Friday, October 21, 2011

Spilled Yogurt, Hanky-Panky in the Hostel, & Soup for Dinner

If I go running will the girl in our dorm at the hostel, who we saw half-naked with her boyfriend in bed last night (and glared at me this morning), steal my stuff?

Is eating spilled yogurt off a table clothe and your clothes kosher anywhere?

Would the Italian tough guy who sings along with the song "Jar of Hearts" think I'm hitting on him if I ask him to teach me to roll cigarrettes?

Is there anything to do in Bristol besides listen to police sirens and a French girl named Bernadette talk in her sleep?

Does Starbucks have a club I can join? How long until they find me in the corner soaking up their electricity and wifi?

Why do so many people ask me for directions?

When will sneakers and jeans be in? I've been ready my whole life.

Will I slowly freeze to death as I sleep in an old VW van on a French farm only accessibly by a walking bridge?

Why is it that only men have nose piercings here?

What am I doing on this trip? 
An image of the soup display at M&S yesterday comes into my mind.
Soup. Can I afford soup for dinner? Can I find soup? Will grilled cheese with soup really be that fattening? Nah. Why do I always starting thinking about food? Grilled cheese is totally not conducive for weight loss. If only that girl wouldn't steal my stuff if I went running to counter-act the fat in the cheese. Why is everything creamier here? Haven't I anything better to do than think about this? I need to go do something. 

All that and more.

Sometimes I wonder what happened to the multitude of different mentalities I had when I was sixteen or seventeen. Spending cash was a big deal. Having a credit card was unfathomable. Talking to strangers caused severe anxiety. Tripping, bumping into things, and thinking a place was closed because I pulled a push door all caused great embarrassment. Disney, the Spice Girls, and others were shameful to even be known to listen to. Children were an abomination. Cute, but like men, better kept at a distance.

Now, shoot, I need to learn the art of budgeting. Talking to strangers is a regular occurrence. Even though I trip and bump into things more than ever, I'm learning lots of people make the door mistake. (So many at this Starbucks in fact, that every three people give me great entertainment and comfort.) Ian gets annoyed by how regularly I break into what I consider to be more than moment-appropriate songs such as, "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" and "You Take the High Road, and I'll Take the Low Road". I actually engage kids if they stare at me long enough and am tempted to borrow them from their parents. Men, are still better at a distance. Most of them anyway.

Supposedly, travelling and navigating new places and cultures is supposed to be a plastic, neuron- increasing exercise for our brains. I suppose that's what Millay meant when she said she'd come back taller. One can only hope I'd get taller!

Travel plans update: After we leave Bristol next Thursday, we're heading to South France to begin WWOOFing. Through an entirely coincidental series of circumstances, the family we're staying with has a 22 year old daughter named Jesse who's living in Africa. Not Jessie, but Jesse. They named her that for the same reason my parents named me: simplicity. Boy or girl, they were set.

 But hey, if you don't believe God's interested in us as individuals... I'm always down for a little debating.

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