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The Roadtrip Pt III – Three, is a magic number

I guess i should finish this before i go away this weekend as no doubt i’ll want to write something later and then i’ll just be fighting an uphill battle. Like salmon swimming upstream. Like anyone who’s ever played and inevitably lost a game of tennis against Silk.

Saturday

A decent nights rest and very little to drink the previous night meant we were feeling fine. We set off to enjoy Prague during the daytime. not phased by the seemingly ineffectiveness of the ‘Slavic plan’ it was decided that if we were to run into any nefarious creatures on the trams or in the streets silk would address me in Serbian – though sadly not on the Serbian finger phone – and i would respond with ‘Da’. What could possibly go wrong? I actually do know some Czech. My old boss taught me some. It goes something like this (ignore spelling):

Me: Ahoj (hey there)

Czech Person: Ahoj (hey there yourself!)

Me: Jak se mas? (how’s tricks?)

Czech Person: <insert random Czech sentence here>

Me irrespective of what the Czech person has just said: Velmi Zaji Mavi (Very Interesting)

Colt 45…

I try to pick up useless bits of other languages when i meet people. My Swedish friend Jon taught me a very handy sentence in….Swedish coincidentally…and made me use it at the Nordic bar to some chick with an enormous Welsh rugb playing boyfriend:

Jon: Say it!

Swedish Chick: Go on tell me.

Me with a wary eye on aforementioned Welsh Goliath: Du oer soert (i think you’re cute…to the chick not the goliath!)

Swedish Chick: awww

Me preparing to duck: Skavi hongla? (Can we snog?)

Swedish chick: *giggles*

Welsh Goliath who apparently doesn’t speak a lot of Swedish: What did he say?

Swedish chick: He thinks i’m cute…

Pretty sure i was in there. Goliath was just cramping my style.

I used to have a cheat sheet in Spanish written by my New Zealand mate’s Portuguese wife in preparation for my trip to Andorra for those non-French speakers… still with me? It’s like a story by Tolkien…How many fucking characters did that book really need? Anyway at that stage i just assumed Portuguese and Spanish were the same thing just with a different accent. So when i finally got around to using them it went something like this:

Me: Tu tienes ojos mui belos (it is important to note here that i lost said cheat sheet some time ago and these are words that i remembered but could quite possible be a combination of all three sentences. They were something like ‘You have nice eyes’, ‘you have nice hair’, ‘would you like to throw shapes on the dancefloor’).

Spanish girl laughing: You speak old…like the bible.

I dated a French Canadian girl for a little while and when she went back to Canada she wanted me to call her, but her Mum generally answered the phone and didn’t speak any English so i had to ask in French Canadian…it’s not French no matter how much they claim it is. Cypress Hill don’t speak Spanish, they speak Mexican.

Me: Puige parlais a Manon sil vous plait? (Not as bad as Brad Pitts Inglorious Italian but pretty fucking close to it)

French Canadian mum: <insert some 15 minute rant in unintelligible French words that i don’t know, but i assume mean she’s not there>

Me: *click*

Guess i probably should have had a backup plan ready for if she was not available. I don’t know why she went back to her ex either…

So we were walking around Prague weren’t we…anyway it turns out that Jaywalking is a crime there. I know it probably is a crime everywhere but they seem to enforce it there. Seriously this copper stopped these tourists and asked for their passports saying the light was red. We fled the scene. Tourists got to stick together right? Da!

Silk stops to check out the TGIF’s they have there. For 4 years living in London i have avoided TGIF’s and mocked people for travelling to the other side of the world (i’m looking in your direction Americans) to eat the same thing as at home so i was not looking forward to breaking with my traditions here.

We head across the bridge – you know, ‘the’ bridge – to look for Silk’s cousin. Hey if you want real place names go read a travel blog. This is a place for ranting free of all bridles of spelling and facts. I used to give tours to friends visiting me in London starting in Greenwich and taking in the old pirate docks:

Friend pointing to Tower bridge: What’s that?

Me: A bridge over the Thames. Come on the next pub is just over there….

We meet Boban, Silk’s cousin who sells watercolours on ‘the’ bridge. I really liked one of them but was a bit out of my price range. I believe my excuse was that i was worried about taking it home on the plane….we’re driving…smooth…

Next stop was some more Mexican at a place called Azteca. Apparently it’s another chain but as i hadn’t heard of it i felt at ease that it wasn’t in the same vain as TGIF’s. Was a little disappointed when Silk said Mexicans would never go there. :( It was really, really nice though, easily the best Mexican i have eaten. It is number 1 out of 4. The order goes something like this:

  1. Azteca, Prague
  2. El Pacifico, Frankfurt
  3. Mexican who’s name i can’t remember in Dresden, Dresden
  4. Mexican who’s name i can’t remember in Maastricht, Maastricht

The Maastricht one takes number 4 by default as i can’t really remember it…at all…and can only remember Squires being disappointed with it so i will have to trust his judgement on this one. It was about the same time that i told Silk i only eat to avoid getting headaches and don’t really enjoy food. He is yet to forgive me.

Following the Mexican and a few beers, we split up to go our separate ways for a few hours. I’m trying to find an Irish pub that will show the United match and Silk was determined to give his winnings back to the Casino cause he felt a bit bad for them.

I go to the first pub offering me a free beer to go in. A classy establishment. Rocky O’Paddy O’Shannaheys or something to that effect…you know, traditional type place. I get there for the end of the Chelski match if i’m not mistaken, which i may well be as the beers were flowing down quite smoothly. I remember they had a live webcam in the bar and texting Squires to look for me on the webcam. I’ve had this before in Amsterdam in my one and only visit, while having a lemonade downstairs at a cafe and boychild asking me if i was the one in the wheelchair. (This post is making me seem really international isn’t it…) To clarify it for Squires i had to let him know that I wasn’t the fat bald bloke in the Giggs jersey…for once.

I remember United got up and the Waitresses were hot.

Silk texts to let me know he’s running late so i will stay put. I’ve already had 5 beers and have moved on to ciders. Would be 8 by the time Silk showed up…i want to go to sleep…oh right…Mudhoney.

Some Random Irish guy starts chatting to me on the way back from having a jimmy in the jacks. I have a bit of banter with him. After my next return he leans in and says “i’ve just given these English lads a bit off stick about their crap football side. You might have to have me back here in a minute…”

You fucking what? I AM NOT IRISH! Falls on deaf ears with him as he beckons me to start singing about the green fields of wherever the fuck he was from. I try changing the subject and ask him what he was doing in Prague. He said something. I may have said Velmi Zaji Mavi. I said i was here for the Mudhoney show and did he know them?

Irish twat: Yeah man, Every Good Boy Deserved Fudge! *Cue air guitar playing*

I’m sure the air-guitar playing fraternity are exactly who Mudhoney are targeting with their power ballads…

It does occur to me though that the saying (moniker?) Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge – on this occasion a Mudhoney album though generally a way to remember the notes on the treble clef E G B D F is different back in Australia, well at least in my music class it was. We were taught Every Good Boy Deserves Fruit. America – Fudge. Australia – Fruit. You do the math…

A quick stop at Masturbation and it was time for Mudhoney. Masturbation is KFC kiddies. You always go back to it, it’s always the same, and when you are finished you swear you’ll never do it again.

So 8 beers under my belt and i’m feeling dandy. We meet up with Boban again and head straight to the gig. I was facing a T-shirt dilemma however. I would ordinarily buy a t-shirt, but i have already been quite vocal about people wearing the shirts of the band who’s gig they are at (Greenday fans i’m looking in your direction)…and i definitely didn’t want to walk backstage wearing one of their shirts. A quick change and now it was hidden beneath my other two shirts….I’m so grunge.

We were a little late getting to the gig, so we missed the support band but just in time to grab beers before Mudhoney took the stage. No backstage before this gig. Made a few film clips from where we were, and it goes without saying they were great again. Bit different crowd – well at least from where we were standing – but the band had so much energy considering they drove straight to the gig from Warsaw. The stage divers appeared to be a bit more knowledgeable at least.

I go to make some comment to Silk during the set and was shot down. I had forgotten the rule. The most valued of all rules as well so i was chastising myself for the next song or two. There should be no talking during songs, unless it is super super important. This rule hasn’t made it to Australia yet but needs to. Australians are perennial threats in concerts. Normally i am an avid supporter of this rule, mainly cause i am deaf and can’t hear anything anyway. Flip is a habitual song-interrupter. The Australian influence might have spread to the Philippines. I’m used to it now so i end up nodding and smiling a lot. Backfired once at a Modest Mouse show. Flip leans in to say something. I give him the ear but can’t hear anything as per usual. I make out something like “blah blah blah Johnny Marr”. I look back up to the stage and say yeah he does kind of look like Johnny Marr. About another 4 or 5 occasions during the gig flip shakes my arm and i hear variations of “blah blah blah Johnny Marr dude!” at varying levels of excitement. After the show we go outside to smoke and finish beers and whatnot and the band makes an appearance at the window. Flip starts screaming like a banshee “Johhny Marr! Johnny Marr!” I’m like fuck Phil, yeah he kind of looks like him but i don’t think he’s going to get the joke….turns out Johnny Marr plays with Modest Mouse now…

We move a little closer during the encore to take some more movies and Guy spots us during one of the songs and nods. Recognition from the band! As soon as the set is finished Dan is at the side door beckoning us backstage. Did i mention i love these guys?

This time there is hardly any record company folk backstage, just us and the band. Whilst the 10 or so beers by now has given me confidence i’m still unsure how to approach the subject of a photo with them. Cue Boban. Bless his little cotton socks.

Boban: You are big rock band from Seattle yes? We take photo.

And promptly throws himself into the mix. Well if Boban can i’m not missing out.

mudhoney

Now the ice is broken there is more chit chat. i introduce myself to Mark and Steve finally, Silk still hasn’t redeemed himself as an introducer…if only his awesomeness could spread to other areas… Mark and Steve think my accent is Scottish, Guy thinks it’s Irish. I’m still coming to terms with Mudhoney having a discussion about me.

Boban is deep in conversation with Mark and Steve so i join silk and Dan over by the couch. We have a good laugh about the Serbian finger phone. Dan is awesome, a really top bloke. Apparently i can’t hang out with Silk if i ever go to Seattle – something to do with the awesomeness level i think – so i’m going to annoy his sister and her husband, but i really hope to run into these guys again one day, especially Dan and Guy, they are just champions! Dan played in Nirvana for fuck’s sake and you’d think he’s more interested to hear a couple of drunk guys explaining talking Serbian into their hands to a Czech cab driver…

We can tell they’re tired but when we asked Dan if he was enjoying it his answer sums it up:

Look at me man, I’ve just finished playing music i love, i’m backstage having a beer in Prague, of course i’m having fun!

Substitute “playing” for “watching” and you could have taken the words right out of my mouth. Meat Loaf pun unavoidable.

Unfortunately we inevitably have to leave the guys so we part ways. Full of courage now i’m shaking hands with them all. I don’t know if we were on handshaking terms but we are now. Boban takes us to a local bar where his Serbian mates have congregated. Like Silk put it, it certainly brought a different and great element to the weekend. Completed it in a way. We had done the mega touristy stuff, stuff people wish they could do, and now stuff that hardly any tourists do and locals take for granted. Most of the chat is in Serbian so i just listen and nod and smile…bit like being at a gig really. One guy in the group is Czech and says he can only speak Czech and German. We try to shoot the shit in German but i am really unsure who knew less German between the two of us. It was a dismal effort.

We head in to town when the bar shut. Nothing happened outside the bar did it Silk? Apparently some Japanese company has paid to close of the main square – you know, ‘the’ square…the one with ‘the’ clock – and have giant smoke machines filling the air with…smoke. Looked really eerie. Have a few great photos but now i wish i took more. One last beer and then it was off to bed. A few hours sleep, a long drive and we would be back in Frankfurt and unfortunately reality.

That ending is supposed to have been poetical but on second reading looks like the blog equivalent of finishing an essay with “and then i woke up and it was all a dream…”

It did all happen, it just felt surreal. Part 4 will be pictures and Video evidence if i ever get around to putting them on youtube. Stay tuned!

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One measly response to “The Roadtrip Pt III – Three, is a magic number”

  1. Squires says:

    more blind melon lyrics!!! WE (umm….me) demand it.

    There was also the bit of Italian you tried on Mephisto chica. That worked well, tho I think she’s working across the street from me now.

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