Pattaya – Jomtien Beach – I got Raped!

I have been in my condo for a few days now and even though I have been a good boy, not going out and partying, somehow things still happen in Thailand.

The first few days, I spend the majority of my time in the pool, or just walking around Jomtien Beach seeing what all there is.  I haven’t ventured much future out, or into Pattaya yet.  As I said, that didn’t stop me from seeing and having some crazy experiences.

Lets start off with a less crazy and more funny thing that happened.

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The one day I was relaxing in the pool, enjoying the sun.  There was a little girl, maybe 5 years old, not really sure how old, and her mom in the kiddy pool.  Anyways, the mom decided it was time to go and was trying to dry her little girl off and get her changed.   Well, this is where the funny starts.

The little girl was waiting for her chance, and when her mom turned for a split second.  The little girl tossed the towel at her mom, and ran butt naked towards the pool, laughing, and saying, “I am naked, you can’t get me!” and then jumps back into the pool.  Still laughing as loud as can be.

If you know my good friend Dave, this is exactly how I pictured him at that age with his mom.  Oh yes, he is the same now with his soon to be wife when she tries to dry him off, and get him out of the pool.

Thinking of Dave, and watching mom chase the little girl around, I seriously could not stop laughing.

Awwww, I love not being a parent!

Another funny story is, in the building there is a little shop that sells miscellaneous items.  The guy who runs it, is really nice, but doesn’t speak any English.  We always somehow figure out what each other is saying.  Anyways, the one day his daughter is working.  I would guess she is under 10 years old.  She speaks a little English and when I walk in, she takes over from Dad.  Telling me each item in the store and price, and tells me what Ice Cream cone I would like and at 50 cents, I am getting one.  The funny part, is when I am paying, Dad goes to run the cash register, but the girl was not having it.  She takes over and does it for him and says, she is Manager, he is owner.

She has been very funny, and every time she sees me, she calls me Sir.  Okay, that part isn’t funny.

Now onto the real stuff, the stuff most probably wouldn’t tell if it happened to them, but I don’t really have any shame left in me.

Massage in Thailand is really cheap, on average ranging from $6 to $11 dollars CAD and with those long flights, I need it.

I go during the day, knowing that when it gets dark, there is no such thing as a legit massage.  I really didn’t want Mister Pointy to get rubbed today, I just wanted my back and neck to stop hurting.

Anyways, I see a place that looks legit and they offer a deep tissue with oil massage for 300 Bhat ($11 CAD) for 1.5 hours.  Sounds good to me!

The girl giving me the massage was in her 20’s, and dressed professionally, so I think nothing of it.

During the massage, I am nude, but wrapped in a towel.  This again is normal!  I think!

She does a decent job on my neck and back, and then moves onto my legs.  Again, decent pressure, but her hands get way to close to my coin purse, for me.

Next she starts on my gluteus muscle (outside of your ass/leg), which really does help with lower back pain.

Then it happens!  Her hand goes way to close to my inside leg, and the second stroke, her finger goes into my ass hole!  OMG! I jump forward, pulling on the bed sheets.  I think I am tightening my ass muscle so hard, I almost give myself a stomach pain.

She stops and says, “Oh, you no want!”

I replied, “No, No! Only massage!”

She says, “Ok Sir!” and continues for another 15 minutes or so.

After the massage, I give her 300 Bhat, no tip, since I already got the tip!

I now know what a prisoner in the USA feels like the first night.  I have had several massages in Thailand, and never had that happen.

On my walk, or should I say waddle home, every time a ladyboy waves and says hi.  I look down, thinking that they know, somehow they know!  🙁

So much for waiting for marriage!!!

I was going to add more to this blog about the good food, etc, but I think I will stop it here, while I get a beer, and another shower.

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Athens Greece – I am a tour guide?

Back in Athens I check into Zorbas Hostel, just 10 minutes from the city center.  The hostel is pretty nice, and I got a bottom bunk.  Thank god, because these bunk beds don’t have stairs.  You just climb up!

My stay at the hostel is pretty good, and I meet several cool people from all over the world.

In my room, is Jamie from New Zealand, who is doing something really cool.  He is volunteering at the refugee camp here in Athens.  He did not plan on doing this, but during his stay he met another person doing this and he tagged along one day.  Now he has been working there for almost 10 days.  I wish I knew about this before I came, I would have joined him.

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The one morning we are all sitting outside on the patio having coffee and cookies, and I meet my first traveler who hates Canada.  I truly mean hates Canadians and Canada.  He tells me, Canadians are ignorant and clueless about how much they pollute, he even states we are probably the worst country.  I at first got really defensive in my mind, but somehow controlled myself and only said, “I don’t know any Canadians who litter, and I am certain you might get punched in the nose if you did!”.  He then changed his wording and said, “Maybe you don’t through garbage on the ground, but you all drive bug trucks, burn oil, and so on …!”.  I didn’t argue back and just said, “Yes it is true that many Canadians don’t notice what their carbon footprint is on the world, and also our tar fields in Albert produce more carbons in the air than most of the world.  And I am sure most of the people I know, don’t know this.”  So, sure!  I will let him have his opinion.  The last thing I said to him was, “I wouldn’t hate a country because of this, considering there is no country that does not pollute more than they should, but maybe instead, help educate the people so they can make a difference.”

Anyways, the guy is from Israel, where I know they pollute a shit load also, but why argue.  He actually was a really nice guy, other than hating Canadians. LOL.

Back to the cool people I met!

One Aussie guy was super crazy and really fun to chat with.  He was always drunk as shit, and still talked very educated, about the coolest things.  He told me all about the Anarchist in Athens and where the area is.  So, of course I had to walk through and check it out.

This is what I remember him telling me.  Basically the cops no longer go in this area, only a few days ago there was a riot here, which happens often.  The Anarchist basically took over and run the entire area, don’t pay taxes, that sort of thing.  Oh, and sometimes when you walk through the area your throat gets a little sore.  This is because of the amount of tear gas that has been released over the years.

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In my mind, I felt the sore throat, but I am sure it was in my mind.  However, walking through the area I felt safe other than one street.  I got a lot of stairs, and this is my own fault.  Being a clueless Canadian, I wore my tourist hat, with my Knob Apps shirt.  Yes, I was obviously not local.

Onto the next group of cool people I met.

The one day I was just wondering around looking lost, when I saw 3 Aussie’s from the hostel.  We all said hi in the street and then they asked if I wanted to tag along to the market. I had never been, so yes and off we go.

Our walk to the market turned into me showing them all the free and cool things to see.  Since I have been here for 7 days already, I have don’t a tone of exploring.  The market we were looking for, turned out to be just one of the streets with open store fronts.  I had been here a few times, but it was great hanging out with these 3 Aussie’s and they told me I was a good tour guide.  Hmm, new career?

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Nice pose Aussie!

On my last day in Athens, I was taking it very easy.  Actually doing nothing, as tomorrow I will be traveling for 30 hours to Thailand.

Then he walked into my life.  A cool American!  I know, I know, Americans are not as cool as Canadians, but they all right!

Qasim had a 8 hour layover on his way to Egypt and took a bed in my hostel to toss his bags in.  We spoke for a few minutes, and then he said he was off to get something to eat.  So I invited myself, as I was getting bored.

While we were eating, I told him all the cool Athens sites are within a 45 minute walk.  He should do it, and heck, I will take him free of charge, since I am still in Tour Guide Training.

So just like that, I went from being bored to a 3 hour tour with a cool American.

We went through all the awesome sites, and then walked back through the Anarchy area.  Yup, we did it all with an hour to spare for Qasim to get back to the airport in time.  He was really a thankful guy and I loved our chats.  We had a lot in common, from girls, to traveling, to political views.

Back in USA/Canada, I know I will visit him again.

A great picture of us at the half way point of our tour and an added bonus, I got to see some of the sites after dark.

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Athens, Rios, Patras, Greece was amazing and I hope to come back but visit the Islands and some of the other cities.

Thanks to all of my friends that I met, and I hope we meet again!

Patras Greece – Living with the crazy locals

From the bus stop, I take a taxi to my apartment.  It only cost 6 Euro for a 15 minute taxi through rush hour.  Not bad, if I compare to home it would have been closer to 10 Euro.

Shortly after arriving at the apartment, Nicolette, the young girl who is renting it, meets me.  She is super energetic, and full of smiles.  A very nice welcome!

Nicolette spends a few extra minutes with me, showing me great things to see in the area and where they are on google maps.

You can see the video here.

My first 2 days I spend in my local area walking around, meeting locals and finding groceries stores.  Another little adventure and you can see some of the things I bought here.

When booking this apartment I had read one negative review that said there is no hot water and at first I believed it.  I had the coldest shower ever.  I am now guaranteed to never have kids, it was that cold.  I guess that is a good bonus, who the hell wants kids.  Ewwww!

Anyways, as stubborn as I am, the next day I have another ball freezing shower.  After, I think, maybe I should call Nicolette and ask her why, or is this normal.

Well, she informs me, all I need to do is turn the switch on in the breaker panel.  Seriously, that’s it.  Well, the breakers are not labelled, so she sends me a picture showing me which one to turn on.  I turn it on, and 15 minutes later, I have smoking hot water. I quickly have another shower, and realize, I found my friend again, and he does exist.  Hi, big guy!  Awww, I am now completely loving this place.

Oh wait! Does this mean I might be able to have kids. Grrrr!

The next day, I head to Rios to see the bridge and go for a swim.  It’s about a 15 minute bus ride into the city center, and then I take a train to Rios.  I had no idea how much the train would be, but it ends up, it really cheap.  1.40 Euro each way.

One of the greatest things about traveling and not speaking the language is getting to meet people who will do anything to help you.  Before I continue talking about my day, this is a great place to talk about meeting amazing people.

While getting my train ticket, the girl at the booth was very helpful and even went out of her way to explain other options and other places to see.  This happens often.  The one grocery store I go into, only one girl speaks a little English, and every time I walk into the store, she comes over to help me find things and translate the labels.  Trust me this is helpful as I almost bought 50% cream for my cereal, and I did buy cheese in a tube, that I thought was sausage meat. Lol.  Another instance was at a convinced store where the young guy asked where I was from, and after, he told me everything he knew about Canada, and asked when I can come back to talk.  He helped me with directions, items in the store, and so much more.  Great guy.

People like this is why I travel!

Anyways, back to my day.

The train is nice and I love trains now, ever since my journey in New Zealand going through Arthurs pass.  They are comfortable, relaxing, and you get to see a lot.

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20 minutes later, I am at Rio(s).

One thing I don’t understand, is Patra(s) and Rio(s) are spelled two ways in English.  Sometimes with an S and sometimes not.  No have idea why, but my guess is, one is how we pronounce it, and the other is the correct spelling when translated.

I head straight to the water, to see what the beach is like.  I brought my ManKini just in case it is nice and it is.

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I change, find a nice spot near an umbrella and walk in.  The water is a tiny bit cold, but not as cold as the Black Sea.  As far as I know, it is called Ionian Sea.

I spend about 20 minutes just treading water and taking in the view.  The bridge is pretty cool.

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I love the water, but I am not one to spend a day at the beach, I get bored very quickly.  So, after an hour or so, I dry off and start walking around town.

On the other side of the bridge, I see something that looks old.  This is something I must see and find out what it is.

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Well, it ends up being the Fortress Of Rion that was built in 1499, with an actual mot around it.  So friggn cool!

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As I am walking around I start to think.  Can you image how many people have been killed here? How much history is in the spot I am standing?  The fort has been taken over many times in the last 500 years and is still somewhat standing.

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Some pictures from inside the Fortress.

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The fortress Of Rion is pretty amazing, but it is well after lunch.  I head back to the beach area where I saw some patios.  Would be a great place to relax and have some authentic Greek food.

I look at a few menus before I decide on this one location.  My decisions was Based on the menu having pictures and the location is right on the beach.

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The waitress as always is extremely helpful and answers all of my questions and gives me a suggestion to try the mix grill.  It’s only 7 Euro and looks great, “You don’t have to take my word for it”.  Can you guess who I am quoting? Post it, if you know!

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Rio is not a big town and was able to walk around most of it in an hour or so.

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The train ride back was uneventful, and from there I walked to the city center to catch the bus.

 

On my bus ride home, a lady misses her bus stop and decides it is the bus drivers fault.  She starts aggressively arguing with him while he is trying to drive the bus.  Fight on bus again!  She even blocks people from getting on, basically just being a real retard.  I just sit back and enjoy the show, as this is very common here in Greece.  I hate to say it, but I really have gotten the impression that Greeks are a bit rude, and selfish people.  I know this is generalizing, but this is definitely the impression I have seen over the last 14 days.  However, the good, nice people make up for the selfish, rude, and ignorant people.  And as a added bonus, the scenery is amazing.

I almost forgot about the one incident at my apartment during the 7 nights here.  It seemed to happen at least once a day where someone would ring my buzzer.  I would just ignore it, and after 3 or 4 rings, they would go away.  I had no reason to answer it, as I know no one here.

However, the one day my buzzer rang on and off for 15 minutes.  Then it stopped! 2 minutes later someone was knocking on my door.   I ignored it for a few minutes, and then I went and opened the door, ready to politely ask them to leave.  As I open the door, it is a crazy lady.  I told her, English only, but she kept talking in Greek.  I said it again, and waved goodbye.  She kept talking, so I slowly closed the door as I waved goodbye.

A minute later I heard the guy next door yelling at her.  I guess we had two different approaches to asking her to leave.  He yelled for a good 5 minutes and not softly!  This is a good example how they deal with issues, compared to us in Canada.

I just added this to my authentic, Greek experience.  This is why I rented a local apartment, to truly see how the locals live and I loved it!

Something you all need to try while in Greece, is there two Greek Hard Liquors.  One is called Ouzo, which tastes a lot like sambuca (Black Licorice) with an alcohol between 38 and 44%.  The other is Tsipouro.  This one taste like acid, and maybe like licking a 9 volt battery.

Here is a link explaining in detail what each is.
http://greece.greekreporter.com/2012/11/18/a-guide-to-greek-drinks-and-drinking/

I found a shop and that actually home-brews both, and bought a small water bottle of both.

Me tasting both!

I don’t even remember drinking Ouzo that night, but the next morning I knew I had.  haha.  Tsipouro, I dumped out.  It is too nasty to drink.

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Some final pictures of my 7 night stay in Patra, Greece.  Next will be back to Athens, and then onto Thailand.

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Athens Greece – Just amazed at the views

AirBnB has been a great tool for meeting locals.  Hostels are great as well, but normally you meet other travelers, and not the locals.  I would rather meet locals, and learn how they live.

So, in Athens I booked a room with Paulina.  It is her first time hosting someone from AirBnB, and I am the lucky one. J When we first meet, she has a very big smile and I can tell right away that she is a super nice person.  By the end of my stay, this holds true.

The room is really nice, clean, and big.  She has a medium sized dog that I never learned the name of, but I really like her.  She never barks, and is a little scared of me, but I pet her a few times and show her how awesome I am.  Then I get the see the crazy wagging tail.

My first day in Athens I find out to enter all of the cool ruins, temples, etc, it cost 30 Euro.  Uhh, I am cheap.  So day 1 I decide to just walk around and find out where everything is.  Tomorrow I will make the decision if I pay to go in, or what I do.

As I am walking by one of the tour bus sales girls, I decide to allow her to give me her sales pitch.  I already know I am not going on the bus.  It is 18 Euro, and I can take the public bus or walk for less than 2 Euro.  Anyways, as she is talking, I ask her if there is a combination price, where I get the bus and entrance into each location.  She says no, but tomorrow, all of the entrances are free.  It is International day!

Well, you know what I do the next day!

I still spend several hours just wondering around town taking in the views and enjoying some mixed nuts from this guy.  Damn they were good!

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Here are a few pictures from today.  Some great views!

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The next day I get up early and bus it to the busiest site.  Acropolis of Athens and yesterday it had a line-up down the road.  Today, I am there just after it opens, and there is no line up and it is FREE!  Yes, I am doing a little happy dance.

I first admire some of the stones, and then onto Theatre of Dionysus.  I can’t believe 2000 years ago people sat here enjoying their evening out and here I am now doing the same.  I sit here for about 15 minutes just enjoying the amazing view and dreaming of what it must have been like.

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Well, it is time to start walking up the hill to the Temple of Athena Nike.  I am
almost wondering if I can even do this walk.  Look at it!  But I must, this is a dream coming true being here.

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I get about half way up and see another amphitheater, Odeon of Herodes Atticus
Archeologikos Choros Theatro Irodou Attikou.  This one is bigger, and is even more amazing than I could ever imagine.  It first opened in 161 AD and my ticket today was Free!

I hope you can see what I am talking about from the pictures.  I am truly amazed at why, and how they build such a thing, in such a hard to get at area.

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Hey, can you picture 5,000 Canadians watching team Canada, beat team USA from here, again!  Yes, it held 5000 people.  Crazy!

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I continue walking up, and up until I reach the top.

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There are 3 large buildings up here and I can’t picture how they would build them back in 420 BC.  I mean, I am out of breath taking my time walking up the stairs and they only had a path!  All I can think is how amazing people are.  This is what can be accomplished when a community comes together to build something.  When everyone has a common goal!

Why do we not have this now?  Back then they had thousands of people working together.  Now it is hard to get 3 people working in tandem without bitching, complaining, and screwing up.

However, it just shows what we can do, if we really want too!

I spend a good hour or more just walking around up here.

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After my decent I stop at a local cafe for an amazing Frappe Coffee Grande.  Mmmm so damn good!

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Next I am onto the Temple of Olympian Zeus, and this place is just as amazing as the last.  Can you believe construction began in the 6th century BC during the rule of the Athenian tyrants, and was not completed for another 638 years.  Hmm, I worked for software companies that had projects take that long. 🙂

I take my time walking through here, and imagining what it must have been like so many years ago.

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Over the next few days, I spend about 4 hours a day walking around finding new hidden gems around every corner. Just look at the pictures below.

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On my last day I head to Glyfada Beach, recommended by Polina.

 

It takes about 45 minutes on the public bus to get here on bus A2.  Definitely a nice place to spend a day!  Beach, sun, and pretty girls.  What more can I ask for?  Oh yes, cheaper beer, but that’s OK.

Little Video of that day!

Tomorrow I bus to Patra(s) Greece, to spend a week in an apartment I rented.  More to come in Greece…

Odessa – Beach Life – Great Friends

So what’s been going on the last few days.  Well, I move into my new place, which I rented from AirBNB for 19 CAD per night.  It is 4 minute walk to the beach, and not far from my friend’s Lesya home.

Check out the video here!

While renting my beach house, I noticed a tone of dogs walking all over the streets.  I was pretty sure they are not owned by anyone, and just wild.  Later Lesya confirmed these are wild dogs.  Something you would never see back home in a city.

The one little dog, who I have nick named, “The Instigator” walks up and down the street and barks at other dogs, and when they start barking uncontrollably, he leaves and goes onto the next dog.  This is the first dog, I think I would kick, and maybe even have a competition on punting distance. 🙂

OK, dog lovers, get over that comment.

I would say, that is the only negative I have found while living at this house.  I really like it, and the price you cannot beat, and to add to the positives, it is a 5 minute walk to a nice, small beach, with beer.  And if I have the energy, I can walk the beach 2 KM down, to the more popular beach.  I did this a few times.

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The first Saturday night Lesya met up with me, and we went out for Sushi and drinks.  Our conversation is always random and pretty funny.  Again, our intentions were to walk around, but we ended up just having drinks at the Sushi restaurant.

During the week, Lesya was busy with work, so I just went to the beach everyday and enjoyed the good life.

Checkout what you can buy on the beach for under 2 dollars.

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The next Sunday, it was the first day, were it was no hot, so no beach.  However, this ended up in my favour because Lesya’s beach plans were canceled. We can now hangout.

This is another random, funny day!

We meet around 11 AM, at the bus stop close to my place.  I was hungry and craving Sushi again.  So we walked to the same place as last Saturday.  At the restaurant the waitress, was happy to see us, and tells us she was hoping to see us again.  OK, I don’t remember making any kind of impression last time, but I guess we did.  She even told us, she wants us to come back more often.  Very random, but cool!

During lunch, yes, you guessed it.  Wine was way to good, and the next thing I know I am drinking Ukraine Cognac.  This is actually my first time ever drinking Cognac and for a dollar a drink, I have a few.  I really like it!

After lunch, I am feeling pretty good, Lesya is obviously feeling happy as I can see in her eyes, a little buzzed look.

We walk to a local grocery store where we buy more wine, and she buys stuff to cook us dinner as well.

Lesya buying bottled wine.

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While buying wine, a girl and her husband start talking to Lesya.  My understanding is he is a marine pilot, and Lesya works at another marina office for cargo ships.  They end up exchanging information and the next thing I know, we are invited to meet up later for drinks.  Very random!

After the grocery store, we walk over to Lesya’s house to give her mom some of the groceries.  I get to meet her parents and see where she lives.  It is a nice condo/flat and her parents are really nice.  They do not speak English, but with a little help, we have some good talks.

We head over to my place where she cooks grilled wraps, and I have to say, she is one hell of a good cook.  It’s a few days later as I am writing this, and I am craving them again.

Few pictures of us before the drinks get rolling.

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I did not know this, but in Ukraine, a girl does not pour her wine, the guy always fills the glass, and it better not get empty.  I know back home, if I was to touch one of my old girlfriends wine bottles, they might bite or hit me.  Never touch a girls wine. lol.

The couple we met earlier messaged and are going to come to my place for drinks, and a few minutes later, one of Lesya’s friends also messaged and is now coming also.

I will skip ahead to all of us drinking on the patio.

The guy’s wife is crazy, and drunk.  She talks a mile a minute, and seems always upset.  The guy is also a bit moody.  If I do not pay attention to him, he gets a little attitude, but i’ts all good.  We have a pretty good night.  He brought Vodka and Gin and he kept giving me shots.  By the end of the night, I know I was more drunk than I wanted.  Not what I was planning 12 hours ago.

He also gave me two gifts.  One was a picture of I dunno, I am not religious, and the other was 25 Soviet Union Roubles.  This is really cool, as they do not exist anymore.  I will definitly keep the 25 Roubles with me!

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Lesya’s friend, Korina is really cool.  A very sweet girl.  She only speaks a little English, but enough we have some good conversation.  I can see why the two are friends.  Both really great people.

Well the night eventually ends and everyone leaves.  I see a pretty good mess, and I only clean up the food, so no animals get into it.  Tomorrow will have to be clean up day.

The next day I was a little hungover, and I am very happy I do not have to checkout of the house until 3 PM.  This gives me time to clean up, wake up, and pack.

3 PM arrives and the owners show up, with their daughter.  She speaks English and can translate. 🙂  This is a needed for sure.

She helps me get a taxi and also adds me to Facebook, on her mom’s request.  They want to keep in touch and read some of my past blogs.  They are really nice people.  Someday I hope to come back again and stay in this place.

Well, I am now in a hostel in the city center.  In a day I will be flying to Athens, Greece, leaving this amazing country.  I will miss hanging out with Lesya.

We are trying to meet one last time, but it is raining like mad with some good wind, so we might not be able too.  If not, I know I will keep in touch with her on Facebook. Hopefully we will meet again.

Odessa – Ukraine – Beaches, Boating, and Batman?

Beach time with Mike and Yusif has arrived and I am heading into Odessa city center to meet Mike.  I have been here for a few days and have yet to actually swim in the Black Sea.  This is always really important to me.  I love swimming!

I meet Mike and just across the road is Yusif.  Yusif tells me he had a wonderful sleep.  He woke up to cockroaches in his bed.  My first thought is of the movie, Joes Apartment. LOL.  Yusif doing a little song and dance with them, and they all living happily ever after.  However, he tells me this did not happen, and he has moved to a new apartment.

Instead of walking to the beach, Mike tosses his thumb up to hitchhike right in the middle of the city.  This is a little new to me.  I guess if you speak the language, you can make a deal with a local to drive you to the location you want, for a fee.  Normally a little cheaper than a taxi.  Almost like car pooling, mixed with taxi / hitchhiking.  Not recommended if you do not speak Ukraine, or Russian though.

A lady picks us up and drives us to the beach.  Pretty cool, considering in Canada, I waited 2.5 hours and never got picked up and here we get a lift from a lady!

At the beach, Mike gets us a bed with a large umbrella for 200 UAH ($10 CAD) for the day. You don’t have to rent one of these, but it is nicer than sitting in the sand.

Mike and Yusif sitting on one of the beds.

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The day at the beach was really nice and relaxing.  I am sure I fell asleep for 10 minutes while laying on the bed.  The water was cool, but refreshing, and the girls. Amazing!  I love you Ukraine!

Later in the day, Mike and Yusif take a ride on what is called, Batman.  It a big blowup thing, that they use a Seadoo to pull.  If it goes fast enough, it gets lifted off of the ground.  I did not go on it, because I was worried it might hurt my back.  I have to say, watching the video, I am a little jealous.

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Some random pics from the beach.

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The beach was pretty fun, but its time for Mike’s next adventure.  He is taking us on a boat cruise around Odessa.

Mike’s friend, and his girlfriend, pick us up in their car and take us to the boat.  For whatever reason, I do not remember their names.

Anyways, the boat tour was pretty awesome.  It lasted about an hour and we got to see some nice views of the beach, and water front.

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After the boat tour, we were all hungry and headed to the best place in Odessa for pizza.

I wish I had some pictures of the pizza, because it was awesome.  I ate way to much, that is for sure.

After pizza, that was it for the night.  It is late, close to midnight and I decide to walk back to the hotel from the city center.  Almost a bad mistake!

I was a few blocks from my hotel, in that really nice area I told you all about.  As I pass 3 younger guys standing on the side, walk.  One starts to follow me, and quickly gets beside me.  I had a bad feeling about this and also noticed there is no one else in site.  So, as he says something in Russian, I know the best thing to do, is not to let him know I am a tourist.  I say nothing, but my hand directly in his face, in a stop position.  Give him, I will kill you look and keep walking.  They end up following about 5 meters behind me until I cross the street to my hotel.

I still have no idea what he said to me, but I know it was nothing good.  Maybe asking for money, or asking if I want to fight.  I heard random guys will do this in the streets.  However, I cannot confirm this, as I do not understand what he said.

Another amazing day, hanging with friends, ended with a little heart racing.  Still wouldn’t change any part of it.

A few pictures of the area my hotel is in.  During the day, not so bad 🙂

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Kiev – Odessa, Ukraine – My Cell Phone :(

A few relaxing days in Kiev, walking around, enjoying some cheap beers, and one last message from Jasmin.

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I enjoyed my time here, meeting new people and taking in the views, but it is time to move on.  Odessa looks like the place for me and it is only a $30 dollar, 6 our train ride away.

Just before I go, here are some pictures of Kiev and the first one is of the coffee girl.  I will miss her trying to teach me how to say coffee with milk, in Ukraine.  I still can’t.

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I now love trains, they are so much more comfortable than planes, even though they take a million times longer.  The comfort makes up for it.

However, the comfort ends the minute the train arrives in Odessa.  It is just after midnight, and as I walk out of the train station, about to walk the 2 KM to my hotel.  I notice my phone’s screen is bright green.  Odd!  I turn it off and back on.  Now it is somewhat green, with red and yellow lines going through it.

It quickly dawns on me.  I have no idea where the hotel is, I no longer have internet, no more GPS, no more English to Ukraine translation.  In a panic, I pull out the battery, and reboot the phone. Come on baby, not now!

Nope, its (Technical term) FUCKED!

Well, at least I remember the hotel name.  I ask a taxi if he knows where it is.  Nope, he has no clue.  He asks around, no one else does either.

As I walk toward a group of people, this random, guy asks me if I need help.  I said, Oh Yes!

He speaks English and is with two other people.  All young, and all speak a little English.

They help me, and also warn me about taking a taxi from the street.  They explain to him where my hotel is, and the girl tells me, she already told him 100 Ukraine is the price.  I thank them, and the one guy takes my Facebook.  They offer to show me around Odessa in a few days.  I will take them up on this offer for sure.

Wow!  People are too amazing, and this is why I travel.  Too meet people like this.

So, the taxi takes me where my hotel should be, and it is not there.  Oh yea, I forgot to mention.  The group that helped me, also told me, that this is a shit part of town, and they would not stay here.

The taxi driver asks a group of drunks where the hotel is.  I have no idea what they say, but they are all laughing.  The taxi pulls around the corner to the only hotel in a really rundown area.   He says this is it.

I hand him the 100 Ukraine and he yells, “NO, 200!”.  I say, no we agreed on 100.  He yells again, and hits the steering wheel.  I debated taking this outside the car, then I thought.  Fuck it, 200 UAH is only $10 Canadian and it’s 1 AM, in the middle of nowhere.

So, I pay and say, “I hope you enjoy being a useless human!”  He has no idea what I am saying.

The hotel lobby has this extremely cute receptionist.  I think her name is Anastasia.  She tells me this is not my hotel and googles where my hotel is.  It is a 5 minute walk away.  I say thanks, to this overly cheerful, Ukraine girl.

The 5 minute walk to my hotel was a little sketchy.  Picture run down buildings, no street lights, and a drunk, dirty couple making out on the ground behind a broken park bench.  Yes, I feel safe!

I get to my hotel, and the door is locked.  Mind you, I called earlier in the day to confirm a late arrival of after 1 AM, and they said it was OK.  Looking at the hotel, I do not want to stay here either.  As far as I can tell, it is a hooker hotel.  Nasty as shit.

I walk back to see the very cute, Anastasia, in hopes they have a room at a reasonable price.

She does have a room, but even better she has a hostel bed at a fraction of the cost.  Even bigger bonus, is the hostel room is empty.

While checking in, she tells me some fun stories about people she has met while working at a hostel.  I like this girl, she is really fun.

I am finally checked in, showered, and ready for bed.  Tomorrow I will be searching for, phone repair, or a new phone.

What a day of mixed emotions.  Sad about my phone, happy meeting 3 cool Ukraines, pissed at a taxi driver, and then ended off with a big smile, meeting another cool Ukraine girl, and getting an entire hostel room to myself.

To live is the rarest thing in the world!

So I just heard two people talking about if they won money, and surprising it was in English and then I logged into Facebook and saw the quote below.  This caused me to write this blog post.

I don’t know how many of you read the annoying quotes people post on social media all the time, but some days I do.

“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.”
― Oscar Wilde

This is so true!  That is where I was a year ago, when I realized life does not have to follow what people are taught to expect.

I was always told, not just by parents, I mean by teachers, friends, media, etc, that to live, you must work, and not just work, I mean, work everyday!  This is so not true, and it still drives me nuts.  When I was home for the summer the most common question I was asked was related to work.  “When are you going to work again?”, “Working this summer?”, “Did you work when you traveled?”.  I was asked this more than I was asked, how was your travels?

One of the dumbest sayings I hear people say is, “If I won the lottery I would still work, what else would I do!”  Oh my god! I can give you a list of 1 billion things you could do, work is not one of them!

Sure, have hobbies you love like, painting, restoring cars,  buying a bulldozer and digging holes for fun, buy a remote control car with a camera and chase your neighbors annoying rat sized dog, stand at the entrance of your local grocery store and help every single person you meet with carrying their groceries, but, do not work!

Hmmm, what would I do if I won the lottery?  Well, first I have never purchased a ticket, I see it as just another tax, as I call it, Dummy Tax.  But if I did, I can tell you one hobby I would have.  I would find where my friends work, pay their bosses to let me sit across the room and shoot elastic bands at them all day.  Or I would start a charity, give all my friends great jobs, and tell them they will be fired if they don’t let me annoy them all day, example from last statement.

Awww, the dreams we have.

Anyways, back to my rant after reading Oscar’s quote.

Start living your life, don’t get stuck in some stupid rut, or job that you just go to everyday, and come home, over and over.  Start working towards getting out of that, and I don’t mean in 20 years when you retire.  I also am not relating to only work.  Get out of the house and enjoy life.  Call a friend you have not seen in ages and go visit, start taking nightly walks, and take a different route every time, and you’ll be amazed at how your life will change.   Everyday you waste sitting, is another day wasted in a life you only live ONCE!

Leave me comments on how you stopped just living your life, or what you would do with lottery money!

Thanks all for reading.