2011-09-14

Travel Day



Within minutes of leaving customs I found myself questioning and responding to people in so many different languages that I felt like a walking Tower of Babel (as opposed to Digital Tower of Babel, RE this blog). It’s conflicting to re-enter American territory. There’s a whole different set of rules, guidelines and general no-no’s that must be adhered to in the Land of the Free. Here’s a short list detailing

HOW TO GRACEFULLY RE-ENTER AMERICAN SOCIETY FROM ABROAD


  1. First and foremost, tear that bogus Canadian flag off your backpack. That can get you killed here.
  2. Don’t ask about me. I’m not famous in this country yet, at least not under this name. In the USA I go by “Lady GaGa”
  3. NEVER fly US AIR
  4. Be as prepared as possible for TSA. Supposedly, Chap-stick is a liquid and shoes are the biggest threat to our country since Islam.
  5. In customs, when asked “do you have any fruits/veggies/meat with you” it is rude to answer “Just in my shei├če. I think I'll opt for the cavity search”
  6. It’s rude to ask the person searching your bag to smell your shoes and guess what sport you play.
  7. It’s not rude, however to stick a lube-covered condom bag in your backpack and make them fish it out because you “forgot” to put it in the plastic bin separately. That’s fun for all involved.
  8. Also, put your turban in your backpack, unless you’re into cavity searches... it gets kind of racist here.
  9. Yes, they can see you naked with these scanners. And you can say no, but the result is far more degrading than just taking the nudie pic for the fat man in blue.
  10. The N-word, K-word, C-word and S-word are all off-limits again. this only flies if the country you’re in doesn’t contain any (EX Germany, Poland, etc.)
  11. No beer on the streets or in cars (not even golf carts, this country sucks)
  12. No smoking pot in public (California/Vermont/Nevada excluded) SUBNOTE: We pass to the left in the states. In Australia the rotation is to the right (counterclockwise)
  13. No dropping E in public
  14. No coke in public (Miami excluded)
  15. Prescription pills are okay. Actually, they’re compulsory.
  16. Remember to tip, UNLESS your waiter/bartender/hooker/bellhop/driver doesn’t speak English, in which case you are teaching them a valuable cultural lesson.
  17. Actually, tip everyone. Just throw money out of your pockets at all times. I recommend using Change because it has more impact (right, Obama?)
  18. If you don’t have money, use your credit card to get cash back. Who cares if you’re in debt as long as everyone’s happy!? This is why everyone loves America.
  19. Justin Beiber is cool here. You don’t have to hide it anymore, you’re in the land of the free. (We don’t know he’s Canadian yet) If you’re male, you’re expected to hyperbolize your love for him. Getting that swooshy haircut where you have to flip your hair every 15 seconds is a sign of high status in the social food-chain.*
  20. You don’t have to pretend to like French people anymore.
  21. Practice your Spanish, but forget all the other ones. Knowing Spanish makes you appear well-informed and compassionate to the help... but in reality there’s not need to speak anything but English.
  22. Stay off Grindr. You know people here, and they recognize your faceless torso (or whatever it is you’re putting out there)
  23. Make friends and strangers sit through your 4 hr travel-photo presentation, including those 200 fuzzy pictures of the moving lights you took on that weekend in Amsterdam. Make sure to embellish how much fun you had.
  24. Public nudity is not okay (Miami Beach excluded)
  25. Sex in airport bathrooms, frowned upon (although a great way to pass your longer connections...)
  26. Water sports, rubber, leather... not big here (Kidding! We practically invented that shit... in a way similar to the pizza or hamburger)
  27. The brown stuff, surprisingly not as popular as in Germany
  28. Being a big homo is just being a big homo here. You can’t play it off as “European Style” because in the USA we call those people homos too.
  29. Pedophilia rules still apply.
  30. Although carrying a gun is not recommended, NEVER assume that person next to you doesn’t have one on them.
  31. I’ll repeat: NEVER fly US AIR


I’m far too jet lagged to be any more upbeat in this post. I’ve missed my connection (on guess which airline, again!) and may not get to Milwaukee tonight. If all goes well, I’ll spend less than 24-hours in transit (3 of which will most likely be in the bathroom)


Happy Trails.

Max Jetlagged.


*Little known fact: some countries (EX Sweden) require you to have a Beiber Fever vaccination before they grant you a visa

2011-09-13

The Muffin Troll, The Legacy

AKA- Why I find don't smoke pot anymore. Enjoy.


Found a Fort


This is where Germans would wait (and etc) while hunting for deer.

Right... deer...


You're not allowed.

2011-09-12

Amsterdam- the Venice of Europe

It all started with an innocent birthday-themed adventure to Amsterdam, the Venice of Europe.

We headed out to party and were wrangled (by a trustworthy-looking fellow wearing khakis) into an eccentric discount sex-show... The night got blurry after that, though that’s most likely the place where Sneaky Pete showed up.
I woke up a few hours later, though I'm not sure what time it was....

I didn’t realize that I was going to be part of the sex-show, what a treat! It's been a while since my performance potential has been utilized... Needless to say I got a little stage fright.

It was when I fully came-to the next day where Sneaky Pete and I got to know each other properly for the remainder of the adventure.

TRAVEL ALERT: it would behoove you to keep your distance from any green-eyed monkeys. Whether it be in a jungle, a club or even some dump with hipster-scum caked walls...
just say no to Sneaky Pete.

2011-09-09

Dusseldorf




The good relations with Phil didn’t last long. At least once/day we would fight and I would look online for a plane ticket out. There was nothing planned on my birthday. I was invited by a musician friend to a some music conference parties in Berlin, but Phil didn’t want to go because he’d been about 25 times this year. We had invites from other friends to hit Amsterdam, but Phil didn’t want to do that either. We started the day at the gym, which was good, but by 1pm we had nothing to do but sit around and play with our wieners... oh wait, Phil didn’t want to do that either. We spent the afternoon unsuccessfully shopping for a hanger-rod for his new closet (his true love, as he said at nauseum), having coffee and then getting Phil a reservation for the new iPhone 5 whenever it comes out.

Can you spot him in here? I can't either... I may even be in this, I'm not sure...


We were getting ready to go out to dinner when I asked Phil if I could open the box that four days ago he said contained my birthday present. He revealed that he was just teasing me, and that he hadn’t gotten me anything for my birthday. I don’t think I’m being too princessy to say that’s pretty fucked up... considering I spent thousands of dollars on flights and transport, put my life, friendships and career on hold to come spend time with him. I couldn’t even beg him to give me a massage... on my motherfuckin’ birffday! I didn’t freak out however, and calmly urged him to never do something like that again with someone he dates in the future. Despite the powerful urge to call him a self-absorbed nazi asshole, I simply shut my mouth until we got to dinner with Anthonia, her boyfriend and Phil’s friend Felix. Philip returned the favor, in fact he didn’t speak to me again for the rest of the night.


Having my cake...


I couldn’t sleep most of the night, so didn’t join Phil to the gym at 7am. Phil came back all sweaty and happy and jumped on me in the bed. The original plan was to go to Heidl Park (an amusement park) as a belated birthday trip... but I was still asleep and not in the mood to cuddle... so within five minutes Phil’s mood returned to shit.

I checked online and found that the job I was on hold for in Corsica had cancelled, but another booking for Kohl’s in Milwaukee had confirmed me for Thursday the 15th. I spoke with my friend J-Keeps, a crazy-fun homosexual who had just landed in Dusseldorf, and we planned a weekend in Amsterdam over Skype video. “You and your gays, Max” Phil rolled his eyes “Was that your plan B?”.

“No.” I said, “It’s plan A” I started packing as Phil called his friends and started talking shit. I think he underestimated how much German I’ve learned to speak this month. Wonderfully hurtful words were exchanged and I was back on the street again within half an hour. I bought some souvenirs (Cough!Sex toys!Cough!), then a German train pass and was in Dusseldorf before nightfall. It felt good to be out of a sick relationship, but felt bad leaving Phil more miserable, lonely and insecure than I’d found him in the first place. The trip was turning out to be a total bust.



J-Keeps was staying in his new boss’ house out in the boonies of Dusseldorf, about 16 kilometers from the central train station. My cab driver was a super-friendly local and together we stumbled through a decent conversation in Germinglish. He stopped to re-route the GPS and pick up a coke. I grabbed a beer at the convenience store (there’s no open-container law here) and when I went to pay for it, the cabby announced that he’d already gotten it for me. “This is Turkish man!” the guy behind the counter smiled, gesturing to my driver who’s name I’m embarrassed to say I forgot, “Turkish man good man!” I believed the clerk, unsure of why Phil and his friends had such a problem with them... the clerk made me high-five him before I could leave the store. The driver stopped the meter when it reached thirty, since we took the long way to avoid traffic on the highway. He dropped me off in front of Justin’s house and I was sad to see him go.

“Maxi is that you??” Justin said from behind the gate when I rang the bell... It seemed like a stupid question since I could see four cameras peering a me from above the fence. “Keeps!!!” “Hold on Maxi, I have no idea how to open the gate”

Eventually I was buzzed into an extravagant post-modern house (think Sprockets) overlooking manicured lawn smathered with security cameras on a big pond. We dropped my bags in the guest room downstairs, tossed back a few beers and were in the process of cooking dinner with Fabrice the French butler-slash-house-owners-ex-boyfriend came home and told us not to drink anymore beer. He popped open a bottle of champaign and poured three glasses as Justin and I fumbled to cook Fabrice dinner.

I confirmed my plane tickets as Keeps and Fabrice skyped the owner of the house who’s in Ibiza: on Wednesday I fly to Miami, then Milwaukee, then back to Miami, then LA, then NYC at the end of the month. I called my dad and regrettably informed him that I’d not be in Europe long enough this time to have him come visit me. We decided to plan a different trip at the beginning of October, once his new girlfriend goes back to Canada. He’s importing them now. Seems like a good idea... if this relationship doesn’t work out, he can just deport her.

We all went swimming in the indoor pool after the second bottle of champaign. Keeps and I were splashing around in board shorts, swimming against the infinity-pool-jet and singing along to the 90’s jams when Fabrice pranced in wearing a budgey-smuggler and holding another bottle of champaign. “So French!” I screamed as he clicked on the projector above the pool and dimmed the colored lights. “Wave to the cameras” Frabrice said, pointing to the outdoor security cameras that had just swung over to observe the pool. He explained that the cameras were controlled by the owner’s laptop and that he must be taking a break to check in on us for a minute. I pulled down my trunks and mooned the cold dark outside. Obviously. Fabrice taught us how we ought to use a sauna (so French) and then we all went to bed.



I spent the next day wandering Dusseldorf’s old town. Every so often, Phil’s beautiful ghost was beside me, pointing at various buildings and clapping his hands with gleeful irony “Look Max, Nazi buildings!”

2011-09-07

22 in Pictures

Today is my 23 Birthday. Instead of boring everyone with yet-another long-winded half-true narrative, I've decided to throw together a series of pictures highlighting the endless summer that is my 22nd year of life. Enjoy