Tag Archives: Travel

How Does This Type Of Ancient Sexist Attitude Still Persist? (Alternative title: The Boss Of London Idiomas Language School)

21 Sep

‘Take her for example,’ he said, peering over the top of his cheap, mirrored aviator sunglasses, whilst nodding in the direction of a dark haired woman in her mid 30s as she casually strolled past our table, taking her dog for a walk. ‘Back when I was single, whenever I was feeling down or stressed like I am now, I would go out to a bar, pick up a woman like her and take her home to do dirty things to her,’ he smirked before continuing, ‘I don’t know her, I don’t care about her, she’s just another woman for me to let it all out over. I would disrespect the shit out of her and then once I’d shot my load she’d be kicked out the door. And to be honest, that’s all I can think about lately. I just want to forget my worries by fucking all these Spanish sluts. What’s the point of living in a place like this, where the women look so good, if I can’t use them to service my needs? I’m a man, they’re women, they know what they’re here for.’

I didn’t say anything but just looked at his face to try and work out if he was being ironic. He wasn’t.

‘The thing is, Em knows this is how I am and she knows that this is what I need to do, she understands. She knows what I was like. I was literally shagging little whores like that one over there every night of the week. The fact that I can’t do that now is just making me tenser.’

I subtly attempted to switch the direction of the conversation by asking after his wife. ‘How is Em today?’

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Daily Mail’s Alternative Christmas Message: Why Everything In Life Is Better When Stoned

7 May

I have smoked weed every day for the past four months, apart from the odd day when I’ve run out of one stash before the next has arrived, and I gotta tell you, I feel pretty good. Have done consistently for, um, at least the last four months. I haven’t done any drugs since the end of October. I’ve only had one drinking session this year. I don’t smoke cigarettes any more, the thought of one makes me feel grim, and I don’t even ever want a rollie. Until a few months ago I was a 20-30 a day man. Now no cigarettes. ‘But Kris, you still get through a load of tobacco that you put in your spliffs. You’re being a bit misleading there,’ ‘Yes, I know I still smoke tobacco in my spliffs, thanks for pointing that out anyway,’ ‘Was that sarcastic?’ ‘Nooooo,’ ‘Now that definitely was, wasn’t it?’ Anyway, my point is, I smoke weed and I feel pretty good.

I have a little ritual. Every night before I go to bed, I roll three spliffs and place them next to the bed, then I put clothes for the next day onto a pile on the floor next to my shoes, then I throw a satsuma (and sometimes an apple) on top of the pile, and then I read in bed for a bit. Just smoking and reading. Currently The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins. Verdict so far: good book. I’m pretty sure you’ve already read it. And then when I’ve smoked about half of the first of the three spliffs I turn off the light and go to sleep. I haven’t got a telly or access to a computer, so am keeping my evenings Dickensian. Except I’ve got an electric light instead of a candle. I wake at 6:30 to the gentle sound of this music, which I have set as my alarm tone. You might want to play it as the backing track to this piece of writing. You might not. I roll over and grab the half spliff. I light it. I get up and open the shutters to let the early morning light in. I put on the clothes that are piled up under the window. Then I get back onto the bed and smoke the rest of the spliff, listening to the music and waking up. And then at about ten to seven I put my shoes on, put one spliff behind my ear and one between my lips, stick the earphones into the phone to carry on listening to the music, and I quietly slip out into the morning for what I call ‘My Walk.’ It’s really just a standard walk. And I’ve got my satsuma with me. I just walk off into the Spanish countryside to enjoy the world for a couple of hours.

Today started like any other. I had been out for about fifteen minutes, was walking along this path, fields all around me, rabbits chasing each other around playfully, birds flying in majestic formation over head, the sun rising like a giant over my left shoulder, warming me. I checked to see if the phone that I was listening to music on had a camera. It did. Not a very good one. But it did have one. So I took this picture. Which I am sure you will agree is as beautiful as it is shit.

By the way, if you are one of the people who did decide to play the backing track to my story, you should now switch to this set. This is what I was by this point listening to myself. I feel it sets the mood a bit better.

Photo0148

It’s while I’m out on these early morning stoned rambles (the walking kind of ramble. The other kind of ramble, you are now an audience to) that my mind flows with geniusly witty observations, clever thoughts, amazing ideas, often amazing ideas for things to write on this blog. The downside is that there is never anyone there to hear any of these witty observations, clever thoughts or amazing ideas. No witnesses. But I definitely do have them, and they definitely are genius. The annoying thing is that I forget these brilliant ideas as instantaneously as my brain conjures them up, and by the time I get home from my walk and am able to write anything down, all that is left is the dregs. Good stuff – forgotten; boring nonsensical stuff – got loads. For an example of this, look no further than this post.

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A Heartwarmingly Tragic Tail Of Family Life Set To The Backdrop Of A Fluffy And Light Desert

5 May

Yesterday afternoon I was lying on my bed, bored. Just staring at the ceiling and thinking about Angel Delight. And then to ease the boredom I did what I think any one of us would do in the same situation – I wrote a letter to Angel Delight headquarters, in which I pretended to be a 38-year old woman from Dudley in the West Midlands. I got up early this morning and posted the letter. I don’t know why. I will share the contents of the letter with you.

First, though, let me say something. I am aware that some of you (you know who you are) aren’t satisfied with merely words when you come here. Some of you want your literature sweetened with images, much like putting a bit of roast potato on the fork with the brocolli to help it go down. That’s okay, I can relate. I also know there are two types of people that wish for pictures with their text. The highbrow arty lot, educated, the ‘thinkers’, they like something tasteful, subtle and thought-provoking. For them what I’ve done is taken individual photos of all of the pages of the letter, and then I’ve mounted them onto a purple background using Paint, to create a classy looking Angel Delight letter montage.

You’ll get to that in a moment. There are also the other lot, the lowbrow mob, uneducated, the simple to please. And I tell you something, we are an alright group once you get to know us. Anyway for them (us) what I’ve done, again using Paint, is create a collage that appears to depict a smug-looking man ejaculating to the vision of a packet of raspberry flavoured Angel Delight. Extra comedy weight is added by the placing of the words ‘Whip up with fresh milk’ at the top of the packet, with a picture of a winking star next to the words. It’s as if the star is egging the masturbating man on. Saying ‘Oooh yea, go on then, whip up some fresh milk, ooooh!’ but in Ray Winstone’s voice. If you are a bit more juvenile you might just imagine the star is the winking bumhole of someone you know. Or of someone you would like to know. It’s up to you. I knew a girl once, years back, whose bumhole spoke in Ray Winstone’s voice. I did not. I made that up.  Continue reading

Don’t Call Me ‘Mate’

4 Apr

‘He’s English. From Kent, I think. I’m not sure he’s a very nice man, though, cos when your sister was out here Matt passed him on the road and said ‘hello mate’ to him, and he got the arse, didn’t like being called mate, told Matt not to call him mate, said he wasn’t his mate. He really didn’t like being called mate! So if you do see him, I wouldn’t call him mate.’

That was my mum describing her middle-aged next door neighbour to me the first time I’d walked past his gated off property. As she told the story, the little pair of hands that reside inside my head rubbed themselves gleefully together. The first time I saw him I was gonna call him mate. It goes without saying, doesn’t it? I mean, come on. Well that was two months ago. I never saw the bloke! Until this afternoon, that is, when I was walking down the dirt path that constitutes the road here, on my way out, and he happened to be out collecting his post from the outside box.

Before I tell you about our encounter earlier this afternoon, I’ll just tell you a couple of other quick things about this guy. His house is the ‘big one’ in the area, the luxury pad, you know. It is mostly hidden from view by the huge fencing and walls he has had put up around the land, which have been painted black, he has a massive electric gate, and unlike every other household within a 10-mile radius, he doesn’t have any dogs. This is dog country out here. Everyone’s got dogs. They serve two purposes, that of pet, and that of guard dog. But this bloke doesn’t like dogs. Instead, his ‘fortress’ is protected by a thousand and one different security cameras, whose images are monitored 24-hours a day by some bloke in an office somewhere. If you believe all the massive stickers the guy’s got plastered over his gate and fences, that is. If you look through the gaps in the fence, you can see his grandiose patio and inviting-looking swimming pool. A few times I’ve glimpsed him through the gaps as I’ve been walking past, sitting poolside on a luxury sun lounger, in his Ferarri baseball cap, sipping a cocktail that Del Boy would send back for being too colourful, with his English ‘lady friend’ on a lounger next to him, reading what I can only imagine is the Daily Mail. Just blocking out the world. Erecting barriers.

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Meditation Fart

31 Mar

I’m out again, walking, stoned as a motherfucker, not to mention woozy from inhaling the fumes of the mosquito repellent my body is covered in. I’m basically just fucking with the mosquitos, saying ‘I’m not gonna kill you, I’m just gonna repel you instead.’ And that, for a mosquito, is much more annoying. I’m being a nuisance to the mosquito, fucking up his day, because no matter how much he is repelled he just can’t fight the urge to keep coming back for another attempt. He is convinced that eventually he’ll find a gap in the forcefield and get his tongue into my bloodstream. They all think it. I just get to watch them growing increasingly pissed off. Buzzing loudly and at speed past my ear before getting a whiff of the repellent and running away. Flying away, I mean, not running. And they’re getting hungrier, which means they’re getting the ‘ump more, but rather than go and find an open buffet that is a human not sprayed from head to toe in repellent, they’re intent on gatecrashing the picnic that flows through my veins. The pest has become the pestered, and the pestered has become the pest. This is my non violent protest against the mosquito regime.

How good a word is woozy? Brilliant. Woozy. Woozy. It even looks good in written form. Now say it in a French accent. Je suis woozy. You sound like Pepé Le Pew. Say it in a German accent, however, and it loses its charm and playfulness somewhat. Ich bin voozi! Not the same is it? For woozy to elicit the appropriate feeling the W has to be pronounced correctly.

It’s probably a good thing that I write these inner monologues down in this notebook rather than sharing them with a shrink. This notebook is my shrink, but one without the necessary powers to have me sent to the funny farm. If I did turn up at a mental hospital and told a member of staff on reception that I was there because my notebook had sectioned me, clearly I would be in the right place. “Oh, your notebook sent you here, you say?  Right, well come this way please. Doctoooooor!”

Just now when I wrote ‘this notebook is my shrink’ I had to fight the urge to write ‘you are my shrink,’ you know, personifying the notebook. I don’t want to be that guy. It’s just a notebook. It’s not a diary, it’s not a journal, it’s not my mate! It’s just a notebook that I write shit down in. I am no Anne Frank and this is no Kitty.

After spending those last few paragraphs talking about fucking with a mosquito’s day and then comparing the impact of the word woozy when said in different national accents, it was kinda already implied that I am no Anne Frank, I think.

Last night I realised that I haven’t grown as much spiritually as I would have hoped. It was late and I was listening to a guided Vipassana meditation I’d ripped from Youtube. I try to meditate every night, and more often than not the effects are positive. This particular guided meditation, though, was one that I hadn’t listened to before. Not fully anyway. But we got off to a good start last night and I was lying in the dark, earphones in, completely relaxed, on my way to that nice place as the voice of this woman gently led me. The meditation was a group one, and every now and then the quiet was interrupted by the sound of a cough, or someone clearing their throat, or just someone shuffling about a bit. Fair enough, we are all only human after all. I blocked it out. Then I heard a sound of a different nature. The sound of a fart being let out by someone sitting on a floor. A fart done on the floor sounds different to a fart done standing up or lying down. It’s just a funnier sound. We all know that already, I’m not writing anything pioneering here. But yea, someone had farted loudly mid meditation. Mid group meditation!  And that spelt the end of my meditation, because as many times as I managed to clear my thoughts I could not stop laughing. Hysterically. At 30 years old. At a fart. The passing of excess gas, by a human, through his or her anus. I pissed myself giggling for hours. I imagine I even laughed in my sleep through the night. The thing that tickled me the most was that no one at the meditation so much as snickered. Or sniggered? I don’t know which word is the right one. Sniggered, I think. No one! These people are on a higher level than me, clearly. My quest for spiritual peace and enlightenment can easily be derailed by the sound of a fart. I have a long way to go, man, a long way to go.

The friendly south American waitress in this bar keeps watching me as I laugh to myself whilst writing about a fart. I think she mistakes me for a deep and profound thinker and writer. I come in here every now and then, perspiring from the walk, so stoned I can’t shift the smile plastered across my mug, I ask her for an orange juice, we exchange smiles and a few words, and then I disappear to the little table in the dark corner to ponder and write in my notebook. The mysterious foreigner! El gringo misterioso! Ha! Is that really how I imagine she imagines me? Really? Fuck off, man! She sees you for what you are, the dopey stoned bloke whose terrible Spanish she entertains. Either way, I bet if you asked her what I was sitting here writing, her first stab in the dark wouldn’t be a meditation fart. Or maybe it would. Maybe I am that transparent. I see transparency as a virtue. Transparency is good. If this piece of writing had to have a title, it would be Meditation Fart. I want to write a book called Meditation Fart. It could be about anything. I can’t read my own handwriting any more. This notebook is looking less and less like it was written by me, and more and more like it was written by Michael J Fox. I like to think that Michael J Fox wouldn’t be offended by that flippant comment. It wasn’t even funny.

All the local workers have just come in to have their lunch before nipping off home for a siesta before resuming their work later on. Loud bunch, the Spanish. Just naturally. I try not to generalise too much, but this one is unavoidable. The Spanish are loud. It used to annoy me a bit. It doesn’t any more. But man do the Spanish seem happier than the English. Again I’m generalising. People interact with one another here. It’s how it should be. It’s warm. I wouldn’t mind being born Spanish. You can only be born once though, despite what poor brainwashed evangelical Christians may tell you, and I’ve already had my go, 30 years ago. Ah well, no point thinking about it then. So I won’t.

One of 'em farted, not one of 'em laughed. What's that all about then?

One of ’em farted, not one of ’em laughed. How’s that work then?

More Stoned Musings From The Spanish Outdoors

19 Mar

*Taken straight from the notebook

I’ve learnt two new things about myself today. The first is that I enjoy the sensation of exchanging pleasantries with complete strangers. Who knew? I certainly didn’t until a few minutes ago.

Out here I don’t see many other people and can sometimes walk for a couple of hours at least without coming across another human, not when I’m wandering about in the fields anyway, but occasionally I slip away from the fields to cut across the only road for miles around, that connects the city of Elche with the coast, and although the road is more often than not dead, it is still the place of work for prostitutes, who sit by the side of the road on a little chair under an umbrella, reading a book, and when they’re ‘busy’ their book awaits their return on top of their empty seat. There is one of these girls approximately every mile. Eastern European or South American. And these girls know not to take me for a potential customer as I approach them – I haven’t got a car, for a start. Plus I like to think they recognise me as someone who wouldn’t have to pay for sex, ha! he says modestly! More likely they take a quick look at me and come to the conclusion that I couldn’t afford it – I’m just a stoned bloke out for a wander about. And I have to squeeze by these girls at the side of the road, and I always do so in silence and with my eyes averted to the ground. And just the same, these girls completely ignore me. It’s as if we don’t acknowledge each other’s existence. But obviously we do, or at least I do, or I wouldn’t be writing about it. I carry on walking. She carries on reading. Even though we’re the only two people for miles around, seemingly we would rather be the only person singular for miles around. And I passed one of these girls a little while ago, South American woman, and we said nothing, standard, and then I took another path that led me back into the wilderness, and I started thinking about how sad it was for two humans to just blank each other like that out here in the middle of nowhere, and how a simple ‘Hola’ wouldn’t take too much effort at all. And then I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I wanted desperately to exchange greetings with someone. Just briefly, passing in the day. I don’t want to disturb anyone’s life with idle chit-chat. Just to say hello, to acknowledge someone, to have someone acknowledge me. But it’s not like I could go back to the road now. That’d just be fucking weird. If I walked all the way back to that particular spot of road where that South American woman sat under her umbrella, reading, and I went up to her and simply said ‘Hola.’

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Crossing into the Unknown – Georgia to Armenia

6 Jul

After waking with hangovers in the Georgian village of Idumala, Adriana and I ate a quick breakfast of Khachapuri (traditional Georgian cheese bread) with the men of the village, downed a couple of shots of cognac, and then wandered down to the main road shortly after midday, to begin our 85-mile hitchhiking mission to Gyumri, across the border in Armenia. The lush, bright green valleys stretched out below us on all sides; watched over by the equally green mountains, reaching high into the clouds for as far as the eye could see; our route guided by the calm and serene Mtkvari River on our right side; as local peasants passed us on horse-drawn carts.

This early April morning in Idumala, Georgia, was probably the most beautiful of the journey

This early April morning in Idumala, Georgia, was probably the most beautiful of the journey

We managed to hitch a ride with a couple of manual labourers in a small van to within about 30 miles of the Armenian border, where we were dropped off at the side of the road and waved goodbye. We carried on, on foot.

Adriana leads the way. Onward towards Armenia.

Adriana leads the way. Onward towards Armenia

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