Day 1,036: Quiz Night

02.11.11: The hangover wasn’t quite as epic as I was expecting as I rolled off Adam and Simon’s couch for the second morning in a row. Adam and Si live slap-bang in the city, just by the rather gaudy Crown Casino. They had work to be getting to, and being a unemployed bum who hasn’t had a proper job since 2001, I set off into the city in search of adventure and card tricks.

Unfortunately, the guy in the magic shop on Elizabeth Street was quite derogatory when it came to card tricks. The conversation went a bit like this:

ME: I’m looking for a red-backed Bicycle Deck that I can do a few tricks with.


ME: Can I look at a couple of trick decks?

MAGIC SHOP GUY: No. Then you’ll know how the trick works.

ME: Ah, okay, can you do the trick, and if I like it I’ll buy the deck.

MAGIC SHOP GUY: No, I don’t like card tricks. I only do coin magic.

ME: So, you can’t show me the decks and you can’t show me what they do?


ME: Oh. Right. Well, sorry for attempting to interface with the real world – you’re right, I really should stick to buying things from Hong Kong off the internet. Hope the world-wide economic crisis isn’t causing too many headaches for ya. Bye!

For lunch I met up with Mick, one of the Aussie backpackers I hung out with in Wadi Halfa in Sudan back in January 2010. We grabbed some tasty Indian tucker and, with the help of his Israeli friend Avner, put the world to rights. Incredibly enough, Mick’s surname is Leahy and he’s related to the same Mick Leahy who made first contact with the Highland tribes of PNG and therefore Stan Leahy who I stayed with in Lae. Small world eh?

Mick travelled overland down the length of Africa after meeting me so we have a lot in common – the joys and frustrations that come with Europe’s great southern neighbour are universal. We also both can’t stand Australian opposition leader Tony Abbott (imagine Tony Blair but an out-and-out Tory) and believe that Australia really needs to stop pretending it’s some insignificant backwater and start throwing its weight around on the international scene a la China, India, Brazil and Russia. Enough politics! After lunch I headed back to Thornbury to meet Mandy and head out to the pub quiz at The Peacock.

Before I left Oz last month I recorded 52 true-or-false travel questions for an Australian pub quiz company called Quiz Meisters Trivia. I did it on the promise of a night out on the tiles in Melbourne (that’s possibly worth more than a car these days) and the resulting videos look something like this:

Funnily enough, Quiz Meisters Trivia are the guys that run the pub quiz at The Peacock. Although I (obviously) knew the answer the above question, the rest of the quiz was business as usual, but when I say we aced it, I mean WE ACED IT. We didn’t come second on this one, we came three points clear in the lead. Hats off to my teammates Mandy, Jenna, Octavio and Danielle. Not only did we win the quiz, we had the best looking table at the pub.

By the way, the Uzbek currency is called the Sum. Plov is the national dish.

Graham Hughes

Graham Hughes is a British adventurer, presenter, filmmaker and author. He is the only person to have travelled to every country in the world without flying. From 2014 to 2017 he lived off-grid on a private island that he won in a game show, before returning to the UK to campaign for a better future for the generations to come.

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