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Traveller Initiation

Providing awkward social situations since 1986.

rain 17 °C

I'm now in Auckland awaiting the start of my bus tour which starts tomorrow morning at 7am, I am not suffering from jetlag as far as I know unless it means that I'm continuously unaware what time it is. It's a small stress, nothing to be late for. I've stopped trying to eat at conventional meal times as transit often gets in the way. Yesterday I had an airplane meal and a packet of crisps, I fulfilled my calorie intake through beer instead.

The welcome talk for the tour meet at a bar in town at 7pm, the bus I got from the airport dropped me near my hostel at about 4.45 so I knew I had to hot foot it. The receptionist at the YMCA (cannot be said without associated chorus playing in background) was adorable but we had a serious language barrier problem, the main issue was she spoke Chinese with a Chinese accent and only briefly spoke English to me when telling me where the laundry room was. Lip reading was pointless, as I neither speak or lip read in Cantonese, and I kind of respected her refusal to speak to me in English. It was only clear she acknowledged my mother tongue when she gave me the hostel rules written in English, there was a lot of smiling and nodding on both sides.
My room was a female dorm room with only 4 beds, I had a 50% chance of getting a much desired bottom bunk. Alas, no. On a lighter note, the lady occupying the bunk below was in her fifties, she'd had a good innings. I waited until she'd left the room before attempting to make up my bed as the rocking was really very substantial and she wouldn't have been able to stay politely silent even if she had the patience of a saint. I also started laughing as I watched the scene from my minds' eye. Better no one witnessed any of it. The hostel is very clean, couldn't be happier and excellent showers, only $32 a night which works out at £16, fantastic! The weather is warm and wet which is an anger inducing combination because you feel clammy, get too hot and sweaty if you wear a waterproof and get soaked anyway if you don't, I opt to wear the waterproof and shower a lot, it's an amphibian existence.
The welcome talk is hosted by Irish Rob, and the bar by an immediately identifiable Plassy Scouser. Seemingly, my life is pre-ordaned to be in constant cahoots with this combination of peoples. It was a small group consisting of a couple of young Bristol natives, girls whose names escape me, and a Sheffielder called Natalie, another coincidence. We all drank and chatted long after the welcome host left us, I fitted right in. I only had to show my bitch card once during the night when an odd native decided to approach us and offer 'guidance' on his home country. He himself was staying in a hostel by the bar and I immediately labelled him a predator, I allowed him 10 minutes of rambling oddity then the girls were relieved when I asked him to leave. I occupy a very unique niche in society, it fits like a glove.
On returning back to the hostel, I was pleasantly surprised that the room light was still on so I didn't need to attempt the bunk climb in the dark. I readied my earplugs and eye mask and made it up my bed with minimal rocking (though still substantial). I do not remember getting my head to the pillow which would account for the fact that my eye mask was still located on my forehead this morning like some weird head warmer, I must have done the classic Selina trick of falling to sleep at warp speed. It's a phenomenon which annoys Lizzie when she tries to close the night out with a bit of gossip but I'm already snoring within seconds of getting into the bed. Equally, I am awake and functional within 30 seconds of stirring, a basis for a super annoying human. Could be useful for this trip though, the bitch card-not so much.

Posted by thehangrygames 17:15 Archived in New Zealand Comments (1)

Good decisions all round!

The importance of napping.

semi-overcast
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I landed in Sydney at about 5.45am this morning and had a plan of attack for the next couple of days. I've only got 2 days here and want to make the most of it, see everything I can and get over the epic planetary travel before hitting NZL. My rucksack is too heavy. The issue was I was brutal with my packing, it was comfortably filled, making sure there was space for picking stuff up on way. In a strange but justified decision, I filled that extra packing space with my wetsuit, removing all extra space and adding probably 1.5 kg to the weight.

Why did I do this? Because I thought, "what if I want to try white water rafting and they don't have a wetsuit that'll fit me?". There's no animosity here, it's just that you don't often getting humans with a 50 inch chest going down the rapids, which is a mistake because huge breasts often offer greater buoyancy, it's simple risk mitigation. As NZL can LEGALLY refuse residency to any foreigners with a BMI over 35 (I shit you not), I made the assumption that they don't feel obliged to cater for fatties. The point is, when travelling light, don't find excuses to pack stupidly heavy / space taking garments such as wetsuits. I've got a mail box and it's getting sent home.

Vivid Sydney is a city wide light show which turns buildings like the Opera House and Harbour Bridge into beautiful artworks, I've seen posers for it all day. I had to entertain myself this morning whilst they got my room ready at the hotel. I didn't feel too tired so I walked to Harbour Bridge, noted some maintenance requirements because I'm a nerd and saw The Opera House. Being peckish, I visited the Pancakes on the Rocks pancake house which is famously open 24/7, I learnt of it from my friend Pippa from Findhorn who is a avid traveller of the Australias. It was after pancakes that the energy crash hit me like a dominant kangaroo. In a very subtle panic, I realised I needed to get to a bed asap. Everyone knows that I am only ever an accidental recline away from a full on nap and having been awake for the last couple of days, I was at risk of curling up anywhere. It similar to cats, which in my case iisn't surprising. In the nick of time, a sightseeing hop-on one-off bus presented itself and I climbed aboard. I just had to remain awake for 8 stops then alight very close to my hotel. By the time I got to the check in desk and enquired whether my room was ready I was in a desperate situation, the clerk must have seen it in my eyes because he offered me a seat whilst he checked it was ready. Thank the ferrets, it was. I took the final traverse to my room, feeling similar to Frodo when he's making that desperate climb up Mount Doom to throw the ring in the lava, and slithered into the bed. I awoke 6 hours later. Having spent most of my first day in Sydney under a quilt, I insisted to myself to go view the pretty lights that were advertised everywhere in the evening. It really was spectacular and my photos on Facebook dont do It justice. I'm really enjoying Sydney, it's so big and bold and....patriotic. Aussies are great. Looking forward to tomorrow. Looking forward to getting back to bed lol.

Posted by thehangrygames 05:52 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Long haul, smong haul.

Singapore Airlines owns.

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Hello! 

I have no idea what time zone my body is in! It is currently 3.20pm here in Singapore, officially the most humid place in the world. My flight was AMAZING and I can't believe the difference between budget airlines and decent ones, I may never be able to fly budget again. They kept giving us hot towellettes! The stewardesses were depressingly gorgeous and look like they want to do a mini bow to me every time we interact. They were obsessed with feeding me the whole time and seem to take pity on my vegetarian cuisine by giving me extra snacks! The standard carnivores sat next to me must have felt put out. The extra leg room seat was the best decision I've ever made but I couldn't get comfy enough to sleep so didn't.  I think that means I was awake for almost 24hours which is probably why I had a mind melt when I got to Singapore.  I'd booked a room in the airport hotel for 7 hours so I could get some proper sleep, because I'm a genius, but managed to go to the wrong terminal to try and check in, because I'm a teat.  This wouldn't have been too much of an issue except there are 3 terminals at Changi airport and each one is the size of Meadowhall.  I'm not exaggerating, I know that it is usually a key part of my character but I'm really not. People could holiday to the airport.  There is a pond filled with Koi Carp in the airport. My flight on to Sydney is in 4 hours ish so going to mooch around now I've had some sleep. My eyes are bloodshot but I actually feel ok. It's all very exciting, I'm a foot taller and 3 feet wider than everyone here, I'm like a visiting alien. Nanoo Nanoo.

Posted by thehangrygames 02:16 Archived in Singapore Comments (0)

The Cursed Eggs

Fairies do exist.


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Arriving early at the airport, I'm one of the first to check onto my flight. I was served by a lovely lady, so petite she had to almost kneel on her desk to wave me from the queue. Deposited my big travel rucksack and headed to security. Took me about half an hour to get through, no prob, time for some breakfast. Ordered some eggs Benedict with smoked salmon and sat feeling the smug peace of someone with the utmost organisation. Quick phone check. Missed call from an unknown mobile. Casually pressed 'Call'.

"Hello this is Selina Edwards, I have received a missed call from this number?"
"Oh brilliant! Hello Miss Edwards, you have left your rucksack at the check in desk! You need to take it to the baggage gate for your flight!"
Long pause.
" Sorry, what?"

Turns out that you need to take travel rucksacks to the baggage gate yourself in case they get ripped in transit! The poor woman had been shouting after me at the check in desk and, being bit deaf, I totally missed the frantic cries of the fairy attendant. Cue the lovely man on the phone saying to finish my eggs Benedict, meet him at the info desk so that he can escort me back to my bag. He took me through staff only corridors to the passport check at arrivals where the man had called ahead explaining what a twat I'd been. I got back to check in, found fairy attendant, picked up the bag, walked it 10 metres to a baggage check in, almost getting onto a random escalator to nowhere on the way. I had to go BACK through security, thankfully I now had a fast track sticker attached to me. If this had ever happened to anyone before then they didn't say, making me think I've set a new record for Most Retarded Backpacker ever. I'm not even on the plane yet! HILARIOUS! Goodbye.

Posted by thehangrygames 01:59 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

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