Monday, December 29, 2008

Zoo for Two

(my titles are getting so bad, I know.)

Blacktress' Log, Star Date Monday, 29 December 2008.

Today I went to Taronga Zoo with a Swedish lawyer I met last night while at work. Talk about randomness!!

So, I went into my Sunday night shift determined to have energy (and buoyed by the fact that we close at 1am on Sundays), and got off to a decent start. I started at 6pm, and actually prefer the bar when it's relatively quiet and people come in to order food, have a beer, and just sit around. It's alot easier to get along with folks when you don't have to shout over music and they aren't working their ESL skills while blind drunk. It's at these hours that I can be my best, chatting up customers, making them laugh, and making transient vagabond friendships.

Two older Australian guys came in around 6:30, and I instantly made a joke about them being on the prowl, which they appreciated. Then, a third guy came and joined them, and we all got to talking--where are you from, how long are you here, the usual. The third dude was visiting from Sweden, so I instantly mentioned my Swedish friend/inspiration to earn some street cred. They went off to play pool, and I started chatting with others. I got a break (finally!) and as I tried to eat*, they pounced on me, mocking my large flavourless meal. Out of nowhere, Swedish guy sits next to me.
"So, what are you up to this week?" He says, as though we're old mates.
"I'm off tomorrow, so I think I'm going to go to the zoo." I mean, he wanted to know, so I told him.
"Oh, I'd love to do that," he said. "What time are you going to go?"

Next thing you know, we've traded numbers and we've got a 1:30 E.T.A.

Um, okay. This is what moving to a foreign land is all about. Meeting randos for zoo trips and just going where the day takes you.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the bar, there's Shane, another customer who I'd met the week before when I was off the clock. I was talking to him while my homegirl chatted up his hot friend, simply doing my sacred wingwoman duty--which was completely selfless seeing as Shane is about five feet two inches tall.

Now, those of you who know me know that what I'm looking for is a TALL glass of milk--not a shot glass! He also had scary eyes that made me uncomfortable, so you can imagine my surprise when he took my phone (it was out cause I was checking a text) and put his number in it. I'm telling you, male confidence never ceases to amaze me. Of course, I deleted his number post haste. When he came in last night and stood on his tip-toes at the bar (I kid you not, tippy tip toes!) he asked me "where I've been."

Um, what's with randoms coming to my place of employment and questioning my whereabouts?? These blokes need to slow their roll!

Just when it couldn't get any better, this 21 year old who came in Saturday night clearly mistook my awesome bartending/social skills as a sign of interest. He was really nice and funny and he was my favorite customer--primarily because he ordered simple drinks and boxed annoying dudes out of my area. And because I'm bored and living life on the edge (and because I have a pay-as-you-go phone that can be ditched at any second) I gave him my number thinking he'd be too drunk to call, or that we could just do a friend thing.

Oh, how wrong I was. I'd ignored his text the night before (which said, "so when are we going on our date?"), and he came into the bar AGAIN on Sunday and sat right in my section with his friend. I asked him how old he was, and I burst out laughing when he told me. (For some reason, me being 47 didn't phase him.)

As the night gets busier, he comes up to the bar and says, "What's the best restaurant you've been to in Sydney?"

"Oh, Chat Thai would have to be it. Tiny place, great food, always packed."

"Ok, I'm going to take you there on our date."

Oh good lord. I'm such an accidental cougar.

Anyway, back to the Easy Swede (which, ironically enough, is a signature cocktail we make at the bar. I couldn't tell you what's in it, though--I always sort of make it up or read the menu when someone asks).

We meet up at Circular Quay at 1:30 today, both hungover. For some reason I thought it was a good idea to drink an entire bottle of wine during staff drinks after work, and have been paying the price all day. We stopped to get a quick bite to eat, then took the ferry to the zoo. The Swede is 29 years old, has been practicing law less than a year, and has been to Sydney several times because he has family here. He's very buff, sort of like a Lego man, and also worked as a prison guard.

Yes, I went to the zoo with a Swedish former prison guard. LOVE IT!

The conversation went pretty easily. Swede was quite unimpressed with the zoo because most of the animals were in hiding or inert--although, to be fair, as we rode the Sky Safari up to the top of the zoo, we did see that one of the elephants had a massive boner, so I'd say we scored.

Early on, during the "Australian Walkabout" exhibit where you can take great photos of kangaroos, we came to a startling conclusion. The barrier in the exhibit is about 3 inches high, and yet the kangaroos didn't move. It's like they had no will to live or desire to escape. Clearly, these animals are being given sedatives to keep them complacent and zoo-friendly. I mean, look at him:

I am, like, totes in this kangaroo's George Foreman (grill) and it's not even batting an eyelash.

The only animal with the good sense to try and be free was this lizard we saw as we were being kicked out about 10 minutes after closing time:

For serious. This lizard was just on the pavement, heading toward the ice cream truck. I figured he was going to climb in and try to get a ride off the island. I think I saw its cousin in the reptile room only 10 minutes before.

After a couple of hours at the zoo we grabbed some dinner and chatted. He told me about this famous case he worked on back home, in which a woman killed the children of her ex-bf's current lady. Of course, being the weirdo that I am, I was fascinated by the case and kept making comparisons to CSI, which he didn't appreciate. He apparently grew up in the "mean streets" of Sweden, and is very comfortable "with all sorts of people," having many Iranian, Arabic, and African friends. He's even dated a black girl, so you know he was clearly feeling the blacktress. At first, I thought we were just being friendly, but we he said I could "google him" instead of "googling myself," I knew there were some sex in the subtext.

All in all, it was a decent day. I'm glad I fought the urge to stay inside and watch tv, and I may have even gotten New Year's Eve plans out of this. Yay for doing things!

Oh, I should also add that, while looking at the red pandas, we met a lovely Caucasian family from Boston. How? Well, I hear a little girl whispering and the dad saying "ask her!" And I turn around.

"Excuse me, but we were wondering how you get your hair like that?"

Ah, another lesson in black hair care. I leaned down to the girl's level and took it slow, explaining that no, I didn't do it myself, and that it took 6 hours. I'm glad I caught her early, to educate her on the black plight before she embarrassed herself at a liberal arts university.

*Note to self: never order vegetarian lasagna at a backpacker bar. It does all sorts of bad things to you.

C'mon Ride the Train

Yeah, so just wanted to put this up in case you didn't believe me. JAGER TRAIN!!!!!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

I May Be A Quitter, But At Least I Don't Litter*

I have to quit my job.

For serious.

This place is just a bizarro world in which I'm the town crazy, only I'm the one walking around thinking logic and spouting talk that makes sense.

My first inkling that this was getting to be too much was when I started my shift at 8pm on Tuesday to find the place packed. I was shocked; the drunkards don't arrive until 10pm at the earliest. I then followed the crowds gaze and discovered that there was a bikini contest going on. Ladies from all over the world paraded around in their finest beachwear as the crowd clapped and hollered.

The announcer introduced each girl as she walked across, praising her virtue.
"Sarah is from England, she likes vodka-lemonade and Italian men!!!!" At which point Italian men would whistle and English guys would boo.

After the contest, I noticed a few of my female coworkers were wearing bathing suits under their work shirts. Apparently, they had participated in this contest. Ah, to be 18, pierced, and full of confidence.

My next tip-off was on Christmas Eve, where I worked 6pm-3am, and the night started off with a "Jager Train." For only $6 (down from the $9 normal price) patrons could buy a shot on the jager train, which was set up all along the bar. The goal was to break the Australian record for longest Jager train. Instead, it just meant that people got drunk and annoying way earlier than usual.

I've also been sick like whoa recently--probably because I sleep odd hours and eat way too much fast food at 4am. My body is rejecting this lifestyle and telling me to sit my ass down. I even had to leave my 10pm shift on Friday after only 2 hours, because I could not breathe and the bad house music was making my head pulse even more.

Last night (Saturday) I worked 7pm - 3:30am, without a single break. What's curious about this is that the cute blonde girls always get breaks, and sometimes get to even skip out on clean-up if they start work before 8. One of the girls, who started an hour after me, was told to go out for a cigarette break and no one even told me we were shutting down my side of the bar. Um, I think I'm being oppressed, and I'm hella pissed. I'm gonna have to bring this up with Obama, cause these white folks are straight trippin'! This shit's reminding me of plantation days.

And if those aggregious crimes against the blacktress weren't enough, the DJ last night played terrible music, the worst of which was a.... dance remix of Tracy Chapman's 'Fast Car'. I kid you not. It was horrible, and I think Tracy, if she were dead, would have rolled over in her grave. In fact, I bet she had nightmares last night which caused her to roll over in bed.
And this song was played TWICE--along with a dance version of 'Wonderwall' by Oasis.

Clearly this is not my element. I did not come down under to spend most of my waking hours reeking of beer, insecurity, and work visas. I can't even do a weekend getaway, and the city is hella wack (um, don't know why I went late-90s-California on you, sorry), and I'm in desperate need of an escape. With an ever-changing schedule, even taking a class is out of the question.

And remember mom's old saying: when you start taking shots of whiskey to get through your day at the office, you know it's time to get the hell out.


*trying to find the silver lining here, and figured rhyme was the way to go.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Why I Want a Vampire Boyfriend

OMG, guys. I just got back from seeing the 10:30am showing of Twilight, and I am one smitten kitten.

As you know, since seeing Daniel Radcliffe's penis (and incurring his wrath) my love for Harry Potter has waned. I need a new teen heartthrob to take his place--or at least fill the void until the 6th movie comes out. Cue Cedric Diggory, stage left.

I was totes swooning over Ced in the HP films, and I think a guy I dated back in the day sorta looked like him. In fact, it was with that guy that I first saw the preview for Twilight, and knew I'd have to be there opening day to see my two favorite things: pretty white people with problems, and vampires (arguably could be seen as the same thing).

Many of you may not know this about me, but I'm totes into vampire lore. The whole creature-of-the-night, no-need-for-earthly-desires vibe is really hot to me. Buffy the Vampire Slayer is my jam and my jump off, and I spend many a lonely Australian day/night/dusk watching episodes on my computer.

Oh wait, have I said too much?

Anyway, I went into Twilight quite excited, though unsure of what to expect. I haven't read the books--how I didn't know they existed is beyond me (I clearly need to start hanging out with more middle schoolers). All I had to go on was the trailer, which was all overcast and blue-tinged and sexylike--and filled with Diggory. The movie just came out in Sydney, and I'd been waiting for a free Tuesday so I could go. See, movies here normally cost $18, but on "tight-arse Tuesdays," they are a low-low $10.

I kid you not.

Anyway, despite my sore throat, I pulled myself out of bed, figuring I could always take a nap post-cinematic bliss. I arrived to find I was one of 4 people in the theater--all older women. Should I be worried? I thought as I pretended to check text messages as I waited for the film to start. 5 minutes before showtime a gaggle of giggling girls came in, thus cementing my own inappropriateness.

The movie began, and I instantly found the female lead to be dull and boring. However, this was overshadowed by the intense sex appeal that is Robert Pattinson as Edward Cullen, all pasty and dark-eyed and tortured and repressed. From the moment he started dry heaving in biology class, brimming with desire for Bella, I knew this was going to be a good old time. Edward was so socially awkward, which I absolutely love in all men, and he wore the cutest cropped pea coat that I just loved on his slender frame. Overall, I wasn't pleased with what the film did with vampire lore (um, what is with the whole "in the sunshine I bling like Diddy's watch" nonsense?), and it reminded me of Buffy and True Blood and others I'd seen, but the repressed teen lust was through the roof. I kept just waiting for them to do it, and all the panting and almost-kissing was driving me nuts.

Well done, director, well done. I also admired some of the casting choices, including an attempt at multi-racial classmates and PETER FACINELLI (from 'Can't Hardly Wait') as the father of the vamp crew.

So, you know how I'm not interested in any members of the male gender, right? How I think they're all dumb and boring? Well, I found myself intensely turned on my Edward Cullen, which leads me to one conclusion only: I need a vampire boyfriend.

I mean, imagine how interesting he'd be. There's no way I could be bored, cause he'd have, like, a century worth of stories. He couldn't be dumb, cause he'd have seen it all. And yes, while a 100-year-old man probably has a lot of baggage, he also must be pretty damn mature.
I think this makes perfect sense. If you're still not buying it, here's a handy list.

Reasons A Vampire Is Better Than A Regular Boyfriend

- Super-human strength.
- The whole "I shun earthly desires and walk the night" is so hot.
- He has no problem feasting on the blood of humans-- a vegan Israeli investment banker couldn't do that.
- He will get his whole family to dismember anyone that comes after you. Um, instant street cred--hello?!
- Ability to scale great heights = best seats at every concert.
- He could kill you at any moment. Which, you know, just adds an element of spontaneity that most men lack in relationships.
- Just his desire to be with you shows that he's not afraid to follow his heart--or whatever he has in its place.
- His parents are probably dead, so I don't have to worry about his mother liking me.
- Will always be young and hot. Ka-ching!

Um, so obvi this is something I need to make happen. If you know any vampires, or any pale, sullen orphan boys who are faster than a speeding bullet, let me know.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Practicing What I Preach

I am really proud of myself today guys. I honestly, directly, and respectfully told a bloke I'd gone a few dates with that I was not interested.
This is a first.

Usually, I just punk out and stop calling, or make up excuses until he gets the picture. In the worst cases, I keep dating the fool because I think a) I have no right to look a gift horse in the mouth or b) I have nothing better to do, so why not eat some thai food and maybe have some sex?
(See most previous blog entries for proof of this thinking at work.)

But I'm about breaking old habits. I didn't rearrange my life in a new land just to make the same old mistakes. I am, like, 46-year-old high school freshman Jerri Blank, turning my life around. This time, when I make the same mistakes, I'm gonna doing it for all the right reasons.

Who is this bloke, blacktress? you may be wondering. Well, remember my brief mention of an encounter in a kebab shop on the eve of my birthday? That's the one. We went out on three dates, on the second of which he brought me a BOUQUET OF LILIES.
I knew right then that this was too much.
He's 27, an engineer, and very nice. But he's also short and dull as dishwater--the latter being way more important than the former. He also doesn't know me very well, so I find his intensity suspect.

I've had work at the craphole every night this week, giving me no time to hang out with him or anyone else. While I knew we could perhaps go to dinner before one of my 10pm shifts, I didn't really think a good meal was worth the inevitable post-dinner make-out session that would have to take place. I initially thought my busy schedule would allow things to fizzle naturally, as it had been only three dates, and in the early courtship phase, it's important to strike while the iron is hot. Besides, I felt a bit weird "calling it off" in a formal manner when it had only been 3 dates--wouldn't that seem like I was the one making things intense? He's also super laid-back (you know, true Aussie style), so I didn't think he'd be all up in my face or too broken up about us not seeing each other.

So you can imagine my surprise when I was at work last night, a line 5-deep in front of me, pouring beers like a machine, and look over and see HIM STANDING THERE.

In the words of Whitney Houston, Oh hell to the no!!! He had the nerve to come to my place of employment-- univited and unannounced-- and then push me to make lunch plans for today. This is not what the blacktress wants! When I saw him I was furious, so angry that it even surprised me. I mean, after all, it's nice to be wanted. And he's a nice guy who seems to enjoy my company. Why am I so put off by his interest?

Basically, I'm in a survival mode, and just getting through each day down under is a struggle. Factor in a 5:15am bed time, a need for 8 hours sleep, some personal time, and maybe even grocery shopping before I head back down to the bar and do it again, and a guy just doesn't fit in. And to keep pushing for me to hang out makes me feel put on the spot in a way that doesn't respect my own choice. If I want to see someone, I will make an effort. Give me the time to do so, and then see if I'm even worth the bouquet. I mean, I know that if the guy isn't even bringing anything to the potluck, I will not keep inviting him over. Clearly, he wants a girlfriend, which means he should stop wasting his time with me and go find a boring small girl who will love being driven in his car and will put all his flowers in vases and kiss him with delight when he comes to her job. In the words of 3LW, No, I'm not the one.

It's funny. I can suddenly cut a guy off now, with no fanfare and with complete certainty, whereas back home I'd settle for any Tom, Dick, or Harry. I've got no one here, but back home I had friends and options for a Saturday night, and no need to sit with so-and-so when I could be hanging out with people I care about. Here, I've got about 5 good acquaintances and don't see much of anyone. But, you know, better late than never.

I called him up about an hour ago, as I said we'd make plans for lunch then (just to get him the hell out of my building). I told him I didn't think we should see each other in a dating capacity. He asked why. I said it seemed he wanted more than I did.
"Okay, all right," he said.

Awkward phone hang up, and we were done. It took less than two minutes.

Note that I didn't say I wanted to be friends. Quite frankly, whether we're dating or not, he's still boring. And, as I've learned with all this alone time, I can be bored all by myself--at least then I don't have to worry about entertaining or trying to pry personal tidbits out of my companion like a cat burglar trying to open a safe.

I think I've finally found the perfect description for Sydney. Sydney's sort of like the hot-but-dumb older sister who isn't mean-spirited, so she gets to skate by on her looks. But, you know, she doesn't really have all that much going on upstairs. Do you know what I mean? While I left NYC because it was too intense, with it's "who are you? what are you making of yourself?" attitude, I definitely didn't come to Sydney for a non-stop, drunken party (that's what college and the first two years out are for). So, you know, now I've got to find ways to get myself inspired and active--and that doesn't include dating someone just cause they're there and happen to have a car and good taste in foliage.

I feel much better now that I made the call. I also feel like it wasn't so bad, and perhaps now I can stop being immature and create good karma by being up-front with people. Lord knows I've spent way too much time wondering why I wasn't called back. (See possible answers here.)

Monday, December 15, 2008

And That's Why They Call Me Sojourner TRUTH.

Sunday night's Christmas party was, indeed, a shit show.

We all met--hostel staff and bar staff--at the bar, where we had free beer and wine for about an hour. We then got into a rented bus, which took us to a nearby Lebanese restaurant. Our managers had arranged for all the wine and beer to be dropped off beforehand, so bottles were ready and waiting when we arrived. The drinking continued as everyone opened their secret santa presents.

It seems that the theme of dirtiness is really among the bar staff, as the "reception crew" (as we call those who work above ground in the hostel) tended towards more appropriate gifts. I, for instance, got a little box of cards that listed the 50 places to see before you die. Sweet. Appropriate for a traveler like myself.

One of the managers, on the other hand, got a whistle shaped like a vagina that he wore around his neck all night.
Joe, in reception, received porno magazines. The subject: women over 60.
Mai, who also works in reception, got a glow-in-the-dark water bottle shaped like a penis, which she promptly filled with red wine.
Lena, one of my coworkers got the best gift of all--a vibrator.

So, as you can see, my cock ring fit right in. My recipient loved it, and was quite excited. So excited, that later in the night he told me broke it by trying to fit it on his wrist.
What a waste of a good cock ring.

Here are some pics from the dinner, just to corroborate my story.

These are my managers.

One girl was given a box of pads as her gift (I kid you not). Staff members immediately took great fun in opening them, soaking them with red wine, and affixing them to their body.
Clearly this was a heavy-flow day.

The glow-in-the-dark penis water bottle I mentioned earlier.
Note: the person holding this is not the actual recipient of the gift. Penises all around!

Um, I could show you more, but I think this is all you need. Imagine how the other patrons in the restaurant must have felt?

The Day the Music Died

So, as you know, the bar where I work is a haven for the foreign crowd. As a result, most of the music played is the sort of common-denominator pop music that is sure to please everyone from Bombay to Berlin. While the DJs do a good job of keeping the dance floor full, I've learned that the songs are pretty much the same each night. So, in the vein of The Lonesome Lumberjack, I offer a list.

Songs That Make Me Want to Shoot Myself in the Pinkie Toe Just to Take The Pain Away
aka Tunes I Hear At Work Every Night, from the '80s, '90s, and Today:

"All The Small Things," by Blink 182
"Hotstepper," by Ini Kamoze.
(tell me you remember this song. You know, the hotstepper. The lyrical gangsta. Excuse me, mister officer / Still love you like that....)
"Informer," by White reggae singer SNOW. If you don't know this one, I'm gonna jog your memory.

"Ice, Ice Baby," by Rob Van Winkle, aka Vanilla Ice.
Okay, while this song can occasionally bring about ironic fun, hearing it every single night for two weeks straights makes me as angry as Mr. Van Winkle (Did you see his Behind the Music? Dude is cray cray!)
"Pokerface," by Lady Gaga. Never heard of this chick before I got here, but she's all the rage. And I want to stab her eyes with a spork.
"Groove Is In The Heart," by Dee-lite.
Yes, Dee-lite.
"That's Not My Name," by the Ting Tings.
Okay, I get it, whatever, it's not your name. What is your fucking name, chick? Oh, how about Bane of My Existence. Wait, too long?

I can only get my energy up when they play JT--for some reason he never gets old.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

A White Christmas

Blacktress' Log, Star Date 14 December 2008.

I am becoming a total creature of the night, guys. The days of short shifts three times a week are over, as I'm on the roster 6 days a week now. Today is sort of a day off, but tonight is the staff Christmas party--oops, I should say Holiday party to be politically correct (but let's be real, there are no non-Christians on the staff. We silence those voices). Our boss handed out names of other staff members for Secret Santa, and I got a guy named Patrick, who works in housekeeping.

My original plan was to buy him a bottle of wine and call it a damn day. However, we were all talking earlier this week and I mentioned I had to buy a guy's gift, but he wasn't a bartender. Of course, not knowing who Patrick is, I have no regards for his anonymity, and just told them it was him. Even though he's not on the bar staff everyone knows him, and immediately laughter filled the room.

"Oh, that'll be easy," said one my pierce-tongue young things. "Just get him something filthy. He'll love it."
"What?" I said, partially confused. This is not how we do things Up Over, and I certainly thought the Brits (who I affectionately call 'the colonizers') would have a dash more class than that on this holiday season.

Then again, I should have known that the people who brought us the "quick fuck"--and, as I discovered two nights ago while getting a snack, enjoy KETCHUP ON PIZZA (clearly these palates are not refined)--would have crazy ideas of Santa's goodness.

Just then, Tracy, the only bartender over the age of 21, came over and asked what "we were on about."
"She's gotta buy a present for Patrick," PTYT said.
Tracy burst out laughing. "Yes, something really filthy. The grosser the better."

Okay, now, I haven't met this Patrick person, but I'm already uncomfortable. How would you feel if, when someone mentioned your name in the context of gift-giving, the first words out of everyone's mouth was "oh, get him something dirty!!" Is he a registered sex offender, or a just a run-of-the-mill deviant who is very open about his leanings?

Which then leads me to: what defines "really filthy"? We're talking animal porn, or just alot of full-frontal with lesbians? Yesterday two of the PTYTs went to a sex store called the Pleasure Chest and bought their gifts. (Apparently, down under, 'tis the season to be horny.)

Cat got her secret santa, one of the guys who works in the kitchen, a Kiss The Chef hat and some shorts that have lip around the crotch area--perfect for a penis to fit through.

Howie, one of the glassies, got his person some anal beads.

I feel very out of my element. It's not that I'm a prude, I just think a sex toy is the kind of gift that should keep on giving, and one you should purchase for yourself. And, seeing as I've never met this person and have a $10 limit, there's really not much I can go on besides what can only be described as "an intense heterosexuality."

So, um, I'm thinking a cock ring, and then two condoms from my own stash (lord knows I'm not using them anyway).

I'm bringing my camera tonight. This "holiday party" is sure to be a shit show.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Workaday World

Blacktress' Log, Star Date 11 December 2008.

Last night I had dreams of pouring jager bombs and saw cold, barely sanitary steel when I closed my eyes.

So, turns out the illness I've been fighting is a sinus infection, and I had the good fortune of being able to go to the doctor and get medicated yesterday before going to work. I'm now officially on an antibiotics regimen, but this didn't make the 6-hour shift go by any faster, or stop my nose from running as I leaned in to decipher people's drink orders.

It also didn't help the wave of nausea that passed through me when hearing the following requests:
Vodka with water
Shot of jaeger with tabasco sauce

So, as I mentioned before, my coworkers are very friendly....however, they are also out of control, which puts a limit on the time I can spend with them. For instance, when one of the managers said, "Yeah, that sweater says 'rape victim'" I didn't quite know how to respond. In fact, he's really into making jokes about rape--especially raping the female staff--and I didn't think this was something we could joke about. The other girls at work seem to find it funny, so maybe I should just ride this new wave of "shock comedy" and see what comes of it. Does this means AIDS is officially comedic fodder? What about the Holocaust? Can I go there?

As I said in my previous post, this past Sunday I attempted to bond with them by going to the house party they were throwing. Almost all of my coworkers live together, 4 to a room in a 2-bedroom apartment about 3 blocks away from the bar. I can't imagine what the wait for the bathroom is like, or how anyone gets their freak on, but they seem to be fine with it. To paint a picture of who I roll with in the workplace, here are some...well, pictures:

This is D. He is very nice. Sometimes I think he is high when he is not. As the party progressed, the box of wine he's holding became a fashionable headpiece. As for what's written across his torso--"I'm a WALES, LIKE!!"
I don't know what that means.

This is C. She is 18, has a pierced tongue, and I love when she calls a customer "Right Cunty"--not to their face, of course.

This is someone's ass. That is a tattoo on their ass. It says "I'M DRUNK."

I could go on, but I have to go blow my nose.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Go Shawty, It WAS Your Birthday....

So, the beginning of my 25th year has been interesting. An attempt to celebrate with dancing, drinking, and merriment was a total bust, as the bars were lame, there were too many popped collars, and the DJs refused to play Rihanna. Sunday, the actual day of my birth, was nice, as I was roused from sleep with many text messages sending good tidings, and an offer for lunch. Seeing as it was damn near dinner time when I woke up, I thought it behoovy of me to get out and enjoy the day.

It ended up being a hodge-podge, with a one-on-one lunch with a friend, then a semi-date with a dude I met at 2am the night before in a kebab shop, then a stop at a house party thrown by my drunken underage British coworkers. When I came home and checked my email, my inbox was bombarded with news of facebook wall posts and e-cards, which made me happy. I keep thinking America has forgotten all about me, but thanks to the interweb, I'm still alive and kicking. The e-cards also help me keep in touch with my roots. For instance:

From the Elite Gay Visionary, of course.

This one was actually sent to me by more than one person. I love that Pearl Harbor Day is still present in people's minds. In a way, it makes sense: considering some of my shenanigans in life, it's quite fitting that I was born on the anniversary of a day that will live in infamy!

I guess 25 does mean I'm getting up in years, and I certainly do know how to ensnare a man (for a night, anyway). I hear 25 is the age where your ass starts to spread--how will that effect my cougar wiles?

I'm currently nursing a cold, trying my darndest to stop it from turning into strep throat or a sinus infection--lord knows what this "traveler's insurance" of mine actually covers. Back at the bar tomorrow night to enable addictions and attempt to decipher accents and crazy drink orders. You know, like a SNAKEBITE: half beer, half cider, topped with grenadine.

Gag me.

Monday, December 1, 2008

No Holds BARred

Blacktress' Log, Star Date 12/2/2008.

It's about 2pm Tuesday afternoon--or 1400 hours for those on military time. I woke up about an hour ago, still fatigued from my first full shift as a bartendress.

Yes, the blacktress is earning her keep! Last week I applied for work at a bar near the city center that's popular with the foreign/backpacker crowd. It was a weird process, as the boss was very flaky and much of my hiring was due to me calling him and him making a last-minute decision. For example:

After an interview last Tuesday, he said he'd call me the next day to set up a trial shift. This means he wanted me to come in and work. He wanted to see me--this is fact. So, Wednesday comes and I get no phone call.
Thursday comes and goes, no phone call.
Finally, sick of the waiting game, I call him up on Friday at 2pm to see what the deal is.
Manager: "Hey, how are you going? Actually, someone canceled their trial, so can you come in at 6pm tonight?"

Cut to me, four hours later, standing behind the bar like I know what's up.

At the end of that shift, he says he'll slot me in for Monday, and let me know the exact time.
Yesterday, at 1pm, I'm calling him and getting NO ANSWER, as I wonder when my shift is. He then TEXTS me an hour later, telling me to come in at 10pm.

I thought working on a Monday would be a nice way to ease me in to the process, for where I come from, Mondays aren't usually poppin'.
Clearly (and as the night would go on to prove), I was an idiot. I keep forgetting that being on the other side of the world, things are opposite of what they'd be in the land Up Over. The thing is, backpackers are on vacation, so every night's a party night. They are in it to win it and will not stop until they can't feel their face and are making out with a dude from Croatia.

The place was packed and in full swing, and I pretty much got behind the bar and hit he ground running. I was instantly overwhelmed and confused, unable to understand many of the foreign accents and needing things repeated over and over. Luckily, I was told to shadow Laura, a really nice English girl who was super fast and knew the way backwards and forwards. Having been awake since 4am and in a state of stress and panic all day, I wasn't as sharp as I should have been, and also have a lot to learn.

This is what happens when you lie on your resume.

I realized that I don't like serving girls, or guys with groups of girls, because they always order complicated things and are quick to give a female bartender an attitude. This is especially frustrating when said female bartender is new and has no idea what the customer is talking about. For instance, when someone says:
"Hey, can I get two QF shots?"

What the fuck is a QF shot?!

I repeated her order with my confusion obvious, and she looked at me like I was a retarded, three-headed hydra. And I'm thinking, "Oh, what bitch, you're so fucking cool you have to abbreviate everything and expect me to read your mind?"

A "QF shot" is a Quick Fuck shot-- a combination of (wait, let me see if I can get this right) Midori, Kahlua, and Baileys. I'd never heard of it, it looks as disgusting as it sounds, and it's all the rage with the English.

Have you ever heard of Vodka Raspberry? It's vodka with raspberry cordial. Never heard of it before yesterday, and it looks pretty narsty. However, it's quite popular. I'm also supposed to know that when someone orders vodka-raspberry, I am to add lemon soda to it--even if they don't say it!

Oh, and what about "white wine with lemonade"? Well, by lemonade, these crazy foreigners mean "lemon soda" -- but do NOT think this means 7-Up or Sprite. No siree, those are sweeter, lime-flavored, and do not count.

Do see what I'm up against?

Guys, I just want to meet people and enable addictions-- am I asking for too much?
I had grand illusions of working in a nice, local pub where I'd get to chat with kindly people--preferably during the early hours, which would enable me to have a social life. Alas, I'm on the 10p-3a shift, getting yelled at by strangers who are lined up four-deep for jager bombs.

On the plus side, the other girls I work with are pretty nice, and helped me out. I tried to look to them for inspiration, especially my dear Laura. I asked her how long she'd worked here, and was pleased to hear her say she'd only been here two months. Maybe it'll take time, I thought. She's so good in two months, maybe I'll get there quickly, as well.
"Have you worked in a bar before?" I asked her, hoping she'd say no.
"My parents own a pub in England, so I've been in pubs my whole life."
Well, there goes my inspiration. Laura's been up in the pub since she was 11, which is of course why she makes serving 10 people at a time look so effortless.

My ego is further crushed when I learn that Laura is only eighteen years old. In fact, all the girls on duty last night were under 21. And they're just slinging and mixing like some fucking Coyote Ugly extras, while I'm standing around wondering what the hell is in a "Norwegian Sock Jug."

I got home at 3:30 am last night, my shoes soaked through with dirty soap-water, and my jeans wet up to my knees. I smelled of beer and insecurity, and couldn't wait to shower. It's now 3:15pm, and I've got less than 7 hours before I have to get out there and do it again.

Um, how badly would you guys judge me if I quit?