The Bird Man

November 28, 2009

Turks are well-known for their unscrupulous sales pitches.  The trick is to always enter these situations with a position that will not budge under any circumstance, manipulation, bribe or guilt trick.

I told this nice man that I was not going to buy his bird seed but some people do not listen.  He started to throw his bird seed product in front of my eyes so I could get some nice photos of some sky rats. I told him again when he tried to put the bird seed in my hand I am not buying. He threw some more bird seed on the ground at my feet. At half way through the cup I repeated that I am not buying the bird seed whether it is on the floor or in the cup. I knew exactly where this situation was going and the man exploded with anger once he had thrown away a full cup and I kept walking with my wallet firmly shut.

The Birdman’s final attempt to extract money  was to claim that fact that I was  continuing to take photos meant he deserved payment. Of course I did get some value from The Birdman if pictures of sky rats could be described as valuable.

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Could I Pedal Round the World?

November 23, 2009

Bicycle touring is as old as the bicycle which is  about 200 years old. There are resources galore on the internet to search for information, kit lists and personal journals. There are whole communities of people who take part in this type of activity in one form or another.

In setting out on this trip I thought I might of come across a few like-minded people but in over 2000 miles I have not personally come across anybody. I was starting to think perhaps it was all a myth but today I have had the pleasure of meeting Ken from England and a guy from Switzerland. In a moment, with all our 3 bikes loaded out in the middle of Sofia I felt like a long distance Bicycle Tourer. Read the rest of this entry »


Following Your Nose

November 20, 2009

‘Be Prepared’ is the boy scouts motto. I have no affinity with this motto when it comes to navigation and I have  managed to come the last 1000km from Serbia using only a 1:1200,000 scale map and compass.

Most places and signs use the Cyrillic alphabet which communicates nothing useful to me, I can’t speak or understand any of the language and therefore asking for directions is near impossible.

The more I think about the motto ‘Be Prepared’ the more I think I have become completely reckless. If I was called a ‘Gypsy’ for living hand to mouth I might be tempted to agree.  I never know where I am going to stay, what or where I am going to eat, time has become obsolete and instead replaced by the simple necessity of daylight.

I am an English man. I am supposed to know in advance the answers to all these questions and I don’t. More importantly I don’t really care that I don’t know because I know that I will work them when they need to be worked out. Perhaps this is not a sustainable or effective way of living in a modern and complicated world but for a short time I will savour the freedom.


Cycling can be hardwork

November 19, 2009

I have not reached the freedom of sleeping on grass verges but it has been tempting. I naturally did my Good Samaritan bit and gave the old Serbian gentleman a good shake. I am greeted with a fierce groan which I interpret as a “do not disturb” sign.


2000 Mile Day In Pictures

November 17, 2009

If the number of times a person uses the word ‘I’ is representative of the size of their ego this journal/blog should be doing a very good job at pushing me towards the top of the leaderboard.  With this in mindI’ thought ‘I’ would temper ‘my’ enthusiasm with some photos 🙂 Read the rest of this entry »


Get a Room

November 6, 2009

Somebody should mention to this old Hungarian fellow that he is playing footsy with a statue in the middle of the Budapest theatre district. Read the rest of this entry »