844 days, 20,256 hours, 1,215,360 minutes, or 72,921,600 seconds. That is the approximate duration of my world tour. I never wanted it to end and now, in a manner of speaking, I suppose it never has to. If you wish to go by country do so by clicking on one above. They are numbered in the order I visited them, more or less. If you enjoy reading about it even a tenth as much as I enjoyed living it then you will not have wasted your time. Grab a refreshing beverage, settle in a comfortable chair, and make a journey across the world, experiencing it as I did. Then get off your ass and check it out for yourself. You're not getting any younger.

Au Revoir Phantom (Lake Toba - Sumatra, Indonesia)

For a revised version of this post, go here.

July 16th, 2009 - The Asshole Brigade has struck again. The 'assholes' to whom I am referring are the perpetrators of the hotel bombings in Jakarta yesterday. Douchebags. Thankfully, I was nowhere near Jakarta. Instead I am relaxing, safely, along the shores of Lake Toba in Northern Sumatra. I was in Jakarta a couple of months ago. Someone I met there works at the Marriott Hotel (one of the targets) but he was not on duty at the time. His connections with Marriott scored me a free buffet dinner at the Ritz Carlton (the other target). Crazy.

If you read the previous post you realize that I drove through an area of North Sumatra with a more intense Islamic flavor. Had I driven through there after the bombings I think my threat con and paranoia levels would have risen substantially.

So the Phantom and I have parted ways. Yep, that’s right, I actually sold my hog. She’s gone…..forEVER! There is a hole in my heart filled only with misery and sorrow for my lost love. My days are numbered and I haven’t the time to take a boat to Jakarta and then drive across Java to Bali. I saw an opportunity and I took it. I sold it for much less than it was worth but I was not looking to make a profit. In fact, I thought I would be giving it away to some lucky soul in Medan before I left for Bali. I did have a potential buyer there but who knows if it would have panned out. I was standing on the harbor in Parapat waiting for a boat to Tuk Tuk (Samosir Island) when I struck up a conversation with a local. I communicated my interest in selling and before I could blink he was off like a ninja before reappearing with a big wad of rupiahs.

So there I was sitting in a small restaurant near the water counting out what probably amounts to half a year’s salary or more for the folks around me enjoying lunch. I attempted to pinpoint which one of them was going to jump me first. Not much I could do about it but count the dough and stuff it in my bag. I have yet to locate an armored truck for rent. Maybe I could pretend I am smuggling drugs by rolling up the loot in condoms and swallowing. I can mimic a day in the life of a Colombian drug mule. Super.

So now what? Well, I am only in Indonesia for a few more weeks. Hopefully, making my away around does not become more of a hassle but only time will tell. Right now my passport is sitting in my visa agent’s safe in Ubud, Bali. Problem? I certainly hope not. I will find out when I try to board a plane in Medan.

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'Love me or hate me, but spare me your indifference.' -- Libbie Fudim