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Site News Archives - foXnoMad

Category: Site News

The Best Travel Memes On The Internet

This post is part of Geek Takeover Week 2019.

Did I say these travel memes are the best on the Internet? Yes. Did I also create all of these memes? Yes. I may be a bit biased but you can let me know in the comments below. If any of these memes are you, feel free to share and tag me (#foxnomad) too!

drinking beer in airport

hotel lamp usb

water at airport meme

travel advice meme

farting on planes meme

wifi wifox meme

baggage fees meme

travel meme

pug meme

travel memes

airbnb meme

thailand meme

trip meme

hotel meme

airline fees meme

airport meme

economy meme

layover meme

economy meme

traveling meme

Enjoy and don’t forget to tag @foxnomad on Instagram if you share!

The Girl In The Bar

This post is part of Geek Takeover Week 2019. The first on foXnoMad, a fictional short story from another dimension.

Tink tink tink, Sergei dropped coffee beans into the grinder, as he always did at 5 past 7 on a weekday morning. A second of blending for each spoonful of beans, 4 for a typical day, like this one. But it wasn’t going to be a typical day. Sergei’s friend, his only friend, Erik was coming to town. Sergei had tried to talk Erik out of it but in a few hours the comfort of his routine would be broken by a house guest. He tried to accept his fate as boiling water began dripping over the ground coffee, enjoying the hours of solitude he had left.

Erik’s arrival was a boisterous one, as usual. His charm and slightly optimistic view of the world was irritating to Sergei but he played along. It was just a few days, how bad could it be he reasoned with himself? Besides, it would probably be good to get out of the apartment for once. At the train station upon arrival, Erik in grandiose fashion proclaimed – at noon of all times – to walk around the neighborhood bars. Strong summer sun meant more women in less clothes for scenery.

Sergei didn’t usually start his daily drinking ritual until later in the afternoon but it might help ease his discomfort. Before he could finish the thought though, he noticed. A girl in a red dress laughing as an arm jutted across her naval line lifting her into the air, sweeping Sergei’s glance to the right. An elderly couple carrying their small, white dog with curly fur. Happy as well, seemingly. Sergei often felt like he was in a movie as the only real character – everyone else was just a prop.

He could see Erik walking toward him with two beers but right over his shoulder a blond woman whose hair was particularly radiant. Like an old cartoon where the backdrop is dull but the moving animation just a bit brighter, giving away who will be moving in the scene. She, reading a book, was just a little bit brighter than everything else.

Clink.

The sound of Erik placing two drinks on the steel table was almost as irritating as the line of beer trickling over the side. “Thanks for the beers, how’s everything going?” was filler for the main topic on Sergei’s mind. If Erik would just move left or right a few centimeters he could see her again. “Do you see her?” Sergei asked and Erik replied, “see who?”

Ever conspicuous, Erik turned completely around, to see who Sergei might be talking about.

“Who? That dog?”

“No not the old couple idiot. The… ah damn, wait. The blond woman who was just there.” Sergei replied.

“I don’t see anyone, you sure?

“Yes, I’m not blind. Anyway it was just someone who looked interesting.. and beautiful too.”

“You should probably get out more.”

“Anyway, thanks for the beers, what should we do today?”

“More of this,” Erik gleamed, pointing at his beer. “There’s live music at the bar on the corner, let’s go there later.”

Inserting a bit of uninspired hesitation, Sergei mentioned he’d never been there. “Sisko’s?”

“That’s the one.” Erik deadpan replied.

stocked bar

Four beers and another restaurant later, the happy hour crowd began showing up. Huddled around bar entrances people arrive to medicate their routines, Sergei narrated internally. For Sergei, routine was his medication. At least he knew it he smugly though to himself. Then, finally, flowing around the crowd, was her. “Erik, look! That’s who I was talking about.”

“Who, the girl in red?” Erik asked.

“No, no. The blond who was just there. Tall. Now I don’t see her either.”

“Are you sure? I really don’t see any tall blonds.”

Sergei was nearly certain she look had even glanced over toward them. Or at least their general direction.

“Never mind, we should probably pay this tab and head over to the bar with the music.” Sergei couldn’t believe Erik’s selective blindness.

Fortunately, alcohol has a way of washing memories from one part of the brain to another. Good music, with an acoustic guitar and soulful voice certainly helping this particular evening. The bar wasn’t full but full of locals who lived in the apartments just above. Not that Sergei knew, it was his first time there.

“Shots?”

Now it was Sergei leading the party for Erik.

“Yes! I love this song. Shots? Hell yeah!” Erik blurted out enthusiastically.

Just as the tequila shots began burning Sergei’s throat, she walked in.

“There! Now do you see her?!” Sergei unsubtly shouted over the music at Erik.

“No way, yes I do! You’re not crazy!”

“She’s sitting at the edge of the bar, let’s ask her to come over here.” Sergei was emboldened by the confirmation he wasn’t hallucinating.

“You ask her.” Erik suggested.

As they debated, another man approached the blond woman, stalling Erik and Sergei’s plans for the time being. “Ok, one more beer.” Besides, Erik had a lot of favorite songs. A waiting game had begun and Sergei and Erik were sure their livers would hold out.

Finally, the chance came. The other man stumbled out and home (or to sleep on the bench outside) as Erik approach the mysterious woman. Not two minutes later she was sitting with them. She was from out of town without any friends nearby.

“So you’re new to the area?” Sergei inquired.

“Actually, I’ve been here for a few years. It’s just hard meeting people so I end up going out alone often.” The green of her eyes a bit more saturated in color than the backdrop of the bar behind. She was intriguing, but there was an undeniable connection between her and Erik. For starters, she was from the same town, of less than 500 people, over a thousand kilometers away. Her name was Lynn.

Erik also noticed the connection, mostly put into place by the unique dots connecting them. Their similar slight accent that was anything but local. Those small coincidences that turn strangers into friends were littered throughout Lynn’s life. Her job as a financial advisor was intriguing to Erik’s vocation as a television executive. Money, with a friendly blend of celebrity it was a good pairing. They also both were fond of beer and singing horribly off-key to cheesy bar songs.

Lynn invited Erik to dance, and Sergei remained thoroughly entertained by the local wino who was the center of the dance floor. Eventually, Lynn and Erik slipped off, disappearing to get more intimate.

By the time Erik returned Sergei was laughing about something with the wino, who ordered them all a round of Jager shots.

On the blurry walk back to Sergei’s apartment he had to know what happened with Lynn.

“It was incredible, we had a blast and I got her number. I’m going to call her tomorrow to meet.” Erik was beaming.

“That bar was great, a small crowd but a fun one. We should definitely go back.” Sergei enjoyed having modified his routine from earlier. “Definitely, let’s go back tomorrow, I’ll invite Lynn too,” Erik said as Sergei unlocked the apartment door.

cup of coffee

The next day Sergei woke up closer to noon than he had in months. Erik was also stirring in the other room. Without counting, Sergei threw in an especially strong number of coffee beans into the grinder. Recovery was the goal for the day. A smooth hangover from an especially fun night, Erik had done some diligent Googling of Lynn.

“It was surprisingly easy to find her.” Erik mentioned. “Considering I didn’t have a lot to go on. Seems like she’s got a lot of friends but maybe their just not from around here. Typical work photos on her social media, you know the generic standing in front of a generic office with forced smiles. I sent her a text about tonight but haven’t heard back.”

“I’m sure she’ll write you. We all had fun and you two have an odd number of things in common. It’s a good match!” Sergei said as he burned his palate from taking an adventurous swig of hot coffee.

Hangovers clearing, stomachs full of greasy french fries, evening rolled around. “Did you hear from Lynn?” to which Erik responded: “No, it’s weird.”

“Don’t worry, she might be at the bar tonight. Lynn mentioned she was there all the time.” Somehow Sergei was the positive one.

They made it to the bar, opening the door with wide grins a good pub will give its patrons. There were the usual from yesterday, sadly no wino, with a few new faces. Overall a small group again. And there was Lynn. Sitting at the corner of the bar, looking down at her phone. Alone.

Sergei walked over with Erik, “hey, it’s good to see you again. I hope you’re not feeling too rough after yesterday but don’t think any of us could have the headache the wino probably does.” Lynn looked confused, then asked Sergei, “sorry, do I know you from work? I just can’t place the face.” Okay Sergei thought, maybe Lynn did have a shot too many and besides she was much more interested in Erik yesterday.

Sergei laughed and then followed up, “well, you probably remember Erik here.”

Lynn looked confused, but smirked. Trying to cover up the oddness of the moment, Sergei said they’d save a seat for Lynn if she wanted to join for drinks later.

“Uh, that was weird.” Erik said and Sergei though simultaneously.

“I get she doesn’t remember me but you two talked all night. Maybe she’s got a very bad memory? Or you’re really not that interesting!” Sergei chalked it up to something logical. “A twin? Whatever it is, we can invite her over after she eats and she’ll probably feel silly not remembering by then.”

There is a point in many pubs where the right song comes on after the right number of drinks. A moment that hits the entire crowd in such a way it results in spontaneous song. Several hours later, Erik and Sergei were in that moment with the rest of the bar, a good opportunity for Erik to ask Lynn to join them. By now the noise obscured any awkwardness. The two laughed and once again disappeared to the other side of the bar to talk in between long kisses.

By this time Sergei had befriended the bartender. Always a good friend to have at a bar. In between signing sessions he peaked around for Erik who was nowhere to be found. A good sign, he thought. Finally, after last call and the last crowd-pleasing chorus, Erik appeared looking in a good mood. “Where did you two disappear to?” Sergei said in between melodies.

“We were just over there, chatting. Lynn had to go home but suggested we all meet tomorrow.”

“Here?”

“Why not?”

“Yes, why not? It’s a good pub!”

By now the evening was no longer evening or even night, but slowing becoming morning. As Sergei and Erik walked back to his apartment, he joked, “Lynn’s got to remember you now!”

cup of coffee

Even closer to noon the next morning, Sergei made an even stronger pot of coffee. Fueled by the new routine and fun they had been having, Erik and Sergei lounged the day away in preparation for another night at Sisko’s Bar. This evening however due to the later start and rougher stomachs, they decided to eat a bit later. When they arrived at Sisko’s the night’s crowd was a bit thinner but full of dedicated patrons.

At the corner of the bar as she had been every night before, was Lynn. Erik practically bounced over to her, “hi!”

“Hello. Oh my gosh, wait, you have, you speak like, are you from…” Erik cut Lynn off with an enthusiastic laugh and a “yes!” Both Sergei and Erik were relieved she remembered. It would be too weird to explain another bout of selective memory loss. “We’ll be over there,” Erik pointed, “come join us when you’re done eating.”

“Sure, it would be nice. I don’t see a lot of people from back home. I’m new to town and don’t know anybody here.” At this point, Lynn’s story was a cute introduction to evenings at the pub.

Sergei sat down with Erik at one of the tables near the bar and ordered two pale ales. “That’s a relief, she remembers us hah!” The dialog could have been said by either two. “I was a bit worried there! Cheers to another night out.”

Clink.

“Maybe she’s shy?”

By this point, an hour had past and Lynn was still sitting at the corner of the bar. Alone. “She did seem like she wanted to join us earlier, maybe I’ll go ask again.” Erik suggested. “You should. She could just be hesitant, as an introvert I get that,” Sergei rationalized.

As it had been the two nights before, Erik invited Lynn, she came over. They all talked about her not knowing anyone since moving to the city. Being from such a small town, Erik and Lynn were again amazed they were from the same place. It was the story in repeat but from angles and anecdotes different enough to make the retelling interesting. Much like the two evenings before.

Lynn was quirky, no doubt about it. Financial advisors don’t seem the type to be quirky Sergei thought, but it was endearing. Maybe it was the green eyes, good music, or odd serendipity of it all. As Lynn and Erik disappeared again Sergei walked over to the bartender. He ordered them both a shot as they reminisced how good the song in the background was, some 15 years ago. Even the wino showed up, slightly less coordinated, but entertaining nonetheless.

The bartender told Sergei last call was coming up but he wasn’t really feeling like another drink. Maybe it would be good to get a water instead. There was work the next morning. Sergei scanned the bar for Erik or Lynn, but of the 15 people still around, they weren’t there. Sergei sent Erik a message but figured they had gone home together.

sandwich and coffee

The next morning, Sergei made a terrible pot of coffee, called in sick to work, and re-hydrated. He smiled at the fun the group, now including Lynn, had been having the last few nights. An especially good night for Erik and Lynn he thought, and smiled.

The afternoon went on and Sergei needed food. Bar food. He’d never eaten at Sisko’s Pub but decided to try it. Perhaps he’d run into Erik and Lynn as well. Most of the same regulars, a dozen or so people, were sitting at the bar. Sergei half expected to see Lynn at the corner seat, like she’d been, and it was almost odd she wasn’t there. Sergei laughed to himself.

At the bar, Sergei called the bartender over asking how he was and for the menu. “So, you’re eating today too!” the bartender joked.

“I figured it was about time. After last night I could use some greasy food. You haven’t by any chance seen my friend or the blond woman, Lynn, have you?”

“Sorry, I haven’t seen anyone, been a slow evening so far.” A casual reply from the bartender.

A reply stuck in Sergei’s mind as he finished his plate, pecking off the last few french fries. He texted Erik again. No reply.

“Want any more food or ready for a drink?” Bartender, being a good bartender.

“No thanks, I’m just waiting for my friends. You remember, the tall guy and the blond girl who’s always sitting at the end of the bar.”

“Who?”

Sergei was sick of hearing that question.

“The blond woman, you couldn’t miss her. She’s always sitting at the corner of the bar. And my friend, we’ve been sitting at that table over there the last few nights.”

The bartender, looking confused, “sorry man. I’ve just seen you and the wino over there, plus the usual crowd of 10 or so regulars.”

Sergei exhaled, annoyed.

“The girl at the bar. How could you not remember her? There are only ever 10 people in here.”

“Maybe you’re mixing it up with somewhere else? Let me ask the waitresses.”

As the bartender walked away Sergei became worried. He texted Erik again.

A few moments later, the bartender returned. “We haven’t seen anyone matching that description. I remember you, coming in the past few nights but as far as I remember you were alone. The waitresses don’t remember anyone either here with you. Certainly no blond woman sitting here by herself.”

Sergei asked again then told the bartender he was worried and thinking of calling the police.

As soon as he said that, the expression on the bartender’s face took him aback. It was the uncontrollable, autonomous reaction of someone who was questioning Sergei’s sanity. The bartender couldn’t be lying, it was a response most Hollywood actors couldn’t fake. A look that made him doubt Lynn or Erik had even been in the bar with him.

When the police showed up the next morning, their interviews all revealed the same responses. There was no blond girl at the bar. Nobody could remember Erik either.

Camera footage of the neighborhood showed nobody matching the description or Erik or Lynn. Eventually, the police gave up as there wasn’t much to go on. Sergei went to the bar every night for weeks, hoping to see Lynn, Erik, or at least someone who recognized or remembered either. He never did. He never heard from Erik again.

smokey bar

Three years later, Sergei got a new job. A job that let him travel a bit for work. It was fun work for Sergei and it got him to break his routine plus make a new friend or two. He got off his flight, in a new country, with a colleague who Sergei got on with especially well.

“Want to grab a drink at the hotel bar?”

“Sure thing, let me just drop my things off in the room. We can meet in 10 minutes.” Sergei replied.

He threw his suitcase on the bed, took out a clean shirt, and headed downstairs.

“Good call.” Sergei told his colleague waiting at the bar.

“I hear too they’ve got live music here as well,” he replied.

“…and, there’s this really cute blond girl at the end of the bar.”

Set Course: Geek Takeover Week 2019, Engage!

iowa riverside star trek

Hi. This might be out of the blue in case you’re new here but Geek Takeover Week is an annual occurrence. A week full of posts with a lot of geekiness, doses of travel or tech optional. Each day this week there will be a new post (with some from guest authors) to help close August out. You’re probably traveling right now, taking a vacation of your own so the nerdy side of my cerebellum has control of foXnoMad. Set your inertial dampeners to maximum, we’re going to warp…

Monday: Set Course: Geek Takeover Week 2019, Engage!

Tuesday: Is Globalism The First Step To Star Trek’s Utopian Society?

Wednesday: The Girl In The Bar

Thursday: The Best Travel Memes On The Internet

Friday: What Are The Odds Of A Meteor Hitting A Plane In Flight?

Regular, twice a week posts will resume on Tuesday, September 3rd. If you’re interested in participating in next year’s Geek Takeover Week, feel free to get in touch. Until then, accept this gift from the Founders, may it keep you strong.

Taking A Short Break On A Break

Hi, just a short note from me that things will be a bit quiet on the blog during August. For those of you who are new around here, each August I publish my annual Geek Takeover Week. Since that week is a full 5 days of posts, I typically don’t post the week before or after. (Digesting all of that geeky goodness takes time.) Add on top of that a Turkish holiday in between and it means outside of Geek Takeover Week starting on August 19th, there won’t be any new posts.

But I’ll still be uploading on YouTube twice a week (why don’t you join me over there to ease the withdrawal?) Plus I’ve made a few tweaks to the About me page, as well as added some upcoming travel plans. You’ll also have a few giveaway announcements in my newsletter this Wednesday too.

Talk soon! And I always have trouble keeping quiet so why not let me know what you’re up to in the comments below 🙂
-Anil

How Is My Goal To Visit Every Country Progressing?

new york city foxnomad

In 2006 2007… 2009 when I decided this was to be a blog teaching others how to travel smarter I wanted to also give foXnoMad, this site, a story as well. Around that time, I set the goal to visit every country in the world, with no particular end date. It’s been a while since I’ve updated you on that particular journey of mine, so here’s the latest.

How Do I Count?

One of the first responses if this goal of mine comes up is: how many countries are there? Well, it depends on who you ask. The United Nations recognizes 195, the International Olympic Committee 206, not to mention there are a number of widely unrecognized states as well.

Personally, I keep the count around 200, the details aren’t so important to me personally and since I’ve been traveling a lot of new countries have been created and other regions annexed.

Originally I had been using a map on the now defunct website Trav Buddy which abruptly shutdown last year. Prior to that, the first thing I would do when I got to my accommodation in a new country would be to check it off on the site. A small act to note the personal achievement.

What’s Changed

Since the loss of that site (it was terrible but at least kept a record of everywhere I had been), I created another map of where I’ve been. The interface of that map though isn’t great – there’s no grand list of countries on the user interface –  and after reviewing it now, some countries were missing. Relying so heavily on Trav Buddy wasn’t the best idea because it couldn’t be backed up and served as my memory for a long time.

galapagos foxnomad

As this journey has progressed (I’ve been to around 90 official and de-facto nations) the world has, to my eyes, become a lot smaller. There’s a bigger truth of the natural world we humans overlay with lines on a map, although they often delineate cultural or political differences, can be more arbitrary as well.

Do the sea lions in Galapagos know they’re in Ecuador? Of course not and it’s not very obvious to visitors either. Ecuador has done a very good job of preserving the environment in the Galapagos Islands, but if Mexico took over and did just as good a job would it really matter? Taking a trip to Quito would have checked the Ecuador box, including Galapagos by default. And it would have been missing the most amazing ecosystems I have seen during my travels.

Goal Still Set

There are many other examples of this I’ve witnessed. Seattle is very different than Miami so when I see people making the news for visiting every country in record time, I know they’ve not seen much of anything other than airports. The opposite side of the coin being having a long-term goal to visit every country means I’ve gone to places I probably wouldn’t have otherwise.

iberian airlines

Frequently, places I’ve not had a prior interest to go have turned out to be some of my favorites. Macedonia would have been put off. I would have missed this. Craiova, I hadn’t heard of it prior to the 2014 Best City Contest. The best bar in the world might be in Montevideo. Asuncion has the world’s most conspicuous electronics black market.

Before I go somewhere, I’ve either got a story in mind or one to find. For the former, lines on a map aren’t usually relevant but for the latter, they might get me somewhere to learn something I didn’t know, that I didn’t know.

And hopefully along the way, in words and video, I am able to share those lessons with you.

New foXnoMad Merch Shop With May Profits Going To Yemen’s Children

You can now show everyone how you travel smarter with foXnoMad gear including t-shirts, hoodies, and more in a brand new online shop! For a long time most of the things I’ve created have been digital products but now you can wear a few limited collections of foXnoMad designed merch while helping a good cause. All of the profits from the new foXnoMad Shop through this May will go to Save The Children‘s relief efforts in Yemen, more on that below.

foxnomad merch

What’s In The Shop

There are a few limited collections of foXnoMad, WiFox, and DroneMate apparel, plus two special editions of travel smarter and inspiration addict designs. You can check out all the merch in the shop here which includes clothing plus gadget accessories as well. The shop will be updated with new collections throughout the year.

foxnomad merch

Save The Children Campaign

One of the most memorable experiences during my 2013 visit to Yemen were all of the children who ran up to me asking to take a picture. That lead to a popular post, The Faces of Yemen. Not too long after my trip, Yemen’s civil war began and since then, whenever someone comments on that post, I wonder what has happened to all of the people there I met. In Yemen now, more than 12 million kids are in need of humanitarian assistance and 2 million don’t have access to education, in a critical time in life.

So came the idea to combine the launch of the foXnoMad Shop with Save The Children’s efforts in Yemen which provide health, education, and access to child-friendly spaces in a war zones. Hopefully this can be the beginning of other collective efforts we can do to help worthy causes in the future.

100% of the profits from now through May will go to Save The Children besides browsing is free – take a look and let me know what you like, don’t, and tag me with your merch on Twitter or Instagram all around the world! There’s also a 15% coupon code available for the next 3 days; be sure to use: welcome-100590388 at checkout.

travel smarter (and look good doing it!),
-Anil

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About Anil Polat

foxnomad aboutHi, I'm Anil. foXnoMad is where I combine travel and tech to help you travel smarter. I'm on a journey to every country in the world and you're invited to join the adventure! Read More


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