Anything That Can Go Wrong…
A few weeks ago I had a very frank conversation with my Mr. Bond, that went something like this:
Me: “I’m so sorry for giving you so much grey hair through the years…”
Mr. Bond: “Oh Lena, I was going to get grey hair anyway. Why not as part of an amazing adventure with you? … Far better than from being a “diaper sniffer”, play dater, golf on the weekends, beige dude!”
If my life was a book, a film or a reality show, people would have a hard time believing that it’s not all a set up and would think it’s just a well scripted fiction story. No, Ladies and Gents… it’s all for real. When I walk out the door… shit just happens! (those who can’t stomach the occasional words, such as shit and fuck, should get off this site, this is a bullshit, political correctness and social stigma free zone.)
“Never use a big word when a little filthy one will do.”
― Johnny Carson
And so it goes…
1. Space Muffin in Amsterdam
Mr. Bond and I really did try to do Amsterdam weed free. And for a day it actually kinda worked. We saw Rembrandt, didn’t take the cliché picture of us inside that red Amsterdam sign and visited a couple of cool bars.
Tales and Spirits is my absolute favorite. The place is sexy as hell, where you get wasted in style! Ambiance of this bar takes you through the endless labyrinths of witty stories and quotes, staring at you from walls, doors and bathroom sinks. So when you say that you going to hit the lady’s room to “powder your nose”, people who you came in with, will wonder exactly what kind of powder you were talking about, because you return about 20 minutes later. You were in a bathroom, pretty tipsy, snapping pictures of different quotes for your instagram feed.
My absolute favorite story that I read in that place was about a girl and darkness…
Ok, so I did say that we tried to do Amsterdam weed free… Well it was boring as hell! Apart from the above joint, Amsterdam and sobriety are two things that should never be mixed in a life’s cocktail.
We decided to hit the streets in search of a perfect space cake. It’s a rainy, chilly and just depressingly grey night outside, but we did mange to stumble into Coffeeshop Abraxas. Unfortunately, they were out of brownies and cakes, but they did have a muffin and as I recall and not that I can recall a whole lot from that night, but I believe it was the last one…lucky us!
It was all downhill from here…
Those of you, who have seen Wolf Of Wall Street (I actually loved it), will remember the lemon drug scene. Well this was exactly what happened to us. Mr. Bond and I took a bite each, an hour goes by and we don’t feel anything. So we decide to take a couple more bites… That was a very bad decision… In the morning we had to catch a plane to St. Petersburg, Russia. Decided that we will wake up early in the morning and pack. Both of us fell asleep with a slight high pumping through our minds. In the morning when we opened our eyes, we could barely move…Our bodies didn’t listen to our minds that were screaming “We’re gonna miss our fucking plane!”. “I can’t walk!” – I tried to say to Mr. Bond, who couldn’t stop bursting into laughter…
Then it was my time to break down in hysterical laughter and try crawling to my unpacked suitcase, so glad I travel lightly. Slow and shaky movements tried their best at gathering whatever things we could get from the floor and bathroom. They were all being thrown inside our bags. At this point it didn’t matter who’s suitcase had who’s items, we needed to hit the road asap, or we could kiss our plane goodbye. Amidst this chaos, Mr. Bond finds our unfinished muffin (yes, we didn’t even finish the damn thing) with words “babe! wanna finish it?” Needless to say we were both hysterically crying and laughing, knowing that if we finished it, we’d still be in that hotel room. Mr. Bond and I, finally managed to make it downstairs to our cab. Our driver was being really understanding of the whole fiasco and tried to help us, all the way to the airport. At the airport we stuffed ourselves with food and water in order to sober up enough, so we would be allowed on the plane. In Tallinn, Estonia, a jet to Saint Petersburg was waiting for us…
2. Tallinn Passport Control
When they say that some countries have some pretty outrageous idiots working for passport control, have never been in Tallinn. Here we are, almost all sobered up and exited about our trip to the Russian Capital of Culture and Beauty, checking our bags. (in Tallinn having one carry on and a purse is way too much luggage to take with you on a plane.) Anyway, I don’t really remember why we checked our bags, but that’s unimportant trivial shit, remember, I did say that we were almost sober. In fact, checking those bags was the only reason we actually made it on that damn plane…
This glasses wearing, middle-aged, underfucked and undereducated idiot of a woman, refused to stamp Mr. Bond’s USA passport, stating that he needs a “Schengen Visa”… Mr. Bond, a Harvard graduate, is doing his best at trying not to freak out and tell the woman to go read up on “traveling within European Union with USA passport 101” booklet, which should be hanging in her damn cubicle. She says “I see you have a Russian Visa for 3 years, sir, but you don’t have a Schengen Visa, I can’t stamp your passport and let you on the plane!”… By this time I lost all self-control and got all up close and personal with the witch. “Listen, maaaaam, he doesn’t need a visa! He’s an American Citizen and so am I, we don’t need a Schengen Visa with a US passport!”
“Yes, you do!! You need a Schengen Visa!” – Was her reply. I actually asked this idiot if she’s visited Amsterdam in the past 24hr hours. Because from the looks of it, it was her, who stuffed her face with that muffin and not us two. Then she smiles at me and says ” oh, and you don’t have a Russian Visa in your US passport, so you can not board that plane!” Now the bitch was so proud of herself that she couldn’t stop smiling. So I decide to snap her back into reality and gently whip out my “other” passport, that says “Russian Federation” on it. I don’t think she has ever seen or even knows that such situation is possible – A Dual Citizenship. Can you imagine how confused, angry and petrified this woman was by now? She stared at my now 2 passports, like they were two 20 inch cocks, that were being whipped out in front of a virgin…
At this point our names were called already 3 times. I told her to go get someone in charge of this sort of thing or she will be paying for our tickets to St. Petersburg out of her pocket. I mean, are you serious?!!! So her manager storms in with one of our plane personnel in order to tell this idiot to put stamps in our passports and let us board our plane. I did tell her that she’s an idiot. Were we the fist Americans in history to ever make a transit in Tallinn?
3. Russian Mafia
Saint Petersburg! The beauty, the culture, the history… it’s all here. Mr. Bond and I stayed in an incredible place. It was once a home to one legendary Russian; Aleksandr Pushkin. This hotel is called Happy Pushkin, because author himself said, that the years spent here, with his wife, were the happiest of his life.
St. Petersburg is famous for heart stopping thunderstorms, gorgeous palaces and museums, that make all other museums, blush, in comparison. It’s a home to romantic White Nights (it’s almost daylight 24 hours), breathtaking architecture, The Great Russian Food and Vodka, that’s prepared in pure Russian Tradition, beautiful Russian Women and the most ruthless Russian Mob – and we got to experience all of it…
You know, I always crave those thunderstorms… I have a whole thunderstorm ritual ~ Opening the widow, quietly sitting down with my legs hanging outside and listening to thunder. Love getting soaked by heavy rain.
It’s almost as if God (or whatever you want to call it) himself/herself is cleansing us. Although I have sinned so much in my life, that it would take countless thunderstorms. Saint Petersburg is truly magical at night…
You can go and see the festive opening of the bridges, stroll under the bright purple sky at 1am, dance salsa near the Neva River at 2am and learn how to drink Vodka at 3am… yes, there’s a specific way. Get your notepads out and write this down. Mr. Bond was probably still recovering from the New Years in Moscow and how my brother with his buddies got him absolutely wasted on Vodka, Limoncello and other exiting spirits. However, I still dragged him to several restaurants around town… for some Russian Drinking Fest take two.
There is a 3 step manual in order to experience Russian Vodka in the correct way, that will give you 100% buzz and minimize hangover…
1. While holding a shot with Vodka of your choice, you should take a deep breath and breathe out all air out of your lungs in a fast passed motion.
2. Without breathing in air, empty your shot.
3. Quickly take a bite or two out of let’s say a salty cucumber or any other Russian Vodka food that would be placed on your table for Vodka-tasting experience. (please breathe now)
After you empty that shot glass and you’re being poured your next one faster than you’re able to blink, you’re more than welcome to make a bear-like sound, to truly feel like a Russian… trust me, people who work in Russian Restaurants have seen it all.
“I drunk with Russians last night and almost died, today they invited me for “Hair of the dog”… I wish I died yesterday…”
No, we didn’t just get shitfaced drunk on vodka shots, we also got a culture shot ~ Visiting The Great Hermitage (where we could marvel at Leonardo’s “Virgin and Child” only a few inches away and not surrounded by Mona Lisa’s 24/7 chaos!). Also we paid a visit to the Serene and Proud Peterhof by taking a breezy ferry ride to back in time ~ To the ballrooms, fountains and immaculately kept, secret gardens in full bloom. Dear France, take notes! This is how gardens and fountains of your Versailles should look like… Welcome to Peterhof Palace…
When Mr. Bond and I are in a new place, we love to visit strip club, cabaret or a sex show. Reason for that? Well if you absolutely must ask ~ I absolutely adore beautiful women… especially blondes. Actually almost married one back a few years ago, but Mr. Bond came into picture and spoiled all the fun. (kidding) That’s right, “Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world” … HE had to walk into mine! And I’m sure he has been cursing that day ever since.
Which brings us to …
One fine St. Petersburg evening, Mr. Bond and I decided to go out and see what kind of trouble we can get ourselves into. It was raining, so Mr. Bond took an umbrella and off we went into the warm, summer night. Nevsky Prospekt is usually the busiest street in Petersburg, but it was all closed off for road work. To be able to stroll freely in the middle of the most famous street in town ~ is once in a lifetime experience.
Saint Petersburg night has led us into one of the posh hotels, Renaissance Hotel for a drink and to ask them to call us a cab. When we got into the car, I told the driver that we wanted to go to a famous Golden Dolls club just off Nevsky Prospekt. He insisted that it was pretty crappy and probably closed due to the fact that there is road work being done in front of it, so it would probably be empty. He said he knew a much better place, by the name of “Butterflies”. I don’t know what has happened to my “don’t hustle a hustler” mindset, but it probably was still inside that “Amsterdam Cloud”. I should have right away put two and two together… “Butterflies” or “Night Butterfly” is a Russian slang for prostitutes.
The driver makes a turn onto a very shady-looking street. The club is really hard to see. So I tell him to wait for us, because if we don’t like the place, we’ll be back. Mr. Bond and I go in. It’s really dark and shady-looking… we should have went with both of our instincts and walked out… The price was 100$ for us both. We hesitated, but decided to go ahead and try it… I mean, what can happen, right?
So we make our way downstairs, into a dungeon-like room… very dark, music is playing, women sitting around on couches and we are the only customers. They also told us about some kind of private rooms or options, which was another giveaway (damn Amsterdam space cake!). There was a pole and sort of dance floor, but no one was dancing… we didn’t even get a drink. It took us less than a minute to decide that we wanted to leave.
We walked back upstairs to the “reception” and told them, that we don’t like this place, we want our money back and that we’re leaving. Some ugly chick gets all in our face with “Oh look at these two, they don’t like our girls!”. “No! You can’t have your money back!” ~ said their “manager”.
“Don’t fuck with me, fellas. This cowgirl has been to the rodeo before.”
― Joan Crawford
I replied with “its not our first ride and this shit hole is just that, a shit hole!” We argued for about another 5 minutes, when a woman out of nowhere all bruised up, bleeding and crying, being thrown towards the entrance by this gorilla-looking, drunk out of his mind, thug. Mr. Bond tries to pull me aside, but he wasn’t fast enough, so this mob dude bumps into me.
That’s where things got really messy. This drunk out of his mind thug, thinks I’m one of the new gals in this joints, (because I’m the only woman customer who has ever been in this place) and that Mr. Bond is either my pimp or my client. This guy is obviously “working” this brothel. So he goes all crazy on me and smashes me against the wall. Mr. Bond gets in a rumble with this guy.
Meanwhile the “security” is just watching. They didn’t do a damn thing. I took our umbrella and was going to seriously hurt this thug and managed to dial our “Russian 911” for backup. As soon as the “manager” understood that the cops will be here any moment, they throw all of us outside. I yell at our “cab driver” and try to find out why the hell he brought us here and how much, he was going to get paid for not 1, but 2 dumb Americans…
Once the driver heard that cops are on their way, he left like a true Englishman would ~ without a goodbye, naturally.
While we are waiting for the cops, Mr. Bond is standing between me and the “dumb Russian godzilla” with an umbrella, that he took from me… and trying to keep the mob guys (now there were two of them, the other one was in the car) off my Russian-Armenian-American Ass…
Because by this point, I lost it and were really going to get in a physical fight with that asshole, even if it killed me. I was also able to put this puzzle together ~ The blonde chick that got brutally beaten by this maniac, was “his” girl, he was her pimp and she came to work in this joint without telling him ~ that explains the BMW, that he tried to shove her inside. “Go ahead fuckhead, come here, it’ll be the last thing you’ll be able to do” I said, while taking a picture of his BMW for the cops.
“Come on, idiot, come here and get arrested with your driver and your hooker, because the cops are gonna be here any second” He had no choice but to leave. They finally managed to get the beaten girl in the car and left, with profanities being screamed out of the car, as they hit gas.
This asshole didn’t know who he was dealing with… I’m a sister of one very mean ghost rider… that would castrate and bury him alive (in that order) if something happened to me.
Oh, and the club was closed for the night (shocker). They would have lost a lot less money if they had just given ours back, when we asked. (They are indeed a bunch of really crappy businessmen)
So “The cops” show up… in civil damn clothes and undercover-looking car. I refused to get into the car until they tell me the phone number that the call came from. They took our statements and said that Mr. Bond can go to US embassy and discuss the matter with them if he wishes. (He was leaving in a day back to US) They tried to bang on the door, so they can talk to “management”. They said that first they will take our statement, then theirs. Till this day, I know for a fact “cops” are working for this joint and getting some hefty “leftovers” from the “party”.
Mr. Bond and I got a cab and went back to Renaissance hotel to let them know where this cab company took us and that this cab company gives this hotel a really bad rep. Reception people were stunned by the whole story, they couldn’t believe what happened to us and that they have never heard of such story before. Mr. Bond bought us each a drink… we really needed it.
Still in shock, we sat at a bar sipping on our dark and stormy’s. You could sense one question hanging thick above us ~
“Could this hotel be on it as well?”
“No way!” our “American Dreamy Fog” along with “Amsterdam Giggly High” would have answered.
But since those two were completely out of our system, by now, especially after such a sobering event at “Butterflies”, “The Crazy Russian” in us yelled;
“Absolutely, you idiots!… Welcome to Russia!”
“What can go wrong is always much more interesting than what goes right !” ~ Paul Bowles
The woman behind everything that went wrong …