On a street in Ho Chi Minh City…
Me: Is there a bin around here?
Ryan: I think you’re standing in it.
After having my bag slashed in Hanoi…
Me: I’m just glad they didn’t steal my wallet out of my handbag.
Ryan: I’d be impressed if they could find it, there is that much shit in there.
Just after checking in to a fancy resort in Nha Trang…
Me: Do you want to have a beer in the bath?
Ryan: Why do you think I’m running the water?
On the overnight train to Sapa…
Ryan: Chinese people really know how to fuck up a bathroom.
Recently we had an unsettling airport experience at Phuket, mainly because all passengers had to get both their hand luggage and their suitcases searched. I was nervous because I had bought some “valium” from a pharmacy on Bangala Road and tossed it inside an empty vitamin bottle which now lay at the bottom of my suitcase. I hefted my bag up onto the counter and unzipped it, trying to act casual.“You have firework?” the Thai man said, patting my dirty underpants and wet swimmers.
“Have a nice fliiiiiiiiight.”
In addition to the luggage search, we were subjected to four security checkpoints, where at each one I was forced to throw out all the bottled water I had purchased since the previous check. By the time we boarded the plane, I had thrown away seven fully-sealed bottles of water and I was pretty pissed. Ryan had paid for all the water, so he was a little more pissed.
A few rows ahead of us, a young blonde woman fussed around her bags as her husband held their 6-month old baby, who immediately burst into tears. In any other situation, people would tsk tsk affectionately and smile sympathetically at the couple. “Babies will be babies!” you would tell them. But on a plane, the mood is different. To carry a crying baby onto an international flight is the fastest way to make 300+ people passionately hate you. There were several babies on this flight, and they were all beginning to wail.
“Ughhhhhhh,” I moaned, rifling through my backpack for a pair of ear plugs.
“They’re like dogs,” the man beside me observed, “As soon as one starts howlin’, they just set off all the other fuckers.”
“Why doesn’t she put it in the overhead locker?” Ryan said.
For the next nine and a half hours, the blonde lady paced up and down the aisle while her baby screamed. Every time I nodded off, she would pass our row and wake me up. I began to fantasise, unashamedly, about ways to kill the baby.
By the time we reached Sydney, the mother looked as though she had experienced the longest nine hours of her life. Again, under normal circumstances, I would have felt sorry for her. But I didn’t. Because thanks to her, I had now been awake for two days. And also, because even though I don’t have children, I can give totally advice on how to travel with them.
Tips on how to travel with a baby
1. Don’t take it on a plane
Just don’t. At least not on an overnight flight. Babies don’t like planes. They will probably cry when they are forced to get on one. That tiny person who has no inhibitions, isn’t toilet trained, can’t equalise their ears, and is probably terrified because they don’t understand what the hell is going on? Just take them on a road trip this year, because when you get on a plane with them, everybody hates you. So you don’t get to go to Fiji this year, tough shit. The baby won’t know the difference between a trip to Fiji and a cardboard box. Plus, it’ll probably be more fun for you in a few years time once the kid is a less of a fucking nightmare to travel with.
I’ve spoken to several okay-seeming mothers who have doped their babies on flights and so far none of them have stutters or eat cat biscuits. Not only will sedating your child spare all the other passengers from nine hours of torture, but the kid will get a good buzz out of it too.
If you ignore number 1 and 2, and your baby is upset about being on the plane (which is likely, as explained in number 1), just go sit in the toilet. Sure, it’s probably not the most pleasant place to spend a flight, but your baby is clearly already hating everything about this experience. What’s it going to do, cry?
If you’re a parent, you’re probably reading this and getting all bent out of shape because I don’t have kids. You probably think that bringing a baby on a plane is fine, maybe it even adds a bit of excitement to an otherwise uneventful ten hours. But you have crossed over. Try to cast your mind back to before you had a kid and gave up on personal comfort. And if you absolutely must fly with a baby, make it a day-time flight. That way, even though you’re still annoying the shit out of everyone, they were probably going to be awake anyway. Getting on a 10pm international flight with a shrieking baby means you are really going to fuck up everyone for the next two days. We know it’s not fun for you either, but you are better equipped to deal with the sleep deprivation and noise torture, because you love your child. Nobody else does.
- Pack ear plugs anytime you go anywhere because people are awful.
- You should always take spare headphones in case you sit on somebody else’s on the plane and break them with your strength/arse.
- When ordering food on your holiday, think about the country and the landscape and the stuff on it. If you haven’t seen a cow for a while, skip the beef.
- The kinds of people you want to avoid when you travel are: children, people who have children, and anyone who has written a self-help book.
- Even if you are traveling with your favourite person on earth, they are bound to annoy the shit out of you at some point. The best way to deal with this is to sweep all your belongings off your banana lounge and dump everything onto the ground, say “You want this chair? Take the fucking chair,” and then lock yourself in the hotel room and eat a whole tube of sour cream and chives Pringles.
- Overnight train is the worst form of travel after Holocaust box car.
- If someone’s body language doesn’t quite make sense, it’s probably because they are cutting open your handbag with a stanley knife and trying to steal your wallet.
- Staying at a fancy resort turns you into a jerk fairly quickly and you will soon find yourself asking a waiter where the fuck is my mojito?
- Boys don’t really appreciate spa treatments and are likely to describe an amazing and luxurious experience as “being hit with bags of seeds” or “someone wiping their hands on my face, like a lot, and those satin pyjama pants made my balls really sweaty.”
At the terracotta warriors exhibition…
Mum: They say that every warrior was crafted to look like an actual living soldier at the time. Each statue is unique.
Mum: Well, who knows.. They’re Chinese so they all look the same anyway.
After a trip to Guatemala…
Mum: The toilets over there were awful. The only decent one I found was a disabled cubicle at a restaurant. It had better toilet paper.
Me: That’s weird.
Mum: I know, why bother? It’s not like they can feel the difference.
Upon hearing the news that my cousin and her girlfriend were engaged…
Mum: To do what?
Me: I think that guy is checking me out.
Mitch: It’s possible.
Me: Well I still have all my teeth.
Mitch: Don’t turn around. Jennifer Hawkins just walked in.
Elle: Oh my god.
Mitch: She’s so sexy.
Me: She’s not that sexy. Me and Elle are just as sexy as she is.
Mitch: What are you putting on your hand?
Me: It’s hydrocortisone cream. For my eczema.
Elle: Have you tried cracking open Vitamin E caps? That’s what I do when I get that rash on my thighs.
Me: I just saw a black person on your street!
Mitch: I guess we’ll have to move then…
Mitch: Fuck, I could never live in Sydney.
Me: Fuck, I could never live in Newcastle.
If you can’t speak English, just copy/paste movie synopses into personal messages & send them to Australian people you met three years ago
Richard was a member of a Contiki tour group my friend Keira and I belonged to during July 2007. When we caught a ferry from Athens to Mykonos, Richard bought a T-shirt with a giant penis on it that said “Give us a kiss!” and he waved to children. One night, he got really wasted and sang karaoke, emptying an entire bar of tourists in 4.5 seconds flat.
Cabbie: Whoah.. haha, rough night?
Me: Excuse me?
Cabbie: You just look like you’ve been partying pretty hard.
Me: Right.. Can you take me to the Hills?
Cabbie: Sure. But just so you know, there’s a $60 fine if you vomit in a taxi.
Me: I’m not going to vomit in the taxi.
Cabbie: Okay, but just so you know–
Me: I’m fine.
Cabbie: You just look a little tired, that’s all. My mate rang me only half an hour ago cause some girl hurled in his cab. It’s a massive pain because you have to take the car to get cleaned, then you miss out on fares… So $60 doesn’t even really cover you.
Me: Take the motorway, please.
Cabbie: You know what the worst thing is? When people pay by credit. Man, I hate people who use credit cards. The driver doesn’t get the payment for at least two weeks.
Me: I’m sure it doesn’t take that long.
Cabbie: It does. Sometimes it takes months.
Me: I have cash.
Cabbie: Okay, but keep in mind it’s an extra $60 if you throw up.
Me: I’m not going to throw up.
Cabbie: Alright. Maybe we should stop talking and you can just concentrate on not throwing up.
Me: Sure, great.
Half an hour later.
Cabbie: Okay, so including tolls and the surcharge, that’ll be…$113.50
Me: Oh.. Do you take Mastercard? Put it through quickly, I’m feeling kind of nauseous.
Dude in bathroom: Did you know there’s some sort of…Twitter gathering here tonight?
Girl in bathroom: Yeah! I did pick up on that.
DIB: It’s so weird.
GIB: Wait.. what’s Twitter?
DIB: Fucked if I know.
Me: Twitter is a micro-blogging and social networking service where users can post updates using 140 characters or less.
GIB: Who said that?
The following audio and transcript comes courtesy of Jayphen. It was recorded on a Thursday afternoon express train to Hornsby. Just an average day for CityRail, really.
Warning: you may be disturbed by what you are about to hear.
transit officer: there’s no need to talk like that
junkie: HOW DID I BRK ER 3 EGG? 3 EGG? EDGAR? IN A FUCKEN BAG? NOT IN DIS BAG. NOTHA BAG
transit officer: watch your language
junkie: TWO HANDGUNS AND A TASER GUN!!!
transit officer: we haven’t got anything
junkie: IN DEE OTHER BAG, YA CLOWN!
junkie: YOU WANNA BE CAREFUL WITH ME
transit officer: I’ll keep that in mind
junkie: OOOUHH! YOU’LL WANNA!
junkie: WITH PLEASHHAAA
transit officer: we’ll get off here for a second and we can work something out
Not only was I unfortunate enough to be born with scoliosis and eyes which look in different directions when I am over-relaxed, but I also belong to a set of parents who insist on living in the Hills.
For those unfamiliar with Sydney, the Hills is an entirely stagnant and insular area north-west of the city where people are born, educated, employed and married all on the same block. People who live in the Hills go to school, church, soccer practice, work, the pub, and the movies all with the same group of friends they have had since pre-school, and they will continue to do so until they all rot beside their colostomy bags at the Anglican Retirement Village on Old Northern Road. If you suggest a visit to a city club or a day trip up the coast, Hills residents will smile and shake their head at you as if you are retarded. “Why would we trek all the way over there when we have everything we need right here?!” In this way, the Hills is exactly like America, but thinner.
The only way to get out of the Hills is to go to uni so you can secure a high-paying job and afford to move somewhere less conservative and tainted by Christians. But if you failed uni, like me, then you have to catch Hillsbus everywhere.
Hillsbus is the only way to get from the Hills to the city without paying $40 in tolls or trawling through three different forms of public transport. It is a privately owned company, which means they have a total monopoly on the norwest city-workers’ commute and can bump up their prices at will. The result is 60,000 passengers who fork over $50 each week for the privilege of spending 2 hours every day standing on a crowded, stuffy, perpetually late piece-of-shit vomit yellow bus. It is inevitable, like the tides – anyone who catches Hillsbus is a cunt.
“Umm Neek,” I can hear you say, “You catch Hillsbus. Does that make you a cunt too?”
Well yes, it does, to be honest. I live my life in a cranky state of constant exhaustion because my commute is so fucking long and tedious, I have considered simply sleeping on a yoga mat under my desk at work and giving myself sponge baths using the office water cooler. I also catch approximately six colds every winter because Hillsbus is so crowded that you will perform fellatio, on average, every three weeks simply by sitting in the aisle seat. I hate everyone on Hillsbus and all the filthy diseases they carry and sneeze on me. I never give up my seat for pregnant people or old women because the ride is so long and expensive that on the rare occasions you can get a seat, you hold onto that fucker like it’s going out of fashion. If someone wants to carry another human inside them for 9 months or commute long distances once they’re past the age of sixty then that’s their business, not mine. You should have thought about how you were going to work that into your life without counting on the generosity and kindness of strangers because really, the average person is fairly shit.
Last week, I was waiting at the Hillsbus bus stop after a few post-work beverages, when I became aware of some crazy bitch screaming up the road. Naturally, I turned to look, but my alcohol-riddled brain was too slow to look away before I had accidentally made eye contact with this raging meth head. I turned away anyway, hoping she would let it go, but ten seconds later I was grabbed around the head and dragged 3 metres by my hair. At this point, my brain cut out and I could not feel any pain or really register what was going on. I assume this is the same protective mental mechanism that shields me during sermons, conferences, and twenty minutes into any family dinner. Also, I was too smashed to know quite what was happening. However, I was aware of being slammed up against a wall and thrown to the ground, while being screamed at and called a cunt, a bitch, a whore, whatever else. I wasn’t sure what to do, so I assumed the fetal position and tried to cover my head. My friend Julia was on the scene fast, and yelled obscene threats until the ice junkie retreated, then she helped me to my feet.
“Are you okay?” Julia said.
“I don’t know.”
“Do you want to sit down?”
“Do you want some water?”
“Do you want a cigarette?”
“Give me three.”
As we stood back in the bus line, because there seemed little else to do, I became aware that every other person waiting in the queue – all thirty or so of them – had simply watched me get bashed by an ice addict and decided that being a witness was the best civic duty they could provide in this particular situation. One lady (who was not a cunt) phoned the police to let them know what had happened, but everybody else just stood there guarding their place in line and staring at me. I knew they wanted tears. They wanted hysterics. They wanted blood. Instead, I held my cigarette at a jaunty angle and immediately pulled out my iPhone to tweet about the experience. I tossed my hair and LOLed. “Can you believe that just happened?” I asked Julia, who had not blinked or exhaled since the junkie first approached us. As soon as I know somebody wants something from me, I do everything within my power to prevent them from getting it, simply because I can, and I am selfish at heart. So these Hillsbus cunts could have their bus seat, but they wouldn’t get a show out of me.
When I got home, I took three valium and had a bath. Then I stood in front of the television and told my mother I had been attacked by a meth addict at the bus stop.
“That’s awful!” she said, putting down her crossword puzzle book. “Was anyone there?”
“Yeah, but nobody did anything. They didn’t even ask if I was okay. Those arseholes just stood in line watching. Like it was fucking street theatre.”
“Well I probably would have done the same,” Mum said, picking up her book again. “You don’t want to mess with an ice junkie. Besides, you’d never risk losing your place in the Hillsbus line. Those bastards will sidle up like you were never even there.”
The above image was brought to you by the genius man that is @bobearth and my power to persuade people to photoshop genitals into ordinary pictures.