I am in Seitingen Germany.
A small rural village and would be extremely difficult to visit by train or bus, so I am lucky my friend came and picked me up from the train.
Europe is good...
Living with a friend.
Probably driving by Van and living in the Van when no rooms.
Renting a room for one month.
There is some idea that being a tourist and taking the train is convenient.
I totally think the trains suck, they just drop you off.
I suppose for the tourist that only goes to one place. Has a 100 dollar a night reservation for every day of the trip it is good, but for me that does not wish to trust a hostel for a reservation, and is not 20 years old, this type of travel is for the birds.
I listen to so much advice that is just ridiculous from writers that say just do this and do that but in the end they are saying I must plan every day of my life. That is not a vacation that is work.
I have spent over 6 months of my life in Europe. I do know a lot about Europe, it is not like it is my first time here, but so far only living with friends has worked.
If I could find and apartment for 300 Euros per month in place I would be happy, but most people try to make you believe you have to pay 1000 Euros or something silly, this is the www world of scams, or ways to get an extreme amount of money. I am absolutely positive you can live in any country in Europe for less than 300 Euros per month in a room of some house.
But Life is good, and where I am staying is just like Indiana with bigger hills. The culture is so close to my own that I almost do not notice the difference. But of course they speak a different language and have different houses, but for the most part this is so normal for me that I get beyond these issues.
I left the flat a.k.a apartment yesterday to walk to the market to by these soft pretzel like breads that I ate before in Sabines flat. But as I started to walk I realized the whole city was like a new addition in the USA where there is nothing square or straight and all the street would curve with the lay of the land, I suspect this has been this way since the beginning of time and as people just plopped homes down the road evolved where there was a natural path. So on the first attempt I walked straight as possible and walked back straight as possible so I would not get lost, this is a normal technique and especially important because I forgot to put her home address in my pocket.
Made it to the grocery but forgot my umbrella and there is looming rain this whole day and dreary, but nonetheless I made it to the store and purchased some eggs and mueslix. The both seem pretty cheap, especially the mueslis, but the eggs cost 2 Euros for 10 Eggs. I think this is comparable to the USA, but I am not sure as I have not lived in the USA for seven years, and things are hazy.
I suppose that people think they are good purchasers and get good deals, but I would disagree and say that people buy what they want or have temptation and what is convenient.
By the way I did not buy the little pretzel breads as they cost about 60 cents US per Pretzel and that is not a good value, but opted for the good value foods. Most every country has foods that are downright cheap or at least you get a lot for your money, and if you can forego the temptations and eat the foods that are good value you will fare better. But travelers tell me they travel to eat, and this is probably true. I personally travel to look at people and wander why, but do test the local foods when possible without being forced to eat the food and maybe they can tell me what I am eating, to say the least I am not the normal garbage disposal eating traveler.
Life is good here in Germany and this area probably lives better than the normal American, but there are some living quirks, like they only have these super small garages, and the number of room in a house I less, but most home have very solid clay brick with covering of cement or some plaster like material and all the windows are double insulated vacuum window, with another metal like rolled up covering that will come down to make it into a fortress safe from everything. The homes here are beautiful, this flat has 3 apartments inside the building so there is a tri-plex in the midst of a normal neighborhood, and she had to buy the kitchen cabinets, that would make person stay longer.
PLANS FOR THAILAND
I am bouncing off of Europe and cannot afford to continue to make these huge financial mistakes, and it is just too stressful. It would not be stressful if I paid 70 U.S. per day, but on my 25 dollar budget it just does not work. I will go to Thailand and continue on my journey toward Cambodia and Vietnam, etc. I leave now on the seventh of June for Bangkok.
I sometime think everyone wants me to see things at all cost, and that includes my sanity, in truth I could almost care less about looking at countries unless it is slow and easy, if I have to get a reservation every stop I will not do the trip, and that appear to be the case. I am going to keep up my push to buy cars in Europe and stay for one month in each country.
BY THE WAY - KILL THE CLERIC IN IRAQ
He wants to be the next Sadaam. I feel that the Clerics are evil people. Germany has CNN international and CNBC in English.
I am safe and sound which probably never was my question, but is an Americanism that says I have arrived to my destination.
I am with my friend Sabine I met in Esmeralda, Ecuador she is a great friend and has taken my stress level from 8 to 2 in very short order. Life is good or much better than total confusion. I guess getting on a train for Venice, Italy and ending up in Vienna, Austria was not helpful. But between jet-lag, crazy languages, and other miscellaneous variables have made some mis-adventures.
I am now in a wonderful apartment of flat as she says with a view of rolling mountain, and small country church in the background.
OUT MY FRONT WINDOW IN SEITINGEN GERMANY
(Close to Stuttgart Germany)
BEGGARS WITH BODY PARTS - Vienna Austria Train Station
Tuesday, May 25, 2004
I not give to beggars normally unless they are extremely old, or missing body parts. In the Vienna Train station there are tons of people begging with all their parts. Really not a good place for them to allow begging to occur.
ELECTRICITY IS A NEW GOAL
In the past all my computers had them Nichol Cadiam batteries which were worthless, with the invent of the Lithium Battery I can use my computer everywhere, but now I am searching all the time for a place to plug in.
Found two strange places.
Toilet on the train.
While I showered in the Vienna train station I charged my batter with the plug available for shaving.
Note: Also filled up my bottle with water and that saved me 1.35 Euros. Learning to drink cold coffee. It is hard to believe how much the world will deny people access to small things, like a drink of water, toilet, electricity, or other things. I think the world could easily be cleaner if there was a UN resolution and strong protocol that all countries must provide toilets free for the public. I suppose this would increase in some ways begging and the Homosexuals would have more hangouts, but generally there is a need for services like this or the world used the place behind the building, that old style type.
I FEEL BETTER - Vienna, Austria
Showered and ready, as things are changing by the hour, I have decided to go to see my friend Sabine in Germany for a couple of days. I am negotiating a month in Nice, France close to the beach, this would be very perfect. The French are helping! Yea! I have French Friends, ooh that sounds un-American, but I have lots of French Friend, oh I have lots of Friends in all countries just a few countries I try to avoid.
SHOWER IN THE WESTBAHNHOF TRAIN STATION
There is a shower for 3 Euros in the Westbahnhof Train station here in Vienna, Austria. That is reasonable and affordable for a traveler in Europe, but I have no idea how many station or buss stops have these facilities.
Instead of looking hard for a train and just leaving, I am trying to smell the city and look around here to see if there is somewhere. I took a Tram number 18 that was advertised in the Train Station everywhere to Westbahnhof. I suppose I should know what that is or where it is or why I am coming to thie Westbahnhof, but if there is an internet café here there is probably some backpackers around. I purchased a ticket of the tram or think I purchased a ticket of the tram in the train station, but ended up the driver just looked at me like I was crazy, so with that attitude I sit down and did not pay, but he could not be bothered anyway, so I guess it does not matter.
I can say that the whole city seems to have woke up on the wrong side of the bed this sunny happy morning in Vienna. It is beautiful, cool, a small breeze and perfect for a long walk. But the vibes are terrible and unless someone walks up to me with an offer or I stumble on a reason to stay here I will leave very soon.
I am hoping to find a plug soon for my computer as the battery is getting low, I will go look for an internet café.
I made the wrong choice on what looked like a crunchy crusted loaf of wheat bread, it is some soft versions of something mixed with old onions or maybe bad cheese. I ate it anyway as the cost of everything is triple the price of the USA.
OH YEA - WHERE TO GO? Monday Morning - May 24
I will probably go toward Prague to find a true escape from Europe, as it looks like I am bouncing off of this place again. I really need to arrange room for a month before I come and not after being here. Better to spend the time looking for a room as sitting around wadding up money and throwing it into the fire for warmth.
JAMES DEAN - REBEL WITH OUT A CLUE TRAVEL
It just figured it out, there is an allure to being lost and in strange place, sort of a romantic notion that being free is to be with no clue, sort of a Bob Marley Smoke a Joint, sing about revolution in the middle of Paradise.
There are lots of travelers around at least enough with guidebooks in hand, maps, schedule and they seem completely lost, but out to see the world and to say they was there and did that.
I WAS THERE, AND DID THAT
I could just read a lot about the place and not do it… hehehe.
As for me I think I need to be in a place at least 5 days before I was there, and done that, otherwise I am just a sniffer traveler. I sniff at things and do not travel.
CHRIS - SNIFFER UPDATE
To my friend Chris, that Kensington WIFI sniffer works I think, but unless you are getting 2 Green lights there is no way to access, I suppose it helps, but in the end it not a good purchase because it can say you have signal and there is no signal you can access. I suppose it is helpful, but is not a true test until I hook up the computer and try to find a wireless network.
CANTENNA UPDATE- LOOK LIKE A BONG
The Cantenna.com is a more of a bong to people and almost impossible to carry with me. I put it in my water bottle holder and it is dangling on the outside of the front-pack looking like a steel bong. (Pipe to smoke pot and cooled by water.)
It does work and help, but need to be collapsible to carry or something that expands and retracts. I am going to fine a rubber ball or a couple of tennis ball to carry inside so that it will not smash. It is a great idea and works, but needs some serious refinements and updates to of real great use for this Hobo. I will put rubber balls in it and wrap it inside the Backpack Organizer, but what good is it, when I really need to use it in coffee shops, and need to be in my front pack. This thing is huge, but I can do some modifications and maybe get it to work. I need to study the whys of how it works though because I am not sure how the metal works or why there is certain distance. But this one is fragile. I will write the company and give them an update, I think I will make it into a Bong just to wind them up also, it would could be a Bong in minutes.
CAFFEINE FIX - 2.70 EURO PER SMALLISH CUP
I suppose I have saved on a room and that is good, especially when you have no real desire to stop and look around. I ended up in some Chique Cities or something Southeast of Genoa, Italy about 4 hours. What a meandering and deranged amount of mis-adventures.
This started because I ask 2 sets of girls on the plane for a good beach. They all recommended the this Chique Terre place and as best I can tell there is no beach, maybe some big rocks next to the water and for sure some sailboats, but it that is what they call a beach than they will really be excited by a real beach.
But let me state… I prefaced this,
“I want a small town with NO tourist.”
They sent me to tourist hell….aagh.
This is some newly discovered famous because it is beautiful and people can and walk around place. I do admit it was absolutely wonderful atmosphere if Spock would please beam up all the German and what-not tourist roaming around. The all blame them as being USA, but they just look like Americans, I did not meet only a few.
I met 3 young college girls and they had arrived the night before and because it was impossible to find a room they walked around all night and stay out in the bar until the sun rose. I am sure there parents know what they are doing and realize they are safe. This is not safe way of traveling, all countries have crazy people and especially crazy when it comes to young drunk college girls, sort of soft targets.
SO>>> being it was impossible to find a room in this Chique Terre place I got back on the train and went to I think a place called La Speice, Italy, where I worked out a ticket for Trieste close to Slovenia, so I could hop into the country of Slovenia. BUT….?
I AM IN VIENNA ASTRIA
I tried very very hard to find someone to help me, but on the train and in the train station all the offices were close, and there was not even people idle standing around looking silly, just nobody to snag and ask questions. I was on the right train, but I did not get off a Venice as I was hoping and I guess the not-so-helpful conductor or basically never to be seen conductor thought I said Vienna, as it was going that way, he clipped my ticket so he should have known, but straggler travelers probably are not a priority. The Italian people are quite pleasant and helpful, but speak English worst than the Thai people, so if you know how bad that is than you know the rest.
They do not speak English, but I do speak Spanish and do understand them fortunately, but they do not understand me.
I am not sure what strategy to use now, I am just not up to fighting and walking ten kilometers to get a way overpriced tourist room. I can abuse myself enough without the help of others.
VIENNA HOSTEL STRATEGY - MAY 24, 2004
I got off the train and walked to the entrance of the train station.
Stood around and looked stupid, waited about five minutes for someone to come up and try to escort me to a Hostel. I think the guidebooks are probably worthless and only if you have a reservation would there be a room, so you must more or less hope there is a new wanna be overprice and low value Hostel on the market.
These cities are quite beautiful and the people are great, but paying 20 Dollars or 30 Dollars in London for a room with 6 beds is self-abuse, especially when I can travel 80 percent of the room as a wanderer. I was in real estate in a past life before my reincarnation as traveler and I can tell you the ROI - Return on Investment for a Hostel in Europe is through the ceiling and free enterprise is not working, or there would be some good rooms available.
TACTICS AND STRATEGIES IN EUROPE
I have no clear plan for Italy, it is my first trip here and I am sure I can either enjoy it or bounce off the place. Most of Europe is better on a tour package so you can hold the price down, I suppose if I was only out for 2 weeks I would for sure get a cheap tour package with a target of 100 Dollars U.S. per day, but being I am a traveler with my current budget target of 25. U.S. per day, I have to work a lot harder.
I am going to enter… ooops (I am on the airplane typing this, I forgot to set up the situation.)
I am going to enter Genoa, Italy early in the day and go slow and try to keep the pace to an observatory level and not a reactionary level. I find that if I just go slow, do nothing and wander or wonder a lot, I can keep the miscellaneous cost down, but when I hurry my miscellaneous cost triple. There is always a good solution, but it must have time to arise and you cannot force the play.
My guidebook from my last trip is four years old and the money is in Lira or the former currency of Italy. The Euro is the current now of Italy as it is part of the European Union, so this is good and bad. The money is standard and easy, but there was some real leaps or inflationary things that happened as country jumped to raise prices in the transition period.
I am debating whether I should just jump on a bus and go for the beach today or wander into Genoa and find a room for a couple of days. I am thinking I probably should not go to the beach even though the girls seem to think that is a good idea, I have learned a long time ago that when people recommend a place, they do not normally recommend cheap places to tourist, but rather places that make their country look good, and cheap to me is different than cheap to the normal tourist.
But the Italian people feel good and seem so far quick to smile and engage in conversation, while the English are proper and do help, but they tend to stay in a “I cannot be bothered mode,” or give me the blank, while the Italians seem to smile, but I am not in the country and this is just the start of Italian life for me. I am lucky that my Fluency in Spanish should help me to communicate.
RELIEF FROM ENGLAND
I had seat number 12 on the plane, but now I am sitting with two beautiful Italian girls because they told me I could sit anywhere so of course I sat where it was better. I do not understand and do not appreciate having to chase down a seat but in this instance I was the winner.
I am normally lucky with my choices, or make good decisions that lead me to have a better life, and the decision to take the beating from Ryanair.com and leave England was probably the best choice, there has been three girls now that have been telling me about beaches near Genoa that would be nice and they say it is still slow, but the weather should be good for the beach. I am not sure, but this looks like relief from the city-like-it-enjoy-to-pay attitude. I do like London in many ways, but one time was enough, and I have had my life of London, so the second entrance was over the grace period of tolerance.
ESCAPE FROM ENGLAND
THIS IS NO GOOD - SERVICE WAS TERRIBLE
Ticket 5 Pounds
Extra Cost: 106 Pounds.
I got pounded!
I would almost have to say that flying on Ryanair.com is a NO way, they just have too much fine print. I flew with the exact same baggage with Virgin Atlantic from Boston to England with ZERO extra cost, but Ryanair.com PLASTERED me. They got me on weight for large bag and small bag, I almost could not take my carry on because of their onerous rules.
I went up to the check-in and proceeded to get abused by the pasty face long cheeked English girl, I really do feel sorry for the British boys, but nonetheless I then had to go pay and the same pays long cheek witches. I decided to return to London Central and go see Peter when I took a long look at the check-in girl and the ticket woman and decided.
ANY AMOUNT OF MONEY IS OK - I WILL LEAVE ENGLAND
The lady went with all the excuses or reasons and said that all the discounts did this and I said,
“I took easy jet.com just last year, and they did not.”
“Oh yea they have a 20 Kilo limit, we have a 15.”
The Industry standard is like 21 kilos and 5 kilo grace.
Carry-ons are basically ignored for weight, but Ryanair.com got me on every single technical way they could ask for money, and did not even smile when they f@#$#@ me.
What a drag, I am going to have to leave the Hostel tonight at 10:30 PM and take the Underground - Subway - Tube to Liverpool and then take the Stansted Airport Express train to the Airport. I should get there about 12 midnight and will have to sit around until or sleep until 7:30 when my plane leaves. There is the only cost effective way to use my cheap ticket. But sadly… I purchased a 5 Pound ticket.
5 Pounds for Plane Ticket.
15 Pounds in Taxes and such.
4 pound probably for Tube to Liverpool.
15 Pounds for Stansted Express train.
Aaagh, the 5 pound ticket is now change to a 40 pound ticket.
Still a great deal, but sucks in extra cost, if I would have flown out of Heathrow life would be easy, but these smaller airports are a hassle.
40 Pounds equals about 70.80 Dollars U.S. at 1.77 to the Pound.
So I pay 70 dollars more or less for a plane ticket from London England to Genoa Italy.
The bonus is the Hostel refunded my 16 pounds because I will not sleep at the Barmy. I made the mistake of paying for both nights in advance. I have go to stop being so optimistic, always better to pay as I go, he said if they rented the room they would give me the money and I was fortunate they rented the room.
Airports are a lot better for sleeping than bus stations or train stations as there is normally a better quality of the human animals, and airports are more 24 hour traffic.
I would rather sleep in the airport and arrive in Genoa at 10:30 in the morning than to leave later in the day and arrive in city at night walking around looking for a cheap room. This way I will have the whole day to find a great home for a couple of week or less.
I will do my best to always arrive before 2:00 pm / 1400 in the day as anytime after that almost doubles or triples your chances of having serious problems whether it be getting robbed or ending up walking around a city with no room for hours.