I had a quick shower and left Christians at 1000, I’d tried to call Kiki a couple of times but she wasn’t answering. I was expecting to get to Eheim and find her still in Bed. I got to Eheim at about 1010 and was extremely surprised to find that not only was Kiki awake but she had already had a shower and was packing!!. I’d told her that the train was leaving 20 minutes befor it was to be sure, maybe this wasn’t necessary.
We left Ehiem at 1035, only 5 minutes late and caught the tram all the way to the station. We were both pretty groggy feeling quite sorry for ourselves. We grabbed tickets and then went to spar, Pronounced Shpar, to grab some food. I grabbed a roll and some microwavable spaghetti Bolognaise. The plan was to ask the man in the restaurant car of the train to heat it up and use my leathermans some how as a utensil.
We jumped on the train at 1130, hopefully we’ll be in Bratislava after a quick stopover in Vienna at 330.
The train ride to Bratislava was fairly uneventful. I was just falling asleep when we finally pulled into the main station. Kiki was straight away rolling a durry so I went to go find a toilet. It seems Delhi belly may be making a return or maybe it was just a bit of general exhaustion taking it’s toll on my body.
I went to the toilet at a restaurant, there was a sign on the door which definitely said, for paying customers only. Feeling a little guilty I walked upto the bar and bought a coke. While waiting I looked up at the TV it was what woman want and It was the scene where mel gibson gets really drunk and tries all the female products. I thought for a second that they had the radio on and the tv on mute then I realized it was the dubbing that I could hear. The voice was hilarious. It was so deep and full, kind of sounded like I’d expect an actor in a bad erotic film to sound like and I lost it. The barman must have thought I was crazy.
I left and went back to join Kiki where shed finished rolling her cigarette. There were two cops near by. They’d been watching Kiki roll her cigarette and not long after she lit up they walked over and demanded to see her passport. She pulled it out and they scanned it. They then pointed out the obvious no smoking signs on nearly every pole on the platform. The problem was that they were all on the one side and from the direction we’de walked you couldn’t see anything.
Kiki apologized, squeezed one more breath from the cigarette and put it out. The police man looked at her and said 20 Euro. What? She asked. The copper went onto explain in terrible English that it was a 20 Euro fine, He was talking s***, I knew he was making it up.
His mate started talking to him and he then changed his mind it was now 20 Euro minimum. Kiki just paid him and we left. It was pretty obvious that he’d just pocketed the cash. The receipt he’d given Kiki was so flimsey there were two actually, both had a stamp and 10 Euros written on them, I guess this makes it easy when he feels he can squeeze 30 or 40 Euros out of a Tourist.
We’de finally left the station at about 330. We’de already spent 15 minutes with the 20 Euro cigarette we only had a couple of hours to explore the city. Neverthe less 5 minutes after leaving the station we had to stop for Kiki to fix a nail which had broken. She’s un believable, she tries to give off this impression that she’s one of the boys and hard as nails but its just a vaneer.
We walked around the city for an hour. I pretty much just gave Kiki the same tour Laticia had given us a few weeks before. We went through st Michaels bridge and through down town looking at all Bratislava’s quirky statues.
The statues are one of the things that Bratislava is known for. The most photographed thing in Bratislava is not the castle but a small statue of a man with his chest at road level hanging out of a man hole, it’s called man at work. Other statues include one of a paparazzi taking a photo around a a corner. And one of a man in a brig British captains hat leaning against a park bench.
We then walked up to the castle.. It was a fair hike too winding our way up the hill. We sat up there for a while. We were still feeling a little sorry for ourselves only getting home at 6am the previous morning, yet a night in Bratislava avaited us.
We walked back down through the city. And went to get a coffee. It took probably 10 minutes while Kiki kept changing her mind on which coffee shop she wanted to go to. I didn’t care I just wanted to sit down.
We finally settled on a place and I went to the toilet. When I returned Kiki had settled on a Turkish coffee I told the waiter to make it two. “no no” she said “it’s a Turkish coffee you wont be able to drink it” addressing me like I was some kind of coffee drinking novice. I just looked at the wiater and said “Two” and sat down. The coffee wasn’t even anything special, just like plunger coffee with the ground coffee in the cup. So we had to let it settle before trying to drink it.
We then left and headed towards the hostel we were thinking of going to. On the way we went past a Tesco’s. Tesco’s is kind of like target except much bigger, they are a huge chain and sell almost everything. I ended up buying a jumper and a pair of shoes, both were 30 Euro’s each, I’m pretty sure one of them wont last much more then a month.
From there we headed towards Patio hostel they do rooms for 7 euros, or so it was said on the internet. We stopped at one hostel on the way as another backpacker was leaving, I figured he had a late flight or something. This hostel was going to cost us both 17 Euros each so we moved on looking for patio.
We got there and late flight was at the reception desk. They were also trying to charge him 16 Euros. He said that he’d read it was only 7 on the internet. The desk lady said that it was cheaper but we had to book online. Feeling slightly deflated she told late flight that if he wanted to he could go downstairs to use the free internet and make the booking. We followed him downstairs and did the same thing.
This guy was a pretty decent bloke. His name was John, a handy thing to know as I didn’t want to have to be calling him late flight all night. He checked in in front of us and I invited him out for tea with us. He’d already eaten but still said he’d join us for a drink
We quickly showered and left. Kiki was starving too so she got changed in a reasonable short amount of time, I expected her to take half a millenium so I took my time. Soon enough though she was ready and it was her hurrying me up.
We walked into town and found a restairant to sit in. We grabbed a drink and ordered. John was a pretty cool guy, I agreed with a lot of ideas and just generally liked his attitude to a lot of things, he’d started studying Engineering, quit that after 2 years and started and completed a degree in finance. We spoke a lot about foreign moneys and different sorts of derivative trading. This was boring the hell out of kiki so I sorta tried to steer the conversation in a different direction, however they always ended up back around one topic, money.
John was a gambler though. He’d grown up in Alaska but due to his mate Bill Clinton there aren’t many jobs available in the finance sector so he’d shifted to Las vegas to professionally play cards. Texas holdem to be exact. He was currently traveling back from through the Balkans and had been funding his trips playing cards. However he’d copt a bit of a hit in Zagreb playing in a higher stakes game and it had cut into his travel time a bit.
We left here to go and find another bar. Here we grabbed a few beers and sat at a table out the back. We grabbed a few beers. But I was starting to feel really tired, I hadn’t had a shave in a few days and my beard was so itchy, it was killing me. I ordered a Red bull and got a “burn” an equally efficient energy drink. John had ordered a round of Vodka too, I liked this bloke.
John had asked for vodka on the rocks, it came out 5 minutes later, a shot of vodka and a single lowly ice cube just chilling by itself in the cup while all his mates were still in the freezer.
The combination of the red bull and the vodka did the trick and I was starting to feel myself coming back to life.
Before coming to Bratislava I’d checked the “Bratislava” group on couch surfing. There was a post from a German girl who was on an Arasmus exchange in Budapest. She and her friends were going to Bratislava for the weekend and she was asking if anyone knew anything that was on. I’d written to her explaining that I might be in Bratislava that night and asked if I could join her.
Katha had messaged me explaining that they were at a place called beer house of Spardiski. We walked down to Spardiski street and couldn’t find the beer house, we did how ever find the “house of beer” and assumed that it was where they were.
We went in and ordered a beer. The beer here came in a giant tube, and you could pour it yourself. We ordered a 3L tower of a local beer and poured some drinks, Kiki and John talking about his last stop, Kiki’s home, Skopja while I tried to find Katha.
She eventually called me and I went to meet her at the front door. She was great had a really genuine smile and there was room on the table with her and her friends so I went and grabbed Kiki and John and we shifted next to a bunch of Finnish beer drinkers.
These guys were really funny, good blokes and their English was great. Turns out they weren’t only staying in the same hostel as us. But they were the room across the hallway from us.
We sat around dribbling here for a while and then decided to make a move at about 1oclock. We went out the front as people slowly got the idea and trickled out the front door. We were finally ready to leave and Kiki decided she wanted to go to the toilet. While she was there every one left except myself john and Katha. Everyone was heading towards “Subclub” and headed off. I told them I was pretty sure it was the other way and one guy laughed, “The blind leading the blind” he called back
Kiki joined us and we headed towards Subclub, There was a heap of roadworks going on but we eventually found it with my google maps leading half they way. I don’t know how but I managed to lose the map halfway, maybe I was pick pocketed again. But I managed to follow my 9th sense and get us there.
The “Sub club” awesome. Its under the castle in a former soviet nuclear fall out shelter. We walked throught the front door payed our 4 euro entry and had our wrists stamped. By one of the fattest men on the planet. He was just sitting there not smiling at all stamping wrists and wasn‘t really impressed when I tried to take his photo.
To get from the door we had to walk down a small cylindrical tunnel barely 6 feet high. It then opened into a bar and the main body of the club. The whole place was shape of half a cylinder laying on its side.
The DJ was a Jamaican Drum and base guy. As a result the music was really fast with a big influence from reggae and what I imaging to be an almost equally big influence from a little wacky tobacco. It was like watching Bob marley on Cocain.
We grabbed beers and a few shots of vodka. It was really nice stuff, the others insisted on shotting it. But I was really enjoying it so I just sipped it.
On the way home a guy approached us. He didn’t seem quite right and had a little hostility in him. He asked if we spoke English Deutche or Slovak. Wanting to palm him iff I responded in Arabic. I spoke a torrid of words saying I was here on holiday from Lebannon and spoke Arabic but no English this seemed to work and he said OK and we walked off. He followed us however and got out his phone. While on the phone he slowed a bit and as we turned a corner we ran to the next bend and ducked in. I peeped around the corner and saw him round the first bend he looked around and couldn’t see us, shook his head and turned around. We needed to get out of there.
We went via a Hot dog stall and we both grabbed one, it was so good that I grabbed another one at the next stall we passed eating it on the way to another club where we grabbed a drink and hit the dance floor.
Last night was so much fun. My memory up untill 3 is a little hazy and after that non existant untill I woke up at 8 in the hostel. I wont be forgetting Bratislava in a hurry as this morning I woke up with a tattoo on the inside of my left arm. It’s kinda cool it’s a small lion, and appears to be sleeping. Upon closer inspection I found that it had a spear in it and was actually dead. There was some Arabic writing underneath it too. Some words that I didn’t know the meaning of. I read them out slowly they were spelt lam, fi, seen, ‘space’ kaf, woaw, teh. These letters sounded out in English is L F S K U T. Or when read in Arabic LiFs Koot - Life’s good.
I woke up yesterday at 8 to the alarm of someone else in our hostel room. That was ok I wanted to get up at a reasonable hour. I’d slept like a rock. For a whole 3 hours. We got up and I went and had a shower. Bumping into one of the finnish guys we’de met up with last night. They couldn’t find the club we’de gone to so the just went to the next one the found. A club called noir cat. Problem was after having a few unusually overpriced drinks they realized they were actually in a strip club.
Kiki and I were feeling very average yesterday and stumbled from the hostel down the street to Tesco’s. Kiki had liked the jumper I’d bought so much she wanted to get one for her brother. From there we ambled into a café and grabbed some coffees. We were there for about 20 minutes sitting mostly in silence.
We left there at 1010. I wanted to catch the boat home and it was a 10 minute walk. The problem was we were slightly disoriented and admittedly I did take off in the wrong direction. The map however was terrible and only made things worse. Finally finding where we were we took off in the right direction along a straight road. Indicated by a big curvy road on the map.
At 1030 I thought we’d missed it and I looked up to my right and the street sign was one directly opposite where the boat was supposed to be. I dragged Kiki across the road in front of a few angry drivers and we ran down the dock to the boat. We’d made it.
We went to step on thinking you bought tickets on board, yet a man stopped us and asked “tickets please”. A lady who was talking to them explained we needed to get tickets at the kiosk not far away. The man said we didn’t really have time. I told Kiki to wait with the bags and this local lady and I took off up the gangway towards a building, after a couple of flights of stairs she started calling out to people, asked me if I wanted 1 or 2 way and then yelled some more.
We got to the desk and the man straight away said “28 Euros” she’d ordered our tickets while we were on the run. I ran back to the boat, and gave our tix to a relatively angry looking captain. We’d held him up for 5 minutes. He’ll get over it.
The boat ride was really nice, it took the same time as the train. The only thing was I had to force myself to stay awake as to not waste the extra money we’d paid to take the ferry as opposed to the train. We started up on the top, to get a good view of Prague, but it soon became pretty cold so we went inside.
We got into Vienna at about 12. Got off the ferry and met Nicko. He’s my friend from the boarding house. Shared a room with him for two and a half years and he was in Vienna for the weekend. We took Kiki to a Ubahnhof (Underground) as she had to get back to Graz to do some homework and we headed for the centre of Vienna.
We walked around for a bit just chatting and then went and sat down for some food. I had a dirty schnitzel and nick half a roast chook with some Pommes. We sat there for almost 2 hours. Just talking and laughing about various things.
The plan was to head to the Palace for the arvo. It’s the same one I went to on the top deck tour, but on the tour we only had half an hour and the gardens are huge, I wanted to check them out again. So we ambled down to the closest Ubahnhof and caught a couple of connecting trains to get out there.
We walked from one end of the palace gardens up the hill to the top, where you have a fantastic view of Vienna and the palace. The walk up the hill took about half an hour and we sat on the grass at the top with a bunch of other tourists and locals for almost an hour.
Nick had to back at his hostel by 4 so that he could get his bus back to Prague so we left at 330 and jumped on the train. After we sat down I clocked this bloke sitting halfway up the carraige, he was moving from seat to seat and eventually sat down opposite nick and I.
He sat there looking at us, listening to what we were saying. I realized pretty quickly that he was just another drug pedaller and that he was targeting us as obvious tourists. I made eye contact with him, stared for a little and just shook my head. He sat back a little. Nicks stop was next and we said our good byes. He got out and this druggie followed him. I called out to nick to just watch him. He left our carraige and just went and sat in the next one. Nick looked at me funny and I told him he was a dealer. I thought nick would have been able to spot it after being in Prague for 4 months.
A couple of the locals looked at me and one gave me a quizzical look, one asked “drugs?”. I acknowledged him and explained that they just come up to us tourists that they think want to score and offer drugs. It’s especially worse when I’ve got my trench coat on. Once in prague at 1 in the arvo I was standing with the girls in a group and this one guy walked right through the group up to me and asked if I wanted any ‘stuff’. Apparently I must look like a user.
I caught the train to Sudbahnhof (South station) and went to pick a fight with the ticket office over my forteilles card. I’d lost the receipt and hadn’t received the actual card yet. It gives me half price tickets but they said that they couldn’t check the records anyway, lazy p**** so I had to buy a full price ticket.
The train ride was slow. I wrote in my diary for 2 hours and then read my book, struggling to keep my eyes open on the 6 hours sleep I’d had since Friday morning because I was worried about missing the stop at Graz.
At graz I caught the tram back to Eheim. The tram was packed and there was a lady with a baby strapped to her chest forced to stand for half the trip. I pretty much held her so she didn’t fall over and then looked at a kid in a seat near us and nodded with my head inferring he should get out, he did and she sat down.
Back at Eheim at 8 I went and checked to see that Kiki had got home allright and was doing her homework. She was asleep and had been since 630. I went upstairs had a shower and pretty much fell asleep standing up and fell into Ioanna’s empty bed.