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Porto Alegre

I believe that life is a (relatively) short ride and that it's crucial to squeeze as many good times out of it as possible. I love travelling, music, reading, writing, all kinds o' sport, & my wife!

May 3, 2012
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The Nudist Beach in Croatia Incident

"Hey guys! Apparently we're about to sail passed a nudist beach!"

At this very moment in mid 2007, I was on a sail boat tour in Croatia with my (now) wife, enjoying some cold beers when one of our new friends shared the piece of intel he'd just received from our skipper.



Getting robbed at knifepoint in Brazil.

It finally happened. After a combined total of 2.5 years living in Brazil, I got robbed last week. Yay... Almost all of my Brazilian friends have been robbed in the past, so I guess my number just came up.

It was around 21:00, I was coming back home after inspecting a venue for an event and I



Birds and the Bees

I don't have any kids right now but I do enjoy other people's kids. However. I prefer to return them to their rightful owners when they become physically or emotionally painful.

Last week, I was playing a local support role for a large group of Australian supporters who came to Brazil to watch



Bitten On The Ass By Stand Up Comedy

As definitely one of the weirdest things I've done in my life, I started doing stand-up comedy here in Brazil last year. It's as good as a learning experience as it is a challenge. I'm not up there with the best. But I don't suck either.

So yesterday, I did a show in the afternoon for the local



Confusing Kissing Culture

While growing up in Australia, it was perfectly accepted to greet a friend of the opposite sex with a not-too-firm handshake. Maybe even a "hover hand". I guess you could say things are a little different here in Brazil. When meeting someone from the opposite sex, you have to guess whether it's going to be one, two or three greeting kisses.



A memorable screw up at work

When I worked for a publisher in London, part of my job involved sending promotional material to a distributor of ours in Dubai. I carefully made the package and decided to use a web-based translator to write the message, "Delicate, Do Not Bend" in Arabic.



Surviving an avalanche in Brazil

I had just arrived in Porto Alegre (2008) with my girlfriend and happily took up the invitation of one of her friend's, Leandro, to watch a game of football.

Once we arrived at the stadium, Leandro told me to watch out for Grêmio's world famous "avalanche". "Huh?", I asked in my broken Portuguese.



The dangers of cliff jumping in Jamaica

Warning: The subject of this story has not been named and will have probably already forgotten about the incident.

About two months ago, I visited Rick's Cafe in Jamaica. It's a beautiful cliff top bar overlooking crystal clear waters. It's as close to paradise as you'll get.



Black bears and golden rules

Although my wife and I were excited about being in the beautiful Sequoia National Park, we were a little nervous spending our first night in "bear country".

Dutifully following the required protocol, we stowed all of our scented items in the lockable bins to ensure we wouldn't get "carjacked" overnight.



Worst first date

When I was around 14, I was feeling happy with myself having snared a date with a pretty girl I'd met. She asked whether I'd like to ride horses with her on the coming weekend, and I agreed without hesitation.

On the Saturday morning, I arrived at the agreed spot on time and noticed that all of her cliquey mates were joining in too. Okay.



Who said Brazilians take their football seriously...

While living in Brazil, an opportunity came up to head along to watch Grêmio play a crucial away fixture against Internacional - their fierce inner-city rival. It sounded like fun...

So I met my friend near Gremio's home stadium for a pre-match beer and this is where I learned that we'd be getting a police escort for the 3.



Sin Alcohol - From hero to zero

I was in a hostel with three other friends and I decided to be Mr Nice Guy by offering to collect the groceries and drinks for our planned feast later that night.

Down the supermarket, I had no problems selecting the food but was indecisive when it came to drinks.



Hungry street seller in Hanoi

As bad luck would have it, whenever you're not interested in buying something while in Asia, you'll be guaranteed to have every vendor make a magnetic beeline towards you. They'll be trying to sell you food, drinks, sin (wide variety), and/or shonky looking trinkets.



The Pamplona-Barcelona Saga

The situation: Shannon, Craig, Mike & I wake up in a hostel with massive hangovers in San Sebastian & trudge our way to the bus station to head to Barcelona.

We got to the bus station, worked out that everyone else had the same idea & that we couldn't get a ticket! Hmmm.



Revenge Gone Wrong

When I was young, we used to go visit some family friends of ours in the country. I had a bit of a crush on the girl (Lisa) who was my age which probably contributed to a bit of an outburst . You see, my Dad was fooling around and half-dacked (pulled down my pants) me as a bit of a joke which may have exposed my "undies" to Lisa.



Deception at Christmas time

We were all young and naive once right?

During my early years, I used to spend most afternoons at my mate Rob's place who conveniently lived a few doors down the road. He had 2 older (twin) brothers who clearly enjoyed having a lend of our imagination.



Helium balloon mishap

I can remember being at a birthday party and having my first helium balloon experience. I was having a whale of a time, sucking out the gas and making everyone laugh with my cool sounding "jockey" voice.

If only I'd known when to stop....

It seemed as though we were running out of balloons



Chaos before the Grêmio v Internacional game in Brazil

My wife is from Rio Grande do Sul which has around 11 million passionate football fans who are mad about either Grêmio or Internacional. While living there, I got a ticket to the "Grenal" which is the name of the fixture when the fierce rivals clash.



The Light At The End Of The Tunnel Is A Train

While living in London, I was lucky enough to have a cool friendship with a French girl called Christine. We met at a Cut Copy gig in around 2005, started chatting about music and become pals. The main game was introducing one another to cool bands and one day she made me listen to a song called "



Revenge on the school bully

This story is dedicated to anyone that's ever been bullied.

When I was in my first year of high school, my (tiny) friends and I had to deal with a bully who used to target us on the school bus. At that time, home economics (cooking) was a compulsory subject for us and our bully could smell co



Making beds in the army (Jan - Mar 2000)

During the university/college break, I decided to join the army reserves with 4 mates & go through the initial boot camp over our break. When I got there, we were immediately "broken" & built back up in the way that the army deemed fit. It was an intense experience.




After university, I drove 1800km up to Brisbane for a bit of a working holiday. Having no experience, I became frustrated at the lack of interest my resume was gathering so I pounced on this plum-looking Marketing & Sales job which read “NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY”.



Embarrassment in the Amazon

While living in Brazil in 2009, I was lucky enough to have my Mum over for a visit up to the Amazon. The tours through the river were fantastic and one component of the trip was an overnight stay with some locals. Accessible only by boat, we arrived in the late afternoon with a couple of English guys and met our new hosts at the river bank.



Hetty's mine!

On summer break from university, I worked night shift at my uncle's factory and met some interesting characters. My favourite was a Vietnamese guy called Eric who was always smiling and great for an entertaining one-liner.

One day, I was unpacking boxes in one of the storage rooms with him and



Thankfully lost in translation

During our visit to Ihla Bela (Brazil), my wife and I decided to check out a secluded beach where this surfing community lives. This place (Porto Bonete) is totally isolated and so small it's not on Google Maps! We set off on our 10km walk through the beautiful national park.



The worst of my two aborted plane landings in Brazil

While living in Brazil, I was unlucky enough to experience two last-minute aborted landings. The worst of which happened when I was about to touch down in Rio.

It had been a very early start for me as I got the flight from Porto Alegre at around 6am and I spent most of the time sleeping uncomfortably on my window seat.



Tourists getting punk'd in Venice

I enjoy being a bystander in amusing situations. One highlight was when I was traveling in Venice.

Throughout this city, the roads are replaced with waterways and there is wage to be made driving water taxis. I spotted a group of skippers that were waiting in the rank for a job and I was interes