Monday, June 8, 2009

Bosses Don't Play

The last time I had seen this particular cluster of ugly tower-block houses I had felt a sense of pure jubilation. This time around, only a few hours later, was completely different. Let me explain.

Amit arrived four days prior. He missed a flight and ended up arriving while I was at work. With nobody to meet him at the airport and no way of getting in touch with me, after his phone was stolen in Morocco. He did exceptionally well to make his way to my street where I spotted him from the patio of a nearby restaurant. I was elated to see him, and almost didn't believe he had made it.

The next four days were a blur of liquor bottles and kebab. I think Amit was happy enough to sleep, relax at home, use the internet, shower and launder while I spent my days fighting vicious hangovers at work via the consumption of record-setting doses of caffeine.

The real fun started Friday and Saturday, some highlights of the trip:

-Titcomb beach on the Danube river. The view is a panoramic of the nicest parts of Slovakia framed by beautiful girls in scant clothing. Drinks were cheap and our rounds of three pints and two redbulls totaled 8.33 Euro. The redbulls were for the bottle of absinthe under our table, incase you were wondering. Drinks everywhere would have been cheaper though had we not continually got short-changed on every transaction.

ASIDE: I'm realizing "accidental" bad change is a hidden cost of life as an ex-pat here. After numerous sequential bills at restaurants with plenty of extra meals and drinks on the tab I refuse to believe that it's a mistake. I'm sorry but your job is to bill people, you do it two hundred times a day.

-Sub Club: Our next destination was a drum and bass club. It is located underneath Bratislava Castle and in it's prior lifetime was actually a Cold War nuclear bunker. The bouncers, while no longer brandishing Kalishnakovs, looked like they were the same men who had been guarding the lengthy concrete tunnel leading to the shelter 40 years ago. The concentration of dude was way too high for our liking though so our stay was short-lived. The cheapest drinks in town and the unreal setting made it one of my most unique drinking experiences to date, however. I would like to return if I hear a rumour that girls are going.

-Kebab: As alluded to, we ate a disgusting amount of it. Probably averaged 2 a day. Kebab is the same as Shawarma, I know, it's confusing at first. It's also about half the price here.

-Goulash festival: Picture below of the musical entertainment. Think Eastern-European chili cook-off.

-Pizzaria: Thursday night we decided to go out for dinner. We were quite drunk at the time but chose a fancy restaurant none the less. We ordered bruschetta to start and two pizzas to share. The pizza was delicious and the server was one of the nicest and fastest I've had. The bruschetta was two pieces of Wonderbread, lightly toasted topped with a few canned dried tomatoes. I think they were older than Sub Club.

-Slew of other bars: We spent a lot of Friday night doing a mini-pub crawl of our own, as I took Amit from one hole in the wall to another before we finally ended up at Channels.

-Harley's: If I had to pick a bird to describe Saturday night it would be a phoenix. We didn't sleep much the previous night and ended up passing out at 9:00 pm until about midnight. We pulled ourselves together relatively quickly and got to the bar. I also called my first taxi and spoke only Slovak. I was secretly surprised when it showed up at the flat in a timely manner.

The night really rose from the ashes once we arrived at the Harley Davidson Bar. Not only did we get in free because we came so late, it was packed and the crowd was mostly female. Furthermore, when we arrived there was a beautiful girl in a nurse costume shedding such said costume at an alarming rate. Turns out the bar is also a strip-club? One of the dance floors was a boxing ring. We stayed until the sun came up and actually ended up meandering the four kilometers it took to get home. Other than a run-in with a family of swans that were surprisingly aggressive we arrived home safely and in a fairly straightforward manner.

I was genuinely worried we weren't going to make it home. That is until I saw that group of apartment buildings scarring the skyline. I was elated to know we would get home. We finally walked in the door somewhere around 7:30am.

The next time I saw the buildings was bussing back from dropping Amit off at the airport. An entirely different mood altogether.

It was cool having Amit around. I finally feel like someone experienced most of what I see on the day to day. A lot of times Amit seemed to be left shaking his head in disbelief at some of the realities we had to cope with. I don't want to speak for others. Ask him about his experience here if you get the chance. You will no doubt receive a thorough and well phrased perspective.

NOTE: After not blogging for five days, I feel very removed from life at home. Whether or not anyone reads this, writing it makes me feel like I'm a little less forgotten I think.


  1. I think you forgot to mention the part when you kicked the swan in the beak, Jeffrey.

  2. I only vaguely recall. I think it was more of a taunt than a real kick...