So I’m getting married next week, and thought the guests might like a heads-up as to what may go down. It’s undoubtedly gonna be a disaster (we’ll just leave the blogging for later. You know, like once I’m dead…), if my previous attendance at such events is any indication… Anywho, to summarize:
Bad things happen to me when I sing in public. This is no longer a randomized sample, it is a well-correlated, concrete fact. Case in point: my most recent experience of karaoke involved a well-meaning accomplice (I love you, Susan!) and a sadly put-upon Balinese guitarist who unwittingly invited disaster when he suggested that the two drunk Americanos currently funding the entire bar might want to accompany him onstage. By “stage” I mean the small corner area in which he was (badly) attempting to cover (bad) American rock songs. His “songbook” consisted of a collection of painstakingly hand-written transcriptions of his “favorite” songs, with some minimal musical notation, clearly culled from intensive radio-listening time. His vocal ability notwithstanding, these “translations” were a bit, shall we say, loose, and mainly consisted of a number of choruses without verse. After filling the request / tip jar repeatedly and heckling loudly when the only other patrons in this open-air cantina dared to suggest a different song, I think he just figured it’d be easier to get our drunk asses up there with him. We complied. And we sang. We both, in entirely novel and incompatible ways, forgot nearly every lyric to American Pie. Then we sang our favorite Stones song, which was not in fact the Stones song that he was playing. And then the bar emptied…
After about three days meandering around Transylvania, trying to avoid more tacky Dracula-themed tourist shit than any self-respecting tourist should be forced to avoid (although yes, I did indeed purchase the above… but it’s adorable!), it occured to us that our hostel offered something much more amazing sounding. You know how you roll into hostels all over the world, and there’s invariably a notice board with stupid signs for “amazing” deals, used / abused camping gear, and package excursions that surely would show you amazing sights un-dreamed-of by any previous traveler while never EVER ripping you off? And it doesn’t matter if you’re in Abu Dhabi or Paris or Idaho, everything up there always sucks? Well, the Rolling Stone Hostel in Brasov, Romania, is the glaring exception. (This hostel is fabulous, btw, fairlyy adorable, fairly fun, and really fucking cheap. Also it’s purple: http://www.rollingstone.ro/). They offer the regular Dracula Tourism crap, yeah, but they also have an add for their famous Transylvanian Bear-Watching Night, which clearly could not be passed up. And that’s basically how I found myself in a stranger’s car with a couple crazy Romanians and my perfect travelling buddy (I love you, Chris!), drunk on crappy Romanian beer, faced with the choice of getting: a) pepper-sprayed in the face or b) mauled by a Carpathian brown bear. Read the rest of this entry
If you’ve ever crossed the border over land into Uruguay, you may have noticed an imposing, hilarious and, I thought, somewhat offensive billboard that states: “Uruguay: welcome to the first world”. Now, I would say this is a bad idea for a number of reasons. First off, it’s just not true. I saw this sign at the border crossing coming from Buenos Aires, which is by all accounts a fairly awesome and well-off city (although its people, not to be a judgemental bitch, are the fugliest I’ve ever seen. Ever. I almost vomited). Second, and maybe more importantly, I know that Uruguay and Argentina are still a little pissy with each other and all, but surely this billboard is not the smartest way to encourage tourism? Or like, good neighborly relations and shit? Anywho, this got me thinking about what it actually means to be a “first world” country. You know, other than being able to lay claim to various imperialist pretensions. Read the rest of this entry
It’s 4 am and I’m a mess. I’m attempting to sleep on the lawn outside the bus station in Pamplona, Spain, along with two thousand of my closest friends, but it’s not working very well cause it’s so fucking cold I’m considering mugging a neighboring stranger for his hoodie. I’m here for the Running of the Bulls, kinda by accident, and I’ve managed to get myself ridonculously intoxicated, appareled entirely in white (with a red sash!), and covered in the fuck knows what. Whatever it is, it’s also red. And dirty. I am so red and dirty I doubt my friends, none of whom I have seen for many many hours, would even recognize me. I swear I came here with people (love you Mo! Love you Rhyne!), including my bro (love you J-balls!), and made more friends today (love you, drunk Venezuelan 19th b-day girl who humped me in a bar!), but that ship has sailed. And then… Read the rest of this entry
So, I’m like, somewhere in the middle of Turkey, and I haven’t been back to my hostel in a couple days. It’s partly cause I’m being stalked all over Europe by THE DANE (see Travel Rule #5), but mainly cause I’ve been drunk in a cave with some Turkish cowboys for some time now. Oh, and clubbing. And also night motorcycling with licorice liquor. And smoking lovely local products? Oh, and also starting a giant bar fight involving a German Sheppard, thrown tables, and some off-duty cops. You know, the regular ole disaster… Read the rest of this entry
I met a traveller once, in the world-renowned Flying Pig hostel of Amsterdam, who seemed pretty cool. Well, actually he seemed to be high as shit, but I figured that was cool, I mean it was a hostel in Amsterdam, after all. Our conversation went something like this:
Me: “So what’s up? How long you out for?”
High as Shit Guy: “Uhh, ‘bout a year. Left Australia like six months ago.”
Me: “Oh cool! So where’ve you been? Must’ve been amazing!”
HSG: “Oh. Uhh, yeah. Well, uhh, I’ve been like, here?”
Me: “Oh. Uh huh. So like, Amsterdam?”
HSG: “Nah, nah, like… here.” Gestures to our seating area.
Me: “Oh.” And I just can NOT let this one go. “So you haven’t made it off the floor of this hostel in six months???”
HSG: “Nah. Keep thinkin I should, but like, I like it here. And if I like, left, or whatever, how would I like, know where to get my drugs? I mean, I got the dude down the street I see every morning. Like, what would I… do?”
Me: “Yeah, that’s a toughy, man” [“Yo,” poke poke to my brother, “we gotta get the fuck outta this hostel, dude, before we’re sucked into the vortex…”]
Normally when I go travelling, I make it a rule to ignore bad pick-up lines (and trust me, they abound). Herewith, in no particular order, are the Top Five Worst Pick-up Lines Personally Experienced by Me:
A) Somewhere in an Athens hostel. Population of room: two. Intrepid Traveler #1 hops off her top bunk at the crack of hungover, in an effort to at least attempt to do something with her day (circa like, 11am). Sounds of tooth-brushing.
Me: brush brush scrub
Canadian dude sleeping in the bottom bunk: “ugh, unh, vomit”.
Me: Christ, I know that kid got in at like, 7am, must suck ass.
CDBB: “soooo, can I ask you a question?”
CDBB: “so, do you like sex in the morning?”
Me: “uhh…. Sure.”
CDBB: gesturing to own bunk-bed: “Well get over here then.”
Me: “um.” Shoulda seen that one coming. As it were. Read the rest of this entry