I Ate A Chicken Heart From A Portuguese Mall Food Court

Let me start with this: I don’t eat very many things. I don’t eat red meat. I don’t eat sea food. I don’t eat mushrooms or onions. I don’t eat pickles. I just started eating pork this year and it’s been a very big step for me. So the fact that I ate a fucking chicken heart is shocking.

But let’s back up. Earlier this year I was living in Portugal. I quit my very nice, very well paid job to go work at a hostel.  Why? Because I’m impulsive and don’t think things through! But also, it was 100% the right decision for me. So I’m living at this hostel in Lisbon, and I decide it would be fun to redownload Tinder. Cause I’m single and I’m traveling, so why the fuck not? I match with this girl Barbara and we decide to get drinks.

Barbara is from Brazil, but is living in Portugal for school. We meet up, and one of the first questions she asks me is if I like to drink.  I can tell right then that we’re going to get along. We go to a bar and order a shit load of caipirinhas (yes, I had to google how to spell that). Then we take the train to her neighborhood and drink beer on the beach. I’m wearing ripped jeans, and you know how ripped jeans have those thin little threads running across the holes? She’s obsessed with picking at them until they’re all perfectly untangled. It’s odd, but cute. We start making out on the beach. It’s kind of adorable. Oh, and did I mention the night this is all taking place on happens to be Valentine’s Day?

We end up back at her place where I end up staying the night. The next morning we eat cereal and watch Brazilian music videos for hours. I swear to God, the Brazilian music that was popular in February of 2017 will forever be ingrained into my brain. But most of it was pretty good, so no complaints.

Next thing you know, it’s early afternoon and hitting that time where I should probably be like “OK, well, I gotta head out…”. But it’s me, and I like to overstay my welcome. Seriously, when I was in high school, I slept over this girl’s house who I had a massive crush on. The next day I didn’t leave until 4 PM. And I could tell that she was ready for me to leave, but I was so secretly in love with her that I just couldn’t bring myself to get off her couch. So we watched 16 and Pregnant until finally she was like “Umm, well, I have some stuff to do, so…”.

But instead of politely telling me I gotta go, Barbara actually invites me to go run errands with her. I’ve only been in Portugal for about 3 weeks at this point, so I don’t exactly have friends or other plans yet. So I tag along. She really needs to pay a bill and apparently the only place she can pay it is at select convenience stores? And she can’t pay it by mail or online? I don’t know, I don’t speak Portuguese at all and English is not her first language, so I think something might have gotten lost in translation there. Anyways, this bill paying adventure leads us to the mall.

Barbara says she’s starving, and I’m like “same, always”. So we head to the food court on the top floor. There’s a bunch of food options, most of which I’ve never heard of before. There is a McDonald’s though, and it’s true, the McDonalds really does taste better in Europe. At the end of the food court, there’s Brazilian restaurant. Barbara very quickly decides that this is what she wants. I’ve never had Brazilian food before, so I decide to eat there too.

It’s a buffet style where you can grab whatever you want. I mostly load up my plate with veggies and rice because I can’t tell what any of the meat is. When we sit back down at our table, a waiter comes over with meat on a stick. He asks her if she would like some. She says yes. He then proceeds to empty out half the stick onto her plate.

After our waiter walks away, I ask her what the meat is. Her response? Chicken Hearts. Like hearts from a chicken. I’ve eat chicken fingers and never thought twice about it, but for some reason a chicken heart just seems so…raw. I’m clearly freaked out by the idea of eating it. Which of course just encourages her to force me to try it. She’s like “you can’t come here and not eat the chicken hearts” and I’m like “Umm, watch me?”.

Finally I give in and say I’ll try one. I’m in a new country, I should be trying new things. Also, I don’t want to look like a pussy in front of the girl I just slept with. So I grab my fork and pick one up. They’re pretty tiny, you can eat a whole one in just one bite. I’m expecting to throw up the second it hits my mouth, but it’s actually….kinda OK? It mostly tastes like garlic. Because it’s fucking covered in garlic. Honestly, if she hadn’t told me what it was, and I thought it was just a strange chicken nugget, I might have eaten another one. But just knowing that it’s a chicken heart freaked me out too much to go back for more. I also feel as though the mall food court is not the ideal place to try new, exotic foods. I’m sure if you try a chicken heart at an actual restaurant, it will be even better.

After the mall, we parted ways at the train station. We tried to get together over the weekend, but she was busy Friday and I was busy Saturday. So we never saw each other again! I left Portugal a month later to continue traveling. And I never ate a chicken heart again.

 

 

I Found A Severed Finger In A Field

The 4th of July is my favorite holiday. Growing up, my parents hosted giant cookouts in our back yard. My dad would drive across the border to New Hampshire and return with a shit load of fireworks (they’re illegal in Massachusetts). Everyone would stay really late, which is like the most exciting thing in the world when your 10. I loved it. Now my parents are old and just want to eat a hot dog and pass out at 9 PM while the Star Spangled Banner plays softly in the background. So it’s up to me and my sister to keep to annual cookout alive.

And alive it is! Look, it’s the 4th of July and everyone is drinking all day, so it’s usually at least marginally exiting every year. But this year was just one weird ass incident after another. Let’s start with the fight. My friend, who is gay, was with his boyfriend of the past 6 years, who is also gay. The boyfriend doesn’t really keep in touch with people from his hometown, so not many people from his past know he’s gay. In a shocking turn of events, the boyfriends ex girlfriend  from high school somehow ends up at my party. I don’t even know her, she’s there because she’s now dating my friend’s friend’s friend (ugh, family trees, man). The fight breaks out over a game of flip cup. Someone had decided it was a good idea to play “survivor” flip cup where you vote one person off your team each round, which, I feel like you’re just asking for a fight with a game that aggressive.

So the fight starts out over that. My friend and the ex girlfriend are screaming. And obviously, because of their relation to each other, it escalates quickly. The ex girlfriend ends up just leaving the party, along with her current boyfriend. No one at the party really knew them, so…no one really cared! Everyone’s reaction was basically “Well, that was weird…anyone need another beer?!”.

Shortly after this incident, my cousin shows up and starts chugging nips of vodka. It’s insane, I have never seem someone drink so many nips in such a short time. I am not exaggerating when I say he drank at least 20 in one hour. Cleaning up the next morning, I kept finding empty nip bottles everywhere. They were stuck in the fucking tree branches. I knew this wasn’t going to end well for him, but we’ll get to that later.

This is where it gets interesting. If you were only reading this story to get to the part with the finger, feel free to skip ahead to this section. Every year, the party heads out to watch fire works once it gets dark out. These are not professional fireworks by any means, it’s all people like my dad who have smuggled them across state lines under blankets in the trunk of their Subaru Forester. We always go to the beach down the street from my house, so I start to walk in that direction. On the way over I run into my sister’s friend. She tells me that there wasn’t much going on at the beach, so everyone went to the field instead. The field is only another 5 minutes past the beach, so I continue my walk there.

Let me try to best explain the layout of this field so you can understand it. On one side of the field there is a small hill that has a swings on it. That’s where my sister and everyone else from the party was sitting to watch. To the left of the hill are basketball courts. That’s the entrance I came in. In the middle of the field is where people were lighting fireworks. As I walk over to the hill, a lady runs by me, crying. She’s running, so there’s not time to stop her and be like “Umm, you good?”. I get to the hill, but everyone is focused on what just happened in the middle of the field. There’s some kind of commotion, and people are gathering around one man in particular. It’s dark out though, so it’s hard to see what’s really happening.

No one from my party is entirely sure what just happened. But 10 seconds after I get to the hill, a man from the middle of the field starts shouting at everyone “We need phones! Come here if you have a phone!”. Something is obviously up, so me and a few other people from my party head over, phones in hand. Once we get to the middle of the field, we realize what has happened. They need phones because they need to use them as flashlights. They need flashlights because they are looking for fingers.

Fingers. Fucking fingers. All five of them too! This poor man accidentally blew his hand off while lighting a firework. And now we need to find his fingers so they can be sewn back on.

I don’t look at the man or his hand because 1. it’s disrespectful and 2. it’s fucking gross. I am horrible around blood, I was that girl who needed to leave the room in science class whenever we learned about blood and veins. But I’m also good in a crisis. So I get to work and start looking for those fingers!

The man who shouted at everyone for phones has now become the unofficial organizer of this little scavenger hunt. I’m assuming he is the father of the man who lost his fingers, but who knows, maybe he’s just a stranger who always had dreams of working in emergency response and happened to get lucky. Anyways, this father/EMT wannabe gets everyone to stand in a line, shoulders touching. We’re instructed to make our way very slowly across the field and to keep our eyes to the ground at all time. There’s a $500 reward for anyone who finds a finger. No, I’m kidding about that last part.

We’re about half way through the field when the man next to me goes “I think I found one”. I shine my light over to where he’s looking, and sure enough, there it is. “Yup, that’s a finger” I say. My friends brother comes over and picks up the finger to hand it to an EMT. Honestly, the finger just kind of looked…like a finger.

The search continued, but no other fingers were found. The rest of them just disintegrated in the blast. Or something like that, I don’t know, I don’t understand science. The man was taken to a hospital. Newspaper reports I’ve read after the incident tell me that he was fine other than the missing fingers part. Someone also told me recently that this same man caught on fire at a bonfire on the 4th of July a few years ago. Damn! This poor man is probably never leaving his house of the 4th again.

You would think after an incident like this, we would all just go home and go to bed. But not this crew! It just kept going. My sister, who was very drunk, made a phone call to her boyfriend at the field because she was freaking out over the fingers. Someone overheard her on the phone and yelled at her to “have some fucking respect”. My sister, being drunk and emotional, started crying and cried the whole walk home. When she got home, she made mac and cheese. Mac and cheese portions are fucking huge for just one person, so half of it was still in the pot on the stove when I got home a few minutes after her.

I asked her if I could have the rest of the mac and cheese. To which she said “Nope!’ and started pouring the mac and cheese on the ground and in the trash can, like a fucking lunatic. To prove a point, I grabbed some out of the trash can and ate it. “You’re disgusting” she said. “No, this is disgusting” I said, as I rubbed the cheese residue from my hands onto her arm.

And that’s when she lost it. She could not handle having cheese on her arm, despite just eating an entire fucking bowl of cheese covered pasta. “FUCK YOU” she screamed. Then, she took the pot she was holding, and hit me in the face with it. She threw the pot on the ground. Mac and cheese was everywhere. My mouth was bleeding. “CLEAN IT UP!” she screamed. The she ran out of the room.

I walked onto the porch where my cousin, the one who drank 20 nips in an hour, was passed out half naked on my couch. There was a stain on the floor next to him. He threw up, but someone had tried to clean it and gave up half way through, so now it just smelt like a combination of vomit and Lysol.

I stayed up for a little longer to attend to my guests, but I just wanted to sleep. Also, I was still hungry cause I never got to eat that god damn mac and cheese. It was a very traumatizing day. Around midnight, I gave in and went to bed. I woke up the next morning and cleaned for 4 hours straight. It needed to look immaculate for my parents. I looked through our entire yard to make sure I snatched every empty nip bottle. Searching for all of them was hard. But not as hard as searching for a finger.

A Motel I Had Sex In Is Being Condemned By The Board Of Health

I found out today that a motel I once had sex in is being condemned by the Board of Health. While this is disgusting and concerning, I’d be lying if I said it was surprising. I guess that’s what happens when you hookup in dirty motels off the side of the highway in Braintree! But let me backtrack a little here, I’m starting to sound as if I was a prostitute or, like, having sex for drugs. These are the images that come to mind when you hear the word motel, at least for me. But no, I was in fact just young, broke, and in love. Oh, and absolutely shit faced. Can’t forget about that part.

Two summers ago, I was dating my ex, who at the time, had a severe drinking problem. I rotated between being like “Oh my God, you need to stop drinking!” and just giving in and getting equally as drunk as her. So as you can imagine, the summer of 2015 was a blacked out blur (I mean, ages 16 to 23 were more or less a blacked out blur, but summer 2015 was REALLY BAD). So it was my ex’s birthday, and being the wonderful girlfriend that I am, I tell her we can go anywhere she wants. She picks Southie. OK, fair enough. We go to Shenanigans in Southie. I’m pounding Bud Lights. She’s pounding Bud Lights with a shot of Fireball after each one, which was her signature drink order back then. We get pretty drunk and decide we need to go somewhere else. Except neither one of us can drive at that point, so we’re limited to the other bars on that street. And there are A LOT of bars of that street, so it shouldn’t be limiting! But somehow, we decide the one to go to is the tiny dive bar that doesn’t even have a fucking sign outside. It’s very seedy inside. I think there was a run down pool table? The bar tender is definitely a little drunk himself. We drink a lot more there. Eventually we end up making out in the bathroom, which I’m sure hasn’t been cleaned since 2008.

At which point, I’m like “Fuck it, it’s your birthday! Let’s go somewhere nice tonight!”. We were both living at home with our parents then. So sex at my house was out of the question pretty much all the time, and her house was only an option if her dad was working. We hooked up in her car a lot. But tonight was her birthday. Car sex wasn’t going to cut it. We needed to do something special. We needed a hotel.

So we’re wasted in this dirty bathroom, trying to google hotels on our cell phones. We quickly realize Boston hotels are way out of our price range. So we start looking at other places. And what is the cheapest option of them all? The mother fucking Motel 6 in Braintree, Massachusetts.

This Motel 6 is off the side of a highway. It shares a parking lot with a Denny’s. Someone has been murdered there before. It is sleazy and disgusting and exactly the kind of place you would book at 2 AM after a night of binge drinking. I would like to add that despite being the cheapest option, I still remember the room price being around $125. Which is a lot of money for how little you get! How did this place manage to stay in business for so long? Who else was willing to pay that much for a room there?

Anyways, we take a cab to this motel. We check in and get our keys. Our room is on the backside of the motel. Meaning that instead of seeing the parking lot, we have a lovely view of an overgrown hill with some sort of freaky power plant like structure behind it. Inside our room there is a sink on the ground. A sink. Not the bathroom sink either! I still don’t know where it came from or why it was just laying there, detached on the ground. Some questions are better left unanswered.

The rest of the night goes as you would expect. We have drunken sex in a bed where someone probably snorted heroin out of a strippers asshole the night before. We wake up the next morning and are like “Why the fuck did we think it was a good idea to come here?”. Then we lay on the ground of the balcony outside (There was a balcony, that was cool!) until our hangovers subside enough to move again. We then have to take a cab back into Southie to get the car. Honestly, between the two cab rides, it probably would have cost the same amount to just stay in Boston.

So that’s my memory of the Motel 6 in Braintree! I’m sure events much more horrible than this have taken place there. It’s probably in everyone’s best interest that the Board of Health shuts it down. We want a better future for our children, right? But Motel 6, you will be missed!