Monday, March 12, 2007

It's a wonder I'm still alive

I've arrived. Somebody's finally tagged me for something, so even though I've already posted twice today I might as well make use of my solid Internet connection. Riddley wants me to list five things nobody knows about me and tag five other people. I'm not sure I have five things left I haven't told. I haven't really dished out much about my travels, so we'll make this Emily: The European Survival Tour.

1) I spent a month living in Angers, France in college. Breakfast was included in the tuition so every day I used to stock up on fruit and cheese and bread to eat for lunch, but I usually didn't eat it. So the night before I left to go back home a friend and I went to my window and pelted a car below with all my unused food. Don't worry, we didn't hurt the car. I have terrible aim. By the time we were done the car was completely encircled by random bits of orange and brie.

2) When I went to London two years later, I went alone but I really wanted to meet people so I went to a pub, bought a beer and stood around looking forlorn until a group of bricklayers called me over to join their table. When the pub closed we went to a dance club. When the dance club closed we went to some girl's house where people started doing coke. That's when I asked for a cab. It's a miracle I didn't wake up with one less kidney.

3) In Dublin a week later an Irishman attempted to mug me. I say "attempted" because according to the Irish folk I met I demonstrated my metaphorical balls of titanium when I refused to give him my money. But it was mostly my own naivete. He threatened me with an AIDS needle but I didn't realize what the needle was for so I just figured he was planning to jab me in the eye with it and that thought pissed me off so I told him to go away. And he went away. And after I started breathing again I wrote the only short creative nonfiction story I was ever truly proud of. Balls of titanium, people. Do not screw with me, for I will pelt you with fruit.

4) I spent a day in Paris just walking from one end of the city to the other. I did not carry a map. I got up at 7 am and began walking to things that looked interesting . The Eiffel Tower looked interesting. It was also like a zillion miles away, but I walked to that sucker and I walked back. I walked to the Louvre. I walked around the Louvre. I walked past the Musee d'Orsay because I honestly had no energy left in my legs and had to sit down every two minutes. Les Invalides was not worth walking to. There were paper signs put up with masking tape that supposedly pointed to Napoleon's grave but really led you outside to some little crap garden with a dead end. But I walked through it on the way to the Tower. After the Tower I ran the gauntlet of people selling key rings by pretending to speak neither English nor French and found myself in the middle of the World Cup festival. That's right. I was in Paris the year the French won in France, although I was back in America by the time they had their victory. That was freaking cool. I thought it really funny when a French man stopped me to ask directions and I gave him an accurate route to his destination after being in the city for less than seven hours. Why I didn't take the freaking Metro at some point still baffles me to this day.

5) While I stopped to rest my poor weary legs, two teenage boys came up and sat down next to me to "chat". One sat to my right where my purse was but didn't say anything. The other sat to my left to distract my attention from the one on my right who was attempting to rifle through my purse. Tired as I was, I still had the presence of mind to push my purse into my lap and put my elbow over it. The boy probably got two fingers in there, but he couldn't get anything out. The boy doing all the talking and I had a nice conversation and I enjoyed practicing my French some more, but what really tipped me off was when he asked if I was from Paris. I have an accent and I'm carrying a bag from The Louvre and I'm not wearing a trench coat and high heels. There's no way I'm from Paris. Still, it was a nice compliment to my French that he asked. When it was obvious his friend was getting nowhere, he stopped abruptly and nodded and they ran off across the street to find some poor American sap who isn't smart enough to put a lock on his backpack when he carries it around looking for Napoleon's elusive grave.

I tag

1 comment:

  1. Hehehe, great stuff!

    You know, we Europeans thrive on tempting colonials over with our exotic ways, in order to fiddle around in their bags/shove needles in their eyes/usher them into a life of drugs, gangbangs and kidney removal. It's our job. We call it local colour

    Plus, really glad to hear you took part in the French sport of car-pelting. Nice one. ;-)

    Thanks for playing, Em.


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