Alight Fingers Juggling and Circus Skills Workshops  

Balls To The Baltic - Latvia or Bust



All your children will be Haddock

On leaving there, as we started across the square, we crossed the path of an old ‘gypsy’ lady who seemed intent on showing us a card trick of some sort. Jonathan was having none of it and was gone in the opposite direction in the blink of an eye. I’m not sure what was more magical, the trick she wanted to show us, or the speed of his disappearance. This kind of thing is sometimes a scam of sorts, in that after showing the trick which may or may not be worthy of your time, they may find ways of extracting payment either through guilt or menaces (“I curse you and all of your offspring will be haddock”). Looking back I regret not stopping because it wasn’t as if we couldn’t have offered payment with a trick or two of our own, given that at the time we were short of Zloty (the local currency). Although she may have accepted credit cards, who knows. More to the point, having haddock as offspring would have saved on the expense of bicycles at Christmas.  

We headed back to our favourite restaurant for dinner. There’s something to be said for checking out all of the local cuisine when you’re playing tourist, but also something for recognising when you’ve found a good thing, and sticking to it. Our waitress was there again (did they ever let her leave?) and asked Jonathan if he could do the magic trick again for her friend, but he was lacking the required bits and pieces at the time so we said we’d pop back later.

We then headed to the Irish bar, or ‘pub’ as we like to call them in England, as it would be rude to not pop in and say hello, and drink to fallen, stumbled and crawling comrades. We’d attracted a pair of beauties within a matter of minutes, who chatted to us in broken English for a couple of minutes more, although it was blatantly obvious they were just fishing for drinks. They we’re quite entertaining though, so whilst obliging on the drinks front Jonathan came out with one of the best ‘pick down’ lines I’ve ever heard, as he lifted his shirt, producing his ample belly and stating “This is why my wife trusts me while I’m away from home”. Oddly enough, we lost the company of the pair of girls quite soon after, although we proceeded to attract attention as I was mistaken for a Polish rock star (I never knew such things existed), and whilst Jonathan tried to convince the person in question that I was in fact a famous juggler, although I must say, he did fail to mention that I was in fact less famous than John Otway, we were discovered by the class of the local college who were training to be English teachers, who then proceeded to practice on us for the rest of the evening. I should state for the benefit of anyone reading this who’s considering becoming an English teacher, that you should never, ever, ever use sentences as long as the previous one.

At around 10pm we remembered that we’d promised to go back to the restaurant to show them some tricks so we nipped out of the bar, and headed round the corner.  They were just closing up, so although some might say we were almost late, we knew we’d timed it perfectly and we went round to the bar where all the staff were gathered for a post work drink and chat. After a few introductions Jonathan showed them all the trick he’d baffled our waitress with earlier, and needless to say, baffled the rest of them too. And then, just because I can’t help but love the innuendo, I got my balls out and showed them some tricks with those too. Having performed our own distinct form of slight of hand and nomadic magic, and received suitable payment i.e. laughter, applause, handshakes ( I won’t mention the kisses from the ladies in case I get Jonathan in trouble with his wife), not to mention the down payment made previously of damn fine eggs, we headed back to the pub for what was left of the evening.

At some point, Jonathan left me to it, and headed back to the hotel leaving me at the mercy of a bar full of English teachers and cheap beer. Life can be hell.



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