Showing posts from March, 2010

Japin' Round the World: Business Time

It's strange to think about this time next month I will be going home. It's not a thought I'm particularly relishing as firstly, I will have to decide what to do with my life for the next couple of years, and secondly I will probably have no money at all. I've also really enjoyed my time away and for it to end at any time would probably feel too premature.

I'm now in the second-to-last country on my trip, which is New Zealand. I didn't know much about this land before arriving, except for what I'd learned from watching rugby; films such as Lord of the Rings (for the record there is a distinct lack of hobbits here), Once were Warriors, and from TV like Flight of the Conchords. So from that creates an image of New Zealand as Middle Earth which is full of drunken violent maoris, who play rugby and indulged in novelty music once in a while. Of course the reality is totally different

What is true is that the landscape is epic, and to that extent New Zealand is Mid…

Japin' Round the World: There's a Lewisham and Croydon in Sydney. Better get the stab vest out again.

For my final stop in Australia, I was able to indulge in a few home comforts. For this stop I was staying with relatives, so for the first time in 7 weeks I had a room to myself, and a night without being juddered around by the person on the bunk above or below. Also it was nice to be in a foreign city and knowing someone from the off. It's not too bad going it alone, but it's a nice novelty to have a contact in an unfamiliar city.

But anyway I was in Sydney, one of Australia's premier cities, although it's another place which is very similar to London; not least considering there are several places named after locations I know in London, such as: Hyde Park, Paddington, Lewisham, Dulwich, and even Croydon. Thankfully the Croydon of Sydney is not the knife ridden grey place I've frequented on nights out, although I am told it's a little dull. Maybe better dull than stabby.

One of the first things I went to see was the Blue Mountains. Believe it or not they are act…

Japin' round the world: Dave and the Beer Factory, and other such adventures

So it's been another week, and I've made it to another city. This time it's Brisbane on the east central coast of Australia.

To be honest when I landed here, my first impression was: "hang on this looks a bit like England," perhaps reinforced by the overcast weather overhead. Then as I was driven to my hostel my opinion changed. In some ways Brisbane stylistically seems like a mix of English, Australian, and American cities. Theres a blend of old world colonial style buildings and ultra-modern sky scrapers and it's rather hilly and steep.

One strange thing I've noticed, is that there a few sights which are similar to London. First of all they have an area by the river called South Bank, and - weirdly - it looks distinctly similar to our South Bank from certain points; complete with London Eye style big wheel (though not as big), and buildings that look like the old IBM building, and the London South Bank center. What I also noticed out the corner of my eye …

Japin' round the world: I was going to call them Chuzzwazzahs

So I'm now in Australia, which is as far round the world as it is really possible to go from my home in England. It also marks my first time into the Southern Hemisphere (the water draining in the opposite direction is really not that remarkable or noticeable) and my return - to my relief - to a predominantly English speaking country. There are lots of little novelties to enjoy about being here, aside from the English language alone. For one thing I can drink from the tap again without fear of some kind of sickness or death, there are no tuk tuks or mototaxis, or people trying to pester me into buying gimmicky crap.

On the downside however, Australia is pretty expensive. Not just by South East Asian standards - which I knew was always going to be hard to adjust back to expensive western prices - but even by English standards on some items. Also as with much of the rest of the world, the keyboards don't have the pound key!

So my first port of call was to Cairns in the northernmo…