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Friday, 30 December 2011

Healthy things to do naked no 2 - SAUNA (and how not to die or get pregnant in one)

After writing this blog for about 3 years now (can you believe it? what happened to my life?) It has occurred to me that despite living in Estonia for most of the time I haven't written a single thing about Saunas. And looking at the readership here, most of you didn't have a sauna today.

Well...where to start telling you, dear Sauna heathen, about Sauna? In Finland, Estonia, and Russia it of course competes with drinking vodka as the national sport. (Often the two are mixed, which I must warn, ends in carnage and getting total strangers pregnant)

In the Baltics, Sauna is taken very seriously - In 2010 the World Sauna Championship, held in Finland since 1999 had to be stopped indefinately - the Russian competitor died and the Finn (who won by default since the other finalist died) ended up in hospital. I'd heard on the grapevine the Russian, actually was drugged up to the eyeballs so couldn't feel the 110 degree C heat burning the inside of his lungs.

but all in all, a real Sauna, especially a Smoke sauna (read the link to find out all about this weird sounding but great feeling way of Sauna) or at worst a real wood fired sauna (much softer heat) can be a great and healthy thing, and afterwords you feel like you've just been born (your skin is clean, I don't mean that you start believe what you see on Fox news)

A few things you must be aware of, if you're a foreigner in these parts and decide to join some local people for a sauna

1. It is hot. Usually about 80-90 degrees Celcius. When water is poured on you feel hotter of course as thats the air temperature (which is almost boiling point) The water opens your pores and lets you sweat out the toxins so use it - even in lame American saunas that are 60degrees and say 'don't pour water on' As usual Americans totally miss the point. (Soon you'll be telling me you support Mitt Romney for Gods sake)

2. Everyone will be naked. Yes, believe it or not, 5 naked guys huddled in a small box sweating together does not have to be a gay orgy. And don't worry, Asian guy, that you may have a tiny wiener - really, no one cares about it. Apart from you, sitting there in the closet, there is only one gay guy in all Estonia and he lives in London, if thats some reassurance. If you do wear boxer shorts, you will be seen for the total dickwad that you are, so just brave it as it cleans you out better.

3. People often have Sauna when blind drunk. This also may be an issue for some western people. but if your sharing a sauna with fat horny Finnish girls, then believe me, its a Godsend. And beer, when poured on the sauna makes a lovely smell. Of course all health benefits from the sauna are negated from this, and its actually quite dangerous from a dehydration point of view so make sure if you do get drunk in there, keep some water handy. Just close your eyes when the Finnish ladies hands go wandering.

4. After the sauna, you should either roll in the snow, jump in a freezing river/sea/lake or at least have a cold shower. This washes the crap off of you, closes up your pores, and thats what makes your skin all smooth to touch. If you don't do this, you will come out in spots and be one of those ignorant douchebags who 'hates sauna' because you didn't have the courage to do it properly (jumping naked into snow takes balls/vodka first time but really its fine) After the snow, don't stay in the cold for too long though as your body temp will drop quickly in minus 20.

5. If you are having sauna with total strangers, and they know you are a foreigner (just as i did two hours ago on Baltic_Queen (ironically named since as i said, there are no gays left in Estonia) They will likely try to get into a silent macho 'pouring water on' match - they'll keep pouring water which makes it burning hot, to see if the 'pussy foreigner' can handle when it gets over 100 degrees. Well, man, don't let me tell you what to do, Estonian guys hate you anyway since if you are there you are stealing their women (even accidentally) but if you do have some self respect, hang in there and they may even grunt some appreciation and buy you a Saku Beer if you last it out.

6. Dont have sex in the sauna. Its too hot, and its a silly idea. And condoms don't work so well. Especially with those drunk Finnish girls - afterwards you will see them in the light and know i'm right.

And on that note, I see that its now almost the end of the year. This month I bizzarely got a record number of hits on this blog, so....thanks a lot guys, keep comments and suggestions coming, i do appreciate it. funny thing is i was looking at the hits and the highest is one random post about falling in love with prostitutes....

anyway when it comes, Happy New Year!

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Toxoplasma - Proof that Cats are rubbish for Men and good for Women (We already know that, of course..)

I was talking the other day to someone about an article i'd read that shows that cats turn men into nervous wrecks and women into wanton predators....Well here and here are two of them - just google Toxoplasma and you'll see a million more...
Here's an extract..
Your earlier studies suggest the toxoplasma infection can induce personality changes in humans - how does the human psyche change and does the alteration manifest itself differently in men and women?
"Yes, there is a very huge difference between men and women. The infected men are more suspecting and jealous and they don't like to respect the rules of their society. In women, it is quite the opposite way. They are more outgoing, easygoing, warm-hearted and they like to respect the rules of their society."

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Bizarre Place Names

Ok there has been too much thinking in this blog. So i thought i would dumb it down a little by telling you some real place names around the world.

I wonder if anyone has made a point of visiting them all....

Arsoli (Lazio, Italy)
Bastard (Norway)
Beaver (Oklahoma, USA)
Beaver Head (Idaho, USA)
Brown Willy (Cornwall,UK)
Chinaman's Knob (Australia)
Climax (Colorado, USA)
Cunt (Spain)
Cunter (Switzerland)
Dikshit (India)
Dildo (Newfoundland, Canada)
Dong Rack (Thailand-Cambodia border)
Dongo (Congo - Democratic Republic)
Effin (Limerick, Ireland)
Fuku (Shensi, China)
Fukue (Honshu, Japan)
Fukui (Honshu, Japan)
Fukum (Yemen)
Hold With Hope (Greenland)
Intercourse (Pennsylvania, USA)
Lickey End (West Midlands, UK)
Little Dix Village (West Indies)
Lord Berkeley's Knob (Sutherland, Scotland)
Middle Intercourse Island (Australia)
Muff (Northern Ireland)
Nobber (Donegal, Ireland)
Pis Pis River (Nicaragua)
Sexmoan (Luzon, Philippines)
Seymen (Turkey)
Shafter (California, USA)
Shag Island (Indian Ocean)
Shitlingthorpe (Yorkshire, UK)
Tittybong (Australia)
Tong Fuk (Japan)
Turdo (Romania)
Twatt (Orkney, UK)
Wank (Germany)
Wankendorf (Schleswig-Holstein, Germany)
Wankener (India)
Wankie (Zimbabwe)
Wankie Colliery (Zimbabwe)
Wanks River (Nicaragua)
Wankum (Germany)
Wet Beaver Creek (Australia)

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

How to Cheer Yourself up for Winter (book a cheap flight to the sun!)

I would say, there is nothing better to raise your mood in this dark and wet (at least in Northern Europe) Winter, than to book a bunch of cheap flights!

There seems to be a raft of cheap flights right now  - Canadian Budget airline airtransat is doing Glasgow-Toronto for £159 upwards one way, with £90 to upgrade, albeit that just means free booze and marginally better seats (i'm guessing like Economy Plus) It also flies to London and various other British and Canadian cities.

If you're in US - check out spirit , another El Cheapo carrier - they charge you extra for luggage but you can get to Costa Rica or Nicaragua or any of the Latin American places for well under $100 (i just booked to Nicaragua, to cheer me up, but more on that later...)

Of course you have the perennial Easyjet, and Ryanair if you feel you need to be humiliated somehow....

Friday, 16 December 2011

Modern Art is Rubbish - Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow

This alcove  is infinitely more beautiful than the polythene bag. 

So what is it exactly about modern art though? I remember making a gross error of judgement and went to the 'Tate Modern' one time. I couldn't find a single interesting piece of art. Am I missing something? Have all the beautiful things been 'done' already, so the artist must push the edges and make some conceptual piece or are they simply not talented and its a big game to fleece a gullable fau-intellectual public?  I'd be on the latter side myself. In fact i was thinking about selling some blank canvases, with just my signature at the bottom, to portray the emptiness of modern culture (maybe thats been done already?!!)

Anyway, i thought i'd share these photos of the Glasgow 'GOMA' - Gallery of Modern Art, which actually is set in a beautiful building and is worth going for that, and maybe some of the more normal stuff on the upper floors. But seriously. Is that piece of polythene an 'Installation' or just a big piece of rubbish? I left the gallery none the wiser....

Monstrous carbunkles ruining a beautiful building - GOMA, Glasgow

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Puking is NOT Art

And while we're on the subject of talentless artists....

I will venture an opinion here. sorry Milly, i know this is your career and all, but this is, while mildly amusing for 30 seconds, its total rubbish and no way to spend your life. There are plenty jobs out there.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Spudspotting/Hot Chicks With Douchebags - A New Worldwide Phenomenon

This link HERE isn't travel related, but i think may be interesting for those of you who do live life a little and observe what is going on here and there with regards to the ladies of the world.

I really see a trend here - our very own secret 'Spudspotting' community has been active in Tallinn for almost 10 years now, seeking out (it's not too difficult in Eastern Europe) amusing photos of 'Spuds' (ugly stupid looking, badly dressed men) with beautiful (but sadly tasteless and often leopardskin clad) girls.

But we are not alone. The hot chicks with douchebags website, has been operating across the pond, bravely and totally independently for a number of years. I feel that when we find there is an Asian or South American version, we truly have a worldwide brotherhood, which only goes to show, tragically that all men think alike....

Shoreditch Twats- As Predictable as an Estonian Girl Choosing an Inappropriate Boyfriend

So, im back in twat central - Shoreditch, Hackney, London. (Thanks to Oli, Mia and Marino for putting me up)

A Shoreditch Twat, yesterday

I had a great time mind you, went to 'kick' where you can pick up French girls while playing table football (if you want to), ending up in a bar called Spread-Eagle - Last time I was there it was ten years ago, it was a girly bar, on a Saturday Afternoon and they had for some reason Aussie Backpacker girls stripping to the sounds of AC/DC. Actually it was much better then, but now at least its open until 4am.

What gets me though about the Hackney 'centre of the universe' vibe is that its strangling itself on its own narcissism. The moustache count was high, (because it's just been movember but i'm more looking forward to early next year when the ladies repost with fanuary. I'll try to research as much as I can personally, although as i'm sure you fellas well know the ladies of Japan (and probably Pakistan for that matter) have been active here for years.)

But what next for a place thats so achingly trendy that no one is actually imaginative or original any more? Well, it hit me when I walked past the The Breakfast Club off Hoxton Square on Saturday morning. People were actually queueing up to pay and extra £3 so they could have fresh coriander on their bacon and eggs, instead of just walking (its about a mile though) to a real greasy spoon like i did. Actually probably they don't even give you coriander, but i do recommend it, it tastes great.

Anyway, if a place has gone like that, the only way can be down, surely? I didn't meet or see anyone or anything remotely inspirational in the whole area, seemed it was at that terminal phase, where Starbucks is about to move in (there's already one on Commercial Road nearby, watch out!) and the only people you meet are whining Dickheads from the home counties who have as much creativity as a bin-man (the only answer for these guys is of course to take coke, then you convince yourself that you're interesting and creative to everyone, voila!) 

Which I suppose describes the Shoreditch/Hackney phenomenon perfectly. Hackney is that pretty average looking guy you see out of his head on coke, totally convinced that he is an original, interesting and unique genius, but of course to everyone else he's just a boring, unimaginative loser with too much of his parents money, in a terminally downwards spiral.

Anyway, now i'll go and watch 'Another Earth' and leave you with this summary....

What is a Shoreditch Twat

1. Usually a new media, fashion student, photographer-type person with a privileged digital or old school arts background who lives/works/socialises in London's East End area of Shoreditch. A Shoreditch twat has at some point also worked/lived/socialised in the near-by Brick Lane. A Shoreditch twat is defined by their Hoxton Finn haircut, 80s retro 90s fusion clothes (usually a suit jacket, blue ripped jeans, and white trainers/shoes), an ability to talk about pseudo-intellectual artistic bullshit with no relevance to the real world, completely up their own backsides, and a failure to comprehend that they are the laughing stock of the rest of the normal local (ethnic) population.

2. 20-something dressed in over-priced torn clothing and numerous 80s retro fashion items, sometimes including pink legwarmers. Ridiculous haircuts also de-rigeur. Comonly found in Shoreditch/Hoxton area, usually making bad art in an overpriced warehouse apartment while living on seemingly limitless parental funds. Shoreditch twats where once refered to more politely by the BBC as 'Hoxton trendies'.

3. The Shoreditch Twat fanzine was published and edited by club promoter Neil Boorman on behalf of 333 from 1999-2004. Starting life as a listings magazine for the club, it quickly grew to become an irreverent, satirical fanzine at the centre of the creative boom in East London. Producing 25,000 copies every six weeks with funding from BAT, Anheuser-Busch and Diesel, Shoreditch Twat attracted writers from The Guardian, The Face, Arena, Loaded, ID and Sleazenation, and illustrators James Jarvis, Bump, Airside, Will Sweeney and Elliot Thoburn. In 2001, the term Shoreditch Twat became popular vernacular for an overdressed East London 'trendy' and the fanzine went on to produce an installation for the Barbican Gallery's UK culture exhibition 'Jam', which later toured to Japan. In 2003, Channel 4 Television and Talkback commissioned Shoreditch Twat to produce a one off comedy show. This show went on to win a specila mention at the 2004 Montreux Comedy Award. After four years and 31 issues, Shoreditch Twat ran into legal difficulties and was forced to close down. The publisher went on to edit Sleazenation Magazine.