A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: gsvii

May REO Speedwagon Reign Supreme!

Malaysia

sunny
View The Plan... on paper on gsvii's travel map.

After 12 long days spent in the prison without bars that is Singapore, I've hatched my escape into Malaysia! Left to the mercy of bureaucrats due to my own inability to keep track of my passport, the island became a cage with an open door for me, its reluctant houseguest. After an exhaustive search, police reports, bureaucratic complication and 12 long days of spending an inordinate amount of money to do nothing, I'm finally free!

Though only a mere kilometer apart geographically, Singapore and Malaysia feel worlds apart. Singapore is something of an organized disaster, a city that has lost all notion of feeling and culture in favour of neurotic organization and mechanical order. The streets are spectacularly clean, the buildings ultramodern and the people very cosmopolitan. However, this is all to such a degree that it is unsettling. There is no graffiti under railway track bridges, no garbage stuffed into remote corners, no toothless vendor hawking pirated DVD's with shifty eyes and shiftier tattoos, no trace of the squalor that more typically defines SE Asia. No soul, per se.

Malaysia is a land where chaos seems to reign supreme, rocking to the beat of legends past-- the Village People, Stevie Nicks and REO Speedwagon--blaring from the cassette deck of a passing rickshaw (if heard over the blare of the cacophony of car horns). There are no gargantuan LCD screens on the buildings (Kuala Lampur excepted), no neatly uniformed officials directing traffic (though the bus-drivers tend to have pretty rad get-ups), no regulatory bodies to curb the impressively extensive black market activities. Indeed, in this chaos thrives a certain freedom with no comparable parallel in the West, a certain liberation in disorder.

Where Singapore was a scripted consumerist society with the trappings of modernity and progress, Malaysia seems to represent a broader spectrum of human existence. It's early yet, but through the wafting fumes of fish oil and diesel exhaust I can smell the action that lurks around every corner in this land. I'll be very interested to see where the next several weeks find me.

Until then...

Posted by gsvii 16:00 Archived in Malaysia Comments (0)

Indolence at its Finest

It may be senseless dribble, but at least it's spelled correctly.

sunny 34 °C

Hello again from the blue!

I know I said I was going to finish that other blog post, but if you haven't yet deduced that nothing but mediocrity originates from this page by now... well... hell... you might as well subscribe! You're either a forlorn optimist or have developed a rather remarkable capacity for cognitive dissonance. Either is fine by me.

This afternoon I'm (once again) following the torpid way by posting two messages typed up earlier on facebook. One pretty much lays down the plan for the next little while, while the other is an account of a run in I induced with the local constabulary and it rather makes me sound like a drunken sod. In fairness, it may not be such an injust label. With no further adieu...


  1. 1:

"Oi! I'm sitting at an internet cafe in Byron Bay, Australia right now. This morning I went skydiving from 14,000 feet, and yesterday I was doing backflips off a waterfall. Life is pretty good (if expensive).

I'm flying into Singapore next sunday to meet Ian, who will be here next wednesday the 29th. From Singapore we're going to bust ass into Malaysia pretty much immediately for about a week. I think we're going to go to Kuala Lampur for a night, and then head east into the jungle/mountains of Malaysia to do some trekking in the Tamara Negara national park. Apparently you can go on a 5 day trek with a guide, but you only actually take enough provisions for 3 days. The jungle's bounty shall provide! Once that's done with, we're heading straight into Thailand to come find your ass.

What's your plan/itinerary? I don't know when the Full Moon party is, but we definitely have to do the one when you're in the country. Can you find that out? Apparently you want to get there at least a few days beforehand or you don't stand a chance finding accommodation, but everybody I've talked to has unanimously agreed that it's amazing. Fear not, my Gaydar has been acutely honed by my nights of accidentally gallavanting about Sydney's gay district, so I will be able to help keep you away from the prowling ladyboys. Not a mistake you want to make.

Can't wait! Be prepared for madness. It'll be good to see you again. Peace!"


  1. 2

"Uh oh... was I sending you messages again? I hate it when I start dialling under the influence because I always send the stupidest messages at 4 am. It's embarassing, but they're usually pretty entertaining, haha. Sorry for that.

Anyway, about my run in with Johnny Law. I was in the Cross and, as per usual, imbibed with a near desperate zeal. The result of this was acute intoxication. The result of that was an uncontrollable urge to remove all articles of clothing. Unfortunately, this intractible desire compelled me whilst waiting for the train at the Town Hall station. The result of THAT was an encounter with 6 police officers. Shiiiiiiiiiit.

The constables were less than amused. They asked me if there was any kind of overbearing reason why they shouldn't take me to jail or give me a $400 ticket. Despite my sodden state, I had head enough sense to detect the gravity of the danger my wallet/legal standing was in for by the grim looks on all six of their faces. I began to panic. I desperately stammered something rather pathetic about being ne'erdogood tourists that just wanted a picture and apologized profusely. I tried to look as pitiable as possible whilst I slurred out anything and everything that I thought might help keep me out of jail. None were seemed too impressed with my display.

All I could think about was my potential cellmate-to-be, who I'd think would be called something along the lines of Bubba or Billy Rae. I imagined Bubba to be a 6'4", 375 lb black man with an appreciation Greco-Roman wrestling. It still sends shivers down my spine. You see, I can't go to jail. The fact of the matter is that I'm far too pretty for it. You of all people have probably noticed my boyish good looks (most particularly my rugged jawline), flaxen hair and golden smile. I'd be like a porterhouse steak hung in front of a hungry dog, see!? All this shot through my mind as I watched the officers matter-of-factly discuss my fate. The angry look of the sargeant and a quick thought of Bubba simultaneously made my knees quiver and my arse tighten.

Thank the heavens, because eventually the coppers relented. I like to think it was my superb cool under pressure combined with my natural aptitude for the thespian arts (it was all an act, of course-- I'm not actually scared of anything at all, naturally), but somehow I think they ultimately couldn't have be bothered with the paperwork to process such a sorry display. Joke's on them. Suckers!

We're going to need supervision in Asia. Thank God my cousin Andrew will be there..."

So there you go. That's just about it for now, I think. The only other cool thing worth mentioning is that I got to go skydiving for the first time ever this morning, and it was rad as hell. I volunteered to be the first man out and fell for about 70 seconds before deploying the chute and gliding down to the beach. Do it if you can!

Peace out! More later...?

(doubt it.)

Posted by gsvii 20:48 Archived in Australia Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

The Impotent Rage of an Inane Blogger

Slackadaisacal

sunny 29 °C
View The Plan... on paper on gsvii's travel map.

Sorry folks, it's been a while.

In the past month and a half I've set up shop 200 metres from the sparkling shores of Bondi Beach in the eastern end of Sydney. The weather is gorgeous, if temperamental, and the women are largely the same. Bondi is a peculiar mix of the uber-rich and the uber-poor: you'll just as easily find shit broke backpackers as you will a metro man doll with a Porsche and too much hair ge or a third generation surfer. But that's just kind of how Bondi works-- the cosmopolitan crowd somehow flow around the dirtbags and try to find fulfillment through an address on a postcard while the rest do their damndest to scratch up the money to pay for the ridiculously expensive beers brought with the gentrification of the area.

I'm currently staying in a hostel right on the main drag off the beach. There's a skatepark nestled on the beach just a quick pedal away, which is pretty convenient, and the view from the top of the big quarter is unparalleled. During a good sunny day it's like looking out on a sea of oiled up boobies from some kind of command post. I guess you could see the the normal sea from up there as well, should you find time for it. On the flipside of the coin, the beach seeths with people on the weekends which personally freaks me out. Especially with the Aussies. I swear to God they're coming off a factory line somewhere. It's almost as if they all called each other up and agreed to wear the exact same thing at the same time. Board shorts, T-shirt/Wifebeater with a technicolour surf print, ''thongs'' (flip flops), the same sunglasses (either Kanye's or Wayfarers), and a faux hawk. I'm telling you, you could rob a bank and disappear into the crowd with absolutely no difficulty, provided your hair gel keeps.

I've been working a bit to pay the bills during the daytime. Every morning (mon-fri) starts at the ungodly hour of 5:30 with the screeching tone of my phone alarm waking everyone else in the 8 person dorms up (sorry guys). I fumble about in the darkness finding my clothes and whatnot, and then attempt to wake up the Irishman I work with. Yesterday I sprayed him with body spray for 2 full minutes, the day before that I dumped a bunch of water on him, and one time last week (after a full night of Irish drinking) I even had the good fortune to be forced to light his knuckles on fire (just here to help). Eventually we tootle off to work, and our journey takes us across the Sydney Harbour bridge where we're afforded unparalleled dawn views of the harbourfront and Opera House. It's picturesque, if slightly miserable. We're busy building a rather large house for a stock broker, but since all the bullshit on Wall Street I'm kind of hoping that our jobs will be in jeapardy. I miss sleeping. We diddle about under the hot Australian sun hauling bricks around, mixing cement, cutting boards, etc etc. It's good honest work and helps pay the bills (largely rent and the 5 litre boxes of wine), keeping things afloat on this end.

Perhaps one of the reasons I've been slacking so hard on the blogging front has been that I think I may be in love with the people in my hostel. It's like a miniature family of every nationality in there...

Oh no! My internet time is about to run out...!

to be continued...

I'll publish it so at least I have something... keep your fingers crossed.

Much love,

Jorje Raoul Ragula VII

Posted by gsvii 01:15 Archived in Australia Tagged disabilities Comments (0)

You have very shiny bra straps... what's that on your head?

Adventures in the Victorian mountains

all seasons in one day 11 °C
View The Plan... on paper on gsvii's travel map.

Listening to: Eddie Money, Girl Talk, Patti Smith, AC/DC
Reading: Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad; Flashman in the Great Game, GM Frasier

Lazy days in Melbourne.

22072008_001_.jpg

In between bouts of inclement weather, I've been venturing into the city in search of the best of Australian cement bowls. I've been dodging the metro coppers and jumping on and off the trains to get around the city and have managed to check out a few nooks and crannies on two wheels. Managed to track down a fair few decent parks and have been riding when weather permits. Got mangled doing a lookback, but other than that the shredding has been good. Pulled a downside whip on a little girl 4 foot hip, but I was happy with it. I met some Kiwi riders that were basically doing the same thing as me, so we've been going around and shredding local bowls.

P8020874.jpg
P7220857.jpg

Speaking of shredding, I made it out to the mountains in Victoria and got to do some skiing in some borrowed retro gear. Very rad. Three days in the snow, last day with real good powder. Good night scene on top of the mountain with alot of rowdy Aussies. I got to drink a mystery liquor concoction out of a pringles can. The dudes I were with made a mystery mix (consisting of several different liquors, beer and coke) and imported them into the bar via Pringles cans. Pure gold. Drunken arguments about bra straps, proper pronunciation, cats, paper rock scizzors, and eventually with the bouncers led to a quick window escape. Very dramatic. Upon making the treacherous (4 ft) leap into the drift, our manly bravery at making such a daring escape managed to attract the attention of some local females. It took a very short period for that to crash and burn after we somewhat arbitrarily decided that a snowball fight was to break out and pushed a girl into the snow. They double timed it away from us, leaving us to our own device. We then directed our creative efforts to the freshly fallen snow by drawing a very very large phalus (with pole-traced veins!) on the hillside right beside the bunny hill. Unfortunately I believe it snowed later on that night, so our efforts to enlighten the youth as to human anatomy were in vain.

fixed.jpg

Oh, also somewhere in that hazy evening some rather large and voluptious middle aged woman wearing a "dark sorceress" costume and a few regretful tattoos saw fit to place my face between her frighteningly exoposed bosoms. They were what the Victorian she-writers would call "agitated." It was very bizarre, but she bought me booze later. double score.

25072008_006_.jpg

Still looking on the internets for a motorcycle. Alot of the ones for sale are smaller (250cc), and I want something larger that can handle highway cruising (350+), but the trick is the thing also has to have valid registration for a bit since I'm not a resident or some tricky shit. I've got to get something together soon because I need to get over to Sydney in about two weeks, so the clock is ticking.

Tonight we have craft night, which is usually just a bogus cover for drinking. We gather to make stupid things out of balloons and pipe cleaners, which usually ends in a tilted mess. Karaoke below...

19072008.jpg
20072008_002_.jpg

Going into the city on Thursday to tour some famous local brewery downtown. amazing.

Posted by gsvii 21:55 Archived in Australia Tagged seniors Comments (1)

In the Beginning

there was george

rain 9 °C
View The Outback Voyage & The Plan... on paper on gsvii's travel map.

After 4 flights and 40 harrowing hours, I made it-- I'm deep within bowels of the underbelly of this world: Australia.

P6300677.jpg

Alright, it wasn't that harrowing. Nor is it the underbelly, per se (it is upside down, though. the toilets flush the wrong way). I managed to insulate myself from the more unpleasant aspects of spending 40 hours in transit halfway around the world by finding my way into the Air New Zealand travellers lounge, which offers an eclectic selection of New Zealand's finer wines. The seven hour stopover in LA flew by in a haze of chiraz, roast beef sandwiches, inspired air guitar solos (to air is human, after all) and a seemingly endless parade of tantalizing miniskirts belonging to the backsides of exotic air hostesses. On a related note, I figure the way to get rich in LA is to somehow get involved in the silicone trade. More of that was jiggling around in the terminal than every Hooters combined (unfortunately they more often than not were attached to middle aged women who looked like the terrifying spawn of a plastics factory and the product of 2 decades under a tanning bed). Anyway, I eventually managed to stumble bleary-eyed through the canteloupe market of a terminal and onto the plane heading for New Zealand. As soon as I made it to my seat, I promptly slouched over and slipped into a veritable dreamworld filled with kangaroos and gently swaying silicone hills, only to wake up just as we landed in Auckland. Good way to fly, that.

Following a brief stopover in Auckland, I finally boarded the final flight towards Melbourne, Australia. Following a rather uneventful flight (excepting the viewing of Semi-Pro... if you haven't seen it, go rent it), I made it down under. Upon arrival I was delighted to learn that the airline had done me the favour of neglecting to forward my baggage along with my person. Lovely. Normally this wouldn't perturb me too much, but I was presently getting in a car to head 2500 km into the middle of the outback for a week. Now I had to do it with only the clothes on my back (and the blankets I lifted from the airline). Greazy life.

Only two hours after being recovered from the airport, my travel companions and I-- Samy and Brandon-- hopped in a car and headed north into the great Australian outback.

First stop in the trip due North was the Southern Australia city of Adelaide. It's a beautiful city characterized by broad avenues and large public parks where the locals stroll about and hang out. We stopped by the market to pick up some food, the highlight of which for me was the "bumburner sausage." If you're going to the middle of nowhere, you might as well do it with salami.

Several hours later (horrific, bowel-rumbling hours later, owing to the bumburner's legacy), we bid farewell to the last evidences of civilization (a definition to be taken in its broader sense, for those that have seen Port Augusta) and met the Outback with open arms. The vast nothingness of the Outback is really something that cannot be captured with words or camera. In some places it seems a limitless horizon, utterly devoid of any definitive features where you can literally see the curvature of the earth. In others, the red soil and rocks are accompanied by thick underbrush that houses rodents, hawks, snakes, rabbits, camels and (of course) kangaroos, while in the hazy distance rugged mountains jut out from the arid landscape. The Outback is something to be experienced.

P7030720.jpg

P7030709.jpg

I'll spare you the gritty details of the time spent in the red centre, largely because it involves alot of driving and not much else. We learned the hard way not to drive at night in the Outback by killing two rabbits, two kangaroos (jumpy bastards dented up our grill something fierce), and nearly ourselves by way of a gigantic desert camel standing in the middle of the road at 2 am. We visited Uluru (Ayer's Rock), that famous red giant (the largest monolith in the world!), central to the Aboriginal Dreamtime and one bitch of a climb. Unforgettable view, though.

P7030739.jpg

P7030756.jpg

P7030760.jpg

We missed getting gas at one point in our drive, which is not recommended. Distances between stations are predictable only for the fact that they will be lengthy. Dodging dozens of kangaroos out for a midnight snack in the middle of the road (some real close calls. thank God for countless hours of evasive training via Mariokart), we were lucky enough to make it to an outpost with 16 km of gas left in the tank, thankful we didn't get stranded in the middle of the outback at 3 am. Unfortunately the station didn't open until the next morning, so we had the displeasure of sleeping three grown ass men to one mid sized sedan in nighttime desert temperatures. At another point we blew out a tire and had to do some roadside maintenance in the middle of nowhere, attaching the donut and having to go 80 kmph (roughly half of our usual moving average), and taking a little detour to Alice Springs to get some repairs done.

P7040771.jpg
P7040773.jpg

All in all, we managed to cover some 6000 kilometers in about 5 days, tire mishap and all. Right now I'm hanging out in Melbourne with Brandon and checking out the scene. We're living with some characters and the near future is looking promising. I may have a gig driving senior citizens to ski chalets in the mountains and back, which should either be pretty wild or in bed by six.

We'll find out.

Posted by gsvii 18:06 Archived in Australia Tagged disabilities Comments (0)

(Entries 1 - 5 of 6) Page [1] 2 »