Thursday, August 20, 2009

A Day Off


August 20, 2009 - Odessa, Ukraine Republic

What a beautiful day!

Even though I didn't get to bed until around six this morning. I woke up rejuvenated. The countless Redbull vodka's didn't have their usual effect on me. I had all the energy in the world. I showered and got dressed for a day of sight seeing. I figured I should let Marco and Paolo sleep. I'm sure the Karaoke took its toll on my two Italian 'crooners'.

I went downstairs for a coffee and was surprised to see my friends already there. I guess the air in Odessa is good for one's constitution. Oh well, no sense in wasting being in good company. Let's make that coffee a Heineken.

Marco and Paulo were having travel issues. They had promised to meet a friend in Bulgaria and they had no way of getting there in time. Like myself, they were under the impression that there was a vast ferry network from Odessa. I just to be super clear on this point. There isn't! Ferries are few and far between up here and from all the information that I could get they only run between here and maybe Istanbul. Needless to say it took half a day for my new friends to figure this out.

After my good morning beer I decided to go do a little sight seeing. I left the boys behind to go figure out their schedule and I hit the town alone on foot. But not before filming a little summary of my trip. Since I had a small crew I let Marco man the camera while Paolo nudged his way into the shot. Check it out:

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Let the Good Times Roll


August 19 and 20, 2009 - Odessa

The beer never tasted so good.

I sat in the lounge with Marco and Paulo and consumed one beer after another after another after another. And so on... It was so yummy. I realized I needed to pace myself a little when the guy from the front desk came over and told me I needed to move my bike. When I stood up I immediately needed to sit back down. Hmmmm? This is going to make parking my bike interesting. No biggie. I'll just walk it down.

There were a couple of young ladies sitting down in the lounge when I got back and judging solely by their appearance (trust me, they stood out like a sore thumb) I could tell that these girls were working. My judgement was confirmed by Paolo when I sat down. Marco, a better and more trusting man than myself, was willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. Maybe he's right. Maybe they are just local girls that decided to come down to a hotel, sit by themselves in an empty lounge, and choose a table beside ours even though they seemed to be really good friends of the bartender who greeted them and pointed at our table. I'm too much of a pessimist.

Needless to say the lounge was better when it was just us in it so we were motivated to find new surroundings. After the adventure I had endured I could have done one of two things; sleep, or drink.

So that was decided quickly. I decided to accompany Paolo and Marco for some more drinking. The only problem was we didn't know where to go and none of us spoke the language. Or so I thought. As it turned out Paolo had been taking Russian lessons for work and he turned out to be an invaluable asset. After a quick conversation with some locals we were in a taxi and heading to the club district. We got out of the cab and we were immediately in the middle of what looked to me like a carnival midway.

Elvis on the Move - Elvis and Paolo at Arcadia in Odessa

This was Arcadia and it's the place to be when you're in Odessa. There are so many restaurants and clubs here that it would take you a week to try them all. We went to a little steakhouse to start and then we hopped from one bar to another until we finally got to this big open air disco. I wish I could remember the name but I was very, very drunk at the time. Perhaps Marco or Paolo will read this post and write a comment on the name of it. Needless to say I never thought I would enjoy myself so much at a disco but I really did. The fact that the exchange rate made me feel like a millionaire didn't hurt. It was so inexpensive to drink here and the service was beyond incredible. If this club was in Vancouver you would have troubles getting more than two drinks in a night. The joint was wall to wall with people yet it seemed to flow. I wasn't without a drink for more than fifteen seconds at any given point in the night. I don't know how many people were in the place but it was alot. This was exactly what I needed. Haven't spent so much time alone or riding it was nice to be around such energy! I wouldn't last a week in solitaire confinement.

Marco and I sat at a table together for most of the night. I only saw Paolo from a distance as he never once stopped dancing. I don't know where he gets his energy. My energy on the otherhand was being mainained by a steady stream of Redbull and Russian vodka. I knew I would crash hard but I was having too much fun to worry about it.

We left the club early.

Early in the morning that is. It was about 4:30 or so and the sun was starting to come up so we decided to head back. Through no fault of our own we got delayed. On the walk back to the taxi stand we passed a karaoke kiosk and we unanimously thought it would be a great (not good but great) idea if we serenaded the entire arcade.

Marco and Paolo lit up the stage first with a traditional Italian love song. I'm assuming it's a love song because I don't believe Italians have any other songs except love songs.

Elvis on the Move - Marco and Paolo Sing for the Ladies

I headlined the show with some Evil Western Rock and Roll music and belted out a version of Elvis Presley's Suspicious Minds, complete with Karate kicks and pelvic thrusts.

Elvis on the Move - Elvis Singing Suspicious Minds in Odessa

And like every great performance we left the crowd wanting more.

Good night.

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