Lost American Tour



also, i said this on the airplane after Star pointed out another person from Toronto.

"Damn, how many people from Toronto can we meet on this trip? Who's left to guard the homestead?"

but more importantly: should i go to Prague? i have a couple of days before the film festival in berlin. i could make it happen.

Customs / Celsius Is Awesome

ok, none of this entry is going to be capitalized. the keyboard is dodgy.

here i am in Athens. and do i have some stories for you.

last night we were in a hotel in London. our flight from Amsterdam to Athens involved a massive layover that i wasn't about to camp out for in airport. well, that meant going through customs at Gatwick. by now, i should be a pro. but this customs guy was seriously grilling me.

him: "where are you coming from?"
me: "Amsterdam."
"how long will you be in London?"
"one night."
"what will you be doing in London?"
"sleeping in my hotel room."
"where are you going next?"
"how long will you be in Athens?"
"two nights."
"where will you go after that?"
"for how long?"
"three nights."
"when is your trip over?"
"February 25."

by then he just sort of gives up on me. i didn't mean to sound snarky when i said the sleeping line, but what did he want me to say? getting a prostitute?

later on at the hotel room...
i look at the thermostat and am like, "let's go crazy and crank it up to 24 degrees... oh wait, it only goes up to 23." i <3 celcius. if only because i have no idea what the real temperature actually is. i'm getting a better grasp of it, though.

now Athens...
it is Star's birthday. i'm trying to think of something spectacular to do for her. i just remember my last birthday. i told on of my friends about how my birthdays normally suck and he pulled it together last minute and made it not suck. in fact, it resembled pretty great. so i'm trying to pay it forward (wink wink little sister).

as a side note:
i have told Star this a million times but i think i've forgotten to put it here. i've been writing one of my grandparents postcards from every stop. i don't know why. it just seemed like a nice thing to do. i think it would make the old lady's day or something.

Live From The Acropolis

my hostel has a great view of the Acropolis from the rooftop. we had Star's birthday drinks on the rooftop. Athens is a beautiful city at night.

even though we just got in yesterday, we wanted to see some town. so we took a walk through Plaka and did some shopping and eating. i tried the hummus here. it is amazing. Athenos has nothing on this hummus. i also tried this dish called mousaka. it had beef, egg plant, cheese, potatoes and a load of stuff i couldn't identify. it was good. really good.

when the waiter comes by, he asks Star what was wrong with her gyro since she didn't eat it all. but she doesn't hear him correctly and says "yes" and i don't know why i felt the need to tell that part of the story.

anyway... the waiter makes me finish my dinner. he just keeps saying "you finish up". is all of Greece my mother now? no wonder all the women cart around a little extra cushion.

speaking of the people here: i so do not blend. elsewhere in Europe, i am fine. here i stand out something awful. everyone has dark hair. the few that don't are obviously dyed. my skin is pretty pale. at least Star has dark hair. i feel like i'm getting stared at all the time. best case scenario, i pass for German until you talk to me. oh, and here we are definitely telling strangers we're from Canada. not sure why. it was Star's idea. god knows we've met enough Canadians on this trip to pass as one. "Leafs suck" or something like that. eh.


On A Side Note...

Can one of my friends email my Gmail account and please let me know who owns my company? I haven't been able to sort it out since I've been here. I do have a job, right?

I hadn't even thought about my job since this trip started. Up until one of you dropped a cryptic AIM.

News highlights would be appreciated, as the internet is a pain in the ass here.

The Pancake Pirates

The Netherlands (Holland?) was also a nice place, but I'm probably never coming back.

That said, is it Holland or the Netherlands? Maybe I'm showing some weird American stupidity here, but I'm not sure the Dutch even know what to call it since I've seen it as both.

We ate Pancakes on a Pirate ship with a bunch of screaming children. I had an Italian Pancake, in which they stuffed everything Italy was famous for. It tasted like crap. So I scrapped out all the stuffings and just ate the pancake.

We did some light shopping. Tried some weird Dutch meats (one that sounded like Croquet and another that sounded like someone vomiting). They were sort of tasty. Like, I'd never crave them or anything, but they were alright.

Then we met my friend's parents. She said they were crazy. I thought they were absolutely hilarious. I loved them.

Her parents are divorced, so we met her dad first. He was very well dressed for an older man. Very chic. He played us a lot of Dutch music. Some sounded like our Country, some Polka-like, even a rap song. Good times had by all. He understood our English, but couldn't speak it very well. I took the coffee offered to me and made polite conversation. My friend looked oddly embarrassed, but I didn't know why.

The conversation turned to Iraq and her dad started speaking very passionate, broken English. Mostly, he spoke Dutch. I looked to my friend to translate. She didn't. I waited. Then I told him I didn't understand and I asked my friend to translate. She wouldn't. I think I was following what he was saying and I did want to comment, because what he was saying was interesting. But she wouldn't help us at all. Then we left. Like, he seemed to get that I didn't understand, but didn't want to just nod a smile either because I was interested in what he was saying.

Then we met her mom. By met her mom, I mean that a Dutch woman did the hello kisses to me. She was also fabulously dressed. She looked AMAZING for her age. Like, she must have to fight them off. We made polite talk. Nothing serious. The TV was on and I noticed that she was watching the same thing as her Ex-Husband, but I was too polite to say anything. I drank even more coffee because I felt like I couldn't say no. I tried to stick to the couch area because the Dutch are a bit weird about you wandering around there house. My friend said it was weird that I put on music at her house. I guess the CD player is sacred.

Good times. There may be no entry tomorrow. So don't be too surprised. I'm going to Greece. Do they have the internet there yet?


Fingers In The Factories: or The Accidental Prostitute

Here's a story I haven't felt comfortable enough to tell until now. I have the time to tell it, so hopefully it won't suck. I've skewed the names and changed it enough to hopefully protect this girl.

I was in our hostel doing some repacking of my pack. The situation had gotten desperate in my bag. There was a girl in the room with me. She was talking on her cell and obviously upset. I ignore her and finish repacking.

As I'm about to head out the door, I realize she's off her cell now and not doing so hot. I can't just leave her like that. I don't even know if she speaks English, but I can't not say anything.

I ask her if she needs help, if there is anything I can do. I'm such a girl scout.

Then she just launches into this story. You know, I'm not even sure if the story is true because it sounds so horrible. But I'm having a hard time believing it isn't true. This is just the overview because the details are ugly and I can't really stand to repeat many of them.

She met this guy. He seemed normal. Nice even. They lived far apart, so they mostly talked online for most of their relationship. He talked a lot of shit about taking care of her and helping her. One day, he bought her a plane ticket to come visit him. So she packs up a bag and goes.

She gets to the city, he meets her at the airport. He's immediately PDAing to the max. She sort of pushes him off a bit because she's not that type of girl. He takes her back to his house and his house is massive and in a great neighborhood. The guy is ridiculously loaded. Apparently, he also had a wife and kids that weren't around. She knew about them and didn't care because they weren't serious.

So he takes her around the city and offers to buy her expensive things (think designer goods that most of us would think are impractical). She says no to many of the things, but he buys them anyway. All she wants is him to buy her dinner. Everything goes fine, but she was a bit uneasy. She said she felt a bit like a possession. He offers her an allowance to keep her in the city. He gives her money to go buy things she doesn't really want.

Then at night, he's coming on strong. Creepily strong. She pushes him off and it is a cranky night for all. The next day is a bit tense. At night, he tries to get her drunk, but she pretends to be drinking more than she is. He comes on creepily strong again.

Finally things come to a head. The argument is huge and violent. She starts smashing his expensive house up. He tries to guilt her into sleeping with him with the fantastic argument of him buying her all these expensive presents and offering her money. She basically tells him that she isn't his whore.

Then she runs off to stay at the hostel I was staying at. Of course, there are more ugly, violent details than what I've told you here. Mostly, I was scared for her safety. Because this guy was a total cunt. Money really cannot buy manners. Or some women, for that matter.

We ended up talking about why she came to visit him in the first place. Basically, she said that it sounded nice to be taken care of for once since her family never really had a whole lot. She didn't care that he was married because he was nice and she wasn't serious about him. Then when he turned cunty, she realized it wasn't worth it. And she got sad about her ex-boyfriend she'd been seeing before the cunty guy. The only thing wrong with her ex was that he didn't have a lot of money, which is why they broke up. And it wasn't until now that she realized money wasn't important to her. That she just wanted to be treated well as opposed to being treated like a whore. So she was going to try to see if her ex would take her back since she realized what she had lost.

This may be a neatly wrapped up little story. It may have a simple message. It may not be a story that I'd necessarily watch in a movie theater. But it was so weird to hear coming out of this girl's mouth. It was horrifying to hear the terrible things this nice girl was saying. The underbelly of the world is a very angry place. And sometimes I wonder why I'm afraid of money. Does money actually make people fucked up? Did this cunty guy start out normal? Or does the world just breed assholes sometimes?


All's Quiet On The European Front

It is seriously cold here, kids. I'm in Leeuwarden. That's in the north of the Netherlands. Or is it Holland? I'm not even sure the natives know what to call it. Also, the people here like to stare at tourists. Because we are weird.

Yeah, bro. And that truck playing the strange Dutch nursery rhymes in the street is totally normal.

There are Film Fests all over Europe, just so you know. Like, they are everywhere.

In the streets of Amsterdam on my last night, a drunk homeless person called Star and I "Fucking Meat Suckers." Star is a vegetarian. I'm pretty sure she wasn't sucking meat. So I told him so.

Also, I'm sick of the criticism for going to Amsterdam and not doing drugs. Seriously, it isn't like they have mandatory bong hits when you go through customs at the airport. There is architecture and museums and canals and windmills here.

I've been in Europe too long. I can feel my vowels changing. I want my accent back.

I'm learning some cool Dutch words. Like Gezellig, Opstapper, Uit, Welkom Aan Boord. You know, useful stuff.

And this is the best blog entry ever!!! For real. Ugh, more on that later.


We Built This City... On Concrete

We used to joke at camp that the Netherlands was all covered in concrete. I didn't realize how accurate this statement was until I got here. They aren't into green space at all. There are too many people.

Also, everyone here seems to have my glasses, the rectangular ones. It is a lot like America that way.

I found a yarn shop to center my chi today. I actually bought some yarn to make a gift for Wendy, since she's nice enough to let us stay with her for a couple of days.

Did I mention in Edinburgh that every shop played love songs? Seriously, it was disgusting. I made some crack about waiting for "Wind Beneath My Wings" to come on... and then it did.

The comedy club was amazing last night. They worked their asses off. I'd recommend Boom Chicago to anyone coming to Amsterdam. We order drinks for better seats (yeah, that's how I justify it). The show was 2 hours long and then they had audience participation for 45 minutes afterwards. The audience was actually hilarious. But that could've been the Cabernet talking.


Weird Running Into You In The Sex Museum

Since it is Amsterdam, Teresa and I decided to go to the Sex Museum. That and the fact it was only €2.50. Yeah. So we were a bit midwestern and weirded out by what we saw. But whatever. It was funny. We pointed and giggle. And occasionally went "eeeeehhhhhhh".

On the steps up to the second story, we run into John. And we burst out laughing. We hadn't seen him since we left him at the train station. I couldn't breath and almost fell down the steps. Seriously, of all the places to run into the dude, we run into him at the Sex Museum, surrounded by pictures of naked cartoon people. At least it wasn't the sado room.

We found out he couldn't go to the comedy club tonight because he's going to Denmark tomorrow. Oh well, we're still going. And we'll probably run into him in Spain. No particular reason we would run into him in Spain, just that it keeps happening.

Anyway, these people love their tulips. I'm just going to say it: The tulip is an ugly flower. It is right up there with the carnation for me. Both can be redeemed by arrangements with other flowers, though.

Also, these people love their bikes. Gas is way expensive here. I've seen the weirdest stuff on bikes here. Like, whole families on one bicycle. There will be very small babies hanging out in the back seat... not moving or anything. They look all corpsified since it is so cold.

Back to the touristy thing.

Amsterdam, City of Tulips and Anne Frank

Amsterdam is pretty cool. It reminds me of venice, but everyone's english is much better and you occasionally see a car.

It is 0 degrees Celcius here. I expected it to be warmer. Today we camped out in the Van Gogh museum and had a good time there. It was massive. Like, 200 of his paintings massive. I didn't think I was a fan of impressionism, but once I saw a lot of his work (especially the experimental stuff) I decided Van Gogh wasn't too bad of a guy.

Then we went to the Anne Frank museum, which is very multilingual and depressing. Like, earth shattering depressing.

Seriously, I am doing the Disney version of Amsterdam, which is ok with me. I can't remember if I mentioned John, the guy from our Edinburgh leg of the trip. He flew with us down to Amsterdam. Anyway, he's coming to Boom Chicago with us tonight, so that should be fun.

Ok, and sometimes my travelmate is high maintainence. But we got the business sorted out with her credit card company, so hopefully everything goes smoother.

My hostel is beautiful. It is so dutch-retro looking. We have a 20 person dorm nearly to ourselves (an annoying french family was very loud and rude last night). And the breakfast was free and huge. Like, they are spoiling us at this hostel. The shows are hot, private, new, and en suite.

I may have been dreading Amsterdam, but it has been pleasently surprising. Dublin may have been Publin. Edinburgh may have been an unexpected lover or something. But Amsterdam is a pleasent surprise.


Everyday We Are Exhausting Ourselves

It is like we are killing it everyday. No post yesterday. Too much to do at the internet cafe and it was really expensive in Edinburgh. Now I can't find an internet cafe in Amsterdam so we're at the public library. For real.

I am exhausted. With so little time in Edinburgh, we tried to cram in as much stuff as possible. So we did the Edinburgh castle, Holyrood Palace, and a couple of other things. It is very hilly there. Also, the streets are actually askew there. Some are four stories above others. The buildings are tall in Old Town, but you don't really realize it until you are on the lowest street.

We met a couple of other people at our hostel and we did the "Ghost" tour at night. We went to this cemetary. It was very cool. Not terribly spooky, but the guide was very energetic and hilarious. Afterwards we hung out at a bar. Then we found out that one of the guys in our dorm room was on the same flight to Amsterdam with us. We made sure to wake him up to go to the airport with us (because we are just that nice).

Amsterdam is a bit better than I expected. But then again, I am doing the disney-ified version of this. Just museums, tourist spots, and comedy clubs.

I don't know how much internet time I have left because I can't read Dutch. So hopefully tomorrow I'll find an internet cafe for a proper update. We haven't seen one yet, though. That kinda sucks. I need to buy a plane ticket from Athens to Venice.


The Party Beer

So yesterday was the last day in Dublin. We ended up going out to a pub called O'Neils with two Canadians, two Californians, and another girl. There was live Irish music. That was the huge draw for our last night there.

It was an amazing night. It blew the night before out of the water. There was good conversation. We all had a Guinness. The Canadians told us all these rules about Guinness. Like, you really shouldn't drink it outside of Ireland. You need to let it settle for a certain period of time before you drink it. Crazy stuff.

Also, they taught us a toast that sounded like "It's a lawn chair" said really fast.

The reason that this post is called "The Party Beer" is because everyone pooled their change together to include me on the Guinness. I could've bought it myself, but they wanted to buy it, so I didn't say anything.

We ended up talking to a busker and he turned out to be a very normal dude. He just likes playing his music in the street.


Now I'm in Edinburgh and I'm kicking myself for not booking more time here. We're going to Amsterdam next and I'm dreading it. Edinburgh is so much more beautiful than I remembered. Tomorrow I will be taking loads of pictures. Also, the hostel I'm staying at is gorgeous! It is seriously nice. And fairly inexpensive. I am in love with this city. Man. Tomorrow we're being hardcore tourists. But tonight we're just catching up on planning our trip out.

Miss you.


Fido, Your Leash Is Too Long

We're changing the schedule a bit. Prague is off. The north of the Netherlands is on. We're meeting up with one of my friends. And if anything, it'll be nice to stay at her place for a couple of days.

Yesterday was a Relax Day. We saw the movie Breakfast on Pluto and it was pretty amazing. Yes, I like drag queens. It must be a character flaw or something. I'd recommend seeing it.

Here's something you may not know about Irish theaters. They assign you seats. I was confused. It was an issue when we were buying tickets. Then when I got to the area where the screens were, they asked for my ticket again. By then, I'd misplaced it in my pockets and read the thing wrong and it was just a total mess. Anyway, I told the guy that I wasn't from 'round 'ere and he laughed. It got sorted out pretty quickly though.

Their popcorn is really dry. I miss butter.

Later that night, we made loads of new friends in the hostel. Star got smashed with them, I ate my orange. Everyone talked. Good times. Then we went out to Temple Bar and owned the town. I went along with it because it was cheap entertainment. Everyone told really good stories. We sacked it in sorta late.

Then today we went to Newgrange. It is a pretty place to take pictures, but difficult to write about. Imagine a little fancier Indian burial mounds and you get the idea.

Tomorrow is Edinburgh.

Talking Too Much Shit

Yesterday's post that wouldn't post.

Here are some fun stories.

Last night, the plan was to meet up with a girl, Frankie, who we met on the bus tour. We were going to meet at 9 PM at the Stag's Head, one of the oldest pubs in Dublin. We get all dressed up and roll out around 8:30 PM.

Then I realize our fatal flaw in the plan. Star was the one who was given directions. Needless to say, we were screwed from the get-go. We end up wandering around the very bright and busy Temple Bar district until 9:30 PM. For most of this time, she had me convinced that the pub we were looking for was called the Boars Head. Once we get the name sorted out, I ask a nice lady for directions. She really has no idea. We wander around some more and then give up.

So I look for the first pub with the word "Head" in the name. We end up in the Turk's Head. It is very crowded with our age type people. It must be the place to be. I get a Stella and she gets a Guinness. We chill for an hour drinking our solitary beers. She's kinda brining me down and not listening to what I say, so in every story I tell, I throw random stuff into the middle of it about being a hooker or losing vital organs. Then we start to play the game where we make up life stories for other people at the bar.

Then we leave the pub and meander around the area. I see Chinese food and feel really hungry. So I order some chicken-type stuff and we people watch from the window. We continue our game of making up life stories for people, but it has gotten exceedingly brutal. There are many 14 year old prostitutes. Anyway, the pedestrians also start to interact with us at our window. One teenage boy wiggled his tongue at me suggestively and I just blew him a kiss. At one point, I was worried that someone heard what I said about them because they came into the Chinese restaurant.

Later that night, I was pretty sick. Like, not from beer, but from being ill. I got up in the middle of the night to go to my locker and grab a water. It was a jungle in the Hostel. As I was walking down the hall, I see two British guys just chilling. One is talking on his cell and smoking in front of the no smoking sign. I ignore them because: 1. It is late 2. I'm sick 3. I may vomit 4. My internal danger meter says they pose no threat.

Then non-cell phone dude says: "D'you know where we can get a drink 'round 'ere?"

I pause then say: "Well, the Turk's head was alright. There were a lot of people our age in there."

Then the asshole cell phone dude says: "D'you know where we can get some pussy 'round 'ere?"

I immediately reevaluate the situation and still decide that they are mostly harmless. I give the asshole the look of death and reply sharply, "I don't know. There are probably some hookers downtown."

You know, I don't know if they use the word "hookers" here or "downtown" for that matter, but he probably would have to pay for it anyway.

In other news, I'm sick again. It came back with a vengeance last night. Thanks to all of you who've emailed me. It has really helped my mood. I'm pretty sure I responded to all of you.


Here's Jonny

I am feeling a bit better today. I'm no longer burning through two packs of Kleenex a day. I'm trying to cut back.

We went out to the countryside and saw Glendalough and the Wicklow Mountains. We did this whole day tour thing because we wanted to get to the countryside and it was cheap.

Anyway. Our tour guide tells us that he gets told that he looks a lot like Jack Nicholson. I think he's full of shit. Then he smiles. Jesus. He looked scarily like him. Then he does his impersonation of an American. It was nonstop hilarity all day. Do you remember in Good Will Hunting, when all the guys are sitting around in the bar telling stories that are mostly bullshit? Yeah, our tour guide, Dave, did that a lot.

In the middle of the day we stopped at a country pub. I had this amazing bowl of Guinness Beef Stew. For €11.95, it better have been fantastic. I ate every last bite, and it was huge. Like, even for American portions it was huge.

In the Wicklow mountains, there was this cliff that overlooked a valley. The roads were very narrow and I buckled my seatbelt (because obviously, that would save me from the 2000 foot fall if we careened off the road). We stopped on top and walked out on the cliff to take pictures. They are beautiful. I'm excited to get them printed. There was this lake that was shaped like a pint of Guinness. Oddly enough, by the Guinness estate. The water was very dark because the soil around there ispeatt, or something. Yeah, I suck at listening, more on that in a second.

But the important part of the story is that it was really windy on this cliff. Like, really windy. When I walked out there, the winds were gusting so hard that it was a lot likesky-divingg. I could barely here anything. I had to brace myself to take pictures. And I didn't dare get to close to the edge. I got a flashback to when I skydove when I was 18. It was a nice memory.

Anyway, me sucking at listening. We were on the coast, so we saw the Irish Sea. The tour guide tells us that the pier is slippery. Do you see where this is going? Star, my travelmate, decides to take a picture of me on the pier. I was up on some rocks and we were leaving shortly, so I jog out there. All of a sudden, I'm sliding. I surf a couple of feet and still manage to stay up-right because of my ninja like balance. Everyone cheers for me. I blush. She takes the picture.

Well, I hope this entry is semi-coherent since I'm not taking the time to proofread while on vacation.

There's a pint with my name on it tonight. We're meeting up with a girl from the tour today. Maybe there will be stories.


The Corner of What and Ever

So, in these thirty seconds, I'm just going to say that I'm in a shit mood. The cold I am battling has moved from my head down into my chest. And it is camping in my chest for all eternity. I don't want to see a doctor here. So I'm drugging it until it gets better. Tomorrow, I will try medicating it with Guinness if it doesn't improve.

Today, I took control of the map. My travel buddy didn't want it out. And I thought she knew where she was going since she had a list of places that she wanted to go. But she got us lost. Oh well. I take command of the map and navigate us around the city. It isn't easy, since I swear that some streets are askew here, but it sort of worked out.

I know it is a crap story. Sorry.

This crazy lady at Dublin castle kept asking me about this museum exhibit at a museum I had never heard of. And strangers were asking us for directions. Thankfully, when I say "I don't know", I have an American accent, so then they leave us alone.

I'm going to go curl up in bed early tonight. Tomorrow, we go to the country side.

Up next, Edinburgh on Monday.

Back to the bump and grind.


Be Here Now

It has been a long trip, but I'm finally here in Ireland. It seems a lot more foreign than I thought it would.

Anyway, here are your daily stories:

On the train on the way to Chicago, we were just about to get off at our stop. We were down by the door with these two old ladies and a conductor. The two old ladies asked polite questions about our trip and I was being cute and witty. When they asked what cities in Europe we were going to, I did the list. When I got around to Amsterdam, the train conductor guy freaks out. He goes from totally normal dude to full-on crack-head freak in 0.6 seconds. He starts talking about doing drugs and we all go silent. Then I had to choke down the laugh I was about to let out.

The cool part was that the old ladies had been to our station before and told us that the taxis would just be waiting for us.

And here's an Irish story:
You can still get Subway stamps at the Subways here. As in, the sandwich shop. Yes, I did suck it up on my first day here and get American food. But I almost vomited on the bus ride from the airport to the hostel. I did not want to take a chance with foreign food for lunch. So, bring all of your subway stamps to Ireland to get your free subs. They have Sweet Onion Chicken Tariyaki. Good times.

I also managed to get entirely lost, see a castle, and use two packs of travel Kleenexes.


Tomorrow Comes Today

I leave tomorrow.

That statement is huge. It was a lot of work to get to this point.

Next time I travel, I'm just taking my credit cards and my passport. Packing is a lot of bullshit. The only thing I am happy to carry along is a copy of Ender's Game. The book has been halfway around the world with me before.

Also, I emailed all my friends to let them know about my blog of my trip, so they can travel europe vicariously. I hear some of you are still in school... that sucks.

I promise I will be doing ridiculous things daily. All of which will be posted here.

The other day I stopped by my grandma's house to say goodbye. My mom told her that I'd be keeping in touch through email. And my grandma says something like, "Oh, yeah, they have chatrooms in Europe. That'll be nice." I blue-screened for a couple of seconds. I couldn't figure out if I'd just heard the word chatroom come out of her mouth. I'm pretty sure the woman meant internet cafes, but I was mostly surprised that she knew a chatroom had something to do with the internet.

Then she asked about kissing the Barney Stone. I wonder if that's like the Blarney Stone? Heh.


Four Days And Counting

I fly out on Tuesday, so the posting should pick up considerably by then. I just couldn't bring myself to post about the bullshit I had to trudge through in order to make this trip happen.

But I can now. So here's some stuff that has been going on:

Eurail sucked it up again. Star (my travelmate) and I had been going back and forth on whether or not to get a rail pass. It seemed so adventurous to just hop on a train whenever we felt like it. I was ready to pay for it when we found out that you may have to pay even more money for certain trains during certain times.

Star lost her shit and cried. I talked the girl down. Maybe it is just this sense of financial freedom that I have that causes me to not lose my shit. Or maybe I know it wasn't a big deal. Anyway, if she cries the whole trip, I'm leaving her ass in Amsterdam. I love the girl to death, but we are not going to have a repeat of what happened in New Mexico (the first Lost American Tour and a story for a later date).

The Berlinale. There is this film festival. I'm so excited. I haven't been to a film festival since high school. Needless to say, this one made me crap my pants. 750 films. Two weeks. I am in love with Berlin. I will name all of my children after the town. I booked my hostel by Alexander Platz, because it is in the middle of the city and just amazing. Star probably will be leaving me around this time, which is alright.

Berlin. Damn. Just damn. It has been such a long time since I've been excited about anything.