A Quick Pick Me Up

THOSE crazy funsters at STA Travel have released a new survey, which reveals some of the most popular pick-up lines among holidaymakers. A survey of more than 600 Aussies reveals we are not only well travelled, but we know a thing or two about romance while on the road. God, it’s the entire modus operandi of The Global Goddess, so you can imagine my delight when this literary gold landed in my inbox late last week. In no particular order, here’s the Top 10 travel pick-up lines (and my take on them).
1. Dubai
The only part of Dubai I’ve ever seen was the airport, and to be more precise, the hole-in-the-ground airport toilet where I dashed from the plane nearly 30 years ago, on not only my first international fight, but my first flight ever. Suffering from motion sickness and culture shock, I dashed past the men with machine guns at the airport in my mission to be violently ill. Thus guaranteeing no one would use this pick-up line on me.
2. Jamaica
While I’ve never been to Jamaica, I certainly feel like I have, as does any Australian traveller who has spent more than their fair share of time in Bali. The Indonesians love Bob Marley as much as they love their Bintang brew, and it’s a dreadlock holiday every time you enter the country. No Woman, No Cry? Not an issue in Bali.
3. Vietnam
I have been fortunate to travel to Vietnam on a number of occasions. On my most recent trip, in which I found myself in Saigon, not only did a little girl become enamoured with me during my visit to the confronting War Remnants Museum, so did her aunty. Just my luck to have a middle-aged Vietnamese woman fall in love with me.
4. Paris
It pains me to say this, but I have been to Paris three times, and each time I have stood in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower just willing the love Gods to strike me down with that fabulous French magic by which other travellers swear. Has. Not. Happened. All I can see is a nation of chain smokers and some pretty nasty dog poo on the streets. I know, I know. Sacre bleu!
5. Phuket
While I have been known to frequent the sunny shores of Thailand’s famed beach destination on numerous locations, I have yet to find love among the long tail boats. This could have more to do with the fact that for years I have been mixing up the Thai terminology for “the weather is hot” (because I’m such a witty conversationalist), and instead telling every poor Thai man and woman upon whom I stumble that “I am hot” (as in sexy) right down to fanning my body. In retrospect, this does explain all the strange looks.
6. Rome
Ah, Rome, sweet Rome. Home of all those gladiator types, you’d think I’d be able to pick up. Hell, I couldn’t even find the Spanish Steps. The fact I was sitting ON them, while looking for them, is somewhat concerning for a professional travel writer. I did, however, catch the eye of a young Roman girl on a public bus, who pointed at my then boyfriend at the time (yes, I ONCE had a boyfriend, miracles can happen), and asked in perfect English so that everyone could hear. “Is he your lover?” Had I known then that boyfriends would become such a rare commodity, I would have shouted “yes” from the rooftop, rather than pretending I was a German tourist who couldn’t understand this crass child.
7. Amsterdam
Well, you’ve opened the floodgates with all this boyfriend talk and it was this very same European trip, with this very same boyfriend (did I mention I ONCE had a boyfriend?) that we travelled to Amsterdam. And being broke backpackers we decided to stay in some stranger’s home for a very reasonable fee, long before not only was Airbnb not invented, but the entire bloody internet. We wondered for years how we managed to get this room so cheaply until it dawned on us that some nefarious Netherlanders who knew the Internet was just a decade or so away from becoming a reality probably captured our nether regions on some hidden camera.
8. Seoul
Despite being a massive, and rather tragic, child fan of the TV series MASH, Seoul has never been top of my travel list. But based on this pick-up line, perhaps it should? Move over Hotlips Hoolihan, The Global Goddess is in town. I wonder if Klinger would lend me a frock?
9. Tennessee
I’m flat out spelling this destination, let alone knowing where it sits on the US map. A quick check of Dr Google reveals it’s in Nashville where I believe Australia’s very own country singer Keith Urban lives. If things don’t work out with Nicole…
10. Customs and Immigration
It would be fair to say if I added up all of my travelling, I have spent several years simply standing in customs and immigration queues around the world. So it stands to reason that I should have found love somewhere along the line. Given Australia is so far from anywhere else, the chances of me looking even half decent by the time I arrive in a foreign land, and have to clear customs, is reasonably remote. The hilarious line I like to use on immigration officers “I look much better in real life than my passport photo” hasn’t jagged me a boyfriend yet either. But I had a boyfriend ONCE…did I mention that?
The Global Goddess is off to Fiji this week on assignment and is searching for some witty pick-up lines fearing “I’m feeling a bit Nadi, do you want to Fiji me?” may be lost in translation. All suggestions welcome…

Something Saucy

MID winter in the southern hemisphere and I’m in search of something seriously sensual. Something to keep me warm on a brisk Brissie night. I’m on the hunt for the city’s sweetest, thickest and most authentic Italian…hot chocolate. A man wouldn’t go astray either.

One of the nicest things about globe trotting is increasingly you can find a little taste of your travels closer to home. I mean, it’s hardly 1970s country Queensland anymore, where mum would interpret spaghetti bolognaise as a plate of unseasoned mince and a bottle of tomato sauce on the table. I have been fortunate to have travelled to Italy a few times since the 70s to discover mum was a bit of a creative cook.

It’s funny what you remember about a trip, for me, it’s not the big things like the Colosseum, or the gondolas of Venice. It’s the people. One of my most memorable travelling moments was on a local bus in Rome, where I was sight-seeing with my boyfriend at the time. A young girl, who would have been all of age 5, looked at him, then looked at me, and asked: “Is he your lover?” It was at that moment I realised all Italians were born romantics.

It’s a saucy Saturday when I go in search of Brisbane’s best hot chocolate, Italiano style. Working on the theory when in Rome, do as the Romans do, I decide to combine my hunt for a man, with a dating rating for each establishment.

 Here’s my top three picks:

 Bean on Dean, Toowong: This relatively new addition to Brisbane’s café scene is perched unassumingly along Dean Street, Toowong, where I have it on good advice there’s also a massage parlour which specialises in “happy endings”. But it’s a sugar rush I’m seeking this morning, and it comes in the form of hot chocolate. This cuppa is thick like mud and is surprisingly slightly bitter, which might appeal to those who think traditional hot chocs are too sweet. In fact, it’s so thick, you eat this beverage more than drink it, which turns out be a somewhat erotic experience. I’m completely absorbed licking the spoon seductively when I catch the eye of an eight year old boy who is staring at me and frowning. Which pretty much sums up the talent here. Mums, kids and gorgeous gay couples. The hot chocolate, served only on Saturdays, costs $4 for a cup and $2 for a shot.

 Hot choc rating: 3/5

Dating Rating: 1/5

Bean on Dean, 45 Dean Street, Toowong (no website)

Schonell Pizza Café, St Lucia: Don’t let the laid-back student atmosphere, the takeaway cups or the plastic chairs here fool you. This hot chocolate is worth the trip across the river. Even the resident flock of Ibis seem to enjoy it. Amid the aroma of this establishment’s noteworthy pizzas, take the time to enjoy their version of this muddy Italian drink which is frothy like molten lava and has the consistency of custard. As so often happens in my wanderings, I catch the eye of a handsome man.  Two minutes later, his wife and child sit down next to him. If you like your men with money, on this particular day millionaire mining magnate Clive Palmer is sitting at the next table. There’s also plenty of handsome, though slightly youngish, foreign students. A small hot chocolate costs $4.10 and a medium $4.60.


Hot choc rating: 4/5

Dating Rating: 3/5


Gusto Da Gianni, Portside: The menu describes their version as thick, Italian style chocolate made with full cream milk and decadent Italian chocolate. And this drink doesn’t disappoint. Brisbane’s beautiful flock here and the vibe in this restaurant is gusto in both name and nature. The Italian waiters are fabulously flirtatious and the crowd is a mixture of couples, families and private function goers, where if you wait long enough, you’re bound to grab the attention of amorous party animal. The cuppa itself is sensationally sweet, and comes with a frothy white head. You could be forgiven for thinking you are in Naples, such is the atmosphere here, and let’s not forget the cool Italian Vespa parked out the front. For some home-grown talent, Brissie band member Jim Mathers from Lime Street and his gorgeous wife Pauline (we love Pauline) enter the restaurant on their way out to the theatre. The hot chocolate comes in only one size and costs $5.50


Hot choc rating: 5/5

Dating Rating: 4/5