Wednesday, December 31, 2008

I Just Had the Best New Years Ever, No Doubt About It.

I have to tell you about my night. I thought I had a date for tonight but for whatever reason she did not contact me. No worries, the Universe always has a plan, you and I should, know that by now. So without a date for the evening I was in the flat alone, again not a big deal as I have done about 8 NYE alone. But this one was special. At 00:00 I went outside (-5c) and witnessed one of the greatest events of my life. From my balcony I have a great 180 degree view of the city. Not only is tonight special because it is new years eve but also because Slovakia's Independence Day. Add to that the historic event of full entry in E.U. with the adoption of the Euro currency. This is the second time I have been in a country that has changed currency to the Euro. The first time was Jan. 2002 when I was in Ireland and the first 16 (I think) countries adopted the Euro. Some of you might think, so what, big deal, but for me to be part of a historic event (fully automatic gun fire right outside now, that's a bit much, don't think guys?) So what I witnessed was 20 minutes of fireworks all over the city. To my far right view I watched the fireworks from Old Town and the main celebration for the country. And from that point to 180 degrees to my left the city was filled with hundreds of different people setting off their own fireworks. It was amazing, I could not even begin to do it justice trying to describe it. I didn't even want to leave to get my camera, mainly because I didn't want to miss any of it but also I knew that I could never capture the true feeling of what I was seeing and if I can't give you on film what I see in my brain I don't take the photo. I just can't capture the feeling of being there in person. I am sorry you missed it but for me it was magic. Pure and Simple. It also did another thing. It restored my hope in the future not just for me but for everyone. I believe now more than ever in the internal goodness in people and I think that these troubling times we have ahead, will show that more than anything and will touch people in ways they did not know possible. Some say I am to much of an optimist but I believe that one person can change the world if they really believe that they can. So that is what I will do, I will change the world for good because one person can and will change the world, because it is what I want. If any of you want to help me all you have to do is believe that you can and then we will. Much LOVE to all of you. I feel it trust me.

Have Great New Year

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

2008 - What Can I Say...

all in all, a great year. Sure it was not the easiest year at certain points compared to others I have lived in recent memory but still on balance a really great year. And I would not have changed any of it. Everyday I feel like I have been able to learn something I didn't know the day before that helps improve my life. Some people told me that I am too optimistic and positive all the time, well all I can say is this, it works for me so I will continue feeling this way. It can work for you only if you believe in it. It's easy, ask me and I can tell you how.

Some highlights from this year.

I got to visit 9, yes 9 countries this year.
Austria - a few times
Turkey - twice
Great Britain
The Czech Republic
The Netherlands - 4 times :-)

I meet so many great people this year and have formed friendships with some that will last a lifetime.

I had one of the best summers at camp this year and I was able to put together a slideshow for the kids that is going to be hard for me to top next year. Yeah I'm bragging but I knocked it out of the park this year. (I am working on getting it uploaded to the web for non campers to see but it's a huge file)

But most of all I learned more about myself in the last year and hope that in 2009 I will continue this quest. Trust me the more you know about yourself and exactly who you are, the happier you become.

I wish all of you the best for the new year and thank you for following me. Remember is more than a web site, it's a way of life.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Greetings from Istanbul

I am having a great time here. The only problem is the weather has been crappy and not worth taking photos when it is overcast all the time. I will hope I get some sun in the next two days. If not such is life, I will have to return in the future to get the photos I want. I know exactly where I want to take them but without the right light it is not worth lugging 25lbs on my back all day. If something is worth doing, it's worth doing right.

I would like to thank Zeynep and Irem for taking the time to spend with me and taking me around the city. Thank you both.

I will update you guy in a few days when I get home, I hope I will have photos to post so hope for sun.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas To All

I just wanted to say Merry Christmas to all my loyal readers.

I am about to leave for a four day trip to Istanbul. I should have internet access and will try to post while I am there. I am really looking forward to seeing my Turkish friends and seeing more of the city. The weather looks like it might be ok for the first 2 days so I will see.

And again, I hope everyone has a magical Christmas.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

I Believe I See A New Bus Coming for Me

I am not positive but I think I see a bus with my name on it coming towards me. Again, I am not positive but I have a good feeling and my eye sight is very good. I will see as the bus gets closer but right now it seems to be about 8 days away. That may sound strange but make perfect sense to me.

I am sure that some of you who have been reading my stuff will get what I am talking about for the rest of you the best I can tell you is read my post about "the bus".

Remember, it is your universe and if you can learn to control even just a little bit of it you will be amazed at what can happen. If you think such things are impossible, then for you they will be impossible. But for me I prefer to think anything is possible and so far it works.

I also want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year since I may not post in the next few days.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Best Birthday Cake Ever

I want to thank my flatmates, Maria, Eva and Katka for giving me the best cake I could have ever dreamed of. Girls, this is why I am your houseboy, because you do things like this for me. Do you know how hard it will be for anyone to ever top this cake.

What you are looking at is one of my favorite pizza's of all times, The Mexicanna bez Kukurica (without corn) from Pizzeria Tiffany. (300m away from the flat.) It is salami, hot chilies and hot sauce. It is spicy and most people have trouble with how hot it is but I can't get enough heat.

It was such a surprise for me I had to share it with everyone.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Pavol Sipos is My Hero

Pavol found my wallet and passport in the taxi I had been in. Since it did not have my contact info for Bratislava in it, it took him a few days to track me down. He found a card to the car rental agency I use and asked if they had a phone number for me. They where able to give him Kate's phone number and he called her and got the address and brought it back to me.

For that I will make sure I do something very special for him and his girlfriend. He did not speak English but was able to explain to me enough for me to understand how he found me. I will never be able to thank him enough.

Thanks to you who also were praying for this to happen, it did because of you.

Cleaning Up My Mess

I got some good news this morning when I called the Embassy. I will be able to apply for a new Passport right here in Bratislava, which is great. I have my Birth Certificate and an old Passport being FedEx'ed to me hopefully by Tuesday or Wednesday at the latest. It should only that 5-6 working days for them to process it and get it back from the States. Since I am not traveling in the next few days it is not a problem that I don't have a Passport.

My credit cards are all being replaced and I should have all of them by next week sometime. My ATM card will show up Tuesday I hope. I do have some cash on hand and my flatmates all have cash so it is not a problem, it just sucks not to have anything. I really do feel like a man without an identity right now and it is not a feeling I want again.

The upside is with a new Passport they really have know idea just how long I have been in Europe so for me I feel as if I was able roll back my odometer back to 000000 and start fresh again here. That is the great thing for me about Vienna airport, when get to Passport control, they just open stamp it and hand it back.

I will keep you updated as things progress. Thanks for those who pray for me and send me positive thoughts, trust me I know they work.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

So My Bus Has Broken Down

The good news is help is on the way to get the bus going again. Thanks to my mom and step-dad who are sending me what I need.

So what happened, the simple answer is I lost my wallet and passport last night. I got way to drunk and lost it in the cab home. I made some bad choices last night and will pay for them now. It sucks but there is nothing I can do to change things so I will learn a $600.00 lesson. (cost of new passport, fedex cost for new cards, new card express fees, $240 for my flight I can't use now, etc.) The Ryanair experience taught me to wait for the good, and not to focus on the negative. So I will see what happens because I will not go to Amsterdam as planned on Monday. I hope to be able to visit Prague on Friday but I will not know until I call the Embassy on Monday to find out exactly what I need my mom to mail me so I can apply for a new passport. Loosing it sucks because I had so many stamps from so many places. But I remember them all and have photos so it is not the end of the world. I hope having a photocopy of both my passport and drivers license will help things along but I am prepared to fly home for a few days and get a new one if I really need to but I am almost sure I will be able to get a replacement in Vienna.

So lesson learned: Don't get so drunk you leave your wallet and passport in the cab.
Ok that's it in a nutshell. I will keep you posted.