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Monthly Archives: January 2012

Torrevieja Correction

In my last post, I wrote the lyrics to a song I made up in Torrevieja about Torrevieja. Well, I am writing now to change the lyrics to a closer rendition of the original set which I’ve lost or forgotten. They go like this:

Torrevieja, your streets are littered with dog shit and dead men
Dog shit and dead men, dog shit and dead men
Your streets are littered with dog shit and dead men
And your citizens piss in your ocean.

Spaniards seem to love their dogs, but unlike Madrid and Barcelona, Torreviejaians do not pick their dog shit up off the sidewalk. The sidewalks themselves in Torrevieja are semi-ornate tile panels with plenty of lined groves for dog shit to get smeared and fester in. Because fester it does. Around 3 or 4 o’clock in the afternoon, when the sun is high and hot in the sky, the smeared dog shit covering the street bakes from the heat and the soul stirring scent of burning, raw dog shit permeates the mid-afternoon/early evening air of wonderful Torrevieja.
Walk on any street on your way to a restaurant- where you are almost certain to be laughed or sneared at for your attempt at the Spanish language- and you will smell fresh shat, fresh cooked dog shit.

Torrevieja, there’s dog shit on your streets, on your streets, your streets
There’s dog shit on your streets
And its baking in the afternoon sun.

 
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Posted by on January 26, 2012 in Musings

 

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Playing Catch Up

Since my last post quite a few things have changed as far as my itinerary. Fearing the dreaded Irish Consumption from the lovely dampness and exquisitly whipping winds of Dublin, along with the fact that if I drank just one more pint of Guinness I would explode, I lit out for sunny Spain. Here’s a few tidbits and impressions of each place I’ve been so far:

Dublin: I’ll write more about Dublin when I can but so far this is what I can say. On my last night there, Sunday, Dubliners and tourists seemed to really be in a fine mood as it became apparent that the whole city was shit-faced not only from the week’s drinking, but from Sunday’s drinking as well which they started uncommonly early. So, as I walked to the pubs in the evening I knew something special was in the air when I passed by drunken couples arguing as well as old Dublin couples saying goodnight to friends, all in complete drunken Dublin gibberish. So, later that night it came as no surprise, although it was still jarring, when I heard a couple little diites that made me run for the hills. In a pub where a circle of heavily shit-faced people were hanging out I heard the joke that sent me packing: Why did the chicken cross the road? Because he was shit-faced and he didn’t have anything better to do! Now, I’ve told bad jokes before in my life. The difference between mine and this guy’s is that people actually laughed at his joke. They laughed. Heartily. They thought it was a right smart joke. I knew after hearing that that I would be leaving Ireland as soon as possible. Which I did! and landed in the sunny south-eastern clime of:

Torrevieja, Spain: Ahh, Torrevieja, Torrevieja. My introduction to this beautiful country. Too bad, really, because it had nothing to offer. The only thing older than the tower that I never saw- “torrevieja” means old tower- were the class of people visiting or living there. At times beautiful, Torrevieja was a town of contradictions. At once hosting beautiful views and beaches along the Balaeric Sea, it also features grown ass men who whip their dicks out and piss into the ocean in the middle of the day. Oh, they’re not just pissing into the ocean, mind you. They are also pissing on loads of garbage littering the rocks that cover the shore. Cigarette butts, boxes of milk- that’s right I said boxes- and liter bottles of Cola are on display on the beaches there. Another interesting contradiction is that while appearing like a tourist town, Torrevieja is really anything but welcoming. There’s nothing really to see other than dead bodies in the street at breakfast time. That’s right, men die during breakfast over there. I made up a little song while I was walking about: Torrevieja, you’re streets are littered with dead men, dead men. Your streets are littered with dead men and grown men piss in your ocean.

Madrid, Spain: Ahh, Madrid, Madrid. I call it “The Holy Shit City” because around every corner, at the end of every street you will see something that will make you exclaim in wonder “holy shit that is beautiful”. The architecture is stunning. The people are beautiful. The tapas are delicious. The Museo del Prado is well worth the 8 or 9 Euros if you don’t want to wait for the free hours later in the day. The people are a bit on the cold side, but that’s fine. This was the first place I’ve been to where I understand why some people would not even consider wanting to be like Americans. These people have got it going on, although my hide is still a little chapped by the looks I got when trying my best to speak their language. At least I try. Oh! and the Flamenco! My god…More on Madrid later.

Toledo, Spain: Anyone anywhere near Toledo needs to go see it. It was only 9 Euros round trip on the bus from Madrid, taking less than an hour to get there. Wow, what a city. You can walk to the center of the city from the bus depot in a short amount of time and the cool air is very refreshing in the morning. A medieval city that boasts an equally impressive display of mosques, churches and synagogues dating back to the late 15th and early 16th centuries. People are still proud of the fact that believers of the separate religions lived in peace in the city. The views are phenomenal and you can walk around most of the whole city in only a few hours. Just beautiful.

I’ve been in Barcelona for one day now and I am still trying to grasp it. It boasts some really amazing alleyways that act as thoroughfares and the old stone churches and mansions are magnificient in their decrepitude. The main tongue spoken here is Catalonian, which can be a little confusing, but there are plenty of people who speak English. Also, its a bit grittier than Madrid, which is kind of nice in a way. I wasn’t here fifteen minutes when I was propsitioned by a prosti and welcomed to the city. Well, thank you, thank you very much.

Pictures to come!

 
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Posted by on January 25, 2012 in Musings

 

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Rant and Rave

I’m going to rant and rave here about the pop music in Dublin (and I’m thinking in Europe altogether). Like in America, its astoundingly annoying and moronic. Driving rhythmic beats are layered with inane goddamned lyrics delivered with no fucking style whatsoever. Either some idiot repeats “nice people, nice, nice people” over and over or you hear lyrics like:

I went to my girls flat
We sat down and had a chat
She opened a bottle of wine
We had a real nice time
We talked until dawn
I can’t wait to go back

I walk around listening to this shit wondering “what in the fuck?” No wonder U2 is so popular and has had such longevity. They don’t sing about stupid shit.

On a side note, I find it hilarious that Dublin’s most famous citizen, Bono, is known for wearing outlandish sunglasses while being from a city where no one wears sunglasses. I swear I’m the only one in Dublin who wears sunglasses. And I wear them because I can. I don’t care if its cloudy out and I only get hit by a sliver of sunlight for 5 seconds in a day.

 
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Posted by on January 15, 2012 in Music

 

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Up All Night

Dublin is a city that lives and breathes at night. I don’t know this because I stay up all night partying and bar hopping with worldwide tourists and Dubliners. I know this because I can’t seem to find a cafe or breakfast joint open at 10 am on a weekend morning. I walk around a sleeping city drinking coffee wondering where the fuck everyone is. On one of the main streets the only places open for business in the morning are American. Just to spite Dublin I ate breakfast at a place called Eddie Rockets, a classic American-themed diner. I should have eaten at McDonald’s. At least there I think I could have gotten eggs that were served both sunny side up and hot instead of sunny side up and cold. How does that happen? I’m the only one in the place. And why does it take 5 minutes to get a cup of coffee served? I think the service was slow to spite me spiting Dublin.

After looking over the Book of Kells in the early afternoon I headed over to the Guinness factory for a tour with some New Yorkers I met the night before. Unfortunately, my brutal hangover made it so that it felt like the building was swaying and the different noises in the background created a collage of sound that was disorientating. However, at the top of the massive building they have the Gravity Bar which features a stellar 360 degree view of Dublin at night.

On a tip by a shop keeper named Sean I went to Dublin’s oldest bar, The Brazen Head. As you walk through the low archway a stone courtyard opens itself to you. There’s really no way you can go wrong in this place. I settled in one of the main rooms at a table next to the fireplace and saw about fixing my hangover with a pint of Guinness. The walls of the room were covered with money people wrote on and stuck up there. Not surprisingly, most of the bills were American. It gave off a sense of belonging for some reason. While being only a block or two from the River Liffey, the place did have more of a local feel compared to some bars in Temple Bar.

After imbibing a couple of pints at the Brazen Head I crossed a couple more bars off my list. The labyrinth-like bars in Dublin are a joy to behold. The different bars within the bars are not something seen in America. Each bar has music and a few have Belgian beer by the bottle, which I just can’t seem to pass up even in Ireland. After a steady evening of drinking I find myself ready to hit the sack while the rest of Dublin is getting into the prime of their party mode. Which explains why I walk around in the morning wondering where everyone is, why I’m the only one awake, and how in the world I’m actually going to be drinking again in a few short hours.

Tomorrow morning I’ll stumble to the bus station nearby and take a bus bound for Galway and its colorful buildings and crazy citizens. Hopefully there’s a cafe open for business in the morning.

 
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Posted by on January 15, 2012 in Musings

 

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Dublin Calling

After my first solo walking tour of Dublin I must say that aside from its beauty, charm and history, Dublin is the most astoundingly confusing city to walk around in. The roads are completely chaotic, as are the names. Think of a road as if its a slightly bent arm. Instead of keeping a name for the whole arm they divide up each part of the arm and call it something different. So the shoulder might be Dame St, the bicep Arch St, the elbow Faun St, the forearm Church St, the wrist Market St, and the finger and the joints of fingers separated and given their own names as well.

Its a small enough city to get around in without getting lost, but it can be very confusing. Do I need to get to Dame St or Dame Court? Or is it Dame Lane? Also, unlike in some parts of America, the signage is not prominently displayed at all. You get a small blue sign with white letters high up on the side of the main building. And since the names of roads can change with the slightest curve or bend in direction, it can be difficult at times to tell just where in hell you are. Add to that mix-up the never-ending existence of pubs all with the same general names and store-fronts.

Also, in Dublin there are about 4 clocks. Two of them do not work and the other two tell different times altogether. I swear, one bar had three different clocks telling three different times. What the hell Dublin!

Also almost as astounding as the lack of clocks and the road names is the stunning lack of benches. I walked all over for a place to rest and could not find a single bench. Seems strange for a “walking city”. It wasn’t until I got to St. Stephen’s Green that I found a bench to rest my wearied dowgies on. Speaking of which, St. Stephen’s Green is marvelously beautiful. As I was walking through, the rising sun was gleaming off the frozen dew and a giant swan was flapping its wings.

Anyhow, a beautiful city. Can’t wait to see more!

 
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Posted by on January 13, 2012 in Musings

 

Off To Dublin In The Green

Tomorrow morning I will be dosing myself heavily with Xanax and boarding a plane bound for Dublin, Ireland to begin my long-awaited jaunt to lands foreign. I’ll be soaking in the cultures, sucking down pints of brew and partaking of the local fare of several Irish cities along with stops in Great Britain, Paris, Belgium and Amsterdam. And my first stop back in these United States? Why, none other than the revered and wondrous city of St. Louis, Missouri! But that’s several weeks away. Tomorrow it’s onward and upward where I’m off to Dublin in the green. And by “in the green” I’m mean pilled to the gills on Xanax. Hoorah!

 
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Posted by on January 10, 2012 in Musings

 

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