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Stories from Africa
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Trassin
Brigadier Legate
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Joined: 30 Mar 2005
Posts: 10148
Location: Malabo, Equatorial Guinea

PostPosted: Fri May 10, 2013 4:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I really can't complain about any of the people, at least as a general rule, in any of the cities I mentioned. In all but a few instances I've had really great experiences with everyone I've met overseas, regardless of nationality.

In Dublin though, it was just that people were awesome and relaxed to the point that it was a notable characteristic about the city.
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The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. - Albert Einstein
"Raccoons oscillate at 50Hz in Europe." - FAWBOTS
"I'm not sure I'm up for orgy scrabble parties" - Female Friend
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Buddy Lee
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Joined: 22 Oct 2005
Posts: 990

PostPosted: Fri May 10, 2013 5:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dublin is definitely on the list of places I need to go before I die.
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"What cheers me up? Um... I suppose mainly gloating over the misfortunes of other people. I guess that has to be it. Yeah, mainly crowing over the miseries of others. It doesn't always work, but it never completely fails. And then there's irony. There's irony, which is the gin in the campari, the cream in the coffee. Um... Sex can have diminishing returns, but it's amazing. Uh, no that's pretty much it, then it's a clear run to the grave." -Christopher Hitchens

Course title every university should offer: "How to tell when someone else is full of shit" -Neil deGrasse Tyson in a Q&A session on reddit
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Trassin
Brigadier Legate
Brigadier Legate


Joined: 30 Mar 2005
Posts: 10148
Location: Malabo, Equatorial Guinea

PostPosted: Fri May 10, 2013 7:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm trying to get together a group to do either a 10 day tour of both Ireland and Scotland or maybe a 7 day tour of Scotland and England.

Pricing it out, it looks like a 10 day guided tour would cost around $2,600 with airfare from Tampa.
_________________
The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. - Albert Einstein
"Raccoons oscillate at 50Hz in Europe." - FAWBOTS
"I'm not sure I'm up for orgy scrabble parties" - Female Friend
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Trassin
Brigadier Legate
Brigadier Legate


Joined: 30 Mar 2005
Posts: 10148
Location: Malabo, Equatorial Guinea

PostPosted: Sat May 11, 2013 9:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's election time here in EG: http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/human-rights-concerns-ahead-equatorial-guinea-elections-2013-05-07
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The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. - Albert Einstein
"Raccoons oscillate at 50Hz in Europe." - FAWBOTS
"I'm not sure I'm up for orgy scrabble parties" - Female Friend
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Trassin
Brigadier Legate
Brigadier Legate


Joined: 30 Mar 2005
Posts: 10148
Location: Malabo, Equatorial Guinea

PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2013 10:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So I just discovered that Twitter isn't blocked here... which is pretty amazing considering the number of other sites that are.
_________________
The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. - Albert Einstein
"Raccoons oscillate at 50Hz in Europe." - FAWBOTS
"I'm not sure I'm up for orgy scrabble parties" - Female Friend
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Trassin
Brigadier Legate
Brigadier Legate


Joined: 30 Mar 2005
Posts: 10148
Location: Malabo, Equatorial Guinea

PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2013 8:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So "election season" is clearly code for "military oppression and harassment season" here in Malabo (and probably throughout Equatorial Guinea). While I've heard plenty of stories about harassment occurring, from both nationals and ex-pats, I've only had a very limited direct exposure to it.

My direct exposure consisted of being yelled at, in Spanish, as I was walking through town with two friends. The guy doing the yelling was some "kid", maybe 20 years old, hanging off the back of a moving military patrol vehicle. One of my friends is Venezuelan and apparently what was being yelled was (paraphrased), "Hey, you! Are you Lebanese? Let me see your papers." Thankfully, all three of us had the common sense to ignore the kid, as though we didn't realize he was talking to us and had no clue what he was saying, and keep on walking. The guys actually driving the truck didn't realize what was going on either and we were quickly forgotten as they drove away.

I also got to see a maybe-20 year old in sudo-military clothing walking down the middle of the street carrying an AK-47. Luckily, at that time, I was inside an ExxonMobil van, so we avoided harassment by him.

The kid inquiring as to us being Lebanese made me wonder a few different things:
- Does the Equatorial Guinea government think Lebanon has some vested interest in their election?
- Do they not realize that Lebanon is an entire continent away and fairly busy dealing with its own problems?
- Which one, of the three of us, did he think might be Lebanese? We are talking about two white guys of northern-Europe decent and a Venezuelan.
- Is there a large, apparently invisible, Lebanese population here that I just haven't noticed in 5 months?

Between our compound security beating the crap out of someone from HR, because they didn't get paid for their overtime, and the military's open harassment of anyone and everyone, things are just a bit less safe here in Malabo than they used to be. Either that, or maybe there was just a false sense of security before.
_________________
The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. - Albert Einstein
"Raccoons oscillate at 50Hz in Europe." - FAWBOTS
"I'm not sure I'm up for orgy scrabble parties" - Female Friend
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TeflonJon
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Joined: 19 Apr 2005
Posts: 1284

PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2013 3:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm guessing the Venezuelan?
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Trassin
Brigadier Legate
Brigadier Legate


Joined: 30 Mar 2005
Posts: 10148
Location: Malabo, Equatorial Guinea

PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2013 7:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Probably, although he doesn't look at all middle eastern.
_________________
The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. - Albert Einstein
"Raccoons oscillate at 50Hz in Europe." - FAWBOTS
"I'm not sure I'm up for orgy scrabble parties" - Female Friend
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Trassin
Brigadier Legate
Brigadier Legate


Joined: 30 Mar 2005
Posts: 10148
Location: Malabo, Equatorial Guinea

PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 2:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I get to take a helicopter ride for the first time tomorrow! I'm going out to one of the oil platforms for the day!

I'm hoping to see some great white sharks swimming in the water below on the flight out!
_________________
The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. - Albert Einstein
"Raccoons oscillate at 50Hz in Europe." - FAWBOTS
"I'm not sure I'm up for orgy scrabble parties" - Female Friend
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View user's profile Send private message AIM Address Yahoo Messenger
Trassin
Brigadier Legate
Brigadier Legate


Joined: 30 Mar 2005
Posts: 10148
Location: Malabo, Equatorial Guinea

PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 9:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Helli ride never happened, unfortunately. We got rained out, which is one of those things that tends to happen when working in a tropical rainforest.

One other note, just got an email from one of the guys working from me who is currently on the southern end of the island, developing some warehouse training for them. I thought this line, describing the areas his training is covering, was particularly funny and appropriate for the 3rd World environment he is working in down there:

Quote:
Packing Ė what it does and why you canít let it get chicken shit all over it

_________________
The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. - Albert Einstein
"Raccoons oscillate at 50Hz in Europe." - FAWBOTS
"I'm not sure I'm up for orgy scrabble parties" - Female Friend
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View user's profile Send private message AIM Address Yahoo Messenger
Trassin
Brigadier Legate
Brigadier Legate


Joined: 30 Mar 2005
Posts: 10148
Location: Malabo, Equatorial Guinea

PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 8:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm glad I don't have to deal with this level of jet lag while traveling:


_________________
The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. - Albert Einstein
"Raccoons oscillate at 50Hz in Europe." - FAWBOTS
"I'm not sure I'm up for orgy scrabble parties" - Female Friend
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khimaira
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Joined: 31 Mar 2005
Posts: 2022
Location: New Orleans, LA

PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 5:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If only that were NOT true!
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