I spent most of today traveling between the Polish cities of Warsaw and Krakow, so I didn’t get up to much besides getting drunk on a train while watching a woman breastfeeding in the seat opposite me (she didn’t offer me a sip, in case you’re wondering). But I did get a mouthful of meat and, fuck it, I’m going to tell you about it.
When I booked my accommodation in Warsaw, I didn’t choose the shithouse Bed4City flophouse simply because it was the cheapest place I could find. I also went for it because the joint is located above a massive kebab shop. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was booking myself a date with tone of the tastiest hunks of beef I would ever wrap my lips around. I even ended up with the sauce all over my face!
I didn’t manage to stop in at the Amrit kebabery yesterday, but with a long trip ahead of me today, I made sure to stop in for a feed. And bloody hell, am I glad I did! A beef kebab cost me 18 Polish Slutzkies, which I thought was a bit steep, but it was worth every cent. The kebab I was handed was immense, with half a cow stuffed into a huge bread roll, with tomatoes, hot chips, lettuce, onions and plenty of other stuff. Under most circumstances I’d rather let a clown shove an umbrella up my urethra and flick the open button than leave food on my plate, but I had to be judicial about what I could stuff into my face, it was that big.
It tasted wonderful, and to anyone who says that size doesn’t matter, you’re a nuffie. Um, except women who want to make sex with me, it’s cool if you do.
I waddled up to the train station after that, and almost had to be rolled onto the carriage. The train trip from Warsaw to Krakow is pleasant, if uneventful. The scenery changes from the harsher and uglier landscapes and villages of the north of Poland to the rolling hills and quaint villages of the south. I haven’t had much time to explore Krakow yet because I’ve spent the evening drinking beer and being told to turn down my music by the no-fun-allowed German bloke in the room next to me (who’d better become a fan of Cold Chisel quick smart, or he’ll have a bad night – I’m in Poland, dickhead, do you think I have much sympathy for the plight of a bloody German?). But tomorrow, I’ll get out there and check it out.
But if I start the day with another kebab that size, I might have to get some little Polish bloke to cart me around in a fuckin’ wheelbarrow!
Kebab of the day: If you can’t work that out, you’re dumber than Todd Carney.
Beer of the day: had a great little beer called Wojak, which has a picture of an eagle on it. Maybe it’s eagle piss, I dunno, but it tastes good. If it is eagle piss, I’ll buy a bird and get it to urinate in my mouth at regular intervals.
Have I ever told you about the time I slept with a Russian model while travelling by train to one of the most romantic cities in the world? I haven’t? Right, well sit back, relax, and enjoy the greatest love story the world has ever known.
Before Sunrise is one of my favourite movies of all time. It’s about two attractive young people who have a chance meeting on a train between Budapest and Vienna, and end up falling in love during the course of one impossibly long evening. It’s a brilliant film that explores life, loss and love, so when I made my own trip to Europe, I was determined to have a similar experience while riding the rails.
Unfortunately, the closest I came to finding my soul mate was when a sour-faced Romanian told me to fuck off somewhere in the middle of Belgium, so by the time I stepped onto an overnight train between Munich and Venice, I didn’t hold out much hope for it happening. Then again, I didn’t count on Valerie being onboard.
I noticed her as soon as she stepped onto the train. Shit, it would be impossible not to, because even under a full-length coat it was obvious that her body was incredible. I stepped onto the train behind her and she turned to face me, her stunning face framed by a pair of reading glasses and cascading brown hair. She looked a little lost, maybe even awkward. I was instantly smitten, and almost gave myself a self-high five when she carried her bags into the same compartment as me.
I lay my bags on the top bunk, she lay hers on the bottom, and I lay back for a few minutes wondering what the hell I was going to say to her. I didn’t even know if I’d be able to talk to her – not because I was too nervous, but because we were in the heart of continental Europe, where most people struggle to string a sentence together unless their jabbering away in some foreign tongue.
As the train eased out of Munich and slid through the dark suburbs, the girl disappeared from the room, so I decided it was as good a time as any to find the train’s restaurant and get stuck into the beers. After all, it was a long trip, i was thirsty, and I had a pretty lady to talk to. Turns out there wasn’t a restaurant, so a little bar, but I was able to buy a beer and start drinking it as I headed back to my room.
And there she was, standing in the hallway, looking out the window towards the full moon. Her coat was gone, revealing a body that could (and almost certainly has) brought grown men to tears. I took a pull of my beer, composed myself, and came out with a line I hoped would win the heart of the fairest maiden of them all:
“Not gonna see much out there tonight, love.” Fucking hell, Mr Smooth! Thankfully, she didn’t understand a word I said, and simply looked back at me with a confused look on her face. Bloody hell, she even made being confused look good. I took my second chance with both hands and struck up a conversation with her, and discovered her name was Veleriya, she was from Siberia (and doesn’t know the song Jukebox in Siberia) and it was her birthday. Just talking to her made me feel like it was my birthday and that I was the one getting the presents. I bought her a drink to celebrate and thought I was getting somewhere, when Manny showed up.
Oh, Manny. This slice Americana was about five foot tall and eight foot round, wearing a garish yellow button-up shirt and a dazzling smile. He’d apparently been drinking all day in Munich’s Englischer Garten (as had I) and was on a 15-day train tour through 15 European cities, spending about 10 hours in each. He was looking forward to going to Milan, where he planned to drop a few grand on new clothes (from the look of him, he needed it), but right now he was more intent on getting between me and and the lovely Valerie.
Manny seemed like a nice enough bloke, but I was desperate to get rid of him so that I could give all my attention back to Valerie. She looked bored, but she even made that look good. I was on my fourth beer and trying to get Manny to stop talking about his fucking Fedora when a very strange couple fell through the door and started staggering towards us.
“Hey, we found ze party!” said the bloke, who was bald and skinny, with his eyes sunken deep within his skull. He downed what was left of his beer and dumped it out the window. His girlfriend was fat and English, scoffing a chocolate cake, barely able to stand by herself. Next thing I know I was involved in a group hug, being squished delightfully close to Valerie’s ample chest, an act that would’ve been far more romantic if not for the stench of beer and vomit from the pissheads. I decided to roll with it, and bought myself and my lady friend another drink. I might not have been enjoying the party for two I was after, but it was turning into a party anyway.
We were making so much noise that we were moved along to the nearest vestibule, where a stick-thin and solemn-faced middle-aged woman was standing, clutching a box. As I did my best to slur sweet nothings in the direction of Valerie and Manny did his best to pull down his pants and show me his silk boxer shorts, the drunk couple kept asking the thin woman what was in the box. She kept shaking her head and they kept asking her and I kept drinking and Manny kept being a fuckwit and Valerie kept being the most beautiful woman on the planet, when finally the thin woman let out an exasperated groan and opened the fucking box.
Inside was a dildo. A big one, too, purple, battery operated, flashing lights, the whole shebang. The thin woman’s composition changed and she started waving the purple pussy eater around, bonking Manny on the head with it, and making loud ‘Woop woop woop’ noises. So here I am, eight beers in, trying to chat up a gorgeous chicky babe while dildos are being waved around, drunks are pissing in the corner, and Manny is trying to show off his Hello Kitty socks.
It was all too much for Valerie, who said she was tired and needed to go to bed. When I told her it was my gentlemanly duty to escort her back to her room, Manny looked at me in open-mouthed horror and said, “But dude! We were gonna do shots!”
“Mate,” I said, “get in with the chick with the dildo. I’ve got a feeling that a good-looking, fashionable bloke like yourself is just what she’s after.” And with that, the lovely Valerie and myself headed back to our room. I won’t go into what happened after that, but I will tell you about what happened the next day. After seeing next to nothing during the night trip (not that I was focusing on what was outside the windows) it was great to be able to watch the Italian towns and villages and waterways pass by underneath the early morning sun. I was heading all the way in to Venice’s Santa Lucia, while Valerie was getting off at the earlier Mestre, on the mainland. When the train stopped, she stepped off without saying goodbye. I was probably never going to see her again, and I’d fallen for her, so I leapt off and raced after her, like something out of a romantic comedy. I’d like to say there was a happy ending, but there wasn’t.
As soon as I got close to her I was surrounded by half-a-dozen huge, bearded dudes in suits who yelled at me in some sort of foreign language. I couldn’t understand it, but I knew it wasn’t good, and when I looked at Valerie she just stared at the ground. I started to say something and one of the heavies punched me in the guts, then pushed me back towards the train, which I stepped onto just before it left. The last I saw of Valerie was her being led away by the thugs.
Venice was beautiful, but crowded, and I was in a daze as I walked to my hotel, so I didn’t take in much of it. When I finally found WiFi, I was able to look at Valerie’s profile, which told me two things. Firstly, she wasn’t just a pretty girl, she was a professional model who had worked all over the world (it came as no surprise). Secondly, she was in a relationship with a short, mean-lookin’ dude who owned a 60-foot yacht, a Ferrari 458, and a selection of shiny guns that he didn’t mind showing off all over the internet. Basically, I’d spent the night putting the moves on some Mafia heavy’s missus. So much for romance, eh?
Not content with spending my first two days in Shanghai wandering aimlessly, I did the same today. With a few hours to murder before jumping on a train to Beijing, I swaggered off find something to eat. Of course, I did what I do best and got lost, heading down tiny, filthy alleyways while the locals looked at me as if I was green and had a three-foot dick hanging out of my cargo shorts and dragging in the dirt.
It rained, I got soaked, but I did find some traditional Chinese food. Nah, I’m just kidding, I ended up going to Maccas, but I’ve gotta say the paedophile clown serves good food over here – the two burgers I had didn’t taste like hobo arse at all. They were spicy and Asiany enough to stop me feeling like I was chowing down in George Street, and by the time I waddled out it was time to bugger off to catch the choo-choo.
Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station is just a little bit bigger than Gosford Station. Like, instead of having three platforms it has about 45,000, and instead of having room for 17 people and one dog, it holds over 10,000 – and the place was bloody packed. To be honest, it was quite intimidating. Every sign was in Chinese, I was getting pushed this way and that by an endless swarm of Chinamen, and I was short on money for a ticket without a money swapper in sight. But I wasn’t in as much trouble as this bloke I met in the toilets.
They love those weird hole-in-the-ground squat toilets in China, and when I headed into the brasco there was this bloke who had his leg stuck in the hole. He was hootin’ and hollerin’, as you would if you were trapped in a toilet, and a horrible mess of sloppy shit was splashing around and soaking into his nice blue slacks. Then his poo-drenched shoe came unstuck, and old mate went face first into a huge puddle of piss on the floor, fresh from a thousand little yellow dicks.
Now, this isn’t the first time something like this would’ve happened. Chinese blokes would be falling into those stupid holes all the time and ending up splattered with arse chocolate, so why do they still use them when they know there’s better alternatives? It’s like seeing an Xbox 360 and saying, “Nup, I’ll stick with my Atari 2600 with the broken power cord and the cartridge slot that hasn’t worked since my weird uncle Dean shot a load of tadpole mayonnaise in there last Christmas.”
I finally got a ticket, waited three hours for the train, and settled in for the five hour ride. Traveling by train at over 300km/h really does give you a fantastic appreciation for this mind-blowing country. Shanghai stretched on forever, until finally the skycrapers gave way to farms. But massive cities – nameless to me, but home to thousands or millions of people – were constantly zooming past my window, part of a dirty urban sprawl that spreads for thousands of kilometres.
One weird thing is that, no matter the size of the town, city or village, every single building in that town, city or village is made to the same design, like the background of a dodgy cartoon. There’ll be dozens of 30 storey buildings, and every one of them identical. But the buildings in one town will be totally different to those in all the others, mental.
About halfway along the train stopped at some place or another, and the fattest Chinaman I’ve ever seen got on… and sat next to me. This fat, horrible waste of flesh must’ve been pushing 400kg, and his bulging gut hung out from beneath his snazzy blue t-shirt. He ate boiled eggs constantly, only stopping when he needed to fart. I named him Chunk. He was the most horrible bloke I’ve ever met, and it gets worse.
To take my mind off Chunk, I watched an episode of raunchy television program Californication on my computer. Of course it took about three seconds before Hank chucked it up some big-titted stonker, and when Chunk saw that he started bouncing around with his hands in the air and making a weird “woo woo woo” noise. And then he put his hand into his filthy pants and started wanking himself off, right there next to me. It sounds funny, but having a gigantic Oriental gentleman fondling his spring roll next to you is actually kinda scary.
With one final “Woo” that would make Ric Flair proud, Chunk blew his load in his pants, farted, and fell asleep. I was thinking that I’d never sleep again.
After finally arriving in Beijing, I took a cab to my hotel and was astonished to discover that my $30/night room was an absolute shit tip. There were actually footprints on the wall and what appeared to be blood stains on my bed. I doubt you could count the number of hookers who’d been killed there on two hands.
By that time it was late and I was tired, so I grabbed some KFC and went straight to bed with visions of wanking Chinamen dancing through my head. The exploration can’t wait till tomorrow – after the nightmares have stopped.
Yesterday I got my first taste of Yangon and found it to be pretty ace, and today I wanted to dig a little deeper and check out some of the stuff outside the central business district. In some ways it was like going to bed with a decent sort and waking up the next day to discover she’s actually a bit of a fugmo, but I still had a great time in this exotic city.
I spent eight years catching trains to and from work and hated every bloody second of it (even if I did write a pretty good book that you should read while commuting – and you can buy it right here https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MI5VI9C. Go on, the blog will still be here when you’ve finished your purchase), but that didn’t stop me from spending the day on a rattler. There’s a service called the Yangon Circular Train, and I was really hoping it would involve riding on a round train; instead, I found myself on a 50km circuit around the outskirts of the city, and it was a real eye-opener.
After coughing up 20 cents for the ride, I hopped on at Yangon Central and found myself surrounded by chickens, people cradling bowls of fruit, monks and other strange creatures. The train rattled and rolled through the suburbs and into the outskirts of the city, where I saw a little of the rural side of Myanmar – people picking vegetables, leading cows around, fighting and swimming in filthy pools of what looked like shit by the side of the tracks. At every station we passed, more peasants (and their animals) would climb on and gawk at me. After three hours sitting on a hard wooden seat, my arse was as sore as Jesse Jane’s after an afternoon with a black man, so I got off.
After a stop in the park for a well-earned beer (lazing about on trains is tough, dude), I rocked up to the Pansodan Jetty in the south of the city to take a ferry ride over to the village of Dallah, on the other side of the river. The trip over there was pleasant enough, even if it only lasted five minutes, most of which was spent fending off hawkers and filthy homeless children who looked like they’d just crawled out of a toilet. But when I got to the other side… what a shithole!
Dallah is little more than a dirt road with a bunch of crappy shops and restaurants next to it. I couldn’t walk five metres without some idiot offering me a ride in his stupid rickshaw, and one clown just wouldn’t take no for an answer. He kept following me for a few hundred metres, asking, “What your name? Where you come from? Where you go?” I took refuge in some sort of crap temple, and the dunce even followed me in there!
Of course, the real adventure was still to come. I’m supposed to be flying to India tomorrow, so when I got back to my room I went through all my details to make sure I was prepared for the flight – and realised I’d totally fucked up my Visa application. In that, you know, I hadn’t made one. So I quickly tried to get onto the online application site, only to have the internet at my hotel/shitbox go down on me (and not in a good way).
I grabbed my stuff and trotted down the street to the closest interwebs cafe, got onto the site, and found out all applications need to be made at least four days before flying. Right, so I’m not going to Delhi tomorrow. Now I needed to make my application, and try to get a refund on my already-purchased and newly-useless plane ticket. Only the computer wouldn’t allow me to access my emails to find my booking number, so it was back up to my room to try to use the net long enough to pull my details out.
With that done, it was back to the cafe to get my refund (small mercies, hey?), before trying to put my Visa application through. All good, all good, all good… now they need a photo of me. Back up to the room, photo taken, down to the cafe, uploaded, now they want me to pay. My card’s in the room, so back up there, got the card, back down, put the payment through, and it won’t go through. Try again, try again, finally realise it’s because my account is empty due to my mortgage coming out like a gay father. So I transfer money into the account, try to process the payment again, it says I’ve had too many failed attempts, go back to the start. Fuckity fuck!
Twenty minutes later, the application’s gone through, so it’s back to the hotel to book a bus trip to Bagan, where I was originally planning to go anyway. No buses until tomorrow night. I get the bloke to call around and, finally, he lands me a spot on the crappiest bus, which takes 12 hour and requires a 6am pickup tomorrow. Yay.
So it seems that I wanted to cut back on my time in Myanmar, but that Myanmar wasn’t having any of it. I’m not too upset about it, to be honest. I won’t be out of pocket too much (maybe $100), and I’ll get a chance to explore more of this wonderful country. The seemingly endless temples of Bagan are just begging to be explored, and it will be good to get a different, quieter perspective of this country. Plus, I get two 12-hour bus rides, aren’t you fucking jealous?
No, you aren’t. Of course you aren’t. Fuck ya, then.