I have been hesitant to write my next post. Mostly because I always think of it as my last Six in the World post, and there are so many things I want to say. I want to talk about what we learned, how the trip changed us, all the things I have come to understand…
A week ago we were up helping McKane create a map of Asia with all the countries color coordinated to their type of government. It was fun to talk about the different countries we had been in and how different life was in each. We had seen first hand the many different levels of freedom…
There is nothing like the sickeningly sweet smell of cow carcasses wafting through a Bolivian market, the cacophony of aromas rising out of a Vietnamese one, with flowers on one side of the aisle and dying, flapping fish on the other, or the adventure of getting to know one Thai dessert food vendor out of a hundred and then frequenting her stand each day to purchase whatever homemade delicacy she has on offer…. The World as Our Playground – At home we watch Kieran and Asher torment bugs, jump off rocks, and play with animals, but it’s just not the same as seeing them leap off ledges at ancient Khmer temples, set up ant fights in the middle of a Roman colosseum, or chase llamas through the ancient Incan ruins of Machu Picchu…. The shock of our 1950’s era apartment in Bulgaria and disappointment of a daytime visit to the underwhelming fortress ruins were countered by the discovery of a cheap, delicious pizza restaurant where we dined with fascinating fellow travelers and an evening stroll to the edge of town where we watched the ruins come alive courtesy of a world class sound and laser show.Other times our days were just one exciting adventure after another…. After my meal, I was sorry for the other patrons, sorry for the sweet little Japanese couple who can’t serve their native food in its lowfat form, and mostly sorry for me because my food was so dry I actually had to use my fry sauce.
Hopefully over the next few weeks I will be able to talk with most of you but until then….For those who were riffed, I know your pain…. If your experience is anything like mine, over the next few days you will go through all kinds of emotions ranging from anger to shock, from fear to excitement. After you get off the rollercoaster, you will discover there are many opportunities beyond EarthLink and that leaving might in fact be the best thing for you…. And while I don’t know all 900 of you, I probably know half of you, and there will be things in the future for all of you.
I have been there for the last 8 and half years and have considered the work we have done there as more than just a job. For years we have been the only independent ISP the last company of significance providing an alternative to the monopolists or duopolists (the cable and the phone companies) It has been an incredibly hard fight…. Earthlink hired a new CEO about 4 weeks ago and he is in the process of analysing all the businesses and will make some changes in the near future to direct the company in a direction he would like. I completely agree with his approach and support his efforts, the only unfortunate aspect is being the guy who has been gone for a year is not the best situation to be in when someone is aggressively analyzing the work that everyone has been doing.
Our escape plan consisted of us getting a bus to Chile from Ururu, then getting another to Arica, Chile, hopping on another to Tacna, Peru, then yet another to Arequipa, Peru, then another to Puno, Peru, and finally ending this terrible journey in Cusco, Peru…. We had heard Chile had some of the world’s best buses, this bus was more like a Greyhound from the 50’s that had at one time or another been abandoned in the middle of the desert only to be found again, and put back into service. Fortunately we managed to sleep through the majority of this bus ride and awoke to the sight of the Arica bus station in front of us. From here we attempted to find a ticket to Tacna, which we found a difficult task…. This was one of the oddest border crossings we encountered, it involved being dropped off by a taxi on one side, waiting in a long line and then getting stamped out of Chile, getting back in the taxi and waiting in another line until we got stamped into Peru.
This is just a quick realtime update. We are minutes away from Machu Picchu. We passed piles of rocks and broken glass on the road but arrived problem free. We still might get stuck here, but I can think of worse places to be stuck.