This blog is essentially a collection of posts I used to write on Facebook combined with my travel blog and expanded to make a very public forum of my thoughts regarding Pop Culture, The Interweb, Cartoons, Comics, Ultimate Frisbee, Absurdity, Life, Travel and whatever else captures my attention long enough to write about it...

Enter at your own peril!

27 July 2010

Hayley is making me fat... Oh yeah and the girls won in Florence

So I said I'd be blogging up Florence in Bangkok... spoke to soon... am writing this in Paris instead and I'll explain why later.

After a long line and a short sprint I made it onto the last train from Rome to Florence and I met Max, Hayley and Nick at the station shortly after they watched the showcase game. We then headed off imediately to "the best Tiramasu in Florence" for dinner (good pizza), beers (good micro brewery beers) and dessert (the aforementioned tiramasu that was really fucking good).

Deciding to forego the early U23 games we met early early (like 8ish or so) the next day to go and see Dave... and it was AWESOME. We saw Dave really early before he got crowded so we got the full affect and even managed a sneaky photo. He really is very very impressive. We also got to see some other stuff... highlights being seeing/hearing a hurdy gurdy and a trumpet marine... The hurdy gurdy being the bastard lovechild of a violin, guitar, piano and angle grinder and the trumpet marine being a single stringed bass type thing that somehow sounds like a trumpet being played underwater... google them.

Oh and we also went to "the best granita place in Florence"... once again not lying...

A trip to Pisa where there is A TOWER THAT LEANS with Max and Nick followed that before a regroup with Hayley to go to the fields just in time to find out the U23 boys lost their quarter to Germany =(
We then got to see the girls win before we headed off to dinner at "the best restaurant in Florence" this time with Nat and Liz in tow. Again no lies... it was AWESOME... the pizza kicked ass and so did the hot tomato pasta. Amazing gratis lemon granita and credit card roulette (with me winning the pot) made that probably my best italian restaurant experience... Even with the waitress nearly in tears because she felt so bad hayley had to pay for everyone because that's the card she didn't pull out. Oh and the top shelf gelato across the bridge was pretty sweet too...

A bit of a sleep in and then we got our disc on the next day (amongst granita/gelato/tiramasu trips of course) and we especially got to see the girls win their semi. Then another trip to the restaurant followed and this time the waitress refused to play credit card roulette and instead went to get her boss to do it... very funny... she was pissing herself laughing at us as we left ("oh you crazy aussies" style) and then it was off to the mixed final and party... the party was at a pool... kinda cool... but had a slightly odd vibe for me.

Sleep in again and it was finals day... The girls won... it was an awesome game... I took a shirtload of pics on TG's camera so I don't have many but the game was really tight and very cool to watch and cheer them along with the boys. Seb's juice moose song and the blatant cheer stealing (not to mention the japanese hate/love backflip between womens and mens finals) were quite fun. All the girls played well and deserved their win over japan...
Mens final was ok too... but being less emmotionally invested meant I payed less attention... I did get to hear some sweet heckle calls on Canada though.
And obviously following the win there was a fairly big (if informal) party at one of the hostels... Max, Hayley and I first had to have yet another italian dinner though... this time with free wine. We saw the sign and were a tad curious... especially after we still saw reasonable prices on the mains... So we guessed it was just a free glass... but then got told it was UNLIMITED free wine... so we asked what the catch was... The owner made the wine himself...
But it was still pretty good, the red better than the white...
Off to the party (where for a change I was barefoot...) and party party party till it was home time when Max and I discovered we were locked out. This is where I saw the main difference in how Max and I deal with things... He threw grapes and rang doorbells till we got inside... I slept on the doorstep...
Breakfast and packing my bag today and then Max, Hayley, the Birthday boy Nick "I'm going to read my book on the pooper" Dousett and I went to the Florence leather market to get magic wallets (amongst other things) and then Nick and I went to the aeroporto... We met the HoS boys there for all our flights to Amsterdam, which was cancelled... much lining up and waiting and frustration followed with those fellows off to a hotel for flights tomorrow whilst I lucked in and had my Florence-Amsterdam-Bangkok-Sydney flight changed to a Florence-Paris-Singapore-Sydney flight that I THINK gets me home faster than I would've originally...

So I'm in Paris now writing this and next time I get net-side I will be home... Not sure how I feel about that. I'm tired of living out of a bag and would like a relax for a while. But I think I will also get antsy at home within a week or so to be going new places and to museums etc... oh well...
Also not looking to the long haul flights... I hate flying... not from fear just the fact I can't sleep and the aircon screws my sinuses... oh and the cliche of shitty airline food will only be stronger with the gastronomical delights I've had the last week or so...

Oh well

See you all soon

Love, Hugs and Kisses

26 July 2010

"Do you think they know we're arguing about ninja turtle and not artists?"

Ahhh Rome the gentle sound of the ambulence and police siren every two minutes...

Ok so it's been a while since the last post... I hopped onto a boat in Dubrovnik at like 11pm and got off it in Bari around 8... it wasn't as bad as people said it would be. The trick is to sleep on the floor rather than the chairs... I'm claiming credit for starting that trend in the section of the boat I was in. I was first to lie down on the floor and when I woke up nearly everyone was doing it... I was coughing up an absolute flem storm though (yeah I know you think I'm gross... but as I've said before I'm not really gross I'm Rock & Roll).

I then got a train from Bari (down south somewhere) to Rome... the train was actually pretty good... The italians may be chaotic and out of control but they do their trains well. It also wasn't packed in the slightest so I got to sleep easily.
Got into Rome and decided to stay two nights to fit in all the Rome touristy stuff. I decided to do it all in walking tour type things rather than faff about alone and try and do it... mainly because I didn't want to have to plan it out I just wanted someone to show me where it all was (yeah it's lazy but gimme a break). I did a night tour the first night that concentrated mainly on the fountains and stuff that looks good at night... It was pretty cool and I saw a lot of things and got told stuff I wouldn't have seen or found out if I was alone. Things like the bitchy "war by sculpture" that was conducted mainly by Benini (or whoever he was that sculpted most of Rome). The guide knew heaps and ironically there was a bogan aussie on the tour whinging about bogans... I also got told about another Bone church and saw what I thought was a magic shop I wanted to go back too.
The Yellow hostel I stayed at was a "party" hostel... which wasn't really my scene... I don't really appreciate the "lets get wasted" mentality of some travellers... especially when it affects your ability to see the sights etc that you're travelling for in the first place... Stupid seppos...
I also wore shoes for the first time since halfway through WUCCs because I put on my long pants the next day and went off to see the pope... or at least visit his house.

...He wasn't home...

But the Vatican tour I did was pretty interesting, although I do cringe everytime I meet a new "Aussie" travelling. Although listening to selfish people try and justify their selfishness is kinda amusing.
One part of the tour was going to "the best gelato shope in Rome" and yes it was AWESOME. I had a caramel and a lemon on (not together I got two)... The caramel rocked my socks... but it meant the lemon one tasted like the sourest of sour sours...
I saw some old buildings and the 10 angels bridge (hearing all about the passion of the christ along the way) and then in the line to the Vatican museum I bumped into Max and Nick and aranged to meet them for dinner.
So the vatican museum was pretty cool... but even I was gettting over italian rennanisance scultpure and (especially) painting by then. The sistine chapel was kinda cool though... I didn't realise it was lots of little pictures though. I think the irony of a little man shouting for everyone to be silent (not to mention the loudspeaker telling everyone) was a bit lost on most though. And talking noises... sistine chapel, best venue for a penis game EVER... Due to all the people I completely lost my tour group though so I headed off to St Pete's Bassilica by myself... Only to re find them there after I left it. That's the nicest church I've been in... which is would want to be given it's like god's house etc.... I then climbed the dome after a brief fight with the ticket man (why the fuck would I want 4 tickets you retard... I'm alone)...

I then returned to the hostel to find my new room reaking of BO... yuck...
Then I went to dinner with Nick and Max... finding out in Italy you apparently need a passport to access the internet to stop the terrorists or something. We booked our accom for Florence together there and then crossed town to a restaurant that the Lonely Planet recomended...

and they were right...

Dino and Tony's was a serious experience... I hadn't had awesomeness food experience until this restaurant... It felt a bit like eating at your friends parents' house... we felt like we should be carrying the dishes into the kitchen to help wash up against their protests of something... except the food was about the best I've ever had. Now (as you should know) Iàm not a "foodie" like a lot of my friends, but this place rocked my socks... We didn't even order... Dino (or perhaps Tony) just said "I sort you out" after we asked for antipasto...
This antipasto was so big and so good we started to think it was actually a main course too... then we got two pasta dishes each... A simple bologenese and an even simpler garlic, olive oil and basil number cooked better than I'd ever had before... followed by an "ice coffee" which was essentially frozen coffee shaved into flakes and covered with whipped cream... Coupled with the unique serving style (throw cutlery from a distance and slam plates onto the table) and a fight between dino and tony and it was amazing... A trip to a bar (after a post midnight dinner finish) and a watermellon on the walk home and you had a very full and very happy anthony.

The next day I did Justin's gore and violence tour of "badass" ancient rome sites... I saw the pantheon and the colleseum and circus maximus and other stuff like that... very cool, quite interesting and great to see all these legendary places I've been reading about for years... I also went back to the magic shop (which was an oddity, collectibles and antiques shop in reality) to get that statue I noticed of the devil for mum for her bday... only it cost 2000 euro... WOW... I guess her and I do have similar taste...

I then had a slight hiccup leaving town... 45 mins in a line getting pushed in on nearly blew my cool... especially as I nearly missed the last train to Florence because of stupid old people... I made it by 1-2 mins TOPS after sprinting in my pack. I really liked Rome and was happy I went to see ancient rome... but modern Rome and the people (and the rudeness) in it nearly ruined it for me...

Anyway that was Rome, I leave for home tomorrow and will try to blog up Florence on my stopover in Bangkok... but the summary goes Florence food is amazing, Dave is AWESOME and the girls won gold... YAY

Lòve, hùgs and Kisses

19 July 2010

Croatia- "So where's your invitation?" "Same place as yours..."

So only one week left till I'm out of here...

Since I left Prague I've been in Croatia with TG. We started by flying from Prague to Split, where we spent a few hours looking at the palace before we jumped onto a boat to Vis Island. We got off the ferry to be greeted by people trying to flog accom off to us and we got a decent deal for a two bed flat with a nice view of Vis town.
Our first full day on Vis we intended to spend going to Blue Cave, but the trip didn't run due to numbers. So we hired a scooter instead and did a big lap of the island exploring the beaches. We ended up going to 5 lovely beaches and despite a minor toe injury and some slight sunburn it was an AWESOME day. And the sunburn really wasn't bad at all thanks to europe having and ozone layer.
The next day the blue caves trip was once again canceled so we hoped a early ferry back to split and then a bus to Dubrovnik... with a brief stop in Bosnia for some reason.

Dubrovnik is awesome. At first I got off the bus and I wasn't wowed at all but TG instantly started playing all the accom scalping Nannas against each other and we ended up with a bargain apartment in the old town. The Nanna then barged us onto a bus and checked us in. But as we hit the old town I understood why Dubrovnik is so popular... Words can't quite do it justice... you will need to see the pics. We went out with Max (the Byron kid we meet off the bus who stayed with us) and another English girl that night and started our night drinking free champagne at a jewelery opening/promo we somehow managed to crash (hence the cheeky where is your invite comment someone pulled on me) and then kicked on further... including a bizzare meeting with a group of very wealthy snobbish Russian girls who didn't want to associate with the inebriated Australians accosting them accusing them of being from Woolongong.

Next morning we went to "hole in the wall" beach/bar... which is the coolest swimming spot I've been to in a long time... My favourite spot in Dubrovnik by far (this is after a reasonable sleep in) and faffed around the rest of the day looking around the old town.
The next day we once again slept in a little and had a morning trip to hole in the wall (we have been going like 2-3 times a day) and then did the Dubrovnik tourist thing. Rector's palace and Maritime museum etc... and the really good one, the walk around the city's walls... Very scenic.
Today TG has hopped a plane to get to Florence on time for the U23s, I will hop a ferry overnight to Italy and spend a day or two in Rome before I skip up for the end of U23s and my flight home.

More general observations of Dubrovnik (and extended Adriatic Croatia) is that it really isn't sure what it is or wants to be... Is it a Coastal Resort? A Family holiday spot? Or a super expensive elite hang out... Or a backpacker town? There are aspects of all of it here...

In other news my sinuses have exploded since I've been in Dubrovnik... and I'm a little tired of living out of a bag... So home sounds kinda cool... but I'm sure within a week I'm going to want to be traveling again...

Love Hugs and Kisses

14 July 2010

Sex, Communism, Torture and Death... My last few days in Prague

So I've apparently really become a barefoot hobo whilst in Prague... My cons have pretty well died a death and I was forced to buy a pair of thongs yesterday after spending most of WUCCs barefoot and I still spent a lot of today wandering barefoot.

Yesterday besides buying thongs Johnny and I made a trip out to kutna hora to see the Bone Church... After a couple of missed train, sleeping through station incidents we eventually got there and wow was it worth it... You need to see the pics to see why. More macabre bone piles... yay =)

Today I did a communism walking tour which was only ok... right up until the point we got to climb into a working nuclear bunker (my second for this trip... only this one is a commie one). It was really awesome, and a club/live music venue on the weekend... so very very cool... and I got to wear a gasmask! The "If you could thrive in communism you can thrive in capitalism" quote was a ripper though.

I then met TG and Tara and we went to the sex toy museum and one of the torture museums... both bringing on a "wow people did that to each other?" response in different ways. The sex museum was just funny and bizarre... Torture was a little more Eeewwww. It was much better than the Transylvanian one though.
We then ate awesome ice cream and I went off to see the Dali and Munch exhibition... Interesting... I like the Dali stuff and the munch stuff was nice, if not quite my scene.

A trip to the communism museum (found next to a casino and above a Maccas) provided a few more soviet propaganda laughs. Following this I got to pick up my freshly washed clothes (bliss) and headed out to drinks and dinner with TG and Tara at the comic bar (oh how I wish it was Wednesday for the Rockabilly night) and then a giant hunk of pig leg near their hotel. Spotting a shirt with a picture of Basil Faulty underscored with "Don't mention the war" and a mojitio at KFC (!!!! But I don't THINK it was alcoholic) finished my last night in Prague.

Oh and the Prague Public Transport videos are really funny.

Love, Hugs and Kisses

13 July 2010

The End of the World Frisball "Bunch of Friends" Competition

So day 3 of Worlds... Back to the afternoon shift and scoring, although this time I didn't get to do any scoring because of weather interruptions. To all the players and people at WUCCs I'm not saying anything new when I talk about "that rainy day" nor am I mentioning anything new when I say the buses to and from the fields were a bit shambles at times...

Anyway on day 3 I had an arvo shift at Slavia (so not Strahov where I was staying) and I decided to hop a slightly earlier bus over to Slavia so that I could watch Smurf from Adelaide play. Getting the bus at a non shift/game change time did mean that there was only 3 people on the bendy bus (including the driver) which may have been what prompted him to get off the bus (engine running) at an intersection to get a drink... I arrived (in one piece) to find Smurf looking fairly comfortable against Jeremy Codhand and I thought (in true dutiful australian fashion) "well I am outside... time for sunscreen"... not 35 seconds after I had rubbed in the last of my sunscreen (the tips of my ears as normal) than *BOOM* epic thunderstorm... Players eventually ran for cover to emerge later on the astroturf fields I was scoring to resume their games (all 3 throws of the Smurf game). As usual however kerfuffle reigns and whilst it was a simple return to play on Astroturf it was not so simple on the grass fields as "you can't resume play for an hour". Scoring at neglected whoop whoop (ie fields 27-28) and on astroturf we didn't get this message and allowed the next game, Mephisto from Canada vs Smiggetlydigglybigglyyodleyodle (Ikea) from Sweden to begin smack bang on time... The real difficulties began at 7-7 (one break each and a Callaghan) when the teams were told to get off the fields to let the other teams from the washed out games resume their play... Understandly the confusion, frustration and cold/wet/bedraggledness was palpable... So basically I did no scoring that day either...

In the evening we met Johnny and his random friend who I can't remember the name of (maybe WB does?) and we went off to club 11 to have a few drinks... I did catch another hedgehog though =)

So day 4 of the Woo Coo Cuck Cucks was a little confusing with longer shifts and shorter games (to fit in the afternoon games rained out) but I got to do an easy morning shift scoring Honey vs Tequila, China vs Russia and 'Card vs Jinx.
In true Honey form the girls decided to let the time cap go at 6-9 and score to make it 7-9 game to 11... and then win 11-10... ps Tequilla Boom Boom had the most annoying cheer of the tournament.
China vs Russia was only notable for the Russians inability to wear clothes and their shoddy spirit.
'Card vs Jinx was pretty cool though as it put Nadine and I "head to head" so to speak... Although I did get told off by the Germans for cheering =( I took some nice pics though.

That afternoon consisted of napping, a little eating, more napping and then off to trade night where I managed to offload ALL the shirts I wanted to trade... Including a misprinted fakulti and a hills jersey... Not to mention the fact that I'd been backpacking for months and while I hadn't worn them for a while leaving them all stuffed in a bag kinda meant that smelt a little bit terrible beyond belief... And they still traded... I am the trade MASTER... And as for the evenings activities all I'm going to say is "WB fail..." we all know why.

Next day was a wake up at 8, breakfast and back to bed afternoon shift... Off to the other fields I got to score a Kaboom game and the Greys... The north american call fest ultimate style shits me to tears and anyone who feels that ultimate can't be played in good spirit (or even competitively) without observers shit me. If Ultimate ends up going down that path in Australia (which I don't think it will) I think you will find me not playing anymore. Maybe we should kill the losers of the game gladiator style to make it as serious as some people take it... I play for the fun of it, but a lot of players seem to not actually enjoy the act of playing... just the act of winning...
We then had a rather "large" evening without intending it... but it was very funny... The Sport Ing bar and it's Chinese man enhanced dancefloor and more hedgehog catching ensured... and it was lots and lots of fun. Not to mention more burns from Lucie (such as "no pigeon" and "no hugging Australians".

By this stage I also hadn't worn shoes for days and my feet were looking very manky...

The finals and party finished off worlds. I won't go into the results but the finals showed me a few things...
  1. I prefer watching games where I know the players
  2. Call-fest ultimate sucks
  3. Japanese teams are cool to watch
The party showed me a few things too
  1. Lining up sucks
  2. England/Ireland/Australia/America all could compete in the "obnoxious drunks" world champs
  3. Prague on the river is pretty night and day
  4. Getting your Shish on will put you back on track and always help you sleep the sleep of kings
As predicted the check out was a confusing affair with a massive amount of faffing... But the end result was I did get to see the castle finally (so I'm now getting my Prague on). The castle is nice (although not battlementy and castley... more old buildingy and palacey) with some awesome views. And we then went to "The (nightmare of RSA enthusiasts everywhere) Pub" to pour our own beers, have dinner and watch the World Cup Joke... I mean final... The best point of that evening was clearly WB's face when he ordered his "chips"... Priceless

So that's the end of frisbee... More on the rest of Prague later... but before I go, time for "the key is no" man story.

At Strahov hostel/dorms you have 12 buildings packed with rooms for students (during school time) and tourists (during non school tourist time). There is a main office with helpful staff and a front desk in each building staffed by an absolute moron.
With one key per room (of two people) you had to give your key in to reception whenever you left so as to not lock out your roomie if you separated from them.
One afternoon/evening I returned to the dorms to say "Hi, room 138 please"
"Uhhh yes... here is my card"
"The Key is no"
*right... Paul must have it... go get Paul*
"Paul, do you have the key?"
"Hi, we're from room 138, here are our cards"
"Key is no"
"Uhhh we don't have it... we gave it to you as we were told to"
"is no"
*right... lets hit up reception*
"Hey we're in block three"
*Wait for man to return from his walk away laugh and explain situation*
"I will call"
*call, talk in Czech*
"He will let you in"
*Decide to go to bed, as getting him to let us in twice might be to hard*

The next morning
*Bugger, left my pass in the room... better go get man to let me in*
"Hi can you let me in to room 138?"
"Here is key"

The other ripper Key is no moments include Rosie and Tom having NO key and needing the lock to be changed and Tom and Nat simultaneously locking their keys in the room only to be saved by Captain Keys and his Overnothings... Words can't describe it... you must see the pictures.

Love, Hugs and Kisses

ps I'm a hedgehog FINDER not MOLESTER

6 July 2010

"Key is no..." "No, key is YES... Man is NO"

So we're nearing the business end of things now...

I left Romania on a sleeper train that got into Budapest at 5am... which sucked... so I slept on the station concrete like a hobo... then I got a train to Prague.

I will leave reporting on the important frisbee things to others more qualified (like Simmo) and just talk abotu what I've been doing.
I walked from Prague station to Strahov... which is further than is seems especially as you can't travel as the bird flies. Even if you get the funny-peculiar. I also saw what seemed to be squatters having a jam session. I also had a TERRIBLE steak for dinner.
I woke up the next morning and DIDN'T have to check out and re check in (yay) and spent the day with Paul K (my roomie) and Nat "training" and then we had a vollie bbq... pretty cruisey.
The next day I wasn't really needed so I spent most of it playing cards (teaching slovaks cheat and flux) and then set up some tents... it was a long day because I got up so much earlier than normal.
The first day of games followed and I got to score 2 super close games (magon vs loquitos... 1 point in it until 13-13 and then it finished 17-15 to Magon and Fire of London vs Feldrenner... 2hrs plus long game and only 13-15).
The opening ceremony was also aclose game 16-17 to Canada... after the Czechs came bace from 5-12 down. They then had a xylaphone band and we played drinking uno. And I caught a hedgehog... it was awesome.
Today was a bit sucky... I woke at 615 to get a 630 bus (skipping breakfast) to be at the far fields to do "security"... only my relief didn't come ... ever... so I was on till 230 =(

Otherwise all is good... and I'm saving a rant about the "key is no" man... I'll wait till the end for that though...

Lové, hůgš ánd kíššěš

A few days ago

So it's been a long time since I last wrote anything... the lack of interweb and moderate amounts of frisball busy-ness has prevented me from doing so.
Anyway at last post I was in Brasov, Transylvania off to watch bears... and you may have noticed from the pics that I saw some... it was mega awesomeness... real bears... They may have been mooching garbage but they were right there on the other side of the street... VERY cool. We saw 8 in total and it was kick ass... I'd ended up going to dinner with a bunch of girls from the hostel and having to run (through the rain) to get back on time... I was 15 mins late and still the first there.
Now I may have inferred in previous posts that american backpackers tend to be ignorant, culturally insensitive, alcohol obsessed, point missing wastes of space and money... Well these girls weren't. They were a lovely group (all Mormans too) and the opposite of what I've previously inferred so I retract my previous assertation ALL American backpackers seem to suck... it's just most =P (Happy Laur?)

I sat up again after that (how can you sleep after bears?) and we decided a large keyboard that can be used with you big toe (and placed on the floor) would be dynamite for those computer/tv hybrid set ups. I then got up at 8am to see if I could go paragliding with some of the morman girls... but weather called it off =( so I went back to bed. I faffed around all morning and then went to Sighasora (Dracula's "birth" town). The town had some old interesting bits... they weren't that pretty though and the torture museum was nowhere near up to scratch. My 1pm train didn't get in till 2 too... which was my fault... when warned it would be late I said "nah, I'll be fine".
Comparing Sighasora to Brasov is a bit harsh (especially given brasov is "probably the best city in the world") but I could've written more torture info than the "muesum" (all one room of it) and the history museum was boring (here is a plow) but did have a nice view. The armament collection was ok but limited too. Sigh was also full of the tack I expected but didn't get in Brasov.

On the train there I was chatting to a Japanese lady who thought I was super traveller man... so much so she wanted a picture of us together in Brasov... so I obliged and am now in some lady's photo collection of her holiday to transylvania.
Glad I didn't spend the whole day (or a night) in Brasov but I did get an awesome wood fired pizza for dinner... which I ate like a filthy pig (or duck because of the limited chewing?). Ciuc (chook) the Romanian beer is ok too... but nothing compared to"Ursus"""THE KING OF BEER in romania"

General observations from Romania. Their food is bland. "Non stop" written outside a shop doesn't mean it is always open. Blinkers are a courtesy when changing lanes only and gutters are more like guidelines than actual barriers to your car.

So that's it from Romania...

Love, hugs and Kisses