So I land. Collect my bag. Walk out the airport doors. Cross the zebra crossing. And hear a guy stuck in traffic shouting at me out of his mini van window. “Welcome to New York, you’re going to rock it in this city, am I right?!” Before I get a chance to reply Why yes sir, I certainly hope so! he adds on… “And I hope you get raped!!” OK? Thanks? Oh Jesus. I’m in New York. Continue Reading »
At times it is a challenge to tie a series of random events together in one big bow of a blogaruu. Isolated events of oddness which just occur and end with no string attached. However, other times, these random events occur in a sequential order and all lead up to something. Saturday, running into Sunday, was one of those days. A match. A long train ride. A lack of seats. And a distracting thought about corn all tied together to lead up to an event. Which never ended up getting off the ground now I think about it. Back to the start… Continue Reading »
My last day in Mexico was just a series of me failing miserably at trying to be clever. I am blaming my hangover and calling it an off-day. Usually, I am way smarter, I swear.
After I got wrestled out of my room far too early in the morning, I had the whole day to kill, with my suitcase and man-bag. I decided I’d ask the bell boys to look after the bags, while I swanned around by the pool curing my hangover. After all, we had become such good friends, they always called me amigo, offered me tequila, laughed at my jokes that weren’t meant to be jokes at all, I was great buddies with Miguel, Raul, and the other Miguel. Stupidly, I let them know why my suitcase was with me, I had just checked out, could they look after my bags, cheers amigos! The words “checked out” transformed them. I must have said a secret code as they immediately lost grasp of their usually good English. Now all I was getting was “Que” and “No”. Come on Raul, we are amigos, you said it yourself everyday! “No”. Miguel, my old buddy, Miguel… he just walked away from me. Miguel 2, the Miguel who always offers me tequila, hook me up. He offered me tequila again, sure Senor, but now its 50 pesos a shot, what the funk?!
I ended up not being allowed back into the hotel or the grounds, seeing as I no longer had the special wristband. Great, about 7 hours to kill waiting for my shuttle to the airport. I had a brain wave and headed to Subway, I’d get a few rolls for the wait, free food and all after my bathroom incident. It wasn’t until I got to the till to pay for the 3 rolls – 7 hours is a long and hungry wait – that I noticed none of the people who were working the night I got locked into the bathroom were on. Balls. So, I tried to explain to the guy serving me about my free food set-up, the manager gave the all clear. The word “free” drained him of his English and all I got now was “Que?”, whereas two seconds earlier he could reel off in English the 39 different dressings I wouldn’t want on my rolls. Its fine, Ill just pay for the 3 rolls, oh thats right, no money in my wallet, I have the fear over my credit card, Ill go down the road to the ATM, with my suitcase, get some money and be right back. My clever plans were all working to a tee so far.
Shuttle never arrives for the airport, ended up getting a taxi, a good waste of money, Orbitz would be getting a call about that. So I eventually get to the airport that evening, and I have come prepared this time. I am not wearing shorts which require a belt, I am too clever for that. Instead I am wearing my blue Nike Jordan basketball shorts, which I always wear to the gym. They are loose, hang down like curtains, shapeless, comfortable, only two pockets but perfect for the flight home. I get on the flight, delighted to see I got the emergency row again, no sign of an old Mexican dude who looks like he will release his bowels next to me this time, sandwiched in between two women. I throw my man-bag into the overhead, making sure first to get all the essentials I need for the flight. My pockets are over-laden – iPod, earphones, tic-tacs, mints, chewing gum, watch, notepad, pen, phone, bottle of water – all the essentials so I wouldn’t have to be getting up every two seconds to get stuff.
The flight starts off with the woman on my right commenting on how my hair looks like its had a good spring break at least. And starts to rub it, more pet it really. She then also notices the different bracelets and bands on my arm, plus my lack of tan (in her opinion, I thought I was bronze! ha), and starts to rub my arm. Well, more pet my arm really. So she’s petting my hair and arm like I’m her cat, the job, good start to the flight. I should say as well that she wasn’t really my cup of tea. I’m not sure she would be most people’s cup of tea, but if you like the female looking version of Rosie O’ Donnell perhaps, then maybe she might be. I’m more of a fan of Ellen myself.
She’s having small talk, mostly to herself, she’s going to San Fran for a few days or so now too, but she lives in Tahoe, was I single, what was I doing for the next few days in San Fran, we should all go out!!! Oh right. I stop her petting by reaching for the air conditioning overhead, sneakily rob hers too. I needed it though, between her and the hangover, the sweats were coming. She whips out her phone, asks me my name, cant understand what I tell her (surprising to say the least), so tells me she’ll just call me “Hot Stuff”. Oh Jesus. She gives me her phone, put in your number hot stuff, we’ll all go out for drinks, it’ll be so much fun! This is where I put on my clever hat. I can’t work her Blackberry, so I hand it back but tell her, sure you can have my number, here you go, and rattle a spoof number off to her, an American equivalent of my Irish 088 number. What’s that, I didn’t give you enough digits, tack another, eh, lets say a 1, throw another 1 on at the end.
I am happy enough with myself at this stage. At least I was smart enough to give her a spoof number, I can fall asleep in peace now. Sleep on. However, it is when I wake up, that I realize I have made a grave mistake about something else. I should not have worn those shorts. In fact, I might as well be wearing nothing, or else blue body paint at the most. Between my pockets being weighed down, so they are pulling the shorts down on the sides, a lot, plus all the streams of cold air I have aimed at me, and my lap, more or less the shape of everything is there to see. Every nook, hole and cranny. Plus it was cold, with the a/c and all, so it wasn’t looking its May West, ha.
I was woken up by the air hostess asking me to straighten my seat for the landing, so she had a good look, if she wanted that is. I’m sure most people walking by saw what was on offer, through my magnificent shorts that have now, more or less, morphed into blue bicycle shorts. Less I would say. I looked to my right, to see my new buddy just looking at my lap. I motion to my eyes – I’m up here love!!! I’m still hungover, just woke up and starving, so a bit numb and dumb, rearrange myself and pretend not to notice. Nothing here to see, move on folks. Start off a bit of small talk with Rosie next to me to take her mind off it, what do you do? She informs me she owns (or runs, I couldn’t understand her for once) two ski resorts in Tahoe. I should come up! Bring friends. Free skiing and free accommodation. Not too shabby, I think, this flight has come good after all.
The plane lands, hop, skip and a jump style. We’re waiting around for it to park, Rosie tells me she’s just texted her daughter, who is my age, and who lives in San Fran. She told her about “Hot Stuff” and she is interested in going for drinks as well, I was wondering why she kept saying we can all go out! She then shows me a photo of her daughter on her phone as the screensaver, I’m not expecting too much. However, my first thought is that there is no way that they are related! The daughter has to be adopted, she looks hot enough! I casually ask to see some more photos of the daughter, any closer ones, any face ones perhaps, ha. She shows me a few more on her phone, my first impression was right, her daughter is tasty!
Who cares about my shorts, the hangover, or any of that, this has been a good flight, free skiing, free hotel, and her daughter is hot, wuu! As I get up from my seat to leave the plane, I turn on my own phone. This is when I remember that I have given Rosie a complete and utter spoof phone number. I doubt there is even one digit the same as my real American number. Balls. How the funk will I get out of this. I walk off the plane, trying as hard as I could to muster any bit of cleverness left in my hungover brain. There is nada left, nothing, zilch. The numbers are completely alien to each other. I gave her a number where the first 2 digits were 31. The first 2 digits of my real number are 80. I can feel the free skiing with her hot daughter slipping away.
Worse still, when we’re queuing up for immigration, we’re in different lines, she’s in U.S citizens, I’m in the Johnny Foreigners line. I decide I’ll cut her off after the line, hopefully, tell her I want to make sure I gave her the right number, take her phone and change numbers quickly, what a plan. I get through immigration, wuu huu, and manage to catch her before she leaves. Sorry Rosie, I just want to make sure I gave you the right number – “Ok” – Ha, you better give me the phone, I’ll double check myself. However, instead of giving me the phone, she shows me the number quickly, then calls it out. It is a great spoof number, but nowhere near like mine. Eh, I think the end is wrong, give me your phone a second and I’ll fix it. At this stage it feels like I’m trying to rob the phone. “I’ll do it, you couldn’t use my phone, remember earlier” – Balls – “just call out the right one to me now”. I give up at this stage, tell her it was a 2 at the end, not a 1. Out the airport exit she goes, gone, good duck to free skiing and hot daughter. I just realized after writing all this I should have simply asked Rosie for her or her daughter’s number. I am quite the idiot.
I’m back to being annoyed and feeling like an ape at this stage. While waiting for my lift from the airport, I decide to vent my anger at Orbitz, I’ll ring them and complain about the shuttle never showing up. I get their freephone number, and call them. For some reason, ringing a freephone number on my phone costs me double what it costs to make a normal call. This same phone let me make calls and texts in Mexico for free. It is the stupidest phone ever. Suits me down to the ground!
Song of the long, annoying, hungover, clever, stupid day is Scenic World by Beirut…
After writing this post, it is longer than I thought, so I’ll split it into three mini ones:
Spring Break this is not. Funny, in a “it would be funnier if it wasn’t happening to me but one of my friends”, yes. Fun… not sure yet. Firstly, the 4 stars this hotel proudly gives itself has to be wrong. This is not all-inclusive. That to me would mean eat and drink whenever, wherever and, more or less, whatever you want from the menu. This is more a form of totalitarian all-inclusive. You can eat what we give you, when and where we feel like it. It’s brutal. So far I’ve tried sticking to the buffets. I could be in & out easier, I didn’t have to wait around to be disappointed by what I ordered, the food was already out to see and disappoint. Plus I didn’t have to make reservations for a table like the other restaurants.
However, yesterday, I see a sign that the dinner buffet was closed that night in the usual place. Instead there would be a big event on the hotel’s beach front, an ABBA’s tribute band, plus the dinner was being served there, but you had to reserve a table. So, I made the reservation, reserved a table, and went along about 8 o’clock to check it out.
The setting was cool in fairness. Down along the edge of the beach, lit up brightly, stage at one end, food buffet along one side, sand and sea on the other side, lots of tables in the middle, all cordoned off by rope and ribbons. Just lovely. I go to the entrance, wait to be seated at my table. Andy and Colin, once again poor chaps, were feeling sick, so I had to go along on my own, ha. I notice, while waiting for Miguel to seat me, that the tables are the ones you’d see at a wedding, or a hotel function, the big round ones that seat a few, a good few. I start to wonder if they’ll have a small one like that for me.
So I follow Miguel, from the entrance at the back of the set-up, through all the tables with all the people, up to by the stage, just in front and to the left, next to the food, under a floodlight, my cosy table. My big, round table, just like the others, that seats 10 people. No-one else is at the table, looks like its reserved just for me and my party. Sorry, Miguel, anything a bit smaller? He can’t hear me with Dancing Queen being belted away in the background, gives me a smile and a si, pulls out a seat for me and I sit down. For some reason facing the crowd, I think the spotlight lighting up my table and the dance floor was blinding so I had my back to it. Then straight away get up and go get some food. Back to my big, cosy, exposed feeling table, back to the floodlight, spotlight, the big shining light that brightened up my table nicely, and nicely illuminated the shadow of my head across the dance floor.
I’m sure no-one even looked up at my table, or cared I was there on my own. However, in my head, the scene from the movie Sideways was playing on repeat, where he’s eating on his own, looking annoyed. This was great fun, Miguel, two of your flat, watery beers please! So while Miguel scuttles off, a guy getting food from the buffet next to me salutes me with a nod and asks if this seat is free, can he sit down. Work away buddy, bring your friends over, fill the table up! So a friend of his does come over, and its then when I recognise them… my big, fat, gay German buddies. They’re no longer wearing their identical hats, both look similar to Gary Glitter still though, and thankfully they’re wearing more than just red thongs this time around.
Gary 1 starts the small talk, asks me questions in German, I respond in a bit of English with a dash of German here and there. Gary 2 asks me if I’m here on my own. Gary 1 asks me more small talk about Germany. Gary 2 keeps asking if I’m here on my own, with a sparkle in his eye. I’m wishing I was still feeling like the Sideways dude now, instead of feeling like Gary 2 is going to ask me up to their room at any minute, so I wouldn’t be on my own. Miguel finally comes back to the two yellow waters. I use them to wash down my fish that tastes a lot like washing up liquid, bid the German Garries adieu, and head off to buy some beer and get a Subway. My usual route after I have a meal in the hotel.
Off to the nearest shop I go, buy some cans of Bud light, nice and cheap, not in the fridge so they’re also nice and warm but its better than the hotel’s stuff at least. Pack of tic-tacs, seeing as its Mexico, I’ll try the lime ones. Power walk onto Subway, cursing the fact I bothered with all-inclusive when I keep having to do this routine a few times a day. Get to Subway, the yellow water has flown through me, or was it that dodgy fish, so I ask the guy making my sub where the bathroom is, he points down the hallway. Down the hallway I go, into the small bathroom, not like a big public one, just room for one in there. So, the door closes, I hear a click, reach for the light, it doesn’t work. Get out my phone, using the light from it to fumble with the light switch, its still not working, must be bust. Maybe there’s a light switch outside the door actually, let me check. Turn the door knob, door doesn’t open. I try the lock, its just turning fully around, clicking away, just like it did actually when it closed behind me. The job, I’m now locked in the bathroom of Subway, in complete darkness.
After a good few minutes hammering on the door, shouting for Miguel, Raul, Gary 1 or 2, anyone, I get no response. I realize I could panic but there’s not much I could do really. I’ve been locked in a bathroom before, ha, I know the routine. I decide to hope that the guy making my sub notices I never came back from the bathroom. I open a can of warm beer, throw in a few lime tic-tacs for that authentic Mexican feel (they did nada for the manky warm taste in case you were wondering), sit on the sink, throw a song on my iPod, and wait in hope.
About two cans in, someone knocks on the door, wuu to the huu. The guy making my sub is here to save me, tells me to wait Senor, si, I get the manager. Two and a half cans later, I have no clue what took him so long, he’s back with the manager. The manager has perfect English at least, tells me to stand back from the door. Two thuds, kicks I think, and a barge later, and the door is bust open by the stocky little manager, my saviour. I’m on my fifth can at this stage, so I no longer really mind, especially seeing as the manager apologies and says I have free subs for the rest of my stay (apparently there was meant to be a sign up saying the toilet was out of service, but, they forgot to put it up, so sorry senor, no problem Raul, c’mon we share my last can!!!).
At least the free sub, and the 6 cans, had me in the mood to head out that night. I went along to supposedly the best club, Christine, another all you can drink place. Lo and behold, the hotel crew all seem to be there again like the night before. Canadian dude, Gary 1 and 2, Tom Cruises, Bon Jovis, couples, the whole crew, minus the hot wife, not that I’d do anything now I know, of course. The place is strange to say the least, old bald dudes everywhere, majority wearing their sunglasses in the club, lots of old asian women in young asian women clothes, some had to have been grannies, and one guy who was doing the most elaborate dance moves while on his own on the dance floor, something to watch at least.
While watching him in bewilderment, and wondering what are the chances MTV might show up here to film this version of Spring Break, Gary 1 and Gary 2 come over to me, asking if I’m here on my own. I can join them at their table for drinks if I like, do I like to dance? Sweet lord, I need help, the Germans want a threesome. Thankfully, over comes my buddy from the night before, the little Canuck, round of shots in hand, and two women flanking him. He introduces me to them, two English girls. A bit of small talk here and there, when one asks me if I’m 16 too? Pardon me, what do you mean? Your Canadian friend is only 16, you’re not 16 too are you? What the funk, he’s only 16?!!! I am, eh, I’m here with my parents, anyone want a tequila, eh? I’m being drunk under the table by a 16 year old, happy days, booze on boss, booze on.
The little Canuck heads off to get plenty more rounds of shots for us, and I try to talk to the blonde English girl (she’s 28, not 16 too, thankfully), the one who looked like she had more interesting conversation in her, and I suppose, far and away the hotter of the two. Not that I noticed, obviously. After a while, she excuses herself to go to the bathroom, be right back. I tell her to be careful of the lock, and I’m left with the, sounder, frumpier, grumpier looking friend. She tells me straight off “I hope you know this is going no further for you tonight?” Eh, pardon, what do you mean. “With my friend, nothings going to happen tonight for you there.” She then kindly tells me, not asks, time, month… nothing is going to happen for you with her tonight. I think its a p**s take because of the night before, has to be surely, oh jesus, is the husband in the house?!!! “Fine, ask her yourself when she comes back, or else I will just to prove it.” So, the frumpy, grumpy, sound friend does ask her hotter friend when she comes back, or states the fact of time, month for her, in front of both of us. Turns out she wasn’t lying, her friend does enough to confirm, at least there’s no denial. The frumpy grumpy friend is fine though, she informs me, hers was last week. Lovely. I’m not sure what to say to either of them after that, nice bit of awkward silence, weird enough.
I decide I should really go help the Canadian dude with carrying the round of shots. In the end, I never did manage to get to talk to either of those English girls again though. It was a big club, and I ended up losing them. Eventually. The frumpy, grumpy one was far harder of the two to shake off I must say, ha.
Song of the day, the first Subway bathroom song that came on my tripod, is this savage new one… Snookered by Dan Deacon