You know when you’re at McDonald’s post-clubbing?
Yes, yes you do.
Everyone pretty much looks like hell. Girls are walking barefooted with feet dragging across the filthy filthy linoleum floor, dudes are squinty-eyed and discussing the night’s triumphs and mishaps, and it is arguably one of the grossest places to be picked up at at the end of the night.
There’s always a few people who are still club-drunk and are laughing loudly, sputtering out their menu order with the coherency of a toddler, and are generally making a fool out of themselves.
That’s Winda and I, the morning after we’ve broken Fabrizio’s ancient key, missed our morning train to Florence, and are subsequently left wondering our purpose in life in an Italian McDonald’s. We buy 1 euro espresso shots.
We are so. Freaking. hHngover.
It is 9:00 AM in Rome — we had to leave Fabrizio’s apartment due to his checkout policy/we needed to get out of there ASAP before we broke anything else of his.
We are laughing-slash-crying because our heads hurt so much from last night’s escapades. We look like crap. We have our giant backpacks with us — of which is comedic in itself because our backpacks look like they could eat us.
Just to backtrack a bit, this was not our only drunk night in Rome. We also had the opportunity to party with some ridiculous Italians.
Lemme tell you the story.
We’ve set up at Campo de’ Fiori. We have our mojitos, our grape-flavoured hookah. We are basking. A group of Italian dudes at the next table motion towards us to join their table. We submit to their boyish timidness (derived from speaking in broken English) and yet, their Casanova calibre assertiveness. They literally move all of our stuff — our drinks, hookah, table, and chairs — to join their table.
Naturally, they begin introducing themselves. Here we have a lawyer, e-commerce specialist, accountant, and..
“Taxi driver!” They exclaim in unison, pointing out their most outgoing friend whom had initially approached us. He smiles sheepishly. They pause for a second, taking in his self-consciousness. “… And stylist!” They add with enthusiasm/thick Italian accents, pronouncing it stye-leest!
We chat. They are hilarious. One of them, named Francesco, has an amazing handlebar moustache — reminiscent of our friend Alessandro — and continuously strokes it. They talk about their jobs and the friends emphasize just how stylish the Taxi Driver-sash-Stylist is. They really want us to know that he is more than just a taxi driver.
The Stylist invites us to a club.
We get into a cab and head to a Roman club. In hindsight, was it a good idea to get into a cab with strange Italians? I’m gonna say no…
Bumpin’ is not the word I’d use for the club we’re at — maybe simply interesting. The Stylist turns out to be an amazing dancer. Really amazing. Winda steals his stylish hat. We booty bump with Francesco. The Stylist does the Harlem Shake a few times. The ratio between men and women at this club is way off.
I can’t really remember all the details of getting home, but we do. A cab takes us back to our AirBnb in trastevere and I remember him asking for a kiss instead of paying him in euros.
Hard pass, my friend.
Ciao, Roma! You were so good to us.
Sidenote: I come back again for another adventure later on in my Eurotrip — this second time we meet two Italian boys who ask us if we’d like to break into the Coliseum! God bless the Italians.
I guess I could be pretty pissed off about what happened to me… But it’s hard to stay mad, when there’s so much beauty in the world. Sometimes I feel like I’m seeing it all at once, and it’s too much–my heart fills up like a balloon that’s about to burst… And then I remember to relax, and stop trying to hold on to it, and then it flows through me like rain, and I can’t feel anything but gratitude for every single moment of my stupid little life. You have no idea what I’m talking about, I’m sure. But don’t worry… You will someday.” – Lester Burnham, American Beauty
I’ve been camping before.
OK.. with schools, supervisors, and teachers and all that but I’ll have you know that I’ve done a camping trip that comprised of 8 hours of canoeing across the Salmon Arm (I might be exaggerating but it was definitely in the 6-8 hour ballpark.)
Anyways, this was the first time I’ve gone camping sans age 25+ chaperones. This time it was just my friends and I, and honestly.. I know next to nothing about camping except for you need a tent and a sleeping bag. And that a cot is a good idea.
Although, I do know that you can use Doritos for kindling (thank you, Tumblr.)
The second night, we were rained out. This mass of angry James and the Giant Peach-esque grey clouds hovering above our campsite spurred our suspense to level 100. Uh, who knew it could rain so hard for one hour? Everything was in complete mayhem for that one hour–we tarped our tent, Nicolle and I had to pack everything in our tent, load the camping gear in to the pickup, tarp everything in the pickup once the tent was taken down, etc–honestly felt like the apocalypse was upon us (which, judging by how poorly we reacted to the sudden torrential downpour, we would never survive.)
So here are some things I learned that weekend:
- bring two tarps–even if the first one is the size of a high school gymnasium
- you need two tarps–one for under and over the tent–because if it rains, water pools under the tent (so logical and smart, and why the fuck didn’t we bring two tarps?)
- Ellen Degeneres has saved us all (please refer to an Apple App Store and search “Heads Up”)
- tents aren’t waterproof
- citronella is holy
- three packs of bacon is not overdoing anything by any means
- floaties are integral
- the geese at Cultus Lake are most likely on a high-fibre diet
- fire ash does not take away from the wonderment that is s’mores
- you will need ice
- Doritos can be used as kindling…
- don’t steal anyone’s campsite parking because they will tell on you
- one word: gazebo
- don’t anger the park ranger because he takes his job very seriously
- red and white checkered table cloths would have been everything
- communal naptime should always be on the agenda
- don’t panic in times of panic
- In Hawaii, Jason and I laughed at how dangerous it is to ride in the back of a pickup truck. Especially since we were driving behind this especially melancholy-looking couple on a highway (they weren’t looking too happy as it had started to rain). But I realized how fun it might be to just lie there (on a sunny day), and watch the clouds pass by. It’s like lying in a field and staring at the sky, except now you’re the one who’s moving.
Sleep, kisses from our pets, faith in humanity, time away from our phones, shower/car/drunk singing, cake, Spanish phrases, blueberries, squats, babies that aren’t yours, colours, fancy tea, cutoff denim shorts, good mornings, bike rides, Al Green’s Love and Happiness, justice, croissants (and less donuts), happy dances, people who smell nice, sandwiches, stupid jokes, puppies, breakfast with people you love, Mariah Carey, popsicles, safe drivers, songs everyone knows the words to, cheese [on everything], telling people how you feel, jumpsuits, nice bums, girls with nice bums in yoga pants, feel good sitcoms (Gilmore Girls, OTH Seasons 1-3, The O.C… y’all know that shit was the bomb), comfortable high heeled shoes, love for your mom!, sexy people,
and drop top cruising.
Life is too short to spend hoping that the perfectly arched eyebrow or the hottest new lip shade will mask an ugly heart.