5 ways my life’s different after Australia

It’s happened. Against all odds and expectations I have returned to Denmark. Oceans were no match for me. Vast distances didn’t scare me. I soared through the air like an eagle.

Yes, exactly like an eagle trapped inside a massive metal tube with wings, packed with screaming children, travelling through turbulence at 900 km/h.

I am back.

A compassionate blogger knows to avoid talking at length about his travels, lest others become envious and depressed.

I am not a compassionate blogger.

Behold as I present to you a list of things that have changed in my life after this long vacation in Australia.

Quite a misleading picture, seeing how we never went to Ayers Rock

Misleading Picture Alert! We never actually went to Ayers Rock

5. I have a (sort of) tan

This may sound obvious until you learn that, for me, the standard definition of a tan is “first degree burn”. However, a wondrous combination of generously applied  SPF 30+ sunscreen and Australia’s nuclear sun…and voilà – nice crispy brownish colour. Too bad this applies only to the regularly exposed parts of my body, like arms, legs, face and the big toe of my left foot (I need new shoes). On the whole I’m probably more like a Frankenstein’s monster, assuming that Frankenstein assembled his monster from differently shaded Ken-doll body parts.

4. I’m now an expert on Aussie lingo

“G’day mate, how you going?”. Are you impressed yet? OK, so there’s more to it than that. Here’s a helpful guide to speaking like an Australian:

Pick a word. Any word. Does it have more than two syllables? If yes, shorten it to exactly two syllables. Make sure it sounds like you’re talking to a 5 year old. You’re done. Examples include: “brolly” (umbrella), “lolly” (lollipop), “sunnies” (sunglasses), “mozzie” (mosquito). What can I say? Aussies love their baby talk.

Now, can you guess what “flip-flops” are called there? You said “floppies”, didn’t you?! Cute, but wrong! “Flip flops” are called “thongs” in Australia, because of course. I imagine there once was a hilarious misunderstanding involving an Australian company trying to sell “kids’ thongs” on the US market. Good laughs were had by all, except those who ended up on the sex offender registry.

3. I’ve learned a lot about Australian wildlife

When you’re in Australia you’re inevitably exposed to a whole host of wildlife you’ve never met. For example, do you know what the difference between a kangaroo and a wallaby is? If you’re like me your answer to that question was “Wallawho?!”. Thanks to the Australia trip I’m now a lot wiser. I’ve seen it all: wallabies, platypuses, koalas, kangaroos, wombats, wombaroos, koalabees. You name it!

Koalabee. Courtesy of: your nightmares!

Koalabee. Courtesy of: your nightmares

2. I’m no longer a snorkelling virgin

Yup, Australia’s where I’ve snorkelled for the first time in my life. At the Great Barrier Reef. With fish and turtles. And coral. I even petted a turtle on the back. It was awesome.

What was less awesome is that our guides gave us a long lecture on the dangers of the tiny Irukandji jellyfish, only to immediately drop us into the water full of them. Thanks to my snorkelling mask I could enjoy a crystal clear view of dozens of Irukandji swimming right past my face. Delightful.

1. I don’t have a girlfriend anymore…

…I now have a fiancee!

Yup, some minutes after midnight on the 1st of January 2013, shortly after the Sydney New Year fireworks have died down, I proposed.

The proposal took a form of me pointing into the crowd to our left and saying “Hey look, someone’s proposing!”. While my girlfriend’s confused gaze was temporarily fixed on the crowd I took out the ring, which is what she saw when she finally turned back. Despite this cheap trick having unequivocally proven that my emotional maturity is on par with a toddler, she said yes.

She must really see something in me…maybe it’s my bitching’ tan?!

Incredibly, someone on Clker.com made this uncannily appropriate picture.

Someone on Clker.com made this uncannily fitting picture.

So there you have it – I’m soon to be a married man. Or, as they undoubtedly call it in Australia, a “marmie”.

______________________________

What have you all been up to? How’s 2013 going? How many thongs do you own?

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Weekend diary of a man gone mad

Last weekend I’ve gone through an ordeal that most men secretly dread all their lives. The ultimate right of passage, only survivable by a chosen few.  It has pushed the boundaries of my physical and mental being. It almost broke me.

By now you have probably guessed what ordeal I’m talking about…

That’s right: I’ve spent the weekend alone, without my girlfriend. She travelled to see a friend in another part of Denmark. I was left to my own devices.

Now, before you shriek in astonishment and wonder at how I braved this calamity with such grace, know this: it wasn’t pretty! I did not stoically suffer in silence through my misery. No, I barely pulled through without permanently losing my sanity.

Thankfully, I’ve kept a diary. Its primary purpose was to keep me occupied and prevent me from losing grip on reality. Secondary purpose was to document what could very well have been my final hours for posterity. I now present this diary to you in its unabridged form.

WARNING: Below diary contains graphic content and may cause irreparable damage to your psyche. It is not for the faint of heart. Proceed at your own risk. You have officially been warned.

 

Diary Of A Man Gone Mad

 

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 9TH, 2012

17:34. Back from work with a couple of friends. Guys’ night can begin. This is going to be great. Chips, drinks, pizza, PS3 games. Freedom!

20:07. Guess who’s not here to complain about how brutal Mortal Kombat is? My girlfriend! Life’s good. Freeeeeeeedooooooom!

23:53. That was fun. Should have guys over more often. Have some pizza left for tomorrow. Excellent.

 

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 10TH, 2012

00:12. OK, now just to watch a couple of funny videos on Youtube before sleep.

01:44. Maybe it’s time to sleep? OK, just a little bit more…

03:37. Watched all of Youtube. There’s no more Internet left. Time for bed.

11:38. Woke up in cold sweat. Slightly disoriented. Where am I?

11:57. Got my bearings. Am at home. Home alone. OK, don’t panic. You’ll be fine. Just read some blogs and get out of bed.

15:20. Haven’t left bed yet. Must have food. Time to check the fridge.

15:22. Disaster. All food in the fridge seems to exist in some previously unknown, apparently raw form.

15:23. Eureka. Remembered the leftover pizza!

15:24. No more leftover pizza. Still hungry.

15:40. Soooo…hungry. Will attempt to make an omelette. Saw it on TV once. Can’t be that complicated.

15:56. Burned the eggs. And the kitchen counter. And a few chairs. Convinced neighbours not to call the fire department. Neighbours have a dog. Looks delicious. I mean, adorable. It’s an adorable dinner! Damnit, dog!

16:17. How long can one survive without proper nutrition? Hopefully at least a day or so. I’ll be fine.

17:45. Primal hunter instincts are taking over. Attempted to catch the neighbours’ dog. Neighbours not amused, threatened to call police. Neighbours look tasty too. Mental note: consider neighbours as potential source of nutrition in case of emergency.

21:08. No recollection of the past three hours. Must have blacked out. Woke up wielding a machete, surrounded by countless remains of what appear to be rabbits. Where did I find so many rabbits? The words “Chupacabra Slayer” are etched into my left arm with a very blunt knife. Most puzzling.

21:09. Surprisingly no longer hungry. Most puzzling.

22:13. Find myself forgetting basic human words. Beard inexplicably grown since yesterday and now covers all of face. Every once in a while my mouth produces incomprehensible grunts and screeching, skin-crawling sounds. I have no control over this.

23:08. OK, Daniel. You’re not the first one to be left alone for the weekend. Others have made it. So can you! Yes, that helps. I can do this. Less than a day left. I can do this. I can do this. I can do this!

23:09. I CANNOT DO THIS!

23:52. Looks like in my panic I have ran head first into one of the doors and knocked myself out. Regained consciousness on the floor, lying in foetal position. Surprisingly comforting. Now I just need to survive the night.

 

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 11TH, 2012

03:18. Blood everywhere. Oh my God. There’s so much blood! What have I done?!

03:22. False alarm. Wasn’t blood. Turns out I brought a bucket of bright red paint into our bedroom. Where did I get a bucket of red paint? I used it to spell “HEL” in huge letters on our bedroom wall. I guess I was going for “HELP”, but it could just as well have been “HELL”. I am officially no longer in control of my mental or physical faculties.

10:01. Finished the note on the bedroom wall. It spells “HELIUM”. That raises more questions than it answers.

12:27. Voices in head generally friendly. Except Ben. He’s an asshole. Fuck that guy!

14:02. Hunger is back. Ben is trying to convince me to eat my own left arm. I’m finding myself agreeing with him. Everything my left arm can do the right one can do better.

14:03. Where is that machete?

14:57. Fought the temptation to eat own arm. Instead made a semblance of a sandwich from raw eggs, sweet biscuits, lettuce and a banana. This may actually taste quite good!

14:58. It didn’t taste good at all. Ben is laughing. Seriously, fuck that guy!

16:01. Energy – gone. Hope – gone. Will to live – going. Ben is telling dirty jokes and making lewd gestures that involve cucumbers and some kind of metal contraption of his own making. No energy left to hate Ben.

17:20. This will be the final entry. I am done. Sanity is gone. Remember me as a man who fought until his last breath. Goodbye. Tell Ben I said hi. Stick a needle through my eye. Get me jam and make me fly. Google diddle doodle die……..

17:51. Faint rustling noises enter my consciousness. Sounds like a mouse giving a pedicure to a gorilla. Or, maybe, a key turning in the lock? Could it be?! YES! She’s back! I am saved! I am sane! Ben and I have both been rescued and will live happily ever after!

17:53. Holy shit! When she sees those dead rabbits and “HELIUM” in our bedroom she’s going to kill me! Ben, quick, we have to get out of here RIGHT NOW!