Category Archives: World Travel

The Chop Goes to the Middle East

Well, Baltimore, we had a good Spring. We’ve had a lot of fun together over the last few months; going to shows, talking politics, watching baseball and barhopping. Sad to say though, not even the Chop can sleep until noon and screw around on the internet every day of our life. It’s time for us to go back into the great wide world of adventure. We’ll be leaving very, very early Tuesday morning.

Don’t worry Baltimore, we’ve gone away before, and come back with wonderful stories of exotic lands. The same applies now. We don’t expect we’ll be spending much time with easy access to the internet, so we’re going to put the blog on hiatus for a while. When we return, just as suddenly as we’re leaving, we’ll pick up right where we left off. Promise.

The last time we left we spent the coldest Winter ever in Northern Europe. This time we’re expecting the hottest of hot Summers in our travels around the Middle East.

If you just can’t go without your Chop fix this Summer, and want to hear someone anonymous describe life in the desert, we suggest you pick up a copy of the Thousand and One Nights, which we’ll be re-reading overseas, and which will serve as a daily reminder that while the lands of crescents and spires are indeed magical and enchanted, they’re also bloody, diabolical, and very, very hot.

The Chop is by turns a man of the world, and a man of leisure. Upon our return from a quest for fortune, we shall resume our quest for pleasure and enjoyment with a redoubled fervor. Of that you can rest assured.

Is it not just, that after so many troubles I should enjoy an agreeable and quiet life?”

-Sindbad the Sailor, from the Arabian Nights.

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Downright Dickensian

This is the Chop’s first Pop-Up Picture Post! All of the links in this post go directly to photos of the things they are. Example: When you see teapot linked, it’ll show you a picture of a teapot. Its fun!

As you may know, the Chop recently spent some time in Germany, and we’ve been so busy since we got back there’s scarcely been time to recount what we found there.

And what we did find was sad, my friends. It was heart-wrenching stuff, straight out of Dickens or Les Miserables. If you think the recession is bad here, its so much worse in Germany.

Everywhere we went we saw Orphans. Some of them live out on the street,
while other are lucky enough to get into the orphanages or the home for wayward girls. The situation has grown so dire there that there are whole streets of orphanages, where the poor dears knock on the windows and beg for attention.

There are some hard-working orphans in Germany.

Oh its bad, Gentle Reader. These orphans are so neglected that they actually dance on tables, hang all over the place, and even jump up in your lap and call you daddy. Some of them even sing for their supper in the public houses. We thought that never happened anymore, but those who can’t sing are out on their own. These orphans are so poor, most of them barely have enough clothes to cover themselves, and lots of them are all skin and bones.

The Chop hopes that things improve soon, because History has already shown us that when things go bad in Germany, they can get out of hand.

But while the Chop is usually a generous philanthropist, we kept it (our wallet, that is) in our pants, which was especially coldhearted around Christmas time. Shame on us and our cold, black, American heart.

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The Lush Goes To Southampton

The Chop is taking the day off today. The post below comes from the March Issue of British FHM. Although the Chop didn’t write this one, we feel like we could have, because after spending a good part of our trip in Southampton, it mirrors some of our experiences quite closely. If you’re after going for a night on the town, this is pretty much what you can expect.

1. Joe Daflo’s, 5.55 pm

It seems the closer you get to the Continent, the closer you get to continental drinking hours. Its just shy of six and, after a journey involving a lost child, an angry naval officer, and a replacement bus, The Lush scuttles out of Central Station and into Joe Daflo’s. An establishment which sounds like a provincial fancy dress store, but is actually a church-turned-pub, albeit one without any alcohol worshipers. In fact, staff outnumber punters, and the only other imbibers have children. Children! A quick San Miguel and its off to check into the hotel.

2. Soul Cellar, 8pm

“You should be in prison, you filthy child molestor!” The Lush turns to mutter something about it being tough to tell girls’ ages nowadays, only to find the old woman’s vitriol is aimed at her husband- a man who is no longer welcome in her Honda and will now be walking home. Show over, we duck into Soul Cellar- a homely bar with a middle aged drunk spilling Guinness in the doorway, BB King on the stereo, a selection of 28 beers (including Duvel And Sam Adams) and oh, Jesus, legs. Nice Legs. In a short skirt and connected to a streamlined torso and pretty face that are celebrating their 21st birthday-and far more interested in screaming and drinking through a straw than conversing with the Lush. We drink up and head for the town’s binge drinking mecca, Bedford Place.

3. 90 Degrees, 9.20 pm

This should read 180 Degrees. It’s what anyone in their right mind will do.

4. The Cricketers, 9.30 pm

But What’s this? Just 100 yards away is a pub. A real pub, with a wooden bar and low roof, that serves real ale, but refuses to serve seventeen-year-olds. Great. Well, not for Lolita freezing her non-existent buttocks off in the strappy top and hot pants, admittedly, but great for the Lush.

5. Vodka Revolution 10.50 pm

Three pints later we take a stroll to what was once the Lizard Lounge, but its now a Vodka Revolution. Which must be a bad thing, right? yes, in every other town across the country. Here, no. Here, aside from the name, the only visible changes are the menu (it now sells pizzas) and the staff’s uniform (they now wear Inter Milan strips.) Is this supposed to be an Italian? Do Italians like Vodka? We’re discussing this with a chesty fox with one of those tattoos just above and below her jeans line when our afternoon McDonalds comes back to haunt us via a gut-dropper of table-clearing proportions. Time to run.

6. Orange Rooms 11.30 pm

Unfortunately however, we can’t hide, since the Orange Rooms is populated by the leggy 21-year-old, the chesty foxs, the hen do dressed as ladybirds, and the JLS wannabes- in other words, exactly the same people we’ve seen all night. It’s a perrenial deja vu that’s both the rough and the smooth of the small city. (sound familiar, Baltimore?) Well, this and theft. The Lush’s companionshang their coats on a hook for five minutes and POOF, they’re gone. Cue a military style retrieval operation featuring CCTV, sartorial descriptions, and concerned bouncers. Hardly. We’re served a double indifference with a splash of we’re-the-best-bar-in-Southampton-we-can-treat-punters-however-we-want. Disappointing. On the plus side, two girls were snogging at the bar.

The Rhino Club 1.05 am

A 17 second sprint down an ice-covered road is the Rhino. A club without a queue-Worrying, given its 1 am- or any decent whisky, but with bass so deep your body shakes and revelers who are either drunk and jumping or look like they’ve been puked up by a rap video. We leave before punches are thrown.

8. For Your Eyes Only, 1.45 am

Junk should be the next option. Its the club you go to if you’ve not pulled in Orange Rooms, but its got a queue and the Lush’s coatless colleagues are shivering, so we head to the town’s premier strip club. Bad move. We arrive too early, and are met by a room that’s empty, bar a gaggle of yawning strippers populating the right corner. they pretend to be perked up by our presence and approach one-by-one. Some are hot. some are not. Most have fake boobs. One has good banter. one has halitosis. We shell out 22 pounds for a half dozen Corona, have a couple of dances, then bid farewell to a mixed evening.

SCORES: (out of 10)

Quality of Hostelries: 7
Quality of Women: 8
Chance of a Beating: 1
Coat theft likelihood: 10

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Seeking Fortune and Adventure

We’re sorry. We’re sorry as hell. Its completely the Chop’s fault and we take all responsibility. We throw ourselves upon the mercy of Gentle Reader. (not Google Reader). The Chop is about to commit one of the biggest sins in the entire blogosphere, which is like bigger than the universe, even.

We’re leaving town for a while.

You know those Dos Equis ads about the Most Interesting Man In The World? Well, the Chop doesn’t want to flatter ourselves, but we’re pretty much the real life version of that. After all, how do you think it is we live as a man of leisure, and go out on the town 7 nights a week? We’ve been cadding around since Easter now.

Our line of work takes us to some far flung places. The Chop has seen some shit. The Chop has done some shit. Whether it was negotiating a land deal with a tribal chief in west Africa, taking part in re-supply missions in Kuwait, braving a hurricane at sea off the Bahamas, or singing karaoke in Japan… the Chop was there.

This time, the Chop is bound for a cold, cold winter in Northern Europe. Who knows what lies before us? Druids? Celtic chapels? Soccer hooligans? Autobahn races? Red light districts? We’re about to find out.

One thing is certain though… the Chop’s not going to be around a computer for a long time. Or a television. Or radio. We might be able to check in once a month or so. We’ll be reading books the rest of the time.

Regular posts will resume in March. Maybe in time for Opening Day.

Now, it pains us to start a blog and then get out of town a week later. It really does. But the Chop is not a sayer. The Chop’s a doer. We didn’t want to sit around and talk about “Oh, when we come back, maybe we’ll start blogging.” Nope. We just did it. Now we’ve got something to come back to. Incidentally, this thing has been a lot more fun that we thought it would be initially, so we’ll definitely pick up right where we left off. When the Chop returns, we’ll have a pocket full of money and a thirst for some good old American Whiskey.

And finally, it should be noted that in the first week, we didn’t actually believe that anybody would read the damn thing.

So thanks for that.

And to show our appreciation while we’re gone, we thought you might enjoy this image of Tara Reid drunk, as a reminder of what not to do this holiday season:

I'll suck your cock for a thousand dollars

Didn't I see you at Mother's last night?

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