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Stumblin in Dumblin

This is my travel blog, (for those who don't know what that is, look it up!) It'll hopefully be updated at least weekly with my photos, and (hopefully) exciting adventures.
Log on, Rock on!

Diary Entries

Monday, 19 June 2006

Location: Ireland

Well i have arrived safely back in dublin. In fact i have been back now for a solid 2 weeks. The only downside being that i had to work the last 2weekends. The second of which being the australia v brazil match. Pride in wearing my australia soccer jersery to work for the match turned a little bit sour when australia ran out onto the pitch in their navy blue, so instaed i had to spend most of the shift explaining to people that i wasnt actually a brazil fan, despite the result of the match.
My last entry saw me 2 days into my barcelona trip, with myself being forced out of my hostel, and having to move into another one with plans for an early moring jaunt out ot figuares. But as they say the best laid plans of mice and men often go astray, and i ended out being out on the streets of barcelona til 7am that morning, so was just a little to tired to catch the 930 train as planned. Instead i had met a couple of young aussies, and a canadian lad who were all doing a western europe holdiay/trek thingy, and were leaving bareclona the day before me to continue onto Italy, and then a bit of Germany for the world cup.
The soccer is quite mad over here, esp the TV coverage. Ireland has a channel covering it, and the UK tv (which we get) has two free to air channels covering it, plus there is also pay TV, and then of course there are all the shows just about the soccer, with a variety of so-called experts discussing the soccer. Can't say i'm missing bruce Macaveny, but occasionally i feel a small heart pang.
The day i arrived back from barcelona i got back in around 7pm, and was quite washed out with my liver having taken a regular pounding every night. In search of just a quiet night i texted a few people but found nearly everyone was off in italy, but eventually hooked up with my kiwi friend Tony, who was finishing work at 9pm. He said come round for a few beers and we'll go down to the Barge (which is a pub on the canal, where there is no beergarden, but people just stand outside and drink all over the street, and neighbouring park (crazy irish). Well one thing lead to another, as one pint leads to another, and at around 4am we couldn't find anywhere else to go, so i (foolishly) said 'come back to mine (as i had brought home several bottles of spirits very cheaply bought in spain, which i had planned to use to stock my dwindling liquour cabinet), and so we did go, with a male and female nurse from his work, and kept drinking and just playing games until about 1030am, when i crashed as i had planned to meet some lads the next day. Staggering out of the house at 1pm, and later getting home to find a very large hole in my kitchen wall, with no-one having any recollection about how it got there????
That will be interesting to explain to the landlord, esp as i am planning out moving out soon. My friends in temple bar are leaving the country soon as their visa runs out, so i am gonna take over their lease. The apartment isn't as nice, but it is really really prime location, and has a killer balcony to boot, looking right over temple bar st in temple bar, so we can watch all the nightlife go by (hope its not too loud)
Work is going well, i have only 2 weeks to go on this contract, tho i am extending it for another 6/12 as the hours and the holidays it offers are just too good, even if it is the most poorly managed hospital dept i have ever seen. WHat i'm not looking forward to is the new SHO's who are all ex-interns. We basically lose a bunch of SHO's who have done a full 6/12 in our paeds a&E, and replace them with a bunch of 1st week JHO's who have never done A&E or any paeds. Least it should be quietish.
Have lined up an APLS course to do in August over in the UK. The best part is the hosiptal pays not just for the course, but also the flights, and my accomodation. I'm trying to set up some holidays for the week after so i can do a bit of UK travelling afterwards. I figure if i'm there anyway.
Well i'll finish up there. It does get kinda uncomfortable typing on a laptop for a while, even if it is a brand new 19' one paid for by my hospital. Ahhh, God bless the irish health system.

Wednesday, 31 May 2006

Location: Barcelona, Spain

Well even tho i havent finished my last entries, re: Portugal, trinity ball etc, im gonna punch out a quick one on barcelona.
Im here for 5 nights, and was staying at one hostel, but only booked 2 days, and then when i tried to increase it to 5 they were all booked out, so i have moved to another, where i am in for 2 more days, but then they are booked up too, so still doint know where i will be spending Friday night. Ahh adventure.
Have just spent the last 2 days with this american lad from Kansas that i met at my hostel. As most of you know i do tend to crave a bit of company, audience etc, but after 2 days with this lad, i was craving some solo travel time. Some Seppo´s really drive me crazy. Basically he´s just a bit of a nob.
but enough about that.
Barcelona has been tough. Drinking 1€ beers all day, lying on the beach, and generally just wandering around. Have seen some awesome sights, street perfromers not included in that group, especially today as i went up to park guell, which was a park designed by Gaudi (pronounced gow-dee, not gaw-dee) though some of his stuff does push the gaudy boundaries.
Heś basically responsible for most of barcelona´s coolest architecture. Styles most of it on nature, and as he says, "there are no straight lines in nature", and almost none in all of his buildings. Highlight of his work is the Sagrada Familia, which he designed and started work on in 1890, and is still under construction, and prob will be for about naother 50yrs.
Never let it be said that the spanish are in a a hurry, must be all the goddam siestas.
heading out to Figuares tomorrow (about 2hrs by train) to see Salvadore Dali's home town, apparently has an enormous museum.
Hope its good.

Friday, 05 May 2006

Location: Paris, France

So Paris, the city of lights and all that.
I have been well pleased with the city of Paris, and with the parisians as well.
Never before have i experienced a metro subway service (not having been to New york/london yet) and i think that i have found myself in love with a form of public transport. So fast, so cheap, and gets you all over the city in such a short time. Not much of a view from them tho, i guess with that whole being under-the-ground and all. Could be a little depressing having a very long trip on them. Highlight of the metro is probably the crazy people who get on the line, stand in the carriage and start shouting/preaching/protesting loudly. i found this very entertaining as i had no idea what they were saying, whereas everyone else who could understand them just kept looking politely at the floor, trying not to antagonise them, i would just start at them and smile.
Entry into Paris started well with finding a few lasses with aussie flags on their backpacks, who were catching my metro line, so i took a punt, and they were staying at my hostel (as it had 429 beds, there was always a good chance of that) and happily showed mew the way there. these were lasses from sydney, and were also doing that 6month poor travelling option, so they were on budget living. Watching them do a classy tin-spaghetti for dinner, and then share the old vodka bottle into a bottle of orange juice, we headed out to Cafe OZ (their choice not mine) for some extremely overpriced drinks. And so the evening went well, until one of them started throwing up in the bathroom. the joys of hanging with 20yr olds!! SO home we headed, highlighted by som further vomiting on the metro on the way home, but we just got off, and got back on the next one, which was only 3min later. Gold. So a solid start to France.
Spent the whole next day doing my first France tourist thing. Opened with the Eifel tower, was gonna take the lift, as happy to pay the 6€ to go up, but not happy with the 90min lineup, so instead paid to climb the stairs, must have been >1000 of the buggers. unfort on the 2nd level, you have to catch the lift to the very top, and the lineup there was also 90min, so thats where i left it for Gustav and his tower. Then headed down the Champs de Mars, which was pretty, as im sure you can imagine?? Popped into a quick museum, and after realising that all the exhibits were explained in french, just as quickly popped back out, making a note to only attend things with pretty pictures from here on in in France, that dont need to be explained. Off to the Arc de Triumph, which has always been a desire of mine. Great view all around paris, especially as its on a 12 way roundabout intersection, so lots of amusing eurpoean driving witnessed from above. then to the Louvre last in the day, made it in 2hrs before closing time, and wouldnt have seen 20% of it in that time. Found myself running to get to the mona lisa as they were starting to shut up shop, which was good as i was one of only 2 people in the whole room, but did find it a bit underwhelming, which i hear is quite common.
Quiet night that night, went and saw MI:III, something i have dsicovered about seeing movies in foreign countries is they have subtitles (duh), and even tho i cnat read french, or dutch, i find myself constantly reading the subtitles, despite the fact that i can understand the english being spoken?????
Next day met another aussie fella who is doing his own tour, and his girlfriend had just headed back to Aus so he was there for another 3 days before moving on. I took him to the catacombs, which were great, but very macabre. just 1.6km of piles of bones all nicely stacked 30m below the streets of Paris, all the parisians from the 1700's and 1800's. poor buggers. We then headed to Montemarte, and then sacre'ceur (?spelling) a basilica on the side of paris, on a hill, with great cafe areas spreading off from it for kilometeres, plus the red light district, tho it was 2 in the arvo, so relatively quiet.
Got on it a lot that night with Tim, plus a couple of german guys who work in the hostel, a very big night. So big in fcat the next morning after breakfast was considering heading back to bed to sleep until the arvo, only to find a note with "reseption 11am" written on it. Figuring this must be important, i went downstairs to find Tim, the germans, a french canadian, and a greek lass (all of whom were our drinking buddies the night before) all patiently waiting for me. apparently we had made these plans that night before????
Ze Germans were great with a good locl knowledge of the city, and we just walked and talked all day. Ended up drinking some beers on an island, on the middle of the seine, on a small patch of grass, that said "no alcohol in park", and "please stay off the grass".
Went well until some police told us off, but we all played the foreigner card, and seemed to get away with it.
Lawto arrived from Montpellier, where he had been doing a french course for a week, and was proudly showing his new fluency, and again we got on it. Admittedly the 4am finish wasnt my best idea, as we had to be up at 630 (still very pissed), but we eventually made it to the airport for our flight to Portugal. Which is an entry in its own. lets just say that budget airlines hire budget hostesses, who i think they hire by making sure thir width is exactly the same as the width of the aisle. Sleeping in an aisle seat is tough enough without being hit in the face by massive saddlebags every 2min. i still wake from sleep crying to this day.

Ahh Lisbon

Thursday, 04 May 2006

Location: Bruge, Belgium

Well well well. Hasn´t belgium turned out to be a many and varied country. After the great disappointment that was Brussels, The city of Bruge has turned out to be a diamond of a location. First and foremost my hostel has a bar for a reception area (always a good sign), and i was checked in by a nice Aussie girl, (an even better sign). My walking tour of bruge was met with historical buildings, glorious architecture, some sunshine, and a marked decrease in street dog poo. After quenching my thirst with a fine ale at a local cafe, and getting a delcious seafood omlette, i felt much more at home, and much more relaxed.
Did my first "lots of stairs thing" by climbing some belfry tower thing. I think it only had 336 steps, so i still have a long way to go.
Back at the hostel hooked up with an aussie fella who is doing that whole travelling for 6 months trying to eke out a living thing, and a couple of delightful canadian gals and around the city we went for another stroll.
Finally exhausted from two city wide jaunts we headed back for some delightful belgian beers at our hostel and got chatting with Adam, another aussie (yes i know they feature heavily in my stories) who works at the hostel. He and a colleague from the Bahaus, an actual belgian this time, took us out for a delightful spoon stealing dinner, and then thru the city to a few belgian cafes, one of whom has over 400beers, and i do like a challenge...

Waking up in the morning i was beset by a panic, finding myself short 1* credit card, my jacket with +300euros, and a large amount of last nights memories. These were all restored (barring the memories) by Maxamillian my aussie comrade who had picked up my jacket from the hostel bar where i had left it the night before. Whew!
Knowing i didnt have to catch my train from bruge to brussels till ~2pm spent the morning wandering the markets, and then waited for a bus to get to the station, only to get to the tracks as my train was pulling away, and having to wait 30min for the next one, knowing this would leave me about 10min to disembark, find the ticket desk, explain my situation, try to pick up my ticket to France, and then find my next train.
Well lo and behold, despite a bit of public embarassment by jogging/running/trying to look cool thru the main brussels train station, i got thru the doors of my France train with less than 30seconds to spare. Heaps of time. I was shitting myself for a while there.

Well more of this in my france email. TTFN

Tuesday, 02 May 2006

Location: Brussels, Belgium

Tuesday morning finds me rested and raring to go at the world. Brussels has been an interesting experience. It was like the irish weather gods knew that i was leaving theitr lands for a while, and having checked their schedule found an opening, and decided to come along on my holiday with me. Yes folks for the last 24hrs it has been cold, wet and miserable in Belgium too!
After a very quiet sunday night, with just a few beers, and a bit of beglian telly for comfort, i awoke Monday morning chomping for some action, Belgian style. So to my shock and awe i discovered that when the belgians have a bank holiday, they really do it well. NOTHING was open. My journey around town became one long walk of looking at closed mueseums and dsiplays. Yeah sure there were still plenty of nice old buildings and what-not, but what about my planned micro brewery tour :(. So even tho i did enjoy the 4 hr walk around Brussels, of which i must say is probably the most heavily dog-poo'd city in the world, i have decided to move onto greener (or perhaps greyer) pastures and spend my last belgian day in Bruge. City of old castles and that sort of thang.
Havent booked my train yet, but i figure as they run every hour it shouldnt be too much drama. I do have some accomodation lined up, so that will be a nice change, except for that getting off the train and having to find it effort.
The hostel that i stayed at certainly had a lot of promise, with tales of a restaurant, a bar and karaoke. What it actually delivered (thanks to the do nothing bank holiday) was, well nothing at all really. Instead i had to gamble on the belgian food system, and may i say, no-one applies mayonaise on their chips like the belgians do. How they do not all look like Hercule Poirot is a miracle to me?
Well i better end there as i dont want my credit to run out mid-rant.
My bank has said they will send my replacement card and PIN number to my house, that'll be handy. And i have a feeling that the 250E i tried to withdraw from my account has actually been removed from my balance, without finding its way into my pocket. hopefully the ATM, and not the next customer, still has my money, and i'll see it again some day. sniff, snob, whimper


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Recent Messages

From Mumsy
Bad luck about the ATM eating your card, thankfully you have some very trusting friends. I would like to see some photos please, not of you dying in front of the ATM but of the rest of your travels.Love Mumsy
Response: Will post the photos as soon as i can, tho as i didnt bring a USB connection i cant get them off my camera anyway. I'll try to do it as soon as i get home. Or mooch off someone who has a USB cord. Sorry
From Crookey
Apologies for my lack of contact Dr Aza. Missing you terribly but strangely don't miss Tetley. You'd be happy to know that the RMO bar has now re-opened and all the pissed has been reclaimed by us. Will send some over if you want. Give Danella one for me.
Pork you later.
Response: Nice one Crookey.
How did the bar re-open??not with those cafe7 wankers i hope? drop me a personal email and let me know.
The Spaz
From antoine
i think i know why the irish are such an angry bunch, i think i only saw one photo with sun. yuks.
Response: Yes mate very little sun. this isn't Mackay for crying out loud.
thankfully they have this other thing over here called guiness, which seems to make everything else feel OK!
From Ben and Belinda
Hey Aza!

Your mum told me about your blog, so been checking it out. Sounds like your are having a crap time!

Chat soon

Take care

Response: Thanks BBAG.
I think? I shall add your address to my travel list so you can be kept updated at all times. Hope all the babies are wel (including benny), and that the roos are ready for 2006.
From surfing nana
just finished reading yr blog. had lots of laughs and hope you are flush with cash nowadays. Nothing exciting happening here but went to see Dr Gary this a.m. and he removed about 4 or 5 fine lashes from inside my lower eye lid - you might just be able to feel sorry for me and the pain I went through!!!! have a great St Pat's day. loads of luv from your favourite Nana.
Response: Indeed you are. In fact now i think about it you're my only nana. Still not flush with cash yet, but hopefully on last day of FEB $$$$$$$$
From Simon
Hey mate, at long last the movember toys have arrived for the Royal Children's Hospital School. Mum is delivering them tomorrow to Jane the principal. They have taken so long due to the red tape, but Mum did well dodging all that which threatened to deplete our donation and still got them a massive discount with the rep waiving his fee (although am not sure he knows...don't mess with my mum hey). I'm off tomorrow so wont be there to see the kiddies faces,but hey if they need an ugly dude with a bad moustache in a photo they can always call Crooke. Well done for all your work Aza, great karma coming your way big man, great karma.
Response: And to you my fellow MO-BRO. i hope the kiddies enjoy the toy love. Make sure you pop into the school and give Jane a Hi for me.
From Big Dave
G'day mate, I hope things pick up on the money front soon. You'll just have to get Danella to shout you a few Guiness here and there (I don't suppose she'll spot you some money for poker either? ;-) Things are good here in Toowoomba. There are a few ratbag kids at school but all is good. Lisa is doing well catching babies for her obs and gyn rotation. Nice pics on your blog, keep em' comin.
Response: Nice one big dave. I am currently experiencing the joys that you will go thru mid-year. freakin' cold winter weather. it does give me a chance to wear some cool jackets (and wear the same T-shirt for a week without changing too). Love to lady Lise.
From antoine
tour bus sound like something the londoners' do. do the irish have anything unique except for their love for potato. what happened to the last blog i sent it seems to have disappeared. i am currently peeved with !@#$!@# qld health. i just found out that reisdents seem to be getting locum jobs here in paeds earning $100/hr with the same workload as us contracters. not that i am jealous but that just sucks (for us that is). well ok i am f--king jealous. i want more money!
Response: And you deserve mor emoney big man. Locum's do suck. But just rest easy in the knowledge, that in 5 years time they'll still be locuming, and you'll be a real person with a few extra letter after your name. Whopp-de-doo. You could always offer to work for them, for like 50$ an hr...
And your posts dont get posted unless i reply, and i felt your last one might be too rude for my nana. Sorry
From Cat
I gave uncle Steve your email address and said hi to Donna and Kat. Slade is missing you. We've booked him a flight to Ireland. We figured that because no one else wants him you might as well have him. Hope you had a good birthday. Jacstar says Hi.
Response: Thats not true. dr Vip will take him home. And the best thing is in Sri Lanka he will be classified as high functioning, and could probably run for office!!
From chief
hey dude. glad you've settled in. forgot to tell you about the shower thing over there.. great to hear your stories. i promise I'll try to set my blog up and get some info on for you. went house hunting this weekend - the boys house is looking like 5 star compared to what I'm looking at her in Sydney! and for up to $400/wk!!!! but LOVING work. really really enjoying what i'm doing, and working with al the syd guys. missing Ben madly, hopefully he'll be down within 2 weeks... take care. will try to call you soon. lots a luv dan xxxxxxxoooooooo
Response: Thanks dude.
Won't it be great when all the johno's have their own blogs. then we never have to be in actual personal contact with each other ever again...
From Vip
Could you send a summary email - i think i'm getting eye cancer looking at the screen so long. ps Lilly is well and so is slade - i'm taking them home with me when i finish. Sorry this is so short...but i'm normal.

Vip - 41410
Response: Keep your hands off my babies. I hear you have got lily looking like a plump Xmas turkey. 7kg indeed. Hope Onc is going well, just nod politely and do as the banksia nurses tell you. ooooh and watch out for Junessa, she's nasty.
From antoine
you write long blgs. man i dont have the attention span to study how you expect me to read so much. but it is entertaining. be glad you can bshit. i am in cozy mckay. my neighbours are fun especially the lady next door (megababe) who also studied in tassy (tassie is full of babes except they are all eslwhere). am starting to find my way around. i found the toilet seat off, i am in a disable room, the share kitchen has more fungus than an orange growing penicillin and the waft of odres coming from the cupboardsnearly made me puke (yes i was then warned-on time as always- not to open anyof the bottom cupboards. the iron left a permenant reminder on my shirt that has a beautiful stain!!! but life is still fun. going to investigate fun gyms and swimming pools (there are no gyms with swimming pools in mckay!) and then take the lovely girl next door grocery shopping.
ciao for now
Response: Nice one Pinto.
You make me so proud.
Give the megababe one for me. Infact juts to be safe, you better give her a couple. And why no gyms with Pools??? The Mackaybians are a wierd and wonderful people!