this is Nics travel blog: Self Fulfilling Prophecy.
here i plan on posting updates, rants, raves and other general information and tidbits associated with my travels
Thursday, 26 July 2007
Ok so on monday i arrived back from a week long roadtrip in northern england and i was alll ready to blog.. I get home from work tonight and our internet is out! So since this is tedious enough writing this from from my mobile i'll hafta wait till at least monday to write anything decent..
Trains on the Northern line are delayed currently due to a person under a train at X station. A not not all that uncommon announcement on the underground.
oh im such a fool
spent the day hanging out in hyde park with chris angus and malin today, was cool. beautiful sunnny day, few beers, was great. malin gave me a haircut too!
anyways, malin hadta work so we walked her there and of course had to have a few beers there too (which i forgot to pay for ha!). so we were going to go out cos its a sat night and im NOT working so the 3 of us decide to go home, have a snooze and reconvene round 9pm....
so my alarm goes off, im still 'experiencing effects' from the beers earlier, plus with the crazy climate they have here its still light outside, so i think iv slept alll night and its 9am the next morning! i hafta work at 9:30 on sunday so i RUSH outta here and dont realise its still saturday till im walking towards bloody work and wonder why the chairs and tables are outside already and theres heaps ppl sitting on them, and why it seems darker then when i left home earlier...
oh i felt so silly
so yeah now i feel half drunk, tired and not in the mood to go out. lisas bout to come round and we're gonna watch a heap of peep show (we have it on-demand at my house, and its gotta be the best tv show iv seen in a while. soooo funny) oh and kate gets back from wherever shes been (spain i think?) tonight so shes gonna stay at mine instead of at the airport (i also wondered what happened to her earlier when i thought it was sunday) so will be cool to see her.
More than a second When reading the newspaper I felt the war I felt her exposed position I saw myself in the picture And I I took a cab there to hold her I took a plane there to feel what she felt You make me like charity Instead of paying enough taxes The Knife, You Make Me Like Charity
hey hey new fone number:
so from oz i rekon itd be something like +447984409008
ps im gonna post some new pics soon.. my camera cable still hasnt shown up so iv kinda given up on it.. i'l borrow someones for now
We aint goin to the town We're going to the city Gonna trek this shit around We'll make this place a heart To be a part of Interpol, Next Exit (like that one dad? =)
so i havnt updated in a while.. cos nothings been happening! really!
im still hating my bar job.. looking for a new one. getting there.
weathers tuned craptacular.. rainy and cold...
oh bought tix to go see Daft Punk in Hyde Park in a few weeks time! me, chris, malin and jess are going, along with a heap of other people we know. soooo exciting. theres a buncha other bands on too, so been listening to all sorts of new tunes in preparation!
ive decided id like to get me a skateboard to get around on, since i walk/bus/train everywhere i rekon id use it a fair bit.. theyre so spensive over here but! im thinking im gonna buy one online in the States and have it shipped over here. should be able to get a half decent one that way that would only end up costing me the same price as an ordinary one over here... mainly cos im fussy and want a longboard and not your everyday twin-kick style... and yes i've checked, theres bugger-all on offer second hand. i've decided as further motivation, im not allowed to buy one till i get a new job! we'll see how things go
um thats all might post an update soon cos im getting a new mobile number cos im SICK AND TIRED of all the spam sms's i keep getting and the wrong numbers im STILL getting after having the number for a month or something! so i'l make sure to let ppl know once i get it.
And so Annie waits, Annie waits, Annie waits For a call From a friend The same It’s the same Was it always the same? Ben Folds, Annie Waits
so it somehow turned out that kate was out with her mates in Clapham on Sat night and i was working till late. so after i finished we met up and came back to mine and at 2am rang home to wish mum a happy mothers day! worked out great! grandma and grandpa had just arrived so was cool to speak to them too! kate slept on my floor on top of the cushions from my couch and in my sleeping bag - apparently was quite comfy!
oh and iv gotten sick of my job already.. lots of little things just give me the shits... so spent today stuffing round with my resume and browsing Gumtree for jobs.. got wed off as well so mite fire off a few emails.
my room is starting to look a bit more lived in! and no iv not done it just by strewing my clothes and crap around the place... my aussie flag is on the wall, i moved the bed and couch around, talking boony is on the windowsill, got me a coool doona cover.... OH and iv bought some speakers for my ipod/lappy (thanks for the bday money gran =) cos the ones built into my lappy just dont cut it... cept for some reason they were £10 cheaper than that the the other day when i ordered them - stoked!
i dont have a camera cable right now (heather ended up with it in thailand and it hasnt shown up in the mail yet...) so havnt been able to upload pics of stuff lately.. will try borrow someone elses soon. till then you'll hafta make do with a google map of where my house is in relation to other stuff!
oh and ps MACRAE WHEN/IF YOU COME OVER HERE YOU'RE GIVING ME BACK THAT DAMN SHIRT!
Oh my god I can't believe it I've never been this far away from home And oh my god I can't believe it I've never been this far away from home
Kaiser Chiefs, Oh My God
so exciting, im now sitting on the little couch thingy in my NEW room in my NEW terrace share-house! i had wednesday off so decided to move in then. since getting to london i have managed to acquire heapsa new clothes so packing all my gear up had my pack almost bursting at the seams! although, i also had two other backpacks and my lappy box so i kinda hadta make a few trips AND rope Lisa in to helping me. so yeah i now live in room two of 8 Claudia Jones Way, Clapham Park, SW2 5PP, London. wooooo!
although i was more than glad to leave the couch behind, it did suck to leave chris, malin, angus, lisa and mike's place.. was def a cool place to hang out. HOWEVER my new home is only about 5 mins walk down the road. so thats cool, il still be able to see those guys pretty regularly.
my new housemates are pretty cool. theres Manu, from Italy, Scott, from Quakers hill in syd and Paul from Poland. theyre a pretty friendly bunch and so i can see me getting along with them well. my room is pretty damn big compared to a lot of the places i looked at! iv got a double bed and a huge wardrobe. theres also a set of drawers and a little couch/seat thingy. but thats it. on wed i went shopping for a doona cos that was the most urgent need. i soon plan on getting sheets and a doona cover and coathangers. i can also see me needing a clothes horse, rubbish bin and maybe some speakers.. chris and others have shown me round the places to pick up cheap stuff and bargains so it should be all good.
um what else... work is cool, iv been pretty busy last few days cos like 4 ppl are on holidays (incl malin who with chris went to venice last weekend!) but thats not so bad, think about the money not the work! theres a cool bunch of people working there so that makes it fun. oh and i havnt mentioned that jess works there too so thats cool.
oh and finally met up with kate last weekend. she came and we spent the day hanging out. she also came when when i went to meet the other flat mates of where i am now, and she was impressed with the room!
k gonna post up more crap like pics and that soon...
How does it feel like, to wake up in the sun How does it feel like, to shine on everyone How does it feel like, to let fovever be How does it feel like, to spend a little lifetime sitting in the gutter Scream out sympathy Chemical Brothers, Let Forever Be
so im back in london again, sleeping on chris' couch...
i got a job! chris' girlfriend malin came home the other night and said to me 'my boss wants to see you, she wants to offer you a job' ha! easiest job i've ever been offered! so im now an employee of the Prince Regent in South Kensington. its a pretty cool place, little bit classy, they do good food and offer heaps of wine.. im behind the bar so its not all that different to back home. just the little things i hafta get used to.. oh and speakinng of jobs - chris FINALLY got a full time job where they can sponsor him to stick round after his visa expires (a few months) stoked!
i've also checked out a few places to stay over the last few days. theres been a few cool places, we'll see how it goes.
had my first walkabout experience the other day. walkabout bars are pubs branded with a tacky, kitsch australian theme... also didnt help that we were there the night of the cricket world cup final and thus the place was packed! oh it was such a dive!
got my laptop the other day which my parents sent over. almost didnt get it when i rang up and was told that it had already been delivered (and i hadnt recieved anything.. ) it somehow turned up on the weekend so alls well that ends well. so i've been able to sort out my photos and am uploading and reorganising them as i type. another good thing bout that package not getting lost is my replacement debit/credit card was in there! oh so good to have that now..
so yeah i've grouped my pics according to where they are from and started to upload heaps of ones that i didnt have online. check them out, iv done most of them, just not cambodia yet cos iv got thOUsands of pics of angkor wat... i've also uploaded 2 more vids from the swings in Vang Viene - here.
umm not much else to report i dont think...
oh ps i meant to mention in my previous post that in istanbul and at the ANZAC dawn service Jo took most of the nighttime pics cos her camera takes really really good low light photos.. so when she gets to london in mid may im gonna steal them off her camera and put them online..
Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives… You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets where they lie side by side here in this country of ours… You the mothers who sent their sons from far away countries, wipe away your tears. Your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace. Having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well. Ataturk, 1934
So last post i made Jo and i had been hanging out in Istanbul. on the afternoon of the 23rd, we made our way to the hotel where our tour was to start. watched half of spiderman dubbed into turkish (cos CNN had wall-to-wall Boris Yeltsin coverage...) while we sunk beers in our hotel room, then headed down to the bar to see if we could meet any other aussies on our tour. met a bunch of blokes who had been working in the ski fields in france and were just starting a trip round europe. was cool hanging out with them but we had a 7am start the next day so had a relatively quiet night.
next day was mostly ordinary. it started out with us being taken to most of the touristy sights in Istanbul me and jo had already seen in the last few days... but i did enjoy the trip to the carpet showroom, where we were given a demonstration of how they are made and the different types, styles and materials were explained and illustrated. then it was on the bus for the 6ish hour ride to Galipolli. along the way we managed to not watch Galipolli (the movie, like we were sposed to, grr), stack the front of the bus on the ground during a dodgy u-turn (and thus were delayed for a good half hr or so) and spend (seemingly) forever stopped for food and toilet breaks.... so finally after packing all our warm gear, passing through the bag searches and pat-downs and picking up our information bags (including ANZAC bikkies!) we finally rocked up at the site round 7:30pm
after being away from home for a month and a half, it was so weird being totally surrounded by aussies (oh and kiwis i spose..). it was a real communal atmosphere. me and jo scored seats with the four guys we had met the night before and 2 sisters also on our bus. chris' housemate lisa was also there with some of her mates (they got there at like midnight ha!) and came and hung out with us for most of the night. so didnt sleep a wink that night. not that it mattered, had cool ppl to talk to, interesting things to watch on the big screen and the icy cold wind to contend with!
if you're on Jo's mailing list you've probably read her email on the dawn service. couldntve put it better, was definitely goosebump atmosphere. you really couldnt help but imagine what it must have been like almost 100 years ago, and it it really made you feel proud to be Australian, the true atmosphere indescribable. the sunrise, the last post, the flags, the speeches, the anthems....
once that had finished and after a quick snooze on the recently vacated grass, we headed up to the Lone Pine service at 10:30am. this was also an experience, which i appreciated just as much as the dawn service. it seemed a lot more relaxed, with everyone sitting in the sun (i was in a singlet just hours after wearing 5 layers plus a sleeping bag...) amongst the gravestones of fallen soldiers. from there we walked further up the hill, taking in sights such as the soldiers trenches, the many memorial sights and the spectacular views over the coastline. pretty amazing.
after waiting forever for our bus to come pick us up and then even more forever to get back to Istanbul me and Jo were both bloody stuffed and crashed out round midnight. jo flew onto Germany and i flew back to London the next day, and both had ourselves some well needed sleeeeeep!
other highlights -
the boys brought BBQ shapes and vegemite!
managed to meet my cousin after after the dawn service, and have since worked out that he and his girlfriend met with mates of mine in Ireland for St Paddys day!
gave one of the band members a piece of bread and vegemite as they walked past our seats, he was so stoked!
flagged down a flatbed towtruck to give us a lift up the hill to the lone pine service, tops fun
turkish airlines were great! best inflight entertainment i've had so far. i really shouldve tried to sleep on the flight back but..
so was great trip, really really happy that i did it, and was cool to hang out with a familiar face while i was there too. i really appreciated hearing all the history and stories about what happened, and really felt it highlighted how stupid war in general is.
i think i'd like to go back i rekon. chris and i were talking the other day bout the 100 year anniversary in 2015. any takers? haha
oh ps - pics! Istanbul starts from the bottom of page 3
And I think it’s gonna be a long long time Till touch down brings me round again to find I’m not the man they think I am at home Oh no no no I’m a rocketman Elton John, Rocketman
oh im stuffed. right now im running on about 5 hrs sleep since early morning of the 24th... LOVED Istanbul though, and ANZAC day service was unforgettable (and freeezing!). more on that later
so i flew in and met up with Jo (mate from home, smack bang in the middle of doing 3 months thru europe) at the hostel we had booked. that was after me and two other aussie blokes i met at the airport had spent a good 3 hours or so looking for the damn place! oh man, everyone we asked gave us different directions, at one stage we were driven round in a taxi for prolly 20mins and dropped off nowhere near it, and worst of all i later worked out we walked RIGHT PAST the damn place 30mins into it all! that was mainly due to the fact that we had been told that it was just up and around this corner, so we thought we'd get a few beers to have once we got there. unfortunately, we walked past the hostel as we were focusing on the store a few doors up that sold beer... serves us right i spose. At least it meant we had some freezing cold beverages to sip while we trapsed round the also freezing cold streets of Istanbul at 12oclock at night...
the hostel was great though. we managed to score beds in the best dorm in the place. top floor with a narrow balcony overlooking the city of Istanbul, superdoubleplus fantastic! so as jo and i were returning to the hostel after being out seeing things during the day, we recruited anyone and everyone we saw to come up and have beers with us on the balcony, with bonus points if we managed to find someone with ipod speakers! so that was fun.
first day we did most of the touristy things, we saw the breathtaking Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque, bought a heap of turkish delight at the huge spice market, and wandered through the even bigger Grand Bazaar. next few days we kinda explored the city and stumbled upon heaps of cool places including a really cool market down through a bunch of back alleys and an amazing shopping area thingy where i bought 2 hoodies, jeans and 2 shirts for the equivalent of like $70AU (so im pretty sorted for london weather now!)
oh and kebabs! i think i averaged at least 2 a day! all of varying quality, usually proportional to their price - i had a few ordinary 1TKL (pretty much $1AU) ones, but they were mostly good. had some mouth-wateringly delicious bbq lamb shish-kebabs too mmmmm
we of course went to the ANZAC day dawn service but this post is long enough so i'l put up a new post about that in the next few days.
It's always better on holiday So much better on holiday That's why we only work when We need the money Franz Ferdinand, Jacqueline
so been here for a little while now. been upto a buncha stuff, mostly getting to know Clapham, where chris lives and just chilling out and relaxing (or 'chillaxing' as chris and angus like to call it).
finished up my round of antibiotics the other day and it just so happened to be a saturday night, so chris, malin (chris' girlfriend) and lisa (one of their flatmates) went out in the city. it was a choice between a place called metro which apparently plays cool music or a gay bar called ghetto. SOMEHOW we ended up at ghetto... but it was heapsa fun and they played pretty good music, you just had to accept the odd lapse into the typical gay anthems.... haha OH and chris found this old pair of glasses so they provided us with HOURS of fun that night too.
oh and that day they had the Grand National - basically their equivalent of our melbourne cup. i backed 4 horses spending a grand total of 6 pounds. the Grand National is a steeplechase race - where they jump 30 times over hedges and water and that... and most of the horses get nailed trying to do it! the race had 40 starters and only 13 finished! two of mine stacked it on the 19th fence but i had two finishers - one in second and one in 7th. i won a grand total of about 4.50 pounds. worth it though, was a fun race and entertaining watching all the horses crash out! haha
day after that a bunch of us went and hung out at the Clapham Common - basically a massive park thingy 5 mins walk from their house and spent the day lazing in the sun. was great! beautiful day as well - singlet, shorts and thongs type of weather so was perfect! we set ourselves up with a whole buncha food, drink, newspapers, magazines, ipod speakers, cards etc and ended up being there for most of the day. good times
other highlights of london i've failed to mention yet
hot & powerful shower/normal toilet/drinkable water
toast and vegemite!
'Sex Court' on tv.. oh i wouldnt believe that show existed if i hadnt seen it the other night
beer on sale EVERYWHERE (yet on the news they always seem to find other reasons for their resulting chronic drinking culture...)
not so good things -
police sirens are almost constant
freeezing cold toilet seat at night
they dont have a dvd player (and i bought a buncha dvds in thailand!)
conversion rate.. (you just hafta not think about it...)
absolutely loving it though pics are up from the saturday night and sunday at the common
anyways im outta here. i got a mobile number over here now - 07810060464 so send me a message or whatever if ya want
oh and me and chris are going to see daft punk at hyde park in june! so excited!
They will see us waving from such great heights 'Come down now' they'll say But everything looks perfect from far away 'Come down now', but we'll stay The Postal Service, Such Great Heights.
hey so i got here! although i did stupidly fail to write down chris' address so that when i went thru customs i had a bit of explaining to do... oh well i got thru didnt i. haha
so i've been here a few days now. my sore shoulder (more correctly - armpit) really started to hurt again and so kinda held me back a bit but iv still managed to get out and see a few things. went into town yesterday and today, saw mosta the monopoly streets etc... bought me a hoodie (5 pounds) and some trackydacks (3 pounds) yesterday. soooooo good to have some bummy clothes! and they were from this new store thats just opened in town that had stupidly cheap but alright clothes. SO SO busy tho - getting in there is like getting into a concert.. we lined up for prolly 150m today.. and theres just thOUsands of people inside...
so contrary to SOME suggestions, the sore armpit was NOT from excess alcohol consumption on the islands in thailand but rather its an infected boil. yeah sounds pleasant doesnt it... basically i have a really painful and swollen armpit, mainly from sweating and that in the heat in thailand... BUT not painful anymore now i've been to the (freeeee!) medical centre and scored some GREAT painkillers. im also on antibiotics now as well so unfortunately i wont be ably to enlighten your days with boozy stories for at least a week or two haha...
OH the rave with Armand Van Helden the night i flew in?
it was in an old theatre that had been converted into a dance and live music venue! so there was the stage with the DJ and a big dancefloor directly in front. above that there were about 3 balconies rising high up towards the roof with couches and tables, but you could still mostly see the stage. oh and there were the oldskool boxes high up along the sides of the theatre too. oh and a massive crystal ball hanging from the roof high above the dancefloor. seriously its hard to put into words how damn cool this venue is..... oh and the music was great too. very very fun night and a great welcome to London
well this is probably the longest post iv made so i should really leave it at that.
Fire it up, fire it up When we finally turn it over Make a B-line towards the border Have a drink, you've had enough Modest Mouse, Fire It Up.
so last days in the land of thai...
oh i was so so stuffed after the party on the beach. we spent the rest of the 3rd (my bday! ha) just chilling out and doing next to nothing. was a cool day. the 4th we all split up =( heather and lauren got a ferry then bus to Malaysia at 7am, me clive and jane got a ferry for 2 hrs then a 7hr bus up here to Bangkok and ross got outta the hospital that morning and the next day he, adam and matt got their ferry and bus to Malaysia where they met back up with the girls i think. OH i had a mofo of a headache for the night of my bday and the entire trip to bangkok.. also had this weird pain in my right shoulder thats only really just started to go now.. but yeah im pretty pretty much all better now!
yesterday and today we've pretty much made up for all the sleep we didnt get the other night... i slept for a full 12hrs after the bus ride! other than that we've just been chilling out.. saw the grand palace today, did the typical touristy thing. was ok. OH and last night we went up one of the tallest skyscrapers in bangkok and they have this rooftop bar that is actually on the bloody roof. like look over the waist-high railing and its straight dowwwwwn! was really cool cos we went for sunset. drinks were stupidly overpriced but we knew it'd be like that so we only got one drink each during the ~2hrs we were there. we wouldntve been able to stomach much more anyways.. we've all agreed we're gonna steer clear of booze till after we fly out hehe. although we're seeing 300 (the movie derrr) tonight at some bar round here so i might allow myself *one* beer. we'll see....
so last night tonight then fly out tmro night woooo! like i said previously im getting pretty damn excited! even more so now that chris has emailed me letting me know hes scored us tix to none other than Armand Van Helden on the night that i fly in! so i get in at like 6 in the morn so il sleep all day then biiiig welcome to london that night! oh cant wait! haha
cool next time i'll catchy will be from the other side of the world! ha
Road trippin' with my two favorite allies Fully loaded we got snacks and supplies It's time to leave this town It's time to steal away Let's go get lost Road Trippin', Red Hot Chilli Peppers
so its MY BDAY! and the day after the full moon party. everyones a bit scattered.. GREAT NIGHT by the way. oh yeah mum and dad you'll be pleased to know that im still alive.
oh yeah and how i mentioned that the owners of the place we were at had a bit of a vendetta against the girls? well yeah we kinda got kicked like as soon as i got back after posting that blog entry... they were trying to charge us 600฿ instead of what they told us when we checked in, 400฿, so heather blew up at the guy, kinda called him every name under the sun and all that.... so we were without a room, at like 1pm on the BUSIEST day of the month on this island..... LUCKILY its also the day where you really dont need a bed cos youre partying on the beach all night... so we just dumped our bags in adams and his mates' room. then all just kinda crashed there together smorning (all 8 of us in a room with a double bed and a single bed.. hey, we were all pretty buggered, we didnt really care where we slept...).
the party was really fun fun. hundreds of people dancing, drinking, fire twirling, swimming, (shagging...), chatting, playing on the beach with all these bars lined up along it. we all enjoyed several 'buckets' - buckets of whiskey/vodka/rum and coke/redbull/sprite/whatever... highly enjoyable! although we did get a bit split up and one of adams mates, ross ended up on a drip smorning cos hes got food poisoning.. that put a bit of a downer on today. oh and cos we got split up and ross hadto come back early he and clive and jane (more of adams mates) hadto kick in the door to the bungalow (!)... dunno what we're gonna tell the owners.. i think they already know theres like 8 people staying there so i dont think itll go down well.. we'll see
so tmro getting up early to get the ferry to the mainland and the bus to bangkok with clive and jane. they fly to NZ on the 7th and im heading to LONDON BABY on the early morning of the 8th. wooooo im really excited! also keen to be with old friends and chill out and do things like watch dvds, have home cooked meals, do nothing etc... but gonna miss my travel mates heaps! although im def gonna meet up with adam when he gets back cos hes moving to london to work, and loz and heather rekon iv def gotta drop over to theirs so they can take me snowboarding! ha
anyways im outta here. gonna go crash by the beach for a bit methinks....
o o o pics from last nite, heather took her camera - (yes thats me covered in sand.. hey, was only a quick snooze! i was up for sunrise! haha) (oh yeah and im in that damn black singo again.....)
Lets sleep eat and dream And savor our travels And babble our stories To anyone who'll listen TZU, The Travel Song
so i met back up with heather and lauren which is heaps good! adam was having too much fun diving in Ko Tao so he gets here today but iv met his 4 mates which are here so its been cool to spend time with them. also been spending time with a few other mates that heather and lauren met on their trek aaages ago. unfortunately i thought the two pommie girls from my trek were gonna be here for full moon party but theyre not. right now theyre in bangkok about to fly to singapore
i couldnt believe it when the girls rocked up the other day and outta their pack pulled out a freakin BLENDER! they paid 200,000 dong for it in vietnam (bout $16 they tell me). so not last night but the night before we went on a shopping spree in the arvo, buying 2 bottles of SangSong whiskey, one bottle of Bacardi, some fanta, some fruit juice and a heap of fresh fruit. it was then coctails for all at the place we were staying at! wooo! oh was soooo much fun! only thing is the owners of the place REALLY didnt appreciate it and now have a bit of a vendetta against the girls we rekon... of course it didnt help that heather dropped the blender jug on the floor of their restaurant and spilt it everywhere (also cracked it a lil but its still good!)... or that they woke them up at 6am the other day when they checked in... aaaanyways that night was huge so we've taken it easy since then. chilling out on the beach, riding around on a coupla motorbikes we hired, checking out the place, its cool.
so full moon party tonight. should be fun! we're getting disposable cameras so dont expect pics for at least till i get to london. and doing more blended cocktails tonight wooo!
anyways, as i keep being told, I'LL BE CAREFUL! theres gonna be a bunch of like 12 of us so we'll all look after each other.
hey i gotta go return my motorbike so im outta here.
Girls who are boys Who like boys to be girls Who do boys like theyre girls Who do girls like theyre boys Always should be someone you really love Blur, Girls & Boys (couldnt leave Thailand without quoting this one... ha)
so im in Ko Phangan now, the island just north of the Ko Samui, where i was before
its a great place here. im staying on the beach just south of Thong Sala which is about a 15/20min taxi to Hat Rin, where the big parties happen.
the actual place im at is really really cool. theres a heap of people my age and the owner of the place (great bloke) organises games of beach football (soccer) and volleyball every arvo, we had about 14 ppl playing football the other day. although i was wrecked after that, we play on a sandbar that opens up from about 5pm and it really takes it outta ya.... AND i got a big blood blister riiiight on the ball of my foot... great fun tho
so iv gotten to know some of the people and we went out to some of the bars in town last night. good times had by all.
so canada get here tmro and adam and his mates get here the day after. im trying to get them rooms where i am now cos its a great place and most places are starting to get full cos of full moon party. there are sooooo many people around.... fingers crossed it works out!
anyways i gotta go fill out a buncha forms so i can get hopefully my money back.
If you're fond of sand dunes and salty air Quaint little villages here and there Groove Armada, At The River
ok after spending far too long in a net cafe frantically emailing and on the fone (thank god for skype-out) i have sorted myself out.
like i said, cards are frozen, replacements are on the way and theyre looking into the money that i lost.
and GUESS WHAT?!?! amongst the stuffing round with my cards i also managed to change my flight outta bangkok! instead of flying out on the 4th (and spending my bday on a 12hr bus ride AND missing full moon party..) i fly out on the 8th and get to goto full moon party and spend my bday (recovering) with my mates! woooooo oh so stoked, almost makes up for whole credit card debarcle
andyways last time i actually gave an informative post i was waiting around for a day in bangkok....
so i got the overnight bus down which was pretty ordinary. although i was very lucky in that i not only got the seat right next to the stairs (hello legroom) but also had noone sitting next to me. but realistically, you can only get so comfortable on an overnight bus. met a cool american couple, Dave and Kirsty. cept they got off at like 4am cos they were gioing to Ko Tao, the northernmost island.
i got off at the enda the trip at about 7am. waited around for 45mins then got a minibus to the ferry wharf. who do i see there but Marco & Andy, the german blokes from the bus ride from hell! so hung out with them on the ferry, although they stayed on cos they were going to Ko Phangan. it took bout 2 hrs or so to get to Ko Samui. where it was TEEMING with rain. i think i read somewhere that the place gets like 4 days of rain a year, and i get there with alllll my stuff getting drenched..
so iv been here 2 nights now. first day i kinda just saw the town im staying in, Lamai beach. its pretty cool but pretty touristy. then yesterday i hired a motorbike to see the rest of the island! wooo heapsa fun. although i wouldve apprecieted it if the lady, when telling me how to ride it, had informed me that the hand brake was the front brake and that the foot brake was the back. she just said they were both brakes and so i assumed that they did both! i spent the first half of the day only braking the front wheel and was this | | far away from stacking it at one stage...
whilst checking out a waterfall i met a couple who had met traveling, a canadian girl and a south african bloke. they were a bit older than me but we got along well. had dinner and went out last night together but they both left today.
so i have one more night here then hit up Ko Phangan which im REALLY looking forward to. sounds like a cool place plus it looks like therell be heapsa ppl there that iv met over the last 3 weeks. doublePLUS theres full moon party on the 2nd.
oh im excited, looks like il be ending my southeast asian adventure with a bang!
Go and do it Now Dont wait and Live it Todays' The prime time of your life Daft Punk, The Prime Time Of Your Life
hey so while i was killing the best part of a day in bangkok i found a high speed net cafe so i was able to upload some of the videos we took of the big swing in Vang Viene! unfortunately i only had half of the ones we took on me, the others (incl adams' 'urgent news announcement') were on cd in my big bag at the bus station =(
youtube has butchered the quality but you get the general idea. you also get the expert commentary from adam and the girls! haha
grr for some reason i cant embed them in this post so il just hafta link them...
Young man The powers in your hand Slam your fist on the table and make your demand You better make the right move Got the freedom to choose You better make the right move Matisyahu, Youth (from marco's ipod)
ok so i had heard that the road from Seam Reap to the Thailand border was pretty bad, and lemme just say those people are totally wrong....
ITS NOT A ROAD ITS A FREAKIN MOONSCAPE!
mannnn im physically sore and tired after that drive... it really didnt help that our bus was ancient and felt like it had no shock absorbers.. or that i was on the back seat..
i have bruises on my knees and my shoulders and arms are sore from bracing myself against the seat in front. i lost count of how many times i was launched entirely off my seat. argh... and it took forever! i rekon on that crappy road we had an average speed of prolly 30km/hr.. at places we prolly topped out at 50... i didnt get to bangkok till 9ish after leaving at 8am smorning..
oh it sucked...
but anyways, im in bangkok now. met some more cool ppl on the trip. 2 german mates, Marco and Andy. they were on the back seat too but had made the journey to seam reap only a few days before so they knew what it was gonna be like.. they were good to chat too. and theyre gonna be in the islands from tmro too so might run into them there.
North to south Empty Running on Bravado Bloc Party, Helicopter
so had 3rd and final day at the temples today.
started at 5am, getting up for sunrise at Anchor Wat. it was fantastic! took about athOUSand photos - camera battery was deader than disco by the end of it. so had brekky opposite the temple then round 9am went back to my hostel and crashed for a few hours, and more importantly, charged my camera. back out in the arvo, we drove for over an hour to see this cool temple (name escapes me right now and im stuffed if i can be bothered looking it up in my lonely planet) that had heaps of it collapsed and run down by the jungle. waaaay cool. i almost got lost! cos you hafta climb over heaps of these huge sandstone blocks that are strewn everywhere and you totally loose your sense of direction... after that saw a few other temples on the way back and then went up to this temple on top of a hill where you get a spectacular view of the sunset. fanbloodytastic. took another thOUSand pics...
so im again pretty tired.. and the fact that today i didnt eat for a period of about 12hrs didnt help.. made up for it with this delicous pizza for dinner. mmmmmmpizza.....
so cos i had a bit of a snooze today, im gonna head out and check out the bars on 'bar street' tonight i rekon. i had a few quiet ones last nite at 'Anchor What?' which almost everyone, from home and who iv met over here, have told me to check out. was pretty cool, but uncrowded cos it was like 9pm. i played pool with this swede called simon. he was cool, tho i wondered when he first rocked up to the bar and said 'im looking to get drunk off cocktails. what do you have?' haha oh and whit, theres no way in hell im gonna find your guys' writing!
so yeah, bus to bangers tmro, one night there then hitting the islands. looking forward to it! cool cubyeeee
ps iv been told i say 'heaps good' a lot, and that its a bit of an aussie thing.. i didnt know that!
I'm on a big jet plane With my briefcase and crime in my veins I'll be the first to toast To my rowdy soul
But here we are the rolling people Cant stay for long We gotta go The Verve, The Rolling People
looks like i got really burnt today... really cant be too grumpy tho, iv hardly got a tan up untill today.. that was the reason why i had left my suncream at the hostel. well, also cos it leaked everywere in my bag the other day..
so did best part of the day seeing some of the temples outside of the core group around Angkor Wat. was cool to see and a lot less crowded. there are HEAPSA tourists. Adam was telling me in Laos that the main Angkor Wat gets half a million visitors a year... craaaazy.
oh and another thing is the people. adam told me about them too. the kids are sooo gorgeous its almost impossible to say no to all the things they sell. iv got myself a few common responses now tho -
"really, what would i do with a tablecloth!" "no i dont have a girlfriend and even if i did i wouldnt buy her gifts!" "a scarf! its way to hot for scarfs!"
they always get the joke, and are fun to joke with. OH and when you say your from australia theyre hillarious!
Did they get you to trade Your heroes for ghosts? Hot ashes for trees? Hot air for a cool breeze? Cold comfort for change? Pink Floyd, Wish You Were Here (who else...)
Biiiiiig day today...
got up at 4am smorning to get my 6ish flight to Siem Reap.. after a 2 and bit hours on the plane i then checked into my guesthouse and pretty much left straigh away for Angkor Wat. Spent the day trapsing round there an its now 6:30pm and im buggered.. so early night for me tonight. i bought a 3 day ticket so iv got another 2 days to go! looking forward to it tho, the place is just amazing.. its overcast at the mo (and im REALLY tired!) so im not gonna do sunrise tmo, thinking il save that for the 3rd day. hopefully the clouds will have blown away by then..
we were all pretty much disappointed with Vientiene. OH except for the bakeries! they were everywhere and were fantastic! i know in the past i have paid out people for wrting about what they ate and that.. ok lemme say i take it all back! the food when traveling is awesome! haha
okeys gonna go get a feed then hit the sack. the net cafes here look pretty half decent so im thinkng i mite get some more pics up. not all of the ones i wanted from Vang Viene went up so iv got those to do plus im getting some tip top ones of Angkor Wat.
OH and Canada (Heather and Lauren) forced me to sign up for Facebook... its another one of those social networking sites, cept it doesnt make me want to stab myself in the eyes like myspazz does.. so anyways if you wanna add me go nuts
Our hopes and expectations Black holes and revelations Muse, Starlight
spent the last 2 days tubing in Vang Viene i'd heard from chris about how its sposed to be heaps of fun and everything. it was sooooo much better that what i had hoped for!
so basically its a whole day floating down the river in big innertubes, sipping on Beer Lao and stopping off on the way to play on these massive trapeze swings and flying foxes that launch you into the river. like i said, we had too much fun the first day so we went two days in a row. and we were the 4th person there on the second day. was heaps fun that day too cos that was St Patrics day and so there was a real party atmosphere among everyone. i had a clover painted on my chest and now it doesnt wash off! took some great pics and videos of the activities, im trying to upload some now so checkout my traveling photoset on flickredit: seems to be stuffing up so il try get them up later.. there were a buncha parties on last night for St Patrics day so we hit them up. pretty good times had by all.
today the 4 of us got the ~4hr bus down to the capital, Vientiene. we're one night here then we mostly go our own separate ways. im flying out the morning of the 20th to Siam Reap, Adam is heading down to meet up with his mates in the islands tmro night and the girls are busing it to Vietnam in a day or two. theres a good chance we'll meet up in a week or so in the islands so we'll see how that goes..
forgot to post about the random bowling alley in Luang Prabang!
so all places close down in Luang Prabang at bout 11 or 12. so after this bar closed the other night when we were there a whole bunch of us went to this bowling alley outside of town that we had all heard about.
it was sooooo surreal. lit with these blue neon lights, it was just a heap of local and westerners drinking, chatting, bowling. really really cool. i played a game with heather and just beat her! the 2 of us decided to leave round 2am and didnt want to pay the inflated prices for a tuk tuk home so we deciced to walk it... so of course we got lost and round 3:30am decided to pay more to get back then we wouldve back at the bowling alley! we were just tound the corner too!
did caving today. lotsa fun. think jenolan caves minus the stairs, ladders, rails, lights....... just you and a torch. and they went for aaages. we were in this one for almost 2 hours! and another you float in an inner tube and pull yourself along a rope! lucky my maglights waterproof. didnt take camera tho =(
gonna do tubing tmro, looking forward to it
and to get to Vientiane apparently you can get yr bags driven there and you kayak down ther on the river! takes about 3 hours they say. so the 4 of us are thinking of doing that on teh 18th
Could be that Im just losing my touch Or maybe you think my moustache is too much? Chemical Brothers, Out Of Control
had my first shave today, so no more dirty moustache... ha
in laos, hanging with cool people i met on the 2 day boat ride to Luang Prangbang, where i am now.
boat ride was cool but the seats on the boat sucked.. we stayed overnight at this little town on the side of the river, Pak Beng. was a really cool place, kinda spoiled when we got there by all the guesthouse owners harassing you as soon as you got off the boat... we hadnt even walked up the huge hill yet!
but really, they are such sweet people here. oh and the word for 'thank you very much' is kinda singsong and musical, very cool.
the place we had dinner at at Pak Beng had free rice whiskey with meals. bad idea... its horrible! didnt stop us having a second round of it though. ha oh and weed is offered to you everywhere! reminded me of nimbin...
so now in the world heritage listed Luang Prababg. really beautiful place. hanging with a english bloke, Adam and 2 canadian girls, Heather and Lauren. they all have the same general plan as i do to make our way down to the capital, Vientiane over the course of about a week or so, so we're gonna do that. looking forward to it!
tmro we're getting a bus to Vang Vieng which sounds like a wicked place. will prolly hang there for a while and then hit Vientiane for a coupla days.
i then fly too cambodia on the 20th i think..
alrighty then, we're off to find some lunch. we've hired bikes to see the town for the day, its soooo fun! haha
oh ps YES photos i know, all the net cafes round this part of the world can be nice but have sloooooooow internet so cant difficult to upload stuff... il try my best!
Im coming over See me down at the station By the lane With my hands in my pockets Beck, Go It Alone
quick post. just had dinner with a whole buncha ppl who are getting the slow boat to Luang Prabang in Laos look like a cool crowd. oh and i met another aussie. forgotten his name already but he seems cool, hes from Avalon.
oh yeah how i was sposed to crashhh last nite? yeah abOUt that..ended up again on the beers with the 2 english brothers i met at the hostel the other day and the 2 girls from the hike.. was a good night
theres soooooo much else i could write about but th computers here are ordinary and il get a headache if i stare at the screen for too long..
no beer no fun no fun no babies Jacky (i didnt take my ipod so no lyrics. i thought one of our guides favourite sayings would do instead)
ok so just got back from the trek in the mountains outside Chiang Mai. had THE best time! im absolutely stuffed now though...
i dont even know where to start... ummm oh il say now this would be a lot better with pics but i leave for Laos tmro morning so my camera is in my room charging - so still no pics grrrr.... iv taken heaps though so i really really want to get copies of them online soon. i might try tmro night if i can find a net cafe.. aaaanyways there was a meeting the night before we left to meet our guides. that night ended with me, my two brand new trekking mates, pommie backpackers Becka and Lucy, a few of the guides and a some dudes who had just got back from a trek getting fairly drunk at the bar downstairs of our hostel. good times had by all. so we left the next morning with a group of 9 - me, becka & lucy, a father & son from canada, a japanese student, Yes (yes... thats his name ha), a youngish british couple and our guide Jacky. first stop was elephant rides! i paired up with Yes. that was fun but kinda got old quickly. oh and saw a baby elephant , that was cool. after that we left and trekked for prolly 3 or 4 hours to this unbelievable hut in the mountains. wait till you see the pics! stayed the night there where we played a fun fun drinking game calld Zero Zero BANG. part of the game involved having soot from the cooking wok smeared on our faces so i have a bunch of pics of us all with black marks all over our faces.. that night again ended in copius amounts of alcohol consumption in addition to smoking these horrible massive rolled cigarettes. argh.. was fun! next day most of the group left us cos they had only booked a 2 day trek. so i was left with the 2 loud, winging, veryslow members of our group... becka and lucy. with jacky it was the 4 of us for the next 2 days. the girls were fun to laugh at! nah we got along well so it was cool with the 4 of us. they dubbed our group the 'Jungle Massive'.. bloody pommies so there was more trekking, lotsa waterfall stops, stopping at little huts where locals sold us things and we played with their puppies & kittens, and sinking beers at night. good times good times. last day ended with river rafting. basically a big raft made of say 8 long thick bamboo shoots with a driver guy up the front with a big bamboo stick, me at the back with a big bamboo stick and the 2 girls sitting in the middle drifting down the river for 40mins. sounds pleasant doesnt it?? not with the guys driving ours and another groups! the sticks used to steer and push the raft turned in no time into great sticks to splash everyone with. but i gave as good as i got! haha was tip top fun but it took it outta me.. i'll sleep well tonight
anyways i gotta go get some dindins then im gonna crashhh. thanks for those who have emailed and left comments. im gonna try reply and email others soon.
Everybody needs a holiday Everybody wants to get away Dont you want a week of Saturdays Everybody needs a holiday Spiderbait, Bessy's Last Journey
so im in Chang Mai, after getting the train here over last nite train ride was pretty fun. i was sitting/sleeping near a Canadian guy, Liam and an Aussie girl Ren who was from Darwin (but originally Hobart, i held back any tassie jokes hehe...). they were cool to chat to. Liam studied human geography too! in Toronto. so was cool to have a bit of a chat to him bout geographyish stuff. he crashed out earlyish tho, bout 8:30 so it was me and Ren chatting and playing cards for a while. we then decided to swipe 2 of the good beds (bottom bunks are a bit more spensive but heaps better than the top cos theyre a bit wider and the lights poke over the the curtains on the top - rendering them mostly useless... we both had bought top bunks). so yeah at 2am, you guessed it - we were woken and kicked out of them by the guards when the owners showed up. oh well...
i found some shoes! before i left bangkok. theyre still a size too small but theyre a big size 12 so i just squeeze into them.
and i've organised a fair bit of what im doing over the next few weeks. leave for a 3 day trek in the national park in Chang Mai tmro, then when i return from that i leave for Laos, on a boat then a bus. have about a week there then fly to Cambodia for a few days or so. from there thinking a bus back to Bangers and then another bus and ferry to Ko Samui for a week or so then back again to Bangkok to fly out Well thats the plan. we'll see.
oh and i meant to upload some pics today but left my camera cable in the hostel so thatll hafta wait till laters.. sorry. will do soon though
But nothing can prepare you for it The voice On the other end LCD Soundsystem, Someone Great
so right now im sitting in a net cafe on Khao San Road, sipping on a Tiger, writing my first post from outside oz! ok so where to start.. i forgot my damn shoes! realised on the way to the airport, i only had my Reef slides.. noworries, i thought, im going to thailand dammit - i'll buy a cool cheap-as-chips pair when i get there. umm yeah about that... the fatal flaw with this cuningly drfted plan asian people dont necessarily have the biggest feet.. so every place that sells shoes has their biggest pair a size 12... and im a 13. dammit! i can squeeze into them but theyre tighter than a .... well, you know what i mean... so thats my plan for today. find some shoes that fit me! my other goal for today was to book a ticket to chang mai, and iv already done that. im getting the train there tonite wooooo! umm other things worth mentioning -
the flight was coooool! i dunno why people complain about flying! i watched 3 movies, read my travel books, listened to tunes... i coulda done the resta trip to london no problem!
on the bus from the airport to my hostel on the first night i looked out the window to see the dude on the passenger seat of the car next to me just casually playing with a handgun... welcome to thailand!
its so damn hot and sticky! aircon is my friend
im still learning the value of the baht. like, whats a good price and whats a ripoff. but im getting there.
anyways, like i said, i gotta find some shoes before i get the train tonite, so i better get onto it!
i've decided that now is the time for me to make my first overseas endeavor, and so i am doing a bit of traveling, doing a bit of working, and mostly just doing a bit of everything.
so i leave (or have already left!) Sydney on March 3 for numerous overseas locations: some already planned, many not.
wish me luck!
to get in touch with me you can leave a comment on one of the blog posts, email me, or if you're lucky, catch me on msn or skype
oh yeah im also now on facebook