January 17, 2009 § 2 Comments
For no apparent reason, our dear Gerard Depardieu, beloved French actor to the masses, has got his very own wine made in his honour. Look, the box even has his profile and everything.
I accidentally tagged along to a chateaux visit yesterday. I say accidentally, because I didn’t know we were going. And on top of that, I didn’t know we were going to a chateaux where Gerard Depardieu has his very own wine! Omg! It made me smile.
Checked out old GD’s many wines. Um, if I gather correctly, I think they were named ‘My Truth’. Wow. GD’s very own truth, bottled up, corked, and ready to be served. I noticed there were a couple of GDs which cost a grand total of 4070 euros. Each. Pretty fucking much for truth I say, because truth should be free, damn you GD, free. I don’t care if you have many photos of you in various acts of wine appreciation. I don’t care if you are the most famous French actor outside of France. Don’t care.
Charlene has gone skiing for the weekend and left me her Bordeaux flat to myself. So sorry, I’m sitting here on my arse in silence, writing and ranting. Two activities I like. No, I didn’t get to taste any of the GD wine at all.
On a side note, I have realized that I just spent a considerable amount of time this afternoon watching a Youtube video featuring a guy systematically getting drunk as he contemplates pulling out his pubic hair and saying the word ‘testicle’ many times. Hmm…
January 15, 2009 § 1 Comment
I thought it would be nice to share with everyone that my inspiring life as an idle nomad will not be in vain. I suppose people may have guessed by now that I possess an obsessive love for words and writing. There are just so many moments and subjects in my head that are dying to be released to a wider collective. Don’t ask, but I just can’t keep these thoughts to myself, hence this blog. So recently, during one of my delightfully passive moments, I decided to pitch some ideas to a couple of online travel magazines.
It’s one of those things where one thinks, nah, they won’t write back. But I was wrong, because they did. And so, the last few days, Charlene’s laptop has been my new best friend, as I have been spending my time typing away for Indie Travel Podcast, and maybe Brave New Traveler soon. Sure, it’s one of those things where monetary rewards are not the primary objective, but the important thing is that my stuff will be published, and hopefully read.
Don’t worry, when the first article makes it way out there, you guys will be the first to know. Stay tuned.
January 9, 2009 § Leave a comment
‘Not all who wander are lost’. – Tolkien
After that piece of emotional trash yesterday, today I’m feeling quite bright, and full of all kinds of perspective.
Not too long ago, I read a book by Paul Coelho named ‘The Zahir’. It is a tale about love and loss, but most of all it is a tale about one’s personal pilgrimage. This book reflected in many ways what this trip has meant to me. Bidding farewell to Sydney was not only about leaving the rat-race behind, but also about leaving myself behind. I wanted to lose myself, in order to find myself.
This is no regular holiday. There is no list, no specific city I need to be, no particular person I have to meet. It is all about the journey – there is no destination, no final frontier. I don’t believe in destiny. I travel by myself, to make decisions in solitude, to make my own fate. As I keep going, I continue finding myself with every step, and at the same time been found by places and people.
I am impulsive, wild, free. There will never be ‘what ifs’, there will be no regrets. Self discovery and shit, and this, is what it’s all about for me.
January 8, 2009 § 2 Comments
Firstly, I apologize. The following narrative, which has festered and sprung out from the deepest darkest crevice of my psyche, will be absolute dribble to most of you. If this should be the case, I would advise you to please stop reading. But I figure if you’re on this blog, you are probably more than slightly interested in what I have to say.
I once saw a movie about two people meeting on a train going cross country through Europe. He was traveling to some city or other, she back home to family. On this train they have a mind-blowing connection to one another, and basically spend something like 24 hours discussing life, hopes, dreams, and everything significant that mattered in between. It was a bond so intimate that at the end of the movie, as they said goodbye to one another, they agreed to meet again exactly one year from that day at the exact same place at the exact same time.
The ending was not to be a happy one. But the message in this movie resonated so deeply with me that for many years, while I lived an existence consisting of career and financial pursuits, subconsciously I wanted to be one of these two people. So as the story is known, I sold up, packed up, and pissed off.
Which brings us to now. I confess, I am here in the south of France, because of this movie. Because I believed, that I had met someone so awesome, it was worth enduring a hell-ish itenary (consisting of walking for miles to catch a plane, almost waiting 11 hours alone on Christmas Eve, and then trekking back at 4am on Christmas Day to the station to take another 4 hour train to get to where I needed to go), crossing borders several times with a 15kg backpack, and now, basically spending endless hours in a place I had never planned to return to; just so I could spend more time discussing random shit with this person. As the song goes, this story don’t mean anything, if you’ve got no one to tell them to, it’s true…
As it turns out, this story was not meant to be. For now, anyway. So I will leave Toulouse in a few days, back to Bordeaux for a week to a place I know, with a friend I love. There is no time for sorrow, for there are still places to go and people to meet. My journey will resume in Geneva, very soon.
January 3, 2009 § 2 Comments
So I’m kinda ‘living’ in Toulouse at the moment. Since I’m not traveling, or working, what else is there to do? Go to the supermarket, and join the rest of the unemployed and very old people doing grocery shopping in the middle of a weekday. I have been spending a lot of my time there. I don’t know why, everytime I have nothing to do, I think of food.
I have discovered something about French supermarkets. One of the greatest inventions on this planet, peanut butter, is nowhere to be found. Maybe I’ve been looking down the wrong aisle, but I have searched everywhere. There’s fruity jams in every flavour, exotic flower-infused types of honey, sweet condiments from the vast countrysides of France. They even have Nutella.
But where is the fucking peanut butter??? I also miss Milo.
January 2, 2009 § Leave a comment
It’s that time of year again. Time to reflect on the last 365 days and wonder, what really happened?
Did I really discard the life I knew, mourned briefly the sale of the house and car and stuff, scorned routine and familiarity in the face, and said ‘see ya!’ to Sydney? I guess so, since for the first time in my life, I am spending New Year’s day in a different continent. I am typing away in the dark, somewhere in the south of France, wondering what the hell I should do next.
I’m here for maybe a month, with no plans, having a travel break. Wasn’t really part of the grand scheme to ditch the glamorous lifestyle of a wandering vagabond. I mean, who doesn’t LOVE living out of a backpack, not entirely sure what kind of sleeping surprise awaits me every few days, packing and unpacking a zillion times, and wile away countless hours at various train stations? In a sadomasochist kind of way, I do. But now, I’m bumming around a couchsurfer’s place, and have been spending the last few days reacquainting myself with domesticity.
So folks, that is what I have been up to. Domestic chores. Though I hope it won’t reduce this blog to utter dullness, when even my dear friends, who are obliged, really, to read all this brilliant jibber jabber, will think ‘what rubbish!’ and stop being interested, and more importantly, envious, of my exciting adventures altogether.
Not to worry, the adventures shall continue. In fact the present challenge is trying to find a way to make money come to me. A job? Job shmob. I’m currently in the process of harnessing a burst of creative genius, which some say is completely possible while one wallows in nothingness. Ok, so I’ve been drawing some pretty pictures. I’m hoping people with extremely good taste (though that itself is a contradiction because a lot of people don’t) will part with enormous sums of cash for a slice of my very special artwork. If not, at the very least, it’s something to do.
Oh yeah, Happy New Year. This place celebrates the new year in an entirely confusing way compared to good old Sydney. As in, no fireworks, no drunken hooligans, no street beeping, no kissing random strangers. Rather civilized affair indeed. Therefore didn’t really get up to anything mad, unless you count sitting around a table fighting over drinking glasses and discussing Spongebob Squarepants with a Kiwi as ‘mad’. What? Of course I was sober.
December 26, 2008 § 1 Comment
Well, I’m back in France, in Basque Country for Christmas. This is going to be a small pit stop for me, so when an individual such as myself finds some idle time during holiday season and such, I thought it would be nice to provide a short recap on the past 3 months of traveling. So, 5 countries, over 30 cities, and approximately 19 episodes of couchsurfing later, here are some random highlights – the good, bad, and just plain stupid.
1. Wading around, pitch black, in the Arabian Gulf trying for one hour and catching just one crab.
2. Sandboarding in the desert at the border of Dubai and Oman, eating lovely sand.
3. Getting really excited about riding my first camel only to realize the camel walks really slowly about 10 meters back and forth, and the ride is over in 2 minutes.
4. Going to secret pork-eating establishment in Dubai in what looked like an abandoned building.
5. Hitch-hiking at Cairo Airport at 4am, then miraculously ended up staying with someone who shared with me the services of her private chauffeur and maid.
6. Attending a private soiree at a Parisian train station, got duped into eating blue cheese, and meeting Creepy Polish Guy who insisted chocolate was bad for one’s health. What nonsense.
7. Meeting a French bus driver who tried to invite me back to his apartment to ‘practice his English’. Yeah right, I wasn’t born yesterday.
8. Scootering along the coast of the Mediterranean, in the rain.
9. Hanging out in some Toulouse gay nightclub where a guy brought along his grandpa to party with him.
10. Arranging all of Charlene’s ornamental elephants on top of the sofa in Bordeaux and taking glamour shots of ourselves with them.
11. Feeling completely miserable and lonely in Madrid in an extremely cold hostel with no heating, no friends, and no motivation to do anything.
12. Watching my first flamenco show with the Alhambra as the backdrop.
13. Watching The Matrix entirely in Spanish because there was no remote control for the DVD player to change the audio settings.
14. Convinced by some new Spanish friends to say ‘un chupito me cago en la puta!’ to the barman in Seville, which apparently means ‘one shot, fuck it!’ or something in that manner. The barman gave me my shots.
15. Eating several ‘white chocolate’ sandwiches at 2am in Bilbao.
16. Having midnight dinners in Spain…I still can’t get used to their timetable.
17. Wandering the streets of Porto for 2 hours, completely lost, and ending up in a posh hotel rewarding myself with some super fancy fries.
18. Tasting 2000 vintage port from a 180 euro bottle.
19. Getting used to being the only solo Asian female traveler around, and being somewhat of a novelty because I come from neither Japan nor China. I did briefly contemplate learning Japanese for the hell of it so I can finally respond to all the ‘Konichiwa’s people have sputtered at me.
20. Feeling disgustingly emotional during one of my many road trips on the bus, as I pass incredible Spanish and Portugese landscapes. Everybody should be able to experience all these places and people during their lifetime.
There you go, the top 20. The next installment will inevitably come soon. Merry Christmas and Boxing Day.