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The successful completion of Aiden's DIRECTION through South America, can be comparable to the 'smoking of that last cigarette' or 'last shot of heroin.' The thirst for travel was certainly subdued much to the content of my mother.
However, there is one man that changed all that in one question.... 'So Aiden, you coming to climb Kiliminjaro or what?'
Damn you Matt Lynch.
Hey now, how many smokers do you know has given up more than once....
Im only human.

Ill see you in Africa.

Diary Entries

Thursday, 27 December 2007

Location: Nairobi, Kenya

Arriving in Kenya, i was worried.
Recently I had received an email as 'to be revised' travel by the DFAT as there are currently elections for the presidency. I had organised a hostel pick-up at the airport as a safe guard.... A sign reading 'Adon Yon' greeted me at the international airport at 0445 in the morning... I put 2 and 2 together.
It was a good break, cause I had nothing planned. I organised the bus to Arusha, Tanzania for myself, Jimmy and Tony then sat sown at 'Restaurant Blue' and enjoyed the very unthreatening Kenya trip. The people in Kenya seemed, free and easy with lots of smiles everywhere.
Whats the problem?

NEXT DAY - Election Day.

Nairobi was the most tense place i have been. Every second person was showing us there fingers - when the people vote they are fingerprinted and the ink doesnt come off for a week.. which ensures no double voting.The city centre which usually would teeming with people was completely deserted. Only a few scattered people and a lot of shop security. It was an eerie calm.. like the eye of a hurricane. It almost felt like violence and riots were imminent, and it was only a matter of time. We managed to find a hotel that was open and enjoyed a Kenyan meal with the televisions shining there top stories which of course was the results of the election, like it was the only light in the room.
Once on the bus it was a relief to be on our way, and we enjoyed some of the most beautiful countryside Africa has to offer.
Next stop Tanzania and Mount Kilimanjaro.

Tuesday, 25 December 2007

Location: Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt

Back to the program. Sorry about the delay.

We stopped at a restaurant beside the beach realising that this is why Sharm El Sheikh is the Gold Coast of Egypt. Foreigners everywhere, a;; ready to spend money at the 700,000 5 star resorts. So after a quick this quick lunch stop with a cheeky beer whilst looking out over the cliffs barriering the Red Sea, we departed in search of accommodation.

Our search was in vain.

Nada. Not a guest house, cot, or crib. Jesus himself would have gone astray. A team meeting and an even quicker phone call, we set off the Dahab. A scuba town about 1 and 1/2 hour from Sharm El Sheikh. The phone call was to Osama (yes, the same one, you idiots) who ran the AUSKI hostel.
AUS = Australia
KI = Kiwi NZ
How could we go wrong??
Lke all good Australian affiliated products, the place we stayed was awesome, with the right price.
Dahab was a gorgeous town like the little sister of Sharm, it is not as famous, however this means less tourists - still avoid of (too many) 5 star resorts, however expansion is well on the way.
A quick chat to Osama, and we were in our rooms, with scuba booked. Dinner and shisha soon followed plus a little walk around the coastline shops to feel the serenity and practice the haggling skills.
I really liked Dahab. The feel of the place was very different to Sharm and though i didnt stay for long, i think i would still prefer Dahab more. Oh, and the reef was fantastic.
The first dive I felt was to check our skills and the second dive was feeling like a whole different world altogether.
Loads of fish (lion, goat, clown, scorpion etc ) plus a couple of octopus.
After such a great experience, we headed out to find a bar. However, all were really dead, so there really isnt much to write home about. EXCEPT, we found ourselves playing football in the street with some of the local kids. Obviously not really intense but still a pretty good feeling.You could wipe the smile off my face... or find it in the bottom of a beer glass in a foreigner dominanted pub/club.
The next morning we had organised a quad biking experience through the desert.... after talking to Rula (a previous quad bike expert) i had high expectations. It was an awesome experience, with some breathtaking views and quirky oasis' in the middle of nowhere... but I was expecting a little more... Thanks Rula.
A little more regulated then I had hoped.. (probably a good thing so we didnt kill ourselves.
The drive back to Cairo was quick, due the major exploration of the back of my eyelids.

Alright, major site time - PYRIMIDS/SAKARA/MEMPHIS.

These expeditions did not disappoint. Riding on top of camels being guided around 2 HUGE, gargantuent constructions dedicated to the king... (actually i am informed there are 9 in total).
EPIC is the olnly was to describe it. Such power, control and dominance screams from the two pyrimids. Noone knows how the pyrimids were built, as the people commissioned to built were executed... bloody Egyptians.
There was only one disappointing part... the graffiti and rubbish was everywhere to be seen. And of course the beggers. Upon entry the security guard permitting entry put out his hand and said 'pen, pen.' I probably would have given if I had one this particualr time but a lass, id did not possess.

I wont labor too long on the rest of Egypt as I am running of of adjectives to give all the places.. and the photos speak for themselves. The Citadel was fantastically beautiful, Mohammed Ali Castle was also in prime position next to the mosque. The mosque had quite a view of Cairo. Almost the entire Cairo. Egyptian museum also lived up to expectations, however after seeing the artifacts in there original positions in the pyrimids, it almost.. i said 'almost' was a little disappointing. However the mummies on display of the Kings and Queens were certainly a sight to be seen. I wish I knew more about ancient Egyptian history as to really appreciate the pieces that were there. Oh well.

Dropping into Khan El Khalily (shit, is that right?) I actually like the haggling in the shops and wasnt happy when the shopkeepers didnt want to play themselves.... good fun, and great people.

Oh and yes i got a Shisha. Boooyaaah. Goodbye elastic recoil of lung tissue.

Driving to the airport having said the short term good byes to Jimmy and Tony, I was sorry to see Egypt go as I was getting use to the ways things were run there.
As I was about to hop on the plane to Kenya, i passed an Arabian girl covered from head to toe in a burka. She seemed to be staring at me, so I flicked her a quick smile, to see her reaction.
What followed was one of the largest, most beautiful smiles i have ever seen. i thought to myself... 'thats a nice way to finish Egypt.'

Off to vote in the Kenya election.

Monday, 24 December 2007

Location: Cairo, Egypt

Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year.

What a week in Cairo. I swear I have lost a day here. As I writing this I hear the chant again playing in the background (plus all the constant car horns which I have now become accustomed to.

As I arrived into Cairo, i was greeted by a smiling driver, Yaheer and two white men wearing towels on their heads... oh wait! they were just Jimmy and Tony. We said our hellos and swapped some quick stories and then we were off to see Cairo.

The entire time we have driven in Cairo, it has been exactly like in all the films and documentaries I have seen. The kids on the srteet, the thousands of people wanting money from you and 2000-3000 years of culture. Oh, and the garbage. Piles and piles of it. There is not an area where there isnt any litter on the ground. From the gutters, to the walls, from the rivers to the doors. Even looking at the pyrimids where tombs have been resting for thousands of years - accompanied by a pepsi can and cigarette butts. However, our business wasnt with Cairo just yet, it was with Sharm El Sheikh and the Red Sea.

We left the next morning at the crack of dawn (actually it was earlier than that) for the 6 hour drive to the Red Sea. The drive was amazing. Complete desert and sand, lots of sand (plus dont forget the rubbish). We stopped at a few places along the way for photos (and bathroom breaks) but no photo can capture the 'My God, im in the middle of the Egyptian desert.'

Arriving into Sharm El Sheikh, tired, hungry but excited.

Oh Christ! I forgot to tell you the rest of my first night!

A-roni, one of Jimmy's mates was here in Cairo with the family so we thought we would catch up with him and smoke some shisha at his resort. Soon enough, we were enveloped in cushions and attracting lung cancer as best we could throug the flavours of apple and peach. Later that night, we were kicked out of the hotel oasis and after getting chummy with our waiter Hazem, he agreed to take us out on the town.


Ok, ok bear in mind we went into about 2-3 clubs and they were empty, but I swear there are women in this country. When we first arrived we all walked around along the Nile, and Jimmy was accosted by all walks of life. Male, female, children and animals.

NOTE TO ALL:- it is quite fun hearing 'where are you from?' yelled at you from across the street the first time, the 700 times after that - you ignore. Even Jimmy, (nicest guy on the planet) lasted a long time saying 'la shookran,' (no thank you) with an explanation, cracked and starting ignoring people at the end of the week.

Back to the point - we came to the conclusion that girls just didnt gop out. After chatting to Hazem, he told us over a shisha (the only way to chat) that, if you get with an Egyptian girl = marriage.

I now understand Christian.

Still a great night with tea and shisha with Hazem and Mohammed (another waiter) and my lungs are continually contracting.

Now lets try Sharm El Sheikh again. Where was i? Oh yes. Arriving.

DAMN. Out of time. Ill come back to this later---


Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Location: Istanbul, Turkey

"La ilaha ilallah
Muhammedden rasulullah"

Be careful, after Dubai and Turkey... and with Egypt to go, i am well on the way to becoming Muslim!! Istanbul was glorius. That is the only way I can explain it. The way you imagine this beautiful city in your head is the way it is in real life.

Christ. This is the 3rd time I have tried to write about Istanbul. Bloody computers keeps shutting down. My entry is evolving just like a Darwinian drift evolution of language... (in the book Im reading called The God Delusion. A ripper of a read and all people should go and read it.) Let try again.

Walking off the plane I was looking forward to my time in Istanbul. I was wondering if it looked like how I had imagined. (Marianne and Drama- remember the movie A Touch of Spice?) However, as I was thinking about this, I was confronted and met with Fahti. Straight off the tarmac. How the hell was he allowed to come through customs? All was soon revealed. At first I thought he was Ozlems brother (who I had organised to stay with), however, it was a good friend of Ozlems from university who now worked for the airport police.
Ohhhhhhhhhhh ok.

A let the special treatment begin. Before I could stay Tesekker Ederim (thank you in Turkish), I had my visa, passed through security and customs.
I promise you. It took a conservative 5 mins, by passing 5 lines full of people. I thought to myself.... im going to like Turkey.

Taking the Metro, Istanbul looked exactly as I imagined. The people, the places, and the feel of the entire community. People were playing cards in coffee shops, drinking Turkish tea, and kids were playing football out the front of the house I was staying. The cool air of the area felt crisp and fresh rather than stone cold.
I soon met with Ozlems brother and his wife, who had a surprise for me. Not long later Ozlem arrived herself to come and show me around Turkey! An absolutely wonderful surprise and it was great to see her. She brought with her, her cousin, Julia (i know thats not it, but thats how I remembered it. Sorry in advance Oz), who was just as lovely as everybody else.

Soon enough, i felt part of the family. I was introduced to Ozlems brother, Imat and wife (damn, insert own Turkish name here). Great catch ups and a few drinks later and we were starting our Turkish mission.

After a lovely sleep in, (which seemed form a trend) we set out to Istanbul beginning with the Bazaar. Bloody huge and every language you can think of. I actually didnt buy much (I seemed to run out of time quickly in Istanbul) but with the help of Fahti and kindness of Julia, i escaped with some lovely souvenirs.

Then begun the obsession with Nangula (shisha). Those who know me well, (or not at all) recall I dont mind sucking down the succulent flavours of apple, mixed fruit and peach in the form of a pipe, and mixed in the atmosphere of Istanbul = ecstasy for Aiden.
If only you could capture a moment in a flash of a camera, but you are unable. A lot of the time I just had to sit back and say, 'yeh, im in Turkey.'

I wont go into the details about the rest of Turkey because my time is running out. A lot of Turkish coffee, tea and Nangula.... and I couldnt think of a better way to spend it.

Thanks so much to everybody in Turkey, especially Ozlem and Fahti who really looked after me. Also thanks to Erikan who took a Aussie stranger in for a night and had a good yarn over a few Eres (beers).

I really do hope to see Turkey again, with a little more time. The list just keeps getting longer and longer.

Catch up with you in Cairo--

Friday, 14 December 2007

Location: Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Well, well, well.

As quıckly as I came to the Dubai, as quıckly I have left. Apologıes for the lack of photos, but ıt ıs provıng to be quıte dıffıcult to fınd ınternet that allows you to upload photos, then your battery has to work. Funny that eh?

Dubai is a HUGE dısplay of money. Wıth buıldıngs that are built only to be bıgger than the one next to it. This might seem petty and competitive, however, ıt makes for some beautıful buıldings.

Burj Al Arab, Madınat Jumerıah are just some of the beautıful dısplays of wealth and power of the UAE. (Insert mental pıcture of buıldıng here until ı can put one up)

After arrıvıng at my hotel and havıng a quıck argument wıth the front desk.... (Apparently I had cancelled my bookıng?) I was checked ın to see Dubai.

Whenever you ask somebody whats to see here ın Dubai, the fırst places they say are shoppıng malls. Each tıme I stıll gıve them a rather quısıt_PR_
html_entity_#305_ve look lıke, "shoppıng mall?" wıth one eyebrow raısed. However, ı found out quıckly that the one thıngs Arabs love to do, ıs spend money. And spend money ıs style.

After spendıng tıme ın Deıra Centre Shoppıng Mall, and shoppıng Aussıe style... (only buyıng gum and then drınkıng water from the bathrooms) ı called Maryah, Rulas frıend to see what she was upto.

Not feelıng well, Maryah saıd organısed for me to have a drınk wıth her better half, Mıchele (please forgıve me for the spellıng.)
A quıck chat and we were best of frıends and endıng up spendıng the nıght bondıng over futbol and a few cheeky beers.
Good stuff.

The day after found myself strollıng the Jumerıah Park Beach wıth none other than Mıa from GC. Funny stuff eh? It was a lovely beach wıth as many tourısts as Brıghten Beach ın England.
Then we saw the rıdıculous
amounts of money Arabs have, ın vıewıng of the Indoor Skı Centre ın Mall of Emırates.

My God.

I should have brought my board-- oh well next tıme.
Coffee and quıck snack then ıt was off to Madınat Jumerıah.
ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS mını Arabıan style mall. Favourıte of the lot. Lıght up lıke a xmas tree, or maybe EID tree? Ohh Bad joke I know.

Mıa and I loved ıt, and wıshed we had found ıt sooner. Mıa had to head back to her sısters so when bıd adue and retıred to ours quarters, tıred but satısfıed.

My last day ın Dubai ı was to catch up wıth my lovely frıend Rula. However, fate seemed to pull the plug and agaın and Rula`s brothers wıfe went ınto contractıons and was unable to come, leavıng me wıth an old sense of de ja vu.

However, all was far from lost, as Maryah and Mıchele took me wıth them and theır frıends to Madınat Jumerıah for a last hoorah and a fews drınks later I was shakıng my hıps on the dance floor.

Thank you so much Maryah and Mıchele. I had a wonderful tıme wıth you ın Dubaı and I hope to see you agaın soon.

$15 phone calls, $250 nıght accomodatıon, but a free hotel bus to the aırport and ıt was on to Istanbul.

WAIT FOR THE PHOTOS PLEASE. I know hardly any of you read thıs.

Ill see you ın Turkey.

Sunday, 09 December 2007

Location: Bardon, Australia


Now dont let the past diary entry confuse you.... this is the second trip Im using for my travel blog, but that just means that I dont have to change the web address...

Although the vast and unequivocal beauty of South America was an astonishing trip, the great continent of Africa, Im told holds infinite delights of their own. There is a saying, 'if you can only travel to 1 continent in the world, travel to Africa..... twice!'
Lets hope that rings true.

Itinerary at present:-


Ill talk to you in Dubai

PS. If youre a new comer to this travel blog, have a read of some of the past South America trip experiences.... or not, I dont really care.

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Recent Messages

From Tasha
Not sure when I’ll get to go off gallivanting again. At uni till sept, then have a year and half clinical training. So sometime after that, I guess. That makes me feel sooooo sad. Hows your course going?
Response: Terrible. The course is going well, but slowly. Maybe Ill go back to South America at the end of this year....
From Angela
I'm loving your blogs/diary entries! When are you due back in Aus, anytime soon? Take care of youself and have fun.

Response: Thanks babe. yeh, i havent blogged in a while. Considering Im back.... God, I wasnt sure people were reading it! Thanks Ang!
From Leo
Still waiting for your email...
Piece of news: might go to work in NY or London within the next year... Maybe I´ll see you there huh?
Say hello to Jeanny and Dan! (when you can)
Response: NY or London?? What about Australia?? Its only your career.... nah all good. How you scoring that? You cheeky bastard//
Sounds like a good excuse to drop by and say hello
From Tasha
Hey Babe, its so nice to see you off having fun again. The Gorillas are amazing!!!

I always seem to have my nose in a book these days.

Roll on the next adventure!

PS love the fact that Adiens 'Direction' is still a features.
Response: Its just so that you can be featured still. How are you babe? Whens you next adventure??
From Gem
Hey Aiden! your blog is your photos...looks like you've had an amazing time...but too much sheisha! x
Response: Oh. Its coming back to GC....
From Aiden lyon
Hey there mate it is johnny from thursda island, just wana see how you are doing over seas, hoppe all is well......
I have lost my old mob and all of your numbers could you send me sashi, tegans and your no. if you have them on you or even email addz.. hope to hear from you soon bro. have fun...Johnny
Response: Great to hear from you! Wondering how your going. When I get back Ill send those numbers through.... Talk soon bro.
From Pete
Glad to see you are having a great time and aren't causing too much mischief. Well, not that we can see anyway. Hope you've had a great start to the New year and the 2008 fairies are treating you well.
Response: Thanks. My stories are certainly lacking compared to yours...
Let me know thet number one for JJJ hottest 100..
From marianne
hey you.
i love the fact that there were no girls in the nightclubs in cairo. :)
poor u!
Response: Cheers. Youre such a great friend.
From Rich
there is not enough swearing in this thing...........................DICK!
Response: Just wrote you an message on facebook. Hope your well Bro.
From Jeanne & Daniel
Hello my wonderful brother!!!

Okay, forgive a paranoid sister, but you're not going to Kenya or anywhere near there are you???? They are fighting there & I'm a bit worried!!!!

Love you lots!!!!
Response: Well, actually. We were in Kenya for election day. But we missed all the action. Im in Uganda at the moment, and safe and sound. Try to update the diary soon. Internet isnt Africas strong point. Love you!
From PNR
Happy New Year!
Exciting times - enjoy.
Photos good
Response: Thanks Nance. Happy New Year and Merry Xmas as well. Not long to go and ill be back home!
From Liam
It took me awhile but I finally got around to reading this crap... Not that it's crap! It's riveting!

Travelling vicariously through you is so much better than doing it myself. You are far better connected. I'd be one of the thousands stuck for days in the customs line.

Nice shots too by the way.

I must now go eat.. at least here I can do that whenever I want (though from my appearance you'd probably assume I opt not to).

See you when you're muslim.

Peace out!
Response: The camera is treating me well actually. Great to hear from ya. Your only a dishdasha away from an eternity of Saeed (heaven) with Allah.
From joel
hey brother,
Happy new year. May the sun always be at your back and the breeze upon your face, and may the wind of destiny carry you to dance with the stars. take care. JB
Response: Inspiring words my brother. Hope the new year brings you all kinds of happiness. Talk soon
From Madda
Happy New Year mate!!!! just envy you so much, and follow you every step!!! News Year Eve on Kili will be great!!!i'll be thinking of you guys!!!big kisses to everybody, Matt, Jimmy and you of course!!
Speak soon!!!
Response: Thanks babe. Hope you are feeling better. Safe and sound in Uganda. Try to update this thing soon...
From Davina of Pereira
Aidy the Lyon!
I am so jealous! Where was my invite to climb?!?! I must say I'm rather disappointed as I figure myself quite the mountain goat! What did you do for Christmas?? I am about to leave for curry land again which is nothing compared to the Kilamanjaro! I hope your sherpa's a hot strong female who also provides other services. I love you! Love div
Response: I thought you were just as subborn as a goat?? Ouch. Land of Curry treating you well?? Might i ask where my invite to the land of curry was? Hindu could have been the new Muslim.... not we'll never know...
From Leo
I do read this beatch! and you better post some, are you trying to visit the whole planet? How many countries have you been to? 20? :P ok, I´m jealous, but it is good jealous...sent you an e-mail, hope to hear from you, merry xmas and a great '08. PS: hope you are being kind to the "angels of travelers", so they are kind to you...
Response: Trying and trying to post the pick bro! I will get some up ASAP. Merry xmas dude, and there are only a few countries left! In kenya at the moment and its awesome. Email you soon hombre.
From Dad & Kez
Any projects for me in Dubai?
I'll give you a commission!
Merry Christmas and keep out of trouble.
Response: There are about 16,000,000 live projects in Dubai and thats a conservative estimate. That commission is tax free as well....
Merry Xmas!
From Matt
so it begins hey! glad to hear you got away mate and everything sound ssweet. i will see you in about 8 days time ready for the real stuff. did you get ym email i sent you on facebook reguarding car hire and my outlined plans? never heard back from you about it so was just wondering if i had the go ahead from you to start getting all that stuff together. roguh plan was hire car in arusha, drive to uganda over 2 days stopping at a camp ground in south nairobi and then at aldoret on the kenya/ugnada border. go akyak. talk to someone in ginga who i have there phone number whoi might be able to orgaise gorilla permits \9depending on our cash flow level). drive to bwindi in south in uganda, then get lift to the palce where we do gorialla tracking. drive back the same route. tim epermitting go to masi mara on return trip, but apparently most fo these places we are staying at there is heaps of wild game like elephants and buffalo. oh yeah and buy tent in arusha. i got all the details for this stuff, just need the nod from you big man to set the wheels in motion. wanted to do a heap of it arranged when i get to arusha in like 5 days.

in zanazibar at themoemnt, went divbing all day yesty, was awseom ehy. have bought a phone over here, getting a tanzanian sim card otnight. you got a phone on you? wil lemail you my number when i get the chance. 8 days to kili. get excited. the big dog. ps you had better had brought you rise against ipod. pps i almost had to resort to buying crocs as i lost my thongs, then i realised the magnitude of the situation and decided against it.
Response: The big man. I didnt get that email you sent via facebook. And have been wondering why I was getting the big snub. Im in Kenya at the moment... (ohhhhhhh election problems) but all is sweet and everybody is really nice. Only 1 day til kili bro. I will see you tomorrow night! The boys dont come in til 0700 tomorrow and the bus leaves for Arusha at 0730, so its a no go. BUT, that means we take the 1400 bus and probably arrive around 2100. Is that going to be a major problem? I hope not. That plan sounds epic. I wonder getting worried that the mmmmm....pfffffffttt (hand scratching head with lips pressed) wasnt going to occurs. But sounds awesome. I will talk to you tomorrow face to face... man to man... with rise against....
PS Pity about thise Crocs. You were so close to being cool.
From Talita
Just a quick msg.

Hey guy,
How are you? I saw a mensage about your new expirence and thougth: what the hell he's doing now?

Have a wonderful trip and don't forget to tell us everthing! We miss you in Brasil! Came back whenever you want. You'll always be wellcome!

Response: Thank you. but be careful... ı mıght just come back agaın!! xo
From Madda
Mate, I just can't wait to follow you also on this amazing trip...abit jalous of it, to be fair...but...lets hope my turn will come again soon!!!
Response: HEY! Its harder to get to a computer here. BUT ı am tryıng to! Whens your next trıp?
From Yan-kay
Hey!! What's up?? I just found this address in my diary, and I said: "Let's check how is Aiden doing lately??"
I read your trips, amazing!! Guy,Amazing!!. To be honest I was expecting a little mention in London, but well.. anyway! I 've seen pictures and read comments... and you got a picture in London that says Leicester Square,!! That is Covent Garden, Leicester Square it's 10 min walking from there, hehehehe.
You know me, I'm a Londoner!!
Well nothing else, big kiss from London hope to hear soon from you
The Crazy Spanish-Chinese Girl
Response: I dont know what your talking about... it says Covent Garden ;) Great to hear from you babe, I rarely check this now! Hope you had a great xmas and perfect new year!! xxoo
From clare
Well sounds like you have had a fab time. What you getting up to now? i back in the lovely uk now nice to see everyone but kinda missing south america. And Posadas seems so long ago. Well cant wait to hear about your next trip x
From Leo
Shit, back to the other side of tha planet!
Response: tell me about it....
yes he is!
From Tasha
I'm sooo glad that you have crocs, the thought of you crocless has been keeping me awake at night!

Absolutely gutted that i didnt get to see you, would have been good to show you my turf - hopefully we will meet again soon!?

Also where's the boomerang?
Response: The boomerang isnt there??? Ill have a little chat to my sister.
The Crocs are awesome and comfie, and were a ripper on the flight home. I ended up getting brown because the GOOD colours were all girls sizes. Bloody hell.