Berliner Pilsner, Snickers, shit train journeys, depressing towns, miserable aggressive coppers with guns, Grizzly bears, snoring, McDonalds and more

The Poland Trip
Sunday had finally arrived. All that waiting seemed to take an eternity, especially the last two weeks. Myself and Billy the Fish (BTF) decided to meet up slightly earlier than planned to enjoy a couple of liveners around town prior to meeting the rest of the boys in the Baili Glas, Afershave Hill, CF48. On arrival at 9.30pm we were the first there and "pussies" seemed like the perfect adjective to describe everyone else. Two minutes later and Dai and Mopp steam in looking exited. We are finally joined by the rest of the "Polish train mob" which consisted of Wingy, Rob the bomb (RTB), Hulby and the Brown Baron.
The trip had already taken a major setback the previous week as Typey was forced to withdraw with a broken limb. In fact it was that man himself who, as usual, had tirelessly arranged all travel and accommodation for the boys (cheers Rob). Now we were down to eight. The haul to the Polish capital was to take us over 20 hours via minibus from Merthyr to Stanstead, onto Berlin airport before catching the Paris-Moscow express train 600km across East Germany and Poland. Tidy.
After several pints and a few games of pool it's out into the freezing cold Merthyr night for a curry before departure from the law courts. The minibus is on time and it's away to go. The journey up is relatively quiet for a Dial M trip probably because there's no Typey. Everyone seems content to sleep, or generally relax to the tunes on the radio. The main talking point is the game and if the Poles will batter all the Welsh fans. Hulby seems confident that being a Dowlais Mountain Man will stand him in good stead and that none of us has anything to fear whilst he's with us. mmmmmmm, heard that one before Nige. Soon enough we hit London. Time 4am. BTF now springs to life demanding that everyone starts seshing immediately. For me though it's a couple of hours kip on the airport floor hopefully getting a head start on the rest of the boys. Ok I'm a puss.
Once in the departure lounge everyone comes to life and the booze is starting to flow quite freely. Except that is for Dai and the Brown Baron who as per usual and being the pups of the trip, are struggling. No such trouble for myself, BTF and Wingy. BTF has to threaten Dai with physical violence before he finishes his pint of liquid heaven. It looks as if Hulby's beetroot diet is going well as he comes from the cafe with a full cooked breccy and a pint. There are now quite a few Welsh fans milling around with Ritchie, the Valleys commando, making a guest appearance. Onto the plane and after the customary humming of Men of Harlech, the Brown Baron tries out a bit of sexual innuendo with the air stewardess. I think she's impressed with our Welsh/Catalan until he tells her to shut up and get the booze in.
As is the case with every away trip, arrival at the airport sees the first arguments begin. Everyone disagrees on our next move in trying to find the train station and things aren't helped by no-one, except muggins here having any DM's (Thats Deutchmarks to those of you from Caedraw.) Once we find our bearings it is decided to purchase 96 cans of Berliner beer at 5.6%. On reflection, maybe we should have shopped around a little. It tastes a little like greyhound piss only worse. But as BTF said "just shut up and get boozing you pussies" The first cans were opened (sssssssscccchhhhhhhh) on the connecting train from the airport where we were joined by a particularly attractive German chicken. The Brown Baron sees another opportunity to speak English with a French accent and expect this young Berlin lassie to understand. As Hulby correctly pointed out, she could well understand, she just thought Browney was a twat.
The next ten minutes is spent explaining the cultural differences between the Welsh and English to a rather pissed up old fool who had more than a keen interest in our Feinherb & Spritzig Premium Pilsners. Little did he know that if he waited until Thursday he could have about fifty of them! Soon enough we switched trains and were on our way. The train was about two million miles long and finding an empty carriage was pretty diflicult to say the least. Tempers once again became frayed especially when, after eventually finding an empty room and the fork-lift had stacked the beer, a young German family pointed out that we were sitting in their pre-booked seats. Bollocks, Hulby explalned out loud before proceeding to see if they would mind pissing off somewhere else. Then a rather aggressive looking Polish copper with a big gun shifted us in a matter of seconds. Once settled, good progress was made on the Berliners and conversation began on the War. Hulby seemed to have an unlimited knowledge of bullshit on the subject which left the rest of us amazed and BTF in a raging anger at Hulby's stupidity. After about ten passport/ticket checks from extremely ropey looking Polish army types, hunger began to set in. The problem was that no-one had much money and the only thing on the buffet car was Berliner Pilsner and Snickers. Brilliant. A Snickers and lager dinner. As the booze and boredom kicked in the arguments started up once more with Dai seemingly the target for much aggression. At one point the Brown Baron rose from his seat and grabbed at young Dai's throat, with hatred in his eyes. I must be honest though, my Zlotti's were on Dai to take him out in three rounds as Dai was beginning to tense up real good. Later it was Hulby's turn to have a pop, this time with fists flailing for no apparent reason. Hulby though denied the use of fists on someone a third of his size despite everyone in the carriage witnessing it. Eventually we cruise into Warsaw Central in good time and order a couple of taxi's to our five star hotel - the Praski, opposite the Zoo.
Once the rooms are sorted and the Brown Baron has tried his luck with the receptionist it's out into the freezing cold, hostile Warsaw night in search of the demon alcohol. The roads are chaotic with traffic and we walk for what seems like miles as there are no pubs and nowhere seems to be open. Tiredness and starvation are now setting in and Hulby's gut is expanding rapidly. Not even his fanny can keep him warm in this cold. Eventually we stumble across a Pizza Hut and in we go. Everyone steams into the salad bar much to the annoyance of a group of Poles. Tough shit. The Brown Baron, now hyper-sophisticated after living in Sydney for eight months orders a bottle of white wine with his pizza. BTF looks on in dismay. Wingy meanwhile is glugging beer at an impressive rate as he has done all day all things considered. Following food, myself and Hulby make our way back to the hotel at around 11 pm, totally wrecked. The rest of the boys enjoy a few more pints in the Irish pub before turning in as well. Tuesday moming. l0am. Mopp enters our room and wakes us to a torrent of abuse. There are some very tired bodies in need of rest here. Slowly we all come around and after a quick shit, shave and shower, it's offinto downtown Warsaw minus Dai and RTB to find our bearings. A quick hello to the grizzly bears across the road in the zoo (one ofwhich developed an erection on sight ofHulby) and we move swiftly across the longest bridge in the world into the centre of town. Again, we walk for miles in search of food to settle our aching stomachs. Hulby is starting to sweat. Eventually we stumble across a Burger King'with minging food on offer but in we go. Next stop its Warsaw's equivalent of Anne's Pantry for a can of beer and for me and BTF to have a dump. Well it was the best we could flnd in this seemingly pub-less town. Finally we do find a pub (can't remember the name) and settle down to the main reason for the trip. Booze. Browney is again up to his tricks in trying to pull the waitresses but to no avail. As the booze begins to flow freely the pub starts to fill with some Welsh fans and the conversation is of football. We start talking to Dave from Conwy who, with impeccably bad timing, shows us an article from the previous days Daily Mail which mentions the expected crowd trouble between Legia and Cardiff fans. Just what we need. Meanwhile Hulby is starting to sweat and so he and Browney make their way back to the hotel to change. Next we make our way to the flashy players hote! to collect our tickets. We also had a bit of a chat with Paul Jones and Nathan Blake who advise us that the U21's had lost. With spirits now high from the alcohol we decide to move on to the Irish Pub which if full to the top with Wales supporters enjoying the delights of Warsaw (Not that we'd seen any) A couple of dishes of lush Goulash is the order of the day for me and Wingy, washed down with cold fizzy largers. Life doesn't get much better than this. Next to appear in the pub are a mob of violent looking Poles in shell-suits (from Tredegar!) looking for an off with Wales fans. Apparently there are about forty outside wanting to know. Not good news. BTF says he had just walked past a gang of boys outside and thought they were from Porthmadog. Allright lads he says to them!! Soon after the Polish knob heads piss offwe move on to the Underground music bar. A bit of a trendy looking establishment with expensive beer. Things are looking very gloomy for me now and the thought of bed has crossed my mind on more than one occasion. Things get worse when the bouncer kicks me out for sleeping on the bar. For me the night was over and I made my way back to the Praski where Hulby and Browney are fast asleep! Pussies. The sight of me awakes them into action and they are soon ah dressed up and ready to go into the night with Browney muttering something about sluts and Hulby looking oa unconvinced, 1 am - I'm woken by BTF. Drunk as a boot. He tells stories of the "tidy tity bars" him and Wingy have been ftequenting since my departure before dosing off and snoring super loud. 4.30am - Woken by Browney, drunk as a boot muttering on about cheeky sluts, champagne and loosing all his loot. He then proceeds to have a scuffle with his bed sheet before dosing off and hiccuping super loud. Magic.
Wednesday morning - 10.30am. Once again woken by Mopp. This time accompanied~ by Dai and Hulby telling stories of last nights adventures. Dai says that he and RTB must have seen every Wales fan in Poland except for us lot yestecday, but nevertheless had a good sesh. A few stories have been doing the rounds about trouble in town last night as well. Apparently two Welsh boys got a pretty severe kicking at the hands of some Poles and we were being advised not to seek revenge. Revenge being the last thing on our minds as we were too busy shitting ourselves. After the customary shite, shave and shower it's down to reception to sort out the passports as our early departure tomorrow, along with today's quota of beer will no doubt leave little time for the administrative formalities. Once again Browney tries to sex up the super model receptionist, however, with chat up lines such as (with a french accent, of course) "Does your boyfriend have big penis", "you like big penis" and "me and you tonight ya ya ya" it's no real surprise he failed. The receptionist muttered something which Hulby translated as "why are you wearing a stupid BT Cardiff Devils top!" Browney, the DMFM sex god and all round pulling machine of past trips can't understand it. He's lost his touch. He will not let this minor setback deter him though as he bids to improve on these appalling pulling statistics which even Dai would frown upon. Out into the town once again we go in search of grub. Some of the lads need to cash some loot again (They must cash about £10 a time!) while Me, Wingy, BTF and Browney go for a steak with plans to meet the rest later in the Irish Pub. Into the London Steakhouse for a couple of liveners to calm the fears of the day ahead. We pick a table around the corner and close the curtains so that no Poles can see us. We are also joined by a few more Wales fans with stories of brawling. Oh tidy BTF thinks out loud.
After the steakhouse we try a minging pint and a couple of Tequilla slammers in the Western Bar. This is by far and away the worst pub in Europe and makes the Pontlottyn spunk shed look like the New York Hard Rock Cafe. Browney once again goes on the pull after some French speaking Polish chickens despite protestation from the rest of us to leave. it is left to me however to act as a translator and impress the ladies much to Brownies dismay. Next it's onto the Irish Pub where the rest of the boys are supping steins of lager. Magic. The pub is jammed with Welsh boys including Jon the German, Bridgends finest hooligan and much singing and happiness is to be had by all. Wingy is sinking pint after pint like there's no tomorrow while Dai leads the singing on the tables, which are cast in the shadow of the magnificent "Dial M for Merthyr" flag. Thoughts of angry Poles are now far from our minds as there is nothing quite like a tipsy, angry Hulby with a large glass in tus hand to inspire confidence. There are about 150 of us in the pub and we all agree to make our way to the stadium together. This is what it's all about. Collective drunken singing not poxy Dr Martens league football. On departure at 7pm we are met by an angry mob of skinheads outside, But the tooled up riot police rounded us up and marched us for a whole hour to the ground, ensuring that we missed the kick-off. The walk was a little shitty at times especially as the ground is in the middle of a park in the middle of nowhere and stopping for a piss was usually greeted with a baseball bat type stick across the back of the legs. On arrival at the ground we find that there is only one gate open with the game already underway. After the efforts in trying to pull the fences down by about fifty Welsh fans they finally speed things up, but only after setting dogs and CS gas on the offenders. On entry (to the ground) I'm reminded of that scene from the classic play Grand Slam when Mog walks into the stadium in his pants in Paris to cries of "Wales, Wales" Awesome. Of course being a football crowd the 400 or so Wales fans probably made more noise than 10,000 rugby buggers. The atmosphere is tense with all the Wales fans in excellent voice. As for the game, well I can't really comment as we were about a mile behind the goal with 20 foot fences preventing us steaming the pitch. At times it was pretty difficult working out which half the ball was in, although this is sometimes a good thing though when watching Wales. The Polish fans were in fine voice first half as well and looked quite impressive with their flares (not the trouser variety!) The second half saw Wales silence the Polish crowd with their effective tactics and also saw an incredible version of Men of Harlech from our end which lasted the entire second half Tops. At the final whistle the players ran over to us to celebrate, throwing their shirts into the fans.
Thursday morning arrives 5.30am. This is no fun. Bleary eyed and wrecked we shower - and gather our humble belongings before saying our goodbyes and making our way to the station, which has quite a few ropey looking skinheads loitering with intent. It's 6am for god sake. Don't these people ever give it a rest? lt's the start of the long return journey back home to Wales and it's fair to say that exciternent levels are nowhere near the same level as Tuesday. The thought of arriving home in about 20 hours time is depressing me something terrible. Still, we make our connection onto the nrain train to Berlin. Once again it is chaotic for well over an hour, and this cominues each time we stop. The journey is a nightmare. In fact I think it's more depressing than watching a Newport County training session. We pass the game playing interesting littie games like Swear Word association and Moppys favorite, Who can swear the loudest. Meanwhile Hulby is beginning to sweat. Still we cruise into Berlin airport in time for a couple of sherberts to pick us up. Things end as they began with me Wingy Woo and BTF seshing and Browney and Dai woosing out while the rest of the crew enjoy a sleep. Once Hulby has purchased his customary two million super-duper strength ciggys for the smoking population of Blaendowlais, it's onto the flight, and before long were are cruising on the M25, M4 and that most g1orious strip of tarxnac ever laid, the A470. Home to bed at last. Oh shit work in the morning. Mind you I can feel a little flu coming on. A sickie is definitely on the cards. Tidy.
Verdict on Poland - Okay, but don't go there!


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