Thursday, 9 August 2007

Travel X, Free Stuff

Back on Monday afternoon I chucked my toothbrush into a taxicab and set off yet again for the delights of Brussels airport.

I almost had a hot dog at the bar but they'd sold out and I didn't fancy waiting 20 minutes for the next batch, I only had 5 minutes to boarding. So I knocked back a lively leffe and jumped aboard for the hop over to Copenhagen, they have excellent hot dogs even in the baggage hall, next to conveyor 3.

I'd ordered a little Ford Fiesta to get to the hotel thinking that would cause the least hassle if I wrapped it round a post, but the kind rental people upgraded me. Few things can be as big and ugly and still say "It's supposed to look like this", as a Sport Mondeo Estate. In hindsight it was very nice of them, but at the time when the lady asked me "Any questions?", all I could think of was "What's the drink drive limit in Denmark?", I'm sure she knew the answer but somehow she couldn't get the words out.

I followed the GPS to the hotel, no bother, I've been there before but somehow I'd confused it with that pokey rat-hole in Oslo so I was pleasantly surprised by the lovely huge suite they put me in. 150 kroner of drinks tokens and free movies in the room helped sweeten the deal. The downside is that it's Fashion Week in Copenhagen, I've nothing against Danish fashion, it's just that I couldn't stay in the hotel for the full week or even find a room in the city at all on Thursday and Friday, so I have the pleasure of a couple of nights at a hotel next to the airport. Awful location but because of that they make more of an effort. This time I've got access to the Executive club lounge with endless supply of drinks and food. Also free Internet in the room but then if they wanted to charge me I'd just charge it back to my Loving Employer anyway.

Oh, the free movies, I watched Rocky Balboa. Well there was nothing decent on, including Rocky Balboa. That film is like a hospital moment when they say "this might hurt a bit", you know it's going to be fucking agony and it was.

But back to the airport hotel, the view looks out across the sea and it's next to "that bridge that goes into a tunnel", I saw it from the plane on the way in and someone on the row in front said "look, there's that bridge that goes into a tunnel". I reckon I'll take a drive over at the weekend, it comes out in Malmo (Sweden) then I can go along the coast to Helsingborg, get the ferry to Helsinger (Denmark again) and drive back down to Copenhagen. It's about 150km round trip so tomorrow I'll see if I can blag a blank CD off the local IT mob and burn a Motorhead disk - the Danish radio's giving me a headache.

I've got heaps more stuff to tell but now there's a film on tv with female vampires fighting, so it'll just have to wait.



Tuesday, 7 August 2007

Travel IX, I've marked that bottle!

JJ Goes to Denmark

I was going to say something about Copenhagen but I decided on this instead (see below).

Written by Lemmy, performed with Fast Eddie and Philthy Phil.



Please tell me I'm dyin', I´m out of my mind
And I´m telling you
Please don't feel bad, I´m totally mad
I´m a boogaloo
I´m certain, I must be a burden
Over the top, over the top

Don´t know what it means, all I hear is screams
And I don´t know whose
The nightmare´s for real, I got a raw deal
And it´s all bad news
And I swear it, I can´t bear it
Over the top, over the top

I tell you no lie, my main alibi
It´s a waste of time
You know it´s the truth, the lyrics the proof
And at least it rhymes
You can´t harm me, ´cos I´m barmy
Over the top, over the top

Sunday, 5 August 2007

Sprouts Life

JJ Goes to the Movies

Brussels has a tremendous selection of what used to be known as "Arthouse" cinemas, these days we call them "musty old flea pit where they show films with subtitles", a bit redundant really because you could describe the whole of Brussels like that. All films in Belgium have subtitles, in two languages, even on TV. Next time you're flicking throught the Lonely Planet for some exotic location to spend your measley holiday entitlement, remember: if a town has lots of cinemas, you can assume it going to rain every day. If there are lots of museums, hire a boat.

Nevertheless, in spite of this pointless meandering, determined to enjoy myself I managed to drag my sorry carcass to one of the smaller flea pits. After all, why should I stay at my own place and sit on my own sofa watching movies on my own tv when I can pay someone to do it at their place?

The flea pit is deserted of course so the ticket assistant locked eyes on me immediately. I just told myself it was nothing do with the place being empty, she probably would have done that anyway. Trying to be nonchalant like an Indian James Bond I sauntered through the lobby.

Did you know the Punjabi word for arse is "bond"? My grandmother would be in tears laughing at that every time, god rest her soul. Actually, now that I think of it, it was more of swagger than a saunter, like Clint Eastwood in High Plains Drifter. It's no wonder she was staring.

So I approached the ticket counter, no queue at these places, especially on a Monday night.

JJ: what's showing tonight then?
Asst: English?
JJ: I am and it should be
Asst: You don't look English
JJ: My parents are Indian, does that matter?
Asst: Indian! Ooohh I love India, all the temples and people, the foods great. I went last year for my holidays, what's that little fishing village on the coast? Do you know the one I mean?
JJ: Do you want to go through the whole list or shall I just stand in the corner and chew my arm off?
Asst: It'll come to me in a minute, the sunsets are amazing, I've been there 5 times in all
JJ: And yet you still can't remember what it's called. I hear that marijuana grows wild in many parts of India but I've never been so I can remember most of my holiday destinations
Asst: You've never been!? How could you not go? Haven't you got family there?
JJ: I've got hundreds of relatives in India and that's precisely why I've never been. Now, much as I am enjoying this sparkling conversation, I did come in to see a movie, would you happen to have any lying around?
Asst: You're not going to believe this! It's your lucky day, we've got a new movie in today from the guy who made Mango Wedding about mixed race couples, you'll love it
JJ: Wasn't it Monsoon Wedding?
Asst: It's ever so romantic, the girl gets forced into an arranged marriage but the groom turns out to be an untouchable, he was lying during the arrangement, then the family are all despairing when the girls lover turns up and beats up the groom and all of his family and they all run off. In the end the grateful parents let the two get married to each other, I cried at the wedding scene
JJ: Do you get many mixed race couples coming in to see it then?
Asst: Oh yeah, mixed race couples are just like you and me, whenever they don't know what to do and that, they turn to Bollywood
JJ: Uncanny
Asst: You should see it here on a Friday night. Funny though, there's a lot of break-ups after the movie, it was a proper demolition site last week.
JJ: Tell you what, I'll give it a miss tonight, maybe I'll turn up at the finish next Friday and see if there's anything worth picking up
Asst: You heartless bastard! this blog knows you've got a girlfriend
JJ: It also know's none of this is real so be a treasure and shut up now, I'm off to the boozer, bloody stupid idea this was
Asst: Thanks-for-coming-please-call-again
JJ: Will you shut up already? It's the movies not Kwik-e-Mart and you're a girl!

eeeh I do enjoy a good night at the flics.