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Monday, October 02, 2006

Welcomed Back With Open Arms

Tallinn, Estonia

It is early in the morning. Jewish people around the world are observing Yom Kippur by not eating, washing or having sex- and getting a glimpse into the lives of oil rig workers, creepy guys who rent nothing but porn and Star Trek: Voyager, people on solo polar expeditions, castaways who talk to inanimate objects and unpopular teenagers in the process. People are being searched at airports in various parts of the world and are having things like toothpaste and gel-filled bras confiscated due to inane laws passed by overly paranoid (American) politicians who have released a
No Fly List
that prohibits dead Nazi sympathisers and the head of Lebanese parliament from boarding planes. Later on today actress Tamara Dobson, known primarily for her role in the blaxpoitation classic Cleopatra Jones, will die from complications from pneumonia and multiple sclerosis.

For now though it feels cold. Tallinn is much how I remembered it except at this time of the morning (around 5 or 6) it is devoid of people and everything looks like it has been shot with a blue filter. It feels like I've arrived in town after the Rapture has taken place and its too late to repent. I stagger towards the general direction of the Backpackers.

Having arrived at my destination I ring the buzzer in order to be let in. The Backpackers wakes from its sleep, stretches its legs and makes a slight 'click' indicating that the door is now open. I try to open the door. Stuck. I buzz again. Again I hear the 'click'. The door still won't open. Buzz. Click. Stuck Buzz. Click. Stuck This happens once more until I read the sign that informs me I have to pull the handle towards me before it will open. Oops. I am such an idiot.

I climb up the stairs and enter the reception area where the staff member in charge looks at me with bleary eyes. 'Who are choo?' He has a Spanish accent. An accent deprived of much needed sleep.
'I'm Fatman. I'm here to work later on today.'
He looks at me dubiously.
'Honestly. I spoke with John when I was in Vilnius. You know John? Irish. Ill-tempered, foul mouthed...'
'I know who Chon is. He didn't mention nothing about choo. And choo are not on the computer. Nowhere.' He's pissed off with me for waking him up but I can't help but want to order caprihinias with that accent.
'I see.' Brief images of me sleeping at the bus station flash before my eyes.
'Go find a bed anyway. Choo can discuss this with him when he awakens.'
And that's how I met Hector.

Six in the morning is not a normal time to be awake, unless you work in a bakery or plan to break family members out of jail. The upstairs 10-bed dorm resembles an army hospital. The darkened room is filled with unconscious bodies, some emitting noise, some emit foul smells. I pick an empty bed and crash into it, knowing that on the other side of sleep will be a new beginning, a new life where I shall be appreciated for my hard work.

'You're an hour and a half late,' says John, 'Not the best start for your first shift.' Having been the subject of several sackings in the past I'm unfazed by these words but judging by the smile on his face I can tell he's taking the piss. Which saves me from retorting in the usual way ( 'Bite me ya spud-eating, horse marrying thug!'). Instead I say, 'Where do you want me to start chief?'
'Have you ever seen one of these before?'
'It's...a vacuum hose. But where is the rest of the vacuum cleaner?'
John walks to a section of the lounge room wall, opens a latch and plugs the hose into a hole. He pushes the latch forwards and the vacuum hose kicks into life.
'This is a built-in vacuum cleaner. The suction motor is in a central location in the hostel. All you need to do is carry the pickup head around.'
'Awesome.'
'Yeah.....it's....great fun.'

And it is great fun. For about two minutes. Then I'm just a guy vacuuming. It would've been a great adventure if I was, say, a gynoid from Stepford. But as it was my natural instincts are to be a slob. Encoded in my DNA is the urge to litter the world with pizza boxes and empty beer bottles. Not clean stuff up.

17 Comments:

Blogger Gorilla Bananas said...

Why are you working on holiday? You may as well have stayed at home in the warm Australian sun.

5:36 am  
Blogger Fatman said...

Gorilla Bananas- A lot of people would find the prospect of lounging around in a hammock, drinking overpriced faux-Caribbean cocktails and getting attacked by a squadron of flies an ideal way to spend their days. Not me though. I'd rather face the vulpine winds that manage to pierce through my jacket, the snow that will eventually entomb people who fall asleep in the gutters and the agony of having to choose which teammates my friends and I are going to have to eat after we survive a plane crash in the Andes. I like cold, harsh conditions. But a nice cup of coffee never goes astray.

7:13 am  
Blogger Gorilla Bananas said...

Ah, you are the snow-loving human, like Scott and Amundsen, who likes bleak, cold places. We apes love warm sunshine and lush pastures full of locusts and honey. In the tundra there is nothing, and no ape needs nothing.

8:41 am  
Blogger sassyassy said...

Fatman, I really like your skewed perspective on life...it seems realistic and surreal at the same time.

11:01 pm  
Blogger Fatman said...

Sassyassy- I call it 'Surrealistic'

11:07 pm  
Anonymous Wombat said...

mmm tropical islands, come on Fatman cant say you wouldnt enjoy it? Lazing by the pool with a beautiful woman?? everyone has a weakness...

12:24 am  
Blogger Fatman said...

Wombat- I wouldn't object to lazing by the pool with a beautiful woman on a tropical island. Nor would I mind spending time inside an igloo with a beautiful woman. The key thing here is the beutiful woman. Most guys would happily be on a sinking ship, the surface of the Sun or be slowly consumed by a Sarlacc as long as there's a beutiful woman around. And maybe some beer.

2:26 am  
Anonymous Wombat said...

Well Fatman, What about having a beautiful woman bring you Pizza and Beer in bed?

11:08 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, so when are you back in Melbs???

8:53 am  
Blogger Fatman said...

Wombat- Believe it or not that is honestly my all time fantasy. Woman, beer, pizza in bed.

Anonymous- Aiming for November the 25th.

2:10 pm  
Blogger Yawn said...

Whoa...on many counts! Your history of the YA is riveting, intense, and truth be known, I don't remember writing half that stuff!

No matter. I will put it up as a guest post in the Yawning Anus with credit to you for that work. If you don't like it, I'll take it down.

8:55 am  
Anonymous Wombat said...

So Mr Fatman, One would be guessing that by now you have worked out how to open the door by now? Have you also found a new lease on life, working out that littering the world doesn't make it a friendly place? Every little bit goes a long long way. Scrub away Fatman.

11:36 pm  
Blogger Fatman said...

Yawn- The History of the Yawning Anus is pretty interesting stuff. You'd have a better idea of how psycotronics and the brain parasites work so I'll leave that for you to fill in. To be honest I didn't do too much. Just cut-and-pasted your previous entry.

Wombat- After I smashed the third door in a row to pieces with an axe they installed a little door usually reserved for cats.

8:43 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The implications of an HVAC-type suck system with points of entry on the wall (I'm assuming around dick-level) is fascinating. Should some of the twisted genius minds in Las Vegas hear about this the sex industry could go "under."

12:02 pm  
Blogger Yawn said...

Hey wait a second...it posted me as "Anonymous" after clicking "Yawn!"

12:02 pm  
Blogger Fatman said...

Yawn- Who knows why that happened. All I know is that the only people who read this site on a regular basis is a talking ape, someone who is unusually interested in a post from a year ago and ex-administrators of Secret Agencies. So don't fret. No one will notice/ care. On the plus side I've recently come across a site that deals in rejected Wikipedia entries. So maybe you can still tell the world of the evils of Yawning Anus.

1:31 am  
Blogger Yawn said...

I left a post professing to the coolness and awesomenitude of a site of Wikipedia rejects. But for whatever reason Blogger, like the secret agency community, has turned its back on me. One day I will stick my unlubricated finger in its anus. Then I will check it for prostate cancer with the claw end of a hammer.

2:34 pm  

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