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How to tell when you’re more ‘Wandercrust’ than Wanderlust
Been abroad a while and getting a little too used to the smell of your own pits?
- You don’t know if the spots all over your back are bed bug bites, diet-induced acne or the latest mutation and location of your ever-present rash.
- You’ve started talking in a contrived Frankenstein of a British accent, and your speech is peppered with the token words you learnt in each country – Hola! Terima kasih! Schizen! That said, despite being in (insert current country) for months and months the extent of your local lingo is Two beers please.
- You intuitively know when you’re about to bust a plugger. You and those things have developed a special relationship as you’ve been through alot together. You trod in someone else’s shit in San Sebastian together, tackled hostel showers in Byron Bay together and killed giant spiders in Cambodia together and now you speak to each other on a different level. Ground level.
- You’re fucking fat. First it was those skinny jeans that were always a little tight anyway. Then you couldn’t even get that flowy playsuit over your arse, let alone done up. Now you’re so far gone you’ve bought a pair of fishermen’s pants and those in conjunction with an oversized Bintang tank-top that you got from the same Central Coast surfer you got something else from are ALL THAT FITS ME RIGHT NOW.
- You’re more than happy to talk about that sport that you’ve usually got nothing but disdain for with the drunk recently-retired couple, because they’re from a place that’s nowhere near where you live, but within the same territorial boundaries. Oh yeah, I totally agree that the cricket selectors have to go, something something Shane Warne.
- You have your towel, mismatched shoes and a stray cat tied to the outside of your backpack. Although you swore you packed your bag with that little bit of extra room for when you can’t be assed to roll everything, somehow everything no longer fits. Perhaps it is all the aforementioned hippie pants or coasters you insist on collecting along the way. And when it won’t fit on the inside, it hangs on the out. Much like your stomach. Anything that can be clipped with a carabiner is clipped on with a carabiner and you’re suddenly a hazard every time you change direction.
- When someone asks you where you’re from you can’t give them a straight answer and dive into a diatribe about the nature of home, and that’s not because you’ve forgotten you’re from Dubbo, it’s because you’ve become a fucking wanker.
- Your towel is a piss-stained sarong that has alternately been a blanket, a pillow, a cum rag and a skirt (and it is now tied to the outside of your backpack, next to the cat). That, or the t-shirt you’ve been wearing for a week now and have decided to two-birds by drying yourself while you clean it. Kinda.
- You smoke now. You didn’t before, but you sure as hell do now. It started with the packet you bought in your first week abroad. You thought all that fagging away would be a way to hide the fact that you were totally alone. Not to mention that “gotta ciggie/lighter?” is an excellent ice-breaker to help you mingle with the other cool-as hostel folk. Your brain delights in its new-found nicotine addiction and you cannot even fathom being conscious without it. It’s so cheap here, you’d be stupid not to – overheard in Hanoi, 2008.
- You can’t remember when you last didn’t have a cough and you also don’t know why you’ve got the cough and you have no intention of working it out nor doing anything to rectify it. It is most definitely not from your new-found smoking habit, that’s for sure.
- You bought a ukelele and are trying to learn the riff from Smoke on the Water, because increasingly people’s eyes are beginning to glaze over when you talk about Retox in Budapest is fucking wild so you’d rather just put a stop to all conversation in the hostel common room. Next you’ll learn Redemption Song, so people will offer you weed.
- You consider stolen pub-crawl t-shirts to be appropriate attire for the streets of some of the world’s most fashionable cities. You assume that the people of said city, going to and from work and regular lives (yes, Europeans have regular lives) don’t understand what Too Drunk To Fuck means. They do, and they’re embarrassed for you.
- The line between underwear and bathers is irreversibly merged, sometimes out of necessity, sometimes because nothing says “free spirit” like bikini-top-as-bra or bra-as-bikini-top. Regardless, everything that comes close to your nether-regions stinks of piss because there is never any toilet paper anywhere and you always forget to carry some/don’t even care any more.
Written by the Hobos