Travolta in the kitchen

Kuranda Roots festival left me with a brain close to the tipping point of delirium. After three days of busting out my finest moves on the dance floor and working in a kitchen where cooking was just a code word for partying while throwing pizzas in the air, all I longed for was 48 hours of sleep. My golden syrup voice turned into something an old woman who has been chainsmoking like a steam train coughs up. Despite the insane amounts of coffee and energy, I passed out in my tent bewildered and decaffeinated. But oh so satisfied with life.

The main reason for this tiredness I blame on one thing only: volunteering. Like all poor backpackers I volunteer on festivals to get a free ticket. And if you're smart, you choose shifts in the bar or kitchen, where you also get free drinks or food. I might be blonde, but inside I'm extremely ginger, intelligent and always looking for ways to travel cheap. So I arrived at the festival kitchen chilled and cool like a Cadillac on a summer's day. But this kitchen was different from the others. There were two hilarious Italian girls in charge who taught me all the things I had to know when working as a kitchen-hand. After one hour I could swear in Italian (and use the appropriate hand movements), make beautifully shaped pizza and dance like my feet were on fire every time I burnt my arm. All of that while drinking one million cranberry vodkas.

Result: a body marinated in pizza sauce, feeling a little toxic and full of memories of heart-pumping good times.

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