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  • What's Your Best Story?

    I get the drinks.  Vodka Tonic for her, diet coke for me.  I explain closer to her ear that I need to find Chris and she tells me there’s another dancefloor downstairs, but why don’t we dance here?  He’ll find us. I tell her let’s find Chris first (because I’m an idiot). We find Chris with the majority of the group downstairs doing all kinds of, quite frankly, terrible dance moves and Juliette decides to dance with me.  I kinda man-shuffle around with my coke and she’s having a great time. I get into it a little and everyone is wasted so I get a little more adventurous and move a little more. The group respond in kind at my enthusiasm and despite my nervousness I smile.

    And that is how I ended up dancing to euro-pop with an attractive lady for the first time.

    We end the night and walk home to the hostel together as a big group.  People are wandering all over the place, and being sober I remember the way back pretty well.  We all chat and eat cereal or have more beers in the common room into the early hours of the morning.  We’re about to head to bed and Anna isn’t feeling well. I pass her in the hallway and she darts into an open bathroom and looks to bring up the contents of her stomach.  I hold back her hair and rub her back and she whimpers while she pukes. I see Juliette pass by in her PJs and she mouths “aww”.

    I see Anna to her room.  She falls into the bed and thanks me, and I head back to the common room.  It’s winding down. Chris is hitting pretty hard on one of the girls, telling her about his “infamous pot pants” - boxers with marijuana leave patterned on them.  I tell him I’m tired and head to bed. In the hallway, Juliette drags me into one of the bathrooms. She’s brushing her teeth. I didn’t know what was going on, I’ll be honest, so I tried to respond to what I think she was saying with her mouth full of toothbrush.  We get some water and head back to the co-ed dorm room, and lie on her bunk. We talk. We laugh about Chris and his pot pants. We laugh about Paul hitting on lumberjacks and she tells me how sweet it was that I looked after Anna. She confesses that she was the person who saw me sleeping earlier and thought I was so lazy since she was out sightseeing.  Slowly we’re joined by others as they retire and we move to whispers. There’s no sign of Chris. We kiss. A soft and sweet embrace of the lips. I smile at Juliette in the dark. I put my arm around her head and our whispers grow more sporadic as we fall asleep next to each other, on top of the covers.

    And that is how I spent my first night with a woman and 5 other people in the same room.

    Image:  Chris and his Pot Pants

  • What's Your Best Story?

    12 April, 2006.  It was a Wednesday.  We'd had a fun night in the common room with some folks the prior night, and I was tired.  I slept on my bunk and was vaguely aware of someone coming in during my nap
    "Who the fuck comes to a hostel and sleeps all day?"

    Fast forward to later on, early afternoon.  I'm in the common room with Chris, talking to an Australian who seems to be a bit up her own arse but is clearly very smart and knows a lot about the history of Latvia, USSR, architecture, sights to see etc.  She's here with a friend from the University of Copenhagen, who is over in the corner using the one computer sending an e-mail from her Yahoo Account.  She looks around to correct her friend (Eva), and gets back to it.  I chuckle at Miss Smartypants being corrected.

    We start striking up conversation with the others in the room, and within half an hour everyone is like best friends, sharing their origin stories as it were.  We realise that most of us are in the same room (the 8-person dorm), and that two of the folks used to be married.  Turns out they broke up, and neither was willing to let the buy the opposite's ticket to bring a friend so they came together.  Paul, a particularly flamboyant, flirtatious and (I think) gay guy seems to be the cause of the split and his former wife spends a lot of the time rolling her eyes and giving him the stinkeye.  10 of us decide to go out that evening together, because reasons.  Paul concludes its a great idea because "I had jagermeister for breakfast!".

    We start off at a pub-like place and its chock-full of Latvians, mainly men, and looks like some kind of trademan's pub.  Paul accrues a pashmina from one of the girls with us and proceeds to tell people to "kiss the scarf", thrusting it into their faces.  He sits on the lap of a bearded beefcake and throws the scarf around the guy's neck and strokes the fella's beard, gets him to kiss the scarf and then jumps up and down on the spot clapping.  We all decide that Paul is a liability here and we need to bounce, so we pick up our coats and get on the move, Paul in tow.  He is fumbling with his coat complaining how its shrunk when one of the party says "Paul, you didn't come out in a coat".  Turns out he's stolen a poor Latvian woman's pretty nice overcoat.  He gives it to one of the girls.  "I'M HOT ENOUGH".  We continue.

    So, we end up in a european technobar called "Pulkvedim Neviens Neraksta".  Our hostel owner who joined us explains that it means "Nobody Writes to the Colonel", and Chris, now sufficiently tipsy, refers to it for the rest of the trip and beyond as "Someone Shot the Colonel".  We're all sharing a couple of booths and I get a reminder of a few names in the din.  Anna (a pre-hipster hipster bougie photography student), Justus (law), Eva and Juliette (PoliSci, whatever that is) are at the booth with Chris and I.  Over the course of the next couple of hours I'm hitting it off with Jules and everyone's making their way to the dancefloor.  A little while later, I am looking for Chris.  I spot Juliette from earlier and approach...
    "Have you seen Chris anywhere?"
    "My friend, Chris.  Seen him?"
    "CHRIS!  Can't find him!"
    "Oh, sure!  Vodka Tonic!  Thanks!"

    And that is how I bought a woman a drink for the first time in my life.

    Image:  Paul and his scarf, Chris, Me and Juliette

  • World Cup 2018

  • World Cup 2018

    I hate almost everything about Neymar.  Crying little crapnugget.
  • "Gods of Thrones" or, "A.Ron writes another book!"

    Just pledged my 8 bucks. It's not a lot but I hope the book will be successful! I'd love to import a physical copy (No Brazil on the list of countries :( ).

    I can add Brazil if you want the book. I just have to calculate shipping. I'm adding a few countries by request. I'm seeing if I can bulk add countries.

    Also, we're almost a quarter of the way to funding in the first 24 hours! Sweet Christmas!
    By the old Gods and the New... and old beardy chimney-delving folk