Tuesday, April 11, 2006

On the Road to Kurdistan

These two guys do not have Dorothy Lamour but they do have one heck of a story. This is an incredible tale and I can't wait for the remaining instalments. I do not know who Michael Totten is but Dave and I do have an idiot friend ("IF") who once took me on a similiar trip back in the 90's to the war zone of the Croation/Bosnian border. We had to navigate through the town of Karlovacz which was under siege by Serb irregulars backed by the recently departed Slobodan Milosovicz. The next year, on a trip to Greece, a foul up by said IF caused us to wander into a Serbia banned to American travel by the State Dept. Oh how happy the armed enemies of America were to see us! But those are stories for another time.

This Totten fellow's wife is very understanding. Aforementioned IF took me and two other guys on a trip to the Peruvian Amazon (motto-you think that snake is poisonous you should be chased by this snake) before I got married. It was made very clear by Mrs. JJV that there would be no more war zones, countries on State's do not visit list, or trips to places where all the local fauna were both deadly and fond of human flesh.

On a happier note, Dave and Laura went on their honeymoon to Turkey. I do not know if they saw the floating castle. I do know they did not ask for trip planning advice from aforementioned IF.

Update: Totten has the Third Instalment up. Border Crossings in warlike conditions are always the worst. Always the same thing; bribes to sketchy sorts and nervous youths with Kalishinikovs eyeing the obviously CIA affiliated Americano. If you must be in this sort of situation I recommend bringing your own IF (see above) to pay the bribes and absorb the initial rifle fire.

Update: Totten finds a cab. Well, now they're deep in Iraqi Kuridstan with a guy they don't know. Hit the tip jar ransoms are so expensive these days.

Ed. Note - Laura and I actually spent our honeymoon in the Lake Tahoe/Eastern Sierra Nevada area. We took a delightful trip to Turkey in the fall of 2001. IF was not consulted about either trip. We did not see the floating castle but the country is crammed with amazing stuff and we are going back.

The final installments of Totten's Kurdistan epic can be found here<http://www.michaeltotten.com/archives/001127.html> Alls well that ends well. Americans serving in the Turkish Army seems to me to be problematic but it was interesting.

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