Travel Blog 18; Just Think!

We’re living in a time where a lot of folks booze
Whether sitting in a bar or sitting in their front rooms
Some say its made for profit some say for fun
Some say its even made to keep the population dumb
It can loosen you up when your out with your friends
So you can finally approach that girl from your ends
Have a dance, lock lips, fall under the spell
Then wake up in the morning with a story to tell
It should come as no surprise I was a fan of the drink
Used to go through Whiskey till my nose turned pink
Jaeger Bombs by the tonnes, puking up in the bogs
Waking up without a clue how we got home from the clubs
Now don’t get me wrong it was all good fun
Cos we stayed smart enough not to leave in handcuffs
I know you’ve heard this and it sounds like a gimmick
But it always pays off just to know your limits
When your crowds buying rounds things get out of control
But try to keep your Ps and Qs try to balance your tone
If she just wont respond she just ain’t feeling you
Don’t persist don’t let the gesture get misconstrued
If your out and about and lose one of your friends
Take a second just to call them or a drop them a text
If your mixing your drinks your gonna get a sore skull
Morning after’s not for studying or visiting Mum
And if you see a sign of trouble don’t try to get involved
Don’t try to be the hero cos its not your job
You may think your the answer when you’ve got no hope
Plus the Bouncers get paid to stop fights you don’t
Wont bother saying don’t get drunk; you will
But try to keep below the point you turn violent and kill
Don’t try to walk home if its way too far
And for God Sake don’t try to jump in your car JUST THINK!

Most kids try drugs ‘cos they’re all the rage
I reckon most people have who are round my age
There’s nothing wrong with some weed once or twice a week
Laugh at jokes, eat Pizza, get deep, fall asleep
But you really need to think when your out in the street
When your looking for your MDMA and your Speed
Listen these things kill if you take them every day
But then again so does Macca’s, KFC and Subway
I’m not going to tell you don’t do drugs
But I’ll tell you to do them round people you trust
Like the type of friends you had since you were kids
‘Cos if you have a bad trip you’ll be thankful you did
If you don’t know what it is don’t put it in your mouth
Don’t snort it up your nose if you don’t know what its about
If your sniffing off a surface use a surface that’s clean
Don’t buy off a dealer that you’ve never ever seen
Don’t try to sneak the stuff inside of a bar
‘Cos if you get caught your leaving in the back of a car
Don’t take it at your job just to get through the day
If you cant go without then its time to walk away
to you its just a boost just to help you maintain
but I guarantee your boss wont see it that way
Have a good time and if its drugs your feeling
Do them at the right time do them for the right reasons
If your thinking that dropping will improve your night
Then why not drop something every once in a while
Nothing wrong with some dropping if your hitting the floors
Its just a problem when your dropping just to get out the door
Enjoy the rise but just consider the fall
Cos I can tell you coming down’s not pleasant at all
Don’t fall into the trap of doing drugs when your bored
And for God Sake only buy what you can afford JUST THINK!

I’m Tha Bozz and that’s my opinion.

 

 

The Year of the Box Office Bomb

So The Mummy dropped last week and it sucked, like really sucked. In all honesty, and without trying to sound too pessimistic, I thought it would. Cruise is too old for the action-star shtick, Alex Kurtzman has only directed two full-lengths including this and the trailers came across as flat, soulless and completely lacking the humour, pace and charm of there 1999 Brendon Fraser-led predecessor. At least we cant do them for false-advertising.

Not only was it received about as well critically as a Gary Glitter Greatest Hits compilation at a children’s party it didn’t make many waves financially either. Coming in with a budget of $125 million not to mention millions more in promotional costs it has so far made around $180 million worldwide. Don’t get me wrong such an amount could probably do a lot of deserving people a lot of good who once resided in the Grenfell Tower (don’t get me started) but with a budget like that the numbers just don’t cut it.
In fact The Mummy isn’t alone in its failings as this seasons Big Budget Financial Bomb-Squad is as stacked as I can ever remember it being with the likes of Power Rangers, Ghost in the Shell, Baywatch and King Arthur: Legend of the Sword all slumped up against the bar wondering what the hell went wrong. Well there’s a few things that it could be attributed to.

Power Rangers was a surprisingly competent and ambitious effort with some good acting and effects but it was inconsistent tone-wise and the marketing campaign made it unclear as to whether it was aimed at kids or older audiences; therefore alienating both.

Ghost in the Shell was far better than it had any right to be but by being yet another entry in the Japanese Brand Readapted for US Audiences Club, you know alongside Dragon Ball Evolution etc, it already had audiences turning their noses up before it even hit screens. Along with Scarlett Johansson’s failure to do any PR or promotion for it its safe to say Ghost in the Shell was dead on arrival.

Moving onto Baywatch… Come on, its Baywatch. The show that isn’t currently available on any mainstream streaming networks and hasn’t been socially or culturally relevant since Joey and Chandeler sat back in their recliners to watch it on TV in the 90’s. Need I say more?

As for King Arthur. Two words; Charlie Hunnam, yes he was the main guy in Green Street, and two shows; Game of Thrones and Vikings. Nowadays Fictional Period Films are not exactly in high demand, then again this film was originally conceived almost a decade ago which explains a lot, but when they can be obtained on Netflix once a week from the comfort of your front room it all but dooms the ones that hit the big screens. Plus, like Power Rangers, its promotional campaign was confusing and half-hearted. Double plus; Charlie Hunnam. FYI I really don’t like Charlie Hunnam.

All of the above could be considered valid reasons for why in ten years time the fan base for these films will be holding their reunion in a phone booth but perhaps the reason that they’re taking an early dirt nap and have about as much chance of receiving a sequel as Tha Bozz does of receiving a Grammy runs deeper than that. Except their financial failings what one other thing do these movies have in common? They are all reboots or reimagining’s of a franchise that came before them.

Reboots are the thing and have been for a while. The likes of Michael Bay have made a killing off them but if we’re honest a lot of them are not exactly up to much. It seemed like for a while that this was fine with the most recent Transformers and Ninja Turtles films doing good business but perhaps the game is changing and people are finally getting sick of these soul-less or at least average reboots and its time for Hollywood to make some changes? Unless your Disney, Disney will be fine…

I’m Tha Bozz and that’s my opinion.

Travel Blog 17; 5 Signs That You’re Growing Up

I turned 27 a couple of weeks ago.

Just had to let that opener sink in for a few minutes, I don’t quite know how it happened but I cant quite shake the feeling that this is all somehow Theresa May’s fault. I don’t know, seems like everything else going on at the moment is. This is not a political post though so I digress.

As a guy who lives in a hostel in Sydney in a dorm with 7 other beds, drinks beer and Goon most nights with Germans, South Americans and French people, smokes…Things. Listens to Hip Hop and proudly wears t-shirts emblazoned with Star Wars, Marvel, Super Mario and John Cena imagery its hard to admit that TECHNICALLY in the eyes of most civilisations I am growing up! As a guy who, in all honesty, fled my motherland with the full intention of prolonging this process its even harder to admit that its happening faster than I could have imagined and the signs are showing.

Now relax people we are going to have some fun here! I don’t have any grey hairs yet and I still find farts funny. Its just that as I sit here in a surprisingly comfortable bath robe that they gave me at a nightclub a few weeks back, for some reason, I cannot help but acknowledge the fact that I’m growing up. So what follows is a personal countdown of the 5 signs of maturity/growing up that I have recently encountered. Buckle up people and get ready for some references that if your younger than 23 you just might have to jump up and catch.

1. Beer Belly/Dad Bod

I swear to God when I was a kid I was the envy of every adult and adolescent in my circle. Even my teachers wanted to kill me, for other reasons aside from this but mainly because I could eat anything I wanted and wouldn’t gain an ounce. When I was in the swim team the instructor used to bring a pack of Polo mints to class and tell me they were for in-case I started drowning and this one time this tall kid 4 years above me put me through a low-level basketball hoop! I actually came out unscathed mainly because I slid straight through it like a needle through a thread.

The reason for the envy though was because although I had a body like a Timon I had a diet like Pumbaa! The trend of non-consequential eating continued until about 3 months ago when I stumbled out of bed to the bathroom, took one look in the mirror and was greeted by a very real voice in my head saying a very real thing; “Bozz you look terrible!” He was right as well. With my bald head, sticking out belly and less definition than an empty dictionary I looked like a white Skin from Skunk Anansie going into labour.

Gone is the care free diet. Don’t get me wrong I drink and smoke whenever the feeling comes over me (pay day, when I have to talk to girls, Sundays etc) but I’m trying to limit the amount of red meat, sugar and fast-food in my diet and although I slip and slip hard its starting to pay dividends.

2. Nightclubs Suck!

They probably have done for a while, particularly in Australia, but I’m just really not feeling the scene these days. I cant be arsed dressing up too much, the drinks are overpriced, the bouncers operate an ‘If Your Happy and You Know It Your Too Drunk’ policy and the music…Well that’s something else.

I haven’t heard any of it before! Hell, I didn’t even know what ‘Dabbing’ was until somebody in WWE started doing it during their ring entrance and its probably outdated by now as well. The other night me and a friend were standing around in a Sydney Nightclub as the DJ played, what sounded like 20 straight minutes of Lil Kendrick Dolla Sign until he randomly threw in one of my personal guilty pleasures; Right Thurr by Chingy. I hit the dancefloor like a Whale to a paddling pool and the shapes came out. Problem is that out of everybody in this place 50% of them might not have even been alive let alone listening in 2003 and after one run of the chorus instead of being told how he “Likes the way she looks in them pants” it was back to the Swag-Pack. This definitely never used to happen but the truth is musically my finger hasn’t been on the pulse for so long that I’m not even sure its still beating!

*And the music’s so bloody loud!……Jokes….*

3. Hangovers

Most people go travelling in search of life-changing experiences. This starry-eyed wonder is no exception but on the way I also went and found some life-changing hangovers. Up until about 5 months ago week-long benders were not uncommon. Yet its like something fell out of place inside me as now I find myself in a place where every time I choose to get on it I need to take into account the very realistic possibility that the next day will be a complete right-off. Do not schedule any work appointments, dates, sporting activities or social interactions of any merit the day after a sesh and for God-sake keep the route between you and the toilet bowl clear…

4. Less Tolerant

I actually don’t see this one as a bad thing. By less tolerant I by no means mean less accepting of any colour, race, gender, orientation, political or religious belief. I hate you all and I always have.

What I mean is less tolerance towards b*lls*it. Once upon a time I was the type of person that would run my mouth until it started sweating and losing weight trying to force conversation with people when I met them. The type of person that would hold my tongue tighter than a pair of tweezers when a person downright besmirched me for the sake of a quiet life and to not offend. The type of person that would become infatuated with members of the fairer sex and chase them blindly ignoring the way that they treated me like something that they stepped in, displayed insufferable personality traits or just downright weren’t interested.

Now if you are a reader who is also a Dyspraxic with their feet planted firmly within ‘The Spectrum’ then you will fully appreciate how exhausting the above can be. If your not just take my word for it; it f*cking is! People take the p*ss. Sometimes you do, sometimes I do, sometimes we don’t realise we’re doing it and sometimes we downright do. Sometimes people click and are meant to share good times and sometimes they just aren’t and this is fine.

Nowadays I make my mind up on whether to pursue a conversation with a person within the first 2 minutes and base it on a few things; eye contact, tone of voice, returning of questions and faith in my own judgement of character. If they don’t want it I’ll stop giving it after those 120 seconds. If a person moves my stuff, steals my food, wakes me up when I’ve got work or insults me personally they will know about it. Woman doesn’t want to know? She’s not going to and I don’t break my back trying to force a stone to bleed blood.

I suppose the long and short of it is I’ve KIND OF stopped giving a f*ck. Don’t get me wrong I still endeavour to be polite (no, seriously), endeavour to be kind and helpful (NO, SERIOUSLY!) and treat people with respect. I just expect it back and if you find the way that I strut around singing the music from my headphones enthusiastically, drape my Welsh flag across my bed in hostels when I’m on bottom bunks and how every now and then I just flat out do not want to be around other living things to be problematic then I don’t know what I can do for you buddy.

5. You’re not Proposing Are You!?

Yeah, my friends back home are moving on up like M People. Now I wasn’t one of those chumps who really believed he could go away for more than a year and everything would pause like an episode of Bernard’s Watch until I came home but this is scary!
Since leaving 2 of my besties have decided to tie the knot. I’m over the moon for them not least of all because they’ve chosen to do it with exceptional people who couldn’t have been more made for them and the stag doo’s will be heavy (better write off the next two days after those!). However as I tuck into my noodles and tuna and pour myself a glass of white wine that came out of a cardboard box with a bag inside this information does set the voice off again. This time with a statement along the lines of “S*it dude where’s your lady? Where’s your career? Where’s your Car and seriously do you really hand-wash your Draws!?”

Truth is this guy isn’t too hard to drown out but it doesn’t mean he isn’t there and it doesn’t mean that he isn’t a sign of the times. In the eyes of a lot of people me and my cohorts live a lifestyle that’s unorthodox. Believe me explaining it to the average 21-30 year old lady in Sydney is as much of a turn-off as handing her a handkerchief and asking her what it smells like. So I just tell them I’m an Astronaut and they don’t respond to that either. WHAT DO YOU WOMEN WANT!? Most job openings finish with a statement along the lines of ‘No Backpackers’ and like any of us could ever afford a car or regular use of the laundry machines!

Seriously though this last one is probably the biggest sign of growing up and it does hammer home the reality that nothing lasts for ever and at some point I will be forced to live a somewhat normal life. Hoping this doesn’t end things on a downer because on the whole my life at the moment is a blast, has been for some time and I don’t intend it to stop anytime soon its just that…27 man! Twenty-F*cking-Seven!

I’m Tha Bozz and that’s my opinion.

Travel Blog Part 1; Sorry its Late!

So its been just over 5 weeks since I boarded the plane out of ol’ blighty and headed head-first into the unknown or as its otherwise known; the Southern Hemisphere. I promised myself I’d be more on the ball with the blogging but due to issues involving prehistoric wi-fi, writers block, the fact that laptops don’t work underwater and some pretty excessive abuse of alcohol, food and the odd other thing this has not been the case. I understand if you never trust me again.

Travel from my limited experience is a strange beast and an ever-changing one as well. In the last 5 weeks I don’t think my mood or mind set has sat still for any longer than a few hours at a time. Kind of like kids after they’ve had Skittles, Pepsi or ecstasy. The initial flight was a real brute; Manchester to Dubai, Dubai to Melbourne, Melbourne to Auckland. Then after a 23 hour layover which involved getting steaming drunk at the harbour with some friendly Americans, a German and a fellow Brit a further 4 hours to Nadi. Its in Fiji.

The first thing I noticed about Fiji upon touchdown and spoken like a true Brit was; f*ck me its hot! Now I’m sure any flamboyant, dreadlock wearing, guitar playing seasoned traveller with a double-barrel name who reads that would greet it with a scoff and tell me how its nothing on Thailand or India or North Korea but I’ve never been to those places and I was hot so kiss my arse. Also; I don’t care about your spirituality but I’d be happy to discuss how your drug habits are directly affecting the infrastructure of every city you’ve ever been in when you have time.

The second thing I noticed about Fiji and this one came as no surprise was that, when compared to back home, its different. No better, no worse just different. People move at a slow pace. Sometimes even a little irritatingly so but mostly the change is quite refreshing. My first few days were spent lounging on a beach drinking Fiji Gold (very nice) and then getting even more hammered in the night with humans from all corners of the globe and honestly I didn’t feel the smallest bit guilty about it.

As already mentioned though travel is a strange beast and maybe a person with more experience can enlighten me on whether or not this is normal but the blues began to set in quite early on. I missed home, I missed family, I missed not sharing my bedding with the animal kingdom, I missed personal space, structure, talking about Football, Boxing and WWE and showers that work with rather than against you. I was sunburnt from the sun, I was head-burnt by some of the insufferable yuppies I’d attempted to make small talk with and the repetitive music at the hostels was on its way to turning me into a serial killer.

Alas as they say persistence is key and persist I did. Not because I’m brave, courageous or even likeable but because 3 weeks is a long time if you have know one to share it with! Sure enough on a fateful day I met a crowd and we clicked. I always thought that my ‘crowds’ would be full of novices such as myself who lacked the balls to hit up some of the more daring countries but I was wrong. The people I travelled with had been all over the place. They were seasoned travellers but they WERE NOT bell-ends; simples! They were great in fact and through them I met a bunch of other great people to. We got drunk (obviously), drunk Kava with locals (something I really feel honoured to have had the chance to do), skinny dipped (there were girls involved I swear!), drove into town in a ride with no backseats that couldn’t go over 50mph and that smoked more than the Marleys and learnt the true meaning of the term Fiji Time when we were given strict instructions to be at Suva Dock for 4pm to board a ferry and were still sitting around at said dock drinking rum and Kava at 11:30pm!

Speaking of that bloody ferry, we had a close scrape that taught me the importance of time management along with the fact that their genuinely are some good people in the world. After 16 hours aboard a freighter that, and I say this with all due respect to the owner, was a toilet that floated and was packed out to the rafters we docked at Savu-Savu for a breather. We had spent the journey sleeping on a bed bug ridden floor, eating rubber chicken and hanging out with a massive Fijian-Indian family on our deck; I actually really liked that last part but Christ the kids had energy. Couple this with the fact that another lady who we got friendly with had a 3 year old son called John (who currently holds the title of Cutest Kid Met on My Travels and is going to take some beating) who decided I would make a good pillow and I didn’t have the heart to move him and we NEEDED to stretch our legs so we hopped off for a stroll in Savu-Savu. When we asked the ferry staff how long we had before departure we got 3 different answers from as many staff members. Referencing the delay back in Suva we decided to go with the biggest time span we were given, how wrong we were.

Sure enough we left the restaurant at Savu-Savu just in time to see the ferry drifting off into the distance. Maybe instinct took over but I still find the fact that we tried to run after the thing for almost a minute pretty amusing on hindsight. Sure enough panic set in; the ferry was gone, our luggage was on it but so were the previous mentioned family who had given us there numbers. So we got hold of them and they assured us that they had the luggage in there sites and would make sure it was safe. What lovely people, you ain’t read nothing yet.

So the luggage was safe but we needed to get to it and Fiji’s ferry systems don’t exactly run every 30 minutes, more like every 3 days. Taveuni was the island in question by the way and it was only accessible via sea so we were well and truly screwed by all accounts or we would have been in any other place. Sure enough we get talking with a lady at a fish shop opposite the harbour and a mere 10 minutes later we had a ride to Taveuni via a speedboat going to the island to deliver oysters that would not only get us to the island but get us their BEFORE the ferry. After picking up the drivers assistant, stopping at his village and meeting the chief who also owned the dock and assured us that all was okay and that ‘In Fiji you will always be taken care of’ we hit the water. My God that speeder was fast and its lucky that health and safety isn’t really a thing on the islands because after picking up a German couple we were rolling 8 deep! The rain pounded us, the waves were big and we cheered as we passed the ferry and out-ran it. What an experience it was.

At Taveuni we drank, went camping, had more Kava, I got my PADI (story for another day) and met some other pretty awesome human beings from all corners. Like all good (and bad actually) things though it came to an end and a week and a half ago I left Fiji for Auckland and its Auckland where I sit right now.

I’m aware that this post is dragging worse than the Queens Speech and needs wrapping up like the Xmas presents I won’t be getting this year but I can’t really find a point to it all, kind of just been ‘key-styling’ it so to speak. Auckland is cool but I’m glad to be heading to Wellington for Xmas as its a little soulless. Leaving behind things in Fiji was tough and New Zealand is like starting all over again, I’ve already made some good buddies that I’ve had to say goodbye to in Auckland and the lack of stability isn’t always easy to cope with. Sure enough the previous mentioned travel stereotypes are present and correct and on-hand to drive me up the wall and judge me but what the hell have I just done to them in this post? Was this post a love letter to Fiji, a list of travelling pitfalls and symptoms or just a recap of a crazy five and a half weeks? You know, I think its a bit of all the above.

Travel isn’t for everyone and I’m starting to understand why. Is it for me? Too early to say but I’ve had some good times and I pray they continue and that the other stuff gets easier over time. Over and out!

I’m Tha Bozz and that’s my opinion.

A Hard Goodbye to a Great Job

I’m actually quite excited right now. I mean why the hell shouldn’t I be? I’ve just checked the forecast and its currently 30 degrees in Nadi with little to know chance of precipitation, keep in mind as I type this its only 8am. The Kiwis are so hyped over the World Cup result that there probably still partying and I’m currently writing this piece with my brand spanking new tablet. I’m just glad the thing works; the one that I ordered previously had more chance of making warm toast than it did a solid connection to the internet. Always try before you buy people. If you take that principle with your product purchases, your food, your housing and your people then you’ll be just fine.

My week has been a little on the restless side. I subjected myself to all 5 of the Paranormal Activity films that are available to purchase. Who the hell am I kidding? I downloaded them illegally but I did watch them all; one a week night. The restlessness wasn’t caused by the series’ brand of what nowadays passes for horror but more from the fact that I couldn’t help but think that if you just gave me a Nikon, a few days with the local college drama department, £50 and a few strips of duct tape I could probably do better than what’s on show in the fourth one.

Seriously those things have plot holes so big that you could park an SUV in them. The actors are horrible and the characters never have the common sense to convince the people that their trying to convince about the ghost by, God-forbid, SHOWING THEM the footage of the ghost. The stuff you see would provide unreputable proof and its obviously been recorded and still exists because if it wasn’t how the f*ck would we be able to see it!? Found Footage; the clue is in the name.

Outside of contemplating my potential future in the world of Hollywood I’ve also been contemplating my future income source. Plans have changed a little bit with regards to my upcoming adventures and the idea of a working holiday in New Zealand has become ridiculously appealing.

I have a CV that says I’m good at stuff, then again its bound to flatter me when its me that wrote it. I’m qualified to teach English, I’m qualified to sell you decking, I’m qualified to pull pints, I’m qualified to pull faces and I’m qualified to pull your girl (probably not.). I’ve sold clothing, flat-pack, sofas, fast food and conservation plans. I’m off the boil, often off the beaten track and occasionally off my face. I’m in the zone, out of counselling and in denial. As such a jack of all I often wonder if I’m a master of any, then of course I remember that 12 hour marathon of Tekken 3 I completed back when I was 9 whereby I beat the campaign with every character in one sitting and my mind is at rest.

On the subject of work I feel its a perfect time to talk/write a little bit about my occupation; of which I enjoyed my last day of yesterday. I feel it worth noting that I am no longer an employee of this company and have no legal or financial obligation to them of any kind nor them to me before I express what an absolute pleasure it has been to work there.

Most people who pack their bags and head for warmer climates express how much they despised their job back home yet I’m an exception to that rule. This is because most people turn up at 9am, punch in their shift, clock out at 5pm and go home, my job had a little more to it than that and not just because I finished at 5:30.

When I started 2 years and 3 months ago the person put in charge of training me could have probably done without the hassle. I was and in some ways still am opinionated, obnoxious and a little bit eccentric. Despite this my mentor was conscientious, attentive and hard working and made sure that I was comfortable in my new role.

During my time at this job I’ve been in the zone, in the money, in the doghouse, in the moment, in the way, in the right, in the wrong and even in love. Throughout all of these different in’s one thing has remained consistent and that’s the support that has been afforded me. At the end of the day nobody gets any extra money for giving such support so the fact that its there at all is a blessing let alone that its there so consistently.

I’m not too proud to admit that this time last year I was a nightmare to work with, like more than usual. During this period my employers would have been within their right to wheel me off on the assembly line of industry and get somebody else to fill my spot and yet they stuck with me and believed in me when I perhaps wasn’t believing in myself.

I’ve worked many jobs. Some I’ve felt amicable towards others I utterly despised (*cough* Next!). Yet my most recent 2 year and 3 month stint is the only time in my life that I’ve been able to genuinely say that I enjoy my job and I don’t dread going to it every morning. I love the people, the atmosphere and most of all the fact that I don’t feel like a God-damn number.

The company has recently closed a big deal that’s very positive and I look forward to reading in a few years time about how they’ve become even more successful, the owner is a grafter and deserves nothing less. In terms of employment in New Zealand I could end up doing anything from teaching English to foreign students at a college to washing Jonah Lomu’s gym shorts but if the place I end up working in shows half as much genuine care for its employees as where I’m coming from and is half as much fun to work in then I’ll consider myself doublelly blessed.

I’m Tha Bozz and that’s my opinion.

A Most Educational Hangover…

This Monday at long last I finally felt life starting to creep back into my bones. The headache started to wear off, my breathing returned to normal and it’s getting easier to regulate my body temperature. No I haven’t been sick (despite several bouts of vomiting), I haven’t been in a fight (actually I might have been for all I know and can remember) and I’ve had no shortage of sleep in the last couple of days. That’s right you guessed it; I had a hangover a very, very bad hangover.

Last Saturday was Halloween and also doubled up as my leaving doo as my jaunt to the other side of the planet is now dangerously close. So in honour of the occasion I threw on my dark dressing gown, donned the red and black face paint and picked up a flimsy red lightsaber from entertainer for £6; best £6 I’ve ever spent! ‘Tonight Matthew I am going to be Darth Maul’ is what I said to myself and my cronies as I downed the amber fluid. In reality I looked more like an unemployed alcoholic in a dressing gown with a skin disorder but at least I was trying. I think the problems began as soon as the liquids being consumed stopped being amber and moved onto the colourless and scentless kind. As a rule colourless and scentless get this kid legless and the night involved, amongst other things, falling down as well as up (somehow) several flights of stairs, vomiting, Dad-at-a-Wedding dancing, hi-jacking a DJ booth and flooding a venue with Christmas songs at the end of October before trying to convince some poor lady that I was once in The Streets. The evening also ended with a brawl outside the local McDonalds and although I’m fairly sure I didn’t start it I MIGHT have been a contributing factor, only might though.

Sure enough yesterday was a right-off and consisted of snogging the toilet seat, Aspirin sandwiches and Season 4 of Lost; my-God its getting silly the flashbacks are going forward now as well as back for heaven’s sake! Cleaning up the remnants of the previous night’s pre-drinking was also no easy task as the flat was richer in aluminium than China and even a whiff of the grog was setting my hangover back three-steps.

However and somewhat unfortunately even when my head feels like it’s got a SlipKnot concert going on inside it the big pink squishy thing that keeps everything else ticking over will not rest. Thoughts circulated it such as do the Fijian Islands have Wi-Fi? Do people in New Zealand watch WWE? Will they mind if I watch WWE? Does Thailand have a welfare system? How expensive is it to make Pad-Thai and how long does it take? What plug sockets do they use over there? Does the king of Thailand wear his crown in the shower? Do kings and queens even have crowns anymore or is the title more symbolic nowadays? Is 2Pac still alive? I digress…

Out of all the musings and wonderings that came flying in and out of my out-of-shape-in-shape mind one of the most distinct was about the evening prior and what had transpired and I don’t just mean the fact that I can’t remember much of it after a certain point. What I’m referring to is what a lucky S.O.B I truly am not just because nobody killed me out there or even tried to as far as I know but because I had such a great bunch of human beings to do it all with.

I’ll be totally honest when I finished up in college I didn’t really have many close friends and this wasn’t necessarily always everybody else’s fault. Most people in school would have likely told you I was the worst thing my mum’s ever had and fact is I was a little difficult. If I had anymore to say for myself at that age I’d have been a politician, I exhibited almost Hulk-like levels of anger (sadly I didn’t have the physique though) and if you were stood in a different room to me, on a different side, on a different floor but in the same building as far as I was concerned you were way up in my personal space and I didn’t have any time for that or you!

Then it all changed. Ironically most shy, introverted and frankly kind-of weird adolescents like myself need to move to larger cities in order to ‘find themselves’ yet for me it was the complete opposite. I moved from a capital to a place on the other end of the country that could barely qualify as a One Horse Town, although a drunken traveller did take his pet Donkey into the local Wetherspoons and try to feed it beer before boarding a train with it once; seriously.

I’ve changed hugely as a person and have hopefully become easier to stomach but that’s because of the company I’ve managed to keep. Having such a great bunch of friends that you feel like you can be yourself around is a true blessing that not everybody has and I understand that more than ever. So many times in day to day life my mind and my mouth can run away with themselves and I just come out with the first thing that comes into my head, I guess I’m just built that way, but my friends never judge me and just keep it moving and even in the state I was in the other night they still wanted to be around me.

Saying goodbye to my friends is one of the most difficult things about this travelling business that I’m dipping my toes into the waters of right now but I know they’ll always be right where I left them, metaphorically not literally; that would just be weird. Sometimes it takes a strange event like this year’s Halloween to really hammer home how lucky I am and although I’m always moving forward I’ll never forget how my friends have supported and helped me in the past. Adios Amigos!

I’m Tha Bozz and that’s my opinion.

Over-thinking about Over-thinking

As you probably hadn’t noticed I haven’t written anything for a week. Last week was a tough one; my future replacement at work started the job and embarrassingly enough she’s probably already just as good at it as I am, I had last minute dental and optical appointments, I’m trying to get somebody to buy my furniture and I had to say my final goodbyes to a number of family members. I have to say I was quite surprised at how well everybody held up especially with regards to my Dad; he’s a man’s-man by trade but the Italian blood does lead to un-announced tirades of emotion from time to time.

In the words of Martin Lawrence in Bad Boys 2;
“S*it just got real!”

Like UFC real. Don’t get me wrong the fact that halfway through next month I’m flying to the other side of Planet Earth in search of bungee jumps, full moon parties, alcohol, fornication, street food, people with dread-locks that badly play guitar around campfires and maybe a teaching job was just as real 9 weeks ago as it is now. However the key difference is that back then it was a cushy 12 weeks away. Now its 3 weeks away and I’m starting to understand how pretty much everybody that stepped into the ring with Mike Tyson before 1996 must have felt 3 weeks before their dance with destiny.

In order to add further convolution to the situation talk is arising of changes to visa rules in “The Land of Smiles” and in typical fashion the embassies are being about as much use as an inflatable dartboard when it comes to confirming or denying the rumours; they can do neither.

Far from this writer to rant, actually who am I kidding he rants all the time, but the lack of clarity and simple communication skill being displayed is concerning and a little irritating when I think about it. Which now that I think about it is actually kind of a problem for me because I think about things a lot!

I think about what I’m going to eat, what I’m going to drink, what I’m going to wear, where I’m going to go and whether I’ll stand-up or treat myself to a sit-down this time. Honestly, Alexander the Great drew up Macedonian battle plans that were less detailed than the imaginary schematic in my head that outlines my trip from the bed to the bathroom every morning.

Ironically (here it comes) this issue got me thinking and something along the lines of ‘Man…Things never go the way I plan them…’ entered my over-worked cranium. Which is funny because surely the original reason why I and, I’d like to think others, over-think situations is so they can fore-see potential issues and swat them before they become just that. Yet here I am still thinking about how plans always go awry regardless.

There are people who know me that would probably tell you that I suffer from an inflated ego but they’d be wrong…I’m not suffering. All joking aside I am more than capable of noticing flaws in my mental make-up, so to speak, and am working on changing them and I can’t help but feel that such over-thinking may be one of those flaws.

I’ve spent the last few days panicking over these visa issues (relax, I promise I’m not going to go into them here!) and stressing over what I’m going to do in response. Yet ultimately these changes are not the end of the world and I even have a back-up plan in place to minimise the potential damages but what I’m realising is that whether I worry or not whatever comes to pass will do so regardless. Over-thinking and panicking about things won’t stop them from happening. The Prime Minister of Thailand has never heard of Anthony Bozzola and never will, unless my mediocre at best music career goes through an unprecedented and frankly undeserving revival, and if the law gets passed it will get passed without even a second thought to my mind-state or how it will impact me.

What last week has also shown me is that I’m actually at my happiest when I’m not over-thinking things. The Friday before last me and several family members sat in the pub all evening getting plastered whilst joking and laughing and I could not have been happier. The Saturday that just passed saw a similar scenario with my Dad and during both occasions I was fully in the moment. The worries mentioned above were as present then as they are now but I was able to treat them with a laissez-faire attitude and pawn them off to the side if only for a while.

Is it bad to think about things and make plans, absolutely not? Without planning and thinking this upcoming adventure wouldn’t be happening. It’s just important to keep it in moderation and realise that over-thinking something can be non-constructive and end up making an issue look like a gigantic, furious fire-breathing dragon when in actual fact it’s medium sized, a bit p*ssed off and is actually a Chi Wawa.

Reacting constructively to a situation, which I have done, helps to nullify and minimise its impact. Over-thinking and worrying about it makes me the guy in the office that people feel the need to say a silent prayer to themselves before asking to do stuff and gives me the type of bags under my eyes that I could probably use to bring Bangkok back to the UK with me. Drumming this behaviour out of my DNA will be no easy feat but I do believe it’s one that’s worth trying and one that will make my travels and my life in general more enjoyable.

I’m Tha Bozz and that’s my opinion.