Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category
No photos of Aruba yet so heres a picture taken shortly before the forest police arrived and went nuts..Ehh, wasn’t me!
With my latest adventure planned I thought it best to take a moment to explain why I haven’t put up any posts for a while on my blog and why some recent posts are not in order of when things happened.
I’m going to live and work on a donkey farm and also volunteer at a National park in Aruba in the Caribbean. I will be there for six months. This is step one in my plans for 2013 but I can’t say for sure what I will do afterwards. Definitely something along the lines of travel and adventure anyway. I have ideas but nothing concrete yet, suggestions welcome.
The last part of my book Without Wax kind of ended with the post http://withoutwaxblogdotcom.com/2012/11/30/looking-forward/ ,but then Only in Panama (Porn to raise Hell) was a little story I’d forgotten to write about so I just stuck it on there after starting my attempt at an introduction to a second book with a post called ‘Round 2′.
Oh yeah.. There is also an advert for party poker that doesn’t fit in at all, but lets not dwell on my selling out!
I really have to live it before I can write about it so you know as much as I what will feature next.
Hopefully I can finally find my geek (I love the bookworm type) and you can read a ‘happy ever after’ post at some point. Until then you might have to settle for me doing what I unfortunately do best. So if you are sporting a MASSIVE pair of glasses, woolly jumper two sizes too big with a bland pony tail draped down your back then you can find me somewhere in Aruba. I’ll be the one scooping donkey poop with skin like a lobster!
Happy travels people and I hope to update soon..
The post that was previously here was an advert for party poker.
My inability to present this add in the exact manner that was intended combined with the fact I have never actually gambled in my life (apart from the time I was in that casino!) has let me to my decision to replace it with something French related to which I do know something about.
I apologise to those who left comments regarding casinos in France and Monaco but, I felt like a bit of a fraud supporting and advertising something I know nothing about.
As part of a mating ritual, the male hippopotamus will spray shit onto the face of a female in an effort empty its balls.
With skin as thick as one inch the hippopotamus is an unstoppable killing machine and will stop at nothing to destroy you.
Only a calve (baby hippo) can in fact swim where as an adult may bounce, walk underwater or even stand in the shallow end giving the impression that they are swimming.
In the jaws of a hippopotamus you will find an average of forty teeth and maybe an occasional slow native or two. These slow moving, placid creatures should always be approached with reckless carelessness and offensive language can easily discourage a charge from an adult bull (man-hippo).
* I claim no responsibility for those who are eaten while following my Hippo fact file.
I like to travel and see the world.
I enjoy meeting new people and seeing things we wouldn’t normally see, but it’s those one off characters that you meet along the way while traveling that brings a little smile to the face and makes you say “That could only happen here”!
In the small city of David close to the border of Costa Rica we wait for our guide who will take us on a tour of the surrounding countryside. This is where we meet one shady looking funny geezer. We are here in Panama for the first of our visa runs but also to bump into characters like this.
He stands near by smoking his cigarette then approaches our small group of obvious tourists whilst digging a wallet from his pocket. He’s showing us an old, battered picture. Maybe his wife, girlfriend or children. No, none of that nonsense in Panama. He holds out his favourite hard-core porn picture. Maybe this is’t such a bad thing. In the case of such a national tragedy happening as this man getting macked by a big bus, they could scoop the rest of him into a nice little sandwich bag, open his wallet and discover that he was in fact male. No need for ID just some x rated pics. Who cares about his name anyway, the man has porn and that’s the kind of heirloom that every man wants. Or maybe that’s just here.
We would later see a black 4×4 in the city centre cruising by the market vendors with a large man kneeling down in the back. A sudden stop and he’s onto the pavement with his shotgun grabbing what must be hundreds of cigarettes from someone before casually leaping back in and hitting the road. We thought we’d just witnessed a robbery but this was the police and there way of controlling the black market. No paper work needed, just frighten the shit out of them with an unmarked drive-by. Would you ask a monster with a shotgun for his police ID?
It was when we were at the border and in the process of leaving Panama when we passed one of the craziest characters I’ve ever seen. Not one of the craziest, most definitely the craziest! We were on our way to get some cheap whiskey when we passed this nutter wearing an unbuttoned military shirt, black baseball cap and shouting at no one in particular while brandishing a large silver pistol. I’m no gun expert but this thing looked heavy duty. On our way back I had my camera phone at the ready to take a very cheeky wee picture of this mad man but he was nowhere to be seen. In place there now stood a noticeable number of armed police officers. Wish I could have witnessed the events that transpired and God do I wish I had a picture of this lunatic! Maybe Simon got one?
Check out my friends web site http://skipperphotography.dk
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 4,000 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 7 years to get that many views.
Click here to see the complete report.
Who said I’m a dirty old man?? Not old at all!
“Who’d you rather have, your girlfriend or your Mum”?
As you can see, intellectual conversation comes few and far between at this diner table and thank fuck for that. Or on this occasion thank that guy that’s taking the piss out of our newest employee again and whose name I’ve just forgotten. I do that a lot.
“My girlfriend”, comes the required response.
“I’d have your Mum”!
“Well, you’d have to dig her up first”.
Silence descends upon the canteen. Silence were it not for the sound of soup firing through my nose and onto the table. Don’t get me wrong here, as much as I love the misfortune of others I’m not actually laughing at the fact this young lads Mothers dead or at the sexual suggestion towards a young guys dead Mum (maybe a little), but at the situation, timing and how much of a prick the older guy must feel at this moment.
“I feel like a right dick man, do you want a bag of crisps”?
Not going bring her back now is it?
I’ve been there myself with the old foot in the mouth and so I know how easily it’s done after a drunken argument with someone at a party where I was quite clearly mistaking someone for someone else.
“Your sister’s not dead, I saw her last night.” Yeah, that shits only funny when it happens to someone else. I sat arguing my case until he left the room in floods of tears. What an arse. He’s just ran off with my lighter!
So yeah, the moral here would be that we all fuck up be that little or be that a lot but I believe that it’s those memories that you keep locked away that are by far the most interesting and share worthy. So after sharing my last 30 years of misshapes, fuck ups and calamities in the form of Without Wax, allow me to introduce to you..
When it all goes wrong again!
(working on a better title)
..and killing people!
There are a few moments in life I’ve skipped past while sharing my life. Either because it’s too similar to something previous that’s been mentioned like the time I wiped my ass on the bathroom towel and then hung it back up on the rack. Got in shit for that, pardon the pun. –I was four!-
College moments I just couldn’t squeeze in like the time I handed an essay mostly covering the topic of masturbation and a book report on Humpty Dumpty. I wasn’t there the day my teacher received this news from the exam board, but I heard he wanted to slap me for that. Still got the chance to do it again and I’m sure it’s probably out there doing the rounds as an example of what not to do if you want to pass Core 2 English.
Or simply because there is nothing really funny about having to wear a jumper on Christmas Day to hide the bruising left behind from a needles puncture wound.
And so, after thinking long and hard about whether it’s a good idea to bring out possibly the ugliest of all skeletons from my closet as I know what a touchy subject this can be.. I think, fuck it. This is my story, my life and if it wasn’t for this pretty harrowing series of events then I’d still be a virgin.
Write your complaints on a postcard and then stick it up your arse!
. . .
It was around my 18th birthday, year 2000 I believe and I succeeded in bringing one larger than life drunk chick back to my bed. Trouble is I was pretty wasted myself.
Five minutes in and I’m on my way down stairs to the toilet after throwing up on her tits and I can’t really say I’m completely surprised or bothered when I return to find she’s no longer there. However, one thing hangs heavy on my mind. That was my first sexual experience and I fucked it up. How to recover? Fret not, for I have a plan!
As my bus draws closer to my planned destination my stomach turns to nerves. “What if this doesn’t work? What if I’m not right down there”? I know just the thing for this kind of nonsense. The cause and solution to all life’s problems: Beer.
Not just beer but whisky as it would become. I fill up on Dutch courage before strutting into the massage parlour where young Casanova here plans to make up for lost time, but would you believe? I’m too drunk and I can’t get it up! Not only that embarrassment but I also left my glasses there and have to trot back and get them. I return home a disgrace to mankind and completely in turmoil. But I’m not done yet.
The waiting game.
This time I go almost a week without ‘relief’ which to an 18 year old is deserving of a fucking medal but a dead cert not to fail. A strong wind could empty my balls this time but just to make sure I decide on a change of venue for this time around.
Sitting sober as a monkey in this horrible little room wearing nothing but a small towel around my waist, I’m asked to choose between three scabby, junky hags. Just then and angel appears in the form of a foreign, chicken eating angel in the midst of her lunch and wandering into my line of sight at exactly the wrong moment.
Paying for one hour and only really needing three minutes –hey, I was 18- but I’m in the clear now as I now know that everything working and hearing words like “You strong like bull” really does give me some encouragement. She really said that!
I decide to return to this naughty little maid, just to make sure, only to be given the most noisy bed on Gods Earth putting us both off more than a little not to mention a kids voice on the other side of the door shouting “Dad”! Who the fuck brings their kids here?!
. . .
With the years clocking up towards that milestone of 30, I find myself looking back at the big picture. I never once ticked any of those boxes that some regard as the checklist of life..
Education (didn’t go to college to learn!)
And that’s exactly why I’ve been really able to live life, at least in a way that works for me anyway. Who wants to be the richest man in the graveyard? Who wants a life time of tip-toeing around and bending over backwards to be just another baw hair on the baw bag? Fuck that. If I stumble across an idea for something, maybe a project or just an adventure, then I’ll save the money and do it. Sure I’ll listen to advice because not every idea is a good one but not once have I ever regretted where I’ve ended up. It’s been such a fucked up, crazy adventure and it’s not over by a long shot. In-fact, I’d say it’s only just begun.
On my last little adventure before turning 30, I spoke with a very interesting girl who really woke me up. I learned that my jokes and stories are sometimes not enough and it’s too easy to just hide behind them all never really showing the real you. For probably the first time in my life I actually managed to just let go and say what was on my mind. It wasn’t easy but I learned a lot right there and then. So I will be me from now on regardless of how hot someone is or how much I care for them. The laughs will still come and the madness continue but on a higher, much better level now that we’re done with the act and to be honest.. I never much cared for being the clown.
To whatever awaits around that next corner I’ll take it on with a new found stride.
Time to grow up?
Remember, I’m not always proud of what I’ve done. Just honest about it.
Feeding habbits of an olive tree..Mmmm..Italian again!
My last feed on the farm consists of about five full plates of mixed meat –including that raw stuff I thought I was used to-, pasta, potato wedges and a cheese board. The farmers developed a serious looking case of gout I’ve been told and I can see how. After a horrible night struggling for sleep due to my bloated stomach, I finally crawl from my pit and prepare for my journey to Catania in Sicily.
Just like the beginning of my time on that farm I feel things catching up on me and while still in Bologna airport I make a mad dash for the toilet dropping those baggy trousers just in the nick of time..or do I? I’m standing upright frozen to the spot. Trousers round my ankles but if I move a muscle it will come out. So I move and it does. But where did it go? That first little jet. This is a very important question and I can’t possibly leave here without knowing the truth. My boots already stink of cow shit from lastnight because I didn’t have time to clean them (couldn’t be bothered), so there’s no clues in that sense. Trousers seem fine, T-shirts ok, floors clean enough. Hmm.. Maybe it did go in but at the awkward maneuverer I made I don’t believe it could have landed on target. Oh well, must fly.
I’m still checking my trousers when met at the airport by Nirav and quite easily the most attractive woman I have ever met in my life –yes I did try (most terrifying experience of my life) and no she wasn’t interested-. Wouldn’t this be one fucker of an arrival gift? “Hey, thanks for letting me stay at your farm. Here, have a dollop of shit on your car seat”!
My half plan was to maybe visit a few different parts of Sicily but I become really attached to the people here and a special kinda vibe that changes a little with every new volunteer but never for the worse. In short, for me Sicily is right here and I don’t really need to go anywhere else.
A kick ass Hungarian couple from Brooch to a yodelling Swiss girl who plays tunes with spoons, I’m never bored, not even for a minute. Especially now we have an America girl here whose sense of humour’s almost as naughty as mine!
With Hungarian and American friends..And why is there a massive Y shaved into your body? “Y not”?! Poor Roberta (not pictured due to being eaten by an olive tree) had to put up with a whole months worth of jokes like that!
The most crazy human ever to grace the planet Earth comes in the form of our lovely neighbour. Crazy in the sweetest Italian way, not in the Scottish way (got punched in the face by a crazy Scottish girl once and had slight but fucking horrible nerve damage from my eye, through my cheek and across my forehead for three months!) and I LOVE her English slips such as “My Mum sleep with you tonight”! What she meant was ‘My Mum will sleep at your house tonight’, but I prefer the way she puts it! Also being offered a plate of pumpkin and asked “Who wants smashed”? Falls quite gently on the ears. Somebody’s been listening the The Smashing Pumpkins!
Day time: “Yay Boris! Gimmie 5″! Night time: “BORIS, WILL YOU SHUT THE FUCK UP”!
. . .
The strangest thing has happened here. The Scottish folk song Donald where’s yer troosers has become a huge thing with all the volunteers. Even to the extent where our German girl has learned to play it really well on her accordion. This is fucking surreal now as we spend evenings dancing around a campfire singing this strange song with the upmost enthusiasm while toasting chestnuts and drinking wine. My attempt to introduce whisky to the group didn’t really work out but I’ve certainly started something of a Donald where’s yer troosers movement that looks set to spread like a tartan plague.
In the past it would appear I’ve been a little harsh on what I would call hippies. I believe it’s time for me to rethink my views a little. There are different levels of hippie. Some I like, some I hate and some I love! The German girl and her Italian boyfriend fall into that last category. As if the accordion wasn’t cool enough I’m asked one day if I’d like to come with them to the river for a swim. Sure I say and we grab some bikes and make our way down.
I’m standing at the river edge in my underwear wondering if this is maybe a little inappropriate. Not everyone wants to see me strutting around without my troosers. “Do you mind if we swim naked”? I’m asked. We soon realise two things as the three of us wade butt naked into the river. 1; The water doesn’t even reach our knees and 2; Our house has a great view of us from up there. I’m not going to be a pervert about this, it was just three people in a river being comfortable in our surroundings. I’ve done my fair share of naked waterfall jumps in Costa Rica and a certain naked adventure in a fountain in Portugal so I have no problem with being naked at all. There is a time and a place though and I guess I can see that my drunken stint in Portugal could have led me into deep shit. –Check the blog Go with it..Portugal,Poland,Slovakia –
Team Olive..But no hot Belgians here. Just imagine a cross between Sharapova and Kournikova! Read on..
. . .
Over the course of a few days we’re given the chance to take part in a workshop of sorts set up in our farm. I choose to skip the yoga, painting and dancing but when I hear we have the opportunity to take part in a Tai massage class where the girl to boy ratio favors me nicely I decide on one big fucking yes to that!
My partner happens to be one seriously hot Belgian girl and seeing as I happen to be a fan of massage and seriously hot Belgian girls I can tell I am really going to like this.
I’ve done my part and she seems to have enjoyed it, but as we swap around and I prepare for one lovely massage from one lovely girl, she takes to her feet and fucks off!
I feel like a right tit lying on the floor wondering what I done wrong. Did I touch her bum? A little bit, but that was what we were supposed to do and it was only the very top. I lie on the floor and wonder if I’m still supposed to be here and then eventually after what felt like eternity –maybe five minutes- I’m approached by the healing hands of Mr Masseuse.
Note the usage of the word ‘Mr’ in that sentence.
Sure, the massage is good. He knows what he’s doing because he’s done it for some time but fuck, I wish it was a girl. I’d rather have a shit massage from a girl than a good one from a man. It’s just a guy thing.
It’s all ok though and I can deal with this. I am trying to learn from this so that I can perform it on women in the future. Yeah, a lot of good can come from this and there’s really nothing strange about..hold on a minute..
A vigorous massage is now taking place on my bum cheeks on front of a large, observant crowd watching and waiting for instruction. If my Dad could see me now! I decide just to go with it and take it all in (bad choice of words). Just have to remember it’s all part of the lesson and I could use this in the future and it’s not like I’m getting penetrated or anything!
To go from the expectance of a girls soft sweet hands caressing my body to the hands of a man massaging my ass is a little hard to get over and I’m sure I can hear the occasional giggle of Roberta from over in the corner. Damn sure she won’t let me forget this for a while.
I get the full body treatment from foot, ankle, calf, thigh, under the bum, all over the bum, back and arms and as I finally drift into a relaxed state my mind takes this opportunity to dig up the fact that this is not the first time I’ve received a full body massage from a man!
I was visiting a friend in Wrocław during the Christmas holidays and as she had to work on some of these days I decided to go to the gym. Noticing a sign on the wall advertising cheap sports massages I decide that as the girl at the front desk is so cute I will definitely be taking up this offer because of ofcourse the desk girl and the masseuse are going to be one and the same. Enter Mr Masseuse!
Etna and cactus.. Cactus on the right..
We had to give up trying to chase her back into the stables everynight when she statred out smarting us..and out running us..Funny little piggy
Being a member of WWOOF Italia (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farming) allows me access to farms throughout the country in need of assistance and so while in La Spezia I take the time to contact one in Modena, near Bologna where I will work with cattle.
After some quick goodbyes and a mad sprint for the bus I make it to the train station where my slowly improving language skills help me board the right train. Once bitten, twice shy and all that. –Once got on the wrong train in Scotland and went 200 miles the wrong way-.
We’re not half an hour into our journey before an almighty bang sounds from the front. Our train seems to lift slightly for a second while shaking violently from side to side and as I look through the window I see stones spray from beneath my carriage.
My first thought was that we were coming off the tracks and “Fuck, I never got to finish my book”! Maybe a fallen tree or a damaged rail, but after coming to a stop I then see the driver along with a hoard of official looking people out surveying the damage and checking the wheels under my coach until finally, after an hour a conclusion is reached that our train is indeed fucked.
As we make a very slow retreat back to our nearest platform to catch a different train, I spy the culprit, a big fucking goat. It really is a big goat. From its head to its tail lie a distance of about a kilometre!
Train vs goat
Like always my train of thought is directed from within my pants. I convince myself that this is where it’s going to happen. Yes Andy, you will arrive here and the farmer will greet you with open arms. “Well hello there, you’ve made it just in time. I have many daughters needing serviced and milked, one hundred cows to be eaten and a fountain of beer waiting just for you”!
What I do find is a Mother/Son family farm with about twenty cows, bulls, calves, five goats, horses, ducks, peacocks, turkeys a chicken and one potbellied pig called Maylina. No daughters but an endless supply of wine and probably the best food I’ve ever had in my life.
My first day on the farm and I’m being led around by an 84 year old woman helping to change beds, fold sheets and prepare rooms for guests arriving as this small farm also doubles up as a restaurant and bed n’ breakfast. The raw meat I ate last-night is doing some serious damage to my stomach today but with no way of explaining this I decide to suffer in silence while tucking in beds, mopping floors and trying not to shit myself.
While she leaves the room for a moment I seize this opportunity and fly towards the on suite making it just in time. Our special guests are expected any minute now and if this old lady catches me stinking up their toilet or whole house for that matter, I’m in no doubt that she’ll beat the crap right out me however, that might not be such a bad thing right now.
I don’t even bother opening a window because I’ll just forget to close it and an open toilet window would just make it more obvious that someone’s done a big jobbie. My hopes are on the idea that year’s spent living on a cow farm has made her indifferent to such smells. Maybe she’ll like it? I’m in the clear but never straying far from a toilet for the next few days until my system can handle such fine, fresh, raw Italian produce, but oh what a pickle if that toilet hadn’t flushed!
An Italian/French friend I’ve met here who is also volunteering leaves to go home now and it’s my turn to work in the stables feeding cows and clearing shit. I enjoy this job a lot and you get used to the smell pretty quickly. I do come under fire occasionally from a stubborn goat who doesn’t give a fuck and a bull that sends out one shattering kick right on my balls. I’m not a man who’d normally condone violence to animals but I will make an exception in this occasion. It does cheer me up no end though to watch our biggest bull slip, fall and land on top of the farm hand. Maybe I deserve to be kicked in the balls?
On numerous occasions I’m treated to the sight of the farmers Mum stomping after the goats armed with a pitchfork shouting “DIE, DIE”! I would later learn that ‘dai’ actually means come on in Italian and she doesn’t really hate those goats quite as much as I thought.
You’d expect to see a pigeon..maybe a blackbird perched on your windowsill..
What little I can understand from her is that if I keep feeding the cows they will explode. Cool! Her son Stefano does one mean impression of a cow and what facial expressions to look for when they want fed. Trouble is they always look like that unless they’re still eating. Or exploding.
After slamming my ankle in the van door one day as we set off to pick up about a year’s supply of wine, I can’t help but feel a little stupid and confused as to how I managed to do that. It really hurts like a bitch. Then Azis, the Afghan farm hand realises while taking a tight bend that his doors still wide open. I’ve never seen anyone do that before and from the reaction on his face from watching his bosses’ door almost get ripped from its hinges, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if there’s a sneaky little pooh in his pants right now!
I’m taken to Bologna to work in a market during the night selling hot food to hot students and other farmers. It would seem that Bologna is where it’s all at in terms of tasty Italian women and I’m liking this city immensely. There’s definitely something about Bologna, a certain charm and appeal. Or maybe it’s the fact that the only bit of affection I’ve received so far is being licked half to death by calves.
. . .
Looking back I can recall one time around the age of fourteen, maybe fifteen when myself and a group of friends ‘borrowed’ a car and took it for a little spin in an empty car park close to where we lived. It was a hatchback and being the last to enter an already packed vehicle, I took up position in the back with just enough room to kneel down. My driving friend would later claim that the steering wheel locked and there was nothing he could do, but after hitting that embankment, launching into the air before coming down hard on the nose and finally slamming back down to earth on all four wheels sending me through that family car like a fucking pinball. It’s fair to say I was somewhat shaken.
Nothing compared to the terror I now face sitting uncomfortably once again but now behind the single seat of a large, suspension-less tractor with no rear window to lean against as we cut a passage through impossibly steep slopes in the hills of Modena, Monteombraro.
When Death comes to town she’ll be riding one of these!
Clinging on for dear life to the handles of a sunroof with my heart in my mouth as we bulldoze through deep scrub that offers no clues to what degree of shit we’re running into and Stefano doesn’t give a rats ass. Maybe Bolognas last football defeat was the just too much and he’s given up on life altogether choosing now to be buried in a heap of petrol, metal and burning rubber, but I don’t want to die just yet. As nice as this place is I’ve still got a book to write and things I’d like to do!
My knuckles are white from gripping so hard and I’m shitting bricks. As he smashes through yet more small trees in search of the other tractor he fucked up around here I perch on my feet and ready myself to jump out the gaping hole behind me as we start to climb an even worse slope. Not a chance in Hell if I jump from here, which is exactly where I’ll go now that I look down 800 meters to the rock filled bottom. So I take my chances with this big, blue contraption of Death as suicide by way of being shat from the backend of a tractor isn’t quite my style.
We level out and come to a clearing where lies the remains of the last tractor to come here and I shift my aching ass from that cabin just grateful to be alive and not imbedded between ground and tractor. We take the long, safe route home and it’s about thirty minutes quicker than the shortcut!
“Moo”! You took the words right out of my mouth
. . .
Breakfast for fat bastards!
Seven months into 2012 and what have I done?
A visit from Ulrica, my Swedish friend was great during the New Year, but I did make her sick as hell for about four days due to a deep fried Mars Bar with chips- yeah, that’s not just a Scottish myth-.
Then the standard; Swimming in the sea to mark the beginning of a New Year dressed as a pink fairy. Demolished a meter long burrito to earn a T-shirt and then completed a twelve mile assault course including fire, water, mud, ropes and electric shocks in a respectable time. To be honest I was just trying to outrun those fucking midges (Scottish mosquitoes).
Right in the face..Hell yeah!
I’ve given up drink for now because I want to save for my next adventure and cold beer on a cold day’s pretty shit anyway.
After an email from a South Korean girl I met in Nicaragua suggesting a farm in Italy and a Facebook message from an Italian friend asking if anyone fancied a project in Bosnia, I decide that two birds can indeed be killed with one stone.
In Scotland the word bird can also be used to describe a girl. Let me just assure you that both girls are very much alive and well. In this case I am just suggesting I can do both things at once.. kind off.
. . .
My phone springs to life at 4am and it’s time for Bosnia. Time for my mobile to shut the fuck up and with that I drift back to sleep.
Today I’m at my friends house in Venice and about to set off on a road trip with her friends while she jets off towards the UK for a job interview. We will drive through.. Sorry.. They will drive through the winding valleys of Slovenia, flat and open spaces stretching for miles through Croatia and finally into the wild, rouged terrain of Bosnia and Herzegovina listening to me talk shite all the way.
A scout house not so far from Gracanica in the Sprsk Republic is what we will call home during our youth work here before taking part in a summer camp in Miricina with people from both Serbian and Muslim communities aged 15 to 25. At the risk of sounding like a fucking travel brochure I really have to say that the country side around here is some of the best I’ve seen, on this side of the world anyway. I’ll enjoy the tranquillity of it before the tourists start to flock.
In the grounds of our school I’m kept on my toes with football, arm wrestling, making Dream Catchers and the local favourite game of Black man! In this game I have to run around the football pitch catching kids before they make it past the line and turn them also into Black men. Hey, I didn’t make the name!
In this 40oC heat I have to say I’m dying a little, running out of clean socks and therefor smelling a little and needing ease up on the Rakija (Bosnian spirit). If you ever choose to travel with a group of people from other parts of the world might I take this opportunity to recommend Italians? Sure, they have a reputation for changing sides when the shit hits the fan but their way with food convinces me that they could make a fucking chair taste delicious! That and of course their kind of easy on the eye.
We’re taken to an amazing waterfall/lagoon deep enough for diving and high enough for dying probably if I get this wrong. After dozens of dives, belly flops and a game of water polo we wind up our time back at the school with a game of bingo.
Now, so far I’ve not done anything stupid but as I hold my bag of Scottish gifts open for our first winner I suddenly remember with stark horror that I have a packet of Whisky flavoured condoms that might just be in this bag. Fuck!
Thankfully my contraceptive water-balloons are nowhere to be seen and must be lurking in another bag waiting for me to get some future soul all wet and dripping.
–Was that subtle enough?-
Joining the other volunteers for a restaurant meal inside a shopping mall, I waste to time in digging myself a hole by adding to the conversation on books, that I have just been reading Porno. Eh? I try desperately to explain that it’s not a naughty magazine but actually the sequel to a very funny book about heroin addicts. That possibly sounds worse. This moment is turning almost as bad as the time I tried to google my favourite System Of A Down song and typed in a search for Violent Pornography in a packed out Costa Rican internet café. No blocks on that computer then!
Summer camp introduces me to the world of volleyball. For my Scottish friends that would be a strange game played by those who can’t play football. As a nation of shit footballers (Scotland), I believe this is just what we need! I’m completely shit but the rest of my team are amazing and not only do we win our first game but also the entire tournament. 100% record bitch! Modesty’s not my thing.
Not just an introduction to volleyball, but also one really hot Bosnian girl fluent in Italian. Maybe time to learn a few words? Fuck it, that shit never ends well anyway!
On our return from a picnic not far from summer camp (another school), I walk alongside a few new friends when I’m advised by one to keep on the path because if I step on a landmine we’ll all be fucked. I thought he was joking but apparently not. Signs warning of landmines are frequent and plentiful around these parts bringing a stark reminder that things were pretty messed up around here and fifteen years was not so long ago.
After my usual shit attempts at saying goodbye, I realize I’ve just promised I’ll be back next year. Thing is that I have no idea what I’ll be doing this time next year but if I’m not busy coaching Scotland’s new volleyball team then I’ll be sure to make a note in my diary:
BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA!
The scout house..Home for about two weeks