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.

Danau Toba to Medan (Sumatra, Indonesia)

For a revised version of this post, go here.
July 25th, 2009 -  Richie miss motorcycle.....like the desert misses the friggin’ rain. Got a ride to Medan today via minivan. Relatively speaking this is not a bad way to go. It seats about eight, has aircon, and I was awarded the front seat due to my mutant status. However, I would still choose the motorcycle any day of the week and twice on Wednesday. It is interesting to get another perspective on the traffic situation in Indo. Doesn't take long for me to justify all the swearing I did at all the drivers during my six month stint on the bike. I must confess I wanted to slap the poopy out of our driver.

He must have hit the horn no less than 4.5 million times during our four hour nausea-fest. What purpose constantly honking the horn serves is well beyond me. Frankly, nobody really pays much attention anyway but this does nothing to deter the perpetual cacophony. Most of the time I was unsure of what or who was the object of his auditory assault. Once I thought he was honking along with the music. Add constant acceleration, deceleration, swerving, stopping and you have one sweet ride. It does not help that I seem to be more and more prone to motion sickness as the years wear on. I wanted to vomit……on the driver.

Sure, there is aircon but it is weak and nowhere near refreshing. And then there is the music. It is the kind of sound that makes you want to take a nose dive off a very tall structure. I may have been listening to the Indonesian version of an eighties hair band at one point. I’d prefer to listen to a thousand cats screwing at once.

I want to go to the jungle village of Bukit Lawang in order to get my orangutan fix but it is another four hours away and I dread the bus ride. If you read this and think ‘Maaaaan, what a pussy!’ I have no defense. The motorcycle seriously spoiled me.

I go to the cafe in my hotel to access some WiFi and have some tea. I was told both were free to guests. WiFi does not work and when I tried to leave I was presented with a bill for the tea (almost$1.40 for the tea which is ludicrous, ludicrous I say!). I am asked if I have a coupon. I admit I am couponless. I contemplate fighting for my dollar but the look upon the waitress's face tells me my struggle will be in vain. I take the receipt to the front desk and ask about the free tea. I am told I need a coupon. I am shown a coupon. Since I did not have the coupon when I was in yhe cafe I must pay. Any kid of retroactive fix is unfathomable. I want to tear out my hair and place a ball of it on the front desk while screaming, "blaahhgugggooggaaadididdydaaaah!!!!" Instead I walk away in defeat.

I strolled into a restaurant that is also a travel agency to inquire about a flight back to Bali. The waiter who serves me orange juice while I wait tells me how strong I look, how nice my body is (3 or four times), and how he wishes he had a body like mine. At one point he touches my stomach because, I can only assume, he wants to make sure my Adonis-like physique is real and not a figment of his imagination. I contemplate explaining why this makes me uncomfortable but in the end just begin to ignore him until the travel agent is ready for me.

A woman wishing to practice English tells me that America is 'egotistic' and mentions something about the bombings. I have no idea what the hell she is talking about so I walk away.

I realize I may need my passport to fly back to Bali. My passport is sitting in my visa agent's office in Bali. I have letters explaining why and that my visa is current but this may be an issue. That was my day.

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