Nina’s Travel Rule #43: I am Dirty, Get Over It

So good it's _almost_ worth cleaning off to drink!  Not.
So good it’s _almost_ worth cleaning off to drink! Not.

I was informed yesterday, by a Turk of all people, that I should really wash the top of my Coke can before drinking.  Apparently some dude died last year ’cause he didn’t, and it was covered in rat piss.  Can we guess what I did, dear followers?  Yeah, that coke got drunk, but it sure didn’t get washed.  Because, you see, what the well-intentioned Turk failed to realizes is: I am Nina, I am dirty, get over it.  So, in explanation for the failure of his valiant effort (I love you, Wurk-Turk!), here y’all go: The Official Top 10 List of Nina’s Dirty Moments.

This order is fluid.  Mainly ’cause there were too many instances to list, but also ’cause I just can’t decide which of them are the worst and didn’t have time to poll all my friends for their horror stories.  Which is sad, ’cause we’re not even gonna get to the day I woke from a dream of being covered in ants, to the fact that I was, yes, covered in ants.  And cigarette butts.  Or the two weeks I spent in Morocco flat-out refusing to bathe, ’cause it was fucking freezing and no one had hot water.  Or the fact that I tend to travel with my brother, who is the only person on Earth that is grosser than me.  Or that I’ve taught everyone I know about the joys of minesweeping, i.e. finishing off all those beers at the bar that people leave behind at the end of the night…  Or that I have literally brushed my hair like, 4 times since May, 2011.  Or  that I once wore a single pair of jeans for two months while traveling around Europe, and they ended up so ridonculously foul that I took them home and burnt them.  Oh, fucker, I shoulda done a 20 point list 😦

The Official Top 10 List of Nina’s Dirty Moments:

10)  The five second rule does not exist.  Nor does the 5 minute rule apply.  I firmly believe that if food is mine, belongs to someone I’ve met at least once, or has been personally viewed hitting the ground, then it is edible, no matter the time limit.  This was demonstrated most recently last week, when I ate sausage off the ground of a pool deck that approximately 34,769 people had been running around on all day.

10b) In conjunction with #10, I also firmly believe that fridge-food is good until it’s not, and that spoilage bears no relation to that pesky expiry date.  As a random sampling, I have been known to eat 4-week old lettuce and 3-week-old chicken (but it was totally already cooked!) and, it turns out, I’m also cool with 3-week old yoghurt (Yes. That was indeed breakfast this morning.  But it was totally still sealed when I remembered to eat it!).  I will cut mold off cheese and bread, remove ‘wet’ spots from tomatoes, and shake up that ancient fruit juice til it looks perfectly proper once again.  As a nice side benefit, old fruit juice is generally somewhat alcoholic 🙂  I’m currently debating the (cooked) kangaroo filets I froze about, uhh, shit, well about 13 months ago, but haven’t decided yet.  Fuck it, I’m sure they’re fine.

9)  I’ve been dirty a long time.  My mother’s favorite Nina As A Baby story is still the one where she found me in my crib, aged about 1 year, having removed my diaper, removed all its contents, and proceeded to ‘finger paint’ the crib, myself, and all the walls within flinging reach.  Every time I think dear mom is being a bit too demanding, I try to remember that she did in fact hose me off (I love you, Mom!  Thanks!).

Street Cats in Bulgaria.  Omg who _wouldn't_ want to pet these?!?
Street Cats in Bulgaria. Omg who _wouldn’t_ want to pet these?!?

8)  Trolling through my facebook photos, it becomes immediately clear that I really like stray dogs.  Or cats.  Preferably the friendly ones, but really just all of them.  Which is why: I once petted a dog in Bulgaria (I love you, Weezie!  I’m so sorry either of us had to see this!) that, it turns out, when it rolled over, only had one eye.  Well, it had two, but one of them was kinda hanging mostly out at the time.  You know, in a gangrenous, blood-oozing kinda way.  I continue to pet stray dogs since ‘the incident’, but at least I do check for gaping sores / broken bits / hanging eyeballs now…

7)  I have a degree in dead penguins.  Yes, it’s true.  Well, it’s in vertebrate paleontology, really, but it was acquired by studying dead penguins.  Specifically their skeletons (don’t ask).  And so, yes, I spent about a year ‘skeletonizing’ dead penguins that I had shipped to me from SeaWorld (naturally caused deaths, I promise).  This taught me three things: a) it’s a fuck-ton easier to tell people to piss off when you don’t want them to hit on you if you are in fact not lying when you say you have a dead, pickled, baby penguin in your bucket at the bar;  b) TSA might be staffed by a bunch of anal-cavity-searching ass-wipes, but dead, pickled, baby penguins marked with about a bazillion biohazard stickers in fact do NOT concern them; and c) while it really is easier to rip flesh off a dead penguin with your bare hands, rather than gloves, there is literally nothing on earth that will remove the smell of Dead Penguin from under your nails.  Trust me, I’m a scientist, and I’ve tried.  The closest I came was toothpaste.

A dead Adelie penguin.  Just before I ripped it apart WITH MY HANDS...
A dead Adelie penguin. Just before I ripped it apart WITH MY HANDS…

6)  I once slept on the couch at Snake-n-Jake’s Christmas Club Lounge.  For like, 2 hours.  If you haven’t been there, then this will not make sense, but seriously, this is not something you admit to in public.  Like, just trust me when I say that this couch is the most fuckin’ repulsively disgusting, rat-shit-infested, hobo-smellin’, bodily-fluid-saturated piece of ‘furniture’ I have ever seen.  Also at least two people that I know of have literally been shot while standing in front of it.  But y’all know what?  It was 3 in the goddamn morning, I was really really really tired / drunk / finished, and… whatever, I’m dirty.  I’d love to tell you that my friends kept watch on me for rats, but then, they did not.

Once I let my friends dress me up in a garbage bag at a bar?  Not the only time this has happened, sadly :(
Once I let my friends dress me up in a garbage bag at a bar? Not the only time this has happened, sadly 😦

5)  Stemming directly from #7, I once packed a ziplock bag of homemade fish tacos (but, in my defense, I’d made them and they were goddamn delicious) to take to an out-of-town conference.  I was poor, they were yum, long story gross, I left them in the corner of the hotel room and ate them like, 4 days later.  Yes, fish tacos.  (I love you, Farrah!  I know you’re still grossed out by that!).

4)  In my second NOLA entry du jour, and also stemming directly from #10, I once ate chili-cheese-fries off the floor at Cooter Brown’s.  During Mardi Gras, so you know it was an even fouler floor than usual.  But like, my buddy (I love you, Weezie!) was drunk and she dropped The Best Chili Cheese Fries In The World on the floor!  Seriously, the BEST.  And I didn’t live in NOLA any more, and I couldn’t have these awesomesauce things every day and, yes, I may have vomited while in line for the bathroom later, but it’s totally not ’cause I ate off the floor (it was the gin), and anywho, it just had to be done.  And so it was 😦

3)  I may have mentioned this in previous posts (vomit…), but…  I once vomited in a squat toilet at a ping-pong show in Bangkok (once again, it was the gin…).  And I still maintain that not many people can claim the pleasure of having bucket-method flushed their own puke down a porcelain squat-hole in a strip club in SouthEast Asia.  Because it was not a pleasure.  It was DIRTY.

2)  Once, at the Mardi Gras, because yes, it does seem that everything gross happens in New Orleans, I used a port-o-let.  Which is kinda gross enough all on its own, right?  Well, nothin’ compared to this motherfucker.  This particular port-o-potty had in fact been sat out on the street for the full two weeks of the holiday, and had not in all that time been, umm, changed out.  My friend (I love you, Ralph!), who had to pee so badly I think she may have actually done it in her own pants afterwards (not her fault.  There are two arrest-able offenses at the Mardi Gras: punching a cop, and peeing in the street), took one step into this Pot-o-Gold (Yes, that’s a real brand.  Look it up.) and back-pedalled faster than a Nina in a dry county.

Ralph: Oh god.  I can’t.

Me: Well, I fuckin’ can. I enter.  To find the Pot-o-Gold… full.  No, not full, in fact, but… Mounded.  Highly mounded.  Yes, I peed anyway, but this was honestly the first and remains the only time I have refused to sit.

and finally, the WORST possible proof that…  Nina is Dirty, Get Over It:

Typical post-conert cleanliness for me.  Not my fault, we'd gone to see GWAR.  Which was fuckin' awesome :)
Typical post-concert cleanliness for me. Not my fault, we’d gone to see GWAR. Which was fuckin’ awesome 🙂  And yes, I am covered in fake blood 😦

1)  I once visited a squat toilet on a boat.  In Laos.  A boat that rode loooooow in the water.  Which was sloshing into the squat toilet.  And also sloshing things out of the squat toilet.  I visited said squat toilet waaaaaay more than once (it was a looooong fuckin’ boat ride, y’all).  And… no… I did not wear shoes. Nor thongs. I was, indeed, barefoot.  This would be the Adorable Husband’s choice for #1 Gross Thing Nina’s Done, but then, he’s only known me for 2.5 years, so he’s got quite a while to get to the really good shit 😉

Now, judge me as you may, but at least admit I’m right (as usual).  Coke-can-rat-piss is really not my biggest worry.

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