Home sweet home. After seven months, 13 countries and 8000 kilometers I set foot in the USA again. I tell ya, I felt like the Pope: as I got off the airplane I wanted to kneel down and kiss the ground.
Since I am in the blog habit, I thought I would post a few pix of my ‘hood in South Beach, Florida. But first, you can’t bike eight hours a day for seven months and not get in shape. Here is a before & after shot of me. Before, I was a fat, disgusting old man. Now at least I am not fat.
Here’s a few shots of the beach at South Beach.
A few pix of Ocean Drive and the plethora of over-priced restaurants that line the street.
Is the drink for her or the dog?
A statement about the war in Iraq. These are fake tombstones of all the Americans killed in Iraq. Pretty sobering. The sign says, “Support the troops. Bring them home now.”
Besides the beach, restaurants, bars and clubs, South Beach is known for the Art Deco architecture that was popular in 1920s to the 1940s. Many boutique hotels reflect this interesting style. Here’s a few.
So what’s next? Not without some trepidation, I am determined to complete the remainder of the trip. I depart on April 3 for Japan where I will visit my sister and her family for a couple weeks. Then I will bicycle a bit of Japan before catching a ferry to China. Then the fun begins.
Hey, Kev. Interesting that your hair lost no weight. It stayed exactly the same. Try combing it once every few months (just giving you a little bit of friendly cousin-like shit). I am looking forward with great excitement to the next installment of the trip. Don’t quit on us. Enjoyed the shots of the beach, by the way. Dubya says the Iraq War has all been worth it. Those tombstones are symbols of the worthy sacrifices we must make to protect and extend freedom and capitalism (well, “capitalism” is my addition). Cheney has been giving recent speeches about how great things are going. Does anyone reading your blog, perhaps, agree with them? I follow the blog of a friend who believes it’s all going peachy. Maybe Bob is hanging in there with Dubs. I don’t know.
Ben, thanks for the comments. I will get my hair cut soon.
As a management consultant we talk a lot about measurement and metrics. Here are some I collected. If Cheney thinks this is “great” I would hate to know what he thinks is awful.
– US Soldiers Killed: 3,989
– US Soldiers Seriously wounded: 29,395
– Dollars Spent: About $600 billion.
– U.S. Monthly Spending in Iraq: $12 billion in 2008
– Cost of deploying one U.S. soldier for one year in Iraq: $390,000
– No. of Journalists killed: 127
– Iraqi Police and Soldiers Killed: 8,009
– Iraqi Civilians Killed, Estimated: 50,000 to over 100,000, but may be much higher. Some estimates place Iraqi civilian casualities at over 600,000.
– Iraqis Displaced: 2,255,000.
I saw a report that many of these displaced Iraqis have fled to Syria, where the women and children, some as young as 11 years old, have been forced into prostitution to survive. The ripple effects of this war will be felt for generations and in ways that we cannot now know.
Sorry I missed you the other day when you were up here. I got out of the Hospital last evening and am feeling very well. Harry and Eunice are here now so we are still on the move though I doubt we’ll be able to make it to South Beach before they leave. W said the other day that the Iraq War was actually good for the economy, creating jobs, building things, employment, etc. Amazing. I wonder if he cares to tell that to the family of one of those soldiers represented in that display?
We’ll see you before you depart on your net adventure which, though I enjoy your travelog very much and read it avidly, I wish you weren’t taking. Just an old uncle talking…
The guy on the right looks a lot like the Kevin that left Seattle a decade or so ago. Not sure who the guy on the left is. 🙂
South Beach looks like bliss — white sand and summer for much of the year, I suppose. How did you end up in Florida again?
I’ve been to China and believe me, better to stay in South Beach!
I’ll be interested to hear your impressions of Japan. I left there in 1989 — before the airport was built in Osaka, before the Kobe earthquake, before the gassing on the Tokyo subway — I’m sure things have changed quite a bit. I still have so many wonderful memories of the time I spent there and the people I met. Post lots of pictures — especially of Osaka, my old stomping grounds, if you get there!
Enjoy living in the USA over the next couple of weeks. And tbe sure to take lots of snacks from home for your stint in China — “real” Chinese food aint nothing like what we eat over here!
Nuclear Jihad in NYC: priceless.
Hey Deb, where did you live in Osaka? I will be going through there as it is on my route. Any suggestions about where I should go?
My realtor said people either love South Beach or they hate it. I guess I fall into the former group. But it has a lot of annoying characteristics. I moved here mainly because I like warm weather and beaches, but also to be closer to the Caribbean, where I worked for a few years. It really is worth a visit. But bring your checkbook and be prepared to spend.
KK – I remember I was lucky enough to meet you through an advertisment for folks in the Economist. Obviously, you read that publication. You’re amazing – I am jealous. Do me one favor – be safe and come home ready/hungary to go to work again helping others be the best they can be.
Stevie, your comment finally clicked with me and cracked me up. You have a very subtle humor. I guess you are a McCain supporter?
Not really – He’s not conservative enough, but would be OK, probably, where it counts most right now, on the war. I might check out the Constitution Party website, to see whats up over there.
By the way, I’m not too excited to see you trying to cross China without a pistol or two.
You should check out the Libertarian Party. Here is their position on the Iraq war:
Pistols are heavy; I have a can of pepper spray and a swiss army knife. But I plan on using my charm, good looks, and personality to get out of dangerous encounters.
The LP misses the whole point, too, and Ron Paul was the showcase: Quran+high tech weapons+religious duty to conquer and subjugate the world = world war. This is not a civil war and our mission is not to kill Iraqis. Iraq and Afghanistan were the easiest and most logical places to start and are magnets for the real bad guys. The conflict began 1400 years ago. This is the latest outbreak. We are living in history.
Kev – there is a lucrative black market for human organs in China. They won’t care what you look like. Use the pepper spray and ask questions later.
Yes the conflict has been going on for centuries. This is nothing new, only the technology has changed. During the Crusades from AD 1000 to 1200 the Christians were the terrorists, conducting their own holy war against the Muslims and other non-Christians. As usual, most of the slaughtered were innocent civilians.
ALL THIS HISTORY IS FINE—-BUT DONT GO TO OCEAN BLVD. RESTAURANTS UNLESS YOU ARE LOADED—THEY LOVE TO TAKE YOUR MONEY