28 April 2007

Bogans in Paradise

If you are a super-keen reader of this blog, then you may have noticed that cherished reader "Tutti Frutti Rosa Venuti" has placed a special request.

After realising that EuroTrash has a keen eye for spotting fashion trends, Signorina Tutti Frutti has requested EuroTrash to scour the streets of Bella Roma to find "Bogans in Paradise". It is our sad duty to inform you, dear reader, that there are indeed many bogans in this paradise-land. The streets of Italy do seem to be fairly littered with specimens of the breed Boganis Travellaris, although there was one very exciting spotting of the more rare breed Boganis Italianus Nativis.

Be astounded as you witness this parade of bluuurgh!


This specimen was found INSIDE Saint Peter's Basilica in the Vatican. From the waist up, she appears to be relatively normal; the keen Boganis-spotter will note that below the waist however, the pink pyjama pants combined with ugg-boots doth betray her true identity as a Boganis-backpackis. She may have thought that by covering up she was showing some respect for the fact that she was in a place of Christian worship. Unfortunately, just after this picture was taken, a bolt of lightning struck her from the ceiling of the basilica and she was smote for crimes against all of Creation.


This is a juvnile specimen of the Boganis family, Boganis brittanicus, spotted in the grounds of the Vatican City. Identified by the "London" marking on its back and the protrusion of hair at the rear base of the skull, the Boganis brittanicus is expected to grow into one of the most powerful species of Boganis known to humankind. This species of Boganis is particularly fascinating. When fully grown, this very specimen of Boganis brittanicus will undertake an annual pilgrimage to the mating grounds of Ibiza off the coast of Spain. In an effort to attract a member of the opposite sex, the plume of hair at the rear of his head will be displyed in its full glory much in the same way a peacock displays his plumage, thereby attracting a female member of this species, the Boganis brittanicus minger. She will respond to his mating dance by displaying her bleached-white hair and performing a dance whereby the palms of her hands will be shown in their best light. This is to show the Boganis brittanicus the orange streaking on her hands from when she applied copious amounts of fake tanning cream.

Dear reader, we have arrived at the rare Boganis italianus nativis. It was with great delight that EuroTrash spotted this prime specimen. Behold it in all its glory without further ado for words cannot describe the wonder which was spotted today just off Via del Corso, a very fashionable shopping street:

And here we have a little more of a close up:

If you are able to look closely enough, you will see that his singlet is made of mesh-like material, thereby allowing easy viewing of his ample stomach, chest hair and man-breasts. Above his left nipple (unfortunately obscured by his crossed arms) is a patch sewn onto his attractive singlet which said "SPECIAL DELIVERY".
Happy Boganis spotting everyone!

24 April 2007

EDITED - Life in the Mediterranean


The first half of this post was put up around 24 hours ago. We had continued to start the rest of the post immediately; but the man whose internet cafe we were in decided that we had been on his computer for long enough and disconnected us. Everything was lost! A big argument ensued, and we are proud to report that we argued effectively in Italian including many hand gestures as per local custom. Whilst we are happy with that outcome, we are most displeased that we are trying to reconstruct this entry as the one we had written last night was simply wonderful. We apologise in advance if this one is less than scintillating.

Grazie mille,


Hello reader, hello.

Today we find ourselves in Italy. It is most wonderous, and is all that we have dreamed of, and a whole lot more. In the tradition of the plethora of books ('Under the Tuscan Sun' for example) about moving to Italy and living la vita italiana, we shall be unnecessarily inserting Italian words in italics and providing you with unnecessary handy translations afterwards which helps show our authenticity and ability to assimilate into the local culture. Come così (like so).

Allora (now then), where did we last leave our tales of travel? It was in France I believe...

Paris indeed was inspiring, glamorous and astounding. We traversed the city as dusk fell to see the Eiffel Tower display its hourly shimmer:

We also sat in front of the Notre Dame cathedral and fed little birds bits of the baguette (baguette) that we had bought at the local boulangerie (boulangerie) that morning:

In addition to all of this activity and general hubbub, we managed to be cultural too! With arms in a formation similar to what one would be expected to do in the well known 'chicken dance', we elbowed our way through the crowds at the grand Louvre Museè (museum) to see Her. Yes, we managed to catch a lengthy glimpse of Mona Lisa, She of the Enigmatic Smile and key inspiration behind the literary watershed, The Da Vinci Code.
What is it that is so enigmatic about her smile? We do think that the enigma could very well be that she is indeed not smiling at all, but rather was painted like that becase Signor da Vinci knew that millions of people would line up every year to see this painting and walk away muttering to themselves "Right. Seen that. Où est Le Venus de Milo?". Signor da Vinci did after all invent the helicopter 500 or so years before anyone else did, so we are certain that he would have forseen the Mona Lisa fiasco at least.

Having considered that we had "done" Paris (or at least our very tight itinerary was telling us that we had no choice in the matter), we made our way to the train station and caught the oh-so-lovely TGV train all the way down to the Riviera where we alighted at Nice. Now, do bear in mind that we are travelling on a youth Eurail pass which means that we should only be entitled to second class travel on trains. BUT, the lovely lovely lovely people at the train station gave us first class tickets!

Yes, that is correct gentle reader, EuroTrash is pleased to report that all people in Paris are very nice indeed. It was our expectation that we would use our haltering French to request a baguette (baguette), only to be handed a dead squirrel and then when we assure them a mistake has been made, we would be spat at in the face. Fortunately, none of that eventuated. In a traditional Today Tonight-style survey, we interviewed (interacted with) approximately 30 Parisiens and we can conclusively announce that 100% of Parisiens are nice!

You will be pleased to note that this was not the only Today Tonight-style survey that we conducted. Sitting in McDonalds in Montmatre, someone upstairs must have had a coronary from the french fries sauce that comes with all meals. An ambulance was called, and three ambulance workers bustled in. Of our survey of three ambulance workers, we can conclusively announce that 66.66% of all French ambulance workers are highly attractive!

[Please be aware that all visits to McDonalds are done in the interests of cultural research. The Economist magazine uses the prices of Big Macs worldwide to provide economic analyses; in a similar vein EuroTrash is using McDonalds as a baseline to effectively compare and contrast the varying cultures we encounter. In another Today Tonight-style survey to come later, we will use McDonalds to conclusively announce which culture in Europe is ultimately the best]

Hmm. After that slight detour, let us return to our arrival in Nice.

Nice is très (very) beautiful. The old town is full of narrow cobbled lanes, bars and restaurants one would expect. We found ourselves unexpectedly hauling our collective butt up a large hill (almost mountainesque) and gasped for breath (at the sheer beauty, and also because of exhaustion) at the following scene:

With limited time in Nice (one night), we made the most of it and took part in quintessential French Riviera activities - people watching and sand castle building. I am sure that as a reader of this blog, you are an educated individual and would be aware that a great percentage of beaches in this area are pebbly indeed (our Today Tonight-style survey of one beach allows us to conclusively announce that 100% of Mediterranean beaches are pebbly!). However, due to our deft skill and expertise in construction and engineering, witness the wonder of our Mediterranean Sand Castle!!!

And it is indeed this very picture that leads us to the other said activity - people watching. If you missed it in the picture above, here is a close up, in detail for you:

In Australia, fashion trends for the summer usuall follow what has been trendy in Europe for the summer just past. With this in mind, then for the next Australian summer, back hair and bottom-crack-revealing-speedos-with-vomit-print will most certainly be in!! You read it here first.

Here is another fashion trend sure to hit Australia's fair shores (girt by sea), as spotted on the very same beach:

Yes; subtle, monochromatic yet highly functional.

Fashion is also used to make strong personal statements. Take this young man for example:

Here, the young man is presenting us with the dichotomy that is his life. He wishes to rebel against society (by not wearing pants); yet at the same time he must still work within the system, and so wears his pants beneath his bottom thereby cancelling out their intended function. How clever he is indeed! We are aware that this bottom-showing trend is already en vogue (in fashion) in Australia, but (ha! pun intended) expect it to go to new heights - or lows - as summer comes around.

After this quick stop in Nice, we again boarded the train and crossed the border into our spiritual home, Italy. It had long been our ambition to visit Italy having studied the language for many a year, and were keen to put those language skills to good use. We took our seats, and before long an elderly signora (lady) had come into our compartment to sit down. Carrying a large valigia (suitcase), we kindly offered to assist her place it in the luggage racks above. Gratefully accepting, we proceeded to haul it up whilst simultaneously shifting our own backpacks over and trying not to fall on anyone. With the signora fussing away, we shifted her suitcase a little too far to the left and pushed a little red handle we had not seen previously. Mechanical screeching belched out from all around and we were jolted abruptly as the train came to a halt having just triggered the emergency stopsignal. We tried to hide our blushing face as EVERYONE on the train started to peer in at us whilst the guards rushed over and fussed about.

We had already begun to leave our mark on the country.

Actually, in more ways than one.

During a lenghty trip of any sort, it is inevitable that one will need to relieve one's self at some point. We headed to the bathroom on board the train and whilst our bladder was being relieved, we saw this:

"Durante le fermate nelle stazioni è vietato servirsi della ritirata"

"It is forbidden to use the WC when train is standing in the station"

Wondering why that was so, we finished and flushed. As water filled the bowl, so too were our ears filled - with the sound of the train rushing over the tracks. The belly of the trainhad openedup and left our relief on the tracks. Some may think that living in the Italian country side may be idyllic; it can indeed be so, but just don't live near the train tracks!

Our train deposited us in Genova on the Italian 'riviera' coastline. Genova is a major port town and due to our afternoon arrival we did not have the opportunity to go out of town and see the glamorous parts of the coast line as hoped so instead we stuck with the harbour front in town, a completely unsatisfying meal and many a toothless zingara (gypsy lady) asking for money. We retired early to our room and turned on la televisione (the TV) and got us some Italian "Deal or No Deal" action! It was a decidedly run-down version compared to the Australian show; cardboard show boxes tied up with string were used instead of shiny brief cases as is seen in Australia. And sad but true, the host's oration skills were not nearly deft as Andrew O'Keefe. Oh Andrew, how we missed you in that dark hour.

The next morning saw us moving south through the country to our present location - Firenze (Florence). This city, and the surrounding areas of Tuscany are simply beautiful. One searches for adequate words to describe it, but they can not be found. So, as the Italians say, "una pittura dipinta mille parole" ('A picture paints a thousand words'. Well, we are not sure if they actually say this or not). So here are a few pictures, and you dear reader, can come up with the accompanying few thousand words.

A view of Firenze from the Boboli Gardens

A view of San Gimignano from the top of the tallest tower.

The huge and bustling main square in Siena

The view of an American tourist being made to wear blue plastic sheeting after entering a religious building dressed inappropriately (shoulders uncovered).
And so ends our time here in Firenze.
We did notice whilst wandering around here that there is a stark contrast between Britain, France and Italy. Britain and France know how to do grandeur very well. Their major monuments gleam, everything is polished, the transport is excellent and tourists are bustled about efficiently.
Italy too is certainly home to grand monuments. The Duomo here in Firenze is an amazing structure and all literature EuroTrash has read about this building assures the reader that the Duomo is indeed one of Italy's best loved treasures. However, it does not gleam; one can see it slowly fading amidstthe scaffolding, water damage and dust. The myriad police services that patrol the area seem to strut and preen rather than do anything useful and any concept of efficiency and orderliness seems totally foreign here. Like the toilets on the train and the dodgy production of Deal or No Deal, everything has a used and shabby feel about it. And this is what makes Italy, well, Italy. EuroTrash would have it no other way. As a famous Canberran once said, "I don't know what it is, but I just love it!".
So true.

18 April 2007

EuroTrash en France (but let's chat about Seoul and London too)

Why hello.
We find ourselves in Paris; but more importantly, we find ourselves in an internet cafe with lots of time available. We have not been able to decipher how much it will cost yet - our haltering French hasn't yet reached beyond "Ou est le toilette?" and "merde" and other such phrases.
However, despite our lengthy absences from this blog, my priority does remain with you gentle reader. Take a journey with me as we recap things that have happened thus far!

Yes, as mentioned in the previous post, our 15 hours or so in Seoul were action packed! Not letting the fact that it was midnight and about 5 degrees celcius, we decided to do as the locals do and went shopping at 3am. Yes! This city is a shoppers paradise! The massive malls in the city are open from 10am through to 5am EVERY DAY.

3am in Seoul! Night market stalls in front of the huge shopping malls

And, as promised in the previous post, here is a picture of the greatest gastronomical item invented by Korea. Behold the CHIP SURPRISE:

Starting from the outside with a layer of chippy battered fried goodness, one is indeed surprised when a sausage is encountered in the middle of this gastronomic delight! SURPRISE!

And before the cries erupt of "EuroTrash! You travelled across the globe to just eat fatty fried fat?" please be assured that we did eat more regular Korean fare:

Pick a title:

"EuroTrash enjoys traditional Korean BBQ cuisine"

"Traditional Korean BBQ enjoys EuroTrash"

"EuroTrash sucked off table by traditional Korean BBQ"


Trash for trash.

We felt immediately at home in London.

The following sights were viewed (amongst others):

EuroTrash was highly dismayed to find out that this bridge is NOT London Bridge. Having seen this picture all our lives as a London landmark, we foolishly assumed it was the London Bridge. No! It is Tower Bridge. We were heart broken to learn this fact as we were skipping across the walkway singing "London Bridge is falling down!"

When we heard that a bunch of men were parading down the Mall wearing bearskins and blue feathers on their heads, we thought London's version of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras was in town. But no, it was the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace.

We put our leather chaps away with haste.

Note that the stay in London was also educational! We learned some new, exciting and innovative photography techniques! Look at these!

By increasing the aperture on one's camera, one can make things go blurry in the foreground! Genius!

Look how the water is blurred giving the impression of flow and movement! Yes! Simply lengthen your shutter speed and you too can create photographs as good as this one!

And if all of these sights and education wasn't enough, EuroTrash was fortunate enough to see the stage production of MARY POPPINS! Yes, the classic movie comes to life on stage - and in all seriousness it was wonderful. The directors have given the stage Mary Poppins a strange edge to her - very much like Johnny Depp as Will Wonka. Our singing of "Supercalafragilisticexpialidocious" carried long into the night as we ambled back to our beds for the night.



And so that brings us to Paris. EuroTrash only arrived in Paris several hours ago; but the city has already had such effect on us. We are staying right next to Notre Dame. Double aah.

The following sights were seen this afternoon:

The sun setting over the Seine as we regardons le cathedral du Notre Dame de Paris!
We are currently making up our French as we go along. Apologies to anyone that actually speaks French for ruining your language completely. We did however manage to buy two tickets on the Metro this afternoon. SUCCESS!

People busking playing the accordion and wearing black and white stripy shirts!

Small cobbled laneway complete with small car parked at jaunty angle on the kerb and a dome roof with spire peering over the top of the buildings!

Yes, these have all made EuroTrash very happy. However, on the way here to this very internet cafe, we came across another sight which beat the lot!

Woman with big hair, leather jacket and small fluffy white dog!!!

Triple aah.

Au revoir,


16 April 2007

Cultural learnings of Korea for making greatness of world

Hallo dear reader!!

This shall just be a very quick post due to a couple of factors: a) the exorbitant British Pound, and the fact that we cannot stop converting prices back to Australian dollars in our head and having a coronary attack every time we reach for my wallet and so cannot rationalise paying for internet access beyond 3 seconds duration; b) it is quite late here and our head feels like it shall fall off shortly.

What a whirlwind! It has only been a few days since departure, but it already feels like so much has happened that we feel that if we were to go home now, it would have been a fulfilling break already. But after that thought runs its course, we come to our senses and realise that there are many more moons to go before this trip is yet through!

So. Korea.

Disappointingly, VERY disappointingly, the flight on Asiana Airlines contained NO singing, magic tricks or string quartet performances. We were dismayed at their oversight, but soon forgot that when I watched the inflight Korean movie offering. "200 Pound Beauty" is an insightful movie about a young lady who wishes to become Korea's next singing sensation. However, she weighs about 200 pounds (100 kilos??) and is therefore grotesque and should be kept in a box as my interpretation of various cahacters' attitudes revealed. So in response, the 200-Pound-Beauty, Hana, decides to have full body plastic surgery, and after a few months emerges from her cocoon as a fully formed butterfly - the svelte singing lark, Jenny. Jenny takes Korea by storm, but the story wraps up with her having to reveal her true identity. Shock! Horror! What sort of culture worhsips youth and beauty like that! The shame! (Irony intended)

Watching that film on route from Australia to Korea put me in a certain frame of mind before entering the country. Upon landing, we ended up heading into town from 11pm to 5am and spent the entire night market and window shopping. Amongst the all-night throng of people, we stumbled across possibly the best Koren invention not yet released to the rest of the world. The chip-sausage surprise!

A sausage is skewered on a stick, and then is enveloped by golden crinkle-cut fries, all battered and fried to form one large ball of sausagey-chippy gloop.

Glorious I tell you. We ate ours in about 2.64 seconds flat.

And then as we scoffed one looking around we noticed that Koreans, in our inflatedhumble opinion, Koreans (well, in Seoul at least!) are incredibly fashion conscious people.

How was it so then that they had these tasty gloops of fat-on-a-stick on offer, and many people were similarly scoffing said gloop, and no one in our sight would have had to endure poor Hana's fate as in the 200-Pound Beauty??

Oh dear. As the seconds tick away, so do does my available internet access time! This shall continue later, including a photo of the Sausage-Chip-Batter-Surprise wonderment; an exaggeratedaccurate account of our first taste of London (including new seires of posts - "McComparison!") and other randomness.

Yours in pluralis majestatis,


10 April 2007

Korea vs. Denmark

EuroTrash's departure is now so close, and the excitement has reached such unbearable levels that we have recently had to stock up on TenaLady pads to retain some outward sense of dignity. Spontaneous wettings of one's self, combined with impromptu stomping of feet, clapping of hands and high pitched squeals have led to many people in EuroTrash's office to keep a good distance.

Speaking of departure, over the Easter weekend it dawned upon us that we are leaving Sydney on Friday the 13th, and also flying on a not-so-well-known Korean airline! However disturbing that combination of factors, we are very much looking forward to the flight itself. Yes, it will be very long haul - approximately 23 hours of flying spread over a two day period, but we shall spend every minute of that flying time thoroughly entertained by:


Yes boys and girls, Asiana Airlines has thoughtfully constructed a tasteful alternative to regular inflight enterntainment. Please read:

In order to break up the monotony of long-haul flights, Asiana has trained a group of talented flight attendants to entertain and amuse you. Primarily on our transpacific and leisure routes, such as Bangkok, Saipan, Guam, and Sydney, customers have the opportunity to enjoy a wonderful after-dinner show of live music and magic. Flight attendants may perform stage tricks or individual hand tricks, making things magically disappear and reappear again. Customers may also have the opportunity to hear performances by a string quartet, choir, or solos on the violin, saxophone, or flute. Asiana cabin crews are also trained bartenders who will walk through the cabin and offer exotic cocktails. Along with a shake and a stir, you can enjoy your drink, the magic show, a long nap, or the upcoming movie.

Well, we are very much looking forward to this unique brand of 'entertainment', but we do hope it is as good as Denmark's Eurovision entry for 2007:

Click on her/his smiling gob to see her/him in action!
Oh the craptasticness! It's very Oxford Street vs. Rock Eisteddfod.

03 April 2007

So long, farewell!

A wise young woman once warbled:

So long! Farewell!

auf Wiedersehen


Just as Fraulein Maria was sent off to see the world beyond the walls of the Nonnberg Abbey, so too doth EuroTrash go.

Yes, gentle reader, EuroTrash is taking the big hike from the antipodes to The Continent. Our stops are handily highlighted as pink-bits on the above little map for you. However, my dodgy work in Microsoft Paint may cause you to be slightly mislead if you are geographically minded.

Join us for rollicking adventures through fourteen cities in five-and-a-bit weeks; using blogger.com for the first time; and our frequent use of the pluralis majestatis. We shall be doing our best to regale you with entertaining tales and superficial in depth analyses of the myriad cultures and people we encounter but if it doesn't happen we shall make it up.

Note the following expected highlights:

*Facing blank stares as our Italian language skills are tested and realising that ten years worth of lessons have been in vain!

*Seeing these terrible acts LIVE in person at EUROVISION!

*Meeting a penpal in real life that I've had since 1997! Yes! We do still write to each other!
*The use of asterisks to denote lists, and the unnecessary use of exclamation marks!

It's all happening. Finally.

Departure in nine days!