Email/Newsletter Update: Issue #22
Lisa and Joel's Excellent Adventure: Issue 22

-Good New and Bad News!-
by Lisa A. Listro and Joel A. Sward

Good news and bad news.  First the bad news --
Tuesday, July 3rd, day 365 of Lisa and Joel's
Excellent Adventure, one year to the day from when we
set out, started like a day like any other.

The plan was to “max it out” and further check out the
scene in St. Petersburg, Russia.  We went to The
Summer Garden and then The Hermitage.  The Hermitage
is simply amazing.  The building itself is incredible
and the collection of art and rare treasures is one of
the best in the world.  We were in a great mood as we
snapped a picture for the front page of the web-site
in the square in front of the Winter Palace next to
Alexander’s Column, with “Digi”  (our digital camera).
Sadly though, that would be the last time we ever saw

We were hungry after half a day of exploring, so it
was off to the golden arches. (Before you give us a
hard time for eating at McDonald's, try traveling
independently in Russia first.) McDonald’s was packed!
So much so, that we decided to leave.  On the way out
two young Russian boys were holding everyone up
between the two doors exiting the restaurant. Everyone
got sandwiched inside and people where pushing and
shoving.  When we finally got out and walked about 20
feet, Lisa yelled “Joel, your pack is totally open –
and Digi is gone!”  We ran back to McDonald’s, looked
all through the restaurant and even tried to ask a few
employees for help, but they couldn’t speak a word of
English.  After walking around the block a few times,
we gave up and went back to the apartment in disgust.

We figure the two Russian boys who held us up in the
exit-way were in on it.  They, along with a couple
other of their cohorts, probably saw us take a picture
and put Digi in the top of Joel’s pack back at
Alexander’s Column.  Then they followed us to
McDonald’s, two of them purposely stalled us in the
exit-way and the others opened Joel’s pack and grabbed
Digi from behind.  Joel mistook someone opening his
pack and stealing the camera for just pushing and
shoving and it was that easy – they got away
scott-free.  Little bastards!  They’re lucky Joel just
didn’t happen to look back at the exact moment they
were in his pack or someone would have gotten the shit
beaten out of them.  Joel even has a little padlock on
the zipper of his pack, but he got in the bad habit of
not using it.  You just don’t expect someone to open
your backpack, in broad daylight, in a public place,
without you yourself, seeing, hearing, or even feeling

Now the good news.  Today is Sunday, July 15th, day
376 of this wild ride, and it has truly been a great
day!  We took a stroll, and relaxed by a pond in
Vondel Park.  It was a beautiful sunny day.  Lunch was
a glass of chardonnay and a roasted chicken sandwich
next to a beautiful canal.  You get the idea -- nice
and relaxing.  Things are looking much different than
they did just after the robbery of Digi. We just
bought a new digital camera.  (The attached image is
the first picture we took with it.)  We are in
Amsterdam, in The Netherlands, and things are good. We
plan on finishing out Lisa and Joel's Excellent
Adventure in typical "max it out" style so check out
the web site and stay tuned for the next installment
of the newsletter.

Take care,

Lisa and Joel

Attached photo: Two Faces That Just Traveled The
World, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
(c) Lisa and Joel's Excellent Adventure 2001. All
rights reserved.
Lisa Listro and Joel Sward are currently unemployed,
homeless world travelers.  For more information on
their adventure see
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