Asia, Countries, Culture

And not a minute tattoo soon

Have you been needled by the tattoo shops being closed?

It was a treasured tradition long before the Millennials hijacked tattoos for themselves to get inked on holidays.

And you’ve got the permanent marker on your shoulder, forearm or ankle of your national flag or ‘Mum and Dad’.

Designer

To remind you of when you and your pal had them daubed in Majorca on your 18-30 holiday.

I’m all ears

For me and my much-storied Aberdeen Uni friend Toothy Aberdeen – a light in the north and www.visitabdn.com it was ear piercings.

As always I couldn’t hide it from my Dear Old Dad.

Show off your colours

I took out the sleeper and it bled when I put it back in which meant I had to ask Dad, a GP for surgical spirit.

Cultural trip

‘You homosexual you’ve had you’re ear pierced,’ he shot back. Different times and in truth he treated every patient in his surgery with care.

Enough nostalgia already here is a scroll through tattoo culture.

Maori old time

Tattoo originated, not as I’d always thought from the Maoris of New Zealand but the Tahitians.

Their word is ‘tattau’ meaning to strike or tap.

Tahiti treatie

Tahiti resonates with us through the story of Fletcher Christian and the Mutiny on the Bounty and Paul Gauguin.

The beach scene

Tattoos signify social distinctions on Tahiti but they differ through the archipelago. And gender.

For men and women

On Marquesas the women get the better of the deal with tattoos applied to their faces, arms, legs and fingers.

While men had their genitals drilled.

Wear your sleeve on your heart

Maybe go to the Society Islands where your privates remain private. Visit https://tahititourisme.uk/en-gb/.

And check out the waves

Tahiti is the exotic and cultural trip you’ve always dreamt of and during lockdown they’ve been tempting us.

Mountain, sea and the whole ten yards

With food, dance and language tutorials, while you can also adopt a coral.

Asian adventures

Now I’m virtually there, it’s just a matter of doing like Fletcher Christian and staging a mutiny here from the Scary One and getting myself out there.

Because I do love a scattering of Asian islands… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/08/12/atoll-tale-the-maldives and http://www.kuramathi.ie/.

MEET YOU AT THE PARLOUR

Caribbean, Countries, Culture, Europe, Ireland, UK

Windrush Day – know Black, know Irish

Happy Windrush Day, the 72nd anniversary of the arrival of the Empire Windrush in Britain

Theirs was a response to an advertisement calling for people from the Empire to come to the Motherland .

So that they could help rebuild a country ravaged by the Second World War.

As well as a student curious for knowledge and advancement who would arrive some time later.

That young man cane from Trinidad https://www.visittrinidad.co.tt to Aberdeen University.

Caribbean boy

Inevitably he met a local, fell in love and took her back to the Caribbean.

But his greatest legacy, however, was their son Jevan.

He followed in the footsteps of his Dad and also swept up at Aberdeen Uni… www.visitabdn.com and Aberdeen – a light in the north.

And he became pals with a Son of Ireland.

Or at least with a lot of green blood running through him… yes, your favourite blogger ME.

Let there be mud

I hooked up again with the legendary Jevan years later in his adopted Barbados www.vistbarbados.org.

He took me off-piste at Crop Over, or off pissed, on Foreday Morning.

And it’s the through-the-morning festival within a festival.

There was mud and paint hurled and rum thrown down the throat.

All against the background of Soca Music, steel bands and jumpin’ and chippin’.

It was the type of welcome we’d always been told we’d get.

And I’ve jumped at every chance to get back… Let’s rumba in Barbados, My kiss with Rihanna and https://www.google.ie/amp/s/jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2020/03/17/ready-steady-goat-racing-in-tobago/amp/. www.visittobago.gov.tt.

It would be nice to say that the same welcome was afforded the West Indians who arrived off the Windrush and the subsequent ships.

But we all know it wasn’t.

And guest houses displayed signs saying ‘No Blacks, No Irish.’

Black and Irish

It is a link that has endured over the years.

And you’ll see a healthy Irish representation at Crop Over.

And Grand Kadooment, the procession that draws the curtain down on Crop Over.

Ireland www.tourismireland.com and www.failteireland.com has embraced multi-culturalism in recent years.

And having holidayed in Ireland as a child I was struck on arrival there as an adult for a 13-year stint https://www.google.ie/amp/s/jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2020/02/06/thirteen-years-an-irishman-my-five-irish-homes/amp/ by this poster…

‘The trouble with this country is that there aren’t enough pasty-faced white people.’

Know black, know Irish… you’ll be better for the experience.

America, Australasia, Countries, Culture, Ireland, UK

Mind the Gap Year in Australia

It’s the right of passage for English students which is denied their neighbouring Scots – the Gap Year.

Immortalised in The Inbetweeners 2, the Gap Year is when English school-leavers take a year out before starting University.

And it is expected that it will be even more popular next term instead of sitting at home and studying digitally.

Home and away

The other Perth… Western Australia

I spent a year of my own studies with the bold Australians, only these Aussies were refugees from Munich’s Oktoberfest.

Who turned up unannounced on my doorstep in Aberdeen www.abdn.com Aberdeen – a light in the north asking to stay for the weekend and leaving a year later.

They did, of course, give me an open invitation to go out and see them.

But I imagine looking for a Peter Smith or Steve Brown in Perth, Western Australia, might be difficult.

See you Down Under

Bridge not too far: The iconic Sydney Bridge

Recent changes to the Working Holiday Maker Visa means British and Irish travellers can stay for up to three years.

While you can get yourself lost deliberately in this huge country in your campervan.

You never stop learning so it might be time for that Gap Year I never got.

Smutley and Brownie… you have been warned. Visit www.australia.com.

Turn on, tune in, drop out

Oh I wish I was a Wild West hero

Of course those of us left disenfranchised by the lockdown can do what dreamers have been doing for decades, lose themselves in America’s Wild West.

And here’s me getting on ma hoss and riding away into the Plains www.colorado.com and The New Frontiersmen.

Colorado’s is Big Country and free and the best way to see it is at your own pace…

Spa partners

Everything in the Garden is rosy

Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs is gratis as are some of the natural spas.

Such as Conundrum Hot Springs. Which reminds me of a fall-out I had with an Aussie in our group.

You know the type who claim that people are trying to take their photo of the Rockies.

Seems you can’t escape them anywhere.

America, Countries, Culture, Europe, Food & Wine, Ireland, UK

Hungry and Thursday – barflying around the globe

What’s hospitable about a UK Hospitality industry that wants to bar us (sorry) from sitting at the bar?

But that’s what they’re proposing to the British Government postlockdown.

Many an hour (or day) I’ve spent sat on a stool getting to know the locals, and most importantly the barman in some foreign clime.

And these are just some of the bar stools where I’ve wedged my backside.

Now I’m aware that this column has been over this territory before https://www.google.ie/amp/s/jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2020/02/13/hungry-and-thursday-the-best-bar-none-on-my-travels/amp/.

But these selections aren’t marked on the best bars but the best bars if you see what I mean.

Bustin’ Boston

Irish-America: A Boston institution

The Black Rose, Boston (https://www.blackroseboston.com): Norm Peterson is my all-time drinking hero (now my big pal Finlay has gone to the Great Saloon in the sky).

My friend Neily worked with the Cheers franchise on their carts (the exterior of the bar is the same but the interior was Hollywood) I worked at the Black Rose.

Where every night an Irish-American sang standards (and I can’t get The Black Velvet Band out my head) and at the end of play the boss gave the staff a couple pf pints.

See https://www.bostonusa.com.

I belong to Glasgow, mon

A Glasgow handshake: With Karl in Tobago

Glasgow’s Bar, Tobago Parlatuvier Bay, Tobago: Now Glasgow bars have improved since my childhood when there would be grills on the windows.

The common denominator here is that this is Karl Glasgow’s gaff where the locals, many of them workmen stop by to eat and drink at the bar and look out at this.

See https://www.visittobago.gov.tt and https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=2eXQLwnehuQ.

Mary’s spirit

Irish to the core: Mary’s Bar in Dublin

Mary’s Bar, Wicklow Street, Dublin (https://marysbar.ie): And this bar off the best shopping thoroughfare in the Irish capital. Grafton Street, has it all…

They have a quid pro quo relationship with WOWBURGER downstairs and you can take your beer, burger and chips up and sit at the bar.

Where you obviously wash it down with a stout. See www.visitdublin.com.

Do you want ice with that?

The Ice Bar, Jungraujoch, Switzerland: And good luck with keeping us away from the bar here – it’s only two or three deep.

Because it’s at the top of the Jungfrau in the Bernese Alps.

Still, there’s a curling rink and they serve Swhiskey… www.myswitzerland.com and Swhisskey on the rocks.

Home comforts

Learning at the bar: My Uni bar, the St Machar

St Machar Bar, Aberdeen: They say ‘never go back’ and when I did Jim had gone so the doors weren’t thrown open at closing time.

Linda too, with her doorstep sandwiches.

I wouldn’t want to go to University these days…

MEET YOU IN THE BAR