Tuesday, February 10, 2009

it's so hard to say goodbye to yesterday

I'm now boarding my plane to head back to Los Angeles, which I think means city of soulless vagrants in spanish. But I also think that's wrong.

I'm feeling so many emotions right now. Sadness. Denial. Vertigo. Hunger.

Now I spread my wings (metaphorically of course), and prepare for my next travels. Which of course means that Hello Lovely Chocolate People will live on!!!! The journey of Kéith has only just begun. And please observe the new spelling of my name

keep your eyes on the final hour

So I'm down to my final hour before I have to head to the Sydney airport and leave the country that I've so grown to love.

I woke up this morning to the dull ache in my legs. Walking has been slow and arduous from my muay Thai class yesterday.

I made it 1 block from the hotel and ate at the first place I saw.
In 30 minutes of sitting at the outdoor cafe this crazy cat lady sitting next to me handed me her kitten. Despite the fact that I told her I don't like cats and that handing strangers your dirty pet is socially unacceptable. Because I could not throw it back at her without looking insensitive, she thought that meant it was okay to take a picture of me and her cat. 5 minutes later a crazy teenage couple had an argument in front of me about something. Not sure what but a dog was involved and it was sad. Oh and it is cold.

These last 30 minutes have basically summed up my trip. What a strange, exciting, unpredictable, and fascinating place this has been. It makes my heart swell with the blood of a thousand emus (that's actually an old Australian saying). Bye Australia. I'll miss you like deserts miss the rains. Or like babies miss milk. Or like something misses
something else.

It's been a great journey. I've learned so many new things. Most of which are not appropriate for print in this blog. But like Arnold famously said in that movie, I'll be back. Don't know when or how, or...well actually I know how because it'll be by plane. But the point is Australia, my lover, my teacher, my friend, I'll be back.

So long


If I have one regret about my travel is that I did not try surfing. Or toss a midget. and I regret that it is still raining. Well my flight's not until tomorrow afternoon so Australia you still have time to change. I can remember you how you used to be. The old you. When you were young and thin. The sunny you....oh well I will always love you. And to show you how much I will always loooove you.


This is my baby

actually not my baby, but rather the baby of Philip and Antoinette La Pierre. Philip this cannot be your child as he is so calm. and quiet. and by all accounts sober.

Congrats again. And if you're reading this Philip call me back. I promised I've changed.

And is he wrapped in a massive cashmere blanket? because that would be amazing!!!!

If you like it then you better put a ring on it Sydney. Put a ring on it

So my final day/night in Sydney has just reached it's logical conclusion. My day started with lunch. at Azuma, a delicious sushi restaurant in the CBD. Oh it was delicious. And relatively cheap. that's because they entered the wrong price for everything I ordered. I didn't say anything because I am not stupid.

Then took a guided tour of the Sydney Opera House. What a beautiful place on the inside. Too bad that any place that you wanted to take a picture of inside was forbidden. sigh.

After that I went to highly advanced form of kickboxing* with my new favorite person Nick Taylor. It was probably the most intense hour and a half of physical activity that I've done...ever. I made up for that by eating an insane amount of Udon noodles with spicy beef, followed by Rum Raisin Gellato.

*I say this because I am now in pain. My wrist are still shaking as I type this. Damn you Nick Taylor!!!

Monday, February 9, 2009

I almost forgot

This is my last night in Australia. I am very sad and in denial that I'm leaving. Unfortunately it's been raining the past 2 days but I'm hoping it clears up shortly. Australia I don't want to remember you like this, so you better start shining some sun ASAP.

The wind beneath my wings

Since being back in Sydney I haven't done a whole lot besides catch up with friends of friends who I missed the first time around in Sydney. My friend Spencer put me in touch with his friend Alex who was awesome. She grew up outside Sydney and took me to a cool bar on Bondi beach where we dined on beer and vodka until sunset. She is awesome in large part because she provided me with my favorite line of my whole trip.

Alex on discovering the joys of dancehall reggae music: "It was like my ass was learning a new language and it is now fluent". There you go.

Later that night I went for drinks with Myle's friend Nick and now I'm about to join him and some people at a kickboxing class. Will let you know how it goes. The name of the place is called The Sweat Box. Which is equally appropriate and filthy.

I ain't done yet

Sorry I actually didn't finish posting all the pics from my trip to Fraser Island. I failed to mention that I also took a plane ride over the island and took some pretty cool aerial pics. It was like touching heaven, except you know not close to heaven at all

Saturday, February 7, 2009


The last stop on the tour was the through the rainforest. It was truly stunning and when you walked through it, it almost seemed fake. The crazy part is that because of the random topography of the island, the rainforest is literally right next to a regular old forest. which of course is not as pretty.

Kangaroo was delicious

I know it sounds terrible but we had it for lunch. of course we also had fish.

There once was a man from nantucket

Right next to the sunken ship was a sacred Aboriginal worshiping area* called the colored stones.

*I may have made this up. I zoned out for part of the tour

Yo Ho Ho and bottle of Rum (or vodka if you like)

Further down the beach was the Mahena shipwreck. I don't think I spelled it correctly, but I can't be bothered to check. It's a ship that sank about 75 or 80 years ago and the remains are still on the shore of Fraser Island. You're legally not allowed to touch the boat because it's fragile and may collapse. That of course didn't bother the group of Indonesian tourists who thought it'd be fine to climb inside.

Cathedral Beach

Next stop on the tour was to Cathedral Beach on the eastern side of the island. It is 75 miles of the most beautiful untouched beach you will ever see in your life. There's no people loitering on the beach, running in and out of the water. Of course the reason for that is that it's illegal to get in the water given that it is infested with jellyfish and hammerheads and great white sharks. Thus you must admire everything from the shore. It really was breathtaking though.

Allom Lake

Allom lake was the first stop on the tour. It's a beautiful little lake known for it's little turtles (again, not to be confused with Little People or Little Penguins). You can actually go swimming in the lake with them, which I did. I did not stay in the water too long after I quickly realized the little debris floating around me were not acorns, but in fact turtle turd.

here are photos of lake Allom.

Come sail with me

to Fraser Island. Two days ago I took a day trip to Fraser Island. I normally like to avoid tour groups but because I could not rent a 4wd, I was left with no option. Luckily the Fraser Island Company tour group does small tours of no more than 16 people in a specially made 4wd vehicle. You have to pay extra for it, but it's so worth not having to spend the day in a group of 50 people. You have several options of 1, 2, and 3 day tours on the island. If your like me and planned your trip poorly so that you didn't have enough time, I'd recommend the 1 day trip. Only rent your personal 4wd if you're in a group and can alternate driving. The roads (i use that term loosely) are merely sand and dirt.

Our guide Hans (yes he was German) was excellent with a great sense of humor. There were only 4 other people about my age on the tour because young backpackers are cheap and don't do these types of things. I especially loved the couple from Hamburg who were hilariously ridiculous. The rest of the people were about 70 going on death. But they were friendly nonetheless. Old, but friendly.

Know your body 2

If you have back hair, shoulder hair, or some combination, do NOT wear tank tops. Cause when I sit across from you it is gross.


These pictures are slightly delayed as I was misinformed about the internet usage from the cafe next to my apartment in Hervey Bay. So now I've just arrived back in Sydney where my new hotel has FREEEEEE unlimited wireless. That's like telling a crackhead that the local convenience store is giving away free crack. er except, of course not the same at all.

I was kind of obsessed with Hervey Bay because the view from my hotel room was amazing. And the people were unbelievably friendly. Almost too friendly.

Here is the view from my room that I woke up to every morning. Oh the lonely push of waves against the dock. The clanking of the bells on yachts as the town slowly wakes up. Suck it New York.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Whit Sunday Revisited

This is Marjen, the Dutch Dive instructor on our boat. She was awesome. The two guys in the back ground are the other two divers, who were terrible.

These are the views from my hotel room. Yes they are beautiful but slightly depressing cause of the overcast. the overcast and rain that lasted for 3 days. arrrggghhh.

This is one of the cute native birds of the island. This bird is also a thief and tried to steal my lunch before I ate it. Had it been one of those annoying cockatoos I would have punched it.

So now that I'm on Fraser Coast (where it is SUN-NY!) I am happy once again. Even happier that I'm staying in Hervey Bay (actually overlooking the harbor) and the cafe next door has wireless internet that I can use 24 hours a day. from my hotel room. I can actually see into the cafe right now, except that they're closed.

but I can now upload pics not taken from my camera phone. These are photos from the Whitsundays. They are depressing because the sun never came out. Except for the hour before I had to board the shuttle the airport yesterday, natch. (see above)

News of a most glorious nature

So my dear friends Philip and Antoinette La Pierre have just had their first child Arthur Ferdinand Jochen La Pierre. That may be the most amazing baby name ever. So I just wanted to congratulate them and wish them the best. I'll be seeing them in March in Germany!!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Barbie perpetuates poor body image

Tomorrow I head to Fraser Island for a day tour of the island. I am doing a tour because my ID is STILL expired and I cannot rent a 4WD. I came very close to convincing the guy I was legit until I told him my license was 6 months expired. drats. egads! flem flam flom! zoinks! ROAR!

Luckily I'm about to convince the bartenders at this cafe to give me free drinks. Indeed

It happened last night... in pictures

So now I've finally arrived in Hervey Bay (ie. Fraser Coast). I'm right on the Marina now, sitting at a cafe, listening to what can only be described as a mix between Calypso and Sade. But then again, isn't Sade just Calypso music disguised as smooth R&B? Anyway, this is the most relaxing place I've been in the past week. And I love it because it's not raining (Whitsunday Islands). It's about 9:30 PM, but the cafe is open late and has insanely fast wireless internet.

Now I can send pictures from my final night in Cairns (also known as the most disgusting city that's not Panama City, Florida). These were all clearly taken with my camera phone. The pictures in order are:

1. Random crazy Canadian dude who kept humping the pool table while we tried to play.

2. My friend Dave who was my roommate on the boat. He's from Calgary in Canadia and has been traveling for like 8 months after getting laid off.

3. My friend Scott. another dive buddy from the boat from Perth, Australia. he's really awesome and probably the most laid back person I've ever met. He also wore the same clothes for 4 days straight.

4. These are the lanes for the goldfish racing contest.

5. This is the random Norwegian girl representing the Swedish fish. can't remember her name. But I'm sure it has an umlaut in it.

6. And finally this is the guy representing the USA (ie. black Obama Fish). Again, we won!!!!!!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

ummm really Rod Blagojevich?!?

As I'm about to fall asleep here watching Letterman, I thought my eyes were playing a cruel trick on me. But it's really blagojevich. On Letterman. After being brought up on criminal charges. This man is unbelievable. Please find this clip online.

And that hair. That beautiful hair.

An open letter to Michael Phelps

Dear Michael Phelps,

Pull it together. I know you won about 115 gold medals at the 2008 Olympics, but seriously. Pull. It. Together. And do not let random state college students photograph you taking bong hits at a party. Have you not heard of camera phones? Or the internet? Do you remember what happened to Uri Vladlosky? Yeah exactly.



Today was a day so uneventful and unexciting it barely deserves mentioning. So I'll present it in bullet points.

* went to daydream island by ferry. That's a misnomer if there ever was one

* then went to airlie beach on the mainland to have lunch. Note to Lonely Planet travel guide. If a restaurant closed over a year ago, do NOT still leave it in your guide. Especially if that place is now a condo, and a certain person accidentally walks into someone's apartment thinking that it's reception because the doors are mislabeled. That was awkward for me.

* went to one (read: only) bar cum nightclub on Hamilton island. Yes there was live music and the people were not interesting. Note to blond lady from Melbourne with childen. Do NOT leave your kids at home while you go to the bar to get drunk.

But tomorrow is Fraser Island where the weather is supposed to great. Very excited!

Good night.

know your body

Okay, this advice does not apply to everyone, only those unaware of the correlation between their bodies and the approriate clothes they can wear. Specifically bikinis.

There are several signs that you should not wear a bikini.

A. You are obese

B. Please see A

C. Refer back to both A and B.

That is all

And we're dancing on the ceiling!

So for my five trip I took H2O dive out to Hayman island. While it did not rain, the visibility underwater was horrendous and you couldn't see more that 10 feet in front of you. Which made the dive kind of a waste. What made it more of a waste was the fact that the two other guys in our dive group were totally annoying and old. They also pissed off the dive instructor because they were incapable of following directions and generally broke every safety rule of diving. But I think it's because they were from Canada, eh? No offense Jamil.

But the crew was really friendly, and one was Dutch. The Dutch and norwegians appear to have taken over Australia. Hayman island is also quite beautiful. Above water. I don't mean to sound pissy but bad weather really affects my mood. You hear that Ellie? I normally never complain about anything

what's a gift horse anyway?

The island that I'm staying on is actually called Hamilton Island. It isn't huge and is easily accessible by foot. Or you can rent a golf cart and drive around. I tried to rent a buggy until I was soundly refused because my nyc driver's license expired. 6 months ago. I then proceeded to pretend I had limited English skills and demand that they except my Dutch residency card instead. This plan lasted approximately 5 seconds which meant that I should implement plan C. Grand theft auto. Then I thought to myself, "hey self, jail may not be fun. Especially Australian jail. I mean they eat vegemite outside of prison, could you imagine what they'd feed me inside?" So I spent the day walking. The island is actually pretty nice but a little over developed with beachfront houses and condos. But oh the views of the reef are stunning.

brevity is the soul of whit(Sunday islands)

You get it? Whitsunday...oh what do you know from funny?

Annnyyydizzle. So the past few days I've been in the whitsunday islands in the great barrier reef. And for the past few days it's either been overcast or raining due to cyclone Ellie. I mean really. Ellie? That's a grandmother's name. Or the character from a collection of stories from the 80s targeted at pre teen girls. Arghh.

The one upside is that my hotel is pretty good. Well not so much the hotel, but my room which has an insane view of the reef and some of the other islands. I'll post once I'm in Fraser Island tomorrow. I refuse to pay the offensive asking price for wireless usage.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

it happened last night

So for my last night in cairns me and some fellow divers decided to hit the town and see what it was like. Let me start by saying that cairns is a sh*thole. Only stay there if you have an early flight like I did due to proximity to airport. We ended up at the well known bar wool shed which was filled with backpackers. I've never hung out with so many backpackers in such close proximity. It was amazing. I'm only a backpacker in the sense that I have s small backpack to carry my computer in. It was like being back in college. some state college that I did not go to.

The night started with cheap beers before we came to the bars main event, Gold Fish racing. I will post pics once I'm near a computer, but it was amazing. Each fish represented a country. The fish representing the US was a black goldfish. Which would be offensive if weren't not so hilariously amazing and appropriate. The best part was that USA fish won all his heats and eventually the final. It was a great time for our country and more than likely signals the reemergence of the US. Unfortunately that goldfish will be dead in a week once some drunken idiot pores beer in his tank. And sadly the same will happen to the US. But instead it will be some foreign chemical agent leaked into our water system. I'm looking at you Russia.

OMG seriously Australia!!!!

Australia I'm going to
punch you in the face if you don't stop raining. Seriously. I'm literally about to take off my shoes and hit you square in the forehead. This cyclone nonsense better end soon. Seriously.

I'm now in the whitsunday islands (Hamilton island to be exact). It's supposed to be beautiful but I can't tell because it is RAINING. Will report back later once I've explored the island.