Part 1: The Fucking Asshole

August 27, 2014

I first met Rasmus during an impromptu game of beer-pong. My participation in the game was not voluntary, but necessitated by an Estonian woman who took her beer-pong very seriously. Rasmus didn't have a partner, but he did now. He left buying the beer to me. What a nice guy.

Thirty minutes later, in an attempt to forget our humiliating loss at beer-pong (I was tackled to the floor three times by a girl who probably weighs half of what I do), and because he had a flight at 4am for which he wanted to be as drunk as possible, Rasmus and I head to a nearby pub. We were accompanied by another denizen of the hostel, Dave from Britain. Rasmus offered to buy the first round, and returned with three huge mugs of beer. "In Denmark, if you do not buy the largest beer, you are a fucking asshole," he said by way of explanation. I didn't complain.

Rasmus is a man with a tattoo of a wizard emblazoned on his right forearm -- a wizard smoking more marijuana than should be humanly possible. He's originally from Denmark, but has spent the last few months traveling through eastern Europe. Rasmus once described himself to me as "hard as fuck", and he takes self-sufficiency to the next level: throughout the entirety of his travels, he has never once looked at a map or made a phone call. He uses internet cafes to make plans a few days in advance, and memorizes whatever directions are on the hostels' websites. On more than one occasion he has misremembered these directions, and subsequently spent the next few hours lost. I asked why he didn't seek help; "If you ask for help, you are a fucking asshole."

Rasmus told us a story of how the Danish flag descended directly from the heavens, and signaled the Danish awakening from the Germans, or something like that. Admitting that I knew nothing about Denmark, I asked him to explain. "We Danish hate the Germans. They are like our older, cooler brothers. The fucking assholes."

The three of us -- Rasmus, Dave and I -- swapped stories, and somehow settled on the topic of unique slang words from our various countries, in an activity Dave described as "cultural exchange". My companions liked my contribution of "salty", but the winning entry was "chuffing brill" from the British contingent. Rasmus taught us some rude hand gestures, and then told us he hated Britain because everyone called him "darling" and "love". "Fuck you, man. You don't even know me, you fucking asshole!" Dave and I laughed. Rasmus scowled at us.

A decision was made to go bar-hopping; we ended up at a bar called DM Baar. I idly wondered what the DM might stand for, but realized immediately upon entering from the horrifying visages staring at us from the wall. Depeche Mode. Somehow we had managed to find a Depeche Mode-themed bar. In Estonia of all places! We stayed, despite the tacky decor, because we needed somewhere to drink, and besides, it was kind of funny. On our way out, I asked the bartender if he ever got tired of Depeche Mode. He looked at me like this was the stupidest thing anyone had ever said. Rasmus called him a "fucking asshole" under his breath, and then did one last shot for the road.

I don't know if I've ever seen anyone as drunk as Rasmus was that night; he tried to pee on somebody on our way back. We got home around 3am, and I went straight to bed.. Whether or not he made his flight is anyone's guess, but he wasn't at the hostel the next day. Some sick part of me hopes he missed it -- I imagine he'd have some strong words for the airline, and I bet I know what they would be.

Wherever he is right now, I'm sure he'll be fine. Rasmus is hard as fuck.