Monday, 29 August 2011

Quiz Night.

Now I do love me a good quiz. When I was in school me and my friends did a reqular pub quiz with Chris the pub quiz master, however we all went to Uni the pub changed hands and everything changed. We never won that pub quiz, it was very competitive we came third once though and made 25p each roughly. CJ de Mooi did actually take part in that quiz once too; him and a VERY drunk girl. We beat him but then again there was 8 of us. We had a picture with him afterwards which is now lost in phone history. It was a good day for us anyway.

Yesterday I took part with my aunt and uncle in a Trivia Night run by the Toyota Landcruiser club (the relos are big 4 wheel drive fans.) Which was Quiz and dinner READ MORE>>

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Manly Harbour Ferry.

I am becoming a fully fledged tourist of late as yesterday I got up at the crack of dawn (well 8am) to make the journey to central Sydney and on to Manly. Manly is known as being notoriously difficult to get to by land, having fantastic surf beaches and for the ferry having the best views of Sydney and they were not wrong on any account.

Despite the fact that central Sydney is only a 20 minute drive away the parking is ridiculous and so public transport strikes again. It took just over an hour (a bus and 2 trains) but it was not a bad journey. When you rise out of the circular quay station you are immediately hit. Remember when I said you walk into Berlin Zoo and it's like BOOM a rhino. This was like that BOOM the harbour bridge and the opera house ... and they are not small structures. READ MORE>>


Friday, 26 August 2011

Oh and Two more things!

This is a continuation of the last post I've had a change of heart.

I am a very sickly child. I am constantly going to the doctor. I need the NHS. I caught Sinusitis about 4 times during my time in Germany plus random other things I forget now. I refused to see a doctor however, even though I was insured, because I didn't want the hassle more than anything. In Britain I would have just popped right in and as a Welshie free prescriptions. I do remember one instance where my eye was getting rather crusty (Sinusitis thing) I went to the pharmacy lacking the German for "crusty goo is pouring from my eye" I went with "Ich hab ein Problem mit mein Auge" (I have a problem with my eye) her reply was something probably technical but really I had no idea what she said. "Es tut weh?" (It hurts?) "Oh ja ja tut weh" She handed me drops and I was all good (she could probably see the crusty consistency for herself). However I think more complex problems may have got lost in translation. As I have mentioned coming here I had a REALLY bad cold and was emitting snotty tissues as often as I was breathing through my mouth attractively. At the moment I think I have Sinusitis again my (eye is gooing) among some other less bloggable problems I have encountered. I would tell you guys lets just say the seals didn't have a good effect on me. This sort of leads me onto the next thing I miss about Britain.

Real Supermarkets

When I walk into my local ASDA I can buy ANYTHING including clothes, shoes, dvds, blue ray players, cds, laptops, toys, DIY, barbecues, toiletries, bicycles, exercise equipment, stationary pretty much anything .... oh yea it sells food too. And at what hour is this luxury convinence store open to ... well its 24 hours baby. While I don't hanker to buy barbecues at 3am on a Wednesday .... often. I do appreciate that I could but I'm not just on about the range and opening times of my local ASDA, I am on about basics that everyone needs. Germany for example you cannot buy medicine (not even paracetamol) at the supermarket you can only buy herbal remedies. You have to go to the pharmacy so they can assess you. But if you are already sick then you don't really want to walk to the pharmacy do you (Ibupfrofen is also 5€ a box compared to 16p in Britain) So stock up well I would like to but the shop is open 9am - 12:30pm right opposite the school. When does school end oh yea 12:35pm brilliant. Here in Oz you can't buy booze at the supermarket BOOZE ffs what is the point. So you have to trawl over town to find the bottle shop. Why countries WHY?!?!?!

That is all.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Top 5 Things I miss about Britain.

Yes guys it has come to this time. As many of you might know I don't like calling anywhere home. Normally I call home where I pay rent. However, as I am a bum that is just living with strangers at the moment I have no home. Britain is however the place I was born and raised and I thought it right to do this one before things I miss about Germany. This list is just some ideas I was thinking about while living in Germany as well as coming here to Oz. I'm not including things like my friends, my cats etc that is personal to me (after all it's obvious and natural to miss those things) rather just stuff that anyone can enjoy if they went to the U.K. This is not an admission that I sit at home crying all the time about these things though it would be nice to have them about.

Vegan Food
Look how frickin delicious this food looks.

I am aware guys that you can go vegan in any country in the world however I must say Britain more so than others. (Heads up to Finland but then again that country is just amazing) I may have conceded to eating fish, eggs and probiotic yoghurts for now, but it is not something I wish to continue doing. Veganism is the best decision I ever made (even if it was on a bit of a whim) I felt light and healthy (I was also doing the gym something else I miss a lot) and generally good in myself. I would make vegan bolognese, vegan fajitas and even vegan lasagne. We have soy everything, cheese, butter, burgers, mince you name it. You don't realise how much you miss something til it's gone and in Germany boy did I miss houmous. I found a tin of chickpeas in Frankfurt about a week before moving out and I ate the whole tin in one sitting. Boy I love houmous.

No not the underground system but the indie underground club in my hometown Cardiff. Metros stinks to high heaven, is so hot that you sweat profusely, and the toilets are all blocked by 12am. God I love that place. Originally it was 99p double when I started going. Now it's about £1.47 but still pretty good deal. It's not the £2 triple deals of Newcastle but its got to be close. This place is brilliant. I once saw a woman so drunk she unblocked a toilet with her bare hands. Now I may be getting a bit old for metros (it's a little bit Fresher) but I'm enjoying it while I can, great music and better people.

The Weather
This is what happens if you google british summer.

This choice may be controversial but boy do I love British weather. I remember as I sat in my Rodenbach flat in my pants all the doors and windows open and sweating constantly, thinking god I wish I was in Britain. It got up to 35 degrees in the last few weeks I was there and as I was a teacher I had to cover up the legs and the baps at all times. I was hot. British weather is a beautiful medium never too hot never too cold. Oh Britain I do miss you just sort out this snow thing, like airports can stay open even if it's snowing.

The Megabus

Now I gotta give a big shout out to my homeboys the megabus here. The megabus is basically a bus that goes to and from most destinations in Britain for a £1. AND they have toilets on board ALWAYS. I've been using the Megabus for years before it was cool and it went Cardiff to London, it now even goes Cardiff to my Uni campus. How convenient is that. Also you have to love the Megabus because when me and Nich did our hitch the Megabus let us on not one but TWO buses (London - Cardiff and Birmingham - Leeds) for FREE when national express were being dicks CONSTANTLY. We also got the Megabus from Leeds to campus back booking it about 2 hours before we left for I think it was £10 each. I mean thats like a 4 hour coach journey. Megabus rocks.

Europe in general is good for its museums and art galleries but what is even better about Britain is that you can go in them all for FREE as well. Europe has such a rich culture and history any tourist has to be glad to be able to go and see all this stuff and not be out of pocket. As a kid a nice cheap day out would be a trip round Cardiff museum see the moving mammoth and then picnic in the park. I just love the culture it's stuff I haven't seen a lot of here in Oz though to be honest the Museums I have been in so far have been free.

I have probably forgotten stuff and could extend this list to 10 things but to be honest when I was writing this list all I could think about was VEGAN FOOD. God I wish I could have some hoummous right about now. If  you were gonna do your top 5 what would it be?

*Note to self always proof read before publishing. You can't be vegan in any QUESTION in the world. Sometimes dyslexia makes literally no sense.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Whale Watching on a Budget.

Other options for the title of this post were "Having a Whale of a Time", "What cha Whaling for" and simply "Whale Watching" but I thought this one probably made me seem less of an arsehole.

Whale Watching is a massive industry coming in number 2 on many bucket lists (behind the ever popular swimming with dolphins those adorable bastards.) So it's a very popular activity particularly here is Oz as the Whales migrate up the East coast to bread during the winter. Boats can cost upwards of $100 per person and although sometimes you can get up close and personal with the whales other times you won't see a whale at all.

As I mentioned earlier Mooloolaba backpackers were doing discounted whale watching in their own boats for $75 (This is a really good bargain) READ MORE>>

Monday, 22 August 2011

Back to the Year 2000.

I might have mentioned that the last time I was here was for my 10th birthday. Despite this being 11 years ago I remember a lot about this trip. I remember the cruise around the Sydney Opera house, I remember going to Bondi Beach, I remember killing (properly dissecting) any poor jellyfish that happened to wash up on to shore and I remember being so hot it was unbearable (I thought it was 40 I have since been told it was more like 25-30). I remember having a Mcflurry for the first time and getting food poisoning (not from the mcflurry) also for the first time. I remember lying in bed all day and my Aunt bringing me hot noodle soup.

 On that cruise around Sydney I remember my tooth falling out READ MORE>>

Thursday, 18 August 2011

One Month to Go!!!

Being away from Britain for a year I have missed out on many British things. Most recently the riots and the fact that I won't be seeing the Inbetweeners movie for a month (despite everyone chatting about it). But I have one question. What is going on with Swagger Jagger. Is this really number one? I may be a bit behind on it but I googled it just now. No wonder you guys were rioting when this is the state of British music. I mean I know I am no music expert but I actually prefer Friday. Enough said really. If you are not from or in Britain I suggest you youtube this .... on the other hand I really don't.

Anyway on with the blog ...

Today marks the fact that it is just 1 month til I leave Oz. Saturday is 2 months since I left Britain READ MORE>>

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Turning Japanese

I'm actually getting to the point now where I have the desire to leave Blacktown and go see Sydney for real. When you have a month here it's not like you need it all to have a look about. To be honest after 6 weeks of holiday I wanted to just bum about for a few weeks. I should be going to school with my host in a few days to see how Aussie high school really works. Sydney can wait. I'm going to my auntie and uncles this weekend and I know they can advise me on stuff to do. I've been making a bucket list (I'll show you when I reach 100 things) and looking at other things everyone wants to do, Blue mountains, Walk up the harbour bridge these seems to be good things high up on peoples lists. (Then again get a tattoo is number 1 most popular thing so way to dream big people) Now don't get me wrong I'm not going go hiking up the blue mountains (I'm really not) but I could be tempted to do a couple of touristy things in inner Sydney. I mean I did the tourist thing in Brisbane and I liked that right. When I was last in Sydney I went to Segaworld it was the BEST DAY EVER. (maybe a slight exaggeration that day at Phantasialand was pretty bitching.) Sadly though they have closed that down. Otherwise I would have gone there already. I digress...READ MORE>>

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Back to the Drawing Board

So after leaving Melbourne and 7 children behind over a month ago what is a better way to celebrate than to go babysitting. True I have done this to myself but after a good week and a half of barely leaving the house (but successfully catching up on Diagnosis Murder) I wanted to feel productive, above cleaning the kitchen (which I do a fine job of) and thought I would help out babysitting.

The first kid turned up at 9am. She wanted to watch Pinocchio constantly on repeat. Oh an not Disney's heart warming tale oh no. She wanted to watch The New Adventures of Pinocchio a terrifying tale where the bad guy is actually a 3 eyed tranny READ MORE>>

Saturday, 13 August 2011

40 Hour Famine.

This post is a bit of a downer but I would like it if you read it anyway, I think it's for an important cause and pretty much no-one in Britain would have heard of it.
This weekend is the 40 hour famine. What is the 40 hour famine I hear you cry? Well gather round and I will tell you. East Timor (Australia's closest neighbours) are a little known 3rd world country, READ MORE>>

Friday, 12 August 2011

Top Five Travel Tips

Now I know there are hundreds of websites out there offering their top tips for travelling but everyones is different. For example I hate technology for me a camera and an ipod wasn't really important. SHOCK! HORROR! Yes I know. I do actually own a camera. I was given it for a birthday and it was left in it's box for about a year before I ever used it and even then I took about 7 photos per country. I dislike photos without people in them, however now I have had to concede to pictures of landscape coz well when you are travelling alone there is no-one to take a picture of or to take a picture of you.

These are just ideas that I have been thinking of for a while now feel free to disagree. They include tips for living abroad (as I did in Germany) as well as just travelling. I've tried to leave out the obvious (so many people have written bring a travel towel it is UNREAL).

1. Prepaid Credit Card
I must say when choosing how to spend money abroad I turned to my best mate Martin. He is the bomb. When going to Germany I used the Caxton FX Eurocard before opening my German bank account which gives a generous rate and doesn't charge you for taking out money at any ATM (unless there is some explicit sign as I've often heard Thailand has. Sluggy got stung using her German Sparkasse card at the HBF (train station) 7€ per transaction. I never got charged with Caxton) or for buying things. I could also use it in any country that used the Euro and got good rates in countries that didn't like the Czech Rep. I also found their customer service impeccable. My friend Nich used it the whole time she was in Italy and never opened a bank account. She did have problems in Barcelona though when the money didn't go on for a whole day and she was left with no money. I suggest just load in advance. It also helped out when Sparkasse chose to swallow my card 3 times and without it I would have been left without money. It also doesn't charge you for booking Ryanair flights (which I booked a lot of) which is £5 per way. Definitely worth it even for the Ryanair savings. Another option is the Fairfx card. Very similar my friend Sluggy had it, it also does the Ryanair savings, has a slightly better rate, and lets you load less money but you do get charged a percentage at the ATM so just watch how many withdrawals you make. Caxton also has a Global Traveller and a USA Traveller card (the Global one I am using now and loving). I know this tip is boring but definitely get involved.

2. Helpx
This is more for travelling than living abroad. But I 100% recommend Helpx. (Sluggy recommended this one to me) It is basically a scheme where you pay 18€ for 2 years and then you can contact and be contacted by hosts in countries all over the world. You work normally 4-5 hours per day in exchange for food and accommodation. I personally like the homestays where you live with a stranger as I feel this is more personal and you meet more of the people of the country you are actually visiting. However, there are loads of options such as farms and hostels to choose from. These are more safe as well as you know it's an established thing and they won't cancel last minute or anything. There is good and bad with helpx -
The Bad
-Being kicked out of your house for no reason.
-Looking after 7 children and not having a lot of time to leave the house.
-My friend Sluggy stayed with a couple where she had to stay in a tent with the other helpers and the man believed crazy things such as that wifi gives you cancer and that we are being controlled by the man behind the curtain.
The Good
-Yvonne in Launceston was incredible such an amazing and interesting person with so many stories to tell. A lovely host I was never bored and she was always thinking of things for me to do. I also met Sabina, Chibo and Rachel from Taiwan, Japan and China respectively who I am keeping in touch with. Who knows maybe I'll see them again on more international adventures.
-Lynne and James in Hobart who treated me like one of the family were warm and kind, cooked some amazing food and rescued me when I got lost a 10 minute walk from the house.
-Pip in Sydney. This is the host I'm with now I've been here a week and a half and I have left the house twice. This is me being lazy as I'm going to see my auntie and uncle soon and want to do things with them. But it shows how much I love being here. Pip is so amazing she is so forthcoming with food and drink always encouraging me to have more and more and she asks no work in return (I have set up some language learning software for her and I occasionally clean the kitchen but this is on my insistence not hers. I need to work) The family is friendly and open and again always seems to have foreigners here (mainly German) too. It's a really great atmosphere. The German girl offered for me to come into the city with her and go about with her friends but I declined. (I really am just lazy)

3. Kindle
When I was coming back from my 9 months in Germany I had 10kg in books. This meant that as I could not risk my suitcase weight limit I had to carry it on my back. the 20 min walk from Victoria Underground to Victoria Bus Station was NOT fun I thought my hand was going to fall off. As someone who is constantly reading 3 books at the same time (Effi Briest, A Doll's House, Sherlock Holmes currently) and who is also travelling constantly I need an alternative. I even read all my coursebooks on there. I also recommend the 3G version. My relationship with my Kindles internet is very love/hate. A lot of places don't have Wifi (particularly Backpackers) or they charge you a lot for it (one place $8 an hour) and so it is nice just to check in on Facebook and e-mails (just not hotmail) and see your friends. Also when you are in the middle of nowhere and don't know where you are going Google maps can be very handy. I have heard you can do all this stuff on a smart phone, but I have also heard it can be expensive where as with the kindle it's all included.

4. Pack Less Than You Think
When I was packing to come out here I thought about all the clothes and did and did not wear day to day and  tried to pack appropriately. Despite this there is STILL clothes I haven't worn and I did this packing only 15kg. Go minature as well. Bringing your laptop? Why not swap it for a netbook. Sleeping bag? I recommend this one. Which shrinks to the size of your head. It's tiny and perfect for hostels, airports and cold nights. (I would say that you should buy something sturdier if you are camping you'll regret picking something cheap when you think you are freezing to death.) I've also got a travel hair dryer (pink with kittens my mum knows me well) and roll up shoes. As well as of course the travel towels.

5. Sack the Suitcase
It may seem obvious but ditch the suitcase and buy a hike bag (preferably a front loading backpack so that you don't have to unpack everything everytime you want something) a suitcase may pack more but you can fit in a similar amount if you tube roll everything. And you will be thanking me when your hands are killing you after dragging it about everywhere. Also if you forget things CONSTANTLY like me you will be happy to have all your possessions on your back. I'll never go back to the suitcase again, backpacks are the way forward. When I move to another country I will be taking the backpack again.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Sydneysiding/ Sofa Slothing!

My blog chums I beg that you stay with me through this sad period in my life.
I'm sorry guys you caught me at a bad time.

Today I woke up I realised it was 11:45am. This is the latest I've woke up since coming to Australia, normally I have something to do. I wouldn't have actually checked the time but I needed to be up by 12pm and I thought I was probably getting pretty close to that time. So I got up and rushed out of my room without getting dressed or doing my make up. What was so important that I had to be up? READ MORE>>

Monday, 8 August 2011

I might have actually seen enough animals.

I have finally made it to Sydney. I'm here for a month 2 weeks with a host and 2 weeks with my Auntie and Uncle. Because of this I am really in no rush to do things. I've been spending the last couple of days just sitting around the house doing my Spanish, reading and writing book summaries in preparation for the crippling experience that is final year of uni where I plan to become a recluse. The sight seeing and body boarding so far has meant that READ MORE>>

Friday, 5 August 2011

Your Mother was a Hamster and Your Father Smells of Elderberries.

Yesterday, I passed the 1000 page views mark. That means people have read (or accidently clicked on) my blog 1000 times. That means if you divide it by the amount of blogs I have 58.8 people that care about me enough to want to read about what I'm doing (or that find me funny) both is good. Thanks guys you make me feel special. Anyway here's your prize a new blog.

While my last hostel room was literally the size of the two bunk beds and getting a bottom bunk seemed like supreme luxury, I had sort of got used to having this big room to myself, walking around naked, watching TV with no headphones, you know the usual secret single behaviours and then …...READ MORE>>

Thursday, 4 August 2011

City Centre Cinemas

I picked this hostel based on ratings and price over location. Lucky for me paying $12 more over 3 days by asking for a female room (ensuite included) meant that I had a room to myself being pretty much the only female here. It did however mean a 30 minute train journey to the city centre. So after not pooping for 5 days and trying just before I left the hostel guess who had to go approximately 2 minutes into the journey. I really don't know why I'm not READ MORE>> 


Hey I have done something technical. Maybe tomorrow I'll buy an ipod (oh no I'd have to download itunes cba)

Anyway my point was now I can see your instant reaction to my blog. At the bottom if you are lazy like me and can't be bothered to write a comment etc (which none of you do) you can now just tick a box with what you think. For example I thought my last post was funny, interesting and cool (the standard 3) and ticked them all. (I am not popular) Please do some ticks. If I figure out how I will create a shit button so you can display varied emotions.

Anyway if you have the time too it would be nice to have your guys ideas on other posts. I know you probs won't but to be honest I want to get so internet famous that I have stalkers, stalkers who email me and write comments that they want to wee in my shoes or something because without that what really is the point in blogging. Basically I wanna know what you guys think. FANKS.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Dya know the worst thing about travelling? All the travelling.

About 2 months ago, I decided to cut down drastically on my alcohol consumption. There were many reasons for this (aside from being lame). Firstly, as an average night out I would consume about 2-3 bottles of wine (or equivalent) it was getting rather expensive for me. My tolerance was ridiculous and the only way to lower it is to drink less. Secondly, although I am a bit of a hypochondriac last year (after a few 100+ unit weeks) I started getting a funny chemical taste in my mouth a google search led me to believe this was READ MORE>>