, the only draw back is, it can become a little, same…same. I had a blast at the beach here, Luz and Sagres, which are all super close to Lagos. As for the partying at night…its packed, and every bar is closer then a 3 minute walk

3: BARCELONA, SPAIN:

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Shopping is cheap, partying is basically created here and the sights are unique in themselves. Coming here I thought Gaudi was a load of shit, but actually seeing these artworks…fucking amazing. The Sangrada Familia, Park Guelle and any other Gaudi works will blow you away with the intricacies and randomness. Most partying starts late…so head out around 1am, and you’ll still be able to find the dudes handing out flyers to get into the club for free.  You can stay out until 8am or 10…depending on the venue. Also…great beach, but watch your bags and pockets everywhere. They don’t call this place pick pocket paradise for nothing.

2:ROME, ITALY:

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Even though I was only able to spend three days here, not get to any big clubs and get bitten by bed bugs(still I think it was worse in Florence) this city is everything you need to keep busy. The history is pouring out of every orafice. The sights just bleed interest and the pasta is second to none. For jamming as much as I could in three days, you could extend that to a week. If hard core sightseeing isn’t your fancy, they have many glorious parks and interesting walk ways to keep you entertained. Now for nightlife…wine is fucking cheap…so strap you boots on and you can get drunk very cheaply. If you don’t want the big clubs, you can always party on the streets…which is an experience to be had on its own. As for clubs…I didn’t get to any…had fun at the bars, but felt the pub crawl to be the most expensive out of any other city. Be wary females, as the Italian guys are ruthless in picking up…talk about not giving a fuck…these guys live it. Still I hear the parties are plenty in Rome.

1: BERLIN, GERMANY:

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This is by far my most outstandingly favorite city and place in all of Europe. Talk to almost anybody and they’ll agree. Not only do you have a vast amount of history (two world wars surrounding the area) but also the rise and fall of the Berlin wall. This city has risen from the ashes and fallen back down, then risen once again. A powerhouse when it comes to places to see, chill out and have fun. Berlin basically captures all of European partying. You have some of the worlds most famous clubs, plus hotties galore. Basically you will never be shy on things to do. I was there for six days and still haven’t seen everything, or been to every club. I can’t rave enough about the place. Also…for such a big city…this place won’t hurt your budget…average daily cost: 40 euro including room, three meals and drinking. Mark it in your books and go.

Favorite countries: Listed from best to worst(even tho the worst isn’t all that bad). I ranked these by the amount of sweet places the visit/what can be achieved in the country, easy of travel and entertainment value.

Germany: Every single province in this country has its own unique feel. Bavaria has the great beer/sausages, plus gorgeous girls. The upper area has the modernization of Berlin and the ease to get to any other country, and the East and West sides of Germany are super vast in comparison. Soooo much to see…sooo little time. (Just I hear Frankfurt is shit…too many business chodes) Best season to go…Fall. Oktoberfest, then tourists drain out of the country and its absolutely gorgeous. Not too cold, but expect some rain. Loved Bavaria during the fall.

Italy:img_0950

When you have Venice and Rome in the same country, then you really can’t compare it too much else. The food, the culture, the history…absolutely majesty. Just watch out for the fucked up guys. Plus the chicks here aren’t as hot as you may think. Easy to get around, but the most expensive of all the other countries. Can be rough around the south, but fun in the middle to north. Expensive for everything.

Portugal:

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The cheapest place in Europe you’ll ever go.(sorry, Western Europe) If I went grocery shopping I could pay under 5 euros for a loaf of bread, meat, a 1.5litre bottle of water, cheese spread, and some desert thingy. Ya not expensive at all. Food is pretty tasty as well. Most people can speak english so easy to deal with and they have a easy to understand trasportation system. Still a little pricier then Germany. Fun in the sun, but Lisbon can drag after too many days. Sintra is a must if you go.

Spain: Sevilla, Madrid and Barcelona. Kick ass places to go. Sevilla for the hottest chicks I’ve seen in all of Europe, Madrid for the history and Barcelona…well I explained earlier. Still Spain has some of the most entertaining places to offer. I never did go to Ibiza, or San Sabastien or Valentia, but I hear all of them are a blast of a time. Transportation is pretty expensive  as they have hidden fee’s into everything, plus you can’t sneak onto the metro like you can in Portugal or Germany. Average meal and accomodation cost pretty expensive the more touristy you get.

France: Living here for three months and then coming back to see other sites, I still love the country. Maybe because I can speak the language and its very easy to get around/people are more friendly in small towns, but for anycase very historic and trendy. Chicks are hot/know how to fucking dress and guys are usually pushovers if you stand your ground. Anyway, cool sites, cote Azur is kickass and I loved Versailles and Vimy Ridge. If you go for the first time, Paris is a must, but venture outside in a few other districts…pretty cool surrounding cities. Paris…expensive as hell, small surounding districts…much more affordable. Travelling is easy, and average price. TGV is a little pricier then most…but its the fastest trains in all of Europe. Late…alot.

Austria:

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Tons of Culture, great food…decently priced…super easy and cheap as hell to get around. Vienna is a must, but there are all these tiny little towns that have tons of cool shit to offer. Check them out, and you won’t be dissapointed. Pretty chilled out country too, not too rushed, again lords of cute girls, great parties…expensive drinks, except the beer is cheap. Chocolate very tasty, and I guess that would basically be it, off the top of my head.

Denmark: Only did Copenhagen, but was the most picturesque city. Some of my best pictures, taken here. If you plan it right, there can be tons to see here, as I’ve talked to others who have ventured, but also the entire country has lords to offer. People are a bit shy, so you need to break through that, but generally very helpful. SUPER EXPENSIVE. You need to really scower to find things cheap. Easy and cheap to get around tho…sometimes, you don’t even need a ticket. Gets cold early, but if you go at the right times…amazing.img_0694

Greece: Yes I chose to go at the Islands at the wrong time for parties, but to chill out and be in solitude…perfect. Athens, didn’t impress me too much, but I was still entertained. It could be entirely completed within two days. Plus its very dirty for European standards.I only visited one island, but the other islands I talked to people about are still worthy of many adventures. This may be my least favorite country out of the whole, but the reason is…I didn’t spend enough time to really get a feel for the place, and two…wrong season.

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All in all, if I was to do it again, I wouldn’t buy a Eurail pass for two months. I felt it was more of a rip off then its worth. There are numerous cheap continental European flights that would do just fine. Also if you find out which trains check passes…you can hop on for free(but you didn’t get that tip from me 😉 Just make sure you plan out enough time to do the things you really want to do. Well…(gets up…dusts off hands) better be hitting the ol’ dusty trail…n that my friends…is a wrap of Europe.

Great Greeks

Posted in Euro Trip on November 5, 2008 by bobbyvanilla

Before I devle too far into Greece, let me first point out an interesting adventure that arose on my way to that magnificient place.

First off, I got stopped on the train to the Roman airport, and demanded to pay 60 euros…uhhh buddy…I’ve got a Eurail pass. The train dude keeps saying it’s not valid on these types of trains (its a regional train so of course it is) Again we go about arguing, and him demanding me pay the 60 euros. Finally he just asks for my passport…hahaha fuck that…I ain’t giving you my passport. We argue some more…and at this point everyone in the train car is looking at us. Eventually I remember what a travelling buddy told me. “Just hand over your drivers license, they write that shit down, then nothing happens” So I do just that…the dude writes down the numbers and…pooof…problem solved. Especially if they do end up sending me a bill…I’ll just fucking rip it up…what are those little train bitches going to do?

Righto…next part makes my day even better.

While waiting for my plane at the airport…I start getting itchy on my arms. I look down and see my left arm spotted with little red marks…hmmm…I think. Must be mosquito bites. Hahahaha…when I arrive in Athens…ya almost my whole arm is covered…and these things are itchy as fuck. I ask around…and turns out…I GOT FUCKING BED BUG BITES :O

 

mmm lovely bed bug bites

mmm lovely bed bug bites

Fun shit…NAWT…well just add’s to my wonderful travelling adventure I guess. Here’s the winning speech…Come one come all…Italy…the best country you’ll visit, but make sure you don’t leave here without a special dose…OF BED BUGS.

ahhh fuuuuuuuuck.

(Puts on smiling face)

😀

Alright…now onto Athens.

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The centre of the world for over 800 years, this place has changed a shitload. By far the smoggiest city in Europe I’ve visited, but still it has this overall appeal.

I mean, what other place created the Olympics. Has some of the most recognizable buildings still standing, and…well…actually…that’s all I can think of at the moment. Anywho…I was still impressed by this city. I didn’t get that…overall…whoosh of excitement like I did in Rome when ever I saw ruins…or as me and some others liked to call…RARS(Random Ass Roman Shit) or in Greece RAGS (Random Ass Greeque Shit), but they’re still something for the eyes to see. Also walking amidst the RAGS you can kinda lose yourself in daydreaming…or…maybe that’s just me.

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For sightseeing, luck seemed to play a large role for me. In Rome, got to see the Pope, here in Athens…got too see all the archeological sites for free. That’s perfect for my budget. So I scampered up to the Acropolis, fought off the hords of tourists and just looked. This was the first ever “real” city of its time. Towering over the city of Athens below, this massive slot of land, would have been a marvel to live in, thousands of year ago.

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Unfortunately for the Greeks, due to all the pollution, the beautiful marble is slowly getting destroyed by the acid rain. Therefore all the scafulting in and around the Acropolis will stay there for iternity, just to clean and maintain the damn thing.

Aside from the Acropolis, I visited Zeuses Temple, mostly only pillars now.

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The original Olympic oval…even though it was recently renovated for the 2004 summer games…it’s all authentic Greek marble.img_1171

And the only almost perfectly intact Greek building in the world.

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One of the funniest experiences of the day, was watching the changing of the guards, down by the Presidents Palace. It was boilling hot out, and these guards are covered in the hottest gear imaginable. Also they have to stand perfectly still for an hour, until they change. Come changing time, the guards do this funny ass dance and they saunter off down the street. Do people make fun of them? Yesss, but hey…it’s part of their history, and boy does it draw a crowd of people.

haha...look skirts

haha...look skirts

Unfortunately, due to the Greek holliday, I wasn’t able to visit the grand Archeological museum. Oh well, there’s always next time I suppose. Basically, I didn’t find Athens all that spectacular. Yes the RAGS are pretty cool, but somehow lack that empirialism compared to the ones in Rome. All in all you could definitely see all you needed to see in Athens, in about two days. Still, that’d be all you want to stay there…just because of the Islands.

Mykonos from air

Mykonos from air

Yes the world renouned Greek Islands. I wasn’t ending my trip of Europe without having visited atleast one of these beauties. Still, it took me some time to decide which one I should choose. I really wanted to go to Corfu, but found it would be too difficult in the time I had alloted, soooo I asked around to some friends…and decided on Mykonos….or Mikonos or whatever way you want to spell it…anyway I went there.

One it was cheaper then all the rest…and two…only took 5 hours.

I met some fellow Canadians along the ferry ride, and ended up chilling with them for the next couple of days. As the three of us perused the beaches…I couldn’t believe how bare the place was. Not a soul in sight. Then entire city was basically dead, except for shop owners and the occasional local.

nothing but sand to keep you company

nothing but sand to keep you company

The good part was, all shopping was extremely cheap, same with accomodation. Bad part was, there was no partying to be had. The one night we tried…hmmm a good…lets say…four other people aside from us. Buuuut…we did find a bar called…club Ramrod…ya turns out Mikonos is a big gay island…who would’ve thought.

 

Can I get a liter of cola

Can I get a liter of cola

Whatever,

The solitude of the beach and the cheap accomodation, food and shopping. MMM…MMM…MMM Gyros in Greece are amazing. Had one everyday. They only cost 2 euros and damn do these things fill you up. If you ever go to Greece, gotta eat one of these bad boys.

 Also, if you’re interested in nude beaches…ya this place has em all. Also the real famous ones.

Just for all you curious seekers out there…yes I did partake in the joyeous nudity extravaganza…even though there was like…only five other people on the beach. Still…was the experience ever exhilerating…I won’t go into too much detail, but for some reason…I felt way more relaxed and free…whilst all bare…hahaha…don’t forget to put sunscreen on the areas that don’t get too much sun 😉

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So I did pick Mykonos specifically for the parties…especially since one of my favorite days of all time was quickly approaching…n that day…was none other then Halloween. Those of you that know me personally, have the keen sense that I love to dress up…be it Halloween, or just a good ol Slow pitch game…I come dressed for success bitches.

This year wouldn’t be different…well…I guess in a sense it would be.

The Europeans don’t celebrate Halloween, especially the Greeks. This I couldn’t have…so I reached deep inside and brought out my caring card…my idea…bring the Halloween spirit to the Greeks. I tried filming my whole next exursion, buuut unfortunately for you…it didn’t turn out soo hot. Too dark and you only heard me talking…you didn’t see the peoples faces or reactions.

So here it goes…I went to a corner store…bought a bunch of cheap candy…put on my mask from Venice and walked around the streets of Mykonos, wishing people Happy Halloween and yelling trick or treat as I handed out the candy. The people looked stunned…a few people even stopped eating just to stare at me handing them candy. A few small children cried, a few others ran…I even had a guy throw the candy back at me. Buuuut I managed to hand it all out, and escape from the situation unscathed, and laughing my ass off. I’m not gonna lie…my mask might have been a little too creepy for the people to understand what I was doing…but still…that makes it sooo much better.

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Lastly…I couldn’t believe I was actually sun tanning on October 31st and November 1st. Too me that thought would’ve never crossed my mind back home.

What a great wrap-up to a glorious trip. Europe was amazing and really only gave me a small taste of the majesty of travelling. Following this post I’ll have another one, depicting my five top places, and must see’s of Europe…just incase you ever…want to come and actually…LIVE THE DREAM.