Read Between the Lines: So It Begins

So it begins …

Not so long ago I went on a journey to three lands far, far away and down under.

The first was a strange sort of land where beets are common place on Hungry Jack Burgers and where no standing really means no parking. A place where drunken line-dancing to Shania Twain is a cool past-time and talking about the apostles is not considered a biblical reference.

The second looked like my hometown and had a hostel with an aura reminiscent of the Bates Motel. There was snow on the ground in the middle of August and shops were closed for winter holidays, a place where it’s really cool to take pictures of horses that almost made the cut for Lord of the Rings, but were too camera shy.

The third was a friendly place where “I’ll get right to it” means “Maybe next week.” Where it’s required to drink narcotics as part of a welcome ceremony, fun to bet money on frog races, and where wearing a skirt that falls above your knees means you’re a prostitute.

Where everyone in two separate countries tells the same joke, and where stop signs are about as frequent as a Jamaican on time. Where “Bulla”, “Oi”, and “Hello” all mean the same thing and the bitter beers actually taste good. A place where you can swim alongside dolphins and penguins at the same time.

During this voyage of self-discovery I tried and failed repeatedly to conquer my fear of heights and lost (most of) my vanity. I made fast friends and shocked the locals (“You’re snorkeling in 20°c water! But aren’t you cold?!”), spent my evenings drunk and my mornings planning the next evening’s debauchery, and learned the perils of dolphin watching the morning after a party.

Together with my sister, I braved crocodiles and cuddled nature’s boxer. I wondered how they built the Opera House and wandered into (and quickly out of) King’s Cross at night.

I flew from a raft and fell from a plane. I climbed into the abyss and up a glacier.

I wake-boarded in shark infested waters and learned the tricks of bucket showers. I said farewell to seeing long distance, and said a very friendly “Hello” to two Danish men.

I was branded by travel and by a man with a scorpion tattooed around his left eye and experienced the time of my life.

Read Between the Lines: The Mostly True, Slightly Embellished Story of a Canadian Abroad

Forward:

It’s human nature to embellish. Just like the game telephone (Do you remember the game telephone?) stories become more and more fantastic each time you tell them.

That lucky shot you make in pool becomes a strategic, heart-stoppingly intense win. The man who lives down the street from you, the one who gets off the bus at the same stop and walks behind you for two blocks on his way home, becomes a sex crazed stalker. Life goes from mediocre to resembling Thursday night prime-time in an instant. It doesn’t make you a liar, it makes you human.

Everyone does it.

Eventually these stories become more real to you than the truth. I will admit I have often made my life sound more interesting than it is. This is a natural side effect of being boring.

(I am quite boring.)

Consider yourself warned. This is primarily a piece of fiction, though every story is based on a real event. Much of which you are about to read is true, with a touch of the sensational thrown in here and there to give it that “page-turning charm”. It’s up to you to figure out what is true, and what isn’t. But honestly, I wouldn’t overly speculate. Just sit back and try to be entertained. (While I frantically try to entertain you.)

Everyone has a bit of a story teller in them, and this is my opus.

Welcome to the Mostly True, Slightly Embellished Story of a Canadian Abroad. Ladies and gentlemen, read between the lines and enjoy the ride.