Ch-ch-ch-changes.

This post was inspired by palmy’s return.

I’ll give a quick summary again, as it’s been nearly 2 months (what a surprise).

Emily and I broke up in July. It was a bit messy but now it’s done. She went to Germany with her dad and I went to Berlin the week before on my own. I had a great time there, actually. I met some guys that offered me jobs and was close to accepting them until Hugo offered me a pay rise and more stuff to do here.

Sure, I’d probably make more money in Berlin doing stuff but I still love my Tallinn. I was considering even getting a proper job here for some firm like HP or Skype or something. Hostel life is still more appealing at the moment though.

Anyway, yeah. Berlin was fantastic. One of my new favourite cities. I’m definitely heading back there some time… Maybe March next year for a month or two. It’s possible to rent apartments in the city for 115 euro/month. Tempting.

We had about 14 staff in the hostel in July. More than half left. We should be getting a few more soon, hopefully. It’s been fairly hectic on the farewell party scene of late, but fun.

I went to a folk music festival in Viljandi, a town in southern Estonia. The population of the place doubles for the four days of the festival, basically. It was really good fun. I camped out in the festival grounds in a shitty little tent and it only slightly flooded, so I was satisfied. The range of music was actually quite broad, and some other guys organised after-parties in a concert hall nearby each night. I really want to go again next year.

Oh, yeah, I finally went to Tartu, as well. Twice now. The first was for another one day festival that some of us hitchhiked to, then didn’t bother going into the place. We sat outside in a playground for most of the day instead. That was probably more fun, in the end. The second time was for a university party which was fairly tame… Partly because it wasn’t very big and partly because almost everyone spoke Estonian. Which is fair enough…

Speaking of speaking Estonian, I’m learning! Finally. It took me 10 months or so but I can now count and say numbers and also the days of the week. Basics, but basics I never actually had to use before. I’m getting a few more sentences and phrases ingrained as well. It’s fun. Too bad it’s almost impossible to replicate the vowel sounds, especially with an Australian accent. Ah well.

The hostel actually has a little bar now in the basement, too. Don’t tell anyone though. It’s a secret. We’re also owners of what used to be the second hand store and baby shop underneath now, so we can knock out some walls and connect the whole hostel together. We’ll move reception and the bar into there, too. I can’t wait, because it’s going to rock.

Last night I went to some multi-band concert called Polymer. There were about 10 bands playing throughout the night but I didn’t stay for them all. The venue was basically an abandoned factory out in the suburbs which is actually meant to be condemned. There were artworks and paintings and sculptures all over the place on display and all these funky little rooms. Reminded me so much of Tacheles in Berlin. Ahh, happy times.

Alright, enough crap for now. I’ve kind of stopped uploading photos onto my website because I use Facebook more and it’s faster than this host but perhaps I’ll slap up a few selections later on.

Triple.

Alright. I’ve put these all off for too long. Let’s get into it, then. There’s a lot to read about.

Saturday, 21st of January, 2006 – Michael Harris’ buck’s night.

I wasn’t really sure what to expect with this. I was invited along way back in late August/early September after I caught up with the man I affectionately called “Bongo” during high school for a delicious barbecue dinner. The plan (which was revealed to me approximately 4 days before the actual event) was:

  • participate in a manly session of paintball during the morning
  • clean up and drink beer at a barbecue in Turramurra
  • go to “prestigious” strip club Men’s Gallery
  • continue drinking at bars in the city

I waived the opportunity to attend the paintball and barbecue due to needing the money from work (and being too much of a wuss to weasel my way out of the shift) and went home to change clothes while everyone else was in Turramurra. Having never been to any exotic dancing establishment before that anyone would remotely consider describing “clean” I thought I might gussy myself up as an attempt to make myself appear presentable. It turned out that a collared shirt and non-ripped jeans made me look overdressed.

When I arrived outside the club I was met by my old friend Vincent. He was patiently holding vigil while I walked from the bus stop at the QVB. Following him inside I was slapped by a $50 entrance fee – a sum I was prepared for as I was under the impression we had our own function room hired with some pre-arranged food and drinks. In reality, our function room was a table towards the front with a small “reserved” sign dropped on top of it; the drinks were $7.50 for a bottle of VB and $9 for Toohey’s Extra Dry and the food was four plates of party pies.

Fortunately, half of the group decided to take dear old Bongo into a private show for the pre-9pm price of $65. This provided me with a golden opportunity to achieve my $50 of value from the club by devouring as many party pies as I could before anyone else got back to eat them. I think I got through about $20 worth. Not too bad.

We were inside the place from 8:30pm right up to 11:45pm. It doesn’t sound like long, but when you’re sitting in a room (literally one room, check out the photo on the site) full of silent men (almost none of which you know, let alone speak to often) doing nothing apart from drinking, hiding their erections and waving fake “dancer dollars” around in order to fool themselves that they’re actually appealing individuals it feels like an eternity. Especially when you’re sober, hanging out for your pay cheque that doesn’t arrive for another week and sober since the drinks are ludicrously priced.

Value was added to my experience, thankfully, when Vinnie bought me a scotch and coke and a decent cigar. I’m an easy man to please. Alright, it was fun looking at a bit of flesh, too. There were certainly some sexy women dancing but most of what I would describe as “talent” were just the regular waitresses. Oh well.

After we finally left no one knew what to do next. Everyone was stone cold sober and almost out of pocket due to the cash they’d been throwing around willy nilly. I was strapped and I’d only spent the $50 on entry. All I wanted to do was drink and forget that it had all happened. Instead, everyone bitched and moaned about where to go and we ended up sitting outside Bar 333 for 40 minutes trying to get in, only to fail due to our group constituting what is known as a “sausage fest”. This meant that we had to jump onto the back of a large group of girls that randomly turned up in order to preserve the hallowed 1:1 male/female balance inside the club.

Inside was boring. Boring and expensive. Expensive to the tune of $8 shots. I bought one in desperation and fortunately scored a glass of champagne after someone ordered some for a toast. No one spoke inside the bar, either. I was having so much fun I almost sunk to the new low of going up to unaccompanied girls and starting a conversation in order to escape the sheer and utter boredom of being there. I probably would have, if I was drunk. Instead of getting my mack on I politely (and honestly) told Harris that I was tired and broke and would be leaving. He didn’t seem to mind and neither did I.

As I began my hour long walk back to Newtown, I sussed out every pub and bar along the way to see if, for some unknown and unexpected reason, I should bother going inside on my own. Every single place looked unappealing for various reasons. Eventually I made it back to my flat and ended up falling asleep in my chair for 20 minutes while I maintained my boredom on IRC at 2:45am on a Saturday night.

This Saturday is the wedding. I still have to buy a wedding present.

Thursday, 26th of January, 2006 – Big Day Out.

This day started literally at the beginning of the day – midnight. On a whim, I’d swung by to pick up Benecke, Frank and Byrne from Byrne’s place in Hunter’s Hill after work. I was also driving Andrew as we alternate who drives to work. The lads wanted a lift into King street and were already mildly intoxicated from three bottles of cheap wine. Not one to spoil a party, I happily obliged.

We met up with Kate and Jibby at Kelly’s hotel and continued to drink until the lights were turned on and we were kicked out. Typically, we’d planned ahead and stashed a few empty pint and schooner glasses inside people’s jumpers and hand bags and succeeded in smuggling them outside. The only disappointment in this subterfuge was that our grand plan of concealing the cups inside empty Smith’s chips packets was foiled (pardon the pun) when a waitress decided she’d pick up our bag of glass. God knows why anyone would pick up a non-empty packet, but she did. Bitch.

After a brief encounter with the police outside the Town Hall hotel due to our gang bashing of Benecke which resulted in his shoes being thrown across the road after dumping him on a particularly uncomfortable looking bench, everyone went home. Andrew and I foolishly stayed up playing FIFA 2006 or some other game, I can’t remember. We didn’t get to bed until about 5am. I’m not sure why, really.

The latest dotmaen, RenoZuken, or Dylan, or Dilly Bag, or D-Train, or various other D names was due to arrive around 9am or thereabouts. He was on time. This meant that palmy and I had to get up, shower, purchase vodka hip flasks, purchase leukoplast tape, purchase sunscreen and make it onto the train bound for Strathfield in order to get to Homebush at 11:30am in time for the festival. We were on time. Everyone we were meant to meet there wasn’t.

Eventually we all got our tickets (thanks, nachos!) and pushed our way into the front of the queue to enter. This was a success. Another success was smuggling in the 11 standard drinks worth of vodka that we had purchased that managed to remain strapped to our legs under our shorts, courtesy of some tactical leukoplast wrapping. The failure came when we lost most of the hair on our upper legs when the time came to remove the tape. The moment of sadness was brief as palmy and I both finished the entire contents of our vodka bottles within 45 minutes. Most of the day after this (ie, practically all of it) was a blur. He’s a rundown of the key events that I can recall in another convenient list (I reserve right to have the events out of order due to the fact that I was off my tits):

  • dancing in the boiler room (this is where we drank our crunk juice)
  • running around drunk trying to get to the front of the mosh pit for Mudvayne
  • having my shoes nearly ripped apart halfway through Mudvayne’s set (which I was thoroughly enjoying, mainly due to the fact that the alcohol had made everything other than the beat of the music incoherent – perfect for moshing!)
  • going back to the boiler room to dance on my own for a bit since my shoes wouldn’t have survived re-entering the Mudvayne pit and no one else had left
  • waiting around the Wendy’s to try and find people and instead having 3 random people ask me to do them completely different small favours (all unfortunately non-sexual)
  • eventually having to hunt down who I was looking for at the other end of the showgrounds
  • trying to keep palmy alive after he almost passed out from jumping around too much at Mudvayne
  • getting 2 beers at a time from the Toohey’s Extra Dry tent
  • standing around the outside of the green stage for 30 minutes during Sarah Blasko’s set waiting for Jibby to find me whilst I drank both my beers and spoke to a lady about her camera
  • getting more beer at the Extra Dry tent and finding that a chicken burger had revitalised palmy
  • going off to see the Kings of Leon and scoring a dubious cigarette
  • squirting sunscreen over half of the crowd and getting away with it, bar the fact that a security guard held a hose on me for 20 seconds (this may have been during a different band, I can’t remember)
  • running off to catch the last part of Henry Rollins’ spoken word at the green stage and being upset that I didn’t get to see Soulwax
  • going back inside the main arena and queuing up for Franz Ferdinand while they were already playing then being at the front of the line to get into the mosh pit for what would have been the White Stripes (Iggy was playing on the other side)
  • leaving the queue in boredom only to return again and push up to the front of the non-moshpit crowd for Iggy and the Stooges
  • going back outside and falling asleep for an hour, missing the White Stripes
  • blindly following palmy’s green shirt towards the boiler room through the crowd in the dark after being awoken
  • dancing topless inside the boiler room until the place closed down
  • having my shoes finally ripped completely apart whilst boarding the train :(

When I say it like that it sounds like I didn’t really do much. It felt like a lot at the time. I’m sure more things happened, I just can’t remember but I suppose I was rather out of my head, so I can live with that. After we got back to Newtown we returned to Kelly’s and stole another 3 pint glasses then stayed up for a few more hours in the flat.

By the time I went to bed, I’d already turned 23. It was a very happy Australia day.

Saturday, 28th of January, 2006 – palmy’s housewarming.

Originally, palmy wanted to have his housewarming the very first weekend that he moved in. I told him no. Instead, we had it this night.

Both of us had work that day (I always work Saturdays) during the morning and early afternoon, so I frantically began cleaning up after we got back to the flat (virtually a solo effort, naturally). I can’t be bothered listing all the names of the people that came, but there were a considerable amount.

I suppose I may have still had a lot of alcohol sitting in my system from Thursday. Either way, I managed to deceptively get myself very drunk off white russians (what else?) or perhaps it was from the beer I sculled with some others from our newly-acquired pint glasses. Fortunately I didn’t get so drunk that I became sick. Just the way I like it.

Basically it was just a fun party with the odd highlight here and there. Some to do with me, some without. I’m not going to spoil the fun and fess up to my antics – that’s what everyone else can gossip about ;). Instead, I’ll mention that Simba somehow broke my computer chair in the most amazing way I have ever seen. He ripped the handles clean off as if they were cut with a laser. I was so impressed I wasn’t at all annoyed. I suppose it helped a little that he handed me $50 out of guilt, too. Nothing else was broken, no one fell off the balcony, no one threw up in our bathroom (I think people threw up in Joel’s next door) and palmy finally got to fully christen his new bed.

In the morning, after everyone else had left, Ross drove me to McDonald’s for breakfast. During our meal we challenged each other to take our shirts off and continue eating. We sat there quietly, topless, chewing away when a young man walked in from outside and gained our attention by calling to us. We turned to face him only to find that he, too, had removed his shirt and joined in on our fun. He then proceeded to offer us both ice and coke. Unsure of how to react to any aspect of this situation, we smugly said, “no, thanks”, before returning to our food. To apply a little icing to our stupidity of eating in Mickey D’s shirtless, I returned to the counter and ordered some hotcakes for Ross and I to share (I’d had a craving for weeks; I think I’m pregnant).

As we left I decided to test out the local drug dealer and asked him if he really had any ice and coke. He held up his drink cup and let me have a sip of his ice and coke. Ironically, the ingredients in Coca-Cola’s post mix are probably more brain-damaging than most other illicit substances. I smiled as I drank because thinking of this made me feel like a hard man.

It took me two days to summon up the energy to clean the apartment. We still haven’t taken the trash out.

End of stories!

What a long entry! I wouldn’t have bothered reading it all.

P.S. we killed the biggest, meanest, toughest fucking wolf spider of all time tonight. Eventually. It only took half a can of Pea Beu, one dozen splats with a floor swiffer, eight twists and grinds with aforementioned swiffer and a lot of courage and patience to finally kill the bastard. We dropped him off the balcony.

P.P.S. I’d like to mention that I’m no hater. I don’t mind insects as long as they stay outside. They’re only fair game for murder when they come inside. This is my territory, after all.