Book Extract: How to Survive Making Yourself Look Silly While Dancing with the German Mafia at a Bavarian Nightclub and Other Lesser Known Travel Tips by Simon Yeats

I’m so happy to be welcoming Simon Yeats back to Novel Kicks and the blog tour for his book,  How to Survive Making Yourself Look Silly While Dancing with the German Mafia at a Bavarian Nightclub and Other Lesser Known Travel Tips.

The best has been saved to last. Book 3 of a hilarious series of travel misadventures and dubious personal introspection by Australian author Simon Yeats, who from an early age learned that the best way to approach the misfortunes of this world is to laugh about it.

Simon shares his comedic insights into the unusual and uproarious elements of living life as an Aussie ex-pat and having a sense of Wanderlust as pervasive as Cholera in the 1850s.

From how to outwit the Italian police while trying to find parking in downtown Genoa, to how to negotiate exploring the Roman ruins of Plovdiv, Bulgaria while on crutches, to how to impress the German Mafia with 80s dance moves, to how to leave a lasting impression on a crowded bar in Gothenburg, Sweden after combining alcohol and antibiotics.

Simon Yeats has gone into the world and experienced all the out of the ordinary moments for you to sit back and enjoy the experience without the need to rupture a disc or succumb to Dengue fever.


Simon has shared an extract from his book today. We hope you enjoy. 


*****beginning of extract*****


Avoid looking silly

On arrival to Ios in the Greek Islands at 2 in the morning, my friends and I discovered that it was not as tourist friendly as we thought.

We start walking in the only direction that standing on a pier offers a person. Towards the end that does not finish at the water. The first building we pass has an unilluminated sign of a pension, with rooms available. We stop and take a few steps back to look more closely. It looks more like a person’s house than suitable lodgings for three wise men from the East, but at 2.25am we are prepared to lay our heads in any manger.

We ring the bell and a kindly old Greek lady in her nightshirt answers the door. She informs us we cannot have a room until 7am. There seems to be no logic behind this, other than to have us suffer standing on the street for the next five hours. I have a sense she is deliberately being mean to us. But I do not express my frustrations. She agreeably lets us leave our bags with her, so we can return to the bar that is actually the first building someone passes after exiting the pier. We did not technically go past that building, as we went in and had a drink first.

Inside the bar, two drunk Greek fishermen are playing darts with the accuracy of a one-legged man on a pogo stick trying to pee in a cup while being chased by a Rottweiler. As a middle finger to whatever passes for OSHA in Greece, the dartboard is in the space between the doors to the male and female toilets. There are two girls working at the bar, one is from Australia and the other from Sweden. Both are still hanging on to their jobs on as the dregs of the wild summer season slip away.

Travel tip. The best way to scout for the most useful real-world information on your travel destination is to find a local pub and ask the bar staff.

I would trust an alcoholic hotelier to give me better intel on the local area than TripAdvisor. The girls tell us that there are hardly any tourists on the island at present and the nightlife has nary a pulse. But they get off work at 5am and will gladly take us to the after-hours bars, where all the bar staff on the island congregate for their knock off beer. This perfectly suited our lack of access to the accommodation holding our bags ransom.

Knoxy kicks off our early morning by offering to buy a round of shots of the bartender’s choosing. The Swedish girl chooses the tequila stuntman. A variation on the customary lick of salt, downing a tequila shot, followed by sucking on a lemon slice. The tequila stuntman requires a drinker to snort a pinch of salt, knock back a shot, then squirt lemon juice into their eye.

I try to pass on this.

My travel agent and Knoxy press me to get involved. They are all in.

This is the mindless stupidity that one might expect from seasoned Ios journeymen who have already braved the island for several days of intensive partying. But not from weary novices who have been here for less than an hour. I am the least enthused of the group to engage in any drinking on our first day. We needed to pace ourselves.

My travel agent turns it into a pissing contest, and then my hands are tied.

“It is okay, Knoxy. He doesn’t have the balls to do it.”

“Oh, I’ll do it!” I respond.

I play right into their trap.

“Great,” cries the Australian bartender. “Ten tequila stuntmen coming right up.”

“Ten?” I ask.

“Yep. Two each for you guys and us behind the bar.”

“Why two each?”

“No one can have just one tequila stuntman,” the Swedish girl informs me. “There are rules on Ios.”

“Yeah, there are rules,” chimes in my travel agent. He then does his best to give me what he must have considered was an inspired speech. “Yeats, we are on the Greek Islands. When are we ever going to be here again together? Probably never. So, if we do not celebrate now, then when? Tequila may not be perfect, but it’s better than a kick in the balls.”

My travel agent’s attitude towards life is the same as it is towards drinking. Go big or stay home.

I down both shots uncomfortably, causing myself temporary blindness from the lemon juice and sneezing a massive gob of snot out my nostrils. Then I sit back and nurse a glass of water while my two companions get stuck into more drinks with the barmaids. My cautiousness with alcohol consumption stems from wanting at least one of us to be able to find the way back to the house next door.

The two fishermen leave the bar at 4am, after one of them embeds a dart in the bathroom door two seconds before Knoxy walks out. The girls tidy up the bar, since there is no longer any point in staying open, and we all leave.

“Are you ready for the stairs?” The Aussie girl asks.

“What stairs?” Knoxy responds.


*****end of extract*****




About Simon Yeats –

Simon Yeats has lived nine lives, and by all estimations, is fast running out of the number he has left. His life of globetrotting the globe was not the one he expected to lead. He grew up a quiet, shy boy teased by other kids on the playgrounds for his red hair. But he developed a keen wit and sense of humor to always see the funnier side of life.

With an overwhelming love of travel, a propensity to find trouble where there was none, and being a passionate advocate of mental health, Simon’s stories will leave a reader either rolling on the floor in tears of laughter, or breathing deeply that the adventures he has led were survived.

No author has laughed longer or cried with less restraint at the travails of life.

Say hello to Simon on TikTok and Instagram

Click to buy How to Survive Making Yourself Look Silly While Dancing with the German Mafia at a Bavarian Nightclub and Other Lesser Known Travel Tips on Amazon UK, Amazon US, Waterstones and Barnes and Noble


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I’m Laura. I started Novel Kicks in 2009. I wanted a place to post my writing as well as give other writers like me the opportunity to do the same. There is also a monthly book club, a writing room which features writing prompts, book reviews, competitions, author interviews and guest posts.

I grew up by the sea (my favourite place in the world) and I currently live in Hampshire. I am married to Chris, have a cat named Buddy and I would love to be a writer. I’m trying to write the novel I’ve talked so much about writing if only I could stop pressing delete. I’ve loved writing since creative writing classes in primary school. I have always wanted to see my teacher Miss Sayers again and thank her for the encouragement. When not trying to write the novel or writing snippets of stories on anything I can get my hands on, I love reading, dancing like a loon and singing to myself very badly. My current obsession is Once Upon a Time and I would be happy to live with magic in the enchanted forest surrounded by all those wonderful stories provided that world also included Harry Potter. I love reading chick lit. contemporary fiction and novels with mystery.

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