Archive for the ‘Random Musings from a Happy Bird’ Category


Translation Anthologies: Part 2

November 2, 2012

This was at our restaurant for lunch. They wanted to collect our rehabilitation after lunch!



Translation Anthologies: Part 1

October 6, 2012

Just arrived in Greece. Looking out the windows of the bus for our stop, it’s “square o triangle, triangle n triangle tiko”. Ummm… But it’s obviously not just my translation that’s bad, we’ve got a very special English menu for dinner tonight for sharing!

Sandwich: toasted slices of toast bread.
Four Cheese Pizza: Gouda, Parmesan, Parmesan, Mozzerella.
Pasta Penne: includes bowl Parmesan salt and portion.
Pasta Arrabiata: includes bowl and cheese portion of salt.
Tortallini: includes cheese bowl and serving of salt.
Dessert: profiteroles bowl, filled with fluffy cream, maraschino liquor and rich chocolate sauce of fresh cream chocolate and healthy.

Good luck in Greece, team!



Fashion Anthologies: Part 3

October 6, 2012

I have a bit of a backlog of fashion anthologies, and due to popular demand, I’ve got one for you today. This was in Florence. Please note, they are tshirts, NOT bags.



Ode to Hope

September 29, 2012

It’s Hope’s birthday today. And, as I only spend €7 on a beautiful Gaudi elephant for her and didn’t give her a card, I decided I would compose an ‘Ode To Hope’ here on el blogo.

Hope is 28 today. We’ve been friends for 10 years, and we often joke that its perhaps time to call it quits. But I doubt that’s ever going to be possible, given all that we’ve been through together. Even just this year, we’ve done more and eaten more gelato than others would even dream of. We’ve been happy, and we’ve been very sad. Some have cried on trains, others on boats. We’ve laughed every place humanly imaginable, including Niagara Falls (when Hope fell over), Scotland Castles (where Hope fell over), Starbucks (where Hope fell over), Iceland bus (where Hope fell over) and in Cinque Terre (where Hope took care to read the ‘It’s Slippery’ sign out to me, before falling over). Oh, and in Monteverde (where I fell over – should put it in for good measure).

I admire at least 14 things about Hope. I’ll list a few only, for time’s sake.
1) I admire Hope’s ability to tell people to ‘shut up’ when they are less than 1m away. She has no fear of getting punched.
2) I admire her resilience. She can bounce back after being abused by a crazy man on the bus with a tshirt than says ‘sex, drugs and sausage rolls’.
3) I admire her ability to laugh at EVERYTHING. Sometimes when I’m trying to go to sleep, I hear her laughing, and its because she’s remembering something that happened today, or last week, or the time she fell over when trying to piggy back Lisa.
4) I admire her strength. She’s probably the strongest person I know. Not physical (we all know I could beat her in a fight) but her mental strength. I’m positive that she can get through ANYTHING.
5) I admire her capacity to pretend her plastic legs are actually real.

Sometimes, Hope says ‘will you miss me next year?’ And to her, my response is yes. Yes I will. When we don’t live in a bag, and share deodorant when mine runs out.

A lot of people were worried when we decided to travel together because we do fight a lot. But it has been so good this year. Sure, we punch each other in the neck sometimes, but 98% of the time, it’s so good. I’ve come to appreciate us more in the last few days where we’ve run into three different groups of people who are struggling with their travel buddy. And they ask if we’ve ever considered splitting up. No, no we haven’t.

And so, on Hope’s day of birth, I shall say unto her “HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my wonderful, crazy, funny MUCHACHA. May all your days be incredible like yourself. I love you long time and am SO glad we get to keep smashing out country after country together. AMEN.”




Why I Hate Religion

September 29, 2012

Sometimes, people say to me “are you religious?”

I struggle to know how to answer this question. I hate religion. The idea that someone would think me “religious” makes my insides flip over.

Once upon a time, communist proponent and sociologist Karl Marx said that “religion is the opium of the masses”, with the idea that religion is used to subdue and control. And what a handy tool. Something that people will conform to out of fear, or pressure or because it’s the societal norm. Religious people, to me, seem to bound up in rules and regulations. They can’t do this, say that, eat this or wear that. They can be seen as haughty or high and mighty, perhaps lording their moral standards over you and I.

Religion is not something I want to be linked to at all.

But at the same time, I am… something. I don’t even want to call it a Christian, because what that word originally started out meaning is hardly the way it is understood now. Christians, were so named because they were “little Christs”, followers of “the Way”, Jesus. That’s it. Just as stuffed up as everyone else, yet acknowledging a path through the confusion and mistakes of life. That path, I call Jesus. He illuminates the way for me to go and gives me a sense of great joy.

Where religion is about rules, following Jesus is about relationship.

And, as I listen to a Spanish version of U2’s “I still haven’t found what I’m looking for”, I can confidently say I have found all I’m looking for in Him.


Fashion Anthologies: Part 2

June 18, 2012

Feather Duster Man.
I don’t know, but he was running and it was a hard photo to get.



Fashion Anthologies: Part 1

June 5, 2012

This may be a one hit wonder, but for this photo, it is worth it. We see some pretty incredible dress codes on our travels, and this has been intensified in Rio, inspiring me to make this new series of anthologies. This rad lady joined us on the beach and then came over to ask for my leftover 1cm of coke. I gave it to her. She is certainly interesting.

Stay tuned!


Travel Plans: For Those Who Need to be in the Know!

March 25, 2012

I’ve had a request for our travel plans. And I feel that that is a valid question. Especially for those inquisitive minded, interested people who like to follow on maps and plot our every move with pins and red thread.

The following is concrete plans.

March 24 – March 28 —- Washington DC
March 28 – March 30 —- Richmond, Virginia
March 30 – April 2 —- Charlotte, North Carolina
April 2 – April 4 —- Atlanta, Georgia
April 4 – April 9 —- Athens, Georgia (staying with Bianca!)
April 9 – April 12 —- Orlando, Florida
April 12 – April 15 —- Miami, Florida

April 15 – May 4 —- Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica

May 4 – June 28 —- Bolivia, Paraguay, Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina

June 28 – July 20 —- Scotland, Ireland
July 20 – July 26 —- Iceland
July 26 – July 29 —- Southern England
July 29 – August 2 —- Paris, France (with my mum and dad)

The rest is rough plans.

August 3 – October 21 —- France, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Czech, Prague, Denmark, Netherlands, Poland, Greece, something else I can’t remember.

October 21 – November 5 —- Jordan, Israel, Egypt

November 5 – December 20 —- England, Ireland, Scotland.




Bus Anthologies: Part 7

March 7, 2012

It’s been a while, I know. We have had some funny things, but not enough to warrant a whole posting. We decided before boarding the bus that maybe I should write one with lots of small funny events. That was, until, we got on the bus.

Inside the terminal there are numbered doors to line up behind. Today, Hope and I were in line 10. Line 9, next to us, also had people in it. It soon became apparent that both lines were on the same bus. A crazy Indian lady was yelling at everyone, trying to find out where they were going to decide where to stand. She swapped lines about 18 times, boarded the bus, but then got off again (with her two family members) as she hadn’t checked in her luggage. I can hear her piping on now from a whole bus away.

The last person on the bus took ages to get a seat (the bus is full) and then as soon as the driver started his announcements about where we are going, the guy decided that wasn’t acceptable and started yelling at the driver to let him off. The driver did this, with pleasure, even though he was actually on the right bus. The crowd on the bus cheered, and then the driver told us to “stay in school, kids”. I did feel bad for the guy though. No one wanted him to sit with them and then they all laughed.

There is a black lady yelling (Hope wants it made clear just how loud she is yelling – fairly loudly – she puts India to shame) to someone unknown to “pull yo’ pants up!”, which is weird, because the only person standing has his pants up.

Back in the terminal, an old homeless looking guy was trying to get on the bus and he was told to change his clothes first. We couldn’t work out why cause he looked ok, but then it turned out he had urinated on himself and had been walking around in it. He smelt really bad. There are crazy people out there.

Our black lady friend is now yelling at a girl who is on her phone. She apparently thinks the very quiet girl is speaking too loudly (we can’t even hear her). She’s yelled about how she’s trying to sleep, how rude the girl is, and even just threw in a “[swear word] I will snap that phone off yo’ ear, just test me!” Calm down, angry.

How jealous are you of the bus!?



February 29, 2012

As I ponder the fact that we have been on the other side of the world for 40 days, I am reminded of how often 40 appears in the Bible.

These are normally in cases where God does something fairly huge.

In Genesis, it rained for 40 days and 40 nights when God wanted to clean up a huge mess that the pesky humans made. Noah then waited another 40 days before opening the ark.

Moses was on the mountain with God for 40 days, twice, one of the times was when God gave him the 10 commandments. After which, Moses had a shiny face!

It took the spies 40 days to search out the promised land and bring back fruit, the Israelites spent 40 years wandering in the wilderness before reaching the promised land.

Goliath was around for 40 days before being killed by David, Elijah spent 40 days with God at Mount Horeb, Jonah warned the Ninevites that they had only 40 days to fix their behaviour before God wiped them out (they did, don’t worry), and finally, Jesus fasted for 40 days in the wilderness. There are probably a lot more but that’s enough for now.

And the application? I don’t know. I wouldn’t say anything monumental has occurred so far. However, there has been some good experiences, events and learning happening. So far, I’ve learnt locations of a lot of places, and researched a fair bit of history behind them. I’ve read almost three whole books and a lot of other stuff. I’ve got good at navigating. I’ve made up more songs than I can count or than Hope can tolerate. I’ve potentially found the best fried chicken in the world. I’ve bought two pairs of shoes and thrown two pairs away. And finally, I’ve potentially discovered a life goal of owning an ice cream and cup cake store.

The best thing is that there is still 40 more days, another seven times! Woot!

The best is yet to come. Ay.