A HAWAIIAN LUAU IN BUDAPEST.

My friend Tenaya is super strange and hilarious and her life (the trivial aspects of it) are constantly on joke within our friendship community. On Facebook, we have a closed group called “Tenaya’s Wise Words” in which we share the utterly confusing statements made by Tenaya herself. One of my favourites has to be, “I thought that all lions were boys and all tigers were girls”. She is one of the most intelligent people I know, just generally perplexed and not afraid to voice her shower thoughts or life questions.

A while back for my JRNL101 class, we were practicing writing 100 word captions for images. We were allowed to choose anything, and so I chose a funny photo of Tenaya and brainstormed up a short caption for it. I shared this with her on Facebook and since many of our friends found it enjoyable, Tenaya herself suggested that I share more things like this with the cyber world. I created http://www.portraitsoftenaya.wordpress.com and reposted the image and caption to this site. I vowed to make postings a regular occurrence, but have failed to follow through until tonight.

I sat on my bed and thought about how much study I needed to complete for my upcoming exam this Thursday, but then I thought about how much more fun I would have recounting one of Tenaya’s most famous adventures. Here is exactly what I posted on her original site, and you can be sure that I will continue to share those posts with this site, as they are something I tend to be quite smugly proud of.

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It was a Tuesday night in Budapest and all were dressed in bright floral patterns, flowers emblazoned across foreheads, coconuts covering  breasts, and phrases such as “gnarly” or “right on” floating in the air. Tenaya Wright, was dressed in a fluorescent orange dress, a plastic weave of pink flowers around her head. She was content, but with a sheer and bright goal in mind. Tenaya had promised herself she would finish her standard bottle of rosé before leaving the hostel. Time was getting away, the makeup party in the kitchen was slowly coming to end as girls capped their mascaras and lipsticks, topping up a small glass of champagne to quickly enjoy upstairs while the evening’s speech was doled out. As everyone stood, ready to make their way out the door, Tenaya informed her friends that she wouldn’t be joining. Now, at first everyone was utterly confused; concerned even. Until it became obvious, the true meaning behind her delay; Tenaya, must of course, finish her bottle of rosé. A bottle, so cheap, but so flash, that she manages to pop open, using not a cork screw, but the power of her index finger.

Her friends left in doubt; would she make it to the bar? How lost would she get? The answer soon became clear as the guests followed the staff members around corners beyond corners, for what seemed like quite a while for such  drunk crowd. Surely, there was no way Tenaya could make it to this particular bar alive. It was as this thought was crossing most people’s minds, that she proved everyone quite wrong. With a loud HOOT and a blinding swish of long dark hair, enters Tenaya, so wasted that some might call her a “white girl”.

For most, the rest of the evening becomes a haze of events, but there are some most memorable, so significant that not even the blinding and deafening effects of alcohol are able to erase our memories.

She asked us group of girls how many shots we had completed upon her arrival, to which she replied with a smug and slurred, “You’ve done two… shots? Two shots? That’s fine, ok cause I’m gonna do three, so I’m one step above allllerrr you!”. It was at this point, that everyone knew she was already many steps ahead of the rest.  She spoke of burritos, that she claimed to have found and was able to eat for free. She spoke of new friends made along the way to her present location. All of these incidents have neither been verified nor investigated.

Many of you might be familiar with the powerful and entrenching Facebook video entitled, “Tenaya Wright falls into the karaoke booth and shit gets real”. It was this particular event that makes this night so extremely memorable. Attempting to describe and paint a vivid picture of that very moment would not only do that video injustice, but it would go against the grain of my very being. What happens in the video is clearly depicted in the title, alongside the soulful voice of Aretha Franklin and featuring the shocked and petrified screams of many many bystanders.

This fateful event, not only lead to the threat of a $400 fine, but to the 30 minute disappearance of Tenaya Wright. Frantically asking witnesses of her possible whereabouts, she seemed a lost cause. If she had made her way to the bar, through the streets of Budapest, finding burritos and making lifelong friendships along the way, there was always the possibility that she made it home safely. Out front of the bar is where she was found, her head peeping around the corner of a wall, shushing us, but beckoning us over. She asked if she was allowed back into the bar, to which the obvious answer was of course, no. It was at this moment that Tenaya asked us to do something most surprising. She said she was going to become a new person in order to be allowed back inside, meaning that we would need to cut off her hair for this plan to be carried out properly. Tenaya once told her own father that her hair was her best friend, so to risk it’s life just to be let back inside a bar, to be able to sip on at least one more beverage for the evening, truly proves that alcohol holds a more precious and permanent place in her heart.

Somehow, and still no one knows, Tenaya was allowed entry back into that bar. Her hair was draped across her face, further impairing her vision, so it’s extremely possible that the Hungarian security guards truly didn’t recognise this new and improved woman. The night continued on, followed by 200 forint pizza and long strolls back to the hostel. The last I saw of Tenaya that night, she was guzzling down carbonated vodka shots.

A SLIGHT CHANGE IN MY ABOUT ME.

I don’t know if any of you have heard of the genius that is Sir. Stephen Markley (Yeah, I always refer to him as sir, and I feel like he would thoroughly appreciate that, and also have a good old laugh about it, so I’m gonna continue that notion), but whenever I decide to sit back and read a few chapters of “Publish This Book”, I immediately feel a rush of creative guilt that screams at me, “Annika, why the fuck aren’t you writing hilariously inappropriate anecdotes on your blog for your father to shame you for later!”. Now, I’m not going to do that, because yes, I’m fairly sure I once mentioned this URL to my dad, and while I know he appreciates my prose, I’m far too terrified of broadening his knowledge on the fact that my friends and I are all sexually active (we’re 20, it’s not wildly inappropriate at all, but no one wants their dad, or any other family member for that matter, to read about their friend having sex with a random in Byron Bay).

Anywho, after reading about 50 pages of Markley’s book, consciously constructing my fan mail that borders from a vague infatuation to a strong sexual attraction to, “I’m going to stalk you until you love me and provide me with millions of children that I’m not sure either of us really want”, I opened up the webpage to this very blog. “Annika Tague. 19 year old uni student and book worm”. All of a sudden, I blinked twice and realised that the lyrics to “Teenage Dirtbag” didn’t really apply to me anymore, because as of 8 days ago, I joined the club that is 20. And while I’m not as bothered by this increase in number as I lead on, I just feel vaguely disturbed. At the age of 11, when my eldest brother was at this point in his life, I recall thinking to myself “dang, you is old”. So, now I’m sitting out on my balcony, my feet covered in socks and shoes, yet still numb for some confusing reason in the middle of an Australian October, and I’m questioning which link on wordpress will take me to the “edit your info” page.

While blogging is fun and therapeutic and something that most aspiring journalists/writers, and any other creative souls for that matter, basically are forced to participate in, it also makes me feel like a sad 13 year old girl, writing in her journal about the curly-haired boy who decided to make her best friend his girlfriend, as her tears roll off her chin and onto her stuffed minnie mouse that she grasps tightly to her budding bosom. I’m quite happy to talk about my love for great novels or the hilarity of shows like “Parks and Recreation” and “Bob’s Burgers”. Or my iron strong opinions that I’ve learned to hold back, because sometimes arguing with someone on Facebook, who comes from an extremely privileged family, and merely holds their political views because they overheard Mummy and Daddy agreeing with Abbott’s immigration laws, is not always worth your breath.

Then, there’s the things I can’t talk about, but have a feeling I’m going to anyways, because they’re the sort of hilarious anecdotes people want to hear. They’re the kind of things that, as Markley has showed me, need to be embedded in your writing for, not just comedic value, but to prove that life is real, raw and not as serious as most people in your PHIL106 class like to make it seem. I was one of those anxious morons at the age of 16-18 who took life far too seriously. This was the age when I should have spent more time drinking, less time studying and more time kissing random boys at parties whose calves were still skinnier than my pony tail. I can’t really say I hate myself for not engaging in this type of behaviour, because I’ve made it to university (that was the overall goal of being a super lame dork, right?) and am now kissing random boys who have wider backs than me and manage to kiss and grope at the same time without stopping to look where their hand should go next. Maybe I took my time getting here and maybe I’m slightly hating myself for writing such a quizzical and existential piece of blatant banter, but let’s blame Markley. Markley made me do it.

And as I write that, it becomes my number one fear that he’ll somehow find the link to my blog because, “Hey man, I read some chick’s blog from Australia who really wants you to impregnate her”, and he’ll scoff at my nonsensical writing, tell me that I’m a basic bitch and laugh about it with his buddies, who I secretly all want to be my friends as well. Sick one, Annika. Maybe next time you should write about the boy you’re in love with but too scared to admit anything to, and subscribe to all other female teenage blogs who post about the same trivial bullshit. Oh, but wait, you’re not even a teenager anymore…

It’s about time I did some time-traveling

A journalism student at university and I feel like a complete idiot for never writing down my experiences and posting them on the big bad web for people to read. It’s not that what I have to say is overly important and that I’m in need of avid readers, but I’ve done a fair share of traveling and why not share that with y’all? It will at least force me to raid my brain for the good and bad points of roaming the world, and hopefully I’ll take note next time I decide to jet off into the unknown.

Six months I was away from home, but for three of those months I reverted back to twelve-year old Annika, living in Fairfield, CT with her cousins and watching all the people she grew up with morph into these adults with their own agendas, attending prestigious universities, joining sororities and living the life I may have been majorly apart of, had my family not decided to uproot and move down under. I really did love being back home, summer in America has a completely different feeling; it’s full of country clubs, traveling to summer towns and consuming cookie-dough ice cream at least twice a day. During that US summer of 2013, I sent myself into NYC as much as possible. It was like a test for me– I remembered the city well, but I had to be sure that it was still living up to my dreams and expectations that shows like Sex and the City and Friends set for me. I wasn’t the nine year old, walking around the blue crisp city at Christmas to see the Radio City Rockettes anymore. I had my own plan, my writing goals that loomed far into future careers that only publications like Vanity Fair or The New Yorker seemed capable of holding.

Lost in the radiating concrete-dense heat, down in Greenwich Village, Washington Square Park and past the NYU buildings, I felt nothing but nostalgia for the life I never got to live and imagining every possible way that I could broadcast myself into the version of the person I wanted so badly to be. I’d get home, start and finish my four-year double degree, saving as much money as possible– enough to to pay a year of graduate school studying at NYU and chasing down mean editors in the hopes of a pathetic freelance writing position.

These three months moved like the heat- slow. It wasn’t something that bothered me, it was something that was sort of required and I wasn’t even fully aware of it at the time. The god damn beauty of hindsight. I visited my parents in Boulder, Colorado and my mother was quick to remind me on a daily basis that I was nothing short of the yank I always had been, and to not be offended when all my Australian friends might not be able to afford an overseas wedding– Thanks for the reminder, Gillian.

I shouldn’t really be overly surprised that it wasn’t the familiarity that made me see clarity, it was the unknown. I’d done America, I’d lived and visited many times, so why I thought it was the answer to my future and all my problems really doesn’t make a whole lot of sense (I’m not really full of problems, but we all kind of act like we are, don’t we?).

The places I hadn’t seen, and didn’t even belong to, were calling my name. I traveled Europe for an abrupt three months (due to a lack of funding– whoops-a-fucking-daisies), and it wasn’t even until my plane landed back in Sydney that I understood the notion of the “travel bug”. While it was all happening– the rush to make flights, the extended bus trips, the constant expenses, they seemed like nothing but a downer on what was supposed to be a fulfilling experience. Hindsight, you motherfucker, I had the best three months of my life and only the last few weeks and the depressing arrival home allowed me to see this.

This is me, just over a year from now– leaving for everything I just told you about.

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10 kgs lighter and terrified of saying goodbye to my Ma and Pa. So by looking at travel pamphlets, brochures from the Gucci museum and reading my extremely rushed and mediocre travel diary, I’m gonna reverse back the clock and write down anything and everything worth sharing– a pretty good excuse to relive it all, dontcha think?