April 29, 2009 § Leave a comment
Much to my constant surprise, Indie Travel Podcast are still publishing my work. These guys do such excellent work, check out their site and support them (and me). This time I won’t even bother asking anyone to click on the Google ads below, because they suck big time.
Craig, Linda and I might be collaborating on an e-book soon, when I get my act together and write it, that is. Writing books are hard.
April 27, 2009 § Leave a comment
I know there hasn’t been too many posts lately, but it’s quite hard to write exciting things about the corner kopitiam and the mall. However, I have been ‘busy’ doing the following:
Helping my dad sell stuff on Ebay. It has now become his new hobby and he is now quite addicted. He likes checking his account, like, every few hours to see if someone wants to buy his Sumo clock.
Working on launching my own website themed around travel and personal change.
Writing my first e-book based on the last 12 months of my life.
Catching up on ‘Heroes’. I am still in love with Sylar. He doesn’t eat people’s brains anymore though. I’m slightly disappointed.
Learning French. In theory I am improving, but in practice, uh, maybe not. I totally suck at foreign languages.
Reading Necromancer by William Gibson. I’m actually struggling to finish it.
Dusting off my resume and starting to think about working again. Bummer.
Eagerly anticipating the arrival of a certain visitor in 4 weeks time.
Wondering where the hell Orhan disappeared to.
April 23, 2009 § Leave a comment
So, apparently this is what happens to one’s foot after trekking continuously from country to country for around 6 months. You get a big old foot sprain. The weird thing is, I did not know it was a sprain at the time I got it. Uh, that was maybe back in December. All I know is there was an annoying little pain on my left foot every time I put some pressure on it or tried to bend it a certain way and thought maybe it would go away after a while. So I left it. And then forgot about it for like 4 months and kept walking with this condition. I mean, I got this back in France, and had been hopping through more than 10 countries since then. Suppose all the exciting things that were happening kind of distracted me from the pain.
Anyway, the point is, I got it checked out by my mom’s amazing Chinese acupuncturist-chiropracter type person. She just grabs my foot and goes ‘look, can’t you see how swollen it is?’. I’m like, ‘um, I don’t really study my feet in detail too often, so no’. She then proceeds to rub it vigorously with some stinky white Chinese stuff. She rubs it HARD and oh, it hurts. Make it go away, please. I try not to look and she continues rubbing for like 10 minutes. Extreme pain. I began to wonder how I ever managed to walk on this foot for such a long period of time.
She finally finished, and goes, ‘try bending it again’. I tried. Oh my goodness me, the pain is gone. It has disappeared from the face of the earth and I want to give this woman a big wet kiss. She asks me if I want it bandaged. Earlier I saw what she put in this ‘bandage’. Nasty smelly Chinese brown-looking medicine that looks like poo. I hesitated but she said ‘it will heal much faster and you might not have to come back’.
Needless to say, with my foot covered in nasty brown stuff-filled bandages, it is much better!
April 19, 2009 § 3 Comments
Time for the second round of recaps in the last months of travel. Continuing on from the previous one, here are some of the random moments lodged in my head for all time – the awesome awesomes, the low lows, and a few shudder-worthy ones I wish I could do a ‘Total Recall’ a la Arnold Schwarzenegger on.
1. Pissed drunk, confused and stupidly emotional one cold and strange night/morning in Toulouse: 4am, alone on unfamiliar street, sitting on the sidewalk, tears unable to come out.
2. Watching Obama’s take-over.
3. Snowboarding in the Swiss Alps with skater boy C.
4. Eating my first space cake and feeling like I was about to die. This memory I would like to erase forever.
5. Getting off at the wrong bus stop at 3am in Amsterdam and wandering in the biting 0 degree cold, almost pitch black, for about 15 minutes before I realized my mistake. I was out of the city, in the suburbs, cows and sheep on either side of me, no street lights, no cars, no humans. Luckily I walked back to the bus stop and another bus arrived to take me to the right one. Note: I hate buses, and there is more than one stop named ‘Dorp’. DOH!
6. Being super duper sick in Brussels with food poisoning and unable to savour all that yummy Belgian chocolate. Fortunately I hoarded some and got to eat them when I recovered.
7. Watching The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button in Brussels, along with the geriatics, unemployed, and the school-skippers.
8. Strangely beginning to feel very homesick during this period of time.
9. Going to an ‘art’ gallery-like place in a freaky derelict building in Berlin.
10. Visiting the Jewish Museum by Daniel Libeskind in Berlin. Archinerd dream come true.
11. Partying it up Czech style with a super cool couchsurfer and his friends in Prague. Details are hazy, but I remember it being fun.
12. Watching a classical concert at the fabulous Golden Hall at the Musikverein, Vienna.
13. Gawking at nude flabby Hungarian women at the thermal baths in Hungary. This was when my camera broke.
14. Going to the ballet in Copenhagen, and scored great seats with complimentary drinks despite only paying half-price for cheap-ass standing tickets.
15. Getting lost at night in Milan, and helped generously by two kind Italian souls who walked with me all the way to my destination. Thanks Sylvia and Daniel.
16. Meeting creepy greasy-haired Italian fellow whose idea of picking up foreign women was hooking arms upon meeting them for 5 minutes. Naturally no discretion was practiced here and I literally ran away.
17. Taking the ferry from Piraeus to the island of Aegina, spectacular.
18. Spending the night at Milan Malpensa airport and having to sleep uncomfortably on my backpack.
19. Watching the Coldplay concert live at Emirates Palace on one of Abu Dhabi’s rare stormy nights.
20. Arriving in Malaysia to visit the parents and feeling extreme relief at not having to think about transport/food/accommodation for a little while.
It really has been the trip of a lifetime, and I’ll be returning to Sydney with these cool souvenirs, thanks.
April 13, 2009 § 6 Comments
It has suddenly occurred to me why I visit family so very infrequently. Because we live on two different continents, we see each other perhaps once every one or two years, for a period of 2 weeks at most. Each time we get together, it has dawned on me that each visit brings with it an endless parade of petty complaints, personal wealth comparisons, and just plain gossip about everyone and everything under the sun.
With my parents having approximately 20 siblings between the two of them, gossip is plentiful amongst uncles, aunts and cousins. Naturally, one of the most talked about topics is money. Who has lots of it, who has none, and what each person is doing with theirs. My money is clearly my own business and though some may argue that when it comes to close family members it is alright to discuss it freely, I truly despise talking about it. That is because I know once this personal information is leaked out, even to immediate family, the entire clan will soon know, and thus, the judging begins. Money is not taboo and no one will ever hesitate to tell you what they think you should do with yours.
Another topic is who is getting married, who is dating who, and what they think of each person’s significant other. The two most highly regarded traits are his/her profession, and the colour of their skin. This, I have many gripes about, especially while recently engaging in this discussion with regards to my own personal life. Although no ill intent was meant, the general consensus is that being with someone of a different race was not the ‘perfect’ situation, and perhaps I hadn’t looked hard enough. In this day and age where increasingly we are becoming more of a global race rather than individual races, I couldn’t help but be slightly disappointed at this unfortunate stigma.
So, I feel like I’m 15 again. Still unable to discuss what I consider modern issues with my family. We bicker and fight like old times, say awful things to one another, and tomorrow it is like nothing ever happened. In the history of the last 9 years, this is the longest time I’ve ever spent with them, and now I know why it happens so rarely. Will I last till June, or will we kill each other by then?
April 8, 2009 § 2 Comments
Nicholas Cage, I want my 1oo minutes back. After that magnificent movie Face-Off, how could you make such rubbish? I am truly ashamed of you. In fact, I am truly ashamed of myself. No one is more ashamed than I. Because I sat through the entire film.
I blame boredom. And the heat. My brain is obviously befuddled. This afternoon I decided to treat myself to an afternoon of surround sound, an enormous flat screen tv, and hundreds of movies at my disposal. However I should explain that my parents’ house is a goldmine of B-grade ‘Hollywood’ movies and bad kung-fu flicks. From the plethora I found gems like The Shephard: Border Patrol, The Last Hit Man, Tropic Thunder.
Jean-Claude Van Damme featured movies were also abundant. So Bangkok Dangerous didn’t seem so bad. Oh no. You think, hey, Nicholas Cage, it’ll be alright. So the title seems unfortunate, but come on, it’s Nicholas Cage. Right? But Nicholas Cage says, hey, fuck you. I am the action hero, so I can do whatever the hell I want. Any movie with me will be cool. Even with my bad hair which is kind of a mullet, but not. And oh, the plot. I mean, don’t get me started on the plot. Nicholas Cage, the heartless assassin, falls in love with a mute pharmacist who also happens to be an exotic dancer, then takes on a nobody apprentice, only to have to save him and blast his own brains in the end. Sorry, I gave away the ending, but I thought I’m just doing y’all a big favour.
Nicholas Cage, BOO. HISS. I am truly, truly ashamed.