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Old 02-10-2007, 12:41 AM   #51
BHold
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Re: On Changing your Life

This is great stuff man. How could you really think no one would want to hear your story? You just left home without a plan and traveled the world moment to moment, amazing. This is something I have thought about, but have never actually gotten up and done (I'm probably not alone here). I guess I'm still fearful of breaking the established path of finishing college and getting a steady office job. Please keep the story coming.
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Old 02-10-2007, 01:16 AM   #52
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Re: On Changing your Life

i just googled "rafting guide" and this link came up. i then searched youtube for some videos and found this.

i have one more year of college left and am really thinking about giving this a try for a couple of years. im looking forward to the rest of your story adsman.
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Old 02-10-2007, 07:07 AM   #53
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Re: On Changing your Life

thanks adsman one of the best threads ever

work seems to be a major driving force or the need for money, since i started making the easy poker money i'm afraid i have lost all drive for real work, it feels like slave labor.

I would have told bossman to go feck himself back in chap2, there would be no hour after hour stand off
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Old 02-10-2007, 07:56 AM   #54
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Re: On Changing your Life

Ads,
You are hands-down, one of, if not THE, best read on 2+2. I thoroughly enjoyed some of your stuff in OOT several months back.
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Old 02-10-2007, 03:23 PM   #55
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Re: On Changing your Life

Thanks for all the encouraging replies. The Africa chapter is proving to be a long one. Here's what I've got so far.

My friends saw me off at the Cairns airport. They were the best group of friends that I’ve ever had and it was hard to leave. I’d spent almost four years in Cairns and it had been a wonderful time. Some of those guys I’ve never seen again, although we stay in touch. One of them died of cancer. It’s the price you pay for moving around. It makes reunions tricky and expensive. I flew into Perth to stay with my family for a few days. Almost everyone thought I was mad to go. My father was very supportive. Also a good friend of my father. He is one of the top lawyers in Perth and he took me aside and told me that this trip would make or break me, but he thought it was a wonderful test.

I flew out of Perth on the midnight flight to Johannesburg. I landed at about 8 in the morning. We flew over Africa and it was simply surreal. This is Africa. And I was staying. Really staying. I hadn’t let my family in on a little secret. I only had a one way ticket. I couldn’t afford a return. At the airport I kept saying to myself, ‘Wow, I’m in Africa. This is what a third world country looks like.’ Boy was I in for a rude shock. A few hours later I got my connecting flight to Nairobi. We landed in the early afternoon. If I thought South Africa was third world then what the hell was Nairobi? The airport looked like it had been built and designed to be a car-park and then they had changed their mind at the last minute. I had an 8 hour wait for my connection to Entebbe. The waiting room was daunting. It was filled with all types of Africans. There were the really black ones from the Congo zones. Arabic ones in flowing robes and scarves. Businessmen from Nairobi in cheap suits. They were all watching American basketball. I was the only white guy there. They ignored me and I did my best to ignore them. The room was very hot. There was a little counter where a scowling woman sold bottles of warm coke. Now I was really in Africa. The flight to Entebbe lasted about an hour. We flew in at dusk. There was a burnt out 747 sitting on the tarmac, the same plane that had been stormed by Israeli commandos in 1978. Whoa. The plane taxied to a halt and we walked across the tarmac to the airport buildings. They were absolutely riddled with bullet holes. They were just shot to pieces. Okay, now I was in Africa.

I had my laptop with me and I was made to fire it up to prove it was mine. I did as I was asked and then a whole bunch of airport staff came over and wanted to see it. It took me almost half an hour to get away. I made it through customs and walked out to the taxi stand. It was evening now. The air was warm. A Ugandan dude came up to me with a sheepish look and handed me a note. This must be my ride into Kampala. The note said;

“Run Adam, run. It’s all gone to shiit. Get out while you still can.”

There was what appeared to be dried blood on the note. I didn’t even consider for a moment that this was real. Where was I supposed to run to? The Congo? I asked the little dude if he was a taxi driver. He was. I loaded my bags in the back of his taxi and we were all set to go when just at that moment Milo and Corey came out from behind a pillar with grins on their faces. Yeah guys, really funny. The first thing that Milo said was, “Where’s your ******g guitar?”
“I sold it to get here.”
“You sold it!? We only got you the job cause of how you play the guitar!”
We unloaded my bags from the now unhappy looking taxi drivers car and piled into the company car. It takes an hour to drive into Kampala from Entebbe. The first thing that struck me was the number of people. Between the airport and the city it’s basically scrubland and jungle, but there were people everywhere. Every 50 or so meters there was a fire on the side of the road with people standing around it. I couldn’t get my head around the situation. We were following an open-backed truck which had about 20 revelers in the back. They were drinking and shouting and carrying on and we couldn’t get past them. The state of the road was disrepair taken to lavish extremes. Suddenly the tailgate of the truck dropped open and a large box flew out of the truck. We had to swerve to avoid it. It cracked open and a body rolled out. It was a coffin. They were going to a funeral. We were stopped behind the truck as we watched the ‘revelers’ jump out to retrieve the body. They were all laughing and passing around bottles of beer. Smoke from the roadside fires drifted across the scene. Milo turned to me and with a deadpan stare said,

“Welcome to Africa.”

They drove me straight to Al’s Bar. Run by an Englishman who came to Uganda in the late seventies, he was said to have fled a murder rap in London. His bar consisted of three levels. On level one there was a bar, a stage and a lot of hookers. On level two there was a bar, a pool table and even more hookers. Level three was a backroom where you could smoke pot. There weren’t any hookers there. It was the hooker-free zone. The place was heaving. Every single girl in the place was drop-dead gorgeous. There were girls from every part of Africa. We entered and I was immediately introduced as the new rafting company guide. The girls were all over me. I was mobbed. I called out to Milo and Corey for help. Milo called out, “You have to pick one! If you pick one the rest of them will leave you alone!”

There was one who was absolutely stunning. I made to indicate her and Milo stopped me. “No, she’s got the slimming disease.”
“The slimming disease?”
“Yeah. Pick another one.”
I was close to getting my clothes torn off me. I pointed at another stunner. Milo shook his head. “Not such a good idea.”
“For fecks sake,” I said. “You pick one for me then!”
Immediately there was a chorus of, “Me Milo! Pick me, Milo! You love me Milo!” There must have been close to fifty girls there. Milo picked one for me. The rest slunk off to their preferred positions around the room. “What’s your name?” I asked the girl. She started to tell me when Corey interrupted. “Dude, you’re not supposed to talk to her. Here have a beer. She’s just to keep on your arm. She’s your body armor”
I proceeded to get very drunk. At one point I went to the ‘bathroom’. There was a bunch of Ugandans in there up against the urinals. Oh great. They better not make fun of my pee-pee. I walked over and unzipped. They made room. One of them said, “How are you, Mazungu?”
“Sorry bro, my name’s not Mazungu.”
They all laughed. “Ha ha, the mazungu says he is not a mazungu!”
A white guy who had just came in looked at me and said, “Mazungu is Ugandan for white man. You’re a mazungu.”
“Is it a nice word?” I asked.
The guy thought for a moment and then said, “You know, I’ve got no bloody idea.”

When I came back out, Corey and Milo were nowhere to be found. The truth soon became clear. They had fecked off and abandoned me for a joke. My girl was still on my arm. She was like superglue. Her name was Betty. She was from Somalia. She was very, very hot. She said, “Your friends, they leave in taxi car. They laughing very much.”
“Do you know where they live?” I asked. I was having trouble standing up.
“They live in the rafting company house.”
“Lets go,” I said. “Find me a taxi that knows the house.”
“Ok, mazungu.”

Last edited by Yeti; 09-23-2015 at 01:32 AM.
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Old 02-10-2007, 03:49 PM   #56
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Re: On Changing your Life

awesome man, truely awesome. africa scares the crap out of me.
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Old 02-10-2007, 05:36 PM   #57
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Re: On Changing your Life

this was suspenseful the story is getting better and better. Its probably best you didn’t have poker cause you wouldn’t be in all these adventures

[quote]
. They were going to a funeral. We were stopped behind the truck as we watched the ‘revelers’ jump out to retrieve the body. They were all laughing and passing around bottles of beer. Smoke from the roadside fires drifted across the scene. Milo turned to me and with a deadpan stare said,

“Welcome to Africa.”[quote]

Last edited by Yeti; 09-23-2015 at 01:30 AM.
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Old 02-10-2007, 06:24 PM   #58
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Re: On Changing your Life

I'm kind of hoping you're 75 years old now so that there are a lot more of these to come.
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Old 02-10-2007, 09:43 PM   #59
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Re: On Changing your Life

These are getting better and better.
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Old 02-10-2007, 10:00 PM   #60
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Re: On Changing your Life

Quote:
I'm kind of hoping you're 175 years old now so that there are a lot more of these to come.
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Old 02-10-2007, 11:08 PM   #61
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Re: On Changing your Life

Adsman, this story continues to be awesome. I've read a bunch of your OOT posts hinting at this story but thanks for posting in more detail. The more white-collared of us need to live vicariously through _something_, after all.
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Old 02-11-2007, 08:28 AM   #62
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Re: On Changing your Life

Adsman, you should seriously write a book...this is too awesome.
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Old 02-11-2007, 11:47 AM   #63
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Re: On Changing your Life

adsman nice place to end the chapter, i'm looking forward to seeing the rest
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Old 02-11-2007, 11:58 AM   #64
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Re: On Changing your Life

Quote:
adsman nice place to end the chapter, i'm looking forward to seeing the rest
You should write yours, Bruiser. Here's some more to keep you all going.

The rafting company guides house in Kampala was at the back end of Gabba Road on the Western side of the city. Our house was an old two story colonial mansion right on Lake Victoria. The top story had a large covered balcony that ran the length of the building overlooking the lake. You could see hippos and crocs from there. Upstairs was the office and four or five bedrooms with ensuites. Downstairs was a large living room which we never used and the kitchen dining room. There was a large garden and grounds. There were four Ugandan staff – the housekeeper, the cook, the garden boy and the guard who stood by the large blue metal gate. He had let me in last night and told the hooker to take a hike. There were two large dogs and a pet marabou stork, which has to be the ugliest bird in existence. The birds name was Barbara, so named due to its large beak resembling Barbara Strisends nose.

I didn’t do any housework, cooking or washing of clothes for the next 18 months. Bliss. Apart from Corey and Milo there was Eddie, an Australian rafting guide. Scott, another aussie guide and Dave who was the Kiwi video dude. Apart from Eddie I knew them all from Cairns. We headed straight out to the river for my first trip. We left the house at 7.30 and made two stops – the Kampala backpackers and the Kampala Sheraton for the punters. Then it was about an hours drive to the river. We reached the big dam wall and drove across it. There were two huge jets of water shooting out. “Two gates,” Milo told the bus. “That means it’s going to be a big day.” Apparently the maximum water level was 3 gates. Two gates was about 3500 cubic meters of water a second. The river was about 200 meters wide at its starting point. The Nile, the longest and most historical river in the world. Awesome stuff.

We drove a couple of kilometers downstream until we got to Bujagali Falls. This was a large rapid which was out departure point. It is also the place where they threw half of Gandhi’s ashes. When we arrived the truck with the gear was already there. Some locals were busy pumping up the boats. They then carried the boats down to the water. Bliss. I was introduced to three local boys that the company had trained up to be safety kayakers. One of them was also a guide. There were big smiles all round when they met me. I was going down with Milo. He had a reputation for big hits, big flips, big surfs and big downtime. Downtime is the length of time that the river holds you underwater if you fall out. Sometimes you pop straight up. Sometimes you come up after ten seconds. Milo's record was 55 seconds. It was a sobering thought.

He briefed his crew while I sat beside him. I was nervous. Just writing about it now I have the same feeling I did then. The punters seemed fine. Ignorance is bliss. We were floating in a small pool as the river roared by. The rivers in Canada had nothing on this. There were three boats on the trip, Milo, Corey and Scott. We peeled out of the pool and were immediately in the class IV lead-up to Bujagali. There is a bar there by the falls. A lot of people were watching. We hugged the river-right and then dropped down into an enormous hole. A big hit and just like that we had lost half of the boat. We scrambled to get them in as the kayakers peeled off to get the paddles. The Nile is a drop-pool river so after every rapid you have time to get the punters back in. In fact, on the 20 kilometer trip there are only 12 rapids. But they are big. We ran through Easy Rider, a nice wave train and then we stopped behind a large rock for our first class V rapid, Total Gunga. Class V is the highest commercial grade you can run. I looked downstream and honestly all I saw was a mess of heaving whitewater about 400 meters wide and 500 meters long. Milo stood up and explained the line to me.

“River-right is class III, only pussies go there. River-left is class VI, if you go there you’ve got a good chance of dying. We want to run just to the right of the class VI bit. There’s a big monster hole there. If we can get the boat into that point we’ve got a good chance of flipping or surfing. It’s hard to hit it though. You’ve got 200 meters of conflicting currents at the top. After the hole is another 300 meters of big waves and holes, then the long pool at the bottom.”

Dave had kayaked to a tiny little rock in the middle of the rapid. He got out and got his video ready. We got the signal to go and Milo peeled out into the current. We were swept downstream at an incredible rate. The crew paddled forwards as we headed river-left towards that big hole. We came up over the lip and dropped into it. All I remember was seeing a huge wall of white and then, bam. One second I was there, the next I was in a world of black. I was so deep that I had to equalize. I tried to stay calm. It didn’t even feel like I was moving. At one point I hit a rock on the bottom. The water started to go green, then lighter. I could see the surface way above me. I must have been under for a good 20 seconds when I burst up. I grabbed a breath of air and then went under again. This time only for about four or five seconds. I came up the second time and I was just about in the pool. I saw some punters floating near me in shock. I swam over to them and made sure they were OK. The raft came past upside-down with Milo sitting on top, a big grin on his face.

“Welcome to The Nile, bro.”
“Man, I went so deep I hit a rock.”
“Bull. Nobodies ever hit a rock there. It’s too deep.”
“Well I ******g hit one.”

The next rapid was a huge class V called Big Brother. We flipped there as well. I was starting to feel a bit queasy. We floated downstream and stopped for lunch on a tiny island where the boys had already prepared a wonderful cold lunch. After lunch we drifted down a long pool, maybe 3 kilometers long. There were monkeys playing in the trees. The day was very hot. I slid into the luke-warm water and tried not to throw up from my dreadful hangover. At the end of the pool we pulled over to the right bank. The rapid here had a large waterfall that could be run at lower water levels but not today. It was called Overtime. It looked horrible. We walked around that, dragging the boats with us and hit another two rapids before we reached another long pool. It was now almost 2pm. At the end of this pool was the last rapid, Itunda. The main part of this huge rapid was unrunnable in rafts, though it had been kayaked a few times. We pulled over to the right bank and walked up a track followed by some more local boys carrying our rafts. Bliss. This was an evil-looking SOB. We put in two thirds of the way down and got ready to run the Bad Place. A five meter high wall of water.


We pulled into the huge current and paddled like crazy before we smashed into this hole. This time I managed to stay in the raft. The raft didn’t manage to escape the hole. We were surfing. The raft started doing violent 360’s. The inner tubes got ripped out. And then we flipped upstream into the powerful surge of water and once again I had a horrible swim. We gathered up the pieces, floated half a K downstream and pulled over on the left bank. The trip was over. The bank was very steep and the rafts had to be carried up. Some more local boys were there waiting for us. Thank God for that. We deflated the rafts in the little village and got on the bus. The cooler was packed full of beer. We drank all the way back to Kampala. The punters were a cool group. There were some nice girls as well. We took the bus straight to Al’s bar. The sun was just going down. Betty greeted me with a big smile. “Mazungu, tonight you kiss me maybe?”
I was in the mood to kiss anyone.

Last edited by Yeti; 09-23-2015 at 01:29 AM.
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Old 02-11-2007, 12:29 PM   #65
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Re: On Changing your Life

That is and ugly bird!

Marabou Stork:



Incredible story. Admans, I don't have time to read much but I can't get enough of your material!

Fantastic!
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Old 02-11-2007, 12:37 PM   #66
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Re: On Changing your Life

Man, I forgot how ugly they really are. If you believe in reincarnation you have to have been bad to come back as that.
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Old 02-11-2007, 01:03 PM   #67
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Re: On Changing your Life

Incredible read. You should definitely consider fleshing it out with all the details and looking for a publisher.
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Old 02-11-2007, 01:10 PM   #68
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Re: On Changing your Life

ads once again good stuff. you are good inspiraiton for me make me look forward to travelling. i might post a latest tri report but i have mixed feelings on doing that and after you doing this you can respond on how you feel about it too. When i type personal stuff out here online it's odd that i can't see the other people in person and their reactions in their face, so if i say something silly i get embarrased about it. also it feels like it losses some of it's coolness when i share everything i do, if i just tell a few friends it has more value in a way.
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Old 02-11-2007, 03:50 PM   #69
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Re: On Changing your Life

Bruiser,

I don't know. I like putting stuff out on the forums. I've made some good contacts and even a few friends doing it. I get pm's from posters sometimes months after I've made a post that I've forgotten about. I like the feedback. Put it this way, if you ever write a book and it sells, you won't be seeing peoples faces when they read it at home, will you?

I used to worry about what I posted and my posting quality was average at best. I've stopped worrying and I think that my posts have significantly improved. This is a nice community. I wouldn't be worried about being embarrassed. As for the coolness factor, that's something that I've never considered so I don't know what to tell you. Just don't post stuff for peoples reactions. Post it because you want to.

ads.
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Old 02-11-2007, 05:30 PM   #70
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Re: On Changing your Life

Oh man this stuff is awesome. I was gonna post my 'changing your life' story but it nowhere near compares to this. Thanks for the read, hope there's more!

What I definitely will do, though, is go rafting at some point in my life.
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Old 02-11-2007, 06:52 PM   #71
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Re: On Changing your Life

Awesome stories so far ads, it's really making me think about what the world has to offer and what little I have seen/done so far. And honestly, your writing style/skill is very good and with all your stories I'm sure you could turn it into one hell of a book if you choose to.
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Old 02-11-2007, 07:47 PM   #72
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Re: On Changing your Life

idk if this is common knowledge or if you even want to say, but how old are you now?

FYC
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Old 02-11-2007, 08:05 PM   #73
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Re: On Changing your Life

post more. these stories are great.
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Old 02-11-2007, 09:29 PM   #74
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Re: On Changing your Life

My story is interesting for a number of reasons. One of the reasons it’s interesting is because I made the decision to go to Italy only weeks before the actual trip. Another reason is because I went to Italy to live for five months without speaking a word of Italian. Maybe I was crazy, but I knew it was what I wanted to do.
The dilemma for me came down to this: I was a junior in college, an involved student contemplating making a run for President of Student Government. I knew that I had support from close friends and my fraternity to run, but I had this never-ending nagging to leave it all and travel.
I made the decision in North Carolina of all places. I was traveling there with some other people from UM to watch us play NC State in football. The trip wasn’t a daunting one by any means, but my mind could not stop thinking about the decision (as a side note, I met my ex-girlfriend at the airport).
It was the first night there and my friend and I were drinking beers in the hotel room because there was NOTHING around us at all. We got to talking about how I was feeling, and one beer led to another to another, and before I knew it we were making a pro/con sheet for what I should do. After much discussion and more beers, I decided that I had to take the chance to travel. I could not turn down the chance to do something I might never get to do again.


I don't know if anyone is intersted in what happened, but let me know if you are.
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Old 02-11-2007, 09:36 PM   #75
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Re: On Changing your Life

this is one of my favorite reads on 2p2 so far. keep the story coming, adsman. it's great!
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