Where am I?

Created this blog to document my travels, experiences & thoughts thru Central & South America but hell plan to blog my travels to where ever. Goofy harmless Free Spirit hoping to spend most of my time with locals & enjoy the world! So hang on as I travel, drink cervezas, raise a little hell, maybe piss off a few people & hopefully not give Canadians a bad reputation! Of course don't do these things on purpose but while having a good time well "Shit Happens"!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Hung out in Munich & Berlin before heading home after 6 awesome months of travelling!!

Well made it out of Amsterdam with all my senses intact which was better than I expected. Returned to Munich where I parted company with my German friend A.

Then since I was leaving for Berlin the next day I stayed at a hostel right by the Main Train Station to catch a train to the airport. The hostel was a bit of a party hostel but wasn't in the mood for partying. Cus all the others in my 6 person Dorm were heading on a Pub Crawl. Shit I thought not another Pub Crawl as still remember the last Pub/Club Crawl in Amsterdam! (check my previous posting) so didn't feel like going. Well probably was just as well I didn't go cus they were back in 2 hrs. They said it wasn't that great probably cus it was free so it wasn't well organized. Plus there were no free drinks which is really one of the main attractions in going along with the number of chicks on the Crawl! So everyone hung around the dorm room and started drinking. But since I didn't have any drinks and didn't want to go get any so decided to have a smoke with my vaporizer! Well then some of the others had a hit off the vaporizer. So we must have been making a bit of noise cus the guy running the hostel came by to ask us to quiet down. So what does the dude do but say "u guys should have the windows closed cus of the noise!" Yeah but so what as there probably weren't ppl living in the area but only bars, restuarants & other hostels! Then I thought shit we've been smoking the vaporizer in the dorm room. But shit vaporizer don't smell like smoke which is why I was using it, duh!! Anyway a couple of the guys passed on someone else's bunk. Christ what I thought was going to be a early quiet night turned into a big drunk and stoned time without leaving my dorm room!

So the next day I headed to the airport to catch my 43 Euro ($60) flight to Berlin. Luckily I was staying close to the train station as had to catch a train to get to the airport & had about 1 hr to get there. But figured no problem as had taken the same train to this airport only a week before when we flew to Amsterdam! But that was my mistake cus I didn't remember which train to catch as A had done all the work of getting us to the airport. I forgot that train to the airport was kind of convoluted as it went in sort of a oval loop & the 2 trains going to the airport went in opposite directions. So to make a long story short well caught the wrong train and to make matters worse I couldn't find terminal 1 where i was suppose to go. But knew where terminal 2 was cus left from there a week before. Then of course the check in counter was closed when I got there. So shit I had to buy another tkt which cost me 160 Euros ($200). Whenever I do something stupid and it cost me money to correct the stupidity well I call it paying an Idiot Tax!

But I wasn't the only person having to pay an Idiot Tax as a German chick was also late and had to buy another tkt! So had someone to comminserate (she could speak English yes!!!!) with over a coffee! We had to wait about 6 hrs for the next flt to Berlin as was glad it was the same day as had a reservation in a hostel in Berlin! Cus I had been smart enough to call the hostel from Munich to reserve a room as had this German chick explain my situation of missing my flt.

Well when we landed in Berlin found out that we landed at the older East German airport not the more international airport where I was to leave for London in couple of days! As usual was lucky to have a German chick to explain which train, etc to get to downtown where my hostel was located.

Check out the cool glasses that this chick on my Munich to Berlin flight had. They're Pinhole glasses, also known as stenopeic glasses, are eyeglasses with a series of pinhole-sized perforations filling an opaque sheet of plastic in place of each lens. Similar to the workings of a pinhole camera, each perforation allows only a very narrow beam of light to enter the eye which reduces the size of the circle of confusion on the retina and increases depth of field. In eyes with refractive error, the result is often a clearer image. Unlike conventional prescription glasses, pinhole glasses produce a clear image without the pincushion effect around the edges (which makes straight lines appear curved).. Hey I'm going to get a pair for myself cus my eyesight isn't the best plus wear sunglasses often cus am sensitive to light! Well I thought they were kind of a cool glasses even if they were unconventional!

In Berlin went to this hostel which was really cool as it had a cafe and a outdoor terrace. So went out to enljoy the sun & met a couple of cool brothers from Brazil. We were sitting there talking and met a cool African-American chick from Mobile, Alabama who had been working in the Middle East for the past few y ears. So after a salam malakim & malakim salam
.she told us that she thought we were having a smoke so she rushed over to participate. We weren't smoking but that was easily changed as I brought out some weed (which I think lasted way into the early morning). So we ended up smoking on the terrace for a few hours. Then the 2 Brazilian brothers told us they and a couple of other Brazilians were heading to this concert that night. Kristen and I didn't speak Portuguese but decided to go cus at least had someone to talk to in English.

We ended up at this club or whatever it was near the old Berlin wall. I didn't realize what it was but the others told me as I wondered why all the funky graffitti was about all over it.

Somehow Kristen and I lost the Brazilians so just hung out there for a couple hrs I think. We were both stoned so we weren't sure how to get back to the hostel . Well at least I didn't have a clue but luckily I was hanging out with someone who remembered how and where we go to get back to the hostel. All I remember is finding this train station to get back. But what was strange is there were no people on the platform so it seemed like a deserted town ant it was only about 2 am. So we thought maybe the trains had already stopped running. Shit I was thinking don't tell me we have to take an expensive taxi back to the hostel. Also was concerned as had an early morning flight to London and back home.But we waited patiently for a train and sure as hell one showed up as guess the station we were at wasn' t a particularly busy station.

It was funny cus we figured out which station to get off the train. Then Kristen got interested in this minature train set in a show case. So we must have spent 10 or 15 mins looking at it as we 'woo'd and awh'd about it. It was nice but probably could chalk up most of our interest to the fact that we were both quite wasted.

Then I got hungry but like most of Germany & probably all European countries there weren't a lot of places to get some food at 3 am other than Kebabs! So thought I'd get a salad cus tired of Kebabs. So the guy gives me the salad and some salad dressing which I put in my pocket. Unfortunately didn't realize that wasn't a good idea cus by the time I got to the hostel to eat the salad. Well the dressing had opened and got all over my pocket and my phone. So shit there was my phone all covered with salad dressing. Now tried to clean it off but being wasted so well thought shit why don't I just wash it. So got it clean but duh it didn't work now. LIke I don't really need a phone cus never call anyone or receive any calls but use it as a watch or alarm cloc. Like the next morning when I had to get up to catch my flight!

Dam wrecking my phone/alarm clock really hurt cus I had this flight at 11 am so told the guy at the front desk if someone could wake me up around 8 am so I could have the breakfast included in the price. Then I could still have time to catch a bus to the airport. But hell I slept in cus the guy never woke me up and I had no idea what time it was. But found out it was 930 am so had to hurry and catch a taxi to get my 11 am flt. Well got to the airport by 10 30 and rushed cus figured shit the check in counter was probably already closed. So figured this is great as missed another flt like I did in Munich. But it was my lucky day cus the counter was still open as ppl were still checking in. Then realized that shit this was probably one of the most disorganized airports that I had been too. Shit thought all Germany was always efficient and organized. But hell they only had one security line for all the passengers. So here it was 11 am and I'm still in the line to get thru security. So of course the flt was delayed until we all got on board. Then since the flight was delayed getting to London. Well I was late for my connection to my flight to Vancouver. So got British Airways to pay for a meal voucher cus didn't have any British pounds to buy dinner. Then hung around for 4 hrs to catch my flight to Vancouver.

Well since I got on the flight at the last min well got assigned a seat in the back of the plane. So got seated next to an Iranian woman and her daughter. Well I didn't talk to her all night until the next morning cus she was sleeping when the breakfast came. So I went and got her the breakfast so later she told me she realized that I must be nice even tho I was a real weird, wild looking person for a conservative Iranian. So we talked as I asked her a few questions about Iranians cus never talked to any before and she looked kind nice! She was also interested in my life style, etc as she never met anyone like me before too I guess.

I don't remember how it happened but we became friends on Facebook. So for about a wk or more whenever I got on Facebook well she would open up a chat with me on FB. Hell I found her interesting as how many chances do I get to chat with a Muslim woman. A couple times we chatted for a couple hours as she wanted to know about me and vice versa. Also don't know how but guess I asked what kind of food do Iranians eat. So she said maybe she'd invite me to her place for an Iranian meal. But shit she was married and I've read where a Muslim husband could be really pissed at their wife if they felt there was a hint of adultery! Shit they kind of into stoning women for committing this. Well I had no thought of being a part of this so was a bit concerned. But it became no problem cus I said a bunch of things as I usually say whatever I wanted as don't give a shit. So all this made her realize that we came from way different cultural backgrounds. Well I didn't want to really be part of all this anymore since we were so different so we mutually removed each other from being friends on Facebook! So yeah that was a pretty crazy experience as never met or talked to a conservative religious Muslim before which was what made it so interesting to me I guess!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Had an awesome trip to Berchtesgaden & A needed a vacation so I went with her to Amsterdam a cool fun place but shit sometimes happens when I smoke!

Yeah I'm a bit late with this posting on my blog, like 2 months or so.

So after hanging out in Berchtesgaden in a Bavarian paradise well thought this is the ultimate! But then my friend A and I were off to Amsterdam so we could check out this city where everyone raves about. I`ve always wanted to check the place out cus of the legalized Weed.

We took a train from Berchtesgaden in Bavaria to Munich to catch a flight to Amsterdam. But dam if the flight wasn't delayed from 5 pm to 6:30 pm and then the entire flight was cancelled. So we had to catch another flight & didn't get to Amsterdam until about 9 pm and finally to the hostel about 10:30 PM.

Luckily A handled getting us from Berchtesgaden to Munich and then the flt to Amsterdam. Cus she speaks German/Bavarian while I was simply a passenger along for the ride. She is really a smart sweet person so when she asks for directions people help her out. Plus she is good at reading & following a map so got us from the airport to the train and thru the city to our hostel. Heck I never even bothered or paid attention to where we were going so kind of felt I was on vacation! Duh I was on a 6 month one but guess didn’t realize it!

But dam we didn't get to the hostel till late so A wanted to get an early start in the morning so went to bed early. But I wanted to check out Amsterdam so was going to go out for 1/2 hr or so. So where do think my first destination was going to be? Well didn’t have to think about it for long cus there was a coffee shop across the street & canal! So decided to check out the place cus didn’t know about Amsterdam cafes. Well seems most ppl come and buy a bit of weed and go off like a dog with a bone to chew/smoke the stuff in privacy. Hell I was alone so shit decided to smoke a bit there. Well the dude working there was a person whose ancesters probably came from Surinam or the Dutch Antilles (Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao plus three smaller islands). These people have been Dutch from the day they were born in Holland. But I don’t really care where their descendents actually came from as long as they are cool! But it’s nice to know a bit about the make up of the people in Holland. The people from Surinam are really cool and I got along really well with them. Probably cus they are stoners and so we think along the same lines. Hell the guy working in the coffee shop was pretty wasted as I could tell from his eyes and the fact that he was smoking a big fat joint or spiff as the Europeans call it cus it’s weed and tobacco mixed. So we talked as I smoked a joint as can buy the weed loose to roll my own, in a joint or as a Space Cake! Decisions, decisions as hell couldn’t make up my mind cus like a kid in a candy shop so bought a couple of each as didn’t want to run short.

So then the guy in the coffee shop said if this is your first night in Amsterdam well u should check out the Red Light District cus it’s kind of cool to see at night. Well I thought shit I’m a bit stoned so why not? So he told me to go down the street by the canal (duh all the streets are next to canals)! Then u turn left at such and such a street then right at the next one, etc. Hell when I’m smoking I usually don’t listen or if I do well can’t remember or don’t really care where I’m going, etc. So I thanked the guy and said we’ll see u later and wandered off down the street. Well couldn’t remember the exact directions so of course checked out a few streets and red light shops with the ladies. But maybe I was quite stoned as the working girls in the window didn’t look like real people. They looked like they had too much make up so looked like mannequins to me! Also seeing hookers never did anything to me as I’ve always been more into regular chicks/girls/women! But it was kind of cool to see one of Amsterdam’s well known landmarks the Red Light District! So after wandering around checking out the area, having a couple smokes and a beer well decided I should head back to the hostel. Well I started to retrace my way back but had no idea where I was. So wandered around trying to match the streets with the map I had of Amsterdam. But I couldn’t make out where I was in connection to the map!

So then shit I realized i was lost!!! So headed to a coffee shop that was near and asked the dude there who looked quite similar to the guy working in the coffee shop I got my greens from originally. So I asked the guy “excuse me but I’m kind of lost and want to get back to my hostel. So could u tell me where I am on this map?” So the guy tells me “Amsterdam” Duh that’s very true but it’s not exactly an useful answer that would help me get back to the hostel!!

Sorry to get off the subject but hell always do but his reply kind of reminded me of this joke I had heard about the useless answers a person gets when calling Help these days!!!

“A helicopter was flying around above Seattle yesterday when an electrical malfunction disabled all of the aircraft’s electronic navigation and communications equipment. Due to the clouds and haze, the pilot could not determine the helicopter’s position and course to steer to the airport.
The pilot saw a tall building, flew toward it, circled, drew a handwritten sign, and held it in the helicopter’s window. The pilot’s sign said “WHERE AM I?” in large letters.
People in the tall building quickly responded to the aircraft, drew a large sign, and held it in a building window. Their sign said “YOU ARE IN A HELICOPTER.”
The pilot smiled, waved, looked at his map, determined the course to steer to SEATAC airport, and landed safely.
After they were on the ground, the co-pilot asked the pilot how the “YOU ARE IN A HELICOPTER” sign helped determine their position.
The pilot responded “I knew that had to be the MICROSOFT building because, similar to their help-lines, they gave me a technically correct but completely useless answer.”

Unfortunately I wasn’t as sharp as the helicopter pilot cus this dude’s answer didn’t help me find my way back to the hostel. So guess I wandered around trying to find my way back. Guess I was lost for probably 2 hrs cus got back to the hostel around 4 am according to what A told me the next morning!

The next morning we woke up early 8 am so we could have the breakfast that was included in the price of the hostel dorm beds. Then we were off to do some sight seeing around Amsterdam and our first destination was Anne Franks house and museum as A had read the book and wanted to see it. Heck I kind of knew about Anne Frank and was carrying the book Diary of Anne Frank around in my back pack but hadn’t read it as was reading another book! So I got thru seeing the museum in ½ hr while A was so interested in seeing it all that it took her almost 1 ½ hrs. Maybe it was the lack of sleep from being lost and getting little sleep but I wasn’t good company for most of the day. So we headed back to the hostel for some R and R and regroup for the rest of the day!

I should explain that A is such a refreshing person cus she is so genuine with a bubbly personality as she’s so keen on reading the tourist guide books, seeing sights, so enthusiastic about things, etc. Heck guess i’m the exact opposite as I’m not big on seeing sights so our first visit to a tourist sight was not a good start!! So I told A that we could go our separate ways so both our visit to Amsterdam wasn’t ruined. Just another example of me finding ways to ruin a good time and friendship I guess! But A didn’t want to get into a discussion on it and so we continued hanging out. I’m so glad she had the common sense to disagree about going our separate ways. Cus later on I realized that her enthusiasm for sights and her bubbly approach kind of rubbed off even on an apathetic asshole like me! Thinking back I figure A was the ideal traveling partner for an idiot like me with her bubby enthusiasm! Hell I enjoy life and living it to the max but not on the touristy items but traveling with A kind of make me see things thru her eyes and it made things awesome!! So yeah I have to thank A for allowing me to tag along with her on the trip! Cus A made the trip more interesting and memorable for me! Shit if A travelled with me for the entire 6 months maybe I would have seen more things, rememberd and enjoyed the trip a whole lot more!! But also she would have probably ended up really disliking and the sight of me! Come to think of it I think she ended up thinking that way after hanging out with me in Berchtesgaden and Amsterdam for 8 days!!! Gee I kind of feel bad and sorry for her as probably spoiled her short vacation! No wonder we don’t communicate like we use to do any longer!

But guess that doesn’t surprise me as I have a way of pissing off ppl and also pushing away people who are friends or ppl I like! So the moral of this incident is Not to make friends and therefore I won’t piss off or push friends away!!!!! But now that I think about it back home in Vancouver I’ve done a good job of pushing any friends I know away or finding ways to ruin a friendship!

Well A wanted to move out of the mixed dorm we were staying in. She wanted to move to the all female dorm cus it was quieter (guys snore and make too much noise) so she could sleep better. So I encouraged her to do it cus can understand that a person who’s a light sleeper doesn’t do well in a noisy mixed dorm room where ppl snore (like me when i sleep on my back and after drinking beer which is pretty much most of the time). So A moved to an all female dorm and met some cool Canadian chicks who were heading out on a Pub Crawl that evening. So A wanted to go too so thought shit never been on one so what the hell why not? But a thought went thru my head as I thought shit we come to Amsterdam the city with legalized Marijuana and we’re going on a Pub Crawl?? But felt what the heck I was a jerk earlier in the day so thought I’m going to just go with da flow! Hell had been smoking off and on most of the day so was in a relaxed mood. But just in case I ate a Space Cake which got me quite wasted!

So off I went on this Pub Crawl with 1 German & 2 Canadian chicks! Well we were to go to 6 pubs or should say clubs which they were cus there was dancing to techno music as most clubs play. We were suppose to get 1 free beer and a couple free shooters at each club. So I not only was shit faced on Space Cakes but was getting kind of drunk on beer and shooters! But unfortunately the clubs were so crowded that if we weren’t careful we could get lost or miss going to the next club. Well I couldn’t find the bar to get my free drink let alone find my way to the next pub/club!!! So as it turned out well I couldn’t navigate to get my free drinks or the next pub/club so the girls had to help me find my way. So I’m really grateful for them or I would have been really lost! Hell A was in her own world as she loves dancing and is good at it. The 2 Canadian chicks were pretty good too. The girls liked the clubs cus someone said there were 10 guys for every chick on the Club crawl but didn’t make any difference to me not in the shape I was in. Hell being a guy who’s not out to impress chicks so who even cares how we do it but also like to dance too! Hell that’s all I can do when so shit faced as I can’t walk or move once the music stops!! Yeah I know it’s crazy but that’s me just a crazy fucked up stoned cowboy I guess but hey I’m harmless!

So somehow we all managed to make it through the night. Hell the French Canadian chick and A both got tired or it got to be very crowded to dance. So made sure they made it back to the hostel OK. Then I guess 2 of us went back to the Club but have no idea if we met the ppl in the Club Crawl. Hell I have no idea when we left or any thing cus was totally wasted which pretty well summed up all my dass in Amsterdam!!!

The next day my former Dutch travelling buddy Snake showed up as I made a reservation at the hostel too as he lived outside of Amsterdam. It was so nice to see him as we probably traveled together for about a month thru 7 countries in Central and South America in 2008 and 2009. I find that it’s hard to describe how good it is to meet up with ppl u meet traveling again. Cus u meet ppl traveling and become close friends even u only meet for a short time! A knew Snake too cus we met in Guatemala where A was volunteering and staying with an Aunt who lived if Guatemala City!

So that day A wanted to take the city walking tour in the afternoon. So Snake being the nice guy he is didn’t mind going even if he is from Holland. Well I thought shit why not cus didn’t want to be a jerk like the day before and not get into being a bit of a tourist. Besides some of A’s enthusiasm was rubbing off on me. Unfortunately I could never match her bubbly personality! So we did the walking tour of the city and it was a lot of fun.

Then we went for a bite to eat with Yasmin the sweet Canadian chick who was so kind to me the night before when I was really shit faced! Mikka the other Canadian Chick was feeling sick so didn’t come along. Then Smake told us that this one bar was having a great live band playing. But before we went well I wanted both A and Snake to try a Space Cake cus they have never tried it as they don’t smoke. But A keeps telling me that when we met in Guatemala that I had given her a Space Cake/Cookie but i don’t remember.

So that space cake started to take effect once we got to the bar where the band was playing. Shit when I get stoned well I’m the opposite to most ppl as I get really hyper and like to talk a lot! So guess I was strumming my feet on the bar table and almost knocked the glasses on the floor. All while A and Snake were just chillin and just listening to the music cus that’s how they are when stoned! So had a great time on the Space Cakes at the bar but not sure how the other 2 did cus since they don’t get stoned it was hard to tell. But know that they were definitely stoned cus u can tell by their eyes and the way they were chilled. Also Snake usually drinks ½ dozen beers in a short period and he didn’t that night. I’m not sure how A was doing cus in some ways well I can’t figure her out. But think we all had a good time as it was so cool to me to hang out with 2 really good friends!

The next day I think we were all still a bit wasted cus we just went down to this large park in Amsterdam. I had another Dutch friend who I had met in Barcelona and hung with in Morocco so knew he liked to smoke and drink like me! So the 5 of us got some beer, smoke and just sat around the park most of the day just chillin. I had an awesome time just hanging out cus that’s one of my fav things to do while smoking and drinking. Snake had to leave to go for a date but Matijas my other Dutch friend had one of his friends join us as he brought some beer. So we must have hung out till late at night just having a good time. His friend had a bike so we all had a turn riding it and of course I fell off cus too stoned I guess!

So the next day we had to leave but I’d say that I had an awesome time in Amsterdam. I have to thank A for organizing the flight and coming along cus she was great company and her enthusiasm for seeing things, etc kind of rubbed off on me! In some ways tho I guess she must have seen what a douchebag I was as think our friendship sort of went south. Not sure how it happened that we aren’t as good friends now so sad about that but too late to change things. But at least we enjoyed a great time in a Fun City & I'll never forget the time we hung out!