Archive for February, 2009|Monthly archive page

I’m alive

I don’t have time to write because this has been an amazing start to my life journey.  London is absolutely beautiful, and the weather has been merciful.  I have seen some gloomy skies with some moist humidity, but there were some clear sky days that have been exceptional for my camera obsessions.  It’s been 4 days and I’ve already taken 1300 photos.  I wish I could put them on facebook faster, but the wifi connections are not exactly ideal.

I’ll write a real entry shortly.  I just wanted my parents to know that I’m alive (I’ve called them and wrote separate emails like a good boy, but I feel like they are the ones checking my blog page every 2 seconds to see the latest update on my adventure).  

St. Christopher’s Inn is a hostel connected to a bar, which I think is the best business decision in the world.  I’m meeting loads of new people and asking millions of questions about local customs.  Not surprised, I mainly spoke with other tourists visiting London.   Details will follow shortly.

~See Lemons Enjoy London

Advertisements

What’s the worst that could happen?

 

 

Essence of Airline

Essence of Airline

Random Observation/Comment #146: Pessimistic people have a somewhat contagious personality.  Their over-planning and obsessive carefulness makes me worry a little more than usual (which is pretty impressive).  Voicing your opinion is very much appreciated, but it’s not as fun when I hypothetically could be the protagonist in your scary movie plots.  Please spare me the descriptive forms of torture.  Yes, it’s very creative thinking about SAW ideas – thank you for the nightmares.

 

The normal “Hostel”-type horror simulation has passed through my mind a few times, but I’ve deemed this situation as something much less probable.  Some psychotic sociopath capturing me to harvest my organs for money has not reached the list of my worries because I have no way of preventing these unfortunate mishaps.  I’ll just keep my imagination contained and in a PG-13 level.

What is much more probable is the loss of luggage or a pick-pocket-situation.  If I lost my laptop, my trip would be beyond ruined.  I don’t know how the trip could even possibly recover.  Unfortunately, most of my worries involve losing things.  The most important, of course, being my passport.  If I were stranded in Europe without a passport, what would I, or could I, do?  I think I’m just going to assume that this is not a viable option.  I have kept copies of my important stuff in separate places and money spread out in 8 different places (just in case). 

The only thing I can do is speak humbly and act anything-but-American.  Once I start sentences like “In America, we …” I will be ostracized.  I shouldn’t be that guy that makes conversations based on terrible stereotypes.  For example, if someone mentions New Zealand, never mention Lord of the Rings or cliff diving.  There needs to be something about each country that goes one level deeper than the main attractions passed around everyday conversation or found on the first page of guide books.  I will, hopefully, be able to learn these details and share them :).

As an interesting side note, my uncle has been backpacking before and he mentioned a different way of traveling. He would allot a certain amount of money for each country and just leave after that envelope of money was depleted.  This would assure that he didn’t splurge too much and just maintained that junky lifestyle.  He kept his hygiene as a priority, but wore some of the junky-est clothes.  I’m considering adopting such a travel lifestyle.  I’m sorry, G-Star :(.

~See Lemons Optimistic

I’m Leaving on an Airplane

 

 

Good-bye, New York. Hello, London.

Good-bye, New York. Hello, London.

Random Observation/Comment #145: I remember this feeling very clearly.  I could sense its presence with a growing shadow, but I dare not sneak a glimpse.  As the days counted down, it followed me closer and breathed down my neck.  The whispers warned me of uncomfortable situations, yet reassured me with joy.  It wasn’t until the gentle touch, did I absorb the waves of premonitions.  It was a few days before I was leaving to Japan, and the Reality of the entire trip simply tapped me on my shoulder.  I felt like a scientist and a puppy embarking on an adventure to the Unknown.  I smiled out of reflex, but I really wanted to cower.  There is so much to look forward to, yet so much that can happen while I’m away.  My whole world, as I know it, will be different when I come back… Hopefully, everything changes for the better.  Hopefully, some things, like the bond between my friends and family, will never change.

 

There are many things that I will miss when I’m away.  Some of them are obvious, but it’s the odd subtle ones that will be clouding my mind as I try to fall asleep in a different time zone.  It won’t be the jetlag that keeps me up. 

I will miss…

  • … my parents – I love you.  Thank you.
  • … my friends – Be good. Wordlife.
  • … the city – that skyline will be tattooed in my heart forever
  • … my mom’s cooking – nothing will match a soup made with love
  • … using chopsticks – I’ve actually packed a pair, just in case.  They’ll think I’m so Chinese when I eat sausage with chopsticks
  • … my nice clothes – time to look like a bum, but I’ll come back to them later
  • … my bed – I’m hugging my blanket as I type this
  • … Cooper – I didn’t always like the amount of work they assigned, but it was quite cozy. Cooper also had a ping pong table
  • … ping pong – I will find a way to play ping pong in Europe, but I will miss my paddle.  I am not nerdy enough to bring my ping pong paddle to Europe.  Although…
  • … skittles – I love skittles…
  • … Orbit gum – I guess I will have to settle
  • … video games – no more hardcore PC FPSs for a long time…
  • … driving – I really want to drive on the Autobahn 😦
  • … texting on the phone – I think removing myself from a cell phone will cause me some inconvenience, but improve my social life greatly
  • … taking pictures of everything I eat – definitely still doing that, but it will be with a real camera
  • … Starbuck’s tea in the morning – mmm…
  • …my collection of bottle caps – hopefully it will grow when I return
  • … free lunches and dinners with James – I think I owe you a tattoo
  • … inside jokes and ridiculous phrases – I don’t know where we come up with these things.  “Chop her legs off.”  “What day is Friday the 13th on?”  “She’s a white girl with –nique in her name?”  “A sparkle is a unit of time.”
  • … meeting new people in a drunken stupor – wait, I’ll probably still do that one

I will miss Home.  Even though I’ll be living somewhere else for 6 months, this will always be my home.

It’s like a new era.  See all of you in September.

~See Lemons Leaving on an Airplane

Munich – From Drinking to Drunk

Best of Munich from Frommers

Best of Munich from Frommers

Random Observation/Comment #144: Oktoberfest is such a wonderful holiday.  I’m glad the Germans don’t hide the fact that it’s devoted to alcohol.  There’s no shyt about family time and gifts, or some religious story (or at least I don’t think so) – it’s just an entire month of celebration.  I think every European country should choose a month of pure drinking, so Europe can be a continuously drunk mess – not that it isn’t already.

General Research:

  • Currency: EUR = approx 1.29 USD (2/8/2009)
  • Transportation
    • Tram
    • S-Bahn
    • U-Bahn
    • 10 EUR Gesamtnetz whole-network day pass since the four-zone journey from airport is 9.20 EUR – probably can use Eurail pass for this
  • Main Attractions
    • Museums, Galleries, Memorials
      • Deutsches Museum – Haidhausen – hands-on science-y stuff
      • Pinakothek de Moderne – paintings and modern art
      • Statue of Bavaria – Theresienhöhe 16 (U4 or U5 toTheresienwiese), +49-89-290671
      • National Bavarian Museum
      • Lenbach House – expressionist art gallery
      • BMW Museum – Must see
      • Haus der Kunst – national socialist architecture
    • Parks
      • Englischer Garten – in Schwabing (funny name) – beer garden with naked chicks
      • Riemer Park – for summer   U2 to Messestadt West
      • Hirschgarten – Neuhausen – drinking among deer
      • Tierpark Hellabrunn (Munich Zoo) in Thalkirchen
    • Palaces and Castles
      • Schloss Nymphenburg – in Neuhausen & Nymphenburg
      • Residenz – in city center
      • Schloss Schleißheim – S1-Bahn to Oberschleibheim
  • Shopping Areas
    • Maximillianstrasse
    • Hohenschwangau
    • Marienplatz
    • Viktualienmarkt
  • Must Eats
    • Weibwurst – breakfast sausage
    • Schweinsbraten – roast pork
    • Schweinshaxe – roast pig knuckle
    • Leberkässemmeln – cheap sausage-y food
  • Budget living
    • Wombat’s Hostel – Senefelderstraße 1, Munich, 80336
  • US Embassy
    • Munich (NIV Issuing Post) U.S. Consulate General Koeniginstrasse 5 80539 Muenchen Munich, Federal Republic of Germany
    • Telephone: (89) 23011
    • Mailing Address: Unit 24718, APO AE 09108
  • Emergency numbers
    • 112 – medical aid and fire department
    • 110 – police department
    • U.S. Dept. of State Travel Advisory (tel. 202/647-5225, manned 24 hr.)
    • U.S. Passport Agency (tel. 202/647-0518)
    • U.S. Centers for Disease Control International Traveler’s Hot Line (tel. 404/332-4559)
  • Tourist information center
    • Franz-Josef-Strauss airport in the central area (tel. 089/97-50-00)
    • Munich Tourist Office, Fremdenverkehrsamt, at the Hauptbahnhof, Bahnhofplatz 2 (tel. 089/2-33-03-00; http://www.muenchen-tourist.de)

Optimized Days:

  • Day 1
    • U-Bahn to Marienplatz
    • Marienplatz in old town
      • Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall)
    • Peterskirche
      • Church
      • south of the Neues Rathaus
    • Viktualienmarkt
      • At rear of church
      • Open-air market
      • cut north from the market, heading along Dienerstrasse until you come to Residenzstrasse. Cut east along
    • Maximilianstrasse
      • “fifth ave of Munich”
    • Alte Pinakothek
      • Great museum really takes 4 hours – art gallery
      • Rembrandt, Rubens, and Raphael
    • Lunch
    • Deutsches Museum
      • Island in the Isar River
      • Masterpieces in Science and Technology
    •  Englischer Garten
      • Nudity!
      • Beer gardens
    • Hofbräuhaus am Platzl – night life
  • Day 2
    • U-Bahn Rotkreuzplatz
    • Schloss Nymphenburg
    • Lunch
    • U-Bahn to Lethel
    • Bayerisches Nationalmuseum
      • Museum for Bavarian culture
    • U-Bahn to Odeonsplatz
    • Pinakothek der Moderne
      •  Staatsgalerie Moderner Kunst (Gallery of Modern Art)
    • Nightlife: Kulturzentrum Gasteig
      • theaters
  • Day 3 – south to Bavaria for castles
    • Morning
      • Neuschwanstein
    • Afternoon
      • Hohenschwangau
  • Day 4
  • Day 5
    • National Theatre-Opera House
    • the Residence Museum
    • Frauenkirche
    • BWM Museum

Resources:

~See Lemons go to Munich


Last Minute Checklist

 

 

Hello, Kitty :D

Hello, Kitty 😀

Random Observation/Comment #143: Weeks before I depart for these extended excursions, I have these restless dreams about forgetting random things that I’ve most certainly remembered packing.  It’s not like I dream about forgetting essential things (e.g., my passport or wallet) – no, those seem to be safe.  The dreams are always focused on rather insignificant items that could be purchased while I’m there goverseas.  I wake up in a nervous wreck because I forget a pair of nail clippers and I’m left me with long nails that really annoy me when I type on my laptop.  Another terrifying one is when all the socks I brought are in a state of perpetual wetness.  I try to dry them, but they’re always wet and I just lock myself in the room because I refuse to wear wet socks.  I think these nightmares are worse than the ones about serial killers, but maybe I’m just weird.

 

It’s hard for me to admit it, but there are more scary things than wet socks.  Besides the chance of your host harvesting your organs and stealing your money, there’s also the chance of just getting lost somewhere.  To minimize this chance, I’ve used Google Maps to print all of the maps of all of the locations I’ll be going in my first trip.  I covered the public transportation maps and used Street View to look for major landmarks near the entrances.  The search only takes a few seconds to pull up, and the image will definitely help increase expectations.

Anyway, that’s taken care of and I think I’ll be fine in terms of traveling, but I want to dedicate this entry to the essential miscellaneous activities that must be completed before leaving.  Firstly, there are items that I couldn’t keep packed for the two months my suitcase has been prepared.  This would include my toothbrush, shaver, and cologne.  Be sure to bring an umbrella and extra shoes that you may need for hiking or clubbing.

In terms of money, it’s important to have the correct currency in your country.  In my case, I will need British pounds, Euros, and Swiss francs.  Luckily, the rate has been very low (around 1.28 dollars to Euros instead of the December rate of 1.45). 

Keep numbers of the US Embassy in each of the major cities you will be visiting. I have personally entered these into my iPhone, which I will keep internationally activated.  I don’t intend to use my phone on a regular basis, but I will activate it internationally for emergency calls.  Below are some details about using the iPhone internationally:

  •  
    • International traveling – (activate phone in country to receive calls and make calls to US) – AT&T World Traveler package
      • $6 per month to activate
      • For Germany specifically: $0.99 per minute (doesn’t matter US to Germany or within Germany)
      • For France: $0.99 per minute
      • Denmark: $0.99 per minute
      • Hong Kong: $1.99 per minute
      • Japan: $1.69 per minute
      • Netherlands: $0.99 per minute
      • UK: $0.99 per minute
      • China: $1.99 per minute
      • Direct number of international department: 1.877.707.9208 – use this to activate the service
      • Email: lrcc_priorityresolute@att.com
    • International calling (activate US phone to call to international place) – AT&T World Connect – DO NOT NEED
      • $4 per month
  • Data plan: – DO NOT NEED
    • 20MB – $25 per month, overage rate is $0.005 per KB
  • Text messages – $0.50 per message sending out, $0.20 receiving
  • General travel tips: www.Att.com/wirelesstraveltips
    • Turn off data fetch and data roaming
    • Don’t use internet!!!
    • International roaming charges
    • Reset usage tracker to see how much data you’ve used

For credit and debit cards, you should call the company and tell them your travel itinerary so your card is not deactivated when you use it overseas.  Usually there will be 3% foreign transaction fees for card usage on top of the exchange rate, so I would suggest bringing cash and exchanging it there at a bank or post office.  International toll free numbers are available for additional questions while you’re overseas.

This particular blog entry was much more technical, but the mood should lighten during my travels.  I’m excited, but also quite sad.  I will miss all of my friends and especially my parents.  They’ve been very supportive and I cannot begin to believe how much they love me to let me go.  I will return in one piece with a new perspective of the world.  Thank you.

~See Lemons Triple Check

Don’t Die Don’t Die Don’t Die

 

 

The rails have one path

The rails have one path

Random Observation/Comment #142: I wondered when the idea of my six-month absence would sink into my parents’ minds.  It happened over the weekend at 9AM when I hadn’t slept a wink yet.  I can imagine why they wouldn’t want me to go, but I never thought they would worry to the extent of losing sleep.  I couldn’t help but wince when they didn’t trust my decision-making skills, but I calmed, knowing that they meant anything could happen in the dangerous world.  I tried to give reassurance of my planning and my background knowledge of the country, but there is only so much that could be expected.  I guess it’s not that they don’t trust me – it’s more like they don’t trust everyone else around me.  The world is a scary place, but if you say I can’t face it or experience it, how do I learn about it?  If you say there are things I can’t read about or see without actually being there, then what am I supposed to do?

 

I officially started my traveling in Japan – a place I consider safe and filled with unbelievably friendly people.  The high-strung personalities within the well-structured Japanese society showed me a world filled with boundaries.  Every person in Japan was inside their individual bubbles; bored out of their mind and scared to step outside of their limits.  The culture became my parent’s closest friend.  They felt safe knowing that I had a place to stay and a passive, and even paranoid, crowd.  For the most part, my size intimidated most Japanese people and I think they would be more afraid of an American traveler mugging them, than any reverse situation.

Europe, on the other hand, does not belong to some haiku-reading Hello Kitty world.  To my parents, it’s a dark cube of unknown danger at every corner (that’s like eight corners of doom).  European news and horror stories have scared them into believing that evil triumphs good intentions.  Are the tourist attraction major cities in Europe really much more dangerous than New York City?  I think, like every city in the world, there are slum sections and upscale areas.  The robbery stereotypes seem to be generalized to the entire city when most places are relatively safe at the right time of day. 

I don’t intend to roam the “Harlem’s” of Germany, France, Czech Republic, Netherlands, or Switzerland.  I don’t intend to drink until 7AM and sleep on park benches, neither.  I know the cities I will be visiting and I’ve used technology to its fullest extent to keep myself from getting lost.  My resources have been exhausted and my senses will be on alert.  There is nothing more I can do to prepare myself for this journey.

As a general guideline, it is much safer to travel in a group; however, my lonesome travels should not bring any level of insecurity.  I will act responsibly and follow all of the traveling guidelines I followed in Japan.  For some reason, it seems like my parents think I will act completely opposite from my compulsive mannerisms.  Why would I act differently when I’m compulsive about planning and safety?  Don’t you think getting killed or stranded would put a damper on my trip?  Do you think I want to even welcome the smallest possibility of dying?

Every time this topic of conversation begins, I feel my eye twitching and my mood sullen.  I’m always hearing the same advice, but worded a little differently so my parents can hear it said differently.  I can’t promise that I will be alright, but I can promise that I will be smart about my actions.  The danger does exist in my mind and I am more than aware this could be a nightmare.  I am scared, but I’d like to reassure them that everything I can do; I have done.

~See Lemons Think Safely

Anal cavity searches don’t seem like fun

 

 

Japanese liquid tester

Japanese liquid tester

Random Observation/Comment #141: When I first grasped the simple concept of an airplane, I was very excited – I would get to fly to a magical place with unlimited supplies of candy and mashed potatoes.  What I pictured in my mind was a flying carpet, so you could imagine how impressed I was to see an airplane.  The giant wings would be able to fit many more people than a small little carpet.  I actually thought I was going to sit on top of the airplane.  It would be a little bit windier, but I felt like I would get a better view of the clouds.  I think my whole desire for flying was to sit on clouds.

 

I’ve never really been a nervous flier, but instead, I was more of a nervous airport terminal waiter.  I didn’t like the idea of showing to international flights two hours earlier just to – well… sit there and wait at the terminal for two hours.  There are quite a few airport terminal shops to browse, but I’m never really sure who purchases new handbags and pieces of luggage at the airport.  How do these places make a profit when everyone walking the airport is really just trying to waste time? The most thriving business, in my opinion, would be the book stores.  Magazines and short readings could be started and then purchased for the long plane ride ahead.  I would suggest preparing yourself for those book store prices because it’s not going to be pretty.  Hint: Bring your own book.

Before discussing adventures at airports or complaints about the random things (which I’ll leave for the later entries), it’s important to research the rules of the airport.  For international flights, always check-in two hours before your flight.  It’s annoying, but it’s better to be on-time and bored, than late and stranded.

The check-in luggage should be less than 50lbs or else you will be charged for the overweight.  I don’t think they will ship anything that exceeds 80lbs.  Most airline companies permit two forms of carry-on luggage.  The standard bag size for this is 56x45x22cm (22×17.5×9.85in) and should not exceed 40lbs.  You’re going to have to lift this into an overhead compartment, and those delicate flight attendants probably won’t be able to help you with your mass of poorly-packed garbage, so I suggest only carrying the essentials.  The other bag can be a size of a laptop, which will eventually need to be stowed, but can be more frequently accessed during the flight.

In terms of passing the metal detector and handbag x-ray check, all liquids must not exceed 100ml.  You may bring creams, gel, suntan lotions, toothpaste, deodorants, cosmetics, and medicines, but I would suggest placing them all in a separate clear, plastic bag ahead of time so they can scan it without causing too many problems.  Remember that JFK does not allow you to take water from the “outside” into the terminal (probably because they want you to spend more money) so don’t bother wasting money before entering the waiting area.  It’s such a mean trick to put drink machines right before the entrance.

Unless you want to cause trouble, I would suggest leaving any of the items on the “banned list” at home.  The airport security personnel don’t have a good sense of humor and will probably knock you out.  Some of the banned items include:

  • Explosives – fireworks, ammunition, flares
  • Gas cylinders – any flammable or non-flammable gas cylinders for butane, oxygen, propane, or nitrogen
  • Flammable liquids – paint, petrol, lighter fluid, solvents, varnish
  • Flammable solids – fire lighters
  • Substances liable to spontaneous combustion
  • Substances which in contact with water emit flammable gases
  • Oxidizing materials – paint strippers
  • Organic peroxides – bleach
  • Toxic substances – insecticides, weed killers
  • Infectious substances – bacteria, viruses
  • Radioactive materials
  • Corrosives – wet cell batteries, acids, mercury barometers
  • Miscellaneous dangerous goods – magnetized materials, dry ice
  • Cooking oils

The airport is not scary, but it’s a good idea to know what to expect.  It would be quite a bad start to a long trip if there are complications involving rubber gloves.

~See Lemons Prepare for the Airport

Rating Love

 

 

the best.

the best.

Random Observation/Comment #140: I’ve avoided writing about love because, for some reason, I don’t want to feed my parents’ curiosity regarding my relationship status or love life.  My brother and I follow the same rules, except I have a love life involving girls, instead of cars.  Over the years, my parents and I have played this detective story jingle.  They think they’re getting closer to solving the crime, but my path of bread crumbs have always lead them in the opposite direction.  My mom is so clever that I couldn’t help but confuse her with a string of completely incoherent facts.  She’s a great listener and analyzer, so a few little comments will at least keep Alzheimer’s from starting early.  I don’t really mind telling them, but I think they would feel like those prying, nosy parents if they asked me (and they probably would be acting a little bit outside this normal realm, if they do ask).  Instead, they’ll just record every detail and have little meetings around the kitchen table where they share the bits and pieces to sketch my night life experiences.  I wonder if they do literal sketches of the type of girl they think I’m dating, or at least a girl that I’m attracted to (I hope they draw a pretty girl).  Every once and a while, I’ve learned that some stories need to leak through to have the game continue.  A new jigsaw puzzle needs to be started and those empty spaces adds some excitement and mystery to the omitted nights lost in the city lights (ooo, I liked that).

 

My brother wrote a blog entry about his opinion of love and Valentine’s Day.  He mentions a lot of interesting points that I agree with, including Valentine’s Day being a terribly commercialized holiday, and love following every achievement and form of success.  He really has a nice description of the L-Word, but he did not describe the feeling of being in love.  The entry lacked the personal experiences that I was waiting to hear about – like that time in the back of the car or that red-head in an elf costume.  I will not include these experiences in my entry either because I don’t want to give my parents a heart attack, but I will explain what it means to me and how I measure it (Warning: Mushy Content).

 I think I was in love once.  She meant everything to me.  She was not just a part of my routine, but one of my main priorities (in my love-struck state of mind) was to do everything I could to make her goals, aspirations, dreams, and fantasies come true.  I called her because it was the best moment of the day, not because she expected me to follow a checklist of chores.  My brain included her in every thought (not that a high school senior really had much to think about).  Day dreaming in class was habitual and I’m glad I didn’t have an iPhone (or even a cell phone) at the time or else I would have spent all my time and money texting.  When I walked through stores, I looked at every item, wondering if an unexpected present would make her smile.  It never occurred to me that I needed to tell her anything but the truth because I knew she would accept me for who I was.  There was a level of judgment that was ultimately suspended above layers of forgiveness and leniency.  We were bff’s and it felt like a poem. 

These feelings, if short-term, would seem like stalkerish tendencies, but since they were reciprocated for the full length of our relationship, I felt it was much less creepy.  I tried to describe my feelings to her on our two year anniversary, but it was an epic fail of crumpled papers in a dark hotel.  I wound up writing something interesting, which I’ve found quite profound, yet deflecting.  I said that I love her because I can’t explain, with all my logic and countless hours of analysis, why I love her.  It just was.  I couldn’t remember the days before I met her and I couldn’t imagine a life without her as a part of it.  Love made me live in the present because, for once, it was the best thing on the timeline.  There was nothing I could remember and nothing I could look forward to more than those moments with her.

Ehem… Back to reality.  This was not an illusion, although it didn’t last as long as I wanted it to.  It’s sad, but I don’t know if love could look that way again.  That was young love.  I learned a little more through heartbreak and found that, realistically, we follow the relationship because of teamwork.  When you have someone else, it’s a distribution of every set of emotions between the both of you.  If you’re carrying heavy bags, there’s another person to help you.  If you’re eating a delicious food, you’re happy to share the experience with someone else.  At the end of the night, even if you haven’t spoken to each other, you know you’re thinking about each other.  Along the same lines you’ll feel the same importance of being a part of someone’s life, but you’re there with the other person walking on solid ground, instead of floating in the air in some fantasy land.  Fantasy land doesn’t exist for older people because ambition becomes more attractive than a cute smile and a sexy voice.  Making sacrifices and overcoming hardships to achieve common dreams are the true feelings linking two people together.

I thought about measuring true love, but it started to sound more like a measure for blind-love.  My measuring method was similar to the Bogardus level of prejudice paper I learned in Social Psychology class (see? I learned something in a humanities class that I can apply to everyday life).  Basically, this psychologist wanted to measure someone’s level of tolerance depending on their answers to a set of increasingly difficult questions. 

  1. Would you ban this person from you country?
  2. Would you grant this person citizenship?
  3. Would you allow this person to vote?
  4. Would you allow this person into your neighborhood?
  5. Would you share a cab with this person?
  6. Would you have this person as a coworker?
  7. Would you allow this person membership to your exclusive club?
  8. Would you date this person?
  9. Would you marry this person?
  10. Would you allow your child to date this person?
  11. Would you allow your child to marry this person?

For example, if this were focused on racism, then this would test your tolerance for a different race. 

I bring this up because my measure of love follows a set of questions in a similar manner.  There should be a level of personal sacrifice you’d be willing to make before you resort to saying “Screw her, I’m more important.”  I do not have a full list of criteria, but I expect the earlier questions would involve paying for meals and driving long distances, while the later questions could involve sharing bank accounts or taking the blame for a crime.  Depending on how long the relationship has existed, I think the expected level of commitment should adjust accordingly (i.e. I would be touched if a girlfriend of three years flew 5000 miles to see me for a few days, but would be freaked out if a girl I dated for a week started naming our children and buying real estate).

~See Lemons Analyze Love

Anal Packing Completed (Not Sexual)

 

 

the spread

the spread

This entry doesn’t count because there is no random observation/comment, but I just wanted to post the two pictures involving my packing technique.  The “rolling” technique has allowed me to optimize and look like a compulsive freak.  What’s done is done.  Now I will look like a bum for the next week because I packed all my good-looking clothes.

~See Lemons Finished Packing

 

the suitcase

the suitcase

Stuffing shyt into a suitcase

 

 

Packing may cause a cute headache... awww

Packing may cause a cute headache... awww

Random Observation/Comment #139: For this Euro-trip, I’ve been planning my necessities since October.  My list on the exact set of clothes and underwear I’ll be bringing has not changed in quite some time.  This being said, I’ve started wearing the “less favored” clothes (including underwear) these past 4 months.  These adjustments to my fashion-sense have brought me closer to my wardrobe (haha – no homo).

 

I love packing.  I personally enjoy the reassurance that everything I planned on bringing is included when I can keep the checklist continuously updated.  Depending on the trip, I will either act like Jack Nicholson in “As Good As It Gets” or wait until the last hour to stuff things into any suitcase.  The latter technique is used when packing short trips to familiar places like Vermont or Pennsylvania.  The former will be activated for this trip.

Everyone has been suggesting that I pack lightly, but unfortunately, I will be traveling through the freezing cold, moderate cold, lukewarm, and scorching hot temperatures.  The solution that made the most sense for me was to wear layers.  I’ll bring thin, long-sleeve shirts and just wear the short-sleeves under it while I’m traveling when it’s cold.  Thin shirts will fit into my luggage in the “rolling packing technique” and I expect to optimize my luggage space.  T-shirts should be cheaper in price, so even if I don’t pack too many, I will be able to purchase some during the summer.  I’m sure most of the time in Spain will be skins, anyway.

The following is my packing list for approximately 2 weeks-ish (keep layered)

  • Clothes:
    • Jeans – 5 pairs
    • T-Shirts – 9
    • Long sleeve – 6
    • Long sleeve over – 2
    • Sweater – 1
    • Jackets – 2
    • Socks – 10 pairs
    • Boxers – 10 pairs
    • Button up Shirt – 1
    • Dress Shoes/Dress Clothes? – (not necessary)
    • Normal Shoes
    • Hiking shoes – buy?
    • Slippers – brown
    • PJs – 1
    • Sweatpants – 1
    • Under-armor – 1
    • Long underwear – 2
    • Shorts – 2
    • Activities shorts – 1
    • Bathing Suit – 1
  • Accessories:
    • Belt
    • Watch
    • Wallet
    • Hat
    • Scarf? – maybe… my jacket zippers really high…
    • Face mask – if I go skiing…
    • Gloves – ski gloves
    • Umbrella – 1: shrinkable
    • Sunglasses – buy?
  • Technology:
    • Power Converter – 2: 220V
    • Phone – iPhone Activate
    • Phone charger
    • Camera
    • Camera accessories (wires, charger)
    • Laptop
    • Laptop accessories (wires, charger)
    • USB key
    • Headphones
  • Bathroom stuff:
    • Shaver with charger
    • Toothpaste
    • Toothbrush
    • Body Soap
    • Shampoo
    • CK-B
    • Tissues – 10
    • Lip balm
    • Nail-clippers
  • Medicine:
    • Stomach stuff
    • Cold medicine
    • Biotin
    • Zyrtec-D
    • Lotion
  • Bags:
    • Ziplock medium and large – 10
    • Normal Plastic – 5
    • CS Messenger bag
    • Jansport backpack
    • Black foldable carry-on
    • Large suitcase

Most people will not be traveling as long as I will, but some of the products I mentioned may have been overlooked. 

By the way, if you think this list was nerdy, you should have seen the more detailed one where I list the exact clothes I have planned to bring.  I have taken these out because I’ve noticed I call all my clothes by their brand names :P.  Happy Packing.

~See Lemons Pack