TommyOnTrip WELCOME TO MY TRAVEL E-MAIL BLOG Here are some postings I made to my family and friends/fellow world-wanderers during my trips to India, Nepal, Thailand, Brazil, South Africa and around Europe.


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From: Tommy Hermansen

Date: Sunday, March 28, 2010, 4:01 PM

Subject: Happy Easter!

Hope you and your family are all well in this Christian/Catholic holiday week. I am doing just fine and really looking forward to warmer spring days and park life. And also - my summer 2010 trip to Portugal and the Azores! Have fun you guys!! :-)

Tommy Hermansen

From: Tommy Hermansen

Date: Saturday, January 2, 2010, 1:15 PM

Subject: 2010

Hello friends!

Oslo is freezing cold these days, but warmhearted friends sure helps a lot. Colleagues at the printshop are really friendly too, which makes helping them out more enjoyable. The pay is not too bad there either, so I am finally clearing out my old Disastercard debt, and will hopefully be able to get away for four weeks in June/July. The last couple of years have been terrible for backpacking escapes, and I only got away a few weekends which has been quite frustrating.

I hope all is well with you and your family, and I wish you a great 2010! :-)

Tommy Hermansen

From: Tommy Hermansen

Date: Fri, Jun 19 2009 10:50 am

Subject: Summer 2009

Hello friends!

Hope all is well with you. Summer is coming up again here in the Northern hemisphere, and I have a month off from work with no plan what so ever. This is a welcome break since I didn’t get a vacation last year.

There are several festivals that I’m considering dropping by at. Vuuv, Ozora and such and off course my favorite happening in Amsterdam, the “organic” gathering called Landjuweel. So if you too are out and about this summer, it would be great to meet up! :-)

My month off is from July 18th until August 17th.



From: Tommy Hermansen

Date: Sat, 14 Feb 2009 15:31:07 +0100 Local: Sat, Feb 14 2009 4:31 pm

Subject: Birthday

If you are in Oslo two weeks from now, please join me at M3 for my thirty-fifth birthday. Sat 28 feb at three pm until the next day :-)


From: Tommy Hermansen

Date: Tues, Sep 2 2008 3:27 pm

Subject: Pictures

Hey again...

Sorry but forgot to give you the link for those pictures. :-) It's public so you don't need an account:


From: Tommy Hermansen

Date: Tues, Sep 2 2008 1:34 pm

Subject: Amsterdam and London

Hey you! :-)

Long time since the last email now. The reason for this being that I've been at home working the whole year. Still won't be able to get away on any long trips anytime soon, but will do a couple of weekend trips coming up in September and October.

I'll be in Amsterdam Sept 19th until 21st, and in London during the Halloween weekend (Oct 30th until Nov 2nd). Hope to see some of you Londoners and Amsterdammers again then. E-mail me if you'd like to meet up?

These days I'm just hanging out with friends, and still working for the W&J print center. Got a full time employment now and even went up a few percent in pay last month. All is well, but just wish I could travel more. Well times change so maybe next year. That eclipse thing in Japan is probably not possible because of my current contract which keeps me stuck here in the print shop at that time. Anyway all is good here, and I certainly hope the same for all of you!! :-) Uploaded some pictures on my FaceBook profile during the last couple of weeks, so you can even see for yourselves...

Love and respect,


From: Tommy Hermansen

Date: Sat, Dec 22 2007 3:11 pm

Subject: Auspicious times

Hello dear friends!

It's that time of year again to wish you all happy Christmas and so on. This year was a tough one for me personally. All work and no play, as indeed I predicted about a year ago. Well at least I got away for a week in London during Easter, and a few weeks off during the summer. My brother Robin, my pal Eivind and I drove down to Denmark for a Kim Larsen concert, but ended up going to Amsterdam and Bergen an Zee after that. Seriously fun stuff but very expensive for me as the other two didn't bring any money with them for this extended leg of the trip. This also led to trouble at home - as I had big problems with paying rent and the three month deposit on the room I'm renting. Was nearly thrown out, but finally managed to pay them the deposit last week, so now I can enjoy the current Christian holidays and just relax with my friends and family. Next year will also be all about working and paying debts I'm afraid, but I plan to escape for some weeks as soon as possible. Will have to be to some European country again - maybe Portugal and the Boom Festival again, but I don't have any plan so far. Another big thing coming up in 2008 is a new job and a triumphant return to the graphic arts industry. Will be working as a print operator for a company called Wittusen & Jensen. Much better pay compared to my current job, and an economically very secure position with a company who just turned 110 years last august. I'll get one more week of vacation too, so this looks really promising. No more crappy deliveries to do either. Merry x-mas eve with a full moon!!

Love! Tommy

PS: Check out for a hazy plan in the long run.

From: Tommy Hermansen

Date: 24.mai.2007 10:55

Subject: Confirmation of your KLM booking

Hello again friends! Hope all is well in your corner of the World? I'm fine, work is good and the travel budget is looking far better now. The plan for the summer is Amsterdam and the Landjuweel Festival again. Me and my good pal Eivind are coming down to make the city unsafe for all unsuspecting square people, and an ongoing party will seamlessly merge with the always hip Amsterdam ambiance. So better cool down those Grolsch beers well ahead of time for us, you guys.

Just over a week until I'm moving back to sweet old Oslo town. Really looking forward to that, finally they managed to clear a room for me there. Was a bit upset with those people last month when all looked kinda bleak, but all is good again now and the date for the move has finally been set. I've been living with mom and step dad since 1st of May and have been eating very well. Which is a good thing for a single guy, who don't know how to cook more intricate things than frozen pizzas.

There's a picture of the new house on the beach on my Facebook profile. Respect! And hope you'll have a fantastic summer wherever you are.


From: Tommy Hermansen

Date: 10.apr.2007 11:23

Subject: Back again

Hi all! Got back home again last night. London was quite fantastic. The weather was really warm for the season, and the ale was just perfect. Never got around to attending that easter party thing though, was stuck in another fantastic place called SOS and was chatting away with the Brazilian waitress in Portuguese the whole night. This huge place has four restaurants where one doubles as a bar in the evenings. Really nice! Recommended.

Planning to move back to Oslo again in a few weeks time, I think to a commune on Nordstrand again - will know whether the room is available for rent this week, I hope. Out here in the sticks got just too boring, so back to two hours commuting again. It's worth it; nice job and colleagues - and seeing friends more often. Thus bus and tram. My flat contract is finished on 1st of May, so I need to find something soon. Will work out fine, got a good feeling about this one.

Summer holiday is being spent in Oslo i believe. Wanna come up here?


From: Tommy Hermansen

Date: Tue, 13 Mar 2007 13:57:51 +0100 Local: Tues, Mar 13 2007 2:57 pm

Subject: London calling

Hello friends,

Easter is coming up and I'm off work again for a week. I'll be in London this time round, from 2nd until the 9th of April. Going over to meet friends (you perhaps?) and probably also checking out the Acid Monkey Easter party with at least one favorite psy-trance artist on the line-up, guy called Orion from Denmark.


Tommy Hermansen (+47 91162582)

"Did you hear about the dyslexic, agnostic insomniac who stays up all night wondering if there really is a Dog?"

From: Tommy Hermansen

Date 20. December 2006 15:35

Subject: Auspicious times again

Hello from freezing cold Skedsmokorset, Norway. Hope you all are having a good time as always. This upcoming year will be another year with almost no traveling for me. Still struggling penny wise and none of the announced festivals are tempting to go to either, maybe the Biosphere festival in Portugal could be something, no lineup or whereabouts are posted as of yet, but I just love that country anyway. I am very disappointed in the way the psychedelic trance music has evolved since a couple of years back, so I might skip the festival altogether and just do a quiet holiday down there. Need to brush up on my Portuguese as well, I'm thinking of heading back to Brazil again in January 2008, you see. I'm afraid this winter will be all work and no long haul play. But fingers crossed for the next season!

Today is new moon (right about now actually) and tomorrow is solstice, a great beginning for both the moon and our planet. Can't you kind of feel it too?

So happy Hanukkah or Christ-mass or whatever, and I hope the Gregorian year of 2007 will be a good one for you. I'm going on a three day bender this weekend to celebrate it all with friends and family. Drinking Yule and do Freyja's play (if the opportunity comes along), as my ancestors did way back when - during the winter solstice.

Have fun!!


From: Tommy Hermansen

Date: Sep 4, 2006 3:18 PM

Subject: Moving out of town

Hello dear friends. Just writing you a little message to let you know that I'm moving out of town next Friday (September 15th). Have found a fantastic flat right next to where I work. Fiftyfive meters square with a marvellous view of the valley below. So no more 90 minutes comute every day, just a short walk through the forest, and some privacy for a change.

Have been living in various shared houses the last six years or so, and feel it's time to move on after staying almost three years in my current one. This will be quite expensive though, and summer in Portugal already screwed up my bankaccount and my poor disastercard, so the next couple of months will be a bit tough pennywise. But it should all be stabilised again by the end of the year, I hope.

Probably not able to get away for the x-mass holidays this year either. Well that's all.

Love, Tommy

PS: The next Full Moon (September 7th) is also a Partial Lunar Eclipse.

From: Tommy Hermansen

Date: Thurs, Aug 10 2006 7:54 pm

Subject: Last Lisbon nite!

Hey friends!

So, now this little vacation is sadly over. Spending the last days here just hanging out and rewindinding after the fantastic festival. Actually the music was not quite up to my taste this time round, but I found a really cool chaishop the first day I came there, and ended up spending most evenings at that cafe with the friendly group from Bristol and Wales. The place was called Grub'n'Dub. My thing for sure; Food with smooth Reggae music :-)

After the last e-mail from Porto I ventured further north to Braga and Guimares. Some really nize towns up towards the Spanish border. Never made it up the Douro before the festival. Maybe next time.

Working again on Monday, so now I just enjoy a quiet nite here before heading home tomorrow, and then spending the weekend with dear friends I haven't seen for way too long.


From: Tommy Hermansen

Date: Fri, Jul 28 2006 1:48 pm

Subject: Boom soon! :-)

Hello from Porto Calem! (the calm port). My fifth day in the country and I've spent them all in Lisboa and Porto. Heading for the hills soon I guess. Wanna see the Douro valley and maybe try some more of local sweet fruit juices from this area. Bit too sweet for my taste really, I'm a beer guy as most of you already know. Port wine is like candy, best with ice cream.

Been walking around a lot, and met some really nice local people. Have been practising on my Portuguese, so I haven't talked much to fellow tourists. Will be enough time for that in a week from now when the summer's biggest psychedelic trance gathering takes place here in the Serra da Estrelas, near Castelo Branco.

Love, Tommy

Going to church doesn't make you any more a Christian than going to the garage makes you a car. (Laurence J. Peter)

From: Tommy Hermansen

Date: Mon, May 15 2006 12:44 pm

Subject: Amsterdam weekend :-)

Just a quick hello to all friends in or around Amsterdam. Going with a dear friend to A'dam the weekend of 2nd-5th June. Will be staying near the Museumsplein. Hooray!

See you?


From: Tommy Hermansen

Date: Sat, May 6 2006 12:19 am

Subject: Boom Festival 2006

Summer mid-night hello from the polar rim! Been a lot of work related issues the last couple of months, was actually hired, fired and then hired again around the last three new moons. Back in IT again of course, this time just north of town at Skedsmokorset. Used to live up there too - about ten years ago; I walk past our old house on the way to/from the bus stop. Funny coincidence!

So yes, the plan for this years summer vacation is the Boom Festival again. Will be working until the end of July and then head to Lisbon, and travel around Portugal for about three weeks. See you there perhaps??

Love, Tommy

From: Tommy Hermansen

Date: Tuesday, March 14, 2006 @ 3:05 PM

Subject: Found a job!

Yup! Finally!!! After more than a year of looking for work and almost giving up on the future, I recieved an e-mail from a previous co-worker who were looking for freelance graphic designers, who could help with creating their direct marketing junk mailings. So I ended up doing that for the last couple of weeks. Seems like they have more work in their bookings, so I hope this will be a permanent gig for me.

Can still be reached on this email address, but will probably start to use an official work address soon. The company is called Leo Burnett by the way. So no Turkey eclipse for me I'm afraid.

Have fun!

From: Tommy Hermansen

Date: Thu, Dec 22, 2005 at 1:16 AM

Subject: Auspicious times

Hey friend! Howzit?

Wishing you lot a very merry yule festival and winter solstice from freezing cold Oslo, and a wicked brand new year! Thanx for the X-Mass greetings!


Hope to make it to Turkey for the total eclipse in March! Anyway all is fine here, good friends and times. Party on!

Love, Tommy

From: Tommy Hermansen

Date: Tue, 19 Jul 2005 02:22:29 -0700

Subject: Boo hoo noo festival

Hello friends out there.

I hope you all are having a great time! I am still hanging around Oslo and have no funds for changing that situation. It's actually not easy living up here either, especially while being unemployed. Anyway, I just try to make the best of it - and this wonderful summer really helps.

It feels weird not going to a festival this year. First time this millennium actually. Still living on previous psy-trance experiences* and hope to make it to Portugal again next year. The previous one was fantastic.

Good vibes for the summer to you all! (Envious of all festival goers)

PLUR from Tommy

*Boom 2000, Sola Luna 2001, Ypy Poty 2002, SA 2002, Samothraki 2003, and Boom 2004

From: Tommy Hermansen

Date: Fri, 22 Apr 2005 03:51:47 +0200

Subject: Hospitality Club

Hello friends from out there,

So now the mailing list has been successfully moved to Google Groups. Hope you all are having a great time wherever you might be. I have already received some super nice replies to the invitation e-mail that was sent out some days ago. Good to hear from you too! :-)

Well as already mentioned I am now actively looking for a way to refill the travel budget. Hope to be able to get back on the road this summer, and to drop by one of the trance festivals where it's seriously happening. Fullmoon, Voov, Ozora and Sonica are all tempting. I also want to mention that you are welcome to come and see my tiny town.

Bom and PLUR!

From: Tommy Hermansen

Date: Jan 21, 2005 10:39 PST

Subject: Even more del Sol!

Hello friends!

I’m still at the Costa del Sol actually. Just couldn’t move away from this lovely summer-like feeling. It’s quite warm during the days here now, I guess around 20 centigrade. But the water is impossible even for a Viking to stand for much more than a couple of seconds, and roaming around evenings it’s best to wear a warm jacket or sweater. Just this morning I arrived at this really nice place by the sea called Nerja, it’s on the Costa only about an hour east of Malaga by bus. Not so developed here yet as the previous villages on the western part of the Costa which now are mostly concrete high-rise settlements, but is probably getting there though. The things to see here are the Balcón de Europa, the "Balcony of Europe", and the caves about three kilometers away from central Nerja. The Balcony is a promenade and plaza along the edge of a towering cliff, which in the old days was the site of a great Moorish castle. I’ll check out the cave tomorrow I think, but I had a nice beer on the balcony watching the sun go down, just before venturing into writing all of this at my local internet shop. I’m staying in a beautiful little private apartment just across the beach from the Balcony. Was lucky and met an extremely friendly hippie woman at the bus stop who was looking for guests. Her name is Ina and she traveled both India and Brazil back in the seventies. Wow, she must be of my kinsfolk indeed! She’s now living on a boat down here and renting out a couple of apartments to us travelers year round. Loads of Britons and Germans around here, and the Germans even have their own local newspaper! Crazy stuff. I’ll hang here until Monday morning, and then fly to Barcelona and Amsterdam and then finally Oslo sometime in the evening. It will be a long day. But now it’s my last week-end in the sun this time round, and time to DRINK!!



From: Tommy Hermansen

Date: Jan 20, 2005 03:15 PST

Subject: Costa del Sol

Hey friends!

I´ve now moved on a little bit since the last newsletter. I´m in Malaga at the Costa del Sol in the south of Spain. I really love this town, and have spent several days here to chill out, and to try the local cuisine and wine. Very nize indeed!! I also spent a couple of nights in Ronda, which is a magnificent cliffside setlement just about two hours trip (by bus) from Malaga. Recommended to see!

Next on the itinerary is Valencia (tomorrow) and then back to Barcelona during the week-end. Flying home on monday. Blah!

So, cheers! See you around!


From: Tommy Hermansen

Date: Dec 28, 2004 07:51 PST

Subject: Hippie New Year!

Hello and Happy Space Christmas from a quite cold Barcelona!

Here for a few days to visit good friends and to celebrate the new year with them. I finished my job last week and had a really nice x-mas in Oslo. We ended up on a way cool "lock-in" party at my favorite club, but I had to pay for the good times by feeling sick on Christmas Day though. We got senseless drunk that night... all night :-) Good to chill out these days in Barca.

I´ll be backpacking in Spain until January 24th, then heading home to look for a new job. Have a great New Years!


From: Tommy Hermansen

Date: Oct 25, 2004 12:55 PDT

Subject: Update

Hello my friends!

Unfortunatly, I have decided to postpone the South America trip until I have the nececary funds for such a pricey air fare. High season over there and too much spending on fun here at home, has resulted in a shorter upcoming trip. Too bad.

I'm going to Barcelona to see my good friend Alex over New Years, and then go travelling around in Spain for about four weeks. Thinking of going over to Ibiza for a few days too, to check out the infamous partyscene. Hope to find some nize psy-trance gathering there too, of course.

Leaving home Dec. 27th...



(Oh, and happy x-mas, two months from now)

From: Tommy Hermansen

Date: Oct 06, 2004 05:19 PDT

Subject: What’s up?

Hello my friends!

Long time since the last TommyOnTrip posting now. Had enough of Yahoo this time around, so that's why I've been bothering you with these Topica Subscription Invitation and Reminder e-mails the last couple of days. Not all of the 270 or so previous subscribers have accepted yet, so this message only goes out to about 55 travel-happy people.

Since last time I've been working most of the time, but made it to Portugal and the Boom festival over the summer - which was just fantastic! Went to Lisbon, Coimbra, Castelo Branco, Serra Estrelas and the festival, Faro, Lagos, Seville (Spain) and then back to Lisbon again. The whole circuit lasted for about four weeks, and was a lovely break away from everything up here at home.

My current work contract ends at the end of this year, and then I'm not quite sure what to do. There are trance festivals in Thailand, Morocco, and Brazil over New Years, and then one in Argentina sometime early next year. I want to go to all of them, but I have to choose only one this time. Wherever I end up going I'm going for a two or three month trip again. Patagonia (Argentina) is really tempting!


From: Tommy Hermansen

Date: Oct 01, 2004 04:34 PDT

Subject: Testing

A nice day in Oslo and the weekend is coming up shortly...

From: Tommy Hermansen

Date: Mon Dec 22, 2003 4:39pm

Subject: Merry X-mas and a Hippie New 2004

Hello friend, hope everything is all right, and that you have a nice time with your loved ones! This year I'm spending the Christmas holidays at home with my family for once. The last two I spent in Brazil and South Africa so it's been a while in fact. New trips are vaguely visible on the horizon, but things are going good here pennywise these days, so it's definitely looking clearer. My main psychedelic festival target for 2004 (so far) is the Boom in Portugal on August 26-29, so if you too are planning to go too this is where we'll meet again!

Boom 2000 was the first psy festival I ever went to, where I met my kinfolk (yes, it really felt like a tribal gathering), which subsequently led to the decition to get rid of my stuff and just quit work and up and leave and spend my savings on exploring this world. Which I actually managed to do most of my time during the following two years. Thinking back on that time and all the nice places and people I stumbled over, I must say I feel truly honored and incredibly privileged to have the freedom and also comparably the wealth to do so.

Love from Tommy! See you on the road...

From: Tommy Hermansen

Date: Mon Nov 3, 2003 3:40pm

Subject: Harmonic Concordance of 2003

Hello gang, just wanted to tell you a quick hello, and pass on the word about the Total Lunar Eclipse and star alignment which is coming up shortly. The Harmonic Concordance of 2003 is the name of this unique occurrence on and around the 8th of November, hope you can explore and experience it!

Still in Oslo livin' it up in the cold weather. Recently moved house though, our commune broke up. A new beginning with new people is what I'm experiencing too!

Which is fitting this auspicious time. :-)



From: Tommy Hermansen

Date: Tue Sep 16, 2003 11:08am

Subject: Going back to work

Yes friends, that time has unmercifully crept over me again; when I have to head back to home and work. Feels good though.

Had another great time travelling around in Greece: A fantastic festival on Samothraki, a few days recovering on Limnos, spent a couple of nights on Chios, then the last week relaxing on Kokkari beach on Samos where I also shared some days with a friend from England. The definitive highlight was the day we rented a scooter and got to see most of the island, Samos is also a place I'd love to return to! Like countless other places! :-) Biggest dilemma of travelling I think.

Looking forward to be seeing my loved ones at home now. Leaving to Copenhagen from Athens today at 4pm, then a connecting flight to my sweet home town.

See you on the road sometime!

Love from Tommy

PS: Message to the ravers out there, We're having a big party in Oslo next Saturday!! Hope to see you there!

From: Tommy Hermansen

Date: Wed Sep 10, 2003 1:07pm

Subject: Panorama of dancefloor!

My good friend Arvid grabbed this out of the Samothraki atmosphere.


More pictures to come on his web site, so check back there soon! Sorry to you guys on the list who already got this.

Today I'm on Samos and expecting dear Alecz to arrive tonight.

Have all the fun you can whenever you can!!


From: Tommy Hermansen

Date: Sat Sep 6, 2003 5:10pm

Subject: On Limnos, and going to Chios

Hello dear group!

I've just been through one of my best festival experiences ever! I thought Samothraki was magic this time round! More than a week of hammock work and dancing with friendly fraggles from all over the planet. Even the weather supported our party! Thanks goes out to all the nice people in our Norwegian/Welsh/South African camp too! I wish to see you again as soon as possible.

Came to Limnos two nights ago, and I have just been hanging around relaxing (and catching up with reality) in the port city of Myrina. A quiet little town, at least now when the tourist season is over. Nice narrow streets and alleyways, and the local people seem more happy here than on Samothraki. Guess the Thracians were quite fed up by us hippies disturbing their peace.

Chios is the destination for tomorrow morning, I have an 11 hour ferry ride to go through tonight. Blargh! But at least I won't need accomodation tonight. Then the plan is to go to Samos, to meet up with a good friend from last years trip!

Peace, Love, Unity and Respect!

:-) Tommy

From: Tommy Hermansen

Date: Mon Aug 18, 2003 1:21pm

Subject: Another Greek Trip

Hey guys!

Hope summer has been good so far! Mine was OK, even though I was working. I'm preparing my summer holiday these days, I'm flying down to Athens, Greece next Sunday. I used up some old bonus points which I gathered a few years back while I was working as a traveling VIP software engineer, so these tickets were super-cheap! Just paying for the airport taxes. :-)

Good thing because I'd rather spend good cash on really important Greek holiday necessities such as Retsina and Ouzo! The plan is to go straight from Athens to a psychedelic trance festival on the island of Samothraki in the Northern Agean Sea (near the turkish border), and I hope to reach the site before the masses are coming the beginning of next week. Heard a rumor of about 10000 people coming to this one, just hope that's wrong info.

I'll write again from somewhere in Greece sometime after the festival, or maybe from Istanbul? I can be reached on both my work and travel e-mail addresses, if you'd like to write me. I'm really looking forward to this late summer holiday now!



From: Tommy Hermansen

Date: Mon Jun 23, 2003 1:54pm

Subject: Mosquito hell!

Hello world! Just got back after a week-end of camping in the deep forests outside Arvika, Sweden. It was mosquito hell!

Well they were maybe not as terrible as what they would be like in actual Hell, but camping outside in Scandinavia during the summer, those flying pests can get damn annoying! We were a group of trance-loving friends who drove over there for a two-nights outdoor mini festival called MossMys2. The artist line-up was quite good and the weather stayed pretty dry too, rain was no big problem really because I'd brought my big "Praxis" tarp - which I'd had to get for improving the living conditions at the Ruigoord Landjuweel festival in Amsterdam last summer.

But sleeping outside in a hammock was just impossible, the insects would probably suck you dry of blood within a few short hours. Mosquito hats, nets and tents were the only defense against them, except maybe for rubbing motor-oil all over your body (which allegedly would do the trick nicely, but just think about that for a while - not good). Some of us got some really big bites to brag about.

Only bad thing was the music (at times, when it turned into some Techno/Rave crap) and not enough food and drinking water to last the whole festival, other than that - fantastic! Good friends from Oslo and lovely friendly Swedes, except one crazy fokker with an ax (while being out of his head) - he got a little bit scary there for a moment; chopping down a tree and threatening to go for blood next. Nothing happened in the end.

Things are still great here at home though, I'm in love with a beautiful girl called Ingrid, the job is coming along just fine (been here for six months now) - and the escape plan for the summer has been formulated. Samothraki Dance Festival in the end of August and two weeks into September if I can get some time off, which I am still trying to push through with the friendly bosses. My current hunch is "yes".



From: Tommy Hermansen

Date: Thu Jun 5, 2003 3:48pm

Subject: Important Travel Warning!

Posted from mass e-mail:

The World Health Organisation today issued a new warning against non-essential travel to the entire Western hemisphere following renewed concerns about the spread of Severe Loss of Perspective Syndrome (SLOPS). Officials are warning travellers not to visit the UK, the US, almost all of Western Europe, and Canada, following further outbreaks of the disease, which has led to mass panic among the media, thousands of ecstatic children being kept out of school by their credulous and moronic parents, and increased profits for DIY stores as the idiot public rush to bulk-buy face masks and boiler suits. A WHO spokesman said, "You'd be much better off going to somewhere like Thailand or China, because all you've got to worry about there is SARS, and let's face it, you're about as likely to die from that as you are to get kicked to death by a gang of zombie nuns. "The SARS virus has now claimed a staggering 500 lives in only six months, which makes it considerably more deadly than, say, malaria, which only kills around 3000 people every single day. Malaria, however, mainly effects only darkies what speak foreign, whereas SARS has made at least one English person feel a bit iffy for a couple of days, and is therefore considered much more serious. The spread of SLOPS has now reached pandemic proportions, with many high-level politicians seemingly affected by the disease. The rapid spread of SLOPS has been linked to the end of the war in Iraq and the need for Western leaders to give the public something to worry about. Otherwise, they might start asking uncomfortable questions about domestic issues, and that simply would not do.


Author unknown

From: Tommy Hermansen

Date: Tue May 13, 2003 2:46pm

Subject: Spring is in the air!

Hello, dear friends from all over the planet! How are you doing? Trust you are fine! Working/Traveling? Hey, also let me know your plans for this summer (the summer of the northern hemisphere I mean).


Looks like I'll have to stay here in Oslo this summer, working and paying off old travel expenses on an impressively emptied Mastercard account. Well I hope at least I will be able to spend a few weeks in Greece around the Samothraki Dance Festival in August/September. I've already bought the festival ticket! It will be my second visit to that sweet island.

Speaking of festivals; I'm actually going to a mini full-moon (lunar eclipse) one in Edinburgh on this next upcoming Friday! Anyone in the area who might be able show up there too??? Just send me an e-mail if you need the instructions on how to get there. It's called Hecate. I've already been in touch with some of you list-members privately, and you better show up! Let's party again.

Anyway, If you're thinking of traveling around in Europe this summer - come and visit! We're doing loads of past-time activities on the beaches and in the parks the whole summer. (B-b-q's, chill-outs and full-on parties!) Oslo in good weather is really nice too, even just to wind down and to be on a quiet vacation!



From: Tommy Hermansen

Date: Mon Mar 24, 2003 10:52am

Subject: A fantastic week in the Alps!

Hello gang! I spent last week with good friends in Avoriaz in the Alps on the French/Swiss border. I'd never heard of the place before, but it turned out to be great. Went with my dear old pal Darek, who brought his digital camera with him. He's going to upload some pictures on his web page ( They will be added under a French flag on the "Travel" page within a few days (at least he'll probably hurry up now since I'm sending this mail out to over 300 travelhappy people.) More pictures from my own trips are slowly being scanned from the original negatives and will be uploaded on the TommyOnTrip main page or somewhere more appropriate as soon as possible. Avoriaz is part of the Portes du Soleil lift system, one of the biggest in the world... And the weather was incredible too! Nothing broken or bruised even. Just a few sore muscles, that's all.

Love, Tommy

From: Tommy Hermansen

Date: Thu Jan 9, 2003 1:35pm

Subject: Back at work!

Hello friends! South Africa turned out to be another one of those countries you just have to fall in love with, and I certainly did! Cape Town in particular stole my heart big time, it's another place I have to return to at some point. That sweet city is residing well up there on the upper part of my current list of favorite places.

I was staying at the Long Street Backpackers in the center of town (obviously in Long St.), they have cheap dorms at just 65 SAR a day, and easy going staff and fellow travelers. They've also got a quaint little bar were you can get perfectly shit-faced for almost no money at all, a pool-room and a TV den. It was nice and clean even! So basically, that's the place to be.

I am now back home in Oslo again, freezing but generally happy. We have a beautiful winter up here these days, and it's actually nice to see some snow again. I got a very nice new job too, started last week as a software technician at a successful media company, so the traveling is over for a while... at least until next summer. :-)

Drop me a line if you're planning on visiting Norway (we have a free guest room in our house) or would like tips on places to see along the route I travelled the last two years. I'll publish the travelogue and some pictures sometime soon.


From: Tommy Hermansen

Date: Thu Dec 19, 2002 0:04pm

Subject: Merry X-mas!!

Hello ev-ryone!! From sunny Cape Town I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Wicked 2003!

And I hope you've been good this year... :-)

From: Tommy Hermansen

Date: Mon Dec 9, 2002 7:27am

Subject: The mystery of the thirteen ultimate festivals!

Location: South Africa's Northern Province. Near to the Kruger National Park, and along the line of total eclipse of the Sun.

Wednesday morning it was completely overcast and it was a bit depressing not to be able to actually see the heavenly glory. But as it turned out this was just magic. DJ Tristan was doing a legendary set the hour or so before, and was supposed to stop for the eclipse - but the organizers decided to keep the party going... and that was good! As the light grew weaker the dancefloor started to cook, and when the fluro artwork (which was hanging in the trees) started to come back into action at the time of totallity, we all just went mad in trance dance! Tristan even managed to end the track he was playing exactly as the sunlight came back, and just kept on pouring the hits.

The next three days were wonderful as well!


PS: Off to the Garden Route today.

From: Tommy Hermansen

Date: Sun Dec 1, 2002 10:01pm

Subject: In Jo'burg

Hello friends! This short msg just to inform you I have landed safely among friends. Staying at the Backpacker Ritz until 9.00 tomorrow morning when the bus is leaving for the site. Will be massive for sure. I'm travelling light so I hope I have brought all the essentials with me.

After the Eclipseparty I'll most likely head down south to Cape Town, then spend some weeks along the Garden Route before catching a flight back to Barcelona on the 27th... then home on the 30th.

More info later...


From: Tommy Hermansen

Date: Wed Nov 27, 2002 2:55pm

Subject: Off to see the Wizards!

Yep! Got my ticket to Johannesburg!! Hey hey! :-)


From: Tommy Hermansen

Date: Tue Nov 26, 2002 0:10pm

Subject: Pondering, pondering

Hello all! Just another short one: Barcelona is just fantastic. Staying with good friends and having a fab time at the local bars. Went on a tourist bus last week to see more of it (was a bit steep at 14 euros though), and fell in love with this sweet old city completly. Got the same feeling as when visiting Amsterdam and Edinburgh, relaxed people and the posibility to just wind down. Went to Madrid over the weekend to meet up with Alecz from the Greek trip this summer, she's working down there on a film project. I hope to see the result of that on the cinemas in 2004!

Another issue, I am debating with myself whether to head down to South Africa for the eclipse or go home to work... It's very tempting to go! And my cool bosses at Dinamo have even given me the go-ahead.



From: Tommy Hermansen

Date: Thu Nov 14, 2002 5:11pm

Subject: Escaping winter for a short while

Hello friends! Life in Oslo is good! I'll soon have a new job in the graphics arts business (IT support work), and we hopefully have some nice parties coming up. Winter has come down on us with a vengeance up here, but there are at least very good posibilities for skiing and similar fun, if you're into that sort of thing.

On Monday I'll go visit friends in Spain, and I hear it's about 15-20 degrees down there so that will really be a welcome break from this snow and ice. Going to Barcelona and perhaps Madrid as well. So as always I'd love to hear tips from you nice people out there on stuff I should see and do.

Have a fab weekend!!


From: Tommy Hermansen

Date: Thu Sep 19, 2002 11:48am

Subject: Greek trip coming to its end

The last few weeks I've been doing quite a bit of island hopping. After visiting Patmos for a few days, doing near to nothing at all, and staying at the local campsite in my Brazilian hammock. I ventured on with a Norwegian guy called Jan up to Ikaria, where we got seriously drunk on Ouzo - and then moved on the next day over to Naxos on the high-speed boat. Naxos was really nice, but we ended up spending a lot of money in the bars and then just recovering on the fantastic beaches in the days. We stayed at Burgos guesthouse in the old town, near to the Venetian Castro. The old town of Naxos was designed to confuse possible attackers to the Castro, and is a veritable maze so that the inhabitants can run up and hide behind the inner town walls. Imagine being seriously drunk and trying to find your way back to your room in there, well I actually made it quite well back most nights, but my roommate Jan told me he'd spent about an hour walking around in there early one morning, and really needing to go to the toilet. Well he ended up having to dig a hole on the beach. Fock, time's up here now.

Coming back to Norway this Saturday.

From: Tommy Hermansen

Date: Mon Sep 2, 2002 3:38pm

Subject: Patmos coming up

A long one again this time, hope you have some spare time for it!

I have a few hours to kill before getting on the boat to Patmos tonight, and discovered a nice price Internet café. Here's a proper update on this Greece odyssey so far. I landed on Rhodes on Sunday a week ago, after having been soaked in the Amsterdam rain for nearly a week. The Landjuweel festival and fantastic friends there, made up for all of it though. But weather wise; enough was definitely enough - so I ventured out to Schiphol with my good friend Alex (who was headed back home to Barcelona, after we had been traveling together the last two weeks) to see if they had a cheap ticket to someplace warm that same day. And they did! There was a DutchBird flight about an hour later, for the very reasonable rate of 99 Euro + tax (which was another 11 Euro). So, Alex and I parted somewhere on the way to our respectable gates, and about five hours later, including various airport timewasters - I stepped off the plane in a warm Greek night.

Went off with one of the hawkers that always show up on the airports, because sometimes you end up someplace really good. And I ended up with a nice room for 25 Euro a night including basic breakfast. Happy with that, but thing was though, that this was in Paradisi - a village right next to the airport, so the noise level was well up there on the sad scale. But I was quite tired after having camped out in the Dutch rain the last couple of days during the festival, so sleeping turned out to be no problem at all. The next again day I went into Rhodes Town, to have a look around. Fell in love with the Old Town right away, and ended up spending most of the day walking around there. They claimed that this was one of the best-preserved medieval fortified towns in the world. Really beautiful it was in any case. After two nights in Paradisi I got on the bus back to Town, and was planning to move to the Youth Hostel in the Old Town. Because that would be only 7 Euro a night, but on the bus I talked to a German woman who sat on the seat next to me, she recommended going up to Samos. I've now seen pictures of the beaches up there, and wow - they seem right!

So then I went to the peer to get a ticket to Samos, got it and was told the boat would be about three hours late. So I left my bag there and went back to kill a few hours in the Old Town again. This is a nice place! Went back to the peer well in time for the scheduled time of departure, but off course the boat was yet another two hours late, so I got talking to another Alecz, this time a nice English girl. She was headed to Kos, and we got on really well, so I ended up jumping ship in Kos rather than going to Samos. We found a nice hotel in Kos Town, and got right on emptying 70 Cent Retsina bottles from our friendly neighborhood liquor store. Loads of fun! The next days we did touristy stuff like going to temples and historic leftovers. Interesting enough though, but I wish I'd known more Greek history before going to those places. Well, maybe next time. After three nights on Kos we went by catamaran to Kalimnos to a beautiful valley called Vathi (which I suspect is just the Greek word for valley). Very Rivendale-like, for people who know what I mean by that. We stayed on with the family who ran a really nice restaurant there, place called Popy's. Got fresh seafood and relaxed atmosphere. Going to Kos sometime? Make your way to Vathi on Kalimnos. Recommended!

Alecz actually ended up working at this restaurant, so now I'm back on my own again. Going to Patmos tonight at 9:30, then further on to Samos (I guess) in a few days. Then the plan is Naxos and Santorini before heading north again.


From: Tommy Hermansen

Date: Wed Aug 28, 2002 5:11pm

Subject: Kalispera from Kos

Yes I've now moved on a little bit since the Ruigoord festival in Amsterdam last week. Got a 99 euro one-way ticket from Schiphol to Rhodes, where I stayed for two nights. Yesterday I got on a ferry to Kos...

It's nice here.

Attention all Samothraki ravers: Is there an afterparty somewhere around here these days?? Please let me know, OK?

Have fun!


From: Tommy Hermansen

Date: Tue Aug 20, 2002 10:53am

Subject: Buien en lokaal veel neerslag!

This is the forcast for Amsterdam today; showers and lots of local lightning strikes. And yes, this is where I am at the moment. Got back to this sweet old town yesterday night, after a short flight down to Frankfurt and a hellish trainride, where I got stuck just outside of Dusseldorf for three hours, because of lightning strike.

Why stick it out in this weather you say? Easy: Because of the Landjuweel festival in Ruigoord!

Just a short message this time... :-) (I need to go get a raincoat, and a tarp for night shelter)

Bom shankar!


From: Tommy Hermansen

Date: Thu Aug 1, 2002 8:55pm

Subject: Back home for a moment

Back in nice and warm Oslo for a few days just to slap some people around, who owed me money. Got it today- and I will head out again as soon as my friend Alex from Barcelona shows up here. We're probably going up to North Cape together, or maybe if I can persuade him; go for another shorter and less expensive trip to the west coast of Norway. They've got some truly amazing scenery over there. Stavanger and Bergen people better look out!

Finland was great! First I went to the Nordic Ting Meeting in a national park just north of Jyväskyllä. There, about 150 hippies were running around hugging each other and all the trees in the forest. No, not quite so simple though. But we had some nice down to Earthly and Inner World experiences. No drugs allowed, just vegan food and water. Loads of happy moments and jamming by the campfires, and compulsory food preparation (Karma Yoga) and shared meals in "food circles". Nice seminars on meditation, yoga, tai chi and such also. All in all a very interesting experience, I might go to the next one too! The weekend after several of us headed down to Billnäs for the Faces Etnofestival. Great acts from all over the world! I also volunteered by working at the VIP entrance, got free entrance and two meals per day in return, but sadly missed out on some of the acts during my shifts. Of course all the Ting people got in for free as well, with me at the gates. :-)

Ruigoord festival coming up!!!

Love and Light, Tommy

From: Tommy Hermansen

Date: Fri Jul 19, 2002 3:38pm

Subject: Mission: Re-Possible

Whe-hey landlubbers!

Oslo has been a great place for me to catch my breath the last couple of months, with some short visits to nearby happenings of course. Have even been able to scrape up some funds as well. Then, the inescapable fact is; summertime in Europe means festival time. Which again translates to: meeting new and old friends, hanging out in a hammock for a few weeks, winging it at sporadic jam sessions, dancing like mad in the moonlight, and trying to dodge attacks by new and improved mutations of bloodsucking insects.

So now it's definitely on high time to hit that famous road again, wherever it might lead. Da plan: First stop is Stockholm this weekend, then Finland for the Nordic Ting Meeting and various gatherings, then perhaps north towards Nordkapp and constant daylight, then back down towards Amsterdam and the fantastic Landjuweel festival at the end of August, then whatever is happening in between then and the To-Gethering (a Solipse freeparty) in Poland on the 6th of September.

I expect to see some of you guys this summer!!! E-mail me, OK?

(Warning this message will self-destruct if you hit the delete button.)

From: Tommy Hermansen

Date: Sun May 19, 2002 9:16pm

Subject: Invitation to experience sweet little Oslo

Hello again all you friends in this great world! Summer in the Northern Hemisphere is now imminent, and backpacking is yet again becoming a more pleasant possibility. Therefore I would like to invite any of you fantastic people who I've met and spent time with along the way, to come and stay in my home during your trip this summer. Our house is located in a tranquil farmland area called Skedsmokorset - this is just outside Oslo, Norway - There's a golf course here too if you should have any such needs. Other than that there are infrequent bus connections to the city so we can go sightseeing, swimming or (of course) clubbing.

How to get here? RyanAir from Dublin, Glasgow or London Stansted fly you here dirt cheap. (Approx 50 squids.) So does a new one called GoodJet (or something) from Paris. (Approx 70 euros, I heard.) Eurolines, Swebus Express or the ferries are also good ways to get here from the continent.

When to go? June till September, but bring raingear and a warm sweater just in case. Temperatures should be somewhere around 20 centigrades. Tell me some time ahead to make sure I'm not out travelling somewhere myself. In the end of August I'm probably heading back down to Greece for the Samothraki dance festival, and when it starts to get really cold up here; I'd love to flee to Africa or Australia (if I should have gathered a shite load of cash) or back to South America again.


See you soon I hope!!

Love from Tommy

From: Tommy Hermansen

Date: Sat Apr 27, 2002 3:31pm

Subject: Stop sending us boring emails!

I know I have been bitching a lot about money problems lately, and I'm really sorry to have bored you guys with that. Of course this forum is supposed to be about travelling, and not about my personal problems, but my writing inspiration have left me somewhere along the line and I regret sending this last unnecessary message out last night. But please, don't send me hate messages as this guy from London (who I actually thought was a friend) did this morning, just send an empty e-mail to [deleted] Then you'll be removed from the mailing list forever. Don't waste my time, and frankly getting something like this is quite depressing!



From: Tommy Hermansen

Date: Sat Apr 27, 2002 3:06am

Subject: No luck in the employment field as of yet

Brothers and sisters!

Past: Edinburgh was magic! But unfortunately I had no luck in finding a job there though. I was at least able to spend three weeks among some incredibly amazing people. When I came I was told it was a good time to be there, because of all the good musicians and acts who where going to be playing there just then, and it certainly was! Every concert or party was better than the previous one. Unbelievable!!! We experienced some magical moments indeed. I miss you guys a lot!

Present: I'm actually back home in Norway these days - in a quite tranquil farmland area called Skedsmokorset about half an hours drive north of Oslo. Staying at my Mom's house, because I'm now of course totally broke again. Got just about zero dinheiro! Have been working on a few short-term projects the last couple of weeks, so at least I have some fresh dough coming to me very soon.

Future: Next weekend there's an open-air party in the woods outside of Gothenburg (Sweden), the first one of the summer up here; some DJ friends are playing there too. I trust them to put on a great show as they have been known do, so that should be a good one. Then after that I'm heading to Finland to meet up with a nice girl who I travelled with for a few weeks in India last year. Really looking forward to all of this! It will be almost like being back on the road again. :-)

Infinitive: Love from me!


PS: One of my great traveller heroes was buried here today; Thor Heyerdahl one of the most famous Norwegians who ever lived. (Rest in Peace.)

From: Tommy Hermansen

Date: Tue Mar 5, 2002 11:48pm

Subject: Back to reality (again)

Yes my dear friends, the trip closer to the sun is over yet again, and I will now have to start looking around for another job, to pay the bills that have been waiting so patiently to be attended to. But not only that, also to save up for the next big trip: Australia/New Zeeland, which should be starting from about October 2002. So, keep subscribing to the newsletter! I will of course also be reporting from the festivals here in Europe this summer, if I can get away from work.

I have been reading all your wonderful replies the last few days, and I promise I will write you back soon. I haven't forgotten you; it's just that I have to read through a LOT of messages. Remember when my brother thought I had disappeared at the beginning of the Brazil trip? To all who were worrying, praying and chanting for my safety at that time: I thank you all.

Some of you might remember that I had such a grand plan of traveling around in South-America the six months from November the 1st and working over there, but approximately at the moment of landing on the beaches of Bahia - relaxation, energy loss and "dis-animation" kicked in big style, I was completely unable to move from the spot. Can't just leave paradise, you know. Thus the grand plan got subsequently scrapped. I figure South-America should still be around for a few years, so I'll attend to it later.

Right now I'm back in Edinburgh, to visit John - my dear pal from Goa. And if I can find a job up here too, I'll also stay longer. I just love this sweet old town, Dunedin.


From: Tommy Hermansen

Date: Thu Feb 14, 2002 6:12pm

Subject: Acabou o Carnaval!

Yes, the lunacy is over for this time around. Until 2003...

I spent those days among new friends in Itaoca, ES. Sad thing about the music here though, was that they played the same 20-30 tracks over and over again! Eu fica loco!! (Makes a poor guy go mad!). But at least the scenery (girls) was fine.

I was hoping to find a job on one of the beach shacks here, but they were already covered for the Carnaval. Too bad. But I was able to stay with the family that runs it, which saved me a lot of money - and gave me a boost in learning more Portuguese.

Getting mentally ready to head back to London and freezing Europe in just about two weeks from now. Boohoo - I don't wanna leave this fine weather.

I'll write more later...

PS: Oh and that rave a few weeks ago - Was MASSIVE!!

From: Tommy Hermansen

Date: Wed Jan 23, 2002 5:04pm

Subject: Rio De Janeiro

Hello friends. Today I arrived in Rio. Copacabana beach and all that crap, madness. Not staying here though, I'm already moving on to Ubatuba further south in the state of Sao Paulo tonight. Tired of buses now, but the final destination is worth it: The YPYPOTY Gathering!! 5 days of Psychedelic trance on the beach!

Have fun wherever you are! Love,

From: Tommy Hermansen

Date: Wed Dec 19, 2001 9:00pm

Subject: Merry X-Mas!

Just a quick email from Salvador wishing you a Merry X-mas and a happy brand new 2002!

Spent the last week in Arembepe and the Aldeia village, just chilling out. On friday I'll probably go back there for the hollidays. It's 32 degrees celsius here today :-)

From: Tommy Hermansen

Date: Sun Dec 2, 2001 4:10pm

Subject: Amigos(as) para sempre!

Hey! Okay, here we go again compadres, but before I begin; the rumors (as they say) of my death are highly exaggerated. Overpriced Internet is a problem in this part of the world, so I'm not going to do this too often - I am doing just fine, and in the same process getting very tanned, in a paradise like place of which name and directions I will reveal further down in this newsletter, so hang on for it. First another short story:

"Oba! Look at that one!" Sergio yelled out as suddenly as he hit the brakes. He grabbed the gun which he always keeps in the compartment in the door, got out of the car, and fired a quick three shot sequence at a black and white lizard which was sunbathing on the road about ten meters up ahead. The big lizard was in luck, Sergio wasted six Reals worth of high powered led by bulls-eyeing hot tarmac, probably on account of us just stopping by for a couple of beers at a roadside bar a few minutes earlier. A very disappointed Celso uttered a "muito gostoso!" from the back seat, as the animal vanished into the shrubbery. Those one meter long things were apparently very tasty, I couldn't care less really - and was quite happy not getting a blood dripping dead lizard thrown into my lap, which was the scenario playing in my mind at the time. It's perfectly possible that Sergio added some swearing words into the conversation as he got back in the car again, but as my Portuguese is still very limited that prevents me from relaying those to you guys in English. We were running late to a family gathering and barbecue by a dam somewhere on Sergio's farm. When we got to the creek, the fire was burning, and the first chunks of meat had already been placed on the grill. There were LOTS of meat (even minus that lizard), I'm sure the nearby grazing cows was missing a dear friend. The nature at this spot was absolutely breathtaking, and sunset was coming up - it was pure magic! Nice weather, best of friends, cold beers in the icebox, kids in and out of the pool, loud distorted samba from one of the cars, and Cachaca sugar cane spirit for those who wanted to challenge their stomachs. Perfection fueled by compassion and love - the very essence of life. A single word: Felicidade!

Since last time I've ventured further up the Bahian coastline, and discovered a tiny isolated fisherman's village called Siribinha, located in the red neck country north of Salvador. I am the only tourist around here now in the low season, and I've become somewhat of a town sensation. I just love it, the people are so friendly and nice here. I made an OK deal with my guesthouse (Pousada) hosts Celso and Irene; I'm paying 350 Reals (140 USD) for a months stay, including two meals per day with limited drinks. Their two boys Junior (12) and Gustavo (8) are helping me with the language, if they're not busy with school, or running around in the village or on the fantastic beach. Junior also of course have to help in the beach restaurant when it gets too busy on weekends. Other than swimming, fishing, surfing, or plain socializing there's not much else to do around here, so I recommend bringing some books to read if you're ever headed this way. Here's a tip: Time Magazine is not recommended reading material in case you should contract a stomach thing and run out of toilet paper, which I did a few weeks ago. 80 gram glossy sheets of Afghan war hurts after a while, so go for paperbacks or other lighter (softer) reading. Pedrinho's Bar is perfect for jam sessions at night, the bar is only open when Pedrino is drinking. The kids especially love it and are the first in joining in, and the drunken fishermen know all the songs. Once every two weeks or so there's Bingo night under the tree outside Roberto's Rio-Mar Restaurant. Roberto shakes the mineral water bottle containing the numbers, and tells you where to poke a hole in your sheets. Everybody else lets you know whichever number they'd like to hear next. Like any other event in Brazil, this one is loud. A nice one-day excursion is going for a swim at Cavalo Russo, a beautiful creek. It's really nice there - but be warned; my friend Lajusso tells me he goes there to fish for Piranhas.

How to get here: Grab a bus from Salvador or Aracaju to Sitio do Conde, approx. three hours ride from either side. You'll know you're nearly there when you're the only passenger still on the bus. Then in Sitio get on the bus to Barra da Siribinha, runs three times on school days (school bus) and once on Saturdays (market bus). Expect having to help it getting there, the bus sometimes gets stuck in the sand. Get off when the poor machine is about to have a breakdown. Pick any Pousada, they're all very nice. Tourist season is from Christmas until after the Carnival in February, I'm told prices are tripled then.

Get over here if you can! I'll meet you! And Merry Christmas, if I'll not write you again before that!!

From: Lasse Hermansen

Date: Sat Nov 24, 2001 5:26pm

Subject: Has anyone heard from Tommy?

This is his little brother writing. We havent heard from him since 6. November and everyone here at home is getting more and more worried by the day. Please if you hear anything let us know. Please email me at [deleted].

Lasse Hermansen

From: Tommy Hermansen

Date: Tue Nov 6, 2001 3:00pm

Subject: Brazil!

Yes finally, after 35 hours travelling on three different flights, and another 35 hours on a bus I have finally hit some nice weather. But I had to have a breather between the two jumps though, so I spent the weekend in Sao Paulo, but I wasn't planning on freezing on this trip (it was cold and rainy down there) - so I got on a two nights bus up to Bahia... To the city of Salvador!!!

Just got into town (they only have two million inhabitants here) a half an hour ago, and thought I'd let you people know I'm doing just fine!

I'll write more when something interesting happens - hopefully nothing will the next month or so... This is now officially VACATION time! Lounging in a hammock sounds nice right about now, and reading up on some basic Portuguese.

Have fun wherever you might be!

Love from Tommy

From: Tommy Hermansen

Date: Tue Oct 23, 2001 11:49pm

Subject: Reality Bites

Written in third person for fun:

"You have 7,27 kroner on your personal account" the friendly synthesized female voice said on the Bank's automatic line. "Shit" he'd thought, "it's only a week till I'm supposed to leave for South America - and all I've got is less than a dollar of spending budget." Luckily he'd landed a temp job a week earlier, and his Mother had told him she was going to borrow him 100 dollars a month, so he would get some money to live on while being over there. He had bought a six-month return plane ticket to Sao Paulo a few months earlier, whilst visiting his dear friend John in Edinburgh. And he had been sporadically fretting about the budget for a while after that, but things were starting to look less bleak!

He was staring into the empty white computer screen in front of him, trying to figure out something to write in his next Internet newsletter, to explain why he was going away again so soon. Outside, the Norwegian winter was coming up quickly and was threatening to freeze every known organic life form more or less solid, during the following six months. Even the Sun had been contemplating leaving the country for some time soon, at least most parts of the day. He was not a fan of cold weather, and knew the beaches in South America were going to be fantastic, and he was really looking forward to be able to move around without wearing too much clothes again - but this time around it wasn't going to be your average plain vanilla holiday trip. He was going to make a difference for some people, people who were not treated right. Volunteering, assisting missionary work, maybe even mild forms of activism were interesting aspects of this next level of the trip - and he felt he needed to do something, something that would mean a lot to somebody. Family and friends had all been wishing him good luck.

Most about the vast South American continent were completely unknown to him, and he knew for certain he was going to suffer making ends meet, and also to have some problems communicating with people. But the confidence in him had grown stronger than ever, and he actually wanted this. After all this is what he had decided a year before to accomplish, that late summer day at the trance music festival in a Portuguese forest, when he was speaking with a traveller called Terrance. That very moment he had decided to complete the transition he had been working on for some time, by chucking it all and becoming a traveller. He had decided to break down and change his life, maybe forever. He wanted to test himself, he wanted to understand the planet, he wanted to involve himself, and he was wishing to become a much better person in the process. Not light tasks for a man of 26 years. This time, he was ready for it and a nine-month backpacking trip wiser. Local Buddhists and other western travellers he had met in India and Nepal the previous spring were all trying to figure out a thing or two as well, and he had been able to ask them what they had seen and experienced in their time.

Tommy's eyes were now almost completely open. The reality of Brazil was welcome to bite!

Edinburgh mail posted on

Beautiful Edinburgh has a lot of tradition. The magnificent Military Tattoo is on during the Edinburgh Festival every August, and I just missed the whole thing. Well you can't catch everything that's happening around the world. But you sure can try, right? The central city itself consists of an old part from maybe a thousand years back, and a 300-year-old new part, with houses built in renaissance style. The Castle towers majestically above the old city and the Princess Street. Spend some time walking up the High Street and Royal Mile leading up to it, there are several narrow alleyways called Closes and quaint shops selling everything from Cartography to Kilts. Edinburgh draw tourists year round, so expect difficulties in finding a room.

I'm here to visit my dear friend John who I met in Goa last February, he guides me around in his town and we spend the evenings catching up and basically enjoying the Edinburgh life. He has an extensive collection of Reggae and African music, which I of course had to copy to my minidisk Walkman. You see; I plan to spend the next winter in Brazil, so I need to update my music collection before I go. It should be possible to get cheap tickets to Sao Paulo or Rio in London, where I'm headed for next week.

Of course the unrest in the world might put a halt to my travel plans, but I hope to find a ticket...

My heart goes out to the people who lost their loved ones in the WTC tragedy last week. Hope they find and prosecute the people involved in this dreadful deed.

Good shall prevail in the end!

All the SolaLuna people I met in Greece, here's a previously posted message most of you raver guys didn't receive because of the stupid Topica thing. Posted sometime in September 2001 (I think?)

Hi All, I know I've said I won't publish these newsletters for a while, but I thought you'd anyway like to read about my trip to Greece and the SolaLuna festival, since I've been nagging you about it the last couple of months. Here is the story written in retrospect; first of all I went to Berlin.

On the train from Amsterdam, a sunny Saturday afternoon some weeks ago, I met Berlin jazz musician Alex Kuhne. His brother was out of town for a few days so he kindly offered me to borrow his brother's room over the weekend, for free. That was a very nice thing to do, hotels are expensive. Every other year signs and posters for all kinds of electronic gadgets - infest the whole of Berlin, why? Because of the huge Internationale Funkasstellung, or IFA for short. Some facts: This is a 160.000 square meter exhibition with more than 900 exhibitors from over 30 countries. Which basically translates to: An unknown amount of trailer loads of way cool stuff for geeks like me! I walked around in there the whole Sunday drooling heavily over the latest and hottest in mass-produced wizardry. Wishing I were rich.

The following Monday I caught the train to Prague, and I was finally on my way to Greece! I have never traveled through Eastern Europe before so I was quite excited about that. Prague was a very nice city, or at least the little glimpse I got of it. My 24-hour connecting train to Bucharest through Slovakia and Hungary was leaving after only four hours of arriving there, so my visit got a little bit stumped. Next to me on the train was a happy seventy year old German speaking man from Prague on his way to visit family in Bulgaria, we dubbed this train the "Dauerzug nach Bucuresti". He messaged his wife a lot on his mobile phone. Finally in Bucharest the next night, I decided to head for the nearest hotel (by then I'd been traveling for about 36 hours), so the brand new Ibis Hotel right next to the train station graciously received 50 dollars from my rapidly shrinking budget. Deluxe backpacking indeed, but the capital of Romania is not the place to rummage around at two o'clock in the morning looking for cheap rooms while carrying everything you own, so the VISA card had to salvage the situation yet again. And I even got to exchange my dirty Ibis towel I stole in London about a month earlier with a clean, completely white, and nice smelling one.

The next day got more adventurous however. First of all I had to find a bank to get the quite impressive amount of 1.5 million Lei I needed for my next train ticket and a quick breakfast. The Immigration Police also told me while I entered Romania the night before, that on the departing border I would have to pay 23 USD for a transit visa, so I had to withdraw some dollars as well. The train came down from Budapest and contained a happy bunch of Hungarian fluro hippies also on their way to the SolaLuna. The train left on time, no problems there. The shit however hit the fan as soon as we got to the Bulgarian border. The Romanian Immigration Police then informed me I should have paid the fee at their office in Bucharest, and that they couldn't take my cash directly. I had to say goodbye to my newfound friends and step off the train. After about an hour a lady from the office came to collect my money, and I was eventually allowed to leave the country. By then of course the train was long gone, so I now had a teeny problem: I had a ticket for a train on it's way to Greece without me on it. The next train to arrive at the border post was the Istanbul express. I got on that one instead. Of course my ticket wasn't valid so the conductor wanted some compensation. He flat out asked me how much money I had on me. I had eight dollars, and 1600 Czech crowns which nobody outside of the Czech Republic dared to accept. He took 3 dollars after I'd told him I needed to eat something later that day. But I had to get off this train at the first station behind the Bulgarian border; I wanted to use my ticked on the next train towards Greece. I got off the train and headed for the ticket office, someone was shouting something at me as I was crossing the tracks. The ticket lady made it clear in broken German that the train to Sofia would be leaving in about twelve hours. A man came over to help, he said he was a taxi driver, and that the train does a big detour on it's way. He said it would be possible to overtake it via a shortcut, and for me to catch it further down the line. He wanted 50 dollars for this service. The next train to Sofia was in about 23 hours so I decided to take his offer rather than loosing a day, and perhaps spending the same amount in a hotel anyway.

But first I had to get my passport stamped, I didn't want to get in trouble on the next border too. The Bulgarian border asshole started yelling something about how I was supposed to sit on the train while they collected my passport, and asking why the hell I was standing there in his office. The fine of jumping off the train like that, apparently was 60 dollars. But I had no money left, only five dollars and my trusty old 1600 Czech crowns. I somehow was able to talk some reason into the guy, and he accepted my last five dollars. This part of the world is indeed corrupt! My taxi driver Giorgio it turned out was really a nice guy; he had been working as a construction worker in Dusseldorf the last few years, and spoke perfect German. He told me that most people around there speak only Bulgarian and Russian, so I counted myself lucky to be able to make some kind of conversation with him in my school German. The taxi was of course his own private car, but at least it was a fast one. We drove southwards into the rain, playing tapes of traditional Bulgarian folk music, and I really loved the stuff. We had a small party in there while lightning struck and played on the horizon in front of us. When we got to my point of intercepting the train I actually had to wait for it for more than an hour. The reunion with my hippie friends on the train was a laugh. Wherever did I reappear from after over three hours of having to get off the train?

The last train ride to Alexandropolis went very smoothly, but the heat started to get a little bit hard to take, guess it was around 30 centigrade there in the middle of the day. Somebody had brought a little cassette player so we made a party in the restaurant car. The restaurant guy also joined in the dancing, but the conductor wasn't too pleased about it. After about another 24 hours since I came back onto the train, we finally reached our destination. Everybody ran to the ticket office for the boats, and we had to wait in line for a long time, and then wait for the boat to leave at 8 pm. By now there were almost no non-SolaLuna people in sight. Mainly colorful dresses to be seen around there and many people with dreadlocks. The general feeling from all of this was fantastic and exciting!

The first person I met on the boat was of course my good friend Snille from Oslo. We had a lot of catching up to do since I hadn't seen him ever since I left for India eight months earlier. He had brought another pal from Oslo too, Marius. The boat ride to Samothraki took three and a half hours, and we decided to share a room in the port town instead of trying to make our way out to the campsite that night. We actually never got around moving to the camp, we decided we were getting too old and too used to living in luxury to stay in a tent. It wasn't too expensive either, about 10 dollars per person per night between the three of us; the summer season was on its last legs. We had fish for dinner that night, and got drunk on Dutch Amstel beer (!). Our hot shower later became very popular among friends at the campsite.

Festival time! On a paradise (yet stony) beach! Samothraki is a small island, situated in the northeastern part of the Aegean Sea. The island is 22 km wide and 12 km long and it's only 35 km off Turkey's coast, which was in fact visible from the beach. This island was just beautiful! And the spot they had found for the Main stage was magical to say the least. The water was warm and very clear, you could see about ten meters under water (well I couldn't because of my near sightedness), and there were almost no waves so it was possible to dance in the water too. Behind the stage the Fegari, the highest mountain of all the Aegean islands, stood up as a majestic backdrop to the central action on the Main stage. During the night the full moon hovered the Fegari until about 3 am when it went down behind it, and in the morning the sun shone its red warm light on our cold bodies... It actually got quite cold at night. The Main stage acts played mostly Trance, in good old Goa style! And the Alternative stage played everything from Jazz to Techno, I even heard they had a strip show there one evening!

The party went on for five nights, but I gave up after three. It's quite impossible to keep up till the end when you're not doing drugs. I spent the last few days on the island by just staying in the port town. The boat trip back to Athens was long, about thirteen hours. And when we finally got there, there were no taxis or busses to transport people to central Athens or the airport. Me and a girl from the boat shared a pirate taxi to the airport. I had almost no money left for a ticket by that time, but luckily I was finally able to exchange my trusty old 1600 Czech crowns, so I was able to get a flight back to Amsterdam via Rome. When I arrived at my apartment later that night, I was told it had been rented out to someone else while I was away. A real bummer indeed. I later also decided to quit my meaningless call center job, and probably move on.

Next stop Edinburgh, Scotland.

From: Tommy Hermansen

Date: Wed Oct 3, 2001 4:16pm

Subject: Gearing up for Brazil!

Hi guys! First of all I must apologize for the Topica mail earlier today, I've moved the list back to Yahoo again because of Topica's recent change in their policy in adding new subscribers. They don't allow direct subscriptions anymore, new users have to accept an invitation, but that just doesn't work - people are never replying to the invitations. So don't worry, you're still going to receive TommyOnTrip newsletters until you decide to unsubscribe yourself. Right now, 263 people are getting these in their inbox every two-three weeks! Not bad when considering that most of you guys I've met while on the road, or known for a long time.

These last three months in Amsterdam have been just fantastic, the friendly people at Amsterdam Backdoor made sure of that. Thanks a million to Amsterdam aborigines; Sjoerd, Jasmijn, Mandy, Bas and all the rest at the Backdoor office! Check their web site out if you're ever coming to town, it is updated regularly and shows you the different way of doing Amsterdam. Really good articles in there!

So, Brazil: Yes I'm finally getting back into the act again, on the 1st of November. This time will be different though, extremely low budget. I will definitely have to look for some kind of work over there, maybe WWOOFing which is a popular thing among travellers, volunteering at organic farms. New and unknown territory for a city slicker like me. I bought a six month return ticket London - Sao Paulo for 477 pound including tax, not too bad I think.

Later this week I'm going back home to Oslo! And will stay there until the end of the month. I'm really looking forward to this, haven't seen my family and friends in nine months now.

That's it for this time!

Take care, and please write me an email once in a while! I love to hear from you out there.


From: Tommy Hermansen

Date: Thu Aug 2, 2001 11:52am

Subject: New E-mail address

Hello friends...

The Asia trip is now over, and I'm as of yesterday working at Network Associates' callcenter in Amsterdam, Netherlands. The last couple of weeks I've been travelling in Europe, to a couple of music festivals - and to visit good friends whom I met in India.

My new e-mail address is:[deleted]

Hope to hear from you again. I Don't know when I'll get back on the road.


From: Tommy Hermansen

Date: Mon Jul 16, 2001 6:16pm

Subject: THIS is the final TommyOnTrip newsletter

Hello friends, I'm now stopping to do these TommyOnTrip newsletters. Since coming back to Europe this is no longer an Asia trip, so it makes no sense to publish them anymore. But I will take it up as soon as I get back on the dirt roads again, did someone mention Brazil or Chile?

I just want to send you this quick email to tell you what I'm up to the next few weeks, so maybe if our paths should be crossing we could meet up somewhere. Right now I'm back in Amsterdam again, after spending a few days in Antwerpen and at a festival outside Brussels. This week I have a job interview at Network Associates, an Internet company with an office here in Amsterdam. Might not get it though, or even go for it.

This meeting is originally sceduled for next friday, but I hope I'll be able to visit them earlier, so I can go to Berlin for the Loveparade. Just to see what the fuzz is all about. And there's also a couple of other festivals and stuff going on in lovely central Europe as well. Capoeira, Trude?

Then the weekend after that there's a big music festival in Reading, England: the Womad Fesival, which I really want to go to as well. And maybe catch up with some of you Londoners I met Goa.

Note to all Psy-Trance friends: Shpongle is playing there too!!! On the 29th. The ticket is 35 pound for that Sunday. Geez! - but our guys Simon and Raja are worth it, right?

Then after that back to Paris to catch up with more traveller friends from India. And whichever interesting music stuff is going on in the area. As you might have figured by now, this summer trip is a festival thing.

Then finally, as planned way back, and posted on this mailing list to boredom: Greece in the end of August, and the Sola Luna festival at Samothraki Island.

Somewhere on this itinerary I'll surely run out of money, so maybe I won't be able to travel in style the last bit (or at all) - but that will be really interesting too.

See you around on the planet,


From: Tommy Hermansen

Date: Wed Jul 4, 2001 3:00pm

Subject: My Asiatrip is over

Hello to friends from all over the planet!

My travelling in Asia is over (for this time) The budget is getting low, and summertime in Europe is just too fantastic to miss. Therefore I've now ventured back to Amsterdam - where this trip started exactly six months ago. (January 5th.) Came back this morning. By the way: Happy Independence Day to my American buddies!

My plan for the summer is: Stay in A'dam for about a month (at least for a few weeks), and apply for a work permit. Since Norway (my home country) is part of the EES; this is just paperwork. Then I'll travel through Germany, Poland, Hungary and down to Greece - where this summer's biggest Psycedelic Trance happening is happening at the end of August. On (apparently) wonderful Samothraki Island. Maybe you're coming down there too??? Then at the end of September; back to A'dam to find a job, to save up for the next trip. South America!!!

Please write me if you're ever going to Asia, maybe I can give you a few tips? Even though I never got to see it all. Does anyone out there want to hear about the upcoming Eastern European trip as well?

From: Tommy Hermansen

Date: Thu Jun 21, 2001 11:50am

Subject: Koh Pha Ngan

Hello from sunny Thailand Bay, actually from an Island just north of Koh Samui (if you should know it). Bangkok was a nice and clean experience after the previous travelling in India. Big shiny shopping centres and busy streets. Don't bother to go on those costly Tuk Tuk Rickshaws, it's much better to go by meteres taxis or buses. You get air-con on those! Right now I'm staying at Had Yao beach on the north western coast of Koh Pha Ngan island. Spent the last couple of nights at Had Rin beach, which is known for its fullmoon parties. Last night there was a blackmoon party here. The noiselevel on Had Rin was a bit too much, so I moved to Had Yao this morning. Met a cool bunch of travellers there!

See you soon!

From: Tommy Hermansen

Date: Thu Jun 14, 2001 8:33pm

Subject: Bangkok

Hey gang,

Tonight I arrived in Bangkok. I had a very pleasant flight from Calcutta with Druk Air (Bhutan). A highly recomended operator if you're ever flying in the India/Nepal/Bhutan/Thailand area, very good service onboard and cheap too. I paid only around 120 dollars one-way - that's with every tax included. Don't know too much about Bangkok yet, so I'll tell you more later.

India was great! Nepal was even better!! I hoped to stay a lot longer in Nepal; but my budget is getting low these days, and the trekking weather around Mt. Everest was not the best. Uncertainties around Maoist revolutionists in the mountains also made me go back to India.

I know I'm going back to both India and Nepal some day! It's dirty as hell, and it helps a lot being stone deaf, but the people are soo nice/good/rude/awful/terrible (underline whatever).

From: Tommy Hermansen

Date: Thu Jun 7, 2001 4:01pm

Subject: Enough is enough

Hello friends!

I've decided to cut my Asia trip shorter than I expected, and will head home to Europe and the summer festivals in about one month's time. The political unrest in Kathmandu (and bad trekking weather) convinced me to leave Nepal for the scorching hot India again yesterday. I'm now in Patna - on my way to Calcutta to buy a plane ticket to Hong Kong or Shanghai.

See you around...

From: Tommy Hermansen

Date: Sat Jun 2, 2001 4:23pm

Subject: Utter chaos in Kathmandu

We arrived in Kathmandu yesterday afternoon, then something happened last night, just a few blocks from our guesthouse...

The Nepali royal family was completely wiped out during a shooting incident in the Royal Palace here in central Thamel area. Allegedly Crown Prince Dipendra, unhappy about his mother's choice of his future bride to be, stormed out during a dinner party. He then came back with a machine gun and started shooting at everyone in the room. Finally he shot himself in the head, and he's now said to be clinically dead, but still kept on life support. Eleven people are confirmed dead including King Birendra and Queen Aiswarya. The dead bodies were paraded through the streets of Kathmandu on open stretchers this evening, and they will already be cremated later tonight. People are outraged and I saw grown men crying on the streets. Hindu people (90 percent of the population) believe the King was a reincarnation of the god Vishnu.

Nobody knows anything about what will happen with Nepal now, who will take over the throne? The berserk Crown Prince, if he should miraculously survive and snap out of the coma, or the King's younger brother in Pokhara - Prince Gyanendra. Some hope the latter will not happen, because of Gyanendra's son who's said to be a murderous madman, will then eventually inherit the throne of Nepal. The future is as uncertain as ever.

I really hope things will calm down soon, so I can continue being drawn towards Mt. Everest (I dropped doing the Annapurna trek), and Trude can complete her pilgrimage to Tibet.

From: Tommy Hermansen

Date: Mon May 28, 2001 0:33pm

Subject: Nepal frozen up

Hey gang, just a short message this time because of the insanely expensive internet rates here in Phokara.

The whole country is frozen up in a three day general strike against corruption in the Nepali government. On street corners around here there are military guards to make sure everything stays calm and quiet. Most shops are closed, and the ones who are open keep their doors and windows shut to appear as they are closed.

Me and my travel companion Trude are going our seperate ways as soon as the buses start running again after the strike. I want to spend more time in Nepal before going into Tibet. I'll most likely stay the whole two month visa, and do some trekking here in the Annapurna area and later east of Kathmandu in the Mt Everest area.

Have fun in the sun (if it's summer where you are), the monsoon season is starting here in Nepal now, I'm glad I brought my raincoat from Norway. Bye for now... not much email possibilities up in the mountains, so it will probably be some time until the next newsletter from me.

From: Tommy Hermansen

Date: Sun May 20, 2001 3:27pm

Subject: Stealth rickshaws and breathtaking mountains

We've now moved on to Manali on our way towards Kathmandu. The next four days will be a continuous push towards getting us there. Our three weeks in Dharamsala were just fantastic, both relaxing and spending some very refreshing time at the Himalayan mountain range. The first two weeks we stayed at the Rishi Bhawan guesthouse (next to the Tibetan Institute of erforming Arts, or TIPA for short), this is a very calm and quiet place in the woods above McLeod Ganj village. The pine trees and the singing birds to a backdrop of snow-clad mountains, was very reminiscent of nature experiences back home in Norway. Except of course the gang of monkeys terrorizing no suspecting photographers and pillaging all the trashcans in the area. Most travelers who flock to Dharamsala are interested in spirituality or Buddhism, and there are whole ranges of classes one can attend to. I suspect many of these classes are bogus, but people are mostly happy with them - which is of course the most important thing about them. The final week we moved to the upper Dharamkot hills, to the Eagels Crest guesthouse by Shiva temple. Now that was a breathtaking spot - both literally while panting and working your way up there, and also scenery wise with the color changing Himalayas. The weather has been very nice too, and we even went swimming in the nearby waterfall one day - an inhumanly freezing experience. And finally in this newsletter, a warning if you're heading to Dharamsala and McLeod Ganj sometime: Look out for speeding cars and rickshaws ambushing from behind in "stealth mode" while you're walking down the hills, they turn off their engines to save on precious fuel! Also - and I'm not sure how dangerous they are - look out for black scorpions!! I discovered one under my pillow one night while going to bed.

From: Tommy Hermansen

Date: Mon Apr 30, 2001 7:42am

Subject: Today I saw the Dalai Lama!

We've now finally hit upon some clean fresh air again, in McLeod Ganj - Dharamsala. But quite thin though, even at only 1800 meters. New Delhi depressed the hell out of me, first I had to wait for my friend Trude to arrive, then we waited for our Chinese visas to come through. It was 44 centigrades and extremely dusty. I was happy to see the Indian Himalayas yesterday, while sitting/laying on the roof of a speeding bus dodging powerlines and low branches.

I have some difficulties breathing in this altitude and I'm quite dizzy all the time. Think maybe my long lost asthma is acting up again, I will have to take it easy, and just see how it develops. On top of this the room has wet spots on the walls, the owner has built his guesthouse with only a flat concrete roof. Not very good against rain. I'll probably have to move, the stale air is not good for me.

Tomorrow I'll do a dry run on trekking in higher altitude, I'll walk up to the snow line at around 3500 meters. The weather is very nice today, I just hope it will be the same tomorrow during the first big trek.

From: Tommy Hermansen

Date: Sat Apr 21, 2001 10:23am

Subject: Sitting under a tree by India Gate

Next to me on the bench is a local guy who doesn't speak much English. I guess that in a big metropolis like this people have other sources of income, which don't require them to communicate with us tourists. I noticed the Norwegian flags all over the park and asked him if he knew why they were there. He had no idea what I was talking about, so I pointed out the red pieces of cloth with white and blue cross, hanging from all the light posts - waving in the wind. He didn't know. We kept on chatting for a while, during which a beggar came crawling up to us. I shook my head and told the beggar I didn't have any coins - and my new friend on the bench made it very clear to him by yelling something in Hindi. The beggar crawled further on his way. Some monkeyboys came running to us as well. I don't know whatever their deal is; but these assholes were all over the park, keeping monkeys in a tight leash and dressing them up as people. My best guess is some kind of freak entertainment and torture show. I don't really support animal cruelty so I waved them away too. The man on the bench assisted me in translating the following words to Hindi: bike, tree, water and fountain. I've forgotten all about it now of course. I bid him goodbye on his own language (something resembling the ultra imperial "cheerio") and went walking down the path towards the monument.

India Gate has a striking resemblance to the Arc de Triumph in Paris; and is situated at the far end of the Rajpath Parade Street, the street leading down from the Presidential Palace. Seeing it gave me a sudden craving for freshly baked croissants. I walked over to the nearby stalls to see if they had anything to eat, but of course they only had the usual plastic knickknacks and other useless crap the Indians love and cherish so much. "Can I help you, Sir"; a man peered out from his auto-ricksaw. By then I'd been walking around in the scorching sun all morning, and started to get quite hungry. "Yes" I replied, "How much to New Delhi Railway Station?" "Where's your hotel, Sir? In the Main Bazaar?" He had me pegged within 10 seconds of meeting me. "Yes, the Vivek" I replied. "I know it" he said, and demanded "Pipty rupees!" Way to much of course, "What, fifty rupees? -No way my friend, I'll walk It." - "Excuse me Sir, I thought you meant going there then back" Why ever would I want to go to my hotel and then come back out here, I briefly pondered. "Thirty" he said. "OK, let's go", I was getting hungry. About a hundred meters down the street he stopped the ricksaw, and turned around and offered to show the governmental buildings in the area - for free - provided I'd accompany him to a shop he knew, and then maybe buy something. He obviously had a percentage deal with them. I had no special plans for the next half-hour - other than getting something for lunch. And he looked nice enough, so I went along with his proposal. We drove past the Military Buildings, Prime Minister's office, Presidential Palace, and what not. A good tourist guide, actually. He told me he'd been driving for the last 21 years and he was still a poor man. He stopped the ricksaw in a back alley somewhere, and guided me down a flight of stairs.

The white bearded Kashmiri owner of the store greeted me welcome as I reached the bottom of the stairs, and wanted to know whether I was interested in carpets or other handicrafts. I told him handicrafts, as the notion of lugging a big Arabian style carpet around for the next who knows how many months, didn't appeal to me that much. "OK, just follow the boy" he said and nodded in the direction of a man of about my age. "Please make yourself comfortable" this new guy offered, and held his open palm towards a small stool by the counter. I sat down, and another guy appeared with a cup of Kashmir tea, which he handed to me. I had a few sips, and suddenly remembered a story about a hotel here in India that ran a scam during several years. They deliberately gave their guests severe food poisoning - and as a friendly complementary gesture signed them into a cooperating private clinic which put the poor victim on an overpriced drip, while dipping into their credit card and travelers insurance. The professional salesman laid his well-rehearsed sales pitch onto me. The general idea, I soon figured out, was to trick me into leaving his store with one of his Pashmina shawls, deprived of a fat wad of my hard-earned cash. He presented me with some embroidered ones, some very nice double side embroidered ones, some single color ones, and some multicolor ones. All in various mixed percentages of cashmere wool - and other materials like silk. Some in a 70/30 per cent blend, some "pipty/pipty". All kinds of shit and all of them just for women. "Gifts" he said, for my wife, my mother, my girlfriend, my aunt, or my sister - any woman in my life. He went on about how marvelously the light was shining off the fabric, when I started to get lightheaded. "Hold it, hold it!" I yelled, "What are the prices please?" I was thinking about the possible drugs in that tea. Maybe I was just overheating because of the 35 centigrade outside, or was I overwhelmed by this asshole's fast talk? All good questions in that particular time and space. Who knows? "Well, we accept all major credit cards, Sir." I was not about to hand over my Visa card to this thief, so I snapped back at him: "No! Cash only! And the PRICE please!" "How many do you need, Sir?" I had no idea; "How about those two?" randomly singling out a couple of blue ones. "In this shop, Sir. We don't sell our stuff. We actually GIVE it away in return for a nominal fee." "Whatever do you mean?" I said, "and please name your FEE!" "Well Sir, for those two SIMPLE ones - together: 3000 rupees only, Sir." "WHAT? I'm a backpacker! I can't afford fucking 3000 rupe's on gifts!" I was quickly backing out of the deal. "Okay, give me your best price" he shot back with the cheap standard hawker question. "Look, at a hypothetical TOTAL maximum, I could only manage to pay you about two thirds of that. How does 2000 sound?" He reached out and grabbed my hand - "Deal!" he grinned, and snapped his fingers. All kinds of activity started going on in that cellar. "Pack up these two MARVELOUS items for this gentleman please!" Some obscure guys in a dark corner scrambled. "Wait a minute" I said, "I don't have that kind of cash on me right now." "No problem," apperantly " I'll just accompany you to the bank" the sales bastard uttered.

My next and carnal primitive instinct was to gnaw my wounded leg out of their trap - SOON and FAST! I freaked out and went totally paranoid over the possible drugging scenario. "Fuck you, fuck you, FUCK YOU!" I yelled, backed out and ran back up the stairs. I ran away not knowing where the hell I was going, other than fleeing. I stopped halfway down the street remembering the ricksaw driver who was waiting for me at the store. I turned around and saw him storming out onto the street after me. I waved for him to come down the street to pick me up. He was at a complete loss looking like a question mark, as he pulled over by my sidewalk refuge. "Get me out of here, quick!" I screamed at him. "What happened?" he asked as we came around the bend and onto another dirty smelly downtown street. My heart was still racing, and my paranoid thoughts kept on ripping through my brain. I was on the edge of my seat. "Calm down" he said, "I'm on your side." Yeah right, I thought. I wanted to cover my tracks, and demanded that he'd drive me straight down to the train station. "I have all my luggage there." I lied, I'd already told this guy which hotel I was staying at - goddamn it, so I wanted to give the impression I had figured them out, that I was going to leave town right away, and not falling for their hospital insurance scam. As we came up by the station, I told him I'd changed my mind. "Drive me to the German Bakery in the Bazaar instead, I have friends there." He obeyed.

"I think Delhi is getting to me" I told my backpacker friends as I chewed down a croissant with my Masala Chai. Smiling because of the action I'd just been through.

From: Tommy Hermansen

Date: Tue Apr 17, 2001 1:09pm

Subject: Excuse me, but Mecca is THAT way!

Visiting Mumbai this time around was a much better experience than last time. Getting over the initial culture shock; Mumbai which is India's main seaport, turned out to be a very nice city with beautiful British imperial buildings and Indian monuments. Colaba is the travellers centre, and this part of town was the one I liked best. Of course everyone wants their fair share of your money - so hawking and overpriced services are prominous in the area. The Prince of Wales historical museum for instance just introduced a "foreign tourist" ticket which is priced at fifteen times more than the normal rs 10,- adult entry fee. My friend Mark and I never bothered to enter.

Right now I'm in New Delhi to meet up with my traveller companion for the upcoming couple of months. She is a very dear friend of mine from Norway, who is a journalist and a writer, and will hopefully provide me with some indepth background information on Buddhism and Tibet while we travel together in the vast Himalayan mountain range. I'm really looking forward to finally have someone to share all the experiences with for a longer period of time. I don't know too much about Delhi yet since this is only my second day here. I'm staying in the Main Bazar area in Pahar Ganj, in a basic hotel called Vivek Hotel (Phone 0091 11 3512900 - if anyone want's to give me a call). This area is wonderfully Indian; noisy, dirty, smelly, weird, and I suppose dangerous too. I hereby rename it to Main Bizarre, since I got my pockets picked yesterday and the guy got away with my wallet containing approximately rs 650,- and my drivers license. Bastard I really liked that leather wallet too. On Thursday we travel to Dharamsala by "Deluxe" bus (whatever that means) - I'll let you know.

On the train from Mumbai to Delhi I met a bunch of interesting characters, amongst others an older muslim man from Saudi Arabia. We had some quite deep conversations about religion, but I must say he was very narrowminded in his views on life. And stubourn too! Here's a laugh: He had asked at the Mumbai Bandhra station which way Mecca would be during the trainride, and they told him it would be on the righthand side of the train, but since we were travelling north, that would be east of course. Saudi Arabia is west of India so I told him that had to be wrong. He just kept on praying with his ass towards Mecca!

From: Tommy Hermansen

Date: Sat Apr 14, 2001 10:57am

Subject: Second impressions of Bombay

Coming here for the second time was not as scary as the first time I landed here three months ago. The city is still smelly and noisy, but I'm getting used to this sort of thing now. On the sleeper bus from Goa I met Mark, an Australian working on a documentary on techno music and rave parties. We're now sharing a room at the Volga II guesthouse in the Colaba area - nice rooms and very comfy beds. The bus ride itself was quite nice, but bumpy, and I had to book two beds so I could sleep diagonally across both of them to have enough legroom. Normally that would have cost me rs 700, but I got it down to 500 by some quick haggling with the hawker.

Today we're going to the museums, and tomorrow we're traveling to New Delhi together on a 22-hour train without AC. It's around 35 degrees Celsius here now, no wind, and 80% humidity. We need to drink a lot.

In Bombay, everything is not always how they appear: Walking down a street yesterday I passed a woman in rags sitting on the pavement holding a few coins in her hand. I had a two-rupee coin in my pocket and decided to give it to her, poor soul. She gave me two bananas! She was no beggar apparently.

Finally please remember these wise words taken from the Goan highway billboards: *Every happy home is built with Rajashree's 43-grade cement!*

From: Tommy Hermansen

Date: Mon Apr 9, 2001 2:14pm

Subject: This is not India

"For how long have you been travelling now?" the woman behind the counter asked as a Pepperoni pizza materialised in front of me. I chewed away into my first slice, burning the roof of my mouth, as I said "A little more than three months now." She continued her smalltalk by questioning: "And how do you like India?" I needed to cool down my terrible burns with some cheap glycerine beer. "I just love this place" I said and swung my pointed finger in the air around me. The music was pounding from the Nine Bar across the street. "Goa is not India!" she smugly replied.

She's right. Goa is tourism.

There are some weird characters here as well though. The other night I met a guy called Jim at the Nine Bar, a Hawaiian who'd been escaping paradise half of the year - since the seventies, to another paradise, Goa. He had some stories to tell too. "What? NO THANKS?" he yelled as I regrettably declined his honourable offer of joining in smoking his chillum pipe. I was trying to explain that I really get bad coughing from smoking the tobacco they mix in with the marihuana, when he interrupted by saying "I'll tell you a story about smoking", and passed the chillum to the next person in our circle. "It's basically taking cough syrup which is the main cause of us people contracting lung cancer. We're suppressing the body's natural reaction to germs and viruses, man! And smoking which triggers that same reaction helps us get rid of whatever causes cancer." He went on about how dried leaves give us their life force when we smoke them, and opened his cigarette pack on the table in front of us. "Well, you DO smoke joints don't you?" he asked and passed me a readymade one. "Sure, give me a few puffs" I replied, and accepted his second offer.

I passed the spliff onto the next guy after a little while. The music was fantastic!

From: Tommy Hermansen

Date: Sun Apr 1, 2001 10:53am

Subject: So you're here to save the world, are you?

This trip has lately been turning out being a much deeper journey into my mind than first anticipated. I'm meeting different kinds of people from all over the world, and we're all at similar stages of our lives. Some have been continuously doing this since the late sixties, and some newcomers like myself have only been at it for a few months. After sunset at these paradise-like places we're gathering around a table or a bonfire after long days doing nothing much in particular, to discuss a wide range of topics; everything from political disasters in the Middle East to obscure derivations of philosophies and religions. People aren't polluted or disturbed by everyday influences like TVs and careers, and are getting deeply philosophical most times. And also getting very drunk or stoned sometimes!

The basement of the Flying Pig Hostel in Amsterdam around happy hour, the North Cliffs of Varkala and Ciaran's Bar in Palolem after sunset, have all been very good venues for me to develop and fine-tune my own ideologies and views on various aspects of my life. I'm nowhere near a conclusion yet of course - probably not until another 20-30 years, but being out in such environments really boosts my mind. I'm not going to impose my recent discoveries onto you in this newsletter, but if you'd like to take anything up for a discussion; I'm usually online on the MSN Messenger Service every day.

The tourist season is pretty much over here in Goa now; everywhere it's getting real quiet. Temporary beach restaurants and huts are being dismantled and stowed away before the rainy season kicks in soon, some people are working franticly to finish their construction of new rooms for next November, and foreign workers are renegotiating contracts for the 2001-2002 season. Good luck to everyone!

Next week it's about that time for me to move on again. I'm thinking of visiting North Goa and to spend some more time in Anjuna and Arambol. I suspect there's more to that area than just the fantastic raveparties and beaches, the Portuguese might have left their mark on that territory too. I'll investigate the matter, and get back with an in-depth report in a future version of the magnificent TommyOnTrip Newsletter! Just make sure keeping on subscribing!


From: Tommy Hermansen

Date: Tue Mar 20, 2001 1:34pm

Subject: A paradise called Patnem Beach

I've been on this beach for more than three weeks now. Met with some really good friends and basically been relaxing at a beach resort aptly named "Home". Owners Richard and Sandy give you a break from Indian life, and pamper you with tasty European food and mellow chill-out music; by artists such as Kruder & Dorfmeiser, Moby and the great compilations released on the Hedkandi label.

Even though I'm based in Patnem I've made a few shorter trips around the area. To Anjuna, Agonda Beach, and Margao. I just leave my backpack with my host family during these trips; I don't like to lug it around everywhere. It's just too heavy and attracts too much attention from the damn hawkers. I went to Anjuna with my friends John from Scotland and Graham from New Zealand. We went to the famous hippie flea market where you can buy just about anything from bags and hammocks to drums and other utter useless knickknacks. Even used Enfield motorcycles! I found a perfect bag for my camera, 50 rs.

Afterwards we went to the Shore Bar for the aftermarket beach party. Psychedelic trance pounding away on our poor eardrums, with a magnificent clear horizon sunset as a backdrop. Wild! Then we went to the Primrose Bar and kept on clubbing till the wee morning hours. (Look John - Scottish!) Sorted mates!!!

Hampi is next on the short trip itinerary, then Delhi and trekking in Nepal on the big trip one. But I'll most likely stay around here on this desert beach another month or so before heading north.


From: Tommy Hermansen

Date: Mon Mar 5, 2001 6:30am

Subject: This is a gem!

Hello again friends, Since last time I wrote; I've moved further north (into southern Goa), to a gem of a serene place called Patnem Beach. To get here you need to catch the coastal train or the bus to Canacona, or Chaudi as it's also called. Most people go on from there to Palolem Beach, but that place is a bit too touristy for my taste, it's much better to head to the next beach further down south called Patnem. I'm staying here with a family at a farm just 5 minutes walk from the beach, and the room costs me only 10 rupees a night. But food and drinks at the restaurants are quite expensive so the traveller budget is getting quite a lashing while staying here. Goa is expensive! I'll try to stay away from the western meals and the beer the following weeks, and return to real Indian cuisine again which is much cheaper indeed, but harder on the stomach though. I'm staying here another two weeks before heading up north towards Nepal for some trekking.

Hope all is well wherever you all might be. Did you know that there's about 195 of you reading my newsletters now, quite a crowd huh?.

I'm darn near paradise here, so I'm just fine!!


From: Tommy Hermansen

Date: Fri Feb 23, 2001 7:08pm

Subject: Gokarna's stench

Greetings earthlings! I was finally able to leave Varkala after five wonderful weeks lounging in the sun down there, I guess I only had a mild case of the well known Varkala Syndrome, the one that makes you never want to leave the place. Other people I met had been there for over two months, and where suffering from it quite badly. The last weekend was especially fun, when I and my Malteese friend Neville organized a techno party on the Papanasam cliffside on Saturday night. I also got to play myself, my first DJ gig ever! But we didn't use a mixer, luckily - or else I don't think I could have pulled it off just as successfully. The people seemed to have a great time, jumping around screaming their heads off. We also conected a microphone to the amplifier, so that Gert a Tabla player from Berlin could jam with us while we were playing out our records. After that, Jen - a vocalist from London joined in as well. Good fun indeed!!

On the train from Varkala to Karwar, I met some Marine Biology students from Goa. I was invited to visit them when I get up there in about a week's time. I got to Karwar station about five o'clock in the morning and standing there waiting for the bus to Gokarna were Emma from Cork and Lucy from Halifax. They'd done the same as I had, quit their jobs for travelling around Asia. They were working together as radiographers at the st. Bartholomew's hospital in London before going on their trip. We got on the bus to Gokarna, and after a bit of haggeling and paying a couple of extra unforetold rupees we finally got to our destination. Gokarna is a dirty stench ridden little town on India's southwestern coast, about 50 km south of Karwar.

There are several good beaches around here, and my favorite so far is Kudle beach, just about 20 minutes walk to the south. The other ones further down south are also very nice, but the sand and the waves at Kudle are really special. Gokarna is also very important for the Hindus, and right now there's a big festival going on here, so the streets are packed with pilgrims from the areas around. Yesterday I had lunch with some people from Belgaum and got really sick afterwards (Dehli Belly), so today I've just been relaxing indoors - drinking loads of water compensating for the massive fluid loss. Toworrow I'll hit the beach again with Emma and Lucy, and our Danish friends Rune, Martin and Andrea. The place we're staying at here in Gokarna (The Shanti Nivas) is really clean and quiet.


From: Tommy Hermansen

Date: Mon Feb 5, 2001 6:58pm

Subject: Lazy days in the sun

Today's been another totally relaxed day on the beach. I have to cover up my bare head while sitting in the burning sun, so I won't get a sun stroke. Yes - bare, my head is completely bald now. Just wanted to try how it was like, and I like it! Maybe I'm just getting bored - and needed something to do, I don't know.

I met a couple of wonderful Dutch people the other day, Pantho and Jasmijn - brother and sister from Amsterdam. Jasmijn is working for a well-informed website containing everything you'll need to know for a great night on town in A' dam. Pantho who's an Architect student told me he's ganging up with some friends in Calcutta about a month from now (Jasmijn is heading back home). They're going trekking in the Himalayas for several weeks, and I might be joining them later on. I'll need some camping gear and a visa for Nepal; I'll get that in Calcutta.

Nature here in Kerala is really breathtaking. I've never seen so many palm trees!! - whole forests full stretching all over the Papanasam cliffs. Below them the white sandy beaches, and the Arabic Ocean pounding on them, with it's impressive waves. Bodysurfing is a very popular but dangerous pastime, and I'm getting the hang of it now. Last Friday night we had an out of Monsoon downpour (which rarely happens) - the sky opened up on us for about an hour, and afterwards we were treated with several hours of fireworks by the lightning strikes out over the sea. My German friends and I just sat mesmerized watching the show from the cliffside, and hopefully Helge who works for the ARD TV got some good shots of it all which he could post on the web when he gets home.

I'm not leaving this wonderful place yet! At least not for another couple of weeks.


From: Tommy Hermansen

Date: Wed Jan 31, 2001 2:30pm

Subject: More pictures uploaded

Hello gang! I just uploaded 16 new images from Varkala and other surroundings... Sorry but the pictures of the elephants didn't turn out well, so I didn`t bother to scan them.


From: Tommy Hermansen

Date: Mon Jan 29, 2001 7:52pm

Subject: I`m still alive

Hello my friends, I have recieved a couple of emails lately from people worrying about me being caught in that horrible earthquake. You don`t need to worry, I`m about 70 hours (by slow train) away from the disaster area.

Life here in Varkala is soo laidback that there's not much to write home about for the moment. Other than taking a daytrip to see the Elephant festival in Kottayam a few days ago, I've just been lounging at the beach, working on my tan. The festival was a colorful neonlit event with approx. 50 elephants walking down the main road towards the local temple. Afterwards the inhabitants got seriously drunk and were dancing and partying until the early hours of next day. I'll write more when something interesting happens.


From: Tommy Hermansen

Date: Thu Jan 18, 2001 0:00pm

Subject: Varkala

Hello my friends, I've now made it down to Varkala in the Kerala district in Southwestern India. Bombay was way too dirty and noisy for my liking so I left after only one night at the Gulistan Hotel. My buddy Kjetil never showed up at the hotel that morning (he'd apparently been there the following day), so I decided to head south on my own. I had originally planned to go to Goa, but I met a couple of Finnish girls who were going to Kerala, so I tagged along. The slow train ride was a wopping 44 hours, so I got to know my fellow passengers quite well. Salla and Kamomilla were both students who were taking a few weeks off, from their jobs among the street children of Jaipur up in the north.

Varkala is situated in a popular tourist area, but is still quite laidback and quiet compared to the bigger beaches around Trivandrum and Kollam - not far from here. There's only a few hotels around here, so most travelers are staying in private homes and chalets. My hosts are the Padmaviljasam family, and their house is right next to the local temple. Every morning around 6 am the Hindus are ligthing their firecrackers, which is the Hindu equivalent of lighting a candle. Only that this wakes up the entire neighbourhood!! Kamel, the 22 year old boy who's acting as manager while his father is out working in Bahrain, is very fascinated by my psychedelic trance albums, and the minidisc walkman I've brought with me.

I got a room with bathroom for only 2000 rupees a month (400 Norwegian kroners), so I'm staying here until the 18th of February. The beaches are very nice and clean, and the Arabian Sea is soothing after being cooked tenderly by the scorching sun. There are some beach merchants here, but not as many as at the more popular places I'm told.


From: Tommy Hermansen

Date: Sat Jan 13, 2001 0:58pm

Subject: Bombay

Just some first impressions of Bombay: I landed at the airport at 5 am this morning. The Kuwait Arlines flight was very good, and with their reasonable prices I can definitely recomend using them if any of you guys are heading this way. The airport was dodgy to say the least, I knew right away I had landed in India. But somehow everything seemed to flow efficiently, the people were helping each other, and also helping keeping the luggage on the lousy transport when we were waiting for our bags. Even though this was early in the morning there were lots of taxis and people waiting by the exit. I walked away from it all to gather my thoughts, and sat down to talk to a man sitting in the parking lot.

He told me it was way too far to walk into town, and that a taxi should cost me around 250rp. Then a guy with one of these open moped based taxis offered to take me to town for that amount. It was quite far so I thought the price was OK. Suddenly he stopped and told me to jump over to another taxi. This time a cab (a car). The first guy paid the second driver 120rp to take me the rest of the way. Some scheme he was running for sure... Anyway I ended up by an OK hotel after the third try, the driver was nice and went with me inside at all the places to ask if there was a room available. So I ended up at an air-conditioned room for 1000rp a night, which is about 200 norwegian kroner. I'm just staying over the weekend though, I need to head down to Goa to wind down from all this hustle and bustle.

I met a cool guy who's working at my hotel, maybe we'll go out for a beer when he's ended his shift. All in all I'm doing OK down here, just need to get used to the Indian way of life...Hope to find my friend Kjetil tomorrow.


From: Tommy Hermansen

Date: Sun Jan 7, 2001 8:48pm

Subject: Amsterdam

Hello from Amsterdam! The first leg of this trip is now happening! I arrived at Schiphol on Friday the 5th about 1 p.m. local time, the wind was nearly tearing the plane apart as the pilot slammed it onto the runway. But the landing went just fine... luckily! Amsterdam is a cold place during the winter months, so I'll really appreciate puting my feet down on shimmering Mumbaian tarmac next Saturday morning. GOT THE TICKET IN MY BAG!! I was worried I would get stuck here 'cause I never heard anything from the Dutch travellers agent who I booked my flight through, but the ticket was printed and ready in their shop so everything went really smoothly. The budget is getting a huge cut out here, everything is just as expensive as back home in Oslo. This last weekend I spent around 500 guilders (2000 kroners) which is just too damn much on a limited budget, so beginning tomorrow I'll skip eating out all the time, and buy all my food at the Supermarket instead. I got carried away I guess. I went clubbing at Marcanti Plaza on Friday, and Mazzo on Saturday. Mazzo was especially huge fun as ever!


Next destination: Mumbai - India (13th January 2001)

From: Tommy Hermansen

Date: Wed Dec 13, 2000 4:39pm

Subject: Three weeks to go!!!

Hello partypeople! Just writing this short message to let you know that the ticket has been booked, the shots have been taken, and I'm getting my visa tomorrow. Things are really starting to take shape now! The internet booking of the flight to Mumbai, somehow didn't make it through to, so I had to book it by phone instead. And since the prices changes every day, the ticket I now got was 150 NLG more expensive than the one I first tried to book. Now I'm flying with Kuwait Air through Kuwait instead. Also today: I updated my website again, and uploaded a bunch of Quicktime slideshows to the TommyOnTrip page. So if you'd like to see pictures from my earlier travels this year (Chamonix, Amsterdam, Portugal), please check it out! Some of the .mov files are quite big, so using a broadband internet is wisest, but dialup works too if you have the time to wait for the extra long downloads. The portfolio section is also uploaded again, if you'd like to see some of my work.


Next destination: Amsterdam!!! 5th January 2001

From: Tommy Hermansen

Date: Wed Dec 6, 2000 7:53pm

Subject: Booked the tickets!!

Yesterday and today I spent the whole afternoon around town looking for my ticket to the east, but the prices here in Oslo are so incredibly steep. Luckily today I found a website in the Netherlands which had some really good bargains flying out of Schiphol, so I went for a Royal Jordanian flight to Mumbai through Amman on the 10th of January, costing only 1000 NLG including taxes. So then India will be the first country I'm going to outside of Europe and the US! I also spent my bonus points for a free ticket to A'dam on the 5th, that leaves me only 30 days to get all my shots and visas done for India and China... and inbetween all that, buying x-mas gifts, getting stuffed on x-mas eve, and celebrating the new year... phew!!! But India is going to be GREAT!


From: Tommy Hermansen

Date: Mon Dec 4, 2000 1:34pm

Subject: 27 days left!

Hello gang! With the latest addition of Karlsen (is that you Thomas old pal??), the number of members evesdropping on this list has reached a quite respectable 30! Current situation: This week I'm taking the various shots needed for going to the Malaria and Hepatitis infected Asian countries, and I need to get my ass down to the various embassies to get a couple of visas as well. Stupid rules... Last weekend was kind of a dry run of the big trip, as I went with the hardkernel of the Oslo psytrance scene down to Copenhagen to catch the fantastic live event of Koxbox, Huxflux et. al at the VEGA theatre. I also got to try out long bus rides again!

Next destination: Unknown

Now playing: Kruder & Dorfmeister, The K&D Sessions


From: Tommy Hermansen

Date: Thu Nov 23, 2000 1:01pm

Subject: A little over 1 month left!!

Today, I'm at a customers site in Stord - on the west coast of Norway. The company is called Aker Maritime and it's a big company by Norwegian meassures. These guys work in the shipping industry, and the huge dry docks are situated in the bay right outside my window here. My company is installing a new printer line out here this month, and this is the third week we're setting it up. But my first though. The weather here today is slightly overcast and sunny. Back home in Oslo I hear it's the worst rainfall in a long while! It's good to be here, even though it's a bit cold and windy.


Next destination: Stavanger, Norway - Friday 24th Nov. 2000

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