A few months ago on a random Tuesday evening, I got drunk. Very drunk. Smashed in fact. I had spent the best part of the previous two months working every waking hour available to me. Newstalk ZB during the day, managing my importing company and preparing to launch the food truck yeah naan, evenings and weekends. I was due a blow out, and an invite to some drinks at a friends house turned out to be just the ticket.
I'm not a big weekday drinker. I've never really seen the point. I'm one of those horrible people that drinks to get drunk. I don't love the taste of alcohol. On the rare occasion in the sweltering heat I will yearn for a beer, but I've never really found myself dying to have a wine, or a gin, or a rum. I drink because I love the adventures come with drinking. Very rarely do you get home from a few drinks without a new friend, or a new story or two. Fun things happen when you drink. Or at least, that's how I feel.
Anyway, on this fateful Tuesday night, smashed, I made a promise to a certain person that I would start a blog. Start a blog and write about my travels, the ones I have been on, the ones i will go on, and (her suggestion, not mine), my life in general. So here I am, making good on that promise.
I have blogged before. When I first left New Zealand for my big O.E (Overseas Experience for those of you not from NZ), in 2012, I played the blogging game for a bit. There is a Tumblr somewhere with details of a few days, possibly weeks, of my exploits in Europe. From what I can remember, nothing outrageous, just my musings from life on the road. I haven't read it since, and don't really want to. Truth be told I kinda cringe thinking about it. I can only imagine the rubbish I wrote.
And so although that Tuesday night was months ago, and I have had ample time to start, I thought today, right now, would be the perfect moment to begin. You see I am back on the road again. Back out in the world. The wind in my hair and my most recent new music compilation blaring in my ears. And it feels so good. In fact it's beyond good. It's fucking fantastic.
I landed in Colombo in Sri Lanka five hours ago. I left New Zealand (ironically), bang on 23 hours ago. Not even a day away from home and already, so much has happened. I've already meet so many interesting people.
People often ask me if I am done with travelling having already spent quite a considerable amount of time and money galavanting all over. My answer is always no, and the last 23hours, the last five hours even, perfectly demonstrate why.
On my flight to Kuala Lumpur I sat next to an incredibly interesting guy called David who was on his way to Europe for an engineering conference. Not that I knew this to start with, as we didn't talk until a few hours before we landed in KL. But boy did we cover some ground in those few hours. Travel, life, love, politics, the future of New Zealand and the globe, it all got a going over. So much so a coffee was sought after getting off the plane, but had to be skipped as our connecting flights were at opposite ends of the airport and departing soon.
We are going to catch up for a beer in Auckland when I get back.
My flight from KL to Colombo was less eventful, although still very enjoyable. The service you get on airlines not based in Europe and Australasia is just incredible. The food they served (a chicken curry), was not only delicious, like actually delicious, I got to eat it with REAL CUTLERY. Call me sad, but the sight of an actual metal knife and fork on a plane gets me excited. If Sri Lankan Airlines can do it Air NZ, why can't you?
However since landing in Colombo it has been all go. I ended up sharing a taxi into town with a girl from the Maldives, who may or may not have been working as a hooker in Thailand until recently. We are now friends on Instagram, so I will try and find out for certain and let you know.
After checking into the hostel and then finding my bed in the dorm, I met a guy from Pakistan. This next bit is horrible. This poor dude is staring down the barrel of a life all alone, as he's gay, and obviously being gay in Pakistan is a big fat no, no. When I asked him if there was anything at all he could do, any possibility he could meet someone, any chance he could move abroad, he answered, 'no, but it is ok, this is life'.
My heart broke hearing it the first time. Its just broken again typing it out. He is away from home and here in Colombo for a month. Today is his second day. He is obviously dying to meet someone (I think he might have thought that maybe I was going to be it...), and so we had a good chat about talking to people on Tindr, and what to do when meeting them in real life. And just in case he couldn't be anymore of an outcast in Pakistan, he is also an atheist. A gay atheist in Pakistan. I mean, the poor bloody thing.
A tough act to follow, but shortly after Mr Pakistan had headed off for a shower, the German born child of a couple of now England based, Tamil refugees entered the room. FYI the Tamil's are the people of Northern Sri Lanka who the Sinhalese (the people from the rest of Sri Lanka), were fighting in the Sri Lankan civil war until 2009. This was his very first, and his parents (they left last week), first trip back to the country in 30 years. Their first visit since they escaped to Germany just after the conflict began. Man, the stories he had.
All of this, and I haven't even begun to explore yet. All this, and I haven't told you about leaving my hat on the plane (I didn't get it back), the ATM chewing up one of my EFTPOS cards, the taxi driver, the guy that checked me into the hostel, the city, the heat, the food...
This is why I love to travel. This is why I can't stop. This is why I probably never will. And now, given I have made good on my promise and started writing some of it down, you'll be able to (that is if you want to), share in my adventures too.
Till next time. Whenever that might be. I'm off to buy some beers and get drunk with my new Tamil friend. So no doubt a few more stories en route.
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