Tag Archives: Slovakia

A Wanker in Sri Lanka

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And so, after spending many lifetimes in Europe, I find myself in Sri Lanka. From the frozen tundra of Estonia to the white peaks of Slovakia, and the rocky peaks of Montenegro to the clear blue waters of Greece, now I’m surrounded by palm trees, curry, and annoying little men trying to sell me shit even a complete dickhead wouldn’t want.

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More fruits than an Oxford Street nightclub

The humidity hit me as soon as I stepped off the plane, walking through the night along a runway lined by palm trees, towards a place I thought I’d never visit. I passed customs like I pass ex-lovers, and stepped back out into the Colombo night. Unlike my first steps into India a year ago, however, the culture shock was not severe. There were no swarms of people trying to rob me, just a nice little dude with my name written on a sign and a cup of tea waiting for me in his car. That sounds a bit like I was being abducted, but it was all quite innocent – he was just taking me to my hotel.

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Beautiful downtown Negombo

“I was expecting a Sri Lankan gentleman,” he told me as I loaded my bags into the car.
“Sorry to disappoint,” I replied, “but I’m sure you can find one or two of them around here.”
“Rowan is a Sri Lankan name. Very popular. My son has this name. The man who lives next to me has this name. The man who cuts my hair has this name, and so does his boyfriend… oh, I forgot to introduce myself. I’m Rowan.”
How’s that! I travel around Europe for two and half months and no fucker knows how to pronounce my name, I get to Sri Lanka and I’m just one of the boys.

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It’s completely acceptable to photograph schoolchildren while on holidays. Just don’t do it while at home – that’ll land you in jail

It is very different here, though, obviously. Greece was hot, but had nothing on Sri Lanka. It’s close to 40 during the day and humid as hell, so a stroll down the street had me sweating like Casey Donovan opening a Mars bar. Beers stay cold for about four minutes before becoming warm sludge. I’m staying in Negombo, which is a short trip from the capital, but it’s still pretty quiet and relaxed. A little too quiet, actually, because the restaurants are empty and there’s not a lot to do. I’m right on the beach, which is wide and sandy and covered in a modest amount of garbage. It’s pleasant, if not beautiful, so I’ll head down south to find the good stuff (hee-haw!).

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Sri Lanka has gone to the dogs!

While it’s a peaceful place and I don’t feel like I’m in danger, there are signs of poverty everywhere. Dudes with no legs drag themselves down the street while tuk-tuk drivers desperately beg for their only fare of the day. It’s a poor place, but still has a good feel to it, even if tourists (and their dollars) are few and far between. It’s definitely not a place to rock up to if you want to go to a discoteque full of handsome European men (trust me on this one).

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He got thrown out of the pub for being LEGLESS

 

I was wandering along the beach, watching the sun sink into the azure ocean while little kids knocked a cricket ball around on the sand, when I noticed a man sitting on an upturned boat. He stood out because he was white and boasted an ample gut, and when he gestured to me, I took a gulp of my beer and headed over. Maybe this was the person I’m supposed to meet while in Sri Lanka (I hope not), or he’ll point me in the direction this adventure is to take me (that would be better). When I made it to the boat he looked down at me, extended his hand, and said, “I’m Ian.”

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Ian checks his Tinder matches

There haven’t been a lot of great men named Ian. Former Roosters player Ian Rubin. Hat-wearing gay man Ian ‘Molly’ Meldrum. Moustache dude Ian ‘Turps’ Turpie. It’s hardly a name that has changed lives, and the fact he lisped it at me in a voice that could’ve belonged to a schoolboy didn’t fill me with confidence. He told me to climb onto the boat with him and, with the spirit of adventure in my heart, I did just that.

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“That’s fucken LBW, carnt!”

“You’re on an adventure, and it’s just getting started,” Ian squeaked, looking out at the red-hot sun. “Tomorrow is when everything changes, and you find your destiny.”
“And what’s that?” I asked, filling with awe quicker than a cup fills with water when left out in the rain.
“I see the ocean,” he replied, gesturing wildly.
“So do I, mate, it’s over there, about five metres away.”
Ian went quiet, as if I’d hurt his feelings. I apologised and took another swig of my beer as he sat there, his white hair fluttering in the gentle breeze. “I mean, I see you sailing across the ocean, seeing things you’ve never seen before, experiencing things you’ve never experienced before.”

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Get a Tiger up ya!

I didn’t think my adventure to Sri Lanka was going to take me to the ocean, but if that’s where it takes me, that’s just the way it is. “How do you know this?” I asked.
“I can see it in your eyes,” Ian said, looking not at me but at the children playing cricket. “Tomorrow, you go out on the ocean, and there’ll you’ll see something amazing.”
“Shit, what will I see?”
Ian shifted on the boat and looked at me dead on. “You’ll see world unimaginable, life-altering scenery and more fish than you ever thought possible. You might even find the missing part of your soul. The cruise includes a seafood lunch, fruit, and drinking water. It costs only 3000 rupees and leaves from here at 9am. What do you say, are you ready to meet your destiny? I’ll need the money now.”

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Beats Maccas

I was thinking about pushing Ian off the boat, when fate took care of it for me. One of the kids smacked the cricket ball our way, and when Ian tried to catch it he toppled backwards, falling a few metres to the sand with a thud.
“Sorry Ian, you’re dropped,” I smirked, as the young cricketers swarmed around me and started slapping me high fives and calling me a legend.
I’ve only been in the country a few hours and I’m already a hero of the people – at this point, it’s all in a day’s work!

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Putting the ‘pest’ into Budapest

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I only spent a short amount of time in Budapest, but this wonderful city certainly left me Hungary for more. Haha, that’s why I’m one of Australia’s best-loved journalists, and have literary groupies hanging off my balls 24 hours a day.

It was late when I got in from Bratislava, but I was determined to spend the evening prowling the streets of Budapest, drinking beers, eating kebabs, and charming the local lasses (well, the ones who don’t look like blokes – who are apparently in the minority). However, I didn’t count on meeting Rupert as I checked into my hostel.

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This man thinks your taste in music sucks

Rupert greeted me with a flat cap on his head and a song his heart, wrapping me up in his wiry arms as he showed me to my room. “Once you’re settled, come upstairs and we’ll jam, cat,” he told me, then toodled out of the room. I didn’t have a clue what I was getting myself into.

I went upstairs to the hostel’s living room to find Rupert bopping around on an old lounge with an uncomfortable-looking Asian girl on one side of him and a flustered Englishman on the other. When the song blaring from Rupert’s laptop finished, he told the Pom to put the next one on, which he did reluctantly. Once the first twangs of a country and western song filled the room, Rupert shhok his head, then took off his flat cap and started twisting it in his hands.
“This song sucks, man,” he said quietly. “It’s so boring, just like you. How can you go through life being so damn boring?”

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Fuckin’ Picasso, putting his bloody name up all over the place

Rupert stopped the song, and gave the laptop to me. “Your turn,” he said. “You look like a cool guy, I’m sure you can come up with something better than this idiot.” I put on a Paul Kelly song and Rupert started grooving around and clicking his fingers in time to the beat.
“Now this is a groovy song,” he yodelled. “I’m glad you’re not as fucking boring as that idiot. It’s good to have someone interesting to hang out with for a change.” The Englishman just threw up his arms in exasperation.

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Giz drink, carnt!

The conversation soon turned to the Asian girl’s story, which led to us talking about her homeland of Hong Kong. I studied the history of the island at uni and have a basic understanding of it, which Rupert found exciting. “You’re a smart man with a wonderful, inquisitive mind,” he told me. The Englishman then asked a question, and Rupert stood up and stormed out of the room.
“You’re so fucking stupid, dude,” he yelled when he came back. “You have no idea about anything! You’re boring! Here we have a genuine genius,” Rupert gestured towards me, “and you’re just sitting there like a stupid, boring piece of English shit. Why do you even exist?”

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The Buda side of Budapest

I was starting to worry that Rupert wanted to give me one, and the mild-mannered Englishmen was starting to get fed up with our host’s bizarre behaviour. When Rupert started ranting about how boring the Englishman’s clothes were, he finally snapped.
“You’re so fucking rude!” the Pom yelled, before standing up and storming over to Rupert. “And I’m sick of your fucking hat!” With that, he plucked the flat cap off Rupert’s head and threw it in the bin, before grabbing his bags from his room and heading out the front door.

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A bridge

“See, look at that,” Rupert huffed, as he walked over to the bin. He bent down and pulled his cap out of the bin, not bothering to remove a banana peel from the peak before putting it on his head. “Even his tantrums are fucking boring.

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The beautiful Temple de Craig Field

I finally made it outside the next morning. Budapest definitely feels like a big city, with people hustling and bustling in every directions, and heaps of cars crawling through the streets. Like most big capital cities in the world, the majority of it is pretty generic – you can find the same office buildings  lining the roads of any major metropolis on the planet.

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More flowers than a Dutch fellas breakfast lunchbox

It’s nice down along the river, with all sorts of castles and cathedrals lining the water. It’s here that Budapest is at its finest, and it’s easy to waste hours walking the ancient streets, drinking in the many bars, or just sitting in the sun, looking at the brilliant architecture. Budapest feels like a real meeting of east and west, which is a nice change after spending so long in truly western cities.

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The Kebab of the Day was spicy, but a little small – like an Indian bloke’s donger

One thing you need to watch out for when hiking around Budapest is idiots on bicycles. These carefree Cadells zoom around the footpaths as if their veins are flowing with horse steroids, knocking over startled tourists like ten pins. Most of them are hunched over their bikes in typical racing position, their lycra shorts riding up their ample Hungarian blurters. Forget where you are for even a second, and you’ll end up as roadkill.

Oh, and Rupert, if you’re reading this, gimme a call – I could do with the ego boost!

Beat on the Bratislava

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With my fingers and toes at risk of dropping off from frostbite if I spent another day in the frigid-but-beautiful resort town of Vysoke Tatry, this morning it was time to hop on a train to the Slovakian capital of Bratislava. And what a city it is! With old buildings, winding rivers, lots of bridges and more hobos than you could shake a stick at, it has everything on the European city checklist.

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Colder than Prince’s handshake

The train trip from Vysoke Tatry to Bratislava takes around five hours, but the scenery is often spectacular and it’s an enjoyable and relaxing journey. As the mountains thinned out and gave way to endless fields, and then to the functional and often heavily-graffittied buildings of the Bratislavan outskirts, I prepared to explore the ancient metropolis, which dates back all the way to 1987.

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Some handsome Slovaks

I rounded a corner and found the impressive Grassalkovich Palace (try saying that after a bottle of vodka), with funny little men in strange outfits marching around with guns in their hands. It didn’t seem to serve much point, really, and it was almost like they were just out stretching their legs during a long shift. I didn’t know whether they were armed guards or champion homosexuals practicing for the next mardi gras, so I gave them a bit of a wave and was on my way.

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They’re a shoe-in for Slovakia’s Got Talent

The majority of the city is rather characterless and modern, with simple buildings and busy roads – a result, I assume, of bombings during the Second World War. But things picked up as I got closer to the Old Town, which is pleasant enough and worth checking out if you’re nearby. Bratislava Castle sits atop a hill overlooking the city, and the Danube River makes its way lazily through the concrete and stone. While pleasant, there’s nothing mindblowing or even particularly interesting about Bratislava – if you’ve been to any number of other, more exciting European cities, such as Prague, Tallinn or Huddersfield, you’ve seen everything it has to offer and more.

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The bridge to nowhere…

Oh, there was an awesome homeless dude, though. The best thing about him was that he’d shat his pants, and would throw it at anybody who refused to give him money, before being bundled away by a couple of cops who looked like they were heavily rethinking their career decisions.

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He also gives blowies for a fiver

Apart from  feaces-hurling hobos, he most interesting thing about Bratislava is that there are statues everywhere. They’re hanging out on every corner, peeking out from the roofs of buildings, and sitting in fountains, and they’re all a bit sexy. Wait, did I type that? Fuck it, because it’s true. Anyway, I did manage to spot a chick with an incredible rack, who gave me a boner as hard as stone.

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I wish I was that deer

And there was a really tall statue-man who let me ‘copper’ feel of his nutsack.

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You know what they say about blokes with big hands…

Ultimately, I was left unsatisfied by sexy statues, and was left to sit in a corner and  drown my sorrows with a big, juicy mouthful of meat. It wasn’t the worst way to end my time in the Slovak Republik!

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Lake it till you make it

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Yesterday’s hike through the mountains of Vysoké Tatry was both incredibly incredible and incredibly tiring, so today I took things a bit easier – by drinking a load of beers and walking around a lake. Don’t worry, it was still really pretty.

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Yeah, I’ll be in after you!

I woke up to a blizzard outside my window, and I immediately thought I’d be snowed in and have to end up eating my own leg or risk starving to death. Gimme a break, I’m Australian, I pretty much assume the apocalypse is upon us if the temperature drops below 15 degrees. When I realised I wasn’t going to freeze to death, I caught the train from my base in Stary Smokovec (or Snowy Starcevic, as I like to call it) to the nearby village of Štrbské pleso, which is about 45 minutes away on a very scenic train that moves as quickly as Clive Palmer in the Gold Coast Marathon.

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If there’s a monkey up there, the bastard’s frozen

Once I arrived in Pleso, I was as hungry as a fat girl who forgot her lunch, so I decided to spend the next hour or two in a traditional Slovak restaurant under the train station, drinking beers and eating good food. It was just after midday, but everyone was drinking beer – men, women, children… I think I even saw a dog with a pint glass. Oh, and I can recommend the goulash, it’s great!

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No, goulash, not a ghoulie!

With a belly full of meat and booze, I weedled my way off to explore the nearby lake, which turned out to be extraordinarily beautiful. The whole world was heavy with snow, with the lake a shimmering silver dollar among an endless carpet of white. Alright, I don’t need to fill this with wanky writing to let you know it was fucking awesome, and a sight I will remember for the rest of my life.

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Look at me, I’m on a rock! Are you on a rock? No? Then go fuck yourself!

I walked around the lake surrounded by a silence I’ve known before. There was nothing but the soft patter of snow falling and my own footsteps, as all colour was stripped from life and the temperature dropped and dropped and dropped. I lost feeling in my fingers, but nothing could stop me from grinning like a druggo on dole day as I struggled to take in all the wonderful things to see.

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I should turn this into a postcard

The walk around the lake takes maybe 30 minutes if you’re not stopping too much, but with views like these, why rush? I took well over an hour, stopping to see little frozen miracles everywhere. And I managed to do it all with my camera in one hand and a beer in the other. It’s hard work walking around Štrbské pleso, and I had to keep my fluids up.

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That’s a good way to pass out into a lake

After drinking so many beers, I inevitably felt the need to create some yellow snow, so stopped by the side of the track to have a slash. As I was wiping the icicles from my doodle, I was shocked to realise that a young woman was jogging past. I quickly returned my penis to my pants and hoped she hadn’t seen anything, but she had!
“I hope for your sake that’s just because of the snow,” she said in perfect English, before jogging off. Bloody hell, can’t I even piss in public without some comedian having a go at me?

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Call me!

With the temperature below freezing and my fingers close to turning blue and falling off, I raced back to the station and made took the train back to home base where I smashed more beers and, for reasons that make sense to only me, crab danced around Vysoke Tatry while the locals cheered wildly for my exotic moves.

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Have you seen this crab?

Umm, oh yeah, and I had sex with some sort of reindeer thing that was hanging out in the main street. I’m sorry.

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I’m not welcome back in Stary Smokovec

Vysoké Tatry – A walk on top of the world

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I spent today hiking through Slovakia’s Vysoké Tatry mountain range. It was a monumental experience filled with beauty wonder, and words can’t possibly do it justice, so I’ll drop the hilarious jokes and just give you loads of photos to drool over. I’m off for a beer – catch ya tomorrow!

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From Krakow to Vysoke Tatry with an idiot in tow

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Poland’s been great, but it’s time to head off to the Democratic People’s Republic of Slovakia. It’s not an easy journey between Krakow and my resting place of Starý Smokovec, with three buses and a few hikes along the way, but it wasn’t long before I was in the charming village of Zakopane, close to the border. It was there, while waiting for my bus to leave, that I saw snow for perhaps the fifth time in my life – and was snowed on for the first time ever. In fact, I had more white stuff landing on me than a Japanese porn star.

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The strange man walks past me

I was feeling a bit playful, so I threw a snowball at a man who was walking by. He wasn’t in a playful mood and started shouting at me and gesturing wildly. Wanting to avoid any further conflict, I jumped back onto the bus and hid behind a seat, only for the man to storm onto the bus seconds later.

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Shit, here he comes!

He looked around with crazy eyes and spied me crouching at the back of the bus. He started yelling again, then pounded his way towards me. I closed my eyes, waiting for the inevitable pounding from the punchy Pole, but it never came. I opened one eye and looked up to see him standing there with a grin on his face and a snowball in his hand, which he threw at my face before bursting into laughter. Unfortunately, that was just the start of my adventures with this very troubled individual.

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The little bus of horrors

As the bus took off, the Polish plonker took the seat next to me and started yapping his fuckin’ head off. His name was Viktor or something like that, and it soon became obvious that he was smashed off his gourd. He was rolling around his seat with a can of beer in his hand, jabbering away at me in broken English and spitting like a camel as he went about it.
“You are very good man,” he spluttered. “I am very poor man. Alcohol very expensive. You give me 100 Euro.”

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I took time out to mark my territory

I politely told Viktor to go fuck himself, but the idiot just kept jabbering away, asking me where I was going and whether I could buy him a beer or suck his dick or whatever it was he wanted. I was relieved when we finally reached Lysa Polana – the border of Poland and Slovakia, where I needed to change buses – because I thought I’d get a break from him. Then I realised that Lysa Polana is nothing more than a couple of empty buildings, and I was going to be stuck in the middle of nowhere with Viktor, hoping a bus would show up at some point. That’s when things started going wrong.

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The perfect place to spend an afternoon with a fuckwit

Lysa Polana is actually quite scenic, with huge, tree-lined cliffs in every direction, but as the snow started coming in more heavily, all I could concentrate on was bloody Viktor, who was getting more aggressive by the minute. “You are small and weak, I am big and strong,” Viktor fumed. “You are lucky I do not kill you, but I am nice man. You give me 200 Euro, we stay friends.” To make it worse, he kept flagging down passing cars and trying to climb into them, returning angrier every time they drove off. While Viktor was close to twice the size of me, I was pretty sure I could take him in his drunken state, but I didn’t want to find out. Luckily the bus turned up and, after the driver spent 20 minutes fixing the engine (during which Viktor downed three cans of beer) we were off.

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Grand Theft Auto: Lysa Polana

Viktor kept babbling on about how poor he was until finally, mercifully, he passed out, and I was able to enjoy the glorious scenery leading into Vysoke Tatry National Park. The mountains reached for the heavens as snow fell all around us, and the bus wounds its way towards the village of Stary Smokovec, my final destination. When it finally pulled into the bus stop, I looked back to see Viktor fast asleep, and grabbed my bags and headed out into the freezing afternoon. As the bus took off, I looked back to see Viktor furiously banging on the windows, and flipped him a couple of cheeky birds. I was rid of him at least… or so I thought.

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Why does this shit keep happening to me?

As I walked up into the village, I looked back to see that the bus had stopped again. It sat there for a few moments, and when it took off, there was Viktor, ranting and raving and carrying on like a pork chop. He was screaming my name and looking around for me and, wanting to avoid any further confrontation with the dickhead, I charged in the opposite directing and headed to the place I’m staying.

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Lovely Stary Smokovec

Starý Smokovec is a wonderful little town sitting 1100m up a mountain, so it’s cold and snow-covered and lovely. It’s used as a base for skiiers in winter and hikers in summer, and I’m here in the middle of both seasons so it’s quiet. Very quiet. As I walked around to have a look, I saw no people, and it felt as if I was in a ghost town. It’s also very small, so it’s only a matter of time before I run into my old mate Viktor again…

 

 

A journey of a thousand beers starts with a single can…

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The adventure is finally underway and I’m happy to say that I haven’t been bashed, stabbed, shot at or blown up yet. Of course, that’s not saying much seeing as so far I’ve travelled only 50km from Gosford to Sydney Airport, but it’s a start.

The trip down was very exotic – I sat between an Asian bloke who dropped his noodles in his lap and then slurped them up anyway, and a homeless bloke who was doing his best to slurp his noodle, but was unsuccessful. I’m gonna miss this place!

Security at Sydney Airport has been ramped up, with all sorts of X-ray machines that look like something out of Total Recall but don’t, sadly, allow one to see through the clothes of pretty girls (trust me, I checked it out). Despite the increase in security, and no matter how shady I acted, I didn’t manage to convince the big, fat, hairy dude really sexy and pretty security sheila to give me an internal examination. Oh well, there’s always hope when I get to the other side of the world.

Speaking of which, by the next time you hear from me, I will have travelled slightly further – another 15,000km, all the way to the ancient city of Riga, Latvia. That’s where the Drunk and Jobless 2016 World Tour of Europe: The Search for Beers, Kebabs and the Greatest Love the World has Ever Known will truly kick off. As the title suggests, I’ll bee stumbling through Europe with a can in one hand, a salmonella-encrusted wrap in the other, checking out thousands of years of history, while keeping an eye out for the girl who will become the love of my life.

It will take me from Lativia, to Estonia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia… I’m struggling to remember them all here, but I know I’ll be finishing up with an epic week of so on the Greek Islands. It’s going to be like Acropolis Now, only with less Effy and more effing (I hope).

I’ll be reporting every day on the weird shit that’s happened to me, the freaks I’ve met, the wonderful things I’ve seen and other crap that will hopefully make you laugh. There’ll be photos (some where I’ll even be wearing pants!) and the best writing you’ve ever se read (that’s probably a lie). I’m gone for more than two months, so stick around because I might get lonely…

Awesome, they’ve just called my flight – one can of your shittest beer, please, Qantas!

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