Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Top tips for a ski-trip with your university.

  • Drinking is a key part of it! So, go with people you enjoy going out with because you’ll spend all your time pre-drinking with them.
  • Try going with people of the same ability as you, if not, like me, it is very frustrating for others having to wait for you! I should have taken a lesson really, but thought it a waste of money.
  • It can be as cheap or as expensive as you’d like. I cooked a lot of my own food and so only spent €100 the whole week. Also I pre-drank lots to avoid buying drinks out. Of course, this depends on whether you have a kitchen, (check with your organisers). Also, be careful when smuggling drinks into Apres-ski as they can do random checks and places are obviously funny about you bringing drinks in as they lose business! 

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Journey Home.

I only went down one run today as it was red one at the very peak of the highest mountain near us and my knees were ridiculously painful but then we all went for lunch after at the usual place before I went back and cleaned the whole apartment in order to try and get our money back on our deposit. It took me forever as the place was an absolute tip and nobody else was really prepared to try gaining the deposit back. 


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After some more cleaning, cooking, and cleaning, we got the coach back at 7:30pm. Matthew and I were just finding more about one another on the coach home, it was really interesting and funny listening to things from his childhood. We eventually boarded the ferry at 8am (after missing the earlier ferry), got a beer and breakfast then got back to Warwick at 2pm. Trip over!
… Or so it would be had Ali, Katie, Matt, Joe and I not decided to carry on tour antics in the evening. They moved all of Kirsty and Aiste’s stuff into the kitchen and the kitchen into their room and then just played a drinking board game, got wasted and ordered dominos, it was a good laugh. Matt needs to lose an eyebrow for claiming Joe wouldn’t order dominos! Stupid claim… Haha.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Last night out.

Today Matthew and I went out together because I was upset I hardly got to spend any time with him skiing as I didn’t want to hold the others up. We both weren’t in a rush to go out so didn’t hit the slopes till midday. When we met the others for lunch, it took us ages to get there it was a nightmare! Climbing uphill in boots carrying a snowboard is just awful. We took the rest of the day pretty easy, then met everyone at Folie a Duce where Matt got really drunk to celebrate the last apres-ski. 

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(Video of Folie a Duce).
In the evening, as it was our last night out, we decided we had to go hard, which is why.. Again… I remember very little of what happened. I originally decided not to get very drunk at all as I didn’t feel in the mood, but Cammy was absolutely smashed and I can’t deal with people that drunk that the only solution was to get completely ruined too so I went and saw my friend who is quite a bit older, Ellie, along with her roommates and all got wasted then I met the others at ‘Down Under’ along with my new dutch friends again haha. We were going to go to club Summit but apparently I decided I didn’t want to go, so we went home.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Dutch friends.

Due to my still injured body, I woke up at 9 by the others but then slept till 11:40 before going to shops to get baguette for lunch. After I had eaten, by chance I saw them off my balcony so ended up going for one quick run with them before they all stopped for lunch at this cheap stand. I bought myself a really nice photo frame and then came home as it was too frustrating having everyone wait, I’m too slow so I laid in the living room, on the floor on a mattress against the radiator wishing I had a movie to watch being too lazy to go out again. 


However, eventually I made it out again, went down to Folie a douce yet I didn’t drink there as it’s too hard to ski down from drunk, I left 10 minutes early and met the others back at the hotel where Matt then cooked me dinner and we began pre-drinks.
It was a very very very very messy night. I don’t remember anything when we got out. Tell a lie, I remember meeting some Dutch guys in a really good bar called Down Under and the only thing I remember was asking them to dickslap me because it’s the only dutch word I know! Haha. I spent most of the night with them and then I don’t remember anything. According to Matt, he just found me facedown lying in bed with just my underwear on passed out the wrong way round the bed, he tried moving me but I started a huge fight with him so he gave up and allowed me to sleep the wrong way round haha. I then later found out I did make it to club Malaysia despite not remembering a thing. The photos show I was there though!
My Dutch Friends
Club Malaysia and why my memory is so bad… 

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Bar 360.

This morning, since I was in agony from my damages, I didn’t go out on the slopes until 1pm. In that time, I woke at 11:30am, bathed and ate. Katie came back as she lost her ski pass. We were supposed to write down a certain number on it, if we did we could replace it for £10, however…. Yeah, you guessed it, Katie hasn’t written down the number so has to pay €35 every day to get a pass! We searched everywhere but still couldn’t find it, gave up, and ended up going out.

I quickly came back at 3:30pm to get alcohol with Ev, then swiftly went back up the slopes with Ellie to bar 360. It isn’t as nice of a place as Folie a duce as it’s not in the sun, and is far less classy, much more a student designed place that reminded me of a festival. It was still so much fun though obviously. Best apres-ski ever! The only thing that got to me that afternoon was that a pint was €5.50 but a pint of sprite was €7! Outrage! They must know students buy mixer for their vodka… Exactly what I was doing haha. We just all got really drunk, there were lots of Warwick people and it got even better when it was darker. The DJ wasn’t great, but when you’re drunk, who cares. Katie and Alex got up and went mental dancing on the tables.
It’s really weird how nobody cares how anyone looks, and it’s never about pulling other girls or guys, it’s just about sharing your love for skiing and partying. Everyone looks a mess in their ski jacket, sallopetes and boots that they have to awkwardly waddle in when they dance, but it’s still so much fun. We ended up leaving at 6pm and it was incredibly hard snowboarding back in pitch black especially when drunk and when snowmobiles come towards you blinding you. It felt oddly magical though, so picturesque and a great laugh.
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As soon as we got back met with others and went for dinner to a really expensive fondue restaurant. I didn’t get anything because I thought that I wouldn’t like it, but I tried some of the others food when it came and it  was so tasty that I seriously regretted it. On the plus side, I was €30 better off.
Back at the hotel, Matt cooked me another burger and the others pre-drank. For some reason, when I came back, my body was just a mess. My neck was in such agony, bruised hip, damaged calves, muscles in arm fucked. Matt had to lift my head onto my pillow because my neck hurt so much to move! I decided that was a definite sign that unfortunately I’d have to skip the evening out that night. I watched pre-drinks because I couldn’t sleep with all the noise, they managed to get Matthew completely wasted as they kept jointly picking on him, they didn’t leave till 1am, then Matt disturbed me at 2:30am getting back into bed. He was snoring ridiculously loudly the entire trip too, I kept hitting him in his sleep haha.
It was still a really good day though, it’s such a shame I couldn’t make it out.

Monday, 9 December 2013

Apres-ski.

We ended up getting out skiing at 11am with everyone there by the end of the day: Ev, Harry, Harry, Cammy, Matt, James, Katie, Ali & I. I didn’t really like skiing with everyone though as I felt really bad, they always had to stop to wait for me, especially on flat sections as Joe and I had to unclip ourselves from our boards to crawl along before being able to re-start.

Ev took us to this really great run earlier in the day, so as the day progressed, and I felt worse and worse about them having to wait, I ended up leaving them and going off on my own to carve at my favourite run. Joe and I ended up heading back to the hotel to make ourselves lunch on the cheap whilst the others got it on piste.
(Picture of Matt taken from my Balcony)
We all then met up at 4pm and went to après-ski at folie a duce, an amazing bar on piste with a great atmosphere. I managed to smack my head really hard when I pulled up to the bar on my board as I caught an edge, it was so painful. The bar itself was definitely a very surreal moment, dancing madly in the mountains with this band called the party makers playing. There were people dancing on all of the tables, fire breathers, female bar tenders dancing on the bar and champagne being sprayed everywhere, we all got soaked in it. It’s funny because there were so many middle-aged men there trying to re-live their memories of being a teenage clearly. There was this one topless very very drunk obese male dancing on the table having the time of his life, bless him haha.
I didn’t have enough to drink at this bar though as the prices were ridiculous. You could buy a €3,000 bottle of champagne. I only had 1 tiny winy cup of €4 beer. Another reason however for not drinking much was the difficulty of skiing back. The bar shuts at 5pm before it gets dark because they’ve placed it on a rather hard slope for drunken people. 
Eventually, we skiied back down and Matthew cooked me burgers in our kitchen whilst I had a nap due to the amount of agony I was in. My bottom hurt from falling over a lot and my hip too from where I smashed it. From hitting my head I also had a severe headache.
Of course, nevertheless, I was still up and alive for pre-drinks with everyone. Tonight’s theme was firefighters or astronauts, random as ever. As usual, lots of nos, and we ended up playing never have I ever till 11:30pm. It was the most successful game I’ve ever played haha, it actually worked and it was fun. 
Eventually we headed out to this bar called ‘down under’, it really fun, very cramped but entertaining. We had these disgusting vodka shots where you took a sachet of energy powder, left that in your mouth for 5 seconds before downing the shot. Matt ended up choking on his and spitting everywhere before having to wash it down with Joe’s Budwiser haha. After this, we went to club summit, again it was great, but very small, and it creeps me out that the toilets are unisex. I had a wonderful chat with Nathan, he got me jagerbombs and eventually I stumbled back alone for the 15 minute trek as I was dying for the toilet whilst the others were busy buying their drunk food.

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Snowboard wax? Yeah... Sure.

Today was our first day on the slopes, it was really surreal for me because as I wrote yesterday, I’ve never been on a real mountain before, only on small hills, and it was crazy how much harder I found to board on such a steep gradient. 

Today it was only Matthew, Joe, James and I and our first run, a blue run, made me so angry I wanted to cry and give up straight away and never go snowboarding again haha. I was getting super impatient. Basically, I had paid 2 members of the Exec, Tom and Alex to wax my board but they appeared to do the worst job ever as I couldn’t move an inch, even when Matt attempted to drag me along with his pole, I just couldn’t move. I know that it was a flat area, so it would be hard, but it was really frustrating me because other snowboarders around me were managing it but I couldn’t, eventually I had to get out and walk, then scratch the bottom off my board with my key in an attempt to mess it up a little. It wasn’t until much later on in the day that it appeared to be working as normal.
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I almost wet myself laughing today too. We went on a chair lift, and it was the first time Matt had ever used one, he stupidly rested his skis on the bar you pull down to stop you falling out… Therefore, when it came to getting off the ski lift at the other side, we couldn’t lift up the safety barrier to get off, the man had to emergency stop the lift to stop us going back down the mountain! He was so angry with us, but I couldn’t help but laugh at our stupidity. 
We did a few red runs but I despise them as I have to go heel side the whole way as I’m not competent enough to carve at such a steep angle. It’s a lot easier for skiers, but Joe and I (the only snowboarders) were really struggling with the pressure this put on our knees. 
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We went out for lunch at a restaurant on piste, wasn’t too awfully priced. €14 for steak-hache and chips that were pretty darn good. I was still freezing though and so I ditched the guys before they did their final run at 3:30pm (slopes shut at 4:30pm). As it was our first day, we didn’t realise how easy it was to get back to the slopes, later on we were kicking ourselves for not realising that you could access the slopes from the hotel door, instead we walked all the way through town in order to get back home!
After napres-ski, (nap after skiing clearly), I made myself my usual ham and cheese baguette before we began getting ready for the night. The theme for the evening, for some reason unknown to any of us, being chefs, we therefore, we got on our aprons and oven mits and began pre-drinking at ours and I ran the usual drinking games.
Harry ended up losing half an eyebrow after he claimed that Cammy couldn’t down a litre bottle of vodka and coke because it was so vile and so strong… Much to our amazement, we all huddled round in the bathroom over the toilet and chanted away to Cammy to encourage him. He threw up several times but didn’t make a fuss of it because apparently he has to do it every Wednesday with Warwick Rugby Team anyway so he is used to it. He loves his rugby so much he even made us chant ‘DRINK FRESHER DRINK’ like they do, to get him in the mood haha. So yeah, because he fulfilled the claim he made, Harry had to lose half an eyebrow, very amusing. There’s a 7 minute video that I’m sure I’ll post soon haha.
We then headed to Malaysia, it was a shame though because Malaysia was far too full it was hard to find anyone, we only stayed for an hour before wandering home. Pre-drinks were better than the club merely because you could talk to people… well… and we just had great fun pre-drinking.
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Saturday, 7 December 2013

The journey.

Today has been a rough day preparing as I am very hungover from the Christmas Ball last night. However, today is the day that I leave to visit Val Thorens till the 14th to go snowboarding with Warwick University Snow club. I’m super excited because other than Ben Nevis for a day in Scotland, I’ve never been snowboarding on a real mountain. For most, this is hard to believe bearing in mind I actually lived in Canada for a year where I snowboarded occasionally and even have my own snowboard, but I just snowboarded at Cobble Hills which was a golf resort in the summer so wasn’t huge.

It’s taken me forever to pack and I don’t understand how! It took me about 30 minutes to pack for a trip that lasted 9 weeks in Asia, but it’s taken me like 2-3 hours to pack for this one. Mainly because I can’t fit everything in, but I guess that’s where having a male best friend comes in handy! He is taking some of my stuff for me which is great as it means I can bring a hair dryer and, more importantly my vodka!
I also cannot decide what camera to take! Therefore… I’ve settled on taking all of them. I now have 2 DSLRS, (Sony A200 & Canon 600D) and my compact digital camera (Samsung WB150F). I figured my canon is too new to take on the slopes I don’t want to risk damaging it, but my Samsung doesn’t take photos quickly enough, it’s usually my clubbing camera, therefore I need my sony to take quick shots that isn’t going to really upset me if I damage it. Also, I want the Canon for nice scenery shots, and I brought another lens for my Canon. Seriously… How did I pack for Asia?!?
Anyway, leaving at 5:30 for the dreaded trip of doom that will take 23 hours! I’ll keep you posted on how that goes.
**11:45pm**
We’re currently sat in the services at Dover waiting for the 12:50pm ferry with a costa white hot chocolate Matthew just bought for me. It’s a pain because we’ve done so much waiting, we waited at a service station for an hour whilst changing drivers, we could have left so much later, definitely like 8pm but I guess better safe than sorry! I slept for an hour and a half whilst they were watching fast and furious. Not too bad thus far.
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(Jasmine enjoying her costa)
**Midday Saturday**
We left the ferry at 2am (3am French Time), and managed to get through customs without so much as a passport, and sailed on by. I took two of my beloved valiums and slept till just now where we stopped for some over-priced breakfast at a service stop. My back is in agony from being curled over, but some things never change! It hasn’t been half as bad as I thought it would be, but after Asia bus journeys, what could be?!
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(Our bored/ tired/ fed-up faces on the ferry at stupid-o-clock).
**2:30pm**
I think Valiums starting to replace Matt as my best friend, I slept for another few hours and now the scenery around me is about to build up, lots of mountains yet a worryingly lack of snow! Nowhere near as beautiful as the journey to Pai, but I know it will improve. 2 more hours till the supermarket stop then 1 hour to the resort :).
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(Matthew is excited about this!)
**update 8pm**
At the supermarket ended up stocking up on some basics, cheese, baguettes, ham and mixer. It’s crazy how expensive ham is here, but it’s so tasty I forgive it!
Upon entering our hotel, ‘Pierre & Vacances Residence Les Temples du Soleil’, it was so much nicer than I expected. I thought there would be just bunk beds but much to my surprise Matt and I even got our own room, there’s a kitchen (but no oven). It did have hobs, a dishwasher (strange they decided on that over an over), and lots of crockery. The others, however, have to sleep on pull out sofas. We also have a wonderful balcony looking over the mountains and the slopes with a minute walk to the slopes from our room.
*midnight*
We all ventured to another friends room (Ali, Ev, Harry, Harry & Cammy) to pre-drink before the nights antics began. It was pretty tame this evening if I’m honest, there was a lot of laughing gas going around, but I never do it because it just strikes me as so dangerous. Matthew annoyed me by doing it because he refuses to do any type of drug ever. Around 10:30pm we then headed to burger bar in the hotel. Quite frankly, the bar was pretty poop so I went to find mid drinks with the exec but ended up being pushed over and then shoved into a room by one of them who refused to let me out. This put me in a bad mood and I ended up going to bed. Not a great start to the holiday, but things will get better, I know so! 

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Things I learnt from travelling Asia:

  1. Don't judge a place too quickly - Give it time, stick with it, and who knows, you might love it! Don't let a few bad days ruin your image of that country. At the same time, sometimes there's no point lingering around, you need to know when to move on. For example Sihanoukville in Cambodia rained all day every day and for a beach location with no end in sight... there was no point staying!
  2. I cannot put enough emphasis on this - Don't rush places you've fallen in love with! Flights can always be changed for a cost and money can be found somewhere. Linger there till your heart's content. I could have stayed forever in Hanoi!
  3. Get an appropriate sized backpack for what you think you'll essentially need. Leave the luxuries at home! For me, a 40L backpack was the perfect size as all you really need in Asia is a few t-shirts, shorts and a pair of leggings. One thing I never understood was the need to carry around a huge emergency kit with you. Unless you're going off the radar for a couple of days, typically if you get injured, remember that there are shops out here, you can buy what you need!
  4. You have to be super patient - you will wait a lot. For boats, buses, trains, people, food etc.
  5. Be flexible - You'll have more fun if you have free days and follow the friends you've made. This is one my biggest regrets, not spending longer with the people we fell in love with.
  6. Try not to get stressed and angry, at the time it may seem like the world is against you, but when you get home you'll laugh at your western problems.
  7. Be super careful of your bag. Really small and subtle money belts under your shorts are the best way forward - Don't keep things on your shoulder either, easy for people to ride past and yank them out!
  8. Crossing the road is an art-form in Asia. Zebra crossings do not mean cars have to stop, nor should you ever trust a green man. Just head on boldly onto the road, and walk very slowly so bikes have a change to swerve around you.
  9. It's hard if you've never been away from home - Internet connection is frequent though. Just remember, people do get on with their lives at home, and they may not miss you like you miss them, but it doesn't mean they don't love you and want you to have a good time.
  10. The world is a wonderful place, it is vast, beautiful and full of things yet to explore. I haven't even made a dent into the discovering what there is out there!