How We Ended Up In A Sofia Strip Club Is......
Trip Start Jun 01, 2006
124Trip End Ongoing
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Our hostel had a kind of lounge common room kind of place, and at seven they gave everyone a free beer, so we showed up. Pretty soon we got chatting to an Irish guy called Paul; quiet, polite sort of chap. Then we were joined by Paul's friend Bryan the American, who was also a nice, polite chap.
We asked them if they fancied joining us for a beer in Sofia, and they had nothing better to do with their time so they joined us. There was also an American girl, but she was getting the night train to Istanbul and only came out for a couple of hours - she was also rather dull so needn't be a main player in this tale.
Paul said during our first drink (remember this) that he was only staying out for one or two as he had a busy day tomorrow. We were at this bar called Upstairs which has a balcony looking over the main street - ideal for drinking and people watching. Sofia rightly earns it's Lovely Women Also tag.
After a few hours and many drinks, we moved on to find to our horror that everywhere was closing. We had been promised late drinking in Sofia so were disgruntled to find that people wanted to go to bed and it was only midnight. However, our luck was in, and we found some outdoor disco kind of establishment. A few more drinks (actually, as I think about it, really quite a lot of drinks) and some shots of the local Ouzo style spirit that's name escapes me (that and so much more).
It was around this time that things started to get interesting. When Bryan went to the toilet Paul started talking about "Fucking Americans", and he started to make it pretty clear that he found Vinny and I a bare exception to a pretty damnable race. It was funny - stereotype or not, he was getting more Irish by the drink. Also, we didn't really pick up on it at the time, but we agree in retrospect that Bryan the American was starting to show signs that he was a little naive - We were talking about the South Park episode on Alcohol Anonomous being a religious cult, and his defence was that you didn't have to believe in God, it was just whatever higher power you look to... I explained that there are those of us that don't believe in any higher power, any fate, karma, heaven or hell, and he looked shocked and appalled for about ten minutes.
Which was when we decided we needed to move on somewhere else, and we nominated Bryan the American to go and use his brash 'charm' to go and find out where the nearest club was from the two girls siting in the far corner. When he refused I gave him the Swingers speech about the big fucking claws, and, as great punctuation, Vinny sat next to him doing the actions and going "Grrrrrr".
So he went, bless him. Again, in retrospect, I think he was starting to fall down a slippery slope. But we were really, really drunk and din't much care. He came back five minutes later, and told us he had directions to a Folk Club. Seriously.
So, in our defence, we did set off in the vain hope of finding a Folk Club. It was Vinny's idea to go to the strip club we passed. It looked just seedy enough to be horrible, so we all agreed and in we went.
It was as I'm sure even the most conservative amongst you can imagine an Eastern European strip club to be like.... Red velvet curtains, a pole, horrible music, loads of false smiles, and no actual stripping - the ladies just walked around naked. Some put more effort into the actual pole dancing than others, and to be fair they showed a startling defiance to gravity in more ways than one...
We were sat at a table out of the way of the stage, myself and Vinny at the back, our new chums at the edge of their seats. After we had been in there for about half an hour we were suddenly set upon by four ladies wearing nothing but thongs... Should have seen it coming to be fair, but like I keep saying, very drunk. As the ladies picked one of us each and forced themselves onto our laps, Vinny and I politely, if firmly, refused their generous offers. I told my whore that none of us had any money, and eventually this sank in and she informed the others. They hopped off and scarpered rather unceremoniously.
It was only really then, when the pair of breasts had been removed from my face, that I noticed that Bryan the American had his shirt off and was pumping his fist into the air with an amazed grin on his face. Paul had also gone a little glassy eyed, and said "Right, I'm going closer", before going to sit by the stage. He proceeded to start stuffing banknotes into ladies' thongs.
Vinny and I returned to our beverages. It was at this point that we realised that we had broken Bryan the American. He was just sat staring into space, not drinking, not speaking, just rocking back and forth slightly. Paul on the other hand had become a giggling schoolboy, and kept running up to us asking if we had any small bills he could stick in girls' underwear.
Within another half hour, Bryan reported quietly that he was going home. We never saw him again.
An hour later, the place was closing. I had been on water for a while so starting to sober up ever so slightly. Still massively drunk, obviously. We managed to prise Paul away from the stage, but rather than join us he entered fevered negotiations with the strip club 'madam'.
"Guys!" He reported with glee. "It's only 100 [thirty quid] for an hour! What do you think?"
"Goodnight Paul", said we, and left as he was being escorted behind a rather sticky looking red velvet curtain.
We got in around 6 am, and our day sightseeing in Sofia before the night train was ruined slightly as we didn't wake up until half two. We saw Paul in the common room of the hostel. His first word was 'Dirty'.
Now, it was Polly's idea for us to come and visit Sofia, so Vinny and I both hope that we've not let her down with our tale.
After all, we didn't mention football once.....