frequently asked questions
the following are questions from leg 1 of my journey (originally published October 19, 2003)
- When do you commence this fun filled yet rewardingly dangerous trip?
- How long will you be out of the country?
- How are you planning to pay for such a long trip?
- Who are you travelling with? Do you know anyone in any of the countries you'll visit?
- What happened to your demanding yet high profile position at that (unnamed) internet company?
- Seriously, what's the real reason you got laid off?
- Why did you choose this particular set of countries to visit?
- Are you planning to use one of those around-the-world plane tickets?
- Oh my god! Bangladesh?! Why of all places? (submitted by Himi the Bangladeshi nightmare)
- Oh smack! You're going to Nepal?! I love Nepal! Are you going to visit the Dalai Lama? (submitted by Audr-ass)
- Are you going to die?
- I meant are you going to die soon?
from leg 2 of my journey (published August 19, 2004)
- Why did you return so early?
- How long are you leaving for on this leg of your journey?
- Do you still have diseases (curable or incurable)?
- What was your favorite country so far?
- How would you sum up India in one word?
- What is the middle east like?
- How are the people in the third world? Are they happy?
- Did you like Hawaii and Alaska?
- Where are you right now?
- So I'll see you in hell?
from leg 3 of my journey (published October 10, 2005)
- Wow, 2 and a half years on the road. How do you afford it?
- What's your favorite country so far?
- What country do you hate the most so far?
- Do you have a fascination with man-boobs?
- What's up with you and diet coke?
- What's up with you and ice coffee?
- Where are you right now?
- Do you miss anything from America?
- When are you coming home? (mainly asked by mom)
- When are you leaving? (mainly asked by local citizens)
have a question? email me: thejerk[(at])thejerk[(.])org
When do you commence this fun filled yet rewardingly dangerous trip?
The tentative plan is to leave the Bay Area the first weekend of October then drive my car back home to New Jersey. Hopefully my renewed passport is waiting for me there at which point I'm off to foreign lands where 72 virgins await me in each majority muslim nation.
How long will you be out of the country?
I'm aiming to arrive back before the summer of next year or when my limited supply of money runs out, whichever comes first.
How are you planning to pay for such a long trip?
Long weekends of minimum wage earnings at TGI Friday's have afforded me just enough money to purchase a plane ticket to Madrid, Spain. After which, I will resort to panhandling and seducing wealthy heiresses.
Who are you travelling with? Do you know anyone in any of the countries you'll visit?
I am the lone traveler. Even if I did, indeed, have what they call, "friends", I would still prefer to travel by myself, armed only with my imagination, digital camera and acerbic wit. In actuality, I will for sure meet an Indian man-boy from the Bay Area. His name is Ragdish but we generally refer to him as xbox-slut.
What happened to your demanding yet high profile position at that (unnamed) internet company?
Due to cost-cutting measures enacted by my employer, I was regretably released with a generous severance package.
Seriously, what's the real reason you got laid off?
6 counts of sexual harrassment (2 same sex sexual harrassment) and 3 counts of child welfare endangerment (damn those "bring your daughter to work" days! It's not my fault! Would you bring chocolate bars to a weight watchers convention?) I rest my case... I mean, case closed.
Why did you choose this particular set of countries to visit?
Initially, I was on a quest to satisfy my insatiable thirst for Indian and Thai foods. After speaking to a Moroccan woman who assured me of her country's safety and it's hidden gems, I added Morocco into the mix. It later spiraled, as a result of a dare, into a mission to stay on foreign soil for as long as possible. So there you have it, that's how I added the countries between Morocco and Thailand.
Are you planning to use one of those around-the-world plane tickets?
I have investigated these tickets which require you to choose dates for your destinations or have already a predetermined list of destinations. My haphazardly nomadic tendencies as well as my desire to avoid any time restraints have made me choose simple point to point tickets. Planning is for suckers.
Oh my god! Bangladesh?! Why of all places? (submitted by Himi the Bangladeshi nightmare)
I've listed many countries that I am intending to visit. Frankly, my decisions may change based on the political climate, visa costs/waiting period, and unspoken absurdity of visiting a country such as Bangladesh or Burma.
Oh smack! You're going to Nepal?! I love Nepal! Are you going to visit the Dalai Lama? (submitted by Audr-ass)
Yes, I am indeed going to Nepal though I think you are somewhat insane my dear. The Dalai Lama resides in India... unless of course you're talking about the Dalai Lama Television and Air Conditioning Repair in Brooklyn. In that case, the answer is no.
Are you going to die?
That's a silly question... We're all going to die.
I meant are you going to die soon?
Yeah, that's what I meant. We're all going to die soon.
Why did you come back so early?
My slowly deteriorating health forced me back to the United States slightly earlier than I anticipated. I had diseases ranging from conjunctivitis to a debilitating case of myclonic jerk. I had diseases that, in the developed world, have been eradicated by modern medicine or witchcraft. Incidentally, I did plan to return home for a childhood friend's wedding in July (2004). My arrival in California in May was completely a result of the lesions on my face, neck, chest, back and legs and thighs.
How long are you leaving for on this leg of your journey?
It's no longer the late 90's. In other words, unemployment isn't just for sociology majors. I am still effected by unemployment as major firms in the, uh hmm, adult theater janitorial services have still frozen their hiring.
Do you still have diseases (curable or incurable)?
When you say diseases, do you mean the... ah screw it, yes. I've gotten rid of most of them but I do still have scabies, avion flu, horseradish lumbar, IBD (Inflammatory bowel disease), IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), and ADHD to name a few. Oh, I forgot leprosy and cataracts.
What was your favorite country so far?
Surprisingly, the Indian subcontinent. Although filled with human misery, an sexually repressed and ignorant male population, feces covered roads (animal & human), wandering mangy mongrels, it offers much to the curious traveller such as every major religion's ruins and temples.
How would you sum up India in one word?
What is the middle east like?
Terrorists around every corner. Every other block has a mosque and a do it yourself bomb making store.
How are the people in the third world? Are they happy?
As far as they know, the majority of them are happy. Then again, how happy can a society be that doesn't have the sport of midget tossing.
Did you like Hawaii and Alaska?
Hawaii was a huge disappointment. Through expert marketing, it's been built up in my imagination as a paradise and sure, there are some areas that are lovely, especially on Oahu and Kauai but big island and Maui were rocky and desolate. Most of the islands are extremely expensive and touristy and crawling w/ Japanese weekend warriors and meth addicted vagabonds. A seven day cruise through Alaska offers mainly a glimpse of early settlements on the inside passage turned tourist trap. I unfortunately didn't see the wild Alaska written about by the likes of Jack London and Carrottop.
Where are you right now?
I'm in the armpit of America, also referred to as New Jersey. My friend's wedding was nice and I'm just recuperating here a few days until my flight out to Los Angeles for a month then, Sept 1, I return to Asia to finish my duty.
So I'll see you in hell?
Not unless I see you first!
Wow, 2 and a half years on the road. How do you afford it?
How dare you ask such a personal question! But while it's out there, I'll take a swing at it. I'm a notorious great niggardly spender, especially when it comes to special occasions. I weasel out of giving expensive gifts by leaning heavily on the receiver's senses of guilt, particularly by hand crafting something crappy. That's the power of the need for a diplomatic responses when i give a picture frame fashioned out of 2 by 4's.
What's your favorite country so far?
Yup, it's still India. Nothing offers more resonance for your rupee than this place. It's a feast for your senses (sight, smell, touch, smell, hearing, smell and finally smell). There's nary a place in the world where you can walk outside of your hotel to the vision of a grown man defecating on the railroad tracks. The country's full of public urinators as well. A vertical surface and a full bladder is all that's needed to partake in this long-lived Indian ritual.
What country do you hate the most so far?
Yup, you guessed it. India. For every decent Indian (mostly female), there are 25 depraved Indian males. Aside from the mentally draining levels of poverty, ask any woman that's traveled India alone and in return you hear lurid stories of groping, mental/physical public masturbation, shameless stares, and violations of private space. Conversely, ask any solo male traveler in India and you hear lurid stories of groping, mental/physical public masturbation, shameless stares, and violations of private space. I mean, how many times can I be expected to answer the dubiously intentioned, "Where from?" question. How many times can I say "no" to a series of rickshaw drivers, each subsequent one clearly hearing my previous "no." How long can I be forced to remain celibate? Wait, I take that last one back. It's clearly unrelated to this FAQ.
Do you have a fascination with man-boobs?
In short, yes. In long, yes also. I'm not sure if it was caused by my teenage years of abusing 'roids or from the time I cursed Santa Claus for giving me an incomplete Lego set for Christmas but I suffer from a debilitating inflamation of the chestal region rife for ridicule by the beach-going masses. But I take it like a man instead of wearing a shirt into the water. The nubbin on the other hand is a completely different issue that I'd rather not get into.
What's up with you and diet coke?
It's an addiction, plain and simple. Crack and crystal meth, I kicked with ease. Diet coke (internationally known as "Coke Light") in my esteemed opinion is stronger and more addictive than these wuss drugs. Yet the Food and Drug Administration continues to approve it's manufacture and therefore I continue to naively believe it not unhealthy.
What's up with you and ice coffee?
Go to Thailand and grab yourself a 10 Baht ice coffee. We'll talk afterwards.
Where are you right now?
You lousy sacks of dung who've asked me this question are clearly missing chromosomes. I've designed a page to address this perenial nuisance questions.
Do you miss anything from America?
Freedom. Something I've taken terribly for granted.
My country tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the (something something something), (something something something) countryside, let freedom ring.
... and of course, I miss the unhealthy dinner portions served unbiquitously that are driving up high blood pressure and meta-cholesterol levels.
When are you coming home? (mainly asked by my mom)
If I can help it, I'll never come home. I'm working on my latest money making scam, which'll make me the big bucks hand over fist! It's a chain of upscale coin-operated laundromats for high class clientele. No chance it'll fail! Promise not to steal my idea.
When are you leaving? (mainly asked by local citizens)
You're the ones that made the mistake the second you signed over a tourist visa to me. Live with it!