Realising that you can't legally climb the biggest Giza Pyramid, made me put climb a pyramid on my Bucket List. My best friend speaks Egyptian Arabic almost fluently, and he likes trouble as much as I do. Maybe even a bit more. We've gate crashed an oil billionaire party and spent a week on an off-limits deserted island together, to name some of our most recent adventures. Going to Egypt with that bad boy, would definitely mean trouble.
Bribing a couple of guards and go watching a starry sky from the top of the worlds biggest pyramid, would be an obvious sort of trouble to get into. So I didn't really think about climbing a Mayan ruin, or an Aztec for that matter. Actually, I climbed the New Worlds largest pyramid, mass wise, without even thinking about it. Mostly because it looks a lot like a hill with a cute little church on top. Comes to show that the Spaniards, as per costum, chose to be dicks about it, and planted one of their silly Christian temples, on top of the natives biggest one. That being said, I wouldn't have counted an underground pyramid any more than I would count one of the tiny ruins I also climbed ahead of going to The Pyramid of the Sun.
When I got there, I was absolutely blown away, the place is vast. As my partner pointed out, "the Aztecs had some style in the way they used slavery to build something impressive, other fascist bastards could learn something from that". Other than that, the Aztecs had a sense for naming shit, most wellreflected in the name of the main street in the giant complex, that used to house some 200.000 Aztecs. It was called "Avenue of the Dead". At the end of the avenue, they placed a discreete tiny pyramid, it's called Pyramid of the Moon, because it is tiny and insignificant, just like the moon. Other planets have such cool moons, what have we done to deserve a moon only werewolves and needy oceans seems to appreciate?
Anyway, on the side of Avenue of the Dead, they placed a nice little puddle of rocks meassuring only 75 meters in height, about ninethousand feet (ha! do your own conversions, Metric System ignorant!). It is a truly majestic sight, you can easily imagine how messages yelled out from up there, must have seemed like absolute truths. I also found it very easy to imagine how the big shot shouting from up there, could make me believe he was the Sun God, God King or Son of God (woops, wrong religion, you get the idea).
I'm a bit of a foodie. When I think about it, most of my life has been revolving around food. I grew up doing competetive swimming, so even as a child, my mind was always fixed on the next meal. When I ate at my best friends house, his parents would often prepare an entire extra tray of lasagne, just for the hungry kid I was, even back then.
My appreciation of food grew, as I found out my mother is an excellent chef and my father, a wine taster, taught me how to distinguish flavors and smells and how different flavours work together. If you don't know anything about flavours or cooking, I dare you to get a copy of Tim Ferriss' 4 hour Chef and start learning!
I love to eat and appreciate the different flavours even of the simplest meals. The way even a stale bread, can turn into a sugary substance, the only condiment being the enzymes in my spit, is fascinating. Imagine what kind of magic it takes, for a pork roast that has cooked for 24 hours, to become that tender, that flavourfull and that satisfying to eat. My mouth is watery as I think of how the taste of roasted rosemary goes with garlic and freshly ground pepper. Don't even get me started on the freshness of the lime and cilantro, the sweetness of the tomatoes and the tenderness of the fish in a properly (un)cooked ceviche.
I think the best food experrience I have ever had, was when me and a couple of friends went to this organic free range pig farm, on this little island called Bornholm. We controlled ourselves, and managed to only buy 4 kilos of pork roast, to chains of chorizo style sausages, half a kilo of ham and half a kilo of their insanely rich smoked bacon. We proceeded to cook the roast in a hole in the ground that we filled with rocks from a fire we made for the occasion. We had spiced the pork up with freshly plucked sage, garlic, pepper, salt and a delicous Italian olive oil.
Being an anarchist, anything regarding auto-sufficiency is of a huge interest to me. The thought alone that I am so dependent on other peoples knowledge (most of these commercialised through companies) is dwarfing to me. Most of my friends wouldn't even know how to grow a tomato, let alone change a door knob or fix a broken toilet. In the recent years, I have tried to combat that notion. We are more powerful and capable, than we ever give ourselves credit for.
That's why I'm fascinated with learing life skills, learning how to grow my own food, build my own house and repair my own clothes, tools and electronics. I am also intrigued by ideas about living without money, off the grid and minimalist life style. That is how Build a House made it to my bucket list.
Said jokingly, how can I call myslef a man, if don't even know how to build a house? Well, now I do, and it was one of the most empowering experriences of my entire life! We were a bunch of people, with no skills or training, whatsoever, who set out to build this house in the mountains of Mexico. We leveled the ground, dug the wholes for the poles, filled cement bags with clay and dirt and build up the buttoms of the walls. Putting up the skeleton of the house took a lot of hands and a lot of work, but the results were breathtaking. One of the climaxes for me, were when me and two friends put in the floor on the first floor, the floor I would be sleeping on for the rest of my stay. Nothing quite beats sleeping on a floor you made yourself, under a roof you helped build and put up (with the moon and the stars visible through the windows.
We made the house with primitive tools and primitive means, often we would have to chop down a nearby tree, when we needed timber. My soft academic hands filled with blisters, but hardened over time. Every strike with a hammer to a nail, improved my precision and understanding of how the nail can make or break the wood. I had experience with axe work, but my skills vastly improved, as I had to make floor boards fit, fortify angles or cut firewood for the meals (all cooked over open fire).
I love getting better. I love learning. I love the journey towards some level of proficiency with any skill. I'm thinking, that you, my dear reader, can't be that much different?
I have on my Bucketlist to master an impressive body feat, swim to Sweden and be able to do 100 push ups. In the body feat department, I'm thinking something along the lines of handstand pushups, one armed pushups, onearm pull ups or maybe backflips, you get the picture, something that will strike awe in most and be really cool to learn doing.
One of my passions for a very long time, has been working out physically. When I was a kid, I was a competitive swimmer, I had a great time doing all the fun and physical work in the army and I have been doing physical training in one way or another more or less my entire life.
The 9th of June 2014, I set out on a new journey in my training after, reading a book by Mark Lauren called "You are Your Own Gym". I'm not a calisthenics fanatic, nor a dedicated crossfitter, strenght-lifter, body builder or anything like that. I just like to work out and feel strong and healthy. Also, I like the thought of having a functional and healthy body as I grow older. I am now on my restday after two days of the beginners program, lasting ten weeks in total. My muscles are sore in a way I know to be good and almost can't wait to kill the work out when I awake in Cancun tomorrow morning.
Det er en sidssygt dejlig dag, hvor alting lugter af brændt solcreme, grill og sommerhormoner. En skidevarm julidag, solen varmer min myrepattede krop efter en længere svømmetur ved Svanemøllen.Vi sidder på en bådebro og får pusten og varmen, og kan ikke undgå at overhøre samtalen fra de gutter der ligger og tanner sixpacks ved siden af.
"Vi fandt de her megabillige hoteller i Las Vegas, kun 500kr per nat!""Wow, ja, det er virkelig billigt!""Ja mand, det var ovenikøbet med eget casino og egen natklub og alt det der."Billigt fik en helt ny betydning for mig lige der. Måske er der nogle dele af min virkelighed som selvbetitlet fattig studerende og iværksætter, der ganske enkelt ikke stemmer overens med den virkelighed resten af klientellet på Svanemøllen går og rusker i. Hvis du mener at 500kr for en overnatning er ok, så er du nok havnet på den falske blog. Denne her handler om at skyde papegøjen uden at slagte sparegrisen (Fik jeg sagt at jeg ikke spiser dyr?).Hvis en ferie på et hotel hvor du ikke engang behøver bevæge dig ud på gaden for at blive stimuleret lyder som bomben, så skal du nok også glemme at du nogensinde har været her. De sidste fire år har jeg været på fem forskellige længere rejser af 6-12 ugers varighed. Imens har jeg ikke haft en månedlig indkomst højere end 10.000kr udbetalt, typisk halvdelen eller mindre. Jeg kommer ikke fra en velforbundet ambassadør familie eller noget der ligner. Jeg har bare fundet adskillige måder at bøje reglerne og omgås de forestillinger vi har om hvordan man rejser, holder ferie og arbejder.Min rejse- og økonomifilosofi har taget mig hele verden rundt, introduceret mig for vilde oplevelser, fantastiske mennesker, færdigheder og erfaringer der bliver siddende, lige indtil jeg ryger i kisten. På Filthy Camel vil jeg skrive om hvordan man tager røven på systemet og lever stort, selvom man ikke har en krone. Jeg snakker om rejser, hverdag, træning, mad, studier, iværksætteri, forhold og alt muligt andet. Jeg håber du har lyst til at følge med og deltage i diskussionerne her på siden!
A long time ago I watched the TV-Show The Buried Life. It is an amazing show about a bunch of dudes that decided to go for it at start checking off their Bucket Lists. I decided to make my own. Ever since I have been working on crossing off items, my race against time and myself does not get easier from me constantly adding new items.
This Blog will keep you updated on my successes an failures (so far there's been a few, some of them even combined). I hope I will be able to Hyperlink the List so it will have link to blogposts as they pile up. I'll try to keep a weekly posting schedule so potential readers get their crack and inspiration and I keep myself going.
Well, here goes, the List as per April 18th 2014:
1. Build a House
2. Win a Freestyle Rap Competition
When I first learned that Tynan wrote Life Nomadic in one week, I was provoked. That book, along with the 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss, has seriously inspired me to stir things up. To imagine that the skinny molester of birthgivers wrote that travelers bible in just one week! My first reaction was to be really impressed. When the impression settled, knowing that Tynan is a mere human being, like me, I decided that I could do it too.
I remember I was sitting in a street cafe with all the smells of Ho Chi Minh City coming in on me when it happened. I opened my Bucket List, put the item in the document, and then started writing potential editors for my coming book that would be about how Danes can be travelling the world without money. The topic might not strike you as impressingly original, if you take the pretext into consideration, however, it is what I know and a concept I had spent the last four years of my life to get very good at.
Later the same day I ran into this girl, Puja Paz, nationality refuses to stick to her as her parents are from everywhere and she grew up in at least 300 different countries. We were drinking freshly pressed sugar cane juice mixed with dark rum, served on ice, in a little not-too-trafficky street in Saigon. Conversation soon moved into bucket lists, as I had just learned that I was about to write a book in a week. My Item #8 is Watch Northern Lights. When I said that, she looked at me as if I had just turned into the most uninspiring person she had ever met. Her eyes litteraly lost all the awe build up from sharing dreams and ideals, for what seemed like minutes, but really were hours. “Why don't you just go to live with my grandparents in Tromsø right now?” She said, in Norwegian, I think. My mind started making up all these great excuses for why this adventure should not happen straight away. I was not impressed by any of them and answered “Because I will. Give me your contacts and we'll figure out the details tomorrow.”
Waking up the next day, I found out she was not just making drunken promises. She had already added her grandmother to a facebook chat and laid out the basics of it to her. Her grandmother, had already welcomed me to come for a long visit, without even knowing my face. I booked my ticket and looked forward to replacing the humid heat of Vietnam with the grey cloudyness of Denmark just to travel as far North as you can come without compromising on leaving civilisation. I say civilsation, if you've ever met a Nordmand, you will no that they are nothing like that. I got picked up in Södereise by Elisa (the grandmother of Puja) and proceeded to spend the next week eating all kinds of weird stuff and drinking black coffee. My favourite was whale, no, moose, no, I think that really, smoked salmon is the most delicious food item known to man (it being caught and smoked by Per (the grandfather) did not make it any worse).
I did not see Northern Lights, even though conditions were perfect and I went out looking for it every freezing night I was there. One of my pass time activities when I was resting my writers hands and my head, was watching the Winter Olympics. Tora Berger kicked ass and Synøve Something Norwegian was being a fox. They were so kick ass I had a moment of inspiration, I did miss crossing off one item, crossed off another, and got to put in a third:
Alternative lifestyles have always been a huge interest for me. The whole idea of doing things that are secret, undiscovered and clandestine turns all the sensors for childish adventures on for me.
The smell of something hidden and the adrenaline that pumps as you climb through a whole in a fence into something that is forbidden can make the most dull and unexciting place in the world, into a place for adventures and new discoveries.
When you're in a place where you're not allowed to be all your senses are alerted, you hearing gets super precise and you pay attention to all the smells and the little movements in the peripherals of your vision.
Some years ago, a bunch of Danish dudes made a documentary about train hopping, it seemed rough, adventurous and really exciting. Trainhopping is when people jump on freight trains to get free transportation to places far away. It is one of the preffered transports for illegal immigrants crossing new borders in their quest for a better life and it is a subculture among crustie critics of society, call them punks, anarchists, rebels or whatever you like.
I guess the intriguing thing about it is what kind of people you could meet and what sights into giant trainhangars and off beat train rails you would get exposed to. Aparently the penalties from getting caught range from coffee and buiscuits with the crew, to severe beatings and imprisonment.
I have always been a huge fan of chilli. When I grew up, my mother was always cooking spicy food, from an early age I got the chilli enthusiasts version of “runners high” from eating hotter and hotter things. It developed into bets about eating, first spoonfulls and later entire pots of chilisauce.
I have always been mourning the fact that good and strong chilli is very hard to come by in Denmark. We have one chili shop in Copenhagen and it is incredibly expensive, so I spent most of my time in there drooling over the description of smokey tasting chipotles and scorching hot habaneros. As the poor student I was, I had to put my love for insane chili on the back of the stove for a while. But then something utterly magical happened, I had a strike of divine inspiration and booked a trip to Vietnam with two of my best friends.
In vietnam the magic happened, they have scorching hot chili all over the place, what's more is that it's free and available in unheard of quantities. We did not stop building up tolerance until we realised that this salvia releasing great burning sensation, would soon be unavailable again, as we would leave for Denmark.
We came up with the idea of bringing home 4 kilograms of these little devils and see how long it would last us from the freezer. It lasted a fair while, but when I heard that there would be a chilieating competition at the MANDIG 2013 Fair, a Danish fair for manly macho shit, we had to jump aboard. We all entered this madmans competition, an endurance turnament with a last-man-standing model.
We get up to the table and sit down, each on a different side of the table. Luckily only some twohundred spectators had gathered to see us do something unbelievably stupid. First item coming is a bunch chili kethup, I laugh at it as I cannot even sense a light tickeling, my neighbour, a big redfaced tattooed guy is already starting to get little pearls of sweat on his forehead – this is gonna be a walkover, I arrogantly think to myself.
The sun is beaming down as I sit in my yard in San Cristobal, Mexico, writing this. I'm two months in on my fieldwork working with a bunch of autonomy seeking fellows in the woods far up in the mountains. Before taking off for my fieldwork I was anxious as I've never been before. These next seven months would definitely provide answers I've been searching for. Do I want to pursue an academic career? Do I want to put all my chips in entrepeneurship? Do I want to go off the grid and start/be part of an autonomous commune? So many things that needed to be tested out, or at least would stand out clearer after wrestling this beast of academic discipline, the fieldwork.
Although I'm studying for my Masters in anthropology, I probably wouldn't have gone to university, if it wasn't because of the very generous Danish student support, that the government pays any student every month. However, I've met amazing people that challenge and inspire me, people that all more or less wants to do awesome projects for a living.
The student support has let me live without having a “real” job, letting me start two businesses and travel a hysterical amount of time without worrying about a penny. Thank you Danish Socialist state!
I think that any field has something you could call the whole grail, for at carpenter or a cabinet maker the final exam is supposed to be a proof of the skills they have aquired, a doctor writes a dispute and humanist have their thesis as that price cup.
Well, the main discipline of anthropology is the field work, we spend our entire education working our selves up to this mythical period of time. Hence, I put it on my list that I wanted to do a kickass one. One of the rules of thumb in anthropology is that no fieldwork ever turns out as it was planned. Therfore I had put very little effort into the planning phase, figuring that everything probably turn to shit when I got to Mexico, and then magically (or due to some pretty good habits and work systems I've build up over the years) work out just fine in the end.