An Ode To Chris Zou, The Exhausted WorldPride Tourist

"I have to leave Sydney, or I will die."

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Canadian TikToker Chris Zou has been in Australia for two weeks for Sydney WorldPride and by all accounts, he’s finding it a bit much. 

In a series of TikToks, the first of which was posted on the 24th of February, Zou has been documenting the chaos of Mardi Gras and Sydney WorldPride, concluding that partying in Australia really is quite the ordeal. A small ramble about Aussie Uber etiquette, remarking on the strange Aussie custom of sitting upfront with our drivers, marked his first video. But this was simply the calm before the storm.

A week later came Zou’s viral update in which he explained his absence from the app. “I am honestly shocked that I am still alive,” begins Zou, “because you guys — my mates — did not warn me about Mardi Gras.”

Zou then proceeds to break down the typical Australian party schedule that includes a pre-party, a day party, a night party, kick-ons, after-party, “and then, what? Brunch!” he exclaims, “when the fuck do these people sleep?”

“After this trip, I don’t know if I’ll even be gay,” he adds with a theatrical sob. “I don’t know if I’m going to have any more gay juices left.”

In follow-up videos, Zou checks out Bondi’s abundance of hot people, marvels at the existence of bogans and speaks fondly of learning about eshays. “Walking through Chinatown in Sydney? Oh my gosh, there are eshays. You definitely see many, many eshays.”

Two days after his meltdown went viral, Zou posted an update on reactions to his “dying at Mardi Gras” video. “You can tell this country is on another level,” he ponders sleepily from his hotel bed. “You know how normal people in normal countries would be like, ‘oh my God, bestie! you can stop now… but people here in Australia are like, ‘mate, go get some Hydrolyte, you ain’t fucking done!'”

“For all the straight people wondering why you guys don’t have a straight parade, do you really want this? Look at me. Look at me! Does this look enjoyable to you?”

In one of his most recent videos captioned “the home stretch”, he recounts meeting fellow exhausted North American party goers. “Sydney WorldPride has even managed to break the New Yorkers, which I didn’t even think was possible,” an incredulous Zou says.

“I could not tell if I was having the worst time of my life, or the best time of my life,” he says in his most recent update, where he describes the experience of a morning event known as Morning Glory.

All I can say is, Chris, as an introverted gay, I can’t thank you enough for posting your journey for me to live vicariously through from the comfort of my couch.