Aug 31, 2011

Trigger: Egotripping II - England, on the road again


Soundtrack for "Ego Tripping II"
'On the Road Again' by Canned Heat









Co-star and Cinematographer, Todd Geasland

London > Bournemouth > Brighton > Notting Hill.
Flat caps and suits. Sunset drives. Red-handed trespassing. Drunken messes. Work carpooling. Longboarding and ball. Lesbian chillin and workplace scavenger hunts. Pyratrix and Little Red Rioting Hoodies. Mod conventioneers. Couchsurf hangs. Joie de vivre. Skipping. Absurd late night show-ups. Notting Hill Festival.

Part I was in Portugal but the "studios" commissioned a sequel. How Hollywood!

- What is an Ego-Trip?
- Ego Tripping with American TG* in Portugal
- Ego Tripping with American TG* II in England
- Ego tripping with Slovakian DK* in Estonia

Krepšinis: I love this game - Basketball in Europe (PtII: Lietuva)

[Krepšinis] Basketball in hoopsmad Lithuania
My original basketball post was written in España so its only fitting that my second be written in similarly basketball-mad Lietuva. Lithuania plays host to this year's European Basketball Championships. As you may know I've been trying to have a basketball experience in each country I visit. I've stayed a month in each country so I've had a generous window to achieve my brief. Its been like shooting layups, it will get interesting once I get a shortened shotclock.

My original basketball post is constantly being updated, so kindly check back
- Baloncesto: I love this game - Basketball in Europe

Here are my basketball stories up until today, Day 215.
  • Played full court pickup games at Olympiapark in München
  • Hung with kids playing streetball in San Lorenzo, Roma
  • Shot hoops for hours with a local in Barcelona
  • 2 on 2 with locals and attended a 3 on 3 tournament by the beach in Porto, Portugal
  • Caught a regional bus to play ball with Amsterdam Noord locals in the pouring rain. Hookup courtesy of a Dutch guy I befriended after asking about his "STAT NY" shirt. This HipHop bar became my regular Amsterdam hang with a Dutch BBall crew
  • Shot around with a Greek Jake Shuttlesworth. I found a court whilst biking from Rotterdam to Scheveningen (near Den Haag). Incorporating his knowledge of basketball and musicmaking, he imparted some great life advice. We talked about life, family, passion and dreams.
  • Memorable first day in Brighton, England. After spending a good deal of the night hanging with street performers. I longboarded and had a competitive game of 2-on-2 with a [painfully] charming lesbian trio at 2 in the morning.
  • Befriended the manager of the English Basketball team on my flight to Lithuania from London and learnt a lot about the game in the UK. We hung out in Vilnius, traveled to Panevėžys where we shared a tent until my snoring inevitably separated us
  • Played some solid 3 on 3 pick up games at Vilnius, Lithuania. It was by the site of the EuroBasket 2011 Opening night party which I attended the evening previous.
brighton, basketball court, night
Ballin' in Brighton, England
photo: Todd Geasland
I must say that my game has developed the more I've played in each Country. I was always hesitant to play ball at home despite my love for it, conscious of my game (or lack of it). It was only at an advanced age that I realised life was too short avoiding something I enjoy. Only through the experience of court time would I develop my game and overcome my shyness. I feel like OG Bruce Wayne traveling the world skilling-up to become the 'Dark Knight'.

Just as in my other love of comedy, Basketball can teach many lessons about life. I think this quote by the GOAT Michael Jordan best sums where I'm at now - "I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can't accept not trying".

By the way, I'm tipping France and Lithuania in a close Finals game.

>> Check out my Basketball & Travel blog - 30HomeGames.blogspot.com

A question answered with a quote: UK edition

I've spent just over 2 weeks in total in the UK, 4 Days in Edinburgh and the rest in England. There are still enough conversations had to warrant a stand alone QAWaQ.

Its great finding people with compelling minds. My latest couchsurfing host in Brighton was just that sort of chap. A man of conviction, with quick repartee. He constructs awesome word pictures by employing the unlikeliest sequence of words. A good family friend who I reunited with in London is also a similar quick wit. As always it was a real pleasure to reunite and revel in good conversation. I dedicate this collection to them.

Find the collection of quotables here:
- A question answered with a quote: German + Italian edition
- A question answered with a quote: Spain edition
- A question answered with a quote: Portugal edition
- A question answered with a quote: Holland Edition
- A question answered with a quote: UK Edition
- A question answered with a quote: Lithuania Edition
- A question answered with a quote: Latvia + Estonia edition
- A question answered with a quote: England edition
- A question answered with a quote: Germany Revisited edition
- A question answered with a quote: Turkey edition
- Listen to my Podcast inspired by AQAwaQ: Lets's Get Real podcast

With that I present to you 'A question answered with a quote: UK edition'

shy kids get no sweets

If I was more confident I could manage more things

ferris bueler, snooty waiterThat's good for you but [personally] I don't care

robbie williams, madame tussaud(sarcastically) Well I should really try to meet Robbie Williams
so a wider group of people would be impressed

Using a mathematical term, what you're searching for is an asymptote

If you don't feel it, its useless

skydiving, scaredSome people think before they jump,
you like to jump first then think about it for ages

That would be cool! If you could just press a button
and you could leap into someone's life as if it was a book

I wish people knew how hard it is to die...

If there's even a little bit of disappointment,
there must have been some expectation

holland tunnel, netherlands, new yorkWhat's the big deal? It is a BIG deal but there is also a lesser deal

You must meet a lot of people

misheard: Everyone goes home
actually said: I don't want to go home

Aug 30, 2011

The Kids are Alright: Coolspotting in Netherlands Pt II

VIDEO: Plateau Kamikaze met Hef (1 of 2)
iv) Hip Hop A la Carte, Rotterdam

On a typical day feeling things out, walking around Rotterdam. I stumbled on what I thought was a Hip Hop store over the bridges, in fact it was label headquarters for 'Hip Hop a la Carte'. I got the 411 from the crew out front, the team were made up of multi-skilled B-Boys, writers and MCs who also cook and do video production. The guys present a Hip Hop cooking show, interviewing MCs and promoting Dutch Hip Hop. I was able to sit around during filming until they decided to shoo me away.

I conversed with 'Fonk Loks' and the guys as well as their guest of the day 'Hef'. This is the closest 'Ive been to real Hip Hop in my 200+ days in Europe. The guys reaffirmed what has already been said about Hip Hop in Holland, that its still marginal in the country. Which I explained to them was baffling considering "The Hundreds" of Dutch kids stocking and rocking streetwear.

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Hypo Kunst in Delft, a cafe and music venue is one of the hippest spaces I've seen. From the illustrations on the coffee table to the Art on sale. Most notable was the 'Girl with a pearl earring' & braces. The space is an Art retail store but also stages live music. On this particular afternoon their was some sort of Jazz Karaoke, where they were inviting semi-professional artists to perform with the house band.

Find their gallery on Facebook - Hypo Kunst SuperMarkt gallery

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VIDEO: Piano in Amsterdam Library

vi) Bibliotheeks in Holland (Top 3: Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Denbosch)

Possibly the most consistent great thing about Holland are the libraries. I often seek Bibliotheeks because books are great time-fillers and its reliably the best source for cheap/free internet. However Holland is on some next level ish.

Apart from the standard array of Books and Magazines. There is the Boutique style interior design, classy cafes, and game console kiosks. Notables include the Multimedia section in Rotterdam Bibliotheek and the free Piano at the lobby of the Amsterdam Openbare Library. Rotterdam offers multiple Mac kiosks with a comprehensive MP3 catalogue. I would happily spend days scooping up Japanese Fashion and Dutch Hip Hop books to browse whilst listening to the complete discography of Kid Cudi.

Amsterdam, much like I saw in Barcelona offers a free organ for pianists to share their art. It creates a unique and ever changing ambience but importantly it allows people who have dedicated years to their craft an outlet to express it.
This will be my last post on Holland, closing this chapter on a memorable time.

The Kids are Alright
- Coolspotting in Frankfurt and Barcelona
- Coolspotting: Subculture in the South of Spain
- Coolspotting in Netherlands
- Coolspotting in Netherlands Pt II
- Coolspotting: Nerding out in England - Comics, CosPlay, Video Games and Wrestling
- Coolspotting in Berlin
- Coolspotting in Istanbul
- Coolspotting in Sydney
- Coolspotting in Melbourne

Aug 25, 2011

Trigger: Crazy Times in Holland, Day 185 - Day 195

A memorable time was had with good friends made in Holland. This is an incomplete audit of the improbable adventures shared around a badass Red Campervan. If you're looking at the photos and wondering about the garish timestamp declaring a lost time, I need only refer you to our Dutch theme song. Press play and enjoy!

Soundtrack for the "Crazy Days"
'Loca People (What the f**k)' by Sak Noel

















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L to R: American. German. German, Dutch. German
(From Right to Left)

a) German F
Owner of the badass red Campervan. I met him playing guitar by the campfire at the Scheveningen Surf Village, a beach town near Den Haag. He is a strong drinker but weak smoker. Great parkour skills, easily bounding onto a 1.5 metre shop roof. His impressive feat undone by drunkenly jumping off it, No forward roll, zero technique. Ridonc! He rocked a limp and crutches from then on.

b) Dutch A
This kindly person approached us as we ate our grocery store breakfast by the side of the road, he was after a light. A brief chat revealed he had just bought and moved into his first apartment that day. Moments later we were upstairs, unloading the van and a key was graciously handed to us. He said that it was cool for us to stay at his place indefinitely. The Germans could only stay that night, the American stayed a total of 5. I moved in 2 days later. Freakin' cool guy, with great friends too!

c) German A
Right hand man of the Campervan owner. A hilarious guy with an expressive character. We shared 2 booze and smoke-filled nights in Scheveningen, entertained by great Dutch musos (Hanneke and Nino) by the campervan. I was saved from having to cycle back to Den Haag in the all too familiar Dutch rain, scoring a lift back to Rotterdam then camping in Amsterdam. But that was only the start of our adventures...

d) Turkish/German M
Met her the first time I was in Amsterdam, almost a month previous. We had enjoyed a memorable time with our mutual Mexican roommate and her charming dutch admirer. When I texted that I was back in town with a campervan, she proceeded to jump out the bus halfway to taking her home. With only 50 to her name and a foolhardy belief everything would work out, she joined our merry band. This was to be her last hurrah after a month of traveling.

It was a lost night for her - bumping into a Dutchman at the bus stop she had met in her Lisbon hostel weeks previous. Negotiating through gay traffic through the lanes of Amsterdam with her overwhelming backpack, using her feminine wiles to find a place to stay whilst dealing with other idiots. She eventually crashed with my NY apartment swappers. We talked about how it was quite the effort for essentially half a night in Amsterdam, albeit during the famous Canal Parade weekend. We wondered if and how we could extend the experience. Then in walked our Dutch saviour...

e) American M
My German friends had their campervan parked in front of my Rotterdam hostel. The weather was fine so we decided to go to the beach by Haarlem, eventually heading into Amsterdam. I promptly canceled the night's booking and invited anyone present in the hostel lobby "I have some cool Germans outside with a van, who wants to come?".

Though hesitant at first but open to suggestion (he had been randomly browsing google maps for his next destination), this American was my running mate for the last 10 days in Holland. A Dr Ruth with a knack for expletive-filled freestyles and a love for kapsalon (with all the flatulence that comes with it). We introduced ourselves between the walk from the hostel lobby and the van in front. The rest, as they say is history.

Update: I reconnected with the Hamburg kids over Christmas. They were at the opening of my Gallery Exhibition in my bedroom - A Memento Year

Aug 20, 2011

Live: Edinburgh Fringe comedy roundup 2011

On the other end of 200 days and as the horizon of my funds draws closer, the approach to my travels has shifted. Its less about randomness (goin' with the flow) and more about nerd indulgences. Comedy at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival then Basketball at EuroBasket 2011 in Lithuania.

The Fringe Festival was the only must-do for my year abroad and it didn't disappoint. Edinburgh is a breathtaking city and the festival was quite the spectacle, I am most certainly returning once the festival madness evaporates. I paid largely for acts that were already known to me and did most of my dabbling with the many free performances, some of whom were Australian comedian acquaintances who had made the big move to the UK.

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Hannibal Buress
Day 201 Act - Hannibal Buress

I was kinda bummed I never got to see Hannibal when he performed at the Melbourne Comedy Festival so it was great to have a chance to see him anyway. There was some awkwardness on this night as he had his fly undone for the first half of the show.

Witness! Hannibal lives up to the Comedy Nerd hype.

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Day 202 Acts - Kurt Braunohler and Kristen Schaal

Kurt used his temperature gun and annointed me as having the "hottest crotch" in the crowd. I got a free beer out of it. I got to shake Kristen's hand on stage as part of a puppet sketch. The night's guests for the variety hour were Todd Barry and The Pajama Men.

On a side note, the week prior I hung out with a French-Canadian belle in Rotterdam. I told her that she reminded me of the charming Kristen Schaal. I've been spoilt, though you can never have too much Schaal.

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Day 203 Act - Isy Suttie
Show - Isy Suttie: Pearl and Dave

Day 202 - "Strictly no late comers admitted". No luck getting refunds.
Day 203 - Came in with a straight face the following day and retried with my expired ticket. Success! I subsequently used BBC Three's 'Funny in 15 seconds' booth to record a video confessional for my cheeky sins.

BBC Three seems to think the vid was worth publishing on their website. Enjoy!

VIDEO: LozInTransit's Funny in 15 Seconds


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Glenn Wool
Day 204 Act - Glenn Wool

15:00 - Found 'UltraChip', a Chip Tunes festival at 'The Forest Cafe'. 2hrs worth of nerdy workshops and I was undefeated challenging kids to StreetFighterII on the SNES
21:30 - Glenn Wool, 'No Lands Man' show
23:00 - Bopped to GasMan and other Chip Tune acts at 'UltraChip'
01:00 - 4hrs of comedy, music and dancing with a touch of racial awkwardness at 'Late night Live'
06: 00 - 4hrs chillin at Arthur's Seat during the breaking dawn

During the Festival, I visited many of the comedians I had befriended in Sydney.
Below are the online homes of these hilarious Australian comedians:
- Mrs Funberries, Ryan Withers and Shane Matheson
- The Cloud Girls, Jennifer Carnovale and Madeleine Culp

Aug 16, 2011

Trigger: A memento year - Day 200

August 16, 2011. Its Day 200.

I will write something, watch this space.
Probably something like this...
Trigger: A Memento year - The first 100 days

Some of my favorite posts
dinner, guitar
'Portugal: Eat Pray, Love' collection
Portugal: Eat - Fine Food with Friends
Portugal: Pray - Saints and Sinners
Portugal: Love - Portugal sure is warm!

'A question answered with a quote' collection
- 'A question answered with a quote' German + Italian edition
- 'A question answered with a quote' Spain edition
- 'A question answered with a quote' Portugal edition
- 'A question answered with a quote' Holland Edition

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brazil, portugal, dance 'Tudo Bom: The first 3 days in Portugal' collection:

- Tudo Bom: The first 3 days in Portugal (1 of 3)
- Tudo Bom: The first 3 days in Portugal (2 of 3)
- Tudo Bom: The first 3 days in Portugal (3 of 3)

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Trigger collection:
- Trigger: "Qualidade de Vida" in 'Casa dos Gauchos', Porto
- Trigger: Ego Tripping in Portugal - Sintra, Obidos, Ericeria, Coimbra

Aug 9, 2011

Trigger: Festival hopping in Holland (July, August 2011)

Rollerskating [terribly] and moving to the beat of the drum in Rotterdam. Riding the Hammer and other gay adventures in Tilburg. Eating Poffertjes and sharing good times with leuke meisjes in Utrecht. Watching bands and enjoying an impromptu dance circle commanded by a 12yr old girl in Nijmegen. Drinking Advocaat, dozing off then dancing at night in spectacular Amsterdam. The Festivals of Holland...

DAY 168: De Parade. Utrecht
WEB: deparade.nl
VIDEO: Sfeerreportage De Parade 2011


DAY 175: Vier Daagse Feesten (4 Day Walk Festival). Nijmegen
WEB: vierdaagsefeesten.nl
VIDEO: Vierdaagse Feesten Nijmegen samenvatting vr. 22 juli


DAY 177: Kermis Tilburg. Tilburg
WEB: tilburgsekermis.com
VIDEO: KermisTV - Best Of 2011 - Deel 1


DAY 178: Roze Maandag. Tilburg
WEB: rozemaandag-tilburg.nl
VIDEO: LOTT - Opening Roze Maandag 2011


DAY 180: Wednesday Night Skate. Rotterdam
WEB: wednesdaynightskate.nl
VIDEO: Wednesday Night Skate 2011


DAY 182: Zomer Carnaval. Rotterdam
WEB: zomercarnaval.nl
VIDEO: FunX: Zomercarnaval 2011


DAY 190: Canal Parade. Amsterdam
WEB: canalparade.nl
VIDEO: Amsterdam Gay Pride Canal Parade 2011


DAY 193: Pluk de Nacht. Amsterdam
WEB: plukdenacht.nl
VIDEO: Pluk de Nacht - Dag 1

Aug 8, 2011

Louis Theroux, Couchsurfing and Holland


"You're kinda like a Louis Theroux"
- Dutch woman at a party my CS Host brought me along to

"You're like your own personal Couchsurfing site"
- American I've Campervan & Attic "surfed" with

These have been two of the most flattering compliments I've gotten whilst traveling. Funnily my maiden reference to my Couchsurfing profile declared, "Definitely a people person since he seems more interested in meeting the locals than the attractions". I mildy took offence the first time I read it. Then conceded that I do aspire to be more like a 'Louis Theroux' than a 'Rick Steve'.

Couchsurfing is arguably the most popular recurring subject in my travels. Many have endorsed it and some live by it. A friend and big CS advocate had a saying, "contempt prior to investigation". I was definitely guilty of this with Couchsurfing as I had played Devil's Advocate in all my discussions of it.

I was skeptical because through my travels I had been blessed with hospitality and wanted to continue to manufacture things organically. Staying with my brothers in Porto, meeting with friends of friends and finding new running mates along the way.

After realising the scarcity of hostels in parts of Holland (and the scarcity of funds in my bank account), I decided to get over my stubborness and give Couchsurfing a try. Needless to say it was a blast. In my earliest posts I spoke of "ego tripping" and my desire to join random parties as a fly-on-the-wall. Couchsurfing is the surest and quicket way to realise that.

With couchsurfing I've partied with Dutch Capoeira enthusiasts, Danced at the biggest Gay Festival with a gay woman and watched Comedy with a reviewer. It has been a real pleasure to be with open minded people who are willing to share their lives and experience.

I've realised Couchsurfing, is simply a utility. It does not create an open, inviting personality, it merely facilitates it. I've met some amazing people who have shown me great hospitality and we have enjoyed bouncing off each other's curiosity and positivity. These interactions were created by simply striking up conversations. On my return visit to Amsterdam, I've been lucky to experience another side of this amazing city. A more local and less worn perspective. I was able to spend nights in the East with a couple I met in an Utrecht hostel, they had swapped their NY apartment for one in Amsterdam. In the West, a kindly Dutchman allowed us to stay in his unfurnished, recently bought apartment after a brief chat on the street (he needed a light). Last but not least, we've enjoyed a night on a campsite on the outskirts of Amsterdam sleeping in a campervan with Germans befriended in Scheveningen.

With the help of Couchsurfing and otherwise, I've found the world to be more open than I could have ever imagined. Goude Leven!

Aug 2, 2011

Random news.

Its day 185. Which makes it over a half year since Eurotripping.
I write this from Den Haag, Netherlands.

I haven't had as much as access to the computers as I'd like so I have a backlog of posts I've been meaning to write.

Here are just a few of the posts in store: