Joke tips

What a pity Kulula doesn’t fly internationally – we should support them if only for their humour – so typically South African.

A good mate of mine sent this to me as an email attachment and it was too good not to share with you guys. Sadly I have no way of knowing if these things are true or of crediting the original author, but they are too good not to share.
If any of you know who put this awesome little piece together, do let me know, enjoy.
grey What a pity Kulula doesnt fly internationally   we should support them if only for their humour   so typically South African.
“Kulula is an Airline with head office situated in Johannesburg . Kulula airline attendants make an effort to make the in-flight “safety lecture” and announcements a bit more entertaining.
Here are some real examples that have been heard or reported:
On a Kulula flight, (there is no assigned seating, you just sit where you want) passengers were apparently having a hard time choosing, when a flight attendant announced,”People, people, we’re not picking out furniture here, find a seat and get in it!”
On another flight with a very “senior” flight attendant crew, the pilot said, “Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve reached cruising altitude and will be turning down the cabin lights. This is for your comfort and to enhance the appearance of your flight attendants.”
On landing, the stewardess said,”Please be sure to take all of your belongings. If you’re going to leave anything, please make sure it’s something we’d like to have.””There may be 50 ways to leave your lover, but there are only 4 ways out of this airplane.””Thank you for flying Kulula. We hope you enjoyed giving us the business as much as we enjoyed taking you for a ride.”As the plane landed and was coming to a stop at Durban Airport, a lone voice came over the loudspeaker: “Whoa, big fella. WHOA!”After a particularly rough landing during thunderstorms in the Karoo, a flight attendant on a flight announced, “Please take care when opening the overhead compartments because, after a landing like that, sure as hell everything has shifted.”From a Kulula employee: “Welcome aboard Kulula 271 to Port Elizabeth. To operate your seat belt, insert the metal tab into the buckle, and pull tight. It works just like every other seat belt; and, if you don’t know how to operate one, you probably shouldn’t be out in public unsupervised.”

“In the event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure, masks will descend from the ceiling. Stop screaming, grab the mask, and pull it over your face. If you have a small child travelling with you, secure your mask before assisting with theirs. If you are traveling with more than one small child, pick your favourite.”

“Weather at our destination is 50 degrees with some broken clouds, but we’ll try to have them fixed before we arrive. Thank you, and remember, nobody loves you, or your money, more than Kulula Airlines.”

“Your seat cushions can be used for flotation; and in the event of an emergency water landing, please paddle to shore and take them with our compliments.”

“As you exit the plane, make sure to gather all of your belongings. Anything left behind will be distributed evenly among the flight attendants. Please do not leave children or spouses.”

And from the pilot during his welcome message: “Kulula Airlines is pleased to announce that we have some of the best flight attendants in the industry. Unfortunately, none of them are on this flight!”

Heard on Kulula 2 55 just after a very hard landing in Cape Town : The flight attendant came on the intercom and said, “That was quite a bump and I know what y’all are thinking. I’m here to tell you it wasn’t the airline’s fault, it wasn’t the pilot’s fault, it wasn’t the flight attendant’s fault, it was the asphalt.”

Overheard on a Kulula flight into Cape Town, on a particularly windy and bumpy day: During the final approach, the Captain really had to fight it. After an extremely hard landing, the Flight Attendant said, “Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to The Mother City. Please remain in your seats with your seat belts fastened while the Captain taxis what’s left of our airplane to the gate!”

Another flight attendant’s comment on a less than perfect landing: “We ask you to please remain seated as Captain Kangaroo bounces us to the terminal.”

An airline pilot wrote that on this particular flight he had hammered his ship into the runway really hard. The airline had a policy which  required the first officer to stand at the door while the passengers exited, smile, and give them a “Thanks for flying our airline”. He said that, in light of his bad landing, he had a hard time looking the passengers in the eye, thinking that someone would have a smart comment. Finally everyone had got off except for a little old lady walking with a cane. She said, “Sir, do you mind if I ask you a question?’ “Why, no Ma’am,” said the pilot. “What is it?”The little old lady said, “Did we land, or were we shot down?”

After a real crusher of a landing in Johannesburg, the attendant came on with,”Ladies and Gentlemen, please remain in your seats until Captain Crash and the Crew have brought the aircraft to a screeching halt against the gate. And, once the tire smoke has cleared and the warning bells are silenced, we will open the door and you can pick your way through the wreckage to the terminal.”

Part of a flight attendant’s arrival announcement:”We’d like to thank you folks for flying with us today. And, the next time you get the insane urge to go blasting through the skies in a pressurized metal tube, we hope you’ll think of Kulula Airways.”

Heard on a Kulula flight:”Ladies and gentlemen, if you wish to smoke, the smoking section on this airplane is on the wing. If you can light ‘em, you can smoke ‘em.”

grey What a pity Kulula doesnt fly internationally   we should support them if only for their humour   so typically South African. grey What a pity Kulula doesnt fly internationally   we should support them if only for their humour   so typically South African. grey What a pity Kulula doesnt fly internationally   we should support them if only for their humour   so typically South African. grey What a pity Kulula doesnt fly internationally   we should support them if only for their humour   so typically South African.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why not check out my recently released book by clicking on the cover below:

grey What a pity Kulula doesnt fly internationally   we should support them if only for their humour   so typically South African.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bucket list wars

Waiting for our flight to Launceston, Tasmania my fiancee Jette asks me for some input into her Bucket list. Writing down a list has been brewing in the back of Jette’s mind for some time. I have posted what we came up with both as inspiration and as something of a warning to anyone considering help with this very personal document. We sit there passing the computer back and forth, throwing ideas around and eventually produce a complete train crash. We do get some very curious looks from waiting commuters as we cackle with laughter and pass the computer back and forth. (My input is in Italic)

Jette’s Bucket list

Climb a mountain higher than 4000 meters

Run 5km in less than 28 minutes

Bungy jump naked over a crocodile infested lagoon

Run 10km in less than 60 minutes

Learn to speak Spanish

Waterski and cross wake 4 times

Climb a proper snowy mountain (using ropes and crampons) with Ben

Have kids

Take them back for a refund 2 weeks later…

Take my kids to the Galapagos Islands

Drink margaritas on a beach in Mexico

Eat Lebanese food in Lebanon

Do a tandem paraglide with Ben as the pilot

Learn to paraglide, fly alongside Ben

Watch Ben dance around the Christmas tree singing Danish Christmas carols on Christmas Eve in Denmark with my entire (close) family

Develop a pathological love of bushwalking and hugging trees

Fly in a glider

Ensure my awesome fiancee never has to iron another shirt in his life

Buy fiancee wrinkle-proof work shirts!

Lecture at an Australian University

Buy Ben a new 15” Mac book

Speaking of 15 inches…

Buy Ben a new car

Remember to say thanks when presented with my new car from my fiancee

Remember not to complain when it is a clapped out VW beetle from 1964

It won’t matter when he just bought me a whole new wardrobe and a diamond necklace (which I can always sell…)

Not kill ex-fiancee when the pawn broker tells me the necklace is cut glass and the clothes are stolen from a charity bin

It all won’t matter when fiancee has finally got that six-pack (#43) When will that ever happen by the way!

Love fiancee unconditionally even if he becomes fat, bald and smelly

Move to Spain and fall in love with a hot Spanish man

Give fiancee all my money in the settlement

It won’t matter as Spain man will be rich as well….

Pffft – get on with your list woman!!

Do a road trip up to Queensland with Ben

Go skiing in New Zealand

To be continued

Hostel people

Picture this, we walk through the front door of a great looking hostel located in. How do you know how to speak with, who to avoid and who to chat up? Below are some pointers to surviving hostel people.

Reception staff

Generally good looking females in their mid to late twenties. There are two reasons a good looking twenty-ish year old lady will find herself behind the chipped counter with check-in forms photocopied beyond recognition;

  1. She needs to the money to be here
  2. She is in love with a local

The lady who needs money to be here will hate you on principal as you are just bumming about. The lady who is in love with a local does not find it endearing that you wrote “Yes please” instead of male or female and that your job is apparently “Exotic dancer”. She will just want to finish her shift then hustle over to Juan’s place forsex. Despite neither receptionists being friend material be polite…be very polite. These ladies hover their fingers over that door buzzer as you frantically dial the intercom at 3am and watch as a lynch mob of unhappy husbands or wives close in. Be polite.

You get to your room and carefully try to fit your valuables into  locker the size of a postage stamp, on the bottom bunk seemingly dead is

Catatonic person

Two reasons can explain this catatonia. Either this person is a hard core solo traveler, they will ghost themselves away in the early hours and explore more of this country before breakfast than you will in three months. Not friend material. Even if they are lovely people, you would never keep up. The other explanation is that this bag of meat on the bed imbibed too much last night, no bother, you will meet them when the bar opens.

You have a shower, pick month old hair from your toenails, dress in your traveling best and go to the bar. Look around but don’t rush to sit down, a mistake here could be fatal to your friend mission. Leaning against the bar are two seasoned

Hostel hoppers

Don’t go there. These guys can travel for months or even years without seeing the outside of seedy hostel bars. I once stayed in a Peruvian hostel for one night before embarking on an epic two week trek in the Andes. Upon my return I saw the same two people guys holding up the same bit of bar and having the same generic “My what a cute accent, Annie was it…” conversation as when I left them. They will most definitely want to be your friend, that is until a cute German girl is in range, then they will just mock your Australian-isms and shun you in a feeble attempt to look cool.

Keep looking, oh those guys at the pool table seem to be having fun.

Pool table jocks

Pool tables are to bar conversation what internet dating is to awkward people breeding. Pool table jocks are neither interesting nor engaging. They use pool as a lubricant to try to hide the fact that they have nothing interesting to say about, well anything. Keep it in your back pocket though. You notice that hanging around the bar are some locals

Local lurkers

A risk, sometimes a risk worth taking. Generally locals come to hostels for one of two reasons; Shag a backpacker or to sell drugs, sometimes both. They ingratiate themselves with the pool table jocks in the vague hope that the pool table jocks will draw some good looking, fun girls into their net.

What about the bar tenders they look friendly, clean….

Bar staff

Bar staff are the male equivalent of the reception staff with a much higher sex drive, they would root their awkward auntie patsy if she put on a nice frock. Bar staff are great to chat to for the first few drinks but invariably the conversation will quickly descend to a one sided discussion about which girl in the room looks to be a sure bet. Get in, learn the cheap tours and sightseeing tricks and get out.

God, this is looking grim, what about that gaggle of good looking girls sitting apart from everyone else?

Pretty girl table

Now this pretty table of girls invariably will have inherited a male guard dog at some point in their trip. The girls keep him around in a hope that he could provide some protection from the pool table jocks, the guy hangs around in the hope that at some point he could get laid. In nature this is called a symbiotic relationship. If there is no guard dog go for it, have a chat. If there is, steer clear, generally guard dogs take their duty very seriously.

Janitor

Well the dusty old mexican looking dude pushing the broom. Always a sure bet for some stimulating conversation, try to see him looking for a cigarette then whip in with one before he can say “Hola”. Locals working in hostels are always a sure fire bet for a good yarn, local intelligence and a laugh. You will not regret spending that $1.50 shouting any of them a drink, usually. But he finishes work and goes home too quickly. Look around the bar, what about that weird, lonely looking dude staring at his laptop?

Guy sitting by himself on computer writing about people in hostel – Hi, what took you so long?

People on a plane

 

grey People on a plane

During my various flights and waits in airports on this journey, as is bound to happen, I have met a few interesting People on a plane. This got me thinking about the types of people you bump into on a commute:

The fretter

Whilst waiting to check in at Melbourne international I met my first fretter. He was a balding chap wearing a safari shirt and a bumbag (the international fretter’s uniform). we were at the back of the queue but I was not concerned, we still had

over two hours until takeoff. Fretter scurried up with his eyes darting from clicking departure board to board. With beading forehead and frown working overtime he turned to me;

 

“Is this the check in queue for Bangkok?”

“Yeah mate”

(there were no less the eight screens in front of us displaying all the flight numbers and code sharing numbers)

“Do you reckon we will have time, it’s a big queue?”

“Yup easy, customs is really quick in the morning”

 

 

“Good, good, my travel agent assured me I will have time but it is a big line…are you sure?”

“She’ll be fine mate, don’t worry. Where are you going? What have you got planned?”

I find that most fretters are impossible to console, distraction is a safer option; ‘I am stressed’ is best replied with ‘Oh look, something shiny’

I turned to the guy in front who was busily ‘hhmhping’ in a freakishly bovine manner and commenting on the slowness of the line. Immediately upon asking “where are you going?” I realised that this tall, lanky guy was different to my animated friend behind….

grey People on a plane

The mistrusting guy

This type of commuter is suspicious of everyone. When I finished my question he shifted his bags away from my feet and placed himself between me and his bags…well the flight was to Bangkok and I was wearing my weird hippy pants… Never, never waste time or energy on the mistrusting guy, they spend their entire commute staring down coloured children or obsessively checking their itineraries for errors. If you ever meet a mistrusting guy at a hostel or bar, just walk away, trust me!

I find my seat on the plane next a friendly, well dressed indian chap leaning forward to tuck my book into the seat pocket I suddenly realise that I had been seated next to,

The farter

There is not much to say here. If, like me, you don’t wear your Sunday best on a plane a snappily dressed Indian farter beside you will seem innocent of any smells wafting around the vicinity. Despite him wolfing down Hindu vegetarian curries continuously for the entire ten hour flight everyone within four rows was looking suspiciously at me. Slumped against the window seat I noted was a

Sleeping girl

I have only seen a few true examples of this retiring creature on commutes, their talent is rare and much envied on extended flights. Once their seatbelt goes clicks and before the safety spiel finishes they will tilt their head to one side, close their eyes peacefully and not stir for the entire flight. While watching her slumber enviously I decide that there had to be drugs involved. Looking around the sleeping cabin I spotted a faint glow coming from the middle of a row and realise that; Ladies and Gentlemen we have a

grey People on a plane

Gaming-man

The flight attendants will have to wrench his iPad or Gameboy out of his hands on final approach. I suspect that airlines position gamers on every flight and they are the ones really flying the plane, the guys in front are just terrorist decoys.

A thirteen hour ‘Angry Birds’ bender is just a warm up for the gaming man. I imagine they scuttle to their hotel in exotic lands to “Just finish this level…” They ignore any offer of food or water and sit bolt upright for the entire flight, gleefully tapping away and chuckling to themselves. Small ‘pings’ and clicks come from their earphones as they sit stock still, unaware of any clot which may be forming lower down in their legs. Having never seen one move for the toilet I can only assume that they are blessed with freakishly large bladders along with their ninja thumbs. While looking at the Gamer for signs of life my knee is bumped by

The Wanderer 

Getting up every ten minutes or so, the wanderer will never risk DVT or cramp. They have an uncanny knack of finding knees in the dark to bump, they facilitate their movement by pulling hard on the back of each headrest en route. They melt into the darkness before registering a wake of annoyed grunts being produced.

Now, I pre-booked my seats like any good commuter thinking I would be set for a decent slumber on the last leg (Bangkok to Copenhagen). I arrived at seat 29B full of promise to find seat 29A occupied by

The single mum

Yup, a nervous looking Thai lady watched me stow my bags before apologetically introducing herself…and the 10 month infant on her lap.

The long haul

I decided to do what I would if it were my niece (no, not tip Phenergan down her throat) I was polite and tried to make friends with this ticking bomb and her mother.

No success, tough crowd.

I got chatting to mum and found out that not only was she ‘The single mum‘ she was also

The exploited

I last met a group of exploited when I flew from Kathmandu to Doha in 2010. A large group of excited Nepalese men were flying to Doha for work. Little did they know they would spend upwards of 12 hours a day in forty degree (celcius!) heat building opulent mansions for rich oil barons.

The lady sitting next to me told me she was flying to the Faroe Islands (A small archipelago north of England, closer to the North pole). She looked at her daughter lovingly and told me she was moving there to marry a man who she has neither met nor knows, her eyes betrayed the story. I spend the next ten hours helping mum to keep baby happy and at the airport explaining customs procedure to her.  By the way the child turned out to be a little ‘sleeping girl’ angel and hardly made a peep, maybe she picked up on her mother’s inner turmoil.

Now on the final leg of my commute I am pleased to have avoided the worst kind of commuter:

The Guru

This guy has been to most places, he is not scared to share his philosophy with all and sundry;

“My wife and I saved for years to go to London last summer”

“Oh no…not in summer! London is faaar better in spring”

The Guru generally wears those loose cotton pants favoured by hippies (but he looks natural in them…not like other posers). Guru watches other commuters with their bumbags, safety belts and printed itineraries. He strides around airports and through immigration confident in his ability to handle anything the commute may throw at him. More often than not he will have his own blog site…

 

I have not met a Guru for a long time….but I do just love Denmark in the summer, you must go in the summer….

 

Travel with Parents

grey Travel with Parents

There are numerous blogs around which dole out useful tips on where to buy diapers in Mongolia, child friendly Asian cities or how to mute your newborn on an intercontinental flight (I strongly suggest generous lashings of Promethazine).

However, I have not yet noticed any tips on travel with parents. Most people have parents, some of us have parents that still require the occasional update on our lives:

“Yup, Hi Dad, yeah you were right Syria was a bad choice…” or

“Hi Mum… Chapelle here. What’s that….no, not that great…”

Myself? I am blessed with parents who have seamlessly evolved from two shadows haunting my childhood and pulling me out of trouble (or belting me around the ears) into great mates. Whilst planning my first world domination tour in early 2010 both of my travel virgin parents hinted at exploratory itchiness:

“I have always wanted to see the Galapagos”

“I did a grade 9 project on the Inca Trail, have always wanted to go there you lucky bugger”

Without considering the ramifications I said;

“Well, why don’t you both join me?”

I returned from about three months abroad, thrilled to discover that my parents had taken my advice and decided to join me. They not only had booked flights in parallel with mine to South America for six weeks, they had also arranged tours, hotels, taxi transfers, a Galapagos boat tour and made a shortlist of must see sights in every country we were to pass through. We had an absolute blast in those six weeks, learnt a lot about each other and shared memories that will only serve to strengthen our friendship. However, I also learnt some important pointers about traveling with Parents:

  • Your Parents have organised the logistics of your entire development. It stands to reason that they will not be happy to lob into a country with a credit card, passport and vague plan.
  • No matter how badass you try to look in dangerous suburbs, your Mum will not hesitate to lick a finger to swipe a booger off your nose.
  • There is a good reason your parents sometimes sleep in separate rooms (snoring)
  • Your Dad’s love of the Akubra hat and little Aussie patches extends beyond his home country.
  • It is extremely difficult to chat up hot Danish Lawyers on a Galapagos cruise with your parents in tow (I said hard, not impossible!)
  • Even though you have been at altitude far more often than your Mum, she will still hesitate to take your advice; “Slow. the. hell. down.” (Inca Trail)
  • Take your parents to a local nightclub and they will proudly display their lack of inhibitions and dance skill.

grey Travel with Parents

Do not despair though, travel with parents can be extremely rewarding as I have discovered;

  • Watching your parents walk through the Sungate to Macchu Picchu after 5 days trekking the Inca trail arm in arm is an extremely satisfying and misty eyed experience.
  • Having Mum steal a towel from a hotel before a 16 hour bus ride so she can nurse you through a terrible bout of gastro is extremely comforting.
  • When your parents defer to you about how to avoid a riot or strike it is strangely satisfying.
  • How many of you have spent days on a boat snorkelling the Galapagos Islands with your parents or drunk pisco sours in a shady bar in Lima with your Mum?

I know that everyone has a different relationship with their parents, clearly I am very close to mine. Since this first trip my parents have continued their travels solo and unabated. I am currently helping them to plan a six week domination tour of Europe, something I never thought I would see them do.

Traveling with my parents has introduced me to two wonderful travel companions that I already know and love. It has certainly broadened my horizons, we saw and experienced things I would not have alone. So go on, ask your parents along even for a short stint, next time you are planning an adventure. I have not regretted doing it and doubt you will. At the very least you can authoritatively correct your Dad’s grandfatherly ramblings in years to come. I just hope that our travels together has not inspired them to spend all of my inheritance!

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This business partnership has expired.” Ben has no idea what adventures are in store when he sets out to discover what lies over that next mountain.

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