“A journey is like marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it”

February 27, 2011

Hello there Minions,

The above quote comes from John Steinbeck. I have been drawing a blank when it comes to appropriate titles. Given that I am a hack, I stole another one. In a few moments you will see that this quote is somewhat applicable.

I hope the 8 of you are doing well. (Yet again, I have had another formal acknowledgment of somebody’s desire to read the garbage that I spew out onto this esteemed literary masterwork; however, due to my laziness or lack of creativity/wit, it will not be long before another one of you vanishes like K-State’s chances of making the NCAA tournament.) (I wrote this line before the Wildcats crushed KU in Manhattan, I will not remove or change that analogy because I find it amusing even if I am probably wrong.)

All is well here, kind of. I have never been more ready for winter to end. For the second time in the last month, I am sick. This truly sucks. I use to get strep throat once a year (last year I came down with the day I arrived back in the States; consequently I spent my birthday at the doctors and receiving antibiotic shots in my ass); other than that, I am usually not sick. Now that I have succumb to illness twice in a month, I feel like my friend Miller. Miller is a very talented writer and he writes a blog with very informative movie reviews. However, Miller has a very weak immune system (due to his excessive consumption of Mountain Dew and Doritos) and gets ill frequently and looks very sickly, all the time. Other than my amazing ability to get sick and the winter continually kicking my ass, there is not a lot to report.

Last week I traveled to the old and beautiful city of Yaroslavl. I traveled there with seven other companions. This means there were a total of eight travelers. I wish there had been one more so that I could make Lord of the Rings references throughout this post. In regards to the weekend excursion, it was awesome! It was, without a doubt, one of the most fun weekends I’ve since I moved to Russia. The weekend began with a very stupid decision on my part (which is probably why I am sick, again): I did not go to sleep the night before our departure. A couple of friends and myself went to dinner around 10:00 on Friday night. We did not finish dinner until around midnight, so I thought to myself, “I have had a couple of drinks, so if I go home and sleep, it shall be very hard for me to wake up. I think the best decision would be to stay up all night.” That is exactly what I did. I stayed out all night, took a taxi home an hour before I needed to be at the train station so I could shower and pack. I did this, it was dumb, yet it was awesome. I slept the entire 4 hour train ride and deprived myself of viewing the snow-capped Russian countryside. I am a moron.

Once we arrived to Yaroslavl, we immediately went to the banya. This was my first experience in the Russian banya. It was pretty damn cool. For the 7 of you who are unfamiliar with the Russian banya, I shall inform you: You strip down to your birthday suit, sit in very hot steam (makes a sauna look like the NIT), then submerge yourself into cold water, relax, drink water/tea/beer/vodka, the repeat this process. You are also given leaves to beat the crap out of each other. This is mean to open the pours of you skin. All in all, pretty amazing experience.

Once we finished the banya, we headed over to the Yaroslavl Kremlin. When compared to the Moscow Kremlin, it sucks. However it is beautiful and was very nice to see. You will not see any pictures from Questions Online Diary because I left my camera at the apartment. The best part of the Kremlin was outside of the walled fortress. On the banks of the Volga, a gentlemen had a hovercraft and he was willing to give rides on the frozen river, at a cost of 200 rubles per person. It was worth it. He was doing doughnuts on the river and was talking about how there some patches of the river where the ice was not so thick. It was very reassuring.

Beyond this, the rest of the trip was just spent relaxing. After the joyride on the Volga, we went to a cafe in the center of the city. Sitting at the table next to us, were 4 well behaved gentlemen. I would venture to guess that they had been at this cafe for at least 3 hours and were now deep into their 3rd bottle of vodka. After we were the for 30 minutes, 3 of the gentlemen fell asleep. This was before the sun had completely set. Later that night we went and had an amazing dinner at a restaurant on the banks of the Volga and then went to a giant club that was also on the banks of the might Russian river. Yet again, like an idiot, I stayed up until 7 30 in the morning. This is probably why I am sick.

The next day, we went to McDonald’s, which was lovely and then walked around the city. This time I had my trusty Nikon. Here are some of my below-average pictures:

All in all, the previous weekend was pretty amazing. This latest weekend sucked. Being sick sucks. The winter sucks. However, I must give a special thank you to my Dutch flatmate, Rolf. When he was back in the Netherlands, he mailed himself 2 gargantuan boxes of food. One of them contained the greatest drink in the history of the world: Dr. Pepper.

Well, I must run. I will try and speak to the 8 of you soon. Next post I will try and introduce a little segment, “Things that piss me off.” This probably will not happen:(

Ta Ta,

?’s

Oh, the Weather Outside is…..crap.

February 9, 2011

Good Evening Minions,

First let me begin by saying that I failed horribly at getting a new post up within a week of my last one. It has almost been one month. I recognize the fact that I am lazy, the 7 of you are aware of this. However, I have not felt lazy in the last month. I feel like I have actually been very busy. In reality, I have not been that busy. In reality, my mind and body move at a rate similar to that of a three-toed sloth. I mean to say that I am both slow and dumb:)

All is well here in Moscow. Old Man Winter has really been taking a dump on this city the last two days. It hasn’t been too cold, but that should change tomorrow. The forecast calls for -25 C tomorrow and the best part is that these temperatures should last for the next 2 weeks.

My mood over the last month has been good for one reason: sports. The Jayhawks are looking pretty amazing, again. We just finished embarrassing our enemy to the East. I did not get to watch the game because it was on at the ass-crack of dawn. Now you are probably saying something to yourself like, “A dedicated fan would have inconvienced himself to get up and watch his beloved Jayhawks kick the living crap out of the inferior neighbor across the border.” Well, I am a dedicated fan, but my laziness and Diva-type attitude require at least 6 hours of beauty rest a night. So, there. Anyway, the Hawks are rolling and Liverpool is looking good. Therefore, my sanity is still intact.

Anyway, back to telling you about my holidays (since they are only 2 months ago). I had the most interesting Christmas Eve of my life: First, my friends and I went to the church service at the Anglican Church near Red Square. It was a very nice service; the interesting part came after. When the service finished; a couple of friends and I went to the Irish pub around the corner to have a couple of Christmas pints of Guinness. About halfway through the first glass some commotion came through the entrance: 4 neo-nazi  skinheads came in with their heads gashed open and they were bleeding all over the pub. I found out later that these refined or esteemed gentlemen of Moscow society had picked a fight with some Turkish guys in the bar next door. The Turkish men came out on the winning side of things, which is nice.

Christmas Day was an entirely different story: A lovely English couple who have been very kind friends to many people in the expat community invited us to their home to celebrate Christmas. It was an absolutely wonderful day. We exchanged presents, ate way too much, and I fell asleep after opening the presents, way before the children did. All in all, it was a pretty amazing day. Thank you to the Fisher’s! And thank you to Daniel. More importantly than being a gracious host, he was a very gracious loser. He lost a little wager with yours truly regarding the United States/England match in the World Cup. His penance: wearing my woman’s Christmas sweater. Please see pictures below:

Now, onto New Year’s Eve. It was a pretty low-key night. My friend’s had a party at their flat, and it was nice. We celebrated it in the traditional Russian manner: ate, drank, and watched the President address the nation right before midnight. Then at midnight, we watched fireworks shoot off over Park Kultury.

A couple of days after the New Year, 3 of my Dutch friends and I embarked on a mini journey to the city of Kursk. Kursk is the the site of the largest tank battle in the history of humanity. But you still might be asking yourselves, “Why would one choose to go to Kursk?” Well, that is an excellent question. I still have no idea how we came to the conclusion that Kursk would be a fantastic destination. I’m very happy I went, it was not a bad city, there just wasn’t much there. The first McDonald’s had literally opened 5 days before our arrival. This meant that lines in the Micky D’s were spanning half of the entire restaurant. However, this did not phase my friend Herbert. He was craving McDonald’s like Charlie Sheen craving and 8-ball of smack. Each day we were in Kursk we ate at the Golden Arches at least once. It was awful.

Here are a few pictures from Christmas/New Year’s/Kursk:

Well, that is all for now. Speak soon.

Ta Ta

?’s

Oh the Weather Outside is Weather (I’ve used this before, but I’m a hack and can’t think of anything better) part I…

January 10, 2011

Good Evening Minions,

I hope the 7 of you are well ( I am now saying 7 because my laziness has prevented me updating this literary masterpiece for the last 2 months; therefore, 2 of you have probably dropped off.). I am okay. After having 2 weeks off of work, I return tomorrow. This makes me a sad panda. But, what makes me even sadder panda is watching the Kansas City Chiefs get sodomized at home during their first playoff game in 4 years. The game affirmed 2 of my beliefs: the Ravens are/were a better team and Charlie Weiss “Coach front-butt”, is an arrogant ass. That is all.

It was also watching the Jayhawk basketball team for the first time in over a year. It was also nice watching them play unmotivated and piss away a 15 point lead to a crappy Michigan team. Thanks for the turnovers Tyshawn.

I will give the 7 of you a brief month by month recap since we last spoke:

November:

I participated in Movember. For those of you who do not know what Movember is, I shall tell you: It is the month formerly known as November and it is where gentlemen all over the world grow mustaches to raise money for prostate cancer research and other mens diseases. My effort was both failed and succeeded: I succeeded in growing a mustache (3 variations over the month), but I failed in raising one single cent or kopeck. But, I managed to scare the shit out of nearly ever girl I spoke to in November. I looked way to similar to Dennis Radar (Wichita’s own, BTK serial killer). Photos will soon follow.

Of course, November is the time of Thanksgiving. This was my second Thanksgiving not stateside, but it was awesome. I celebrated it twice: once on Friday and once on Saturday. I ate so much over the course of these 2 days that I could not even look at food for the 2 days that followed. Maybe it was not the food, but too much beer, wine, vodka? I doubt that. The only thing that missed from either of these glorious celebrations was football. So, we made up for it by watching: ‘Christmas Vacation’, ‘A Christmas Story’, and ‘Home Alone.’ All in all, pretty sweet. Here are some pictures:

As you can see, I had an amazing time both days and everybody else felt very uncomfortable around me (nothing new). Other than that, November was pretty uneventful.

I shall return to the 7 of you shortly, to finish telling you of the adventures of celebrating Christmas and New Year’s as a foreigner in Moscow. My goal is to have it up by Thursday; this means it will not be up for another month.

Ta Ta,

?’s

The more bombers, the less room for doves of peace.

November 9, 2010

Good Evening Minions,

I hope the 9 of you are well. I am great! This is despite the fact the Chiefs lost yesterday. I know why they lost: I did not watch it. If history has shown anything this season, I am the greatest lucky charm in the universe. Both Chiefs games I’ve watched, we won; the one Jayhawks game I watched, we won; and last night I watched the Liverpool/Chelsea match, and Liverpool won! This means that I should be the personal 4-leaf clover for Roy Hodgson, Turner Gill, and Todd Hailey.

I am also in a wonderful mood because I just got back from a six-day vacation in Ukraine. The above quote comes from one of my father’s favorite politicians, Nikita Khrushchev, who is Ukrainian. Now I begin recounting my trip and as a consequently you will be bored as hell.

I flew into Lviv, Ukraine last Monday night. There is nothing significant to tell about my journey, other than it cost me quite a bit of money to get to the airport in Moscow. As the 9 of you know, I am lazy, but on this day my laziness did not come back to bite me in the ass, I was actually running errands before I left, so I had to catch a taxi to the train station so I could hop on the Aeroexpress. Now, once a Moscow taxi driver hears that you are not a native speaker, they will jack up the price (this is standard practice throughout Europe, fyi). I did not have time to negotiate with him, so I just got in the car. My wonderful driver chose the worst possible route. With no traffic, it would have taken 10 minutes to get to the train station from my flat. Traffic delayed my arrival and it ended up taking 45 minutes. Thus, I missed the train and I had to wait around for another 30 minutes to catch the next train. However, this turned out to be a blessing in disguise because it allowed me time to get an Italian BMT from Subway.

In Moscow, there are 3 airports: I have never been to one of them, one of them is a very good airport, and the oldest one, the one I used on this trip, is a steaming pile of crap. The Aeroexpress takes you to the main terminal which services international flights, but the airport has two additional terminals. I thought my flight would be in the international terminal since Ukraine is a whole other country. No. It was in the regional/local terminal, which by taxi is an eight minute drive. It is an absolute necessity to take a taxi within the airport when one is in a hurry for 2 reasons: 1) There is no tram within the airport. 2) The bus comes once every 20 minutes. Well, I used the taxi and it cost me 15 bucks. This price raping was from an official taxi within the airport.

Other than that, the whole trip was fantastic. Lviv was small, but a nice city that had a very medieval feel. Without a doubt, I ate the best borsch of my life in Lviv. I stayed at a very nice hostel that was run by some very nice people, the only problem was the other American staying there. This guy was one of the biggest tool’s I have ever met in my life. It was truly embarrassing knowing that we came from the same country. Shockingly enough, he was not from Missouri or New Jersey. He was from Long Island.

Overall, the highlights of Lviv were:

  1. The cemetary — It was very old, big, and beautiful
  2. A Segway — I drove it around in circles for 5 minutes. I looked like a douchebag, but it was awesome. Plus, I am now more like Gob Bluth.
  3. Eating at a restaurant that required a password to get in and asked if you were Russian. If you were, they would not let you in. Also, they had old Soviet weapons lying around. I saw a couple of small children playing with old rocket launchers.
  4. Nearly fainting/dying after climbing the city hall tower.
  5. The over-night train ride from Lviv to Kiev. The man who I shared a compartment with looked like a seal and snored like a chainsaw.

I arrived in Kiev one week ago on Thursday. The city was truly awesome. Everyone I met at my hostel was very nice and seemed like normal people. There were no  Mongoloids to deal with, so I can’t complain about anybody. I spent the last night in the city with my friend and her wonderful family. They invited me over for a wonderful dinner and let me stay at their beautiful home. This was the definition of charity because I smelled abnormally bad and looked even more unkept than I usually do. So, Katya, Sergei, and Irina, thank you very much for a wonderful evening and the hospitality.

Here are the highlights of Kiev:

  1. Going to the Dinamo Kiev match. It was truly a fun atmosphere despite getting soaked in the rain.
  2. Seeing various churches throughout the city.
  3. The Chernobyl mueseum. I wimped out of going to Cherynobyl because I got scared of the price and the lingering radiation.
  4. Seeing the Mother-Land statue
  5. Shooting old Soviet guns.

I have bored the 9 of you enough, so here are some pictues of both cities that will probably never welcome me back:

Well, that is all for now.

Ta Ta

?’s

I did it all for the nookie. C’mon. The nookie. C’Mon. So, you can take that cookie and stick it up your, YEAH! Stick it up your, YEAH! Stick it up your, YEAH

October 18, 2010

Good Evening Minions,

I hope the 9 of you are well. I am not.

Thus far, the year in sports has been awful with one glaring exception: the Kansas City Chiefs. This is truly surprising because the greatest professional franchise in the history of the world (with the most impeccable fan base in the universe) has been in the cellar of the NFL for quite some time. I know they are 3–2 and I have not been able to watch a game, but everything that I have read suggests they are looking pretty good. Now, I realize that I will probably be putting a hex on their season and maybe on the future of the franchise by writing this. But, it has been the only ray of light in the pit of hell that is my world of sports. KU football sucks; the Royals were crap again; Liverpool is in the relegation zone. This is all in addition to the looming Russian winter.

Last post I mentioned to the 9 of you that I went to the Massive Attack concert. As I stated before, there are several concerts I would love to see. So, let me edit my brief list: the Black Keys replace the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. For those of you who do not care for Vampire Weekend or Arcade Fire, I have two things to say: Eat crap and die. These are 2 of the best bands of the last 5–10 years. So, suck it.

I started thinking about this last week when I went to grab a pizza from the Papa Johns across the street from my apartment. This is something I thank the good Lord for on a daily basis. I loved Papa Johns in the States and I love Papa Johns in Moscow. And the best part is that it is a 5 minute walk from my flat. This is one reason why I never cook, continually eat unhealthy, and remain obese.

When I walked into Papa Johns, they had advertisements all over the place for its weekly “Jack Night.” Now I am not sure everything this entails, but there were Jack Daniels posters everywhere and a Uzbeki looking guy with dreadlocks singing his heart out. He was belting out a great rendition of the Richard Marx classic, “Where Ever You Go.” It truly was magic to my ears and heart.

As I was listening to this angel sing, I kept thinking how much I regretted not seeing one of the great bands of my high school years. This band was truly genius and innovative and they had just come through Moscow and I wimped out of going. Let me give you a visual reminder:

When I think about the fact that I owned not 1 or 2 of their albums, but all 3, I start to cry and pray for the royal ass kicking that I deserve. These tools might be the worst band of all time. They make Scott Stapp and Creed look like Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones.

Come to think of it, I should have gone to the show. That way I could have craped in my hand and thrown it at the Yankee cap and Wes Borland’s fruity makeup.

Well, that is all for now.

Ta Ta,

?’s

No more complaining. No more “Mr. Kimble, I have to go the bathroom”. Nothing!

September 29, 2010

Hello There Minions,

The above quote is of course from Kindergarten Cop. I feel this is necessary because it is the start of a new school year.

My apologies for being away for so long. I am sure the 9 of you are thrilled that Questions Online Diary has resumed its blogging activity. Your lives are now complete again and you now have something to assist you in throwing up, if you can’t ever pull the trigger.

Since we last spoke, my life’s purpose was fulfilled, I completed the Wire. I recently started watching it again, but the pace is not near as rapid. This only because I do not bring my laptop and dvd’s to school with me. I get very little done when I am there, so if I brought Jimmy, Bunk, Avon, Stringer, Omar, Marlo, and the rest of the gang, I would be fired, instantly. Also, I returned to Moscow and started working again.

So, we shall discuss that today: I got back to Moscow almost 4 weeks ago. I flew back with all of the other American teachers minus my flatmate. I am very happy to be back Moscow, but I must admit that I arrived with a bit of a chip on my shoulder and the first couple of days I had an attitude of self loathing that would make the biggest hipster douche look like a ray of sunshine. I did not make it back to Moscow in time for the U2 concert and this was due to delays in receiving my visa. U2 is one of my favorite bands; they are even on my top 5 list of bands that I would love to see before I die. Here is the remainder of the list (in no particular order): 1.) Pearl Jam (2) Red Hot Chilli Peppers (3) Vampire Weekend (4) Arcade Fire. Also, the only real hobby that I have (besides talking to the 9 of you) is going to concerts and I had not been to a concert in over a year.

So when I got back, I hit the ground running. I managed to avoid jet lag, which was wonderful. Would you like to know the secret? Of course you do: Stay awake until 4am the day you get back after only sleeping one hour on a 12 hour flight. Trust me, it works like a charm. Due to my brilliant jet-lag-avoiding strategy, I was not fazed by work the following Tuesday.

It is sad to say that this year I am no longer Detective John Kimble: I have moved on from the preschool. Now, I am teaching 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th grade. I am okay with this. I like working with older students, and I still get to see my old class roaming the halls once a day. Now, they run full speed into my legs and give me hug. Its like 15 miniature battering rams hitting my fat ham-hog thighs. Overall, the year has been great.

The only downside to teaching older children is that they are on Facebook. A couple of them have even befriended me; I have rejected them. This revelation was almost as traumatic/shocking as to finding out that my parents and their friends are now on Facebook. Generally speaking, I didn’t think people over 50 knew about email or internet. I am stupid for 2 basic reasons: First, I still think that Facebook is for college kids. Second, I am not in college anymore and have not been for years and I keep forgetting that.

In the 4 weeks I’ve been back, there have been a couple of nice things happen: I went to my first concert. It was Massive Attack. I did not know one song(still don’t), but the concert was very good. The band sounded amazing, had a great light show, and it was free! The only downside: no beer drinking during the show:(

The other amazing thing: Found another pair of KU fans in Moscow! In fact, I got to watch the KU/Georgia Tech game. Now, my beloved Jayhawks won this game. From what I have read, the team played like absolute crap the previous and subsequent games. This concludes me to believe I am the best lucky charm in the world. Coach Gill, there is no need for you to worry about strategy or coaching, just pray that I find the means to watch the Hawks.

Here are some pictures from the summer and the glorious return to Moscow:

Well Minions, I must run now. I forgot to mention that the Chiefs are amazing and that when I think about how amazing Arrowhead Stadium is right now, I get teary-eyed.

Speak to you soon.

Ta Ta,

?’s

I’m very sorry for your loss. Your mother was a terribly attractive woman.

August 24, 2010

Hello there Minions,  

The above quote is from ‘The Royal Tenenbaums.’ This quote is not applicable to the tale I am about to tell the 9 of you; I recently watched this wonderful film, for the 10th time and I cannot stop thinking about it.  

I am sure the 9 of you really care, but I finally finished the entire series of ‘the Wire.’ It took me 2 and half weeks. (Technically it took a little over 3, but my watch time was suspended for 5 days when I was in Kansas City.) It was truly a magnificent and productive time. I feel like my life will just go down from this point on. In fact, I have had dreams where Bunk Moreland and myself are out protecting the streets of Baltimore. It is truly terrific.  

It is now time to finish the story of my return to the good Ole U S of A: So, I arrived into Tulsa after 25 hours of traveling from the time I left my apartment to the time I arrived at my parents house. I was pretty much a zombie all day. This was due to the fact that I did not go to sleep the night before. I chose to head a pub with a couple of friends to volunteer my astute opinion and radiant face to be interviewed by a local news station. After the interview concluded, I stayed at the pub for a few more hours. By the time I got back to my flat, I only had 3 hours before I needed to leave for the airport, and I had yet to pack. I am convinced that the older I get, the more my maturity regress.  

Anyway, the first meal I had at the folks house was a bowl of gumbo, which was lovely. After I devoured a couple of bowls, I tried to fall asleep. But, I could not. This was because my throat started to hurt. From that point, my health continued to spiral downward. I then started running a fever, aching all over, and sweating profusely.  

Over the next couple of days, I did not get better. In fact, I got worse and I eventually had to go the doctor. In fact, the day I went to the doctor was on my 27th birthday. The doctor surprised me with some amazing news: I had strep throat! When I was a child with an over-sized head, I use to get strep throat once a year. However, I have not had strep throat in 6 years. The last time I caught it was the first night at the most storied watering hole in the history of the world, the Bull. It was my first night and I chugged enough little dogs (small glasses of Natural Light) to the point where my body was contaminated with strep throat. Needless to say, this birthday present was a wonderful reminder of my first night at the Bull.  

 Well, I was given some medication and the doctor told me this would take effect in about 3 days. This was a problem because I was leaving for Kansas City in 2 days. So, the nurse gave me an antibiotic shot in my ass. It was not pleasant and I felt like a toddler in 1930’s who was being inoculated for smallpox. But, it started to work and I was able to depart for Kansas City.  

When I got to Kansas City the first thing I did was eat at the greatest restaurant in the history of the world:  

Holy Grail of BBQ and theft.

 After I stuffed my fat face for over an hour of a meal that consisted of a Z-man, french fries, and gumbo, I walked out to my dad’s car, which I was borrowing. I saw that the rear driver-side window was smashed out. There was glass all over the backseat of the car and my bag and all of its contents were gone with it. Here are some of the items that were stolen: clothes, toothbrush, cologne, razor, deodorant, boat shoes, swimsuit, sandals, Kansas City Royals hat, i-pod, and my digital camera. My camera had my pictures from Portugal, Spain, and Morocco. (I had yet to upload them onto my computer because I thought I lost the transfer cable. After I returned from Kansas City, I found the cable in my Rosetta Stone box. I forgot I put it there when I was packing, after I had been at the pub in Moscow.) I also lost a couple of sentimental articles of clothing. Here are some visuals: 

The greatest piece of swimwear ever. Now, gone forever:(

I still have the DVD, but my National Championship t-shirt is now in the West Bottoms:(

Well Minions, that sums up my sad story of my first two weeks home. And now the 9 of you know why I do not have any pictures of my vacation to share with you. I head back to Moscow in a couple of days, so I shall try to write you to summarize my summer. 

Also, this will be the last week that I get to watch the retards of Jersey Shore and beautiful Padma hosting Top Chef. This makes me a Sad Panda:( 

Ta Ta, 

?’s “the Scenario”

All right, we’ll call you Boris….(sighs) Boris….why always Boris?

August 12, 2010

Hello there Minions,

My apologies for not getting back to you sooner than promised. I know the 8 of you are devastated, as usual.

I blame my laziness on one person: Herbert Mosmuller. You might ask yourself why I am blaming this Dutchmen. This is a fair question. It is because he kept nagging me to watch HBO’s, ‘the Wire.’ I started watching this TV show about a week and a half ago. During this time span, I have watched 50 episodes. This means that I have continuously watched 50 hours of one television program. I have not been writing, traveling, partaking in outside activities, or anything productive for that matter. I have devoted the last week and a half of my life to the ongoing saga of the Baltimore police department. This might be the greatest television show in the history of the world. I love it more than the brain-dead cast of the Jersey Shore. My life is now lays in ruin.

The above quote also comes from Jimmy McNulty, who is a Baltimore police detective in the show mentioned above.

From where I last left off, I was about to describe my adventures in Morocco. But, too much time has passed, so I will just summarize this leg of the trip: AWESOME. Morocco is one of the most amazing countries I have ever had the privilege of traveling to. From a cultural standpoint, it was a complete eye-opener. It was my first time stepping foot on the African continent or going to a Muslim country. It was truly a blessing and a privilege to experience this wonderful country.

This leg of the trip began in Tangier. I crossed the Strait of Gilbrater from Tarifia, Spain. The boat ride was nothing special, it was just quick and easy. When I stepped off the boat, I felt pretty prepared for city. I had heard horror stories about fake tour guides only taking you to specific markets and/or restaurants as a way of earning themselves a commission. Well, I was taken by one. Long story short, I ended up paying about 100 bucks for a taxi ride to Chefchaouen. It was pretty ironic that I got taken. On the boat ride over, I had been joking with the Australian guys about the old folks who travel with these mundane tourist groups. They all wear fanny packs (which are only acceptable and awesome when worn at Arrowhead Stadium) and name tags that read something like, “I’m Jeff from Kansas” or “My name is Claude. I’m from Omaha, Nebraska.” Needless to say, I thought I was the cock of the walk when comparing myself to the other travelers. Needless to say, I am an idiot with an unfounded sense of arrogance:(

After the financial raping and the drive through the Rif Mountains of northern Morocco, I arrived to Chefchaouen. I had planned on staying only 2 nights; I ended up staying 5 nights. It is probably the most fascinating, relaxing, and weird place I have been to. I could have easily stayed there for the rest of my time in Morocco. The town has a population of around 50,000 people, and it sits in this small valley in the mountains. There is really nice hiking in and around the city. I even engaged in some of this physical activity called hiking. I also engaged in the activity known as swimming. The water was in the mountain was crystal clear and body-numbing cold. However, it was amazing and beautiful.

For a couple of nights in Chefchaouen, I slept on a mattress on the roof of the hostel. In addition to being very cheap, it provided me with a very neat experience. I was woken up 3 times around 5 am during the first call to prayer. It was a very haunting, respectful, and beautiful practice that was amazing to hear as the sun was coming up over the mountains.

After spending a couple of extra days in Chefchaouen, I finally left and departed for Fez. Fez was a very nice city. I believe it has the largest medina (old walled city) next to Jerusalem. (If any of the 8 can confirm or deny this fact, please let me know. If I am right, please leave a comment and just confirm that I am the smartest person you know. If I am wrong, say nothing and keep your mouth shut.) On the bus ride to Fez, I met a wonderful brother and sister from Australia. After we arrived in Fez, we went to the hostel, went to eat lunch, and walked around the Medina. I wish I had stayed in Fez longer, maybe another time.

The next day I left for Tangier, where I just went to sleep before I flew back to Moscow the next day. If any of you ever have the chance to fly on Iberian Airways, do not. It was the worst airline I have ever flown on. I hope this company goes under quicker than Enron. Also, the airport in Madrid is a steaming pile of crap. The night I flew back to Moscow was the night Spain played Germany in the World Cup semifinal. There was not one bar in this terminal to watch the match! There was only one damn television in the entire terminal.

Here are some pictures from Morocco. None of these were photos I took. I stole these via Facebook from some of the wonderful people I met on my trip. I will discuss why I have no photos in the next post, which will be a month from now.

Well, that is all for now. I will try to finish the long-winded story of my journey home next time.

Also, my love for Snooki is slowly fading. I believe I am falling for JWow. She could kick some serious ass if needed.

Ta Ta

?’s “the Scenario”

That’s why I don’t eat lobster or anything like that cause they’re alive when you kill it.

July 29, 2010

Hello there Minions,

Greetings from the U S of A! I have actually been back for almost 3 weeks. It has been an interesting 2 and a half weeks, to say the least, but Questions Online Diary will address this over the next couple of posts.

Also, I must admit to the 8 of you, that I lied, I have not written you for over a month. I am sure you have thrilled by this.

Now, lets begin from where we last left off:

Last time we spoke, I was writing you from Sevilla, Spain and I had chronicled my travels to that point. Sevilla was awesome! It was a very cool medieval city with some amazing food. For the first time in my life, I willingly ate pork parts with risotto. I believe the parts consisted of hearts and kidneys? But, it was VASSUP! Overall Sevilla was a beautiful city. I usually do not tourist-type tours, but I did, and that was a very good decision. I learned a lot about Sevilla’s history, for which I knew nothing about; and which I have since forgot. I went on a tapas tour/bar crawl my last night, and it was very fun, until the end of the night.

Sevilla is the most confusing city I have ever encountered. It’s more confusing than Moscow, Barcelona, London, any city I traveled to in Morocco. So, by the end of the night, I asked the guide if he would let me know when he leaves, so I would not struggle in my return to the hostel. He did not honor his promise; consequently, my return to the hostel turned into an epic journey that made the quest to destroy the One Ring look like peanuts. It took me 3 hours to make it back to the hostel due to the following conditions: I am dumb; there were no taxis; the only people who tried to help me, spoke no English; the center of the city is mind-botteling confusing. When I got back to the hostel, I wanted to leave a strongly worded letter for this butt-head who left me high and dry. I hate him.

I have no pictures to offer the 8 of you. I will explain this in due time.

The debacle I went through getting home was actually my last night in Sevilla. The next day I departed for Tarifia, Spain. Tarifia is a small town which is the southern-most point in Spain. It is the closest European town to the African continent. It was a really cool town. In fact, it was much better than Lagos. It was very laid back, there were not too many tourists (I say this like I am not one. I am a d-bag). So, I just spent the night watching Spain beat Portugal, eating tapas, and drinking some beer with another American, Canadian, and two Australians. It was a very relaxing night in a very nice little town. It was a nice way to spend the night before I left for Morocco.

I have no pictures to offer you. I will explain this in due time.

Well, I am going to run. I will finish explaining my past month through the next few posts. Must run for now.

Also, while I wrote this post, I was watching the Grizzly Man diaries. Maybe because I am a sick person, but I cannot help but chuckle when I think that this guy got devoured by his wild friends. That is sick of me to say, but this guy was just an idiot. This is the second time I’ve discussed this, but I truly am amused/fascinated by Timothy Treadwill. What a tool.

Speaking of tools, Jersey Shore premier tonight. I feel it is in my cards to marry Snooki. This is fitting because I hate her. Enjoy guidos! This is the reason for the above title. I have no wit.

Ta Ta,

?’s “the Scenario”

What’s this kid got against taking a shower?

June 26, 2010

Hello there Minions,

The above quote comes from my father. My sophomore year of college, he came through Lawrence. It was around 1:00 in the afternoon, and I had just woken up. Consequently, I was not ready to go to lunch and I was procrastinating in my efforts to take a shower. So, he would just ask everybody who walked by, “What’s this kid got against taking a shower?” There is a reason I share this with you: Until late last week, Thursday to be exact, the water in my flat had been turned off for 2 weeks. It was awful. The city does this as a way to clean the water pipes, in order to get ready for the winter. It’s a good yet terrible idea.

Greetings from Sevilla! I hope the 9 of you are well. I am sunburned and tired/pissed off. I am disappointed Uncle Sam’s boys did not beat Ghana, but it was a very good showing this year. I am pissed off because I only got to watch the last 15 minutes. I learned that the Spanish highway system is about as efficient as the Russian one. I thought I had left Lagos in plenty of time, but a 2 hour traffic jam outside of Sevilla proved me wrong. This made me a Sad Panda.

My sunburn is due to my stupidity: I fell asleep on the beach for 2 hours before I applied sunscreen. Oops. This too makes me Sad Panda.

Other than that the trip has been very VASSUP! I began traveling last Monday. I flew from Moscow to Lisbon, which was not lovely. The flight was delayed for 2 hours, and they did not show a movie! I am lazy, so I need to be entertained. I cannot waste my time reading or thinking, plus I must conserve the power on my i-pod. But, Lisbon was great. The city was beautiful and I met a lot of really nice people. I think that is the one nice thing about traveling by yourself: You get to leach onto others and be very forceful in finding things to do. I have no shame, therefore I have problem forcing myself onto others. However, others do my…..a lot.

The trip from Lisbon to Lagos was interesting. I sat on a bus that was 90% empty. I sat next to an old lady that looked like Creed Bratton. She also smelled like what you would think Creed should smell like. She was also very mean. When I was sitting down, my butt grazed her plastic bag, and she yelled at me. So, I snapped, “I’m sorry.” Her response, “You not sorry.” I quickly turned on my i-pod. When the bus finally stopped, I moved to the back. This made me a Sad Panda.

Lagos was fantastic time. It was exactly what I wanted: A lazy town with a lot of lazy people. The first day I got in, I watched the US/Algeria match at a bar with another American who was born in the same city that I was, Birmingham, AL. However, he went to Auburn, but he was a very nice guy who had been living in Lagos for close to 10 years.

The next day I met probably the coolest group of people ever: Kiwis. I hung out with this group of guys who were from New Zealand. They are all living in London now, but originated in New Zealand. These guys were awesome. The first night we hung out, all 9 of them were kicked out of this bar. Their response was the best I’ve ever seen: They walked across the street, took their shirts off,  performed a traditional New Zealand tribal dance, and yelled at the doorman. I literally fell down on the sidewalk and threw up because I was laughing so hard. It was one of the funniest things I have ever witnessed.

The story got even better when I was told what the dance means: Native New Zealand tribes would go up and perform this dance at another tribe they were at war with. My new friend Steve said that it literally means, “I want to kill you.” This was their response to getting ejected from the bar. Friends, I suggest you pick up your game.

Well minions, I am going to run. I am tired and grouchy. I shall write you in the next few days.

Ta Ta,

?’s