May 17, 2005

Roll a what?


This might sound strange, but I feel like I'm out of human contact. For a week, the longest conversation I've had has been with this notebook. Most of the talking I do consists of ordering dinner or telling the taxi driver where I'm going. Speaking of taxi's, the van that brought me from the airport had a stick shift mounted on the dashboard. Weirdest car thing I've seen. lol (Got a picture of it).
I'm normally an introvert, so I'm used to spending long periods of time in my own head. To make things even harder though, there are language barriers, and anti-american sentiments in many europeans - they love america, but don't like americans. In a week, I've noticed a very curious thing - backpacking around europe is commonplace. Many US students do it. Most backpackers have a flag patch sewn on the back of their pack. I have yet to see a US flag. I've seen tons of Canadian flags. I wonder how many people are using the maple leaf as camoflage to hide from the US label? It is that we can no longer have pride in being from America or simpy fear of reprisal that is making this happen. Either way, it's a sad state of affairs in our world when can't be proud of who we are.

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I went into a shop today as astounded to discover an entire rack of rolling papers. Different flavors, shapes, colors, labels... I counted over 100 different types. Lined up like candy bars. I'll try to get a picture of this before I go. I haven't seen the actual shops that have menu's to select from and I'm sure I will, but it's funny to see just what kind of industry and marketing surround this activity. There are head shops everywhere. I've seen some of the most beautiful pipes made from blown glass or carved from wood or bone.

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They serve coffee in most places in these little cups with tiny handles. I can hold the freakin' things - quite comical. To not drop the cup is a true challenge for me. About half the places I've had coffee serve it with a small chocolate. I've taken to dropping the bar into the coffee and making my own little mocha's. I try not to drink coffee everyday. THe last thing I need to bring home is a caffiene addiction. ON of the best things I've discovered in europe is there seem to be no Starbucks - I can't even begin to articulate how great this is no to see everyone running around with the little paper cups from starbucks getting their FIX!

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I found a little Apothoke that had tiny tubes of SPF 60 sunscreen... I think I put half the tube on my face right there in the store. Dorky, I know, but I figured out how to post a picture to my blog, and even though the photo is washed out, you'll get an idea how burned I got in Vienna. It's not IF I get skin cancer, but when. I've been burned to badly too many times and they say each bad burn increases your chances 50%... I've well over 10,000 percent for my lifetime... I actually need to schedule an appt. when I get home to see a skin specialist and document some moles and other little bumps I have... I think they call it preventative medicine for a reason.