I made an impulse buy of a $30 Elvis suit 3 weeks before leaving Australia in Jan 2008 to travel for a year.
It's crap....and now it's coming with me.
I don't sound like Elvis, look like Elvis, or sing like Elvis.
I am Crap Elvis.


World trip montage - Crap Elvis in 25 countries

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Elvis Pis - Crap Elvis in Belgium

Just popping the pics up for now. Ridiculous stories to follow when I get a good sesh at a net cafe.

Pis and Crap:
Belgium's unofficial national symbol -Manneken Pis. Flemish translation is "little man pee."
And when the Belgians can make it their biggest tourist attraction, you know they are laughing at us as hard as we are laughing at them.

What's he staring at?

Elvis Cutre (Catalan translation: shabby Elvis) - Crap Elvis in Barcelona

Fiesta or siesta - Spain seems to randomly choose one at any moment. This time, sleep was the Eddie the Eagle Edwards style clear loser in the battle during my Barcelona stay as I'd timed my arrival with their biggest festival of the year - Fiesta De La Merce. Now I'm sure there is a lot of history and reason behind the events at these festivals, but the only prerequisite I could deduce is that they combine heavy drinking with dangerous activities (see also Running of the Bulls, La Tomatina etc which seem only to exist to injure as many Aussie backpackers as possible).

With that in mind it was out to one of the many packed "plazas" one night, with a "bar to human" ratio only rivalled by the "human to amount of drinks in one night" ratio, to down a few beers and then head to the Correfoc. This translates into English as "run-fire," which is obviously just an irrelevant name as the last thing you should be doing after drinking heavily is running through the streets amongst a load of fire. Except this is Spain, so the name suggests exactly what it is, ie running throught the streets amongst a load of fire. I normally live in a place where fireworks are banned and too many candles on a birthday cake can cause a neighbour to dial the emergency services, so when hundreds of crazy drunk Spaniards appear dressed as the devil, swinging nuclear strength sparklers above their heads into the crowd, and throwing brown-noise threatening ear-splitting bangers with the care of a 2 year old, a little voice in my head says "go on, join in...what's the worse that can happen?"...even when the procession starts attaching fireworks to the nose of model dragons they are pushing.

I'd been forewarned that my usual suit would likely disintegrate in 3 seconds, and if the wig stayed on, memories of Michael Jackson and a Pepsi commercial could come flooding back, so fortunately the only scars I can boast are a hoody full of burn holes. However I'm sure there are a few participants, who if they want to read this update, will have to wait for the braille translation.

The next day of the festival focussed on another group of sado-masochists. The Castellers. These teams of otherwise sane Spaniards seek more tradition in building human castles competitively. Much like building castles with playing cards, you start with a huge group of people at the base, then try to balance additional layers. Obviously the more layers, the more unstable, the more easily affected by wind etc. Therefore, sometimes they fall. Unfortunately with humans it's not as easy as gathering the fallen cards up and chucking them back in the packet, namely because the broken bones, twisted limbs and bruises don't fit in the box anymore. Luckily the adults have found a way of minimising their chances of injury, and that's by sending 5 year olds up to the top levels.

As the teams entered the plaza, I was extremely lucky to be standing in the exact part of the crowd where they decided to commence their human Jenga games. In fact the base levels of the teams were so close that I thought it would be a great chance to get a stupid photo pretending to help firm up the base. What I now know is that pretending to help, looks like you're trying to help a particularly unstable castle which needs more help, and despite being the only one not in traditional dress, and in fact dressed as a poor man's Elvis, suddenly I'm reluctantly helping. Help!

With my only task seemingly to nuzzle myself into the man in front's armpit (sadly not a day celebrating the patron saint of deodorant), I heard the crowd suddenly hold their breath, although not for the same reason I was. As I glanced upwards, the upper levels were wobbling. So as a sea of screaming humans toppled over onto us, self-preservation kicked in, and I crouched down allowing the taller people to take the full force. Hey, it's not my traditional event. Plus, disaster could have happened - I could have lost the wig.

OK, from looking at this picture, I'll admit it. It was probably a mistake to tickle the guy above me's foot.

For some reason, Spanish TV were interested as to why someone dressed vaguely as Elvis had become an integral part of thier various traditional Casteller (human castles) teams.

For the human castle coverage, including some crazy falls and the Crap Elvis interview (about 5mins in) click here: http://www.tv3.cat/videos/693729
I have been dubbed into Spanish and branded Elvis Cutre - literal translation is Elvis Shabby. I've never sounded better, or been described better for that matter.

Parade of the giants (lead by the shuffle of the idiot in the white suit)

Also checked off the usual Gaudi (replace it with gaudy if you want) sights of Barcelona.
Sagrada Familia

Gaudi's Park Guell

Don't you hate it when you're having a quiet coffee, and a famous racing driver calls you over for a photo. Thanks Ralph Schumacher.

Why haven't I heard of this exclusive collection before?...

Monday, September 22, 2008

El Crapador - Crap Elvis in Spain..again

Hola Valencia...

After a failed attempt to get typically Spanishy earlier in the trip (ended up larging...and lagering...it up in Ibiza), another cheap flight found me on trip numero dos to Valencia in spain. Starting with an incredibly underwhelming welcome on the tarmac - I waved to the crowd, and he waved back. "He" being the guy with the ping pong bats and earmuffs, and "waved back" being rude hand gestures for me to get off the steps. Never one to let a foreign insult heed the trip though, thus began a few days of of tapas, sangria, and paella. And depsite sounding like new car models from Ford, they're actually all typical food and drinks (however I do recommend you test drive the new Renault Tortilla) . In fact Valencia was where Paella (seafood and rice dish) was invented, and it's also the site of the annual Tomantina festival where a nearby village turns into a massive tomato foodfight. Let's hope they never combine the both, as it's all very funny until someone gets a prawn in the eye.

From Valencia I was keen to take a few days driving up the coast to Barcelona, so managed to get an amazing deal on car hire on the net (75 euros for 4 days)...until I had this conversation when I went to pick it up...

Car Hire Woman: So that's 75 euros for the car, and 90 euros for the one way rental. 165 euros please

Crap Elvis: (shocked look) Hang on, there was no mention of a one way rental fee

CHW: Yes, but you are renting for less than 7 days, so we have to charge it.

CE: OK, how much to rent the car for 7 days?

CHW: 112 euros

CE: (puzzled look) OK then, fine, I'll pay for 7 days, then drop it off after 4, and we both win.

CHW: No sir, if you bring it back after 4 days, we will consider it less than a week, then you must pay the one way fee.

CE: (stunned, then smug look) Well then, I may as well rent it for 7 days, drive to your office after 4 days, park it on the street outside, then return to your office 3 days later and drive it into your carpark.

CHW: Yes sir.

CE: (eats his own face, and proceeds with plan)

Peniscola (It's not just cola!)

Traditional dress... and some local Spanish girls in their usual stuff

How to mess with the tourists - tell them the bullring is empty...

Sorry, I couldn't have lived with myself if I didn't take this photo

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The newspapers are full of Crap

I think the world had a slow news week, as media coverage has gone a bit silly recently.

Obviously Lewis Hamilton, Kim Wilde and Nick Faldo weren't doing anything interesting, as all coming from the same area as I originally am from, I managed to end up on front page and page 3 of The Welwyn and Hatfield Times, leaving them to languish in much less read pages. Take that one to the tribunal Hamilton.

However it was only when full page articles in some of the UK's biggest papers started appearing with stuff I'd never said, and an Elvis addiction I've never had, that I realised that Britney Spears must have been treating her kids well, Amy Winehouse must have had a quiet night in, and the England football team must have been performing adequately, leaving valuable column inches to fill. That'll be me then.

The Sun: www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article1648431.ece

Daily Mirror: www.mirror.co.uk/news/top-stories/2008/09/05/elvis-presley-lookalike-tours-the-world-115875-20724221/

Daily Star

Daily Mail: www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1052533/Elvis-lives--hes-world-tour-How-devoted-fan-took-Blue-Suede-Shoes-road.html

Also had a few people let me know that Crap Elvis made photo of the day in The London Lite, and was one of the Daily Mail's travel photos of the week. Very strange.

Finally, had a great chat on air with Stephen Rhodes on BBC radio, as well as the usual weekly catch up with Jeff Burzacott at 5AA down in Australia.

Think I'll have a lie down now.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

"They tried to make me go to Sweden, but I said no...no...no"

Well actually I said yes, as you know from the previous photos. And in fact, here's some more photographic evidence...

Typical Swedish country house (they all have a bad Elvis impersonator outside)

One of Stockholm's claims is "City of Museums" which would normally be as enticing to me as claiming that one of the members of Roxette lives there. Which of course they do, which would normally be as enticing to me as claiming that I might get a mild stomach bug. Which they don't, and I didn't. But the plus side of having approximately 70 museums, is security is fairly lax and the exhibits are easily infiltrated. Hooray for the City of Museums!

Juvenile Humour Corner...(because funny foreign words just never stop being funny)

This street isn't just good....it's Funcken Grand

I mostly enjoyed Patrick's Bar...

Saturday, September 6, 2008

The suit came flatpacked - Crap Elvis in Sweden

With the wig hastily assembled with an allen key, I arrived in Stockholm, Sweden last night. This morning the King returned to the palace to have a look at the changing of the guard...

Swedish pedestrian crossing. Stupid pedestrian not crossing.
At the Stureplan - Stockholm's most famous square...which is actually triangular.

Changing of the guard. Even more heavliy planned - the changing of the elvis suit without getting arrested.

The Swedish army attempted to thwart this photo with their mini Surface to Armpit missile launcher.

Swedish guard had just come from his part-time clowning job.