Philippines karaoke

Karaoke World Tour – Philippines

It’s Chapter Six of Brian’s Karaoke World Tour and this time I’m in the Philippines. I was in Manila ‘couch surfing’ for my book Sleeping Around when my host suggested that we do what all good Filipinos do. Go to karaoke. We went to a small karaoke bar and when I told Jude that I was going to sing ‘My Way’ he said, ‘You can’t sing that. You’ll get killed!’ Only the week before a man had been shot dead in a karaoke bar for singing My Way. He was halfway through the song when the bar’s security guard yelled at him for singing out of tune. He ignored him and kept singing, so the guard pulled out a thirty-eight-calibre pistol and shot him dead. His defence was that it was his favourite song and he didn’t like the way he was singing it. Read more

china couch surfing

Sleeping around in China.

There are certainly enough Chinese people to sleep around with, so I’m very excited that my book Sleeping Around – A couch surfing tour of the globe is currently being translated into Chinese and should be out later this year. Add that to my German and Slovenian editions and I’m slowly taking over the world. Well, China does make up almost a fifth of the world’s population. China might have 1.3 billion, but they only come in tenth for couch surfing members (88,987 members) on the couch surfing website. Even little ol’ Australia (which comes in at No.9) has more members with 102,760. Topping the list with the most members is the U.S. of A. with a staggering 818,753 members! Why I’m so staggered is by the amazing and continuing growth of couch surfing. When I set out to write my couch surfing book there were 150,000 members from 20,000 cities with around 1000 new members joining a week. As of today there are 3,925,150 members from 86,000 cities with, and this is staggering, over 25,000 people joining every week. Just under three years ago I wrote a blog about how incredible it was that there were 700,000 members. There’s more than that just in the States alone. 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


Clowning around in Frankfurt.

Tomorrow I fly to Frankfurt for the publicity tour of Couch Surfing – Eine abenteuerliche Reise um die Welt. Although I have been to Germany around twenty times the last time I was in Frankfurt was 20 years ago! In fact, Frankfurt was the first city I flew to on my first Big Trip OS. But, my first taste of Germany and Frankfurt was a little bit scary (in that clown scary sort of way). As I stepped out of Frankfurt airport as a young, naive backpacker, I noticed a couple of people dressed as clowns. In the underground train station I saw two more clowns drinking large cans of beer. Sitting opposite me on the train was another clown having an animated conversation with a court jester. I had no idea what was going on (my first thought was that—because Europe is a season ahead in fashion—this was the latest look and everyone would be dressing like clowns in the Australian winter). 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