Sometime near the end of May (Part 2): Homage to Catalonia - Barcelona, Spain: After an all-night train ride with no less than four train transfers, we arrived in Barcelona. We quickly found a place to crash on Las Rambas and at 11 AM laid down for some much needed rest. Joey and I were the only people present in a room with 16 bunk beds, lying down, exhausted after a sleepless night. A drunk guy with a pink mohawk then stumbled into the room. He walked to the bed next to us, dropped his pants to the floor and started pissing all over the mattress. It's 11 AM and this dude is still fucked up. Welcome to Barcelona. After not waking up to Joey half-assed attempts ("Dude, wake up, dude, that is NOT cool, dude…ah fuck it.") he picked up the mattress, put in on his head and walked out the door, his pants still around his ankles. The mattress wouldn't fit through the doorway so he rammed it in knocking himself over in the process. We heard a loud crash in the hallway and continued reading the Let's Go guidebook… Read more about this adventure......
Sometime near the end of May: Models and Mountains and Beers, Oh My! - Italy and Switzerland: Joey and I rolled into Milan, checked ourselves into a hotel and immediately went exploring. We weren't allowed to see the Da Vinci's Last Supper painting because we didn't call in advance to get on the list…LAME, I guess we read that stupid Dan Brown book for nothing. We walked to the Duomo cathedral and cruised around the fashion district and realized in Milan, there is no such thing as a pair of sunglasses with lenses that are too big…in fact, I think wearing an Top Gun fighter jet helmet that said Iceman across the forehead would have been considered fashionable since the idea seemed to be to cover up as much of your face as possible. We cruised past Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, Roberto Cavalli, Dior, Prada, Armani, Versace, Diesel etc, etc until we finally found something cool - Spiderman socks. Sweeeeet. Read more about this adventure......
May 15th - 20th: Hockey and Absinthe – Czech Republic: After an all day train and a bottle of vodka that only had a flaming barn on the label we (Riotch, Joey, and myself) roll into Czech Republic. We arrived to the seedy part of the town of Brno around 3 AM and the next bus out of town left at 7:30 AM. The only thing we could possibly do was to go to an all-night bar and drink Pilsner until morning in some bar with porn playing on the TV and a couple of dudes passed out on the bar. At 7:30 AM we got the bus and by early afternoon we were in Hradec Kralove with Jesse-O. Read more about this adventure......
May 6th - 15th: You’ve got a friend in Transylvania, Hungary and Romania: After several days of traveling hell, we arrived sleepless and penniless in Budapest. When we heard our old friend Ri-otch scream “Housewrecker!” across the halls of the train station we were overjoyed. Ri-otch is a former professional wrestler who now films NFL games for the Philadelphia Eagles and has an unstoppable predilection for pissing on national monuments. He fit in perfectly. He promptly bought us lunch and gave us money and we didn’t even have to sleep with him. Read more about this adventure......
May 4th - 6th: Three days of hell: The Ukraine Incident...Ukraine, Russia (again), Lativa, Lithuania and Poland: The backstory: We are supposed to meet our friend Ri-otch in Bucharest on May 5th, the Ukranian embassy in Moscow had been closed for 7 of the last 10 days, and visa laws between the US and Ukraine were changing at a rate that no one was quite sure if we could pass through without a visa (although they were 90% positive that we couldnt). And we aren't the type of people who wait around to "find out if this is legal or not"...we hopped on that train without a clue, a prayer, and most importantly a visa. Read more about this adventure......
April 20th - May 4th: Still rockin in the USSR, oops I mean Russia: Roughly one day after we left Ulaan Bataar, we arrived at the boarder of a small country called Russia. We had read and been warned of the Russian beauracracy so we thought nothing of it when our first attempted conversation in Russian ended with a bank window being slammed on our face. Neverless, it eventually opened again, we filled our pockets with rubles and heading north into the Siberian paradise known as Irkutsk. Read more about this adventure......
April 14th - April 20th (Added May 23, 2005): Nomads and Nomads in Mongolia: I guess we'll start this adventure where Mongolia starts...We were on a train coming north from Beijing and thanks to generous pours of Vodka from a lovely Austalian professional volleyball player named Steph we were proper pissed when the train arrived at the Chinese side of the boarder checkpoint. Read more about this adventure......
April 6th to April 14th: Let's all go to Chinatown!!!!: We rolled into China by train and it was a culture shock to say the least. The landscape of south China was spectacular, huge jagged limestone pointy mountains covered in green, rice paddies, and rivers contrasting the huge smog producing factories, and decayed tenement brick housing. The villages were extremely poor but often fascinating, everything made of red brick with narrow (4 to 5 ft) dirts roads winding between things. It was like the setting of all ninja movies but I didn't realize these towns really exist (hey I'm just a physist after all). Read more about this adventure......
March 24th to April 6th: Apocolypse Later - Vietnam: So we ended our last adventure floating down the Mekong River, from the City of Ghosts - Phnom Penh, Cambodia, headed towards Vietnam. We peacefully floated down the river while sleeping on the roof using a really old beat up tire for a pillow, waking up sunburned and bleeding. (Who knew there were sharp little metal things inside of tires???) Crossing the Vietnam boarder we were instantly exposed to 1. Conical hats everywhere and 2. Communist beauracracy. Read more about this adventure......
March 15th - March 24th: Bangkok to Cambodia We arrived in Bangkok at 5:30 AM and the city was still loud and kicking and we really thought we were going to like it. In Bangkok we were trying to walk to see a palace and we got taken by one of the oldest scams, a guy told us the palace was closed and he was going to take us on his tuk-tuk (a three wheeled motorcycle type thing) to another Buddha palace. This guy takes us to the middle of nowhere and drops us off. We tried to get another tuk-tuk home and the driver said only if we go to a Buddha palace first.... Now if you've ever seen Joey lose his temper you'll probably be able to picture him, frustrated after his (first of this trip) kidnapping standing in the middle of nowhere Bangkok screaming "F*&K Buddha!!!!!" at the top of his lungs at this tuk tuk driver. Good times good times. Read more about this adventure......
March 10th - March 15th: Einstein Southeast Asia Part 1: Singapore, Malaysia, and Southern Thailand: After forgetting that the earth had more to it than infinite amounts of rolling navy blue waves I looked off the bridge of our boat and couldn't believe what I saw...LAND!!!!!!! A few hours later we were in Tokyo. Tokyo is like a combination of the Jetsons, George Orwells 1984, Buck Rogers and about every science fiction prediction of the future right down to the sweet female electronic voice that talks to you every time a door automatically opens for you. As Joey and I wondered around the streets of the Shim Tsa Tsui district we realized that neither of us speak Japanese. We were able to communicate by pointing at Sapporo beer posters and pointing at our mouths. We also noted that everyone in Tokyo is extremely well dressed and likes to slurp their soup really loud. I felt a little underdressed in my yellow sweater but Hey! How many nobel prizes do you have bitch. Read more about this adventure......
March 5th - March 10th: Far East: Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong: After 23 days of living on a boat, we arrived in Singapore, we promptly went to Chinatown to eat and party and then booked a not floating accommodation in the Little India district. In India, they eat with no utensils and only their right hand. If you want to know why, it's for a reason that I as a physicist cannot bring myself to type. Nonetheless, the food was incredible and we saw some great guys juggling pot and pans and spatulas. Street mimes and kitchen-ware is a win win combination. Read more about this adventure......
Feb 12th - March 5th -Trans-Pacific Voyage, Pacific Ocean: On February 12th, Joey and I left our secure cooshy lives in Studio City, CA and said goodbye to our rad friends. We caught the train to Long Beach and luckily we got to stop in Compton, CA birthplace of all of our favorite Eazy E lyrics. We met a nice lady with two black eyes and a 1 qt. ziplock bag filled up with "prescription" medication. Now I'm a physicist with some street cred. Then we got to Long Beach, started walking to the port and ended up catching a ride from an El Salvadorian Mack truck driver to the Hanjin shipping terminal and there we feast our eyes on our mighty ship - the Punjab Senator. Read more about this adventure......
Jan 31 - Feb 12 - California, USA: Joey and I settled into an Oceanside apartment with our lovable friends Wiley, his wife Melissa and his dog Sammy. We partied in a garage listening to 70s punk while Scott further customized his motorcycle and we pretended we were Paul Sr. from East Coast Choppers and yelled at him. On Thursday, we headed down to San Diego to meet our friend Karen, got totally hammered in a kareoke bar, and ate a giant pizza. On Feb. 4th Joey turned 28 (or 12 depending on who you ask) so we ate cake and ice cream until we passed out. We went back to San Diego where I met one of my favorite movie stars, C3P0, and then drank and ate Mexican food with some Marines who just got back from Ramadi and Fallujah, Iraq with some HARDCORE battle stories. Then we headed up to Los Angeles.... Read more about this adventure......
Jan 28-31 - Train ride across the USA: After some last minute packing, Joey and I hopped in Cory’s car to head off on our round the world adventure. We were supposed to catch our train at the station in Tyrone, PA. In Tyrone, PA we learned a little about Amtrak. Apparently, the “station” where we “check in” and “check our bags” consisted of an unmarked slab of outdoor concrete near the train tracks. After asking many locals we finally conceded to believe that they weren’t kidding and we all just stared and laughed and laughed. When the train never arrived, we called Amtrak and the situation got slightly less funny when they said that the train was running 3 hrs late. Cory and Ryan had some Friday night partying to get to so they left Joey and I in at Burley’s bar in sweet ol’ Tyrone, PA. Read more about this adventure......
Jan. 22-24 – State College, PA: Going Away Party People around me know that I’ve been a little anxious lately, because it is only a few days until I’m leaving for my great adventure. So last Saturday night my good friends decided to have a going away party for me. I love those guys. We started out with a couple kegs of Yuengling lager and some Captain Morgan to warm up while watching Eddy Izzard. More and more people were showing up and I ended up getting pretty buzzed and I was having the time of my life!!! Those State College, Pittsburgh and Philly kids can really throw down! Read more about this adventure......
Jan 14-16, Niagara Falls, ON: Date With A Playboy Model - After being out of my cardstock backing for a week now, my mojo slowly began to come back to me. I went out to look for some ladies and who did I end up seeing but none other than Playboy model Pam Luu. I walked up to her with my cocky swagger and told her that I enjoyed her Playboy pictorial but I thought that the photo of her in Maxim magazine was better. She told me that she read Black Holes and Time Warps: Einstein’s Outrageous Legacy and that contrary to the Creationist haters she agreed that the supposed attractive force of gravity merely reflects the curvature of space-time and that inertia and gravity are indistinguishable. I said “Yes, physics is funny isn’t it? We should go out some time.” Read more about this adventure......
Jan 7-9, New York City, USA: I was born on Friday January 7th, 2005. After months of scraping and clawing I finally broke through the plastic shell and cardboard backing that had imprisoned me for so long. I was sitting on a windowsill and I look out to see the Hudson River and the Westside parkway and I immediately recognized my location as upper West Side Manhattan. The Big Apple baby! Read more about this adventure......