"This is the book of life I should have read before leaving university in London.
It's got it all.
Sex, sex tourism, drugs, alcohol, alcoholism, prostitution & suicide.
In my search for sex and sobriety I travel from London to Amsterdam; to San Francisco, California; to Bangkok & Pattaya in Thailand and to Manila, Angeles City & Subic Bay in the Philippines.
Don't end up a loser like me.
Read this book."
- Paul Pisces
Chapter 2 : Where's Her Hole?
I load my aging purple mini (I had upgraded my moped the year before) with virtually every belonging I own. There is barely room for me to squeeze into the driving seat. I can hardly see out of the back window in the rear view mirror. Do I really need all this? Well 'be prepared' was our cub scout motto and prepared I am going to be.
I am 18 and leaving home for the first time to live in London. For an insecure country boy, this is a daunting challenge and I am quite apprehensive.
I picked Westfield College (part of the University of London) because you can live on campus for at least 2 of the 3 years, it has a good reputation for biochemistry and, if everything goes pear-shaped, I can rush home to mum and dad in about 2 hours.
After the drive down to the college, I finally collect the key to the room
I am to share with a complete stranger. As I approach the room, the door is
ajar and I can hear noises coming from inside. It is apparent that my
room-mate has already arrived. He seems friendly enough and he is clearly a
bit of a lad.
"Hi, my name's Mark. Hey, you don't mind if my girlfriend comes to stay do you? We won't disturb you. I'll tell her not to moan too loudly."
"Well, I suppose..."
"You've got a girlfriend have you?"
"Er no, not at the moment."
"You have had a girl though?"
"Yes, of course."
"Where's a girl's cunt then?" he asks smiling.
"What do you mean?"
"Where's her hole, show me."
I point to my crotch.
"Na, na it's not there - it's underneath innit, you know under there."
I move my finger further down.
"Yes, yes that's where I meant," I confirm enthusiastically.
"Don't worry," Mark reassures me "I'll tell my girl not to bother to visit... unless I get desperate."
"Yeah right, whatever you say."
Mark has arrived with a small rucksack and appears to me to be very unprepared.
"Have you got much stuff?" he enquires. "Do you want a hand?"
We go to the car and his eyes boggle at the amount of gear I've brought.
Surprisingly enough we get on well (he is another biochemistry undergraduate) and our "gang" is soon joined by two more biochemists. Marcus is a friend of Mark's from school and Paul is a quiet, shy guy I befriend at a lecture. Or does he befriend me (I am quiet and shy too - unless I'm drunk). Marcus is a giant. I am 6 feet tall, as is Mark, and Marcus towers above us. He must be 6'4" or thereabouts. Paul reminds me a bit of Bruce Springsteen. He is shorter (5'10") but well-built and brawny. I am the thinnest, only 10 stone but reasonably fit by which I mean I can clean and jerk my body weight over my head on a good day.
My new pals are impressed because I have a car and I am impressed because they seem more knowledgeable about life than me. Mark seems especially knowledgeable.
The car means we can easily get to parties at other colleges in London. The
bad news is that I have to drive.
"You've just overtaken a plain clothes police car!" Mark exclaims.
"Are you sure?" I sputter, quickly taking the plastic beer glass away from my lips.
"Yeah, the coppers were in uniform."
"Damn! Get rid of this beer Mark."
We are well ahead of the police car by now so Mark opens the mini window and throws our four beers over some railings. I slow down.
The police car overtakes and flags me down. An officer walks over and
indicates for me to get out. Oh dear! The driver's door is broken. I nudge
Mark and he climbs out the passenger door. I slide over the passenger seat
and out the same door. It doesn't look good.
"Evening Sir. Could you tell me what speed you were doing as you overtook us?" the officer enquires.
"About 45 miles an hour," I admit sheepishly.
"And what is the speed limit in this area, Sir?"
"30?" I suggest.
"Yes Sir. You were at least 15 miles an hour over the speed limit."
"Sorry, Officer." I look remorseful. I am quite good at looking remorseful.
Life tip: Always look remorseful when caught bang to rights by the cops.
"Well Sir, we'll let you off tonight with a warning but be more responsible in the future."
"Thankyou Officer. I certainly will."
The officer returns to the police car which immediately pulls away into the busy London traffic.
Yes, yes, yes! They must be too busy to worry about remorseful me. Did they see the beer? I don't know. It doesn't matter now - we escaped! (Correction: I escaped. I was the only one in trouble unless they got Mark for destroying evidence.) Off to the party!
Partying by now is a much more sophisticated affair than the youth club disco. We look cool (coolish). We drink either lager or barley wine (ugh). We know the form. Well Mark does.
The party is in full swing when we arrive with a talented reggae band kicking out some Bob Marley. With the barley wine coursing through my veins I am flying. After a while I spot a likely looking girl and make my move. I forego my tried and trusted opening gambit of "Can I buy you a large drink?" and instead say "Hello. Is this your college? I'm here with some friends from Westfield. It's part of the University of London." Anyway things progress well. I decide to have another beer.
In order to create a dance floor, the low-backed padded lounge chairs which normally occupy the room had been placed against the wall with their backs toward the dance floor. This creates a comfy place to rest, lolling with your bottom propped up on the back of the chair.
"Are you free tomorrow night?" I ask while slipping my arm around the girl's
shoulders. I'm feeling a bit light-headed now and my coordination is giving
me a few problems.
"I'm not sure. Perhaps I could give you my phone number." The girl is still sizing me up.
Yes, yes, yes! We're in. Just stay cool, take it easy and we're on our way. I decide to take another gulp of beer. It's a bad mistake. As my hand comes up, my foot slips. I lose my balance and find myself falling backwards onto the seat of the chair, the contents of my beer glass follow me. As I come to rest sprawled across the seats and half-hidden by the chair backs, I can see the prize I had worked so hard to win disappearing into the distance....
The first year continues with rounds of lectures, parties, drinking and finally exams. We view the list of passes posted on the university notice board expectantly, desperately hoping our names are there. Actually we are all just hoping our own name is there. Fuck the others! God is smiling on us and we are all destined to survive to year 2. After a round of hearty congratulations and celebrations we all leave the university campus and disperse for the holidays.
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