Archive for the Travelog Category

For Those Of You Playing At Home …

Posted in Travelog on 7 February, 2010 by sonal

I finally have a student visa for the UK, so finishing my studies at film school shouldn’t be any issue, providing I pass. As for what happens after school finishes is any one’s guess – I’ve got two months from the date of the last class and then I’ll have to either leave or ump through a new set of hoops for the next visa (if I can get it in time). Ugh.

I am also now in the possession of an ID card for dirty foreigners. This now replaces the standard visa that used to be in my passport so now I have to carry both whenever I go through the border and if I apply for any part time work. It has a wee microchip and carries a pile of information on me – probably more than I’d ever be comfortable with in the same place. Apparently the Tories are planning to do away with these cards if they win the next election (it’d difficult to see how they won’t at the moment).

I’m not holding my breath.

I wonder how long ’til the whole system is compromised by some absent-minded civil servant?


Melbourne By Numbers

Posted in Travelog on 4 May, 2009 by sonal

31 – Days spent in Melbourne

3 – Weeks of comedy in the Melbourne International Comedy Festival

300 and something – Shows in the Festival

2- Shows I was working on.

340 – Tickets sold to Philip Escoffey’s show in one day

2000 – Alleged number of phone calls received by the box office trying to get tickets in the final days once Philip’s show had sold out the season including his extra shows

17 – Expletives used while while on Skype to Sam and negotiating the automated phone systems of both Vodafone and 3 Mobile Australia. The exact wording was [cover your eyes if you are of a sensitive nature … actually, if you are of a sensitive nature, what the fuck are you doing reading this blog?]: “oh for fucks sake … fucking cunts fuckers and their fucking automated service, couldn’t give me a normal fucking person! Fucking cunt fuckers can’t fucking do the fucking thing with a fucking human NO they have to use a fucking computer with fucking voice prompts. And they record it. You know what they what they’re going to end up with on the voice bits? FUCK YOU, YOU FUCKING CUNTS!”

Snowed In

Posted in Travelog on 2 February, 2009 by sonal

Well, I must confess this is going to be an unusual way to contact my mother …

I’m snowed in, in London. I’m currently at Kathryn’s house, stuck away from my laptop so I can’t Skype you. It’s Monday and Heathrow airport has closed their runways. The snow has just stopped but is likely to start again at 4 this afternoon and they reckon we’ll be in for 7 inches of snow by tomorrow morning (we currently have about3 -4 inches). By all radio accounts, London has stopped functioning. There are no buses going, Heathrow Express (the train I plan to catch tomorrow) has stopped running and when Kathryn returned home this morning after setting out to work, the normal trains weren’t going either.

My visa expires tomorrow – I’m going to call immigration and ask them what to do if I can’t get to the airport tomorrow because of the snow, or my flight.

So, in short: I may not be back on my flight as expected on Thursday morning.

But I will be with my laptop, with an internet connection, so I’ll keep you updated.

Also, Mum, don’t call me until tomorrow your time. My phone battery is low (and my phone is having problems charging. I need a new phone – um, Bhai, we may need to talk about iPhones).

Yes, it doesn’t rain, it pours.

Or snows … as the case may be.

And In This Box …

Posted in Travelog on 26 September, 2008 by sonal

I’m packing up my life, once again. From Edinburgh to London I go, microphone, minidisc, spices and all …

My final stint on my working holiday visa is up. I’ve got a three month contract for the most part and plotting and scheming ways to get back in the country to work legally for the remainder. I don’t want to leave, I really, really don’t want to leave … well other than to direct a couple of shows back in NZ and, you know, tech a few shows, possibly, finally make a return to stage, go back for Comedy Fest and the International Fest, possibly even the Auckland Fest, Melbourne Comedy Fest and Adelaide (which I can do legally thanks to my lovely NZ passport). What I’d like to be doing is to be based in London. And by based I mean have all of my DVDs, books and shoes in one country, where there are actually jobs in what I want to do. And, yes, thanks to the last few months I’ve finally found what I want to be doing (along with the writing and comedy directing) which is what I was doing during the Festival (thanks Jeremy) but with possibly less hours normally, or at least one day off a week.

So thank you Edinburgh for the last four months. It was nice to be living away from the madness of the Festival while being actually in it (I’m going to organise my own accommodation again next year – smartest decision I made). It’s been brilliant to be able to walk every where, breathe in salty sea air daily and to live amongst the hills – yes, I’ve been secretly living in Wellington this whole time (I even got to have Morgue here, if only briefly) … I have made so many good friends here (who almost all live in London), I’ve found the best Malaysian restaurant outside of Singapore (suck on that, Wellington) and the second best chippy in the UK after the one in Spean Bridge (also, extra points, Edinburgh, for Monster Mash … mmm …).

Take care of yourself in the winter and I’ll see you again next year …


Posted in My work, Random, The Ramblings Of ..., Travelog on 22 September, 2008 by sonal

Blood red moon, orange skyline, white fluorescent lights flicker. The inside is reflected back as I strain to see out, arms out, covering the window, creating a small space as the blood red moon rises and we travel deeper into the city.

Bright lights, station stop, a guard stands on the platform, high vis vest over old blue suit and we nod greetings as I pass by.

Down the tunnel, down the stairs and onto the streets, chasing my blood red moon.

Across the street, 1, 2, 3 cars whiz by at speeds unseen during daylight, tourists emerge from the station, take two steps out, look left, look right, look at their maps, look at each other, turn the map around the other way, take two steps back and return into the depths of the station.

Passing bus stops and lovers kissing under sodium lights, I stride onto the bridge, clear London sky over calm Thames water, buildings lit, the City on a Sunday night and no blood red moon. Not over East, not rising, no where to be seen.

Across the bridge and past Monument station, the buildings now tower over me but the streets are deserted. A City sleeps, the trees sway in the breeze and stories of sub-prime mortgages, sudden merges and fire sales take the Sunday off (the free market, however, decides to go AWOL) … the track in my ears change and my stride changes to a strut, the hoodie goes up and the streets change …

Sterile, cold and grey becomes loud, living, jungle. The path bounces to my beat, my head bops, and the noise of traffic gives way to an MC’s rhyme. Stories, old and new, blaze into life in my head, characters shed their age or pop out of existence and suddenly I know.

We’re here now, the buildings have opened up, the paths become wider, my view of the sky bigger. Still no blood red moon but as I make the final turn past the pub where friends enjoy a final pint outside (and I remember the last pint I had outside on a street), I look up for a final time …

And Exhale …

Posted in Travelog on 3 September, 2008 by sonal

I’m in Charlotte, Craig and Jamie’s living room in Roy Bridge.

I can hear birds singing, the rain falling lightly and the quiet hum of the refrigerator. The sky is bright and sunny (while the rain falls gently) and I am surrounded by hills and mountains.


6 Hours In Edinburgh …

Posted in Travelog on 4 June, 2008 by sonal

And I have a home – yay!

It’s close to town, it’s wonderfully cheap, it has the biggest, brightest living room and a gorgeous kitchen with afternoon sun … afternoon sun … mmm … the bedroom is, admittedly, small and may put many folks off as the bed/mattress is up on a mezzanine and it’s windowless, but underneath I can fit in all my clothes and I reckon another double mattress for folks to crash on AND I can live in the living room anyway as it’s huge and yet cozy (that’s what the girl before me has done) …

Now if only I have the same luck with the job …

Oh … and I’m in Edinburgh now …

Oh and Obama? Yay!