31 July 2005

tired, so tired

i love traveling, don't get me wrong. but i am so tired. i never get enough sleep and my legs feel dead from walking. it is probably the heat too....in budapest, it is sweaty sticky mess weather.

tomorrow i think i am going to take a day off: find a park, bring a picnic lunch, and read. maybe go to the baths and get a facial. all the museums are closed so it is perfect. but i am tired, i can't walk all over again. i know i should want to, but my legs just won't move.

one thing i love about traveling is finding the vegetarian restaurants everywhere. i ate at a vegan restaurant in prague, vegetarian cafe tonight, vegan deli in berlin, vegetarian mediterranean buffet in copenhagen...there are a lot of great places for non meat eaters, even in very meat based places. i just love hanging around those places, smelling vitamins and wheat grass and seeing women dressed in tapestries (okay, sarongs) talk about yoga and meditation in various languagues. i love it.

my trip is flying back. i can't imagine working. ugh. i won't think about that. instead, i am going to continue to live in the present moment, enjoying each and every day as i can. and right now, my present self is hungry, so i am going to food myself.

30 July 2005

leaving prague

i had a good time in prague but it has been really hot, in the high thirties, so i have been drained. i did not fall in love with prague like i thought i would, bc of its super touristy element, but met a ton of rad people the same.

we were talking and i freaked out realising--this trip will not go on forever, i will go back to work and will no longer be meeting new people every day and seeing amazing things every day.

this has made me cherish each moment even more.

27 July 2005

off for another train

i know people might think i am being a brat but traveling is a lot more work and exhausting then i thought. but dont get me wrong, because i am having a blast. but sometimes, i wouldnt mind a little umbrella in my drink.

off to prague!

26 July 2005

sick of traveling, but really, sick of hostels

i am sick of hostels. i hate hand washing my clothes and snoring roommates and i seriously hate coed rooms, last night i was the only woman with 8 guys and this one guy was snoring like a lawn mower, it was horrid. i prefer female only rooms. i just found out the hostel i am supposed to stay at in prague is in a noisy neighborhood with drunks and bums and someone said they had bedbugs bite them and i dont want to stay there and it is such a hassle finding a new place and i am stressing. i hate this. i want to go home to my apartment and cry in my big bed with my cat.

otherwise traveling is fine. maybe i am just super depressed because of visiting this concentration camp, or having the ticket clerk scream at me.

23 July 2005

what a falafel is not

in oslo, starving and trying to find something we can afford, jason, my friend from my hostel who i think just went to oslo so he could drool at all the hot scandinavian men and take photos, we decided to get falafel. so we order, and the guy tells us it is going to be five minutes. okay. we sit down and notice other people getting there food, and it has been more than 5 minutes, and jason is complaining. finally i notice one of the guys comes from outside with a styrofoam container...in it are our falafel. he starts heating up a tortilla on this big thing right next to a big pile of meat and asks me what i want in my falafel. i tell him i am not going to eat a falafel that has been heated up next to meat, that i am a vegetarian and falafel is supposed to be vegetarian. he gets mad at me, and is like, no, this is how it is. on what planet, i wonder. i get my money back and he starts talking smack about me to jason and then he asks me how i usually get falafel. i was like, um, they put it in a pita and it is never cooked by meat. so then he gives me on in a pita and is so mean to me. he forgets to charge me, so i get it for free, but very obnoxious. otherwise, oslo was expensive and nice.

in berlin now, which is a bit ugly, but am having a good time regardless. german is such a scary language to me, but i am sure that hungarian will be even more frightening. i am so screwed there.

18 July 2005

getting flashed in stockholm

stockholm is beautiful. i went for dinner in this park last night, and then spent the night listening to music with various people in my hostel, talking about kiwi´s sheep affection, what is wrong with america, ozzie hip hop, among other topics. this morning i set my alarm and woke up before it went off, psyched to get a nice hour long run. there is a huge park on this island not too far from my hostel, and i run along the water so i won´t get lost. about 20 minutes into it, i turn a corner and see a man...and he is wagging his penis at me. i immediately turn around and run as fast as i can. they want reaction, i am told, so i give him none. i see a woman walking and immediately tell her what i saw. she turns around as well.

so i get lost. it is a good thing because i see this amazing rose garden, and it smells like nothing i have ever smelled before. i want to write trevor a letter about the smells and am thinking about how i can describe such a beautiful smell. everything is beautiful: this park, the people, the flowers, the gardens. i avoid smaller and side trails, as i am totally creeped out now.

on my way back, about 2 kilometers from my hostel, i see him again. i scream, 'put your d-ck in your pants you pervert.´so maybe that was a bit much, but really, i dont think so. i am really freaked out, what bad luck, so i ran really fast (he went in the opposite direction) and told this woman. she told me some other woman had seen him do it too, and asked me if i wanted to call the cops. i said no. then i see him in the distance, making violent gestures with his arms towards me. yes. so she is on the phone with the cops and we start following him so we can give the cops directions. and he realizes what we are doing, so he turns around and starts walking really fast towards us. we turn around and i am starting to get really scared. he is screaming in swedish, but all i heard was "english" and "the united states"--so i am guessing he couldnt tell what i was. a later translation included "fucking bitches" "whore" etc. finally the cops come and he pretends he did nothing. i gave my statement, so did the woman, and he did too. i was shaking when i left, and ran so fast. i dont want to go running in sweden now, and really, the parks are lovely. as the first woman i ran into told me, "i come walking here every morning and have never seen anything like that." and he maybe gets off on this, but it seems like a control thing, like he wants to instill fear in women. and i have been flashed at before, yes, and while i was running, yes, but for some reason, this is the scariest time ever. and it is the only time i have ever called the cops before.

still, i am liking sweden.

16 July 2005

"my boyfriend is back home"

i am really getting sick of people doubting me because i am traveling alone. what, i need someone to go with me? i actually LOVE traveling alone because it is ALL me and my spontaneity is carrying the trip. i love it! my boyfriend is at home, yes, and i miss him a lot, yes, and no i am not at all cheating on him, and really, why do you have to assume so much?

when people here i am traveling alone, they ask, "why didnt you bring your boyfriend?" well, he has a job, and why do you even assume i have a boyfriend? hmmmm? or, the worst ever, "your boyfriend let you come?" yes, i convinced him to remove the harness for a few months. wtf, since when does my boyfriend control what i do? and these are westerners saying these sorts of things, those from north america and south america and europe! "how does your boyfriend feel about you traveling?" well, he is really glad for me and wishes he could be here but he has no money to travel, and a job. "so, you´re not really staying true to him, right? because what happens in europe, stays in europe." that makes me so mad. i heard it before i left, and while i am here, and i have had the opportunity to be with various people, but am in no way interested in that at all! i hate that people say that. i am 26 and in love with someone, and yes, he is very far, but i think trev and i should get a degree in long distance love. i love him and just want to be with him, so stop asking.

this is really hard for me to be so far from all my friends and family but i think it is a good thing, it is a good exercise for me to do this. i am learning how to make decisions quickly and wisely, how to make friends, how to find things--in short, great experience for librarianship. i do get lonely, yes, thanks for asking and reminding me, but i spend a lot of time thinking and writing in my journal and seeing amazing art that just makes me think and think. i ended up in the prado at the same time as these obnoxious insane brits from my hostel and the experience just wasn´t the same, especially when one of them started giving me a lecture on why i need religion.

sigh. my boyfriend is back home, and yes i miss him, and i know it is hard, but you know what, i can do it. i can do whatever i want. if i could´t, i would never be here in the first place.

on a side note, an ozzie i met in san sebastian told me when she told someone she was traveling alone (and she is about my age), they asked her, "why didn´t you bring your parents?"

14 July 2005


i have finally left the opium den that is called amsterdam and am in copenhagen. seems fairly low key and quiet here, which is very nice. planning on doing some reading, exploring the town, chilling in the various gardens, writing letters which are owed to good friends. then to some town in sweden (stockholm or goteberg--i cant decide. if the hostels work out with gothenberg, it´ll be there) and then oslo.

drained. tired. traveling is exhuasting, but seriously, i have seen so much, i can deal with the tiredness.

am trying to decide if i can add another country--either croatia, hungary, or poland. i don´t deal well with advance planning.

i cant imagine doing a nine to five again.

09 July 2005

amsterdam is pretty, but i'm not into the pot

last night five of my roommates and i went for a walk around the red light district. very entertaining. we met some stupid boys from the usa and they were super arrogant and i felt very embarassed as all my roommates were from other countries: please, we are not all like that!

i went to this contemporary art museum here in amsterdam and they had some fantastic art. i feel the more i see "jesus art" (religious art) the more i am sick of it. i'm really into contemporary art, art that i have to think about to figure out. Willem de Rooij had an amazing collage of photos of resistance and war over the past couple of years. very, very powerful. i almost expected to see myself in some of the protest photos.

feel so far from the american protest scene. miss cheering. i don't know what's going on in the world right now, i'm a backpacker.

08 July 2005

why the world is crazy

so there was a terrorist attack in london and as i am traveling i barely know anything about it but i feel sad and scared and overwhelmed. there's a cat shelter where you can pet cats and leave a donation, and i went today and the guy there was telling me that pot is the reason things like this happen, b/c apparently the terrorists ancestors were smoking weed and messed up the gene pool. okay. anyway i hate the way this world is, i hate that sort of thing, and being from new york, it scares me even more.

06 July 2005

travel is about finding out who you are and what you want

i have been getting tons of advice from travelers, but i am sick of the ones who want me to rearrange my trip to do things they loved. like, that sounds awesome but there are so many places to go i can´t do them all. this girl was like, --you´ll be in amsterdam too long, go to brugge. and i can´t. this trip is about me saying, --hey that sounds rad, i´ll do that. but not always. i need to figure out what i want and do my thing and figure out what´s best for me. sorry, this is my trip and my time to make decisions. and it´s really exciting.

i met this guy and he was like, --what´s wrong with your boyfriend? why didn´t he come? um, nothing is wrong with trev, he just doesn´t have money and has a job. i wish he was here but he´s not. and i think it´s good i´m traveling alone b-c i can´t make decisions and this trip is forcing me to do things on my own. i think it´s very good for me to get in touch with myself.

my friend did the walk to santiago from france in 29 days. i´d like to do that at some point, it sounds amazing. just to be so free. still, this is my own pilgrimage and i have been doing a lot of self-reflecting.

i dont think i´m a backpacker

í´m getting sick of living out of a backpack, paying to use the internet. then i feel like such a brat, like i know so many people who would LOVE to do this. so i suck it up and enjoy what i have. right now i´m in san sebastian, and i came to enjoy the beach here, and it´s rained two of the three days i´ve been here. such is life. i´ll have a good time this summer, but that backpack is going to be retired after this summer. well, maybe a little trip here and there....

05 July 2005

san sebastian is pretty even when it rains

i´m in san sebastian, and i´m feeling somewhat antisocial (although hilariously, two hostels ago, if you were antisocial that was grounds for removal from the hostel!) and am not going to the beach with the youngins. i think i´m gonna go alone (they´re also a long walk away) with good old leo tolstoy and do some writing. i just want to be alone and relax. hostel life is wearing and drinking, skinny dipping and screaming every night can be fun, but you know, i´m 26. i´m dreaming a bit more of stability, another cat maybe, a job that i don´t hate. and i love traveling but i know that i´m just a big ol homebody. i miss cooking. last night at the hostel i made a pasta dish with chickpeas and everyone was like, wow. i love seeing all these new places, and i´m not complaining, but i just think being a bit older than others can be a bit strange.

03 July 2005

things that make me smile and laugh after they happened

yesterday, on our way to the sofia reina museum where guernica is:

jessica (a backpacker from florida): i´m really thirsty.
me: there´s a stand right here. you want to get a bottle of water here?
jessica: no i think i´ll just wait till we get to the museum and i´ll drink from the toilet.
(she meant bathroom and when i went to pee at the museum, i offered my stall to her before i went so she could sip. she went to the sink.)

trevor, me, new york city, last october
we´re wandering around soho and accidentally enter the prada store

trev looks at a tshirt. gasps. i can´t even afford the underwear.

we leave and trev turns to some people entering and goes, ´man, that store is bullshit, don´t bother.

loving spain

spain´s been fun. meeting lots of great travelers, people who are doing more than 'europe in 3 weeks--and i really feel like i saw everything.' right. people traveling for months, people questioning things. i met someone working for e&y and it reminded me of how far i am from my former life.

it feels great.

02 July 2005

pride in madrid

so i have of course found my spot as a fag hag across europe.

thurs night there´s a huge group of us in the lounge at the hostel, drinking forties (not me, ugh) and laughing too loud and saying, ¨what the hell should we do?¨so i meet this marine biologist who is actually straight but loves pride and we all go to the pride street party.


it´s like a huge ass party in the street with djs at these plazas and people stripping from their balconies and kissing bears and bars blasting spice girls and me finding my place amongst gay men. so fun. drank 6 euro sangrias (huge ass containers) and laughed and tripped and watched my friend try to pick up spanish ladies with his very limited capability. i think it´s hilarious that he´s doing this at pride.

and i´m having a blast, dancing and singing and meeting all these people from all over. and it occurs to me--this is once in my life. i miss trev and my life back home but you know what, i am not going to wish it away.