Bikini

I made peace a long time ago with the fact that I don’t have the look. It’s always been my friends that get stopped for photos, my friends that strangers naturally gravitate towards and strike up a conversation with. I normally get pushed to the side and end up holding their handbag, or manbag, as they pose for another glossy magazine. But that was then. That was before I found my missing element. It was so simple. A blue bikini.

At first I wore it because, well, that’s the kind of shit I do. There was also the promise of free alcohol as an incentive. It doesn’t take much… I convinced a newly made friend to join me. We changed in the sparse bushes behind the bar, neither of us realising that there was a change room ten metres away. The bikini bottom was a struggle to get into. There were complaints about the amount of scrotum on view.

We did a lap of the beach bar and then went for a swim. The crowd roared their approval. They were laughing with us! Free alcohol was awarded. Everyone was happy.

Shortly after our parade we both went to change back into more respectable clothes. But of course, our clothes were running away with someone else. Knowing that with my bad knees I could never catch them I resigned myself to spending the afternoon in a bikini, which, it should be said that the most and probably only flattering thing about it was that it matched my eyes. Luckily my other friend gave chase in his bikini and returned triumphantly with our clothes, although minus his underwear. To compensate he used the bikini bottom as replacement underwear. A choice he badly regretted after the first eye watering wedgie.

It was a warm afternoon, so instead of changing into my t-shirt I kept the bikini top on.

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There are a bunch of photos on other peoples cameras of me in the full bikini. I am sure that at some point in my future these will come back to haunt me.


I was suddenly a celebrity. Heads turned as I walked by, smiles of appreciation beaming. My hands got sore from the continuous high fives demanded of by the crowds and I had more photos taken of me than all of the headline bands at Positivus combined.

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It felt good, and then they started throwing food at me. It was a few hrs later while having some dinner that I finally found the intolerant crowd. I surprised myself with my tolerance of their intolerance. Shortly afterwards the temperature had dropped enough that I put my t-shirt back on, it had stopped being fun anyway.

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One of the chill out areas between the beach and the main festival area.

My ticket to the Positivus festival was a gift from a few English guys I met two nights before. One of their mates had pulled out. I spent the day before the festival shopping for a camping tent, sleeping bag and other accessories. When I got to the camp site on Friday I couldn’t find the English guys and in my search ended up chatting with a group of Latvians. Chatting turned into drinks,

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Best vodka I've ever had. I purchased this in Krakow and was intending to bring it back home. I think everyone at the camp site was glad I changed my mind.

which turned into me joining their campsite.

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Letting things just happen, saying YES, taking risks and living outside your comfort zone is so rewarding. Chance had introduced me to some amazing people who welcomed me into their group and helped ensure that I had an amazing few days.

On Saturday the rain came

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and the entire festival and camp sites turned into a sodden mud pit.

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My tent also proved to be less than waterproof. The sky cleared momentarily while we watched Damien Rice. Listening to him perform Jeff Buckley’s Hallelujah then moving into The Blower’s Daughter and finishing off with a bit of Radiohead was an unforgettable treat for the ears.

Then a strange thing happened while watching the Manic Street Preachers. I’m glad the sun had set and I’m glad it was raining, because suddenly I was crying uncontrollably. Surrounded by my new friends, within a crowd of thousands, I felt, alone. I was lonely. The more I tried to dance it off the more tears I shed. We moved to the front of the stage, joined hands and partied in the mud. I cried harder. Like, totally embarrassing!

After the main bands had finished and when the rain started coming down hard again we all made our way back to our camping area. We chatted and drank until the weather made it difficult. My body was aching all over and I was exhausted, so I took this as a good opportunity to call it a night. The morning brought clear blue skies. The camp site was a war zone. People stumbled through the muddy trenches, empty beer cans in hand, their eyes glazed over, their bodies plastered head to toe with mud and often poorly constructed bandages. One man was wearing a nappy. The latrines looked like a bomb had gone off in them and the smell was hideous, one look inside them and I clenched every muscle in my lower body to ensure I would be able to hold out until I got back to town. Donating all my recently purchased camping gear to my Latvian friends I said my goodbyes and caught the bus back to Riga.

it’s been a really good few days. I opened myself up to possibilities and the world delivered. I was given free tickets to an awesome festival and I met an amazing group of people. It’s also been a strangely emotional few days, ranging from laugh out loud happy to bawling emotion wreck, from being nervous, timid and shy to transforming into a gregarious, outgoing, centre of attention bikini scrotum man. It was with my English friends that I wore the bikini, surprisingly the next morning my Latvian friends asked if I was the bikini man that they’d been hearing about. On the second day I also saw another bikini man wandering around. Although he was more modest and had the bikini bottoms on the outside of his shorts. It’s said that imitation is the greatest form of flattery and without a doubt it’s true that the original is always better. So I hope that at the very least he got a free beer out of it.

Impressions of Poland

It would be a lie if I said that the opportunity to try every polish vodka I could was not a driving reason behind my trip to Poland. Currently I am lugging around three Polish vodkas in my bag. So so cheap, but more importantly so delicious!

While in Poland I spent most of my time in Krakow, a city which doesn’t seem to sleep. Every night was a party, during which I managed to achieve a few firsts. First police fine for public drinking.

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First time dancing on multiple bar tops within a single night.20120717-170313.jpg
First tram party – and hopefully not the last.

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The hostel manager was impressed by my ability to play tourist all day and then party the night away. When I fell asleep during a tour of the Jewish quarter it became pretty clear that I’d reached my limit and then strangled it to death.

Another first, here is a photo of the best pork ribs I’ve ever tasted.
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Krakow is a beautiful city. A beautiful city that during the day you explore above ground and during the night below.
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The street is seven metres higher than its original level. This has enabled a labyrinth network of pubs and clubs to flourish underneath your feet. Entering what looks like a small pub via a steep set of stairs will most likely turn into a multi room, cavernous and jam packed club.

While in Krakow I did the obligatory day tour to Auschwitz and Birkenau. Not only was I satisfactorily depressed and disgusted at humanity, I was also freezing cold and rather wet in my t-shirt and shorts.

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Krakow even has a bridge of love. When your start a new relationship and want it to last, you come and put a padlock on the bridge and then throw the key into the river. Six months later you come back with bolt cutters.
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I left Krakow hungover and tired. I know I dribbled in the over-full train and I’m pretty sure I snored and possibly farted.

Arriving in Warsaw I was surprised by how much I like the city. The rivalry between Krakow and Warsaw is so vocal that I was expecting to hate the capital. Instead I found it’s rebuilt old city rather charming.

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In Warsaw I was lucky enough to meet a local who took me on a personalized tour of the city, both on foot and in his swish Alfa Romeo. After an exhausting few days it was great to see Warsaw via a more relaxed and often satisfyingly speedy means.

There is a positivity and energy in Poland that a lot of other countries seem to be lacking. It’s clear that the good times have arrived and that the country is making great strides in its
socioeconomic development and importance on the world stage. Unfortunately this also means that every corner either has an H&M, Starbucks or TK Maxx.

Mission Status – Success

So I’ve made it back to Australia.  Checking out my initial Mission Statement I reckon I’ve done a pretty good job.  With that in mind comes the inevitable and natural conclusion to my blog.  All good things must come to and end – well I thought it was good!

Life should get a bit simpler and mundane for the time being and as such my stories will lack a scope and a level of craziness that travelling to so many exotic locations provided.  Whether I decide to continue this blog in another form or not, well, I haven’t made my mind up yet.  Getting a job and settling back into a normal routine will take up the lion’s share of my time for the moment – that and catching up on Xbox 360 games.

 

Tropophobia – the fear of moving and/or making changes.

Leaving London – Take Two

My initial farewell to London was messy, emotional and drawn out.  My leaving party, while full of good intentions, was a failure of epic proportions.

In April when booking my ticket for a quick visit back to London I was experiencing inclement weather and a balmy 14 degrees in Turkey.  London was suffering under oppressive blue skies and 25 degrees heat.  At the time I was worried that twelve days would be too much and that I’d get bored.  Having not spent more than I few days in each location on my travels, twelve days seemed extravagant.  I wish I’d had another week!

I arrived into London from Jordon.  On the plane trip Adrian and I decided to drink our duty free alcohol.  Nathan and Balea, our other two travelling companions, after a single drink chose not to partake in our stupidity.  Adrian took this as an excuse to drink more.  I bowed out of the contest when I started to feel a little queasy.  Adrian took this as a further sign to drink more.  Only when he was throwing up in the cramped airplane toilet did he too decide to throw in the towel – after he’d used it to clean up his mess that is.  We arrived in to London after midnight and made our way to immigration.  Adrian was not looking or feeling his best.  At immigration he stood behind us hoping he wouldn’t have to answer any questions for fear of projectile spew reducing his chances of entering the country.  My sister was lovely enough to pick us up from the airport and drive us all back to her house.  At 2am we were greeted with chocolate and drinks.  Around 3am we all went to bed.

Jordan has a two-hour time difference from London.  This affected me more than I expected.  I was wiped out for the first few nights by 8pm and awake by 6am at the latest.  Less than a week into my stay I had adapted to London time again.  I was sleeping on the lounge room floor of my old house.  It was initially a strange sensation to have my bedroom occupied by someone else, even though it was a good friend of mine.  Little things like this helped reinforce that my stay was only temporary.

Over my twelve days in London family and friends spoilt me rotten.  The Royal Ascot Races, fancy dinner parties, movies and concerts, oh my!  I had a great time.  My final weekend felt more like a fitting farewell with friends than my previous departure.  Although both times I left the country just as exhausted.

As I had fatefully predicted London rained more during my short visit than I had seen it rain in my entire two years stay.  Typical.  I was not surprised considering what I had encountered over the past few months.  Only on my last two days did the sun come out to play.

Apart from the weather my only complaint was that I didn’t get to see everyone that I had hoped to.  Having no sim card and limited access to wifi outside of where I was staying I decided that I would use Facebook as my central means of communication.  The majority of my London friends use Facebook regularly, with a few using it religiously.  What became clear though is that those who broadcast more frequently on Facebook seem to spend less time actually keeping up with what other people are doing.  When I left the other day I found it amusing and dismaying to have some friends suddenly exclaim loudly that they were sorry they’d missed me but had thought that I was in Syria or some-other-place.  I hadn’t been in Syria for almost three months.  Facebook is an imperfect means of communication and I shouldn’t be critical of Facebook connected friends who don’t use it to keep up with others.  It’s just that during my trip I found it was my most efficient and effective means of staying in touch with everyone and feeling as if I was still a part of their lives, albeit in a small way.  Through my blog and through Facebook was also how I was in turn expecting to keep my friends up to date with what I was doing.  For the most part this worked, but in a few disappointing instances it was clearly a case of out of sight, out of mind.

Somehow the focus of my blog update shifted and turned sour, when my intention was to write hilarious prose about my London antics.  I could end with a funny story about my friend who thought her excruciating perforated eardrum which was continuously excreting a bloody discharge was less important to have looked at by a doctor than seeing me, trust me it’s funny.  Or my swaying drunken state at the Clapham street party followed by amusingly indecent behaviour.  Or how I ended up at a freaking Rod Stewart concert.  Or how a good friend waved me goodbye in nothing but his y-fronts while explaining to me what a great final memory of him he was giving me.  Or why I am carrying around a Little Miss Dotty book.  Or my joyful send off with good friends and family sharing a bottle of champagne with me at the airport.  But mostly I want to end by saying that when I first left London I wasn’t ready, this time I was, I am.  No tears.  Next adventure.

A nightmare on Pinang street

The end of my trip has not gone to plan.  Malaysian airlines managed to give me the worst food poisoning I’ve had for many years.  And I’ve had no shortage of food poisoning in the Middle East this year.  Food poisoning by itself would have been manageable, but added to this was the problem that the friends who I am visiting in Kuala Lumpur are in the middle of moving house.  Two months ago an apartment in the building directly across from them blew up from a gas explosion.  The popular theory is that a bad seal allowed the apartment to fill with gas and when the tenant came home and turned on the light switch this created enough of a spark to blow the apartment sky high.  The tenant, predictably, did not survive.  The explosion damaged my mates’ apartment enough that they decided to move.  For the last two months they have been living in temporary accommodation.  Only this week did they finally sign a lease for their new apartment.  It was all meant to be finalised before I arrived.  Unfortunately shit happens.  Occasionally it even dribbles down your leg.

My friends have two young boys.  Ethan is two-and-a-half and Connor is ten months old.  The second bedroom in their temporary apartment was Connor’s room.  This meant that I was sleeping on the couch.  Having travelled rough for a few months this normally wouldn’t have been a problem.  I also had no intention of spending more time than absolutely necessary in their apartment and was planning to explore the city while my friends dealt with moving.  After a long flight I arrived late on Tuesday evening.  We had dinner and a few catch up drinks before I collapsed on the couch.  What followed was an exceptionally long night of tossing and turning.  The next morning I attributed my tiredness and queasiness to jetlag, which I normally don’t get badly affected by.

Deciding to have a quiet day I went to the cinema across the road and watched Transformers 3.  By 1pm I was feeling rather off.  I pushed through and around 2.30 I treated myself to a Malaysian KFC lunch.  No one does Hot and Spicy KFC like the Malays.  No one.  From then my condition deteriorated quickly and by 5pm that afternoon I was shivering uncontrollably, running a fever and spending a lot of time sitting with my pants around my ankles.  Panadol reduced my fever and a few drinks helped me get to sleep easier.  My friend had administered the drinks and Panadol with unquestionable authority.  Because of my condition we dragged out a proper mattress from Connor’s room for me to sleep on that evening.  Sleep was fleeting.  The following day I made it down to breakfast before having to make a quick exit back up to the apartment.  I spent most of the day confined to the couch.

I’ve had salmonella before and it was horrid.  It also took 24hrs to hit me and when it did it knocked me flat for a week.  While this hasn’t been as bad it has still had all the same symptoms.

As my friends were in the middle of moving, chaos reigned and stress levels were understandably high.  In the middle of this was little sick me, trying unsuccessfully to find somewhere to hide from the boxes and the kids and the noise, while always maintaining a close proximity to western facilities.

My third evening in KL arrived and I had barely left the apartment.  I hadn’t even really managed to write, read or watch anything.  I set up my bed in lounge room in front of my laptop.  We all then lay down to watch Game of Thrones.  Before long my two companions were fast asleep and snoring.  I turned my laptop off and sent them to bed.  Praying for sleep to come quickly I tried to position myself in such a way that the air duct above didn’t freeze me and the thick quilt didn’t roast me.  Two hours later I woke up in a slick of sweat.  Wiping the sweat off I tried to go back to sleep. Over the next few hours I tossed and turned until 3am when I awoke again drenched in sweat.  The entire bed was soaked and the air conditioning was quickly turning it icy.  Considering I was dehydrated from the food poisoning I was very impressed by the amount of water I had sweated out.  Moving to the couch I put on a few more layers of clothes so I wouldn’t need the quilt.  Extra clothing and the fact that I was slightly further away from the air-conditioning duct helped to minimise my sweats.  The rest of the night continued predictably and the morning found me exhausted.

This paragraph may be a little emotionally charged thanks to my current conditions, but, I’m done.  Take me home.  I need my own bed.  I need my own space.  I love my friends and it’s always awesome to see them, but I’ve been travelling for a long time now and I’m sick of living out of a backpack and I’m sick of getting sick.  I want to sleep in again, naked.  I want a routine.  I want a proper diet and I want to cook, although I still don’t want to clean.  I also want to headbutt Malaysian airlines, or kick ‘em in the nuts, maybe both – but I’ll wait until after my flight with them tomorrow night…

I am determined to go out for dinner tonight and I am determined to make the most of tomorrow, my final day in KL.  Then I am determined to get back to Australia as fucking quickly as humanly possible.

As I write this I am overseeing the furniture install at my friends new apartment while alternating between intense abdominal pain and the niggling feeling that I am also famished.  Maybe it’s time for some more Malaysian KFC.

Broyal Mascroft Graces

After three months of Middle Eastern and Baltic globetrotting I arrived back in London this week for a final taste of UK summer and sunshine before heading home to Australia for winter.  Unsurprisingly since landing in London I have only seen brief glimpses of the sun due to the exceptional amount of rain that has been pummelling the city.  I did warn everyone that summer would finish when I turned up.

My sister had excitedly booked me for a secret event on Saturday.  The secret event turned out to be the Royal Ascot Races.  My initial response was “yay! What’s that?”, followed by me asking if I could wear shorts and flipflops.  The majority of my clothing had been shipped back to Australia three months earlier and the poor selection of clothes I had in my backpack were all looking the worse for wear.  Luckily the friend who now lives in my old room had a snazzy suit that fitted pretty well.  Although his red leather tie and limited edition boots were a little small for my liking I still proudly wore both – mainly because I didn’t have any other options.

We caught the overground train to Ascot – as did everyone else.  Being packed in like sardines, albeit very well dressed and polite sardines, was quite a sweaty yet amusing experience.  My sister’s dress had the misfortune of getting stuck in the train doors when they closed.  While she attempted not to rip the dress in between bouts of laughter her breasts made a valiant leap for freedom.  In a solid win for her dignity she caught them at the last moment.  Finally arriving at Ascot we all peeled ourselves out of the train and marched to the venue, where friends were found, bets were made and alcohol was bought.

Half way into our first bottle of overpriced champagne I started to truly appreciate the tragic state of fashion on display.  I was also quite vocal in my appreciation.  What was even worse was when the tragic fashion spoke.  Your mothers would be so proud.  I have never felt so ashamed for the female gender.  For every elegant and appropriate dress worn gracefully there was a lurid coloured strip of synthetic cloth sparsely stretched to breaking point over curves that I can only assume were meant to have been alluring.  Personally I prefer a little bit of guesswork when figuring out what someone has had for breakfast. Maybe travelling through the middle east for three months and getting used to women concealing considerably more of their bodies from the naked eye has turned me prudish.  Although I actually think that some of the female fashion in the Middle East that consists of simple figure accentuating full length dresses combined with amazingly detailed headscarves is infinitely more alluring, sexual and sensual than ninety percent of what was on display at Ascot.  A Little bit of imagination can go a long way.

Two particular dresses caught my attention over the course of the day.  The first dress I saw on multiple women in multiple colours.  Unfortunately I only snapped a picture as I was leaving the venue.  The blue black version in this photo was nowhere near as comical as the first version of the dress I saw on display.  The original version was off white with a wide black zipper running down the majority of the back of the dress.

The end of the black zipper created a perfect inverted Y with the bum cheeks of the girl wearing it.  It was a racetrack to her arse crack.  Suffice to say I laughed my arse off.  The second dress, and I use the term dress loosely, was so tight as to ensure its wearer could barely walk in it.  Now what was funny wasn’t the fact she was walking like a penguin, nor the fact that she so clearly had no underwear on, it was the two large tags that could be clearly seen sticking out through the stretched fabric of her dress on the side of her bum.  I could see her price tag.  Oh my god could I see her price tag!  It’s pretty obvious what my drunken catch phrase for the rest of the afternoon became.

After the final race for the day we were all sitting down relaxing, champagne glasses in hand, when a brawl broke out.  What started out as two drunks performing emergency dental work on each other quickly escalated into a full-blown mass orgy of upstanding English gentlemen rolling in the mud, hitting each other politely over the head with chairs and spewing blood over the already sodden ground.  My sister thought yelling at them to break it up would help the situation whereas I decided that the best course of action was to enjoy my front row seats, finish my champagne and soak up the live English culture.

The Royal Ascot Races is a great day out!  Oh and did I mention that I saw the Queen.  Australia for a Republic!

Lacking a little love and attention

The Amman hostel that I stayed in was rated one of the best on both Hostel World and Hostel bookers.  Although recent reviews had been less than glowing.  On my first night here the staff got exceptionally flustered when I turned up a day early and tried to book in.  Balea was arriving the next evening, so I asked if I could have a single or a dorm for the first night and then move into my booked twin room the next night.  My booking for the next night wasn’t on their system, even though it was booked through Hostel Bookers and I had my reference details.  Eventually I was put into a twin room that I was told would also serve for when Balea arrived.  The room had no air conditioning even though it was advertised as standard.  To cope with the heat I opened the window and was blasted by the street noise below.  I heard three car crashes within thirty minutes.  Even with earplugs I knew sleeping with this racket would be almost impossible.  When I later met the matron she chided the assistant who had put me in such a loud room before I had even broached it as an issue.  She quickly moved me into a single room that was off the road.  What followed was one of my worst nights of sleep during this trip.  The room was stuffy and had no fresh air.  I was able to steal an industrial electric fan whose ear splittingly loud gale force blast attempted to blow me through the back wall.  The bed itself was the creakiest construction I have ever had the displeasure to lie on.  Each small movement I made would set off a series of loud concussive blasts from the bed.  Lying corpse like was my only way to attempt any form of sleep.  It didn’t work.

The next morning I demanded that as I had booked a twin room with air conditioning that I wouldn’t accept anything less.  This caused a lot of head scratching and consternation.  Finally a room was provided and upon finding a modern working blower of cool cool air I was pleased.  My attempt to have a shower was thwarted by the lack of a showerhead.  When I requested a showerhead burst of laughter erupted throughout the hostel workers ranks.  The eventual installation of my showerhead was delayed by a water pipe bursting in the adjoining room.  Well at least my bed was silent.  Over the next few days the elevator broke, the hot water went on vacation and their booking system failed resulting in emergency rooms and beds being made up and staff all squeezing in together as they had overbooked and overcommitted the beds available.

Balea and I ended up staying three nights and using Amman as a base for travelling to and exploring the region.  The breakfast at the hostel was better than average and we received a free home cooked dinner from the owners one evening.  The matron was also fantastic and the staff were good fun, which explains why I was so forgiving and happy to overlook the many problems with the facilities at the hostel.

Next stop was Petra where we met up with my other two travelling friends.  Using the toilet in our Petra hostel required a level of dexterity and flexibility that I was unaccustomed to.  One didn’t so much sit on the toilet as contort on the toilet.  After a few days in Petra we all came back to Amman for our final night.  We booked two twin rooms through Hostel Bookers at the same Amman hostel that Balea and I had already stayed at.  When we turned up, apart from the staff firstly being confused by our booking, they then went on to inform us that we had only booked one room and there wasn’t any room for Balea and I to stay.   Together we attempted to explain their own booking system to the lady behind the counter and in the process point out the pertinent details that showed not only that had we booked two rooms but that we had also paid to confirm them.   The first room offered to my friends smelt horribly stale, had no ventilation and no air conditioning.  They declined.  More consternation followed in which we were again told that the hotel was completely full.  A short while later my friends were shown a further two sets of rooms.  Both were turned down for various reasons.  Finally a suitable room with air conditioning was offered.  While they moved in and lodging was found for Balea and I, I decided to use the toilet facilities in the shared bathroom.  Intense relief was quickly followed by panic as I discovered that the toilet didn’t actually work.  I took the cistern apart and discovered that nothing short of a new cistern would help me to flush away my shame.  Quickly checking that no one was watching I escaped from the crime scene and found my friends again.  In the intervening minutes a room had been found for Balea and I.  It was on the first floor, had no air conditioning and overlooked the street of no-sleep noise.  We decided to take it just to avoid any more hassle.  Turning on the light switch for the bathroom failed.  So, once again needing to go to the toilet I set about it in the dark.  Upon flushing I discovered my second broken toilet for the day.  Again I took apart the cistern and unscrewed the internal mechanism connected to the water flow.  Suddenly water was gushing out in a powerful stream across the room.  Not a drop went anywhere useful.  Covered in water and after much spluttering I managed to get the system reconnected and water flowing where it should, only to discover that the seal to stop the water freely running through the cistern into the toilet was missing.  Wet and defeated I went back down to reception and asked for another room with a working toilet and lighting if possible.  Simple requests.  Miraculously within five minutes we had another room.  This was the sixth twin room shown to us within an hour.  For a full hotel they sure did seem to have a lot of empty rooms.

Having checked the toilet was in working condition I was mostly mollified.  The bathroom still didn’t have any working light, but I was assured this would be fixed.  It never was.  The first time the toilet was to be used Balea and I broke down into uncontrollable fits of giggles.  The bathroom door had no door handle; if it were to be closed then there would be no way to open it from either side.  For the next day all bathroom activity was conducted with the door open.  Not only were we picky tourists who liked to be able to see while we were alternatively shitting or showering, but also surprisingly neither of us relished the idea of being locked in the bathroom for an extended period.

Over the course of the evening my other friends had their air conditioner freeze completely over while they also battled with a lack of any cold water and an abundance of scalding hot water.  When surfing the internet that evening to finalise everything for our flights the follow day a web page flashed up informing us that the internet bill was overdue and as such the connection had been disconnected.

Alcohol helped us all cope with the annoying situation and to appreciate the hilarity of it all.  Alcohol also helped me to pass out and sleep through most of the Jordanian rally driving outside my window.

Personable staff can only get you so far when you run a hotel.  What could be a great place is held back by an absurd and severe lack of maintenance; a lack of maintenance that has turned into a funny story for me to share.  Oh and yes, I did go to the toilet a lot that day.