Thursday, March 05, 2009


So being the silly poenani I am, I have thought about this a lot so please bear with me – a lot ok – but I think when you travel, the people you meet on the way and how you can be anyone or anything you want is the clincher.

Look, I love making new friends from weird and wonderful places. If they speak a foreign language, even better. But I love it. So maybe this is why meeting these types while discovering another world is just too much fucking fun for mere words.

People not travelling: rank how rocking your car is, your job, who you KNOW, where you were educated, if you’re married, as priorities and status symbols. Not that this is wrong, because where we’ve developed roots and a place called ‘home’, is where this shit matters.

But I think I prefer the priorities traveller’s tend to adopt. That usual stuff doesn’t matter so much anymore, and you get happy very quickly.

Especially in places like France where it matters that you own good wine and eat around a table everyday, celebrating food and siestas. No one gives a continental that you drive a clapped-out piece of junk Renault 5, even if you live in a castle in the Loire Valley. Your wine collection makes you a millionaire.

When you travel no one gives a fuck that you’ve just bought a new Audi or if you’re CEO of an international pool pump company, specialising in patented suction control.

One of the reasons I ran away to South America was because no one has pre-conceived ideas about anyone. No one has agendas or gives a toss about them. I left out where I worked and that I’d just launched a novel as much as I could. I was just me, all that other stuff aside.
Travellers really seem to care about where you’ve been, where you’re going, and where you’re from. In fact all conversations started off exactly like that:

“Where’re you from then.”
South Africa. [Soth Efrika. They think your ekksent is cute when you speak. That’s a first]
Americans: Where’s that.
Brits: Oh yeah? Was finking of going to see Tabletop Mountain on my next olliday.
“Where’ve you come from.”
“So what did you fink of the place, I din’know… I was pretty hammered and passed out in a vineyard and Freddie ran off wiff me hostel card.”

They care where you’re going to next. Most were travelling around the continent for months, some even a year, on end.
“You off to Columbia after this?”
Actually, I’m going back to work.
“Aw mate that suckkkkks more than a bag fulla cocks.”

But you can also be whoever you want. Or, if you’ve had to live up to expectations your whole life, you can simply be yourself.
Back when I backpacked Europe, my mate and I thought it would be sooooo funny to tell people we were from Northern Guatemala. Why the north, beats me.

But I mean seriously: you can walk into a hostel and if someone happens to ask what you do eventually, you can say: “You know the circus? I’m the freak show. I have an act and everything.”
And once you’ve said they can only see your official act, endorsed by Boswell Wilkie Esquire, is if they get you 8 jaegermeisters.
Then you won’t care if you cut shapes to Whitney Houston on a table in a hamburger suit AND juggle at the same time AND pretend you’re Eric Cartman from Southpark.

And people are generally happy and carefree when they travel. Or otherwise very philosophical, because they’re in the throes of finding themselves and stuff.

But the main point I think I’m trying to make here, is that bottom line: you learn not to take yourself too seriously. Yourself, others, or anything. We forget easily though, once we’re back in the rat race and the stress envelopes us. Suddenly everything is dire and hectic, intense and all-consuming. So my little March resolution is to remember to chill, and not to take myself too seriously. It’s only life after all. Am trying, it’s my new personal challenge.

Annnnnyway. Was thinking about that last night, nursing a pilates-elasticated hamstring, before I settled in with the Josef Fritzl book. I’m on the chapter which describes how he engineered the bunker. Eight doors with their own remote control system.
It’s. Fucked. Up.

If evil was tangible, then this type of evil has its own driver’s license.


Chanteuse said...

Hey Peas, you are so very right, I have a great friend, based in London, who's a perpetual traveller, and definitely one of the 5 best people I know! That oke should blog, but that would cramp his style too much...
On a different topic, I was killing time at Exclusive Books in Gateway last night and stumbled across your book, too cool chickie bee! I confess, I did not buy it, but will so recommend it to friends that don't read it online!

Peas on Toast said...

Thanks Chanteuse, For the book shout out! :)
Yeha the oke should definitely blog, some of the most inetersting folks I met in Rio didn't blog though (as you say it cramps their style and may be too much of a commitment!), but this one dude blogged - and he was a HOOT. Still read it today!

quartercenturycrisis said...

I, unfortunately, am not yet a Traveller (it's always been on my to do list...) but I must say the whole concept of being identified by where you're from and where you're going rather than what car you drive and what you do for a living sounds wonderful. And even though it must be fun to make up a persona, like you live in Northern Guatemala, I would imagine it would be enough to just be Peas from South Africa. I think that although in one place there might be a lot of South Aficans, each one would have a different outlook based on where in South Africa they're from. Whereas generally a whole bunch of lawyers is just a whole bunch of lawyers...

I'm thinking I really need to get this off the to do list onto the done or still doing list! :)

Peas on Toast said...

Quartercentury - absolutely, you definitely have to go! Definitely! I cannot recommend it enough. I really can't.

Funny though, we were talkign about South Africans travelling as well - and how different each Saffa is to another. My mate and her dude went to Mauritius, and next thing their new BFFs were a couple from Joburg South, who would find them and insisit on going on dolphin tours with them the whole time - and although funny, they never would've made these 'interesting' friends here. Only while travelling!

Rambler said...

Hahaha... loved the American's response...

And finished your book this weekend (to review for mah mag) and loved it... My sister spotted it when she came to visit and now it's gone... she's vicious like that...

Peas on Toast said...

Rambler - ag koekie, belss your heart!! Which mag is your mag, hot shot editor guy?
Glad you enjoyed it and hopefully you can steal it back from her before it's too late :)

Rambler said...

I edit Joburg Style mag... waiting for your publicist to send me a hi-res pic of the cover...


I think the book's gone for good... going to enter that eternal drinking abyss some call a book club...

Peas on Toast said...

Rambler that kicks soooo much ass! Thank you so so much :) Give Nina at Pan Mac a call, she should help you out with a high res-ser.

You're the best, when does it come out?

Rambler said...

Yep, chatted to Nina... hope to get it today...

Will be on shelves in April...

Peas on Toast said...

Zat is velly velly excitink! Thanks so much seriously! :)

PS: If the book went to bookclub, you'll never see it again, you're right. At the very least the pages will get stuck together with pinotage :)

Wallfish said...

This blog smells like updog.

Peas on Toast said...

This comment smells like ass, Whale :)


Jade Avinir said...

Absolutely true! So much fun just playing the fool, having a jol and meeting new people around the world!
The conversation is never crap and about how much you hating your boring life ...

Puts a smile on my face.

Peas on Toast said...

Jade - at the very least you meet some CHARACTERS hey. From toilet technicians from Leeds to farriers from it! :)

Revolving Credit said... incogpeaso?

kyknoord said...

"That sucks more than a bag full of cocks" is my new favourite expression. Unfortunately, my travel conversations tend to be more along the lines of,
"So, are you also a gun runner?"
"No, I work for [censored]"
"Close enough. Have a beer"

Peas on Toast said...

Rev - a ha! Yes! I hide behind a mask of little green vegetables :)

Kyk - it's a goodie innit? Another way it can be used is thus: 'Gayer than a bag full of cocks.' It does drive the point home.

Gun runners eh? Your travels sure do sound exciting! Now that's what I call adWENture. Tell us more!

The Blonde Blogshell said...

I was on the floor at: "Then you won’t care if you cut shapes to Whitney Houston on a table in a hamburger suit AND juggle at the same time AND pretend you’re Eric Cartman from Southpark."

Frikken fantastic! I wanna travel so badly and I'm on the contiki website now...ALWAYS wanted to do a C.Tour! Now I can! Hoooray for freedom xxx

Peas on Toast said...

Blondie - hooray for freedom indeed! I'm SOO stoked you looking at Contiki - do you want a travel partner? If so, KEEN. We'll be the two upper-twentysomethings in a bus full of young, horny men, but whose complaining??

Let me know what you find and where you decide to go, tooo exciting for words! xxx