It was close to mid-day . . .

Januszk57, CC BY-SA 3.0 PL, via Wikimedia Commons

“I’m here to visit the museum,” the stranger said. In the doorway of my flat in Krakow, I was mortally hungover, wearing only a pair of boxer shorts, with no idea what this man with a thick German accent was on about.

Until the knock on the door, the most pressing matter was deciding what frozen pizza might lift my mood — hoping a Dr Oetkers’ margherita would prove a worthy substitute for a real therapist.


This one looks nice so it’s probably not a Megabus. Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

No one on the Megabus really wants to be on the Megabus, I realise as my head is wedged between the toilet door and a gap in the low ceiling while I piss in the sink.

I don’t want to piss in the sink, but I have no other choice. I’m desperate. We’ve been crawling towards Swindon for the best part of an hour, and a man can only spend so long fiddling beneath his trousers before ending up on one of those registers.

The sink isn’t my first choice either — I wanted to use the toilet. I’m a…


My wife, Steph, is a travel writer and goes on trips billed as ‘a once in a lifetime experience’. And if I’m lucky, every so often she’s allowed to take me along.

There was the $2,000-a-night luxury treehouse in Cambodia, complete with your own personal butler. Or the trip to the Galapagos where you follow in the footsteps of Darwin and gawp at giant tortoises. We’ve also been to Eastbourne.

Regardless of the destination, I feel out of place. In Cambodia, I spent most of the time trying to befriend the butler. Desperate to prove I’m a normal guy and…


My dad loves a bargain. So when sitting in a Krakow cafe, I wasn’t surprised when he told me he wouldn’t be exploring the city with me — instead, he was getting his teeth whitened on the cheap.

It was autumn 2006 and I was about to start a year studying in Poland. I arrived a few days before the course started, accompanied by my dad, for what I believed was a combination of sightseeing and fatherly support. Instead, his visit was cover for cut price cosmetic dentistry.

There was also the time we got locked out of a budget…


Photo by Hello I'm Nik 🎞 on Unsplash

“Can you let me out? I need to get to a job interview.” The man I’m talking to is Brazilian and doesn’t understand why I’m trapped in the communal garden of his South London flat.

I graduated in 2008, in time for the financial crisis. As the markets tanked, so did the value of my already mediocre degree. Without any plans or prospects, I returned to my desolate hometown. I assumed the move was temporary. All I needed to do was send out a few CVs and I’d soon be employed in an undefined but lucrative profession.

The problem with…


Tash, sans testicles

“You know what this is, don’t you?” asked the waitress. I wanted to try something different, something real Polish people ate, so I’d ordered Flaki. It’s tripe soup: a dish in which no effort is made to disguise the fact it’s simply a bowl of broth packed with chewy intestines. I’ve always been drawn to these sorts of local delicacies, the questionable ones hidden away at the back of faded menus where tourists don’t look.

Once in Japan, my vegetarian wife had been given a plate of crickets because she forgot to include ‘no insects’ on her list of dietary…


“I can’t believe I ate the whole thing”

Most people don’t know how many hot dogs they can eat in one go. But I do.

That’s because I once entered a hot dog eating competition. Not because I’m gluttonous, a fan of Man Versus Food or because I like hot dogs. I did it for love.

In early 2012, my girlfriend and I moved back to London from New York, where she’s from and I’d been working, and the relocation wasn’t going well. We were stuck staying at a friend’s and struggling to find work. By the summer we were both getting fed up.

With 4th July approaching…

Dan Hooper

Comedy writer / Welsh / Not Swampy — danhooper.webstarts.com

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