“Lamborghinis and Orgasms – Why I Got into Travel Writing” by Leif ‘Bone-Crusher’ Pettersen

I just wanted to remind everyone that I own that book title for all eternity, even if the universe collapses in on itself and I never get a deal for my memoirs, so don’t even try to lift it. And yes, “Lamborghinis and Blowjobs” is too close.

I was thinking of this title last week as I sat down and finally started writing up the research notes from Romania and Moldova. The transition from road research to write-up is not an easy one. Self-starting in a solitary, familiar, static environment and staring at a non-lethal laptop for 10 hours a day can be challenging after a month of sensory overload, frenetic movement, red-lining physical and mental stimulation, incessant cultural challenges and adrenaline spikes while cheating death 47 times a day. I sat down to start writing when the hangover cleared on Wednesday afternoon. Actual writing didn’t begin until late Friday morning.

After the first 12 hours, the productive unease in the room was palpable, so I decided to have a quick motivational dialogue with my brain. I said “Brain, it’s time to start marking up maps, updating hostel prices and writing nice things about Bucharest that won’t make you hate yourself so we can pay the bills.” My brain countered by saying “I’m not doing squat until I’ve traveled at 130KPH on the third worst roads in Europe and come a whisker away from a head-on collision with an escaped cow. Now go get daddy some bon bons.”

So, I’m rethinking the title of my memoirs to reflect this perennial, seesaw internal struggle that all travel writers face. Something like “Lamborghinis and Valium – Why I Sometimes Have the Productivity of an Italian Bureaucrat”.

mhunziker21.jpgIn the days since, I’ve satisfactorily re-discovered (because it’s constantly changing) the optimum combination of caffeine, semi-nude pictures of Michelle Hunziker and bon bons to make the Pulitzer-winning magic happen. My brain, conscious and body rarely agree on critical issues lately like when it’s time to sleep, when it’s time to wake up, which line at immigration will move the fastest and no, one more Strongbow wouldn’t hurt. At any given moment, the damage control I’m dealing with over here is akin to walking into a pre-school class two hours after the teacher accidentally locked herself in the bathroom. If I’m lucky, I get 2/3 of the room to cooperate, everyone else is eating worms and peeing in the fish bowl.

Finally, I’m not so narcissistic yet that a well-timed groupie email doesn’t totally make my day. No matter how much dope was smoked before the email was composed, it’s still flattering to be mentioned in the same breath with Tim Cahill. Scantly clad groupie-portraits are also warmly welcome, though people like Frank should use their best judgment.

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