Matelot's guide to the World

I'm no sailor - I once circumnavigated the Gosport-Cherbourg straits in a JSASC boat, but that involved sitting on my hands and "not fecking touching anything" after I pulled an important-looking knot to see what would happen, so I don't think it made me a Jolly Jack Tar. I did steal a Johnny Mathis CD from the french bird I copped off with (she took me back to her mum's for a nesquick, but she wouldn't let me touch her Moulin Rouge) so I reckon that qualified me as a pirate - hence the name.

Where was I? Oh yeah - I'm not a matelot, but I have long had a great deal of respect for those salty fellows who seem to be able to eek out a frankly astounding 'few days on the pop' with little more than a tenner, the stolen keys of a hotel kitchen and the directions of a half-blind street performer. Even better, when you come to 3 days later with a head like a collapsed polish conference centre, acute amnesia and whist laying in a rubbish truck bound for the nearest NATO border, matelots can explain everything with a dit that makes you cry with laughter, turns you on slightly and paints you as the bloodsoaked hero of the story. If I didn't think it ould lead anywhere unsavoury, I'd say I've got a lot of time for sailors.

I once found myself in Krakow with one, by accident really as he was the mate of a mate, and the 3 of us had planned to go to poland to drink beer and see if all those early 90 porn mags had been accurate. My mate broke his leg the day before we were due to fly out, but me and 'hooks' (there's a clue there...) decided to go anyway. Polish beer is very strong, yet it aids the decision making process. After a few, we turned our attention to accommodation. It was late - as in closing time - and whilst I tried to focus so that I could panic, my naval oppo simply said: "leave it with me, I'll sort it" and wandered off.

For a few moments I sat there and tried to muster concern over the fact I was now alone and drunk in the middle of the night in a city that spoke no english, but to be honest I was so warm and everyone was so beautiful and just my best mate that it didn't bother me. Sure enough, Pugwash returns with a comely looking lass and declares: "we've got a place, follow me".

We're lead to a funny looking hotel that seems more like a soviet era 2 bed flat. It has all the mod cons that you'd expect in a post WARPACK country - running cold water, a clock - and even better, another comely polish lass with limited english just for me. She was dead friendly too; I put that down to the fact that I must be more attractive to Eastern european women than to western ones. We had a very pleasant night, I woke up the next morning to a lovely...well a polish breakfast. Oppo takes me to one side and asks for a couple of hundred slotties. It dawns on me - "Chr1st mate, that's a lot for one night over here!"

"It's for the week" he replies

If he hadn't had 30 year old polak hooker juice all over his mush, i could have kissed him. Thereby started a fantastic stolen holiday where our dhobi and scran was done for us without question, and they didn't mind when he accidentally banged on their neighbours' door in tears the night before we left with flowers in his hand and singing "still the one" by Shania Twain.

I wasn't singing as well. Honest :oops:

So, how about a truly Salty guide to the best towns/cities for runs ashore? Instead of LonelyPlanet, you could call it LonelyMatelot...
Perhaps we would also benefit from a Good Scran Guide, to the best ships to get drafted/transferred to if you're not happy with Bog Standard Scran as well as an online Pussers Guide to Unhappy Ships, to give matelots prior warning of ships to avoid.

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