Hey Buddy –

I am going to be able to meet up with you after all! Ian just found out that he needs to be back in Singapore the 3rd week of January so we have to cut our trip to Cusco short by two weeks.

Email me back and tell me where you want to meet up. I know that you are just kicking off your own trip so take your time with deciding on where.

When needs to be mid-January so maybe we could meet in Mexico City? You decide. I can grab a flight to anywhere.

Katie says ‘kisses’.

Best. Spike

PS – Have I ever mentioned that nimrod, Tim the Tech Writer to you? You know the type – every office has one – he’s in his fifties, lives with his mom, watches a lot of the Nature Channel; in short -he’s a never been laid, know-it-all durfus. You feel sorry for the guy, if for no other reason because he could be the poster child for Loser (and that is a highly contested distinction). For example, he has a small collection of wrist watches. None of them are impressive or important timepieces – try ‘vintage’ Hamilton, Bulova, etc. He likes to wear a different one every week. He contrives to drop by my office Monday morning to talk to me about ‘fine’ watches. Like I even care about watch collecting. (I am, however, almost beginning to regret winning that 20 grand in Lake Tahoe last year, then getting drunk and impulse buying that damned Explorer II. I spent a big wad on a stripper too but that purchase doesn’t come back to haunt me every Monday morning…)

Anyway he comes to me – the question was Turkish food and whether or not I want to go to a Turkish place for lunch.

I simply reply, ‘yeah, sure, I love Turkish food.’

He replies with, ‘yeah, it’s just like Afghani food.’

You’d have to know this dimwit to truly appreciate this remark but I quietly marvel at this unlikely comparison like I do a lot of the things he says. First, the only possible common ground between these two ethnic cuisines might be mutton kebabs, and a few spices.

Afghanistan is xenophobic, landlocked, and inbred. And the food shows it. Turkey spans 2 continents and has coasts on 3 different seas. It has been the birthplace of more than one civilization beginning with the Hittites. And has been invaded by everyone from Attila to the Saracens. All which partially explains the breadth of Turkish food.

One can overlook his blithe disregard for world history and geography but still manage to be dumbfounded by his cavalier approach to logic; choosing to use an obscure data point as the reference.

It reminds me of the joke that starts with a gringo tourist asking a little Mexican boy what he is going to do with the dead Roadrunner that he is carrying. The boy replies that he is going to eat it. The gringo asks what it tastes like. The punch line is that it tastes something like a chicken hawk.

I tell myself every morning that I just need to cut the guy loose but he shows up, typically mid-morning for a ‘how’s your day going visit?’ Not that he cares; asking the question is really just an opening for him to put you in the path of his high beams, to demonstrate his burgeoning awareness and let a lesser mortal bask momentarily in the rich inner life he possesses. I know he should just be put out of his misery but I can’t bring myself to do it. Being truthful with the guy would probably hurt me as much as it did the kid when he put down old Yaller.

So I just inwardly grimace when he starts expounding on modern Swiss clock making, 16th century chamber music, or any other number of topics that props up his delusional Renaissance Man self.

(I’d probably only have to pick up a TV guide, look at the History channel programming to predict what he is going to bore me with next).

Oh yeah – I was in Starbucks (sigh) to pick up my morning ‘small dark roast coffee please*’ and i became slightly exasperated (finally) with ‘would you like something to eat with that?’ I said, ‘what am i, like 4?’ Thinking and no, i don’t have to go potty either. He misheard me but the lady in front of me turned around and smiled (in sympathy? gratuitously? scornfully?) at this mean spirited remark. Yeah, yeah, yeah – I am thinking, ‘ just give me the coffee pork face’ – as an adult if i wanted something to eat I’d come around the counter and smack you upside the head and help myself. You could tell from his sallow complexion that he was more than likely a lactose intolerant vegetarian.

(“Ah, vegetarian – an old American Indian word for bad hunter”)

Why don’t most people just shut the f*** up?

Travel safe my friend.

Cheers. Spike