The Bucket List

I finally found my travel bucket list. It was the list that was supposed to remind me to keep living. It consisted of the exotic, the dangerous, and the far off places. It embodied my traveller past and beckoned for me to dust it off, or more to the point to put it to use and get it dusty again.

I shuffled through the list of destinations and experiences. Dive sites. Monuments. Villages. Drawing a line through those I had conquered. Pondering the next secretly, never to be shared. Worried to some a list of this type would seem boastful and privileged, and to others unsophisticated and pedestrian.

To me it was a plan. A purpose. A structured approach to whimsy and spontaneity. An insurance policy to assure myself I wouldn’t lie in my grave wondering if I gave myself completely to using my days on earth well. I lay back, remembering. Perhaps the memory is still an important part of the journey.

But I shouldn’t confuse travelling with the journey. The journey lingers. As I grow from a combination of experiences. The journey lingers through reflection, through a change in perspective. As the past settles and cements, the journey continues. Travelling however can only exist in the today.

I hope my travel bucket list inspires a journey in you and I look forward to your comments and any helpful additions to my journey.

Taj Mahal, India

Everest Base Camp, Nepal

Three Games of Man, Mongolia

Blue Hole, Belize

Chichen Itza, Mexico

Humpback Whales, Niue

Great Wall, China

Machu Picchu, Peru

Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Stonehenge, United Kingdom

Petra, Jordan

Qin Terracotta Soldiers, China

Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Whitewater Rafting on the Zambezi Rapids, Zimbabwe

Deer Cave, Borneo

Foz Du Iguazu, Brazil

Arora Borealis in Tromso, Norway

Tulum, Mexico

Cinque Terra, Italy

Wildebeest Migration, Tanzania

Island Hop in the Caribbean

Captain a sailboat through the South Pacific

Amazon, Bolivia

Galapogas Islands, Equador

Madagascar

Pyramids of Giza, Egypt

Parthenon, Greece

Over Water Bungalow, Bora Bora

Havana, Cuba

Full Moon Party, Thailand

Hogmanay, Scotland

Dive with Great White Sharks, South Africa

Gorilla Trek, Democratic Republic of Congo

Antarctica

Anzac Day, Turkey

Whale Sharks, Ningaloo Reef, Australia

Munich Beer Fest, Germany

Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

Cruise Route 66, United States

Dive Sipidan, Borneo

Angel Falls, Venezuela

Sky Dive over the Namib, Namibia

Bungee Jump Bloukraans, South Africa

Running of the Bulls in Pampelona, Spain 

Grand Canyon, United States

Sistine Chapel, Vatican City

Masaii Mara, Kenya

La Tomatina Festival in Bunol, Spain

Easter Island

Okavango Delta, Botswana

Dive the Yucatan Cenotes, Mexico

Wailing Wall, Jerusalem

Milford Sound, New Zealand

Under Fire

Night time, two kilometres south of the middle of the Amazon and we again set out to explore. We were about an hour and a half out of camp when I hear Herman howling profanities at the top of his voice. I turned and called out “what the fucks the matter Herman?”

“I’ve been fucking bitten by something”

I race back and inspect Herman in the torch light. He has a couple of marks on his chest and some on his arm. I get anyone with a head torch to start scouring the nearby jungle floor for the culprit as Herman and I attempt to diagnose his bite marks.

“Did you see a snake? A spider?”

“I didn’t see anything mate but it hurts like a bitch. I know one thing though, there are a lot of nasty fucking things out here in this jungle.”

I inspect the marks on Herman and could visibly see the venom from whatever bit him moving across his chest and up his arm.

“We have to get you back to camp, keep calm mate, I’ll hold your arm above your head to try and slow down the venom and lets move”

And so we did, for an hour and a half we walked, me holding Herman’s arm in the air, back to the campsite. Animal shrieks and the beating of insect wings keeping time with our dramatic march back. We sat Herman down next to the fire, he was a tough guy but was obviously in a lot of pain. The local guys gathered around, the first proclaiming the wounds were a snake bite which didn’t make sense since Herman hadn’t seen a snake and the bite marks while both in pairs were not the same distance apart. I didn’t know what a snake bite looked like but we weren’t buying the snake bite scenario. The next of the local Indians supported his mate and my stomach dropped. We were so far from anywhere and without knowing what snake it was my mate’s life held perilously in the balance.

“What kind of snake?” I asked urgently, but he couldn’t tell. Our situation seemed helpless given the broken English, mime and broken Spanish we were trying to communicate through. I look over at Herman, he was sweating and grimacing in pain.

“What’s he saying Robbo?” Herman asks with much more presence of mind than I would have.

“He doesn’t know” I said back, half lying. I turned back.

“Are you sure this is snake? Serpiente? Not spider?”

He was sure that it wasn’t a spider because if it was a spider he said then the fangs would be still in wound. I sat down with Herman.

“These guys don’t know what they are talking about, they say they are snake bites but I can’t see how they could be…… they don’t look like they could be. They say that if it was a spider the fangs would be stuck in you because spiders lose their fangs when they bite?”

“What? Well that’s bullshit” Herman grimaced

“I know right? Have you ever heard of that?”

“Never bru”

“Right, what do you want to do? The way I see it, we could put you into a boat and start making our way out of this jungle. That might be pretty dangerous at night and it might be morning before we get you to some sort of civilization?”

“No, I want someone to tell me what the fuck bit me.”

I get up again and send the local guys off to find a medicine man or witch doctor or someone that can help tell us what bit Herman. I sit back down with him and feel his pulse and forehead.
“What the fuck are you doing Robbo?” he shrugs me away
“Just checking your vital signs”
“What for? Do you even know what you are doing?”

“Well I know you feel hot”

“Well that’s because I’m sitting next to the fire dickhead”

Almost an hour later one of the guys came back with someone that knows what he is talking about apparently.

“Yes, this is ant”

“Herman recoils, “There is no way this was a fucking ant bite”

“Yes, fire ant” he responds going on to tell us that he has seen grown men crying from one bite on the hand. Each bite feeling like being shot. Juan speaks with him confirming the fire ant is also known as the bullet ant because its bite feels like a gunshot wound.

The medicine man nods his head matter-of-factly and stands up. “You ok tomorrow.”

I take one look at Herman and burst into hysterics, “an ant bite….. all this for an ant bite.”

Herman now in a mix of relief and dread that this event will be brought up in every backpackers we visit for decades. Every time I see an ant, every time a snake or a spider is referred to, every time South America is mentioned.

Tonight though I give the bloke a break, he was obviously still in a lot of pain and despite recent revelations I was still concerned the diagnosis given by our bush doctors was incorrect. Tonight we sit around the campfire until the pain starts to subside. Tomorrow is another story.

Searching for Giant Anaconda

Night time we negotiate through the jungle floor, the guidance of the dappled moonlight through the canopy the night before, now replaced by our makeshift ‘explorer torches’. In an act of manliness, Herman split some bamboo in quarters at one end and stretched them across an old tuna can which he tied and mounted with some twine. Dousing some oily torn cloth in fuel and placing it in the can, his explorer torch was assembled. Not to be outdone I hurried to make one of my own and this night, guided by the 10 foot light cast from the flames of our Indiana Jones style torch, we ventured into the Amazon. Our mission was simple, the local tribe had seen some large Anaconda and Herman and I hadn’t, so we were about to rectify that. We left the village in a line, one torch at the front and one at the back, the middle in almost complete darkness but for the sparing light from the moon and a couple of inadequate dimly lit head torches. It was romantic in a dangerous first explorer sort of way. The moist leafy floor crunches underfoot as we negotiate vines, fallen branches and the dense foliage, traversing intermittently onto what seemed to be a path from what certainly couldn’t have been. The vegetative smell of damp leaves and rotting wood.

The group walk silently, their footfall the only sound we add to the sounds of the jungle mammals, birds and insects. The jungle kneading me as we walked, habituating to us from an initial shyness, now insects and birds go about their business around us and sometime on us.

After an hour of trekking we encountered our first challenge. A cliff, maybe 15 to 20 metres above a rushing river. The foliage so dense that a small dirt path barely a foot wide from the cliff was the only route through. Some of the group voiced their opinions that this path was far too risky but our local seemed unperturbed and Herman and I urged us forward. The group left with no real option but to advance, we held hands, backs to the scrub, eyes diligently sizing our next step in the darkness and shuffled sideways along the ledge to the next clearing. The odd slipping of a foothold with the associated heart skip the only mishap that did more to add to the realness of the adventure. We make our way to a stream, our local “guide” commented that it was most likely we would see big anaconda here but we had to get to the other side. The nimble footed locals had walked across and back the log that stretched across the fifteen meters of water. I was to be the first gringo to attempt the crossing.

I have never been the most coordinated guy in the room and already had serious doubt I would make it across the precariously thin “bridge”. My first step, shaky, the mud caked on the sole of my shoes compromising the necessary traction required to balance. I place it down and immediately slip off the side of the log and into the mud.

“What are you doing?” Herman shouts from behind.

I pull my wet muddy leg from the muddy quagmire and attempt to place it on the log. Again it slips off. I step back deciding barefoot is the only way I am going to get across this log. I toss my shoes on the bank and call out to Herman to throw them to me when I get to the other side. Again I step onto the log, uncertain. My toes curled, gripping at the smooth cool wood. So far so good, I slowly move my way to the middle of the log, wobbling, arms out. I hold my position. Still myself and look down into the dark, possibly anaconda filled, waters a metre below. One more step, an overbalance and I was off the log and into the water. What usually would have been a hilarious scene now sent panic through the group. Except for Herman who battled his explorer torch and camera whilst heaving with laughter. My feet make the bottom and I stand in waist deep water, quickly assessing my options and for the first time thankful I could not see an anaconda. I push for the far bank quickly, sloshing through the water and clambering up the bank through the darkness and flashes from Herman’s camera. The group are relieved and I sit back in the dirt, panting, adrenaline pumping.

“Herman, can you make yourself useful and throw me my shoes” I ask quite amused he thought only to immortalise the moment rather than attempt to help me.

Herman throws my shoes but predicably they fall a metre short of the bank sending me scurrying back into the water after them, knowing Herman has a better arm than that.

Looking back across the water I see Herman’s hulking frame carrying the explorer torch pushing through the team and stepping onto the log to be next to cross. Within seconds he was across the log without so much as a sway. He jumps off near me, his grin evident in the flickering light. He didn’t say anything, he didn’t have to. He just patted my back and grinned as I put back on my muddy shoes, both of us knowing that we would probably have to come back this way and cross the bridge again.

 

Journey to the centre of the Amazon

Off a rickety wooden pier with rotting pylons we step into the river panga and set off through a Rio Negro tributary into the Amazon jungle. Last night’s rain heated steamily adding a voluptuousness to the air and a ghostly mist that hovered inches from the water cutting an eerie corridor through the jungle. Like we had entered the Degobah System we embarked. Below fallen branches spanning part of the waterway, between tight bends and jungle thicket invading the backwater’s space we buzzed, the chattering of our motor the only noise above the insect and birdlife. The jungle dense with obscurity, breathing, heaving.

Our skipper only cutting the engine to drift past precariously close to an outstretched tree snake and to point out an area on the bank where he thought he may have just seen a jaguar in the distance. Other than these occasions we pushed into the dark recesses of the rainforest sending squirrel monkeys, brilliantly coloured macaws and parrots and a leafy wash of interrupted reptiles, scurrying away.

By late afternoon we pulled up to a nondescript bank and scaled its heights as part of a much needed leg stretch. Onto the top of the bank we walked through a grassy clearing before coming to a village of indigenous families. Our greeting party was a small child barely walking, in a pretty but dirty little dress, walking around with a large knife. She waves it at us, cutting the air in play before dropping it to play with an old coca cola bottle.

The village was basic with wooden and grass shelters on bare dark dirt. Our skippers gone, Juan heads out ahead of our group being sized up by the local Indian community, the children clutching at their parent’s legs, peering out from behind them in tentative fascination. Juan comes back to us, from the looks we were receiving it was uncertain whether we were in the right place but he informs us the village chief was on his way to greet us. We stood around, the locals keeping their distance but eyes affixed until a larger bellied man made his way over.

“That one is the chief” he whispered to me, which left me wondering why we were talking like spies in the expanse of the jungle. Juan and the chief spoke in Spanish for a few moments. It was fast and heavy in dialect and I couldn’t understand any of it, but before long Juan calls out to our group pointing in a direction and saying we could stay that way. I thought it rude to stay on someone’s property without having the courtesy of saying hello at least. I walk up to the chief with hand outstretched.

“Hola” I say with a smile.

“Hola” the chief responds.

“Mucho Busto” I say and turned to walk away, satisfied I had shown my politeness. Behind my back the chief grimaced and then looked at Juan all confused like. I was heading back towards the group when Juan catches up to me.

“Pronounce your words” he hisses.

“What did I do?” I question

“Its Mucho Gusto when you are pleased to meet someone, not Mucho Busto”

“Oh, did I say Mucho Busto did i?”

“Yes” he hisses again

“What does Mucho Busto mean?” I query

“You told the chief he has big breasts……”

Bolivia

Our bus has broken down, and the novelty of broken down vehicles in the wild has well and truly worn off. We are on a road somewhere between Cochabamba and Conception. The road is dirt gravel and a light sun shower is sprinkling. The view of the jungle is magnificent. I need a shit. I grab the emergency bog roll from my backpack. This makes Herman combust into hysterics. I slowly walk up the road, looking for an appropriate spot with Herman giggling like a Hyena in the background. It’s widely known in my circle of friends that I can’t shit in the bush. Or at least I can but I can’t do it well. You see I can’t seem to do the squat thing right, I’m also hopeless on the Asian squat toilets. My legs don’t seem to allow me to crouch in a way that wouldn’t involve me crapping into or down the back of my shorts. I don’t know how anyone does it and ive never been taught so maybe I’m just doing something wrong.

In any case, if I want to use a squat toilet, or for that matter take a crap anywhere where I wasn’t sitting on a proper western toilet, it involves quite a bit of preparation.

This time was no exception. First I have to take all my clothes off. This includes hat, sunglasses (because they could fall into my business) and find a place to put them. Secondly I need to find something solid to hold onto. I had found a little clearing off the side of the road but the terrain was so hilly that the only place I could find was a steep grassy little area between two thickets. I hang my hat on the nearest tree, with my shirt, shorts underwear and sandals.

With two hands wrapped around the limb of a small tree, I lean back like I’m waterskiing with my legs apart and do my thing. Not the most stylish position but it got the job done, I reach for the toilet paper.

“Whooah” the light rain is making the grass slippery as hell. I stand up straight, one slip and I could end up slipping straight through my excrement and down the hill naked. I clutch a twig with one hand as I wobble to stay upright, my other hand flung out with a roll of toilet roll in it to keep me upright. Balance is maintained. The twig snaps under my grip. As long as I don’t move, I will be right. I look for my next footing or hand grip to move me from my current perilous position when I am distracted by movement up on the road.

A school bus stops in the clearing above me, children all hanging out the side stop their chatter and stare at the naked white man standing in a star shaped position, twig in one hand, toilet roll in the other. My eyes widen, 20 pairs of eyes stare back and then through the mercy of god the bus moves forward.

What the hell was a bus doing all the way out here, why did it have to stop where it did, why cant I take a crap like any normal human being.

I walk back to the bus, Herman cracks into laughter again.

“You ok Robbo?”

“No Herman I am very fucking far from ok …… by the way, what do you think they do to blokes who expose themselves to kids here in Bolivia?”

Rio de Janeiro

We taxi it to the fringe of the Lapa street party at the base of the aqueduct that connects St Theresa with the Centro. The streets are humming and so am I. The smell of BBQ wafts through the air and the rhythm of drums accompany it in a harmony of sensory exhilaration that would enthral and electrify even the most seasoned of travellers. We push into the heaving crowd soaking up the colour and vibrancy of movement, dogs and children weave underfoot and flags and streamers frame the azure above. Canopied street stalls and bar entrances to buildings from the 1800s line the street with live samba, choro, rock and reggae tunes emanating and possessing any space between the movement of mocha skin from locals and tanned tourists alike.

We find a less dense area to stand and drink, suitably appropriate to a beer and sausage stand while placing us in the middle of same minded locals well and truly in party mode. Caipirinha, a fuelled mix of cachaca rum, lime, sugar and ice is the perfect chaser to Batidas straws of fruity and milky elixirs that surely need to follow a refreshing Brahma Chopp.

We indulge and before long have conversations with multiple groups of locals most of who can speak English and others who are just keen to communicate with a series of nods, smiles, and the little Portuguese we can muster. We mingle in and out of dancing groups and sidle along side all who look friendly or interesting. Herman is seeking out a Brazillian with a brazillian.

I am talking to some brazen young shirtless local men who have the potential to be dangerous if not simply intimidating but I am suitably inebriated and any unfounded prejudgement is placed aside and partially substituted for a friendly enthusiasm to marinate in their culture. I glance over my shoulder to check Herman is ok. He is throwing his hands about in an animated fashion, three tourists watching on entertained. I turn back to the group. After the obligatory introduction via comments on the crowd and our respective origins, we engage in the finer and more important discussion topics.

“You guys have some hot hot women here” I complement.

“You need to have one” Estevan, the ringleader of these amigos who seemed smoother than a rat with a gold tooth, replies enthusiastically. He is a tall confident well groomed guy who I was happy talking to for now and who seemed friendly enough, but whom I wouldn’t trust my wallet or sister with. “Which one do you want?” he continues.

“Ha, you talk like you own them” I respond with a laugh.

“I don’t own them my friend but you don’t have to be so slow here in Rio, you see a girl you like, you just walk up to her and take her.”

“Take her?”

“Sim, beijo … kiss her”

“Yeah right” I laugh “We have a name for that at home”

“Serious….. look I will show” Estevan struts into the path of a pretty brunette walking with two girlfriends on her wing, and presents long enough only for a quick “ola” before leaning in and kissing her. Abruptly halted, the brunette girl reciprocates his advance and after a good 10-15 seconds of passion Estevan spins on his heel and returns to the fold. “See…. Now you.”

“Hold on there fella, as impressive as that was, how am I to know that wasn’t your friend or girlfriend, or wife…… or sister” I announce cheekily to the laughter of the boys. Estevan punches my shoulder softly and playfully for the sister comment as he is slapped on his back by his mates.

“I tell you I don’t know that one” he says

“How about I pick a girl for you to just walk up to and kiss”

“No problem” Estevan replies. I turn and scan the party.

“How about…” my finger points out towards the crowd

“no touristas” Estevan adds

“Ok how about….” Finger still scanning, “this one” my finger stops on a girl standing close to us and then quickly shifts at the last second to a girl over a little. “Yes, her, the short hair white singlet shirt”

“Which?” Estevan says “oh, yes, no problem.” Estevan, swagger in check parades to the target and within seconds is engaged in an embrace and kiss suited more to a honeymooning couple than that of a chance encounter. He returns and all eyes are on me

Their eyes eager in anticipation of my move in this game.

“Ok, at the risk of looking like an absolute idiot in front of you guys, I’m going to give this a go….. Just walk up and kiss them you reckon.” I start towards the crowd saying over my shoulder “Promise me, you will help me out if I am attacked by a jealous boyfriend or if this girl slaps me.” The guys laugh again. I’m in trouble aren’t I, cant back out now though. I spot a very pretty girl in jean shorts and big boobs snuggled into a midrift crop top. I stop directly in front of her and look into her eyes, she is beautiful.

I say only one thing. “sorry” and then I lean in and kiss her. She kisses back to my absolute amazement and so I pull her in close. We kiss again after a quick turn and wink to Estevan and his amigos.

“Herman, Herman” I stop kissing and grab my kissing partner by the hand. “Herman you can kiss any girl you like” I am so excited, I drag her towards Herman.

“Mate, what are you talking about” I have his attention.

“Seriously, you can kiss any girl you want”

“What”

“Just go up and kiss a girl” I squark

“What”

“Mate, listen to me and stop saying ‘what’, this place is different, you can just walk up to any girl you like and kiss her, those guys told me to, I did it and now I have….. hey what is your name”

“Hee hee you funny” Mariana was pretty in a worldly way and with confident eyes that more seemed to take pity or amusement in my courting attempt. Sympathy hook up or not, I was stoked it worked.

Herman was onto it and in minutes came back with Ana. I was a little bummed, Ana was hotter than Mariana. We introduced the girls and celebrated our revelation between us secretly before taking their hands to further explore the street party. Now with dates.

We drank, ate and danced until late and thoroughly enjoyed the company of the girls who taught us about Brazilian culture, music, dancing, drinking and anything we noted that seemed different from home. Not once did it occur to us that we had just been given the key to pick up any girl we wanted, presumably, and that we were stopping with the first girls we found. We are idiots.

It was getting late and not being ones to head home early we ask the girls to take us to their local gaff and all pile into a taxi. Mariana gave the cab driver directions and although the ride was only about 15 minutes I was happy it was over since Herman had somehow swindled his way into the back seat with the ladies whiles I sat up front with an unwashed driver who looked a little like a Brazilian Steve Buschemi. The driver chatted the whole way through stained and crooked teeth and didn’t seem to comprehend that I couldn’t understand a word he said. I smiled a lot and nodded, if he pointed at something I said “si” and pointed to it as well. This seemed to suffice for company for this guy and he appeared very satisfied with our conversation when we arrived at our hole in the wall destination faring us goodbye with a hearty hand shake.

Inside the décor was simple, wooden tables with bench chairs and scattered in coasters. The walls dirty with beer posters and old notices for bands that obviously didn’t perform here. I order a round of drinks, the girls go to powder their nose while Herman and I reflect on what a great night we had and lay some anticipations about what the rest of the evening would hold with the girls. I look around “mate, do you notice their seems to be a lot of pretty young girls in here with some not so good looking older guys… and one of them just smiled at me and pulled her tit out the side of her t-shirt”

“I was just going to say the same thing, I have seen two sets of cans since we came in” Herman responded, but we didn’t have time to extrapolate any theories from our observations, the girls were back and our attention was focused back on them. Mariana and Ana come back to the table only this time Mariana sits on Herman’s knee.

“What are you doing?” he said confused

“We changed” she replied

“What do you mean you changed?”

Ana sits down next to me “Well we were in the toilet and she says she like you better than him and I like him better so we change” She responds matter of factly to Herman.

“Ha” I rock back in my seat and clap my hands together over my head, “The old switch-a-roo”

“I’m not sure I am entirely comfortable with this… I’m not happy about this at all” Herman glares at me across the table.

“Mate, not my fault, if the girls want to swap, what can we do about it? We kinda have to swap” I laugh and pull Ana to my lap. We start to kiss, Herman sits there with a bemused look.

Reluctantly Herman accepts his new girl and before long, Mariana is whispering in his ear and a grin came over his stupid looking face from ear to ear. Mariana calls something out to a friend of hers in the bar as Herman leans over the table and mouths the word “threesome”. Within seconds Mariana’s friend is sitting on the other side of Herman whispering in his ear also. Herman has a thousand mile stare and his eyes are starting to slowly roll back in his head.

“Your friend does not know does he?” Ana says

“Know what?”

“That girl is a prostitute”

“Really? Um… are you a prostitute?”

“Ha ha no”

“But you are friends with her?”

“No I don’t know this one. I meet her when I meet you”

“How do you know she is a prostitute?”

“She tell me when we were walking through the street party”

“OK but I don’t understand ….. I mean …. I walked up to Mariana and kissed her and she kissed me back… because she is a prostitute obviously…. but why did you let Herman just walk up to you and kiss you?

“I think he is funny”

And why did you come with us?”

“You all look like fun”

“And you are sure you are not a prostitute too?”

“No, I am not a prostitute”

“Shit, I have to let Herman know” I look across at him, he was in his happy place. “I had better give him a bit of time before I break it to him” Ana agreed, besides we had a lot more kissing to do.
30 minutes and another round of beer later I had a drunken moment of clarity and there were a couple of local guys that seemed to be watching us intently. Maybe it was time to wrap this up.

“If you will excuse me ladies, I just have to use the mens room. Herman, would you like to join me?”

Herman squints at me like I am crazy “No mate, I would not”

I nod in the direction of the toilets, he nods in the direction of Mariana.

“Um, I think you do want to join me mate”
“Robbo I’m pretty fucking sure I don’t”

I lean in and stare a bit more intensely at Herman nodding slightly, he stares back shaking his head subtly and quickly. I respond slowly and with intent. “Herman my retarded friend, I couldnt be more obvious if I grabbed you by the scruff of your neck, please, get the fuck up, I want to talk to you.”

In the bathrooms I explained our situation to Herman. Herman met my status update with the appropriate amount of suspicion.

“This is not like the time you convinced me the girl we both liked was a white witch? Im on a threesome out there”

“Well let’s just think about that now Herman, in all your travels have you ever known girls to behave like the ones here in Brazil. They are all kissing us and showing their breasts, playing pocket snooker and inviting instant thresomes. Don’t you think that it is a little unusual?”

“I just thought we were hot in Brazil. I was planning on moving here for good”

Herman replied but leaving the events that lead to now with him for the briefest of moments reality sure enough sunk in and a look of utter devastation hit Hermans face.

“Have you ever met a brazillain prostitute’s pimp?”

“No”

“Neither have I but I really don’t want to and wherever the pimp is watching on from,  I don’t want to be arguing the toss with him as to whether we owe him for a nights services from the two girls you were getting your jollies with at the table”

“Ok then, fuck, Im way to drunk to be dealing with this. How do we get out of here then?”

“Its ok, I have a plan”

“Robbo, your plan sucks”

“Hey, you haven’t even heard it yet……Now we could have just walked straight out the front door but that will arouse obvious suspicions with the prostitutes. So…. Herman, you climb out the bathroom window here and I’ll go back to the table. The prostitutes will think you are still in the toilet. Maybe I will mention you have some sort of diarrhoea bug.”
“Why would you do that?”
“Because its funny, what do you care, you aren’t seeing them again are you? Then I will pretend to take a call on my phone, Ill meet you on the next corner”

“Why can’t you be the one who climbs out the window?”
“Because I came up with the plan and also because I am not the one that needs to escape the pimp, my girl isn’t a prostitute”

“She was my girl first!”

“Semantics Herman, quit living in the past. Now get to it”

My plan worked to perfection. Herman had to scale a fence after being terrorized by a dog, but with minimal subsequent whinging he met me on the corner.

“Did they suspect anything?” he asks

“Mate trust me, I was as smooth as a rat with a gold tooth” Just then some high pitched prostitute yelling came from up the road. A lot of Portuguese and some English that says you owe me money. We start running in the other direction, the prostitute being joined by two other prostitutes. My girl wasn’t there, I was proud of her. Those prostitutes were quite quick, they were no doubt catching on us when Herman stopped for a moment.

“What are you doing? Lets go?” I yell

“Don’t worry Im creating a diversion” Herman shoots back. Herman pulls out a bunch of centavos and scattered them across the ground, throwing a couple of 2 Real notes into the air before returning to the chase.

Seamlessly we approach the next corner and slide straight into a cab, turning to see the prostitutes half a block away scurrying to pick up Herman’s change on the road. And we were off, laughing our arses off into the Brazilian night.