Back from the USSR

Well, thank Christ for that. Antarctica is done and dusted, thirteen posts written, logged, and in the tin. I feel like I just wrote a novel. How do you feel? You can let me know by clicking the Comments button and leaving one. That would make me happy as a monkey. As happy as a monkey with literary ambitions who has been able to quit his job at the organ-grindery after being drafted into that infinite-monkeys-trying-to-write-Hamlet typing pool. As he sits down at his old greasy Underwood, he rubs his monkey hands together with glee.

I resisted the temptation to put lots of photos on the blog, because it munches everyone’s bandwidth and makes the posts enormous. But I’ve culled my couple of thousand Antarctica photos down to a couple of hundred better ones and posted them up on Picasa, where you can scroll through them in a nice handy slideshow format that’s generally quicker to load. Should you wish to see more pictures of icebergs and penguins, please click this link here.

I won’t cover the last couple of weeks today, because we all need a break from autobiographical prose. I’ll tell you next time. Also I have some very disparate things I want to cover in the next few weeks, if and when I get time to write them. Some are serious, some are juvenilia. But for now here are some equally disparate quotes that have entertained me recently, from the retarded to the sublime. Mixed metaphors ahoy.


“They not only will drive you to your destination but will interpret, purchase on your behalf, and then take you to the best restaurant in town—of which there are many.”
Some truly fine travel-writing discussing Venezuelan taxi drivers.

“Some millionaire Canadian douchebag who now competes for Australia because he tantied at the Canuck coach or something won a silver medal in some rich wanker snow game – I say won, essentially fell downhill faster than all but one other – and then sooked it up hardcore on the podium. Running stupidly fast = achievement. Swimming stupidly fast = achievement. Jumping really high, throwing a spear, lifting heavy shit = sporting achievement. Looking pretty and being rich? Not a fuckin’ sport.”
The Soldier ponders the Winter Olympics.

“Once we gave them the upper hand, they really drove the bus through the door.”
South African captain Graeme Smith explains how his side lost to India. Sort of.

“The danger of having a two-Test series is that at the end of two weeks of hard cricket you really don’t have a clear winner. With one-all as a score, you don’t really have a winner.”
Thanks, Sanjay Manjrekar.

“Cuantos musculos tenes que tener para coger alguien?”
“How many muscles to do you need to have to catch someone?” a Spanish game-show host asks a strongman who specialises in throwing and catching people for the entertainment of others. Unfortunately, while ‘coger’ means ‘to catch’ in Spain, it means ‘to fuck’ in South America.

“To insinuate that there has been any secret payment or wrongdoing is a black mark against the AFL, the clubs and the players, and none deserve to be tarred with the sentiment that bubbles below the surface.”
Geelong Footy Club blogger Richie Pace is no fan of sub-surface sentiment bubbling.

“I thought the way he celebrated when he reached his 200 epitomised the man’s persona. There was no running laps around the field, no aggressive gestures, nothing over-the-top. He did what he always does, raised both his arms, closed his eyes for a moment and quietly acknowledged that it had been done.”
Anil Kumble shows as much grace in speech as he did in his run-up, on Tendulkar scoring the first ever double-century in a one-day international.

“It’s a very transient city – expats come and go, locals travel a lot, buildings get torn down and towers emerge in the night – so sometimes it feels like a large hotel.”
Writer Clarissa Tan on her hometown of Singapore.

“The carpet is as ugly as Joe Hockey but twice as absorbent.”
Pat and Aden need a housemate.

“My father is from Hungary, my mother is from Austria, I grew up in Germany, I live in Norway, and I married a Danish.
Rupert has an interesting life story, and a fetish for baked goods.

“…when i was reading I can see those paddy field on front of ma eyes with a shakness of those old train…”
Reader comment on an article about Bangladesh.

This is not a quote, but an article revealing that Nickelback are officially less popular than a single savoury cucumber. The best part may have been Chad Kroeger taking it seriously enough to threaten the pickle organisers on Facebook, thus embarrassing himself in front of 1 470 000 people. Or it may have been the line “Pickles are enjoyed by many cultures around the world.”

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3 Responses to Back from the USSR

  1. Paulina says:

    It was the best of times, it was the blurst of times.

  2. Chris K says:

    Geoff, i read all of your Antarctica posts back to back as i really want to catch up on all your adventures. I gotta say, I feel inspired! Not only do you write amazing stories with beautiful prose but the experiences described are just incredible. I actually reccomended your blog to an aspiring writer friend of mine because it’s so well written. I will have to go and see this magical land one day and i look forward with great anticipation to that day.

    While inspiration is certainly my first feeling, exhaustion is probably the next. so many words, so much to take in! Thanks so much for sharing… i’m gonna go home and collapse now (i read this at work).

    • Geoff Lemon says:

      Hey Chris, thanks a lot for the kind words, they’re always very welcome to hear. Makes the work worthwhile. I fully understand the exhaustion aspect…if you’re tired after reading it imagine how I felt after writing them all. I spent about two weeks locked in my room after I got back putting all that stuff together🙂

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