We get back to Jaeger Hostel and find an interesting mix of travelers down at the bar. The Scottish bartender is serving a Colombian, Irishman and a Finn with a giant beard. The accents floating this conversation are stellar.
As we walk up the Irish dude is finishing up a story and pulling out his phone, “…yeah so he got so high, right, that he was pulling his eye out with a needle. Let me show you!”, hes’ scrolling frantically for the pic. “No, no, no thanks, we’re good!” The Finn pipes up, “What were they called?”, “Mandrake pills. Like MDMA. The Aurora Borealis came out thaaaat night”, “Oh yes. Very nice!” Sounds like he’s talking about a trip to Finland. And illicit drugs I’ve never heard of that make you do bath salts shit.
MacKay hears all of this and takes a hard pass, says he’s still wiped from last night and the giant Augustiner platters aren’t helping. Also, while Oogie and I were sleeping on the flight from Stockholm he was chatting up Jiwon and missed out on some vital nap hours. He goes straight passed and up to the room.
Jerry, the Irish guy, is from Wicklow. He’s funny af, sarcastic and pushing everyone’s buttons. Yoka, the Finn, has a deadpan, monotone delivery with everything he says, hard to tell if he’s being serious or not. He summons his strength from Ukko and his battleaxe of thunder and lightning +4 rests against the wall. Broad, the Colombian is trying to convince everyone that travel to his country is fine, fine, fine and Bogota is actually the shit. I back him up on this having been a couple of times and he quickly gets gangster with the, “Yes, you need to come back and get to the grimey spots”, Jerry jumps right up, “Take me to the underground you rough ass motherfucker!”
Ben asks what we’d like to drink and we say, “What’s a Blue Ruin?”, “Find out!” (which is exactly what it says on the sign behind him). “Just kidding. It’s a gin and blue caracao drink with some other shit in it”, “Alright, two of those my good man.”
While he pours the drinks we get back into it with the power trio. These dudes are hilarious. Ben passes us the drinks and we try them out. Oogie approves, “Nice! We’ve been doing a lot of G&Ts. Good change.”
I try mine and ahh…. hold on a tech. Is that.. that’s… tequila? Ben is eyeing me up for my reaction. “You put a little something extra in here? haha.” Oogie tries mine with a, “Ffwah! Yep, definitely different than mine”, “Tequila?”, “Yeah, thought I’d spice it up a bit for ya.” I get another sip, “I wouldn’t say it’s a good drink, per se, but I’m not, not gonna drink it”, “Atta boy! I’m gonna hafta close up shop here soon too so last call. You guys want something else?”, “This drink is gonna send me to the moon, so maybe just a beer”, “Make that two”, “Three”, “Four, please!”
We grab our drinks and move to the front lounge area. Broad takes his leave.
There are a bunch of board games but Jerry opts for just a deck of cards, “You guys know how to play Shithead?”, “Nope”, “Yep. Like Asshole right?”, “Yes, yes, similar to Asshole, that’s right”, “It’s different everywhere though. What rules you got?”
All four of us fight about house and regional rules for a bit before deciding on a list that accommodates all of the highlights (which are standard rules pretty much but with Jerry’s red-three nuke add-in). Between Jerry, Oogie and Yoka I’m sensing a competitive, alpha drunk vibe, this should get good. The cards get dealt out: three down, three up and three in your hand.
There’s a dude on his laptop here as well. He doesn’t want to play with us. Or talk to us, really. Not sure what he’s doing but he can’t tear himself away from the screen. He’s from France, just outside of Paris. His name is Romain, “Romain? Like the lettuce?”, “Lettuce?”, “Ahh… comment dites.. salade? Lettuce?”, “No, no. More like a Roman”, “A Roman who is French”, “Yes, that’s right.” I don’t think we’re getting off on the right foot here..
This is proven shortly after when he packs up his laptop and bails while we’re getting the game going without saying a word. Jerry isn’t having it, “Well that’s rude” he says to us then yells after Romain, “G’night mate!” No reaction. Jerry throws his hands up, “Fucking French, eh?”
We get deep into the Shithead and after a round people are all getting good at it. I drop my last blind card to win the next round, a red three. Yoka’s face lights up, “What a great last card. The Gods smile on you”, Jerry is impressed as well, “Ahh so you are smart guys after all.”
We keep playing and adding various drinking rules as we go (eg: Drink when the discard pile is nuked) and it seems a good 4-way match. Except for the fact that Yoka continues to lead off the whole game with a red three if he has one. “Dude! That is literally the best card in the game”, “Not where I’m from!”, “Well fucking adapt man, I’m not telling you again. Don’t waste those.”
We go round for round and there’s a different winner each time. No trending champion or obvious leader (which is probably why no one is getting bored with it), though I’ll say that Jerry is a wily one and clearly has the most experience. I’ve identified him as the biggest threat if given the right cards.
Round after round and the drinks are starting to get low. Yoka acknowledges this and pulls out a small circular container, “I’ve got snus. Anyone want to try?”
(Snus is a container of moist tobacco pouches that are kind of like mini teabags that you jam in your upper lip. There’s no spitting involved, like in chewing tobacco, you basically just let the nicotine get absorbed and get a mild high similar to that of a cigarette (or multiple cigarettes depending on the strength of the snus). It’s mainly popular in Scandanavian countries, though I’m not sure if it’s actually legal or widely available. McBurger sent me a six pack of Oden’s for my birthday last year.)
“Of course the Finn has snus. Yeah, I’ll take one”, Oogie looks confused, “What is it?”, “A nicotine patch for your gums”, “Ohhh come now, don’t sell it this way. Here try. You will like, I promise.” And so we all take a bag from the container and toss it in our mouths. It’s mildly pepper and citrus. Face gets a little warmer and the drink fog clears a bit. Ok, not bad
Soon after a strange beard bonding moment occurs between Yoka and Oogie. “It’s very soft”, “Beard oil”, Jerry flashes me a raised eyebrow, “Ok, I think it’s time to find more drinks”, “Now we’re talking!”
We hit the slick streets and neon lights of Munich on the hunt for more alcohol to sustain our international silliness. Snus alone isn’t gonna do it. Oddly enough for a Thursday, there aren’t many blips on the Bardar. I suppose it is getting late in the evening/morning. A few zigzags down the blocks around the hostel aren’t producing many prospects.
We settle in at a shit sports bar / dude-fest / dive joint, simply because it’s open and proceed to double down on drinks in case it’s near closing time. Grab a table and Oogie decides it’s time to switch up card games. “You guys ever played bullshit?”, “Bullshit? No, never”, “Ah it’s simple. Basically a game of bluffing…” Both Jerry and Yoka have never played and they don’t really seem to be getting it either. Which is weird because it’s way more simple than Shithead. Eugene is being pretend mad at my bluffing and they don’t really get that either. Interesting fail. Maybe drinks, snus and late hours are combining to make card games too difficult? “Back to Shithead?”, “Yeah, let’s go back to Shithead. Got that one.”
We get dealt in and immediately.. “Stop playing the red three first you Finn fuck for fuck sakes!!”
Alright this bar sucks. We leave but everything else in the area appears to be closed. Total Dead Town. So a sidewalk wrestling match breaks out, cuz… I dunno, Irish reasons.
We snus up and ponder our next move. Uh-oh, Jerry is now on the lookout for coke. He starts asking people randomly on the street and outside strip clubs. Yoka is right there with him but I’ve started to slow my roll down the sidewalk. Oogie comes over to see what’s up, “What’s going on?”, “I’m gonna let this play out without me being involved”, and I watch as they go around the corner on their hunt, “Ahh ok. Yeah, good call”, “I think.. let’s just adjust course back to the hostel”, “Yep. It’d be good to see stuff tomorrow anyways”, “Exactly.”