Saturday, December 17, 2005

Eurotrip Update 5- Beergardens and Koreans

Email sent August 2, 2005:

At the behest of Sir Dennis Hurley Stratton, the following email will be written from the third perspective... At the limitation of this german keyboard, I will not be using the enter button- Prague was a great time for the two young bearded backpackers as 5 shots of absinth (post several hours of beer drinking) laid a massive dump on the fragile mind of one Lucas Tedaldi the First. The city was fantastically beautiful, with intricate architecture and the viewing of an opera in the national museum. After several days of fun in Prague, where sex was offered and refused at every corner after 6pm, the boys travelled to Munich... They checked into their fine Wombats hostel, and found two polite koreans in their dorm room. The 50 year old seemed kind enough, until the morning came... at that point he woke up at 7am and proceeded to make more noise than any human possible... hocking loogies in the shower, crinkling plastic bags for hours, cutting pears, and being generally rude. Braun's skin was crawling as was Tedaldi's, at which point Braun heard Tedaldi rip a massively long and rude fart in protest of the noise being made by the elderly Korean. Braun silently chuckled and applauded his friend's display of protest, as he was unable to fall back asleep for the next 3 hours due to the sounds of rudeness. Later that day Braun brought up the enormous exhibition of flatulence that Tedaldi had pulled off, and upon telling him how proud he was of Tedaldi, the response was "Dude that wasn't even me! For no reason that asian guy just decided to rip ass! That was the rudest fart ive ever heard!"... Since then Munich has been a great time. Our first day we did go to Dachau, the first concentration camp which i cant really put into words how moving it was (walking though a gas chamber and crematorium is something I only need to do once in my life to feel the hatred of the nazi regime and the cruelty some people possess... which is still prevalent in many parts of the world... damn sorry i broke 3rd person)... the next day the two Brunonians travelled far outside Munich to the Neuwhalty castle (horribly mispelled), which is the inspiration for the Disneycastle/logo... Imagine the disney castle being real, larger, and in the mountains, and you will understand the spectacle of Ludwig II's famed castle. After Tedaldi slugged a liter of fine german beer, he and Braun passed a souvenir shop where they saw an absurd German traditional liederhosen-outfit hat... He immediately bet Braun 50 euro he couldnt wear that hat throughout the duration of the trip (11 more days), and a bet was had... at this very moment, the insanely stupid looking hat is perched on Brauns head. It really wasn't that great a display of rudeness for the mangy 21 year old backpacker, seeing as how he had worn the same outfit EVERY single day of the trip. While reading this his mother turned her head from the screen with a look of disgust for him wearing a t-shirt and shorts for 27 straight days, but it wasnt until now that she grasped that it was the same exact t-shirt and pair of shorts that had been adorned each fine morning... at this point the t-shirt smells of musk, sweat, beer and a small tinge of passionfruit.... some would say it stings the nostrils. The following days in munich were spent walking at least 8 miles a day to see every major site, including the fantastic beer halls and gardens where they saw a man carry 15 glass 1 liter mugs with just two hands, each filled with beers. Upon further questioning, this man informed the boys that he was the world record holder for liter-of-beer carring, with his best being 23 individual litres. Braun retorted that Tedaldi could chug an entire liter straight, to which the beerman replied that a local man easily did 3 in a row and had drank 15 LITERS of beer many a nights... Tedalid's testicles instantly shrank into raisins, so he then chugged a full liter to return them to grape form, and in his attempt not to vomit it back up Braun laughed himself to tears along with the Swiss couple sitting at the table... Yesterday was highlighted with a walk through the English Garden, a park twice the size of Cerntral Park, to the Chinese Tower beergarden where the scene consisted of hundreds of people sitting at picnic tables while drinking liters of beer and eating fine delicacies like fully roasted cornish hens (what?). Earlier that afternoon the boys passed a cafe where they saw a 4 year old girl draining her own PINT of beer next to her parents, who were sipping on pints of their own. It was highly distrurbing, so when the boys ventured to the beergarden they found it necessary to prove their testicular fortitude by slugging several liters of heavy heavy german wheat beer. After becoming pretty "ein-schtobened", they wandered to the nearest park bench and patch of grass and passed out for 3 hours like common hobos... again their parents back in the states were extremely proud.... So the adventure continues as tonight the weary boys take the overnight train to Amsterdam, where they hope to survive 4 days of whatever it is that people do in Amsterdam................................... The two young men deeply miss all those back home, and hope each of the people who read this update will find themselves happy and healthy with a hearty smile on their face. Be safe and stay classy, Adam.

Eurotrip Update 4- The Eastern European Swing

Email sent July 25th, 2005:

Okay, well Im not really sure where I left everyone off but I know I last wrote from Budapest... The city was really cool, very eastern european feeling, and we had a blast walking for hours and taking it all in. Our final day we went to the Gellert Thermal Baths and pool, which included pool size jacuzzis, an open air pool, beautiful decorations everywhere, and far too many naked elderly men. It was a great relaxer though, except when way too many large european guys in their 50s entered the steamroom immediately after luke and I entered... and right before that this old creepy guy wouldnt give us a towel to enter until he literally watched us take off our shorts and change facing him... all I could think of was American History X and there was no chance i was getting invaded in a damn hungarian steamshower, so I got the hell out of there immediately... from there we went to the crown jewel of this planet- Bratislava, Croatia.

Luke and I planned out our eurotrip to include what we thought were the coolest and/or most beautiful cities in Europe that we hadnt previously traveled to.. that said, we really picked some great spots. On our first lengthy train ride though, we were randomly reading through the Lonely Planet Europe Guidebook and came across Bratislava, Slovakia, which it kindly described as the shittiest place on earth. We read about its depressing nature and lack of anything worth seeing, so we immediately decided we needed to go there for a night... i believe it was aristotle that said "you cant smell the roses if you never smell the poo", and ive heard he was pretty smart so that was the mantra for the visit to bratislava... from that point on we talked about bratislava incessantly (or as its name evolved into for us, (said in the thickest russian accent possible)... "The Brautishlaiv"))... it truly became larger than life for us, and everytime we'd see something horrible somewhere we'd describe it as the most beautiful thing that could possibly happen in the brautishlaiv... so we took our 4 hour train ride there and arrived at 11:45pm, in what most sites on google describe as the worst train station in europe.. this is taken from the first site i found on google:
Worst Train Station: Bratislava
Whoa boy. This is a tough one. Eastern European train stations tend to be filthy, depressing places, so it's hard to finger one as worse than all the rest. That said, Bratislava's pretty much got it all. You can't buy English–language reading material or change money after hours at the Slovak capital's dark, dirty railway station, and the waiting lounge reeks of passed–out winos.

This is a gross understatement... Bratislava is the type of place where high fashion includes 60 year old men with all 4 headhairs combed over, wearing capri versions of grey dress slacks and 1982 Reebok hightops, with their distended stomachs screaming out from their button down shirts that have not a single button done... not because they dont want to button their shirts, but because that would make them a part of the hated aristocracy of "people who have anything resembling clothing that looks normal"... we swigged our bottle of wine from the hungarian wine tour (the only way to handle a place that smelled that awful and was that depressing was to get drunk and laugh our asses off) and walked the mile into town and began searching for a hostel... the entire city was desolate on a wednesday night, no people, no cars. Eventually a nice guy helped us find a "orange hostel", which upon our entrance we were so delirious and buzzed that we decided to tell them we'd been jumped on our way there but because luke was a taibo instructor who'd trained with billy blanks we were able to fend them off... they had sympathy for us showing up at 1am, and gave us a "nice room" as they described it... google reviews described our hostel as "Ugly and dirty, not recommended at all. The staff woke me up at 09.30, telling me to get out because they were going to disinfect the room (creepy...)." Again, a gross understatment.. we decided to pee in our own sink because somehow that made our room actually cleaner.

So luke and i were beyond pleased with our bratislava experience, it turned out to be the exact shithole we expected and so much more... from there we went to vienna for 3 nights where we had an amazing time... great hostel, good food, unbelievably cool city. This email is already long enough so i wont detail vienna much, but its definitely our favorite european city thus far (although dubruvnik wasnt a city so it cant be compared) so if you go to europe def get to vienna... we just arrived in prague, city of absynth and absynth.

K, i hope everyone is having a great summer, staying healthy and happy. As always, id love to hear from all of you.
Be safe and stay classy

Eurotrip Update 3- The Homeland

Email sent July 20th, 2005:

I dont know how many of u know this, but im mainly hungarian... many people guess im italian or israeli or spanish, but the sad truth is im a hungarian... a man of (as someone once gracefully explained to me by reciting verses from Encyclopedia Britannica in a Laurel Avenue living room) Madyar descent, and my father was actually born in the fine city of Budapest... thereby making him a completely foolish immigrant on all matters American... he may have come to New York City at the age of 3, but his ability to speak trash about me at the dinner table to my grandmother in hungarian and his overt affinity for all things related to a dish called "coos-coos", make him a dirty immigrant in my jingoistic eyes... and yes i just used the word jingoistic...

so after leaving the ridiculously beautiful croatian coast for hungary, luke and i decided it would be wisest to take an overnight bus from Dubruvnik to the croatian capital of Zagreb (a small poopstain on the landscape of eastern europe), then take a train to budapest... what we didnt realize was what that entailed... heres the story: the 9pm bus from dubruvnik to zagreb is an 11.5 hour bus, so we were excited to find a somewhat empty back of this busride which would pay for itself by saving us overnight accomodation fees... at the first stop 4 late teenage croatian kids got on and took the rest of the backrow luke had claimed and their other friend sat in the empty seat next to me in the next to last row... i was reading away at the phenomenal Daniel Quinn book Ishmael (everyone should read it, its such a simple read with such a well crafted and profound premise) but after a few hours i looked back to find Luke stifled into the back corner, sweating profusely with the croatian teen doing that hysterical sleeping head nod and tapping onto lukes shoulder before getting off... then diong that over and over and over again... my teen did the same and it drove me crazy too but i woke him up and he stopped... fast forward 7.5 hours to a rest stop at 3:30am, and my fully bearded and mustached travel partner, had been inexplicably transformed into one of my favorite movie characters of the early 90s... TEENWOLF... and not the crappy michael j fox teenwolf who swished every 3pointer and was 5foot2 but somehow dunked on everyone a la wesley snipes in white man cant jump.. he was the boxing teenwolf... eyes bloodshot, sleaves rolled up, sweat dripping, full beard and head of hair frazzled, and his first words to me were "if there is hell on earth, this is it... im freaking out"... for the next 20 minutes i laughed uncontrollably while he convulsed at the knees, staring straight ahead and saying nothing while listening to his ipod... the kid apparently continued falling alseep on his shoulder in the back where he had to pee, was nauseous from the gross salami sandwiches wed made at teh supermarket, was sweating up a storm, and absolutely bugging out... his only words when we got off were "i never wish bad things on anyone but i hope that kid falls in a puddle of horseshit and dies... oh im sorry i didnt realize my shoulder was your fucking pillow, next time why dont u make my knees a fucking legrest!" ... the situation was so absurd i became delirious as well, and the fact that immediately after that ride we walked right onto a 7.5 hour train ride to Budapest in a cabcar filled with 13 year old socialist croatian kids who had a fixation with slamming their armrests throughout the car made things far worse... i laughed myself to death while luke freaked out and pulled a cromagnum man eye twitch... it was amazing...

last night we slept the days travels off cause we obviously slept about 2 hours each in our 19 hours of travel, and today we went on a winetasting tour in the countryside where we both got blasted and i lost it again when the 3 elderly women on the tour got into a fullscale debate about whether Richard Gere was a classically Broadway trained dancer... after that we went into a casino briefly and i felt i was on fire from the wine and fun of the winetour so i started throwing 5 dollar bets on black and other major bets for roulette... and walked away 75 dollars richer, which led to a fantastic reward of a steak dinner... thats it for now, random thoughts to follow

be safe and stay classy

Eurotrip Update 2- From Croatia With Love

Email sent July 17, 2005:

Okaz... so the zs and ys are still reversed cause now were in croatia (no apostrophes either) so bare with me... a lot has happened since the last update but ill condense it as much as possible-

we ended up going skzdiving that daz i wrote the last email... 45 second freefall partiallz through clouds in the swiss alps; amaying to saz the least... from interlocken we went through milan to bologna spain... manz of zou know mz eating habits, so giong to the home of pasta bolognese was a form of paradise for me... thats all i ate, and i ate it smiling the whole time... the citz itself was verz cool, authenticallz italian and old world... we walked the citz our first night, chilled in a park the next morning and basicallz visisted all the main attractions... we walked the 498 steep steps to the top of the citzs old tower (all with our massive packs on cause wed checked outta the hostel) and the view was breathtaking, we stazed up there talking for 2 hours... the citz was so beautifullz condensed and the red roofs looked so cool... bologna has more porticos than anzwhere else in the world... and for those of zou who dont actuallz know what a portico is... its simplz a portico

that night we took the train to the coastal citz of ancona where the lonelz planet guidebook (travelers bible) said manz backpackers slept in the ferrz terminal... which we attempted to do until some guz masquerading as an authoritz figure cause he had a huge ring of kezs booted us and said no one could sleep in there... its was 11pm and too far to walk anzwhere nearbz... so we decided to sleep on the street... so we slept on the street outside the train station... the fight of flight adrenaline response def took over a bunch... anztime somewhat sketchz approached us it was on... definitelz an experience to saz the least

the next morning we took the ferrz to split, croatia... croatia is so unlike mz mental images... beautiful beatiful beaitful... in its beaches, and especiallz the women.. ive never seen anzthing like it... split was a reallz cool town... a combo of capetown-miami and old world communist russia... imagine a beautiful beach zou get to bz crossing grafitti-laided train tracks with incredible blue waters, but theres no sand its all stone and fences... dirtz communists

so after a night in split where we saw an irish folk band jam... i think thez were named the artist formerlz known as shaun mcnamara... the next daz we came to dubruvnik, where weve been for 2 dazs (of course our bus broke down on the waz here).. .and its the most beautiful place ive ever been to in the world... look it up on google and see some pics, ull get the idea... the adriatic sea is also one of the most beautiful bodies of water ive ever seen, crzstal clear with aquas and greens... croatia looks a lot like how id thought of greece i guess... just with rubble in random places and beautiful 15th centurz palaces in other places... weve basicallz been beach bums in dubrovnik during the daz, adn todaz we even frequented the nudie beach for a while... when in croatia, do as the romans do... this place is great, everzone should come here if thez are in eastern europe

so thats the scoop for now... a few of u expressed disappointment after mz last email that i didnt include some tzpe of thought outside what we were doing... obviouslz on long bus and train rides u have a lot of time for rumination, so heres one things i thought bout.. please email me back and respond... id love to hear zour input: most people i know believe in some conception of heaven... most people i know also believe heaven is onlz for humans, not for animals like lions and tigers... lastlz, most people i know also believe in an evolutionarz theorz wherebz we evolved graduallz over time from primates into humans... if thats the case, at what exact moment did we become candidates for entrance into heaven, as humans and no longer mere animals?

k... enough of that stuff... mz few observations are these... the french are reallz not kind but actuallz gaz and repressing their sexualitz bz eating croissants all daz... the italians can cook a mean pasta... italian men have absurdlz bad bodz oder... croatian women look like the women in south beach miami minus the makeup and silicon... mz mind and nose often disagree on whether its a daz for a shower... no matter how far awaz something is, in croatia thez all will tell zou its 200 meters awaz... the irish are everzwhere... european men love capris, its on fire here, male capris in europe are like the american von dutch hat... 99% of the people on nudist beaches should not be nude

as alwazs be safe and staz classz... i miss all of u and drop me an email if u have the time

Eurotrip Update 1- Croissants and Chocolat

Email sent July 11, 2005:

ok these kezboards in swityerland are kinda weird and have the ys and zs reversed... plus i cant find the apostrophe so bear with me... heres the update so far and ill be brief

we arrived in paris and tried to book an immediate train to interlocken but thez were full so we got one for the next morning and spent the night in paris... of course on the flight there i ordered the free champagne, luke and stared deeplz into each others ezes and i toasted to "well alwazs have paris"... no were not gaz... oh zea, and i also ate a croissant as soon as i got to france... it was delicious... but instead of enjozing the last bite i placed it on the ground and stomped on it... go USA

so the first night in paris we checked out notre dame and i swear i saw a hunchback swinging from the flzing butresses onto the bell tower... but then i realiyed it was this kid named clzde that i used to go to high school with who we all called quasimodo on the bball team... from there we ate dinner at an indian hookah bar... and zou all know how i deal with indian food, so i went with a fine meal of hookah...

the next morning we left for interlocken swityerland but got on the wrong connecting train and ended up going to montreax were thez have one of the top jayy festivals in the world that we caught... it was sick... i saw crosbz stills and nash perform a duet with talib kweli and the roots...

im totallz kidding bout that... instead we saw a g-d amongst men... PIERO... this italian indz pop rocker who looked like a cross between michael jackson and jonnz depp circa 1992, had the stage presence of bono and the voice of axl rose.. and he plazed songs from probablz 15 genres... opera, rock, pop, rapped, beatboxed, acoustic ballads, latin samba, metal... changed wardrobes to match the genre of the song, at one point putting on a white frock mid-song!!!! hahahaha, luke and i were dead sober and freaking out, seriouslz it was one of the most fun shows i think ill ever see.... even his own band coudlnt take it all seriouslz but it was amaying... later though the whole roots band walked bz us while we were having a few pints at an outdoor cafe and queslove gave me a peace sign... i smiled

so now were in interlocken where we did an amaying waterfall hike zesterdaz and signed up to go skzdiving this morning but its rainz so hopefullz well be able to jump tomorrow... skzdiving in the swiss alps is supposed to be unreal... were eating incrediblz well, last night our dinner was 2 bags of potato chips, a half bar of chocolate and 4 pints of Uder Frau dark ale

all is all weve gotten lost a lot, met a ton of hzsterical characters like the girl who worked at our hostel and spoke english with a swiss-new jersez accent... and when i complimented her on her english she seriouslz goes "yea i know its good... fyi to get into the WILLAGE its to the left"... hahaha, luke and i lost it... k thats it for now, please write and share stories from home... and checkout if zou get a chance (shameless plug), its changing the world

be safe and stay classy