June 14, 2012, One Year Anniversary

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June 14th 2012
Published: June 15th 2012
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A burger from where I work.A burger from where I work.A burger from where I work.

That's 3 pounds of beef (1.361 kg) in there. Eat it in less than 30 minutes and it's free.
Please click on the entry to see the full text and all photos.

So it was on this day a year ago, June 14th2011 that I left Vegas and the States to start my South American odyssey. A whole year has passed and I can’t believe it. I know it sounds cliché, but it doesn’t seem like I have been away that long. I feel as if I could go on for a while longer.

As a matter of fact, there are only 2 things keeping me from extending my odyssey. One is money. Hey the funds are running low (now if you want to donate to the Keep Dave Oliver Traveling Fund I do accept Visa and American Express). The second reason is I do have a job to go back to. If I did the calculation right I am due back to work on August 3rd. Returning to work after 14 months off will suck. But walking back into a job and having a paycheck within 2 weeks or 3 at the longest is a good feeling. And of course I am planning on arriving back in Vegas only a day or 2 at the
A burger from where I work.A burger from where I work.A burger from where I work.

Another pic just for perspective.
most before I have to go back to my J.O.B. so I hope that is enough time to find my work shoes, knives, and employee ID. I have things stored at 4 different places around town.

Today also marks one year since I have had Mc Donald’s. When I changed planes in Atlanta on my way to Bogotá I had a few hours layover so I stopped and had a Big Mac combo. I didn’t really plan on that being my last time eating at Micky D’s in over a year, but that’s just how it worked out. I have spent most of my time in small towns and no Micky D’s was not around. There was one fairly close by when I was in Bogotá, but the choice came down to Mc Donald’s or the best steakhouse in Bogotá. And although it isn’t close to some of the steakhouses we have in Vegas, the choice was easy. Of course I have a blog on that which I still have to complete.

I know some people are asking why would you eat at Mc Donald’s when you are in another country. Well I’m American and we eat burgers. After a couple of months I was dying for a good burger. Plus it is always an interesting experience to see what kinds of things are offered at a Mc Donald’s in another country. When I was in Poland I had a Mc Kielbasa, a Polish sausage on a bun which was great. As for the Mc Donald’s in India I had a great vegetarian burger when I was there. Now why was I eating a vegetarian burger? Well in India there isn’t any beef or pork available, since the Muslims don’t eat pork and the Hindus don’t eat beef. So your only choices are chicken burgers and vegetarian burgers. If the veggie burgers that they had in India were available in the US I would have actually have one every once in a while.

Is now the time for me to go into my rant why India, while a part of BRIC, will actually never be a superpower? Well maybe not since this is about my South American trip, but let’s just say you simply can’t be a superpower if you don’t have bacon cheeseburgers in your country, or even the ability
A sandwich from Merida, Venezuela.A sandwich from Merida, Venezuela.A sandwich from Merida, Venezuela.

I mean really can you call it a burger if it less than 10% beef? From a street vendor.
to make one. I mean really, no pork and no beef?? A country like that shouldn’t really be in charge of anything. But I digress.

Anyways two months into my trip I was craving a great burger, or I would have even settled for a good one. Other places have burgers, or what passes for a burger in their country. Burgers in South America seem to consist of bread, 2 or 3 different kinds of sauces, sometimes quail eggs, ham, avocado, fried egg, potato chips, french fries (not a bad idea), tomatoes, and a butt load of lettuce. I mean really it is more like a salad on a bun. And finally, almost as an afterthought is some meat. The meat makes up less than 10%!o(MISSING)f the hamburger.

September in Ibagué, where I spent most of my time in Colombia, a few of the volunteers went to “the good burger place” at the only mall in town. Let me just say that I am embarrassed to say what I paid for a below average burger. Anyways by the time I left Colombia six months had passed since I ate at
Another burger from Merida, Venezuela this one from a restaurant.Another burger from Merida, Venezuela this one from a restaurant.Another burger from Merida, Venezuela this one from a restaurant.

They also bring 8 different sauces to your table for your burger. BTW, that is considered the "large" order of fries.
Mc Donald’s. While I was in Quito, Ecuador there was a Micky D’s about 6 blocks from the hostel where I was staying. One Sunday evening I was walking with someone else from the hostel I was staying at and we were looking for a place to eat. Of course being a Sunday in South America most everything is closed. We ended up on a corner with Mc Donald’s on one side and a KFC on the other. While trying to decide which one to go eat at I realized that it had been 6 months since I had Mc Donald’s, probably one of the longest times I had gone without it. So it was then and there that I made the choice to see if I could go the whole trip without hitting up a Micky D’s.

Since making the decision, I actually only came across a Mc Donald’s in 5 different cities. When I fly back to the states I will probably have a layover in the ATL so I will probably hit up Micky D’s at the airport, making it the last meal I had in the states and the first one upon my
8 different sauces for your burger.8 different sauces for your burger.8 different sauces for your burger.

Bleu cheese, BBQ, garlic, ketchup, mustard, etc. It didn't occur to me until later that if you have to offer 8 different kinds of sauce you probably don't have a very good burger.
return. Of course I won’t consider that I had a good burger until I get to Smashburger, In-N-Out, Fatburger, or the Kobe sliders at Wolfgang Puck’s CUT.

I have only 7 weeks left and that means that the countdown clock has started and it only get louder each day. Damn, that is hard to think about. On the other hand I do have 7 weeks left so that’s a good thing. Seven weeks of vacation sounds good (unless of course you are coming off of a year vacation). And maybe, just maybe I will finally get around to finishing some of the blog entries that I have already started. We shall see. Here is to a great year, because a bad day on vacation is still better than a good day at work.


Additional photos below
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Now I think we have the beginning of a great burger. Now I think we have the beginning of a great burger.
Now I think we have the beginning of a great burger.

She seems to be thinking the same thing.

15th June 2012

Awesome work on one year of travel Dave! I hope I can achieve the same. Whats the plan for the next 7 weeks? -Adam (jeri + pipa)

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