28 October 2004

I am finally back in North America, and I am, indeed happy to be back. Looking out of the window during my flight across the Atlantic, I finally saw land and though of how much I loved the openness of this wonderful continent (sure, I was flying right over Quebec, but that's mostly irrelevant). I had a great seven weeks, on the whole, visiting 15 countries, using planes, trains, buses, cars, a ferry, and a ski lift, not to mention the miles and miles (kilometers and kilometers) that I walked, mostly on horribly uncomfortable cobblestone roads.

During my voyage, I made several lengthy writings in my notebook, and will most likely manage to post them here. I would have posted along the way, but the keyboards vary from country to country, and sometimes the "y" key is the place of the "z" key. Considering how often I use Y in mY language, trYing to tYpe a reallY long post was virtuallY impossible. When possible, I will include the original dates of the writing, and may or may not put them in order, but that will take some time.

Since I've been back, I've seen American history with the Boston Red Sox finally breaking the curse of the Bambino and winning a World Series, much to my delight, in a four game sweep of my hated St. Louis Cardinals. The high of the moment is currently lessened by my tremendous writer's block as I attempt to fire off a letter the editor begging the mostly good people of Iowa to vote against Bush on November 2, but I am, unfortunately, either too long winded or too eloquent for an Iowa newspaper; I struggle to write sentences that truly convey what I want to say: Bush bad, Iowa. I hope to cure this later today. Here's hoping, anyway. That's it for now, but look forward to new posts along the next few weeks.

21 October 2004


10 October 2004

Short version.

Berlin: awesome.
Prague: Looks cool. Beer: cheap. Go now. Bye.

06 October 2004

The Great American Apology

I would like to take this moment to make a political statement. Naturally, if any of you have actually followed the writing of this blog, you will know that it is full of political statements, personal misgivings, and despair over the bleakness of my own personal future; therefore, my admission to making a political statement should come to be about as surprising as the the horrible start to the football season for the Chicago Bears. Here goes, in no short terms.

I REFUSE TO APOLOGIZE FOR BEING AN AMERICAN. Having been in Europe for the past four weeks, I have encountered many people from many different lands, likewise on a European escapade or perhaps as ex-patriots now operating a barber shop in Munich. As soon as I open my mouth, if not before by the way I am dressed, it becomes obvious to everyone that I am a(n) (north) American. This fact has not led to my being treated with any disrespect. People do not hate me because I am from the U.S. They just one thing about me: I come from the country that has George W. Bush.

Go ahead, you neo-conservative apologists. Decry Europe for being a collection of not-so-powerful countries. Stand up and say that Germany and Russia were against the war in Iraq because Saddam had contracts with them. Say what you will about the French (it's probably true), but understand that you exist within the context of the world, and your worldview differs dramatically from that of people who look surprisingly similar to you, but live 4500 miles (that's right, miles, not kilometers) away. One does not need to look beyond the U.S. headlines to find Europe's headlines. A paper in Oslo had the W. vs. Kerry debate on the front page (in a side note, should Kerry win, I recommend that everyone who votes for him receive a share of the Nobel Peace Prize). This morning, in Stockholm, the local station, as well as CNN World, showed the ENTIRE Vice-Presidential debate. Perhaps most damning of all, a group of friendly Germans I met in Bergen asked me if I would be back in the U.S. in time to vote...on November 2nd. They knew the exact date. EVERYONE in Europe knows the EXACT date, and they are dumbfounded that Bush and Kerry are even CLOSE in the polls. Their opinion of Americans must have sunken even lower.

In Munich, I got my haircut by some Iraqi ex-patriots, who, upon realizing that I was an American, asked (while holding scissors, mind you)..>"George Bush?" Fortunately, I was able to give an honest answer, and the haircut was amazing. GEORGE W. BUSH MUST GO. The rest of the citizens of the world await November 2, 2004 with even more anticipation than even the most politically zealous Americans. Spread the word. Don't apologize for being an American. Vote against Bush and let the rest of the world hate the US for what is HAS, not what it HAS DONE (unilaterally and against the UN, of course).

04 October 2004

Fortunately, Stockholm is slightly less outrageously expensive than the whole of Norway. I wandered through part of the city today, with no plans, not that I could have had plans, seeing as virtually all the sights are closed on Monday. Be that as it may, I found the Royal Library and wandered around that for a few minutes before spending the rest of the day on the streets. Stockholm is made up of thousands of tiny islands, so it is necessary to remember exactly which bridges one has crossed, or else getting back to the starting point may take an additional hour. In all, I would have done more, but it was a bit cold today, and I felt like I needed a day to recuperate from the nearly 7 miles I walked on my last full day in Norway. That may or may not seem like a lot, but Norway is quite hilly, even in Oslo, and the cobblestones aren't that much fun on the feet. Stockholm has some fully paved roads in a nice turn of events. Maybe I'll find some not-so-expensive shoes (Bjorn would be nice, but I haven't seen any around). Most likely, I will wait until Germany or the Czech Republic to stretch my sorry U.S. dollars.