15.09.2011 - 15.09.2011 17 °C
Tallin, Estonia – September 15th
The idea of this trip is certainly not about having 26 fortnight breaks away on holiday and treating it as that, I cannot go out and have big nights out and come rolling back in to the hostel at 6am every morning thinking I am in Magaluf. The trip is a long 52 week trip and I have to treat it like that. However, it must be recognised that each city has two sides, night time and daytime. Sitting in your abode each evening frightened to go out because you read somewhere that skinheads roam the streets looking for foreigners to beat up is ridiculous, I hear these stories all of the time, I am heading to Ulaanbaatar and I was told that a German woman was punched in the face at the market, if you ask me she was looking for it but then what do I know?
So of course when the invite every now and again comes to have a few beers on an evening comes providing I have the energy after the travelling and city spying then I might treat myself. Generally it is very easy to meet likeminded people who have been doing the same as yourself who deserve a beer. Some cities you must at least have a few beers on the evening to understand how the city works and how it ticks. This might sound like a feeble excuse to go out and have drinks but I assure you it is not.
So I was invited out for a drink in Riga, it is a story I must tell as it is as crazy as they come, I was with Chris, my German travel buddy and two English, formerly lived in Hoxton types who looked like Mr and Mrs Gogol Bordello.
We ended up in a nondescript basement bar which was pretty empty apart from us four ragamuffins. We had bought a drink and were enjoying the tunes when we noticed that the bartender who looked a little Greek, but perhaps a little on the large side, he was wearing what looked like a red lumberjack smock tucked into his pants and had a baseball cap probably covering his lack of testosterone. He was making cocktail shots and for every single one that a customer ‘bought’ he had one himself. This charade was great to watch, but then somehow we got involved. The Little Fat Greet turned out to be the Little Fat Owner of the bar who was from Canada, he was absolutely hell bent on getting drunk, not only that, he insisted that every drink was on the house. Now what the hell is this all about?? He was muttering something about being a former Fat DJ, and Former Fat Radio presenter or something, words that faded in and out of Cocktail Consciousness. His only interest was that everyone had a good time and he was not so concerned about the money. Didn’t he know there was a recession on?
Anyhow, being a hard up traveller I had hesitantly offered him some petty pesetas, which was entirely useless to him and thankfully he had declined the offer.
German Chris, Mr and Mrs Gogol Bordello and I then proceeded to drink with this Fat Celebrity, with a face fit for radio consumption, for free. I lost all my self-discipline and taught myself a valuable lesson that night.
“Greek/Canadian men with a gut that size will always be able to drink more than me”
It was of course, not a competition, rather a cocktail tasting event.
This was the infamous night when Chris broke his glasses and swung his top around his head. Of course what I didn’t tell you previously is that I ended up taking a stroll at 5am around the port of Tallinn, I don’t recall a great deal, only a big bloody ship and the sudden realisation that I was not home yet. After a long walk in another direction I stopped for a while in a Depeche Mode Bar, still struggling to find my way home. I got home perhaps at 6am, tired cold and soaking wet.
The next day that I was told that I had gone back in the bar at maybe 05:30, walked in, asked where I can buy a TV license and then casually walked back out again. My Favourite Canadian was still going strong, he was fully abled to close the pub at 7am, Gogol Bordello was still sat there in some catatonic state before being asked to leave.
I didn’t see much of Tallinn the next day, I was tired.
a photo i took when i was on a walking tour of Tallinn at daft oclock!!!