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How to lose a house deposit in 12 months

We (Julia and Danusha) have disposed of our belongings (except for a few things we just couldn't part with - currently residing in Noosh's friend's garage in the Berra, thanks for that), taken 12 months off work, jammed as much as we could into our respective backpacks and are attempting to see as much of the world as we can in 12 months. This is our attempt at avoiding group emails as much as possible :)

Diary Entries

Friday, 02 April 2010

Location: Cookham, England

Happy Easter!
We are now well versed in the art of waitressing, and have settled into life in the biggest share hose in the smallest village evar.
One day we will sit down and tell you all about it, but for now if you're bored feel free to find 2 new excitingly outdated installments from Florida and Baltimore.

Saturday, 06 March 2010

Location: Cookham, UK

Alriiiight - just a quick hello to all those people who keep harassing us to put up an update and those who haven't harassed us but keep checking back in blind hope that one day we will actually update this page.

We are now in Cookham which is a cute little village in the English countryside where we have internet access and not that much to do and 3 months in which to do it, so we're gonna get things updated! You will note that we have occassionally added photos, but today we have also added a new diary entry dated 12 Jan 2010 from Cancun :)

If we've learned nothing else from the last three months we now know that we are not and never will be dilligent bloggers, so sorry about that, but we are trying...


Saturday, 30 January 2010

Location: New York, USA

So we're not dead... but only just. We're still in NYC and lovin it, off to freezing cold Toronto tomorrow to stay with Noosh's sister and bro in law, where we anticipate not leaving the house much, if at all, so hopefully we will manage to get ourselves completely updated very soon.

We departed Philly after farewelling our new friends and getting another of philly’s best coffee, bound for New York on the trusty greyhound. After arriving in New York and getting all excited looking up at all the buildings and walking through times square, just around the corner from our hostel, one of the first things we did was find the cheap broadway ticket booth and decided to go to a show. After changing our minds several times we settled on Rock of Ages. We wandered the streets a bit more we had an early dinner then headed to the show. It was basically an 80’s rock tribute and was great fun. After the show we wandered the streets again and became best mates with Antonio, the guy who worked in the swatch shop on times square and talked to us for 45 mins about Colombia. We didn’t buy a watch…

Next morning we joined forces with our Australian roommate and new BFF Gemma and headed downtown via the extraordinarily confusing subway. It took us three goes and a very patient police officer to get us going in the right direction. Once in the right spot we walked all down downtown, the financial district, wall st, ground zero etc and had lunch at an amazing Chinese noodle bar. We thought about getting a ferry to the statue of liberty and almost ended up on staten island but then decided it was way too cold and we didn’t really have enough time so we decided to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge with a few of Gemma’s mates instead. Probably the least likely option of the two which would result in Noosh contracting hypothermia (it's only about 4 degrees but we weren't dressed for the occasion). It was really cool coz we went just as the sun was setting (and temperature dropping with it) so we got some great views of Manhattan and Brooklyn. After that we headed back to our hostel as fast as we could to warm up and get ready for some Australia Day celebrations. Our intention was to go to the Sunburnt Cow for dinner and drinks (an aussie pub in the east village which was having aus day celebrations) but by the time we got out there it was at capacity and we couldn’t get in. Not to be deterred we went to a german pub down the road to eat, where we met a couple of random old American men, who then came with us when we went back to the sunburnt cow to try again. Happily this time we were successful and were allowed in, (despite Gemma not being 21) and got to meet up with Pete who we’d met in Philly, and his mate Ade. They had coopers pale in bottles AND they rolled them for you! Add to that $20 for 3 hours of drinks and needless to say it was a good night which ended with mouldy street vendor hot dogs – best we’ve ever tasted!

Next day was a bit of a recovery day. Gemma and Noosh went and got us cheap ballet tickets, then me and noosh went wandering while gemma went to the theatre. We managed to see the Public Library which is a beautiful old building, went back to the swatch shop and got some watches, but alas, no Antonio :( That night was the New York Ballet where we saw Sleeping Beauty which was fantastic. None of us had been to the ballet so it was a great experience – those dancers are absolutely amazing!!

Next morning we woke to snow falling which was very exciting. We bid a sad farewell to Gemma who departed for Ohio, then proceeded to walk the entire boundary of Central Park – a bloody long way let me tell you! Our mission was to find the Met (metropolitan museum) however we neglected to check a map properly and started walking up Central Park West, when it was actually on the east… it was a nice enough walk in the freezing cold and we did eventually find the met, but were too cheap to actually go in. On the way home via 5th avenue we stopped and did some shopping and got tickets to see The Lion King, which was fantastic!

Friday the 29th was supposed to be our last day in New York. It started unpleasantly early when the girl who had replaced Gemma in our room’s alarm went off at 5am, and she managed to sleep through it, or at least didn’t feel the need to turn it off. We were not impressed. We got up and sent packages of things we could no longer carry home, got our bus tickets for Niagara Falls the next day, then headed up the empire state building. My god it was cold! The view was spectacular, but we had to take it in turns running out onto the observation deck and taking pictures for fear of losing fingers to frostbite. We then headed to get our hair cut – kinda random but we picked up a deal in times square which sounded too good to be true and totally was, but at least we both managed a decent trim to go with the hideous nail polish– before heading back the hostel to get organized before meeting up with our mate Jess who we’d met in Brazil. Given that we had an early bus and Jess had been on antibiotics all week we were anticipating a very quiet night – oh how wrong we were.

We met jess at the Brass Monkey, a pub in the meat packing district where we had dinner and some wine, then we were joined by the Brits, Pete and Ade, and the rest is history. We missed our bus out, had to pay for an extra night at the hostel which involved moving into another room which we shared with the world’s loudest and most aggressive snorer, and spent the whole day feeling pretty rancid. We have now changed our plans and decided to head straight to Toronto to visit Yasanthi and Mark.

Monday, 25 January 2010

Location: Philadelphia, USA

Philadelphia was a pleasant surprise it has to be said. I don’t think that either of us had much if any expectations for the place, and we had a fantastic few days.

We arrived around lunch time and checked into our hostel, which is by far the best we’ve stayed in so far. At first the concept of an 18 person dorm didn’t seem like such a good set up, but it worked surprisingly well. We went for a bit of a wander around and Noosh went for a run to the art centre which she heard was famous or something. When we got there it did look vaguely familiar and we deduced from the people selling Rocky tshirts and the large statue of Rocky out the front that the building was from a famous scene in a Rocky film. Having not seen a single movie but being the diligent tourists that we are, we got photos of noosh running up and down the stairs, and us in front of the statue. Watching at least one Rocky movie has now been placed on the 100 things to do before we die list…

We returned to the hostel via city hall where we discovered the location of their nuclear fallout shelter – handy – then went for a famous philly cheesesteak (and appropriate vegetarian option) which was awesome, before embarking on a walking ghost tour of the city which was quite entertaining, followed by free beer which is always pleasant. Almost everyone who was staying there that night was congregated in the lounge, so a group of us decided to go test the philly night life. We had a little difficulty given one of our members was not *quite* 21 and therefore couldn’t get in anywhere but eventually found a pub whose bouncer was either confused by the Australian license or just didn’t care, and let us in. We had a few beers with our new welsh, English and aussie mates, then headed home when everyone in the city was kicked out of every pub at about midnight. Quite strange. Turned out that the welsh lads had an early morning bus and were leaving at 7am the next morning, so everyone attempted to stay up with them in solidarity… it didn’t quite work. Noosh bailed at about 4, and I kicked on for at least another hour. We hear that they did make it to their bus tho.

Next morning we were rudely awaken by the communal lights being turned on at 10am which was an absolute nightmare at the time, but a very good thing otherwise we probably would have slept all day and missed the sights of Philadelphia. It’s a really cool city – so much history right in the middle of town. Not being all that high on life that day we did get a little over the American history paraphernalia and were suitably unimpressed with the liberty bell, but pushed on. We went to the world’s oldest inhabited street, found the world’s (maybe philadelphia’s…) best coffee then went to reading markets where noosh had the world’s best vegetarian meal of her life ever! That night was movie night at the hostel, where we FINALLY managed to watch The Hangover after many many failed attempts over the previous 6 months.

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Location: Baltimore, USA

So last time we wrote we were in Baltimore, we'd just got our coats and boots and were on our way to Washington DC. Rudy dropped us off and we went on our own walking tour of the Nation's capital. After getting our bearings, taking few pics in front of the Capitol and wandering for a bit we discovered an ice skating rink on the Mall in the Art Musem's sculpture garden. Despite the fact that neither of us have any ice skating talent and Noosh has balance issues at the best of times we decided to have a crack. All up it was a successful venture, no one fell over, we had fun laughing at each other and attempting to avoid squealing American teenagers, and Noosh even did a whole lap without holding the sides! (there’s even a photo to prove it). Seeing as we were surrounded by the Smithsonian, and because we thought Freddie would be proud, we thought we'd better at least walk into a museum while we were there, so we went to the Museum of American History where we saw ruby slippers from the Wizard of Oz, Kermit the Frog, Fonzie's jacket, Julia Child's kitchen (apparently they painstakingly removed it piece by piece from her house and put it in the museum), as well as the original star spangled banner, and lots of other cool stuff. After that it was getting a bit cold and dark so we walked a bit further to the Washington Monument then up to the White House and got a cab back to the bus station and headed back to Baltimore.
Upon arrival Freddie picked us up with exciting news that not only did her hairdresser know one of the original members of ‘The Committee’ (the tv show group that Hairspray was based on), she still had all her memorabilia and was going to try and dig some of it out. Well that pretty much made our day, then she informed us that despite it being out of season she’d found a place that did steamed crabs year round, and that’s where we were headed for dinner!
For those uneducated (such as us) in the art of steamed crabs let me tell you it was quite the adventure, and great fun. Basically they steam whole fresh crabs, add a bit of seasoning, hand you a mallet, some newspaper and a bucket and off you go. Freddie carefully explained the art of eating a crab and showed us the best method to use in order to get the most meat, then we went at it ourselves and had a wonderful time getting dirty and smashing up crabs. We are both inspired and intend to go crabbing once we get back home – so much fun!
So the next day we embarked on our Hairspray tour of Baltimore. For those who don’t know or haven’t really cared up until now about the fun and excitement that is Hairspray which we have a small obsession with, just watch the movie, it will sound less dumb then me trying to explain… anyhoo, Freddie and Rudy drove us all through the old part of town where the kids used to live, and we even went to the actual studio where they used to film the show – very exciting! We had lunch at Café Hon which is a 60’s themed restaurant with a lot of big hair, pink stuff and feather boas. It was great fun, there’s a lot of really cool shops down the streets, a most enjoyable afternoon.
For dinner we had a wonderful home cooked meal of spaghetti pie with real or faux sausage depending on your dietary requirements, and because it was Rudy’s birthday, tapioca pudding birthday cake for desert. We were so well looked after that we didn’t want to leave, but unfortunately we had to keep moving, so said goodbye to our wonderful hosts the next day, armed with Tofurkey sandwiches and cookies, and got back on the Greyhound bound for Philadelphia.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Location: Baltimore, USA

Good morning Baltimore!! For those who know us well (or were subjected to our singing on road trips Mads, Margie, Carol...) you would appreciate how excited we are to be here in the home of Hairspray! Yesterday our wonderful, obliging and enthusiastic host Freddie took us shopping around to find winter coats and boots, so now we are geared up and ready to face the North American winter, at least a bit better.
We have again been negligent in our writings and are preparing another mammoth update of all things Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Florida, so feel free to skip over that one when it comes out, or set aside some time for some light reading.
Over the next 2 days we intend to do a Hairspray tour of Baltimore and visit the nation's capital, Washington DC, which is only and hour or so from here.
Stand by for lots and lots of photos, probably in the very distant future given our track record... :)

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Recent Messages

From Mads
Hellooooo LADIES!!! Whoa! After being sidetracked for months with wedding planning etc I've finally caught up on all you're travel installments!! My my - you two have been BUSY!! So much booze, food and fun! I'm so jealous right now. Hightlight to date has to go to the midget pashing affair on ladies night in Playa del Carmen - LOVED IT!!
So i'm totally married and stuff now - yay!! ANd thank you for all you're lovely messages on FB - i made sure you two were there in spirit and sent you both a shout out in my speech! Twas a fab ceremony and partay - everything went fantastically well - no hiccups or meltdowns - top time was had by all.
So now i'm back in Canberra, back to work and back to normal....BORING!! So you're blog updates have been entertaining me during a very slow Friday arvo at work. Keep up the good work!! And I hope you're enjoying the wonderful world of hospitality in little Cookham. Can't wait to hear more of your crazy exploits! Nothing much to report here - except Margie is going to hurl some haggis in Bundanoon next weekend......go figure!!
Lotzaluv - Mads.
Response: congrats to you both! wish we coulda been there xoxox
From margie
hey lasses. guess i've been one of the latter folk - checking aimlessly to see if you'd made a note. i hear from callum that you both well. xxoo
Response: we miss you margie! got grand plans over the next few days to get completely updated. We sadly note that we are no longer top 5 and are doing everything we can to make it better :p
From Matt
I know that all the Disneylands are basically identical, but I'm still slightly weirded out by the fact that your photos are so similar to ours from Tokyo.

Magic Mountain was awesome I must agree. I now understand the appeal of rollercoasters.
Response: ha! they're awesome aren't they! but hang on... how come they let you on?? It's pretty funny, disneyland in LA is pretty much exactly the same again.
From Mel & Ben
Hi Jules,

Couldn;t find your email address, so hopefully you get this.
Melissa gave birth to Daniel Benjamin yesterday 2/2/10 by c-section after 25 hours of (unsuccesful) labour. He is 7lb 12oz, 50cm long with a full head of hair, and possibly the most beautiful thing I've ever seen!

Hope all is well with you,

Response: OMG Wow! Congratulations to you both, that is so exciting!! She put in a fair effort didn't she?! Shall flick you an email xoxo
From margie
hey kids- i would endeavour to tell you news but you seem to know everything well before i do! your networks must be pretty solid!
i ventured to the driving range yesterday with rob and managed to hit the ball about 100 metres! yay. multi cultural fest is on next weekend... i've watched 2 john wayne films in two days... sad. hooroo
Response: ah multi-cultural fest, the best weekend in Canberra, how we will miss thee...
Congrats on the golf ball thing, impressed, not so with the John Wayne thing. What the?
From Liesa
Hey girls
Love the photos expecially of the beautiful beaches sooooooooooooo jelous anyway it looks like your having the time of your lives I gotta go back to work on thursday after having a month off but I am looking forward to it.
Ashley took me out to high tea in the city on sat, sis when you come back i gotta take you to the nest it was soooooooooooo good, HAVE FUN YOU 2
Response: hey - we're doin alright it has to be said. In NYC which is pretty cold, but great fun. Sucks to have to go back to work :p
From margie
has america and the cold stopped your fingers from typing?!? :)just kidding sweets. hope you're having a fabulous time!
Response: sorry Margie - we're working on it.. Not too cold so far but we do now have winter coats and boots :)
Baltimore and Washington today and tomorrow (perhaps not in that order)
From margie
hey noosh- glad to hear you got your chilli fix morning, noon and night in mexico! sounds perfect for any chilli-muncher!
Response: it was fantastic. I have now resorted to buying hot sauce (as the Americans call it) everywhere we go :)
From Emma Ansell
Rest In Peace 2 minute noodles, Rest in Peace.

Want to go out for breakfast January 2013? My shout!
Response: Sounds awesome. Tilleys? Totally holding you to it Ansell
From Liesa
Hi girls
love the costumes of your island stay, you look like your having a great time on the walks and at the ruins, LOOKS TO HARD FOR ME, those walking sticks look great though. HAVE FUN
Response: Thanks Lies, we miss the walking sticks dearly. Hopefully going snorkelling tomorrow, weather permitting. good times
From sutto
Mucho jealous of you guys.

Finally carried out digitus ejectus and started catching up on your movements. Sounds like you are having a brilliant.

Happy new year to both of you and looking forward to keeping in touch with your travels.

Much love.
Response: awww, marki mark - we thought you were dead! Happy new year to you too. Hope the FNQ legal system is treating you well. xoxo
From Matt
Envious (of your Mexican chilli consumption). On the plus side, our jalapeños have reached the point where we can eat them.
Response: oh wow didn't know you were growing jalapenos you must save some of your next crop for me!
From Liesa
hey girls
that photo of the worlds most amazing icecream looks pretty inpressive CAN YOU SEND US DOWN SOME hehehehe
Glad you survived your bike ride sounds pretty nerv reckoning YOU GO GIRLS YAYYYYYYYYYYYYYY
Response: not sure which was tougher, the icecream or the bike ride...
From Ashley
Hi Girls, Nice to hear about your adventures. Inca Cola sounds interesting.Maybe you should go into the Inport/export business. I am sorry to hear about the loss of Carlos and Bruce. I had a good stick or two on the farm and I still miss them sometimes. I have been doing some looking up about the Incas and Machu Picchu. I am glad you have had the chance to actually go. Did you hear or see anything particularly surprising or unusual. Well I better let you get back to some of that Inca Cola. BYE ASHLEY
From Emma
Epic post Lassies! Despite the rain, slight illness and traumatic separation from Carlos and Bruce, it sounds like you're having a fantastic time.
Just FYI, I have seen Inca Cola here at a South American supermarket in Fitzroy.
In Pransell news, I got a BBQ for Xmas! So when youse come back, I can cook up some tofu snags and veggie burgers for you. Matt got a computer mouse. It sounds lame but I think he's going to leave me for it... Be good kids!
Response: OMG NO WAY!!! I´m so moving to Melbs upon return just for that! PS next post is abou the same length, but we didn´t want to overwhelm people w South American excitement. Good work on the BBQ btw. Huzzah for tofu snags :)
From margie
hey cherubs. going slightly batty playing 'aunty marg' so thought i'd catch up on your travels.
been busy putting out stock lick for hungry cows and digging mud out of dams so pumps can get the last of the water out and other fun stuff. hope you had a lovely christmas and looking forward to new year! take care.
Response: Hi margie! you sound like a regular old farmer these days. hope the FNQ heats not killing you and you're staying well away from any bush fires. Christmas was spent on a bus nursing a hangover hopefully new years day turns out to be a little more restful after a big night :) Leaving for Mexico tomorrow, think we might cry when we leave South America! We can't wait for New Years, hope that you don't go batty before then.
Take care xoxo
From Liesa
hey sis
remember that black evening dress you gave me, well it fits really well and yeah I wore it last night when ashley took me out to tea and he said i looked really good in it, i was so happy since its a size 14 I WAS VERY EXCITTED AND FELT LIKE A MILLION $$$ so thanks for the dress, it was so nice to hear your voice for chirstmas too KEEP HAVING FUN FOR US ALL YAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY
Response: good work Liesa. twas nice to speak to you all too. off to mexico today so don´t worry , the fun will not stop any time soon
From Yas, Mark, Ammi & Th
Hi nangers... All the family minus you :( are in Lanka now... just spent the day at Loku amma's and now we're about to have dinner at Asoka Bappi's place... Ruby is looking very CUTE! Marks been eaten alive by mosy's and no matter how hard he tries he can't get a tan hehe.. Meanwhile you can't find me against a dark wall.. I went for a hair trial yesterday, I'm going to have a beehive as my hairstyle.. I thought I'd go vintage - not sure how it'll turn out cause she didn't trial the make up so hopefully it isn't freaky!... Anyway just caught up with all the pics and blogs, looks like you're having an awesome time.. Post your next blog soon cause Ammi is getting worried.. Say hi to Julia for us.. xxoo From all of us :)
Response: Sorry we haven't had access to internet for the last four or so days. We finished the Inca Trail a couple of days ago. It was an amazing four days. I'll write more on the blog but I recommend that You and Mark do it sometime. its pretty growling though particularly since it rained almost evreyday of the four days of the trek. Tell Ammi I'm fine and that to stop worrying. I'm so jealsous that you'll all be together for christmas while i'm on a bus to bolivia. on to Chile after that then Mexico for new years. have fun tomorrow and take heaps of pictures (particulalty of your hair...a beehive sounds interesting) and put them on facebook soon. Oh and have some yummy food for me (i've been living on patatoes which seems to be the
the staple food in Peru)
TC send my love to everyone xox
From Ashley
Hi Girls, Hope you are enjoying yourselves. Hope you have a great christmas. It is only a few days away now.
Response: Thanks Ashley - it's hard to believe christmas is only a few days away!
From Alison Drover
Hi there,
Sounds like you are having a wonderful time and the photos are awesome. You now have 8 people looking at your site...Take care and happy christmas. Love Alison and Glenne x
Response: Merry Christmas to you both. We're having a fabulous time in Peru. Julia and I finished the Inca trail a couple of days ago. Its probably one of the best and physically challanging thing I've ever done. we'll put some photos up soon. unfortunately it rained for most of the 4 day hike so the photos arn't postcard pretty but still spectacular nontheless. off to Bolivia tomorrow for christmas. Please send my seasons greatings to David, Bhara, Stephen and Beth.
From Liesa
Hey girls
gotta love your wheels by kart that looks so much fun, the bikes look a pretty awesome time too, glad you guys are having fun ENJOY EVERYDAY AND EVERY EXPERIENCE FOR US WHO ARE BACK IN AUSSIE LAND YAYYYYYYYYYYYYYY
From margie
Re. constant viewing comment - it's only because you write a fabulous blog! Today is my last day of work for the year and i have training!! woo. off to sydney on friday for some more 'learning' and then north mid next week. looking forward to sitting in a river and watching the world go by. hope you're coping with the separation from your crew ok. glad you're making some fabulous new friends! hooroo ladies.
Response: hooray for xmas break! Hope your learning goes well. Saw the pics of the grad catch up - can´t believe you peeps went to Moose without us!!
From Justine
Hola girls! Wow Canberra and Social Club stuff seems like such a distant memory now! Looks and sounds like you are having a fantastic time. I am very jealous. Stumbled across the link to your blog off your facebook page - am glad I did! Sounds like a great trip so far, I look forward to the next installment. Justine xo
Response: Hey Dr Cain!! We're havin an absolute blast - great to hear from you, have a great xmas!
From margie
my head hurts, the backyard is a bombsite and i'm not sure we made friends with the neighbours... but the party was great! even santa and his santa fill in were there. it was missing a few lovely 'little ones' though. miss you gems.
Response: aww, we're sorry we missed it, and that your head hurts - i want too see photos asap
From Cam
Yo girls, sounds like you're having fun. I'm jealous. Congratulations on having the top 5 most hit planetranger blog as noted by margie. Enjoy!
Response: Thanks Cameroon! Hilarious! We figure there's about 6 people who actually use the site, so we're not quite sure how big an achievement Margie and Noosh's constant viewing of said page is.