About The Country Club

The Country Club exists to divert its members by recording and comparing members’ travels. There are 194 UN Member States/Official Observor, and we are trying to visit them all. Check our progress on the Club Ladder, to the right, or by clicking the link for the List of Countries Visited below that. Curious how we count? Click The Country Club By-Laws link.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Not a Google Photo

Mr Secretary

Many thanks for your multiple club updates.  They prodded me to report my recent visit to India. Despite my 3-year sojourn in Pakistan, this was my first visit to India where I did the needful w a Kingfisher.  Photo (not from Google) attached. 

Mr W

Low Hanging Fruit Cocktails

Dear Mr. Secretary,

Greetings from St Vincent and the Grenadines! The beer is cold, the water warm and the hospitality just right, chillin’

I have to confess to having been a bit lax in updates recently. For which my most humble apologies. Contrary to perhaps appearances I have not just been putting on a cheeky spurt, but I have bagged a small brace over the last 12 months:
-          Uganda
-          Tanzania
-          Kenya
-          Vietnam 
-          St Vincent

Which I believe brings me to 69? And one more trip to the Caribbean later this year with maybe a chance of a few more low hanging fruit cocktails. The shirt-jack is pressed, and being thoroughly modern no tie is required, so I am just off to the yacht club to see what the options are for perhaps another little spurt later in the year.

With my warm regards to you and your very charming better half as always.


[Sec'y's note:  Mr Rhodes had previously reported Tanzania and his total stands at 66].

Lima Larco

Mr. Secretary,

I'm pleased to report a new country visit in Peru. Lima is a lovely
city that I highly recommend to all club members.  While there, don't
miss the Larco Museum (http://www.museolarco.org/), which has a
breathtakingly good collection of pre-Columbian artifacts as well as
lovely gardens and restaurant.
I did the needful in Peru in many ways, with pisco, pino gris, campari and etc.

Off to another new country next week, but will save that for a separate mail.

Mr W

Mr C gets very high

Thanks Mr. Secretary. 

Since then:  a trip to Honduras and a trip to Lethoso.

So the new total is 89.  

With deep regards,

Mr. C 

Mr. Secretary:

Further to my last communication, I am happy to report that my new total has risen to 87….with a ground breaking visit to a new region for me….a trip to the UAE.   Attached please find photgraphic evidence of this trip….a view from the Burg Kalifa, 148 stories up.

Lest you think that I used taxpayer dollars to finance such foolishness…..let me remind you that all costs associated with the visit to the building were paid by myself.  

Next week, I am off to Honduras, filling a long standing hole in my Central American visit record.   I shall report that when the time comes.

Your truly,

Mr C

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Whiteman in Patna

(Sec'ys note -- Mr N's List already included South Sudan, so the China visit moves him to 75 Countries and tied with Mr W.  

Mr Secretary,

I have been to South Sudan and China since my last update.  No pictures to prove these visits, but I can assure you that I did drink in each of these locations (especially in Juba!).
Thanks for moving me up the list, and I think above Mr. Warshauer and just behind Mr. Brady.
Mr N

let me add a recent photo from Patna India, which is an oft-visited country on my list...

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Mr H Finds His Mojo

Inspired by Mr C's spreadsheet audit, and motivated by our esteemed secretary nipping at my heels, I looked at my own spreadsheets.  I have not posted a blog or new country in years, and fear that I may be losing my traveling mojo.  Or I'm in groundhog's day, visiting the same places over and over again.  

To my delight, and chagrin, I found 2 missing visits -- Finland and Lesotho.  I visited Finland when I was still begging for money.  Vodkas were had.  I visited Lesotho for a day last year, when I was checking (edited -- something work-y). I fear I was only there for a day, arriving early AM, and leaving at cocktail hour.  Hopefully, the beer I quaffed while running to catch my plane in the Lesotho airport gets this trip across the country club qualifying threshold.  

After reaching the century mark a few years ago, my country numbers have largely stagnated.  I need to get creative, or risk a continued stall on the club ladder.....

Tres Cervezas Por Favor

Mr Secretary,

Hope you are well and you and Ms van H had a fun trip to PANAMA!

My trip to ECUADOR was great: customs were cleared of course, and alcoholic beverages consumed
in the form of cervezas pequenas y grandes, micheladas and mojitos. A beautiful place! And, although
no concrete country-plans for next year yet, I am determined to break even with Hillary's achievement as 
Secretary of State (116).


Mr v/d Z

Sec'y's note -- Ms van H and yours truly did indeed travel to Panama in December, sipping many things Chilean to make the visit qualifying.  

Mr E Goes to Sri Lobster!

Mr. Secretary,
After several years of repeat visits to far flung places like Namibia, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Senegal, Ethiopia, South Africa and Kenya,
per attached evidence, I am pleased to report a first visit to Sri Lanka where Lion Lager, red wine, Talisker and some serious prawns - more like lobsters - were consumed ...
Alas, a 27th country to the subset of Golfing Country Visits was prevented by torrential rain, and so I remain on 26, still leading Mr. Chapman by 8 and where are the rest of you ....? Criteria are simple - did you play there or not (and have a beverage of appropriate type afterwards)! Spreadsheet attached for your consideration (ed note -- attached under the List of Countries Visited).

Mr. Earle ... they call me Speedoo but my real name is ...

Mr C: 5 Steps Forward and 2 Steps Back

Dear Mr. Secretary:

I have gone through the "countries visited" spreadsheet and humbly offer the following corrections and additions:

1.  In the Pacific Ocean spreadsheet, you will notice that the cell assigned to "percent" under my column is not working.  Kindly attend to this.

2. Unlike what I assume is the case with other members, scoundrels that they be, when I reviewed this spreadsheet I took the care to identify countries listed as "visited" yet I have no clear recollection of such.  Surely these mistakes are connected to the office of the Secretary.   Thus, kindly delete Peru and Turkmenistan from my list of countries.

3.  To the contrary, tho, I am proud to add the following countries:   Columbia, Paraguay, Portugal, South Sudan and most recently, Pakistan.  Although photographic evidence of such visits is lacking, I invite you to contact the PSI Country Representatives in said countries for proof.   Many, months and even years later, are still reeling from these visits and would be glad to recount as necessary the details of such.

In sum, then, Mr Secretary (assuming I can trust your spreadsheet veracity as to beginning balance):

Beginning Balance: 83
Additions:                  5
Sub total                   88
Deletions                  2
Total                         86

It is my sincere hope to keep Mr. Earle at bay.

With regards,


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Haiti execution

Mr WW wrote today with the following:

"I write to let you know of a new country visit (no independence referendum required).  I visited Haiti earlier this week and did the needful with a Prestige beer.    My strategy to join a company with operations in 9 countries not on my list is beginning to bear fruit.....

Below is photographic evidence from the lovely central plateau region. "

Friday, August 8, 2014

v/d Z consumes Tigre

Hey Sec'y,

Vietnam was great, both Hanoi and Ha Long Bay, and of course I consumed the local Tigre and Hanoi beer…



v/d Z

Friday, July 11, 2014

Morning Buds & v/d Z apparently consumes fermented yak milk

Mr W reports:

Mr. Secretary: After an exceedingly long drought, I'm pleased to announce a new country visit to South Korea. I did the needful with a Budweiser at (AM. I am neither in the habit of drinking Budweiser, nor generally beer of any type at 9AM, but cicrumstances and the Club Rules dictated. Happily, I anticipate some new visits, as I have taken a new job. While I am unclear what exactly this company does, I do know that they have offices in 30 countries, including 7 countries I have not yet visited. Tally Ho!

Mr v/d Z reports
I had a great time in Ulan Bator, MONGOLIA, where of course I consumed the usual alcoholic beverages.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Number 111

Mr v/d Z reports that he is currently in Cartagena, Colombia, his 111th country, consuming as one must and does.  This is the first country club visit this year for any of our fine members.  Not slowing down, are we?

Mr Brady total on the club ladder was adjusted upward by one to 77 to equal his total on the List of Countries Visited.

yr sec'y.  -s

Monday, December 23, 2013

Three Members, Three Continents

Mr Negus reported a November visit to Burma and Messrs v/d Z and B report visits in South America and Africa below.  

Mr v/d Z reports:

The good news: I managed to combine my workshop in Bariloche, ARGENTINA, with a weekend Andes cross-over into CHILI, both in which local wines were consumed. And to top the itinerary, I complemented last weekend in Buenos Aires - what a great town, perhaps in my top three worldwide - with a day's ferry return to Colonia, URUGUAY, which I remembered you having told about as interesting TCC option a decade ago. In other words: I keep on the speed... 110!

Mr B reports

Dear fellow Country Clubbers

Alas after a long hiatus I spent a few weeks in Cameroon this October – the first time for me in West/Central Africa.  I am happy that my work was focused on supporting PSI - based in Yaounde.  A few days trying to get around in Douala was more than enough (Douala has a “mini Lagos” reputation).

As per my escapist tendencies, and the rules of this venerable club, Various drinks were consumed – including palm wine!

Although given the humid climate, I ended most days sampling a wide range of beers.  Cameroon has one of the most diverse selections of beer in Africa. Les Sociétés Anonymes des Brasseries du Cameroun (SABC or BC) is the main brewer, with an interesting ownership profile. Les Brasseries et Glaceries d'Indochine (BGI) owns a 75% shareHeineken 8.8% and of course Cameroon's president, Paul Biya’s hand is in this profitable business. Les Brasseries brews, bottles, and distributes: "33" Export, Beaufort, Castel, and Tuborg, as well as three beers from De Hooiberg (The Haystack): AmstelHeineken andMützig.

I hope to hear about more global exploration from all of you in the coming year

 - All the best


A Long Way from Lilongwe

Mr Secretary

Proof from David Greeley of imbibing in an alcoholic beverage in rural Malawi, a new country for our beloved Founder.  Says our exalted leader "It's a LONG WAY from Lilongwe"

David Greeley

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Zim, Zam, Zoom!

Dear Mr Secretary,

Greetings from the bottom rung!  

I would like to confirm travel to Zimbabwe and Zambia.  Here are photos of my dive into Devil’s Pond, Vic Falls, Livingstone, and myself with the boyz at The Big Tree (a habitual meeting place for Mr Livingstone and his buddies) on the Zimbabwe side of the Falls. This brings my total to 45 countries visited.  

I remain swinging happily from the bottom rung.
Ms Ridley

Monday, August 19, 2013

Dear Members,

It is with regret that we have received notice of the death, after a long illness, of Mr Sempliner on 16 August 2013.  

Mr Sempliner was elected in 2004, entering the List at 45 countries.  He immediately protested the absence of a definite article in the names of many countries.  Some of his recommendations were easy on the modern ear, such as The Netherlands and The United Kingdom.  Others, such as The Lebanon and The Argentine, less so.  Much Club conversation and deliberation ensued and today our fine list holds several parenthetical references in a nod to Mr Sempliner's preferences.

Mr Sempliner visited nine countries during his membership, namely Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Burundi, Rwanda, Congo, Kenya and The Philippines.  His missive, from Peking (his word), in 2011, requesting the recording of a visit to China, was rejected as redundant based on pre-1999 visits to Hong Kong and Macau.  He replied that there was some satisfaction having gone to the "heart of the beast."

Mr Sempliner, ever competitive in the great traditions of our club, was uncomfortable at the lower end of our The Club Ladder and made the suggestion in 2010 that the By-Laws be amended to narrow the criteria for a country visited to a visit done and a drink had without subsidy from one's employer.  Less Club conversation and deliberation ensued and the proposed amendment was rejected.  

Mr Sempliner made mention in the Club's proceedings in 2011 of his presence in Tokyo Narita during the earthquake that resulted in a tsunami and Mr Sempliner spending a night sleeping in a terminal "for the first time in many years."  

Mr Sempliner was a close confident of many in the Club, particularly Messrs C and D, and Ms v/H.   One of my dearest memories will be playing golf with him in The Democratic Republic of the Congo during his visit there.  Other memories from members welcome.

Mr Sempliner will rest in peace at 18th on the Club Ladder and 54 Countries Visited.  

With sadness, yr sec'y. 

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Mr P announces visits to Haiti, Oman, Qatar and UAE -- up to 68 countries.  

Close observers of these proceedings may have noticed that none has appeared for the past 15 months.  That says more about your secretary than the peripatetic members.  Countries have been visited!  Apologies to members whose travel may not be recorded here; a quick review of the List, always merited, will both confirm its completeness and inspire movement.

Our founder and beloved chairman visited Uganda, Governor D Switzerland, Ms v H Russia, Mr B Bangladesh and yrs truly Angola, Colombia and Peru.
Mr v/d Z visited Kenya, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe Zambia, Qatar, Ethiopia, Somalia, Djibouti and Uganda, rocketing into first place, with 105 countries, past our leader for the past decade, Mr H., who remains at 101.  :-)

VTY, yr sec'y.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Guinness Will Leave St James Gate Brewery in 10760

Mr Secretary, 

I just returned from a tour of the Guinness brewery in Dublin, which is subject to a 9000 year lease by Arthur Guinness.  We had the obligatory tasting session and enjoyed the fab view from the brewery's top floor. The black beer smells nice and hoppy but, in the end after a taste, I preferered the French sauvignon blanc to toast to the new country. 


Ms v/H

[From Wikipedia: Arthur Guinness started brewing ales from 1759 at the St. James's Gate Brewery, Dublin. On 31 December 1759 he signed (up to) a 9,000 year lease at £45 per annum for the unused brewery.]

Sunday, April 1, 2012

v/d Z flies to top from down under

Mr Sec'y,

The Climate Change review panel tour returned to Auckland Sunday morning. We visited the Marshall Islands (serious vulnerability), Fiji, Micronesia, Tonga, Kiribati and Western Samoa. Mostly hotel drinks -- I'll send the details when I can. Guess the club can celebrate its 10th anniversary this year with a new leader. Looks like I may get a bunch more a year from today -- conference is in the Caribbean.

[Sec'y's note: Mr v/d Z, at 102 countries, now stands on top of the List of Countries Visited].

Monday, March 19, 2012

v/d Z consumes anchor

Mr v/d Z wrote "anchor and pinot noir were consumed in Malaysia and New Zealand!"

Rien de Mali

Yr sec'y met Mr Brady in Bamako. Photos were taken (as was merlot), but sadly are not yet in our possession!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Mr G Climbs

Mr G is on the climb -- country number 62, Ethiopia, and a tie with Mr K.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Mr B @ Work

Just completed a 4 day sejour on the Bahamas. I assure you – this required dedicating myself 24/7 to schmooze a range of donors. In any event it puts me at 76 countries, still 5 countries behind the very worldly Mr. Earle. As you can imagine it was tough putting on shoes and a jacket while staying at the Vegasesque Atlantis resort on Paradise Island (along with 2,500 other Caribbean HIV conference attendees). Here you see me here sipping a tasty Kalik Gold lager (doing the needful), and munching on a conch salad. The Bahamas stand apart from many of its Caribbean brethren in terms of its successful offshore banking and general cleanliness. Amazing that within this orderly environment more than 3% of the adult population is living with HIV (mainly due to the extremely large Haitian migrant workforce).

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Peace Building Movement

After a bit of break I am back on the road and looking for points. Next week I will be in Ethiopia for some low hanging fruit, but this week a slightly more prickly pear to pluck, North Sudan. In fact I was here a few weeks ago, and to my shame, not appreciating local customs fully, I failed to meet all club requirements. However, a second bite of the prickly pear and I was better prepared; with exceptionally strong (and rule compliant) mouth-wash especially imported from Loretto, Kentucky. A hard earned point but I believe but a point all the same.

Attached, also find a photo of an amusing sign I happened to see hanging discretely above the gents (or rather the "The Peace Building Toilet") in the office of a UN agency I happened to visit (and obviously won’t mention to avoid unnecessary embarrassment). But I must say, when I whipped out my iPhone to take a snap, I got a very dirty look from an earnest looking young women in the impeccably tasteful, global-and-yet-oh-so-ethnic-and-at-one-with-the-downtrodden-at-the-same-time, ‘neck ornament’ - but hang em’; A couple of us thought it was very funny. And if you can’t laugh at a bit of toilet humor...

So I wish all club members, peace-building movements, wherever their destination.



Monday, November 7, 2011

The World's Newest Country

Greetings from Juba in South Sudan, the world's newest country. Tonight I did the needful with the locally brewed "White Bull" beer while dining on the banks of the Nile. To be confirmed by our secretary, but I believe this moves me from 9th place to a tie at 8th with Mr. Negus. I only regret that delayed permits prevented me from visiting Khartoum on this same trip and making it a two-fer. Next time......

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Dar es Salaam Chapter Meeting

Messrs Karam, Earle and Chapman, with Special Guests, Messrs Manchester and Crapper, combined Club business with queries relating to Another Club such as "what was the name of our first representative in Eritrea?" [Mr Earle retrieved the answer in a mere a 48 hours; by that standard, I'm sure the rest of us would have come up with an answer by the end of the year]. All conversations concluded with a tale of our Dear Founder in the early 90s. Odd that. Mr Earle noted concern that some members appear to be actually trying to visit countries. Firm denials were issued all around.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

3G = Ghana, Golf and Goats

Mr Secretary,

After a fine game of golf at the Celebrity Golf Club in Accra Ghana today, there
ensued a discussion on whether the course was to be qualified as a goat track
or not. The participants in the earlier match between Ghana and China did not
seem to be occupied too much with this issue, nor was I as my golf partner
and I had won the game by the time we Teed off the 16th hole. The cool Star
beer afterwards helped settle the issue, the caddies received a nice tip and
we all agreed that, as nobody had lost a ball in the lagoon nor was anyone
bitten by a viper, plus that the scorecards were sponsored by Porsche, the
course was not quite a goat track. With that, I humbly report my visit to a
new country. MvH

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Bob Sahib @ One Tuna Beach

Mr Secretary,
Lovely Lion Lager on the Beach of Unawatuna, Sri Lanka! You would love it here even more than India - colonial and clubby for sure, yet cleaner, fewer touts, and dynamism post civil war! Bob v/d Z

Sunday, August 7, 2011

VDZ: Ain't No C2H6O Where He's Gone

Mr Secretary,

I am writing to report that I visited KUWAIT (new country) en route back from South Korea (not new). Painfully, I searched for two days the entire city, and every corner of every single mall in this town, but I can assure you: there ain’t any C2H6O in that country. Thank you for having confirmed that this is indeed a visited country according to Article 3.1.

Bob vdZ

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Washington Chapter Meeting

[Mr Sempliner's absence being noted, a quorum was present]

Katrinka writes:

With Malcolm D-nald as our beloved benchmark -- I'd say we all look prettttty darn good, quoi. Will, shabash on hosting in your beautiful home; Andrew, great to have u back in town, and a good excuse for a gathering, Steve, thanks for the ride, country club stories and chocolate motorcycle, Peter, a real treat to get you to stay up past your bedtime and good on you for keeping PSI en forme, quoi. And Daveed -- always a delight to catch up with you; we promise to visit u at your air-conditioned digs at Walter Reed. As for jobs -- I hear there might be an opening as CD for PNG...

Love you guys,

Our founder writes:

Great picture, great time, great summary, and maybe worth inclusion in the notes for the Country Club as an ad hoc Membership get together, even though no drinks were visibly noticeable in the picture.

If anyone needs to reach me tonight, you can find me in one of DC's cooling shelters, I think near the Armory


1. The Chapter had a lively conversation about The Good Old Days, which none could clearly remember.

2. We drifted in and out of a largely substance free discussion concerning Article 3.4 of Our By-Laws, with our Founder concluding, in a nod to revisionism, that it made no sense. Here is the Article in question:

"3.4 A Visited Country that, subsequent to the qualifying visit, splits into two or more countries, can only be counted as a single Visited Country. The Member will elect which of the issuing countries shall be recorded as a Visited Country."

3. The Chapter gave the highest of praise to the gracious hosting and culinary skills of our dearest member, Mr W!!

VTY, yr sec'y

Friday, July 15, 2011

Two for None

Our newest member, Mr PC, visits two countries, frugally.

Excuse my informality, and certainly this incorrect method of notification. But I hereby and boldly lay claim to my 82nd and 83rd countries respectively: Papua New Guinea and Australia. The latter having been visited in full conformance with the appropriate by laws of this fine club, yet without having secured in advance the absolutely necessary visa. The ensuing difficulties at the border form the stuff of legends, yet I will spare you the details in this missive, knowing full well as I do that official club communication protocol requires that members relate such details only while suitably armed with liquid refreshment of the type normally served in such establishments where the purpose of dialogue speaks to the higher and more, shall we say, refined principles of communication.

As to photographic proofs of my exploits, as have been submitted by some of our esteemed membership in similar circumstances, I can only plead that my usual personal staff were not in my company, and thus the necessary assistance was not available to record these events on any media, whether that be using my habitual chemical plates, or using the latest technology, which I take as being some sort of photographic film. Yet I would only be too happy to show you my passport, which indeed does bear the markings of the official border entries and sorties affixed by the appropriate authorities in the performances of their duties. As to whether I consumed liquid refreshment during these visits of the type that is normally reserved for gentlemen such as I, I trust that my reputation well precedes me and I beg your forbearance in lieu of any sort of formal evidence to same. I would, however, be only too glad to provide references as it seems that I need to settle some accounts with the various establishments visited in the course of my travels, as I was unaccountably short of the local currencies, and I had promised to wire the appropriate remittances upon my return.

I remain, Sir, in your debt, and I look forward to your speedy confirmation of my exploits, secure in the knowledge that I am fully and irrevocably in possession of 4th place, absent any dubious claims by Mr. Earle.

South Sudan Becomes 193rd UN Member State; Club Denominator Changes to 194


South Sudan Becomes 193rd Member of United Nations

Friday, July 15th, 2011 at 9:15 am UTC
Posted 3 minutes ago

The national flag of newly independent South Sudan has been raised outside the United Nations after becoming the world body's 193rd member on Thursday.

Hundreds of diplomats gathered outside U.N. headquarters in New York to see the flag being raised for the first time after the U.N. General Assembly admitted the country by acclamation.

On Friday, a U.N. telecommunication agency made another gesture in recognition of South Sudan's landmark independence.

The International Telecommunication Union assigned South Sudan a 211 dialing code at the country's request.

The number symbolizes the year South Sudan became its own country after approving a referendum in January.

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has praised Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir and South Sudan's President Salva Kiir for ensuring that the south's referendum for independence and its results were honored. He said the north and south share a common destiny and must see a future as true partners, not rivals.

The world's newest nation declared independence on Saturday, splitting from Sudan. The two sides fought a bloody 21-year civil war that ended in 2005.

The now neighboring countries are still trying to work out disputes over borders and oil revenue. The Ethiopian government says it has started deploying troops to the disputed Abyei region this week. The U.N. Security Council recently authorized deployment of a 4,200 strong-Ethiopian peacekeeping force to monitor the situation there.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Just One More Thing...

Mr. Secretary,

Colombo. Wasn’t there a 70’s TV detective by (almost) the same name? If so, he’d doubtless be able to put me at the Taj Hotel in Colombo in the attached photo. But he’d probably have known that that glass I’m holding isn’t really an alcoholic beverage. Nor is it a purple Japanese fighting fish. It’s just the floral decoration from table where I’m sitting. You couldn’t get a drink on the day that picture was taken because of the full-moon festival. Luckily for me, I’d taken a Lion beer in my hotel room the night before.

Mr B

Viva CdW!

Mr Secretary,

It is with great pleasure that at long last I share new country news.

Revolution! I have broken away from the dictatorship of travel to already visited countries and at long last conquer my 63rd country - Cuba. What better liberation can there be than the land of rum, sugar cane, 1950ies Buicks, Che and Castro with its infectious music, warm hearted people and beautiful countryside. Needless to say, libation of Cristal beer and mojitos accompanied our visit. May country number 64 be not far away and just as fun.

With much respect and salutations to you, Mr. Secretary, and all my fellow club members.

Caryn de Walden

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Bonne Anniversaire!

Mr. Secretary,

Ms. Ridley and I report a first visit for us both to Morocco – we went for an early celebration of the 25th anniversary of an event which 3 other of our esteemed members attended: our wedding! [sec'y's note: those would be our Honorary Past President, Mr Hovig, Mr Brady and yrs truly].

In fulfillment of article 3.1 we sampled local beer, Flag, wine, see attached as well as numerous G&Ts as we explored the medina in Marrekech and the rugged Atlas mountains.


Yours faithfully,

Duncan & Robin

Monday, May 16, 2011

Ukraine a go-go!

I am pleased to report my visit to Ukraine.
In addition to visiting Kiev, I visited Crimea, which is an autonomous republic (but may NOT be counted as a new country, as per instructions from our Secretary, alas)
While on my visit, I did the needful with, among others, Lvivske beer (delicious).


Yr sec'y traveled nearly 6000 kilometers from Amsterdam to Albania on his BMW R1200 GS and visited Albania, Macedonia and Serbia for the first time while observing naturally Article 3.1 requirements along the way.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Dalai Dublin

Your secretary visited Ireland earlier this week. The conference I was in grew absolutely electric when word went around that the Dalai Lama had walked into the hotel lobby and chatted up people there. Others reported seeing him multiple times in the lift. I could find him nowhere, and made my way back to my room, only to pass him in the hall; he was sharing a giggle with another saffron robed monk. Beats a Guinness. Here's a link to what he was doing there.


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

An Outlet Survey

Mr Secretary,

As you can see from the photos I combined some spiced rum tasting with an condom outlet check in St. Lucia (a new country for me).
Each bar has its own recipe, some much better than others.
What I tasted was quite the concoction as you can see from the expression on my face.

Here is a more conventional recipie if you want to move past Captain Morgan.
  • whole star anise
  • 1/2 3-inch cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 2 allspice berries
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 1/4 ounce (1/2 tablespoon) freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 liter light rum
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
  • Strips of peel from 1 whole orange
    & lemon

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Rock Bottom?

Mr Secretary,

Since my induction as the 18th member of The Country Club in February 2010, I have planned with little success to visit a new country. Most recently, a December snow storm thwarted my plans to spend my 50th birthday with Mr Earle in Livingstone, Zambia (and neighboring Zimbabwe which would increase my country scorecard by two). See first attached photo - doesn't Mr Earle look a bit off?.

Finally, in early March, I had the opportunity to visit New Delhi, India for the first time. I was surprised by the many green spaces in Delhi - tree lined boulevards, parks and gardens. The second photo was taken at the Imperial Hotel with my UNDP colleague Andrea P. who then dragged me off to our real destination [See email for the rest of the story!]

Sincerely yours from the rock bottom rung,

Ms Ridley

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Mr W Suggests a Competition

As you know, the world will welcome its newest country in July when Sudan splits in two. I request a clarification re how the Club will treat this split. Will those who have visited Sudan receive credit for North Sudan, and will South Sudan be the new country? Or have you and the Governors made other provisions? However you plan to approach it, I suggest we launch a contest to challenge our members to see who will be the first to visit the new country. A prize should be offered. I have suggestions. [Sec'y's note. Students of the By-Laws of our fine Club will cite Chapter 3 "Definition of a Country Visited" and Article 3.4, which states "A Visited Country that, subsequent to the qualifying visit, splits into two or more countries, can only be counted as a single Visited Country. The Member will elect which of the issuing countries shall be recorded as a Visited Country."].

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Shaken but Not Stirred

Mr Sempliner writes:

I was waiting in the lounge here at Narita Airport (Tokyo) yesterday afternoon for my connecting flight to San Francisco when the earth literally moved, windows swayed and things began to drop from the ceiling. Women began crying, lights flickered and it was like being in a bad movie. All pretty dramatic and the worst earthquake I've ever experienced. Needless to say my flight, in fact all flights, were cancelled as we continued to have aftershocks all afternoon. At first we were asked to leave the terminal for a few hours on the tarmac. Once back inside disorder reigned... well, as much as it is going to in Japan, and I slept on an airport bench for the first time in years.

This morning I found that the office had re-booked me on today’s flight. A good thing too, people (foreigners really) are beginning to get petulant. On reflection I’m glad I was in Japan when this happened. If this sort of thing had happened in New York or LA it would have been even more of a nightmare.

Shaken but not stirred,


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Our Beloved Founder Comes to Dinner

Ms v/H cooked, our Founder regaled, and yours truly took a picture. :)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

No Cooler in Finland

Mr Secretary,

Hello from freezing Helsinki! The word arctic has a new meaning for me since walking around in a city with -3F temperatures. Had an Italian red wine over a business dinner last night and a German white with lunch. This is probably the one country where a wine cellar needs a heater. The red, although nice, was served at room temperature and was still too cold! There is so much snow that one simply has to believe in the existence of the abominable snowman!

Ms v/H

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Mr. Warshauer visits DRC

I spent most of last week enjoying Kinshasa and did the needful there with several Primus beers. I believe this visit further extends my lead over other club members for visits on the continent, although I'm sure our esteemed Secretary can confirm. The city is one big construction site and the central boulevard has been widened to be 8 lanes (at the cost of all the trees that used to line it, alas), creating some rather amazing pedestrian crossing challenges. I had a great visit, my only regret being that I left on the day that Papa Wemba was giving a big concert in town. Prochaine fois!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Metaphoric in Manila

Mr Secretary,
Here in the dank underworld of the Country Club cellar, where mirth and happiness are unknown, we still have our pride. We dream of one day toppling the masters of the universe who rule so capriciously from above in their all expenses paid business class seats. I'm proud to report having removed one more brick from the wall of oppression by arriving in Manila and drinking deeply from the river of golden San Miguel that flows so powerfully here.
Respectfully yours,
J.A. Sempliner

Sunday, January 16, 2011


Dear Sir,

I write to you from Peking where the heroes of the risibly named Peoples Liberation Army seem to have developed a prodigious taste for Gucci, Burberry, Maserati, Rolex, Louis Vuitton and every other conceivable sort of western consumer goods. I have consumed a martini.

Unsure whether my previous visits to Hong Kong and Macau count as China visits or otherwise I write to confirm presence in the heart of the beast . Those of us in the cellar of the country club always identify with the proletarian struggle!

The East is red,


[Secretary's note: Mr Sempliner has indeed already visited China when he traveled to Hong Kong and Macau]

Monday, January 10, 2011

A White Nile

Mr Secretary,

Having a white “Chateau du jardin Nil” while overlooking the Nile River from the Four Seasons Hotel bar. Not a bad way to start my first visit to Egypt!

Ms v/H

Thursday, December 23, 2010


Mr Secretary,

Our fellow traveller, Andrew Boner, is one blessed boy. I thought Turkey and Morocco were the best places to visit, until I experienced Nepal. Maury, six- year old son, Finn, and I trekked in the Himalaya and safaried on elephant back in the Nepal jungle. All of this was part of Maury and my sabbaticals. Along the way, we drank a few Everest beers and sipped millet "Roxie."

Hope everyone has a great holiday and look forward to adding a few more countries to the list next year!



Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Sophia is (not only) the Capital of Bulgaria

Mr Secretary,

I hope that our newly born, Sophia, will also become a great traveller.
She is in good hands though, so we foresee the best for her.

Meanwhile, for the short term I hope this change in life will not
affect my new countries record too much...


Mr v/d Z

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Real Country Club

Mr Secretary,

Like the real IRA I sometimes wonder if there should not be a “real” Country Club. The qualifying criteria would be that you paid for your own ticket and did not claim that beer on expenses. Now that would truly clear the hard core travellers from the expense account boys.

With humble respect,

Mr J.A. (Sandy) Sempliner

Monday, November 22, 2010

For the List of Counties Re-Visited

I have been meaning to update you on recent ‘re-visits’ and ‘expanded’ visits -
In October I went to Zanzibar for the first time and while Tanzania has been on my circuit for some time, the magic of the legendary island did not disappoint … nor did the Safari beers and South African wines.
Also in October I made my first ever legal visit to Ghana … yes, I have been to and imbibed of local nectars, bottled and not, but never before having transited a legal border with a visa …
It was hardly a visit as it was largely spent in the Airport Holiday Inn in a meeting – the Accra Airport Holiday Inn is still very much more Accra, West Africa than Holiday Inn, Generica. We did manage to fit in – no exaggeration – the most harrowing, scary, holy-shit-we-are-all-gonna-die taxi ride of my life! One of our local hosts decided to have a bunch of us – five taxis worth, plus one lost taxi – over to his house for dinner. His very nice house, deep in an Accra neighborhood, a la quartier ouest-africaine, would have taken us 90 minutes to 2 hours to reach had we labored through the absurd rush hour. Instead, a scene out of Too Fast Too Furious ensued in which these guys decided we would emulate a VIP motorcade – lights flashing, horns blaring, high speed overtaking with a game of chicken with each oncoming lorry – we are talking West African long-haul semis – as one of the drivers put it, with 5 cars, even the cops are afraid to stop us in case there really is a VIP in the group! It was 25 minutes of dusty, wrong-way around-the-roundabout, who can cut it closer, scariness followed by a delightful peanut stew with cold beers, wine and Talisker, and a much quieter trip home.
So no new countries, but memorable nonetheless!

And in the 7th Year, He Traveled

Mr Peterson writes about a recent visit to Chile, bringing him to 63 countries and out of a three way tie for 11th, with Ms de Walden and Mr Karam.

"Winds from Patagonia"

I’m just back from a ten-day hiking trip to the famous Torres del Paine on the Chilean side of Patagonia.

Click here to see it: http://maps.google.com/maps?q=define:+sabbatical&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&hl=en&tab=wl

While there, I tasted some delicious reds, which we packed in for the hike. A highly recommended cabernet is the Montes Alpha. I also enjoyed several Austral cervezas under the famous “Paine Horns” that are featured on the beer can label.

As this is the start of a two-month sabbatical, more posts with new country entries will be coming in soon. . .


Secretary's Note: Below is Mr P's original posting, lost until two months after this posting:

Mr. Secretary,

The good winds have carried me to a new country, Chile, where I have just enjoyed ten days of hiking and kayaking in the Patagonia wilderness. I recommend the Pale Ale from the Austral brewery and sipped one under the famous Horns in the Torres del Paine National Park. The Montes Alpha Cab is also quite nice after a long hike. I nearly bagged Argentina, only a few kilometers away, but will do so the next time I'm here.

I have two months off and restless feet - stay tuned.