Wrapping things up in Rome was a mixed bag of emotions.
All in, I don’t really enjoy teaching English as a foreign language but it pays the rent and the beer and the food so needs must and mustn’t grumble and all that other shite that people in jobs they actually like tend to spout when faced with people that don’t enjoy the alarm clock going off every morning.
My students from my Monday & Wednesday, 2010 to 2125 class took me out for dinner on the final Wednesday after class and the restaurant turned out to be decadently done out with flowers and rock pools and a car park the size of about five football fields (Christ knows where they would all eat if it was full though as the restaurant only holds about 50 people).
We got stuck in to some deep fried starters (angry rice with mozzarella in bread crumbs being my personal fave) and then sank a few glasses of wine. Being English and not Italian I can hold more alcohol than the average Roman, solely because I don’t have one cocktail and make it last all evening on a night out. Two carraffes of wine later and I was still relatively sober much to the dismay of my former pupils who said “we want to see you drunk, you talk about it a lot”. Simple laws of physics, loads of deep fried starters and a whole Diavola pizza in my guts and it would take a lot of Grappa to burn a hole through it all to get me steaming.
I’d guessed they might offer to pay for my meal as it was a last supper but was touched when they produced a fancy bag with two presents and a card in it. One was a necklace from the fashion brand “Police” which tickled them all as I now get to wear something that will remind me of my last job and a bag of Lindor chocs which are bastard expensive but guaranteed to make most women moan with pleasure when even unwrapping them.
Few day later a female friend of mine that I’ve always thought was cute gave me a lift home from work. We then sat in the car outside my flat and she began telling me how much she hates her job. I gave her a chivalrous shoulder to cry on, which became a snog, which became me kissing her breasts which then became her locking the car and accompanying me into the flat. I hit the Stop button in the elevator and got down on my knees but while I was tugging down her knickers she gasped “not now, wait until we’re in the room”.
A very pleasant couple of hours ensued and like most Italians she is 30 but lives at home meaning she had to leave at 1am so her parents didn’t miss her.
The next day she sent me a text, warning that she had told her boyfriend (who had in the last few hours become “ex”) and said he had ‘found’ me on Facebook and asked me not to reply to his message.
Logging in, I found two self pitying emails from a guy I’ve never met and didn’t know about until the morning after the night of the deed. He lamented my disgusting and upsetting act (this was via an online translator as he’d written it in Italian) and asked if I was proud of what I’d done. He added that he did not want to have hate in his heart and that his job of 21 years would see him through this dark time. He signed off by reminding me that I had destroyed a 6 year relationship and again asked if I was happy with myself.
I added him to the Blocked list.
Last Saturday was my farewell picnic in Villa Borghese, a gorgeous park near Piazza del Popolo in Rome. Well…at least it usually is. Turns out there’s a horse show any day now and when I turned up at the meeting point the spot we usually choose because of its tranquillity and shady trees, was covered in portakabins and portable iron fences. Still, the 4 litres of wine I’d brought offset the lack of a decent view and later we went to piazza Cavour where I spent about 2 hours trying to chat up some French girl named Emmanuele who was quite happy to wax lyrical about how crap her life was but said she didn’t kiss strange men and I would have to date her before she’d consider it.
The following day I was seriously contemplating staying in bed until Monday morning when I finally summoned the energy to heave my carcass out of bed and get to EUR Palasport for a trip to the beach. Not having been on a beach for 8 months it was very pleasant time throwing a frisbee, basking in the rays, enjoying a sunset and ogling all the bikinis (spoilt only by some septuagenarian with tits down to her thighs who thought it was a good idea to sunbathe topless).
June 1st and I was off to Crete. I met the Couchsurfing friends one last time but as I was carrying all my luggage including a 22 kilo back pack I was none too impressed with the steep climb up a flight of steps to get to my mate’s flat. Bade them all farewell and had a pleasant flight from Rome to Athens watching Quantum of Solace on my laptop and getting drunk on in-flight wine.
The 6 hour stopover in Athens aiport I could have done without, espesh as the departure area resembled Waterloo station at 4am, with dozens of people kipping on the floors and under stairwells. I watched some more of the Bond movie until the battery croaked, smoked about 10 fags and then crashed out for a couple of hours, lamenting my lack of haste in grabbing the stairwell nearest McDonalds as 6 American girls set up camp about 30 seconds before I could get there.
Landing in Crete and the first thing we did was take a leisurely stroll around the local fruit and veg market. Kind of nice, except I was wearing a pair of Magnum police issue boots which aren’t the most ideal of footwear in 35 degree heat.
My old man retired to Crete, about 12 years ago and lives about 2 minutes walk from the local youth hostel. Unfortunately it was just prior to the start of the busy season (i.e. hardly anyone there except a couple of archeologists and some monotone-voiced old fart who wore shorts 24 hours a day).
Two incredibly likeable Danish lads came into the hostel the next day. Cheerful, early 20s, good looking, toned. They both work with autistic children and one used to be in a boy band. They can speak about 3 or 4 languages. They bought spear guns and diving knives and would go off for hours free diving off the coast. Once they shot an octopus and took it to a taverna who cooked it for them for free. They would party and drink heavily every night until about 5 or 6am and then get 4 hours sleep and get up and do it all again. One of them tipped me 6 Euros after eating a meal in the taverna I worked in when most people tip a maximum of 2.
I tried in vain to find something to dislike about either of them but they were probably the most decent guys I’ve ever met here….the bastards!
We had 7 or 8 Canadian and Australian girls arrive and after a couple of days of them being about as warm as an Antarctic festival they came down to a gig at the local bar, with 3 acts from the hostel playing including the Danish guys (did I mention they played guitar and sang too…grrrr!) and after a couple of songs (that they’d written themselves) they took a break and like magpies to silver the girls were all over them. Cue a 4 day binge and trips to the beach and the highlights were them going every night to a split level bar with a video jukebox and doing Coyote Ugly, well-filthy dancing. The two guys would grind with both the girls and each other while the girls would do legs-spread, legs wrapped around, legs all over the bar moves that left most of the Greek guys in there completely open mouthed and perving it up open mouthed while their beer got warm.
One night we went back to the hostel to play a drinking game or two. The original was fairly complicted and involved turning cards over and having to do Thumbs, Never Have I Ever, Give 3 Away, Take 3, Fuzzy Duck, etc. The second was a simple game called Suck Blow where you have to pass a card by sucking it to your lips and the person next to you takes it in the same manner. If you drop it then you have to either kiss them or take a drink. All fine and dandy except their wasn’t enough girls to go round and I was originally next to one of the Danish guys who, after we tongue kissed, said “mmm…man you’re a good kisser”.
Other problem was a little bastard aged about 19, who got too drunk too quickly and started being physically pervy with the girls. He groped one girl’s tit as he kissed her and was making insulting comments to nearly everyone. Final straw was when he deliberately dropped the card to kiss the girl on his left and in his pubescent eagerness to swap spit, ended up headbutting her in the face. I took him outside and warned him to either back off or fuck off to bed. It clearly didn’t sink in though as he continued to be an arsehole and even tried to kiss me a few minutes later. I grabbed his face and pushed him back hard, causing him to fall off his stool, leading to lots of moaning and griping and “FUCKING ‘ELL LAAANCE!”.
Final night the girls were here, one of them came on to one of the Danish guys who told her he wasn’t interested but I have to admit that watching her stand in front of him with his arms around her neck trying to persuade him to take her home would have got me reaching for my coat in about 30 seconds. He lasted about 15 minutes adding Strong Willpower to him and his mate’s list of positive achievements.
Next day at the hostel I was sitting opposite them both and made a comment about how the legal age of consent is 16 (with anyone also over 16) in England and I would have no moral problem with that. I added that I couldn’t understand people who got the arse over this as it is completely L.E.G.A.L.
The Danish guy just smiled but his bird went off on one about how I’d only said that for effect and it had nothing to do with what was being discussed and said she wasn’t going to talk to me anymore. Initially slightly embarrassed I later found out that at 5am that morning he’d been fucking her up against the outside wall of bungalow 3 and they were kicking up such a din that another backpacker stuck her head out the window and shrieked “CAN YOU NOT TAKE THIS SOMEWHERE ELSE FOR CHRISSAKES! I’M TRYING TO SLEEP”. They then swapped for the lawn near the showers, meaning an hour later a girl trying to brush her teeth was confronted by the sight of their heaving buttocks in the light of breaking dawn.
So…while one comment from me got her in a melodramatic, prima donna strop, her shrieking while getting drilled out in a standing position in plain view of anyone who looked out the window was just dandy.
After going spear fishing with the Danish guys I just HAD to get my own spear gun and invested in a 35 Euro “Sea Princess 7” from the supermarket down the road. The trident tip was another €5 and I proudly lashed it to the back of my larger rucksack and, after consulting advice on the best bays to fish from, cycled part the way and pushed the bike the rest of the way up a dirt track and found what they call a “lonely beach” (i.e. no fucker else is there) and after donning my flippers, spitting into my face mask and strapping on my diving knife I plunged into the water, fully expecting to come back laden with octopi corpses and several still-twitching flounder to proudly show off back at the hostel.
First of all, the gun being cheap it doesn’t fire straight meaning that you have to be right on top of the fish to have any real chance of spearing any. The ones I shot at just smirked contemptuously and then darted behind the nearest rock. Secondly to crank the bastard thing you have to brace it against your chest and heave on the crossbow cord. This is fine in theory but my stomach and chest now look like I’ve been beaten with a steak tenderiser. Came back empty handed 3 days in a row after being repeatedly reassured by various people that I would almost certainly find a sleeping octopus or three, just lying on the ocean bed waiting to be harpooned or 2 feet long carp dozing gently in the reefs, almost begging to get a bolt through the head. Holding my breath for longer than 20 seconds proved to be difficult too, so I’ve now quit smoking (4 days and counting) meaning I can hang around the underwater caves looking for prey without going blue in the face.
Finally on the 4th day I caught something….well, a sea snail but a big one which turned out to be easy to kill, but almost impossible to extract the corpse out the shell. First of all we boiled it and my old man got a pair of pliers and pulled the stinking, fishy muscle mass out and flung it in the bushes. Then I rinsed it out repeatedly with hot water, not realising that this thing was taking revenge from beyond the grave. I left it in a bowl of Coca Cola for a few days (had heard it will reduce a raw steak to nothingness in the space of a week so had high hopes it could shift the calcium off the shell) and then left it in the sun for a week or two to let the ants and insects munch on whatever was left inside. About 4 weeks later I wondered why the bastard thing still stunk like a Chavette’s knickers on a Saturday morning, when I was rinsing it under the tap again and a chunk of rotting carcass the size of a 50 pence piece fell into the sink. I skipped the calamari that night.
Finally I managed to shoot two fish while out in the bay near my mate’s house. Very rewarding even if they amounted to more of a starter than a main course. There’s something about Daniel Craig-ing it up the beach holding a trident with a wriggling piscine on the top that I am probably supposed to feel guilty about but actually thoroughly enjoyed.
While sipping some peppermint tea from a plastic mug at about 12.30pm at one of the hostel’s picnic tables I was approached by a very pretty, 40 something Austrian woman who said “is that tattoo on your back the Archangel Michael?”. We sparked up a chat about fallen angels and she turned out to be deeply religious after having “found” Jesus after a shitty life involving drugs, drug running, abortion, prostitution and being abused by her ex partner. I told her about the “hidden” church at the start of the famous river walk about a mile from the hostel and she was eager as a nun in Vatican square at midnight on Easter Sunday to see it. 200-ish years ago the Turkish controlled Crete and outlawed Christianity (the rotters!) meaning that anyone wishing to attend Mass or confess adultery had to do it on the sly. So… hardy people that they are, the Cretans started building “hidden” churches in hard or even bloody difficult to find places. This one is along a river bank, completely obscured from view unless you are right in front of it. Chiselled from the rock it is about the size of a small kitchen with an altar, broom, collection pot and some tea candles. The only thing that ruins it is that is has recently been painted bright white so looks a bit shit. I took her up there to visit it and after I had chivalrously cleared out both the dead rat and the mounds of rat turds for her, she spent about half an hour praying and singing while I got a tan on the grass outside. We became pals and hung out together and one night we went out for dinner (I politely waited while she silently said Grace) and then for a stroll along the beach. We sat kissing and hugging on a bench, enjoying the moonlit stars and the sound of waves gently lapping on the shore when she uttered the immortal line:
“If you want more than kisses you’ll have to marry me”.
I could have fucked off then and there but being a nice guy I stayed put and it was only when we were lying on a gorgeous beach the next day and she said “I think the massage you gave me was what did it. I let you kiss me, I weakened” that I decided this was NOT going to be fun and pulled the plug. I unfortunately couldn’t get up for about five minutes as all the snogging had given me a massive erection so after thinking hard about cow shit, Sarah Palin naked on a cold day and colonic irrigation I finally got my stonk to die down and strolled back home. A few days later she left and as we said goodbye she put her hand on my head and said “God bless you, you should talk to God more”.
I do babe, usually when I’ve got my head down the toilet after too much booze on an empty stomach.
One night as me and a mate sat sipping wine and shooting the breeze at the hostel, two cute American girls sat down and we got into a chat about nothing in particular and then took them to the best taverna in town, Minolko which has meat dishes to die for. A four way split of lamb in tomato sauce, beef stifado, pork in honey and swordfish steak were ordered and wolfed down with some generous portions of wine and about 5 shots of raki each. Only problem in this mix was the fish, which while delicious if scoffed on its own, is minging if mixed with cattle flesh (imagine drinking orange juice after just brushing your teeth). After din dins we headed back to the hostel for a game of King’s Cup which proved to be an aphrodisiac for the girl sitting next to me as she moved up and began rubbing her leg against mine. I put one hand on her knee (to the cry of “WHERE’S YOUR OTHER HAND PERV?!!” from my mate) and after a few minutes gently rubbing her soft skin, I moved further up to find out she had no knickers on. The next half an hour was very pleasant as I managed to keep a card game going with my left hand while frigging her under her skirt (that she had the foresight to pull down to her knees so noone could see what we were doing). I then whispered in her ear “do you wanna go for a walk?” (always a good way to broach the subject) and she airily made her excuses and we walked away (the next day my mate said that her face when she stood up looked like she’d been smoking marijuana).
Took her to the front field that borders the goat enclosure and lifted her up on the wall, got her skirt up round her waist and her tits out, only for her to whisper “I’m on the pill but I’d prefer it if you wear a condom, I think you do this a lot”. Not the most erotic of lines I’ve had honeyed into my ear but it could have been worse. Knowing my old man had been out on the ale and would almost certainly be asleep I took her to his flat (he has one rule “bring women back if you want, but NOT when I’m at home”) and we got down to it in my “bedroom” which is the kitchen. I had piled up loads of cushions against the hallway door in case dad wanted a midnight snack and moved the sofa so I could grab the duvet if he meandered in to find his eldest son on his vinegar strokes on top of a squealing 23 year old female.
Next day we utilised the roof of the youth hostel, which proved to be fun as one of the solar panels can be used as an impromptu tent if you put a mattress on the floor and throw a sheet over the end of the panel. Cue much lovemaking into the wee small hours, interrupted only by someone coming up there to sleep (although thankfully on the far side from us) as their bus was late and they’d missed the booking in time by about 7 hours. I think the line “I want you to pin me down as you come in my tight wet pussy” will definitely be remembered in my personal history as one to savour in old age.
Her and her pal asked me later that morning if I wanted to go to Santorini with them and as it was at VERY short notice (i.e. about 3 hours) I quickly arranged for someone to cover my shifts at the taverna I worked in and woke the boss up from a siesta to tell him I had swapped shifts. He appeared grumpy at being woken up but didn’t seem that arsed and we later loaded up the girl’s car and made our way to Heraklion for a night on the town before getting our ferry tickets in the morning.
Problems arose as soon as we got there. The car hire place was in a pedestrianised area so we parked about 2 minutes walk from it and walked up. After about 15 minutes two of the girls were still in the office and I walked in to find a skinny, smarmy-looking Greek guy attempting to convince them that they simply HAD to drive it where he wanted it left as it was NOT acceptable for them leave it where they had. I looked at him and said to my gal, “does he have your credit card details?” to which she made “shushing” motions and outside told me that he hadn’t charged them for the extra day they’d had the car. Fine and dandy.
We get to the shittiest hostel I’ve ever seen (and I’ve slept in some toilets) which was way over the odds at 12 Euros per night. After unpacking and having a shower we were all spruced up and walking out for a night on the town when the phone rang in reception and my gal’s pal took the call. Lots of “aha” and “yeah” were finished off with “we’ll be right up” and it turned out it was the little shit from the car hire company who’d just remembered the 26 Euros he had forgotten to charge them (God knows how the little turd knew where we were staying). My gal could see the look on my face as I marched up there and asked me to stay out of it and let them deal with it. Her mate and another girl went in to talk to the Greek twat who didn’t even apologise for wasting our time and simply said they had to pay him the extra money. They pointed out that they’d filled the tank and he had half a tank of free petrol. He shrugged and said that they don’t give discounts for fuel left in the vehicles and that was part of the agreement. They pointed out that he hadn’t mentioned that when they hired the car. He mumbled that it was normal practice.
I then lost my temper, stood up and said “RIGHT! You’ve been told nicely by the women that they have put half a tank of gas in your car. If it was me I’d have told you to go fuck yourself. You make us leave the car where you want it left, you drag us away from dinner and you get half a tank of fuel and you still want your money. Stop being a prick, be a gentleman and give the ladies a discount!”
He smiles cheesily and mumbles about how he can’t give a discount. I repeat that I would have given him nothing and to reduce it by half. He offers to knock off 6 Euros. The girls accept this and I walk out. My gal is on the doorstep looking visibly embarrassed and furious. She glares at me and as I crouch down to where she’s sitting she whispers “you promised me you wouldn’t get involved!”
“You’re my friends, I don’t think I’d stand to see strangers treated like that so why the hell would I let people I care about take it?”
“Right or wrong you said you wouldn’t interfere” she seethes at me “I am a non-argumentative person and you have just embarrassed me”.
“That guy is a cunt and I am NOT apologising”.
For the next hour she wouldn’t speak to me and when I finally took her to one side and put my arms around her and pulled her into a shop doorway she calmed down, kissed me but said she was still angry.
“Do you still want me to come with you to Santorini?”
She muses then replies “I don’t know. I’ve had a lot of fun with you but if it’s going to be like this maybe we shouldn’t”
I look at her, kiss her forehead and say quietly “I am NOT sorry I upset you BUT I am sorry you’re upset. I did what I felt was right, at least respect me for that”.
We went to bed and things resolved themselves even though shagging was out as 3 other people were in the room and a sweaty cuddle was all we could manage.
Next day it turned out problem was solved regardless of whether we’d made up as all the ferry tickets were taken and the only option was a plane.
85 Euros each way.
As they had roughly one hour to make it to the airport we went back to the hostel, called a cab, had a quick farewell kiss and I made my way back home, stopping off in Rethymno to buy a diving knife and a pair of Spartan/ Gladiator/ 300 sandals and a net bag for spear fishing for when I finally catch something large, so it wasn’t a wasted trip.
One thing I learned to never do again was go for a night swim in someone else’s pool. My friend’s 28th birthday and we had a lovely meal and got very drunk and she said she wanted to go to the pool bar we sometimes frequented in the day time for a swim even though it was 4am and therefore closed. So me, her, another guy and his girlfriend quietly slipped in and had a refreshing dip in the black velvet water. Knowing we shouldn’t be doing it only added to the thrill and I genuinely expected to be shouted at if caught, but NOT the reaction we actually got.
After about 15 minutes I was about to leave (classic timing as I’d have missed this completely had I been one minute earlier) when a guy in his 60s climbed out the window of one of the apartments bordering the pool. I shouted to my mates that it was time to go and was about to back away when I realised the old bastard was holding a long, five-pointed spear and lunging with it repeatedly while walking towards me, swearing in Greek and muttering “malaka” every other word while his wife tried calling him back.
“WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT? WE’LL LEAVE BUT THERE’S NO NEED FOR THAT. PUT IT DOWN. I’M SERIOUS…FUCK OFF!”.
He stops walking towards me but continues lunging and while no less angry is clearly confused as he’s not got the reaction he wanted. What appeared to be his son then climbed out of the same window (and like most young, Greek males was about 6 feet tall and built like a barn door). He stood in just his boxer shorts next to the old guy, simply glaring at me while my friends were getting their stuff together. The old boy then turns round and just as the birthday girl says “I’m sorry” he spins the spear round and like Pao Mei in Kill Bill 2, smacks her across the arse with the handle end which made a loud crack.
I shouted “what the fuck are you doing?” and tried to get in between them. Next thing I knew I was on the floor and stood up again and shouted “don’t hit the women”. The son had just given me a punch in the left side of the head and knocked me down. He then braced himself expecting me to retaliate but being drunk and facing a guy twice my size plus a pissed off geriatric with a stabbing implement who was the kind of cunt who’d hit a woman just because he couldn’t intimidate the bloke she was with, I didn’t think much of my chances if I did hit back. I held up my right hand, waited until the others had gone and then walked away (the ONLY thing I’m grateful to the English police for is teaching me how talk in aggressive situations) while the old boy kept “malaka-ing” and mumbling.
Told my old man what had happened as he was up when I got home and he said he had warned me not to do that and we had got off lightly as one guy caught in a different pool about 5 years ago had had a sunbed smashed over his head by the owner, meaning he came into the hostel with a t-shirt wrapped around his head which was still pissing blood and had to have stitches. Later dad went for a drink in the pool bar and said the turd that hit me was miming throwing the punch and me hitting the floor to his Greek mates, but they didn’t know who I was and it would soon be forgotten. Dad added that he knows the family and they are decent people but Cretans don’t take kindly to trespassers, regardless of the reason. He told me to simply stay away from there as it would only be news for one day.
The girl who got smacked was visibly upset for a few days but what pissed me off a little bit was she then changed her story slightly to say she had said “sorry” to the guy with the spear because I had been arguing with him. I was drunk when she said this and pointed out that I’d taken a punch to the head and got knocked down trying to protect her from harm and all she’d got was a smacked arse. She turned round, lifted up her skirt and pulled her knick’s to one side to show me the bruises on her left buttock. Next day I tried to say sorry but she wasn’t having any of it and said she wanted at least 48 hours without speaking to me. About 2 days later I sat next to a mate at one of the hostel picnic tables and she was on the other side. Completely ignoring her I was chatting to him when she went “Err…Lance I thought I said I needed 48 hours not speaking to you. You are sitting next to me”.
Feeling my anger rising I replied “I’m not sitting next to you, I’m sitting next to him. I am sitting at a table you happen to be sitting at also”.
“Do you deny we are sitting next to each other. I told you I needed 48 hours and you sit at a table I’m at. I think you’re a complete prick basically”.
“Piss off. I tried to apologise to you but you weren’t having any of it”.
She storms off.
About 2 weeks later she came up to me in the local pub and put her hand on my shoulder and said something I didn’t quite catch as the music was loud and I was tanked up. It wasn’t aggressive or insulting though and I put my arm around her and said “I’m sorry I upset you. I was frustrated and angry that I couldn’t protect you. I don’t like seeing people being treated like that, it’s one reason I joined the police”.
She replied “I guessed that. Get a different job”.
The next day she said that by this she meant if I’m not good at dealing with situations like that then why choose a job where I’m going to have to deal with them all the time.
Hmmm…..I never went out on duty after 6 rakis, 3 tequilas and 7 large bottles of beer sweetheart.
I met a very cute Californian at the hostel one night who came out on for dinner and a drink or three and came back to the flat with me (breaking dad’s “not when I’m at home” rule, but hey I was three sheets to the wind). Threw the mattress on the kitchen floor, threw her down on top of it, got her knickers off and as it was dark I didn’t suss straight away the significance of the extra thick pubic hair when I went down on her. Still, I’m not a prude and was very horny so I just pulled the tampon out with my teeth and deposited it in the rubbish bin. Dad stepped over us in the morning to get some milk out the fridge and thankfully didn’t kick up a din and accepted my apology that I had been shitfaced, later that day. At a friend’s birthday party a few days later I introduced him to her and he kissed her hand and said “ah, I think I saw you on my kitchen floor the other day” to which I tried not to giggle and pretended I hadn’t heard.
A mate of my father’s was someone I didn’t get on with at all last summer for the first couple of months. We eventually became pals, had a few heart to heart chats and when he finally got a Facebook account he was the one that Friended me.
We were both looking forward to seeing each other again this summer and the first couple of weeks we had a good time, going out and chatting up women and sharing a bottle of wine of an evening. Frictions occurred a few times, especially when we were both drunk as he gets aggressive and/ or violent and I get sarcastic or larey. On a couple of occasions he became verbally abusive but it was always resolved and we were mates again within a short time. In July the local fishermen held a fiesta for the locals and the tourists with free food and wine. Me and this guy were there and after several large glasses of homemade Retsina I told him that I shared my father’s opinion of him (i.e that he’s a really decent bloke) but sometimes I feel that I’m walking on eggshells with him. He replied that he has an “off” week sometimes to which I added not to take it out on me. I then made the mistake of saying that when he gets aggressive I can’t fight him and have to retain my dignity by either defusing it or walking away. He added that I can be irritating which I acknowledged but repeated that I think he’s a top guy. He looked touched, shook my hand and said “that’s what it’s all about”.
We then went to the local bar and my memories of the night cease shortly after my dad bought me a Red Bull and Jagermeister. I woke up in the morning with a slightly blackened left eye and a sore back. Only problem was the bed was on its side and I was on the floor. Dad walked in, looked at me and went “you look like shit, go and lie down on my bed” and I did so till about 3pm and spent the rest of the day nursing my hangover. Putting two and two together I believed the sore body parts were from falling out of bed and even posted that on Facebook as my status. Next day the guy I’d had the deep and meaningful conversation with at the fiesta was talking to me as normal, albeit he seemed a little “stiff” and it was only when I was chatting to two girls at the hostel and turned to him to ask if he wanted to join us for dinner that I guessed something was wrong. He turned to the guy next to him and they both raised their eyebrows and smirked and he went “err..NO!”
Detective skills kicked in once more and even though I had no memory or even emotional memory of anything bad occurring I guessed something had happened. About half an hour later I made my way to the bar we’d been in after the fiesta. The guy was sitting outside on his own and pointedly looked away as I walked in. Approaching the manager he said I’d had a fight with the guy. I walked back out and said “can I talk to you or do you want to be left alone?”
Predictably he turned away and said “I want to be left alone please”.
“I’ve only JUST found out” I replied and walked away.
Over the next three days I discovered from various people that just before he hit me he’d asked if I’d seen a piece of his camera that he’d lost. I was apparently “dismissive” in response which resulted in him punching me off my bar stool and then kicking me twice. He then went around saying to people that this had been “building” for seven weeks since I’d arrived and that I’d made various comments that had annoyed him over that time and this had been the final straw. All this retrospective justification was a load of bollocks as we’d had a chat an hour or so before he did it, where he’d had ample opportunity to raise this. I was told by at least two people that straight after he kicked me he was very “remorseful” and immediately bent down to see if the kicks had caused any injury. They also said that he had been very “remorseful” since then and had cut down on his drinking and was ashamed and above all “remorseful”.
Thing is, he made absolutely no attempt to say sorry.
I finally realised that I’d had enough of paying other people for alcohol, stripping myself of money, getting myself into situations I can’t even remember and putting people who don’t deserve it on pedestals. I gave him a few days to see if he’d try to put it right but he steadfastly refused to address the issue so I cut him and about 69 other people off Facebook.
People I have no desire to share precious time with.
One of the few things me and this guy had in common was a sense of “injustice” and had clinked glasses a few times over wanting to put the world to rights.
If you are reading this. You gave me a whole fucking heap of injustice and your own pride and embarrassment meant you never had the courage to try to rectify the situation.
Next night and a girl came in who looked a bit like someone I’d shagged last year (the first time I woke up on the kitchen floor with a bird next to me and had to wake Dad up to make my excuses). After a couple of minutes I realised it wasn’t her, although the similarity was rather striking. Next morning at the hostel I told the doppelganger she had a twin living in France and she giggled while a mate of mine tried to be all smooth with “but you’re MUCH better looking than the girl Lance thought you were!”
Later that day at the beach I had the following, rather surreal conversation with a Dutch friend of mine.
“Hey Lance, remember that girl from France, well she’s back”.
“No, it’s not her. It’s someone else. I thought that too, saw her last night in the taverna”.
“No, she’s back. I saw her this morning”.
“It’s not her mate, I spoke to her before I came here”.
“Lance, she’s here I’ve been speaking to her!” he says getting exasperated.
“Mate, other people can back me up, it’s NOT her”.
“She’s fucking lying over there asleep” he says, pointing to a topless sunbather about 20 yards away with a scarf over her face.
I stroll over and sure enough it was her.
Creepy coincidence or what!
Later that day I got them both to stand next to each other and took a photo, to which they concurred that there was indeed a resemblance. Later that night Dad didn’t recognise her until she said “you must remember me, I was lying naked on your kitchen floor last year” to which he smiled and mimed stepping over her to get to the bread bin.
Some VERY attractive woman in her mid 40s, who looked younger than me (i.e. a major MILF) took objection to me shooting fish with the spear gun one afternoon and remonstrated that it was cruel. She then said “I bet you really enjoyed watching them twitch around on the end of your spear didn’t you?”
I live by a simple rule. Don’t ask questions you only expect one answer to. In the past I’ve been asked “why exactly do you smoke?” by a lard arsed English teacher at college to which I replied:
“because I think it looks impressive”.
Similarly some curious little git asked me why I’d had my nose pierced and got the response “because I was feeling sexually confused”.
So…I looked at the aquatic life-friendly MILF and replied “yes, I did. In fact I lobbed my cock out and masturbated over the still-twitching corpses while they flapped around in agony”.
She made a hasty exit while my mate winced and went “that’s foul, even by your standards”.
I wrote a book earlier this year. Took me nine months and is 126,000 words long. Dad was basically narked off last summer with me moaning about my experiences in the English Police Force and said “either move on or write a book about it”.
I have been turned down by many publishers and agents, nearly all in response to the initial enquiry. Twice have I been rejected by people who read the whole manuscript (once by a frustratingly nice bloke who sat on it for 2 months and then said him and his colleagues had loved it but “in the current economic climate etc, etc”). I’m not sweating as Harry Potter was rejected 12 times by publishers who are probably still, to this day, kicking whichever member of staff decided not to go with it.
About a week ago a Dutch friend of mine sent me an SMS saying he was willing to give me the money to self publish the book. Hardly believing my luck I went round for a chat and we agreed to 25% on top of his original investment and he added that he thinks the book and me “deserve a chance”. He did however tell me NOT to use my real name when publishing as it would leave me open to litigation from the many people in the story. I pointed out that I’ve changed the names and NOT mentioned which Force made my life a misery. He added that if people can recognise my name then a journalist would be able to link me back to the original Force.
Hmmm….I’m still in two minds about this as part of me knows that if I do this then I will have the luxury of being able to say what I want whereas another part of me wants to stand up and be known. Time will tell.
Took my father out for a meal on my penultimate night (as I had no desire to fly out with a shitty hangover) and we had a pleasant fish and chips in the local taverna washed down with several shots of raki and beer. The waitress that night is a good friend of my father’s but for some reason has taken a dislike to me. She was the same more or less last year and when I asked her what her problem was she gave some vague reason that I couldn’t pronounce her boyfriend’s name properly and that I shout at her across the bar when she’s working (something I did once when drunk and dad told me off). A few weeks ago she told me when she was steaming drunk that my hair looks better if I don’t wash it and leave it loose, as opposed to the beaufont (sp?) waves that bounce around my skull like hyperactive tumbleweed, if I’ve used Timotei. I pointed out that that was the first time she’s spoken to me in 2 months and what a strange thing to say. She replies that she doesn’t like me then starts to explain why but I interrupted her and said “I don’t like you either, don’t upset me by giving your reasons, let’s just NOT talk to each other ok?”
Last night she was steaming again and noted that I had taken her advice on not washing my hair regularly. As I was three sheets to the wind by this point I pointed out again that I don’t usually take advice from people who don’t like me. We then had the following, fairly surreal conversation.
“I DON’T like you, I know you’re a good person but you have this air of….I don’t know”.
“I don’t like you either. Last year when I asked you where this came from you said something about not being able to pronounce your sodding boyfriend’s name. What kind of reason is THAT?”
“It’s not that. You just have this air about you, you come in here with this…attitude. Why can’t you be like your father, he’s nice”
“Nobody else has raised this, it’s just you that’s got a bee in your bonnet. If you don’t like me why are you even talking to me”.
“Yes they have, just not to your face”.
“We had this discussion last year sitting at the bar. Back then I was almost suicidal with depression so I was bothered by what you said. Remember, a few days after I came on to your mate because I was drunk? Only problem being that he was male”.
“That’s nothing, doesn’t even bother me”.
Now I’m having a quiet night in with Facebook chat and loads of porn. Tomorrow I fly to London and from there to America.
Fun, fun, fun.