pirmdiena, 2010. gada 2. augusts


So for those that know me fairly well...will know these things...I wear odd socks as i cant usually find any pairs, I am not very good at apeeling and I have anwful grammer skills ( see what i did there) and I am a fan of a little known band in Liverpool named after a bug ( actually they were named after the rival motorcycle gang in the Marlon Brando movie the wild one) ...and I like to compare little things in life with the achievements that this band have done...and If I had to compare this latest blog to one of the Beatles albums...well it has to be Abbey Road.

Now this is offically the last post of the Latvian adventure blogs....however some of you out there who have a keen eye and a good memory will know that my last blog..party time part 1 was not concluded with part 2: 'Charlie dont surf"
now it will come out ...but after the offical last blog
Just like Abbey road fact fans....Abbey road is the last studio album that all four members or the beatle were heavily involved with...and Let it be was realeased afterwards..though the prinicpla recordings were done before the Abbey road session as it was planned to be the soundtrack to the movie and was going to be called get back.
Now i will put out part two......and other bootlegs but the fans ( all three of you) should consider this as the last part of the story....and in a way you are very much involved.

I remember as a kid going away to a place called Nevercott farm for a week...the longest I have ever been away from home, it felt like a lifetime, it was also a surreal expeirience full with farm yard animals and early mornings. I missed my family very much.
As I got older I didnt go away too much, we never really went on holiday abroad ( well never until Im was 18). But when I finally did, well my perception changed, I had that feeling that I wanted to see it all, I want to see everything I can before its too late.
Things got in the way, life mainly, getting a job, having a flat, having an amazing laugh with my mates and then going to Uni.
Then my Little sister gave me a leaflet from an organisation called Platform 2 and I got the chance to go to India for 10 weeks, and from the places that I saw and the people that I met there I knew that sometimes you have to just go with those crazy thoughts in your head, just let go of the things that are holding you back of doing what you want and love. There is a quote by Albert Einstein that I Love very much

“If at first the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it'

So the seeds were sewn and I knew that I was going to search for a long term placement....but I have to admitt I never thought That I would end up In Latvia.
I mean I didnt even know where it was.....what it was like....what could I do
but sometimes in life you get that feeling, that feeling that there is no other choice you can make, no matter how much you think about something or you try to debate it in your head...you always have the same concluison...your just going to do it, what will be will be, for good or bad.
I knew it would be hard and at times it was, despite what people may think there were difficult times here...being away from the ones you love for ten months has its problems, missing your mothers birthday twice in a row, not being able to meet a couple of your close friends baby, not seeing your other friends kids grow up, not able to go to a friends wedding, just not being able to go to your mates and play ping pong, ava bong and play some pool ( the bong part was a joke gran)...you get the point

And this is where I get positive ...It was hard but I was lucky enough to be in a place that treated me so fucking good, always looking out for me, supporting me and the things that I wanted to do.
Making stupid little movies, learning how to use an old camera, teaching English to the community, everything that I did in Gulbeene I loved...I mean really loved this place has become very special to me and its going to be really hard to go back home.

My perception was wrong, I had worries...and yes in the winter time it was fucking freezing (-30) but I never thought that the people would be so nice and welcoming..Once I was in the town looking to buy some film for my old camera and I didnt know where to go so this lady just took my arm and walked me to the shop haha.

Once I got stuck in a nerarby village...no one there to pick me up for this talk I was going to give in a school...and i had no phone credit..so I was walking on my own down this long and dusty road with only my backpack and harmonica to keep mr company but when I found people they were more than happy to point me in the right direction..to help me get home to Gulbene.
My Dad doesnt like me calling Gulbene home..for him Plymouth is my home...and yes it is, but now so Is gulbene.

There are many things I can say about this place and the people but the most Important thing I can say is "thank you" ( paldies) this trip has meant so much to me...and has really made me realise whats the most important thing to me, those that care, who worry, who laugh at my misfortunes haha...I can not wait to get back home and have a pint...eat a curry...go and watch a movie...a drink at the millbridge..see my mates new place, see my mates old place. There is a book that I read about 5 years ago, its a famous book called the Alchemist..and there have been a few defining books in my life..that one..alonng with Cloud Atlas and watership down...that I can really undertsand now truly..( Spoiler) the main character goes on a journey to see what Is most important in his life its not what he thinks at first...but it makes sense for him ( END OF SPOILER)
There is something that Is more Important than traveling to me...and no this isnt a cheesy sentence where I say you, or anybody, but something that I am bound with and thats a love of music...so the time is for me to say fuck it and do what I have always wanted...dedciate my life...my money and own the best Record store that Britain has ever seen. May be impossible..but as einstein said

“If at first the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it"

Stay Classy Latvia

trešdiena, 2010. gada 21. jūlijs

Party Time: Part 1- the best thing about other peoples parties is that you can leave if its shit.

So if anyone who keeps up with these blogs or even a friend of mine will know that I only have two weeks left of my little Latvian adventure and so therefore, I dont have much time to document these last weeks with you....the fans.

So im think to do at least three more blogs, parts 1 and 2 of Party Time and then the last blog ....ever.

Now these blogs will mostly be about ....well partying in Latvia...drinking and how they like to party.
Now Im a fan of going out .....sometimes ....well now and again...but i like to start around eight and leave around two in the morning. I have found out here that like to start drinking a little later. In the winter time when the temperature was around -20 a friend rang at 11 in the evening and asked me to go out to a friends flat...I had two options stay in my flat on my own watching Apocalypse Now...waiting for my French friend...so I said no....and then after another phone call..I thought fuck it go out...see the Latvian party lifestyle, Fuck it even more, dress up put on some shoes...a bit of a mistake with you know the roads full of ice...minus 20 outside and having to have a 20 minute walk. So after 5 minutes my shoes with their lack of grip allowed me to fall into a puddle ...nice...but I carried on trying to find some grip in the road.
Weirdly enough I was in the same sort of position about 4 years ago walking to work in the rain up a hill wearing bowling shoes.

So on my walk to the party I bumped into my French flatfriend...asking me where I was going at 11 at night so i replied facetiously "going for a walk" and amazingly he turned around taking me very seriously and replied "ill join you"which was bizzare in itself....I told him where I was off to and he proceeded home
Got the flat and had a great time and fell over twice on the way home around half three in the morning.

This is what i have learned they like to party late and stop until they cant carry on. And in Latvia there are many festivals especially when the winter subsides and the spring breaks through the coldness and the grey.
By the spring I even started to have people come to the flat....Thibault was never really into parties, well to tell the truth he didnt even like groups bigger than three people, so it has seemed after may more people were allowed in the apartment. However the thing is I dont like hosting parties too much, its not that Im unsociable, Im very sociable, I like meeting people because I know that I have the ability to leave if I start to feel uncomfortable or bored, and so when you have your own party where do you go....nowhere just deeper in to your own subconscious of weirdness.
Luckily I have enjoyed the few get togethers Ive had, mainly involves alcohol and one night picking up pieces of glass from outside my neighbors apartment because a bottle of vodka fell from my window ( next to helping a mate put up a giant billboard on the motorway for his job this is one of the most rock n roll things to happen in Gulbene)
Ive started to get used to the party life style here...slowly, even went to riga for a party Got to Riga at 6 in the evening went to a party, then we decided to hit the pubs and found myself back on a bus going back home to Gulbene at 6 in the morning.
Now the worst thing about this was that I had no sleep, and my good friends could tell you.....car travel makes me very sleepy and If it was'nt for a friends mum who recognized me on the coach...I would of ended up somewhere near Russia.

I found myself getting deeper and deeper involved in Latvian culture and celebrating some of their greatest festivals...which will be mentioned in
Part 2: Charlie Dont Surf
Peace out my Bitches

piektdiena, 2010. gada 4. jūnijs

the 20th

Well here it is my 20th blog and I have a great story to tell you all today.
Now this blog is sort of like the third and final installment of a loose trilogy concerning people visiting me or me visiting them. Now in Feb Rob came down to visit and we had a great time we did the things that we would of done if we were in the UK, we drank lots of tea, played Pro evo on the X box, went to the cinema and generally had a laugh.
I met up with my friend Grace in Germany, and again the trip sort of emulated the basis of our friendship, we went to museums, independent cinemas and mostly talked about music and films.
Now in Early May Thom and Stiff (Matt) visited and we had a long weekend in Riga. This trip also highlighted what I know about these guys.... funny,intelligent and heroic drinkers.
Now their trip to Latvia went full circle. I am pleased to say that they entered Latvia the same way they left...still pissed from a sleepless night of excessive drinking.
When they both got of the plane I found out they left from Bristol without any sleep and got incredibly drunk on a boat. Both men were a little bleary eyed but they pulled through, we spent the day mostly walking around riga, with me trying to show them the cultural sites and both of them trying their very best to seem interested.
We got to the hostel and the real fun began...only a pound a pint..and free taster shots of some Latvian Balsams got us on the way..and for our first night we went to a Latvian Hockey match.
The game was quite surreal, Latvia was playing Belarus in a friendly, the stadium was packed and the crowed were eager...the best thing about this sporting event was how easy it was to get a beer..with several people dispensing larger to members of the crowd, no one was going thirsty.
After the game we hit the bars with a couple of friends showing us the best places to drink.
The first night was great, it went very smoothly...and by 3 in the morning we were feeling a little peckish so we were taken to this restaurant that was still open and what you do is you take a bowl and then fill it up with anything you desire from the counter...there was these cheese potato dumplings and various kinds of ravioli and sald..some good eaten.
And then destined to break the calmness of the evening we find that Thom was kicked out of the restaurant because the security guy caught pissing him in the sink...the security guard obviously did not understand traditional customs.
After that we tried one more night club...the 48 hours of drinking finally caught up with stiff and he left for the hostel...but even then he didn't go straight to bed but had another beer at the hostel bar.
me and Thom stayed...Thomas was on his A game and unfortunately for him he had to settle for me to take up wingman duties..I tried my best dance moves and by one puzzled lady I was described as a young Jim Carey( not too sure if this was a complement or not)...they also called Thom something which I will have to ask next time I speak to him.

So one evening down two more left...after a days rest for the lads...we were on it once more..this time we had no guides to show us around we were relying on our own senses, wits and experience....and mostly just went to the bars we were in the night before.
In the morning I heard this story from the owner that this guy in one of the rooms was sleeping with a young lady in the room..now these rooms are shared dormitories and the bed they were using was a bunk bed and that they were "rumping in the hay" on the bottom bunk... they created a sense of privacy by using his bed sheet and hanged it around the bed so one can see...but privacy was something that was not going to happen especially when the guy who was on the top bunk pissing himself with laughter at the noises he could here,had his part of the bunk bed collapse on the unsuspecting couple...it was a good job that no one got hurt...later on stiff wanted to know more about the story and so asked this Australian guy we were speaking to "do you know anything about this guy falling through his bed, when his mate was shafting this bird ( sorry stiff this may not of been exactly what you said) the guy replied "yeah it was me" he then told us that that night they got lucky with some local ladies and instead of following the unspeaking rule of shagging in the toilet not the bedroom..his mate gave it beans and subsequently had a 6ft Australian bloke fall on him.

Now Im not a big drinker...Im not sure I have ever been..I can last all night..but usually Im not drunk and that I actually stopped drinking considerably earlier than everyone else.
This does not mean i dont get hammered...there have been very few occasions but they do happen, and on this night it could of happened but I tried to fight it...In one club and im not proud to say this but I knew that I had to sober up..so i forced my self to be sick..its not pleasant I know and even reading this back im deeply ashamed but come on im sure most of you have done worse...... I know I have but family members read this blog.
So I went back upstairs feeling slightly better and told stiff...now Thom at this point is totally unaware and is being hassled by some crazy Latvian lady...but this happens regularly to Thom..or being hassled by some mentalist as he gets away form this trouble he proceeds in buying me and and stiff a pint of lager and a shot called apple pie....so what could I do... the sensible thing, say no, drink a coke....no thats right I maned the fuck up...I drank that shot....i drank that pint....I went home early.

Now the next day....I was rough...the guys looked ok...but felt half dead, I tried for most of the time to catch up, we went to an English bar to watch Chelsea beat Liverpool....drank cider..walked in the sunshine..took it a little easier.
We went to a bar called Cuba..which had all these great postcards covering the wall and then if you look carefully you see that someone has drawn hundreds of cocks everywhere... picture of Bob marley..smoking a cock...two guys playing chess...with cocks.
Now in this bar we had the great game of flipping coasters....even in my state I was on Fire....I flipped 28...so Stiff being the competitive dick he is ...he flipped 30...so i flipped 30 and that bastard flipped 31..alas i couldn't flip 31...but hey im still proud of my achievements.
Now we got back to the hostel...watched the last of anchorman which was on in the the main room...the guys powered on and I went to bed knowing that they had to leave around 9 in the morning.
I woke up around 8 and I see that the guys arnt in bed..so maybe there ready, organised, all packed, showered....in actuality they were still up...still drinking..and I have to say I was slightly impressed.

The guys made it back well and I know that Ive missed a few things out and I might even give this a redux in a couple of weeks...maybe put in some deleted scenes.
But for now Ive wrote enough..im still recovering...and ill have too as in July Thom is coming back and were going to hit the Latvian music festival...and i need to get pub fit..as I said to Thom if this was the premiership id be John Hartson...or maybe Andy Ried.

otrdiena, 2010. gada 1. jūnijs

why so serious

so here is my 19 th blog, one more to go and then Ive hit the big 2 0 which will be also be available to read this week.
Now there are two themes for this blog the first being pranks and the second being birthdays.
To start of with I consider my self to be a serious man....i don't take my self seriously or anything around me seriously but in some sort or strange way i am still quite serious, however others do not and I can understand that...I'm happy, i enjoy a joke and I'm laid back...yet I'm still serious about those things..I take being laid ....back very seriously...its not easy you know it takes years of practice and a lot of hard work.
I like jokes ....like most people do...I try to make a joke of most things to look at life with humor, i enjoy the odd occasion of mischief and I have even been know to get up to the odd bit of hi-jinx but one thing I have never really understood is the Prank.
I ve seen some pranks in my day and I have even been a subject of some...but I have never really understood how to pull one of...or even why.
There is a fine art to pull of a good prank...its not easy..the fall out of a prank cant be swept aside as easily as a sarcastic comment or a a crude remark about someones Gran...the Prank needs to be well timed, well judged and very well executed..there is the balance of making the subject of your pranks look like a dick and then make it so good that they are laughing along...if you don't get them laughing ...then it was probably very very funny for everyone else.....except for that person and sure they may have been smiling at the time...but four glasses of sambuca later and they just wont let it lie...and forever that person will remind you of the time that you fucked them over for a joke.

Now where I work we pulled a "Birthday" prank on the security guy that works here..its his job to make sure that everything is in place, in order and nothing is missing..so in the morning me and some others got to work early stole some computers...hid the photocopier crushed some pills on the table....lefts open condoms all over the place...porn magazines ..booze..ashtrays fill with fags..and left the video camera in the corner of the room in a high place to film what will happen next.
The security guy got a call from two guys from the local government saying that they will be doing a check with him in the morning now these were actors..friends of my boss ieva..so when he got to the office saw the mess he was shocked, surprised and found it very funny..that was a good prank..in the video you could see that he fell for it and not only that proceeded to blame thibault for the mess.
It was good...a little mean i guess because the two actors took there role a bit too serious but everyone found it funny and we joked about it all day with some lovely cake....now in the back of my mind i couldn't stop thinking...fuck its my birthday soon...i hope they don't realise.

Now my birthday came up and I was starting to worry that i may have to suffer a prank..which i was worried about because I'm not very good at them...i get suspicious but i don't want to stop trusting people, i get confused and then I don't know how to react afterwards...i knew it was going to be a long day.
So i got up in the morning because i was helping in the nursery that day, made some cheese and pickle sandwiches for a birthday treat, had my Mojo magazine sent from England in my bag..and all the ingredients for a awesome veggie fry up were waiting for me when i got back to the flat...its the little things in life that really matter.
Now i got to work...nothing...someone wished me birthday so the rest of work then said why didn't I say anything so I went to my computer and started my work for the day knowing that soon it will be cheese and pickle time.
however....this was not to be the case and within half hour I got a call.."sonny" "come here" so it turns out work didn't forget and there was a surprise...a prank if you will.
So i was blindfolded and put into a car and to be taken to a secret location.
Then when we stopped I was allowed to get out of the car take of my blindfold and see that i was standing in front of a church and standing where the priest would be situated my boss was holding a pillow with two rings announcing that today was going to be a very special day for me...today will be the day that i marry a Latvian.
So im given a choice of three women...a big boned lady with no money but she does come with a lottery ticket....an elderly Indian woman who comes with a big family but also a sachet of pumpkin seeds and a beautiful blond who comes with a plaster for the bruise i will surly get after being punched in the face from her hockey playing husband.
So at this point staring at the three marriage certificates all looking very real and all waiting for my signature..i started to get confused, i understood it was a joke but i was not sure where this joke was going...so i was blindfolded once more and i was told that i was going to a place where men go to think about such difficult decisions before their wedding day....then i was really confused because i looked every where for a strip club and never found one..however when my boss saw what i was thinking she said not the kind of place English guys go to before a wedding.
Si we pulled up to this building, took my blindfold of and i see that its a massage parlor and that the guys from work have treated me to a massage ( which i needed badly having been forced to sleep on a hard ish sofa bed for the last 8 months) so after 30 mins of an awesome massage, i started to understand that Latvians love a story and that even there presents and gifts are wrapped up in stories and jokes and pranks and my boss was right it was a very memorable day for me...luckily i was not forced to marry anyone in the end but i was given a huge bag of soil to take home.

It was pretty strange to have my birthday away from the loved ones at home, no drinking in the milly, no dancing at 2 in the morning in Ride 2, no Jakes or goodbodys to finish the whole event off...but I still had a great time...just very very surreal

svētdiena, 2010. gada 23. maijs

Planes, Trains and Karaoke

So folks I hope you are ready for another exciting installment of my Great Latvian adventure. Today I will tell the tale of my trip to Bremen...now some of you out there might ask why on earth go to Bremen, and the answer is easy...Ryan Air. Its cheaper to visit Bremen then If was back at home and I wanted to visit London...or Alton Towers...or Even Crealy adventure Park.And at that point of my Latvian adventure I was still hungry to see new places..exciting places and most importantly warmer places.
So when I was thinking about going I was talking to an old friend from Plymouth if she also wanted a random trip to Germany...she agreed..if only we knew what to expect..we could of prepared ourselves.

Now Bremen was fantastic...some beautiful buildings..lovely scenery..and lots of shops in the main center and places to eat, but for some reason after eight, walking around in Bremen became a little strange for the fact being it was a Saturday night and the center was empty...i mean literally empty there was no one around, the restaurants were closing and worst of all there were no bars....this was a little disappointing along with the rain..the first day was a bit meh.
We did have some fun..for example I bought a tiny Gnome and we found a cool record shop but the night life was not what we expected.
Now the second day we hit the museums...hard....and also saw more of the town..we even went to a modern art museum..this was hilarious..in the middle of the room was an anchor and on the walls was old pictures of little children dressed in naval clothes from the 1900's with the eyes cut out in the other room was this installation outside the window with things hanging down ( a book, sausages, a bone and some other shit) and all this was being filmed by this camera with a television in an opposite room showing the images on a screen....haha.....I don't no art but I know what I like....comic books and star wars....much easier to understand.

So the evening was upon us..and after an awesome Mexican we started to worry about the night life once more..I mean if it was dead on a Saturday night what was going to be like on a fucking Sunday.
So we were a little reluctant to leave the hostel....and then when we saw that they were showing Lord of the rings the return of the king on the television in German. Well leaving was no longer an option..we watched the whole thing...when the credits came up I think we both knew it was time to find a bar and get drunk and that we had to leave this sanctuary of geekdom.
We tried different tactics..rather than go in the city...try the seedy bars by the train station.
Once again the streets were empty but we found an Irish bar and luckily the place was heaving..and not only that but shots were one euro and there was fucking karaoke..at this point I knew...that this shit was going to get raw.
After a couple of blow jobs ( don't be alarmed Gran it was the the name of the shot) a pint and a pack of Worcester sauce crisps..I was ready to party and more importantly ready to make a twat out of myself..which usually go hand in hand...and I requested my song....these People were in for a treat a faithful adaptation of Wild thing by the troggs..it was awful but we did get clapped by two people at the front which made the whole experience worth it.
However we were not the worst that evening this one guy from Baltimore (now I ve watched plenty of The Wire and if I had to guess he was west side Baltimore maybe working for stringer bell..not sure) and his friend was celebrating his birthday...the bar sang happy birthday and then he made a speech...the longest speech I have ever heard...the guy thanked everyone told us his life story and then tried to get his rapping friend to come up on stage take a mic and to spit out some rhymes and in his words this "is for all the ladies out in Bremen tonight"....now they were telling us that they were in Bremen to record some music and that the guy was the best rapper in Germany...now I did come up with a nickname for him but unfortunately the crisps and the blow jobs affected my wit and I didn't call him Breminem until the next morning...however it was still funny...just a little late.

Now our last day was upon us and we decided to walk outside the main city center to find more interesting place and we found it.....and we found much much more...record shops restaurants, independent cinemas, book shops, cool cafes, open markets, we found what we were looking for....cool places to hang out interesting shops..cool paintings on the wall...we found the students my friends...lots and lots of students....as soon as i saw a tofu restaurant I felt that this trip was now complete.

so after buying the best book i have seen...a Bob Dylan graphic novel..12 songs with his lyrics and then an artists interpretation of this...along with a new record ( Jackson Brown- to late for the sky) we were ready to go to an independent cinema and watch a french film..in Germany...in English subtitles..it was amazing your allowed to drink beer while your watching the movie and before they show the film they have a game of movie pictionary with a guy at the front drawing the pictures and the crowd shouting out to win a prize..free tickets to see another film.

Now after a great night I didn't have long to sleep before my flight...I went to bed at 1 and had to wake up at 4:20 to get to my tram and to my plane which boarded at 6 and left at 6:30..so my alarm woke me up at 4:20 and now with my ability for profound stupidity I thought that I still had time ...close my eyes for a few minutes before getting up and getting ready...and relax and take it easy, no need to stress...and then I opened my eyes and my clock read 5:20...I had 40 minutes to get to the airport with a tram that took twenty minutes to get there, so I ran.....and ran..i dint brush my hair...clean my teeth...or even have an annual morning pee...I got to the airport with about ten minutes to spare..saw a huge line..joined the back of the line and then I saw a toilet opposite me...tempting me, teasing me..even laughing at me...so i went for a pee..to then try and sneak back in the line with out being seen..which is pretty tricky when your carrying a 9 kg rucksack, and smell like shit.

Well as you all know I made it on the Plane....had a great time with Grace in Bremen..had more stories to tell, but its finding the time and energy...luckily we were able to laugh at the the strange and stupid situations that Bremen put us in ..I didn't even tell you all about the odd maybe homeless or travelling lady that wanted her picture taken with a half woman half lion statue with massive boobs and that she wanted me to take the picture on my camera and then send it to her...maybe that can be saved for another day...so long everyone...and hope your all well.
Get ready for I have another installment ready to be posted on Wednesday.

svētdiena, 2010. gada 25. aprīlis

Robs and Sanj: Bojus Journey Part Two

Well Its been a while...and the last blog im sure left many of my readers hungry for more..what became of our two plucky heroes..did they have a good time in Estonia...Did they get harassed by more drunk eastern Europeans...did Bono the dog keep them awake at night....the answer my friends is yes.

Now the problem with writing a blog is that you have to find the time to write it, now lately as the most Facebook stalker-ish of you will know is that I have been very busy working...well not really working but more like traveling around Europe (which these adventures will also be mentioned in the Blog) so unfortunately for you hardcore Latvian adventure fans I dont always find the time...and when i do some of the stories that I wanted to share...I kind of forget..However I came up with an Ingenious Idea and I cant believe that I never thought of it before, from this point on..if I cant remember how the story ended Im just going to make this shit up.

So when me and Rob left the bus, found Jaanika and Bono the sausage dog, we were taken to the flat to meet Dimitri (Jaanikas boyfriend/ Plus an EVS volunteer from Greece) relaxed at the flat had some good food, some wine, and rested in the night...the sleeping arrangements were a little snug..but I wont get into details..however I was alarmed to wake up with the sound of panting and the feel of hot breath on my neck, but completely relived to see it was bono the dog...after waking me he then put all his concentration into waking rob and the rest of the flat.
He was a cool fucking dog..however...the best dog in the world is my own..for those who don't know I have a dog, his name is Billy (know in the family as billy ballbags)..hes a mongrel and hes now 17-18 years old and I even miss him stumbling around the house, bumping into walls and pissing and shitting everywhere....because what he lacks in cleanliness he makes up in character...and character goes a long way.

Next morning had some pancakes and we were on our way to see old Tallinn, one of the first things I wanted to see was the coast (miss the sea) so we went to the ferry port, walked to the reception asked which way to the coast and the beach the ladies reply ...."get a taxi" haha very helpful indeed.
Old Tallinn is a beautiful place with plenty to see and so many places to eat, Mexican, Indian, African...just what you want in Estonia.
To be honest I cant believe that we walked for so long and not get bored...even went into one of their malls went to the electrical entertainment section I was looking at CDs..if I dont get asked to leave by someone my CD searching can go on for quite a while. After around twenty minutes of looking at all this music I couldn't afford I started to wonder where my English friend had wandered off to..then with a gaze around I see that hes in the corner sat on a sofa watching the end of Gone in 60 seconds on blue ray....very nice, really rounded of a good fucking day..back to the flat for some soup a quick spray of deodorant and I was then ready to hit the Estonian night life.

It was really cool..lots of people that work with Jaanika and Dimitri and other volunteers..we even found a stray Englishmen that was in Tallinn on his own so he joined the rest of the very multi-national group and got the drinking under way.
Now Ive been living in Latvia now for nearly 7 months and my continental English has gone from strength to strength so I dont have as many people now asking what the fuck did I just say and I can communicate pretty clearly unfortunately and entertain a room however for the other English gents with me they had problems..its ok if you speak English but if you want to talk to people in Europe then you need to be fluent in Continental English.
The evening was getting later and by 2 in the morning most of the group was pretty drunk...especially this French woman who was determined to piss people off..she went up to a couple of Estonian guys with long hair..and started shouting in their faces "GUNS AND ROSES WHOOOO" .
Also in the this club this Guy came up to me and asked for something in Estonian so i replied "sorry mate I speak English" so the Estonian replied none too friendly "give me some of your FUCKING BEER" so I was at a crossroads ...should I give into into this angry, rude, obnoxious youth...or should I stand my Ground and look him dead in the eys and say "fuck you....C*&T Chops"...well the reality was I actually replied "Que"...thats right I took option C pretend that I was Spanish...make up some words, walk away and let Rob and the other Guy deal with it.

Once back to Riga...we had to make the most of it..as rob only had two days left to go..so we decided to get an early night..and see more of Riga in the morning however sleep was difficult..we were back into the hostel and the place was busy..very busy..as it was the holidays for a lot of European students they seemed to have all come to this one hostel..so getting beds was a difficulty luckily I booked in advance..met our neighbors..one Columbian guy and two girls from Korea.after a couple of drinks ( well two cups of tea) and a DVD of wedding crashers we went to bed..only to be woken in the morning...apparently the room was overbooked and that the Korean girls were not supposed to be in those beds..when a group of people came arrived at 3 in the morning those two poor girls had to wake up and move all their stuff into another room..where these groups of multi-national students had the audacity to complain...it was hardly the girls fault they were told to go in that room and there was nothing on the bed or any luggage..and why couldn't a couple of them just grow the fuck up and decide to sleep in the two beds which were supposed to be for the Korean girls..so in that way no one got disturbed until the morning...pricks.
I made a joke that the next night I was going to be in their beds just to keep the continuity of them finding strangers in where they sleep...they didn't find that very funny....however Rob laughed.

So the week went very fast and I have to say it was great seeing one of my closest friends again, and Im lucky to report that I will be seeing two more at the end of next week..and I also met up with another friend last month In April (which will also be blogged), I wish I had the ability to communicate more easily with everyone..but it wont be too long .....and I still have many more adventures to get into.
Next week I will tale you the tale of being blindfolded, forced to marry a Latvian woman and given a bag of soil.

Its up to you as the reader if you believe everything that you have read today
"reality leaves a lot to the imagination"
John Lennon
however in this case it was all true

svētdiena, 2010. gada 14. marts

Rob and sanj's Excellent adventure Part 1

Well last week I had a friend from sunny Plymouth come to visit me here in Latvia. AS I wanted to show Rob around I had to think of things to do...so he comes to Latvia and the first Idea I have is to go to Estonia and visit their capital city Tallinn.
The best thing had to be the fact that he brought
English Tea Bags
Brannigans: beef and Mustard (veggie friendly of Course)
Mojo magazine, Q Magazine and Nuts *ahem
and Last but no means least a jar of Branston pickle...which believe me friends nearly brought a tear to these old eyes.
The first night was fun, the Hostel was fantastic and the beer was a pound...two beers later and huge shot, we found ourselves conversing with latvians, Canadians, Australians and Chile...ans ???(well people from Chile).
The drinking was fun...but the 3 and half hour journey back to Gulbene wasnt, I was ok, But Rob suffered a little more than me, but soon as we got back to the flat...time for Pro EVO ( for those not familiar with Pro EVO, well its the best football game in the world and if you prefer FIFA then stop reading my Blog and Fuck off).

Now since Ive been here I haven't had any problems with anyone, none of the locals or any of the rivals but for some reason Rob attracted the crazies.
The first time was on the way to Riga, I had to leave for a minute (to go toilet around the corner of the bus station) as I came back a strange old man is trying to converse with my English friend who at the time was looking quite bemused by the whole situation, luckily I know enough Latvian to tell people I can't speak Latvian.
When we were in Riga we went to the cinema to watch a film "From Paris with Love" I read one review that i had to agree with which described the movie as Rubilliant...something which is rubbish and brilliant at the same time...any film with John Travolta as a fat and bald special agent with a black dyed beard is worth watching. Now when you buy the tickets here you have to choose the row and the seat number so we picked the ones in the middle...but it didn't really matter as the place was practically empty so what were the odds we would be in someones seat...........well Im glad Im not a betting man...5 minutes into the film a Latvian gentlemen walks over says to me in Latvian that I'm in his seat..there were seats all around us but he wanted that one, luckily I didn't have to move he just sat one seat away from me...very odd.

When we were in Riga we didn't have long until we had to get the bus to Estonia. So we had a bit of lunch with some traditional food (pizza followed by Ice cream.
As I was in the bookshop picking something up for the journey (Frankenstein and selected poems by Edgar Allen Poe- I was in the mood for something dark).
As i left the shop I see that Rob was having another strange encounter with one of Latvia's finest drunks...this guy was a little harder to talk to as and a little more aggressive his face was right in robs asking for money...but luckily I knew how to diffuse this situation I just used the old short charm..distract and run.

However our meetings with European drunks didn't end here..no..unfortunately it got worse. The Bus to Tallinn (Estonia) was a 4 hour and a bit journey and on this bus was one Estonian gent who was going to get through this journey the only way he knew how...drunk...very very drunk.
Now he was sat in front of rob and I was sat behind rob,,so for most of the journey I didn't notice him..sometimes I can hear some shouting over the noise coming from my I pod but in general I didn't care. Rob however started to get annoyed, he couldn't sleep because the guy kept hiccuping (we timed him and he went on for half an hour). I tried to help Rob by telling him not to be so up tight, relax, don't let him bother you and even suggested that he should just move. Half an hour later Rob got to sleep and when he woke he found that the man was gone...moved...thats right he moved...moved right behind me.
I tried to talk to the man to befriend him so in that way he may choose to be quiet and to stop disturbing me from reading but unfortunately nothing... he would say some nonsensical things in English and then carried on drinking and spilling beer on the floor....which flowed on to the bottom of my bag..then he would put his face in between the my chair and the chair next to me...say something in Estonian and then would proceed in reading Frankenstein with me.....well enough was enough I turned around looked him straight in the eye "excuse me, Im trying to read my book if you don't mind" well that showed him he went back to his seat...at the next stop the driver saw that this guy was so wasted that he forced him to sit at the front of the bus.

When the bus arrived we were greeted by our Estonian hosts Jaanika and Bono the Dog.

Please stay tuned for next week for Part 2 Rob and Sanj's Bogus Journey