Archive Monthly Archives: March 2015

Jay and two bits of luggage #5 – From Budapest to Padova. Via Tampere.

Day 1

Hours awake: 20
Mileage: 420km
Location: Krakow, Poland
Notes:

-Slovakia is the driving equivalent of a pair of underwear that’s been left unwashed since the 1970s.
-What the hell is the speed limit? Should I care?
-Why can’t I find food in Krakow at 7pm on a Monday?
-Breakfast in that otherwise bland hotel was incredible.

Poland, and a jawdropping view.

Day 2


Hours awake: 14
Mileage: 702km
Location: Kaunas, Vilnius
Notes:

-Polish police dun’ give a shit.
-Drove into a speed camera 90@70kmh.. and so did everyone else. Panicked for about 30 minutes, and figured nothing could be done about it so joined the traffic flow again in slightly dampened spirits.
-Later realized that speeding fines in Poland are less than a one course dinner in Finland. Which means 24€. And considering the car rode on foreign plates with zero traceability, I doubt the Polish police will bother.

Cos the Polish police dun’ give a shit.





-Kaunas is fucking gorgeous. Seriously. Who planted this little country called Lithuania here, and why have I never been there? Architecture is incredible and women are stunningly hot! Need to come back with better time.
-Kaunas is also cheap. And unlike Krakow, it’s got a nice pizzeria right next to the hotel which was open late at night. With wifi as well! And the waiter had a sunshiny smile. And ridiculously large boobies. I don’t ask for much, but this place offered it all. =)

I ordered a pizza and a cola for 8€, which seemed fair to me. After all, it was a quality establishment. Then a strange question followed:

“And your second pizza?”
“Sorry? Nono, one will be enough.”
“Oh we serve two pizzas for this price.”
“.. .. Wh.. Oh. Well. In that case..”

So I got a lovely little snack for the next day’s journey.


Day 3

Hours awake: 13
Mileage: 450km
Location: Pärnu, Estonia
Notes:

-Latvians don’t drive as rough as the Lithuanians.
-Entering Estonia was the second time this trip that my jaw dropped in awe, simply because of the scenery. Pärnu laht, or Pärnu bay seen through some trees off the E67-highway with a setting sun is absolutely picturesque. This sort of scenery is somewhat characteristic to northern countries, and definitely gave me that warm feeling of getting closer to my own kind.

That warm feeling of nostalgia would turn into a rude reminder of reality the following day..






Pärnu always strikes up a lot of memories. And not least because Ultra Bra’s Pärnu is such a classic. Maybe I could buy an apartment here?


Day 4

Hours awake: 15
Mileage: 140km
Location: Tallinn, Estonia
Notes:

A lovely medieval themed tourist trap.

Wheel chair recharging on the sixth floor. Not accessible by elevator.

-Estonians enforce their speed limits.
-Driving 30kmh over the limit is quite alright from a safety-point of view.
-Driving 30kmh over the limit, slamming the brakes on speeding cameras is slightly questionable from a safety-point of view.
-Driving 30kmh over the limit, overtaking cars in a wild manner, generally being an asshole and hitting a speed trap straight up is just stupid from any point of view.

But hey, at least the car looks wicked cool with its new window tint!

Day 5


Hours awake: 24
Mileage: ~40km driving, 200km as a passenger
Location: Tampere, Finland
Notes:

-3 hours in Helsinki and I’m fucking through with this city. The atmosphere just sucks. Got verbally pissed on by an overzealous customs dinosaur, who wasn’t happy that I hadn’t understood Finnish import laws to the dot. Although, to be fair, he lightened up a bit when I stayed calm and proved myself to be an honest customer. Also, another employee in another municipal institute caused me 2 hours of extra running around because she couldn’t believe I actually WAS doing things according to the instructions I had been given.
-After surprisingly few hickups, I got the car registered to Finland. After seeing all these awesome countries, I can’t for the life of me figure out why anyone would register a car into that god forsaken tax hellhole. But it’s not my problem.

Car washed after 2000km of hard driving. Damn it looks cool.

-The captain took the wheel after I opened a long drink. Probably best that way. I’m not too good at driving in Finland without gathering a bunch of tickets.

Met a cute girl at a party. Didn’t pull the trigger. Slightly annoyed.


Finally at its destination!



Got hassled by some junior student official. Unbelievable. I’ve been attending these parties longer than he’s been in the school.


Day 6


Hours awake: 12
Mileage: 2060km as a passenger
Location: Padova, Italy
Notes:

-Threw up in the bus from Tampere. Whose idea was it to get absolutely varshnigyered without eating anything on the night before a huge trip?
-Met a lovely, stunningly hot, brunette at Marco Polo airport. I’m starting to think Venice might not be a bad location to get to know women. She was Italian, but lives elsewhere. Such a bummer. =) But at least I had the balls to do it!
-My workaway family seems warm and friendly. This’ll be a new sort of challenge for sure..

And there ends the saga with the Audi. Mission accomplished, so to speak! 1912km of adventure. Although, perhaps next time we’ll just drive through Germany and hit the ferry in Travemünde..

-Jay
Padova

Jay and two bits of luggage #4 – Oh, it’s just a little cough.

This flu might as well get the best of me. I hate being sick.

After two days of pretty much lying in bed, nose running like a sad parody of Niagara falls and multiple half-awake dreams of creatures and non-creatures alike, I force myself awake like Tutankhamon forces himself from a thousand year’s rest.

Why? Because there’s an Audi that needs delivering. More to the point, needs delivering with a deadline. This car needs to be in Finland on Friday morning! And I need to be on a flight to Venice on Saturday to meet with my workaway-family.

Four days prior:

*Clackety* *Clackety* It’s 4 am and I find myself in something that might as well be a U-boat from a Soviet submarine-film: The Budapest-Beograd special. Seriously. The night began when this Jürgen Prochnow-lookalike guy took my ticket and shoved me into this small pitch dark couchette-cabin with a Hungarian railway logistics expert. Apparently the heating in the cars hadn’t worked since the 70s, so included in the ticket price were double duvees, which Jürgen provided with great relish.

So you don’t freeze, you know. That’s fair, right?

Yes, this would be my cell for the next 8 hours. One of the only times in my life where I’ve actually longed for a proper Intercity2 night train-car.

Border control marveled at my Finnish passport with its hologram and all. How quaint. My ego slightly twitched as I suddenly was something of an exotic: a citizen of a faraway country with impressively technological bureaucracy. But I soon humbled again, when I remembered how awkward and unsafe a passport with a remotely readable RFID-chip actually is. I let them ogle, though. The graveyard shift on the Hungary-Serbia border probably isn’t the most interesting of things. A Finnish passport around these parts is pretty much akin to gold, by the way. No one suspects Finns of anything, so border control tends to be a doddle.

Something like 4 hours into Serbia now. Which is not saying much, with this rickety submarine-train moving at less than 50kph. Not to say that it’s a bad thing. These tracks are more crooked than an EU-politician. The Hungarian fellow even told me about a derailed train earlier this year. I didn’t need to hear that, c’mon man! But Serbia, holy hell. Some 6 months ago I wouldn’t even dream of stepping outside Finland. And here I was, closer to backwater-Europe than I’d ever been..

The bathroom was not so much a bathroom but more a closet with a sink. I’m not even sure I was meant to pee in there. Oh well.

So I’m out to get a friend’s car. It’s stuck in Serbia with plates about to expire and needs rescuing. I hope it’s ok. Damn. I hope HE’S ok.

Three days prior:

Welcome to Belgrade! And don’t I feel Soviet now! This country has been bombed to shit a dozen times. And the Soviet era can be seen in many places. Yet, there’s an air of honesty and hard work wherever I look. So un-Russian. I guess ultimate adversity makes people focus on the important issues. The weather is becoming increasingly warm and sunny the closer I get to Nis. That’s bound to be a good sign!

The car is fine. Zero issues. The hotel is fine, booked a room. And the women in this city. Are FINE. Incredible to see so many stunningly hot women in such a small city. Too bad I’ve been awake for too long and need to sleep. And the flu is catching up..

But I gotta come back here and meet these girls! My women-adventures in Budapest have been rather tragicomic up until now. Closest I’ve gotten to a girl’s pants was that time on the nightclub dance floor, which isn’t exactly something you write home about. OR blog about, I guess. The only that would’ve ended up in anything concrete would’ve been in the nightclub-toilet.

But seriously though, how fucking tasteless would that be?

A sidenote regarding women, I actually ran into the two hotties from before. In the Budapest metro. How unlikely is that? But, as it happens, not even fate helps my odds of getting laid. =)

Two days prior:

5 am, it’s dark outside. The Audi hasn’t been fired up in months. I have my qualms with VAG-products, but a brand new Audi should have no trouble shaking off a few months idle sitting. And like from under a palm tree, the 2.0TFSI hurdles to life.

I can feel the flu coming on. It feels really bad this time, but my body says not yet. I need to get off the road.

200km to Budapest. Border control ahead. As suspected, Finnish passport and plates pretty much guarantee a troublefree passage.

For a small moment I consider rejoicing the fact that I’m back inside the EU again. But what did I leave behind? Sunshine, gorgeous women, friendly and helpful people? Only to be met by some Romanian fuckwad who insisted on washing my windows. For free, he said, which I presumed meant “for a fee”. Oh, and here’s the kicker – he wouldn’t accept 100 forint for his trouble, which I figured would be more than enough for that amount of work. The douche actually insisted on getting more, a minimum of 300 forint. I was in a pleasurable mood, so I gave him 150 forint and told him to kindly fuck off. A cold shower of EU-attitude, I thought.

Almost in Budapest now. My nose is running, and with it, my time. I needed to get to bed. So here I am, looking at a map on my phone, trying to navigate to a parking garage, wiping my nose, watching the traffic, and my phone rings.

It’s the new tenant from my old apartment in Finland. He’s paid 30€ for my old washing machine, and confused about how it works. I’m like “listen mate, I really don’t have time for this right now.” But this guy, in his broken English, wanted me to provide him with instructions on how to start a 30C program. I had trouble grasping the unreality of the situation at this point. I patiently explained how a 30C program is started, and that my interests in becoming a long-distance helpdesk are limited. It’s insane how people expect some sort of warranty and guarantee and on-site helpdesk when they buy a 7 year old appliance for lunch money.

Almost two days I spent in bed, working off the flu. Now, still in weak condition, I’m sitting in a hotel lobby, waiting to have breakfast with my grandmother.

Before heading to Krakow, Poland. It’s a 6 hour drive through Slovakia, said google maps.

-Jay

edit: make that a 7 hour drive. Slovakia is horrible.

Jay and two bits of luggage #3 – You’re so shy compared to these Australian folk!

Wow, she’s a colourful one. Oh, I can’t approach her. I need to get to this restaurant.

Oh there she goes. Cute as well. Oh, shame. Now let’s see where this restaurant is.. so I turn right here and..

What, is that her again? Maybe she’s looking for the same restaurant. Damn she’s cute.

For fuck’s sake man. Where are your balls. This is getting weird. Just go tell her that she’s cute!



She was Serbian. She had the most contagious smile. She was so incredibly cute. And SHE WAS NOT SINGLE! *dies* As a positive note, though, she reminded me of how easy it is to talk to someone on YOUR wavelength.

So I’m slowly getting over my approach anxiety. Slowly. Slowly starting to understand who I wish to approach, who is just meh, and who is just an excuse to not approach. Slowly. It’s a slow process. But it’s a process, nonetheless. I’m yet to take one of these days and just do pranks and talk to everyone I see. It’s much more of a Finnish stoic style for me – approach everyone who tickles your fancy. Which isn’t everyone.

I’ve imploded my tiny little brain from this blogging-course. Brainstorming audiences, brainstorming topics, brainstorming how audiences think of topics.. It requires some heavy duty creative work, let me tell you. Today I got around to visiting a local spa to clear my head. I dunno if it worked, but at least I got a few fresh ideas. And experiencing an outdoor pool, clear skies and sunshine, and girls in bikinis .. in the middle of fucking winter? Something a small boy from Finland doesn’t exactly see every day.

This blog thing though – it’s something special. Sure, I’ve done diary blogs and dumbass business attempts in the past, but this is something totally different. I hope I don’t fall behind, the others seem to grasp it better than I do! I even bought tickets to a course conference in Florida. I’m not sure if it’s to prove to myself that I can do this, or because I believe in myself enough that I can invest so much time and money in this.

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In any case, it WILL happen. This is what I was meant to do. Steve Pavlina said to write down stuff you want to do until you break down in tears – that’s your life purpose. For me that was freeing people from the slavery of societal norms and pressure. Sure, watching 12 Years as a Slave helped. But that’s what it needed.

Another International Meeting Point, another interesting night. Met some familiar faces and some unfamiliar faces as well. It’s funny how easily you can create a presence in a room just by talking with people. “This guy knows everyone! Everyone seems to have fun with this guy!” I didn’t even realize what was happening until a familiar face from the last meet was playing eye games with me. She was cute. So I played along.

She smiled a lot. I like smily and quirky people. And brunette as well, which is always a plus in my book. But what’s this? There were two of them. Two women. Both hot in different ways. Both amazing and interesting.. and both with a slight interest in me and my odd little world. Now I’ve had enough of games and playing and whatever to last a lifetime, and I enjoyed the company of these fine women. What do you do in this situation?

You take a deep breath and chill out.

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I was interested in getting to know these people. Anything else was a friggin’ bonus. Not that I’d be a passive ass. I totally took iniative and made sure everyone had a damn good time. But I will not need anything from anyone. On a certain dancefloor I had a close time with the other of these women, a cherry blonde with a hot ass and quirky outlook on life. Which was fun. But I wanted to get to know her.

Yeah, I’m a sentimental fool like that.

I’d rather not get anywhere than make some crappy one night stand with someone I don’t know. This is entirely incomprehensible to most people. Now, don’t get me wrong. Sex is fun, and I won’t shy away from making my intentions clear. But only with the right person. And having said that, I’ll take an awesome conversation over sex any time. Now don’t kill me Ryan, I think an awesome conversation more or less leads to sex. But I’ve yet to find awesome sex without an awesome connection beneath. And sex without it being awesome is just boring.

Two days pass, and the cherry blonde hasn’t exactly been enthusiastic about meeting me again. Now far be it from me to presume to know what goes on in other people’s heads, but I’d be rather surprised if she hadn’t gotten some wicked buyer’s remorse* from that night! And don’t get me wrong, I think it’s kinda cute, and I can’t not see the funny. But rather a shame if we never see again because of that. This is exactly why I don’t peddle into the nightgame-realm: people have got their heads so cluttered with booze, group pressure, and social norms, that it turns into a manipulation game.

A game which I don’t play. So I’ll just drop a message to her next week.

In any case. I had a great time. These people were amazing. And I hope to see them again.

..

Gah who am I kidding. I totally want these women naked in my bed.





*Buyer’s remorse

I don’t usually delve into the pickup-lingo, but I kinda like this particular term, since it describes the feeling so well. It’s like buying a new car. First you feel so enthusiastic and hyped up about how awesome and cool the new car is in the showroom. You feel like your world is complete because you are now able to buy this car. You’d be willing to sell your house just to finance this car.



But you go home in your old car, because a slight bit of sense kept you from making rash financial decisions. The next day you feel like you’re coming down from an emotional high. Into a slight hangover, even. You can’t see the car for its magnificence anymore. All you see are the downsides to the equation. You may even begin to resent the idea of buying this new car. The damn thing, it tried to cheat you into a stupid decision!



That’s why salesmen hate the idea of a customer coming back later, and they want a signature immediately.



That’s why you don’t kiss and fondle a girl on the dance floor without taking her home immediately.