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Michael’s Travel Diary

Thursday, 09 Nov 2006

Location: Southampton, UK

MapHey Ya'll

Well, what did I miss? A Melbourne cup with the winning owner and jockey not able to speak a lick of English... hahaha. And at 17-1 rank outsider winning it. I guess too many people associated the horse, Delat Blues, with Carlton. Let's face it, you have a better chance getting a return on your bet if you tipped Mark Philapousis to win all four majors next year, or tip Peter Andre to have another Australian hit single than to back Carlton to win a game. Nice work Fevola, doing the team proud. Anyway, sounds like it was a pretty cold day for The Cup, I only hoped it warmed up today for Blokes Day.

No I didn't get up at whatever time the race was on (4:20am maybe), but I was woken by Spen at 1:30am... thanks bud. Was a good chat, and you seemed remarkably sober(ish)... oh yeah, was still only just after midday at home! I did however catch the result on the morning sports news on the way to work on Tuesday (which actually reported a half length win, as opposed to a half head) and then read a couple articles in the papers on Wednesday.

But enough about that - what's going on here. Well, I found a couple of cheap flights to Dublin for last weeks International Rules match, but unfortunatley, when I rank ticketmaster Ireland, they said all of the tickets to the game were gone. So that was a no go. Instead I found myself Sunday avo at the Walkabout hoping that they might play the game there. Imagine my surprise (remember, no AFL Grand Final was shown at the pub, not even a replay) when I walked in to find a huge crowd staring at the big screen, and a team in dark shirts against a team in light shirts playing something that clearly wasn't soccer. Woooo Hoooo.

Short lived. Everyone in the place was a damn Pom, and they were watching England take on NZ in the rugby. Man it was good to see those Poms get crunched, not that I stuck around long enough to see the end of it tho... and they call themselves an Aussie pub playing that rubbish?

Monday was a mad day - I'm not sure if it was actually thick fog, or just left over smoke after the abomination of every noise pollution code ever written that is Guy Fawlkes Day. The fireworks were going off all night till midnight, with the occasional crack thereafter (my ear plugs came in handy for sleep that night). I managed to get some film on camera around 930pm, but really couldn't see any fireworks from home, but you can hear how often they go off on the video. Will put that up next diary, as well as the photos I took in Southampton last Sunday.

Anyway, back to Monday. The 'fog' was so thick that everything was in slow motion. The bus was driving slowly, but more importantly, the ferry was moving slowly. The 55 minute trip on the morning slow ferry shot out to 90 minutes. It was incredibly surreal. From the deck you couldn't see the water below because the fog was so thick.

So Monday at work was like - blah. But then on the way home, the fog set in again. To make matters worse, the overtime I did meant that it was pitch black when I left, and I mean pitch black. Apparently GKN had to fight to get a bus stop at the front gate to work, and never bothered to get a light at the bus stop. Anyway, after a 15 minute wait for the bus, it came barelling past the stop with so much as even tapping the brakes. Fumming, I set to walking to the ferry. Tonight I had to jump infront on the damn thing to get it to slow down, and even then it overshot the bus stop by nearly 100m cos the driver saw me so late. There will be a torch in my bag from now on!

So, Monday, when I finally get to West Cowes, the place is like a ghost town as I walk from the chain ferry (between East and West Cowes) to the fast ferry (to Southampton). There's no one in front of me, as I'm tearing along to try and get to the ferry before it leaves. Suddenly, people, one by one at first, then more, start walking in teh opposite direction down this road, covered in thick fog, with hazy lights coming from street lamps and thats all. All I could imagine right then was walking along with a shot gun and blowing heads off... I know it sounds twisted, but it seemed like such a movie or video game where zombies were coming out of the shadows to come and get me! Crazyness. Then again, maybe I had a bit of pent up anger with the bus situation??

In an interesting note, I am actually improving at soccer these days. Instead of being that Aussie hack, that seems to produce groans from his team mate every time he touches the ball, I'm the Aussie hack that produces not much more than a 'get it on' from my team mates. Still haven't got a goal, but a flawless effort in my ten minutes at goalie this week, not to mention the two crosses that would count as assists in anyones book, and I'm clearly getting a grip of my feet - still hand-eye co-ordination is still well and truly above foot-eye co-ordination.

After soccer last night, headed out to Bedford Place (the cool area of town that I mentioned a couple weeks back) with Nat for a couple drinks at Orange Rooms. Man that place is so chill and cool. I think it could be a local pretty easily, even if it is a fiver to get home in a cab. Apparently it's pretty packed on the weekend too. "As they say, everyone looks good in Orange". Think I'm gonna have to explore that part of town a bit more.

Other than that, not a whole lot going on. Looks like the internet issue is finally coming to a head and I may have internet at home soon. Some form of a resolution is being presented by the letting agent tomorrow (I was assured when I called them at 5pm this avo). Now, I have no idea how long it takes to install a phone line and get an internet connection in Southampton, so am not holidng my breath just yet.

Other than that, getting psyched for the USA trip. Rumour has it that Jerry Springer may also be on the itinerary for Chicago, which seems to be filling very quickly between pre-organised pick up basketball games, professional sports games to watch, and god can only imagine how many 'family reunion' type events. In any case, am pumped. Also, Vegas accommodation is booked, and following a theme I was in at the start of the trip (Egypt, well, Luxor in fact) we are spending NYE at the Luxor Hotel - the big ass black glass pyramid. Should be a rocking NYE - I hope so anyway.

Well, till tomorrow (when I plan on putting up the pics, and remembering stuff I forgot to write now), be good all.