Travel

Across the sea we go…

I do not really know how to start this post. I usually prefer writing about events as they have happened, or at least on the same day as the events occur. However, as I am sure many of you know, that is often not always possible when travelling.  Right, so I shall start from the beginning, the day we left for our holiday…

What an eventful day it was, Sunday 22nd march 2009. Everything was packed, my mom and myself were ready. We both knew from the start, however, that going abroad this time would be quite different. Why, you ask? Simply because this is the first time that my mom and myself have travelled abroad, for an entire holiday, without my dad. Needless to say, it has been strange to not have my dad around to share the experiences with us.

Upon arriving at the airport, my mom realised that she had forgotten Mireille’s 40th Birthday present in the glove compartment of my car. She then proceeded to rant in the rear of the car, half chewing off my ear in the process. Evidently I was at fault, because I was obviously meant to use my latent psychic abilities to miraculously envision that she had placed the present there. After calming my mom down, my dad agreed to drop us off at departures and then go back home to fetch the present. We were early, for a welcome change, so we were not pressed for time.

After being dropped off, my mom and myself battled our way to the appropriate flight counter, all the while holding close our possessions for fear of being mugged. Seriously one would never think that the world is in a recession with the amount of people which fly abroad. Once reaching the counter for Air Austral, we were incomprehensibly politely informed that our flight had been delayed… by six hours! Thankfully we live less than 10 minutes from the airport. Before I could say anything else my mom, like a ninja in the night, took my mobile phone and dialled my dad – she obviously did not want to wait in the airport anymore than I did. My dad was at the gate of our house by then, but turned around to pick us up. After 10 minutes of further confusion, with the useless airport staff simply ogling at the tourists and offering no intelligible information, it was discovered that passengers had to check in immediately, since the flight would be closed within the hour, and that passengers were required to remain in the airport. I was like “Oh hell no”! I would much rather be raped by a Gorilla then wait in transit when my house is less than 10 kilometres from the airport. Anyway, my mom, once again, called my dad to tell him we needed the present since we were going to remain in the airport. By that time my dad had just entered the airport parking lot. Nevertheless, he paid the unnecessary toll and drove home… again. After several more minutes, the check-in process started. Upon arrival at the counter, I clarified that we did not need to stay at the airport and that we could check-in and go home. I slowly removed the blunt teaspoon from my wrist and dialled my dad, for the umpteenth time. Shame… my dad was at the house, again, but promptly returned to pick us up, without complaint. Kudos to you daddy! While we waited to be picked up, for real this time, my mom and myself watched some idiot’s car get towed. I laughed… a lot. That is what you get for being a moron, parking in a disabled zone and then leaving your car unattended. I was really glad that the Johannesburg Metro were actually doing their job for a change and not just assaulting innocent individuals, which is usually the case.

We all spent the afternoon at home, relaxing before having to go the the airport again.  I was blogging, of course, because you know how I would most likely make love to you all, well not all of you, only the hot ones because I need to keep my virtue, and that is when I wrote: Stroking metal ‘cocks’, sucking ‘marrow’ & hitting the floor with ‘Tequila’ (or The Upper Palatte ingests: Mama Tembo’s Cafe). Later that evening, my mom and myself bid farewell to my dad and made our way through the security checkpoint.

[As I write this, I am being chowed by mosquitoes. Damn… I have counted, and I kid you not, about 12 bites. Argh… I am itching like crazy *swats senselessly at thin air and then runs around the garden muttering like a hobo with half a bottle of whiskey, proceeds to dive in pool, appears to find some relief, then immediately exits pool, squealing like a school girl, upon realising that the specks of ‘dirt’ at the floor of the pool are dead spiders*. They may be dead, but they are spiders none the less and still freak me out. For those who find themselves irresistible to Mosquito’s, like moi, try out these ‘home’ remedies which may be able to cure your newly developed love bites]

As is the stereotypical nature of woman, my mom shopped through the whole of the Duty Free area. Well, until I forcefully removed her from the shops so as not to miss our flight. Upon boarding the aircraft, I was mentally preparing myself for cramped sardine like seating, crying babies and the obligatory deodorant free tree hugger which always, without fail, sits up-aircon from me. However, to our immense shock and surprise, we were placed in business class, row 01 no less. Damn… I knew I should have played the lotto before leaving… ah well. As human nature dictates, we did not report the error and merely accepted our new seats as good fortune, a meant to be scenario. Not to look a gift horse in the mouth, I completely lapped up every moment of business class: the champagne, speciality cheeses, chocolate truffles, three course gourmet meals, free condiment bag, and last, but not least, the hot and very sweat French airhostess whose job it was to make sure I was a pleased passenger… in almost every sense of the word *wink*. C
onsequently the flight flew past, perhaps a little too quickly, and we appeared to arrive at the St. Denis airport in no time.

I cannot believe how quickly time has flown. My mom and myself have been in Reunion for an entire week already. It only feels like we have been here for a few days. So what have we been up to? Truth be told, my mom and myself decided to take it easy and relax this time around. After all, this is not our first time to the island, so there is no real need to visit and participate in all of the usual touristy stuff (we did it all the first time around). Regardless, we have already gone to and explored, again, the towns of St. Denis, St. Giles and St. Eau. I am not sure if that last one exists or not… I may be high on Mosquito venom or something… I’m not sure… Whatever [UPDATE: Yes, it does exist but I think it may be spelt as St. Leu]! My point is that we have not just been lazing around, although that is all I did today *smirks satisfactorily*. Consequently, I have managed to buy some pretty cool stuff like rubber vases, a photographic tree, a ‘red’ limited edition Xbox 360 controller, some trendy French music and a pot of delectable Belgian chocolate shower gel (I just want to lick myself all over when I use the stuff… and no… sadly, it does not taste like chocolate, much to the detriment of my taste buds). Speaking of taste, I have been eating and trying a variety if new dishes and edible items on the island.

My mouth. When I am not blabbing incessantly in broken French, this is where a majority of my new experiences this holiday have taken place. The best part of knowing and staying with family who live in a foreign country, is that they allow you to experience the true culture of the locale being visited. Since I am always open to new palate sensations (a la The Upper Palatte

), Mireille and Didier decided to whip up, among other things, a batch of bread fruit chips and some bread fruit mash. Bread fruit, from what I have gathered, is quite versatile and can be made into a variety of edible concoctions. I have been vehemently assured that this is the fruit that Robinson Crusoe would have survived on. I can believe it too since the mash and the chips were great. I ended up eating most of them, to Mathilde’s dismay. After the bread fruit, we had a chance to try the Pitaya fruit, also known as, because of the fruit’s scale like ruby surface, Dragon Fruit. The fruit is appropriately named because its exterior made me think of Thorn, Murtagh’s dragon, from the description given by Christopher Paolini in Eldest, the second book of the Inheritance Cycle. As it so happens, I am currently in the process of reading the third book in the series, Brisingr. Wow… that was quite a geeky mouthful, was it not?

While we are on the topic of palate sensations, I would like to mention that I can now successfully scratch Stingray off my endless list of dishes/delicacies to try, before I die (I love how that rhymes). When I saw Stingray as an option for a meal at the St. Denis harbour, I could not resist placing my order, I just had to try it. So what was it like? It was absolutely divine! The stingray itself had a strange yet rich texture and would simply, and quite literally, melt in my mouth (as clichéd as this sounds, it is the truth). Of further interest, was how the flesh would just slide off of the cartilage-like-bones which, to me, ended up resembling something of a macabre Japanese fan, or maybe a vagina whispering eye… depending how you look it it?!

In my opinion, the best part of the holiday is that I am able to practice my French. I really do want to be fluent in this language. In my opinion, no other language offers the same level of sensuality, eroticism and romanticism, like the French language does. For instance, you could be calling someone an effing putrid moron who likes to let his/her chocolate starfish snack on dildos, and, without a doubt, the recipient of your ‘tasteful’ message will assume you have given him/her a welcome compliment. Such is the nature of the French language. I love it! My goal is to one day take the French translators exam and become a certified translator. I know that it will take time and a lot of effort but I do believe that, in the end, I will benefit greatly from it.

Until the next time Milieu Pals.

[Just a quick note. before finishing this post, my mom and myself were carted off to Tante Monique’s house in St. Leu. At the moment I am absolutely stuffed. As is customary with our family, my aunt cooked enough ‘crunchy duck’, among other dishes, for an army. After which I was loaded with more French cheese and delectable pastries. Then, before I could say anything else, my aunt brought out these chocolate cup cake things… but man are they good. I managed to eat two… by which time my stomach was already aching from the enormous amount of food that just kept coming my way. They were totally worth it though. Furthermore I have managed to create an ad-hoc connection between my laptop and Bernard’s PC, thus I now have access to the internet… Yay!]

Let me tell you a ‘rising’ story…

When we travel abroad, I always seem be susceptible to random erections which, most embarrassingly, occur during the day, in broad daylight and after utilising some mode of transport. Look, do not get me wrong, I love having an erection. I feel it is, somewhat, the epitome of a being a man. It is such a natural thing and it just feels good… no, great *begins to reminisce of the feeling… then quickly calms down*. Okay, I’m going to stop there, since there is no other way for me to carry on describing ‘the feeling’ without sounding homoerotic.

Obviously I know why men are supposed to get erections and how it happens, I am a man after all. However, what some people may not realise, is that we, as men, often do not have total control over our members, with particular reference to obtaining a ‘hard on’. Seriously, erections can occur for no other reason than, for example, holding in your almost bursting bladder, or perhaps, just releasing a pent up yawn and stretching harmlessly (your body that is, not your penis… because we all know where that ultimately leads to).

As I have previously mentioned, these ‘random erections’ usually occur when I travel abroad. As a result, and as Murphy’s law would have it, the golden rod often, if not always, makes itself apparent just as we arrive at our destination and need to disembark from a vehicle. I mean… come on. Consequently, this results in yours truly, performing some rather odd and disorienting movements, making me look like a hyperactive geriatric, in the hopes of camouflaging my noticeable ‘inflammation’. Thus far, I seem to have successfully avoided any awkward confrontations with family or anyone else for that matter. Whew!

I must confess, I did Google ‘random erections’ for this post. Unfortunately I did not find out anything I did not already know, just the standard information about how it is normal and how you need to love yourself… blah blah. It is not like it is a special ability or anything *grin*. However, I did stumble upon this YouTube video (or rather several) which offers a perfect example of how men do not have control over our members, even in a professional setting. Please be aware, the following video clip is NSFW (Not Safe For Work).

 

Perfect example of a random and uncontrollable erection.

There is another video, of  a similar vane, of Jean-Claude Van Damme getting ‘happy’ on live television. Then again, placed in his situation and doing what he was doing… who can blame him?

*UPDATE* As the interverse would have it, my blog post regarding ‘erections’ was right on the money. Apparently they are back, and as ‘hard’ as ever! Here are a few more ‘lengthy’ links:

Until the next time Milieu Pals!

Twilight… en Français?

This evening my mom, myself, Mathilde, Romuelle and Mireille decided to go and watch a movie. The movie in question? Twilight! Yes!

Thankfully Twilight was the ‘French’ movie of choice, since you all know how much I love the Twilight Saga. Consequently, I was able to understand about 90% of all the words within the film. Not too shabby, hey? Regardless of the language, the message is the same. I still found myself becoming enthralled within Bella’s world and wishing, against all odds, that they would succeed, and we all know that they do in the end. Really, I so want to be Edward. I would love to be a Twilight vampire. Not only does he get to ‘mac’ the hot Kristen Stewart, but he is also super fast, strong, intelligent and ridiculously good looking.

Anyway, this is just a quick post because I felt that I needed to share how the movie had reinvigorated me. I feel all giddy and happy on the inside… I am still grinning like a fool on the outside too. I really am a sucker for chick flicks/feel good movies. One of the coolest parts of watching the movie again, especially after having read the entire saga, was that I was able to spot Stephenie Meyer in the movie. I really had no idea that she had made a cameo appearance. Seeing her in the film was just an added bonus and a welcomed surprise.

One thing I have noticed about the French is that they always seem to have to change everything. From what I have gathered, it is a cultural thing… something about being proud, keeping the language true, blah, blah… whatever. As far as I am concerned, they just like to be difficult and always want things their own way. What I do know is that when they do change the title of something from English into French, the original meaning is usually lost. Unsurprisingly, the books in the Twilight series have completely different names in French. Twilight is known as ‘Fascination’, New Moon as ‘Tentation’, Eclipse as ‘Hesitation’ and Breaking Dawn as ‘Révélation’. Interesting translations, don’t you think?

I have included the trailer for the French version of Twilight below, so you can have an idea of what it was like to watch the movie completely in French.

Twilight – French Trailer

While searching for the French trailer on YouTube, I came across this pretty nifty fan made trailer for an Anime version of Twilight. You can check out the ‘what-if-Twilight-was-an-Anime’ trailer here.

I am still working on the ‘holiday’ post but I hope to have it up within the next few days. So stay tuned!

Until the next time Milieu Pals!

Family Matters -> Turbulence -> Home Sweet Home!

Hey Milieu Pals,
 
I’m finally home, but read on to find out what happened before I arrived… there is quite a bit! Hope you enjoy the last post of the Aussie Files! 
 
Peninsula and Berwick
As you all know the main reason for me being in Aus land is because I am part of the SRC at Monash South Africa. However, that is not the only reason for our visit. Apparently we are the pioneering group of International students to have been a part of the Future Leaders Program, which Monash wishes to Internationalise. We were actually accepted into the Leadership program via a Scholarship (cool hey) and have even received a certificate for our participation. It will look really good on my CV and I have been very privileged to be part of such an endeavour.
 
Well during the week we visited two other campuses of the Huge Monash University. On Monday we went to the Peninsula Campus and then on Wednesday morning we went to the Berwick campus. Each of the campuses is very different yet each is very similar to the South African campus. The reason for the similarity is because each of the aforementioned campuses are still relatively new. The Peninsula Campus has been around for about 15 years whereas the Berwick campus has only been in existence since 1994. Each of the Campuses have Unique architectural designs, just like the SA campus. Obviously the campuses here offer greatly enhanced facilities even though they are only a few years older than the SA campus.
 
I have photographs of all of the campuses, so you will be able to see everything. Ultimately though, of the campuses I have seen, I would like to stay at either the Clayton or Caufield campuses with my creative side leaning slightly more towards the Caufield Campus. Unfortunately we were unable to go and have a look at the Gippsland Campus, but we were told that if we really wanted to know, we should consult the internet as it is basically empty at this time of the year.
 
Overall I have had a brilliant time, which gets better and better, and more than ever before I am very proud to be apart of the Monash Family.
 
Family Matters
I mentioned before that I was trying to see my family who reside in Aus land. Fortunately I was able to, all be it for only a day and a half. I was not able to change my ticket home because it was apparently bought at a special price and because it was a group booking… yeah I know… that sucks! Regardless, I purchased my tickets to see them and so my Aussie adventure continued!
 
At least I was able to see both of my cousins, Dominique and Michelle, because Michelle decided to visit Dominique in that same week. That made life much easier for me as I was thus able to fly only to one place and see all my family in Aus land. Now, getting there was full of problems, let me explain.
 
Late Wednesday night (1 Dec) I started packing my bags for my trip to see my cousins which would take place on Thursday (2 Dec) at 11am. Needless to say, there was a lot to pack and my luggage was bound to be heavy… really heavy!
 
Early Thursday morning, after trekking around the Clayton Campus (which I must reiterate as being huge) to get my laundry from the dry cleaners, I finally made my way back to the residences. Time was running short and I needed to be quick. SO I scrambled up to my room, shoved the rest of my clothes in my bag, attempted to shut it and made my way to meet Mileena and Pierro who took me to the Airport. Once again, they are such lovely people and I was so glad that they were around to help me.
 
After arriving at the airport, Mileena accompanied me to the check in counter. It was there that I was greeted by a really stuck up chick! She weighed my bag and… ‘shock horror’… it came in at 34.5kg. She promptly told me that they do not accept any luggage over 32kg… I simply looked at her and thought: What the hell, how can you NOT accept luggage…. Anyway, after arguing with her for a bit, I took my bag and opened it right there in the Airport. Luckily I had a smaller cabin bag. I took out my toiletries, 2 shirts, 2 pants and some underwear. I then left my big bag with Mileena and took the smaller bag back to that chick. I said that I would take it as hand luggage. She weighed it… and what a surprise, she said I couldn’t do it because it was 9kg and they only accepted 7kg in the cabin… by now you can imagine how I am fuming! I just looked at her… one of my infamous death stares… and coldy told her to check that luggage in. She looked at me and said "What about the other bag?"… this is where I lost it a bit and said "What do you think? How could I possibly take both bags?!". She just looked at me and then checked me in. I tell you… some people! Anyway, I left poor Mileena behind with my bag, but she insisted I go otherwise I would have missed my flight. Thankfully she managed to get all my stuff back to the car… LOL!
 
After the mad baggage rush, I was feeling rather down yet filled with adrenaline. Well, it was time to fly. The flight seemed good at first. I was flying on Virgin Blue, a part of the massive virgin empire. However, there was hectic turbulence for most of the flight. Think the Coco-Pan from Gold Reef City (A theme park ride that often resembled a huge ship that sways from side to side) and the feeling you get from it. That funny ‘butterflies in your tummy’ feeling when you drop. That is what we all felt during that flight and one too many times for my liking. When we neared the Maroochy Dore airport we were notified that we couldn’t land because of bad weather… just great. So we circled for about 45 minutes before the pilot declared that we were going to be diverted to the Brisbane airport. The problem with that, was that Maroochy Dore is 2 and a half hours from Brisbane by bus… oh joy! So 20 minutes later we landed. Just when we were about to get up and leave we were told that the weather was clearing up and that they were just going to refill the plane and take us back… how crappy is that. We could have just stayed and circled a bit more around the other airport. The other main reason was that we couldn’t catch a bus because the roads to Maroochy Dore towards Noosa Ville (where my cousin lives) were closed due to flooding. Anyway, after 45 minutes of waiting we made out way for take-off. Then, just as we were about to leave… we were called back by the tower to the parking bay… you know, I mean really?! We were then notified that the pilot’s shift had ended and he was to be replaced… just think of the irritation on board of the plane. After his replacement we made our way, for the 3rd time, to Maroochy Dore airport at the Golden Coast… finally! Upon arrival it had taken me almost 5 and a half hours to get to a place that should have only taken me a maximum of 2 hours. Regardless I was just happy to have finally arrived.
 
Chad, Dominiques husband, was there to pick me up. After 30 minutes of driving we arrived at their house. The house is beautiful. Most of you don’t know this, but my cousin is an artist. With that in mind I was not surprised to find her house looking like something from a catalogue. She had also put all her art up to create a ‘mock-gallery’ which really worked. After walking through the door, I was greeted with: "What are they feeding you, you’re so tall. Have you been standing in Manure?"! After all, they had not seen me for almost 5 years, so that was to be expected. I was then showered with hugs and kisses… family, it doesn’t get better than this.  I also got a chance to meet 4 new cousins, cousins bore from cousins! LOL!
 
Dominique and Michelle each have 2 children and since they are my cousins their little ones are also my cousins. I had not seen three of them before (saw Michelle’s son Ried a few years ago when she visited). It was great to finally meet them all. They are all beautiful and so loving.
 
The weather in Noosa Ville (the area in which Dom lives) is incredibly hot and humid… I was drenched from sweat even though it was overcast and raining! LOL! We all had a large family dinner that night, then sent the kids to bed, played video games and stayed up until the early hours of the morning chatting about family, love and life. It was brilliant!
 
The next day we decided to go to the beach. Granted the weather was fairly miserable (an often unique concept to that area of Aus land as it is often incredibly hot and sunny in that location) but we made out way to the beach anyway. Once there we set up base camp and watched the kids take a dip in the sea. After a short while, it started to rain… and rain it did! While debating about whether we should leave, a blinding white light lit up the sky… that simple act of nature allowed everyone to quickly make their decisions… it was time to leave because ending up like fried chicken by lightning was not on anyones wish list!
 
We eventually made it home whereby we all relaxed a bit, played with the kids (who kept running after me and chanting "Hansie, Hansie, Hansie…") and had lunch. The time for my departure was nearing and we could all feel the anxious anticipation.
 
The time had finally come and I was to leave. Honestly, I filled up with emotion. I had only really been there for about a day and a half but I loved the contact with family, especially with my cousins who i so dearly love and their beautiful children. I teared up and so did they (only after seeing me… yeah I know… LOL) and we all embraced one another for the last time. Kissing, hugging, sharing an incomprehensible bond which even the little ones joined in… but it was time to leave. After the sorrowful goodbye, Chad took me to the airport and helped me check in. After he left I went to the boarding gate… only to find out that this flight had been delayed by 40 minutes… why me! LOL!
 
My Departure
After finally arriving back in Melbourne, Pierro and Mileena picked me up. I made my way to their house and spent over 3 hours packing my bags. We ended up separating all of my clothes from my other ‘goodies’ into a box that weighed bout 15kg’s… this way I would not get too penalised for weight and could thus send the additional package back home should I have needed to.
 
After packing my bag, Pierro took me back to the University whereby I made my way back to my room and slept. Early the next morning I got up, triple S’ed and went to the Airport Shuttle Bus! Everything went as planned and my luggage went through without a problem… why? Because it was a group booking, thank goodness for that!
 
All of the flights were great, especially the final flight home. Why? Because the flight was essentially empty and were all able to take as many seats as we wanted and could sleep like we were in first class! LOL! I never slept, I never can on flights! LOL!
 
Home Sweet Home
10 and a half hours later, after leaving Perth, I finally arrived back home in South Africa on Saturday 3rd December 2005. Obviously nothing in SA had changed… unfortunately. After getting my bags and making my way through customs… I saw my parents! They had missed me so much that my mom was crying her heart out when she saw me! I was glad to be home, even if only for them. We all embraced one another and slowly made our way back to the car, still kissing, hugging and showering one another with love!
 
The END!
I have finally reached the end of my Aussie Land Adventure. I hope you have all enjoyed reading about what had happened, and even though this last post may have seemed a little rushed, I’m sure you were all able to gather what had happened. If not, use your imagination! LOL! All 400 odd pictures are now up so if you want, you are welcome to browse through them all!
 
I will obviously continue to write in Hans Milieu, so keep checking back when you can. Before I finish this post however I just thought I’d update you all on my XBOX 360 status… unhappy and greatly disappointed. The company I ordered through fell through, which was to be expected, and now it looks like I will not be getting one. I will be searching everywhere on the web though, but reports have it that the world is out of stock until February-March next year. But please, if there are any International people out there who would be willing to help me obtain a console (the Premium Edition, not the CORE), please leave a comment with your e-mail address and I will get back to you as soon as possible.
 
Well Milieu Pals, my adventure is at an end, but my life is only at the beginning!

Time is Short so make it Quick!

Hey Milieu Pals,
 
I’ve just been busy busy busy! With what you ask? Touring and shopping of course!
 
Not much has happened since my last post, other than a lot of transport woes… which I will elaborate on in a future post. Right now I am stressing about my flights, among other things, as I still have no idea what it is I will be doing with regards to visiting my cousins. When i know whats potting I will be sure to let you all know too!
 
My next post will be about Transport, Animals and GMT moments (Grating My T$ts)!
 
Before i go I just wanted to let you know that I may not be able to post on Hans’ Milieu from Thursday 1st December onwards until I arrive back in South Africa. Obviously I will try my hardest to update you all on what is happening, but I just thought I would let you all know.
 
I’m Missing you all, and like the title says, this was a quick post so expect my next post (whenever that may be) to be quite a lengthy one!