Tasmanian bound for India – Transit lounge = Fremantle (PUNKS AND VETERANS).

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Well Fremantle, affectionately known as ‘Freo’,  is my transit lounge for 9 days before I leap into my Indian chaotic adventure. My old pal Brooke is house-sitting in Freo at the moment, so I thought why the fuck not come and spend some time here before I leave. Brooke and I worked together back in the late 90’s, at a Pharmacy in Tasmania. We have kept in touch over the years, and she, like myself loves to travel. Brooke served in Afghanistan with the army and on April 25th, which is ANZAC day we attended the dawn service, which remembers those who fought for Australia and New Zealand in the multiple wars since World War 1. During the morning chill and darkness of a North Perth RSL memorial I realised that I hadn’t been to a dawn service since I was a kid, and to be honest I never really wanted to. I am not a fan of any war, but the women and men who look after our country are to be respected and never to be forgotten. They are the bomb, no pun intended, and yesterday really showed me how bloody amazing these guys are. War is, and will always be here as long as humans reign supreme in the world. Corrupt ruling governments, fanatical religious dicks and crooked businessmen keep this unnecessary fucked up event happening, time after time. The courageous and selfless women and men who fight on our behalf are an integral part of keeping us safe. Their stories are real, not fictitious or propaganda, and if you want to argue or debate war, no matter what side you are on, speak to them. They have seen in it, fought it, and been there. If you haven’t don’t blast your ill-educated opinions all over the place. Servicemen and women are the true story-tellers, and that is a fact. So next ANZAC Day go and support these selfless people, without them we may not be here.

Post service we ventured into Perth for the parade. Upon arriving after an uneventful train ride we realised we has in fact missed the parade. Nice one Brooke, I blame you. The streets were full of smartly dressed uniformed men and women, with their families and friends. Each and every bloke kept glancing at Brooke to see what medals were sitting upon her chest. Or were they? Last year Brooke has a dick of a journalist assume she was wearing her father’s medals. Assume not wanker. In true Brooke style she confronted the dude to explain in fact they were her’s, and to get fucked. I love people who assume, without finding the facts. Complete fools.

So beer time, and plenty of them. Being in Western Australia we had to wait till midday to buy a beer, very un-Australian Perth, very. Two-up started in the street, where gambling on the street is allowed for this day only I was informed by a police cop I meet. Beers started flowing, and so begun an 7 hour beers consuming with my new found Perth buddies for the day. We did an Uber pub crawl all over Perth, which ended up at the Army Barracks, where servicemen and women belted out Australiana songs like: ‘Your the voice’, ‘Better’ and ‘ These days’. I manage to keep a lid on my antics for the day and observed the servicemen and women letting their hair down. I thought though who the fuck is looking after the country today and our old mate Kim decided to let loose? That’s right it is all bullshit anyway. But if I was an evil invader I would choose this day, April 25th to have a go at Australia.

Pictured above: Myself and Brooke having a few beers after the service.
To tie in my love of music, and boy do I love music. Prior to ANZAC day I spent 2 solid nights at Mojo’s, located in North Fremantle. Punk rock and rock ‘n’ roll are my life line. They make me get through bad times, and enjoy good times. A young punk from Hobart, Gus Romer (who plays in Hobart’s band Bu$Money), had just joined the Melbourne outfit Amyl and the Sniffers, and they were in town. I was not going to miss this 2 day smorgasbord of fuckin great music. Mojo’s is a true live music venue. No bouncers, no dicks (except 1 Freo supporter), no pretentious beers or bar staff, a smokie beer garden, and a loud quality PA.

Amyl and the sniffers are a punk sharpie rock band, who fuckin rock. Vocalist Amy Taylor treats punters to her wild stage antics, nothing I have seen from a femal vocalist for some time. These guys are raw and real, and love a beer before, during and after their show. Dec and Bryce make up the rest of the band, and playing some pool with these guys in the worker’s pub down the road, I realised how down to earth they were. Also how shit they were at pool, sorry guys. They supported Hideous Sun Demon who tore Mojo’s up 2 nights in a row, and were so damn good. One of the best live bands you will see in Australia at the moment. There was 15 other bands who played, and all were notably fucking awesome.

Picture below: Gus Romer and Amy Taylor of Amyl and the Sniffers.

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Check out some of the music via the following links below:

http://amylandthesniffers.bandcamp.com

http://hideous-sun-demon.bandcamp.com/

Fremantle, in which the traditional owners of the land call Walyalup is a port city, located approximately 25 km south of Perth. I could definitely see myself living here, but I do say that a lot about numerous places I visit. It is a with a mix of people from backpackers, weekenders, students, eccentric street riff-raff, dock workers, fishermen, artists and very attractive women. So Freo is my departure lounge. I am ready to board. Mumbai (India) is in the post. I can feel it’s chaos upon me. What will happen? What will I see? Who knows? Only time will tell for me now.

See ya Freo – who hairy punk, veteran of a town.

Pictured below: Amyl and The Sniffers @ Mojo’s, and 2 ANZAC veteran’s.

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Manila – Welcome to the jungle that is tamed by Pacquiao.

So I arrive at Ninoy Aquino airport and quickly disperse into a taxi with sweat running off my back and the fight between Pacquiao and Mayweather blasting out of my taxi’s crackling speakers. Where are the masses of people and jeepneys I have been told about? Where is the chaos? I ask the driver what has happened to the madness of Manila I have heard all about. He responds in limited English, ‘ The Pacquiao’, ‘The Pacquiao’, ‘The fight’. As I glance out my dirt covered window I realise that one man has unintentionally evacuated the Manila traffic for a smooth run to my hostel. I stayed at awesome hostel in Makati, which boasts a great roof top view and aircon, but nothing else. Makati is the basically the rich area of the city, with new modern age skyscrapers and clean, calm streets that you could be mistaken to being in Singapore. Apprantly the mayor of this area has ties with the President I am informed. Where are the jeepney’s, an recent icon of the Philippines from the Americans after World War 2.

But bugger that I want to see a sunset on my first night after a hot, tired 3 hour wait for my room. So I befriend a guy staying at my hostel from Davao named Joey. He is in Manila to get a visa for Norway and has to wait 3 days. So we jump into a cab and head to Roxan Boulevard on the bay of Manila. Good thing having a local countrymen to avoid the potential taxi rip off. Other methods are always asking other locals in nearby taxis how much it should be. It works most the time, but hey sometimes you just have to roll with it.

So just in time to the see the setting sun amongst the crowd of homeless people living on the sea wall of the boulevard. No one really hassles you at all, unlike other countries I have visited in the past. I like it, even if the whiff of sewerage melts my eyes and nose constantly. Oh yeah I forgot it’s hot, damn hot. I recommend a slow walk along the boulevard and then disperse back into the city for a beer. By this time I needed aircon as well. So into the world of Makati we head. But I didn’t realise it. After 20 minutes I came across a local Manila guy wearing a Tasmanian Football Geursey. What are the chances? So after a photo shoot with him and more sweat pouring off my now drained body I had to escape the chaos.

So off to the nearest watering hole we retire to. But it wasn’t any old bar. It was a karaoke bar with $1 beers. And it had aircon, boom. I was ready now to relax with Joey and get to know him. But why was this bar full of girls in skinny clad dresses. Why was there only 1 big, hairy Japanese fella in here. Oh it is a brothel as well. Joey quickly confirms this and I had already ordered a beer and thought bugger it, here I will stay. It was basically the reception of a brothel with lounges and terrible karaoke playing. The girls tried and tried again to get me to sing, yes sing. But they didn’t have any queens of the stoneage, so I politely declined and continued to drink my beer. So after an hour or so, and 5 cold Red horse beers we left and said goodbye to a new found friends. Back to the hostel for a sleep, and ready to tackle Intra Muros (the old part of the city) , and learn about the battle of Manila. What a strange day. WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE PAUL.