Scrotum Stares

Hungary – Budapest ~ 2005

If you ever venture to Eastern Europe, then be prepared for one thing – the stares. They’re wonderful places, and they’re filled with just as wonderful people (I’m sure), but it seems, that wherever you go, the total sum of its inhabitants can’t help but stare you down with a look that says “I’m seriously going to murder you and harvest your organs”. But you know…different cultures, one love, live and let live. All that jazz.

Ermmm. Moving swiftly on!

Anyway, I’ve visited the city of Budapest, in Hungary, a couple of times – and apart from the vicious murderous stares that I’ve just mentioned, I find it to be a beautiful and culturally rich place, what with the elaborate architecture and historic monuments, I would probably recommend it to any would-be tourist! That is, if it wasn’t for the scrotums. You see no trip to Budapest is complete without a visit to the Turkish bath spas…

“You just have to try them! (People will tell you!) You’ll feel so relaxed and it will just melt away your stress!”

Disagree GIF

Well you know what people? Call me a prude if you like, but there is something about a large group of naked 80 year men staring at me while I shower that makes me uncomfortable…maybe it’s the fact that they’re licking their lips? Maybe it’s the fact that their testicles are hanging down to their knees? Who knows…but hey, it didn’t do much for relieving my stress…even when they massaged my shoulders without me giving consent. I didn’t mean to seem ungrateful or anything,  but the whispering in my ear was a bit much.

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The Truth about Dog Cafés…

Unbelievably I have already been in South Korea for eleven months, and I have only just experienced their fabled “dog cafés” this weekend! The reason for the wait you wonder? A mixture of inadvertent racism and unintentional ignorance I’m afraid! You see…when I was in China, a couple of years ago, I found that the dog café scene was distinctly different – namely that man’s best friend was served to you in a stew, in the middle of the table, with rice, and a beer. To answer your question, yes I do still have nightmares.

Dog Cafe GIF

But, more about that another time…

Anyway, so when it was suggested to me in Korea, I was dead set against it! Well, as it turns out, the Korean counterpart is somewhat different…it’s just a café with dogs, that you can pet as you drink your hot chocolate! (Oh, and yeah – the dogs are alive, which is a fantastic feature!) So yes, I was pleased – as it certainly posed less of a moral dilemma this time around…it was “hmmm, coffee or tea?” rather than “hmmm…eat some dog stew or go hungry tonight?”

I must say the whole thing was an interesting novelty; sitting with an americano while a couple of dogs lie lovingly in your lap! However, I wouldn’t suggest it for a first date…I can only imagine that a dog taking a shit on your table might turn the romance levels down to approximately -10, or that a dog pissing on your jeans might kill off any of your chances of a second meeting. Unless you’re into that kind of thing. Erm…

Naturally I feel like a bit of lunatic  now, as I recall screaming at some friends who asked me to accompany them to the same place a few months ago, “NO! I HAVE BEEN ONCE BEFORE IN CHINA AND THAT WAS QUITE ENOUGH – I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU WOULD GO?! WHO ARE YOU? YOU MAKE ME SIIIIIICK!” And all they were doing was going to drink a cup of tea and pet some animals. The word “cringe” doesn’t quite cover it.

Cringe GIF

At any rate, I will be returning as it was definitely a lot of fun; I just hope next time around the sausage dog doesn’t use my thigh in lieu of a girlfriend. That’s all I ask…

I’m off to take four showers, as I still feel dirty.

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똥침 (“Poop-Needle”)

There are always pros and cons to every big decision in life…and if you are a level-headed (ish) kind of person like me, it is best to think things over before jumping into something big. Like moving abroad for example, you do your research and find some other people’s thoughts on the place – they might mention that the country is rich in culture and historic tradition (oooh, interesting!), but also add that there is some negative bias from the older generation against foreigners (oooh, who cares?)…but nowhere in my research of South Korea did I find any reference to the horrific craze among Korean children that is, the “dong-chim” (똥침)

Continue reading “똥침 (“Poop-Needle”)”