day 9, 10 - time has stopped

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on my way to berlin, i slept and noted many thoughts. now that i'm reviewing them, they don't seem to make sense. i'll eventually get back to them. for now i have other things on my mind.

the past three days in berlin, fueled by friendship from will and sue, have gotten me thinking about the unique opportunity of berlin. divide by years, their identity is very reflective of the conflict and opportunity the 21 century faces.

the wall yesterday, i went to the berlin wall. despite the fact that kids tagged freely, i found myself a pilgrim. a pilgrim to a wall of hate, oppression and fascism. the cold cement wall that baked in the sun was not a normal wall. this was a wall erected by men for the obstruction of freedom. frequently, i have found my self building similar walls, but unable to tear them down. unknowing how to free the mind, i've set out on this journey.

as day 10 has passed, i've started to see that many fears are diminishing and being replaced with opportunity. though time and perseverance, these walls are crumbling. sadly, the dreams i had of new york are also fading into a distant memory. the opportunity that lies ahead is not physical, but mental.

i now frequently wonder if neil stephenson's the diamond age contains more buried truths. more importantly, i wonder how the next 27 weeks will unfold.

pizza dinner #2 yesterday, my friends and i heading into the scowling heat for a bit of sightseeing. wandering through the streets, we parked at a flee market and then departed for another round of pizza. one thing i have discovered, the flavor of berlin's punk rock culture has not been completely lost. unlike new york, you will still find hole-in-the-wall pubs with rockin flare or a pizza shop covered in punk posters and memorabilia.

today, i awoke early to interview regine from we-make-money-not-art.com and promptly came back to my friends flat to hammer out emails and to do a bit of research.

somewhere within the mix we headed back out to the scorching sun for a bite to eat. after stumbling upon a small turkish stand, we chewed on falafel, and marauded though the heat. somewhere around 3 pm, i passed out. since prague, i've now gotten accustomed to waking up early, working, taking a nap around 1 or 2 and burning the midnight oil until 1 or 2 in the morning...

after further research, it appears there is only one visa that might cause me hassle. reluctantly, i did not make arrangements for an indian visa. i assumed that that like every other country, india makes allowances for boarder entry visas. unlike the rest, india has a very beaurcratic method. apparently, you can only arrange for visas from within your country of origin. so, despite what wikitravel states, should i really be concerned?

Back in 2001 I got an Indian visa from the Embassy in Bangkok and was able to pay a rush fee to get it back in 3 business days. It may have been relaxed further since right after 9/11, so next time you are in a capitol city head to the Indian embassy first. You may have better luck with the Western European capitols since when I checked with the Indian Embassy in Budapest it was going to take 6-10 days from there.

I do not think overland entry is any better for India (assuming you wish to cross legally). You will still need a visa (it is actually a full page sticker in your passport).

Yes you should be concerned about the Indian visa thing... if you're long enough in one of your hosting countries, have it done at the Indian embassy there, in the netherlands at least, you can do that, it just means a week of delay as they have to call your embassy and they have to confirm you are indeed a citizen of the US. I realllly wouldn't take a chace and just drop by.. I went there in March and had a visitor's visa done. If i hadn't, i wouldn't even fathom sitting in Delhi Indira Gandhi airport to deal with the "nice immigration people". It would be asking for them to put you on a plane back to where you came from and you really don't want a passport stamp from India saying "you've been kicked out" when returning to the US :)

well, i was hoping that a land crossing would be simpler. :)

German pizza is so good! Damn, look at those things...mmmmmmmmm

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on the luck of seven was an open-source, around the world project by noel hidalgo, a new york city based activist, organizer, barcamper and coworker.

for seven months, he traversed the globe. using a new media voodo (blog, vlog, wiki, flickr, couchsurfing, twitter, myspace, dopplr, and facebook), noneck harnessed the collective knowledge of the internet, and report on seven topics of freedom. this trip was funded by 253 people and supported, house, fed, and loved by countless others.

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