Wednesday, May 30, 2007

A Grasshopper Doesn't Walk into a Bar

I've been struggling with trying to make a grasshopper walk into a bar for two days.

And it just hasn't worked.

Add this to my complete system crash of last weekend and one thing becomes clear.

I've somehow personally offended Steve Jobs.

Either that or I should give up on grasshoppers and skeletons and go back to something I'm good at.

How about travel? Here, I'll show you:

I got excited when I first saw the ad for the "Oz Bus," an overland bus that takes passengers from London to Melbourne.

Had they booked ahead on a freighter to get from Indonesia to Australia? Surely a corporation with scheduled departures would actually work out the specifics.

But no. Closer investigation revealed that the passengers must fly from Dili (East Timor) to Darwin (Australia). The bus gets to go on the freighter. No passengers. Though it's still an incredible trip.

I get occasional emails from people who are trying to go around the world by surface transport. They look at the map, see how close Australia is to Indonesia/Papua New Guinea/East Timor and assume there's got to be a way. They travel through Oz all the way up to Darwin, discover that there isn't a way, and then they go to google. And that's when they find me, through It's the same way I originally found my friend Peter Moore. He had a book out about going overland from London to Oz. I emailed him. He gave me the same response I give wayward travelers today.

IT CAN'T BE DONE. If you go to Darwin, you will have three choices: 1) fly 2) backtrack to a major port and catch a freighter to Singapore 3) Hope you got there during the season when yachts stop by Darwin, and convince someone to give you a lift. Okay, there are 5 ways. #4 is to pay someone a lot of money to take you in a private boat. #5 is to go to the Stella Maris Seaman's Club and sweet talk a captain into taking you on board against regulations. I know of no one who has accomplished this, but I bet it could be done with patience.

Save yourself the bother and just book paid passage to or from Singapore to Australia's East Coast.

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