Flagging: Sexual Conquests on a Global Scale
People like to collect things. Most of the time it involves something mundane with a great amount of arbitrary value assigned to it. You know - things like cards, coins and stamps … I almost fell asleep typing that. Telling someone you collect stamps is one of the best verbal sedatives in existence, right behind tax law and the history of the lima bean. It's therefore highly entertaining to hear of new and different things that people like to collect - things you'd never expect - especially if they sound erotic. I recently learned of one such hobby gaining popularity in the backpacking world. It's called Flagging.
Flagging is the practice of collecting the flags of the world, with a twist. That may sound boring, but the flagging I'm referring to involves less cloth threads and more creaking beds. The only way that you successfully capture the flag of a given country in this new pastime is by having sex with one of its citizens. That's right - you sleep with someone from Russia and you collect the Russian flag. It's sort of like a sexual scavenger hunt where the only rewards are self-satisfaction and previously unknown STD's. It's not exactly your grandfather's coin collection, unless your grandfather was exchanging those coins for plane tickets to seduce the citizens of multiple foreign countries.
It's been underground, or at least in the unspoken zeitgeist, for years, but with the internet allowing the sharing of information at incalculable rates, the community of Flaggers is growing, and getting more sophisticated. Now when I think of the word Constitution, I imagine a stately gentleman penning the fate of the free world with a quill by candlelight. This isn't always the case, because in fact, the Flagging community has its own "constitution" - which I imagine was written by the electric glow of a laptop, over a few Jäegerbombs.
I find this dirty travel game to be at least educational, in that it got me curious about how many flags and demographics there are in the world. The best answer I could find seems to be that there are 196 sovereign states (the only ones that count) on the planet and of course the world's population is nowhere near evenly distributed. So while all flags may be created equal, the difficulty level varies greatly.
China boasts about 1.3 billion citizens so running across a viable Chinese flag shouldn't be too difficult. On the other hand Liechtenstein-ites only number 36,000, making them the Serendibite (far more rare than diamonds) of the human population. Numbers aren't everything though, as there is one other major factor that contributes to the chances of you landing a flag or not: Promiscuity. Each nation tolerates casual sex to a different degree or in some cases, encourages it. This obviously begs the question - who are the sluttiest people on Earth?
Well, it's the residents of the UK that can claim that badge of dishonor. That makes London the capital of the flagging world, since it is home to the world's most-free lovers, the most internationally diverse city, and the destination of millions of travellers. The 2012 Olympic games, being ancient Greek in origin, held in London and attracting residents of every single country - is almost sure to devolve into a depraved, flag-swapping orgy. I doubt if any of the competition will be able to be held at all. The athletes will just be too over-sexed.
There is of course an opposite end to this spectrum. There exists one country's flag that is thought to be un-capturable. It's literally the Holy Grail of the community and this sovereign state is … Vatican City. The number of passport holders here only number 800, most (if not all) are male and for obvious reasons, getting any of these men to have sex with you would pose quite a challenge. Thus it is thought that no one can ever truly capture all 196 flags.
On a fortunate note for all of you passing through Amsterdam, the Netherlands ranked third out of all the countries on Earth - wanting to get down and dirty. Additionally, about half of Amsterdam's residents are foreigners. Couple that with the debauchery around every corner and it seems hard to escape the city without adding a few flags to the collection. Maybe even two or three at the same time …
- Matt Smith
Where to go on Queensday 2012?
If you’re in Amsterdam on the 30th of April, you probably planned to do so intentionally. And if you didn’t…well, then you’re in for quite a surprise and orange chaos. But let’s assume for a minute you know what this day is all about, and you want to make the best of this once-in-a-lifetime experience, then we’ve got some hints on where you want to be.
First of all, you need some form of orange. A hat, t-shirt, shoes (even just one), anything goes as long as it’s orange, and the best place to get it is in the Vondelpark. Think of it as one big yard-sale with thousands of people and kids, so perfect for scoring some cheap Queensday goodies.
There are 100’s of parties dotted around the city, and we really recommend to just follow the crowd, walk around and soak up the craziness. And oh yeah, B.Y.O.B. is highly advised if you don’t want to stand in line for an hour to get a beer.
Of course we at the Pig will be deck out in the hostels in orange and will have our own little party, so we invite you for a shot of orange bitters to start or finish your crazy Queensday!
Now all we need is good weather ... ;-)
The Pig hostels are sold out for Queensday 2012 so if you want to be part of it, book your bed early for next year.
Music Reviews From The Flying Pig
This E-zine's Top Album Suggestions
In this edition of the e-zine the Flying Pig’s very own Musa reviews Delta Spirit by Delta Spirit, Torches by Foster the People and Record Collection by Mark Ronson. Find out how Musa rates the tracks on these top albums and the tunes that really stand out.
Band: Delta Spirit
Album: Delta Spirit
It’s kind of a cop out to say that a band sounds like Indie Rock, but that’s a great way to describe the new release from Delta Spirit. They have a wonderful balance of instruments and well-blended vocals. Their melodies are conventional but driving in a good way. We think fans of the Rolling Stones will find a welcome sound in Delta Spirit. The beginning of the album introduces listeners to guitars and a strong male lead vocal. Then as the song Empty House gets going, the sound evolves into more of a driving tune. When the full band, including percussion comes in, the song takes on a full Rock sound. It’s a good bar and hangout jam.
Band: Foster the People
Indie Rock is undergoing a much-needed regeneration of late. Reedy guitars hold less sway, funk punk is finally packing up its cowbell and the glum cells of black-clad doom-mongers imitating Ian Curtis because they can’t actually sing, are headed for the shadowy obscurity to which they so tediously aspired. In their place comes a disco nous, hints of Afrobeat and MGMT psychedelia. LA-based Foster the People are the culmination of that transformation - the Matt Smith of the new indie. Envisioning themselves as a more populist and accessible Animal Collective, they adapt AC’s art-tronic adventurousness to incorporate the funky danceability of Scissor Sisters, the fuzzy Pop catchiness of Kids and the knack of throwing in deceptively downbeat twists - akin to Girls, Sleigh Bells, and Smith Westerns. The current single Pumped Up Kicks is a prime example, with singer Mark Foster trilling: "You’d better run, faster than my bullet" to a psychedelic block party skipping tune that seems to have dropped off the end of Oracular Spectacular, giving the impression of an eerily cheerful gunman.
Band: Mark Ronson
Album: Record Collection
Mark Ronson has always been first and foremost a producer, DJ, and aficionado of vintage music. His influences are reflective via his production, whether it be British cult bands The Cure and The Smiths, or modern day conscious rappers Mos Def and members of Wu-Tang. Ronson’s flair for combining the two opposing sounds is what makes him so distinctive; a flair that is no doubt intensified on his third full-length album. Record Collection is an album that never slows down or loses its relevancy to Pop music. Ronson starts off with the explosive Bang Bang Bang, a fun summer anthem that merges Electro Pop and off beat drum patterns with a chorus sung in French by Amanda Warner of MNDR.
Maintaining that same level of high intensity, the next two tracks provide an equal supply of Pop-itude, especially Lose It - the swiveling country western rap jam where Ronson sings the chorus, accompanied with some mean verses by Ghostface. The Bike Song is another top tune with a jovial eco-friendly groove from Spank Rock and Kyle Falconer. Even the love ballads here are brimming with Pop and Hip Hop including the impassioned Somebody To Love Me and the synth oeuvre Glass Mountain Trust, where D’Angelo sounds more like Cee-Lo Green doing a Marvin Gaye impression.Bang Bang Bang Lose It The Bike Song Glass Mountain Trust
Charity Bike Ride From Bruges to Amsterdam
Riding bicycles may be in our Dutch genes but the bike ride we are organising for our charity Build Africa will be a challenge nonetheless!
Together with staff from St Christopher’s Inns us Piggies are joining this fundraiser to help build a school in Kenya. We’re starting at St Christopher's at the Bauhaus in beautiful Bruges and then heading to the Dutch coast, and Domburg where we'll be staying at Stay Okay hostel in a 13th century castle.
Rotterdam is the next stop where the lovely girls at ROOM hostel invited us to stay over and we’ll finish at the Flying Pig Downtown in Amsterdam, where the Finish Party will kick off on April 19th.
Be there if you can to cheer us on for the last exhausting meters, celebrate the event and applaud everyone who worked hard to make a difference.
You can follow us on Facebook during our ride through the lowlands: https://www.facebook.com/flyingpig.hostels
Oh and in case this made you feel generous, you can make a donation: http://www.justgiving.com/teams/bedsandhandlebars
News From the Beach
For kitesurfing, windsurfing, board surfing and stand up peddle boarding, Noordwijk is the perfect coastal hotspot. The watersports season has officially started and the Flying Pig Beach hostel works with the best surf schools around!
Flowerparade 2012 - April 21, 2012
The 65th edition of the annual Flower Parade will leave Noordwijk at 09.30 to travel along a 40-km route to Haarlem where it's due to rock up at 21.00. The procession will include 20 large floats and more than 30 luxury cars, interspersed with marching bands. There will be plenty of space on the roadside for the hundreds of thousands of spectators who always congregate along the route too.
Better yet the Flower Parade will pass by the famous flowers of Keukenhof at 15.30.On the evening of the night before you can alsoenjoy an illuminated parade in Noordwijkerhout. The parade and floats will also be illuminated in Haarlem on the evening of April 21 and will remain on show in Haarlem on April 22, until 17.00
Jazz on the Grent – April 29, 2012
Jazz on the Grent will be a sparkling Jazz festival held on the evening of koninginnenacht (the night before Queen's Day).It's well known for musical events and parties. It kicks off at 20.00 and you can get the latest line up online.
Grentpop – April 30, 2012
Grentpop is the most popular Queen's Day festival in Noordwijk and the surrounding area.
On the big stage you acn look forward to famous Dutch bands and also up, and coming local bands.
There will be themed events in most of the bars across town and a Queen's Day fairground to boot. The main event starts at 13.00. www.grentpop.nl
Climb the Church Tower From the 15th Century
Every Saturday you can climb the church tower of the ancient church in the historical center of Noordwijk. From the top of the tower you get magnificent views over Noordwijk and its beautiful surroundings. Head along every Saturday between 12.00 and 16.00. Tickets are €3,50 per person.
Things to see in Bruges - Belgium
Europe’s Famous Hostels: St Christopher’s at the Bauhaus in Bruges
When you land or step off the train in Brussels, you're less than an hour away by train from the scenic city of Bruges. When you arrive there's a huge amount of things to see and do in this perfectly preserved city so to help you pick out the best bits - here are the TOP 10 THINGS TO SEE AND DO FOR LESS!
1. The Chocolate Line
For something sweet in between the beers and the touring take yourself to The Chocolate Line. All the tasty treats in this chocolaterie are made on site, using the finest organic ingredients around. The salted caramels are to die for and are produced purely for selfish indulgence! Enjoy this one on Simon Stevinplein and then pick up some cheaper chocs for family and friends at the supermarkets on Oude Burg, Langestraat and Noordzandstraat!
2. Canal Boat Tours
Bruges is a small enough city but like most places with narrow cobbled streets and reasonably tall buildings, it’s easy to get lost. To fix this jump on a boat tour and get your bearings. They start out from the canal just south of Burg Square and all tours pitch up at around the ten euro mark, with mostly multi lingual guides.
3. Coffee and Cake at Het Dagelijks Brood
The whiff of fresh bread and desserts that drift out of this place is overpowering and drags you in, whether you like it or not! Inside you can enjoy the company of fellow travellers and city folk all sat on long wooden tables adorned with gigantic blocks of butter, home made jam, an arsenal of freshly baked breads and super sharp coffees. Find this slice of heaven near the Burg on Philipstockstraat.
Read more: http://www.famoushostels.com/bruges-hostel/city-guide
More info and free booking at www.famoushostels.com