Friday night a group of us from Salsabor Canberra hit up Zen Yai restaurant for a banquet and scoped out Salsa nights at the Holy Grail in the city. Here’s a photo, thanks Liz!
And here’s one of me upset and Cromz trying to say sorry for stealing my girl! Haha
More photo’s to come when I get them off the other cameras…
Friday night a group of us from Salsabor Canberra hit up Zen Yai restaurant for a banquet and scoped out Salsa nights at the Holy Grail in the city. Here’s a photo, thanks Liz!
Sup ya’ll, I know it’s been a long wait and you’ve all been sitting on the edge of your seats, well here it is ladies and gentleman, edition 3! Apologies to those who missed the first two editions, I didn’t have your emails. Last Tuesday night we hit up Zanzabar in waikiki. We arrived at 7:30pm to do a dance rehearsal and found the floor was a bit slippery. I wanted to wear an orange stackhat and kneepads in our performance later that night but decided against it coz Judah put us on the vip list and we were going to be hanging out in the vip lounge so we wanted to at least act cool. It was a schmick club, the amount of money that must have been spent on the interior fitout in this place is ridiculous! Marble floors, solid brass doors, brass/bronze egyption statues all throughout. The whole place was bling bling! Whoever owns it must be a millionaire many times over. Our performance went really well, Judah hosted and really knew how to talk the crowd up for us before we came on. Coupled with the fact we were performing in front of a new crowd that hadn’t seen our gig 20 times before, we walked on really confident and put on a great show. Afterwards, Dave worked his magic again and demonstrated a classic textbook example of what most of us would call a ballsed up pickup. He had all the signals… a beautiful girl approached him, flirting followed, kissing, her friends wanted to leave, she told them to go while she stays, she said she had a car and lived in a nearby apartment… Dave rejected her like a wilted flower! The question on everyone’s lips is what was Dave thinking? Was she too ugly? Was she not challenging enough? Dave says look out for the answers in the much anticipated January 2007 release of his autobiography where all will be revealed.
Wednesday morning, the taxi picked us up at 6am, we flew to LA and arrived at 4:30pm, at hotel by shuttle 5:00pm. I’m glad we lost time and arrived in the arvo coz the last couple of days has been too much and we couldn’t handle another full day without a rest and the party that night. We stayed at the Marriott, it’s pretty nice, the mexican president was staying at the same time and 200 rooms worth of crew. The miss America beauty pageant was held there at the same time too. At first us boys were stoked, so we rolled down to the lobby to meet them all, but then we spewed coz it turned out to be the ‘young’ miss america so there were all these ankle biting 12 year old monkeys! Later on, Dave and alice spotted the one that won the crown as we were sitting in the restaurant and wanted they wanted a photo. They followed her as she left the restaurant leaving their dinner to go cold on the table. After they hadn’t come back after 10 minutes, Andrea made a great call, which was Dave and Alice must be waiting for miss america to finish throwing up in the bathroom!
Wednesday night salsa party was awesome. There was 2 groups of kids performing and there was an 11 and 12 year old kid couple from chicago (i think) and they put everyone to shame, even the adults. They had everything, the attitude, the energy, the moves they were busting, their costumes, the vibe.
Thursday day was a writeoff coz we were all too tired so we slept in and didn’t stray too far from the hotel, hung at the pool and jakuzi for a while watching the seagulls which are so fat like flying chickens they look good enough to eat! I discovered a combined starbucks/krispy crème café at crowne plaza a few blocks up so relaxed there for a couple of hours. We went to a restaurant and Angie gave me a late birthday present, a reservoir dogs shirt which is just awesome! Thanks Angie! Thursday night we watched a heap of other internationals dance performances which were unreal We’ll get copies of all these on dvd in a few months when it’s produced.
Friday morning we got up and rehearsed at 11:30am, everyone was tired and had the sh1ts, I had a go at the team for being too lazy to put time into rehearsing. Everyone was saying its alright, it’ll be ok! But we had only been through our routine about 5 times in the last 2 weeks. If I had it my way, we’d have been rehearsing as a group at least 5 times a day, everyday! Friday day, we did some dance lessons, followed by the second dance party, it was a lot of fun.
Saturday morning, up at 7am to do a stage rehearsal at 8am. Panic was starting to set in and we were all very tired! Home by 10am for sleep. 2pm woke up, got ready, 3:30pm rocked up to the event, got ready, performed at 5pm. We did really well, didn’t make any mistakes and got a good response from the audience. We got a copy of our performance on Dvd and are pretty happy with it.
Saturday and Sunday night we watched more salsa performances and went to dance parties, Sunday slept most of the day and shopped late afternoon. I bought shoes and shirt. The ride home from the dance party was probably my weirdest coz the busdriver must have been on speed, he cranked up this song to the max that went ‘turn it up m97^@5#%637′ like a million times and he was rappin to it singing, bangin his head and doin westside signs with one hand while driving with the other. He missed the hilton hotel stop and didn’t realise til 10 seconds later then goes ‘oh man’ and slams on the breaks and it screeches to a halt! Everytime he changed gears the bus did a massive kangaroo hop whick makes me think its time to put a new steak in the gearbox and sell it!
Monday morning Andrea, Angie and I were up really early and caught plane to new york. We arrived at around 5pm. Andrea’s cousin David picked us up in his taxi & we rolled to jersey where we went to dinner, and then to Andreas extended family’s house which is where we are staying. It’s a very lovely family we are staying with & they are very accomodating. Everyone spe ks spanish. 2 of the brothers and 1 sister speak really good english and the other 4 or so range from ok english to basically none at all. This makes it really challenging to have a conversation (when no translator is around), but it’s a lot of fun nonetheless!
A common theme among equadorian people is that they come to places like america to make more money in order to enjoy a better standard of living. Equador has a history of corrupt politicians/government and a poor economy, which is sad because it is one of the richest countries in terms of natural resources in the world. In the past, equador’s government encouraged the equadorian people to put their money in the banks, where they promised to pay a very high rate of interest on their money – better than any other investment vehicle. Most people sold off all their assets including their homes and put their money in the banks. Within a very short time, the government stole everyones money from their bank accounts leaving ruined financial dreams and economy. Many equadorian people often cycle between living/working in america and equador every few months. They live in America where it is easier to make larger amounts of money for a few months, then goto equador for a few months.
Tuesday morning we slept in & relaxed. In the afternoon we went to the laundromat. I waited there and worked on this email while the girls got manicured & pedicured at the nail joint across the road! I should have known that they were only doing this to get out of the washing up after dinner time when they managed to talk me into copping the lot after andreas family cooked a delicious dinner for us. I was stoked when Angie discovered dunkin donuts which serves real espresso coffee only a short walk from where we’re staying. Almost all coffee across america is perculated which mostly tastes like hell. There are exceptions though as my canberra friends will know, namely maccas coffee!
Wednesday we spent the entire day shopping at jersey gardens, its one of the best shopping complexes i’ve ever been to! Most things are better than half of what you’d expect to pay in Australian stores and there’s all the genuine brand names you can think of. This place is as good as hong kong for shopping, l liked it better though coz everything is in a big quiet air conditioned mall as opposed to off the hot crowded streets. Angie, Andrea and I spent over 7 hours and a ridiculous amount of money there and still didn’t see it all. Apparently it’s got an indoor rollercoaster too but we got too tired to walk that far! We decided to catch the bus home as it only cost 2 each as opposed to 100 between us for a taxi!
The next few days we’ll probably cruise into new york and check out atlanta, i’ll give yas all an update probably in a week!
See yas round like a oreo!
On Saturday we cruised to the Butterfly Effect concert at the ANU, which is an awesome Australian rock band from Brisbane, who have toured with the likes of Killing Heidi and Grinspoon… They put on a top show for us and they hit us up with some mad beats. Check out http://www.thebutterflyeffect.com.au/ for more info on the band. Some friends dragged me into the moshpit for a while, I haven’t done that crap since uni and I just don’t get it any more! What’s the attraction of rubbing up against a bunch of manky stinky guys and girls that are all drenched in eachothers filthy sweat? How are you supposed to enjoy a great band and their great music when you’re too busy pushing and shoving every schmuck away from you to ensure you don’t get an elbow or shoulder in the head? Sorry to all you jocktards but I’d much rather watching from a distance with a beer and friends or be leading a Givenchy perfume wearing hot latin babe like J-Lo around the dancefloor in the proper atmosphere!
EDITION 2 – Originally written May 24 2006
Aloha again! I think I touched on Friday morning in the start of my last email, here’s the expanded version… Our second day at our resort was so much fun! First we learned hula dancing and we danced to the teacher singing and playing this drum that looked like a mutant butternut pumpkin coz it was so big! Our Hula was awesome because we suck3d but the audience still cheered for us! At 7pm the resort threw a hula dance, music and fireworks event! The interesting thing about hula dancing is that every move has a special meaning behind it, and in sequence, the moves tell a story, which adds a whole new dimension to the dance. For example picking a flower is one phrase, offering it to someone is another, looking for someone to give it to… The story that the dances told were just beautiful! Much different to the fragmented dancing my mates and I used to do in year 10 when we used to sneak into southpac underage and showed off all the classic moves like mowing the lawn, stacking the supermarket shelf, mixing the butter, holding up the ceiling… Anyway, we got some great ideas from hula, and we want to get some more lessons and hopefully merge some ideas from it into our salsa.
Saturday morning we moved hotels from hilton to marc suites. Marc suites is in ghettotown, we dumped all our non valuable stuff there and rolled on for lunch at a nearby food hall. If anyone wants to make a million bucks in America, I reckon all you gotta do is start a natural health food shop or a real café that makes coffee in a real espresso machine. I am so sick of the food in America, it is just terrible. Andrea asked some guy where we could find a nice restaurant and he said ‘what, like mcdonalds?’ There is just no good food around at all. Everything is either loaded with fat, msg, sugar or car oil! Some of the mincemeat behind the glass of the foodwarmers at the foodhall was so black I’m sure it was emptied out of a cars gearbox.
Sometimes the real dodgy car dealers will buy a used car. If the gears are grinding, they will jam raw steaks in the gearbox which helps to lubricate the changing of the gears and make the shifting feel smooth. I know this because it happened in Australia to someone I know! Some sucker buys the car and the gearbox might last for a few weeks before the steaks turns to mince and the gearbox gets clunky again. The sucker then goes back to the dodgy car dealer and trades the car in for a better model, the dealer then drains the mincemeat from the gearbox and sells it to the takeaways at the foodhalls! The cycle repeats! I got my grub at joes hamburgers coz the sign said ‘made from fresh beef daily’. Dave and Andrea ate mexican. Angie arrived from australia on the plane the same morning and we couldn’t contact her – just by chance she rolled into the same joint at the same time we were there eatin lunch.
Saturday afternoon, we hired segways for a couple of hours, Segways are these amazing electric two wheeled platforms with handlebars. To drive it, you stand on the platform. Your weight controls the movement, all you have to do is put pressure onto the ball of your foot for forwards and put pressure onto the back of your heel to go backwards. Turns are controlled by a motorbike style throttle. I want to buy one to drive to work on but they cost almost $10000, which is way more than my honda! We drove them to this place called diamond head, which got its name from the rocks in the area that used to be sold as ‘hawaiin diamonds’, and of course they aren’t really diamonds. I think the guide said it was calcite. The highlight of the trip for me was at waikiki beach when we drove past this guy that looked like he jumped right out of a Marvel comicbook. This may well have been the real life person that the character wolverine was based on. He was dressed in the full outfit complete with stick on claws and hairy chops. He was running along looking menacing and throwing punches into the air at random in every direction! He had a cigger in his mouth which might as well have been a crack pipe. According to our segway guide, he trains every day at the same time in the afternoon. I tried to shoot him with my tranqualizer gun so I could get a photo but he was too quick. At the end of the trip, the segway guides handed a credit card tip ticket to dave and I only. I thought you rude people and tipped them a measly 4%. I ain’t going to start supporting a culture where the guy pays for everything!
Our first night in the ghettotown hotel was terrible, we are in a non smoking room that’s been smoked in, there’s gangsters fighting out the window, the occassional police siren and the air conditioner rattles like my first mitsubishi SIKma. I’m thinking about walking into one of those shops off the street that have pictures of the m-16 assault rifles! I’ll buy one and get them to throw in a free pair of earplugs so at least i’ll be able to sleep at night!
Sunday afternoon, we went on a bus tour around the south end of Oahu island.
We saw some beaches with some dumpers of waves and some exstinked volcanoes.
We also saw some people filming a bit of the tv show called lost and a bunch of famous houses and beaches etc that bits of magnum pi, hawaiin 5o and gilligans island was filmed at. There was a few other famous tv show stuff that we missed coz the bus driver had her left and right mixed up. By the end of the trip half the bus had figured that out so when she was saying look to the right, we’d naturally look to the left and vice versa!
Sunday night we hit up this mad salsa venue at sheraton called esprit lounge. The girls arranged to meet up with this guy called Greg the salsaman, we all danced and it was heaps fun. We also met this guy called Judah who is the best salsa dancer I have ever seen perform live! He is arranging for us to perform tuesday night at Zanzabar at the other sheraton hotel…
Monday morning, we did another tour, this time to pearl harbour. We saw a good doco there with original footage that showed how hard America got caned there by the japanese. We got a bunch of photos there of the memorial, a submarine and a battleship… Monday afternoon we took surfing lessons on malibu boards, which was pretty sik, the instructor thought dave was a champion surfer because he dissapeared after the first wave and the instructor thought he had enough of him. I thought he got ate by a shark coz he can’t surf for sh1te. The truth is he spotted a hot ch1ck on the big waves up the back so he ditched us!
Monday night we went to the international street market. We were shopping for trashy presents. My rule is to always offer 1/4 to 1/3 for any given item. This technique worked well for me in hong kong like 6 months ago. In hong kong, the street sellers will not let you go until you’ve bought their item. They even grab you by the arm, do most of the talking and lower the price the further you try to walk away from them. In waikiki, they wouldn’t take any cr&p at all. The responses I personally received after making my offer varied from;
1) them going silent so I walked off
2) physically slapping me on the cheek or hitting me on the forehead like they were banishing a demon from my body
3) putting the price up triple what they initially quoted
4) told me I had a fever and that I needed to see a doctor
5) They even tried telling me that Dave stole one of their $2.50 hulu god statues items (after he walked off) and that I had to pay them for it!!
They just didn’t act happy when i bargained with them, in general it’s still easy to get at least 50-60% off the price of trashy presents and its fun to test them. We noticed that most stands have the same products. According to our hotel receptionist, this is because they all buy them from the same shop at our hotel called betty’s imports.
Tuesday (this) morning, we got up at 5am and a boat took us out to snorkel around the coral and swim with dolphins and turtles. The coral was mostly dead, probably coz of a power factory on the shore that spits out hot water among other things. However the dolphins loved it and at one point I counted
12 of them swimming just below my body, young and old. It was unreal! I wanted to ride on their backs but the guy that ran the boat kept saying it was a federal offence and we’d get locked down. We also saw a few turtles, which was pretty cool. None of today anyway near compares to what I’ve seen in Australia though at the great barrier reef, so if anyone wants to see what lies beneath the sea, go there. Its way more colourful and alive…
Anyway, I gotta cruise, hang tight for the Third edition!
I couldn’t resist posting this image, if only they made a Salma Hayek version of this, you lads will know what I’m talking about, that scene in Robert Rodriguez’s “From Dusk til Dawn’!
Hey all, check out:
It cracked me up!!
For all you fans I plan on posting all my past travel newsletters on our recent trip to the USA, all 4 editions in all their glory! Please comment and let me know what you think! Here’s the first edition below…
EDITION 1 – Sent May 2006
Aloha from hawaii! Well we finally touched down after a 9 hour flight! It was hell because they only served vb & tooheys new. I was like where’s the fosters? It was like going to a movie and asking the kid with zits at the candybar for popcorn and them telling you they only stock rice crackers. Unbelievable.
Anyway, a summary of the trip thus far… Wednesday night in sydney, andrea, dave and I met up with one of my mates phil in glebe and we hit up the oyster bar for the mundine fight! The bar was rockin big time and I dont remember much of that except for andrea in the cut scenes when Kostya Tszyu was talking and she’s going I love Kostya, he’s so cool, he’s so fine! Turns out we were lucky enough to be sitting next to him at sydney airport the next day before our flight. I asked for a group photo and we almost had to call an ambulance coz Andreas legs turned to jelly and she kinda melted all over him. (See attached photo!) Hopefully our luck continues when we reach LA and i can tick a few more star groupie photos off my list …J-lo, justin timberlake and salma hayek! …oh and the latest edition, that french girl in da vinci code who just knocked catherine zeta jones into 5th position!
We stayed at phil’s house in glebe on wednesday night. Phil left before us and his housemates locked us in the house! Phil wouldn’t answer his phone when we called to ask how to escape. We were scared coz his area of thehouse is a dungeon. Its got this steep stairwell that goes steeply down like in that scene in pulp fiction with the gimp. We thought we were being held prisoner and busted out the back door. But we still weren’t free, we had to climb the back fence which was like the great wall of china itself! We tried to make a hellicopter out of the clothesline and a lawnmower like macgyver would have done so we could fly up and over the fence. Unfortunately we ran out of petrol and had to rock climb the fence instead and then we rode off the sunset on our harleys.
The thursday night plane ride to hawaii was crazy. We sat near the back of the plane and the crew couldn’t get the emergency exit shut for like 15 minutes. I’m sitting there watching & listening to a number of calls back and forth between biggles the flight attendant and the captain buzz lightyear (note; I withdraw myself from any liability in relation to transcription errors!):
buzz; ‘would you shut the damn door!’
Biggles; ‘ its broken!’
Buzz; ‘stop whining!’
Buzz (wanders up); ‘Have you got a toolbox?’
Biggles; (blank stare)
Buzz; everybody stay calm! Biggles get me a knife and fork!
Biggles; (comes back with a qantas cuttlery set)
Buzz then proceeds to stick a knife and fork in some metal cogs in the
door, locks it shut, goes and fires up the engine and we were on our way!
It was obvious to me that the captain went to boy scouts and earned his cuttlery badge, which is great …coz I can hardly swim to save myself! When I was in boy scouts, I had to throttle some kid and mug him for my 50 meter swimming badge. So naturally I didn’t want to get sucked out the emergency exit mid flight into the ocean and have to swim to hawaii battling sharks and blood sucking leeches! Especially considering I would have had to do this barehanded as my speargun got confiscated when I walked through the metal detector at sydney customs.
Thursday morning is when our holiday really started… we arrived at the hilton at 10am. It must be one of the most beautiful resorts on earth. Its got everything, shops, live music, restaurants, hula dancing and real tans.
You have to wear sunglasses so your retinas don’t burn out when the sunlight reflects off all the yuppies gold jewellery and diamonds! We thought we got the hotel for cheap in $AUD when we booked in australia with andreas credit card but it turns out it was $USD so was spewin at first! Now we’re here though, we reckon its worth it and we don’t wanna leave coz the next hotels going to be pretty much like a tin shed in kalgoorlie.
Now it’s Friday, we haven’t done much yet except for Hula dance lessons, which was a lot of fun. Some of the movements were the similar to what we do in Salsa! Now we’re going shopping and then we’ll spend the rest of the day at the beach, followed by a Hula performance at the resort tonight, gotta