Tag Archives: beach

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!

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Flic en Flac (yes, that’s the actual name of an actual place)

I’ve been to some oddly-named beaches over the years – Tasmania’s Eggs and Bacon Bay stands out – and I think I’ve found the weirdest of all time. It’s called Flick en Flack, it’s on the west coast of Mauritius, and it’s a pretty groovy place to hang out and smash a few beers. Just look at these photos, it’s awesome. Mainly, though, it’s fun to just say the name over and over again.

There’s one long beach that stretches for kilometres, plenty of palm trees, clear water, and golden sand that is mostly free of rubbish and dead birds. There are a few resorts along the water, which means there’s no shortage of plump Russians slowly turning crimson in the tropical sun. I can’t afford to stay in any of the resorts, so I’m looked down upon by the rich Europeans sipping their expensive cocktails, but I figure I won’t be the one having a heart attack in the next two months, so I win.

Yep, Flic en Flac is a top little town, and I reckon it’s a lot nicer than Grand Baie because the beach is better and it’s a bit quieter. I also prefer it because I saw three sets of boobies today. Mauritius is definitely a place where couples come to kiss each other, so a handsome single man like myself has to take what he can get. And what I’m getting right now is pissed on cheap cans of Phoenix while watching the sunset, so enjoy these photos… or just feel jealous of me. How’s the weather where you are at the moment?

The Sights and Kites of Paje

Paje and Paradise both start with the letters ‘pa’. Coincidence? Yeah, probably, but the tiny village of Paje, on Zanzibar’s southeast coast, is certainly a lovely place to spend a few days. So that’s what I’ve been doing – bludging by the pool, bludging on the beach, and acting more like a lazy tourist than the high-octane adventure traveller that everyone knows and loves.

Paje moves pretty slowly at the best of times, but it’s like Stephen Hawking on a treadmill at the moment because of Ramadan. A lot of the restaurants and hotels are shut, but I didn’t let that stop me from getting epically smashed within hours of arriving. I found a beach bar that serves icy cold bottles of Kilimanjaro and Safari, and did my best to bolster the economy while breaking my liver. I must’ve done well, because I woke up on a banana lounge in a resort that certainly wasn’t my own, wearing a sombrero. Ladies, I’m single!

I dashed out of the pool area moments before a couple of very large black gentlemen came over to throw me out, and wandered through the blurry streets, trying to make my way home. A few people I didn’t recognise said hello to me, and I pretended to remember what I’d done the night before. It was a walk of shame, Tanzania style. I’m just glad my arsehole wasn’t sore.

The beaches here are grouse, with powdery white sand, striking blue water and plenty of palm trees. After two months travelling, it was a relief to throw my towel down, whip off my clothes and settle in for a super-sized serving of sun. It would’ve been more relaxing without having some little bloke rock up to offer me weed or sunglasses every six seconds, but it’s the third world, what do you expect?

The sand is swarming with cows and elaborately-dressed Swahili gentlemen, who wander around in their red robes, clutching their big sticks in their hands. No, they’re not out there wanking, they’re holding actual sticks, which make them look like wizards. It’s definitely an unusual sight, but all part of Zanzibar’s unique charm.

The rustic beachside resorts, with their shimmering pools and comfortable cocktail bars, contrast sharply with the tiny villages and shacks that wind along the beach. It’s interesting to trek through them, waving to children and dodging motorbikes. Everyone was yelling out, “Jambo!” to me, which I assumed meant fuckwit was pleased to discover simply means hello. Thanks, guys!

The afternoons get bloody windy in Paje which, combined with the calm waters off the beach, makes it one of the best spots on the planet for kite surfing. Most days see 50 or 60 boarders out on the water, and it definitely looks fun. It’s basically paragliding for people who are scared of heights, but I didn’t tell any of the enthusiasts that in case they decided to wedge their board up my arse for doing so.

Yeah, Paje might make me feel like a tourist, but after rocking and rolling all over Africa that might be exactly what I need. I mean, what’s the point of going overseas if I can’t send photos of me relaxing on a perfect tropical beach back to all those people sufgering through the frigid Sydney winter? Don’t worry, I’m enjoying this enough for everyone!

Reflections on Dubai

I’m at 35,000 feet with a beer in my hand and another seven under my belt, on my way to the Democratic Republic of South Africa. It’s there that my journey will truly begin – not only will I be wrestling rhinos and gulping malaria tablets so that I don’t die, but I’ll also be tracking down the mysterious Prince Imotep Bobongi of Nigeria, who has promised me a large sum of money. None of the movers and sheikhers I met in Dubai had ever heard of him, but I’m not letting that put me off.

Dubai was certainly an interesting place to visit, but it should be obvious from my earlier blogulas that I wasn’t enraptured by it. That’s not surprising – I’m backpacking around, looking for hills to climb and ruins to explore and bars to get smashed in, and Dubai is aimed squarely at families and rich pricks who want to sit by the pool all day. I’m not the target market, so my opinions shouldn’t turn off those who are. In saying that, the UAE isn’t for the adventurous, and isn’t meant to be.

Being Australian and not being a fat cunt, I like to walk everywhere and see what I find, but that doesn’t really work in the Emirates. I clocked up 62.37km of walking over three days (I’m not even making that up – and Mum, I did it all in thongs. Sorry) but I didn’t see as many interesting things as I would in a five kilometre stroll in Riga or San Francisco. It’s all very new and functional.

In saying that, there’s plenty to see and do if you’re planning to stop there for a few days and are willing to travel around. Burj Khalifa was every bit as impressive as I’d hoped it would be, and it stands proudly beside (well, more like stands over) the world’s greatest buildings, such as the Eiffel Tower, Oriental Pearl Tower, and Gosford City Council Building Block B. I’d wanted to see this stunning structure with my own eyes ever since it was announced, and it didn’t disappoint. The beaches, epic shopping centres and massive developments are also worth checking out if you’re into that sorta thing.

It’s a city without a distinct personality, and in many ways it reminds me of Las Vegas. Both are hot, dusty metropolises that have no real reason to exist where they are exept for a major commodity, and both are incredibly superficial. I guess the main difference is that I was able to get so smashed in Las Vegas I kissed Boy Meets World star Ben Savage, and Dubai is the most sober city I’ve ever encountered. I find it hard to trust a city I haven’t passed out in.

For me, it was the old town that was most interesting. It has all the good things about India (the food, happy men with moustaches who like to talk about cricket) without the bad (insane crime levels and five billion people on ever street corner). Alright, so it’s missing the Taj Mahal, the jungles of Southern India and a million other things, but you get my point.

The food in the old town is exceptional, and was a definite highlight for me. Curries, kebabs, pizzas and other awesome stuff are readily available and as cheap as my ex-girlfriend. I almost had to ask them to roll me home after dinner a few times. Dubai is home to heaps of 12-star restaurants and apparently that Gordon Ramsey knob-gobbler owns a place, but the street food is where it’s at.

Is Dubai a place I’d recommend for a holiday? Fuck no, but it’s a decent place for a few days break on the way home from a more interesting destination. That’s it for the stopover, now it’s time to explore the cradle of humanity, an ancient land with millions of years of history. They don’t have a ban on alcohol in Africa, either, so I’m hoping to spend tonight getting shitfaced and hooking up with sheilas who sound like they have speech impediments. Bye bye.

Capital Punishment 

Abu Dhabi is the capital of the UAE, which means it’s their version of Canberra. But instead of being freezing cold and overflowing with brilliant footballers, it’s blazing hot and loaded with skyscrapers. Oh, and the beaches are a bit better than Canberra’s, too.

OK, I admit it. I’m sexy

The city is a two hour bus ride from Dubai, and the majority of the trip plows through barren, sandy desert, with the odd shrub or dilapidated building to break things up. It’s certainly not spectacular, but it’s different from anything I’ve ever seen before. I was tossing off up between going on a desert safari or taking the bus to Abu Dhabi, and I reckon my choice gave me the best of both. I’m now an expert on endless, sandy deserts.

For the true UAE experience, just stare at this photo for two hours

The city of Abu Dhabi isn’t much different from Dubai. There are immense skyscrapers, little Indian blokes running around everywhere, and a distinct lack of decent public transport. It’s an easy city to walk, with wide footpaths and very few open sewers in which to fall into and die. In saying that, there are two big dangers. Firstly, the heat, which smashed me like a Josh Papalii tackle during my near-20km hike. Secondly, the drivers in Abu are fuckwits and would rather hit and kill someone than slow down and let them cross. It has one of the highest rates of hit-and-runs on the planet, which is something the locals take a strange pride in. I reckon they should leave that shit to the professionals at the nearby F1 circuit.

Moments later, it was CARMAGEDDON!

Whilst it really is a nice city and it’s all very impressive, there’s not masses to see and do in AD unless you’re into shopping or are loaded with money. The Grand Mosque is superb, but well out of town, as is the popular Ferrari World. The streets don’t have a lot of personality, with very few shops or markets. I loved exploring the place, but I wouldn’t want to be stuck there unless I was shacked up in an expensive resort (and someone else was paying).

Get off my road!

The jewel in the crown of Abu Dhabi is undoubtedly it’s beaches, and I found them to be really nice. They’re man made, of course, and Kelly Slater won’t be popping round to hang ten anytime soon, but they’re lovely and clean and the nearby ‘scrapers provide a stunning vista while splashing around. I’d been told the water would be too hot to swim in, but I found it really refreshing. There weren’t any topless stunnas on the sand, though, and I couldn’t find anywhere to buy a beer, but count me as a fan of Corniche Beach.

The Abu Dhabi waterfront is lovely… but where are all the people?

There weren’t any women with their tits out, but there was a very naked, very handsome penguin hanging out near the entrance to the beach. He was being coy and obviously playing hard to get, but I could tell by the way he held his beak that he wanted some.
“You’re a long way from the South Pole,” I said smoothly. “But I can show you a pole if you want, you naughty little bird”

Just another holiday romance

The penguin, obviously the strong, silent type, again said nothing, which I took as a sign of interest. I strutted over, loosened my britches, and seconds later I was making love to my flightless fuck buddy. People were honking their horns as they witnessed the physical manifestation of our romance. I was on the verge of orgasm when I felt a tap on my shoulder and turned around to see a very tall, very muscular policeman peering down at me. I immediately lost my erection, assuming that he would throw me into a rat-infested prison where I would probably be raped.

Not a bad pool!

Instead, the policeman just shook his head. “I know how tempting it is, but you’re better than this,” he said, before pulling a samosa out of his pocket and chomping into it as he walked away. I said goodbye to my penguin, returned my shorts to their correct position, and continued on my way.

Island time

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This is the Japanese island of Aoshima and yep, that’s the sun – a first for my trip through the Nippon! Today I lay around on the sand while the locals gawped at me, pretended a large stick was my penis, and attended a shrine said to help single blokes find wives. Personally, I reckon having a decent personality and a large penis would have a higher rate of success. My typing finger got bitten by a crab, so enjoy these wonderful photos instead.

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Aoshima

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Japanland’s cities are great fun to explore, but there’s only so many skyscrapers and karaoke bars I can see before feeling the need to get the hell out of the big smoke. So I packed my kimono and caught the bus over to the beach village of Aoshima, on the eastern coast of Kyushu. And I’m glad I did, because this place is wonderful.

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I was hoping to spend a few days on the sand doing nothing, but I’ve been smashed by the Weather Gods for the past month and so wasn’t surprised when it started bucketing down. I’m staying in a traditional house with paper walls and I thought the fuckin’ thing was going to get washed away. I figured I could either hang around and wait to drown with the handsome Asians I’m sharing my room with, or grab a feminine hygiene product umbrella and head out into the Big Wet. So that’s what I did.

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Despite the atrocious weather, Aoshima truly won me over. It’s not far outside of Miyazaki, a city of 500,000 people, but offers the old school Japanese experience I’ve been looking for. There’s a cluster of ornamental houses with funny roofs and pushbikes by the front doors, a fishing harbour and beach that has probably looked more inviting at other times. I just walked around, listening to the sounds of birds and neighbours chatting, while the rain continued to fall. It has an atmosphere and feeling to it that I’ve not experienced anywhere else, and I love the place.

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There’s a hill at the south of the town with a Buddhist shrine at the top, so I climbed up there. Of course, I didn’t take the proper path, I took one that had been closed due to storm damage. I had to clamber over fallen trees and past mudslides, but the view from the top made it all worthwhile. Through the drizzle I could see epic mountains, temples and other mysterious sites. Being in Aoshima is like being on another planet – it’s great!

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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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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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Jewel of the Nilaveli

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Uppuveli has a great beachTrinco city has a crap one, so I figured it’s time I checked out the other major beach on the northeastern coast of Sri Lanka. Nilaveli is about 10km north of where I’ve been staying, and has a completely different feel. Not as many tourists, a lot more locals, and barbed wire and military watch towers all over the place to give it that ‘tropical paradise’ feel.

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You have to watch out for sunburn, jellyfish stings, and tetanus

Jokes aside, it is a great spot, with palm trees and clear blue water. There aren’t as many restaurants or hotels as in Uppuveli and it’s a long stretch of sand, which means it’s easy to get away from everything and just let the day seep away under a tree. Of course, that brings with it the danger of having a herd of cows wander over and shit on your head, but that sort of thing is par for the course in Asia.

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Hottest motherfucker on the beach

Nilaveli is where Sri Lankans like to go for a dip, and the water around the main section of beach is teeming with the happy little bastards. They like to pack in tight, climb on each other’s shoulders, kiss each other, and generally act in baffling ways that confused and intrigued me. They were obviously curious about me, too, because I was stopped a few times to have my photo taken with groups of near-naked black men – usually holding their hands. I’d post a photo of it but 1) I thought better of handing my camera over to a bunch of strangers in a third world country and 2) anyone who saw it would probably assume I had, at some point, participated in a beach-themed interracial gangbang, which isn’t the case at all. I swear.

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The locals have fantastic tans

There’s a clutch of shops in the centre of the beach that sell everything from curry wraps to glass flowers (my favourite!), and, while small, it’s typically busy. Tuk-tuks and buses fang up and down the dusty road, while cows and dogs dick around, getting in the way and wasting everyone’s time. It’s aimed at the locals, not tourists, so unless you’re really after some cheap plastic toys of a snappy button-up shirt, there’s not much to buy. I was trying to find a signed and framed 1989 Canberra Raiders jersey, for instance, but had no luck and had to settle for one from 1990. I was crushed.

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“Gimme a red soccer ball and some cow shit, bro”

Tired from a long day of sitting on the beach and dancing with cows, I climbed into a tuk-tuk and pointed the little bloke in the front seat in the right direction. We rattled and rolled off down a track, my new friend singing Taylor Swift songs at the top of his lungs and wobbling his little head from side to side. Unfortunately the rock ‘n’ roll express came to a crashing halt when one of the wheels fell off the tuk-tuk, spinning off into a field and startling a cow. Taylor smashed the tuk-tuk into a fence and it almost flipped, which surely would have killed me.

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The moment of impact

We climbed out and Taylor was in tears, probably more for his damaged tuk-tuk than for the fact he almost murdered me. I cuddled him and told him everything would be alright, and he blew his nose loudly on my singlet. He finally settled down enough to pull out his phone and, not wanting to hike through the middle of nowhere, I just hung out, listening to music and dancing with a small group of goats. After a short time, another Sri Lankan dude rocked up in a tuk-tuk, tied Taylor’s to the back of it with some rope, then we all climbed into his ride and crawled out of there.

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Inviting your mates around for a ‘barbie’ means something different in Nilaveli

We ended up in a little hut surrounded by dogs, where Taylor explained to his family that I was a hero, having been there for him when he was at his lowest point. Or something like that, his English was shithouse. They served me a delicious meal of rice and curry, during which Taylor’s children performed a traditional boogie for me, and then I was taken home in the working tuk-tuk and dumped. It wa an unusual experience.

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