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Chimpy
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Reply #70 on: February 27, 2019, 02:54:33 PM

So your banks suck worse than ours? Wow.

I have never seen a US card that charged a flat rate for foreign transaction fees. The worst cards might charge a low percentage (1-3%) on every transaction but usually it is just they give an unfavorable exchange rate rather than the market rate.

'Reality' is the only word in the language that should always be used in quotes.
Samwise
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Reply #71 on: February 27, 2019, 05:15:44 PM

1. Which place that you thought would be really great turned out to be seriously disappointing?
2. Which place that you had no expectations of liking turned out to be great?

1. Washington, D.C..  Not that I had super high expectations for it, but I'd rather go back to Paris than D.C., and my opinion of Paris largely mirrors those expressed above.
2. Athens.  Everyone tells you to skip Athens when you go to Greece, but I loved it.  After the crisis it's still in that stage of economic recovery before the hipsters and artists get displaced by yuppie scum.

"I have not actually recommended many games, and I'll go on the record here saying my track record is probably best in the industry." - schild
Teleku
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Reply #72 on: February 27, 2019, 07:13:02 PM

Interesting.  I'm not going to say DC as a whole is something amazing, but I do really enjoy it.  The monuments and museums in the core area are beautiful, and there are several area's now where you can go find all the hipster restaurant/bars you could want.  It's also funny hearing from the other side.  I've known a number of people in Europe I've worked with (local staff) who have gotten to travel to DC for work, who have told me its one of their most favorite cities in the world.  That made me chuckle, but I guess it all depends on where you are coming from.


"My great-grandfather did not travel across four thousand miles of the Atlantic Ocean to see this nation overrun by immigrants.  He did it because he killed a man back in Ireland. That's the rumor."
-Stephen Colbert
Chimpy
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Reply #73 on: February 28, 2019, 03:53:25 AM

They love it because they can be those shitheads we all hate with the fucking diplomatic license plates. (Anyone who has ever lived  in the DC metro area will know what I mean.)

I think the biggest “let down” was probably Venice. I came out of t realizing it just is a sinking city in a sewer.

Biggest “better than I expected” is definitely Salt Lake City. Outside of the shit around Temple Square, I never really even noticed the Mormon stuff.

'Reality' is the only word in the language that should always be used in quotes.
Yegolev
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Reply #74 on: March 04, 2019, 09:38:36 AM

There are a lot of places which are great for a visit but would be terrible to live in. This applies to most places I've been, not that my homestead is without flaws. A great example in my case is Budapest.

Why am I homeless?  Why do all you motherfuckers need homes is the real question.
They called it The Prayer, its answer was law
Mommy come back 'cause the water's all gone
Zetor
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Reply #75 on: March 04, 2019, 11:29:33 AM

There are a lot of places which are great for a visit but would be terrible to live in. This applies to most places I've been, not that my homestead is without flaws. A great example in my case is Budapest.
Can confirm. Spent like 1/2 of 2015 abroad holding workshops etc in US/Canada/Sweden/Finland/Germany/Israel/Italy/UK, all of those places were significantly superior.

Self-deprecation and self-loathing are the #2 and #3 national sports in Hungary (#1 is of course 'tax evasion'). Also, read stanzas 4-5-6-7-8 of our anthem and tell me it's not straight out of some 1990s goth emo song.

Yegolev
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Reply #76 on: March 06, 2019, 07:25:57 AM

One signal that a country is awful is if your software development contractors live there.

Why am I homeless?  Why do all you motherfuckers need homes is the real question.
They called it The Prayer, its answer was law
Mommy come back 'cause the water's all gone
Yegolev
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Reply #77 on: March 06, 2019, 07:26:58 AM

Barely advice, but I'm slowly posting Iceland pictures with terse comments on Instagram/FB.

Why am I homeless?  Why do all you motherfuckers need homes is the real question.
They called it The Prayer, its answer was law
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Cyrrex
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Reply #78 on: March 06, 2019, 07:39:48 AM

Terse comments....?  It sounds like you are angry at Iceland.

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Paelos
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Reply #79 on: March 06, 2019, 10:21:42 AM

Booked cruise on Royal Caribbean. It will be my 3rd. Done Carnival and Norwegian.

Anybody with regular cruise experience want to tip me off about what to do in Nassau and/or how not to get robbed apparently? The state department seems to have raised the warnings on that place.

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Teleku
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Reply #80 on: March 06, 2019, 11:14:53 AM

Funny, was just reading a diplomatic security dispatch saying in the last month in Nassau an embassy employee was robbed at gun point, and a local staff member was also taken hostage at their house temporarily.  Wonder if thats related.   awesome, for real

I am actually curious what people think about cruises.  It was something that seemed like it would be amazing when I was 8, but now sort of associate it with an old persons thing to do.  Some people have raved about it to me though. 

"My great-grandfather did not travel across four thousand miles of the Atlantic Ocean to see this nation overrun by immigrants.  He did it because he killed a man back in Ireland. That's the rumor."
-Stephen Colbert
Paelos
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Reply #81 on: March 06, 2019, 11:42:09 AM

On the two I've done, I've had a great time. You can basically get an all-inclusive floating resort if you get the packages on the ship for around $250 per person per day on a 7 day cruise, and hit 3-4 ports. And in many cases you can get a nice balcony room for that price in the off-season.

Are there old people? Yes, however it's becoming a younger person's way to travel due to the low cost and the easy access of alcohol compared to going to an island resort. If you go when school is out of session you'll see a ton of younger people and families. If you go when it's in session, the prices will be much lower, and you'll get more retirees.

What I love about it is you unpack once, you don't have to deal with "resort fees" and airline travel all over the place, and you can choose how fancy you want to make your dinners. Want the buffet all the time and go casual? Go for it. Want a more upscale dining experience? Do the Main Dining Room. Want the premium experience, do the specialty dining restaurants on board and pay a little more.

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Reg
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Reply #82 on: March 06, 2019, 04:04:43 PM

One of my university friends is doing cruises in his retirement. He has a condo in Ottawa but he spends 6-8 months of the year especially the winter on cruise ships. I think I'd come to hate it myself but he's been doing it a few years and is happy with it.
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Reply #83 on: March 06, 2019, 05:07:15 PM

I am actually curious what people think about cruises.  It was something that seemed like it would be amazing when I was 8, but now sort of associate it with an old persons thing to do.  Some people have raved about it to me though. 
The average age of cruise ship passengers has dropped significantly and cruise ship designs and excursion packages have changed to match. Google images/videos of the Royal Caribbean "Oasis of the Seas" to see how things have changed to appeal to younger people now.
Samwise
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Reply #84 on: March 06, 2019, 05:23:42 PM

I've set a goal for myself of doing one of the Norwegian transatlantic cruises the next time I'm between jobs.  They seem ludicrously cheap as long as you don't have to factor in time missed from work.

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Reply #85 on: March 06, 2019, 11:03:45 PM

I am actually curious what people think about cruises.  It was something that seemed like it would be amazing when I was 8, but now sort of associate it with an old persons thing to do.  Some people have raved about it to me though. 
Check out the Celebrity Edge.
Yegolev
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Reply #86 on: March 07, 2019, 08:42:30 PM

Terse comments....?

"sparing in the use of words"
Are you on my Instagram or FB? Still posting pics at a trickle. You'll see I'm not angry at Iceland, and in fact am all over its knob.

Cruises suck and people who love them are orthogonal to my thought processes and existence.  Well... sure, I can appreciate a buffet of any quality. I'm also really good at spending ALL NIGHT at the blackjack table. However, the last several cruises have been less and less interesting. The Alaska cruise with Princess was great except for everything within the ship. Meaning AK was super awesome, evident on my Instagram perhaps.

We were being tailed by a SWEET looking Norwegian ship. Might try that next.

In fact, that was the worst cruise I've been on, after a steady decrease in quality.  The buffet actually closed, the casino was smaller than a Chuck-E-Cheese, the food was MEH, the activities were pretty shitty. I am going to try to avoid boarding a Princess boat ever again. My first 2 or 3 cruises, I remember being able to abandon my wife at any hour to snack on the buffet, smoke a cigar, or drink too much whiskey. Not so this time. This was the Ruby Princess, which I called the Rubby Princess.

Ultimately I've found something lacking on every cruise I've been on, even the Disney ship. However tickets are really cheap so give it a try, maybe you won't get sick or bored.

Nassau. Wife took a cruise there last year without me, didn't get robbed. We are kinda into pirate shit and I believe she had a decent time in a short excursion. How to not get robbed? I don't know, keep your main shit in a strap under your shirt? Don't duck down alleys?  I'm possibly going to get robbed one day, might have more pointers then.

Why am I homeless?  Why do all you motherfuckers need homes is the real question.
They called it The Prayer, its answer was law
Mommy come back 'cause the water's all gone
Chimpy
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Reply #87 on: March 07, 2019, 09:16:35 PM

I don't do cruises. I am not a fan of contracting norovirus  why so serious?

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Yegolev
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Reply #88 on: March 07, 2019, 09:24:58 PM

That's really not the worst of it if you find the buffet is closed.

Why am I homeless?  Why do all you motherfuckers need homes is the real question.
They called it The Prayer, its answer was law
Mommy come back 'cause the water's all gone
Brolan
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Reply #89 on: March 07, 2019, 09:27:15 PM

I've taken one cruise on the Celebrity Summit, which is one of their oldest and smallest ships.  

I enjoyed myself, but my wife and I sometimes felt a little cooped up on the ship. We liked the food and the balcony cabin we had.  The shows and activities on the ship were so-so.

I would do it again, my wife not so much.
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Reply #90 on: March 07, 2019, 11:51:25 PM

My best friend from highschool / university is a musician on a ship of the Holland America Line. The things he told me didn't exactly inspire me to go on cruises in general.

Though obviously what happens below deck stays below deck. Oh ho ho ho. Reallllly?

Yegolev
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Reply #91 on: March 08, 2019, 08:10:23 AM

Potential new destination hit the radar today: http://www.americansouthwest.net/new_mexico/bisti_badlands/index.html

Why am I homeless?  Why do all you motherfuckers need homes is the real question.
They called it The Prayer, its answer was law
Mommy come back 'cause the water's all gone
Paelos
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Reply #92 on: March 08, 2019, 08:42:07 AM

Cruises suck and people who love them are orthogonal to my thought processes and existence. 
...
Nassau. Wife took a cruise there last year without me, didn't get robbed. We are kinda into pirate shit and I believe she had a decent time in a short excursion. How to not get robbed? I don't know, keep your main shit in a strap under your shirt? Don't duck down alleys?  I'm possibly going to get robbed one day, might have more pointers then.

I like the snark and you used a word I've never heard of. Kudos.

I am also into pirate shit which is the only reason I'm getting off the ship in Nassau. I want to go to Pirate Republic Brewing, drink flights of beer, and get stupid Pirate swag to take home. I feel I can do this without getting held up at gunpoint in the morning, but beyond that it's a shitty stop which is why I asked.

My proclivity to cruise over other forms of travel is the cost given my CPA cheapness. Also the fact that I love the Caribbean but can't stand the constant price gouging. I want to pay once, but the all-inclusives there have gotten to the point where you're paying $6k for a week on the lowest level of rooms in a decent all-inclusive resort. And that's not even counting the flights. Fuck that.


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Yegolev
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Reply #93 on: March 08, 2019, 08:56:11 AM

Ah, yes, Caribbean. We have managed to get our fill of the islands for now, cruising through the Keys twice and random other ports-of-call. Plus a nice week in Belize. Cruises are indeed cheap, but then you end up paying in other ways. However we are considering a Norwegian cruise meaning a cruise up the coast of Norway (since we didn't see aurora in Iceland), and I don't regret the AK cruise.

Cancun doesn't count as Caribbean, since that's the one trip where we go as a couple to decompress and let staff wait on us while we get soused in the pool.

If you like pirate shit: https://piratepalooza.com/
The Pirate rabbit-hole goes surprisingly deep in the ATL.

Why am I homeless?  Why do all you motherfuckers need homes is the real question.
They called it The Prayer, its answer was law
Mommy come back 'cause the water's all gone
Yegolev
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Reply #94 on: March 08, 2019, 08:59:38 AM

Next up for us is Jekyll Island. Activities and length of stay TBD.

After that is a school trip to Barcelona, Monaco, and Florence.

I'm still not sure what is going on with the family trip to Ireland. My wife refuses to plan it, which means the idiots are floundering and might not get it set up properly. I think I'd be fine staying home.

Why am I homeless?  Why do all you motherfuckers need homes is the real question.
They called it The Prayer, its answer was law
Mommy come back 'cause the water's all gone
Samwise
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Reply #95 on: March 08, 2019, 12:03:29 PM

However tickets are really cheap so give it a try, maybe you won't get sick or bored.

I take it as a given that if I went on a cruise I'd be bringing projects to work on that I want to do but have been otherwise unable to motivate myself to carve out time for.  I can see a couple of weeks of enforced boredom at sea being a great way to get shit done.

"I have not actually recommended many games, and I'll go on the record here saying my track record is probably best in the industry." - schild
Paelos
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Reply #96 on: March 08, 2019, 12:49:17 PM

If you like pirate shit: https://piratepalooza.com/
The Pirate rabbit-hole goes surprisingly deep in the ATL.

Amazing! I'll have to check that out, it's near my house. Also I'm hanging a Jolly Rodger on the house this weekend because I'm that guy.

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Yegolev
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Reply #97 on: March 11, 2019, 02:19:14 PM

It is pretty easy to get yourself invited into the Nocturnal Pirates of Atlanta, and once you do, you'll be able to walk in lots of parades and attend regional events with like-minded individuals. We don't have the time just now but once we get rid of the boy, we plan to get more involved.

Why am I homeless?  Why do all you motherfuckers need homes is the real question.
They called it The Prayer, its answer was law
Mommy come back 'cause the water's all gone
justdave
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Reply #98 on: March 11, 2019, 10:04:43 PM

However tickets are really cheap so give it a try, maybe you won't get sick or bored.

I take it as a given that if I went on a cruise I'd be bringing projects to work on that I want to do but have been otherwise unable to motivate myself to carve out time for.  I can see a couple of weeks of enforced boredom at sea being a great way to get shit done.

I can'st help but feel that thou art Doing It Wrong.

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Reply #99 on: March 12, 2019, 12:39:40 PM

I don't really know Samwise IRL but from what little I gather, he's not a cruise man.

Why am I homeless?  Why do all you motherfuckers need homes is the real question.
They called it The Prayer, its answer was law
Mommy come back 'cause the water's all gone
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Reply #100 on: March 12, 2019, 12:55:12 PM

Dunno, my friend went on a board game cruise and fleshed out her idea for the game she is creating, so it might help with projects.  why so serious?

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Reply #101 on: March 12, 2019, 01:09:27 PM

Ah, I suppose themed cruises are a different animal. That's how my wife met Thomas Dolby and the drummer from Berlin. I've only been on plain ones with normals.

On a separate themed trip, she and a friend dressed as female Bill & Ted and were surprised by a very excited Diane Franklin.

Why am I homeless?  Why do all you motherfuckers need homes is the real question.
They called it The Prayer, its answer was law
Mommy come back 'cause the water's all gone
Samwise
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Reply #102 on: March 12, 2019, 01:43:21 PM

I don't really know Samwise IRL but from what little I gather, he's not a cruise man.

From everything I've heard of the "activities" on board a cruise it sounds terrible, but I like being on boats so I figure I could just ignore all that stuff.

"I have not actually recommended many games, and I'll go on the record here saying my track record is probably best in the industry." - schild
Paelos
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Reply #103 on: March 12, 2019, 02:20:24 PM

I don't really know Samwise IRL but from what little I gather, he's not a cruise man.

From everything I've heard of the "activities" on board a cruise it sounds terrible, but I like being on boats so I figure I could just ignore all that stuff.

I've done everything on cruises, from trivia, to stupid competitions, to napkin folding, to drink tasting, to you name it. They are all supposed to be stupid. It's stuff to keep you occupied while you day drink if you're opposed to sitting on a lounge chair and day drinking.

Getting ripped on tequila and folding napkins into a swan is pretty hilarious btw

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NowhereMan
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Reply #104 on: March 13, 2019, 01:23:15 PM

I've got a friend who went through a phase of doing an annual cruise for a few years, he absolutely loved it. What he described sounded to me like a very expensive way of doing a few things that I enjoy (drinking and eating) combined with a relatively cheap way of doing some other things that I enjoy in a way I really don't like (visiting new places but limited to a few hours so only doing the most touristy of touristy things). There was also some other stuff that, as Paelos said, seemed more like random activities to keep people entertained and possibly stop them drinking themselves to death.

I'm curious what people with significant others do regarding travel arrangements. I ask because my fiance and me are basically complete opposites when it comes to travel. Both of us enjoy visiting new cities but she wants to hit basically every tourist spot, museum, attraction, etc. that she can physically fit into a day and I really want to hang out in cafes, drink coffee until it's late enough to drink beer/wine and sample every local food item I can find. I'm happy if I've passed a museum on the outside, she's happy if she can find a Subway to grab a sandwich from between galleries. We're slowly getting better at the joint travel but I'm honestly curious if other people have found they accommodate each other or if they travel separately? Or if we're just weirdly incompatible in that area of life.

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