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.

Shits & Giggles (Indonesia)

For a revised version of this post, go here.

Aug 8th, 2009 - I have a little green notebook. In this notebook I write a myriad of tidbits: lists of things I need, tasks to be completed, phone numbers, e-mail addresses, and a whole variety of other idiosyncratic Richie mumbo jumbo. As I was fingering through it the other day I came across the original mileage of my motorcycle at the time of purchase. I did this in order to have an idea of when to have service performed and the oil changed. To my surprise I learned that I had driven over 10,000 km (6,000 miles) during my Indonesian odyssey. This does not include the month I drove around a rental motorbike. Wowie!

What else do I have scribbled in my little notepad? Nothing I should probably share but I am feeling a bit a squirrelly so what the hell. Some months ago I became friends with gentleman who compiled a collection of famous eulogies, by famous folks for famous folks and put them together in a book (Farewell, Godspeed: The Greatest Eulogies of Our Time). As I started to read the book a thought I’d had years before came rushing to the forefront of my mind, namely how ridiculous eulogies can be, especially for us common folk. Inevitably everyone becomes an idealized version of themselves when they pass on. Sins are forgiven, transgressions forgotten, and blemishes airbrushed. Not that I have a problem with that as talking ill of the dead just feels wrong even when referring to the more truculent souls that have graced us with their presence. Still there is most definitely an absurd aspect to the whole exercise. As I sat and ponder one day I thought it would be fun to write my own eulogy just for shits and giggles. Think of all the trouble and stress that would be avoided by the eulogizer if everyone took the time to do the same. So here you go:

--To be read on the occasion of my death with passion and conviction—

Rich was the most incredible person to walk the face of the earth. A more amazing individual you will not find (insert dramatic pause) EVER!! In a word: Awesome. In two words: Super awesome. In three words: Super F***ING awesome!

When he talked, people listened. When he paused, people anticipated. Where he walked, people followed. When he stumbled (or more accurately when he pretended to stumble in order to emphasize his humanity) people rushed to his side to provide balance. He was the perfect amalgamation of human traits, the very best of Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha, Gandhi, Socrates, Martin Luther King, Jr, Abraham Lincoln, John Lennon, John Wayne, Winnie the Pooh, John F. Kennedy, Susan B. Anthony, Confucius, Macgyver, James Bond, Adam, Eve, Abbott, Costello, Larry, Moe, and Curly.

His physical appearance was eclipsed only by his inner beauty. Although we are certain that Rich, being human, possessed character flaws and faults, we are at a loss to identify a single one.

It goes without saying that everyone who knew Rich would prefer to take their own life rather than live in a world sans Recardo but this would be contrary to his ineluctable desire for the people he left behind to drive on and strive for the perfection that embodied his true spirit. Farewell and Rock on, Richie!!! We will miss you with every fiber of our being.

I am going to a concert tonight in Kuta, Bali. A famous Indonesian female vocalist will enchant and beguile. You’d think I would know her name but such is not the case. A friend asked if I wanted to go and I thought, What the hell. Why not? I’ ll probably be surrounded by a dizzying spectacle of screaming teenage Indonesians. What could possibly be more fun? Maybe I’ll go without a shirt.

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