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Yup, getting cold here all right and trying to resolve my new predicament, as I presume you will read from my other letter.

Will send a webpage with pics once I update it, as I’ve been taking a lot and its quite interesting. Too bad I can’t stay to the end and that he guy is such an asshole.

Guess it would be better if you had smaller projects like Roger, instead of all your eggs in one basket. He buys plots on the verge of falling apart and fixes them up cheaply, so there is only one way to go but up in price. But it can be quite challenging to find the good deals and Roger is good at drinking Rakie and making friends with locals. From what I’ve been reading on the net doesn’t look like the US situation will turn around anytime soon, and may continue south. There have been some promising signs, but the super experts say they are just fabricated and shortlived. Anyway, hope things work out for you! k

ahhoj Kajinku. long time since i had time to write. Computer problems, beautiful weather so I went to the beach as much as possible also for wanting to escape from incredible noise a mess around the house where final heavy outside work is going on. Almost depressing that all that concrete and MONEY will be hidden under rocks and landscaping so nobody will believe and appreciate how much effort and money it took. We had thanksgiving last night, Keta was here, Cervenkas and Pavel and Bohdana from Canmore Alberta. Pavel is Jirka Pavlaseks brother. You may remember him. Other than that there is nothing new. Keta was pleased that you remembered her birthday. Even more pleased when I told her I did not remind you . I took her to the Club for dinner and we had a long nice evening together. I do not see her much, she has lots of work with her reporter but enjoys it. Going to New York for conference. Hope all will go well with her. How about you? Still in the mountains? must be getting cold, it is cold at night here also. When will you go to warmer climate? Keta said you hurt your back. Please take care of yourself. It is sooooo easy to get hurt. Send me some pictures again, maybe your progress with the house and of yourself. This is the longest time in 15 years I did not see you. Last summer you were here and before I always met you in Prague. I was jelous of Ciki that she enjoyed your company. So write to me even sometimes when I do not write, I am not always in best mood and I do not want to pass it on others. We made our life very scary and can blame only ourselves for it, but it is not easy. Hope all will come out fine at the end. So write, it always cheers me up (except when you are not well, so stay well!!!!!!) Going to bed, very tired lately. ahoj xxxxxxxxoooooooooomamamamammama

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Well, today I just picked up another job, so I will have made about 300 Euro in over a four day period and should ensure my survival. Things seem to be picking up. I also found more money in my bank than I expected, so things arent so bad and I’ve already checked out Yahoo weather and see that it is quite pleasing in Thessalonika Greece at the moment – not far away. Will finish these jobs and if nothing happens for me here in bg, I’ll be… on the road again… :0) So looking much better.

And I thought you are taken care of for long time. You enjoyed it and I am very upset that you have winter at the doorstep in the mountains on top of that. Is Roger back???? I will not tell you what to do, I do not even know what I shoulod tell you. I think of you a lot and hope that soon your situation improves and you will be happy again. too bad. Will write soon, wish you all the luck and health even more. Pleases take care, you have no insurance………. None of us is getting younger.

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It’s getting too cold around here and today I’m packing my stuff up for the big journey. My plan is to get to Smolyan by tonight, a larger town, and shack up in a hotel for one evening, take a shower, do my internet, relax. Got yet a third job now so my cash reserves are looking juicy enough. Perhaps the Czech customer is on another stream of work again and I cut make quick cash fast. She put my name up on her tenders to the ministry, and I’m very careful about quality, so I think she’s pretty happy to fill up my capacity whenever she has enough work.

That forman would have to apologise to me enough, and contritely. He threatened to leave if I didn’t, and I didn’t want to jeopardise Roger’s operation, so I left myself. We actually talked about this several times. He’s a selfish baby and wants to be the big man in charge. He seems very jealous about my agreement with Roger that I can pretty well work how I want, a minimum of 20 hours a week, and work on my computer when work comes in. I do not want to waste my time dealing with stupid friction like that. Roger needs him because he knows all that needs to be done and has the experience and knowledge behind him to do it. I’m learning and I’m useful in many ways, but obviously not crucial to the operation. Perhaps they will experience his rage and just replace him. The dude regrets that I’m leaving, because I was quite useful for him (I was second foreman), and now he has no one to talk to besides the Bulgarians, and my movies and music and cooking is gone, so I’m sure he’ll stare into space lonely evenings realising what an idiot he is. The project is supposed to move to Thassos anyway, and I plan to hang on the mainland just north of that island, so technically I could get back on board once Roger gets back, but so far the message is that Roger does not want the dude to leave, and we’ll be emailing. The dude would have to acknowledge his error and make a serious effort to get his drinking and behaviour under control, and then I’d consider coming back. I don’t like working under an negative atmosphere. Don’t like such negative energy in my life.

I just approached a bunch of agencies so perhaps better paying work will start coming in. We’ll see.

Looking forward to Greece!

So if Roger was not there why does he do nothing???? he obviously knows the drunk is a drunk and what about his english and so on. Does he even KNOW you wre fired????? do not be hasty. You had a job you liked. Anyway it is your decision.

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well, I’m in Smolyn now and plan to hang out until it gets too cold, to save on costs. In the smaller village I was before it was getting way too cold, although it was cool hangin out with some local buds, who would practically demand that I sleep on their couch next to roasting fire all evening. Got some “biz” I gotta do in Smolyan, than I could either hang here or head back to the village, cause I gotta go through that anyway to get to the Greek border. If I’m still in bg by the time you get back, we can work something out, otherwise, I may just become a big fat wimp and head south! Guess you have no clue when you will be back in bg?

hi … it sounds ok, but the keys are in uk and im in china still mate… yes when im bak in bulg u can stay after i leave bulg again but we`d have to talk about security and locking everything up etc and who 2 give the keys to etc…

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In this email:

1) quick update of my latest travels

2) request to sign up for online newsletter instead, reason explained below.

Hey dudes,

long time no talk. The reason why I’m asking you to subscribe to the online system is (a) about a year ago my laptop harddrive fried and I’ve been learning to backup absolutely everything online. I just don’t trust these harddrives anymore, as several others failed at the same time and I lost a ton of information; (b) I upgraded the email program I use to send mass emails and the new one does not allow me to export the email addresses in the list, so I cannot back it up and decided to do this instead.

I’ve actually written a massive update to the travel blob up to recently, but I still need to proofread it again, add pictures, make links and all that. Trying to improve the quality, so it is taking me longer – not to mention that I have all sorts of other work.

Anyway, to compensate you for having to online-subscribe to this goofball newsletter, I’ll write a quick synopsis of everything that happened since my last update, which should concern the end of last summer after I was tree planting in Canada.

So I flew back to London, visited my aunt, cousin and nephews, was making a video about tree planting, spent about 4 hours on it, then I guess the laptop was overheating or it was simply too much for my old but reliable laptop, and went into “memory dump” mode. A horrible blue screen of death and the harddrive light was constantly lit. I thought that might mean that the processor was going full throttle and I was worried that the laptop might overheat and get damaged, so I did a very naughty thing by forcing a manual restart by holding down the power button. Eventually I learned that this is okay when the processor is working full throttle, but not when the harddrive is. When the harddive button is lit constantly like that, it means that the computer is either storing or drawing data from the harddrive, meaning the harddrive is spinning spinning spinning. Forcing a poweroff in this state is dangerous, and inevitably the spinning disk got knocked off its pedestal and buried itself into the data storage plate. No more spinny, no more data, and I spent more than a month recovering my main business computer. So don’t do the same mistake yourselves, kiddies!

Then it was back to Cyprus, middle of August, when it was still so warm that getting into the ocean was like into a warm bath, and it certainly did not refresh me from the burning hot outside.

About a month later a friend came for a visit, for about a month, and we played tennis every day.

Then I got a job offer from a friend to help him reconstruct his houses in Bulgaria and Greece:

construction chicks

At three months, the tree planting season was too short to save up much, after paying for the plane ticket, equipment, health insurance and lots of expensive Canadian beer, and my boss shortchanged me a couple of thousand bucks. I still wasn’t earning much through the internet, so it took me a while to save up cash so that I could get the beast off the island and drive up to Bulgaria.

For various reason I was receiving signs that it was time to get out of the Turkish side of the island. Such as a gun pointed at my head, and I discovered I was supposed to pay 60 bucks a month for road tax for my beast (meaning over 1000 USD about). I quickly “escaped” using my Canadian passport and parked myself in the island’s capital, on the Greek side, so that I could continue using my Turkish internet (the Greeks required that I had a permanent address there in order to get a contract for their high speed mobile internet).

Naturally I would park as close to the border as I could, to get the best signal, but both sides seem to have a confusion as to what a “buffer zone” is. Speaking to some UN troops stationed there, it was clear that the buffer zone and some dozen nation troops were stationed there to keep the two babies from fighting. But the Greeks had the impression that it was some holy zone that shouldn’t even be ventured near to. The fact that Greek houses lined the border seemed to evade their logic. In any case, they kept telling me to move, coming out in groups of combinations of police and military personnel, demanding to see all my papers, ask what I am doing, and eventually someone reported that I was probably a spy (they were absolutely shocked when I told them I was getting internet from OVER the buffer zone and immediately blamed me of “collaborating” with the Turks), so they confiscated all my electronic equipment so that they could dismantle and study it over a day. Just when I had a translation to complete too. In hindsight, I think perhaps the neighbour complained. I realized later I must have stunk up his rubbish bin with my occasional double garbage bag full of emergency poopoo (the ol’ bucket technique when there simply isn’t time – or for convenience sake).

Generally I found the Greeks so much less friendly than the Turks, suspicious and almost hostile, and I was looking forward to getting off the island.

Eventually saved up enough and made it to the island’s main port. They told me the price in advance, but when it came time to pay, I found I had to pay an additional 350 Euro in port taxes. That cleaned me almost dry, but I don’t like going backwards, so I went for it anyway.

Had to fly to Athens cause they only let you sleep in your caravan truck if it is at least 22 metres long (another tactic they have developed to keep cheap caravan bums like myself off the island).

Was an adventure just to find where the ship with my truck was supposed to dock, but eventually found that, and then I found out I was supposed to pay an additional 60 Euro just to be “released” onto continental Europe. I told the guy I was clean out of cash but that I could bring it on Monday, when I expected to receive a payment. He said the office is closed on Friday and Monday due to a national holiday, that means 5 days, at 60 Euro parking a day, makes an additional 300 Euros. I looked down at him, turned around, and drove off, thinking “You can blow me”. Fortunately there was no cement hurdles to plough through, as I had almost resorted to at the island’s airport (read before), and if any cop at any time in the future calls me on it, I’ll just say I did pay and it must be some fault of the bureaucratic, pencil pushing morons. A hard statement to argue against.

Checked out Athens for about a week and then circled the island of Corinthians just to the west. That was fantastic. Got back onto the mainland, snaked my way up the coast (always about 2 to 4 hours a day of driving, and sometimes stayed in one location a few days), hooked up with a friend who was visiting his girlfriend down from Prague, and headed towards Bulgaria. Wasn’t paying great attention and accidentally went through Macedonia, when instead I could have gone straight from Greece to Bulgaria. Getting in was no problem but when getting out the cop at the end was looking for any excuse to fine me. He saw the mess in my truck, said it smelled, and kept shaking his head, saying, “Karel, Karel, Karel”. Finally he determined that I did not have the original copy of my car insurance with me. I told him Allianz said an electronic printout was sufficient. He wasn’t interested and made a big hullaballoo. I made even a bigger hullaballoo, he eventually gave up (as they always seem to – when faced with a madman), and I proceeded to the Bulgarian entry point.

That was comical because there were a total of nine booths – one asking for my passport, the second wrote down my licence plate number, the third looked at my registration, the fourth looked inside the truck… I can’t even remember but it was ridiculous. State aided overemployment I guess. The goofiest of all was I was supposed to carry a memory stick they gave me, so that at each booth they transfer the information to their computer. Ever here of a data cable??

Got to the Bulgarian projects, a week later went for a month to the Greek projects on the island of Thassos, then back to Bulgaria for about a month.

Meanwhile, several close friends stated they were going for a visit from the US to Prague. I was racking my brain trying to find a way how I could hook up with them, and then my brother asked me to be his best man at his wedding. That I could NOT miss, borrowed the boss’s van (mine sucks too much fuel and is not physically ready to enter the west yet) and drove up through Serbia. That was cool, and eventually hooked up with one of the US visiting friends who took a train down to Bratislava. We wound our way through the Slovakian Tatras, Krakow Poland and back through northern Czech.

Hung out in Prague for about a month, then found one friend who was willing to give me a hundred Euro for the ride down to Bulgaria with me. But first he needed to pick up some stuff in Amsterdaam, for which he offered to pay for gas and my food. Why not I thought. He had all sorts of Chinese vase antiques and other things. On the way there he mentioned he’d give me 500 more Euros if I let him stash something in the bottom of two of the vases. No risk he said as long as you just blare through Germany without stopping. Hmm, running outa cash and I could use 500 Euro. Ok.

On the way to Amst visited another cousin and aunt in Hannover, 4 days in Amst, then back to Prague for a few days.

He got rid of his stuff. But while I was in Prague the first time, was cooking for some relatives, they loved it and said if I cook for them they got crash space for me in Croatia, and a place on a yacht. Why not, I said. So we drove through Austria and Slovenia and hung out for a few days in the gorgeous sun. Then we continued our way, but I wanted to try something different so we drove through Albania. Very poor country, but interesting also, because since they could not afford any tunnels for their major highway going east (actually, more like a winding country road), they just painted it on top of the terrain and mountain ridges. A beautiful ride indeed, eventually through Macedonia, and back in bg.

There for about a month, my friend the owner left for a cruise through the Mediterranean for 6 weeks, and left the project to be run by me and the main foreman. But the main foreman cant control his alcohol and eventually he cracked me in the mouth for not being interested in taking any of his drunken crap. Like immature little boys we were scuffling in the front seat of the boss’s van, I was holding onto his forearms so he couldn’t hurt me anymore, but got tired of all the struggling, let go of the farthest-from-me forearm, took slow aim and cracked him a real good one in the face.

Now I’m fired and ready to head to Greece, cause it’s getting too cold to sleep in the truck up here in the beautiful mountains. Contacted some old customers and immediately got a stream of work, which is good cause our incident happened one day after payday and when I paid a lot of debts, so my cash situation is very meager.

Stocking up on cheap Bulgarian cooking food and beer and ready to head south any day now. Tentative final winter destination: Sicily.

The adventure continues!

To subscribe to this newsletter online please go to

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Just punch in your email address and confirm the letter.

Hopefully I’ll get the long version up soonish with the all the georgeous pictures of the Adriatic and so on.

Was fun talking to y’all!

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hmm, maybe you could pave the platform for me? You in email contact with him? Perhaps you could say something about my situation and that I hung out in his restaurant on internet for about a week, but that generally I’m a shy guy about approaching people. I also don’t like imposing. Which is generally true as you know, heh heh.

Glad yer keeping things crisp like me, and good luck recovering your cash. k

Wow, not good to be poor…Sorry to say that no,,, things are still unresolved,,people have not been satisfied with product so little return business,,,we must wait…I am also skinned ,on the way back to Prague where I can stay cheap….u SHOULD THINK ABOUT BIG MAN,,He has alot to help u with,,,I am sure that u are mistaken about his arogance,,Keriel….He has a degree in Economics…His English is de problem,,,,Talk to George who lived in England many years,,,there is a need 4 u there…Eli threw me out thank GOD….on the road again…

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so, since the last time I wrote, a tree planting company wrote that it is still interested in my software. Last year about 7 companies expressed interest. One thing I couldn’t get going was to make it Plant Wizard (PW) compatible. PW is the industry standard and to make my system compatible with theirs I needed to see one of their exports. One tree planting company finally sent me an export and it confirmed my suspicion that it will be easy to duplicate. This guy said some of his clients require the software, which costs 1500 bucks a year. That is why I am charging 1500 bucks for my software. Since he already has to pay this every year for some of his clients, it seems he will be perfectly willing to pay that to me if he only has to pay it once. Which is a good cash injection, and then I can finally advertise on my website that it is fully compatible. The industry seems to be standardising and my guess is that more and more companies will be forced to use it, in which case, hopefully, more and more companies will be buying it off me. And then I’ll make more than when I was slaving like a dog for that redneck who shortchanged me 2000 bucks for all that hard, musclin work!

Meanwhile, got a Slovakian to English job which was just too bloody technical for me, I gave it to someone else, I’m supposed to get paid in a week, I have 50 Euro in my pocket, and I can pay my translator after I get paid (at the start of next month) for the translations I am currently working on.

MAN did my belly graze the bottom on this one, but looks like I’m back up on my feet and surviving!

Decided I don’t have the gas cash to make it down to Sicily yet, so I will stay in this village until I save up the cash. Know some people here and have a good angle going with the internet. Only in the evening it will get increasingly cold, so I will just have to stay in the cafe and then crawl into my -30C sleeping bag. Keeping it crisp! (Hopefully I wont get too crisp from the cold, heh heh).

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Yah, a ways back I had the same problem at the border, before they were in the EU, and I figure the border guard was just trying to weasle a bribe out of every driver. The escort on our bus always brought 2 bottles of wine every time we crossed over. Now it’s pretty EU strict, with big signs saying “DO NOT GIVE THESE ASSHOLES EVEN A DIME!”

I like the girls because their not inflated like Czech girls, and there are chicks to be found here.

In Vienna eh? Pretty posh.

Think I’ll have to stay here a while longer until I save up some gas cash, but at least I know some people and an internet cafe which will let me sit all day here for free. At least its warm!

Never boring, dude! Jeezuz! Your story reminds me of the time I made a visa run from Turkey to Bulgaria and our bus driver got into a shouting match with some Bulgarian official who didn’t want to let us pass ( after checking everyone’s passports THREE FCKING TIMES!!! ) After about two hours around 4:30 am by that time,) the guy let us in. I don’t get it!!! They should PAY people to visit. Not to run down Bulgaria, but I spent 24 hours in a border town named Hoskova and it was like going back in time about 80 years…also the fcking ugliest girls I have ever seen. Bulgaria….what the fuck is their problem? Anyway, Tatiana and I are pretty happy living in Vienna after a year spent on the Riviera ( overpriced shithole ) around French ASSHOLES ( their music is complete shite too! ) I hope you get to Sicily in one piece. Thanks for the always interesting glimpses into your chaotic ( but not boring ) life. Keep ’em coming and take care….

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