Saturday, November 25, 2006

It's been over a month since my last blog. In some ways a lot's been happening, but in other more realistic ways it's the same old same old. But more importantly with Christmas just around the corner what a perfect opportunity to remind you of that great T-shirt store Chickenhouse Apparel. Packed full of great stocking stuffers.

Apart from my dodgey T-shirt business (from which I've now sold 5 T-shirts) I've still been sightseeing, diving, going to the gym, learning Japanese and teaching English. Not necessarily in that order.

At nights I've been playing a bit of online poker and recently won about $5,500 USD for a $30 stake. That's paid off all my poker debts, paid for my trip to Africa next year and given me some spending money. Why am I telling you about my winnings? No it's not to brag (although I'm sure that's a part of it) but it's so I don't lose it all. The shame of having to admit to everyone I know that I lost it all would be just too much to bare.

But I am planning to play a bit more next month, I want to try and win entry into the $10,000 Aussie Millions game in Melbourne. There I hope to dassle the real professionals with my unorthodox and sometimes bafflingly stupid but lucky play.

My new little hobby is photography. I'm doing a course and running off a whole bunch of photo's. I'm now up to my 7th film in only a few weeks. Now I know what you're thinking. "Gee Travis that's a great photo on the left there, if only I could get that image on a range of reasonably priced merchandise so I can stuff my Christmas stockings." Well don't despair, you can get this photo on everthing from coffee mugs to mousemats. Be the first on your street to own a chickenhouse original.

Just after my last blog I went diving. It was not a bad trip apart from:-
  1. My hat and sunglasses flew off the top of my head
  2. I got really seasick and threw up for half the trip.

I was not the only one seasick. There were also lots of Japanese women who were feeling under the weather. I thought what a perfect opportunity to test out my Japanese skills. So between spews I said "Daijobu desu ka?" which means "Are you OK?" I didn't get much of a response. Maybe my Japanese still needs a bit of work.

Here's a photo from a collection that the boats photographer put on his website hoping I'd pay $20 for them. What a sucker! As you can I found nemo so you can all stop searching.

As Spiderman knows only too well with great power comes great responsibility. As an all powerful English tutor it's part of my responsibility to not only come to the student BBQs, but to take the majority of the photos. Now normally that wouldn't be a major task. But with Japanese students sometimes you can be there for hours. I know now how to use 47 of the most popular camera brands and 3 of the lesser known type.

If you look carefully on the photo above (or click on it to enlarge) you'll notice that many Japanese girls use the V sign when they are getting photographed. I have it on good authority (my friend Lisa said) that this is because they want to look like westerners with longer heads. One girl has taken it to the extreme by poking in her cheeks and sticking an ice cream cone in her mouth. I'm going to have to ask about all this in my next tutoring class.

Only last week I went to Sydney to meet up with Sam and Craig, some friends I first met in Canberra, and Lisa, Maria, Zac and Lucy, some friends I first met in London. The first two nights I spent with Craig and Sam. We played some pub poker, caught up on old times, and went to a dancy nightclub. Of course being a bunch of guys there's no photos to record the event.

Then I spent a night out with just Maria. After several Vodka's, cocktails, and cocktails with extra vodka things got a bit messy and it was time to go home.

Then Lisa arrived and it was really time to party. Our first day together was an arduous journey from Bondi to Coogee. It would have been easier but they stacked the journey with a bunch of crappy sculptures. This somehow managed to attract a lot of people. I did like one piece however, I thought it was quite clever.

We sipped wine under the Opera House with Lucy and Zac before having Chinese for dinner. I didn't get any photos of Zac or Lucy. However due to my dwinderling readership, and knowing sex sells, I thought maybe I should try and work an old photo of Lucy into the Cairns Capers. So for those of you who haven't seen it here's Lucy and Olivia together again.

Maria, Lisa and I took a tour of the blue mountains. The first stop was a wildlife park. Here's a photo of Maria stroking a joey. Judging from where the young wildlife park workers eyes are looking I suspect he stroked his joey later on that night.

Next stop was the 3 sisters. Though if Lisa is kind enough to forward this on to her brother he could see the 4 sisters. OK it's a lame joke but after those last two I thought I should bring the mood back down a bit. It's all about pacing the performance.

As they say it's a small world. Cliche? Yes. True? Maybe. One amazing event during my stay in Sydney was to bump into Damos. A friend I met in London. He just happened to be on the same bus as me. We met up later for drinks with Dan and Rach and his girlfriend that I had never met before, and now unfortunately can't remember her name. I was happy to see that he hadn't changed. It bodes well for our soccer trip to the Asian cup. Of course as guys there are no photos to mark the event.

As any good budding photographer knows you must get photo's of the opera house and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. From about 56 rubbish photo's that I took the best one was not from my fancy SLR camera but from my dinky little camera phone.

On my last night in Sydney Zac was kind enough to take me and the girls up the Shangri La. It was the girls first time and they loved it. They even took photos. All credit for this double entendre goes to Zac.

Lisa and Maria are currently in Ayers rock and will be arriving in just under 2 hours. With their arrival no doubt will come another whole round of whacky adventures. Hopefully enough to fill another Cairns Capers.