Epilogue

WELL that’s a wrap folks. FearInEnglish is no more, for the time being anyway. A travel blog kinda ceases to exist if you’re not traveling. To say the past nine and a half months have been epic is an understatement, and I’ve tried to channel some of this stoke through this little blog. If my posts have inspired you a tiny bit to drop everything and go on a trip somewhere or even if they’ve simply given you five minutes respite at your desk at work in between filing papers and sifting through interoffice memos, then I’m happy. I’ll keep it brief because I’m a little ball of excitement right now. I’m home on my bed (still the comfiest I’ve encountered in the whole world) my dog is playing with her ball in the other room and I’ve just written a giant list of all the shit I wanna get done this week (first up is getting a phone and number, as well as a car). The keys on my trusty travel laptop have all but given up (I’m having to copy and paste the letter p, zero, the right bracket key, and the apostrophe) so now seems as good a time as any to bow out of the blog game. But never fear my humble fans (all four of you) – I’m going to keep writing, I’m just not sure what yet (maybe a South Oz-themed bodyboarding blog?). If you subscribe to this site on the right of the page you’ll receive an email when or if I get around to doing something new. Until next time…

P.S. I’d like to thank Jetstar for leaving my bag in Melbourne and leaving me without my possessions today. I travel the world (much of it the third world) for a couple of years with no troubles, but the talented individuals at Jetstar can’t manage to get a bag on a plane to a destination an hour away. Good job fellas.

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First foray film

My favourite from the roll. Curious cats. Peniche, Portugal.

MY indie coolness street cred immediately went up a few notches in September when I bought an old camera from a flea market in Spain. The thing cost me eight Euros and apparently back in the day the Spanish-made model (Werlisa Club Color) was a household name in the country. My new pal Dylan Beach recently purchased an old camera at a flea market too, and I’ll use the disclaimer he wrote on his blog (which you can check out here), “Now I know at lot of photographers are going to look at this post and cringe and say the usual  “oh just because he has a camera doesn’t make him a photographer” or “he thinks he’s so indie because he shot a few photos of film”. I’ll surrender to those, i’m not trying to offend anyone here.” So there you go. The results were mixed but I think some of them are neat. Continue reading

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Melbourne

SO I arrived back on Australian shores a few days ago after 281 days overseas. I’m still not home however, I’ve been kicking it in Melbourne with a mate of mine from school who’s living here at the moment (I get home Monday night for all you Adelaideans). It’s been pretty darn rad so far. I got to my mate’s place mid-morning after picking up the keys from his swanky high-rise office, and turned on the TV to find day one of the  first test between the Aussies and Kiwis being broadcast. I don’t really froth on my cricket like I used to when I was a grom but it was still sick to put my feet up and watch it while trying to relax away my next-level jetlag. Then I went to get some groceries from the supermarket but only made it as far as the sushi shop where I bought four of those big fuck-off hand rolls, which I couldn’t seem to find anywhere else on my travels. We sat next to a chick at the store who was on her phone telling her friend about how another bird they both knew had been acting like a ‘fucking bitch ay’. Oh Australia! I wanted to jump up and kiss her right there. Continue reading

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Wall of Corn

Pretty scenic eh?

I REMEMBER once when I was a grom, picking up a Riptide Bodyboarding Magazine containing a feature about waves on the Cornwall coast of England. The images in the piece were actually pretty good and I remember being completely amazed that you could surf there. I knew of course you could surf overseas – Indonesia and Hawaii always featured heavily in the mags when I was a kid, and still do – but it was a shock that you could ride these sick waves in a place I never suspected would get surf. I still sometimes get that inspired feeling nowadays – like when I watched Dave Rastovich getting barrelled out of his brain in India in Taylor Steele’s film Castles in the Sky or Dane Reynolds’ Iceland section in…I think the same movie? I may not be the most competent waverider, but the knowledge that you can find breaking waves basically anywhere in the world that has a coastline is something that drives me to travel. If I can’t be good at surfing I may as well be good at getting to surf different places instead. This mentality drove me to a pretty fun yet freezing surf session in British Columbia, Canada last year at the tail end of the snowboarding season and it’s what drove me to catch a bus to Newquay, in west Cornwall a few days ago (the UK being the 18th country I’ve now managed to surf in). I was only there for 24 hours (my choice of hostel is what drove me back to London a night earlier than expected) but I still got some fun waves early and had a good wander around the town before a big storm hit. Check out the pics below. P.S. Yes, shit was cold son. Continue reading

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LDN

One of the seven photos I took in London. Bloody good day for it.

Aaah London. The old empire, home of grey skies, enticer of young hopefuls. With my time in London completed I thought I’d reflect on why the fuck so many young Australians pack up their lives back home to move there for years on end – trading blue skies and the world’s best beaches for rain and hectic crowds. I was going to tear strips off the place, giving you a breakdown of exactly why the city sucks balls, but now that I’m safely out of the city my icy heart has warmed with my arrival in the tropics (this post coming at ya from Changi Airport, Singapore), and I now I don’t reckon it’s that bad. I actually had a good time in London. The babe and I stayed with friends from back home and each day I managed to catch up with other mates who currently call the city home. I visited bookshops, tamed some beers, ate some good greaseball food and…well that’s about it. I gave the tourist hotspots a miss (apart from a stroll along the South Bank where I saw the London Eye, Big Ben and Parliament House) because to be honest with you I’ve more than done my share of that shit in the past nine months. If I was forced to stroll through another museum or art gallery I probably would’ve shot up the place. But after a week London started to wear me down to the max. The sun made an appearance once or twice but mostly the sky was a dull grey, which seemed to render everything else it touched a similar tone. Buildings, trees and even people looked washed out, as if they were straight out of a scene from Se7en or a Pink Floyd film clip. The tube and its stations seemed overcrowded death-traps where finding a seat or walking in a straight line without bumping into someone were near-impossible. It got me thinking – why do my countrymen flock here en masse and why do they end up staying so long? Continue reading

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Good times, bad times

I'm pretty sure this is the guy I'm sharing my room with.

WELL ya win some, ya lose some. And right now it feels like I’m losing some. Sorry it’s taken me a while to update the site, I’ve been chilling in London the past six days and doing the usual catch-up rounds of expat mates that are currently calling the grey metropolis home (I’ll write more about this soon). Last night I thought it would be a good idea to take a break from big-city life and get to the coast to tick off another country to get a surf in, so I booked a bus ticket to Newquay on the Cornwall coast (some seven hours away by coach). I arrived a couple hours ago to find the hostel reception closed, meaning I couldn’t check in for a couple hours. So I went to a fish and chip shop and chowed down one of the worst vegie burgers I’ve had the pleasure of ingesting (no ingredients or condiments save for the dry pattie and some flaccid lettuce) while I watched some surfers grovel in some super-cold looking 2ft mush-burgers. Once back at the hostel I tried to relax and read a surf mag but got hounded by a paralytic 61-year-old English dude (what him and his two other decrepit mates are doing at a youth hostel I’m not sure) who delighted in engaging me in conversation about the merits of the Walkman, and how it’s a damn shame they don’t make cassettes anymore. When I was finally able to check into my room I turned the light on to reveal some acid-freak “meditating” on the floor with heavy-metal blaring from his headphones (it’s just us two in the four-person dorm). He’s here permanently he reckons, which would explain the filthy garments strewn about the room. I’m seriously scared to touch anything. Later I heard him trying to show his poetry to another unsuspecting hostel guest (I think I even heard him use the word transcendent to describe his body of work, which I’m sure is just awesome). Now I’m up in my room while my ears bleed to the seriously loud Frank Zappa cranking downstairs, Googling whether I can change my return ticket to London for immediately after my surf tomorrow instead of spending tomorrow night here too like I originally planned. Aah the glamorous world of travel. But at least it’s allowed me to bang on the keys for the first time in a while. I should be able to nut out a couple more posts tonight so stay tuned for those and more over the next few days sports fans.

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Berlin to London

SO it’s my last night in Berlin and I thought I’d fill you in on the latest before I have a beer or two and get sleepy. Since we last spoke I’ve just been cruising and doing as the locals do. The other night we went to a bangin’ house party and a not-so-bangin’ club after, leaving us incapacitated for basically the entire next day. We went to a cool indie/electro gig but I kooked it and got a little too drunk so my memory is hazy. Then today we went skateboarding in this radical indoor park with a sweet bowl and mini-ramp, and followed it up with a thrift-store session, but I didn’t buy anything. I’m not really sure what else to tell you. I could get all informative and tell you a bunch about the city but that would be a bit boring. All you need to know is Berlin is really cool and fairly cheap. It’s cold as balls though so make sure you bring a sweater. Tomorrow we’ll get up super early and jump on a plane to London, where we’ll spend the next week. Again we have some accommodation with mates hooked up which is awesome for my bank balance but not so good for writing anything on this site, but I’ll try friends. I’ll be documenting my return to the coast, so stay tuned to see if there are actually waves in England. There’s some more photos from today below and if you’re still in a web-surfing mood after that swing by my friend Dan’s site on Tumblr, where you can see cool 35mm photos he’s shot. There’s a couple of me in my pyjamas in Portugal if you’re into that sorta thing. Continue reading

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