I will receive my second passport on Monday, I am very glad I made the decision to come to Chicago to beg the powers that be. Chicago has been a warm surprise as the manners and friendliness of the people is great.
I suppose I am thinking or comparing to South America or Asia, however it is nice to hear a please and thank you.
The Chicago Passport place was great, everyone was helpful and did not cop a sit in the corner and wait attitude, and it really was easy. The big hoop to getting a second passport I believe is need. I explained my Visa problems when I was in Morocco and wanting Visas for central Africa, I explain the Mongolia - Russia Visa problem. After a few stories, they rolled over and gave me the Passport.
A letter explaining my trip and why I needed the second passport. This for me was both; I am going into Eastern Europe and would like to get a Visa for Belarus and Ukraine while I am traveling. These are countries that require a letter of invitation, this translates to you pay to get it and this gets complicated and time consuming.
I also am going to Israel on this jump so if I fly into Israel, I am not sure, they may stamp the passport. Nothing is every certain, although everyone is an expert.
I am very glad I did not pay a passport or visa service to perform this; I do not think they would have performed, until I paid maybe 500 dollars. It still cost me 127 dollars for the speedy passport, however I will have it in my hands on Monday. I could have had it today at 3:00 however; there are huge lines late in the day, better to go in the morning.
I have one in my hands, and will get number two on Monday.
I attribute the ease to a real need and very good knowledge of Visas, and truthfulness always works for me.
You can sleep in the Arlington House Hostel for 26 dollars, and take a bus down Clark to the Adams Street Exit. From downtown you get off on the Fullerton Exit.
I am in the Arlington Hostel in Chicago
It is strange to be around foreigners that like the USA, there is no fashion of the day to speak bad of the USA.
I was laughing though when I asked an American where a Walmart was, he said he did not go to Walmart, however he told me about TJ Max.
Everyone has a personal vendetta, I personally do not like some of the comments in Lonely Planet, however I do buy and use the book because it serves an very important need. I do not try to hurt myself to prove a point. Walmart is cheap, and I like cheap.
Yes, great news, I found there is a beach close to the Hostel, plus they are giving me the second Passport.
Photos of Maumee River and Wheat Field
There was a conversation last night in the Arlington House Hostel here in Chicago about the large number of interesting building in the older parts of Chicago.
The is the Maumee River that leads from Lake Erie to Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Historical building were built along the highest and best form of transportation, so the mouth of a river would be the first place to build a building.
The Maumee River comes from Toledo to Fort Wayne where there is a eight mile portage, this is the only land crossing needed from New York to New Orleans.
The secret to wealth.
This is along the flood plain of the Maumee River in Ohio.
Windows 95 in Chicago
I am in Chicago at the Arlington House Hostel, amazing I am on Window or it says it is Windows 95. I have not seen this in years, however they cannot steal software the same as Asia or the rest of the world in the USA.
I will get my new passport tomorrow morning and apply for a second tomorrow.
More updates when I connect my computer to this weird sytems, at least it is free.
Chicago, friendly... maybe it is the great weather.
The Pre-Euro Tour
I am not sure, maybe I can figure it out, however there are a few countries joining the European Union and will change from their currency to the Euro. The price will go up, anyone that wish to visit Eastern Europe should do so before this happens.
So I am on the Pre-Euro Tour, I enter Europe in Berlin and will proceed east...
The ten new Member States that joined the EU on 1 May 2004
I think these countries will change to the Euro, if you know when, please post in the comment below here, I just know the clock is burning and when they change to the Euro the prices will probably rise a minimum of 25 percent for travel.
I will bin Berlin, Germany - Already uses Euro next monday, the 13 of June.
The Pre-Euro Tour
Amazing, I was driving through Joe Blow neighborhood in Fort Wayne, Indiana, middle class haven and nothing special.
Five access points came up...
I have been worried about traveling through the USA because it is difficult to find and internet cafe in the USA, I need access to do what I do.
This is hope... big time, I can travel around the USA and find wireless access to the internet, not as good as Asia or South America, but it will work.
Wednesday June 6, 2005 6:01 AM
I drove a car from Indiana to Cleveland, Ohio, for a distance of about 200 miles; this is maybe one-thirtieth the distance across the USA. Therefore, if I drove the same distance daily, I would be across the USA in about 30 days.
In reality, you can drive across maybe in three days if you hurry, or maybe in 50 hours.
Not the point here, I travel all the time, however I do not feel Mobile, I feel tied to a Bus, Train, or Hotel, or better yet I connected to my backpack. Carrying a backpack or lugging around backpacks makes my life constricted. I am leaving for Chicago tomorrow because I need live at the Passport Agency so I can get my passport quickly. If I leave at seven in the morning from Fremont, Indiana, I will arrive in Chicago around 11:45. I then have 2 hours to make it to the passport agency, however it would be great to go the Hostel, drop off my bag, then go to passport agency.
I am thinking about the size of my backpack, the weight, and walking around in Chicago with a backpack. In Bangkok, Thailand, South America or Asia this would be easy. I get a taxi and I could go the Hotel fast, store my bags, and then go the Passport Agency.
In the USA or Europe, you the Buses or Trains are fast and convenient to from city to city, Europe much better than the USA, however when arrive in the city, and then you are out of luck. You must do the subway, bus, walk bit, and this drives me crazy.
I like the ability to drive a car from place to place on the trip to Solon, Ohio to talk about backpack parts with a supplier.
I was Mobile.
I am very Mobile, however I am connected to my backpack, difficult to move fast, unless I nothing with me of value.
I purchased lots of small parts, hardware or fitting as I guess they say in Britain for my future backpack. Probably 8 dollars worth in South America, however about 54 dollars worth in the USA. However, I am sure of the quality, and this is the point, a backpack made with one bad part is not a minor, it is a major problem. A broken zipper, clip, belt support clip is going to make carrying a backpack very difficult, then a big problem to repair.
I am trying to put wheel in the backpack and this could be a job as the designs for wheels sold are not very adaptive to backpack, more to something you never put on your back. I want wheels, and I want the easy to use, simple, heavy duty.
This would make me more mobile, I carry about 30 kilos or 60 pound and this is a lot of weight to walk around with for mile, however with wheels you can pull this pretty easily.
I am trying to make the ultimate backpack for me; the young wanna carry a backpack person, plus the very old that would not carry a backpack under any condition. Both luggage for the airport, however if you wish to walk a few mile, yes I could pack on my back and take off.
ONE - Security from being robbed
TWO - Durability as a lifetime backpack
THREE - Redundancy, if one part breaks, there is second way to perform.
FOUR - Ease of walking with the bag.
FIVE - Adaptable to any person or amount of belongings.
SIX - Packing - How fast and easy can I pack the bag.
SEVEN - Included absolutely need traveler accessories.
EIGHT - Repairing the bag.
Attractive, lightweight, customized for your country, name, and ability to look the way you wish.
Ohio Travel Bag
Today I drive to Solon, Ohio to visit the Ohio Travel Bag company, I am excited. I have been searching the planet, Nepal, Vietnam, Taiwan, Bolivia, Peru for parts to use to make backpacks. In all of these locations they make backpacks, mostly copies of other brands, however they do make backpacks and sell parts to backpacks.
Snaps, clips, hooks, straps, materials, however they just do not have what I want, the best of the best. Therefore I have returned to the good ole USA to find the best quality parts possible to make a backpack.
I was talking with Bruce the owners of Ohio Travel Bag and he said I should be able to buy these parts in the countries I mentioned.
"Yes, however they speak a different language and everything is a copy."
"I cannot find the perfect parts, they send them to the USA."
So here I am, in the USA looking to find the perfect parts, he sent me a catalog and it is like heaven.
I will visit the company tomorrow and spend the night in Solon.
Ohio Travel Bag