Flight to London
I arrived at LAX early on a Sunday afternoon. Few things in life compare to the feeling of being alone in an airport moments before flying to another country. The pleasure parallels the feelings I had as a child on Christmas Eve. After checking in, going through customs, and arriving at my gate, anticipation mixed with anxiety made me smile. My eager gait had a distinct bounce as I meandered through bookstores in preparation for the eleven-hour journey.
After taking a leak, I returned to my gate to watch travelers strolling through the bustling airport, some were excited, some world-weary. I spotted an attractive blonde sitting alone concentrating on a People magazine. Passport, boarding pass, and newly purchased novel (21: Bringing Down the House) in hand, I sat two seats from her in the semi-circular set-up. Fifteen seconds later, sensing my sleaziness, she switched seats, and I realized my fantasy was once again foiled.
When I boarded the plane, I could see my dream of sitting beside a hot chick on an airplane had failed to come to fruition for the 36th time. I deflated a little. I figured I was overdue by now since I always ended up seated next to either a fat man or an elderly woman on every flight. It’s not fair. I have visions of that Seinfeld episode in which Jerry is conveniently placed beside a hot blonde; they drink champagne and talk about their ambitions in first class. My luck is more comparable to Elaine’s, who winds up next to a grumpy New Yorker, who gripes each time she needs to get up to pee. This time my seatmate was a middle-aged woman who was already sound asleep beneath the airline’s skimpy blanket. If I were CEO of an airline, my first undertaking would be to banish all airline pillows and sheets; they always smell like my grandparents’ house—musty and soiled—never like fresh-scented flowery detergent.
The eleven-hour flight passed the way most long flights do–slowly, uncomfortably, grimy. I was wearing my black skate shoes, long black socks, basketball shorts, and a white T-shirt emblazoned with the words DPS Nutrition. Comfort is more important to me than appearance, especially with the unlikelihood of meeting a hot girl. Halfway through the flight, an overweight flight attendant walking down the aisle tripped over my shoe, stumbled forward a couple steps and glared at me—the way Mr. Hill, my eighth grade history teacher, used to glare at me when he suspected me of cheating on the final. “Sorry,” I said, and the attendant moved on. I shook my head; I thought these guys were supposed to be understanding and helpful, but maybe he’d noticed the word “Nutrition” on my shirt and had taken it personally. Five hours later we landed at Heathrow.
I could barely keep my eyes open, but I’ve never been able to sleep in moving vehicles. It was late afternoon when I got on the London Underground and took a seat between two cute Brits, both wearing white leggings and staring blankly at the opposite bench. As I approached, I saw them glance at my black socks; they mysteriously folded their arms and crossed their legs. When I sat down, I immediately wanted to get back up when I realized with a pang of revulsion that they both reeked of perfume that smelled like cotton candy. I can’t stand that scent; why attractive girls feel the need to saturate themselves like circus gypsies is beyond me. Luckily, they only stayed on the train for three more stops.
When I reached the small, three-story hotel an hour later, I called my buddy Punchline’s room. He and his girlfriend, BooBoo, were to be my party buddies on the tour. A second generation American-born Filipino, BooBoo was raised in Orange County, and along the way developed a ditzy, I-love-animals personality, which was why I called her BooBoo, the name of her pet cat.
Punchline told me he’d be right up, and true to his word, he appeared a moment later. I took one look at his face and sensed disaster. “What’s up, man?”
He smiled, put his head down, and sat down on one of coffin-sized twin beds. The room was tiny and plain, the beds situated across from a seventeen-inch television awkwardly poised on the rickety shelf. “There have been some developments,” Punchline said in a low, hesitant voice.
“BooBoo and I are done.”
I laughed. “I knew it! What happened?” I lay down on my bed, fatigued but intrigued enough to hear this news to stay awake.
“Basically, she was being a bitch on the plane, and I didn’t want to deal with it, so I told her this wasn’t a good idea. That’s it. She might change her tour.”
“Nice, so sleazy Punchline will be back this trip?”
“Sleazy Punchline is officially back.”
For the next couple hours, I forced myself to stay awake so he and I could walk around London, but by 7:30 p.m. London time I made my way back to the hotel and collapsed into bed.
Our thirty-seven-person tour boarded a ferry to the mainland where we took a three-hour bus ride into Holland. I’d heard rumors that legalized marijuana and prostitution was nearing its end and within the next five years even Holland would have turned Puritan. I was disappointed: every controversial pleasure should be legal somewhere, and Holland’s theory made sense to me. People are going to fuck and smoke pot no matter what, so they might as well legalize it and curb the hardcore drugs. Their theories were working; Amsterdam’s heroin and cocaine usage were among the lowest of any city in Europe.
Punchline and BooBoo’s split-up had called for a change of plans since they would no longer be rooming with each other. We worked out an arrangement with our tour manager—Punchline would room with me, and BooBoo with another chick. In Amsterdam, he and I got dressed and headed into town to catch a booze cruise through the city. It was our first chance to party with the tour and my first real opportunity to judge the quality of the girls. I scrutinized the group and broke it down:
minus 4 couples (Punchline and BooBoo included)
left 29 singles
Of those 29, 15 were guys.
That left 14 girls.
Of the 14 girls, 3 were hot.
Of the 3 who were hot, 2 had boyfriends back home.
Of the two girls with boyfriends, one seemed committed, the other breakable.
The final candidate was a sexy twenty-two-year-old Korean girl from California. Unfortunately, I’m not into Asian girls.
And that was that, leaving me just one girl–the chick with the break-up-able boyfriend. She was a loud, energetic twenty-one-year-old from South Africa who reminded me of Avril Lavigne but shorter and with black hair and a sexy accent. I didn’t care about hooking up with her; she was one of those girls who was just fun to be around–flirty, open-minded, down to party. An attractive combo.
After the booze cruise our tour walked through the red light district. It was eerily similar to what I had always imagined with countless sex shops, sex shows, “coffee houses,” and prostitutes hanging out of windows overhung with red fluorescent lights. As I walked past one of the windows, a stunning prostitute motioned for me to enter. I stared: her face was gorgeous, her body flawless, her skin a perfect shade of tan. Still, I shook my head and continued walking glancing back to see her throw up her hands in frustration, her pretty lips forming a pout. She stared after me, but I had promised myself I would never pay for sex. Though I did think about it.
Our entire tour paid 28 Euros to watch a sex show (Note: 1 Euro = $1.50; for mathematical illiterates, that means the US dollar blows). The sex show didn’t take place in a strip joint. Girls weren’t stripping off their clothes and dancing around poles. Instead, one dude and one chick trotted on stage, stripped each other down, performed oral sex on each other and fucked. It was enlightening, even giving me a brief semi, though I couldn’t ignore the two front rows of old Japanese men, who were smiling the whole time and some even mildly clapped when they changed positions.
After watching three couples screw, we headed to The Grasshopper, a famous coffee house. Why all these pot joints are called “coffee houses” still eludes me, but American strip clubs are referred to as “Gentlemen’s clubs,” so I guess lying is acceptable.
Smoking is illegal inside the coffee houses; they sell the stuff, but it must be smoked outside on the porch. I’ve never been big on marijuana. The potheads I encountered in high school and college were mostly lazy and laughed way too slow for my comfort, so I stayed away from it and chose friends who did the same. I’ve smoked pot a few times but have felt its effects only once. When I was nineteen, I had three massive bong rips, and my brain began to feel tingly. I thought everyone in the room was somehow related to me—either a cousin or a nephew. Then I ate three consecutive packs of Ramen noodles and went to bed, stupider.
Since I was in Amsterdam for probably the only time in my life; I had to embrace the opportunity of being where the stuff was not only legal, but where others encouraged its use. This coffee house sold the weed in the downstairs basement where items were neatly organized on the wall in a window display. I selected a magic brownie for 7,50 Euro since I preferred eating weed to smoking it, especially when it tastes like chocolate. An hour later, I still felt nothing, and desperate for a fade, I took a hit from Avril’s “bubble gum” joint. Then I took a hit off of BooBoo’s joint.
A half-hour later, figuring I’d never get high, I gave up and resorted to beer. BooBoo walked over and said, “My roommate thinks you’re hot and wants to fuck you.”
“Who’s your roommate?” I asked, naturally intrigued. BooBoo pointed to a girl sitting beneath surreal lighting–one of the hottest girls at the bar. I didn’t recall ever seeing this girl on our tour. She reminded me of the singer Jewel, and I love Jewel.
“Sure,” I told BooBoo. ”I’ll have sex with her.”
I was too drunk, faded, delirious, or all of the above to understand the developing situation, but when BooBoo grabbed my arm and said, “Okay, so Punchline and I are going to fuck in my room, and you and my roommate are going to fuck in your room,” I began to realize Punchline and BooBoo were no longer “done.”
Back in my room I threw Jewel up against the wall and we began to make out. She was only twenty years old, and it took a while for me to get past all the “Do you remember my name” tests. I didn’t, but eventually she fucked me anyway. Five minutes into the sex, in the darkness, my brain suddenly began to send me strange signals, altering Jewel’s appearance. It began with a transformation into Christina Aguilera, then Maria Sharapova, and finally Hilary Duff, and every minute the delirium rotated, switching from one to the other, never reverting back to Jewel. I knew this celebrity sex wasn’t real, but I played along. For some reason Sharapova was a disappointment.
Early the next morning I heard a key card opening the door and saw BooBoo tiptoe in and walk around my bed to Jewel/Christina/Maria/Hilary’s bed. I heard whispering, and then I heard a rustling as a figure climbed out of the bed. Sober again, I turned over to see what was happening and saw BooBoo walking past, leaving something or someone behind.
I stared. Standing there in utter dumpiness was a female being who bore a striking resemblance to Mr. Rooney from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Her hair looked like an orange bird’s nest, a sweaty strand clinging to her cheek. Her pale skin was dotted endlessly with moles—the big raised ones. When I looked down and saw her cottage cheese thighs, I could feel them taunting me: “You lose.” I slammed my head viciously back into my pillow.
I turned away and pretended I was still sleeping as Mr. Rooney exited my room. Then I sat up and rubbed my eyes. Magic brownies are the real deal. Shit, in the past beer had transformed plain chicks into cute chicks, but never into celebrities. I decided that for the rest of my trip I’d have to play the role of Ferris, strategically evading Mr. Rooney.
In the bathroom I brushed my teeth and took a shower. Mid-shower it dawned on me that in my inebriated state, I had gone down on Rooney. Shit. Something had to be done. I’d forgotten my Listerine, so I swirled some shampoo around in my mouth, something I don’t recommend except in extreme situations like this one. Imagine the flavor you might get from chewing on a handful of grass doused in perfume.
A few minutes later Punchline made the walk of shame into our room. He was quiet, and I guessed it was tough having broken things off with a chick, telling your friends you’re single, and three days later ending up back with the same chick. He didn’t need to explain. He knew I knew; and I knew he knew I knew. We left things at that and packed our bags. We had a long day of traveling ahead of us—off to somewhere more realistic.
Nothing happened. Go there only if you like “views” more than you like people.
When we arrived in Munchen, our group took a bike tour through the city. We rode past monuments and through Englischer Garten, the central park in Munich, even larger than New York’s Central Park. We stopped at an oriental-looking beer joint in the middle of the park and drank liters of Heineken. When it started raining, our tour guide handed everyone a plastic raincoat. I didn’t wear mine, figuring this would be my only chance to ever ride through Munchen in the rain.
That night, a Thursday, we visited the most famous beer hall in the world, the Hofbrauhaus, filled with tables of people downing liter-sized mugs of beer, Heineken mostly. The only downside was the place closed at midnight, so a bunch of us gathered and headed to the club district. There weren’t many people out, so Avril (the hottie South African with the break-up-able boyfriend back home) and I ditched the group and barhopped. Another girl on the tour tagged along as well, but she was so fat that I involuntarily made an explosion noise with my mouth.
After a disappointing attempt at clubbing, we headed back to the hotel where post parties were happening in four different rooms. None of the parties had any alcohol, rendering them pointless, so I headed back to my room. Walking down the hallway, Rooney called out to me.
“Oh. Hey,” I replied.
“Punchline and BooBoo are in your room, so I think you are supposed to sleep in my room.”
“What? Uh, okay.”
I entered the room, lay down in bed, and she got on top of me. We fucked again. I know, I’m an idiot.
The only lousy thing about our tour was lack of time for relaxation. Each day we drove for hours, ate dinner, and partied only to wake at 6:45 and start driving for hours again. The drive from Germany to Austria was long and painful. We drove beneath the snow-kissed mountaintops of the Tyrol and wound our way through the narrow valley roads for what had to be over five hours. We stopped at a small campground by the river and for an hour several of us went white-water rafting.
That might have been fun, but to my displeasure, BooBoo and Rooney had evolved into friends, so whenever I felt like hanging out with Punchline, BooBoo was there. And if BooBoo was there, Rooney was there—a horrifying execution of the transitive property. To top it off, Rooney had decided to wear flip-flops for the whole trip, so her large, flaky, red feet were ugly reminders of magic brownies, bad pussy, grass, and perfume all rolled into one nightmarish burrito; and it was being shoved in my face. BooBoo followed Punchline onto our eight-person raft, and Rooney followed BooBoo. Though the rafting was fun, I didn’t purchase the group photo because Rooney was in it.
Afterwards we drove to our hotel in a deserted town called Hopfgarten, a city famous for skiing but a ghost town in summertime. It felt like a village taken from the pages of a Stephen King novel. I only saw three people walking the streets in the entire city. Freaked out, I laid in bed at 7:30 p.m., dozed off, and when I woke they were serving breakfast downstairs.
I had slept for eleven hours.
There’s a framed orange-tinted poster at my parents’ house that depicts a guy standing on a gondola, drifting through the canals of Venice. For years I stared at that poster thinking that someday I would go there. My dream came true, but unfortunately we didn’t have a hotel booked inside the city: we’d be in Venice for only six hours. Luckily, that was plenty of time to do the three things I wanted to do: 1) See the museum from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade where he finds the X, 2) Ride in a gondola, and 3) Get trashed. I am proud to say I accomplished all three goals.
Punchline, BooBoo, and I walked the streets in search of a bar but couldn’t find a single one. Instead they had beverage stands where we could purchase beer for a couple of Euros. I was disappointed until I learned this practice allowed me to drink in public. Loaded with smooth-skinned Italian women and divorced thirty-something travelers, this place was perfect.
Punchline agreed to drink with me while BooBoo stayed sober so she could observe us acting like dumbasses (well, actually just me; Punchline got drunk but didn’t act like a dumbass). After just two beers each, we both had a fantastic buzz. Then we double fisted two tall cans of a beer called Splugen, and it was all downhill. Here are the highlights.
To a cute blonde in a jewelry store who looked more Scandinavian than Italian.
Me: “You live here?”
Her: “No English.”
To a girl—who didn’t look a day over twenty—wearing an orange sundress.
Me: “I like your dress. Is it Dutch?”
She looked frightened, turned in a circle, and her mom power-walked to her side. I fled.
I strolled into a bikini store, talked with the store clerk for ten minutes, learned she was married, became irritated, and left the store.
Outside a cafe, a forty-year-old milf with burgundy dyed hair was sitting in front of the Indiana Jones museum with her ugly friend who had bags the size of orange slices beneath her eyes.
Me: “Have you seen Indiana Jones?”
Her: “No. Why?”
(Three minutes of movie talk)
Me: “Why are you here?”
Her: “My lover lives here.”
Me: “Are you having an affair?”
Her: “Hahaha no, I’m divorced.”
Me: “Is your lover good at sex?”
Her: “He’s incredible.”
Me: “I’m better.”
I turned and walked away
I walked into a gelato store where an Italian family of four was deciding what to buy. Behind the counter stood an elderly Italian woman and her attractive streaky-haired daughter. Sensing the mother-daughter presence eliminated any chance I might have had, I drew a blank and then let out a thunderous gasp. Before I could see anyone’s reaction, I quickly turned and walked outside. If there’s anyone out there secretly filming my life, please send me a clip of that gelato store after I left. Thanks.
Punchline and I walked into an empty pizza shop run by an elderly man and his two athletic daughters with sexy, well-defined arms.
Daughter 1: “What you wanta?”
Me: (using a Mexican accent) “Cheese.”
Daughter 2: “One?”
Daughter 1: “How many you wanta?”
Daughter 1: “One cheese.”
Daughter 2: “Okay. Two Euro.”
Me: “Cheese.” (I took the slice and paid the two Euro)
Daughter 1: “How many drink you have?”
Me: “Seventeen.” (I turned around and left)
About ten steps away, I turned around and yelled back at the store: “Cheese!”
To three cute nineteen-ish American girls standing on a sidewalk huddled over a map, obviously lost.
Me: “I know this place pretty good. Where are you trying to go?”
Girl 1: “We’re trying to go here.” (She pointed to a point on the map)
Me: (I pointed to an arbitrary point on the map and started babbling) “Okay, well we’re here, so you need to go down this street, make four rights, three lefts, go over the bridge, pass the Italian restaurant, and you should be there.”
Girl 2: (To her friends) “Should we write this down?”
Girl 3: “He’s full of shit.”
Me: “Um no, I live here.”
Girl 3: “Oh yeah, where do you live?”
Me: “Next to the bridge.”
Girl 3: “Yeah, right.” (She busted out a fan and started fanning her face)
Me: “What’s with the fan? You’re not from the Orient.”
At that moment, Punchline laughed so hard, he spat his beer all over BooBoo, who got mad and started an argument.
Girl 1: “Let’s go.”
Girl 2: “Yeah.”
Rendezvous time was approaching so we met up with the group and rode the ferry back to the mainland. I can finally say I have lived the orange-tinted poster, if only for a short while.
Despite being sloshed from our time in Venice, I planned to go out when we arrived at our hotel in Rome. I walked to the front of the bus and announced over the microphone:
“Anyone who wants to party tonight, meet in the lobby at 10 p.m.”
At the hotel I went to my room, took a half-hour nap, got ready, and arrived in the lobby to find twenty people dressed up and ready to go. Punchline and BooBoo were back in full-fledged relationship mode, so they stayed in. BooBoo had actually moved into our room. Ordinarily, I would have considered this bad news, but it meant Rooney wouldn’t be around as much. Twenty of us took cabs to a square of bars called Campo de Fiori. It was a Sunday night so the bars were relatively quiet, filled only with alcoholics and a handful of tourists circulating in and out.
Someone handed a girl in our group a flyer to a nightclub a few blocks away. A dive bar in Idaho would have been more packed than at the one we were in, so we decided to give the other club a shot. Conveniently, another tour was at the club. Inconveniently, all of the girls on that tour had bird-like features—long, thin faces, and crooked, beaked noses (all of them). Frustrated, I consumed beer after beer and partied with the guys on my tour, even though two almost-cute Canadian chicks on my tour kept trying to get me to dance. As I got drunker, I had visions of a threesome, and headed to a couch with them to see if I could get any action. Talking to them was a tedious chore: they were both teachers, and I have yet to meet a female schoolteacher who’s fun to party with. These two were probably dykes, and they blessed me every time I sneezed and expected me to thank them. If manners were up to me, farts would be acknowledged with a “bless you,” and sneezes would be ignored. It was hopeless.
I directed my attention to others in our group. The hot twenty-two-year-old Korean girl sat down beside me and asked if I wanted to do a shot. I agreed, and she bought us both tequila shots. It was the worst tequila I’ve ever had. The two of us talked and then I tried to kiss her, but she pulled away, declaring, “I don’t do PDA.” Replying, “Fine,” I took her by the hand, led her to the bathroom, shut the door to the stall, and started making out with her. Obviously too dangerous for her, she insisted it was a bad idea after only thirty seconds. We took a cab back to the hotel where we found her roommate passed out on the bed, slurring words in her sleep. If she wasn’t the type to hook up in a private bathroom, there was no way she’d hook up with her roommate in the room, drunk or not.
Punchline and BooBoo were either fucking or sleeping, so I couldn’t take her to my room. I had to find a place, so we went back to the elevator where the wall of buttons indicated a “-1″ level. It sounded devious so I pushed it and down we went to a dark room with chairs and tables pushed to the walls, some kind of banquet room. I spotted a couch in the corner and tried to make things happen.
When I started to take her top off, she protested: “I’m not that kind of girl.”
Maybe I was being too aggressive, so I took my time as I tried to get her top off again. “Hey, what did I say?” she scolded.
I fingered her over her pants. It was acceptable. I gave her the shocker over her pants. It was acceptable. I tried to take her pants off. She repeated, “I’m not that kind of girl.”
I reverted back to taking it slower and kissing her more passionately. When I tried to get her pants off a second time, she said once again, “Hey, what did I say?”
I felt like I was hooking up with a girl from a video game who was programmed to never get naked and say the same two lines repeatedly. The situation was doomed from the start. If it was a glitch, I wasn’t fixing it. I got up and told her we should get to bed.
The next morning, I had two options: 1) Sleep in and take a cab into town later, or 2) Wake up, eat breakfast, be hungover, and catch the bus to the center of Rome. Had it not been for Punchline waking me up, I probably would have slept in, not taken a cab into town, and wasted my day. Instead, I saw all of Rome at the expense of feeling like shit. The weather was blistering; I had swamp ass and extreme chaffing, and we had to walk everywhere. We toured Vatican City, saw ruins, but walking through the Coliseum was the most overwhelming part of my trip. Just imagining the events that took place there gave me chills.
Just before crashing out, Punchline, BooBoo, and I walked to a Chinese restaurant for dinner. Being away from southern California for a couple weeks made me realize how addicted I am to both Asian and Mexican food. While finding an Asian restaurant in Europe is quite simple, finding a Mexican restaurant is nearly impossible. If anyone knows of any, please email me.
Florence was being advertised as “the big night” because we and eight other tours were all going to the same nightclub. During the day, Punchline and I walked the streets looking for Mexican restaurants while BooBoo shopped. I ran into a chick I knew from college. We looked at each other and both said, “What the fuck?” simultaneously. We weren’t friends–she hated me at one point because a few years back, I had dumped her sorority sister/roommate, and she had to pick up the pieces by default. But when you randomly see someone in another country halfway around the world, you say what’s up anyway.
Before going to the club, our tour dined at an elegant Italian restaurant that served never-ending wine and champagne. If this were the big event for the night, I would have happily guzzled wine until I couldn’t walk. But we were going to the club afterwards. I had to budget my alcohol when I had a long night ahead. I have some friends who are able to drink for ten hours straight and still feel great. Admirable people like this are outliers and truly blessed. I can only drink for about six hours before I start to get cranky or sleepy. At least I always know my limitations. My tour, on the other hand, was clueless. They were drinking so much so fast that when we finally got to the club, they lasted about an hour. By 1 a.m., only three of them remained. My tour was gone. These idiots were probably the same people who went to Mexican restaurants, filled up on the chips and salsa, and left no room for the main entrée. Morons.
This kind of ignorance annoyed me. My field of work is mathematics, but I majored in economics. Some of the econ classes offered at my school were a bit outrageous: “Economics of Family,” “Business Decisions,” “Economics of Education.” But I think colleges and universities should experiment with an “Economics of Alcohol” course. If they can’t find any professors, I would gladly volunteer. I could at least be a discussion facilitator. We would get shitfaced in class and have discussions the following day of what went wrong, which would benefit the general public. Girls wouldn’t puke all over themselves by midnight; the guys would be able to stay out past 2 a.m. with a better chance at hooking up; and the parties would go for much longer all over the globe, thus optimizing “fun” for the human race.
The club reached its peak at 1 a.m., the same time I realized my tour had long since crashed out. I was already 0 for 9 at this point, but I was feeling it. A half hour earlier, while dancing hazardously, a local idiot fell off a balcony and broke his leg, and was hauled away by ambulance. I moved on. On my tenth attempt I approached a finely toned blonde Australian girl wearing a tennis outfit dancing at the edge of the dance floor by herself.
Me: “Are you from California?”
Her: “No. Australia! Are YOU from California?”
Me: “How’d you know?”
Her: “I didn’t know. Wait, yes I knew.”
Me: “What the? How old are you?”
Me: “Uh oh. You’re educated, right?”
Her: “Yes. What makes you say that?”
Me: “The last Australian girl I talked to was a bumbling idiot (a lie).”
Her: “No, I’m smart. How old are you?”
Me: “Twenty-seven. Is that too old for you?”
Her: “Nope. So what part of California are you from?”
Me: “Orange County area.”
Her: “Reeeealllyyy? Like the show?”
Me: “Yeah. So what do you do?”
Her: “I’m a student. I live in Brisbane. What do you do?”
Me: “I’m a math teacher.”
Her: “Oh my God! I love math!”
Suddenly, her lurking cockblocking friend grabbed her arm and tried to yank her away. She resisted and told the cockblocker, “No, I’m with this boy. He’s cute, and he’s from the OC, and he’s a math teacher.” The cockblocker gave me a skeptical look, told her, “Fine, do what you want,” and walked off into the shadows.
Immediately after this exchange, Tennis Aussie pressed her body against mine and started kissing me. We made out for ten minutes until we reached an obstruction. Suddenly her cheeks puffed out, and she pulled away from me. She was about to blow. I turned around and looked for the lurking cockblocker. As suspected, she was slithering nearby. I scurried over to her and said, “You’re on. Your friend’s about to puke.” She instantly rushed over to her friend and led her to a corner. Once a girl pukes, I lose all interest in her no matter how hot she is. I re-circulated.
Fifteen minutes later, I found another Australian girl—this one busty, with black hair, blue eyes, and thick thighs—and our dialogue was strangely the exact same as the one with Tennis Aussie, except for the part just before we kissed.
Her: “You OC boys all think you are so much better than Australians.”
Me: “Huh? No we don’t.”
Her: “Prove it.”
I leaned in and kissed her. Tell an Aussie girl you’re from Orange County, and they will hook up with you; I guarantee it. We made out for the next twenty minutes. Mid-make-out I looked off to the side and saw the lurking cockblocker tapping Tennis Aussie on the shoulder and pointing at me. Tennis Aussie was slouched over another friend’s shoulder, either asleep or dead. I smiled deceptively at the cockblocker and made out with my new friend some more.
The big problem with this girl: she was only nineteen and another inexperienced I’m-not-sure-if-one-night-stands-are-ethical girls. You have to make decisions for them if you ever expect to get anywhere. It went like this:
Her: “All you boys are the same; you just want sex.”
Me: “Look, we’re in Italy; we’re on vacation; we’re gonna go back to your place; and I’m gonna fuck your brains out. Sound good?”
Her: (pause) “Okay, let me get my key.”
She searched the club for her roommate but couldn’t find her. She refused to go back to my place because she “hardly knew me.” It was her place or bust. They only had one damn key and everything depended on her fucking roommate. I hate having my destiny put in the hands of someone else. When I was twenty, I sat in the back of a Sea-Do, while my boisterous driver-friend Ed tried to show off. The steering locked; we crashed; and I went flying into the rocks and broke my collarbone. Since that day, I hate it when I’m not in control of my well-being. So if I wasn’t going to get laid because of an independent variable, I was going to go bonkers. To make matters worse, this chick wanted to dance.
About twenty minutes later, the last three people on my tour were leaving the club, and I had to make a decision:
1) Stick around and dance to the shitty music with my beer-goggled cute Australian girl assuming that she was serious about fucking, and her phantom roommate actually did exist.
2) Leave with my tour-mates, split the cab fare, and save 18 Euros.
I chose option two. Here’s why:
a) She was only nineteen.
b) She probably sucked at sex.
c) I didn’t want to dance to the shit they were playing.
d) She did.
e) She refused to come home with me, which meant her sex drive and sense of adventure was disappointingly low.
f) Our bus was leaving for Switzerland in a little over three hours.
I cut my losses and went back home with the only people on my tour that didn’t need a special class in Economics.
I was expecting big things for our one night in Switzerland. Unfortunately, we were there on a Wednesday night, and bars only get packed on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Some of us went out (Punchline and BooBoo not included as usual), but the bars were all empty. My luck with the days of the week was awful on this tour.
On a side note, Switzerland is by far the most beautiful country I’ve ever been to. Everything is so clean. The people. The air. The streets. The rivers. Just walking through Lucerne felt like I was walking through a fantasyland. Of all the European countries I have been to, I saw the highest percentage of attractive women in Switzerland. Although I could write for pages about the beauty of Lucerne, I’m not going to. It stays with me.
I’ve never understood why so many American girls are obsessed with Paris. It’s not that elegant. While its symmetry is impressive, its unnecessarily high prices and hectic overcrowding left me more irritated than awestruck. Perhaps this was because I had already been there twelve years ago with my parents. Perhaps it was because I was averaging less than five hours of sleep a night. Maybe it was the ten-dollar cokes. Or maybe I was just being a pussy. Whatever it was, we had two nights there, and I had a decision to make: 1) Party both nights at a 60% energy level, or 2) Stay in the first night and party the second night at a 100% level. I went with the latter.
During the day, Punchline, BooBoo, and I went to some museums, and then Punchline and I watched BooBoo shop. While on the famous Avenue des Champs Elysees, we walked into a Louis Vuitton store because BooBoo wanted to buy a purse. It made me seasick. The place was swarming with idiots. They sold purses for over 1,000 Euro. I understand that their purses are “antiques” and “last a long time” and can even be considered “hand-me-downs.” To pay that much money for a fucking purse is beyond insane; it’s out of this world. If I were ever in a relationship with a girl who spent that much money on a purse, first I would tell her I don’t love her anymore, then I would break up with her, then I would steal her purse in the middle of the night, and then I would sell it on ebay to another foolish woman who deserves a similar punishment. Children are starving in Africa and East Asia, and all these chicks care about is a make-up and Q-tip holder. Please excuse me while I take a massive dump.
I’ve been on four of these tours, and the final night has always been the best night. The bashful wussies—guys and girls—all hook up with their secret crush, and there is a general disregard for alcohol consumption and ethics. We went to a bar/club called “O’Sullivan’s,” arriving a little past midnight. If there was one thing that disappointed me more than anything, it was Punchline and BooBoo staying in and having a “couples night.” Give me a fucking break. If I ever pass on the biggest party-night of a two-week vacation so I can sit in a hotel and have sex AGAIN with my girlfriend, please feel free to neuter me in the middle of the night, put my balls in my mouth, and throw me out the window.
At the club, I tried hitting on some locals, but communication was near impossible. It felt like I was explaining calculus to a fourth grader and vice versa. My aspirations of having dirty sex with a European girl had fizzled out with a whimper. Luckily, Avril was all over me. She bought me a shot of tequila and a chaser of beer, and then grabbed me by the hand and danced with me. She ditched me twice mid-dance to grind with a random black dude. So the third time she found me by the bar and pulled me onto the dance floor I said, “Wait a minute. I dunno, you keep on ditching me for that black guy.” She laughed and said, “He’s just a great dancer. But this time I want an American guy with brown spiky hair.” I followed her out to the floor and moments later we started making out. She told me, “You can’t tell anyone about this except for Punchline and BooBoo. I can’t believe I am doing this. You’re just too fucking hot.” But I would have to settle for just a make-out session. She had a boyfriend back in South Africa, and she made it clear to me without using words that nothing more would ever happen between us. I understood, but a year from now I would bet good money that they aren’t together.
The next morning, I arrived at the airport four hours early and waited at my gate. Going back home is a completely different feeling than leaving home. I missed the familiar comforts of home. But I’ve found that the best memories in my life have all happened away from what’s comfortable.
As I write this, I am sitting down with my laptop in my black cushioned chair. The air conditioning is on. My stomach is full. Two of my closest friends are lounging on the adjacent couch watching the sitcom Two and a Half Men. I am comfortable. For now.