Europe 1998 🇬🇧🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🇧🇪🇳🇱, Politics and activism

I’m baaaaaack!

I'm baaaack! Actually I'm back a bit early. Just in time to put up with the dying gasps of the last few days of the election on Saturday (my local member really expects me to vote him back in with THAT beard and no moustache?!?), and no hot water or gas cooking because of a statewide gas shutdown. Okay Sydney, I'll stop joking about your water now. No more jokes about Auckland's electricity either

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Home! Woo hoo!

From Singapore the plane continued south, symbolically inching its way across the map on the TV screens towards home, as well as actually inching its way across the planet towards home. When the map wasn't on we got to see various movies and TV shows, but what caught my eye was news from home. I didn't take much notice of what the news was, but it was nice to recognise a newsreader for the first t

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That cool map thing

Finally flying home. The Qantas crew seemed just a bit more cheerful than any of the British Airways ones I'd had. Maybe it was just that kind of friendly barbecue atmosphere that can pop up anywhere when a bunch of Australians get together and there's a good supply of alcohol. After the late-night supper they offered some kids nearby a chance to see the cockpit, which left me wondering if I co

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Eventually homeward bound

It was my last day in London, and time to start seriously thinking about getting something by way of souvenirs for all of my family waiting for me back home. There's a very easy and cheap personalised souvenir you can get for yourself in London. All you need is a passport-sized photo. Just go to almost any tube station and ask them for a Photocard. Fill in a form and hand over the photo and the

Europe 1998 🇬🇧🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🇧🇪🇳🇱

These Londoners are crazy!

I woke just in time to wish Wayne good luck with the first day of his teaching job for the week - as a substitute teacher at a school in Hackney. I don't know much about Hackney except from some mentions in a TV sitcom which led me to believe it was a pretty rough area of London, and from the sounds of it, Wayne would have his work cut out for him. I ate breakfast with a newcomer to the room, T

Europe 1998 🇬🇧🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🇧🇪🇳🇱

Trying to look intellectual in Cambridge

Before breakfast I ventured out to find a phone box to phone home. The great thing about phoning home from a phone box in Britain is that if you're short on cash, or you pay the home phone bill anyway and you want to save some money, you can be called back. The phone number is printed on the noticeboard inside the box. Very handy. If the person at the other end is ready to write down the number wh

Europe 1998 🇬🇧🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🇧🇪🇳🇱

I wept for you, honestly I did

When I woke, only one of my four room mates was both awake and present - a bloke called Wayne, who turned out to be a New Zealander in England to do substitute teaching, and to generally have a good time experiencing and exploring the country while he was there. We ate breakfast in the hostel cafeteria and chatted about what we'd each seen. I planned to go to the Tower of London that day, and a

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‘Urry up! Last train!

It was time to say goodbye to Amsterdam - just as I was getting used to the streets - looking the right way before crossing the street; not falling into the canals; finding my way to the nearest tram stop... After having one last walk around I packed all my stuff together and caught the tram to the Central Station, making use of the last few notches on my Strippenkart. At the station I bought m

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Thursday morning 3am

The day prematurely began at somewhere around 3am when my peaceful slumber was interrupted by a knocking noise. There I was, in a hostel in Amsterdam, in a dorm of about twenty other blokes, two floors up from street level, and someone was knocking on the window. My ears could hear what was happening. They were passing this information to my brain, which was in a state of shock at having to be

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Kosy in Kloveniersburgval

After breakfast, I said my goodbyes to Jeannie, who tragically had to go to work that day. Then after I packed up all my stuff, Richard and I set out for Brussels' Midi station (which had nothing to do with computer music, if you're wondering) and bought my ticket to Amsterdam on the 12:28 service of the very phallic-sounding Thalys express train. A bargain at only 1200 francs, especially as there