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Tourism in Afghanistan & Pakistan – 1 (or Afternoon Tea & Scones with Karen Sprague)…

I have been asked a great number of times why I am going to Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran… The comments/questions always follow the line of A) Why would anyone ever want to go there? or B) You’re going to die…

The questioners/commenters may be right. I might get beheaded. However, they could die driving to work tomorrow. They’re definitely going to die at some point. Perhaps gargling to death on froth corrupted lungs in a hospital bed as cancer consumes their lungs… Drooling over themselves and pissing in their beds as their once sharp minds continue to deteriorate… The last of their children’s inheritance being consumed by doctors, nurses and hospitals to keep a heart beating in an empty, worthless husk of carbon… I’d rather be beheaded.

The point is that we’re all going to die at some point. I’d rather die from living too much than die after a long life of lethargy, boredom and pointlessness, getting in everyone’s way. To me, that’s no different than simply dying slowly…

However, this does not answer the question as to why I am choosing to go in the first place…

It’s a little more complicated than a desire for cool passport stamps (although the visas and stamps do look pretty cool).

Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran are the center of action and excitement now that Iraq has calmed down. I know there are some exciting zones in Africa, such as Somalia, but they’re getting nowhere near the play nor are the stakes as high as in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran. I crave the excitement this region promises as well as the refreshing newness it will present to me. I like the feeling of being in the thick of things – where important events are taking place and where history is being shaped. It’s more complex than simply being a war tourist or an adventure traveler though…

My observation has been that our impressions of reality are completely distorted by media images we receive and process. In every instance in which I have had an impression of something formed from the media, that perception has altered radically when I visit the location or person in question myself. So, I wish to see things for myself and to form my own views on this region of the world we hear so much about…

I suppose my primary motivation though is that I wish to reach a human extreme. I wish to cleanse myself of the lingering disgust fostered from a miserable existence driving back and forth between a gray cubicle in a gray corporate office and a gray apartment… I see war as the ultimate frontier of human experience…

I seek an atmosphere that chainsaws through your senses…

My own thoughts on death and war? I do go to one of the most volatile regions on Earth partially as an adventure. Perhaps I’ll get into the ultimate death trip? I won’t be unhappy though. Quite the opposite. I’m sure I’ll be delighted with what the war offers me: chicks, kicks, cash and chaos; teenage punk dreams turned real and wrapped in gunsmoke. It’s an environment I can adapt to and can get off on. I can leer and posture as much as anyone else, roll my shoulders and swagger through stories of mayhem. And I can get angry about the tragedy of it all. But what does it amount to? Everything I have seen and experienced so far in my life has confirmed my views about the pointlessness of existence, the basic brutality of life and the godlessness of the universe. But however oblivious to my own death I am, I see no reason to allow the needless suffering of other living things. Perhaps retaining a sense of compassion may seem the only victory one can possibly achieve against the madness of the world?

I’ll be fine. I have money. I can eat and I can leave. I can savor discomfort as an experience rather than be overwhelmed by it…

I don’t know what is going to happen on this trip. That’s the appeal… But, it’s getting late. I’m tired. My ramblings seem to be making no sense anymore…

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3 thoughts on “Tourism in Afghanistan & Pakistan – 1 (or Afternoon Tea & Scones with Karen Sprague)…

  1. Dear Speed,
    I was one of the first opposing voices from the start in questioning the total impact of all that would affected if you were harmed in anyway. However, Since your first trips to the middleeast, I have come to realized the depth of your need for advanture and sincerley respect it. I have honesntly ponder the fact you have been recruited out of college into the CIA or covert OPs agency…Liberty Mutual Insurance employeement was only a cover job… Ha ha…..You are blessed with having the worldly adventures around the world. Not to mention the good fortune of finding LOVE on your journey. You are truley blessed to enjoy such advebtures while young and reep the glory of a wisdom filled youth by documenting it all on the VR. I am very proud of you SPEED and wissh to meet you and the Italain both someday soon.Remember, Now that you are returning to the grey cubicle of Ins.and daily commute to duldrums of the career. You are a wiser and richer in life experience and have learned that a smaller, more intiment group to work all day with will better suit you. I am in dis agreement still in your preception of “I see war as the ultimate frontier of human experience” . This comment SPEED is from a young man full of life. However, has never exdperienced true ultimate frontier of human experience of becoming a father! I am here to tell ya SPEED, holding your child for the first time, swelling with a bond & pride undescribable to you until you have your first….. Ask Brandon, I am sure he will agree with me. Then one will re assess one priorities about everything in life…. Only then do you start to realized all else is second toy your child/ children.L, enjoy the world, live life at the Speed of Mach 5, enjoy the adventure of youth, You have many cherrished gifts ahead of you that will dwarf the most exciting adventure you have had… First words, frist steps, shooting hoop at two years old and again at ten years old…. first school concert or play. Camping & fishing with your child…. this is why I drudge on in my carbon based shell feeling the wear and tear of old age back weekly to an eviroment that harbors the most negitive energies of society, to pay the bills and provide the best life I can for my son. I dream of traveling to the Med. sea and visit Spain and maybe even Israel someday. However, I would never trade or replace the adventures of fatherhood! I love you SPEED racer! remember you are protected bye your bless bus token that keeps leading you home.
    Stay on Mach5, Love RacerX

  2. Dear Speed,
    I was one of the first opposing voices from the start in questioning the total impact of all that would affected if you were harmed in anyway when traveling to the middleeast just for adventure. However, Since your first trips to the middleast, I have come to realized the depth of your need for advanture and sincerley respect it. I have honesntly ponder the fact you have been recruited out of college into the CIA or covert OPs agency…Liberty Mutual Insurance employeement was only a cover job… Ha ha…..You are blessed with having the worldly adventures a broad. Not to mention the good fortune of finding LOVE on your journey. You are truley blessed to enjoy such advetures while young and reep the glory of a wisdom filled youth by documenting it all on the VR. I am very proud of you SPEED and wish to meet you and the Italain both someday soon. Remember, Now that you are returning to the grey cubicle of Ins.and daily commute to duldrums of the career. You are wiser and richer in life experience and have learned that a smaller, more intiment group to work all day with will better suit you. I am in dis agreement still in your preception of “I see war as the ultimate frontier of human experience” . This comment SPEED is from a young man full of life. However, has never exdperienced true ultimate frontier of human experience of becoming a father! I am here to tell ya SPEED, holding your child for the first time, swelling with a bond & pride undescribable to you until you have your first….. Ask Brandon, I am sure he will agree with me. Then one will re assess one priorities about everything in life…. Only then do you start to realized all else is second to your child/ children. enjoy the world, live life at the Speed of Mach 5, enjoy the adventure of youth, You have many cherrished gifts ahead of you that will dwarf the most exciting adventure you have had so far… First words, frist steps, shooting hoop at two years old and again at ten years old…. first school concert or play. Camping & fishing with your child…. this is why I drudge on in my carbon based shell, feeling the wear and tear of old age, back weekly to an eviroment that harbors the most negitive energies of society, to pay the bills and provide the best life I can for my son. I dream of traveling to the Med. sea and visit Spain and maybe even Israel someday. However, I would never trade or replace the adventures of fatherhood! I love you SPEED racer! remember you are protected bye your blessed bus token that keeps leading you home.
    Stay on Mach5, Love RacerX

  3. Well that’s the way it is… Media’s always manipulating public opinion… I read your post about Pakistan when a taxi driver’s nephew showed you the city on his motor bike… All of us aren’t rogue… Although there are certain large factions… Even they were once powered by the same forces opposing them now a days… Anyways… Happy touring… Have fun…
    BTW what’s with the “burst” of blog posts??? It took me a couple of days to go through recent posts…

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