Thursday, December 13, 2012

I nearly died on my birthday in London

Ola readers!!

I know, I know, I said I was back but I never really returned!  I'd love to say I have some legit excuses, which I probably do, but the truth is I could have probably kept this up had I really put my mind to it.

But none the less, I am back giving this another whack with a brand new format.

So you know what I have been up to, I've started my own business and since I last wrote, have been studying in the USA and now living in London - but more on that later.

Also, my sweet grandmother passed away a few weeks after my last post.  Sad yes, but it was time for god to have some better company.  He told be he was getting bored with everyone else and needed someone more exciting.  I haven't heard from him since, so I guess he's pretty happy having her as a guest! :)

A couple of weeks ago I celebrated my birthday in London. It actually went over a whole week which was really nice! Many people took me out for many a drink and some lovely London experiences.

So without further waiting... lets get into it that story...

I hate organising parties for myself. I mean, I really hate it, which is sad because I am really good at it.  I think it comes from having stage managed a number of theatre shows and also working as a event manager for a number of years.  If I need to do it for someone else, or for work, thats no problem because I like seeing how it makes everyone else happy. But I am happy sitting in a room with my friends and some wine and good music... so I do question the return on the effort.

None the less, my flat mate was getting annoyed at me and sent me a list of restaurants and basically told me to pick one.  I had been sick for about a week and a half, so cared less than I normally would about my birthday, but settles for a nice turkish restaurant in Leicester Square called Souk Bazaar (website here).  I was really impressed with the area we were given. It was "semi private" but was a reasonable sized room sectioned off from everywhere else by a heavy curtain.  There were two set menu's to choose from which basically amounted to small and large, the larger obviously just having more on the list.

Souk Bazaar

The food was actually really good, and being a Friday we got a free belly dancing celebration.  I had no idea women could do such movements with their breasts! I was expecting shaking hips (which our dancer didn't really have much off) but she replaced that with tittie thrusts!  It kind of reminded my of Nicki Minaj in "Pound the Alarm"...

Pound that alarm, Nicki!!

The only thing REALLY annoying about this place was the service.  Noone at my party knew anyone else, common problem when just moving somewhere and you bring together all your random friends, and there is only one solution to that little pickle... Booze.  Lots of booze coming fast and hard.  Unfortunately, it was always a mission to get anyone to bring us anything, so as soon as we had finished eating we decided to go to Freedom Bar in Soho to decrease the level of blood in our alcohol!

Everyone together at Freedom!!
Freedom was offing great!! Booze came hard and fast and in doubles! All my lovely friends ensured I constantly had a drink or shot (and in numerous cases both) in my hand so we could party til lthe club closed.

Not only did Freedom bar have an actual bar, it had a dance floor, "shot man" who kep giving me shots because it was my birthday (or maybe someone was paying for them later in the night - who can remember) AND THE BAR HAD DANCING POLES!!!!!

Later the next week, two of my friends invited my to their house for dinner, as they double booked on my birthday, and thank the god of winter cold they did because my present as a pair of ugg boot like slippers acquired... someone foreign.  Thea had bought them for Jock but his feet were too big so I scored them! Cheering!

Here I am wearing them like an absolute champ in my wife beater and pink jeans!!  ... :D

It's called fashion people.

Then, my final birthday celebration involved me being taken out to dinner at a restaurant called Burger and Lobster.  You can check this awesome place out here. Burger and Lobster has three menu choices, all costing 20 pound: a burger, lobster or a "lobster roll".  The lobster roll looked a bit too much a a mixed seafood sub from subway for me (though in much better bun and better ingredients) and well, lobster trumps burger anyway.  Each menu item is served with chips and a salad. The only small issue with this restaurant was the wait - nearly two hours.  Luckily, this venue also has a bar, so we could sit, drink a bottle of gossip, order our next one and an espresso martini before sitting down.

It was definitely worth the wait though, and anyone wanting a bite in Mayfair should definitely check this place out!  Just get there earlier than 6:15 on a Friday evening.

After this we checked out a local bar and headed home.  Running down Regent Street for the bus I slid over in my newly heeled boots. My feet came completely out from under me and I slid off the cobblestone path, out in front of a taxi which needed to swerve to miss me while I was dragging myself off the road.  How does one receiver from that?  I just stood up, looked the police officer, who happened to be standing next to me, right in the eye, quipped "wow, that was lucky" and faced the other way!

Anyway, that is all from me. But what about you?

What have you ever done to celebrate your birthday overseas? (and did you nearly die?)

Until next time,


Twitter @TheDanFactor

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

I'm back!

I am very sorry that it has been so long since I have posted a blog.  Truth is, I made a mercy dash back home to Australia to see my very sick grandmother and kept my travels a bit on the hush side so I could focus on some things I needed to.  Grandma wasn't suppose to make her birthday (Feb 5), which she has. She also made Valentines day!!

Here is a pic of her enjoying the day!! Isn't she the sweetest!!!

Of course, as always happens, after a dash from Asia my grandmother is now strong and perfectly fine!  But a few exciting things happened in the month offline.  I was asked to contribute to an e-magazine for young leaders.  Well, actually no, I was featured after I posted this post not their website, which was nice. Also, I am in the process of setting up my own business with a good friend of mine in Melbourne, which is all very exciting.  It involves travel and students and being awesome.  But more on that to come!

Anyway, I just want to let you all know, the posts will me coming on a much more consistent basis from now on!!

Until then,


Friday, January 27, 2012

My worst day EVER!!!

Wow, yesterday was a doozy!! Probably my most stressful and expensive day as yet.

My day started, hungover from Australia Day, packing, and heading out to breakfast.  Everything was fine until I headed out to the Airport.  I was doing my usual thing, whereas I don't really check in until I need to, because I hate airports, only to realise I had left my travel wallet with my passport in my hotel safe.  FAAAAAAAAARK!!! I jumped on a motorbike and fanged in into Siem Reap, ran up 2 flights of stairs and raced back to the airport but I had missed check in by 10 minutes.  No matter how much begging or pleading I couldn't let them to let me through.  So, I got the duty manager over and basically said to him, I need to be in KL in 17 hours, no, there is a time difference, 16 hours, for another flight. How do we make it happen?  He assured me that there were no more flights to KL, to which I responded to check through Bangkok and also through Vietnam.  Vietnam was going to arrive too late for my connecting flight, but Bangkok was fine.  We managed to get me on the flight despite Chinese New Year celebrations.  550 bucks and a tip to the duty manager later, we are all good.

I was all checked on when the duty manager asked me if I wanted to check on my back pack.  Usually I take it on board with me as I check a suitcase, but the thought of carrying it around Bangkok airport for a few hours was enough to convince me to check it this time, as my suitcase was being stored at the Pan Pacific in KL.  So, bags checked, sitting in the hall. All is well and good.  I keep a close eye on the departure windows because I am sure not missing this flight. I watch. "Checking in" is all that is on the screen, until I hear my name being read out and to see the staff for flight XYZ to Bangkok immediately.  I couldn't believe it, there was no way I was being called for my flight!! So, I presented myself only to hear the words "I am really sorry sir, but I regret to inform you that..." My heart sank into my chest..."because of your late addition to the flight we don't have a meal for you".  I started laughing! "Oh my God, is that all??  It's a one hour flight! thats fine!"  They offered to pack me a lunch but I assured them everything was ok.

So I make my way onto the plane, still holding my heart and laughing to myself (they actually let me skip the line) and we were on our way to Bangkok.

I have made my mind up about Bangkok Airport. It blows.  I hate it.  Its hard to navigate. Nothing makes sense. Its way too spread out. On top of all that, you have to pay for wifi, and it costs nearly 10 bucks an hour!! That is disgusting!!! But I bought my wifi and entertained myself until my flight boarded.  I slept a bit until woken, why flight attendants feel the need to wake you to see if you want a meal I'll never know, I am always perfectly happy in my slumber.  Anyway, the flight was uneventful until I got off the plane to pick up my bag.  Immediately I could see that it had been opened ands I knew what was missing... I had left my wallet in my bag and it was now missing.  I was livid! I loved that wallet and I was more mad because I hate Bangkok Airport and so I just wanted a valid excuse to hate on that turd of an airport! So I reported my wallet missing and was thankful that when booking a hotel earlier in the day I chose the convenient, albeit expensive, option and booked into the Pan Pacific which is a lovely hotel within the airport complex.  I was annoyed and upset when I rocked up, but immediately they recognised my name in the system and upgraded me to a nicer room and business suite which made for a nice positive change to an otherwise expensive day!  At least some people know how to treat me on this continent! The staff would wouldn't dare think of stealing my wallet.  ARG!!!

Anyway, day of disaster over!! I am in a very comfortable bed and waiting for my wake up call to move the check in counter, early of course.

What about you?  Have you ever had shocking travel days??

Let me know!!

Until next time,


Twitter @TheDanFactor

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Bangkok - A Mojito as big as my head.

While in Bangkok I had the opportunity to catch up with an old friend of mine, Cherry. Cherry and I went  on exchange together to the United States 12 years ago and hadn't seen each other since.  We went to some local eating stalls and had some incredible Thai food before heading to Salt, a bar/restaurant.  This place served HUGE Mojitos. I mean huge. The glasses they come in are bigger than Hoegarden glasses!! Just. Massive.  Anyway I decided to have one, because something that large needs to be conquered.  However, unfortunately they had run out of glasses so they asked me if it was ok to serve it in an ice bucket... of course it was!!!  

Pretty good mojito!!

Cherry inspecting my "glass".

Cherry and her partner, Saritpon

Was great to see her again.  She is one of those people that when you sit down and talk to, it feels like no time has past!!

Until tomorrow, AUSTRALIA DAY!!!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Things in Bangkok - Great Palace

Sorry I have been online for a few days! I have been busy starting up a business with a friend of mine and for a few days have been locked in my hotel room researching and preparing for a meeting, which coincidently, went very well!!

However, after a day and a half locked in my room in Bangkok I decided that there was no way I wasn't going to see some of the city.  So I ventured out and headed to the Grand Palace, and reclining buddha (post on Reclining Buddha here).

I have to say, I was pretty awestruck when I first saw the Grand Palace.  I was a bit hesitant to go see it as there are many temples and shrines in Asia and one can get tired of them but I was amazed at this palace.  This is the sort of place that Donald Trump wishes his place could look like - a palace covered with gold, mirror and coloured glass mosaics.  Except somehow you don't think "tacky" when you see it done in Asia.  When Trump just does tacky - very, very well.

The Grand Palace is located in old Bangkok.  You need to get a tuk-tuk or taxi there as the sky train doesn't go that far, though alternatively you can also take a boat/ferry as it is by the river.  I did try to get scammed about three times by people coming up in "tourist police" uniforms asking what I was doing, responding in shock when I said the Grand Palace as "it closes at 1 o'clock, but if you take a tuk-tuk you can see other places".  They then proceed to take you to other shrines etc but stop off at a place on the way, usually a jewellery store and say they are out of fuel, so you may as feel look at the store while the driver gets fuel.  The driver then gets paid for bring you to the store, and you don't get to see the Palace.  I however did not fall for said scam or plastic identity badge, how cynical of me, and we inside and saw the palace. 

I just thought I would leave you with some of my favourite photo's from the day for you to enjoy! :) 

The dragon below has a ball in it;s mouth, it is said to be good luck if you can remove it from its mouth.  Impossible, I tried!  And I am pretty strong! ;)

Until next time,


Follow me:
Twitter @TheDanFactor

Things in Bangkok - Reclining Buddha has nipples....

After the Grand Palace (see post here) I made my way to the Reclining Buddha. This is a must see, even if just to ask yourself how/why they put such a piss-off big buddha in such a small teeny room? Well, in comparison anyway.  OH and get this, the Buddha has nipples!!  Seriously!! And just quietly, I think the buddha may be a little chilly!  But then, the buddha does have a butt. Not joking, he has no butt whatsoever!! Just sayin'!!!

The giant Reclining Buddha... and his erect nipple.

Buddha has a one cheek flat bum!!

This isn't the building the Buddha was in, but it was pretty.

Doesn't this statue look like it could come alive and kill you with mystical kung fu powers?  Creepy.

Sexual Harassment Buddha says STOP to nipple perving!! 

And so does all his sexual harassment buddha friends!  

Until next time,

Twitter @TheDanFactor

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

How to make shakes which are better than sex

I think I have completely fallen in love with the fruit shakes here in Asia. Honestly, the shakes in Asia are to die for... TO. DIE. FOR!  I could be told I would never be able to have sex again and if I had one of these shakes instead, I wouldn't be sad...

The main four shakes are watermelon, mango, pineapple and banana.

Mango/Pineapple/Watermelon shakes:

Half a mango/some pineapple/some watermelon depending on which you prefer
a shot (30mls) of sugar syrup
a cup of ice cubes
2 shots of malibu or something else to spice it up (optional, but recommended) ;)

(you could use some milk in this recipe if you wanted, but I prefer without, and they are usually made that way)

Put in a blender and blend

Banana shakes:
one banana
a splash of milk
a shot (30mls) of sugar syrup
a cup of ice cubes

Put in a blender and blend

Perfect for summer and VERY healthy!!


Until next time,


Follow me:
Twitter @TheDanFactor