I am in the Faisal Hostel across from the Damascus Gate of Jerusalem, this is the second time here and really the only reason is because I came with a girl from Iceland and she recommended the place. I was in Tel Aviv the first time and then I came with her by bus, now the second time after Niger and Egypt.
Today I go to Amman, Jordan by bus, I guess what really if I went direct and in a normal world would be 2 hour trip will take 7 because I have to go to special bus.
I have lived or stayed in the Faisal about 12 days in all about 8 or 9 the first time and now three more, it is nice place however this is a Pro-Palestine Hostel and obvious. However easy to stay, the manager is great, and free coffee, unlimited free internet with a hard line connection, this makes me happy.
However the people are strange sometimes and I ask questions and they get defensive, I am just a traveler and I have said many times in the blog, I think they are up to something.
I finally go a man yesterday to explain.
People think the place is bugged or there are listening devices by Israel in the Hostel and they also believe their are Israeli spies in here. I was told if I said I lived here they may not allow me in the country. I told the Taba gate exactly where I was staying,
I think they are up to something, however nice place. the girl laughed.
Ok, so the weird part here and all makes sense, they are up to stuff or really they are just silly and stupid, however the gossip is there is spies here.
So if they do not know who I am, the
"You are a spy."
There is this organization called ISM, I do not know what it means and I think they all have different webpages, here is one on London.
I really cannot be bothered to figure out what these people are up to, it is pretty obvious they are looking for trouble in their lives and will go down paths of dysfunctional behavior. Trust me, I am an ex-alcoholic, there is some extreme dysfunctionals here, so makes if interesting to observe. However their is some really good people like Oliver and the boy from England who explained the spy thing.
For the most part a fun hostel and some really clueless individuals, those rebels without a clue and this makes it fun, although many times too stupid to take serious or listen too.
I will be in Amman tonight and looking for a plane ticket to India.
I am in Jerusalem, Israel, I discovered a type of food being sold at the bottom of the Faisal Hostel steps or at the entrance. I picked it up and looked at it, thought that looks like the same food they were eating in a small village between Zinder and Zermou, Niger
These are two photos I took in the village.
Note, I only saw this twice in Niger, and they may have it everywhere, however my opinion is no they do not grow it everywhere. I do not know what it is, I think the man here in Israel said,
Balmia and this is maybe Arabic.
Lady in a village between Zinder and Zermou, Niger.
Photo of the food item she was cutting up in Niger.
Next photos taken at the entrance of the Faisal Hostel in Jerusalem, Israel.
The whole view.
Sliced open, the man said, Balmia, I have yet to track down a name in English and I am not sure I understood the vender correctly.
I am trying to learn the foods that are needed to be grown in Niger to stop the Mal-Nutrition problem in the country. I need to know what will grow in Niger, what they need to grow, I have written Ahmed from Doctors with Borders, and I have written Tristan from World Vision a New Zealand - Switzerland man I met in Maradi. I am hoping they write me, I am on email number two with Tristan.
This food may give some of the needed nutrients and maybe all is needed for some of them is an encouragement to eat them.
What is this, a grape, never seen any in Niger, but after you see some children very sick from Mal-Nutrition, I Andy the Hobo have been eating a lot better, this scared me, I am going to pay a lot more money for food now and try to eat a more balanced diet. It scared me, I am not a person that eats a lot of variety.
I receive many letters where people tell me facts.
I normally delete, not really, I want to delete them.
I will tell you the fact, I never delete, except for obvious spam, I keep every email written to the best of my ability, I have an archive of old emails.
I want to know if some people write me more than two times, I qualify the level of contacts, one time, two times, or regulars. Write now Boy Genius is creating a contact form where I can create a sequence of all the emails in a chronological history so I can sit and read every correspondence I ever had with a person in a long string. This helps me to remember who is who and makes sure it is more personal as I do not accidentally mix up what I have written.
Back to the facts:
When a person writes me I look for one of three qualifications of their statements.
1. I was in this country and seen this.
2. I read this information in this source, and they tell me the source.
3. It is my opinion, or I even accept, it is the opinion of man people.
If one of these qualifiers is not present then I think they are appointing themselves as an all know God, Omnipotent, Omniscience and able to speak from totally fact. No sense of humility, not capability to learn, not open to learning.
For those idiots of the world that cannot see how often I qualify my comments, please now go to the top of the page you are on and read this statement:
"I have traveled the planet for 8 years over 50 countries. These are opinions of Andy of HoboTraveler.com, I am not a Journalist. This a record of my opinions as I look and I feel my world. Life is Good, Thank you, Andy the HoboTraveler.com"
I laugh because I am becoming almost positive I collaborate or justify opinions by taking photos and collecting inductive, NOT deductive information on a country better than Journalist. The create a topic and go collect some justification of their topic.
I enter a country try to stop thinking, do not read about it, and try to observe what I am seeing, I will blog next with an example of me trying to learn about what I see as I have found a food plant that I think they ate in Zermou or near Zermoun- Zinder in a farm or cattle village of Niger.
Crossing from Israel to Jordan
This is a map of Jordan, I am trying to figure out how to go to Jordan, I am learning the one King something bridge is closed or I cannot get my visa just going to the bridge.
All this comes down to this, I do not have a Guidebook, the internet basically sucks for good clear information, I need to find a crossing. Lonely Planet probably has this all explained, the bigger problem is I travel from place to place, I have not been able to purchase a guidebook while traveling so I have to scramble or find someone with a guidebook. To do this with speed is difficult to spend five days here would be easy, I want to leave tomorrow. I am going to the Mazada tour company up the hill, the lady is smart.
I am leaving Israel or the West Bank and trying to get to Amman, this is really becoming an annoying trip. I am a Hostel with many travelers, I go to Hostels to figure out this stuff. The manager is smart and told me something, I will try to find a tour company that can just get me across.
This is the West Bank of the Jordan River, this is the headache area of the planet, a small strip of land which for all practical purposes is worthless, however the religious nuts will break every sense of morals or ethics to try to claim. Like they are working in the name of the devil to take a piece of real estate, I do think it is a unholy place. Nothing to do with God everything to do with bad people, I am sure God is going, how crazy people can become and how far they can stray.
The idea is here, is we will kill you if you do not allow us to worship God here on this piece of land.
Get the Hell Out of my Office
(Me pretending I am a Profesor in the University of Michigan.)
I am sitting waiting for the shower here in the Hostel, started a friendly one-side conversation where I asked all the questions and the person on the other answered. Mainly I think because the person had no interest in learning.
A: Me… Hobo
B: University of Michigan student working on his PHD and wanting to write a dissertation on about the West Bank of Israel
A: Connection to the Internet
A: Are you a Journalist.
B: I am doing Research.
A: Where are you from?
B: University of Michigan
A: What are you researching?
B: I am trying to explain how the West Bank of Jerusalem has change from 20 years ago from being very open to have many checkpoints.
A: Wonder when the first Suicide Bomber became fashionable…
Then I think.
A: I suppose a Kamikaze pilot of Japan is a Suicide Bomber.
I am thinking, hmm…. The checkpoint and suicide bomber must have a very close correlation, what they are checking at the checkpoints are suicide bombers.
I go on tact; he is not very invigorating or interested.
A: How do you define you sample, do you divide the area up into geographical areas, then talk with people.
NOTE: He had already said he was going around interview people.
A: How do you find the people to interview?
B: I sort of enter into conversations with people I meet.
Ok, I am getting the picture, now his study to understand the West Bank movement from a Sociology point of view, the study of groups. He needs to talk with maybe only people over the age of 50, they must have been able to be of discerning age for the last 20 years, able to see all the area, not restricted by money and have no prejudices. I am defining the sample or the group, then I would go into great detail explaining who is in the same, who is allow, why they are or are not allow.
B: It is not that way; I do not see Sociology as a science.
This is the point where I think to myself…
IF I WAS A PROFESSOR OF SOCIOLOGY
Get the F#@% out my office, come back when you get a clue, a person working on his doctorate is expected to have a higher level of critical thought.
You do not define you areas, this is the study of a movement or phenomena of a group.
What has happened to the ability, maybe it has never existed, is there not a Professor of Sociology in the University of Michigan that wants to say, you are just making noise, you are doing no valid research.
Get out of my office, this is a serious University, we do not produce people of your caliber, it is an insult to the University.
I try to always grasp onto the details or specifics that seem 99 percent agreed are true, extrapolate one level, never two levels away from this assumption or thought. Try to collaborate with detail, try to figure out more, I listen and do not try to lead the subject. Here in Palestine to do this study I would need to learn a couple of language on a rudimentary level so I can avoid the zealots, there are people emotionally involved in this subject and their ability to just observer or relate the phenomenon is stained.
Get out of my office.
There is this idea in the world that opinions are some type of data.
I always have at the top of my Blog, I am not a Journalist, I mean by this, I do not go around collaborating every opinion I have, these are only my journals, and they are not a critical study of anything. I do critical studies, however to put in the blog is impossible. In addition, an un-completed critical study is just noise. It takes years to do real research.
There is nothing about my blog that I could say is one hundred percent accurate, everything is opinions.
However, the New, Media, Writers, and Researchers are in this error of taking their thoughts and opinions and giving them an over-abundance of credence. Then the silly people do not say….
Get the Hell out of my office, you are a nut.
For all of you anal people out there who do not like my writing style, you can pay persons to edit, it is possible and normal. I will eventually have all of my writing cleaned… however this is my journals.
I would like to read Marco Polo or Christopher Columbus or other world travelers journals.
I am the Hostel in Jerusalem, I look for a way to Jordan, then go there to buy a tickets to Mumbai hopefully tomorrow.
The Hostel is nice because it has a hard line connection to a high speed internet connection for free. I am in a strange place for me, because for sure I an not anti-Israel, I am definitely not pro-Palestine blow yourself up mentality, I am in favor of two states separated by a huge wall.
However the Faisal Hostel, a great friendly place, mess, dirty, grundgy in the true flavor of good backpacking is fun, however interestingly all the travelers inside are on mission or most of them are on a mission to help Palestine.
I have no idea how that idea will ever work, in fact I get the feeling the people outside the country care more than the people in the country. It is like Tibet in this manner, I never heard or felt the people of Tibet cared that China ran Tibet, however all of the travelers were trouble makers.
Some type of On a Mission Travel.
Oh well, gives me something to think about, however for sure the beaches of Tel Aviv are nice, however the Hostels are way too expensive and sort of touristy, about the same as any Europe Hostel. The Faisal is much better in the family atmosphere or the home away from home. Plus about one-third the price of the Tel Aviv Hostels. however no beautiful girl, especially no beautiful Israel girls, no beach, however all you want of the ragged, too old to travel, tye died, ex hippies on a cause women, then here is the place. Sort of like the divorced women that hate men, however a good hoot, and the managers of the Hostel are top notch.
Plus some really cute not so well wrapped hippie chics.
Murals on the wall, anti this and anti that, a place where anyone that hates their father would be right at home, anti establishment, anti globalization, the true world of rebels without a clue.
I go to Jordan and to India within the next 7 days I hope, I promised Andrew by the 30th of September.
I have arrived in Jerusalem, Israel about 10 minutes before 12 Midnight last night, the trip with Mazado tours took by bus from 9 in the morning to 12, so that is 16 hours.
We crossed at the Taba border, different than the last time and much better.
The cost was 55 dollars and the angry addition of 15 dollars so the cost was 70 Dollars U.S. for the bus trip. Strange the mentality, however we paid 55 to book, then immediately up getting on the bus we paid another 15.
Everyone agreed the lady inside the MISR tours office inside the Cairo Sheraton Egypt was a mean and terrible person and of no help.
We actually took a but was a different company.
E-Mail: crt AT crwontourseg.com ( Fix the Email to make work)
Mr Yossri Eshak is Tourism Manager
Tour leader is Wesam William
I had good luck with Mazada tours from Jerusalem, however whoever the lady is inside the Cairo Sheraton, she needs taken out and flogged. A great example of about 50 percent of the Egypt lack of service mentality. However for sure this gives Sheraton a bad association by being a tour company inside their hotel.
Generally it was mass confusion as normal, no place to sit in front of the Sheraton to wait, I am looking for Misr tours and the bus says Crown Tours. Generally though standard operating procedure for tour companies. I was talking with a great guy from Canada that works for the Vancouver Tourism Bureau.
He says in their jargon they call it the infrastructure.
I call it string logic or an algorithm.
This is the help neeeded for a tourist.
A person signing up for a tour should be able to go from point A to B to C to D easily and never become confused.
This is difficult, however in most countries there is no attempt to do this, sign up and you are on your own. This is why I do not take tours, I do not how to connect the dots already, why pay to not know.
There was a huge argument in the bus as everyone tried to understand why we paid the 15 dollars.
I did in the end learn that it could be better to fly from Amman Jordan to Cairo by airplane in a backwards manner, I could have went to Israel, then to Jordan, then to Cairo, then back to Jordan, then back to Israel. Look at a map, this is not in a straight direction.
The flights from Cairo to Jordan can be cheap, generally overall the tourism around the Pyramids of Egypt to me seem extremely crap, for a major destination on the planet, most tour companies seem to totally drop the ball. Strangely a market that is not touched by the tour markets in a way that would really sell tours.
There is no doubt that thousand and thousands of people come from Israel, Jordan or Syria to the Cairo area and all have a really complicated and uncomfortable experience like me.
I was told the trip was 9 hours, it was 16, I consider this a lie. I knew it was this long because the trip from Jerusalem to Cairo before was this long. However a really old person that would believe this could be in a lot of pain.
The bus trip from Cairo to Tel Aviv or Jerusalem is as a rule of thumb a 15 hour trip.
I am Tired
5:17 AM Thursday, September 22, 2005
My friend German from the Playtypus Bogota in Colombia told me I needed to stay in one place longer, or not move so much.
He traveled for 15 years and I believe his advice is good.
There is this idea or this annoying advice I receive from people who believe they are seasoned or knowledgeable travelers. They say you need to stop and go home and rest. Although for sure I have a home, the problem is even when I am home I feel like I am just in another location, I do not live there, so it is like the worlds best hotel. However it is the nest I need, not the location.
I do have a very good nest or base in Indiana where I was raised and born, a great family, mother an father. However the nest is more than just a location.
German understands that travel is an addiction, I can and do go stir crazy when I am not in a very stimulating place.
I have been teasing this man from Iraq, that is living in the hotel for the last two days. He left Iraq after the first war and lived in Canada for 12 years, now he is trying to move back to Iraq or maybe just out of Canada trying to cause trouble. He seems pretty rich so maybe his connections are coming back into play, nonetheless his two children are in Canada, his wife is in Kuwait and he is doing something in Egypt.
I asked him why he was wanting to go back to Iraq, his answer was like my traveling addiction.
Canada is nice, clean, ok, however…. Nothing going on.
He is bored, and then I said,
- No excitement -
He nods his head, however the way I have been teasing him is even more fun, there have been these movies on the television, like - Back to the Future - with Michael J. Fox and others, they are them Feel Good Disneyland views of the world, or the Readers Digest way of life movies.
He says, yes he like this, and you can see in his eyes and he nods, he does love the safety of Canada or the USA, however he like the nasty side of Egypt, the clutter, the constant bumping, there is an excitement to the Middle East, a mess that never stops.
This is an addiction.
I call it an Endorphine addiction.
He needs the rush of the Middle East, I need the rush of meeting new places. I am aware that I need to keep this in the realm of adventure, fun, and meeting new cultures and away from the more nefarious types like most travelers of women, party, drinking and drugs.
I keep my nose clean as we say, however sorry to say, most travelers do not keep clean, they become more involved in activities that lead them down the wrong path.
When Mark Twain traveled or these ones that said to expand their brains, learn tolerance and such, they did not run into large bands of tourist with many type of drugs on them and talking world politics on an inane level. The met the simple cultures of places like Zermou, Niger where there is a totally different life and they tried to understand how they could live in different worlds than them. Now there is a globilization of the planet that means that in all countries I meet the same boring people with the same fashionable ideas.
I do need a place to relax, where there is no boring travelers or tourist with simple geopolitical views I have to listen to and annoy me.
I have a friend that says that I get in arguments a lot with people, I suppose that is true in some ways, however for the most part no. I meet maybe 20-30 people daily and I only am annoyed by one, however the one is normally the person I analyze in my journal here, the others did not cause me mental deliberations.
I can only look at the people that are great and try to see how they are great, however the learning process only starts when I delve into the thing in my head I do not understand. I must try to reflect, introspect, or observe how I feel, think, emote or try to adapt, I must study my own history in great detail, try to find the consistence or inconsistencies in my actions, try to wonder at my own humanity.
However the brain does need a rest after this thinking about Niger, I want a subject that is fun. Like my backpack or the inventions, I am looking forward now to Thailand and a break from the too much worlds of Cairo, Niger, and even my next location of India. India both me an German agree is not a place where you go to relax or chill in colloquial terms.
The man from Iraq like the constant fight of Iraq, he is addicted. This is what may be impossible for the Western World to every believe, however to me the Arab world wants a fight. They are macho and they want to show their bravo, they need to express their macho. In the past or in the world of 100 or 50 years ago, the world could just go and kill 50,000 of them in a couple of days and prove to them they are not even in the ballpark of being brave or tough. However we cannot do this now, so we cannot shock them into stopping, they need a better shock.
The blow themselves up for headlines, a very sad way to prove you are macho, I really do not believe they even know how silly this is, like hanging yourself to prove to your wife she is a jerk. To get revenge on the people that hurt you.
The Art of Travel
This Art is not about choosing the best destination or knowing the best beaches, locations or wonderful places on the planet. The Art of travel is to learn how to make EVERY places you live, whether the jungle, the Five Star Hotel, or the Sahara Desert a place that has the minimal nest requirements. In my nest I have certain things, a light to read with, sheets that stay on the bed, a cup of coffee in the morning, a piece of bread, quiet in the night and no drunks.
To say the least, this is not a Hostel in Europe, it could be Five Star Hotel in Europe, however that is a little pricey for most travelers.
When a Business person travels they need to live in as good if not better conditions than at their home, they need to have the same nest as at home. They need paid enough to live in this type of nest or paid a very lot to stay in a lesser quality nest. Sort of combat pay if they live in a very bad environments, strangely you get free volunteers to work in the worst like the Peace Corps.
I however am a traveler, so I need to think how to make this place and all place the proper nest, the big factor is not to move as much, to take rest in some places and stay longer. The nest is always better when I have more time to make it, I am having problems and believe I will always have problems in Africa, I believe when I leave my nest inside the Hotel, and go walk around although the cultures are perfect for observation, they are looking for a fight, so not fun.
Sadly, the African culture seems safer from a getting robbed point of view than in Europe, for sure better than South American and in some ways about the same as Asia. Africa is very safe, so FAR, I have only done three countries, however for sure Niger was a safe place, you are not going to get robbed, Spain is where you get robbed or Amsterdam, anywhere in the Latino worlds…
Hmmm. I just said that. (That is the value of journaling.)
There is a connection between the Latino Cultures and crime, however the Buddhist are safe, the Average African is passive and Safe.
The Europeans and Latinos of South and Central America, Mexico will steal everything, however they will not kill you.
The Asians, Arabs, Africans so far (I think parts of Africa will steal) however I do not know Africa, however they will not steal, however in a tribal or spontaneous eruption they can kill you for more or less superstitious tribal reasons.
Getting killed when traveling is more about car traffic.
However the next one is getting drunk with the locals.
The third is this nefarious, superstitious tribal mentality of groups, they get too suspicious, they get paranoid, they do not understand, the become guilty or shameful they are paying attention to you, so they think you are a problem. This is tribal mentality and the person can drive a Mercedes Benz and think this way.
Well, I need a break, mostly because I have this crazy website that requires some thought to maintain, has many dimensions, is growing and gratefully gives me enough money to go anywhere on the planet now. However if I did not move it would be easier.
I will go to India, talk with Andrew, find out some ways to live on the road easier, work through some technical problem, I will have a laundry list of problem with making web pages or complications of travel for me.
I have Brett in the USA working on a way now for me to post photos fast on the internet. The photos and posting them takes most of my time, then I have this organization problem or guilt problem, I want to return emails and I cannot manage them. I can return emails, this is easy, what I cannot do is keep an ongoing conversation with 100 people at the same time.
I need to know what they said in the last 5 emails, or even the last 20 or forever, I need all their emails together so I can see our history of conversations. All correspondence needs to be together, this is very easy to do if I had a 24/7 connection to the internet, however I will never have this, so there is a need to connect an email with and a page, then synch the page and my computer in a way.