“Hi Myself.” I venture, awkwardly.
“Where have you been?” Myself asks.
“Just around…” I offer. I try a joke. “Off with the fairies, as they say.” There’s a slight pause as Myself acknowledges the explanation with a nearly imperceptible nod, blinks and looks past my shoulder at nothing. I try again. “So… what have you been up to?”
“Not a lot really.” Myself says slowly. “It’s all a bit hazy.”
“Yeah I know what you mean…” I sigh. Another pause. The years between us ruffle in the wind. “Still, it’s nice to see you again.”
“Definitely.” Myself says. “Shall we go for a walk?”
We begin our meander, unsure whether to hold hands or not.Read More
Stolen from my new Brussels friend, Moji.
If I could I would live my life over.
This time I would try to make more mistakes.
I would try not to be so perfect,
I would laugh more.
I would be so much sillier than I have been that I would take few things seriously.
I would be less hygienic.
I would risk more, take more trips, contemplate more sunsets, climb more mountains, ford more streams.
I would go to more places I have never been.
I would eat more ice cream and fewer beans.
I would have more real problems and fewer imaginary ones.
I was one of those people who lived every minute of life sensibly and productively.
Of course I had moments of delight.
But if I were able to go back it would be for good moments only.
Because, if you don’t know it, that’s what life’s made of: moments.
Do not waste even this one.
I was a guy who never went anywhere without a thermometer, a hot water bottle, an umbrella, and a poncho.
If I could live my life again I would travel more lightly.
If I could live again I would start going barefoot when spring comes and not stop till fall’s long gone.
I would walk down more side streets, contemplate more dawns, and play with more children, if I had my life ahead of me again.
But, come now.
I am 85 years old.
I know I am dying.
Jorge Luis Borges – The Instant
Okay so lemme get this straight…
Alcohol: makes many people aggressive and stupid, potential to lose body functions before vomitting in the street. Destroys liver.
Tobacco: addictive, causes cancer.
Marijuana: makes you relaxed and love everyone around you.
Magic mushrooms: makes the little bump under your pinky toe really, really really funny.
AM I MISSING SOMETHING!?!?!?!??!Read More
Stayed at the GSpot Hostel in Lisbon, Portugal and laughed so much at the clever marketing I had to interview the owner about it to share with all my entrepreneurially minded friends back home… I hope you all find the GSpot!
Interviewing and editing skills need some work but you get the idea 😉
If video below not working, check it out on my YouTube Channel.Read More
“The City of Love”. I want to vomit.
In my pre-arrival state of mind, Paris is possibly the most hyped up city in all of Europe. I’ve heard the Eiffel Tower is ridiculously overrated (5 hour queues for a not-very-high view) and I’m fully prepared for shopping malls and hot dog stands where there should be beret’d artists and quaffed poodles.
Our first night, surrounded by the cozy smell of crepes, we round a corner of Trocadero Square and the Eiffel Tower smacks me in the face. A whoozy feeling shoots through my lungs, around my heart and down to my feet. Bright, white lights dance from the top of the tower, high-fiving and cartwheeling down to the bottom before racing up to do it all again. Fountains reflecting the lights become shooting stars as the curved edges slide down to a frame of topiary trees, statues and manicured gardens spread around the base. I am enraptured. It’s simultaneously magnificent and intimate; a mesmerising monument I want to pick up and put in my back pocket.
This first glimpse just so happened to be during the 10 minutes of every hour when additional lights are turned on. We met a friend underneath it the next day and I can’t express how grateful I am that my first sight of the Eiffel was with those lights. It’s just not the same in the daytime. We order a chocolate and banana crepe and settle on the edge of a monument for a longer look. It’s basically a giant Christmas tree. You can just sit and stare and stare and stare. Then, after glancing at the moon strung in the sky next to it like from a baby’s mobile, stare some more. I’m addicted. My plan the next night, if I can’t find Kendyl and friends at the club we’re supposed to meet at, is to go back there and lie upside down on my sarong, contentedly mesmerised for a few hours.
Eiffel Tower. Not overrated.
I do find Kendyl the next night though and we are treated to an early morning scooter ride through Paris by new friends Thomas and Charles. I tie a scarf around my neck so it can ride the wind with my hair as we speed past the Notre Dame, the Louvre, under the Tower (lights off), down the Champs de Elysees, through the Princess Di tunnel (goosebumps), along the River Seine and up onto the pavement outside Charles’ apartment. The four of us sip Rose on a balcony overlooking Paris’ rooftops. We are presided over by the moon which, though competing for attention last night at the Eiffel, is tonight the pis-de-resistance of our little tableu.
It was disconcerting then when, on our last night in Paris, the first act of the Moulin Rouge show “Feree” resembled a drunk rehearsal of an impromptu choreography session from a year 12 common room. I swear I saw one of the girls miss a beat (again) and turn to one of the other girls for a giggle about it. But what it lacks in performance finesse and originality, it makes up for in half naked bodies and costumes. I can’t believe I just wrote that sentence but it’s true. Furry, red apples explode into spider tendrils to swish across brazilian bikini-d backsides. An amazon woman wrestles in a giant see-through pool with what my limited understanding of the animal kingdom tells me are phythons. A man plays the drums by blowing ping-pongs from his mouth. Half naked heeled women dressed as pirates, sailors, lions and their tamer, butterflies, dominatrixes and (sadly) clowns all parade the stage, lip syncing to French love songs until finally… the CanCan!
Now, I’ve watched Baz Lurhmann’s Moulin Rouge enough times to recite it backwards. And it is my professional opinion that Cancan dancers are better fat. After all the naked girating of the past few minutes, skinny girls lifting their skirts just wasn’t the cultural experience I was expecting it to be. And ladies, you’ll be pleased to know that not even a professional Moulin Rouge dancer can get up off all fours in a heeled lion costume without looking a little like a drunk giraffe. Just saying.
Moulin Rouge. Only a little overrated.
Overall though Paris is, quite simply, beautiful. Even in Rome and Greece, ‘old’ has an underlying current of tired and dirty about it. Not in Paris. Every building is fresh, balconies lining the streets above trees and postcard worthy bars. Every corner boasts a lamppost, a garden, a statue…
“The City of Love”. I want to come back with a lover…
The Parisian train station screams with whistling brakes and slamming, sliding doors. In the midst of the crowd, he holds her with both hands laced at the nape of her neck. Her face is bent skywards, into his eyes, hands clasped at her sides in mock reticence. She speaks, quickly, urgently, relaying instructions. He interrupts, quickly, urgently with thirsty kisses of adoration, as if her mouth wasn’t, just milliseconds before, moving; shaping words instead of affectionate gestures.
His kisses are taking pictures of her face, imprinting a negative of her lips on his in case he has need to develop them later when the originals are out of reach. Her expression is unchanged at every touch, the message communicated in short bursts between pecks until she is done and he has her to himself, no agenda to distract from pure adoration.
They stare, enchanted, alone.
One ugly face into another.
Love is the root of beauty, then.
At the Peak of beauty, a girl may get modelling contracts or everyone staring in a room. She may be confident in a bikini on the beach, get into any club she wants or have a hundred incredible (though notably instagrammed) photos to choose from for the ever important facebook profile picture.
But will she have her kisses photographed by another’s mouth on a train platform?
No. Because Beauty’s boundary is Love’s playground.
Things I have lost in 7 weeks of travel:
1. Waterproof, shockproof camera swimming in Croatian harbour at 3am in the morning.
2. Chicken fillets doing a back flip into a club’s pool in Myknonos, Greece.
3. Micro fibre towel getting back to the hostel in Rome at what I thought was half an hour before checkout to find my bag hastily packed by the girls when kicked out by some grumpy cleaners half an hour earlier.
4. European plug adaptor at same hostel. Found another one left by someone else in the next hostel though, so I’m even on this one.
5. Shampoo and Conditioner, Body Wash and Exfoliating Glove in one of the towns of the Cinqe Terre, Italy.
6. My nightie. This one is particularly concerning. Possibly on an overnight train in France.
6. A second Waterproof, shockproof camera swimming in the beach at Lagos, Portugal at 3am in the morning.
7. The accessories for the replacement for above camera at a cafe in Paris 2 hours after I bought it . Still have accessories from the last time I replaced my camera so not an issue.
8. My Kindle. (Sorry Dad) The first and only time I ever said to myself “I’ll remember to put that back in my bag before I get off the plane.” I won’t.
New Rules for Not Losing My Camera:
1. Camera is not invited out on drinking nights, especially if there’s a chance of swimming in a large body of water in the early hours of the morning.
2. Camera now has a hairband attached which goes on the wrist anytime it is ‘out of the house’.
3. Camera is housebound (side pocket of handbag) and not allowed to play outside (bottom of handbag along with streeturchins Chewing Gum and Crumpled Receipts)