Europe

So many people are missing out on trips this year. I’m sorry for that…stupid, fucking, bitch licking, dick sucking Corona Virus…Ugh okay I digress…In all of the vacations, there’s always that one trip that you look back on and say WTF kinda of crazy was that

Thirteen years ago, I asked my Best Buddy from High School to go on a trip to Europe. Why? I don’t know.

January 2007

I really didn’t have a whole lot of experience traveling internationally. Let me rephrase that, I have no fucking experience traveling internationally. I had been on family vacations in the United States and that’s it. My Buddy, she was “Worldly” in my eyes. She studied abroad in College and went on a few trips with her friends around Europe. I always wanted to go to Europe, but my parents were skeptical. They can barely leave their own home town. She will be the perfect friend to go with. 

Me: “Hey, would you want to go to Europe?”

Buddy: “Yea, where would you like to go?”

Me: “Hmmm, How about Ireland?” I’ve always wanted to go.  

Buddy: “I studied abroad in England and have been there already. I would really love to go to Paris, France.”  

Me: “Oh okay”…Bon Jour.

Buddy: “What other country would you want to visit?” Wow, another country? I never thought we would go to another country. This is how stupid I am. 

Me: Trying to think of countries she has not been to yet. “How about Italy? We can see the Pope in Rome.” Fuck, my last name is Pope. Made sense to me. 

Buddy: “Done. This is going to be so fun!” 

She set up our whole trip. Literally every fucking detail, found our flights, hotels, restaurants, etc…I did NOTHING. Sorry about that Buddy. I just had to pay, click, print, and we are off. Holy shit, I’m actually going to Europe. This is gonna be great. 

PARIS

We took off from Chicago and landed in Paris. I walked off the plane and was in culture shock. It was midnight back home, but morning in France. We couldn’t check into our hotel, because our room was not ready yet. We found a cafe to eat some Croissants. This is already super Frenchy of me oh lala…maybe I should have a cigarette for breakfast too. In reality, I was so tired and my eyes were fucking burning. We had tourist shit to do, no time to sleep.

Buddy mapped out all four days in Paris, we walked everywhere. I had construction boots on with my powder blue North Face jacket. I screamed “I’m from the midwest”. No wonder everyone looked at me rolled their eyes. I was sabotaging our trip already with my wardrobe. Damit.

We are opposites attract…love me a midwest hairdo.

The one thing that was tricky in France was ordering food. It actually was fucking painful. We ate Steak, Frittates, and red wine for every meal. It was the only words we knew on the menu. We didn’t understand shit. The waiters were rude to us. Stupid Americans, probably spit in our food for not understanding their language. There was only one restaurant we went to that we had the nicest French waiter in the whole country. He was very helpful and polite. We were sitting in a corner of the restaurant and then in walks Tim Robbins (Shawshank Redempetion) and Joe Pantoliano (The Fugitive). They sat down with a few others a few feet away from us. I should’ve walked over and asked what they were eating, because this country is fucking tough to comprehend. 

We saw a lot of museums. Tons of art. Beautiful churches…

Apparently this was super important for me to capture.

In all the educational shit I saw in Paris, my favorite was a Canadian Bar that had TV’s that showed American football. Everyone spoke English. 

FLORENCE BOUND

We boarded the train and it was a nice smooth ride for a few hours. My buddy and I in our own world looking out the window. Then, there was an announcement to switch trains. “Nous allons maintenant blah blah oh lalala de train du cote ouest. Veuillez reciperer affaires oh lala blah et monter a bord du prochain”. Umm what? Of course, we don’t fucking understand the announcements, because everything is in fucking French and we are headed to Italy. I asked someone what was happening and “No Inglese”. Finally a Conductor walks by. 

Me: “Excuse me, what’s going on?” Maybe I should try an accent inside of American.

Conductor: “We are switching trains.” 

Me: “What?” He just kept walking.

Conductor: “Get your bags and board that train.” He points.

My buddy’s eyes were LARGE….

Me: “I feel like this is Auschwitz.”

Buddy: “Don’t say shit like that?”

Me: “Sorry, this is scary and we are in another country switching trains for no fucking reason.” Damnit, I should’ve talked with an accent. Maybe people would be more helpful.

Is this our train? I hope so.

We boarded the other train and just stared at each other. We had one stop in Mulan, before Florence.

Her eyes were fucking gigantic the whole time we traveled.

We get off the train. There were fucking pigeons everywhere. Holy shit, It was a scene of out the movie “Birds”. I had to walk in front of my buddy to clear a path for her. She has a fear of any bird, birds, or animals flying. I don’t know why, but we don’t need this shit right now. We were starving as all hell. I bought us two sandwiches. Ugh what is this? The lunch meat looked spoiled. Gross, wtf are we eating? Pretty much food poising. The birds kept flocking towards us. I could only eat the tomatoes and bread. We sat for a few hours and didn’t talk much. I’m pretty sure my Buddy wet herself…her eyes were fucking GINORMOUS… Never have we been so thankful to get back on the train to Florence. It’s okay Buddy you can blink now. 

We arrive and eat a late dinner. I whoofed my plate down and slurpped down wine. So tasty. I wanted “seconds”….no wonder why Italians are fucking skinny.

We checked into our hotel and it was time relax. Buddy called her boyfriend and I jumped in the shower. I felt refreshed after a day of traveling. As I was blow drying my hair. I felt like I had to fucking fart…and I did. Nice, oh wait. This fart was different…SHIT, SHIT, SHIT!! I sharted. I panicked and stopped the dryer. What do I do? I wiped my ass and had to sneak out and grab more underwear. I casually creeped out of the bathroom with an embarrassed look on my face. Buddy was still on the phone and looked at me. She mouthed “What’s up?”. I just grabbed another pair of underwear from my suitcase and hurried back to the bathroom to fix myself. Omg Christine, why?! I come back out and had my shart underwear in a grocery store bag. I was slipping it into a side pocket of my suitcase.  

My buddy is now off the phone.

Buddy: “What’s that?”

Me: “What?”

Buddy: “What’s that?” 

Me: “Ummm, I felt a fart coming, but instead shit my underwear. When I say underwear I mean my thong. Wow, did I say that out loud?
Buddy: “Why are they in a bag?” 

Me: “Because I didn’t know what else to put them.” 

Buddy: “Well, we still have a lot of days left in our trip. I am not allowing you to carry shart underwear around in your luggage.” Again her eyes are getting bigger. 

Me: “What? I thought I could take them home and wash them.”

Buddy: “Are you kidding me?” 

Me: “No.” We clearly grew up in two different households. My dad would never let me throw the shart underwear away. 

Buddy: “Take that out and throw it in the garbage.”

Me: “Are you serious?” Shit, this is so embarrassing.

Buddy: “Omg you were going to carry shit underwear around for 10 days.” She does have a point.

Me: “Shut up, the train travel, birds, and rich food would cause anyone to shit themselves. Fuck. Okay, fine they are in the waste bucket.” 

We were in Florence for 3 days, it truly was a great time. Naked men, beautiful scenery, and very nice people.

There might be a naked woman with a black bush in the backround?

BRING IT ON ROME

We board another train and get into Rome. My buddy keeps warning me that we need to get in the taxi line and CAN NOT accept rides from random taxi drivers. There’s a lot of theft in Rome. Okay, check got it. We walk out of the train station and I glanced over and there was the line. Then…

Taxi Driver: “You ladies need a ride?”

Buddy: “What? Yea.” Suddenly, all her researched information didn’t matter. I just shrugged my shoulders and followed. Fuck it.

Taxi Driver: “Okay, follow me.” She walked with him. Seems legit. He puts in the bags in the trunk and we drove off. 

We are talking casually, looking out the window, and he is asking all sorts of questions. We felt super touristy. Excited to see what Rome has to offer. We are now driving in a roundabout and then suddenly the car swarves to the side of the road and he comes to a screeching halt.

Taxi Driver: “You owe me this money.” 

Buddy: “I’m confused you are saying how much?”

Taxi Driver: “Mi devi $60 dollari.” Wtf why is he speaking in Italian to us now? He clearly knows English.

Buddy: “Where’s our hotel?” Actually where are we? 

Taxi: “Prendi le borse!! Get the bags! Get the bags!!” He reaches across to my door in the back seat and opens the door. “Get the BAGS!!”

Me: “What?” Okay…I jump out and open the trunk. Jesus!

I’m getting our big bags out of his small trunk. Our shit is heavy. I am standing there with the luggage and staring at the car. What is happening right now? I freaked out and opened up the door. 

The taxi driver grabbed all my buddy’s money out of her wallet and told her to get out. 

Taxi: “GET OUT!!!” She jumped out of the taxi and he sped off!! 

Buddy: “Holy shit, he just took all my money…”

Me: “What?” 

Buddy: “I can’t believe this, I don’t know where we are.” Again her eyes were massive.

Me: “OMG do we have a map?” 

Buddy: “I can’t believe this.” Shaking and pulling the map out. We are trying to read it. 

I have been such an airhead this trip. Fuck this map is insane. Seeing my Buddy frozen, I had to snap into it like I knew everything. “Okay, give me the map.” Staring at it with all the Italian street names and looking at where we are. I kept looking up and then down at the map for a few minutes. Up, down, up, down.

Me: “Okay, I got this. Follow me.” 

We walked for 20 minutes through different streets, dragging our bags on broken brick alleys, there now is some weird spit rain coming down. Lovely. Then there it was…our fucking hotel. We check in, get to the room. 

Buddy: “I can’t believe we got here.”

Me: “Me neither.” We are both a little shocked that we made it to the hotel. I wasn’t the smart one in school, she was. I must of blacked out or something.

Everyone in Rome was pretty much a dick. Probably because again I screamed American and looked like a lumber jack with my powder blue North Face jacket. Fuck, I need to research my wardrobe before any vacation. Damit Christine.

We saw the Vatican, a fountain, sistine chapel, other shit, etc…After four days in Rome, this place was wearing on us and we were ready to leave.

Thank you for having us your holiness.

Buddy: “Hey, let’s go to the train station one day early to get our train tickets.” 

Me: “Okay, I don’t know how any of this shit works. Great plan.”  

We walked to the station and didn’t want to deal with anymore cabs. It took us forever. Fuck we made it. Great, we walk to the counter and hand her our reservation to the Teller. 

Train Lady: “Hmmmm this is a reservation, not a train ticket.” 

Buddy: “What? I thought this was our ticket that we reserved.” 

Train Lady: “No.”  

Buddy: “I thought I had the reservation for 8:00 am. train” Makes perfect sense to me Buddy. A reservation is a ticket.  

Train Lady: No, that train is already sold out.” 

Buddy: “What? We need to get back to Paris, because our flight is out the next day.” 

Train Lady: “Let me see what I can do.” She hates us and rolled her eyes like she could give a shit. She booked us on an afternoon train. We would get to Paris very late to sleep for a few hours, before we would be getting on our flight back to Chicago. 

We started walking back to our hotel in disbelief. Buddy: “Could you imagine if we could not get back to Paris for our flight?” Her eyes were BIG.

We walked past a dive bar, looks inviting…let’s drink. We sat down. This place is a piece of shit, it’s exactly what we needed. We drank Heineken after Heineken. This place has no food, but some individual snacks for sale. There were Pringles. Yes and thank you. We inhaled the canister. This is the best meal yet. It was fucking amazing. If you went to the bathroom, which we did…you had to pee standing up. We didn’t care and loved it.

We finally called it quits, so we didn’t get mugged walking drunk home. 

FUCKING GOOD BYE ROME

We made it back to Paris. Checked into a little hotel to only sleep for a few hours. Ten day trip and we both were ready to get back home. 

When I boarded the plane the next morning. An American stewardess said “Hello.” I wanted to hug the shit out of her.

As much as I loved being on a trip with my Buddy. I learned how to pivot a lot. It’s okay if you eat the same meal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, sharts happen, I still love my blue north face jacket, research helps, and maybe next time I travel internationally I should go to the English speaking countries first. Just a thought.

So, maybe your missing a trip this year and it’s a blessing, because it would’ve been one of the WTF happened trips. Shit, fuck, piss. Cheers.

Never giving up the powder blue jacket. Cheers.

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