Sunday, December 17, 2006

Hen weekend: Part the Third (at last)

So, that was the biggest blogging hiatus ever. This is due to a number of reasons - the main one being that the admin gimping kicked off big style when I started having to prepare to leave the place for a month, and so had to organise the office so it would run smoothly in my absence. It sounds like I am bigging myself up massively here, but I wanted to avoid what happened when I last went on holiday - namely getting a text from my line manager asking me how on earth one changes a printer cartridge. Another reason is that I have been in Sydney for the last two weeks, and have been too busy having a marvellous time to come on here and type.

Righto, so back to the hen do, which actually took place over a month ago. Worst blogger EVER. To recap events so far: I am on my hen do in Budapest with nine other lovely ladies. I have so far drunk too much lager, been to a restaurant wearing a pair of plastic penises on my head, eaten too many crisps, woken up with the hangover from hell, been to an outdoor spa, learnt to pole dance and then been on the receiving end of a lap dance from a stripper while wearing an alarmed look on my face.

After a few hours I managed to recover from that insanity, and we all went out to dinner at a place called Tom George. We hadn’t really sampled much traditional Hungarian food – having mostly sustained ourselves on chilli con carne, crisps and salsa (nice move for those of us planning to squeeze ourselves into a wedding dress at some point in the near future) up until that point; and Tom George turned out to not be the place to rectify this Brits Abroad style of eating. Billed as ‘the place to be for socialites and soccer stars’ in Budapest, it had a menu of champions. I don’t think I’ve ever been out to a restaurant where everyone had a shortlist of dishes they wanted to have, as everything looked so fabulous. I think we all bounced in between four starters and six mains for about half an hour before we finally felt able to place any orders. Pleasingly though, they had a cracking cocktail menu which we all took complete advantage of. Bellinis for the equivalent of two quid? Yes, I’ll have three, thank you!

As I am rather one for taking advantage of situations where I am the centre of attention and therefore nobody can tell me off, I proceeded to have the most un-politically correct meal I think I’ve ever eaten – comprised of goose liver pate for starters and the biggest rack of veal I have ever seen in my life for a main. Oh dear. And I ate it all as well, with the humiliating consequence of having to spend the rest of the meal with my trouser buttons discreetly undone and cursing myself for being such a pieman. What an idiot. Still, I brightened up somewhat with the news that I’d pretty much managed to increase the final bill by 25% thanks to polishing off an £8 brandy.

Next up it was onto a pub called Captain Cook's which sported the oddest clientele and the rudest waitresses known to man. Excellent. It was also when we broke out the bag of forfeits, which resulted in a shot-tastic few hours. After I picked out six forfeits in a row which said 'drink a shot of Miss Hacksaw's choice' ("six sambucas please, thank you"), it was decided that I was getting off rather lightly on the boozing front, so S bought me a tequila slammer.

I hate tequila. I can't even smell the stuff without feeling vomit rise in my throat, and the addition of lemon and salt only makes the ridiculous caper worse. I sat at the table looking morose in front of it for half an hour trying to work up the courage to neck the damn thing while becoming more and more convinced that as soon as I put a drop of it in my mouth I would hurl everywhere and be thrown unceremoniously out onto the street.

After boring everyone for what seemed like hours re: the tequila hatred, Suse took matters into her own hands and decided that what I needed was a shot of a traditional Hungarian liquer.

Firstly, it's call Unicum, which is a) awesome, and b) sniggersome. Secondly, it smells like cherry coke! Hurrah! Tequila Hatred was put aside for the time being while I necked a glass of this and waited for the fun to begin.

Holy shit. You know how different parts of your tongue respond to different flavours? Mine went like this:

Tip of tongue (sweet): Mmm. Cherry coke. Why don't we have some more?

Sides of tongue (sour): Zzzzzzzzzzz. What? Oh. Zzzzz.

Back of tongue (bitter): What the fuck?! What the hell IS this? Gah! Help! Bad...taste..keeps..on...coming...I hate you....

Brain (not in top working order thanks to alcohol): Ah! I know what will help! That lovely, lovely shot of tequila that has been on the table for half an hour!

Back of tongue: Mmmm. Tequila rules.

Bloody idiot. Anyway, shortly afterwards the pub closed (or, the staff told us the pub was closing, although a curious amount of people seemed to be still ordering drinks. I fear the Hungarian folks may have been bored with the screaming harpyness that was going on.)

So, what do you do at the end of the night when you've got nowhere to go but a hotel? Yes, you go back to the hotel with a sack of wine and blow up your delightful meant-to-be-Roger-Moore-but-looks-more-like-Tom-Selleck blow up doll, and wait for the hilarity to ensue.

WHY is it so funny, when you're hammered, to take a variety of photos of you and your friends giving blow jobs to blow up plastic dolls? Hardly original, I know; but at the time it seemed like the funniest thing in the world ever. I looked back at the snaps a few days later and cringed at yet more evidence that proves that when drunk, me and my friends behave like those women you see on Booze Britain Ibiza letting shaven headed blokes in Charlton Athletic shorts hump them in Pacha while one of their mates is shoving her tits against the camera and another is being sick in the street and showing off her bits in a manner even less dinified than Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan. Shameful.

And, so to bed, via a box more of wine that really wasn't required and a Sex and the City style debate regarding circumcision. Disgraceful.

The next day was a bit of a blur to be honest. We pottered about the Christmas market with buckets of gluwein trying to keep warm, had hysterics at the fact that C & A seems to be the height of sophistication in Hungary, had yet more chips and salsa in Chilis Bar (mmm) and then herded ourselves onto a plane for a journey home that was somewhat quieter than the one out, namely because everyone on said flight had clearly been on a stag or hen do and were as shagged out as we all were.

I'm sorry this blog, and any other updates, have been so long coming. I've had a load on, and also had a spazzy moment when I wondered whether it was worth carrying on blogging, as I don't ever say anything of any value, unlike the most excellent Dave and Noosa; and of late have been far too busy to give regular updates. However, I'm over that now - I'm back in the UK on the 13th and a more normal service will be resumed then.

Also, I hope you all had fabulous Christmases, Hannukahs and New Years and whatnot. I shall be blogging about mine over the next few weeks, so please come back and have a read. In the meantine, I urge people to go and read Grace Dent's TV OD. It's one of the funniest columns ever - apart from her World of Lather Guardian column of course - and is currently focusing on the bear pit that is Celebrity Big Brother. Which this year features H from Steps. Who is, in a huge shock to everyone, gay! Didn't see that one coming.

Righto, I'm off, as it's Prawntastic Saturday at Pier 26 at Darling Harbour and I haven;t had a beer for 12 hours. I love holidays.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Hen weekend: Part The Second

Phone: Ba!Bababababababaaahhhhhh! Ba! Bababababababaaaaaahhh!

Miss Hacksaw: Frrrmtph. Gah. GAH. Ow. Whts happ-ow.

S, who is unlucky enough to be sharing a room with me: Come on! Breakfast finishes in 20 minutes! I set the alarm.


S: Do you want me to bring you up a coffee or a sausage or something?

MH: Oh for the love of God, no. I wonder if I can sit up without....ow. No. Oh help.

S: What time did you get to bed?

MH: Er. Sometime after we'd woken people in England up with cricket related phone calls...oh hell, I wish to God I'd never found out the result of that....and after I'd kicked beer all over C's room. About three?

S: Oh dear. Still, the spa will liven you up.

MH: Does this mean I have to get out of bed?

S: Yes.

MH: Dammit. OK, I'll be ready when you get back from breakfast.

[door closes behind S]

MH: Ow, my head. OK, got to get up. In a minute. I'll just lie here for five, comfy....zzz....oh, hello bra....mmm water.....zzzz.

Huh. I am clearly old. I am not normally one for hangovers - I might feel a bit iffy first thing after a few beers but a can of Diet Coke and a potato based product usually sort that right out with no worries. So I was most put out to be clouted round the head with a hangover from hell. Mind you, it was not surprising. We were drinking very strong Hungarian lager of out the sort of glasses one would normally expect to find being used by folks in the Canterbury Tales (in fact I have a hazy memory of holding my empty receptacle above my head in a bar and demanding that someone bring me "a full flagon of mead"); for some reason I had two fruit brandies after dinner and I'm sure sambuca was involved at some point. Ugh. I am a Booze Britain style harpie. I hate myself.

Still, there was no time to lose, as we had a full day of activities planned and had to crack on. I'm sure the cab drivers were all pissing themselves - all ten of us looked rough as hell, so it was quite handy that the first activity was a trip to one of the fantastic spas that are all over Budapest.

Here's a picture of our outdoor spa. Best hangover cure ever.

What is it about hot water that instantly cures all ills? I staggered into the spa feeling about ninety and within five minutes felt absolutely fine. This is despite the fact that I was wearing a mummy-one-piece swimming costume that made me feel like the annoying step aerobics woman in Cocktail. This is what happens when you pack when hammered, people. I do not recommend it.

There was also five pools indoors, but the inside of the building gave me the willies as it was somewhat like how I imagine a gas chamber would have been like. Gah. Plus all of the pools inside were full of meatheads in Speedos.

I could have spent all day in that spa - especially the really hot one at the end ("we recommend that you do not stay in this pool for longer than 20 minutes") where they had a stone table in the middle of the pool with chess boards painted on. That rules. I'm so dragging the Fiance back to Budapest and making him play chess in the pool until we both pass out from heat stroke. However, the fact that eight out of ten of us hadn't been able to face breakfast meant that we were all bloody starving for some grease, and so on to Chilis it was for the BEST SALSA I HAVE EVER EATEN. I don't know what they put in it, but I could have happily stayed there all day shoving tortilla chips and salsa into my face. Seriously, Chilis, I salute you. And now I really want some chips and salsa. Dammit.

S and K, as organisers, then kindly made everyone do a quiz on how well they knew me. Predictably, the questions were not regarding my favourite colour or boy band. Over the course of the next two hours I ended up telling everyone the following facts:

  • the location of my first proper kiss (behind the public loos in the park, aged 13. Nice)
  • that I have had sex in a video shop (Christ. What the hell...)
  • the fact that when I was eight, me, my best friend and my brother had a 'band' called Risk, and made my parents record us singing our top single, named 'Waste of Love'. I KNOW. It featured my brother on 'drums', also known as the tin lid of his Ghostbusters laundry bin. Heh.
  • My most embarrassing moment ever, which I cannot bring myself to share even here as it is too awful. Why I did not substitute it with a different story - like the one about me going arse over tit down an entire flight of stairs at the Ruby Lounge, I don't know. Dude, where's my therapist?

Most duff. I tried to get everyone to reveal their sordid pasts, but they were most stubborn in remaining resolutely quiet. Humph.

En route to the next activity our tour guide took us to a cafe, which had the best English menu of all time. Take this excellent description of a sachertorte: "Chocolatey and cakey. It tastes mostly like muffin!" Brilliant. Luckily I am not a cake person or I would probably still be sat there hoovering up every item on the menu to see if it was mostly, or not at all, "like muffin". In the end I just had a Fanta, and felt like I was a kid on the grown ups holiday as everyone else had coffees. KT even asked me if I wanted to do some colouring while I was waiting for my drink. Thankfully this amused me enough to take my mind off the next activity: pole dancing. Pole. Dancing.

I'll be honest and admit that I was dreading this. I am not naturally co-ordinated, and the thought of flinging myself round a pole and relying on my arm and leg muscles for keeping me up did not fill me with hope.

I bloody loved it. We were taught by a proper stripper sort, who was surprisingly patient with a bunch of sniggering girls squealing "Ooooh! It feels really weird! Oof." It does feel bloody weird though. Here's a snap of me in the kick off position (oo-er):

I love how I am clearly saying something along the lines of: "My legs aren't meant to bend like this! Are you completely mad?" And the tutor lady is clearly thinking: "Christ. You are the least bendy person EVER."

Also: check out my sexy, sexy rolled up track pants and sock combo.

Anyway. Once I'd got over the notion of bringing my leg up to further than sofa height and got my head round the idea of basically falling forward, possibly onto my nose, then it was fantastic. I felt like a proper stripper sort, which felt rather better than I thought it would do. I'm so taking lessons over here once I'm back from Australia. The Fiance is researching temporary poles for the front room on my behalf (Aw. Or not.)

So, once we'd all had a go and proved ourselves to be stripper-worthy sorts, it was time for the surprise element of the jaunt.

"I shall teach you a dance to perform for the husband on wedding night!" announced the stripper, in the manner of announcing the Von Trapp Family Singers. I thought: she's basically show me some sex-aay moves and make me follow her, which would have been enormously humilating yet entertaining for others, which sums up most of my day to day scrapes quite well.

Oh no (or ho no, I suppose). It was a lap dance. I have never been more embarrassed in my life. Chaps - where are you meant to put your eyes? I didn't know where to look without causing offence, and spent the whole time pulling a variety of facial expressions ranging from "I am vaguely amused by this capery" and "Shit. I think I just saw her clitoris.". I fear she may have clocked that one as she halted proceedings to rearrange what was featured of her pants where they'd caught in her arse crack and moved. Haa! Luckily for me, I can re-live all of this fun whenever I wish as two of the girls kindly took video of the event, which has already been circulated round my office. Laters, dignity.

Next time on Miss Hacksaw's Hen Night of Humiliation: I eat too much beef and have a Tom Kitten moment, Suse and I road test some traditional Hungarian shots, and Tom Selleck gets head.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Hen weekend: Part The First

Sorry about the temporary hiatus, y’all. I have been working. And sleeping. And staying up far too late watching the cricket, although at least this Test is actually worth watching. So far.

I am just about recovered from last weekend’s excesses; although said recovery was put back by a few days when I worked till 1am on Wednesday night at the work awards ceremony. Because, you know, I haven’t got enough to do with organising a wedding and a reception party in January, and trying to get all my work done before I go on leave, and sorting out the office Christmas party which is a task not officially in my job description but if I didn’t bother organising it you can bet your boots that nobody else would and then everyone would be all bah humbug for months, and it really isn’t worth it. So I thought that seeing as my calendar is a desolate wasteland I'd volunteer for this japery. Well done me.

Aaaaand breathe. Also: I just used the phrase ‘bet your boots’. What am I, ninety?

So, the hen weekend started on a fantastic foot when I nearly missed the flight thanks to a combination of cricket and being completely plastered on the Thursday night. I woke up at 8.30am on the sofa with my face squashed into a cushion and realised that I was meant to meet K and H for a greasy breakfast at 8 at Victoria. Nice one Warney. Luckily I'd had the foresight to pack the night before (while pissed) so it was just a case of grabbing the passport and handbag and legging it, but I was still late, and I hate being late.

Luckily I was saved by the London cabbie of champions. I didn't find out his name, but I had a hugely entertaining conversation about the cricket with him and he got me to Victoria in record time. Thank you, cabbie! Oh, and to all the cabbies who did not pick me up despite the fact that your lights were clearly on: bite me. However, I can't be that annoyed as I actually achieved a lifetime's ambition and shook my fist in the air at one of you while shouting: "Yeah, you better run!" - and made someone walking past piss themselves laughing which always makes one feel better about themselves.

Anyway, we all managed to assemble ourselves at Victoria at around the right time and hauled ass to Gatwick; where at my insistence we decamped to the horrible Wetherspoons at the South Terminal and had a pint.

WHY is it that whenever I'm in an airport, no matter what antosocial time of the morning it is, I want a pint? And not only that: a pint in a Wetherspoons. What is up with that? I loathe Wetherspoons and am prone to Daily Express type rants about such establishments. A mystery that will never be resolved, I fear.

The flight can be summed up in two words: Brits Abroad. I felt like I was in Benidorm and should be demanding a fried egg at every opportunity ("Uno! Fried egg mate! Fried! Egg! Egg? Comes out of a - er - pollo? Dammit. Chips, then. CHIPS! Fuck this Margie, next year we're going to Blackpool.") The fellow across the aisle from me, who we shall call Zak thanks to his resemblance to the Hollyoaks character of the same name (doh! I meant to keep quiet about the Hollyoaks watching..), even roused the entire plane in a very bad singalong to Wonderwall in my honour as the hen. All very well and japesome, apart from the fact that he would then not shut up singing for the rest of the flight, and proceeded to take us through shocking renditions of Dancing Queen, I Will Survive, and Bohemian bloody Rhapsody. The last one was done while we were landing, and the Easyjet staff were understandably pissed off with the spannered skinhead who was bellowing and waving in their faces while they were trying to give us the lowdown on the time and whatnot. Unfortunately I made the mistake of telling him I'm going to be in Sydney for the fifth Test, as is he, and so fear I am now going to spend the entire time hiding behind pillars and tall Australians in case he collars me and shouts Waltzing Matilda in my ear.

Friday night was spent in the company of a charming young fellow called Adam who had bravely taken on the task of herding ten scary women around his home town to various sweaty bars and clubs. Oh, Adam. How we love thee. Adam let slip that he only got paid the equivalent of fifteen quid a night for this, which appalled us. I'd insist on fifty per annoying member of said hen party, free beers and a kebab at the end of the night. Still, we gave him a hefty tip and paid for all his pints which must have made up for some of the horror.

I had thrown a fit a few months earlier about the need for the bride to be kitted out in a veil and L-plates on such occasions, and insisted that neither feature during the course of the weekend. Credit where credit is due, I was not forced to wear either of these items. However, the girls had very kindly provided me with a red feather boa, a couple of badges and a very fetching pair of deely boppers that featured flashing pink penis models as the bopper element. Oh, what a classy lady. You'll be pleased to hear that we left the blow up 'Roger More'/Tom Selleck at the hotel for later.

From about 10pm the Friday evening gets a bit hazy. Here's what I recall:
  • thinking I was Beyonce and doing an unfortunate booty shake dance to Crazy In Love
  • talking to a fellow who I was convinced was Terry Christian because C had told me he was. He very much wasn't
  • a man who I was talking to ordering a lager with a Rohypnol top, and running away to hide in the toilet
  • walking for what seemed about four hours along a tram line with a big blister
  • going on a Harold and Kumar style rampage of the Hungarian equivalent of a Costcutter
  • annihilating a massive packet of prawn crackers in about five seconds
  • H forcing Adam to give her a foot massage in the hotel lobby, therefore proving beyond belief that £15 for a night's work is not enough
  • ringing C's ex husband at 2.30am to find out the cricket score
  • booting a can of lager all over the hotel room floor. Oh dear.

Quite the night of champions, then.

Next time: a hellacious hangover, a cheering spa expedition, salsa love and lapdancing. Yes, you heard right. Gah.