me, tasting life.

Leaving the office to travel for a while. To taste my life and for me to get a better idea of what it is that ticks my boxes.

The beggars and the cows.

Returning to India after three years away, not a lot has changed. Whilst on my last visit to the country I did not visit the East, I did not find it to be significantly different from the West.

Stepping off the plane, the smell is consistent with Delhi; a blend of over a billion sweaty, curried bodies, warming and perspiring in the humidity mother nature has cooked up. Leaving the plane to the cooled terminal, the air con is one of the few modern facilities in Kolkata International Airport. The luggage carousel winges like the sound of an old mans joint’s, the walls of the building are cracked and peeling, pleading for some TLC. Both confirm to the tourists who have come to experience proper third world poverty that they are in the right place.

Outside the building the smell quickly re asserts itself as it had a few moments earlier, burning my foreign nostrils. The beggars are the same as they are in Delhi too, dangerously unhealthy, shamelessly desperate and angelically humble with their thin, dirty outstretched hands, ‘vater, money.’ Poverty leaves no time for sleep. At 8am the streets are alive with scores of beggars. Orphaned children work together as a co op: their bleeding eyes etching (very clearly) poverty into the naked eye for eternity.

Stretching further from the dated airport, inwards to downtown Kolkata, the cow, the holy animal of the mostly Hindu land continues to dominate as it does in the rest of the country. It still stops traffic as it has done for centuries: a signal of its status as a God. It’s intriguing: less than a kilometre away a beautiful young child (that in Australia would be learning to conquer her times tables) begs for her life while this cow (which in Australia would be served medium rare for a hefty price in a fine restaurant) walks full bellied, ignorant to the extreme hardship of the child. A God walks blind, ignoring the sufferance of its people.

Yet, like Accra, these people smile with nothing in their pockets. The men who clean the busy highway, leading me to the security of my hotel do not stare at the bus full of foreigners with jealousy. They do not swear under their breath or lament over a life they will never have. When they do not know any better, why would they? Am I luckier to live with my Western wealth and education or are they, with their third world simplicity, their dirty, raggy clothes and shameless poverty? They still smile you know.  

India has corruption to a disgusting level, it has poverty that can make a grown man cry. Full bellied cows laugh while starving children walk barefoot and bleeding, lacking love and life yet the country has this outlook that developed countries don’t have, making it incredible and dignified in its own right.

India: when I visited last, you humbled me: again you do. Last time you taught me to appreciate what I had. This time as I write in an air conditioned five star hotel room, safely away from the despair of the child and the full cow I am reminded of what I take for granted and what these people, walking in those green sub tropical pastured fields, following their Gods, do not have.

It is night time. My lamp gives me light and my Egyptian threaded quilt gives me warmth and comfort. Somewhere along that road, under the many bridges of Kolkata, schools of child beggars dream for what I have and I lay ready to sleep with ease.

00:28

Loveless sex or love sex. Which can he give? What are those chocolate eyes,those full eyebrows,those calming, soothing hands telling me? Or not telling me?

Not a lot. Not the answer I want.

Doesn’t answer messages, doesn’t answer phone calls. It’s on his terms, his needs, his desires. Not mine.

The city is currently experiencing a drought of affection. There should be a sign at the Airport: “Please ensure your heart is at home, not here.”

The West has love, The East has long, thick, hard fucks. But no, oh, no love. Not for the romantic that still believes in it, anyway. Or perhaps their sex is their love. A love for sex?

My travel agent in life could have told me this. “No heart in the ME, just 12 inches, Fendi, Chanel and Prada.” But then it’s a lesson, right? Give the best guy in the world up. Get the worst guy in the world up.

Where did that feeling go? That desire for me? To spoon, to kiss, to talk. Or just a quick fuck? Home by 11 before the family notices a missing (gay?) son.

The created the Burj Al Arab; A sail of class and sophisticaion. Then they erected the Burj Khalifa: 828 metres of ego.

They sold their heart to the world, They sold their identity too. They cashed them in and bought Ferraris. In this city, for the Kandoora, love is money, love is sex.

For the Kandoora, Love is lost.

*this is meant to be a poem but I can’t manage to get the format right so it reads little a poorly structured short essay.

I made it.

A glowing warmth radiates, outward.
The skin glows and the lost smile returns.

Tests.
Honesty.
Tears.
Lessons learnt.

Been there, done that.

The smile strengthens.
Inner peace has returned.
From the storm comes a lost ship, a beautiful passion; a love for life.

Where there was pain,
anger,
rage,
a young man conquers those… and…

over time…

falls for himself again, blossoming with zest and enthusiasm.
A beautiful soul shines once more as it should.

The games that life teach aren’t tests but blessings.
He’s proud where he’s at. Where he’s going.
It was hard, cost tears and energy.
It was a challenge.

With truth,
With faith,
With an understanding,

Comes back life, love.

My love Letters.

My love.

After my first ex and I broke up I went through a transitional shift, exploring my new found single and glorious early twenties life. There is something special about opening up that second decade of your life; exploring the rich bubbles of this part of your life for the first time. It’s better than any Christmas present you will ever get and doesn’t last long. The mentality that you develop in those years will shape your destiny.

This very exciting time in my young life (which I acknowledge to readers that I am still very lively living) gave me many gifts and stories to begin to lay a foundation for a well-layered life. Now, at this point I’d say I have bought and cleared the land, got the councils approval to build and have just started to lay the concrete, with the help of the builder; the strong wised up and loving people I am blessed to share life with. 

With all these experiences, these rich thoughts and emotions doing backflips, cartwheels and now thank Christ settling in my heart and soul after a couple of years, I have started to get clearer direction. That horrible career word still fucks me but everything else is fine. I’m learning more about me, laughing, cracking jokes, meeting amazing people and getting this massive boom out of life, something I missed along the track there for a while.

So, 25 years old and loving life I think to myself, how can I celebrate it? What spiritual illustration can I paint proudly as a sign of how my life is just how I want it? A tattoo: a lasting impression that will have the power to remind me of my position in life, where I have come from and where I want to go.

It has taken me three years to reach this point. I thought and thought and thought some more about what to get. I think I fought with so many ideas because in those young years of change, so much inspiration challenged me to the point I could not commit to any one idea. Those years were a celebration and now I feel myself moving to another chapter in my life, equally as beautiful to explore.

They were like a beautiful shadow at the end of an emotional and difficult adolescent period. They were years that followed a time when I needed to develop the emotional maturity to deal with being raped, the difficulty of growing up gay and fighting cunts of inner demons to understand who I was and how I fit into this tapestry, seemingly cruelly stitched for me. It’s not to say that my adolescence wasn’t a good one, it was; parts of it were fantastic. However, for the larger part I didn’t enjoy it that much.

To draw light from that period, a few years after being raped, I learnt that the experiences we succumb to are relative to the individual and uniquely personal.  What one person struggles to deal with, another finds easy. Life gives you a tough card, you deal with it, smile and learn. The wisest person is the one who is able to make the best decision at the hardest time, remaining confident with their decision.

Back to the ink. As I lay on that tattoo bed somewhere in downtown Singapore this afternoon it was as if I were having a spiritual orgasm, blowing love everywhere, settling in my heart. I had my iPod in and was listening to a specific song I had chosen for this beautiful moment in my life.

Today I got a tattoo to celebrate my family and how much I love them. My tattoo, my beautiful drop of wisdom proudly says with so much beauty, “Love, Hugh, Chris, Hetty, Kurt & Fletch. It’s in calligraphy script and Love is in red, the rest in black. It will last forever and will remind me that when life is tough my family is amazing. I know I have people that love me for me and are willing to sacrifice their happiness for mine. For me, this is worth writing on my body.

To Mum, Dad, Hetty and Fletch, we make an amazing team as a family and I could never have asked for anything better. I would love to dedicate my tattoo to your names; the truly beautiful people that you are. You have given me inner peace and helped me destroy my own fights without knowing it. I have shared times with you all that I could only dream of.

Thank you.

Love, Kurt.

xx

 

 

The subconcsious and Accra

Each month there’s a lot of excitement when our rosters are posted. A significantly large, if not the entire group of cabin crew have taken this job to travel. Depending on where you are from, different places are going to be more appealing than others. As an Aussie, Aussie cities doesn’t arouse that much in me however European cities like Vienna, Zurich, and Milan do.

When I read on my roster that I was going to Accra I was ho hum about it. Prematurely I assumed that it wouldn’t tick the same boxes that the European destinations I had been to would. I thought to myself, “hmm… Accra…. not sure about this one.” Not knowing much about the country and having no strong foundation to base my lack of enthusiasm, I thought that the city wouldn’t be as encapsulating as Europe. How wrong I was.

Accra was perhaps the best place I have been to. In the west, money rules. It determines where you will live and which post code you will shun others with, what brand of success you drive, and what latest fashion you stupidly, and very commonly will follow. Money sucks; the things it can do to a person’s mentality and a societies principles. People from Accra probably realised this some time ago when our countries were fighting like fools in World War One over power and wealth. In Accra happiness rules.

As we drove through the city it struck me that there were more dirt roads than there were sealed ones but no one cared. The ones that were sealed were cracked and aged, revealing the lack of money their government could spend on infrastructure with more pressing issues like health and public education. I asked the taxi driver about this: he wasn’t phased. Then I asked him about the class structure, “In Ghana everyone is friends, we’re all family”, he replied. What a simply amazing mentality to share. A country built as a family. A country where no paramount class structures encourage discrimination from within its own walls.

At the Arts Centre Markets, Charlotte, a girl I was traveling with, and I bartered for already cheap souvenirs to bring home. I got two wooden Zebras desperately in need of a bath, a small retro ornamental bicycle, a key ring and a native musical instrument. Charlotte got an ensemble of four matching purple paintings.

When I was younger I hated bartering, always paying close to full price, full knowing I was being taken for a ride yet too shy to match the player. Since having traveled to India a few years back I learned how to play that game, as much as a tourist can. In Accra it was game on. I still payed more than a local would but I can say I’m getting better.

At the back of the Arts Centre Market was a slum which I felt a little uncomfortable in for a couple of reasons. Partly it was because of the mentality silently woven through the West that drives us to think differently, ‘money rules, happiness is second’. With a white brain I thought to myself, how can these people be so happy in this slum when they have so little? I began to challenge my innate thoughts and questioned whether or not those people could be happy in such a dire financial state.

As Charlotte and I passed, people laughed and life went on. The kids ran up to have their photo taken and some guy was having his hair cut on a wooden stool on a dusty dirt road. The kids were laughing. He was laughing. But then why wouldn’t they? In Accra or at least in that slum that’s normal. They didn’t need money for that.

The second lesson for me was the power of the subconscious; what we tell ourselves to feel better, failing to admit deeper, uglier thoughts which we shouldn’t think. Having rarely been exposed to darker people, I felt a little uneasy. As I walked I thought, very disappointed with myself, am I unknowingly racist or do I feel uncomfortable simply because this is a foreign place to me that coincidently has darker guys and girls? For the second time that day I was challenging myself on a sensitive topic that people often find confronting to discuss.

If it were a slum in India or a housing trust area in Australia where the skin colour of the people in it is different, would I have had the same uneasy feeling? Picture this: at a point in the slum there’s this white guy walking around, fighting conflicting thoughts in his head and trying to convince himself that he isn’t what he thinks he may well be. The locals must have thought I was quite strange. A question then, what constitutes a racist mentality? Simply by feeling uneasy around a group of people, though not necessarily having the desire to inflict pain or suffering on those people, is this a racist or is it simply ignorance: the signs of an unlearned ? I hope the latter. I can deal with that easier.

In my earlier blogs I mentioned that this year for me is about further self discovery. You have this notion of yourself, or you think you do. However, when you are in a situation that challenges the core beliefs you embrace you are given the gift of rediscovery and a chance to develop your subconscious.

In Accra I was convinced that this year of travel is right for me; the glowing, radiant smiles painted accross every face in that slum showed me that life goes on, despite the seemingly menial or very tragic things that happen in life. You don’t need money to be happy, you need an open heart and love; like the type that the people of the slum kiss to each other every day, in peace. And to conquer ignorance learn what makes you think a certain what and act to change; travel is perfect for this.

L o n d o n

London.

A night which began and ended on the Tube; along the Piccadilly line into the soul of London. To me it felt as if I was traveling through history, back to a time taught in schools across Australia and other English settled colonies. It was hard not to get excited about this trip.

As the train headed in towards the pulsing beat of London, almost rocking with it at every station, and then below ground, the rush of traveling kicked in. I was on the underground heading to a place I had dreamt of for 25 years. To a land where a queen and king rule fairly, where blue and red anecdotes talked to each other silently about the days gone by, sharing memories and creating new ones in the bustle of a modern day major city forged on centuries of lives gone by.

Until then Piccadilly had only ever been a place for me in Monopoly; a yellow street, guarded by an elderly man wearing a top hat and penguin tailed suit, after jail. Now it was this exciting train ride in reality, returning me to my heart in that city. Getting off the train and heading to Soho and the West End, the buzz grew. Sharing Friday night with thousands of people; God I was lucky.

Walking those streets, admiring those buildings and letting my ear taste that English accent we used to mock at school but over time had grown to love through smart, witty English comedies. Beautiful. Like Vienna and Munich, this city captivated me, won me over in a heart beat, less than a heart beat; half of one.

Crossing into Soho, having fish and chips for dinner and washing it down with a nice full glass of Bulmers Cider, I couldn’t help but laugh to myself. The city was packed, the mood was high. The streets were lined with scores of tourists, after work drink crowds and a mish mash of others. To me it felt like a giant street party; a far cry from the small, sincere and beautiful city that I had spent my university years in. The amount of people drinking on the foot paths outside those busy pubs.

As the Bulmers grew friendlier and the refreshing cool evening breeze wrapped its arms around me, encouraging me to sink further into my jacket, we pressed further into the city. Its size and the things to do on Friday night entertained many thoughts. However for this trip it would be clean and simple; nothing too outrageous. Another time certainly. A tatoo? Clubbing? An all night bender perhaps?

More Bulmers, more walking and then home to the hotel to rest my tired feet, absorb all the delights of the night and to dream about my next time in this fabulous city.

Flying over the UK the next day, the thin country roads delicately etched into the countryside like the paint strokes of a famous Agasse piece, those roads teased me with the opportunities they could give. As if the beautifully rich green fields of dreams lining those roads called my name and offered hope and prosperity to someone who had recently began a transitional shift in his life.

It was almost like my name was tatooed somewhere in those fields, on those winding, seemingly endless roads all leading to the same destiny, London. As we flew further away to home in Middle East the small blue waves of now gently pushed those dreams to the back of my head, deeper into my heart. A place filled with that which yearned for more. To savor the fruits of those green pastures, those amber glowing lights of London that I had tasted just that night before. 

A willy up the bum nun.

A bunch of nuns are happily driving down the dusty country road, piously heading towards Sunday mass at the local church, singing the latest totally hot smash hits from the Christian world on their crappy dated old school bus tape deck.

 C RRR AAA CCC KKK!!!! S M A S H!

 Suddenly from nowhere a semi trailer truck smacks the bus, ploughing it sideways off the road, rolling a few times, coming to rest in the dry creek bed. The latest hits still praising the Lord, the nuns however not; all of them dead.

Floating up to heaven, they all glee, golden halos on some, not all. They’ve been praying their wholes lives for this day.

Waiting with welcome arms, Jesus stands at the pearly gates. Today he has the door bitch duties. Usually St Christopher has this arduous job but he is sick today; got a test with the local Dr; has had fluey symptoms lately… word has it the Oxford St flu has recently reached the fabulous pearly gates…

Jesus see’s the nuns coming, all glowing at the prospect of entering heaven. He know’s the drill all too well…

“Attention nuns, attention nuns, has anyone come into contact with a penis”, bellows Jesus, son of the Almighty.

The nuns whisper to each other… “A what?” Says Sister More, still naive. “No, never” chokes Sister Alotta.

After some discussion one nun, Sister Touchy steps forward sheepishly.

Yes sister”, Jesus addresses.

“Oh Jesus forgive me. I once stroked and fondled the head of an erect penis!”, blurts out Touchy in a rush, shamefully covering her head and nodding downwards.

The nuns are shocked. This is a cordinal sin.

“Sister, dip your finger and the gate and you may enter heaven”, relieves Jesus, glowing with grace.

Touchy does quickly, as if to avoid Jesus changing his mind. She is in! She wipes the sweat from her face and the nuns wink at her, avoiding the glare of the Son.

Embarrassingly for the nunery, Sister Alotta walks up, separating herself from the divine, pulling her wet, guilty gown from her back.

“Yes?”, questions Jesus, smiling smugly at Alotta having been informed about her from Christopher the evening before.

“Well Jesus, it’s like this, I stroked and fondled a few when I was in uni”. Ashamed, Alotta cannot look Jesus in the eye. She know’s she has sinned, thinking to herself it is simply beyond forgiveness, surely getting a ticket to the firey hell she has dreaded for decades.

“Really?”, laughs Jesus with a hint of ‘I knew it’ lingering in his voice. Well it’s like this Alotta, mocking the way she had addressed Him earlier. Put your whole hand in the water over there and you can go through, pointing to the guilty, dirty penis water bowl.

Disbelievingly she does, quicker than Sister More. She is in! A miracle! Her friends sigh deeply for her, thanking the grace of the Almighty.

The nuns are close to chaos. What scandal. Two sisters who have touched a penis. What next? A closeted lesbian? The unknown thief of the donation box on Sundays who plagued the nunnery for 18 months a few years back? Shocking! Just appalling. They were meant to be family…?!

Jesus controls the once tight nuns, “Sisters, let she who has not sinned cast judgement on your family…”, bellowing to the crowd with power and righteous.

Sister Coughup cannot handle it anymore. She hitches her skirt and makes for Jesus, cheap heels clacking like a race horse on the final straight to those shiny, famously pearly gates. Pushing and screaming, running like a complete and utter maniac, she is desperate to get to the front of the sisterhood and enter next.

“Jesus, Jesus, Jesus! Forgive me for thou has also sinned!”

Suprised, Jesus questions the nun, “Coughup, what is a matter? What would force you to act in such sheer insolence towards your family matters?”.

Coughup bows down silent.

“Well?! What is it of she that bows before me?”

“I simply refuse to wash my mouth out after Sister Crack has washed her arse out!”, exclaims Coughup.

Lost in my own kingdom.

"Fuckn’ hell, get your abaiya! LOL. This shit isn’t gonna hold up much longer Lynda…"

Dust flying everywhere; complimentary on the spot face exfoliant massages and rare pelting desert rain cleansers too. Thanks mother nature, not what I wanted right now but I appreciate the heads up. Yes, I’ll shower when I get home, don’t worry… ok. I’ll wash behind my ears too.

Running back with Lynda to our accommodation a kilometer away from our usual running track in the cooler months, this moment of madness; a rare rain and thunder storm in the capital of UAE can only remind me of one thing: year 12 English with Mrs May studying King Lear.

At a pivotal point in Mr Shakespeare’s great text, Lear and his accomplice the fool (argued by many to be Lear’s own conscious) are lost and bewildered, at the sufferance and sheer force of a storm; suggested by many literary scholars to be a metaphor for the deteriorating King’s mind. After a point where Lear has given his land and money to two of his three daughter’s (and their egoistic, self driven husbands) the King unwilling looses his strength and power as a ruler, becoming a feeble, lost and unwise man.

As the king of my own destiny I could not help but liken that storm to the one I just endured. Running with Lynda, our sweaty running shirts, now makeshift abaiyas that the local women wear, to shield ourselves from the dust and rain combo, laughing the whole way at how ridiculous we look, being horned by passing cars between the track and our home (thanks everyone re: no one for the offer of a lift) it was my moment of madness.

Foreign country. New culture. Uprooting everything to give life another shot somewhere else (God Kurt, your’e 25 don’t take life that seriously lol). A job at the bottom of the pecking order. Away from my partner. Really, what was I thinking? Running around lost like a unit, appearing to have his head cut off in a crazily rare storm. This storm, this crazy night in my new desert village was my opportunity to reflect on the decisions I had made and how they had driven me to this point in my life.

For Lear the storm is a poignant point in his life. It is a time that requires wisdom of him and provides the opportunity to reflect and move forward; to either survive his own blood and overcome his stupidity or perish. What a horrible result of human ignorance; a lust for pitiful power, gorged greed. The environment is dark and lonely and the King’s sole friend is his fool; an accomplice he once would have shunned as King. The thunder is deafening, shaking him perhaps metaphorically more so internally. The rain is cold and wet yet at the same time a cleansing reminder that he is alive, he can wash away the errors of his ways if he is strong.

This storm for me was not as significant as that of Lear’s. However it was a signal to me to make start making solid choices. 25 and no definitive direction. Sure I have a few ideas about life, about where I want to go but nothing solid. Nothing hard enough to get a home loan and secure myself to a mortgage and a guaranteed career. But then Lear had all the power, the wealth, no NAB home loan (National Australia Bank haha) and this drove him to madness. Do I want that? Or do I want to seek happiness and something, some job or career or point in my life that I can reach and then say, ok. Now I know what I need to do to get those tangible things in life that we need.

When your’e younger you think when I grow up I want to do this and to be that, to own this and to travel there; those things are largely material. Yes they are very important, I do not undermine the need for stability, a house, a solid income. However, I don’t ever remember being asked when I was a kid whether or not I wanted to be happy when I was older, whether I wanted to be in love; those were assumed but clearly as Shakespeare suggested with Lear, not always easily attainable. No one challenged me to have the courage to do what I love doing in order to make the more menial things achievable. I look at the ordinary days of our lives, what we as humans do, the grinding of the commonplace to make fit and I must say that I do accept the responsibility of my own choices. I live in Australia; the best country in the world where choice still exists and the young can excel in any field they wish, should they work hard to achieve those goals.

The storm for me showed me that those things will come. I know they will. I will reach a point in my life when I can take out the mortgage, smiling, knowing that I now have inner peace and a direction that will guide me, lending me to happiness in a job that I love (hopefully with a partner) where for what presently feels like a never ending period of uncertainty.

For me now the most important thing to do is to smile, crack a joke, laugh, love life and dance with it. I can write three essays about storms and their significance but I could then walk outside my house, forget to look both ways and wind up dead, my new found wisdom evaporating on the hot, dry Middle Eastern road; a real shame when life has too much to offer. As I write this I’ve been listening to Intro by The XX, an English band. Look it up, move with the song.

I got home, washed the free now mud-mask off my face and smiled in the mirror. Life’s great ‘aye bro.

xx

Buttering down.

My first layover was in Vienna. It wasn’t a really long flight, maybe 6 or so hours. Great passengers, before the flight one of the crew commented that these customers were professional in the sense that they don’t complain, aren’t over demanding and have manners. I agree. Most European flights are great, customer wise. Definitely not like an Indian flight were manners are left at the boarding gate; all those lovely nodding heads asking for whisky and veg. meals, where in those uncontrollable nods you fear for a customer complaint form; inevitably handing them out like last seasons must haves.

So the butter. We got into Vienna around 8 or 9pm so I was quite tired and keen to get some food and get out and start taking photos of the city I had heard so much about. After checking in, getting my card for my room and saying catchya later to my crew for the evening, intent on filling my empty and audible stomach I made for my room like a cat on a hot tin roof, ignoring the fact that I actually been given my allowance, not knowing that, mistakenly thinking I only had approx 20 Dirhams in my pocket; pretty useless in a country that uses Euro. Stomach shut up. Growling will get you nowhere and will only make me look retarded.

I quickly dive for the lift, slipping in, behind me my uncontrollable suitcase decides to shock the poor middle aged German woman behind me rudely with physical contact. Nice entrance, “Hi Germany, I’m Kurt. How are you? Yes, I’m not really rude but my suitcase always likes to play hit the old lady…”. Quickly I learn that personal space is different here that Aus where people are not as strife, more open to physical contact. Sheer finesse.

Getting out of the lift as quickly and as abruptly as I got in, I eagerly make my way to my room, 364 I think it may have been (interestingly I had the same room number in Munich in a few weeks later). On the way my bloody suitcase is still acting like a child, swinging from side to side, trying to collect another woman’s leg, maybe run down a baby in cold blood. Luckily there are no others. I think that there is either a skill to driving those bulky boxes or I’m retarded. Either is possible. To resolve this problem I think they should redesign them for people like me. God, imagine what I must be like at driving! Its a suitcase and I struggle with that. 

I get to 364 and fumble with my key card, at the same time noticing that my neighbors for the night have ordered room service. From the smell I’d guess they are having, or perhaps we….. are having pasta; smells like spinach and ricotta, not bad. Finally I get into my room, and start my first lay over. I get down to my undies, massaging my belly and contemplate about what I’m going to eat for dinner, air or water, or both, still not realising that I have my allowance. I really need to work on being a tight arse and perhaps observational skills….

I look like a tired bag of shit. The ugly black stuff under my eyes, visibly dry, tired skin and sunken eyes. Definitely a strong contender for Australia’s next top (blind) model. Shower, wash, and towel up, dry off and then in my fresh, clean undies I remember the meal outside. Is it still there? I duck out of my door to have a look…. Yeah it is. Thanks Germany. Ill help you with your spinach and ricotta ravioli (I knew I was right) just as soon as….. fuck…. I have locked myself out of my room, practically starkers in only my undies and my neighbors food already across my lips.

How can I possibly explain this? Clearly I can’t. Imagine, they come out…. oh… Hi, I’m Kurt, I just locked myself out of my room and was wondering if you could call security to ask them to come help me up.. Oh and um yeah this is your pasta; it tastes great you should order yourself some more cause I’ll finish this one for you…. Ha. Not quite.

At this point I’m mildly embarrassed at myself; almost naked and too tight to order my own meal so I pinch my neighbors. I see the light in the situation, have a quite chuckle to myself and politely nod to say hi to the guests walking quietly past me. Ok… time to think. You’re in your undies with pasta sauce on your lips in a foreign country! Plan of attack? Like a woman heading fiercely to the Chanel spring/summer season launch I make for the toilet which I noticed half way down the corridor after the elevator. With ‘my’ ravioli steadily in my grasp I reach the toilet and head straight for an empty cubicle, devouring the pasta in a single breath. Delectable. The creamy sauce, the fresh spinach saturating my dry, starved tongue with flavor I had not had since leaving Aus. I wonder if my other neighbor is ordering the same thing, I joke to myself.

Casually I leave the bowl in the toilet room, wiping the sauce from my lips and wash the rich saucy smell from my mouth, sheepishly walking quietly back to my room, making sure to knock on my other neighbors room to ask them to call security to let me up. Broken communication is exchanged, I explain why I am only wearing my undies, all the time smiling and showing a cheeky Aussie grin. The woman, reluctant at first, share’s a laugh and calls security who come up and let me back in to 364, now full bellied and properly able to enjoy my 24 hours in Vienna. Bliss. 

Reach me one more time.

Travel.

That’s what this is all about it. Leaving the office, leaving the country, mates friends and familiarity to get inside another other cultures’ heads.

Tonight I got back from Germany. Walking the streets of Munich late at night, alone with my Canon capturing life in a click. That’s what it’s all about.

Before I took this job I had so many doubts, so many hesitations. How would I cope? Taking a career break, leaving mates, not earning that much coin. I remember the first day I got here. I was shagged from my flight, got to my new home in some desert village (what my mates and I now affectionally call home; ‘the village’). I remember being that tired I went to the wrong floor in my building, misreading my address and (no shit) knocking on the wrong door when my key wouldn’t open for about 20 minutes, thinking why the fuck can’t I get to bed, I really just want to get into my room and sleep.

Eventually it occurred to me that I could be knocking on the wrong door. Sure enough I was. With stealth, or perhaps more accurately a lot of tired clumsiness and zero stealth I left level three to head to level two where this new life of mine was about to begin. Having traveled for a good 16 hours to get here I simply didn’t have the energy to unpack, moreso the enthusiasm. I just remember lying on my bed, being absorbed by the heat, the overly hard mattress (really its that hard it must be too good for my posture. don’t people say too much of a good thing is bad? well this mattress is surely bad in this instance) and shitty polyester quilt, encouraging sweat to flow like coke at the coke factory. I think I would have slept for as long as 20 hours, some of which were broken but I don’t recall getting off that hard, hard bed.

The next day I unpacked and went back to bed, tossing and turning eratically trying to conjour up a plan about how I could best get back to Aus. and escape this bad decision, putting it down to an error of judgement.

How glad I didn’t go through with that. In only a few short months I have made amazing friends, pushed myself again in a new country and had a few cool flights to places I realistically may never have gone to. I’ve fallen deeper in love with Aus, my family and friends all of whom I miss dearly and got a much greater appreciation for this game of life we all play together.

I’m not sure why I was so hesitant. Lets cut the shit, in Aust. yeah I was working towards a good job with potentially good pay, a few amazing mates and a family many would be envious of however, something was missing. Something that I couldn’t put my finger on. It was this feeling of frustration, beyond the feeling of contemptness or comfort. No, far past that. It was boredom a lack of enthusiasm and perhaps some self pity. I guess when I realised I pitied myself I thought I needed to get somewhere else. I had never had that feeling before and had until prided myself for that.

Looking back only a few short months from that boring, dull part of my life I am so happy to have made this decision. BOOM BOOM. My life is so much better now and 5 points goes to me for making the decision to get on with life.

If you’re at the same point, give something else a shot. You know if it doesn’t work try something else or go back to what you were doing with a different approach. It’s worth it, coming from a guy who was dead bored and now loving life again.

K,

xx