Archive for June, 2006
(Apologies for the time this post will take to load – don’t have the facilities to shrink files and I’ve been given strict instructions to post photos.)
So, once upon a time I had less regard for my self-preservation. This is no longer the case. From time to time
I shit myself I can get a little claustrophobia and a little afraid of heights. Needless to say I’m also not nearly as fit as I used to be.
So I was feeling pretty good this morning. Out and about in Rome on my own and naturally the first stop was St Peters. As it was Sunday I had the great fortune of hearing a sermon from the pope. All was well, I’d been inside the Basilica, I’d seen Pope John Paul II’s tomb (which smelt like old mop) and there was just one more thing to go, the Cupola. Sweet action. I paid my 4 Euro and started climbing the 520 stairs. No Sweat, ok maybe a little, but all was fine. Came out into the dome, saw Michelangelo’s paintings etc and the proceeded to the next door which I knew was to the balcony. As I was standing in the dome I assumed that I had climbed all 520 stairs and that I would simply walk out onto the balcony for a 360 degree view of Rome. No such luck. Turns out that I was only about 200 stairs up and the following 320 were seriously fucked.
For a start, they obviously didn’t build them for the broader man such as myself – my shoulders touched each wall. This doesn’t help the claustrophobia. Secondly, They built them FUCKING steeply, and in a spiral so that your peripheral vision was always one of a vertical drop until the steep marble stairs broke your fall and every bone in your body. Enter fear of heights.
Half way along there was a landing with a red button marked “SOS”. People have died on these stairs, the law of averages, over 1500 years, dictates this. The last section of stairs actually had a rope. Now I know they built this a long time ago but if you need a rope to climb the stairs it, is too steep – at least that’s my basic rule of thumb. Was it worth it? Judge for your self:
Now for my decent. As anyone who isn’t good with heights will know, this is at the back of your mind the entire accent. So down I go, letting a young family go in front so that
someone would break my fall no one was behind me to see me shitting myself. Great plan. Except for the fact that this smart arsed little kid pretended to fall EVERY SINGLE STAIR. This also doesn’t help with one’s fear of heights. Then to make matters worse the fucking bitch mum stops, turns around and take a photo – three or four times. Yes, they were American. So in some American town somewhere there are a happy family reliving their trip to Rome and looking though their photos they see a picture of Father and Son gaily descending some very steep stairs and behind them is a pale Australian who you can see is trembling but with a look in his eyes like he’s about to test out just how dangerous these stairs are by pushing a kid down them.
…and Theo, why would you want to go to a place full of Tuk Tuks when you can find one of these on every corner:
(Apparently laws have been passed so that Fiat 500 don’t have to conform to emission laws as they are a national heritage item for Italians)
Well, as you may have guessed I’m in Singapore. The first thing that comes to mind is to say that it is hot. Fucking hot. I don’t like hot.
However the food is great and really cheap, unfortunately I can’t say the same thing about the booze.
There are a lot of things I really like about Singapore and I’m grateful to my host, Libs, for taking the time to show me around today.
I bought a new camera today which is very swank and has 6 Mega Pixels of goodness, below are a few pics from Libby and my adventures – unfortunately they aren’t taken with my wondrous new camera (which is charging it’s batteries as we speak – any suggestions for a name?):
Me writing on this blog
Me outside a beautiful Mosque:
Some street scenes:
Not sure if these guys are busking or just jamming but they were rocking it out:
Libby and I at the Long Bar (?) drinking VERY expensive drinks:
Until next time…
Well, I’m sitting here at an empty desk. After 5 and a half years the time has come to say good bye to OurCommunity. I’m sad to see it go and have been reluctant in many ways to leave. I’ve learnt so much by working at OC and I have so much to thank everyone at OC for. But one must move on and it is more than time for me to do so. Truth be known that I should have moved on some time ago but I just love the place too much.
However, I’m also really excited. This time next week I’ll be flying from Singapore to Rome and into the great unknown. This means I won’t be blogging as much as I like to and won’t be able to read all the other blogs that I love so much. Sometimes one just has to let go – I’m often not very good at it so it is a worthwhile exercise for me.
Due to my lack on Internet connections I won’t be able to moderate comments as much so
both of my my countless regular commenters will be fine but new commenters may have to wait a little for me to approve their comments – sorry about that, bare with me.
I thought it was just a buckled wheel which would cost $20 to fix.
Nope, the forks are rooted and need replacing as well as a few other little things adding up to a total of $430.
I guess the bike that I bought for $700 at least 5 or 6 years ago is going to that big Tour De France in the sky.
I’ll keep it for spare parts or something but it truly is a sad day with close to 3,000 km on it for the last year alone – that’s quite a few hours in the saddle.
Still, at least when I return home to poverty and the dole after my trip I’ll be able to spend around $1,000 on a nice new road bike with carbon forks and so on.
I have a sore finger.
A new search engine focusing on purely Australian blogs has been launched called Gnoos. It is very encouraging to see such an initiative so hopefully it will be successful.
You can read an article about it in The Age here.
[Founder Ben Barren] estimates that there are about 750,000 Australian blogs scattered among a range of hosts, but when it comes to active bloggers – the segment Gnoos plans to focus on – the numbers are much smaller at about 5000.
By the looks of things, Goonanism is one of those 5000 so I’ll take that as a complement.