From kartoffelpuffers to nasi goreng.

My liver survived all the beer in Germany and I’m now in Ubud, Bali for the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival. I ended my German Beer Drinking Tour, I mean Book Tour, back in Stuttgart to meet up with a bunch of couch surfers to attend Canstatter Volksfest (basically a big fun fair with huge beer tents in the middle). It was a Saturday plus a public holiday in Germany, so the place was packed with Germans in lederhosen. We queued at one beer tent for two hours and it looked like we weren’t getting in anywhere when another couch surfer found tickets for us into another tent. So, with ein mass (a litre of beer) in hand and half a grilled chicken I joined the throng standing on their chairs singing along to traditional German beer drinking songs. Except they also threw in some not quite traditional German songs like Cheap Trick’s  ‘I want you you to want me’ and ‘Sweet Home Alabama’. Here are a few photos from the night… Read more

Couch Surfing- Eine abenteuerliche Reise um die Welt

If it’s Friday, this must be Hannover.

I’m nearing the end of my book tour around Germany for Couch Surfing: Eine abenteuerliche Reise um die Welt and scheiße am I tired. The tour has been going very well, though, and the book events have been well attended, my couch surfing hosts have been wonderful and I’ve eaten and drunk my body weight in wurst and beer. So far I have been to Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Leipzig and Rendsburg and I’m currently in Hannover. I think. Read more

Bangkok skyline

Sleeping Around wins ‘Travel Book of the Year’

I’ve just got home from the Australian Society of Travel Writers Awards night in Bangkok where I won ‘Travel Book of the Year’ for Sleeping Around. I even had to go up onto the stage in front of the 200 guests and give a speech (a very short one I might add). The other wonderful thing about my award is that I also won four nights staying at any one of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World. So, I’ve had a bit of a sore head today. And it probably wasn’t a good idea to go on a four-hour bike tour of Bangkok in the heat when I’d been still drinking Mojitos at two in the morning on the roof top bar at the Centara Grand.  Read more

Sleeping Around Book launch

A very hot book launch.

I’ve only just cooled down enough from my book launch on Thursday night to finally update my blog! And what a scorcher of a night it was (in both respects!). Half an hour before kick-off it was 43.1 degrees (110 in the old money) and I was worried that folk would be sitting under their ACs at home rather than coming out and tackling the heat. But, bless them all, about 70 people risked dehydration and heat stroke to hear me waffle on about sleeping around the globe. The other problem with a hot night is that the bar tab soon ran out because beers were going down faster than Melbourne’s train system (oh, and Couch Surfers LOVE a free drink!). All in all a very nice night – I sold a few books, drank a few ice cold Coronas and caught up with friends and family. And, best of all, no one fainted. At my last launch a girl collapsed onto a table halfway through my reading – she was either a HUGE fan and it was all too much for her or most likely because I just waffled on for too long. Read more