Saturday, September 22, 2007

Random thoughts

The picture of me at this phone booth is at the same location where one of my favorite movies was shot. The first person to identify the movie on the blog gets dinner at the NO NAME when we get back.

Lazily whiling away the day at Clara's cousin's house in Bonn, Germany.

Working on the Iranian visa is like working with the army, hurry up and wait. But, there are only two ways to India overland, Iran/Pakistan or Russia/China.

About 80 percent of the cars in Peru are white. Been meaning to write that for about 5 months. The most amazing marketer in the world is a man at a plaza in south Mexico who sells corn husks rolled in grated cheese to children. They line up for them. Simply amazing. And scary, the power of marketing.

Europe is so far ahead of the USA in environmental issues. Tinier cars, windmills all over the place, toilets with 2 buttons, one for number "1", one for number "2". Saves water. Recycling stations all around. People have cabinets in their kitchens for dividing recyclables into different categories. People ride bikes, roads have bike lines. Amsterdam had about 80,000 bikes in a giant bike rack next to the main train central station.

The roads in Europe are in great condition. I'm surprised how forested this densely populated area of western Europe is. It is also quite surprising how many Muslims are here, completely different from when I was here 20 years ago. The first exit I took off the highway in the Netherlands was a suburb of all Muslims and blacks, many from Jamaica. If you didn't know where you were you would never guess you were in Holland.

Big thanks to our friends Tom and Christine and their family whom we just spent a 4 day retreat with, and enjoyed the birthday party for Christine's dad. 4 days in the house and the television never turned on, wonderful. That is one of the great purposes of this trip, to meet people from different countries and cultures and make friends. (we met Tom and Christine riding Africa Twins in Argentina) I believe that by breaking down these barriers we lessen the future chance of wars, terrorism, imperialism, and other ism's. They were excellent hosts and we will always remember the delicious wineberries.

Except of course Long live Kevinism.

Today was a beautiful day for the 25 mile ride from Koln to Bonn. We will try to ride the nurbergring tomorrow, the famous old GP circuit. In our month here in Europe, until yesterday we had only had 3 days of riding where we haven't worn our rainsuits. Needed to get a new clutch on my bike after the gearbox seals went bad.

I am sick of hearing about Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman. Most of the real bikers we meet think they are real twits. My take: when watching their video at one point Ewan says 'I wish it had been a more authentic trip' without all the camera's, support, attention, etc. SO DO IT!!! It isn't like Ewan McGregor doesn't have the money to buy a couple bikes and take a trip. You don't need all the gear, support, donated motorcycles and camera's. Or do you???

I miss New Orleans, especially Thursday nights at Vaughan's and Tuesday's at Bullets.
Has anyone been to a Wednesday night at Plough and Stars?

Is there a single politician in America telling the truth about anything these days?
I liked the Republican presidential candidate from Alaska who said he wasn't afraid to tell Americans that they are Fat and Stupid. It's true, but even I might be able to word that a bit better. However, after eating fish and chips in the UK and Ireland almost every day for 3 weeks I could afford to lose some weight.

It is great that so many people we have met on the road are continuing to do well. Josh, and Andy and Tim and ....

off to dinner!