I was too busy barely working in France to document my life there. In an effort to resuscitate this blog, what follows is a sadly feeble attempt at summation and conclusion – CRINGE.
Espranglais’ Guide to Europe in 200 Words or Less
Although I have explored most of the following destinations for less than a week, my keen eye for detail and powers of perceptiveness allow me to intuitively capture their essence. Who needs travel journalism, guides, or narratives when you can learn all you need to know about a place wrought with a complex history and cultural contradictions in one succinct sentence (or fragment, for that matter)?
GREECE – The temples will leave you in a state of awe, but not so much as the gyros.
SPAIN – Olé!
AUSTRIA – Swanky palaces with a dash of, “God, it’s freaking cold here.”
SLOVAKIA – If you thought Vienna was cold, sheesh!
HUNGARY – When visiting the thermal baths, DO NOT forget your shower shoes; I repeat: DO NOT forget your shower shoes.
BELGIUM – Remember, waffles are fattening, and so are fries.
ITALY – Forums, sunflowers, leaning towers, gondolas, and pasta – that about covers it.
SWITZERLAND – They make watches and chocolate here; also, they worry about world peace.
HOLLAND – Turns out the Sex Museum is NOT a serious institution dedicated to the study of sexual philosophies in different cultures over a vast historical time span … TULIPS!
So What About France?
THINGS THAT SUCKED:
- Paris. Metro. Luggage. Gun. Head.
- Doing laundry outside my apartment. With God as my witness, I will never go washing-machine-less again!
- Rain. Darn it, Anjou region and your proximity to London!
- No 24-hour Walgreens. The horror!
- Waiting for the Eiffel Tower to display something spectacular at midnight on New Year’s Eve and, instead, watching it do the same light flicker thing it does every hour of every night of the year.
- Drunk, hormonal men shoved up WAY too close to me in the metro on New Year’s Eve.
- Running around in heels for hours in search of a Paris cab on New Year’s Eve.
- Fitting two girls into one twin-sized bed and getting three hours of sleep before a flight to Vienna on New Year’s Eve.
- New Year’s Eve.
THINGS THAT ROCKED:
- Sneaking a bottle of wine into church on Ash Wednesday and showing up to a party after mass with ashes on our foreheads.
- Clubbing on Good Friday (Catholic guilt – gah!) followed by a.m. McDonald’s run.
- Imprisoning myself in and subsequently releasing myself from the eerie Château d’If.
- Cheese and wine by the Seine.
- Cheese and wine in general.
- Eating other French stuff … and kebabs. KEBABS!
- Parle à ma main: click
- CAF (i.e. French government paying nearly half my rent).
- Invites to visit teachers’ houses in the country where I was encouraged to play with goats and froggies.
- New Year’s Eve.
Life was generally pretty sweet: three extensive vacations, 12-hour work weeks, and fellow travel enthusiasts to watch Zoolander with. What more can one ask for? I would do it all again if I didn’t have to suck it up, face reality, and start at least attempting to earn some … money. But then I judge money by how many weeks of travel it can buy me, so who am I kidding? Three weeks and I’m off to Ireland. May mayhem and facebook albums ensue.