31 August, 2007

it happened!

there's really not much new to report other than i have a yachting hat with "CROATIA" stitched in gold lettering across the front now. i bought it in dubrovnik, croatia. now i'm in split. i'll be here for 3 nights starting now.

i'll explain more about that hat in a later post. it got me free food ----- but for even cooler reasons than you're probably imagining. it's also gotten me laid like a million times (this is actually not true).

oh!!!!!! the miss universe pageant is tonight here in split. i think i'm going to try and go. why not, right?

one more thing!!!!!!!!!!! in case you ever catch yourself wondering if i've ever swam in the adriatic sea at night under a full moon a little tipsy on the vin ----- the answer is officially yes.

yes. i. have.

30 August, 2007

croatia!! coolski!!! pt. 2

what a journey. i don't know where to even begin.

let's just let it ride though and see where this blog ends up ---

i bought a pair of knit socks in Mostar, Bosnia. They're maybe the best socks i've ever owned. you will flip when you see them. i also have gone swimming a lot in the past few days. rivers, adriatic seas, you name it!

i realized this morning since i left paris i have showered four times. deal.with.it.

ben and i lived in a town called Kotor, Montenegro for about four days and three nights. it's a strange little yachting community that i didn't really fit into very well. we didn't book a hostel before we got there, so we ended up shacking with a lady we met at the bus station the first night. but she was pretty effing crazy, so, we left. and we ended up going to a different hostel that the information booth in town recommended. it was about 2 km outside of kotor, so a bit of a walk. but we walked and walked and we got to a place that we thought might have been a hostel, and we go inside and ask if we could speak to someone who speaks english. this dude in a doctors coat comes up and we're like, "we're looking for the hostel, is this it?" and he looks at us with a very concerned face and says, "no, this is not hostel. this is hospitatl. mental hospital. it's best for you if you don't stay here." we took his advice and left.

we eventually found the real hostel------- and what a hostel it was. i mean, relatively.

for one, ben and i hypothesize that the hostel was at one point a resort hotel, probably before the breakup of yugoslavia. then it became abandoned and slightly dilapidated. then it was turned into a student dormitory. then abandoned again resulting in slightly more dilapidation. then it was converted into what they call a "youth hostel," but what it is in reality is some sort of unofficial-subsidized-hotel for families who want a vacation but cannot afford one.

to describe the hostel as a structure-- if bob kerr were ever in his life own a hostel or hotel, this would be the one. this includes plumbing that sometimes works, broken tiles in the hallways, what appeared to be a slanting foundation, as well as no fire alarms. on top of this--- feral animals? you got it!

i can sum up the experience in a phrase: when ben and i showed up to the hostel and got to our rooms ben said, "i'm so happy to be here!" as he sat onto his bed which immediately broke. it was funny, but it was still a broken bed.

but now we're back in croatia!!! i woke up early this morning, before ben, even, and went out to our private balcony and looked over the adriatic sea while i ate a carrot and drank some orange juice. i wrote a haiku in my head about a butterfly, the sea, and my carrot. it was maybe my favorite morning yet.

love always, jimmy

ps, to the rich 30-something dudes from seattle that ben and i met in the internet cafe in kotor: next time you meet two poor traveling people on the opposite side of the world from home and say something like, "god, i bet our bar bill last night was probably a week of your budget!" the proper thing would be to invite us out to dinner or for drinks. not to then leave and say, "see ya dudes! good luck, enjoy traveling!" and giving us pats on our backs. otherwise, what's the point in a.) having money, and b.) traveling?

26 August, 2007

why it's great

there's too much to talk about for a blog post. i'm sorry for how skimpy this will be.

1. maybe i have an ulcer. maybe just bad heart burn. i hope it's not an ulcer, but i do stew a lot, so i wouldn't be surprised.
2. i went swimming in this river here in mostar, bosnia yesterday. i dove and dove and dove and dove. the water was cool (like, it totally knew how to party), and i realized that i should find a way to get paid for leisurely swimming. like, in lakes and stuff. i could charge 20 dollars an hour.
3. today we're finally going to reach the adriatic coast. in montenegro. i think the town is called kotor. ever heard of it? i haven't. here we go again!!!!!! LOL LOL LOL LOLO LOLOLOLOLOL!!!!!!!!!!! jk jk jk

did i already mention i bought my one and only european souvenir?? i bought this 1984 sarajevo winter olympic games tshirt.

also, update!!!!!!!!!!!! dublin is officially my last stop on my whirlwind tour. why dublin? to see about a girl, of course.

22 August, 2007

when it's good it's marvelous!

i want to make this quick, so, i apologize if you were hoping for a super big post today.

1. i'm in sarajevo, bosnia. it's maybe my favorite city yet. it's so alive, and so full of charm and hospitality and friendly people and all these things. not to mention that ben and i stumbled into the city just during the sarajevo film festival -- so we're spending all our time (and most of our daily budget) on movies. truly a best case scenario. this is the best. i can't even tell you.

2. our hostel room is a 6 person room. this morning fabian (a german) needed to use the occupied bathroom. i suggested to him that since his native language was the most aggressive sounding language on the planet earth he should just start pounding on the door yelling german at whoever was using the bathroom. we all thought it was a funny idea. then he did it. and i thought i was going to die laughing. moments later a nice italian girl comes out of the bathroom wearing just her towel. what a world!

3. i'm re-reading Franny and Zooey.

4. i'm sorry about not posting any cleverly-placed pictures. i'm sans laptop. we've been taking lots of pictures and rolling lots of 8 mm film.

oh ------ and amendment about my belgrade post:

when ben and i got to belgrade the person that checked us into our hostel asked us if we were there for "Beerfest." we had no idea what he was talking about. actually, we thought he was making fun of us (american travelers have a certain reputation for being piss drunk). but then he explained how we were in town just in time for the annual belgrade beerfest where everyone in town goes to this fortified castle on the edge of town and listens to bands play and drink every major european beer in a festival atmosphere. we we went, because we got stoked.

what's beerfest like? try to imagine the central washington state fair-- with its bad music, cheap food, rides (for christ-sake), but instead of the animal exhibits add huge beer stands, and you get Belgrade's Beerfest.

on the record: i threw up.

19 August, 2007

constipated, incorporated

ben and i are in belgrade, and i don't know where to begin.


for one, i've been suffering with a bout of constipation that i'm just now starting to fight off. i'll give special thanks to the woman at the pharmacy whom i bought the laxatives from (she was pretty, and i had to swallow a lot of pride when i told her i needed laxatives, and even more pride when i asked her if there were any pills "more powerful" than the ones she gave me. evidently there were not). also special thanks to the waiter at the cafe who gave me my double espresso and ceasar salad. things are starting to work themselves out for me.


on the train-trip into belgrade i was struck by a few things. here's a small list:
1. the landscape looked almost identical to that of indiana (and even a little bit moses lake/othello area).
2. there are lots of abandoned homes/villages in serbia. i'd say it's staggering.
3. scottish teenagers are obnoxious and loud.

once in town the first real site ben and i saw on our walk from the station to the hostel was a huge building that had a missile hole going through it. it was completely devastated. it stopped both ben and i in our tracks. it was really--- je ne sais pah.

tomorrow we head to sarejevo.

mercy mercy mercy mercy me.

17 August, 2007

croatia!!!! cooolski!

So tonight is my third night here in Zagreb, Croatia. I think this city is the best. It has more charm than a Harry Potter novel under a rainbow inside a pot of gold in Ireland (dennis miller points). Croatia used to be eastern block and then around a decade ago took part in that CNN war in the balkans. So the city has seen some shit for real though.

My favorite parts of the city are as follows:

the architecture
the graffiti
the girls
and the fact that my lunch today cost me about what my cafe would cost back in paris.

not bad, croatia.

tomorrow ben and i head to Belgrade!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11111111111

here i come world!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

oh, two great stories really fast.

1. the first night ben and i were sitting outside our hostel on the back porch, and all was quiet in zagreb-- and then all of a sudden the city errupts into cheering and fireworks sounds and everything is going bananas-- and the reason was because zegrabs soccer club was playing a german club in germany and zagreb had scored the first goal of the game and they were the underdogs. i went inside and watched the second half with the people that owned the hostel. football really is a big deal here. it was the best. and they were so endearing about it. even though they lost the game they like, "zes, but, we thought wed lose 3 nil, so this, this is verz good. zagrebs club is very small. this is very for zagreb."

2. last night at dinner i wanted a beer, but i didnt get a chance to look at the beer menu so i just asked the waiter to bring me whatever his favorite beer was, because of course hed be way more knowledgable about croatian beer. so im waiting and im stoked for my new cultural experience, and then the beer shows up and its an effing becks. becks. really. i didnt really know what to say so i just kind of drank it and laughed and thought about how i should get really stoked on becks and when i come home i should try to get all my friends to drink becks because its such an eastern euro thing to do.

o well. this is life.

13 August, 2007

about me, the blog, and things

if you notice i have stopped calling you, messaging you, emailing you, texting you, or anything that involves communication between you and me (probably transatlantic), in the next few weeks it's because i leave paris tomorrow and i'm not taking my laptop.

so.

i miss you!

special thanks to david drori for ruining my ability to socialize properly with everyone.

i was at a little get together the other night and there were maybe 8 young americans present, not including ben sellon and myself (and one venezuelan). well, someone said a joke and everyone laughed. so i decided i'd throw in my two-cents, and i said the following joke:

So Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden, and Bo Jackson are all on an airplane, and they're cruising 30,000 ft above the Pacific Ocean. So Saddam Hussein says, "I don't like America, I don't think they have freedom!' And they all nodded in agreement, and then Osama bin Laden pipes in, "Well I don't like Freedom, I don't think there should be an America!" And they all nodded in agreement. Then Bo Jackson chimes in and he says, "Well, Bo-Knows how to play two sports at the same time." And he said that because Bo Jackson played both professional football and professional baseball at the same time.

And let me tell you about the laughter that ensued -- it was mostly Ben.

Special thanks to Ben for getting me, and to Clara for smiling and trying her best to get me.

11 August, 2007

ammendments

just to clarify and also expand:

1. i'll be in croatia by the middle of next week. starting then ben and i are going to explore the adriatic coast.

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this includes bosnia, montenegro, maybe albania and macedonia, and italy.

2. in a previous post when i use the term "nested," i am of course speaking literally. as in we made a nest out of blankets and pillows for lounging. it is not a euphemism for something only moms and dads should do.

3. in a previous post when i wrote about dance club hijinks i somehow forgot to write about this older woman who gave me the seductive look and wag of the finger. i approached her and she spoke to me in french fast. i told her i couldn't understand and she leaned to me and said, "you're too young." and she pointed to her boyfriend who was an incredibly tanned, shaved headed, muscle-bound, muscle-shirt wearing man.

i couldn't think of anything to say but, "désolé," then a grand hand gesture and bow and "c'est la vie" as i scooted out of harms way.

ben and i are having the best time. here are pictures of us in a metro tunnel:
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also today i said goodbye to a nice girl and it wasn't too fun. but this is life.

09 August, 2007

warning:::: SPOILERZ::::::

this is how the shit getz real:

1. drunk at seine.
2. nested and kissed with venezuelan.
3. nice to:
4. zegrab.

deal with it. check your maps.

adventures for all!

04 August, 2007

je parle la danse.

well it happened tonight. ben and i took on paris -- and won!

we just got home, so i'm still a little woozey, so bare with me.

tonight we went to a club -- i don't remember it's name so much. but the word chic was involved. we arrive, skeptical of the ten euro cover. but c'est la vie. it came with a free drink so why not. ben and i get in, get our drinks, and the place is going bananas. i drink my drink. i notice that there are women everywhere. ben points out one particular brunette who is dancing like she invented it. and she was sexy. anyway, she and i make eyes and try and dodge each others glances and it's like magic.

ben and i meet two girls named julie, whom i referred to as the julies (they didn't get it...). ben danced with the tall julie. i got another beer.

then ben quit dancing with tall julie and we start dancing our shoes off and this dude comes up and is all up on ben. i mean, this guy was looking for it. in fact, he told ben so in french several times. at one point he did his best to rub ben's crotch. i suppose this moment may have been magical, too. but. you know.

the night started getting a little stale (at like 2) so Ben and I begin to leave when these three french people grab us and start talking to us. two boys, one girl. the girl was very pretty and loved ben and i. she told us to be nice to the french always. the guys were stoked that we were from seattle. they were really nice. they said it was too bad it had rained so much this summer (it has, that's true). but it's a good thing they pulled us over, because just then the most incredible thing happened --

the song "killing in the name of" by rage against the machine came on. i've always, always, always loved this song, and i never dreamed that i'd dance to it at a club full of beautiful people that were stoked to hear the song. so ben and i rushed back to the dance floor and give it our best. i don't think i've ever danced so hard. ever.

then we left again and right at the exit i saw her: the beautiful brunette from the beginning of the night. she walked by me and i said, "excusez-moi," and i grabbed her by the hand and she said, "oui?" and i said, "pardon, tu es tres tres tres tres tres tres jolie." and she smiled and laughed because i just told her she was very (x10) pretty, and she thanked me in french and told me something i didn't understand and i told her i didn't speak french (in french) and she asked me if i spoke english (in french) and i said, "oui." and she said she did too. I told her she was so pretty, and that she danced so well, and i told her that i was leaving and that i would very much enjoy a goodnight kiss and she laughed and said no, so i said, "but, je t'aime." and she laughed and held my hand and said i was drunk and i said, "no no no no no no no, je t'adore." and she laughed and told me to stay longer and i told her i couldn't and she said next time then and i told her that this was "adieu" (goodbye, forever). and then she closed her eyes and kissed me very sweetly.

voila. i lived the dream.

now ben and i are in my apartment listening to the Boss' album "nebraska."

thanks, paris.

sincerely,
jimmy