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Living Freedom Posts

Hotel dogs

8:00 this morning. A polite “knock” on our hotel room door. Okay, more like a polite scratch, repeated when we failed to respond. When we opened the door, in strolled one of our new friends: We’ve met this girl previously in the hotel lobby, where she and her much older companion, a lab, reign in pampered splendor. Rotties seem to be the most popular local breed. We offered doggie delicacies. Like nearly all the pets in these parts, she was deeply suspicious of cheese. She finally took a slice, but spat it back out. (My dogs back home would be…

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Playing tourist (4WD style)

Today in our travels, we thought we’d just play tourist. So we signed on for an expedition into the cloud forests. Things got a tad adventurous when our wonderful guide (the young guy in the backwards hat in the photo) decided to take us off-roading. The vehicle — a 1979 Toyota Land Cruiser — was certainly equipped for it. (And oh boy, do I know a young man who’s going to be very envious of that Toyota.) This particular Land Cruiser has more than 2.5 million kilometers on its engine! To explain the picture above, I could make up a…

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More un-American acts

Lorri, my traveling companion, speaks scarcely a word of the local Furrin. But this morning she was able to walk into a pharmacy, raise her glasses, display an allergy-swollen eye, and walk out with a cream that would have required an $80 doctor visit in the U.S. Testing the system, I went into two pharmacies and showed a card on which I had written (courtesy of FreeTranslation.com) a request for a certain other pharmaceutical. I gave its generic name and all the brand names I could find online. In both cases, women behind the counter identified the drug by its…

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A travel day for tourists

Today was a travel day. We left one semi-civilized area (where we were staying as guests of a kind American friend in his very cool, very tiny rented house) and traveled 300 miles to a remote — but this time not primitive — part of the country. Travel days usually feel like lost time, and we expected this one to be no exception. We also had to change transport three times, all the while navigating in places we didn’t know and a language we barely understand. Kinda scary, that. I spent hours rehearsing ways of saying, “Please tell us and…

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Zip Lining

Yes. It’s me. Flying over the jungle like Tarzan. A clumsy, terrified Tarzan, to be sure. A Tarzan shouting, “Oh sh*t!” rather than “Aiyeeaiyeeaiyeeeeee!” or whatever he shouted as he swung from his vines. But today, Lorri and I did what we promised ourselves we would do at least once on this trip despite any quibbles and cowardice. We went zip lining. It was harder for Lorri because we had to climb for 45 minutes to get to the top of the mountain to start the course. Aside from just getting over the effects of drinking some Don’t-Drink-the-Water, she has…

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Pictures from Furrin Parts

A few pix from my adventures. Apologies to those on slow connections, but I haven’t mastered the art of creating clickable thumbnails on this site yet. I’ll work on that. This is the view — such as it was — from the window of our $8/night hostel (in the local Big City where we spent our first three nights). Wasn’t as scary-bad as it looks, though it was definitely very “basic.” Speaking of contrasts, this is the village where we stayed in the Wayback-Outback. The two-story house to the left of the bridge was a chief’s house, where we rented…

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Hey, now here’s a plan!

You may have been following the story about the double-dipping sheriff who showed up in class to force an apology on a professor who criticized him. Just business as usual in Govland. Ho hum. But the article linked above does contain (inadvertently) a wonderful thought: “If we try to bury every politician who made a mistake, we won’t have any left!” Ahhhhh … dontcha wish?

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In the Wayback-Outback

The first thing to know about “indigenous” villages, if you didn’t already, is that they’re claustrophobic. And almost totally lacking in privacy — especially if you’re one of the rare foreigners to stay within their borders. The sheer Novelty of You makes you a public attraction, no matter how much everyone tries to be polite. One of the first things to know about “island paradises” is that they mostly aren’t. Islands, yes. Paradises, nope. Another thing I didn’t know about villages is how F*&&^%%ing noisy they are. OMG, OMG, OMG! My friend Lorri and I spent most of a week…

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Another reason to dis the census

I’m still traveling, but now I’m in a place where I can satisfy my news addiction. It seems that a lot of 10-year-old articles about the census are turning up right now. Which isn’t a bad thing (though some of them should have been updated first and most should be more clearly marked for what they are). Ran across this one by Dave Kopel that reminds of yet another reason to tell the census-taker to go to hell: because information about you will be sold to marketers and some of it could quite easily be personally identifiable. The main thing…

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Landed in ‘Netland

Trav’lin … Hey! I’m here. I have landed in a part of these Furrin Parts where I’ll have pretty reliable Internet for at least the next few days. I’ll soon be writing about our recent experiences in the Wayback-Outback. (Most of a week without electricity, running water, news, English, or even wheeled vehicles — oh my!) But for now, here are two observations I penned (computered?) just before leaving the local Big City for Remoteland. It’s great to be back in touch for a while. —– More Unamerican things Yet another unAmerican act observed taking place right out in public:…

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