Category Archives: Indonesia

An Intimate Close Up of a Street Punk in Candidasa

The three weeks I’ve spent in Candidasa have been more fun that a barrel full of greased-up monkeys. Apart from the 25 hours spent cruising the clear, blue skies of Bali, my days and nights have been filled with heavy drinking, good eating, frantic dancing, mesmerising snorkelling, brutal violence and even a touch of romance (and I’m not just talking about the blossoming man-love between Hamster and Alan).

Candiasa is a truly incredible corner of the world, and it’s a place where I’ve experienced a lot of growth and change over the past year. High above the temples, jungles, beaches and monkeys, I finally felt that I was getting somewhere with my flying. Closer to the ground, I built friendships with people from around the world and from all sorts of backgrounds. From mad doctors to sex-obsessed musicians, and lesbian pilots to conspiracy theorists, Candi is a meeting place for all sorts of wonderful weirdos.

If you’re a fan of paragliding or diving, Candi is your idea of paradise, but it’s a wonderful destination for anyone who just wants to hang out and watch life go sliding on by. Just grab an icy cold Bintang, sit under a tree, and chill out. Have a wank if you want to, nobody will care. Buy a pair of sunglasses from street hawker Eric when he comes round, too – he’s trying to send three kids to private school, you know.

If you’ve been following my adventures over the past three years, you’ll know I have a tendency to fall for attractive European ladies and subsequently change my life plans in order to follow them to the ends of the Earth. I’m happy to say that it’s happened again, and I will be joining the lovely Lena in Moscow in a few weeks time. I’m a handsome bloke, but I’m definitely the ugmo in this relationship; I guess she’s just happy to meet someone who doesn’t wear imitation Adidas tracksuits and smash cinder blocks with his bare hands.

As for Alan and Hamster, they’ve finally succumbed to their burning lust for each other, and have become lovers. I wish they’d waited until I was out of the room to consumate their relationship, but I guess a few years of therapy and binge drinking will help me forget the sight of their aggressive romping. Honestly, it looked like two wombats fighting over a tennis ball. Last I heard, they’re moving to Newtown together to open yogurt shop. I wish them all the best, even if their brand of love is a violent one.

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Back in Balangan

After three weeks back in Australia, I was sick of winter and ready to head back out into the big wide world, so I hitched a ride on a Qantas jet and zipped over to Bali to go paragliding and chase backpackers for a month. Actually, it wasn’t quite that easy – some Islamic terrorist knob jockeys have been doing their best to blow up Aussie planes, which meant an extended journey through security. I guess rocking up with a backpack full of radio equipment and other electrical goodies probably wasn’t a great move. Sadly Fortunately, I didn’t end up with some customs dude lipping his arm up my arse.

Oh, bloody hell, it's sunny!

The other hassle during my flight over to Asia had less to do with bearded Islamic terrorist bum boys and more to do with my own goofiness, because I wasn’t allowed to check in without having a return ticket booked. With only $126 to my name, a flight back to Sydney was out of the question, so it looks like I’ll be spending a week in Darwin on the way back. Cold beer, hot Euro travellers, and heaps of crocodiles to punch. Oh shit, however will I deal with that?

The place I'm staying at looks like it was built by drunk children

Much like last year I’m kicking off my Bali sojourn with a few days in the hidden paradise of Balangan. If you want to know more about it, just read my award-winning post from this time last year. The only real difference is that I’m 20kg lighter this year, so I’ve been spending every morning jogging around in the heat and trying not to shit myself the whole way. Thanks to the rabid dogs that chase me everywhere, I’ve actually been cracking out som good times, and the seven litres of sweat that pours out of me each morning clears plenty of space for Bintangs.

Olympics, here I come

It was on one such not-so-fun run that this story begins. I was doing my best to sidestep a cow when a motorbike came to a spluttering stop a few metres from me and a stunning sort climbed off. She pulled off her helmet, sending blonde hair cascading halfway down her back. I did my best to hide my erection.

“You look like you have plenty of stamina,” the babe said in a thick eastern European accent. I just nodded dumbly and hoped she wouldn’t realise I was about six steps away from collapsing into a bush and spewing on myself. “You should jump on the back of my bike.”

We've all woken up next to someone who looks like that, right?

I was faced with two options. Either I could continue on my run, improve my health and fitness, and live a longer life, or I could climb on the back of a conked-out bike ridden by someone barely old enough to have the training wheels off and drastically reduce my life expectancy. I’m not a fucking idiot, so I went with the option that offered the best chance of getting laid. By that I mean I got on the bike – I guess I could’ve porked one of the cows wandering around, but even in Indonesia such behaviour is largely frowned upon.

Alright, they are kinda cute

Milana (for that was this lovely lass’s name) took me to a gorgeous bar on the beach, where we ordered icy cold Bintangs and did our best to piece together a conversation, despite her being from Estonia and possessing a looser grasp on the English language than your average Bauer editor. When she told me that she’d been in Balangan a year ago and had a disappointing sexual experience with another Aussie paraglider, who looked like me but was much fatter and had longer hair, I just nodded and pretended not to be hurt.

The long-haired, overweight disappointmnt may have looked something like this

Long story short, after 15 Bintangs each we found ourselves in a run-down shack on the beach, the waves crashing beneath our heaving bodies. After a few minutes of fumbling around like a drunk seal I felt very contented and was ready to roll over and have a sleep, but Milana was somewhat less pleased with the proceedings.

“I take back what I say about you have stamina,” the babe said, struggling into her dress. “Maybe you is more like 100 metre runner.”

“Luv,” I replied with a smile as I swaggered out the door, “that’s the first time anyone’s likened me to Usain Bolt. Cheers.”

I like swingers' parties

Bali is still a beautiful place, but it’s time for me to stop looking at it from ground level, and instead check it out from a couple of hundred metres in the air. I’ve got a brand new wing and an almost aggressive desire to spend as much time paragliding as possible. Let’s just hope I can keep it up for a bit longer than I did with poor bloody Milana!

Trees-ed to meet you!

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I haven’t received many standing ovations in my life. There was the time I came third in the under-8 boys mini tramp competition at Gosford Youth Centre a few decades ago, the day I came second in a pie-eating contest, and that’s about it. Even the ovation I received from impressed onlookers after scoring with a big-titted water nymph after paragliding didn’t really happen – I stole the story from my sexy Brazilian friend Ricardo, who can’t walk down the street without a conga line of  super models forming behind him.

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I should enter this shot in a photography comp. It would win and I could use the prizemoney to buy beer

So I was shocked but delighted to be met by roaring applause upon returning to my hotel tonight after another hard day of flying. Had I broken a long standing distance record? Had I impressed everyone with my aerial trickery? Maybe they were simply exhibiting belated appreciation of my dancing skills? Nup. I just landed my wing in a fuckin’ tree.

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Gettin’ higher than a first year yooni student

Unusually, it wasn’t a great day of flying. The Hindu Wind Gods must’ve slept in, and by 3 o’clock I was resigned to killing a few Bintangs and listening to the Raiders lose on the wireless. But when the wind did turn up, I was the hill, back to the setting sun and wing slicing through the evening air.

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Perfect form on launch (it’ not me, obviously)

It was a strange flight. There was a wedding going on in one of the hotels below, and if I’d flown any lower I could’ve zipped in and grabbed a canape and the phone number of one of the bridesmaids before scooting off. They decided to release thousands of balloons shortly after I launched, which created a wacky diversion for the crew. At least they didn’t release a whole bunch of doves.

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Heading for the temple

The ride didn’t last long (words the majority of my ex-girlfriends have spoken at some point) and I had to make a run to the beach after half an hour or so. It was a fun end to a brilliant week, and only a clean landing stood between me and a night of drinking icy cold Bintangs and dancing on tables while Indonesian men threw money at me with my mates. Just aim it at the huuuge patch of sand and we’re sweet.

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This is Rudi, an Indonesian dude who spent the entire afternoon taking selfies in front of us as we stood around. He probably has a photo of me and him as his Facebook profile pic

Yep, I ended up hanging my lovely wing over a bloody bush. It sounds a bit sexy, but it really wasn’t. While I wasn’t hurt, the bush was huge and spiky, and the lines of my glider were as wrapped up in it as a housewife is in the adventures of Ellen DeGeneres and her fellow gay ladies. It was going to take some seriously high-tech actions to get it out.

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Poor Kenny!

Enter Hamster and a styrofoam boat he stole off some locals and proceeded to destroy, and Jed with a massive length of bamboo that the locals probably use to beat infidels. As funny as the situation was, the boys really went out of their way to help me, which is just the way the paragliding community works, and I can’t thank them enough for it. Hamster, I owe you a beer or three. Jed, a Cornetto is on its way.

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Go, Hamster, go!

And so, when we turned up at the hotel, late and cut up and tired, the rest of the crew were washed and ready to head out – after letting me known how much they appreciated my efforts to wrap my wing around the biggest bush on the beach. It was embarrassing but also a great laugh, and a funny way to top off a day that showed off what paragliding is really all about – just getting out there and having fun with your mates.

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Photobombed by an albino

My wing was fine, which was just as well because the next day was to offer something very, very special.

Romeo of the skies

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Another day in Bali, another two-and-a-half hours souring through the big blue above Nusa Dua with my buddies from Cloudbase Paragliding. And I’ll tell ya, making it through a few hours’ of glorious flying was a bit of a surprise because I’ve been married to my toilet for the last couple of days and there aren’t too many brascos up there.

The conditions were brilliant and we were all able to get awesome height, towering over the cliffs of Pyong as we surfed the wind. There were fewer kamikaze Japs, more space, and plenty of opportunities to check out the reefs and temples from a few hundred metres above.

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When the wind picked up I was forced to take refuge on the beach – an exciting battle in itself, as I crawled the last kilometre at a speed slower than a Sydney Traoins rattler, before finally touching down just metres from where a beautiful young lady was swimming. Her tanned body seemed at one with the waves, and her face looked like something you’d kiss until your lips became numb and dropped off.

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I packed up my wing as quickly as possible and sauntered over to the girl, who was visibly impressed by my dramatic entrance. I tossed my helmet onto the sand, ripped off my shirt, stepped into the azure water and splashed over to the bikini-clad babe.
“Yeah, I descended from the heavens just to say hello to you,” I said nonchalantly. “No biggie.”

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The lass was understandably impressed, and there was an unmistakable electricity between us. She looked unbelievably good in a two-piece that made no attempt to cover her astonishing body, and the way she smiled at me told me there was a future for us. We kissed briefly and she told me to meet her at that same spot at 8pm.

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When I returned to the shore, a cluster of my fellow flyers gave me a standing ovation and offered high-fives and thumbs-up. I can’t recall how many called me a legend or the best dude they’ve ever met – but it was certainly in excess of five. I tried to explain that it was just another day in my life but they wouldn’t have it, showering me in free beer and chairing me off into the sunset. I spent the evening being hailed a hero by all who met me – I’m over here with some of the greatest paragliders in Australia, but to them, my achievements at the beach were all that mattered.

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I went back to that special spot at 8pm, flowers clutched in my hand, an excited look on my face, and love in my heart. And there she was, the girl of my dreams, kissing a chubby Indonesian bloke in the silvery moonlight. He looked at me, his ceremonial headdress draped over one eye, and laughed. I was crushed. I threw the flowers onto the sand and trudged into the night, alone with my sadness.

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My Cloudbase chums of Rich, Al and Jed took me out for pizza to cheer me up, where they assured me that I remain an inspiration to them. But their words were hollow and the pizza tasted sour. I’d found and lost love in the most dramatic way possible, but as I gobbled that last slice of pepperoni pizza and wiped sauce from from chin (pizza sauce, I should clarify), I realised that it wasn’t all bad – because life’s always good when you’re paragliding.

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Sunsets in Bali-dise

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I love a good sunset. They’re pretty, they don’t take much effort to enjoy, and they perfectly compliment an icy cold beer. If I found a woman with all those qualities, I’d be sorted for a long and happy life.

Bali is a great place to watch the sun sink below the horizon while sinking a Bintang, so that’s how I’ve spent a lot of my time. Here’s a bunch of photos (and a really awesome video that should win an award) so that you don’t feel like you’re missing out. Aren’t I a nice guy? Set me up with your hot sister, won’t ya?

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This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

 

 

Bingin there, done that

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I’ve been itching for somewhere new to explore in Bali, and today i scratched that itch by visiting one of the beautest beaches around. By sheer coincidence, a lady friend of mine happens to be in Bali right now and staying only a few kilometres away from me in Bingin, so today I decided to rock on over and see her. And see if I could give her one, because she’s pretty hot and knows how to make sex better than my good buddy Geoff Jansz knows how to make pineapple quiche – and that motherfucker knows how to make pineapple quiche.

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Bingin is pretty much the bigger, more developed brother of Balangan – which is pretty much the same role I play in regards to my brother. I certainly can’t match him when it comes to eating Dagwood Dogs, however. The track down the cliffs to Bingin is steep and winding and offers awesome views out over the ocean, with all sorts of shacks and restaurants clustered around it. I’d say it’s not recommended for wheelchair people, but a little Balinese bloke would probably carry you down for a few dollars, so go for it.

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The beach itself is really nice and quite unique. Cliffs rise up from the water, completely covered in huts and hotels and places to drink Bintang. It’s heavily developed, but in a nice style that makes it feel like the way it is right now is the way it was always meant to be. Of course, the wooden shacks will probably be knocked down and replaced with a fucking McDonald’s in a few years, but at the moment it’s pretty perfect.

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Unfortunately, my date didn’t progress as hoped. I saw a funny-looking dog and chased it with a stick for half an hour or so, and when I got back my lady friend was kissing a Brazilian dude with a full sleeve of bad tatts. When I mistakenly asked whether a threesome was on the cards, he chased me with a stick for half an hour or so, which I believe is the definition of irony.

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The Brazilian bozo didn’t order me off the beach with a threat of beheading me and defecating down my neck (he was too busy kissing my lady friend, which he probably wouldn’t have done had he known where that mouth has been; spoiler alert, MY PENIS!), so I spent the afternoon splashing around in the water and checking out the sexy bikini-clad European women ambling about. It was a bit like one of those black man rapper videos where every chick is really hot and there’s not a fatty in sight, although when I started spittin’ sick rhymes about bitchez and money and stuff like that, I wasn’t met with nearly the same amount of applause as Jay-Z or Vanilla Ice would be.

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With my lady friend edging ever closer to having a Brazilian baby and few other people on the beach looking like they wanted anything to do with me, I made my way back up the steep track (I’m lying – I paid a Balinese dude to carry me) and raced back to Balangan. When I got there, I was treated to a sunset that was truly a gift from the gods. Sometimes everything goes wrong, and sometimes life isn’t easy, but a sunset can put everything into perspective and let you know that it’s going to be cool in the end.

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As I’ve gotten older I’ve gained a greater appreciation for sunsets. The uniqueness of each one, how fleeting they are. Every sunset is one less that I get to enjoy, so for now, I’m going to make the most of every fucking one of them. Now where’s that funny-looking dog gone?

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Revenge of the Ladyboys

Last time I was in Bali I was overwhelmed by the number of ladyboys – seriously, there were wangs busting out of bikini bottoms all over the place. I matched with a whole bunch of them on Tinder while I was looking for proper women to disappoint, and readers of Drunk and Jobless were left gobsmacked by my encounters.

Despite not having ovaries or wombs they can still compete in the Olympics as women seem to have bred, because there are even more shemales here this year! And while I haven’t had the pleasure of making six with any f these fine gentlemen, my good friend Igor the Russian Sex Tourist has been with them all, and was more than happy to share his experiences. Righto, let’s check out the finest chicks-with-dicks the Island of the Gods has to offer!

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Tragically, Nicky suffers from shemale-pattern baldness

IGOR SAYS: First we share haircut, then we share gonorrhea. Call me, baby!

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Mela is the most popular player on his soccer team, because any hole is a goal. He was even named MVP – Most Valuable Penis

IGOR SAYS: Mela’s wear spiky soccer boot to bed, and hotel charge me for damage, so I slash man at front desk with bottle. Maybe he live, maybe he die, I no care.

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Despite being the Hottest ever” LADYBOY”, Siti only had enough money for one breast implant. He’s waiting patiently for the right German pervert to pay for the other one

IGOR SAYS: When Siti ask for money for breast enlargement, I put my penis close to breast and say, “See! Breast already look larger!” I could be comedian like American faggot Mr Jerry Seinfeld.

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“Oh, bloody hell, my sheets are stuck to my face with my own jizz again!”

IGOR SAYS: Joke is on Cleopatra, that is my jizz!

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You could just about convince yourself you were porking a real woman if you were with Sasha. And it was dark. And you were drunk. And she didn’t spoof on you

IGOR SAYS: Woman from back, man from front. Sasha’s penis is like the evil snake from the popular Hollywood movie Anaconda. I hate that film, it is for fags.

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The best thing about Marysa is not her massive, fake titties, it’s the fact that after rooting him you can both sit down to watch the footy and talk about cars

IGOR SAYS: When I take off Marsya’s top, I disappoint that she not have love hearts for nipples. I still fuck him, but when he ask for money I call my friend Viktor and put a hit out on Marsya. He is dead now

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“Hello, Mum? I got the role as Garth in the Wayne’s World remake. Schwiiiiiing!”

IGOR SAYS: I get bad beard rash from kissing Jezica in movie theatre. Rash is on my mouth, penis and anus. I make Jezica pay for popcorn as I hate him

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The bloke on the left is in for huge surprise when he gets home. The bloke on the right knows exactly what he’s in for

IGOR SAYS: Who are these gaybos with my woman? I hope Geby give they AIDS, like he give me

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Putting a wig on Mike and calling him a woman is like putting a hat on a duck and calling it a rollercoaster

IGOR SAYS: Michel fucking trick me, I think is girl! Of course, I also once think tractor is girl and marry it, so my judgement is not so good

 

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Rara is back, and it’s STILL not gay if you root him/her

Bintangs in Balangan

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The next leg of the Drunk and Jobless World Tour™ has begun! It’s a journey that will take me from the pristine beaches of southern Bali to the skies of Candidasa, across the mountains of South Korea and deep into the beating heart of Tokyo. It’s going to be a full-on seven weeks, so I’ve decided to start off in the most relaxing of places – Balangan, which is around 45 minutes drive from Kuta, but a world away from that concrete nightmare.

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Balangan’s a really nice beach, with clean, white sand nestled up against volcanic cliffs and palm trees swaying all over the place. Ramshackle restaurants look out over the deep blue sea and surfers either glide through the water, or just sit on their boards because they don’t actually know how to ride but want to say they’ve surfed in Bali.

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It’s not a great beach for swimming due to the reef extending to the sand, so I just bludged around drinking Bintang and perving on the good-looking sheilas who were wandering around. I saw one I really liked the look of – a topless blonde with a bad tattoo that suggested a low sense of self worth – and rolled over to say G’day.

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“We might have to shut the beach down,” I said with a cheeky wink towards her perky boobies. “Because there are a couple of white pointers around.”
I was making my third honking sound when a shadow fell on me, and I turned around to see a very large, very angry man who was covered in tattoos that even Stevie Wonder would agree look shit. He politely suggested that it would not be in my best interests to remain on the beach (actually, it wasn’t all that polite – he screamed something about removing my head and defecating down the remains of my throat, which sounds like an odd thing to do), so I decided to run away in tears and go for a walk.

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During my strut around town, I saw all the usual sights of Southeast Asia – overloaded motorbikes, blokes burning shit on the side of the street, and children urinating in public. I didn’t take any photos of the urinating children because I don’t want to end up on some sort of register, so I’ve put in a picture of an interested cow instead. I also found something that looks like a prison, with barbed wire and everything, and was chased away by guard dogs while the locals laughed at me.

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I sought refuge at the top of a poorly-built wooden tower that seems to serve no other purpose than to give schoolkids a place to smoke bongs and trade porno mags they found in their fathers’ closets (sorry, Dad – I swear I’ll give you back that copy of Sixty Plus one day). I spent a minute or two gazing passionately at a flock of cows milling about far below, then hurried back down to safety because the whole thing felt like it would blow over with the faintest hint of wind.

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It doesn’t take long to get sick of walking in Bali because it’s as humid as a ladyboy’s crotch, so I hailed a cab and headed back to my luxurious accommodation (the driver offered me a happy-ending massage and I said no, but I was disgusted with myself when I realised he probably meant that a pretty lady would do it, not him). With the beach off limits and not much else to do, I’ve just been sitting around with a beer in my hand and a grin pasted on my stupid face. You know, sometimes this strange dance we call life isn’t too bad at all.

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I’m going to Japan!

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The Drunk and Jobless World Tour™ has been on hiatus for the past few weeks, so that I could sit around in my undies getting drunk on cheap wine while laughing at all the trannies who compete in women’s athletics at the Olympics. But I can only do that for so long, so next week I’m heading off again on a most unusual adventure.

My first stop will be Bali,where last year I smashed a million bottles of Bintang, tried and failed to pick up every German chick on the island, and almost got hacked to death by machete-wielding maniacs. This time around things are going to be a bit different, because I’m going to have sex with even more ladyboys going to spent most of the time paragliding. The skies above Nusa Dua and Candi Dasa will be my playground for 14 epic days of flying with the Cloudbase crew.

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Woooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

From there, I’m going to head to South Korea (that’s the good one) and Japan for a month. Korea’s never really been on my radar, but why not explore it? There are brilliant national parks to frolic through, sprawling cities to get lost in, and delicious food to eat. I might even swagger over to the North Korean border and yell out to my little mate Kim Jong-un to let him know he’s a dickhead.

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“I can see my friend, Mr Row Show Arjay LeRock! He wear no pants! Prepare the nukes!”

Japan is somewhere I’ve wanted to visit for a long time. It’s a land of bright lights and breathtaking natural beauty, of stunning technology and kooky mythology. I’m going to hike around Mount Fuji, visit a park where thousands of people have committed suicide (hopefully I’m not in a bad mood that day), and hopefully wind up on one of those wacky Nipponese game shows.

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“Hey, Yuki, this brings back memories!”

I’m also hoping to go to a hardcore wrestling show, where the little Japanese blokes chase each other around with chainsaws and shove broken lightbulbs up their opponent’s blurter for no real reason. If I’m in the mood I might even get involved and win the championship. Why not?

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It’s just a flesh wound!

More than anything, I hope to fall in love with and marry one of those gorgeous sex robots they have over there. You know, the ones that look like real women but wouldn’t dare refuse a blowie out of fear that you’d just pull their batteries out and kick them out the window. I just have to make sure I get one of the nice robots, and not a nasty one like in the classic 80s horror movie Chopping Mall.

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Spoiler alert: their tits are fake

It’ll be seven weeks of awesomeness, and I really hope you’ll join me. I don’t actually want you to come along, of course – I’m sure you’re great company and it would be nice to have someone to split the accommodation bills with, but we’re not quite at that stage of our relationship yet – but it would be great if you could read about how much fun I’m having. Well, I’d better get back to smashing wine and watching replays of everyone’s favourite chick-with-a-dick – and Petero Civoniciva lookalike – Caster Semenya, outrunning a bunch of sheilas.

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Semen on her chest, semen in her ballsack

 

My one year and one week anniversary of being drunk and jobless

Exactly one year and one week ago, I received the greatest gift a man could ever hope for. No, not a blowjob off all four remaining members of One Direction some hot chick with big tits, I’m talking about my redundancy from the evil empire of Bauer Media. It was a pay-off that not only meant I no longer had to spend my days locked away in an office, sitting in a chair that was as comfortable as Clementine Ford at a Weight Watchers meeting, but that I would basically be paid to spend the next year fucking around and doing whatever the hell I wanted.

So how has that year gone?

Well, it’s been a big one. Shortly into my retirement I took a course in paragliding, and it turned out to be one of the best things I’ve ever done in my life (along with that sheila from Home & Away – hi, Colleen!). The feeling of freedom is like nothing else I’ve ever experienced, and the sense of accomplishment I received from being able to learn this wonderful new skill really set me up for a productive year.

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I also crashed my paraglider, a terrifying experience that took me closer to death than I’ve ever been before. But I came out of it without any major injuries, which I’m thankful for every day. There are risks when you fly but, as far as I’m concerned, there’s less chance of dying than there is driving along in a car or walking across the road, so I’ll keep doing it.

I spent the early part of the year travelling through Indonesia (great), Myanmar (brilliant) and India (fucking shithouse), on what became the toughest trip I’ve ever been on. The things I saw and the people I met (and the near death experiences) will stay with me for the rest of my life.

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And when I came home, with no job to go to and adventure in my heart, I went exploring. There’s so much of my own country that I’m yet to see, so I just got out there and checked shit out.

I’ve been on treks through the Aussie wilderness that have pushed me, both mentally and physically. With my tent and sleeping bag and delicious nachos strapped to my back, I scrambled up cliffs and crossed remote rivers all across Sydney and the Central Coast, spending days at a time without seeing other people.

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My desire to see more of Australia took me to Tasmania, where I got stuck in a blizzard, climbed a mountain while drunk, visited an art gallery full of pictures of penises, and drank my bodyweight in cider. It’s an astonishing island that is well worth exploring, and I’ll be back there to see more of it before long.

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I’ve learned how to rock climb and abseil, and how to teach others to do both, and in the process show patience that I don’t think anybody thought I had.

I’ve met people through paragliding, travelling and working, as well as in parks and under bridges while on the drink, and every one of them has changed my life and will remain important to me. Well except for fucking Stavros – he can go sit on an ant hill as far as I’m concerned.

And hell, I even managed to get that Deputy Editor position that was only available to friends of the boss while at Bauer.

It’s been a good year, the best in a long time, and one that’s seen changes that were sorely needed. My last few months in Sydney were dark times, where my sense of self worth was stomped into the gutter and my confidence wrecked, as I wallowed in a negative working environment, writing for a magazine that was heading straight for the bin.

My favourite song by the band The Real McKenzies is called I Do What I Want, and features the lines, “Cold water is all around, is this what it feels like to drown? Ain’t nobody to pull me out, I feel like I’m going down”, and that completely sums up how I felt back in those bad times. The same song also has a chorus that adequately reflects how I feel now.

I do what I want
Whenever I like
Because it’s my right
I don’t ever want to do what I told
‘Cos I’m getting old
And this is how my life’s been turning out

I was horribly lost for a while there and, while I’m still a long way from being found, I’m on the right path for the first time in a long time.

Now that’s out of the way, it’s time to get fucking drunk on a Monday night… oh, that’s right, I already am!