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Europe 2009

      This trip was for two months in the spring of 2009, hitchhiking about 6000km all over Europe in a crazy spirograph itinerary. I went to only a few places I hadn`t been before, but it was a revelation to return to Paris for a week. I had a great time thanks to all my friends there. I had a great time everywhere thanks to my friends!
      I decided to go easy on the pix so everything would fit on one page. The first eight photos are from Istanbul. The first ones here for the Hotel Kent--"kent" means "town" in Turkish.

      This tastes better than it looks, especially the pomegranite and pistachio. In the Egyptian Bazaar


      This boy is dressed like this because he is about to be circumcised. I think I would need more than a frilly cape to get through it.       Cabbage Pow! I don't know what these pills were for, so I took a few handfuls. My skin became green and scaly. HA!

      Standing grill bratwurst vendor in Berlin. This has to be a much tougher job than it looks. Munich politician. I wish I had stolen this poster.

      Hitchhiking in Hungary. I have seen better signs in Hungary with more indecipherable town names, but this is the best I could come up with on this trip.       Covered Trabant in Zalaegerszeg. I have long thought about importing a Trabant to USA. I could never make it street-legal, but maybe I could modify it as a golf cart or something.

      This is hitchhiking back to Hungary from Romania after visiting my dentist. I dozed off and my driver got so lost we had to take this ferry to cross the Tisza River far from Szeged. Anti-EU poster in Budapest.
"It is also possible to say no"

      I took this in a Budapest train station and I thought right after doing so I would get yelled at by the guy on the right, but he asked if I wanted to play.       Freedom Bridge spanning the Danube. Budapest has nine or ten bridges crossing the Danube. Further down the river in Belgrade, Serbia, a similar-sized town, there are only three. Paris, not much bigger, has 37 bridges across the Seine!

      Novi Sad, Serbia eatery. I impulsively decided to spend a few days in Serbia for no reason at all. I hitchhiked down from Budapest, taking the American flag off my backpack for this stretch. I didn't expect everyone to be so forgiving about the Balkan war. The government hasn't forgotten; the buildings below that we bombed during the war stand just as they were when hit.

      Hitching was pretty easy, I was happy to discover. I did get a ride from a very sleepy driver, but nothing fatal came of it.       Good meating!

      This Belgrade flea market was one of the scummiest I have ever seen, and I am normally totally unfazed by filth. The better action was on the fringe outside. I bought some t-shirts and Yugoslav communist youth paraphenalia.

BIG fan of the Cyrillic alphabet "Zvrk" sounds so much cooler than onion rings.

      I did manage to go to this World Cup soccer qualifier between Serbia and Austria. $8 a ticket.       I then hitchhiked from Serbia through Croatia back to Hungary. At the Croatian border they stamped my passport twice, which didn't go over well later in the day when I tried to leave the country.

      near Dortmund, Germany. I don't understand this. It is English, right?

      Big shoes in Holland       Hitching to Paris from Belgium. Notice the technique: hiding the flip flops behind the bag, back straight, alluring smile and general fantastic form. I really should write a book.

      I visited the Rochu family whereupon two amazing things passed before my eyes and ears. One was a visit to a charcuterie where I witnessed Veritable Jesus salami being sold, possibly the greatest name ever for a consumable, and then when Caroline and Fabrice's two and a half year old son, Matthieu, tasted some food and announced that it needed a little more salt. I saw all kinds of incongruent things in Paris, such as below:

"We're not just closed, we are exceptionally closed. Deal with it!"   

      The essence of Paris       ahhh, sooooo romantic!

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