Saturday, June 13, 2009


Hey all,

So, we're in Japan now. Our night in Sydney, as Joel described below, was pretty wild. I don't have much time because I have to get ready before brunch with my homestay family, but I'll put in a quick entry.

We're in the land of cultural traditions I don't understand. Yesterday, we sang a concert while people talked in front of us for about 20 minutes. It was confusing, and I didn't understand a word of it, but it seemed interesting and important.

Having said that, I love it here. Last night, we had an incredible night where they kept encouraging us to drink beer and whiskey after the concert, to the point where the majority of the Whiffenpoofs was comfortably drunk. It was a great night.

In general, this is the first stop of tour where I've felt like I'm on World Tour. I don't speak the language and there are a lot of things that happen here that make me say, "WHAT THE *#@%!?" Our homestays are incredibly hospitable and nice, and, even though Tokyo is a very difficult city to navigate (just try looking up how addresses work...oh and there are no street names...), they have made it as easy as possible for us.

Gotta run, longer update to follow.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

How to succeed on tour without really sleeping

So we're in Sydney, Australia for basically an extended layover. I'm exhausted as I write this, having got no more than five hours of sleep for the last five days. I would say I'm running on adrenaline, but I think my body can't produce much more after New Zealand. Today, a group of us walked to Darling Harbor, got lunch, and saw a wide swathe of Australian wildlife at the Harbor Aquarium and Wildlife Experience. The main point I took away is that there are a fantastic array of Australian critters who can kill you, and they all do it in different ways. Even platypi are poisonous! We saw a huge bat eating a mouse while upside down from a branch, big lizards devouring crickets in their pen, and even a kangaroo (named Shredder) snarled at its keeper. Nature is red in tooth and claw.

Anyway, afterwards we walked up to the Bridge and Opera House, and dared Trevor to jump into the Harbor. He demurred. Now we're going to eat dinner and probably have a big night out despite our better judgment.

Deus vult.

Monday, June 8, 2009


Whiffs, post!

Others, comment!

I don't know if anyone even reads this thing.

Anyway, we're in Auckland. It's raining...a lot. It sucks. We were supposed to go to Rotorua today, where half the group was going to skydive while the other half zorbed: FYI:

It would have been awesome, but the rain ruined our fun. Apparently, it's supposed to rain tomorrow too. That means that today is a good day to get tour planning done. Jamie, Joel and I are going to try to get as much of it done as we can today, so if anyone has any important planning emails to send, send them today!

As for tomorrow, we're going to Waitomo to darkwater raft and see glowworms. Basically, we float down a cave-river on inner tubes and look at bioluminescent worm saliva. Gross/cool, huh?

One other thing I've noticed about New Zealand is that everything is poorly insulated and they leave doors open a lot, like in the coffee shop i'm in right now. Poor form, New Zealand. Not that a country where there are more sheep than people could have that huge a carbon footprint, but hey, it's actually kind of cold here.

So, yeah, back to tour planning. Hope all is well with anyone who reads the blog, a number that, for all I know, just includes my parents and Meghan.

Whiffs sing on TV New Zealand

Apparently "poof" means something different to Brits and former colonies. WHAT?! Did anyone else know that!? IT's so amusing! It never gets old!!

I hope my punctuation conveys the appropriate level of sarcasm. Anyway, here's the link.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Whiffs on TV New Zealand!

I won't add too much to Trevor's post, except to mention that, from a tour manager's perspective, I think this New Zealand stop has gone pretty well. Yesterday we went hiking in the breathtakingly lush Waitakere Ranges just west of Auckland, and today we sang at TV New Zealand's Breakfast. Drew and I had an interview with Paul Henry, who announced as a prelude to our appearance that he had been told we were "enormously famous". Having been told of his somewhat irreverent interview style by our hosts, I was a little nervous but it all went well, I think, and we even had the chance to plug our CD a little! Check out the clip below:

Many Updates!

Dear world,

Sorry for the lack of updates recently. We're now in Auckland, where the internet is sparse. I bought some internet on a corner. The guy offered to throw in some free meth, but, because of my inexplicable congestion, I'm on Sudafed, which, I estimate, offers 1/5 the experience. Thus, I declined. I'm really looking forward to getting better internet in China, yes, China, you know that country in which more people live under the poverty line than the whole population of the U.S.? Even though I probably won't be able to read the New York Times or anything that reports the truth about Mama Zhongguo, at least the internet won't be dial-up.

Seriously, though, what's the deal, New Zealand? They can figure out bungees that (i hope...) required some serious physics considerations, yet I'm typing on a computer that can't have been released post 1998? This thing probably only has like 200 MB of ram. Psh. One sec...lemme push up my glasses.

Anyway, New Zealand, despite the internet problems, has been lovely. People here just seem of a happier disposition than other places we've visited. They're incredibly friendly. Driving on the left side of the road has been difficult, but I've gotten used to it. Additionally, I just saw Star Trek on Imax, which was AWESOME, so I'm in a good mood.

As I said, we're now in Auckland, which is a beautiful city. I would say it's more a collection of suburbs, though. We're now in "Downtown" Auckland, which reminds me a lot of "Downtown" L.A. There aren't many people here, but there are many cars driving by who, I would assume, are on their ways to other parts of the sprawl. But the water here is truly beautiful. We had the opportunity to sing for the American Club at the Tamaki Yacht Club last night, during which concert we could see the sun setting over Mission Bay. It was a truly unforgettable experience...well, at least for me. I was driving that night.

So, we have 3 more days here, one more at our homestays, who, in my experience and from what I gather from the other Whiffs, have been incredibly hospitable and wonderful hosts. So, if any of you are reading, thank you from the bottom of my heart. Although the hotels we are staying at are wonderful, it's refreshing to be able to stay with families so that we can call somewhere home for 3 days and ease a bit of a our homesickness.

Anyway, I'm going to go answer some more tour emails. If you have any specific questions, I love receiving emails and will reply promptly. Or just comment below if you don't mind the whole world seeing it.

I'm also looking for something to do during my break in Paris July 27-31. I have many options right now, the best of which are probably either staying in Paris to meet up with friends and hang out there for 4 days or go to Lisbon to meet up with a friend. If yo'ull be in either destination, let me know!

Drew's Blog

Check it out. Be warned: it's not censored.