The story today takes place somewhere in North Korea, 94 countries later...

Exiting North Korea

Exiting North Korea – Part 9

Exiting North Korea. Pyongyang, North Korea.  28 June 2017. * (For the previous part, click here: Travelling Pyongyang North Korea – Part 8) I was in the shower in my hotel at the Yanggakdo International Hotel in Pyongyang, North Korea, when the phone ran as a wake-up call from Kim, my guide. “Meester Beavers,” as he has taken to calling me lately, “It is time to get up.” A telephone extension right next to the toilet in a hotel bathroom...

Travelling Pyongyang North Korea

Travelling Pyongyang North Korea – Part 8

Travelling Pyongyang North Korea – Part 6. Pyongyang, DPRK. 27 June 2017 (cont’d). * (For the previous part, click here: Life in North Korea – Part 7) As we are on our way back to the capital city, travelling Pyongyang North Korea, I was interested in careers, so I asked my North Korean guide, Kim, about jobs.  As mentioned before, he said that all jobs pay the same.  A dentist makes about the same amount of money as a bus driver. ...

Life in North Korea

Life in North Korea – Part 7

Life in North Korea. Kumgang, DPRK.  27 June 2017. * (For the previous part, click here: Mt. Kumgang North Korea – Part 6) The doorbell of my hotel room in Kumgang, North Korea, went off at 06:00. The front desk sent someone to my room door to wake me up because the telephones in the hotel do not work… Breakfast.  Bus.   Life in North Korea and off to Mt. Kumgang…me and my group of seven Chinese tourists. North Korea...

Mt. Kumgang North Korea

Mt. Kumgang North Korea – Part 6

Mt. Kumgang North Korea. Pyongyang, DPRK. 26 June 2017. * (For the previous part, click here: A Visit to the North Korea DMZ – Part 5) Kim, my North Korea guide, could not wait to see me this morning to ask me what happened with Jo, the Chinese girl, last night.  Nothing happened, but I enjoyed his effort to be nosy so much that I remained silent and decided not to tell him anything… After breakfast at the Yanggakdo International...

North Korea DMZ.

A Visit to the North Korea DMZ – Part 5

North Korea DMZ Demilitarized Zone, DPRK. * (For the previous part, click here: (Barely) Backpacking North Korea – Part 4) Kaesong, North Korea.   North Korea DMZ. June 25, 2017. We arrived at the North Korea Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) after a long and rough three hour journey from Pyongyang.  A lot of military was in the vicinity of the North Korea DMZ.  My North Korean guide, Kim, had told me earlier that a soldier would be our guide through the North...

The beautiful metro system of Pyongyang looks more like a opera house.

(Barely) Backpacking North Korea – Part 4

Backpacking North Korea.  Pyongyang.   June 25, 2017. (Perhaps that is a little misleading.  I am hardly backpacking North Korea right now, but I did show up in this country with a small backpack.  I would love to backpack North Korea, but regulations against that are the stickiest of any country in the world.) * (For the previous, click here: Travel North Korea – Pyongyang – Part 3) I received three wake-up calls this morning from 06:30 onwards.  No one wanted...

Travel North Korea - Pyongyang

Travel North Korea – Pyongyang – Part 3

Travel North Korea – Pyongyang. Pyongyang, North Korea. 24 June, 2017 (cont’d). * (For the previous part, click here: Crossing from China to North Korea – Part 2) After I met my North Korean guide Kim at the train station, the first thing he did was take my passport away from me.  Since I was the only English speaker on the trip, I would have my own personal guide while the Chinese would share theirs. My guide Kim would be by...

Crossing from China to North Korea

Crossing from China to North Korea – Part 2

Crossing from China to North Korea. Dandong, China. June 24, 2017. * (For the previous part, click here: The North Korea Decision – Part 1) I was up at 06:30 to get things started for a five day/four night trip to North Korea.  I had a list of jobs to work on, including going onto this website and taking down any articles that were connected to politics or political events.  Also, I removed any recent stories to make Big Beaver Diaries...

The North Korea Decision

The North Korea Decision – Part 1

The North Korea Decision.  China – June, 2017. Prologue: Now I know what you are thinking.  ‘Will I ever have flowing locks of hair as beautiful as Beaver?’  The answer is, ‘Possibly.’ And I know what else you are thinking.  ‘Is he nuts?  North Korea?’  The answer is ‘No.’  I know that many of you think I am crazy and I often do things that are dangerous.  The truth is that this is not really the case.  Every major decision I...

Modern Toilet - A Quirky and Shitty Restaurant

Modern Toilet – A Quirky and Shitty Restaurant

Modern Toilet – A Quirky and Shitty Restaurant. June 12 (cont’d). Mark, Jamie and I got ready and headed to Modern Toilet, a restaurant I had read about where you actually eat from small porcelain toilets and drink from tiny urinals.  It was too peculiar and quirky for me to miss while I was visiting Taipei, Taiwan.  The dishes were named after feces and the seats at the tables were real toilets with the lids down… On the sign to...

Surprising a Friend in Taiwan - 10 Years Later

Surprising a Friend in Taiwan – 10 Years Later

Surprising a Friend in Taiwan – 10 Years Later. June 9.  Taipei, Taiwan.   I was awake early in anticipation of the morning, so I only ended up with 5 hours of sleep. I packed, left my backpack in a corner of the hostel and woke Markus. I checked Googlemaps for the name of my friend Mark’s school. I was unable to find his school on the map before when I searched abroad, but it was there this morning. BAM, I...

Touring the Pyramids of Egypt

Touring the Pyramids of Egypt

Touring the Pyramids of Egypt. June 3. I was up at 06:55. My alarm was set for 07:03 which would give me just five hours of sleep. It is incredible how a brain wakes itself up just before the alarm clock even when the brain knows it needs more sleep. How does the brain actually know what time it is when it is sleeping? How does it physically know when 07:03 is to wake you up just a little before?...

Egypt!  It is real!

Flight to Egypt – Heck Yeah!

Flight to Egypt – Heck Yeah!  June 2. I awoke in Athens, Greece, just before my alarm at 08:30. I wanted more sleep, but I always want that. Sex, sleep and money…there is just never seems to be enough! My friend Menia was already up and making breakfast! Awesome! I had a shower and met her sister who refers to me as ‘Pfshh Too Soo!,’ a Greek expression said aggressively meaning ‘I spit on you.’ Menia taught that to me....

Forgetting How Old I Am

Forgetting How Old I am

Forgetting How Old I am.  31 May 2017. Some days crazy things just happen. Today was one of those. I went to a fantastic man-made archway over the ocean today that is a little terrifying to climb up, but I wanted a photo from the top of it. I was by myself and there was no one to take my photo, so I waited around knowing someone would show up. Two local boys, 13 years of age came along. I...

The Jacket and Signs in Life

Signs in Life and The Jacket

Signs in Life and the Jacket. Life has a crazy flow and vibe, and things happen that are incomprehensible to us humans.  But there is certainly an underlying layer the threads the eyes of the needles of life.  There is just no other way to explain why and how things happen that are just too much of a coincidence to be just that.  I call them the ‘Signs in Life.’  Actually, Bob Dylan called them the signs in life and...

My Worst Job: Pig Semen Insemination

My Worst Job: Pig Semen Insemination

My Worst Job: Pig Semen Insemination -Live transcript of Mr. Jason Whitrow. y worst job was the pig barn.  I started there washing pig-shit when I was 14 or 15 years old.  Then, I started doing the other jobs throughout the barn.  We used to do our own semen collection.  You’d have to haul the boars from one room into this other creepy black room with a weird pedestal where the boar would actually mount a stand that he thinks...

The Fun Job Interview

The Fun Job Interview

The Fun Job Interview. I was up at 05:00 this morning to do my final and third segment of the interview for a job I am hoping to line up this summer.  I had to be on Skype at 07:00 my time as that was 14:00 where they were.  The job interview was by three random people in the office of the company: A Polish girl, an German girl, and a Romanian guy.  They asked me random questions from a...

Mexicable Cable Car in Mexico City

Mexicable Cable Car in Mexico City

Mexicable Cable Car in Mexico City Jan 18.   After Irmante finished her studies at lunch time, she skipped her afternoon Spanish class so that she we could hang out.  We caught the metro to the end of Line 3 to Verdes Indio.  From there we caught the free Mexicable Bus for 20 minutes through Mexico City traffic to the start of the Mexicable system. Mexicable is cable-car gondola transportation that just opened in October 2016, and runs over the...

Mercado El Chopo in Mexico City Market

Punk Market El Chopo in Mexico City

Punk Market El Chopo in Mexico City Jan 14. At 14:00, Irmante and I went to Tianguis Cultural El Chopo in Mexico City which is the punk market that happens here.  It is amazing! El Chopo in Mexico City is packed with the coolest people you have ever seen in your life. When you walk to the market from the metro, you can tell when you are getting close to the market because suddenly everyone and everything begins to look...

Mexican Monarch Metal Brothers in Mexico City

Mexican Monarch Metal Brothers in Mexico City

The Mexican Monarch Metal Brothers in Mexico City. Jan 13. At 21:00 I went to meet Sara at a metal bar in Mexico City called Metal Brothers.  The website said there was no cover charge and stated that live bands play every night.  I was worried that it was going to be some lame ‘Cruise Ship’ band covering a version of ‘Hotel California’ for the eight-kajillianth time and fill me with regret. Nope! None of that at all…  Metal Brothers was...

The Bloodhound Gang are Wankers

“The Bloodhound Gang are Wankers!”

“The Bloodhound Gang are Wankers!” -Live transcript of Mr. Bob Slayer. nyone ever heard of a band called Electric Eel Shock?  There is a reason why you haven’t.  The reason why you haven’t heard of Electric Eel Shock is because I managed them.  And I may have held them back.  But they are a fantastic band, from Japan.  I toured with them from 2003, and I’m still a little bit involved.  I fired myself.  They are too nice to fire...

Cute and Angry Rabies Bat Bite

Cute and Angry Rabies Bat Bite

Cute and Angry Rabies Bat Bite. Amber: “I heard a bird that was the least melodic bird I have ever heard in my life.  I was thinking, ‘That bird is fucked up!’  It was making a really angry sound. I was smacking a stone with a geology pick and it was so loud.  I was hurting my ears because it was so loud.  Imagine how loud that was for his sensitive little bat-ears.  Try to imagine the worst hangover you...

Tequila Distillery Tour in Tequila, Mexico

Tequila Distillery Tour in Tequila, Mexico

Tequila Distillery Tour in Tequila, Mexico. December 20. Up, breakfast, buy some new shades that turn my face blue because of the color, and head to Jose Cuervo for the tequila distillery tour in Tequila.  It cost 220 pesos each for a one hour tequila distillery tour of Jose Cuervo! 220 pesos is essentially a king’s ransom for a one hour tour in Mexico.  Over 1/3 of the tequila consumed worldwide is Jose Cuervo and the other 65% is the...

Santuario Nacional del Angel de la Santa Muerte: Mexico City

Santuario Nacional del Angel de la Santa Muerte: Mexico City

Santuario Nacional del Angel de la Santa Muerte: Mexico City. December 15. It took us a while to get out of the house.  Everyone is exhausted.  We have been hitting Mexico City hard for about two weeks now.  Eventually all three of us were ready. My date from last night had asked me what I was planning to do today.  I told her that my friends and I were going to visit Santuario Nacional del Angel de la Santa Muerte,...

Teotihuacan: The Pyramids Close to Mexico City

Teotihuacan: Pyramids Close to Mexico City

Teotihuacan: Pyramids Close to Mexico City. Dec 13. The house got moving around 10:00.  I thought Irmante, Clint and I would tackle the day earlier, but everyone was tired.  Irmante made breakfast and we headed for the Teotihuacan pyramids close to Mexico City. Teotihuacan was an ancient Mesoamerican city which was the largest city in the Americas…pre-Columbus.  The city is thought to have been of 125,000 inhabitants and was built from 100 to 250 CE. To get to the pyramids...

Mexican Bullfight in Mexico City

Mexican Bullfight in Mexico City

Mexican Bullfight in Mexico City.  Dec 11 At 17:30 we headed to Plaza de Toros in Mexico City for the bullfight.  Plaza de Toros is the world’s largest bullring with seating for 41,262 gore fanatics.  I had been to a Mexican bullfight (‘Corridas de Toros’ in Spanish) once before in Mazatlan when I flew in for the millennium.  I said I would never attend one again, but it has been nearly 17 years and my friends Clint and Irmante have...

Lucha Libre Mexican Wrestling: Mexico City

Lucha Libre Mexican Wrestling: Mexico City

Lucha Libre Mexican Wrestling: Mexico City. Dec 9 (cont’d) After the scorpion eating, Irmante, Clint and I stopped for some wine and cheese in the market, but my stomach was pretty wonky.  We dropped into Mercado de Artesanias La Ciudadela and by the time we had dinner in a local traditional dive restaurant, I was in tip-top shape again. We headed for to Arena Mexico for tonight’s event of Lucha Libre Mexican Wrestling. The three of us had purchased masks...

Scorpion Eating in Mexico City

Scorpion Eating in Mexico City

Scorpion Eating in Mexico City. Dec 9 Clint showed up just after Irmante and I had breakfast at out AirBNB and we all headed to Insurgentes, an area of Mexico City, to change our American dollars into pesos.  It is a good time to be in Mexico as $1 is worth 20 pesos.  When I was here in 2010 it was about 12 pesos for $1. Get to Mexico right now people! Irmante was in charge and she lead us...

Mexico City: Museum of Frida Kahlo

Museum of Frida Kahlo: Mexico City

Mexico City: Museum of Frida Kahlo. Dec 3 Soft taco breakfast.  Black tacos.  They come from blue corn.  Regardless of the color, it is so nice to be able to walk out into the street and there is a canopy and under it is a congregation of locals eating tacos together that two senoras are proudly making. Mexico City is great. This entire country is great!  Irmante and I decided to visit Casa Azul – Museo Frida Kahlo (The Museum...

Luck in the Flow of Life in Todos Santos

Luck in the Flow of Life in Todos Santos

Luck in the Flow of Life in Todos Santos. Nov 20. I got really lucky in the flow of life! I am living in an incredibly beautiful house in Mexico for a week.  Life is a really great ride when you swim with the tide.  One day you are in Eugene, Oregon, trying to figure out how to get to another town called Grants Pass, but you do not want to take the bus.  So, you put up an ad...

Dogs Partying on the Beach in Todos Santos

Dogs Partying on the Beach in Todos Santos

Dogs Partying on the Beach in Todos Santos. Nov 19 We were up early to get to the realtors place to collect the keys and be lead 15 miles out of Todos Santos to Casa Tortuga, which is Kristen’s new habitat for the next six months.  The $1,200 a month house during the high season, secluded on the beach, has 6 meter ceilings and is a beautiful home that self sufficiently runs itself on solar energy.  The walls are 8...

Baja California Roadtrip, San Ignacio to Todos Santos

Baja California Roadtrip, San Ignacio to Todos Santos: Day 3

Nov 18 Baja California Roadtrip, San Ignacio to Todos Santos. It can be scary, riding shotgun across Baja, Mexico, with a girl who nearly runs a stop-sign in a town and then nearly rear-ends a truck slowing down for a speed-bump…all within about 30 minutes.  But, you make due, try not to pay attention, and you seem to get through it. I ended up behind the wheel for our Baja California Roadtrip from about 15:00 and drove for the next...

Driving in Mexico

Driving in Mexico, Camalú to San Ignacio: Day 2

Nov 17 Driving in Mexico – Camalú to San Ignacio. It was an early start.  A free breakfast courtesy of Hotel Margaritaville in Camalú, Mexico!  They sorted me out with an omelet.  Two of us stay at the hotel.  One free breakfast.  Mexicans make up their own rules! Back on the road.  Driving in Mexico is a semi-truck passing another semi up a hill through on-coming traffic.  You are behind those semis thinking about what you would do if you...

Crossing San Diego to Tijuana

Border Crossing San Diego to Tijuana: Day 1

Nov 16 We got a late start, and by the time we were ready to cross the border, it was noon.  We left San Diego and headed for Tijuana.  Crossing San Diego to Tijuana… Signs along the side of the road as we neared the border said, ‘Guns are Illegal in Mexico,’ and ‘Medical Marijuana is Illegal in Mexico.’  At the border, I saw the sign that Fatty and I mostly missed the last time I did this, 14 years...

California Cruising

California Cruising: Cool Dogs and Humans

Nov 14 It was about noon by the time my friend Kristen and I had made goodbyes to our new friends and headed out on the road.  It felt so good to get going.  We stopped in a gas station on the way and I experienced running water for the first time in 11 days.  I seem to have failed to have appreciated it in my normal life where it is usually present.  It is pretty great.  You just put...

Unusual Jobs

13 Unusual Jobs

13 Unusual Jobs here I went to school in a small town, a class called Career Education was offered to those of us morons who did not want to take a second language (a clever career orientated maneuver).  However, ideas for the future seemed to be limited to a career as a farmer, rancher, grain elevator agent, teacher or banker.  With no outside-the-box-thinking teachers, neither were us learned students.  However, it is time to grow a better garden! For the...

They Charged Me with Murder

They Charged Me with Murder

“They Charged me with Murder” -Live transcript of my friend Mr. P. s a kid I was quite into boxing, trying to pursue that and fitness…constantly going to the gym.  But it didn’t really tweak with me that I’d never really have the dedication.  But I knew what I was doing.  I went to the gym and I’d been training for a long time. I went on a night out with me friends.  It got to the point where we’re...

Lonely Planet Soul Devourer

Lonely Planet Guide Soul Devourer

Lonely Planet Guide Soul Devourer – Pros and Cons The Lonely Planet guide-books are your primary travel safety net.  That safety net is also a devil that devours travel souls.  The Lonely Plant is the most powerful source in the world for completely sucking and absorbing real life out of anything it features, be it a village, a hostel, a restaurant…or by directing travelers to an ex-pat owned bar in town. But, Lonely Planet (or a similar guide from one...

Rock and Roll to the Rescue

Rock and Roll to the Rescue

Rock and Roll to the Rescue -The Rocco Valentino Live Transcript: friend and I were driving out in the bush one day and we decided we wanted to leave South Africa to go and see the world.  Both 21, listening to The Doors and doing a few other things.  Driving out there and we were deciding, “Well, where should we go?  Should we go to the States?  Should we go got Australia?” and we thought, “Australia is like South Africa. ...

I Fought a Dirty Cop for my Life in Tanzania

I Fought a Dirty Cop for my Life in Tanzania

I Fought a Dirty Cop for my Life in Tanzania -Live transcript of my friend Mr. P. was in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and wanted to do the Kilimanjaro climb.  Really looking forward to it, and then I saw how much money they want for it, fees and park fees and all that guide shit.  I would’ve done it on me own, cause it’s only a hike, and I’m that type of person.  I would’ve just walked it myself.  But,...

Iron Maiden, Download Festival.

Iron Maiden, Download Festival – Day 3

Iron Maiden, Download – Day 3. June 12 It was pouring rain when we left Dan and Emma’s house in Nottingham. Sunshine would be unreasonable at Downland Festival anyhow… Whatever… We were ready to get into it again!  We had garbage bags in our pockets for extra-dryness covering.  Dan and I jumped on the bus to take us to the festival.  To say traffic was backed up would be an understatement.  A thirty minute bus ride from Nottingham became two...

Black Sabbath, Download Festival.

Black Sabbath, Download Festival – Day 2

Black Sabbath, Download – Day 2. June 11 Dan made breakfast for Emma and I and then Dan’s contact came through with two weekend passes for Download Festival that we could have for a £60 donation.  I sure wish that had happened yesterday before I blew £190 on my pass.  Then once Dan and I made it to the festival a girl was standing beside the box office to give away an extra weekend pass she had for free…. And,...

Rammstein, Download Festival

Rammstein, Download Festival – Day 1

Day One – Rammstein, Download Festival.   June 10 I was up at 06:35 to get ready for the day.  It has been over a month since I was near a time like that.   I caught my 08:30 bus to Nottingham to meet my friend Dan.  Download Festival.  I have wanted this festival for five years now… Nottingham is free of the shackles and the extortionate prices of my monster, London.  And believe me, I love my London, but it...

ACDC nee Axl/DC

ACDC aka Axl/DC in London

ACDC nee Axl/DC in London At 15:00 I rushed out the door to meet Karel at the Ritzy in Brixton and from there we headed for the London event of the night…AC/DC nee Axl/DC nee Axl/AC/DC! I have twice before watched ACDC during the ‘Rock and Roll Train’ tour in 2009.  Their show was totally amazing both nights, but I felt like I have been there and done that when the upcoming European tour was announced.  Then news hit that...

Shin Kicking World Championship

Shin Kicking World Championship in Cotswold

The Shin Kicking World Championship.   June 3 Convincing a 20 year old to get out of bed at 10:30 is no easy feat… It turns out that playing Slayer really loud at 10:45 will make the transition happen!  Now you know… We got out of the house at about 11:00 and caught the underground to Heathrow to pick up a rental car.  Just the thought of driving on the left side of the road through 12.5 million Londoners to...

The crowd, the stage, and the hair. Wow, I love this place!

Musical Candy – The Camden Monarch

May 1 I had flown across two continents for it, just to be a part of this night… England.  London.  Camden.  The Monarch.  Metalworks. It would be old bag of tricks in a new shirt. *In retrospect, I can say for sure from the evening that my lifestyle does not permit me to own a white shirt. I met Mike just after 18:00 and we went to a small establishment called Spiritual Bar to drink beer and catch up.  Justin...

African country hopping SIM collection.

Ethiopia to London – I am ‘Home’!

April 30 I arrived in my lovely and wonderful London at 07:00. My ‘London home’ feeling. The immigration man was typically English witty.   ‘STAMP’! Fundon, I am home.   London…Baby, I am so glad to be here.  Everything about you is exciting.  Getting on the Tube is exciting.  Using my British bank card with no foreign fees is exciting.  Blending in as a typical white person is exciting.  White women are exciting.  Falling love 15 times in the 2...

I have never seen anything quite like this.  There is still hair on that skull...

Genocide and Poverty in Ethiopia: Addis Ababa

April 29 I woke up at 11:00.  I did not want to get up then, but sleeping is no excuse for wasting the only day I have in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. I talked to the guy at the front desk of Global Hotel and asked him how to get around the city.  He told me outrageous taxi prices.  I asked him if there is a local convi-taxi.  He said there was.  I told him, “I have been in Africa for...

Johannesburg.

Capetown to Addis Ababa

April 28 It took me forever to get my things together this morning.  But, that was sort of a convenience as I was waiting on wet clothes to continue drying.  The idea of arriving in London two days later and unzipping my backpack to pull out soggy clothes seems pretty unpleasant. Dani and I hung out for the day and went to a shopping mall in search of a haircut for me.  I am very specific on this…  I want...

Screenshot_2016-05-02-12-03-10

Capetown Table Mountain

April 27 Dani was moving at 08:00 so I pulled myself totally out of a slumber as well to get ready for the day. Big idea – Hiking up Table Mountain – the geological and spiritual heart of Capetown.  We had plans to meet Dani’s friends at 10:00 to conquer the mountain on foot, but it started raining which put out everyone’s fires.  However, I needed to see it so I just took the cable car up the mountain for...