What’s Really Open in Europe for Americans Now?

So, where in the world are people still living normal lives? I’ve heard Turkey, Serbia, Croatia, and of course the poster child- Sweden.

Sweden sounds like a beautiful country. I was there once when I was in high school. We stopped at Visby for a couple of days. I don’t remember a whole lot except that the weather was gorgeous and it was very green. I’d like to go back for a visit some time and see more of the country.

Croatia looks beautiful from what I’ve seen of it online. I used to work with a couple of guys from there. They both made it sound very nice.

Serbia? I don’t know anything about it except that it had a war going on for a while. I should probably be ashamed for my ignorance. I would love to go there and learn more about it. Any Serbians here, please feel free to inform me. 🙂

I’ve been to Turkey a couple of times. I really loved it. I love history and I enjoyed spending time in the many museums and some of the ruins around the country. The coastline is gorgeous and I bet there must be some good places to SCUBA dive. I could definitely see myself spending some time there.

Is anybody on here familiar with any of these countries? I’m especially curious right now about how different places are dealing with the covid-19 virus. How close to normal (the old normal, not the ‘new normal’) are they?

I think I will spend some time researching how many countries Americans are allowed to travel to and how much time we’re allowed to spend there. I hate to spend so much time, money and effort to go someplace and then get chased out after a short time due to visa issues. I think we were allowed only 3 months in European Schengen zone (before covid) and not allowed at all in a lot of places at this point.

Sad. Really, really sad.

Catching Up

So, to catch up a little bit since I took that long break from writing anything on here, I’ll tell a little bit about what’s been going on in my world. 

My last post before the break, I was just leaving for the Seven Pacific. I flew out to Moble, AL to join the ship, everything was still pretty normal. As the days passed by, the panic grew around the coronavirus spreading worldwide. 

Seven Pacific

The TV in the mess hall was continually reporting every death and the resulting fear-induced over reactions. Lockdowns and government tyranny spreading almost everywhere. I remember hearing of Chinese government agents welding shut the doors of their people (tho who knows how much to believe of any news out of China). 

I have always been skeptical of anything coming out of the TV and almost never take the news at face value. The constant terrorism set off alarm bells for me almost from day one. Nothing made sense. If this virus has been floating around the world since October (when it was first reported in China), then it should have already spread around the world by April. 

I had been traveling a lot since October. I was in Chile, traveling by bus, taxi and plane, before and after my cruise to Antarctica (with quite a few Chinese tourists onboard). I had spent a few days wandering around Santiago, mingling with the huge crowds of protestors (notice how all those protests- Chile- Hong Kong- Paris- etc- ALL just suddenly stopped without even a whimper out of all those millions of rightly angry protesters). I had spent a couple of days at the casinos in Lake Charles. I had spent over a month on board two different vessels, each with over 100 crew from all over the world. Yet, neither I, nor anyone on board had any kind of symptoms. 

Many of the crew were listening to the constant listing of deaths around the world and were becoming very concerned about their friends and families at home. Then came the lockdowns and travel restrictions. I was lucky to be able to get off the ship and go home. That was only because I was onboard as an extra hand and didn’t require a relief. I actually had a relief try to meet me on the ship. He flew to the states from Cyprus (which still allowed travel). He spent days flying half way across the world, only to be turned away at the heliport in Houma, LA and had to fly all the way back home! Then, to top it off, he had to go into quarantine when he got back over there!

None of the Filipinos were allowed to travel. Most of them on ships around the world still aren’t allowed to go home or return to work if they’re at home. Most of them have already been working 6 months and now are over by 6 months or more. How in the world can anyone justify keeping seafarers locked up onboard for so long? 

Whatever, right? We all just need to get over it. Amazing, but that’s what so many people keep on telling us. Like it’s no big deal to be kept from seeing your friends and family for many months more than you had agreed to. Or that you must sacrifice everything you’ve worked for your entire life to help other people deal with their fears.

Anyway, I was very lucky to be able to get home, only a little over a week late. I can always use the money and all the things I wanted to do had already been shut down/canceled anyway. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if those poor Filipinos in the crew were still stuck onboard. The company didn’t seem very concerned about making crew change. Why would they be? It had to be saving them a fortune in air fares.

I had a good hitch on that ship. It was a beautiful vessel, with a good crew and an interesting job. We did a lot of underwater installation work that hitch. Laying down pipelines and jumpers. That sort of thing. I was home by the end of March. It was so weird, flying home with only 5 people on the plane- 3 of them from my ship. The airports at both ends were totally deserted. I felt like I was somewhere in the Twilight Zone.

I still feel like that. Or really, more like George Orwell’s 1984.

 

TSA Demands Internal Passport for Domestic Travel

TSA Demands Internal Passport for Domestic Travel.

This is another great article from the Dollar Vigilante.

Yep, here we go, following in the footsteps of such wonderful places as NAZI Germany, Soviet Russia (USSR), and Apartheid South Africa. We absolutely MUST stop this! We do NOT need to “show our papers” everywhere we go!!!!! We are NOT slaves or animals that must be constantly tracked and under surveillance!!! Yes, ‘our leaders’ do think so, but why do so many ordinary people go along with them? WTF is WRONG with people, that they would even suggest this???

And, believe me, this will only be the beginning. 😦

Better be prepared for some SERIOUS SHIT when they get this “law” into effect! I hope to hell I can get myself out of here before the shit hits the fan and I encourage anyone else here in the US to find some options too. The USA is NOT going to be a safe place to be for much longer. Get out while you can!

I was really hoping to make some serious progress in a couple of months when I was due to get my yearly bonus from work. Got news the other day that they’ve cancelled my bonus (not all of it, just stopped earning it from end of the month- it’s a HUGE pay cut). Not just me, everybody was cut! How can they do that? It was in the contract. I guess those are only for one side to obey, the side that doesn’t have the power and money to do whatever they want. 😦

With the price of oil so low, I guess I should be happy to still have a job. I’m sure the company knows that and so that’s why they’ll do whatever they want regardless of any ‘contracts’.

One step forward and 2 steps back. That’s what it seems like around here. I guess I should consider myself lucky that I can see what’s coming and take steps to prepare for it. It sure as hell adds a lot of stress to life tho.

I’m trying even harder to find some way to get out of the USA. I haven’t been able to find anywhere else to go that will allow me to WORK to support myself. That’s the only holdup. A lot of nice places are OK if you want to just go there to live, or to retire, or if you want to start a business. But they won’t let you work and possibly take a job from a local. I don’t blame them for that, it’s just frustrating for me when I want to leave so badly and I can’t find a way to do it.

Lately, I’ve even looking at just saying screw working anymore. I’ll just get permanent residency somewhere. I MIGHT be able to scrounge up enough to live on til I die. IF I move somewhere cheaper (and I die young). Maybe I’ll get lucky and that country (wherever) won’t deport me to the US when it really gets bad. Just got hit with approx. $3000++ plumbing bill, that kind of thing sure doesn’t help!

Oh well, what can you do but keep trying.