Just an interesting story I like to tell...
Been under way for a bit, back in 1985 the cold war was cold. We made lots of port calls and one of them was Istanbul Turkey. As we made our way to town, we realized everything was dirt cheap. Fifth of Raki (sambuca) was about 1.50$. Beers were 40 cents. So what do we do, get obliterated on 8 bucks and head to the brothel. Now I’m 20, single, with more money than I can spend on liquor in this place in 2 years with a little street smarts…after this I would realize I had NO street smarts and I would know real fear.
Now, I met a drinkin buddy on the ship from New Jersey, not far from Jersey City. In 6 days he went to the brothel 26---that’s right 26 times. I went 3. The third being the fearful one.
I’m out, a little drunk, alone, and think to myself, if I can go up to the room with 3 bucks and have fun, I wonder what I can get for 20. Maybe 5 of em. Or maybe 1 quality woman. I talk to a cabby and ask if there is a better place. He says he can take me there and back for ten, and the brothel will cost 20. I had about 180 on me so I figured you never regret going in, or something to that effect, go for it!
I’m alone with this cabby from Istanbul driving out of town heading for a “High End” brothel, it took 30 minutes to get there. Imagine the movie scenes where cars are driving in the dessert with the dust, but it’s dark. At this point my City Streets danger meter is rising fast. I was not horribly drunk, but just enough to think this situation was ok.
We pull up to a building in the middle of nowhere I mean the only light you can see is from this building. One floor, picture a one story building in the dessert in the Mid East, that’s what I was looking at at 20 years old and alone. From the cab door, I can tell it goes back a ways from the road…20 yards or so, 20 yards filled with a couple cars, a few bushes, and unbelievable darkness with a a few shadows creeping thru the dim lights, I can hear the hum of the gas generator.. The cabby gets out and I follow his lead. We get up to a…I don’t know, a camping folding table maybe, in the center east(coulda been north) end of a hallway with 6-8 doors on either side of the hallway leading about 20 yards to the rear of the guy at the table. His table was t-boning the hallway. There’s a rotund guy sitting at the table and he takes my 20 bucks and I move into the “choice room”. I pick the shiny skinned beauty and the guy at the desk says…no, no, no she’s good, 10 more dollars. I’m sure that would have been the case had I walked out. He would have charged me 10 to leave. I gladly paid it.
The shiny skinned beauty takes me by the hand and brings me to the room. The room was a considerable upgrade from the city brothel, well worth the 30 bucks I thought, but not the Ritz. The experience was exceptional, but the men in the place were getting impatient with me and knocked on the door a time or two. I barely, and I mean barely, touched her anus by mistake in a moment of, well, I didn’t know what was going where. SHE GOT PISSED. This is where the fear overwhelmed every part of my being. This was “Midnight Express” fear. I’m in the sticks alone in Turkey (none of my friends know where I am) and I have pissed off a woman fucking screaming at me because she thinks I just tried to rape her in the anus in a brothel in a Muslim Country! I knew I was in trouble. I pleaded for her to forgive me. When I say pleaded, actually a better word is probably groveled. I offered her all I had she told me to put it in the box where the pimp takes his money. Not sure if I got hustled, but I didn’t, and still, don’t care.
The fear was unimaginable for what felt like 2 days, but was probably more like 1 minute. I thought it was a religious thing and I was going to die. That fucker at the table was not alone. There were 4 or 5 others hangin around. I didn’t feel safe until that cabby got me to the ship. I still wonder how much of my 180 he got. I would have given EVERYTHING to get me back to the ship.
I never went to a brothel in the Mid East after that. I would visit a couple brothels after, but in Europe.
I learned fear is good. If you can control it, your motivation to succeed is multiplied. Not to mention the rush.
It has been 6 years since I have been exposed to the Grateful Dead.