Rambling Robert's Travels

This blog chronicals the travels of myself, Rambling Robert, on my next adventure to South America.

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I am a world traveller. I do not work as such. I have been homeless and unemployed since 1October 2003. I worked as a chef for 30 years in America.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004


Hi Everyone,
Greetings from England. I am in London as I write this letter, I have been in England for about 6 nights and 5 days so far. I arrived and was met at Stanfeld airport by my old traveling mate Darren and we drove to his house in Kettering Northhamptonshire. I stayed there for 3 days. What a great time I had there!!
Darren lives in a nice old Victorian kind of house with his girlfriend and her two teenage daughters.
The first day there we cruised all around Northhampshire and visited an old airforce World war two base and went to a "proper" English pub where I tried 6 kinds of "Bitters" which are like beer but the bubbles are much smaller, the head creamier and they serve them at about cellar temperature instead of real cold. They are not really that bitter tasting. They taste good. After the barmaid let me taste all of them I picked one out and had a pint. Darren was drinking cider and I tried that too. It was okay but I liked the bitters better. Then we took off to a little cottage that was an oldfashion tea house. Totally cool. English People put milk in their tea. The quantity of milk is called a spot. so you ask for a spot of milk . Okay I`m learning...
For dinner I had to have Fish and Chips it being my first night in town I have to try Englands most famous dish. I had a fish called plaice. I had never before had this. The funny thing is that when I was in Chef school I wrote a report on Flat fish and Knew all about the fish but it was the first time I tried it because it is largely unavailable outside England. It is similar to sole or flounder, it was totally tasty. these guys plut everything in a batter, and deep fry it, I think I must have ingested a pint of oil with my meal. I am really not used to fried foods anymore. I also tried another english specialty called Mushy Peas. Now yer talking. These are fresh green peas that are mashed its kind of like eating split pea soup with a fork. I liked this item.
Next day we had a couple of parties to go to, and I was thoroughly entertained and amused. Helen`s (Darrens girlfriend) two daughters have a birthday that is only a couple of weeks apart so they had a combined birthday party with about 30 teenagers and 8 adults. Helens mother catered it with homemade pizzas and sausage rolls (like pigs in a blanket but much better) and lots of cakes and other little snacky stuff.
They turned the place into a disco and everybody was dancing and having a good time drinking bitters and cider and well you know... Simultaneously half a block away there is a wedding going on that Darren is also invited to. So he and I split the one party and go to the other. More Dancing, singing, (kareoke has taken over the world. Why is it that the worst singers always get a snoot full and decide to try to sing? This totally fat dude is singing an old Karen Carpenter song. Which is kind of weird because she died of anorexia and this guy is 300 pounds). Well only one thing to do. More Bitters and more cider and then we hit the buffet, wished the newly weds good luck and took off for a "pisshouse" and had a few more drinks with the local boozers who were out in force because it is Saturday Night.
Darren says that the local boys love to drink themselves stupid and then beat each other up. We stayed for the first part and split before the fighting started and went back to the first party and had a couple more pints.
Party is over and we head back to Darren and Helens where there are about 20 teenagers raging all around the house, and so it goes and they all wound up crashing there.
I love England.
Next Day we pick up Darrens little totally cute 5 year old daughter and go to an ancient castle that is about 900 years old. We go all around it and check out the beautiful manicured rose garden and this ancient graveyard and find a little tea shop there and have tea and go to The house again and gather up party leftovers and go to a park at the end of the street and have a picnic There is a free Jazz concert in the rotunda and we just chill out and drink wine and listen to tunes and So goes my visit. Just too good. I love being in a little English town.
So next day I take a bus to London and hook up 2 with other old traveling friends Holly and Bex. We see the sights of London, Westminster Abby, the tower of London, the tower Bridge, Trafalgar square, Coventy Garden and eat Cornish Pastys, We pass some place in town where the government hanged 100,000 people over 500 years, I asked if I could get a ticket to see the public hanging but they apparently stopped doing that.
I asked why they stopped the public hangings but no one really knew. I think it is because it would screw up the BBCs ratings if everyone went to the hanging.
Last night we went to Ronnie Scotts. A very famous Jazz night club and paid 15 pound cover charge ($30.00). And heard two awsome bands. totally worth the money. A very talented English band with a singer named Gwineth Something and then a very HOT HOT American band with a KILLER trumpet player named Stanley Something, who is a young guy but a Miles Davis protege.
I love England.
That is all for now. I will go to France next week or maybe in just about 3 or 4 days because this place is great but it is a money vaccuum. Even though I have not paid a penny to sleep anywhere and my friends are all feeding me and wont let me pay for anything, I am still spending lots of dollars.
Good old George W. is not doing the dollar any good. American money is weak in Europe right now and I am feeling the pinch . Still this is great and I am loving every minute of it. English peopole sure know how to have a good time and If you are lucky enough to have some as your friends you are truly lucky because they are truly great friends!!
Well I am outta here, I am having too much fun to stay and write anymore.
Peace out to all of you.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004


Hi Everyone,
I am in a small Danish city called Anhus.I have spent all day today on a ferry boat and on a couple of trains to get here.I awoke this morning on the wonderful Danish island of Bornsholm in the Baltic Sea. I was there for two days and two nights after spending 5 days and 6 nights in Copenhagen.
I stayed in a house with two Servas friends named Britta and Erik and their fox terrier named Napoleon.We went out in Eriks boat in the Baltaic and cruised around for a couple of hours, weather was good for sailing but too windy for fishing. The water is beautiful and at this time of year and you can jump in for a quick swim. The water is not so salty as it was in Thailand or in Asia but I am always glad to say that I dipped my tootsy in another body of water somwhere in the world!
We went to the ruins of humshut castle on Bornsholm too. This castle was built about 900 years ago and is the oldest castel ruins in Europe. There is a lot of history in Denmark.
The people eat a lot of fish here and a wonderful earthy brown bread with losts of corn meal and seeds mixed into it. It seems to be a kind of rye wheat and it tastes great. They make these little open top sandwichs with excellent Danish butter and smoked herring or mackerel or cured salmon and cucumber or beet root slices and sprigs of dill. There are also a lot of other types. I ate a few of these. They were most excellent(i love beets and I love smoked fish) Needless to say the Danish pastries are incredibly wonderful and so are the breads in all the bakeries. They have a lot of bakeries in Europe and in USA there are not so many so I really like to go to the bake shops while I am here. In the USA we have more gun shops than bakeries in fact.
They love a good drink around these parts too. The drinking age is 15 and the national beers are just F-I-N-E fine!! Tuborg and Carlsburg are most popular but lots of little breweries with names I cant pronounce and dont remember anyway. They also drink a drink called acquvit which I also partook of in Sweden. It is a caraway flavor schnapps. Pretty damned good with a little ice but the locals prefer to shoot it neat.Then there is Gamel dansk. The locals drink this stuff, I dont know why. It is some kind of brandy I believe it is made from pigs dung, but it could be any kind of manure. Whew. I tried but I thought to myself, "Child...whats the point?" and just had another Carlsburg.
Copenhagen is just as cool and wonderful as you can imagine it to be. The oldest amusement park in the world (Tivoly) is here. They have free fireworks on Wednesday and Saturday at about midnight. Lovely ancient cobblestone streets and ancient churches and palaces and ... Its just too cool.
I was lucky enough to be in Copenhagen town last Friday night when the royal danish orchestra puts on its anual free concert in Sonndenmark Park in Fredericksburg a southern part of Copenhagen. They preview the coming opera season. I love opera and they played 13 pieces on the lawn in a big sound stage with a big huge TV screen so any where you sat you could see okay. They had speakers everywhere so the sound was good. There were about 15,000 people there!!!
What a totally cool event. I tell you guys I am the worlds luckiest kid. Pucini, Vivaldi,Handel Wagner I was just lovin it.Big orange balloons being hit by the crowds all over the place... Ah to be in Copenhagen in the summer on a warm cloudless night with a 90 piece orchestra...
The police have occupied Christiania for the last 3 months forcing the outdoor hashish market underground. Still lots of hippies there and they report the cops are already starting to loosen up a little and they think things will someday return to "Normal" in the "free city". Just as well as I would have been tempted to burn a gram or two if it was still free... The only negative thing to say about Denmark (other than my train having a little breakdown today) is that it is currently very expensive for Americans with only 6.3 croners to the dollar a cup of coffee is 3 or 4 bucks and a burger and fries is 12. Good thing I dont eat burgers and fries but you know what I mean.
Tomorrow I fly to London England (also expensive, or at least that is what they tell me)where my Fiji buddy Darren will meet me at the airport and let me crash with him and his girlfriend for a few days. I will also visit Gabby, Breda, Holly and Bex while in and around London town so this promises to be a highlight of my journey. Tonight I will go out to hear a hot Jazz band and drink a couple of Danish beers and an aquivit and maybe a little herring, Tomorrow I shall dine on fish and chips. Tell prince Harry I tried to get him some hash but the Danish prime minister is in George W's hip pocket and ...
Until we meet again,

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Stockholm, Sweden

Well its time to get moving again. I leave Sweden tomorrow morning and go to Denmark.I have had a great experience here in Sweden. It is so vastly different than the life in Asia. There are positives and negatives of course but overall it is positive. I still have trouble getting my head around how expensive certain things are over here. I hate having to pay almost an american dollar to use a public toilet. A small jar of peanut butter is $8.00. It is so costly to drink in bars. A pint of the local beer (which is called Pribbs Bla and is delicious) costs about $6.00 a little shot of Sambuca is $8.00.
Good things are the museums, most of you who know me know how much I love paintings. I went to 3 museums in 8 days. and saw a bunch of great pictures. Lots of excellent impressionists and old masters, including some of my favorite artists, Renoir, Cezanne, Pissaro, Van Gough, Picasso, Matisse, Monet,Manet Dali Rubens and that guy R. van Rin, ahh the list goes on and on. Also in the museum of modern art some very intense and often disturbing images, I am lovin it, can you tell?
I went today to the Nobel museum and looked at a lot of acheivements that people won Nobel prizes for and listened to a few tapes of acceptance speeches, notably one of my heroes Martin Luther King.It really gives one hope for us humans when you realize how great some of our achievements (as a species) have been.
What I love best is the music scene. I have heard 5 Jazz bands and they have all been good with three of them being better than good.
A trio on the island of Vrango with an amazing drummer and an excellent keyboardist and a very good sax player. A quartet in a tiny hot,smokey little club called the Glen Miller club here in Stockholm had a white guy playing sax who you could tell was a big Coltrane fan, he had the fingers and the heart but not quite the wind. Reminded me of Spike Robinson or Phil Woods, he was that good!! and with a stand up bass player and a really fine guitar player who sounded like a cross between Charly Byrd and Al DiMeola if that is possible, Al4s speed with Charlies soulfulness. Then last night I went out with a Korean guy named Chan who just graduated from Law school(just a baby snake) (no offence meant to Matt Kennedy) and we heard a 6 peice brassy band with a trombone player a coronet player and a clarinet player and a nice rythnm section featuring Stand Up Bass, piano and a tasty guy on the drums who used the brushes really artistically.They played a lot of brassy standards like Struttin with some Bar b que, lookin for Turner, Basin Street Blues, and Baby all the time.
Well you know me folks, I was really diggin it.Eating a lot of herring Maceral and salmon and drinking a bit too much, I have to lighten up a little on that and save some brain cells for cheap excellent beer in Czech and Absynthe shooters. Yee-hahh, I love the life I live cos I live the life I love. It is true what they say about Swedish women, they are truly very beautiful to look at. And its really a fun sounding language when the piano players says a couple of totally unintelligable sentences and then says "Basin Street Blues". And he counts to four in Swedish and they all begin to play. I am staying in a really shitty hostel here in Stockholm but its very cheap. everything is booked in town and no wonder the weather is perfectly beautiful but I have to tell you I like Gothemburg better, but the cultural stuff is better here in Stockholm.
Well my hour is about up here in this internet cafe, I will update you all from Denmark soon.
Your wandering friend,