so it got down to the wire, as I wrote. I was saving up for a ferry, but when I got there, they mentioned I had to pay port fees. So after paying all their new costs I had about 20 Euro left for myself to survive for who knows how long. Quickly wrote a couple of customers asking for quick payment. Got to Athens and then there was another bonus expense: something about “clearance”. Spent more than half an hour wasting my time with some bozo, got to the point where I was standing up above him raising my voice in anger that when I buy a plane ticket, sure, there are airport costs and taxes and all sorts of things, but I’m told about all this ahead of time. I said I simply do not have the money but hope to get paid on Friday, possibly Monday. He said on Friday they are closed (turns out to be a holiday here), so it will have to wait until Monday, but that it is illegal for me to park anywhere along the 2km of shipping coastline and to park in his little clearance space costs 60 Euro a day. So 5 days of parking plus his 60 Euro clearance fee adds up to more than 300 Euro, he answered back to my bellowing. I did not say another word and thought, “you know what? I think you can ‘clear’ my sinuses all over your paperword”, got in my caravan truck and just drove away. HAHAHAHAHAHA. What are they going to do to me? My caravan truck is registered in Europe already. I get on an island, then off, and everyone thinks I am importing and exporting something. They can all totally BLOW me. If by chance some cop in Europe looks in his computer and says that it does not show up in his computer that my truck has been “cleared” to enter Europe, my simple argument will be that probably the clearance authorities are inept and forgot to punch it in. No more worries.
On another note, found a free internet place here in Athens, had 10 Euro left, checked my bank account and saw a tasty balance of 74 thousand crowns. So what did I do? Within that very same shop I bought a BlackBerry Bold, YEEEEEEEHAAAA! Now I’m set up to peruse the Greek coastline while I work. Unfortunately, for a 3g account I need to live in this country too, so it will have to be gprs to check email only, and then find internet cafes, but this BB is unblocked and I’m now set to go wherever I go. Keep getting more work from this new customer, so things are going well. Next big project is to convert the truck to FFF, which I hope to do in Bulgaria during Junish. Then my costs will be permanently low and it will be time to start paying debts (hi mom). And saving up cash, for the first time in my life. Looking forward. Maybe buy an electric keyboard (music). Otherwise, I cannot even imagine buying anything much else for me.
Well, just wanted to share that with ya BB dudes!
By the beginning of June I’m already supposed to be in Bulgaria, but I can delay things if yer up for it. But if you have only 6 days I gather you’d wanna spend more time with your girlfriend than a grease monkey like me, but if yer really up for it, lets plan! Part of my itinerary includes those two nipple peninsulas hanging below Thessalonika, so I figure I’ll have those under my belt and ready to head to Bulgaria by the time you’re down there.
Just checked and the border crossing into Bulgaria is near Zlatograd north of the Greek island of Thassos, where the dude has another house, so it seems I’d have to be driving east of Thessaloniki after the nipples, otherwise I’m burning a lot of fuel. Maybe I could hang out at the second nipple a bit and you ferry over to that for a quick tour? Yesterday I bought a detailed map of Greece so I could check for ferries. Would that seem too much of hassle for you? Just throwing around some ideas. p
Hey, I’ll be there for the first time from the 3rd to the 9th of June… Then end of June, then mid July… And then 2 more times in August and September. Olympic Riviera is right by Mount Olympus… Just west of Thessaloniki. If you happen to be nearby, that’d be great, if not, Maybe I can’t catch you on the way back, or I can come to you, if you’re only a few hours away.
Checked out my atlas and could only find Mount Olympus in the north east. Is it around there? By the time you get there I’ll probably be somewhere in the north, and wouldn’t wanna backtrack too much cause of the price of fuel, but if I know exactly where and when you’ll be I could slow down my travels to time things. Can’t wait to convert to FFF.
> Cool… Let me know how it goes. Let’s make it happen!
> Ahoj Kajo!How are you? Sorry agin it took me so long to reply,
Hey bejbybananaK, good to hear from you as always. Landed in Athens a few days ago and still struggling with my internet. Once that’s done I’m ready to embark on my big Greek tour. Already have a suggested route and looking forward. Looking forward to getting back to the coast, so I can just on the shore and swim again. Been about three months in the interior and wanna get back to the sea.
I just moved out from Brussels … and I miss it. And i dont know whats going to be next… maybe UAE, maybe Romania (that would be quite nice and close!) or maybe even Kenya…will see. For next few weeks i am in CZ. I am very HAPPY THAT YOUR FUN STORY had a happy ending (otherwise it would not be actually fun,would it?!) And every single time i think about it i also have to laugh… it is SO Karel adventure!)
Sounds like you could be moving to some interesting placs.
Yah, funny Karel story. The truck shipping thing was just another crazy one and hope to update the blob soon with all the details.
So what is new? What are you up to these days? Are you in Greece or in Bulgaria yet? Keep me posted, i always love reading/hearing from you! I am still planning to come this year, at least once but right now cant really tell when… hopefully soon! I need the sun and the sea and feel their life style again! I was working in my garden today, the whole day, its quite pretty, will send you some pix soon. maybe one day you will have a chance to come to visit me here at my parents house and see my garden!) Take care and keep in touch! Love, nanabaK
My latest dream is to convert the truck to run on French Fry Fuel (FFF) while in Bulgaria. If I manage that thought I’d like to visit CZ for July and August. Have a female friend visiting from the US and she says she HAS to see me one way or another. We’ll see. Have lots of business I need to get done in CZ anyway. Depends on a lot of factors. If it works out plan to get there through Tatry and Moravia and Krakow and all that. Would be a cool trip. Otherwise maybe next summer, cause if FFF is possible certainly plan to do it. Hopefully at least before this winter as I’m thinking I’ll shift my winter escape this time to Sicily. Would be cool to ferry to Tunisia and check out that continent, and smoke lotsa naughty stuff!!
So if I do make it to Czech Republic this summer will certainly swing by your garden, and certainly send me some pics too!! latergatorrette
oops, got stoned. Anyway, this thought occurred to me earlier. Took me an hour to find a parking spot in Athens. Occasionally tried some small streets closer to the centre, but they kept getting narrower and the cars closer together such that, at least on one occasion, I was forced to reverse with all the other cars behind me, who had to inch backwards into almost a highway. Crazy town. Anyway, ended up parked next to a theatre, which used to be the Olympics badminton parking. Peaceful, although about 40 minutes brisk pace to the centre – and Greeks simply couldn’t believe someone would walk that far.
Was parked there for about three days trying to sort out Greek internet on my mobile etc., and kept walking by an every day flower fair on my way to buy the daily groceries or to take the daily… poop.
And the last day I got a revelation, bought two longish rectangular pots and stuffed them with mountain flowers, including mint, basil, and some local tea plants. Now I put them on my front window sill and I have a little garden inside! Move it somewhere else when I’m driving. Will send pics later.
Anyway, you keep raving about your garden I had to think of you once the plants were all out!
Today I drove past Corinthians on that Pononopopoly island and have an excellent view over a very placid, mountainous and beautiful inlet sorta thing. laterbanaaaaaanaaaaaa
So today I finally got out of Athens. Was almost horrible there trying to sort out internet and all that, but the Greeks were very nice and much nicer than the Cypriot Greeks.
So now I’m on the island just to the west of Athens, its first province Corinthia. I’m supposed to spend 10 to 14 days here and already got a little path suggested by locals. A beautiful and placid area and reminds me how much I’ve had enough of city life.
Finally got my internet sorted, been browsing my new phone, and without really registering I kept seeing “video phone” in places among the menu. Eventually noticed a little camera, and occurred to me that you could call me sometime and see the scenery while talking to me! Would have to arrange time so I turn it on. I check my email through it, or we can try my special email address which becomes an instant sms. We can figure something out if ya wanna drop by for some tea. :0)
hope you got my email I sent from my new mobile phone regarding your tying the knot and the invitation. Right now inching my way along the Greek coast and its very lovely, but I don’t get so frequent internet and many cafes don’t like me to hook up my computer directly to their network, so writing offline can take a while before an email gets to its destination.
Finally saved up enough cash to get off of Cyprus (that was quite the freaky experience) and now making my way to Bulgaria where a friend says he has work for me helping him reconstruct his house. Not sure if I’ll have enough time, seeing I’m getting a lot of translation work (pays a lot more), but the backup will be nice and primarily the opportunity to hang out with some blokes for a change. Getting a lot of work lately so it is saving my butt and starting to pay off debts. Getting off the island cost me quite a bit, had to buy the new phone for internet and business, and now I’m saving up to convert my truck to French Fry Fuel (FFF). If that succeeds then I’d like to drive to Czech Republic. Stef will be there from July 9 to August 9, so I thought it would be cool to hang out July/August (she fervently demanded we hook up this summer). Have some business I need to do there anyway. Will try hard to make it by August 1 and seems realizable, if the work keeps coming in. Otherwise gas costs will be a problem. After that I hope to spend at least one winter in Sicily and then it will be nice to drive around wherever I want without worrying about costs, if the FFF works out. Amazing concept.
In any case, just had a funny thought I wanted to blast off, even if ridiculous and not exactly your cup of tea. So how about this for a honeymoon present? I get some strings and cans, tie them to the back of the truck, drive to Cesky Raj or wherever, find a beautiful parking spot in nature overlooking a lake with sunset etc., cook up a fantastic dinner, get out all the candles, fireworks and music, then grab my tent and go for a lonnnnnngggg walk, hang out in a pub, bring my laptop or whatever and leave you lovebirds in the palace for as long as you like, clean sheets and all? I’ve been tweaking and adding to the masterpiece over the years and it truly is becoming a royal palace on wheels.
Congrats about Gracie bro!
Once I’m done with Greece should be in Bulgaria for a few months, and then promised to make it to Czech Republic in time for my brother’s marriage on August 1. In fact will try to get there by July 9 cause a chick friend of mine is visiting from the states. Will see how things develop in Bulgaria. Maybe you’d like to hook up with me on my way back to Prague. Would like to drive through Slovakian Tatras, Moravia, Krakow Poland. Then while in cz not sure if I will want to hang much in prague but perhaps Cesky Raj. So you can come out there for the weekends or something, or we can figure out some road trips. Hopefully at some point I’ll have my FFF sorted, so gas would be free. Would like to be in Czech for a couple of months. k
That sounds awesome!!! How are you? Sounds like you are having a blast! I envy you so much and at the same time feel very happy! I have been to Athens couple times and so mentioning all that recalls plenty of exciting memories!o) And i am definitely expecting a lot of pictures of your little garden!!!
Well, its good I took pictures right away, cause the garden is not doing so good! Maybe it gets too hot by the window. Will have to experiment, possibly buy different plants, but still holding out.
Finally on the road driving around the big popolopoplop island just west of Athens. Drive a few hours every day, find a nice beach and park there overnight. Actually got an email out of the blue from my ex-girlfriend (I sent you her pics once) and she happens to be in Greece and happens to be working in a village lying right on the path I was already planning to take!! It’s on those two little peninsulas that hang down east of Mount Olympus. Supposed to be the most beautiful in Greece, and then there is a third peninsula without any roads but full of monasteries. Thought I’d try to go there, if possible.
Greeks here are SOOOO much nicer than on Cyprus. Was quite glad to get off that island in the end. Wasn’t really happy with them, and the Turkish side was always full of garbage (although I found the people much nicer – but the men also had a slight tendency to be macho).
The villages along this coast are really quaint and nice.
It is raining in Prague for the moment but weekend was very nice ( i was working hard in my garden in Opa!) You need to tell me everything again! How are the people, food, life, just everything. I can’t exactly explain why but there is something about just anything greek that attracts me even excites me…it’s a passion!)
In Athens I had some delicious meet kebab sorta thing, otherwise I usually cook myself, so perhaps not soaking enough of the culture. making good cash but have a lot of debts I want to pay, so I’m still trying to keep my costs down to about 10 Euro a day. Think the drive through Greece will cost me towards 300 Euro.
> Take care and keep in touch. miss you. bananaKisses
Hmm, intriguing, I was imagining that you stuff your mouth with half a banana, munched it up, and then it was oozing out between your lips a bit as you were puckering up, heh heh
Of course, it is too hot for te poor plants inside of your carhome! they need to breath, they need to feel sun as much as a little lovely breeze!!!! Anyway, i am still waiting for the pictures :o)
Will send you some once I download it to my computer, but that may take a while – until I write about my trip per Greece. But I’m a bit excited because I finally started video taping and will make short little clips for each country page and upload it to youtube. Think you might get a kick out of that.
I put the flowers on the front dashboard, so they definitely get lots of sun. But the guy who sold me the flowers said to water them once every 10 days. That is obviously not enough so I’m adjusting and getting a hang of what they need. Usually I got the windows open all the time so they get lots of breeze (or I guess they can breathe my breath), and I only take them off the dash when I’m actually driving.
Regarding your exgf, i remember you sent me a picture of a very hot girl, it was right before you hit the road to explore new lands and meet new people and live a lot of adventures!! … funny, the world seems to be big and yet it is so small !o) i hope you will have a lot of fun and i also hope to hear about it all as usual. you know i am so bad with technology! i have this facebook profile which i barely go to, i still prefer just to sit down and send an e-mail. Juan really got into this TWEETER, i think he got addicted. And it sounds quite interesting but i just dont know what i would tweed about. anyway…
Yah, I checked it out a few times and I do not understand what’s the point of it. Facebook is plenty, and I mostly use that to let people find me, which has happened and I got hooked up with many old friends. Otherwise I too prefer regular emails because I can do that offline and its much faster than piddling around with fb.
Well, hopefully she will look hot. Last time I saw her she exploded into super bacolita. Either way it would be cool to hook up.
yes, Greece Greeks are much nicer than Cyprus Greeks, i very much agree. but on the other hand i kind of understand why. i am not saying i agree but i can understand. i would love to come to visit. and again still planning trip to Cyprus or maybe Greece who knows, not possible at this moment though. I am getting comfortably in Prague again (only probably for a month or two, which is driving me crazy). And i think i already told you that next stop will be either Abu Dhabi or Bucharest… I havent been living in my neighborhood for over three years and i found little bitty shops with lovely food products. I somehow do not enjoy going to supermarkets in cz. Around the corner we live there is a nice arab place…lots of spices and arab food, of course. It is run buy a Palestinian guy called Farid and a Chechen called Valid. Right next to it, there is a little italian shop, of course, run buy an “Italiano vero” named Andrea. Around two corners from our place there is a GREEK shop!!!! and another italian. And over the three corners from out apartment there is a japanese shop. It is a really nice touch to the neighborhood. There is also one bio shop, which is rather disappointing (after the bio shops i was used to in Belgium…. and yes, i know i am a bit spoiled!) but it is a bio shop and it counts, i buy oils and tamari there.
Sounds like Prague is developing nicely. Forgot to buy Safron before leaving Cyprus. It’s ridiculously cheap there.
If iam stil in Prague when you come, i would like to invite you over and cook something….. :o) i remember you do not ear meat, right?!
I generally try to avoid it but like to have it once in a while.
I wish i would have some pot with me these days! it must be rally blast, being in Greece, beloved Greece and get high on one of these days!o) just dont smoke too much, Kajo!
I try to take just a little bit because I like the feeling but don’t need to turn myself into a moron anymore. Like to stay functional. Today I got the flu for some reason so can’t even drink beer!
I love my garden! I am at my parents near Kutna Hora at the moment and sometimes i wish i would have the physical features of the indian goddess Khali … you know 8 arms and very powerful … the garden needs so much work that it is sometimes a little frustrating for me as much as i really enjoy working there… anyway, it is my big project. I dare to say, a project of my life!o) Also, must see when you come! … we can do grill out. i make quite good grilled egg plant!! And the greek place so as the arab place have HALOUMI cheese!!! which as you know is delicious when grilled.
Yummy. We can also try something in my new pressure cooker if you like. It’s fantastic. Food tastes like it has been simmering overnight, and usually it gets done within 40 minutes to an hour. You don’t even have to stir it and just keep the flame lower, so I save on propane. Really love it, and its so simple to prepare stuff. You can even cut big chunks of vegetables and it gets cooked well right to the centre, so you also save time cutting.
It is morning and it looks like thunder storm is coming, kind of weird at this time of a day. anyway. my dog is sleeping in bed next to me.. only because Juan is gone (he doesnt like him in bed; i do!oD)
I had a female friend who did the same, and thought it was a bit weird. Do you by chance like hairy guys, ha ha?
Ok. i think it is a time to get up and get something to eat now… And yes, bananaKisses to you again!!!! Take care and keep in touch. Love,k
lovyatoo and always a nice treat to here from you. big banana mush your way as well. :0)
wow, that’s pretty funny. Can you send me a picture with that little cap on your head? Or do only guys wear that? Are you supposed to wear a veil like Muslim or when we went into that mosque in Istanbul? I guess I already told you I was about 1/20th Jew? Freaked me out when I first found out, and still find it rather bizarre. Just recently I was thinking I was about 1/20th committed to God, even though I try more, heh heh.
So I guess I’ll try to get to Prague by the 14th! Was already aiming for around that time. Jens is getting married on the first of August, and Stephy is coming to Prague on the 9th, so the wheels are set in motion! Think I’ll hang out for a couple of months. Maybe mostly Cesky Raj. Hopefully I will convince a lot of people to go on road trips with me. Not really looking forward to staying in stinky Prague.
Thanks for the info. That’s really cool to read about your trip, especially how you converted that van. We seem to have a lot in common in running our companies on the road. When I first started my magazine, I needed to get it to colleges across the U.S. So I would use this company called Auto Driveaway, who had people that needed their cars driven across the U.S. so I would go on their site every few days and try to find a big SUV (we are big on those here…) going across the country and then I would go to the office, get that vehicle, fill it with Student Traveler, and take off across the country. When I started the trips, the back would be completely full of magazines, so I would need to sleep on top of them, and for the first night or two there would be only a foot or two of room above my head. But I would deliver to schools in Arizona, Texas, the South, until I usually got to Florida. Then I would pick up another AutoDriveaway and do the same thing up to New York and Boston. And then one home to Los Angeles. Then another publisher saw what I was doing and they offered me to do their magazine along with mine. Thing was, they had 1 million circulation. So I had to rent a big rental truck, and started to stay in motels along the way. At least I got a hot shower every night! I was usually bathing in the Gulf of Mexico or finding a truck stop to shower before. I bought a big van (a chevy 3500) about 5 years ago. Not as tall as your beauty but about as long. I was going to convert that to take magazines and then sleep in it at night. But then I met my future wife (now married 4 years, had 2 kids, used the van for lots of distribution of magazines in California, and then sold it to one of my distributors.) So my days of months on the road at a time are on hold for now… So I guess I have “settled down”. But maybe there is a way we can work together. I put my magazine, Student Traveler in youth hostels all over the U.S. (and now Canada)in addition to college campuses. I would also love to do that in Europe. Maybe you can help. Student Traveler is a 16 page guide, and I can send you 1-2 boxes that weigh about 40 lbs each. Maybe you can deliver them to youth hostels when you are in a certain city. It gives you a reason to go to the hostel, hang out in the lounge area they have. Maybe you can even help me write reviews of the hostel, just say you are with our magazine. You help me by delivering my magazine to hostels, and I help you to give you a reason to stop by the hostel and “check it out” and meet new people. My goal is to eventually cover many of the hostels throughout Europe, and the best way I have found is hand delivery like I have always done my own magazine in the U.S. I can’t pay you now but in the future I could. Please let me know what you think. I look forward to your reply. Thanks. Eric
> > I moved myself and my internet based business into a caravan and
> > have been traveling freely around Europe for the past three years
> > (http://kenax.net/travel/). But I’m a bit lonely for people and
> > thought hostellers would like to hook up with me so we could
> > explore Europe together. Possible to advertise on your site or do
> > some sort of link exchange? Part of my business is search engine
> > optimization (http://001yourtranslationservice.com/search-engine-optimization.html) so I could provide you with effective
totally didn’t know you were the same person who sent me the 100 bucks for the search engine optimisation tips! Fun stuff.
Concerning the magazine thing, sounds like we could work out some interesting arrangements. But not sure if I could do as much distributing as you like, although perhaps we could work out something. I don’t really have much room and think I could only spare space for a single box. I can make measurements if you like. There’s one place below a bench. Maybe even two boxes there. I think that forcing myself to visit youth hostels would give me the opportunity to put up ads there for fellow travelers, which I have been lacking these past two years and which would make my journeys more interesting.
Yah, trying to glean David in the right direction. Right now things are a bit steamy and not sure if that is the reason why he didn’t show up for lessons. It dawned on my one day how was it possible that the government sent my mother a letter asking her to pay for David, and thought she had to walk down with David, write down her postal address with the apartment number and give them that. Envious stupid bitch and she really pissed me off. My mother sent both of them presents, paid for his various tabors, and then she does this. It is the last straw for me, I chewed her out by email, and through David I’m learning what seems that she wants to break my relationship between me and David. We’ll see, but I imagine it must be tough for him and I am trying to be gentle. I can send you the letters I wrote to him if you like. Important psychological time for him. But I’m done with the Czech Republic and don’t think I’ll pay anymore. I offered him some work but I’m not going to send that cow cash, or pay the Czech government either. They are thieves enough and I have no sympathy for them.
Concerning my truck, an interesting point and I’ll have to research that a bit before I come. One of the reasons why I preferred to hang out in the east, because my truck is not in perfect order. They could easily take it away from me if they found out certain things, but I tried my best and eventually just hit the road, because I really do not need to hamper my life because of some stupid bureaucrats. I have a contact in Czech who can pass my truck illegally. I have no qualms about this. The Czechs should have accepted my truck, bought in Germany, according to EU rules. They don’t follow the rules and neither will I. Hope I will be able to make it to the wedding and a lot I guess hinges on what my contact and some others. If Czech is turning into Nazi Austria (I would not dare enter that country with my beat up caravan truck), I may not be able to go.
Yes, Czechs can be real morons with the translation thing. I still think I’m being grossly underpaid and hope that eventually enough Czechs will realise what a bunch of asses they are representing them as outside the country and agree to pay me 500Kc a page or something more reasonable. But the agency I found now is a good base and starting point (half this amount), it pays the rent, and at least I’m surviving and starting to pay some debts. The others I don’t even want to waste my time with. For example, one agency recently, like many in the past, wont give me work just because I’m not in Czech. They need to call the translator, talk to them on the phone and get confirmation they can do a translation. How stupid. I check my email every two hours. Or I can turn my phone on if they really really need an immediate response, but I’ve been running my agency for a decade and two hours is plenty early enough to get confirmation from a translator. Just plain idiots and I don’t even want to deal with them. I can write a long list of idiotic reasons why various Czech agencies are not sending me work but it would just take too much time.
Glad the wedding thing is working out. If i do make it I’d be in my truck, perhaps parked in Kampa next to a billion dollar house, heh heh.
Jsem klidny because after about six months during my travels I already decided I was prepared to lose the truck – that it was so fun and enjoyable that all the three years and hard work that I spent putting my dream together has paid off. Of course, I’d rather not lose it, but I feel satisfied enough now. There are countless stories how I handle the authorities and police. I feel I am becoming an expert at it. Sometimes I raise my voice. You know, police are often swindling bastards who are just out to make extra money. If they see you are a lunatic freak, they rather go elsewhere and hassle some good, law abiding and scared citizen like yourself. They feel powerful. With me i think they start thinking about their family. Especially the way I look sometimes, and crawl out of this truck with barefeet. I scare this shit out of them sometimes. Then I quickly switch to nice mode once they do. Diplomacy skills. But it’s my house and if someone wants to take it from me, perhaps over someone’s dead body, so they say.
For example, I met this long haired dread lock dude in Montenegro, who was traveling with his wife in a home made caravan like myself. Except he had grafitti on the side and big fist drawn on it. Looked like a total anarchist. He was asking for some rolling papers and then invited me into his pad to smoke some Moroccan hash which he had been carrying with him all the way through France etc. (he’s French). A big chuck and I was a bit surprised, and asked if he is not concerned if he gets caught. And he turned his head to look at me, so casually, and said, “And what if they do catch me”. I thought about it and it made sense. So what? Are the police really interested in filling up their jails with such stupidity? Europe is not Nazi America. In Croatia one dreadlock haired guy I met said he was pulled over by about seven cops who kepts asking him, over and over again, “Are you SURE you do not have any dope?” Obviously they just wanted to smoke some.
The night before I left Czech smoke was billowing out of the truck as we were partying inside. The cops pulled up with flashing lights and I thought I was DEAD. We rolled down the window for him as the smoke wafted into his face. I asked him if the music was too loud. He said no, only that they noticed I had been sleeping in the vehicle on Luzicka for the last couple of weeks and wanted to make sure I was the correct owner. I showed him my papers, he wished us a pleasant remainder of the evening and politely left. My jaw was hanging on the ground.
Talk to ya later!
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