Wednesday, June 16, 2010

This one goes out ot all the ladies. . .

Hair. Love it or hate it, we all have it (well, MOST of us). And, eventually, darnnabitall, it needs to be cut. Or trimmed. Or colored. A trip to the salon can be a very rewarding outing. Usually when you know and like your stylist, feel comfortable in the chair with her, and most importantly, can convey your wants, wishes and desires (no matter how far reaching they may be) in ENGLISH.

You know how in the movies the heroine on the lam grabs a pair of kitchen scissors and a bottle of hair-dye and ducks into a public bathroom, only to emerge looking like she just spent $400 in a salon?

I'm about ready to give that a go.

Three months without a haircut lends to desperation in this household. Someone hide the manicure scissors.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I am McDonald's

It's not a secret, I am not a big fan of McDonald's. Not for health reasons (although I suspect this is a good reason), and I will admit they make a pretty tasty french fry, but in general I just abhor Mickey D's. Now, I'm all about Taco Bell (and even Wendy's), so it's not a fast food thing. It's just a McDonald's thing.

And McDonald's? Is everywhere. Well, everywhere you'd want to be. My definition of a "bad country"? Is one with no McDonald's. If McDonald's doesn't want to be there, I probably do not, either.

And, I'll give McDonald's some credit. No matter where we are in this big ole world, if there's a McDonald's? The food? Is EXACTLY the same. The menu might vary a little, but the taste? Unlike many other international fast food chains, it is dead on. Plus, sometimes they are the only option for a clean and sanitary bathroom, which does come in handy and I thank them profusely for this.

I was discussing McDonald's (and Starbucks and Wal-Mart for that matter) with some Uruguayan guys the other night, and although I've blogged about my dislike for McDonald's (and Starbucks, I suspect), I gave serious thought about doing it again.

But then I realized, that I, MYSELF am a lot like McDonald's. I come from America, I've been a lot of places, yet I'm EXACTLY the same, wherever I am. And when we get to a place with no McDonald's, I have to say for the most part? I agree with them. You just don't want to be there (exceptions: Boracay, Albania and Cambodia). Some people travel to "find themselves", whereas I just keep encountering my same self.

Just like McDonald's.

Maybe that's why I hate them.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

First World Problems

FM and I? Not so much on the camping. We've done it before, even together. But in reality, our idea of "roughing it" is a 3 star hotel.

This weekend we went off to explore the northeast coast of Uruguay. Now mind you, it's winter here, and although the entire coast is dunes and beaches, it's far to cold for beaching it these days. Which means the population out there? Was a bit sparse.

As were open hotels or restaurants.

Saturday night, after six hours of driving through rain and blow, we were in Punta Del Diablo. With no apparent signs of life. MANY places for rent (signs up in Spanish), but nothing open. The closest place we KNEW was open was another hour back down the road.

Fortunately, we stumbled into the Apache Cabanas and encountered a very helpful man named Fernando who set us up in our own personal chalet for the night. Unbeknownst to us, overnight stays in this part of the world usually require you to bring your own sheets, towels, soap, TP - basically - CAMPING.

On Saturday night, however, it looked like paradise.

We had hot and cold running water, toilet, shower, electricity, heat via the fireplace (and wood provided by same helpful man!), a refrigerator, television, and possibly even a WiFi connection. And, we had brought our own coffee maker.

Basically, we were living better than 25% of the world population. And we considered it roughing it.

It's sad to think 12% of the world (and that's 803 MILLION people, almost three times the population of the US of A) do not have access to drinkable water, let alone a flush toilet or a SHOWER. 25% live without electricity. 14% are actually homeless. 25% live below the poverty level, which is ONE DOLLAR A DAY. Egads.

We have stayed in hotels in Africa one step below a Motel 6 and it was the nicest place in town. We've stayed in 4 star hotels in Cambodia where our NIGHTLY rate was the equivalent of TWO MONTHS SALARY for a local. We've drank away an average Burmese's monthly salary on a nightly basis.

Makes you think, eh?

Let us never forget how entirely blessed we are. No matter how much we want a new couch/car/kitchen, or even crab about the cost of electricity/gas/LAWNCARE, let's not forget all those people out there who would gladly trade lives with you RIGHT NOW. Who would think they hit the lotto. Who maybe might even appreciate it 1,600,000,000 times more than us.

On the other side of the coin, 25% of the world's population is considered obese. Hmmmm.