Wednesday, December 22, 2010

On the Road Again

At DW's suggestion:

I was born a poor white child....wait that's a Steve Martin movie...regardless, it's accurate :-)  Yep, I'm a true West Virginia Hillbilly.  I lived in the same house from the day I was born until the day I went into the military at age 17...yes, my mother had to sign the papers.  It was the single best decision I've ever made and I am sincerely honored to have had the chance to wear my country's uniform.

I am a Travellin' Man...since enlisting, I have been to all 50 states in the U.S. and somewhere in the neighborhood of 18 countries.  Since retiring, I've had 3 jobs...all of which required extensive travel.  Over one 13 week stretch this year, I was on the road for ten weeks!!!  I've actually woke up in hotels and for several seconds couldn't remember where I was!!!  I was in Vegas last month and will be in California in February.  I think I currently have10 trips scheduled for 2011.  Believe it or not...I think I've finally gotten tired of travelling.  I'm working very hard at the moment to minimize the amount of time I spend on the road....I'm getting too old for this crap :-)

The worst place I ever lived was Idaho...if you're from there, I feel for you.  Face it, if the best slogan you can come up with for your license plates is "Famous Potatoes"....your state doesn't have a lot to offer.  I actually think we should dig a moat around the whole state and make it a penal colony!!!  Of course, being the fair-minded person that I am, we'd give current residents the opportunity to relocate if they want...see, I'm not so bad :-)

If I ever screw up so bad that I get deported...I want to go back to Australia and there was a fantastic experience.  Great place, great people, and needless to say...great beer :-)  I'll write more about Australia in a seperate post.

I've been to a number of places in the Pacific...loved the cultures...the food.....and since  was a young, single man...yes, I loved the women :-)  It was also the only area where I felt tall :-)

I also spent some time around Central and South wasn't bad but I doubt that I'd elect to go back. 

I've never been to Europe...although I tried very hard to make it happen!..The one place I want to visit is Egypt.

Here's a few things I've learned in my travels:
  • People are people, no matter where you go...some good and some bad
  • The average American has no concept of true poverty
  • Attitude is everything...if you're willing to find the good, you will...except in Idaho
  • You really shouldn't drink everything you're offered in a foreign county
  • You really, really shouldn't eat everything you're offered AFTER drinking everything offered in a foreign country
  • Other culture's beliefs and customs are just as valid to them as yours are to you...even when they seem whacked out :-)
  • The phrase " I love you no shit G.I" may not be 100% sincere
  • If you've already eaten three pieces of kagogi before discovering that it's dog meat, there's really no sense in stopping :-)
  • There is not enough alcohol in the world to get me to "suck balut" it :-)
Have a great day and may all your travels end in happiness!


Asian Angel said...

If you are heading to San Francisco, CA in February try not to miss the Chinese New Year street fair and parade on Saturday, Feb. 19th. You may also feel as if you are tall during that time since most Chinese people are vertically challenged. If you ever need an assistant, let me know. I'm willing to travel and quite possibly relocate since California has not been very good to me this year.

Jimmy said...

I like the things you learned and agree especially with:

people are people, no matter where you go, some are good and some are bad, Most Americans have no concept of poverty and other peoples cultures and beliefs are just as important to them as ours are to us.

Great Post my Friend.

Pragmatic Spector said...

I was born and raised in the Philippines, and balut is a delicacy! If you can eat a steak, venision, etc etc you can eat balut... There's no reason why a meat eater should put it down on moral grounds (even if it's a duckling, trust me, you've done worse than eat a duckling). I understand why you'd reject it on the fact that you're sucking on a dead duckling. Ok that doesn't sound appealing. But believe me when I say the taste is that of the most delicious broth you've ever had without the unhealthy preservatives and additives added in (because balut is 100% natural!). I think Americans have done and eaten more atrocious things, such as eating Turkey and stuffing it. Turkey is DISGUSTING. it looks good, but it tastes like soft leather. I would like to hear more about your travels, and definitely something on Australia :D I'm curious if you've ever been to South Africa. It's a place I've always wanted to move to and would love to hear a post on it.

Chief aka Dad said...

@Angel...I'll be in Sacremento the second week of Feb.

@Jimmy...thanks, I think the world would be a better place if everyone just remembered that everyone else is just trying to make it through the day...just like we are

Chief aka Dad said...

@Spector...I have no moral objections to balut...for me it's like getting a tattoo...I just can't do it...I'm sure it's a mental block :-) Nope, never been to South Africa...I think it would be interesting.

Asian Angel said...

Stay another week and you'll get to watch the parade but business is business...
I had balut when I was a child. Of course when the whole family is eating the same thing it does not seem out of place although I can't remember what it taste like.

DW said...

Good post, Chief! It is interesting to hear about where people have lived and the different things they have experienced (and eaten). I'm a firm believer in travel broadening your horizons, but a person has to travel with an open mind and no expectations to truly learn. However, I draw the line at eating internal organs (except foie gras) and anything that could be a household pet.

Bursts of Bubbles said...

Thanks for sharing this I really enjoyed reading it and can't wait to read the rest of your stories/adventures.

Odie Langley said...

An absolutely wonderful post and as I have traveled as well it really meant a lot to me. I am with you on not trying the duckling. Saw it done on the travel channel and no way for this guy. Have a wonderful Christmas.

lyndylou said...

I liked learning a bit more about you Chief. I Googled Suck Balut.......totally gross! Boke boke!

Bouncin' Barb said...

We have some things in common. My father was born and raised in Fairmont WV until he enlisted for WWII. It's a beautiful state. Miss visiting relatives there but most are long gone. I lived in Boise Idaho in 1978. Let's just say I can't run for public office! It was beautiful there and I found lots of things to do. Didn't say they were legal or moral! hahahaha. Great post.

Semi True Torystellar said...

Oh my. So I did google the 'suck balut' thing and I'm pretty sure that is something that I could have gone to my grave not knowing.

So glad that I found your blog! Can't wait to see more.


Jumble Mash said...

Dad, I'm kinda sad that you ate dog meat, but since you didn't eat a baby duckling, it evens out.

Also, you aren't a hillbilly. Uncle J is a hillbilly. You are far from it:)

Chief aka Dad said...

@Angel...yes, unfortunately, business is business...if I had eaten balut without knowing what it was, I probably wouldn't have minded

@DW...thanks, I agree...travelling with an open mind is very educational

@Bubbles...thanks sweetie, I tell people I'm not really that old...I just have lots of miles on me :-) Hope y'all have a great Christmas. JM and her sisters will be here tonight and we'll do our Christmas....I love seeing them get so excited!

@Lyndylou...for you, I'm an open book ;-) What is Boke boke???

@Barb...I'm sooo found something naughty to do in tell!, I'm here to broaden your horizons....not always in a bad way I hope...welcome

@JM...well I'm glad I my eating experiences balanced out :-) Can't wait for you to open your presents tonite !!!

Jess said...

This was a great post! I would love so much to travel the world, but I've never even left US soil. I'm determined. One day...

caterpillar said...'ve done so much traveling....Wish I can too some day...and that balut thing...we used to find it in super markets while staying in Middle East...colored purple so that it's easily identifiable I guess...I normally tell my friends about it when I'm in the 'trust me to gross you out' mood.

becca said...

i've dreamed of traveling but never got to but i hope that when my son gets older he does i think it would be a wonder thing for him to explore the world

Chief aka Dad said...

@Jess...well stop giving him vitamins and we'll see what we can do :-) would certainly gross out most people

@becca...At one point I kind of expected JM to join the military just for that purpose...but I was wrong once agaion :-)

Mrs. Hyde said...

Googling balut = the worst decision I've ever made in my life and I used to be homeless.

That said, if you want to trade your traveling lifestyle with that of a stay at home mom of four, just say the word.