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A man of many words. Profane, profound, loyal to a fault and a right rat bastard. I love the finer things in life: expensive cigars, cheap women and all the salted, cured meats I can eat. A friend to dogs, lover of humanity and despiser of people. If I were King the world would be a better place, because, well...I would be King! Oh, and I like ice cream.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Locked, Cocked and Ready to Rock!

Tomorrow I head out...again! Oh, well, I've been home a whole three weeks. The yard is mowed, the bills are paid. I'm bored with this kind of living.

For anyone who is interested (you must be interested or you wouldn't be reading this) here's my itinerary:
Beirut, Lebanon;
Amman, Jordan;
Muscat, Oman;
Manama, Bahrain;
Abu Dhabi, UAE,
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia,
Sofia and Sozopol (On the Black Sea), Bulgaria;
Istanbul, Turkey;
Nicosia, Cyprus;
Thessaloniki, Greece;
Cairo and finally Alexandria, Egypt.

Along the way I'll make airport transit stops in London and Milan. While I've never been in the UK or Italy, those countries don't count on my lifetime score. The official, unofficial, rules are that you must clear customs for a country to count. The rules are of course total BS made up by a bunch of my collegues sitting around one day discussing what counts and what doesn't.

For example, twice I've had to change planes in Bangkok, Thailand. I never left the airport, but I did change some currency and make a couple purchases while there. I was on the ground in the country. Seems to me that should suffice. But, my friends say no.

Anyway, I digress. (I had to get a rant in there somewhere.)

So right now I stand at 20 countries. Should I live until October 18th and complete the trip I'll have 25. That's not bad, especially since on this day four years ago I had a grand total of five. All this post-9/11. It's not nearly as scary as people think. I've met a person with 210 and another with 129 countries to their credit. So, I'm just a piker.

No pix this post. Many to follow...


jan said...

Hey Mike! Bon Voyage! You sound READY! I will check on and off to see what's happnin' during your trip. Must be NICE to be so 'foot-loose and fancy-free'. I wish I was! Sometimes I daydream about running away.

By the way, I lived in Germany for 5 years after I left Marietta Coll. to move back with Mike. He spent 20 years as a career Army officer. We had our daughter while in Germany. I got to visit many of the countries in Europe during that time and have some wonderful memories. Maybe I'll even put some photos of those days on my blog sometime. All of that took place AFTER Youngstown. That was just a one-year period in my life. But most definitely a GOOD year.

I also got to go on a fantastic excursion a few years ago to hit all the sites involved in what led up to D-Day during the Normandy Invasion. We started in England, then went all through Germany, Belgium, Holland and down into France, visiting all the sites along the way. It was overwhelming. We had WWII veterans with us and they were going back for the first time since the war. That's another long story I could write about in my blog.

And I skiied in Italy in the French Alps when we lived in Europe. We also went to Rome and Sorrento and Pompaii but Capris was my favorite of all.

But I digress (and I know you know what THAT is like!).

Good luck and be safe. You will certainly never be bored with all of that travelling you've got planned!

Hani said...

Hey Mike!

20 countries isn't that bad..I stand at a measly count of 14.

...and yes, it doesn't count till you clear customs and get OUT of the airport!

Have a safe trip, and see you soon.


mike247worldwide said...

Thanks Hani. Oh, NOW I have to actually leave the airport?! Next you'll be adding that I have to meet the Head of State. I move we amend the rule to only require one must buy and eat something after clearing customs.

Hani said...

"...we amend the rule to only require one must buy and eat something after clearing customs."

I second that!

Lis said...

Have a safe adventure! I think there should be a further amendment to the rules...something that involves enjoying a cup of coffee at the nearest cafe after clearing customs!