Cairns Filth Festival
Woo hoo and welcome to Queensland with the King of gaylords! (all very medieval & fruity
After a 3 hour flight with Virgin Australia i arrived in the very surprising polished airport
with a very efficient transfer service in place, transfers are about $12 and go to the main
town, Port Douglas etc.
With a dark cinematic effect I arrived at my hostel, its was dark, cold, rainy and a
thunderstorm was brewing, i looked up at the sign "woodduck", the lights were flickering, a open wooden gate bangs in the distance and not a soul in sight.
Now anyone who has done media studies, watched a film or knows what connotation
means, you'll understand this. The signs of a bad hostel were crying out, however due to a
long flight, wet surroundings and lack of knowledge of the area I had to stay.
I was greeted by a stereotypical surfer dude, skinny little body, scraggy blonde locks and a
dribble away from a mental condition! I'm not sure what I've done to deserve this hostel which resembled a seedy motel, just missing a "lady of the night" in her 50s with a pack of smokes and ripped stockings. However after the surfer host made me go up and down the stairs, however he'd forgotten the keys, the room I'm in and his common sense!
We finally foundthe keys and room which was right by the main door! So me hurling my suitcase allover the staircase in the rain wasn't necessary but fundamentally unnecessary and dangerous.
Well anyone that is looking to go to Cairns DON'T STAY AT WOODDUCK!
If you like your kitchen that have been cleaned in the last 3 years, your complementary
breakfast free of ants and a dead cockroach and the bathroom which doesn't have
mushrooms, avoid this place. Only good thing about the place was it had hammocks and
some freaky art on the walls, that's it!
Little story for you - 4 German boys (not sure I can describe them as men) were in the
same room as me and call it my inner female intuition or spidey senses but something was
up. After I said hello, they grunted "hi" back and continued talking in German, uh RUDE.
This routine went on for the next 48 hours, the woman in charge of the place burst into the room about 10am on the Wednesday and demanded that they pay the $345 they each
owed the joint.
Now this when shit when down, I saw them all gathering their stuff shortly afterwhile I was
trying to complete angry birds star wars 2 and apply for jobs (that's right ladies, men can
do 3 things at once, play games, Job hunt and spy). After their hasty pack, 2 of the guys
made a run for it while the other 2 were seemingly "out for the morning". I hate they did it,
but if you saw this place you would make a run for it.
Granted they will be stopped by customs and have their cheeks spread apart, but that just means don't mess with the woodduck (not an euphemism). Ironically the $1380 could have gone to them hiring a cleaner or buying pillows that
didn't resemble urine soaked marshmallows.
However the shameless opportunist in me was full of glee, in their rush, they left all their food and cosmetics, they just saved me $50 bucks on my shopping :)! Unfortunately I think theystole my towel which sounds stupid but it had sentimental value, I stole it from a friend after going to a best friend's wedding in Malta and I've had it for nearly 2 years :(
Anyway It was so bad I had to leave after 2 days and broke my budget just to go
somewhere that health & safety wasn't just a mandatory thing, it's was common decency
and provided humanity to the place.
I'm now staying at a place called "globetrotters international" but in my head it sounds like
a pig farm where pigs from all over the world are staying, some dressed in stereotypical
garments. (one is in a American basketball jersey, one with a beret, one in a kilt etc)
It's so much nicer here it's part hostel, part holiday resort, part home, it's cosy, cheap, well
decorated and each room has its own mini modern kitchen & bathroom which is cool.
So Cairns in general, ummmm, best way to describe it would be its somewhere in between
being a small Hawaiian town, a student village based in Blackpool and Lambeth Council. physically it's a tropical paradise, small and easy town to get around and it's just plain gorgeous andcalming. Palm trees, a man-made lagoon, entertainment centre, great shopping areas, it's got it all. I think it's the place that's made me love the environmental element (although tourist drenched element) of Australia!
So thanks to all that recommended it and damnation to all those who said it was a dump.
Socially it's resort town and like most tourist driven places it's limited and you can't go
more than 20 metres without going past a tourist shop, traveller booking agency, take
away restaurant or pub.
It's by far the most multicultural place I've been to, granted most of the aboriginal peoples, PNG, SE Asian and
Fijian people are viewed as unemployed, alcoholic or fellow travellers but it reminded me of Brixton. When I walked past the employment office and agencies to see
mostly people of colour stood outside, looking depressed and talking about their personal
lives in full graphic detail, even worried me to see a little girl with an arm in a cast. But it's
good to walk down the street and not feel paranoid and actually see other black people in
nandos and just get a friendly nod or hi!
Also random little observation, this city is infested with Germans, they are invading again
but in resorts, is there anyone left in Germany? jeez, Cairns has turned into Warsaw
1940 (oh too soon).
To those following me on facebook, I've now completed one thing on my film list, I've finally
seen American Hustle and pure amazing, I have a slight crush on Amy Adams, hair bigger
than Debra Messing and a rack that just says POW!
However for those fans of the "racism" blog we have another comedy skit potential here.
I'm walking down the road and I clock an east Asian schoolgirl walking towards me and
now I have the local Australian sunny persona to me, which means I now automatically
gingerly smile at her to say hello. However I'm not sure how my smile looked but to her it
might have been the smile Chandler does in that inane episode where he can't smile
Again the shocked "oh my god it's a huntsman spider or black male" stare, she instantly
jumps off the pathway, places her breathing mask on and walks in the grass, well
practically in the street to avoid crossing paths with me.
During her ninja like Jump and persistent glaring at me she trips over and almost falls into a parked car, one part of me wants to laugh at her, the other part is thinking "GOOD your paranoia or acute racism has caused lady karma to trip you up and if I was this mean thug you thought I was, you would have nicked your homework and put all the wrong answers MWHAHAHA!!" Note I still laugh at her but to myself I'm not that cruel! What a minute what is that furry large thing dangling in the trees........ummm.... AARGH RUN LITTLE GIRL IT'S GONNA POUNCE!!!
In this lovely town you have the various activities and trips to partake in and I decided to
go scuba diving in the great barrier reef (funded by my unofficial sponsor known as Y.A.K).
Oh good god, forget the Sydney opera house, Russell Crowe's flat and harbour bridge, this is the reason to visit this country (and kangaroos/koalas).
There's over 1000km of reef and millions of species under the sea (I want to watch the little mermaid for some reason) , so worth it......
I booked the trip through The Reef Experience and they provided everything for this trip even an egg and bacon sandwich for breakfast, be warned eat this sandwich and take your
seasickness and ginger tablets immediately. I went on quite a choppy ride and there were
times I thought the boat was gonna go all transformer on our arses and start flying!
I somehow got my sealegs and used the boat as a giant surfing board to gain composure but the return of the sandwich came for some people, so some seagulls got a breakfast as well.
The reef is a rocky boat hour away from the Cairns so it's best to bring music, speak to
people that aren't dribbling and enjoy the fact you've escaped the Germans for a day.
Interlude - conversations on the sea
"Oh you travelling alone?"
"Yes I am, I'm Marv by the way and you are?"
"Peter and my friend Michael is coming soon, I'm from Hamburg Germany."
"Please get off my table"
"Hello, this seat taken?"
"Yeah my German frienemies are sitting there but go ahead"
"so you alone, I'm by myself too, I'm Mr F from Italy"
"ok cool, please join"
"so why you alone?"
"well came travelling by myself, I recently turned 30, had no boyfriend, house, hamster so
thought why not travel?"
"OH GREAT YOU'RE GAY TOO, me too, high five"
"ok cool" (OH CRAP or cos we are at sea, OH CARP)
"so glad you said that I'm now sat with the best looking guy on the boat and I might have a
"I have a boyfriend"
"oh I thought you said you were single"
"no I had no boyfriend when I booked this trip in February, but I have one, he booked this
trip for me"
"oh cool what's his name?"
(search the ship frantically to make a name up) " Sea, Man, David Seaman"
"isn't that the goalkeeper from England?"
"it's a very popular name back home"
Please let this boat be called Titanic 2 The Revenge!
Anyway we are at the reef, it's glorious and amazing, went to Taxes/Leves island first and
did some snorkelling which was fun but then came the scuba diving I had an incident. You
need to do something called "equalising which means you cool your nose and ears, due to
a blocked right ear I couldn't last long in the sea, I got to the start of the main reef and had
to come back up as my heart was racing and head throbbing! I just about saw a a turtle up
close and a shark from the distance (eep! a headache and jaws in sight, cue panic attack & Jaws music)
After a BBQ lunch and several people giving me sympathy hugs and remarks, we go to the
next location where my hurt pride needed mending and decided to snorkel without the wetsuit and did my own deep dive. Hopefully the pics of the fish, reef, a shark and a
misplaced shot of my crotch will come out when the film is developed.
So back on land, lunch still in stomach, and with news of a Cyclon coming to Cairns I'm
staying in bed after this ordeal! It's also off season here and it's proving hard to find jobs
but I have been here 5 days so far so fingers crossed otherwise the next destination needs
to be booked next week.
Right I'm off I have a rugby match, a couple of new Canadian/Brit friends and a bottle of
vodka to get acquitted with!
As a wise man once said to me "don't do anything I wouldn't do" and my response to that
is "well that doesn't leave much, you dirty bitch"
Avoid Woodduck it's nowhere near as entertaining as its name.
Best hostels here, Globetrotters International (www.globetrottersinternational.com.au) best for people who like the quiet life but still like a socialable hostel.
Also Gilligans , this is the party hostel which is more Ibiza resort then hostel and has a bar and loads of facilities forall types of travellers ( www.gilligans.com.au)
Use The Reef Experience (http://reefexperience.com.au) for scuba lessons, if you see a
tour guide called Roxy say The RnB Chocolate from the UK is thinking of her!
Cairns is basically a student village so sign up to indie travel/wicked travel/happy travel
on facebook as they normally have discount days and free food and drink nights especially
during peak season (November to February, April - August) sometimes off season in start of March. DONT APPLY FOR JOBS WITH THEM, THEY CHARGE YOU, WTF!!!
Head to the Lagoon Esplanade for FREE exercise group sessions ranging from Yoga,
Park Runs to Pilates, you'll see me at McDonalds laughing at you while you do the
downward facing dog! (http://www.cairnsesplanade.com.au/ThingstoDo)
Head to the Cairns Regional Gallery it's free before 10am (www.cairnsregionalgallery.com.au/)