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Dave's Travel Page

Hello everyone! I will try and keep you up to date with some of my little adventures and the quirks of french life on this page... feel free to reply on the site or send me an email, I will try my hardest to reply but I am a bit lazy and slow so just have a bit of patience and I will get there eventually

Diary Entries

Friday, 21 April 2006

Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands

Ok I have to write about this holiday cos it has to go down as one of the stranger experiences of my life.
To set the scene you have a guy and three girls, who don’t know each other that well, and who decide to squash themselves into a tiny car and go on a roadtrip through Belgium and Holland. Don’t ask me exactly why or how I ended up going with them, but I suppose I’m just not very good at planning holidays, and they needed an extra person so I just said yes.

Was it a good idea? Well it could easily have been a disaster, but we had a lot of fun so I suppose I was lucky. There was a small problem for me in that they always spoke Spanish between themselves, and inevitably the entire decision making process was done in Spanish, but seeing as I knew f--k all about what I wanted to see it didn’t matter too much anyway. I learned some handy Spanish phrases as well…..

At times it was a little strange (thankfully not awkward) to be just with girls, for example in Brugges they had mixed showers and so I had to stand guard while they had their showers (oh my god oh my god oh my god), and then in Amsterdam our bathroom was separated from the beds by a curtain…. but I suppose luckily for them I’m shy and wasn’t really in the mood to have three girls mad at me for the rest of the week (jaja doesn’t mean I wasn’t in the mood….)
There is also the severe disadvantage that the Dutch in general are a beautiful people, so while they could all giggle about they’re buenos and bonitos, I had no one to judge the ‘talent’ with. And you can imagine walking through the red light district in Amsterdam, its like when your mum points out someone is pretty (no offence mum), it just kinda kills the moment.

We visited quite a lot of cities, first Brugges and Brussels in Belgium, then Rotterdam, Utrecht and Amsterdam (of course) in Holland. You’d have to say everything is very pretty, and Belgium is very religious so there are heaps of beautiful churches (if anything, they’re a nice place to sit down cos we were always walking.) Amsterdam too is very rich in culture, with a surprising amount of (overpriced) museums and a very laid back kind of atmosphere, because every man and his dog rides a bike….. but I’ll come back to Amsterdam ;-)

Firstly I should mention my travelling companions: first there are the two Mexicans, Nathalia and Tarnya. These two organised mostly everything, they had the maps, Nathalia drove and Tarnya directed, they had the vision, the ‘we have to get up at 7 o clock everyday or we won’t be able to see everything’ mentality, so they were sound but they were often just a bit too uptight.
Then there’s Yess, this half mad little Columbian girl who is always singing or dancing (even in the morning aaargh), but she’s really fun and doesn’t speak English (although she can understand it) so I got some good french practice in. Funnily enough she sounds like a New Zealander whenever she speaks English, you could even say she looks a little bit Maori.
Thankfully she can be a bit of a party girl and so I convinced her to go and have some nice strong Amsterdamnian ‘coffee’ with me while the other two visited a Rembrandt museum (yeah, I’m sorry but there’s not many times that I’m willing to fork out ten euros to see, of all things, an art museum) The other two never suspected anything, I suppose because we’re always a little bit stupid, even though straight afterwards we met them at the Anna Frank house. Maybe not the best condition to learn about the Germans treatment of Jews in Amsterdam. It was kinda cool though, each room had a short video, and it was amazing how you could watch it three times and it was like a new presentation each time…. and those damn buttons at the end….and why are tuna sandwiches so amusing…..

Anyway try and find a Mexican and tell them to ‘chinga tu madre’…. or for anyone who still has Fred for lectures at uni, try cursing ‘hijo de puta mal paritha’ [iho de poota mal paritha]…. spanish just seems suited to obscenities.

alors bonne semaine/journée/mois


Sunday, 11 December 2005

Location: London, UK

ok so trying not to over speak

I'm in London! Hurrah! I've been here since yesterday and it feels a little bit like I've come home. Judy, my cousin once removed who I've never met before, picked me up from Wokin station after the three hour train trip across...
It was a bit surreal but this kind of thing seems to happen a bit so I'm almost used to it...
They have been so warm and generous its amazing... I really do feel so welcome, and I'm kind of disappointed I organised something for Christmas, because it would've been nice to come back. I can relax because I know that I can communicate easily with everyone and I feel very safe and secure here (maybe its having a proper doona, and being in a house for a change...)

I met John and Patrick, my second cousins, Paul, my cousin-removed-in-law, Anne, another cousin once removed, and Squib, my great aunt. They've gone out of there way to make me feel at home... last night we went out to dinner at a chinese restaurant. I felt just a little bit uneasy, not knowing how much I should order when someone I have only just met is paying... obviously my conscience wasn't enough to hold me back, because I think my meal was worth about £22.... (close to $60 in one meal.... aaaargghh!!!).
I also spent the first half of the meal shitting myself with the knowledge that there first impressions were going to be based on how i ate....

Today was relatively quite. I went with Paul to watch Patricks soccer match, which involved two and a half hours standing in the cold, but was all up entertaining, even if the other team only had 7 players half the game, resulting in a 14-0 thrashing. When we got back there was a bake dinner waiting and ive almost defrosted.

The sun went down at about 4 oclock, as a result it feels about 9 when its only 6 at night. On the upside its still warmer than Troyes (??!!) although a bit damper (but it still hasn't rained!!)

Just out of interest, they kept talking about todays weather in reference to 'at least it wasn't raining', and the first thing judy said as I came in yesterday was 'would you like a cup of tea?'.
Also on the train here I couldn't stop smiling, and giggled occasionally because they all actually speak british!! Its like being in a first class restaurant or walking round the bill, its hilarious! and kinda cool....

tommorow i'll be staying in picaddilly with three other exchange students and i can't wait! I don't even need a map, I've played monopoly enough
a bientot

Monday, 28 November 2005

Location: Troyes, France

Quick update….

As usual, nothing out of the ordinary is happening. About three weeks ago it started getting real cold… as in daytime max is about 4 degrees, minimum around minus 3. And last Friday we finally got snow! About time too! Everyone agrees, if its going to be so miserable and cold, we might as well get some snow for our troubles.

It was kind of funny because heaps of the latin Americans have never seen snow before. Apparently Efrain, the little Columbian, was staring mouth open in wonder as it fell, and Gabi thought someone was through stuff off the top of OPAC. People expect me to have never seen snow before, and they are even more incredulous when I tell them you can actually go skiing in Australia (gotta love stereotypes).

Been trying to study much more lately, but efforts are often impeded when people start organising consecutive parties. Monday night was Daves birthday, Thursday night was the Latino dinner, Friday night an ADPS party, and Saturday night the mise de diplôme, i.e. the second biggest piss up in UTT. I was a little happy, but sober enough to notice all the drunk people mauling each other, kind of amusing and disturbing at the same time.

And Saturday day was also the inauguration of OPAC… which meant heaps of free champagne and little quiche thingies. I also managed to score several glasses (no more drinking out of the same coffee mug!) and a bottle of Clan Campbell whisky. This I only pretended to nick, but the guardian saw me… half an hour later though, when most of the people had left, he gives it to me and tells me to take it quickly to my room….ok!

Got no real stories though  what to do what to do….

Whats doing in oz? You’re all on holidays aren’t you i.e. send me stories of adventures from Australia (just try not to mention the weather too much)

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Recent Messages

From rob,jack,julian;bryc
nice glasses.
Response: ????
From naekid
lmao... how awesome in monopoly :P ... and daaave your timtams are still coming... im just slow... but i keep thinkin 'dan i should get them and send them... give daaave a smile ' :) hope you had a good christmas and new year... i know we all keep saying that we can't wait for you to come home and party with us again :) ... things aren't the same without you!! hope you're well :) xoxo naekid
Response: maybe you can just give them to me when i get home?? miss you guys too :(
From baba
john butler was fukin awesome..... drum solo :).. they are touring france next year... must see check the website
Response: yeah i know... i even found people who listen to him which I thought was pretty awesome... right up until they expected me to sing :(
From Gab
Hey Daaave (didn't want to be different!) Hope U have a very Merry Christmas, and a happy new year.. Party hearty!! Nothing much has changed here- Sorry haven't written to u, Your dad has been bossing me around too much I haven't had! Mum says hi- I got a new job at a phcy in Hamilton..V busy and no more mucking around :( also all the customers are European so I havent a clue what they want.. but still- a good challenge. Merry Xmas again- Love Gab :)
Response: hello.... I hope you had a merry christmas too and good on you !! do any of these customers speak french? cheers
From Dom
hi Daaaave! sounds like you are having an awesome time. Miss you, love dom.
p.s. my mum says hi!
Response: hey dominique, am having fun... say hi to your mum for me cheers
From Jess O
Hey Dave!
Sounds like French life is a little crazy! Heard about the french riots, hope Troyes isn't too affected....or Paris come to think of it seeing as i'll be there in a month!
Anywayz, can't wait to see you in person in a month and send my condolences to your liver:)
Response: paris is ok now, t'inquiete pas! i will be seeing you in a month, hopefully you can stay in CROUS for cheap...
From mummy
love you davey
your page entries are getting smaller....
You will be happy to know it is raining,windy and cold. We had the mother of all lightening strikes last sun lunch the shop computer got a direct hit. You can guess the chaos it caused on monday morning. tee hee
Response: good (about the rainy windy bit) love you too mummy :)
From Phill
Hey Dave!
Was watching Pulp Fiction the other day and realised that before you leave france you have to buy a beer and a royal with cheese at Mcdonalds!
Response: hey phill! you actually do use the internet!!... and yes this thought did cross mind the first day we were in troyes and i saw 'biere a la pression' in maccas... but i never got round to it, thanks for the reminder!
From Kieran L
You talk too much!
Response: tah....??
From Elsa
OMG your French is like brilliant!! I translated your reply and it actually came out as proper english that I could understand.

PS steal a béret if you have to, I wont go without
Response: yeah i know... and i havent even seen a béret so its going to be a little hard to steal one, but ok
From Howes
How is the rioting i forgot to ask. I dont suppose it has something to to with you? Perhaps you offended some of our islamic friends... remeber that time in geograph "... you know chinks... chinky chinks..." somthing along those lines... ;-) hope you dont get bashed
Response: lol twenty cars got burned in troyes but meh i dont have a car. Problem is theres no leader to these protesters and they haven't really made any demands.... I think they're waiting for someone to wave a magic wand or something
From naekid
hey daaave... thanx for your addy... the timtams will be on their way shortly :) ... what flavours do you like best?? and by the way... do i write your name in front of that addy or just send it as it is?? *hugs* xoxo naekid :)
Response: yeah i suppose you can add my name *shrugs*... remember its lots cheaper if you send it by ship instead of by plane ;)
From Jack
Hey dave
the amount of time its taken me to write this should confirm what you have always suspected...i am a bad friend. You should be a travel writer, u paint such a vibrant piture of your surroundings i feel as if i am there myself. My mum just walked in and asked me to tell u she is still laughing at some of your verbal diarrhoea from the trip home on Autonomy day. The place is not the same without you. Have fun and always remember...
Response: lol you just made up for it, but its good to feel your guilt! cheers (btw remember what??)
From Adam
hey daaave, mum, nanna and random girls dave has met... hows french land? im rapidly developing a large dislike for the french people based on one of my french (ARSEHOLE) teachers... unfortunately anything he can do is "easy guys, no magic, no diff-icuuulty"... arsewipe... anyway, im still waiting for my photos of the local herd of... sheep up there that you promised to send me (hint hint... oh the subtleties) also, i think you should learn to email my non uni email so ill actually remember to write back... have you developed some funky weirdo accent yet?? guess what, now im going.. so keep up the good fight, nice blue steel dave, and i will maybe write at a later date, lotsa gooey gooey love (the kind you keep pretending we dont have).. ADAM!!! :)
Response: yey you recognised my crappy blue steel!! i think actually i first need to learn how to email regularly.... but that was the idea of a travel page so i didn't have to do that as well.... ah too complicated write soon
From Howes
Hello Dave, been meaning to say hello for ages. Sounds like your havin fun and putting a huge effort into letting eveyone know whats happening. Hope you keep havin fun, but you better come back next year ;-) wouldn't be the same.... and the Lake crew are all doggin uni so we are gettin lonely.
Response: hey howes, dont worry im coming home, i miss everyone and everything too much
From Gen
Hahaha just caught up on your crazy french life!! Keep it coming dave!!

btw..I (&on behalf of PT) feel uterly rejected that Reel Big Fish was not on your agenda to cure homesickness...:'(.
Response: hey genita (hehe in spanish that means 'little gen', but in english....)
i think you missed something, you should check that entry....
From Elsa
Bonjour Dave! Comment allez-vous? Je suis très bien. J'espère que vous allez bien. Svp email je bientôt. Avez-vous trouvé l'usine de béret encore? Elsa xx

ps did that work? or does it say you smell or something strange?
Response: oui, il a marché'... je comprendrais en tous cas même si c'est un peu 'franglais'. Et non, il n'y a aucun usine de béret, en fait il semble que les français ne les porte plus .
From Belinda
Hey Daaaaave!!!
Well....long time no speak buddy...good to see you are havin an awesome time...i am very jealous, but ur keeping me very distracted at work with ur stories!! So keep it up!!
Anyway, gotta go pack my bags...going up to Indy tomorrow!!! woohoo!!! Have fun dave!! luv bel x
Response: cheers... !!! i think ill have to start making stuff up...
From naekid
hi daaaave :) ... finally got hold of your travel page. gotta email me your address so i can send you vegemite and timtams ;) ... sounds like you're having a great time... keep the long entries coming i like reading about your adventures :) ... nehowz take care, lotsa aussie luvin from me
Response: aww thanks nae i don't actually need vegemite because i don't have a toaster, but you can send timtams (lol) to

Residence de l'OPAC
34 Place Leonard de Vinci
Rosieres 10430

say hi to all the westies for me too *sending big hug*
From julian
by the way I'm coming to frace in the hols
and when i find you I kill youand all your bitches
Response: cool.... um but wheres frace? hehehe
From julian
hey well I'm soooooo sorry
mr hey this is my page.
what is this a dictatorship or something i write as long an email as I like
power to the ppl

From julian
hey I don't think my last msg worked did you get it
testing 1,2,3, testies
Response: its funny watching the realisation sink in
From baba
im at uni... pissed...waiting to go to the whitlams...possum tried to steal my beer.. hope ur having fun......
Response: rofl lovely
From mes
Hi daaaave,
long time reader first time writer . i'm currently talking to u on msn but i thought i'd write a message cause your boring to talk to u. Nah just kiddin it's good to here from ya.
Catch ya
Response: thanks mes you fag ;) good to here from you too
From baba
gday mate
just wanted to let you know im drinking ice cold beers in 32' heat gettin a tan... :P
Response: 'sighs'... tell me again what the sun looks like? : (