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.

Hurricane 'Olef' (Tbilisi, Georgia)

June 14th, 2010 - I'm an asshole. If you can't say (or write) anything nice then you should not say it at all. I cannot help myself. I am an asshole. Enter Olef. I am not sure 'Olef' is the correct spelling but to be honest I am not entirely certain 'Olef' knows how to spell 'Olef'. He is a Swedish dude I met at my homestay a few nights previously. He is a catastrophe, the quintessential human train wreck. Might as well just call him Katrina. Our first introduction was at about 3 am when I went to the toilet passing him in the kitchen in front of his computer on the way. He was smashed. No problem. We've all been there. The thing is I never met sober Olef. When I did speak to him the next morning I discovered that he never went to bed. He had trouble walking upright and was mildly incoherent. Apparently, Olef has some sort of work-related disability (something with his arm) that requires him to wash down pain killers with large volumes of alcohol.

When he spoke to me the next morning it was to ask if I'd seen his cell phone and then to request that I call said phone in order to locate it. I obliged. After about eight rings it was answered……by the Australian guy sitting in the common area adjacent to the garden at our guest house. It was in Olef's jacket pocket, a jacket he had walked past a good dozen times that morning in search of his phone.

Just to make sure he had not sobered up Olef purchased an additional big ass jug of wine for breakfast. Later, on my way out of the kitchen Olef asked me if I'd seen his laptop (his enormous-could-I-choose-a-buliker-more-inconvenient-computer-for-travel laptop), as it was missing from the table with only his power adapter on the floor to indicate its absence. I had not. I emerged from the guesthouse to discover that it was sitting on a table outside. I pointed this out to Olef who replied, "Oh yeah, sorry, sorry." He had just put it there moments before. 

So 38-year-old Katrina was in the midst of a monetary crisis. An ATM had swallowed his credit card. I hypothesize that he either took his money and walked away before retrieving his card or entered the incorrect PIN so many times the machine confiscated it. Who the hell knows? Might as well try to determine the identity of the second gunman on the grassy knoll. Poor Olef found himself in a pickle with limited funds. He had some US dollars but was reluctant to part with them as he might not have enough cash for women in the Ukraine. Olef is fond of hookers. He had a lot of accolades for Georgian prostitutes as they were his 'type' and so inexpensive it is like 'getting two for the price of one.' It appears that his fondness for Georgian courtesans directly contributed to his shortage of funds. We all have our cross to bear.

After coming to terms with the fact that the only way he would be able to pay his lodging fee would be to exchange money he enlisted Dodo, the owner of the homestay, to assist him. So Olef dragged poor Dodo, a seventy year old Georgian woman, to the bank in order to help him with the transaction. This puzzles me because Olef speaks Russian and should have been more than capable to accomplish the task at hand. Then again, he was struggling with 'shitface syndrome' so perhaps having an 'intoxication Sherpa' was for the best. 

Hi-ho, hi-ho, it's off to the bank we go. Upon arrival at the bank Olef the Great was surprised to discover that a passport is required to exchange money. He did not have his. Dodo directed him to return to his room to retrieve his passport. He did so and upon his return to the bank informed Dodo that he could not find his passport. I guess he was hoping that Dodo had mystical powers and could magically pull his passport out of her ass. She could not. Instead she called home and asked her daughter to undertake a search and rescue mission for Katrina's passport. She found it……sitting on a bench outside near the garden! Where the f@$% else would you keep your passport?!!

Did I mention Olef is a hero? He rescued a kitten from the roof of the homestay, either that or he kidnapped the distraught pussy from its mother. In order to do so he climbed the rungs of a questionably stable ladder. Have I mentioned the alcohol? Dodo was ready to strangle him as now Dodo's family has another mouth to feed. Apparently, the new arrival caused a bit of dissension in the household. Husband and daughter are pro-kitten whereas Dodo is anti-pussy. I can hardly wait for the next episode of As the Kitty Purrs.

Back to Olef. In the absence of a ATM card he was desperate to acquire another so he spent many hours working it out with his bank. They agreed to FedEx it to him in Tbilisi, which they did. It would have gone smoothly had Olef given them the correct address. He did not. Time was not on Olef's side as he had to catch a plane to Kiev early in the morning. Don't want to disappoint the hookers. He tried to divert the package to Kiev but appeared to be having trouble. I did overhear him say something about how the owners of his guesthouse had stolen his money and his passport, that there was nothing he could do, he was going to call the police, could they please help him, yada, yada, yada, yada, blah, blah, blah. Listening to him describe Dodo as some sort of arch criminal was amusing and vexing at the same time. I wanted to slap his nose off. I refrained. By the grace of God he somehow made his flight, or at least I am assuming he did. He is probably passed out in a Tbilisi brothel as I write this. There is probably a prostitute surfing the net on her new computer and placing calls to her extended family on her new phone.

Get a grip Olef. For the love of Odin get a friggin grip!!

"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe.” 

- Albert Einstein

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