There’s a difference between vacationing and traveling. While I’m a fan of both, each one has its own distinct personality. Vacationing is a lounge-by-the-pool, cocktail-downing laze under the sun. While traveling is a sleep-deprived, up-at-dawn, drive-for-hours, site-seeing frenzy.
I’d gotten the vacationing out of my system in Croatia. It was time for some down-and-dirty traveling–five countries in fourteen days.
Helsinki, Finland (two nights)
I arrived in Helsinki Saturday night, stoked to be back in Scandinavia. Unfortunately, the central party area was an absolute cesspool. Bums and hoodlums were double-fisting forties everywhere; the streets were littered with rubbish; even a trashcan was on fire. The place reminded me of Hill Valley in the alternate universe when Biff took over.
The bar scene was infested with minors; the of-age chicks were pasty and fat; and there was a McDonald’s around every corner. And every one was packed with blathering drunks (I know because I went inside and waited 25 minutes in that septic muddle to get a lousy chicken sandwich.).
I was so fed up with all the kiddies and bumbling scumbags that I went to a local hotel, paid a couple Euros to use the internet, and researched “quality bars in Helsinki with an older crowd.” It took a few minutes, but I found a place a couple blocks away.
It was perfect: at least eight different lurk-zones, semi-cheap drinks, even a blackjack table–and a hundred or so girls aged 25-45. Only problem was that of those, three were attractive–actually more like “acceptable.” The other 97 Big Macs were 2s, 1s, and 0.5s. I went 0 for 3 and called it a night.
I did, however, get something out of the city. While eating lunch the next day at an outdoor shopping center, I ordered the tastiest dish I’d had in months. Three huge meatballs (with reindeer meat, the best kept secret in the meat packing industry) to go with succulent mashed potatoes, juicily steamed vegetables, and savory lingonberry sauce made the Ikea cafeteria look like jail food. Absolutely delicious.
I returned to the hotel and met a few people on the tour (another one), but being a Sunday, no one was going out, which was fine by me; Helsinki’s nightlife blew chunks, and we had a long day ahead.
St. Petersburg, Russia (three nights)
When I told my friends I was going to Russia, the first thing they told me was, “Dude, be careful. The Russian mafia doesn’t fuck around. Seriously, it’s fucking scary over there.” Or: “Don’t wind up in an alley one night with your kidney missing.” I didn’t get what all the hype was about. Sure Russians don’t smile much, but everyone seemed peaceful and friendly. The entire trip I only saw one probable mafia member, and he was passively eating a sandwich at a picnic table with a blonde bimbo. And speaking of which, apparently Russian women have an affinity for fat guys. Ninety percent of the attractive, non-single women I saw were with walruses. To all you obese men reading this: STICK TO YOUR DIET–continue to passionately eat Cinnabons and Zingers, and move to Russia; pussy will flock to you like those white floaty things in Avatar.
Our first stop was St. Petersburg. Though rainy all three days, the city was well maintained, and there was a museum or historic park or building around every corner. The night scene, however, was pathetic. It didn’t help that we were there for the worst nights of the week–Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. To make matters worse, the central part of the city (where all the nightlife is) was protected by the Neva River, which drew all its bridges from 12:30-5:00 a.m. to let ships pass in and out of the Baltic. And our tour had stupidly booked our hotel a quarter mile outside of the island. So if I wasn’t in a cab by 12:15, I was stranded until five.
I stayed in the first night because we had a nine-hour sight-seeing session the following day beginning at 8:00 a.m.–Lenin, Peter the Great, Catherine the Great, etc. Usually I’d rage it up until three, get four hours of sleep, and then rally the next day for the tourist stuff. But with the obnoxious bridge factor, that wasn’t an option.
I went out the following night with Jack (a Kiwi), and an Aussie named Annette wearing a white Ed Hardy get-up (apparently things in Australia become fashionable two years after they’ve washed up in the states). When she met us in the lobby I hardly recognized her. She cleaned up so well that she went from a 4 to an 8. Annette had a solid rack–which she continuously talked about–but she was 23 and thought the world of herself, whining and cussing up a storm if someone got in her way. Whatever, if she was down to go out, she was probably cooler the other twenty-five girls on our tour, only three of whom were attractive–two sisters with boyfriends back home and a black girl who looked strangely similar to Jada from my disastrous “Lost Night.”
The three of us had a do-or-die decision to make on whether to stay or beat the bridges and give up on the night. Things became clearer when we discovered only two bars had actual people inside (we asked everyone for advice, and this was it). Each spot had a few dozen locals circulating in and out, and both were blasting mid-nineties hits–Nirvana, Madonna, Offspring, Green Day, even a Weird Al song.
I got my first glimpse of Russian dancing. I didn’t know people could move in such ways to portray their fun. The men looked like a bunch of Vlade Divacs trying to run under water. The women nervously jumped and performed feeble half fist pumps (like Deruki). I spent twenty minutes sitting by myself, watching the freak show.
Once I drank enough to promote mediocre chicks into sexy, I made my move. It was awful. They were digging the whole American thing, but I found myself doing sign language in order to communicate even the most basic information. One exchange:
Me: “Who are you?”
Me: “You. [pointing at her] Who are you?”
Her: [nervously] “I am here at the bar.”
Me: “Nevermind. What’s up with those rocks on your necklace?” [Using my index finger and thumb, I mimicked a crab’s snapping claw to communicate “rocks”]
Her: “The bathroom?”
I eventually became impatient and fled. Fuck. If this was how it was going to be in all of Russia, I was going to masturbatingly run my laptop’s batteries to the ground–similar to my two-week trip to Spain in the summer of ’06 (the Spanish refuse to acknowledge English-speakers) when I hooked up with one local in fourteen days.
After getting salted on by Jack a couple times, then doing a quick motorboat in Annette’s tits, we were out of there just in time to make it across the bridge.
Jack and another guy on the tour went out the following night, but they were going back to the same two bars. Exhausted from ten hours of walking, seeing museums, and sitting through a folk show, I threw in the towel and returned to the hotel where I hung out with Jada, the hot black girl, and her mute roommate down in the lobby before crashing. Sleep comes at a premium when traveling. If the nightlife sucks, you get out while you can, sleep, and go hard another night at a higher energy level. Economics.
Novgorod, Russia (one measly night)
The night was freezing and only one bar was open.
Nobody was inside.
Moscow, Russia (three nights)
I don’t know what it is with these trips, but every time I go alone, I get stuck with the hugest geeks. My new roommate looked like a real-life Waldo. Sure he was niceâ€¦and sweet, but he cussed worse than a tourette’s patient, and he ended every sentence with “man.” “You gonna go out tonight, man?” “The shower’s fucking cold, man.” “What do you think about my fucking pants, man?” “Is that fucking salsa any good, man?” At least he wasn’t clingy, and above all, didn’t snore.
Of all the cities I visited in my three-and-a-half week extravaganza, Moscow was by far the most exquisite. From its history with Stalin, the statues, St. Basil’s Cathedral, the busy night scene, and the Hollywood landmarks I’d seen in movies, Moscow is a must-go. (Note: For those who played video games during the Golden Eye 007 era, I walked through the real life “Statue Park” level. Funny how seeing a Nazi tank at one of the museums didn’t come close to the awe that came with walking through the place I once shot fake assault rifles at virtual bad guys.)
I hit the town that Friday with one of the Aussie guys on the tour named Phil (To my college friends reading this: This guy was the living, breathing, Australian version of “Philthy.” He had the same mischievous, tooth-less smile as our beloved house rat. Not only did he look like him, he was equally sleazy. He smoked his cigarettes in the exact same manner–head tilted to the right, eyes closed to a sliver, big adjectives leaving his mouthâ€¦you know the look). Of the 50 people on the tour, only Phil and I went out on a Friday night in Moscow. I can understand the need to save energy, or how other people don’t care as much about hooking up with foreigners like I do.
But going out isn’t always about that.
Someone recently asked me if the only reason I did these trips was for the women. Yes, girls are a big part of why I travel, but it certainly isn’t the sole purpose. While sites are cool, I’m more interested in the little things: the smells, the sounds, the mannerisms, the guessing game of deciphering what two girls are gossiping about in their native tongue, the way the supermarkets are set up, the unusual shoes the women wear, the style and speed at which people walk, the way a toddler and his mother show affection while eating lunch at a cafe, the way a college couple on a subway pet each other and wordlessly stare into each other’s eyes for five consecutive minutes, a man’s turbulent reaction after being bumped while eating a Curry Schnitzel.
Details are what make life interesting.
Traveling is less about the sites, and more about seeing and experiencing the unique ways people live, interact, and react. And, it’s also about seeing how they party. Which is why no Friday night should be wasted in foreign land.
Phil and I met two Russian sisters at a grunge bar in the heart of Moscow. Digging our foreign roots, it wasn’t long before we were making out with them all over the place. I took the hotter one. They were 25 and 26, lived with their mom, and were too naive to realize their own horniness, which caused them to be overly protective of each other, leading to their refusal to come back to our hotel.
Russians, I’ve noticed, are very intense lovers. The wordless, staring couple on the train is the norm. While sucking face with the sister, she would kiss me passionately and then stare into my eyes for thirty seconds. Acting as a wannabe Russian, I stared back. But then I became impatient, and scared, and looked at something else.
On a side note, I was baffled how any girl in her right mind would hook up with Phil.
The guy stank.
He wore the same shirt he’d been wearing all day (he didn’t believe in pre-going-out showers), and used this spray deodorant that he continuously applied to his chest and back–never his pits. There was a perpetual scent of BO anytime he was within a six-foot radius. Every day, a group of us had to remind him, “Phil, change your shirt.” Other than the stench, however, Phil was a hell of a wingman, always down to party.
The next two nights were major busts. The bars were empty Sunday, and on Saturday our tour went to a 60-dollar club only to discover that all the guys there were middle-aged rich guys, and all the women were gold-digging, unsmiley cunts. I did manage to make out with a forty-year-old blonde local, but when we left the club and stood under a streetlamp, I noticed her teeth were rotting out of her mouth! The two front teeth looked like little pieces of wood, two of her bottom ones were missing, and her molars looked like yellow raisins. I ditched her and popped in a fresh stick of gum.
Europe should seriously incorporate Dental Hygiene courses into K-12 education. A 10-year plan should remedy the problem–or at least teach them a toothbrush is their friend.
Minsk, Belarus (one night)
This place was the hugest rip-off ever, and you can tell them I said that. Sure it’s a poor country, but those fuckers made me pay $270 for a ONE-DAY Visa, fucking me in the ass with Lex Steele’s cock in the process. This is all I shall write about Belarus.
Warsaw, Poland (two nights)
The Polish don’t fuck around when it comes to food–mainly fatty meat patties and Schnitzels with all kinds of cream sauce and mayonnaise slopped on top willy nilly. They’ve likely never heard of carbs or cholesterol, and I doubt they’re aware that sugar turns into fat. So I was amazed when I went out that Tuesday night to find not a single overweight Polish girl. Few, however, spoke English and they were visibly irritated with my inability to cater to their language. They gave me looks of disgust, and one girl became so annoyed that she called Sebastian Janikowski over to shove me eight feet across the room. Jack, Phil, and I all went 0-fer and left, eating a shit-sized schnitzel on our way home.
The following night was essentially the grand finale of the tour. The last night of these things is always the biggest. Everyone, even the behemoths, find a way to hook up.
Wednesday was VIP night at all the good spots, so we couldn’t get in anywhere worthwhile. We settled on a bougie lounge with expensive drinks and pictures of Hollywood actors everywhere. As a dozen of us sat on the couches sipping our drinks, I sensed Jada stealing looks at me. I hadn’t pursued her because I didn’t want to deal with the risk of clinginess–but things had come down to the wire tonight. Over the past few days, we’d sat next to each other on the bus for a couple long stretches and learned about each other’s life back home. At twenty-nine-years old, she was a teacher from England, but had only moved there recently, so she didn’t carry much of an accent. While I was interested in her, I had to keep my options open.
Suddenly greedy, Jack and I ditched everyone because we heard there was a casino three blocks away. We gambled for an hour, consumed free drinks, irritated the hot dealers, and won over three hundred Zloti each. They did make us write down our driver’s license and contact info before playing, so our winnings are still pending identity theft and a future beat-down from Sebastian Janikowski.
When we arrived back at the lounge, fresh couples from the tour who I thought hadn’t even met each other yet were making out in corners. The joint was now bustling with unsullied locals, so I hit on them, striking out gloriously. Closing in on two a.m., I was tired as hell, so I said my goodbyes to everyone and grabbed a cab with Phil, who took shotgun.
I looked out the cab window. Actually. Standing on the curb with the remnants from the tour was Jada. At 5’10–6’1 in her heels–she towered over everyone like a swan. I opened the cab door. “Jada!” Her head jolted towards me. “Let’s go,” I commanded, motioning her in with my head
She almost ran to the cab and laughingly flung herself in, obviously tipsy. I pulled her in close and positioned my hand along her inner thigh. Phil looked back at us, and, realizing the developing situation, spoke. “Alright, here’s the deal. It’s the last night. You guys are gonna go back to the hotel, have a good shag–nice and dirty–and maybe have another drink, and then shag again.”
I had to hand it to him. He may have stunk worse than my asshole after a 15-wiper, but he was hands-down the coolest guy I’d met all trip.
Jada and I laughed. “Nooo!” she squealed, unconvincingly.
“She’s not that kind of girl,” I chimed in, only to make it seem like I didn’t expect anything.
“Yeah,” said Jada. “Phil, what about you? Are you going to party in the rooms with us?”
“Me? No, I’ve got a long day ahead, and I need my sleep. But you two go ahead. This is the last time you’ll ever see each other, so Jada, I expect you to party hard tonight, and take care of my mateâ€¦and have a good shag.”
We laughed again.
We went from room party to room party, delaying the inevitable. These final nights really are quite sad. The last two weeks of our lives were intertwined in the most exuberant of circumstances, and despite all the promises to visit, you know this is the only time you’ll ever share. We sipped our drinks to celebrate time spent and the blossoming memories that only belong to travelers.
After an hour of pre-partying, Jada and I found our way back to my room. Somehow, Waldo was still out partying. I flopped on my bed, and Jada followed. When she propped herself up on her elbow, I laughed. “Come here.” I pulled her on top of me and started making out.
Having never been with a black girl (condom blowjobs in Vegas don’t count), I didn’t know what to expect. Jada’s ass wasn’t in Serena Williams’ class, but she definitely had some junk. So after maybe thirty seconds of boring missionary, I flipped her over. Even skinny girls look like their ass is big in doggie position, so Jada’s looked absolutely ghetto fabulous–jiggling, undulating, and sloshing everywhere in chocolate magnificence. I squeezed it and slapped it silly as I pounded her doggie with my non-black dick.
Suddenly, I heard a keycard at the door. Waldo! Luckily the door had a deadbolt I’d locked that prevented him from barging in. I scurried to the door to bargain for some extra time.
Waldo looked exhausted. “Hey, can you give me like twenty minutes?” I panted.
“Twenty minutes, man?”
“Okay, ten. I’ll be quick”
“Alright, man. Hurry up, man.”
I shut the door.
Back to sex.
The interruption didn’t phase Jada. She was horny as hell, a clear sign that it’d been months since her last slam. A few minutes later things were becoming stagnant. She was riding me, but my dick was slowly losing its steam. For a couple minutes, I just lay there like a piece of plywood, watching as Jada rode my marshmallowy wiener. I’d lost my motivation to work, but in a sudden rush of urgency, I decided to give it one last go. I pumped her like a jackhammer, fast and hard, rejuvenating some rigidity. Moments later, I felt a wet sensation at the base of my dick. I looked down and saw a pool around my crotch too substantial to be sweat. She had squirted! In one of the biggest comebacks in black-girl-fucking-an-average-penis history, I now had some serious confidence–like Forrest when his leg braces fell off. I put everything I had into my thrusts, and the squirts came every twenty seconds! And she was screaming. I knew from our conversations on the bus that she’d dated several black guys. Apparently my dick was right up there with them–getting the job done, ready for the Big Time.
After over fifteen squirts–which were streamlined like pee, rather than the huge sprays I’d seen in pornos–I realized I was too drunk to bust. “Well, you can use my mouth,” she told me, which sounded like a great idea. It took a while (a long while), but I was finally able to bust my lone squirt down her throat.
I walked her back to her room, told her I’d see her at breakfast, and sauntered my sweaty, squirted-on self back to my dorm. Figures–I go to Europe, the land of white people, to have sex with my first black girl.
I ran into Waldo in the elevator.
“So who was it?” he asked.
“Yep. I saw that coming from a mile away.”
“Yeah, man,” he said, surprised, as if explaining the obvious.
Waldo’s the fuckin’ man.
Berlin, Germany (three nights)
I arrived in Berlin late on a Thursday after a grueling seven-hour drive and toured the city all day Friday and Saturday. I only went out one night–with some folks from the hostel–and struck out.
Berlin had the most chaotic night scene I’d ever seen. The sidewalks on a regular Saturday night were packed like Vegas on New Years. I’d be willing to bet that over 40% of the population was out partying, and everyone had a beer in their hand. Policemen lingered in the streets while hooligans chucked bottles at them–and the cops did nothing about it. Broken glass, blood, vomit, and unfinished schnitzels lined the gutters. College girls were curled up in balls against the walls crying into their cell phones. The subway stairs were used as urinals. Every 7-11 had at least an eight-person booze line. The bars buzzed with screams and freakish laughter. Music from a nearby club was constantly pulsing with malevolence. Girls with buzz-cuts were picking fights with people who looked at them funny. The drunkest guy in the history of drunk guys got arrested for God knows what. Even an 80-year-old couple was making out against a street fenceâ€¦at midnight. Berlin’s nightlife gets what it wants.
I flew home early Sunday morning, eager to return to something moreâ€¦tangible. The entire trip had cost me over eight grand. Life can take my money, but it won’t take my summers.
The defining moment of my trip–I remember it vividly–was waking up at the butt-crack of dawn just as our boat left Hvar. The first one up, I had the whole deck to myself. A gentle breeze on my back, I walked to the rail and thought about what was to come: For three and a half weeks, I’d sleep maybe five hours a night–7:30 wake-up calls every morning; I’d get stuck rooming with another freak; I’d spend five hours waiting around in airports, 20 hours on airplanes, and another 50 on buses; I’d hook up with wildabeasts who had corn for teeth; diarrhea was a certainty; I’d get stabbed by fucking sea urchins; I’d drain my bank account; and my health would go to shit. And as I leaned over the rail, I looked across the sea at a passing island, and I smiledâ€¦knowing all those things might lay ahead.