Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Where am I now? Visit from Pillar to Post: a traveller's guide to stuff for details!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

5 months on

Bee and I being tools in Victor Harbor
Many months later, I suddenly get the urge to update my blog with a new post. Is it that I have had nothing to report on over the past 5 months? Hell no!
in Taco Bill with Lee after a few margheritas!
There are less than 4 weeks until I leave humble little Adelaide again and head off with Lee, my lil sis, through Asia and Europe. Scheiße. That has come up way too fast! I swear it was only a few days ago that we were booking our flights, instead it's been over 6 months! Hmmm, how time flies when you're having fun. Update: All flights have been booked and paid for, most of our accommodation has been taken
Mmm... eating Fat German Sausage with Bradtke
care of (thankyou to the friends and couchsurfers who have kindly offered their place for us to stay along the way), the UK working visas are being processed as I write - hopefully get them back by next week, and then it's just the loose ends: selling the cars, packing up our stuff, buying the last few items, etc. We had a slight hiccup when our Sabrina unwittingly cancelled our final flight from Beijing to London. She couldn't seem to be able to re-book the same flight and so we are now diverting through Abu Dhabi in the UAE for a few days for some fun in the sun before hitting the big smoke. Pretty exciting really as it will be my first taste of Arabia.
Some other big news for me (which I'm sure most of you know anyway) is that not too long after my last post, Megs and I got together and have just been having the best time since. After telling myself for many months that I would not let myself fall for a gal as I knew I'd be heading back overseas not too long after I got back, I just couldn't bring myself to pass this one up.
Camping with Megs in Deep Creek.. An awesome place
She definitely is something else, and I haven't looked back. The problem: I'm heading overseas and the time is drawing near... The solution: Megs has decided she is coming over to Europe a few months later! See, it all works out in the end :)
the Playboy Party - me and Chel
I have worked much more slowly on my music than I had hoped, having still not yet written a full song with Micah (we are getting close and am really hoping this will be done by the time I leave though). I have finished my guitar lessons now - they were with quite a talented Flamenco guitarist by the name of Aloysius Leeson. I enjoy being more confident on guitar and am considering getting myself one when I get to the UK. I've also taught myself the 1st movement of Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata on piano which is a bit of fun.
A few festivals and shows have come and gone or are still coming before we leave. Big Day Out (reputedly the world's largest travelling music festival) came to Adelaide on the first day of February this year and in my opinion it would have to have been one of the best one's I've seen yet (this was my 8th BDO). Rage Against The Machine were the headliners, along with Sarah Blasko (although I didn't get to see her as she played the same time as Rage), Björk, Bexta, Karnivool - my personal favourite - as well as my mates' band New Season Black, and many others. I did manage to see Sarah Blasko in a more intimate setting a few months previous at Her Majesty's Theatre, which was fantastic. Machine Head and Archenemy came. Coming up is the Soundwave festival with bands such as Killswitch Engage, the Offspring and Alexisonfire - which just so happens to fall on 1st March, the day before we leave. Also coming up is the annual Adelaide Fringe Festival, where I'll be checking out, among other things, the talented Irish-born comedian, Jimeoin, and the NZ band The Mamaku Project.
My ma's birthday was last Monday and Lee's birthday is this coming Monday. February - the "month of the birthday" in our family. We had a lovely dinner for mum's birthday last week at Chianti Classico (a very nice and rather upper-class restuarant on Hutt St in the city) and dinner for Lee on Monday night is shaping up to be just as nice at Yakitori Daikichi (the first traditional Yakitori-style - approachable for all those who don't go "raw" - Japanese restaurant in Adelaide).
So I'd say this will be my last post in the City of Churches before I leave. But keep an eye out for my new blog from Pillar to Post: a traveller's guide to stuff which I'll be using to keep you all up-to-date with my progress around the world on this new and exciting expedition.

And don't forget to keep in touch!

p.s. does anyone know a good dentist? the cheaper the better... prepared to sacrifice qualifications for cost... :P

Peace x

Thursday, September 13, 2007

moving right along...

I've taken to speaking, thinking, acting and feeling a lot more positively about situations lately. It's possible that this new position is facilitated by my being somewhat blasé about certain things, or more likely it is that I was simply not as chilled out in general beforehand. At other times, when a positive spin is difficult to find, a more realistic and truthful approach seems to work out just as well. All very cryptic I know, but this isn't really the place for specifics. Let's just say that I think I'm starting to work out what's important to me and because of this things seem to be starting to fall into place.
My main problem now is a lack of motivation, or urgency I should say, in working towards my goals. For instance, I have always been one for environmental protection - well, for a long time anyway: I'm sure that when I was 10, I would have been particularly unfazed by the obsene number of cars clogging up our city streets despite the whole range of alternative transport options such as trains, buses, bikes, etc., except maybe for the fact that it would take so long to get anywhere - but have not, as of yet, done anything to affiliate myself with any conservation group or been involved in any projects of the like. A big part of this is not knowing where to start. I do, however, do my bit by riding my bike to work instead of driving, keeping electricity usage to a minimum, and so on (I am a self-confessed sucker for longish showers though.. *tisk tisk*). Bit of a hippy really, but someone's gotta do it...
Something else very important to me, very close to my heart, is music. I love singing, I love playing music, I love writing music. I want to play acoustically - the catch is, I don't actually know how to play an instrument (a tiny bit of piano being the exception), and so I must rely on others to write the music before I can write my lyrics and melodies. It works out pretty well while you're in a band, but so far I have been pretty slack in the "trying to get a band together" department - and even more so in the "learning an instrument myself" department. Up until now. I start guitar lessons as of next week, which I'm looking forward to. I've also had an offer to start a band with some guys from another band I tried out for last year, but somehow I think that when they figure out I'll be leaving in under 6 months they won't be so keen anymore...
Speaking of which, Lee and I will be going in tomorrow afternoon to see our travel agent, the lovely Sabrina, to pay off the remainder of our flights for next year's expedition! Early March, we fly to Singapore for a few days, then onto Vietnam for just over 2 weeks, during which time we will be travelling North by train from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi. Following this, Japan is the next destination for the Cherry Blossom festival. After about a month spent in Japan, seeing the sights in Tokyo, Hiroshima, Osaka, Kyoto, etc., I'll finally be able to fulfil my oft-voiced childhood dream of going to China! We head to China for about 2 weeks, catching the train from Shanghai, thru Xi'an and onto Beijing where we will be able to check out the Teracotta Warriors, and even have a squiz at the progress of the stadiums for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad. Mid-May we fly into old London-town where our itinerary ends and my plans become a little fuzzy. My ma is going to organise a trip to Spain for shortly after we get to Europa so that'll probably be happening.
As many of you probably know, I have been saying I will be moving to France to learn their beautiful language for quite some time. It is only recently that I have realised how difficult that is looking to be without EU citizenship. I am in the process of organising, for myself and my sister, Greek passports through my dad's lineage. I didn't realise how friggin' difficult this would be either, but it's coming along slowly - very slowly.... if all goes to plan, we should have our passports come 2009! At the moment, I'm seriously considering settling for a UK working visa to tide me over until the Greek passport comes through, so I can then go to France indefinitely without the difficulty of obtaining a visa. Early days yet, but I know it'll come up FAST!
On the French topic still, my françias learning has slowed a little but not come to a halt completely, and when I get my textbook back next week it should be up and running again at full speed. But for now, je parle seulement un petit peu de françias.
Other than all of that, I've been enjoying this extremely dry and not-too-cold winter here in sunny Adelaide. Even rode down to the beach the other weekend, that was great. At about 4am after a big Saturday night out, some guys threatened to knife me for my phone (which, by the way is about 5 years old and about to fall apart - oh how disappointed they would have been). Chel and Leesh, who I was out with that night, said they've never seen someone run so fast. Haha. Last Saturday night, it was time for a long-awaited cowboy and indian-themed party - Mary-Sue was my name for the night, a cowboy's daughter. I always love a good excuse to dress up in tight-fitting and fairly revealing women's clothing - and apparently the girls loved it too.. Hmmm, maybe I'll have to wear women's clothing more often?! The entire next day was spent lounging around at Micah's (absolutely trashed) house, munging down a huge fry-up about 1pm and laying, strangely energised, in the sun with Megs until it disappeared around 6pm. Then it was back to work on Monday - fun, fun, fun..
So that's about it, if I've forgotten anything - Heaven forbid - I'll put it in my next post whenever I get around to it (see again, it's that damn lack of urgency). I'll try and get some photos up here soon, once I get my camera back from my mate - I'm hanging out to see the rest of those photos, Carradean!

Keep the comments, emails, calls, and whatever else coming. It's great hearing from everyone! Also if you've ever wanted to join me on Facebook but couldn't find me, it might be something to do with the fact that my display name is Frankie En Hiver. Don't worry, I ask myself "Why?" sometimes aswell. Check it out...

Oh, if any of you guys are planning on being in the same place at the same time as me in Asia anytime next year, drop me a line and we should definitely organise to meet up!

Kia Ora!

Friday, August 17, 2007


Well it's coming up to 2 months since I arrived back in my home town of Adelaide. I realise it has been about that long since I blogged too. I guess I've just been having too much fun... :P
When I arrived back, the immediate sensation I felt was that I had simply arrived in a new place, a new part of my trip. I guess that thought or feeling has never quite worn off. I'm seeing the world, including my home, from quite a different perspective now. It's funny how it sometimes takes a break from something to fully realise its true colours.. I suppose that's true of a lot of things!
Anyways, so in the mean time there have been parties, get-togethers, birthdays, gigs.. all involving drinking! There's also been quite a bit of working at Telstra and marking maths papers for Adelaide Uni, saving my monies, planning the next expedition with my sister through Asia and onto Europe, and teaching myself French getting ready for next year. The latest addition to that long, exciting list is that I am now starting to get back into singing and writing music.. Definitely looking forward to getting things moving on that front, it's been about 2 years since I was last in a band and I've been craving it ever since..
In other news: Some of my closest mates Ryan, Kate, Jubby and his girlfriend Sarah left yesterday on their own OE to Europe. Typical. I just get back and they piss off.. Seriously though guys, you will have a wicked time! Make the most of it while you're there! And photos... Lots of photos!
Seeing friends and family has definitely been one of the highlights of being back in Oz.. Although having my own bed and not having to live out of a backpack is certainly up there too! I'm sure a lot of my fellow travellers will agree with me there..

So it's yet another Friday evening, another working week over, and I'm looking forward to the (way too short) weekend festivities!

Well that's just a short synopsis of my past 2 months back in Australia.. Hope y'all are living, and more importantly, enjoying life to the fullest wherever you are in the world!!

Peace and Love

1. Caffeine Hit! Hahndorf - German settlement in the Adelaide Hills
2. Bradtke's b'day...
3. At an Embured gig - Enigma bar
4. Embured rockin' it out
5. Ryan, Kate, Sarah and Jubby at the airport
6. WWII monument in the city
7. At Roshi's b'day celebrations

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Nothing here yet?

Patience my child... patience...