Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Last Days in The Asylum

There are several hard truths in life. 'The Beach' is a much better book than a film, you will always be tagged in an photo on facebook you do not want to be tagged in and the whole 'Twilight' saga is not going to go away anytime soon.

Another one that needs to be added to that list is that money never lasts forever and sooner or later you're going to have to get a job and start contributing to society again. Which is why I found myself on the other end of a paint brush being a painter and decorator for three days. That's right, THREE DAYS. My first job in Australia where I have lasted for more than one day in a row. I feel like I need a rest, but alas no rest for the wicked. Because three of us (Me, Greg and Crystal) need to get down to Hervey Bay for the 22nd December. 

So, I've worked my fingers to the bone in creating some very amateurish looking flyers to put up on the noticeboards of Cairns. This ideally should have been done last week, but it wasn't. (I blame Greg personally).

Friday, December 4, 2009

Blogger's Block

For the past few weeks I've been in Cairns I haven't blogged. I've done lots of stuff gone out met cool people, won some prizes but haven't been able to put hands to keyboard and put the words on screen. Mainly because for the last few weeks I have been so hungover I cannot focus on a bright screen near my face. If I listen carefully I can actually hear my liver cry out in pain everytime I lift my bottle of beer/cup of goon.

I've decided to 'man up' and put my (sober-ish) thoughts to screen. Since I've been in Cairns I have won two competitions just by dancing on stage I won a white water rafting trip and a trip to Cape Tribulation not bad for 10 minutes work. I'm staying at a hostel called Asylum and every Monday they host a pub crawl they call 'Mad Monday'. It is chaos, last Monday I rugby tackled a sign and was told off by the hostel manager. Not one of my proudest moments. But I did win Mr Backpacker and a trip to Cape Tribulation so it's all good.

Other than the ridiculous amount of alcohol I have drank over the last two weeks I have been chilling out by the pool and lagoon and been job hunting. Job hunting in Cairns is a lot like repeatedly banging your head against an iron bar whilst singing the Bulgarian national anthem. Ultimately an exercise in futility. But I have done a days work shifting carpets about, that would make a grand total of three days worked in Australia. I will aim for a full week one of these days...

Really need to get some transport sorted for going down to Hervey Bay in time for the 22nd December, but you know how it is, someone offers you a beer and before you know it that transport isn't the most important thing on your mind....

Anyways gotta go someone has just offered me a beer.....

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Getting on it until I vomit, then when I vomit, I'm going to get back on it.

I really like hip-hop music. Eminem, Dre and Nas are the Rembrandts and Da Vinci's of their generation, the music they make their masterpieces. Phil (I'll talk more about Phil in a bit) would probably disagree with that sentiment after the two weeks he was in Sydney. There is a lot of hip hop music on the woodduck (really cool hostel in Sydney) playlist. So by the end of Phil's stay he had listened to the entire back catalogue of every rap song ever recorded. Twice.

Phil is Greg's mate from back in Manchester. He is mental. In a good way. Most of what he done I can't actually write in this blog, his favourite sayings were 'You're the salt of the earth you are' and 'you're my f***ing hero you are'. They lost all meaning he said them that much. He spent his last night in Sydney burning holes in the rooftop with a can of aerosol and lighter. The time he was here I must have drank my own body weight in goon and beer. To quote a film 'I feel like the ghost of a complete stranger'.

I'm back in Cairns now, I flew up with Greg a couple of days ago. And tonight I'm probably going to get on it until I vomit and when I vomit I'm going to get back on it. Being back in the tropics means it's the return of Bug Wars. The ceasefire is over. So far the bugs seem to be winning after being covered in bites as soon as we stepped foot off the plane. And a bed bug was found in Karen's bed. Full of blood. Probably hers. The hostel we're staying at is called Asylum. At least I think it's a hostel and not an *actual* asylum. We're all referred to as inmates. (Did you see what they did there?)

Also I've got into this farmville thing on facebook, my brother posted the best comment ever 'so, one day you go to the other side of the world to witness the wonders; the next you've got a farm on facebook... '

Anyways got to go I need to stock up on insect repellant and bite cream. War is hell.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Going back to the dark side

Johnny Rotten once asked the question "Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?" I asked myself the same question a week ago. The only difference was Johnny Rotten was playing a concert in America and I was in a tomato field in Bowen. And he was the lead singer of The Sex Pistols and I'm a backpacker. 

After arriving in Cairns we all tried to find jobs with varying degrees of success (Karen found a job eventually, me and Jon didn't). So myself and Jon travelled to Bowen on the promise of fruit picking work which we were told paid quite well. It didn't. We were also told we would have 2-3 weeks work which would then lead onto more work. 2-3 weeks work turned into 2-3 days work, that then turned into one days work. So after working a 12 hour day picking tomatoes we decided to hot foot it to Brisbane. Also, Bowen is famous for being  the place where they filmed 'Australia' (the film with Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman in). Oh yeah, Bowen also does an awesome lamb & gravy roll and chips.

Brisbane is quite a nice city to look at but with not an awful lot to do I decided to go back to Sydney. Staying true to form I decided to quit my job before I even had a first day. I doubt I'll do a full weeks work all the time I'm in Australia. Or ever again. To quote mate Greg said "you've come back to the dark side", and it feels like it. I've done nothing but drink for the last three days and jesus, I feel rough. And, yes, I am going back out tonight (teapot shots and World Bar, awesome). But as fun as Sydney is, I'm flying back upto Cairns next Wednesday. Yes, I know, I might as well have stayed in Cairns, but where's the fun in that?

So I've travelled up the East Coast in a campervan, down it in a Greyhound bus and up it again in a plane. Pretty much all the travel styles covered. (I ain't bloody walking it). And I've enjoyed every minute of it. Well, apart from the tomatoes.

Anyway, I must go, I hear the goon and BBQ calling...

Friday, October 23, 2009

In Which We Finally Arrive in Cairns

So we've finally reached Cairns, ditched the campervan and checked ourselves into a hostel. The campervan survived the trip (well apart from the massive scratch Jon managed to put on it just as we pulled outside the drop off pace, but they didn't seem to notice so it's OK).

Cairns hasn't really impressed me so far, but they do have a Hungry Jack's so it's not all bad.

Bug Wars - The Final Battle

In a last ditch attempt to win the war, the bugs sent their most deadly weapon. A fucking huge spider.

As I stepped into the campervan to put some spaghetti in tomato and cheese sauce on the gas hob, Karen asked me 'what is that above your head?' As I looked up I came eyeball to eyeball with a spider the size of a Vauxhall Corsa. As I (very bravely) dived onto the bunk to get out of it's way, The Bastard decided to move (The Bastard is what I've decided to call it). All three of us spoke at great length about what to do about the situation. The conversation was peppered with swear words and things like 'I'm not fucking going in there'.

After a good 15 minutes and consulting a bemused Aussie who confirmed The Bastard was a huntsman and not dangerous we decided to get a tupperware container and trap the little fucker. So whilst Jon had the tupperware container over the spider (sorry The Bastard) I (again, very bravely) got a piece of cardboard from a Coco Pops container and slid it under the mass of legs and hatred. After it was in the plastic box, I let Jon take The Bastard as far away from the van as possible. He then very bravely threw the whole thing to the ground and ran back to us with speeds that would have won him the Olympics 100m. (Or the very least sports day back at school).

After this the bugs have left us alone for the most part. Presumably because they were so scared of our treatment of The Bastard.

And so the ceasefire continues, until the next time.....

In other non-bug related news, trying to find a job in Cairns, is proving much harder than in Brisbane and Sydney. (In Brisbane we were actually offered jobs as we were walking down the street).


Sunday, October 18, 2009

A Few Haphazard Thoughts

Since I began this blog a few weeks into my trip not a lot of thought or effort has gone into it (as you've probably guessed). That's not about to change, before you get excited. Sorry.

We all went to Australia Zoo (the one Steve Irwin used to own) last week. And it was brilliant. Best zoo I've ever been to, we fed kangaroos and elephants, watched the best tigers in the world and generally enjoyed the whole day. I'm a bit gutted I didn't get to meet Steve Irwin, but what with him being dead and all, there's not alot I can do about it....

Since travelling up the east coast we've seen some amazing things, lovely beaches, beautiful mountains and rolling countryside. Karen was most impressed by the letter boxes on peoples houses. (To be fair they are really bloody amazing).

At present we are in Airlie Beach, a fantastic place with a lagoon and a place I genuinely don't want to leave. I'm going to put the photos onto facebook the first chance I get, but they won't do it justice.

Other than that we are waging a long war against the bugs and mosquitoes of the countryside. The bugs, judging by the bites on mine and Karen's legs, are winning. (Jon, supiciously doesn't have any bites, I suspect him of fraternising with the enemy. I will keep you posted).

The only major arguements we've had is whose iPod goes on in the car. Jon wants his iPod on (nothing but indie, which although has some really good songs on, gets a bit samey) Karen naturally wants her iPod (mostly old school dance tunes, which is annoyingly good sometimes). They are both wrong. My iPod should go on all the time. Mainly because God himself crafted it and gave it to me.

We are also in some desperate need of some card games, which I'll need to research. At the moment we have three games on steady rotation and they are trying everyone's patience.

Anyway, I'm off to enjoy some sunshine and scenery.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

In Which We Pay The Price For Vanity

After surviving Hannibal Lecter all three of us in one form or another is suffering from some type of sunburn. The thing that sets me apart from Karen and Jon, is the fact I'm bitching about it more than them.  If anybody is reading this, two things always to remember to use high factor suncream and also visit Noosa, it's awesome!!

Other than the sunburn, we've played a frankly stupid amount of card games, (myself and Karen are astonished at the lengths Jon will take to cheat at any given game). Going up the east coast we've seen some amazing sights, not least Jon charging his laptop outside a car dealership. Or my multi coloured chest and torso. (Not really amazing, more faintly nauseating).

We've also agreed to treat ourselves to a meal out once a week, this is easier said than done for me who is used to surviving on Hungry Jack's at least five times a day...

Anyways, until next time, laters.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Meeting our First Psycho

It would seem that all the horror films involving murder in the Oz seem to have some basis in truth. We've met our first psychopath, who has fixated himself on Karen. He invited himself out with us in Brisbane and even tried getting in the car with us at one point. I fully expect him to have a collection of dead small animals and pictures of Karen all over his dorm room wall.

In other news, there's a girl in our dorm who looks exactly like the strange one from The Breakfast Club film. I'm pretty sure I've seen her make a painting out of dandruff from her hair as well.

Byron Bay was cool, we got moved on by some police officers as we were drinking goon (cheap wine) in the park, only to walk two minutes down the road to another park bench and continue the drinking. I was sick. Classy. Karen and Jon tried some surfing in Surfer's Paradise, I did not, as I felt like hell. We're going to be hitting the town tonight and then carrying on the East Coast by campervan. Hopefully Hannibal Lector will not stow away in one of the cupboards.

See you on the other side.

Friday, October 9, 2009

East Coast. The Story so Far.

Myself, Jon & Karen have travelled as far as Byron Bay at the time of writing. A few highlights have been Newcastle (not that one),  which was a shit hole. A bit like a mining town that lost it's mines and didn't have anything else to fall back on. Having said that, I did have a very nice chicken schnitzel burger there.

We've also travelled through Coff's Harbour, which was a nice little harbour town which, without trying to sound like an estate agent, boasts some spectacular coastal views. Didn't have much more than that though.

Nimbin, I had high hopes for. If the stories were to be believed we were in for a drugs fuelled odyssey spanning space and time. What we got was a pub, and 85% of the shops that were there were shut. (Presumably because everyone was so baked).

As I mentioned before we're in Byron Bay, which from first impressions is brilliant. 

My back hurts from all of the laying down on hard ground, (we're in a tent) but I wouldn't have it any other way, bring on Brisbane (and the camper van).....


Monday, October 5, 2009

Rumours of My Writing Ability Have been Greatly Exagerrated

So, it's the day before the trip and the only thing I'm really concerned about is whether there will be wine gums in the car. 

I'm sure there will be, but you never know. Looking forward to do some actual travelling on this trip as opposed to wandering around Sydney in a bit of a drunken/hungover haze. 

I've typed most of these blogs (well, all of these posts) in the Apple Store. It is my second home (mainly for the free internet) I think I've been here for so long they may have a leaving party for me....

I'll post next when I've got something interesting to actually say....

Saturday, October 3, 2009

The Difficult Second Post

Things I learned today

Paddy's Market is a really big, really busy market that sells cheap knock off clothes/bags/food etc etc. It is not the place to wander around when hungover. Especially the meat & fish section.

Crazy homeless people do not like to be moved by security guards, this usually results in abuse being shouted at said security guard, especially when he tries to move her bottle of what looks like piss.

The second post of a blog is never as good as the first post.

Friday, October 2, 2009

The First Post

Well, after 6 weeks in Sydney I'm finally going to do some travelling, going to camp in the Blue mountains with Karen and Jon, then up the east coast to Cairns. I am hoping they can put up with me that long.....

Some things I've noticed about Sydney, it is most definitely NOT like London. It is more like Birmingham. On Speed. A bit relaxed but go down the wrong street at the wrong time and you will see some transvestites.

Essential travel books - Yes Man by Danny Wallace & The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. Also 400 facts about Chuck Norris is very good, they also have a website which is continually updated. Karen will not allow the Chuck Norris book on the trip, due to the fact it will drive to murder.

'Til next time,

Catch ya on the other side.