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Monthly Archives: June 2013

I thought I’d list the interesting people I have met so far from London and their nicknames because honestly I don’t remember them.
Bilbo Baggins: he was our Irish pub crawl tour guide and I have already written about him and how I wanted to have his pants. Funny thing though, as I was looking amy pub crawl t shirt I found his name, sneaky Facebook stalk and an add later and we will see what happens.

Michael: He was from Colorado and the first person that we officially met when we moved into our hostel. He took off his shirt way too often, and man his abs were amazing. I’m sure he was doing it on purpose. His an environmental scientist who will be watching whales.

Dave: I met Dave when our hostel got evacuated and me and my friend had gone across to the pub. His a cool guy who is an up and coming musician in Australia and has played with the likes of Ball Park Music, Emma Louise and Half Moon Bay. Plus he was nice on the eye.

Japan: She’s the girl I sleep next to. It’s hard to believe that she’s 32, she looks my age. She is super nice and friendly even though there is a bit of a language barrier.

Vienna: was super nice. She wasn’t with us for long, but she was like boys suck fuck them all. I think she was like this because she got stood up by a boy.

Angry French Boy Girl: This was a mystery. We don’t really know who they were. Some said boy. Others said girl. One guy said he had seen them shower in the girls. So it’s a mystery. They are called angry because this dude went psycho at 5am in the morning, clapping at people who are snoring to shut up and then walking down and screaming in French and slamming the door, waking up the whole room instead.

Ivan Trip advisor: he was our go to man at the hostel. He told us where to go and what to do. We named his map the magic map. He helped us with check in, he helped us with questions ranging from how to get to gatwick to if there was going to be a trivia night at the hostel.

Poland: the man behind the bar. He reminded me a bit like the devil but really he was super nice and made us awesome drinks. I also smoked menthols with him when I had jet lag. He was also quiz master.

Pret Sandwich man: this shop has awesome salads and sandwiches, but this guy gets a mention because he gave me a free chocolate bar cause I said it was an awesome place and my first time here. Some people are just super nice.

I could say now that I am home, meaning that I am in Latvija. It is a bit like home, hearing the native tongue being spoken.

Getting to Latvia surprisingly there was no drama as I recount the previous 24 hours that happend before that. My friend and I decided to part ways, as we both wanted to do different things. I went in search for a Buckingham Palace hand towel for my mother, as she assumes that I have lost hers. 15 pounds later and half my daily budget had been blown and I had gotten a big lost due to roadworks happening. I then meandered through St James Park, seeing squirrels and getting caught up in the Changing of the Guard. Another stroll through Hyde Park, and I ended up at the Science Museum and the Natural History Museum.

The Science Museum was interesting in the fact that it was very interactive, there was an exhibition on Pain and how we can sense pain and also on Who we are? and how we are made up. I found these to be very interesting. And I was also releived to find out I am actually a female after completing an are you a male or female test.

The Natural History Museum was alright, there were a lot of rocks. It was still interactive but I found it not that interesting, also due to the fact that I think that I was tired.

Back to the hostel, and it was time to get the drink on because it was our last night. I didn’t want a big night because we had to wake up early, well famous last words. A very drunk night plus it didn’t help that we came second place in trivia and won a full jug of cider and the jugs look bigger than our jugs at home but then after having just converted what 4 pints would be to a litre it works out the same. It still means that with our drinks we had over a litre cider each . Lucky my friend went to reception and was like if we arent awake by 6:30 please come and wake us up which is what they did.

With sore heads we staggered to the train station to Gatwick and made it in time to get our tickets which if we didn’t check in online would’ve had to pay an extra 9 pounds. Getting to Latvia was good, we were picked up, shown our apartment, and able to settle in.

We did have one awkward eating encounter. Getting excited to go to Lido, we go to Lido order in Latvian and get blank stared at by the girl. I didn’t know if I said something or she didn’t know what to do but it was so awkward.

Anyways time to adapt and go back and eat my cheese and pirags

For the past few days it has been pretty chill. We wake up have a nap, then decide to walk somewhere.
For example Saturday was spent mainly in bed recuperating from the 1 Big Night Out. I would wake up, eat something have a cigarette and then go back to bed. But a thing that we did do was go to the Latvian Cultural day. It was pretty cool, hearing Latvian in a country other than your own. We could hear the singing coming from the station, and could even indulge in eating piragi. There was singing and dancing and just a good day to experience our culture.
Last night was a night of adventures. Firstly we went to Speakers Corner in Hyde Park, where people who are off their rocker argue about everything and anything, it was actuallly quite interesting. Being classic London it started to rain and get cold so we decided to bail and go off to Camden town. It had been highly recommended on the list of things to do and from our experience now it was definitely worth it. From touristy shit, to bongs being sold, to hipster clothing, to punk and goth the Camden Markets has something for everyone. We spent hours trawling the markets maze not knowing where we were going to turn up. We also visited a store called Cyberdog, you had to line up to get inside, but it has loud rave cave type of music, with dancers and sold rave stuff, glittery make up, fluro clothes and even down stairs there was a sex shop. It was an experience and a half so after having our head doof doof musiced out, we though to try a shisha.
I had never done a shisha before. We opted for green apple and waited and smoked. Turns out our first shisha was actually quite dodgy as the smoke was escaping but the guy made us another one and all was good. Smoking in the apple smell and leaving a pretty good taste. It also let us enjoy a few hours of people watching. Which is something I am loving to do, looking at what people do, how they act.
After smoking shisha we got recommended to go to a bar that had 2 for 1 cocktails, they made the best mojitios ever. So tasty and not over the top minty.
Getting back to our hostel we went to the bar for a drink when we got told we had to vacate the building immediately because there was a suspicious smell. We had to leave our drinks, I couldn’t run back and get my cigarettes because the staff were guarding doors and evacuated out of the building. My first thought was some idiot was smoking up inside, or burnt toast or a hair straightner being left on. Not being too happy being left outside without any alcohol we and some other Aussies went to the bar and watched proceedings from there. It was no practice evacuation, it was real. Not only was there 3 fire trucks, there were also 3 ambulances and 2 police cars and 2 gas cars. It was pretty exciting and they evacuated us quite well. After 2 hours we were able to return where we went and drunk our warm beer and downed a lot more half pints

The adventures in London continue. We decided to go do a free walking tour around London which would allow us to take in the major sites like Buckingham Palace, Westminister Abbey, Big Ben but that’s not what it’s called anymore. The tour went for a few hours and our guide was very informative and humorous plus a bit of a babe. It was also good that we didn’t do the walking tour on our first day as I don’t think we would’ve appreciated it as much. At the end of the tour we just left a tip for our guide because that’s the polite thing to do here.
That is what I noticed about London, it’s actually customary to tip, it’s a very foreign and confusing concept.
We then strolled down to Oxford Street after having eaten our stale sandwiches that we made because we are on a tight budget and all to do a bit of shopping. First stop was Primemark, one of the cheapest clothing retail shops in London, it was hard not to buy everything. Then we went to Top Shop which most definitely was out of our price range. I don’t understand how people can spend that much money on clothes.
The sun had started to shine and we were basking on the steps planning our night out. From the recommendations of our tour guide we went on the 1 Big Night Out pub crawl. Only costing €15 pounds with a shot in each bar and visiting 5 bars and a night club. We started at the Verve, we got a t shirt and a marker. My first London souvenir. We got there and we’re a bit apprehensive as there were a lot of girls and a hens party, with the hen making out with a stack of boys. The tour started and we were shattered because again, there were a lot of girls and no boys, they were either not my type or in a couple. So the first pub was quite but by the time we got to the second, third bar it was time for the shenanigans and the hoe bagness to begin. Writing on our souvenir t shirts was a good way to break the ice. And then the first hook up began a guy from England, I just bailed quickly because he wasn’t that good. More sambuca shots later and at the next bar another hook up this time with an Australian guy from Perth but he was all for that grinding dirty dancing shit and that’s just not my style. The last hook up and the most memorable one was hooking up with the tour guide. He was from Ireland, and an amazing hooker upperer. I was very tempted to go home with him, very very tempted and would’ve because in my drunk state I was very loud and clear on what I wanted and now but firstly he lived 40minutes away and secondly his like you just want more points for your game. So he sent us home on the bus and I started complaining very loudly to my friend. My friend also was quite funny having ripped off the Irish guys name tag and wrote Bilbo Baggins. Oh the memories. The pub crawl itself is good to meet people the drink specials are pretty average but the night gets filled with memories.
A thing that we noticed in London was in the girls toilets, there’s a lady with refreshments and deodorant and gives you paper towels and they just want your money and for you to tip, even for taking a photograph in the toilet.
Hostel life is pretty good. If only I didn’t have to go back to Uni and study, I’d ditch get a job as a pub tour guide and get paid to drink. If only.

After buying up big in Abu Dhabi, 200 vogue menthol cigarettes cost me only $23AUD, and a 1l bottle of Smirnoff only $15AUD. We were off flying. This was the first flight where I didn’t drink alcohol because I was asleep before takeoff.
We arrived in London, dreading that we were going to look like dorks with our big ass backpacks. We land and spend over an hour in the queue for boarder control. At least it allowed us to waste some time as we could only check in at 14:30 and as we had arrived at 7:00am we were most likely going to catch the peak hour traffic. We finally got let through, no real interrogations though I don’t think the border control man liked my joke about becoming queen. We the navigated our way to get an oyster card which is a more efficient than a myki plus we will get our €5pounds back when wego to cash it in.
We picked up our bags, we were looking like dorks and bam I drop the bottle of vodka and it has splattered all over the floor of baggage claim. I am shattered but we have a giggle saying lucky that it wasn’t grey goose. And then off we hopped on the Piccadilly line. Traveling by train is relatively easy, navigating around London is actually easy unlike KL where it was very hard.
We navigated to the hostel Clink 78 and were greeted by a friendly guy who told us we could leave our bags and planned on what we need to see and what not to see. So before our jet lag set in we took off.
Our first stop was the British Library. This was actually the highlight of my day. Seeing texts from Shakespeare, manuscripts from 649ad, the original wedding march and county gardens compositions with scribbles and how it should be written was amazing. Even seeing the lyrical works of the Beatles with a hard days night, yesterday was memorable. It is worth seeing and even better it is free. We did pay to go see an exhibition called Propaganda, it was about how Propoganda had come about and where it was going. It was a bit disappointing, we were expecting to see more Propoganda from world war 1 and 2. I did see drawings from the American revolutions Boston Massacre, Uncle Sams We Want You poster and the original Adolfo Hitler one power, one person,one ruler.
After this we strolled to the British Museum because everyone had been raving about it from my parents to the hostel guy, honestly all I wanted to see was the Rossetta stone and that was it. To be honest I found the Museum to be a bit boring, there was a lot of Egyptian stuff and I mean a lot probably more than there actually is in Egypt. I even saw mummies but felt once I had seen one I had seen them all, like the Greek and roman pots once we had seen one we had seen them all. We then just sat outside and people watched which was rather interesting, giggling at the people trying to pose for photos. The sun had even made an appearance.
It was time to return back to the hostel and see our beds. We are staying in a 14 bed dorm on top bunks. We have decided that the majority of people staying in our room are boys and man is there some eye candy. We have already made friends with an American who kept changing his shirt and walking around in a towel so we would see his well chiseled body.
Well it’s time for me to go stay awake and have a drink at the bar.
Let’s see how surviving the first night in the backpackers go.

So here I am on my 12 hour stop over in Kuala Lumpur.
The plane trip went reasonably smooth, slept for a bit, tossed and turned in the decision of what to watch, and realized that the air hostesses won’t offer us spirits we need to ask for them.
On the airplane to my friend found it vital that people should lock doors on aero planes because she walked in on an old guy, though the funny thing about it too is that after she walked in on him another lady walked by and he still hadn’t learnt to lock the door.
Then I lost my shoe on the airplane, how you loose a shoe I don’t know but it’s a possibility.

We arrived in KL with expectations that it is just an easy and cheap train ride to the Batu Caves. By taking the Kl express it would’ve used up most of what we have budgeted, so we thought about taking a bus. Talking to the bus driver and asking him a bajillion times if this would go to the Batu caves, riding for over an hour we just ended up in the CBD and no where near the caves because that’s not where the bus was going. It was no use arguing because clearly it was the language barriers fault. It was an advantage taking the bus as we were able to look at the Malaysian countryside, the palm plantations and when we hit the city the street hawkers, plus we made friends with a German backpacker who had just came from melbourne and was embarking on a few months of exploring Asia.
So after bartering with a taxi man he agreed to take us to china towns petlang street. It’s a place where you can barter and buy Chanel and Pravda etc, you also get people offering you DVDs or even tattoos, I said no to the tattoos because I don’t want to come home to hepatitis. Finding that it was a bit hot and humid we decided to head back to the airport even though now we are sitting in the arrivals lounge 4 hours early waiting to check in. But it’s nice to rest.
It’s sad we didn’t go to the Batu Caves or see the Petronas towers but seeing the scenery of Malaysia and experiencing the culture was amazing.

On to the next leg.

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It has happend sitting in customs right now, drinking a cider with my bestie. Goodbye family. Goodbye friends. Time for the adventures.
2 girls off into the big wide world.
Surprisingly we passed customs, I got body scanned. There has been debate that the body scan is quite invasive. I found that it wasn’t really. It noticed where my insulin pump but after easy explanation she just touched it and let me through, it also picks up stuff in your pocket, like some tampons, because my lady friend has decided it wants to tag along on the ride. So it was a bit embarrassing having to be like alright you can scan them and then wondering if I would get them back, but hey that’s already an exciting story to add. Many more will be added as this trip goes on.
Cheers and goodbye