From Lithuania with Love (I sold my soul) – Drinking Abroad

Having witnessed history with Gibraltar’s first ever competitive match, the gang now find themselves in the car park of the Estadio Algarve. It’s 40km to Albufeira, they’ve got almost a full tank of gas, several packs of cigarettes, it’s dark and some of them are wearing sunglasses.

Hit it Juan.

With the game we came to see now finished we make tracks from the ground and join back onto the motorway to get back to Gandermonium’s secret Portugese HQ (Turial Park Apartments, just off Av. 25 de Abril, by the beach, Albufeira). We all jump in the motor and I fire up our Fiat Punto that has little or no clutch and brand new super responsive brakes. We head out of arse end of Faro and make for the motorway.

On board is Mr X, Taz and Dukey, I hit the gas pedal, and look down at the speedometer. 120, 140, 160, 170 KPH. A quick check in the rear view mirror and I’ve got a brand new Mercedes V12 right up my chuff. Now bearing in mind this is the first time I’ve ever driven in a foreign country I allow some British courtesy and let Mr Merc pass. However Mr Merc drops back into the slow lane right in front. Oh so he wants to play does he? So I drop the wheezy Punto back down into 3rd gear and speed past him. Mr Merc then pulls back out and starts to re appear again in my rear view mirror. I’m pushing the Punto as hard as I can to keep up but Mr Merc and his V12 zoom off into the distance. Seems there’s really only so much puff you can get out of a hire car. Another myth shattered!

The boys in the front and back are slightly concerned by my speeding, considering I hit 170kph on the motor way, and the speed limit is 120, I would have looked a bit of a twat if I’d been pulled by the local plod. Mr X even remarked that I must have been thirsty for a beer. Damn right I was thirsty. All the other boys had been on the Sagres all day long, but as I was the designated driver, I was on the Diet Cokes being a sensible Juan. Well saying that I did have one beer, but I was still legal.

Oh we do like to be beside the seaside….

Turning off the motorway 30 minutes later we arrived back in Albufeira, all I had to do was to negotiate and navigate my way round the back streets and get us all back safely to our digs without any bother. Well, I was doing OK until some div on a motorbike pulled out in front of me at a set of traffic lights. No harm done, no one died thankfully & we arrived back at secret Penthouse H.Q and ditched the flags and any other collective items we picked up at the game such as programmes and Gibraltar shirts. Mr X headed back to his own digs down in the favela for a fresh up, which wasn’t a bad idea. A change of shirt for me (Redstar Belgrade 26 league titles t-shirt) and a little lady attraction spray was applied and we were ready for some drinking carnage.

A message came in from Mr X that he was waiting for us downstairs, so off we went to locate him, and would you believe it, the man had done good. There he was waiting for us to join him in the bar directly below our digs, complete with 4 of the finest pints of Sagres his Euro monies could buy. By now my thirst for a beer was high, and the first few gulps of Sagres felt so, so good. A congratulations was given to me by the members of The Firm for not crashing the motor and getting us back in one piece. Not a problem I advised, but now it’s Juan’s time to get on it, and get on I did. Within about 10 minutes I’d necked my beer, and now I had the taste for it. ” Fucking hell ” remarked Mr X , ” you must have had a thirst on”. Yes, yes I did. So we all divvied up 50 Euros each, which we placed into the whip for tonight’s carnage, and we headed off towards ‘The Strip’. When I say the word strip, I know what you’re thinking your thinking naked women right? Well in this case the nicknamed strip area, was just a straight pedestrian area rammed out with bars.

Beer, the cause and the solution to all life’s problems…

Arriving on the strip we picked out our first bar of the night, having walked past about two or three which didn’t take our fancy, mainly for the reason that each one of these bars had the typical bar touts trying to persuade you to go in for a drink, and even offering you free shots! So we basically ignored them and went where we wanted to go, basically the first bar where we weren’t hassled!

Beers ordered and I could finally relax and the whole firm slipped into drink mode. The bar we had landed ourselves in was actually one of those fancy pants Cocktail bars. So we did the traditional thing, fucked the cocktails right off and went for Sagres, as you do! The talk of the moment was mainly us giving our own reviews on the football game we had just witnessed about 2 hours ago. With the big hand on my watch showing a mere 11pm we left this swanky Cocktail bar behind and went onto the next gaff. The main reason for the move was the fact the other bars were competing for who could pump out the dance tunes the loudest and it was giving us a headache to be honest.

En route to the next bar, I was stopped in the street by a chap that asked if my t-shirt was Serbian and I advised him that yes, yes it was, and it was in fact Redstar Belgrade. He then disappeared into the crowds, no doubt off to get all his Partizan supporting mates onto me….

Yeah, I’ll have a large pepperoni please….

The next place on the hit list was a bar called Dominos, approx 20 meters away from the Cocktail joint. Now I think the main appeal of this place for us was the fact it was a two level bar. The first level can be described as whacked right on both sides of the joint, and a dance floor right in the middle. The 2nd level an open top job with a kind of balcony over looking into the street. So as most members of The Firm are now in their 30’s we opted in for the 2nd floor option. Bypassing all the piss heads on the dance floor we headed up the flight of stairs and here was a place where you could still have the music buzzing in your ears but you could still hold a conversation with out having to shout. Jesus we are getting old when we are complaining about decibels! The highlight was being able to look down on a woman dancing her night away on the bar as much as we liked without getting spotted. Another round of Sagres was on the offer, accompanied by some ‘Kamikaze’ shots and we took our beers and headed over to the balcony to watch any potential decent ladies walking on by. Basically it was an ideal spot for a perv. Once we had worked out that the offerings were no where near the scale of that witnessed across various locations in Serbia we turned our thoughts to another football trip abroad. Must point out here though, that there is some potential in Portuguese women.

Switzerland, Germany, a return trip to Serbia or even Belgium was thrown into the mixer. Switzerland was kicked out of the running due to the country being one of the most expensive places to visit ever! Serbia and Belgium were put on the back burner as those had already hosted the Gandermonium Boys, although there was unfinished business. We had even mentioned going to France and then hopping the border to Spain, but that was also blown out of the running as it meant going to France. It seemed we had a majority vote of Germany. However trying to set up or discuss a trip when getting pissed probably wasn’t the best idea, so it was put to bed for another night. The time now pushing gone midnight we decided to leave this bar and head off to search for another….

What you looking at Juan? Ooooh, that!

Feeling a tad tipsy now, the firm was unusually convinced by one of those touts to try his place, I reckon it was the offer of free shots that did it for us. So off we went inside. The place was rammed in the main room & the bar was about 5 persons deep, so after waiting about 5 minutes and not getting served we fucked the whole place off and made for the square, making sure we told Mr Tout we were leaving! A little look around the square and bars were starting to shut up shop for the night. At this stage we were starting to panic a little. I mean I was no where near as pissed up as I wanted to be. A change of direction of the main square and we found this tidy looking little Irish Bar that was getting ready to close, but the geeza behind the jump was happy to serve us up another round of Sagres. We took our seats outside, and a couple of minutes later the geezer bought out a round of shots for us free of charge. We instantly became friends, he was our kind of guy! We love free shit, especially when its got booze in it ! The shots, oh Christ what the hell was it. A Russian Dragon, I think it was called. I reckon it should be called the widow maker, why you ask, because the little shots were magically moreish. Another round please Guv! By this time the crew were on it! The pints of beer were getting dropped off the drinking menu and were being replaced with orders from the top shelf, Gins and Vodka were now becoming the weapons of destruction. The more we drank, the more our conversation turned towards the team we all love Sutton of course, and talk of  this years squad and all that! We even logged onto the forum and had a little look at the current state of affairs on the Amber Planet. Oh nothing new there then, just the same old boring shit ! Drink Drink Drink.

The time, not his heart rate….

I think we were all now starting to get a little close to the point of no return where the drinking was concerned. There was talk of a strip club. In fact no, I was talking of a strip club. I think I was trying my best to convince The Firm that it would be a good idea. I even checked my wallet for available funds. These were low so I headed off to check for a cash machine. Machine located and card inserted I punched in my numbers, and I was in, funds were available but the machine had been emptied. In hindsight I reckon this was probably a good thing, other wise I would have probably been declared bankrupt over night.

I returned to the other members of the Firm and explained the bad news that no cash was available. But this didn’t stop us in our tracks. A few decided to go for it anyway. So off we bundled in the direction of the Gentleman’s Club. Time check, the digital out put on my watch reads 01:50 AM. On arrival outside the Gentleman’s Establishment we did ponder to ourselves for a few moments as to whether this was a good or bad idea. Those that did think it was a good idea, paid 20 euros for the privilege to enter and drink as much as you can until 03:00 AM, well that’s what sold it for me. Drink as much as you can in one hour, fuck yeah!

Us? In a strip club? With our reputation? Ooooh!

Staggering into the joint, we were greeted by a single chap behind the bar which was bang central in the middle of the gaff. As soon as we walked in we were greeted eye to eye by the ladies that were working the Sunday night shift. We ordered our drinks from the hard looking Russian geezer behind the jump and then those that made the establishment were spilt up by the ladies, we each were off with our hosts for the next hour or so. I was partnered up with a lady called Elena who was originally from Lithuania and she had only been in Portugal for about 3 or 4 days. By this point I was wearing the booze goggles, but I could still just about see straight and my god she was good looking, She was bang tidy in fact. Se was wearing one of those figure hugging dresses and them typical porn film shoes, or fuck me shoes, if that’s what the kids call them these days. She was hot, I reckon she was about 6ft tall and legs that climbed, ones that you could get wrapped up in. The conversation with my host was the typical , where are you from, what’s your name, what do you do, why are you in Portugal kind of thing. She did however keep asking me why I wasn’t married and why I did not have a women in my life, maybe she was trying her luck for a green card to England? Then the conversation swayed towards the Strip Club Menu. Elena went onto describe what you could get for your money. A standard private dance was 40 euros, a touchy feel dance was double at 80 euros, and then she filled me in on some kind of shower action which was where you joined her in the shower for 150 euros. Jesus, just imagine if I had got money out of the cash machine, I would be so broke! The conversation swayed towards her wanting a drink, so I did the gentleman thing and got her a drink, I do hold a reputation for being a gent. Those drinks were soon gone, and well, I sold my soul and we headed upstairs to a Private booth and I parted with my cash .However the next ten minutes of my life I won’t be forgetting for a long time, hence this Blog title, from Lithuania with Love….for those ten minutes I think I had fallen in love…The fantasy had just become a reality, and I even managed to plant a Sutton United Sticker on part of her body, which she happily agreed to. There is a picture of this flying around the Internet somewhere, twitter I think. Such a treasured moment, I might have it printed onto a t-shirt, why the fuck not?

These people may have been drinking.

Back downstairs to the bar, I needed another Gin to settle my self and get a grip on reality! Where the fuck was I, and what the fuck was I doing. A couple more Gins later and I start talking to another lady of the night working her voodoo magic, as it turns out she was English. Sarah was from Wakefield and she had been doing this job a lot longer. She had in fact been working in another establishment in the New Town approx 30 minutes up the road, but had been given a contract to work in another country so she was just passing her last days in this club before she was due to head off. Well I must say she was rather pleasant and had all the talk, and even a sense of humour, not like the others that just wanted to rinse you of your dollar! I decided to re-group with the others that had made the entrance to the Strip Joint, and advised that it was probably best we left otherwise our finances would be ruined. So I said my good bye to the lovely ladies that had me in a love storm, and we headed for the streets. Time check, it’s now gone 3am.

By this point we were slightly wankered and headed off to find a local kebab house where we ordered up some grease and headed off back to our digs. I for one was totally fucked and by the time by head hit the pillow it was gone 4am. My phone was keeping me awake with constant messages filtering through from the other members of the Firm on Whatsapp and well I told an inanimate object to ‘fuck off’. A sign of a good night.

Its 09:14 AM and the sun shining through the bedroom window wakes me from my coma, and I stumble into the lounge to find Duke half on half off the sofa, clearly he must have drifted off after consuming his kebab and not bothered moving in the night. So I asked him to remind me what exactly happened last night because for the first time in a long while, I cant recall a damn thing….


Dukey filled me in on some of
the details, along with some of the tweets which had been transmitted from the
night before. Oh shit, bad bad bad. Note to self do not take phone out
when you know shit like that is going to happen and certainly don’t tweet it to
the world if you do!

With no sign of Taz stirring from his own alcohol induced coma, myself and Duke gathered some clobber together and
headed out to meet Mr X for some breakfast. I had to head off to the
local pharmacy as I’d lost some medication which I needed.. I finally caught up with all members of the Firm
at some bar which was offering hang over cures, basically shitloads of coffee and
some grub. It was needed I can tell you. Following brekkie, the EiC
needed an Internet cafe to sort out Totts Blog from saturday so Mr X
headed off for a siesta, as did we. We agreed to meet up later in the day
for some lunch, which again was well needed. We all agreed on a
restaurant in the main square and the we all went ordered up some
traditional Portuguese meals, we even all ordered a beer which took us
forever and a day to down. The main topic of discussion was what exactly had
happened the night before and how did it happen. I can’t give you exact
details, as we have been given strict advice by our legal team
at H.Q not to incrimnate ourselves. At least, no more than we already have!

With the tucker
lining our stomachs Mr X decided he required yet another siesta and Duke
needed to pick up some cigs and other bits that people had ordered back
in the U.K. Myself and Taz decided instead to head off to do a little more
ground hopping in Portugal. So armed with Google Maps we routed up the
ground and followed Taz’s smartphone off into the distance leaving the others
behind. The heat beating down was not the best help for a hangover as
we pounded the pavements of the Albufeira streets. 25 minutes passed and we were finally at our location, The Estadio Municipal, where a team called Imortal
Desportivo Clube are based. The front door to the place was open, so we
ventured inside only to be greeted by a very angry looking chap who
advised in Portuguese to remove ourselves from the building. He looked
rather mean, so we decided not to argue and fucked off double time. We then walked around the perimeter
fence of the ground taking a few snaps as we went before heading off
back to the Apartment to re-group once more.

Estadio Municipal. Albufeira.

back at the H.Q sweating my tits off, the group had decided to head out
at just gone 6pm to catch the England game, so we did just that. At 7pm! We
had spotted a bar early in the day that had some real comfy looking
seats which would be ideal for us to rest our bones, but on arrival, it
didn’t look like they were going to be whacking the game on the big
screen so we ditched it and found a place back on the strip that was actually showing the game. We parked our arses outside in the street and ordered up
some beers from the pretty waitress and got ourselves comfy for the next 90
minutes. Of course it dawned upon us that we might have to listen to
Andy ‘twat’ Townsend as the game was being aired on ITV, but we were
actually saved from ears bleeding out. Instead there was a chap just
across the way who was entertaining those that weren’t interested in the
game by knocking out various tunes on his electric guitar, entertaining
the masses along the strip. We were saved from the Townsend bullshit! The England game allowed us to be a little on the civil side, a few
beers and a few Gins, and even a couple of goals from Welbeck lifted our
hungover spirits. With the game done and dusted we headed off to find
an establishment that could offer us some grub. Basically we walked for 5
minutes and found the nearest place that had a table that could seat
four. Myself and Taz opted for pizza, whilst Duke and Mr X went a little
up market with paellas, the posh wankers!

finishing our grub and drinks we headed off to what can only be
described as a typical English Pub, but with Portuguese beers on tap!
The place was covered in football scarfs and football shirts across the
ceilings and walls. For a little while we were trying to work out some
of the teams, whilst knocking back the top shelf drinks once more. A
couple of drinks were had in this bar until the latest whip had run dry and we called it a
night just before midnight. Which was just as well seeing as we had to be up early in the
morning and sober too, as we had to drive back to Faro Airport.

Its now 7:45am on the Tuesday morning and I’m awoken by Duke calling me a
wanker and telling me to get up! Who needs an alarm clock?! A quick smoke and a shower and it’s
time to make tracks back to Faro. We meet Mr X down at reception, get the car out the garage and head out of town and make tracks for the
Airport. Taz decides to drive us all back and as part of the car hire
agreement, whatever fuel you use you must replace. We finally manage to
find at Petrol Station at Faro Airport and whack a tidy sum of 10 Euros
in the tank and take the car back to the Hire Firm, where the chap
carrying out the inspection tells us it needs still more go go juice. Bollocks! So Taz heads back out down the road and this time fills the fucker right up. Bearing
in mind our flight is in just over and hour, we are really pushing our
luck. But Taz is back in the nick of time as the mini bus rocks up to convey
us to the Airport. We fly through the security checks and head into the
Departure Lounge and pick up what ever Duty free’s we can. We even
have time for a quick chain smoke before boarding the Easy Jet flight back
home to Blighty.

Oh dear….

It was one excellent trip all in the
name of football. The game was quality. The beer was fantastic, the
weather was top draw and I shall continue to dream of Elena……

Sod it, I’ve even had that photo I took of her printed on a T-shirt….like I said, I sold my soul!

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