Tag Archives: travel

Hacked

19 Mar

doc

A few weeks ago, I got hacked.

Not cyber-hacked. (That was my mother. She started tweeting out messages about Beyoncé’s weight gain…which made sense to me because my mom is in the one-percent of people who really are not Beyoncé fans. But even still – that would have been way harsh.)

I mean “hacked” like Hacksaw Ridge hacked. (No. Just kidding. I don’t. That’s way too aggressive an analogy for what I’m about to describe. I just wanted to sound cinema-fluent and current.)

About a month ago, I went to the dermatological surgeon for a “brief,” “routine” procedure.

“You have a weird mole,” my dermatologist told me. “It’s probably nothing! It’s probably less than nothing! In fact, it’s probably not even there! This has probably all been a dream!”

She’s a nice dermatologist, and she has really nice shoes. But she was dead wrong about this one.

One biopsy later and BOOM: you have “problematic skin cells.” Not cancerous, or even pre-cancerous cells – just “problematic” ones.

The way I see it, problematic cells are like problematic children: if left unattended, they may grow up to be problematic adults – people who don’t recycle, or who start bar fights, or who only talk to their parents when they need money (to be bailed out of jail).

If you remove problematic cells, then you’re at a much lower risk for developing pre-cancer, or cancer. (I’m not suggesting we kill off problematic children. I’m suggesting we nip them in the bud, with a firm talking to, or a good, thorough PowerPoint on recycling.)

As I understood it, I was going to this dermatological surgeon to remove a few “problematic cells.”

THIS IS WHY YOU DON’T TALK IN METAPHORS, PEOPLE!!!

I showed up to the doctor five minutes late, but chipper. It was the Friday of a long weekend! I was home for the weekend! My parents were taking me to Papa Razzi, where the breadsticks are firm and the focaccia bread is moist. So I’d be a few cells fewer…what’s the big deal? What could go wrong?

Would you like to know what the surgeon said to me, as soon as I walked into the “operating room”?

“I’m really sorry about this,” he said. “It’s not going to be pretty.”

What wasn’t going to be pretty?

“It’s a tough area to heal. You’re probably going to have a pretty big scar. Again, I’m sorry.”

The surgeon was preemptively apologizing to me. Save an oral surgery procedure and one rogue colonoscopy, I don’t have much experience with surgery (*knock on wood*). But I knew this was not a good opening line.

I was nervous, and he could tell. As he numbed my leg, I tried to answer his questions about my life and my studies. I tried to tell myself that scars build character and besides, wouldn’t I rather have a scar over “problematic” cells?

The male nurse came in to assist. He was cute. I noticed. My toenails were unpolished and kind of gross-looking. I worried he’d noticed. He probably had.

I’ll spare you the details of this procedure, but let me say this: I am NOT a fan of surgery. I nearly passed out, peed, barfed, and cried, all at the same time. I think the doctor could tell I was about to up and run, because he started asking me if I watched…WAIT FOR IT… The Bachelor.

I must’ve lit up like a Christmas tree, because he looked like he’d struck gold. We talked about this season. I pretended I was too good to “fall into the trap” of the show. (I crossed my fingers underneath my butt because of course I’m not too good to “fall into the trap” – I jump in, every season, head first!)

When all was said and done, they mandated me not to exercise for two weeks (no problem, gentlemen) and to clean my stitches. HA! You think I’m taking that bandage off? Think again!

The day after my “surgery,” my grandmother showed up at my house with a present. Not a stuffed animal, or some soup, but…a “leg condom.”

What is a leg condom? Why does my grandmother have a leg condom? Who coined the term, “leg condom”?

These are all very good questions.

A “leg condom” is a big, plastic stocking that you wear over your leg when you cannot wet it in the shower. It cuts off your circulation with a big rubber-band and makes it impossible to wash from the knee-down. It also creates a safety hazard in the shower because it is very slippery against a porcelain tub.

My grandmother has a leg condom because she, too, had a skin procedure that mandated she keep the area dry.

The term “leg condom” was invented by my grandmother. It was the topic of conversation at at least two family dinner parties that I can recall. And now, it had re-entered my life with a vengeance.

After a long explanation about leg condom usage, and a lot of weird looks from my poor father, we had a cup of tea and my grandmother was on her way.

I received several texts that day, asking how the “L.C.” had worked out in the shower, and if everything had stayed dry. These texts were sent under the assumption that I am someone who showers over a long-weekend. Am I? You’ll never know; a lady never reveals her bi-weekend shower rituals.

Two weeks passed quickly, and I again found myself at my dermatological surgeon’s office. I waited 45-minutes for him to take a snip to my stitches and say, “Looks great! All done!” Couldn’t I have done this myself? I have scissors. I know how to congratulate myself. I’d make a fabulous dermatological surgeon.

I told the doctor that I was to leave on a trip to Guatemala the following morning. He told me to be careful and to avoid any intense activity.

I said, lightheartedly, “Ok, but, it’s not like the scar is going to split open, right?”

“That’s exactly what might happen,” he said, before patting me on the shoulder and walking out.

I panicked to my mother. I told her I’d never be able to pose for leg photographs again. I worried about my leg modeling career. I worried about my potential marathon career. I feared I’d never have an article written about me, titled, “Leg Model Wins Marathon.” I also worried I’d do something rash on my trip to Guatemala, like sky diving or bungee jumping, which would cause my leg to explode and me to be evacuated in a dramatic helicopter scene.

….

And so, we reach the present-day. Guatemala has come and gone, and while I thought my scar would be my biggest health concern during the trip, it was not. Nothing split open or necessitated medical evacuation.

There were, however, some *other* medical issues.

There’s nothing like a little Dengue Fever to distract yourself from an overreaction to a minor skin procedure and its scar.

Did I actually contract Dengue Fever? Of course not. Did I convince myself I had? Of course.

What our group learned in Guatemala is that one day, you’ll feel fine – you’ll sip strawberry daiquiris and eat side lettuce and wonder why Guatemala gets such a bad rap for its food safety because my God, this food is delicious!

The next day, you’ll feel like an army of trolls is trying to make its way out of your insides. You’ll run five minutes down a lakeside trail to use a nearby public restroom because both toilets in the house where you’re staying will be clogged.

You’ll walk back to the house, feeling “off,” but convinced there’s nothing a little oatmeal and some fresh air won’t solve.

You’ll spend your day in the sun, riding on boats between villages, trying to not act sick. You may even eat an entire Hawaiian pizza, just to prove to yourself how totally not sick you feel.

Then, you’ll get home, and you’ll get in bed with a fever. You’ll ache and feel cold and then hot. You’ll notice a petit bug bite on your cheek. You’ll remember that one time your friend was sick with Dengue Fever. You’ll wonder if Guatemala has a Dengue risk. Because you’ll – unfortunately – have Wi-Fi, you’ll Google such questions, and will discover that yes, Guatemala is, in fact, a Dengue country. What harm could a little Dengue research do to a feverish young woman? Much. Much harm.

You’ll read the symptoms for Dengue and decide that you, too, have been stricken by the D. You’ll text your mom and make her panic. You’ll tell your roommate that the incubation period for Dengue is “three to 15 days,” and that you’ll surely be bedridden for the remainder of the trip. She’ll walk in on you wearing a dramatic mosquito net as a veil, and will laugh openly in your face. You’ll consider what to eat for your last supper. You’ll ask her to bring you back a full fish meal, with cake for dessert, from the group dinner you’ll miss. She’ll do so, kindly, and you won’t touch a bit because you, of course, have the Dengue.

The next morning, much to your surprise, you’ll wake up feeling totally fine. You won’t have a fever. You won’t even have a stomach ache. You’ll smell like someone who sweat through a mosquito net all night, but other than that, you’ll be back to normal.

And so, here is my recommendation: if something, such as a big leg scar, makes you feel at-risk and slightly uncomfortable, simply convince yourself you have a far worse issue plaguing you. Act as dramatic as possible and get everyone around you to worry. Do not consider alternative causes for your discomfort. Let your imagination run wild.

That, my friends, is what I call, “getting some perspective.”

 

 

 

 

 

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Business or Pleasure?

16 Aug

Following directions.

It’s not that important, right? Left, right, up, down, “No parking,” “Sophie, please don’t grab my food with your hands,” “Seriously, this steak is mine,” “No, you can’t have my autographed poster of Miss Piggy” etc. etc. Do they really matter? Are they really that important? Can’t we all just do whatever we want, whenever we want?

Apparently, some people subscribe to this reasoning.

The other week, I went to the French consulate in Boston to apply for a visa because I will be moving there for six months in the fall.

The amount of time and dedication I put into preparing my application materials was probably more intense and involved than the amount of time and dedication I will put into preparing for childbirth.

Mostly because storks these days are super efficient, so I assume there will be very little to do on my end.

But also because NOTHING gets me more rattled than paperwork. (Except for rodents in my living space and when people pronounce “espresso” like “expresso” and Meryl Streep-related insults and the smell of a moldy house on a rainy day and when I jump out of the ocean and my towel is full of sand and when I have to enter/exit parking garages and can’t figure out how to pay for my ticket and when they don’t have skim milk as an option at coffee stations and when they look at you like you’re deranged if you ask for skim milk and when people cough and the wind from their cough touches my skin.)

Filling out paperwork necessitates two skills that I seriously lack: neat handwriting and attention to detail.

Which is why I painstakingly went through MULTIPLE COPIES of all of the forms I needed, and asked anyone in my family who would listen if “this ‘A’ looks slightly crooked” or if “that ‘T’ looks more like a lowercase ‘l’ with a roof over its head than a ‘T’.”

Many hours and scores of trees later, I’d finished my paperwork and had packaged it up in a tightly wrapped, waterproof Ziploc bag. (I’d also managed to drive all of my family members to their rooms, so they wouldn’t have to listen to my questions any longer.)

The consulate’s instructions were very specific: make an appointment, get there on time, and do NOT forget any of your application materials.

I acted like I was about to enter into battle…or take the SATs.

I set my alarm early enough so I’d have ample time to get ready. I ate a protein-filled breakfast. (Major life events are wonderful excuses to shove your face with “protein-laden” goodies). I reviewed my materials. I was ready.

I got to the consulate fifteen minutes early and was pleased to realize I had plenty of time to use the bathroom.

The bathroom was locked.

Good, I thought. No time for distractions.

The security guard at the front of the office checked me off the list, and I proceeded to the waiting room.

Every other time I’ve needed a visa, I’d been traveling through a school or a program, and so I’d never actually gone to the consulate. I thought I’d be marched to a solitary confinement chamber and forced to undergo a rigorous interview with lots of intense questions, like “What are your intentions with our country?” and “How many shrooms had you ingested before you posed for this heinous visa application photo??”

But no. When I entered the office, I was surprised to find about twelve other people waiting for their appointments, and absolutely no line or sense of order.

I sat down to a nice looking girl and her dad. She was nineteen and bubbly and full of life (bleh…just kidding…) and was preparing to study abroad. Comparatively, I felt like I was one step removed from playing bocce at the old age home.

We chatted for a while to pass the time.

And then, out of nowhere, came a disgruntled businessman, named Mr. Chen.

Mr. Chen marched into the waiting room and didn’t think to inquire about the process or the order of operations. Instead, he walked right up to the counter and shoved his materials at the poor employee.

“Sir,” said the woman behind the desk, “You’re missing a few key things. I cannot accept your materials until you have all parts of the application.”

“WHAT,” said Mr. Chen. “I’m just trying to build a business overseas! Why do I need materials?”

(Oh, just trying to build a business?? We thought you said, “just trying to smuggle a eucalyptus”! Okay, our bad, you definitely don’t need a complete visa application for business creation overseas. That’s no biggie.)

“Mr. Chen, I need photos of you that aren’t blurry,” the woman explained.

(What’s wrong with these? What, you won’t accept this Instagram photo I took of myself doing a gargoyle keg stand in Key Largo last year?)

“I also need your latest pay stub as proof of your employment,” she elaborated.

“I don’t have a pay stub,” Mr. Chen yelled. “I’m not going to France to sightsee! I’m building a business opportunity!”

(A businessman without a pay stub: the best kind of businessman.)

“I understand what you’re saying Mr. Chen, but you’ll need to return to the Consulate with a complete application.”

“WHAT?! I need to RETURN? Can’t I just send my secretary?”

(Sure, if your secretary has the same identification and fingerprints as you, go ahead.)

“No, I’m sorry, you’ll need to return in person.”

“If I have to return in person, then I just won’t go to France to pursue this business opportunity! I just won’t go!”

(Okay, sounds good?)

“Let me speak with the consular!” Mr. Chen demanded.

At this point, a French man emerged from behind the glass and managed to calm Mr. Chen down a bit. It was agreed that he could send via email his pay stub and photos and send his secretary the following week to pick up the visa.

(Six months later, a headline reads: “Man found wandering the streets of Paris, carrying only what appeared to be a Valencia-filtered selfie of himself doing a keg stand, and a miscellaneous pay stub for $0.00. When questioned, the man yelled, ‘I AM HERE FOR BUSINESS, NOT PLEASURE,’ and then scurried away.”)

On the other side of the waiting room stood a young man, wearing silk pants and an American Flag t-shirt. He’d walked in during Mr. Chen’s rant, and had been pacing for several minutes.

“What, there’s some kinda wait in here?” he inquired.

“Yes, we’ve all been waiting,” explained the girl next to me.

The man looked really disgruntled, and then proceeded to mumble – I think – about his failings as a musical artist. (Or, I guess he could have been some kind of stage performer, like a ventriloquist or a stripper. Unclear.)

“Shiiiitttt, man, I’ve got a show to do! I haven’t performed in months! Shiiit, you know?”

No, actually, we didn’t.

At this point, the woman in the corner – who was juggling a newborn and a five-year old – allowed her older daughter to grab a lollipop from the consulate’s candy bowl.

Piano Man perked up. (I see you, Piano Man.)

“Yo,” he asked the girl, “are there any more pops in there?”

She shook her head.

“You sure? Like, there aren’t any more?”

(The Spanish Inquisition of lollipops had begun.)

She shook her head. And then, in the most badass, defiant move of all time, she threw her lollipop into the garbage.

Piano man looked like someone had spilled syrup all over his keys. (Or all over his dummy, if we’re going with the ventriloquist theory.)

“I might have to go into the trash for that,” he considered, aloud. At which point, the girl’s mom called her over to her lap.

Piano Man clearly hadn’t protein-fueled for his visit, and was hangry enough to consider dumpster diving at the consulate.

Not surprisingly, Piano Man had also forgotten some key aspects to his application (like his PASSPORT) and so ended up leaving the office prematurely.

When it was my turn to approach the bench, the woman looked at me like she was afraid that I, too, would yell about business opportunities and missed musical/ventriloquist/erotic dance performances.

Not to toot my own horn, but I totally NAILED my paperwork. She stamped my forms and told me I could return to pick up my visa the following week. (A deadline about which I totally forgot, so hopefully they’re holding my visa for me!)

It was such a change of pace for me – getting somewhere on time, having all of my belongings organized, experiencing a relatively seamless administrative experience…is this how normal people function??

I thought I had turned over a new leaf!

Until I reached the parking garage…and wandered around, lost, for several minutes, wondering how I could pay and then – when I finally had paid – driving down the up ramp instead of up, wondering if I would ever, ever figure out how to exit.

When one door opens, another…stays closed.

Pictionary, Horses, and Aggressive Running: A Sunday in Lyon

9 Mar

After spending the majority of last weekend hanging out…

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…riding horses…

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…and taking awesome selfies…

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…we decided it was probably time to make some moves.

So, Dylan, Selby, Alex and I decided to go to Lyon, France for a day trip!

Ah, France. The beauty. The charm. The mystique…the kind of place where anything is possible.

EXCEPT if it’s a Sunday. If it’s a Sunday, France wants absolutely NOTHING to do with you.

We learned this the hard way.

When we were sitting around on Saturday night drinking beer and discussing our trip to Lyon, it all sounded so easy.

Yes of course we’ll be able to wake up for an 11:29AM train. Yes of course we’ll remember that “waking up for an 11:29AM train” is not the same as waking up at 11:29AM. Yes of course the city will welcome us with open arms and a cute little elderly couple will take us into their home and cook us a feast, which we’ll enjoy by the fire as we hear stories about “the grandkids” and “the way things used to be.” It was going to be an epic day.

Flash forward about nine hours, as we realized we had twenty minutes to make a fifteen minute commute, buy tickets, and get on a train. Things were a tad less rosy. Still slightly pink, but with an encroaching shade of grey.

As we were walking to the bus stop, an old woman stopped Alex and said, “You are American? There is the church. I will pray for you.”

This was an excellent start.

The old lady must have followed through, though, because after some aggressive jogging and dramatic yelling, we collapsed in a heap on the train for two fun-filled hours of Pictionary: Train Edition.

(It turns out that Pictionary is my Achilles heel. Just Pictionary, though. I’m perfect by all other standards. But, if you draw me a picture of a Tweety bird flying around a computer, I will in fact say “BIRD COMPUTER” instead of “Twitter.” That’s just where my mind goes.)

Pictionary is a very exhausting game, so when we got to Lyon two hours later, we were STARVING. The pound of chocolate that Alex had brought for the ride was decimated, but it wasn’t enough. And, having not had enough time to drink ANY coffee, we were ABOUT TO DIE.

We got off the train and decided to walk in search of food. Most seasoned travelers tend to lead with their stomachs.

The restaurant on the corner – which looked really quaint and classically “French” – was closed.

But that’s okay! We can just continue for a while and find…

…another closed restaurant.

Hmm. Well maybe only the bistros are closed! I guess we don’t need to eat a hamburger right now. We could settle for some kebab.

Well, the lights in the kebab place are off… but you know, sometimes restaurant owners turn off the lights to create “mood lighting” and what not. This tiny kebab shack is probably trying to do just that! I’m suuuureee there’s something open on this stretch of street.

THERE IS NOTHING OPEN ON THIS STRETCH OF STREET.

Fifteen minutes and several “stretches” later, there was STILL no food. There were no open doors. There were no people. Just the sound of our aching stomachs and the kind, encouraging words of Dylan as he said, “We are completely, 100 percent screwed. Nothing is open. We may never eat again. We should call it a day.”

Things were really looking bleak.

But wait! What is that glimmering beacon of hope down the street? COULD IT BE…a train station food court???

Yes. Yes it was.

We ran in like a bunch of deranged, ravenous bears. We couldn’t speak. We couldn’t think. I forgot how to speak French. Selby asked me what a sign said and it might as well have been a “bird computer,” for all the sense it was making to me.

Through some miracle, we were able to settle on a tiny pizza chain that had pizza and a salad bar.

The pizza smelled like horse. We thought the meat on it was tuna, but deep down, we knew it was straight up horse meat.  

As for the salad…never mind.

After feeling slightly rejuvenated, we walked into McDonald’s, where a nice man made us lattes and gave us directions to the Old Town, where we “may or may not have luck finding open stores and restaurants.”

Maybe it was the coffee, or maybe it was the handwritten directions, but something pushed us in the right direction.

When we emerged from the Métro, we saw this:

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Believe you me, I have NEVER been – and probably NEVER will be again –SO happy to see a Ferris wheel in my ENTIRE life. A Ferris wheel meant civilization. And people. And, with a little bit of luck and some fairy dust, maybe less horse meat.

Right next to the Ferris wheel was a tourist info office. It was a miracle. The nice lady told us where to go and how to get there and all of that other vital information that we’d cleverly decided to ignore at the outset of our trip. 

With her sage advice, we managed to make our way to the Old Town, where we saw amazing sights, like this:

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And the Eiffel Tower:

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I managed to make several “Hey, there’s the Eiffel Tower!” jokes while we were there.  I’d say they landed.

After a long day and a cake of fear frosted with adrenaline, we managed to end the day on a high note, with some mussels and some gelato and some crepes…

…followed by a prompt OH SHIT moment as we realized we had twenty minutes to make a fifteen minute commute, buy tickets, and get on a train.

And you know what? We made it.

After all, what’s life without a sprinkle of drama and a lot of stress-induced sweat?

I guess I wouldn’t know.

 

 

 

When in Berlin…

26 Feb

So I finally realized why having 3,996 UNREAD emails in your inbox is probably not the best idea…

Let’s start from the beginning.

After a long week of final exams, I was planning on going to Berlin for the weekend!

Visions of wiener schnitzel and beer danced in my head. I’d researched Berlin sights and attractions (AKA bars) and had confirmed with my hostel. 

I’d even practiced the two expressions I know how to say in German: “Two beers for the ladies, please,” and “I’d like an ice cream, please.” Both of which are crucial to my existence.

I. Was. Ready.

On Thursday afternoon, I decided I should probably check to make sure I’d received a confirmation email for my flight…that’s what responsible, adult travelers do, right?

Hmm, which one of the nearly 4,000 emails could be a confirmation email?

Not seeing it…not seeing it…

And then…

I saw it.

Only it wasn’t a “confirmation” email – it was an email from the sketchy travel agency with which I’d booked the ticket, and they were telling me my reservation had been CANCELLED because I hadn’t responded to an alleged EMAIL that they’d allegedly SENT ME, which was supposed to CONFIRM MY BOOKING.

When I called the travel agency at “1-800-help I’m screwed,” the lady told me it would be 800 euros to book a new ticket.

EIGHT. ZERO. ZERO.

At this point, I emitted what can only be described as a deranged-peacock-mates-with-lion-mates-with-parrot and rides on a roller coaster kind of sound. 

Alex and Selby gave me a “No, Johnny, don’t eat the paste!” kind of look.

We were quite the scene on that street. 

When we got home, they helped me find a relatively cheap flight for the following day.

Which was a long process because I tend to get overwhelmed by flight booking and usually end up panicking and picking the worst price at an awful time.

To combat this, I forced Selby to read and re-read the details of my flight SIX TIMES to make sure I wasn’t making any mistakes…

I also had her find my flight times AND pick the flight I would take because, after my little “confirmation boo boo,” I barely trusted myself to wield a spoon, let alone make travel plans.

The next day was my day of departure.

Because of my booking error, I had to head to Berlin alone. I’ve traveled alone before. And I am – although I may not seem it 98% + 2% of the time – a competent human being.

And yet, I was pretty nervous about flying to Berlin on my own and getting to the hostel by myself at 11pm on a Friday night.

(Yes, that was the “convenient” time Selby and I had chosen. But you have to pick your battles in life…you get what you get and you don’t get upset.)

I think my friends were probably more nervous for me than I was for myself. They all came to my room as I was prepping to leave and helped me go through mental checklists.

“Do you have underwear?”

“Are you wearing underwear?”

“Do you have your wallet?”

“Are you wearing shoes?”

I think the caliber of their questions was really indicative of how they perceive my competence level…

As for my shoes, those broke right as I was putting them on to leave for the airport. Yup, one of the zippers just popped right off!

Luckily, Selby – whom we now refer to as “Sophie’s Keeper” – was able to reattach it in a way that would function if I “bent it to the left and turned my foot slightly to the right” every time I took my boot off.

I never would get a chance to attempt this brilliant maneuver because the minute I left the house, the zipper popped off and fell into a sewer… 

I laughed loudly to myself before wondering how I would be able to take off my boot…

But that was neither here nor there. I had a plane to catch!

The trip was seamless.

Well, not seamless…there were some seams. Like how I fell asleep when they came around with the drinks, or how I sat next to a grown man who got all miffed every time I peeked over at his Pokémon drawings. (Not a joke.)

But I made it over in one piece! 

When I finally got to the hostel, I headed for my room, which consisted of 50 beds in a dark, moist basement, lit by red ceiling lights. I would later refer to it as the “Red Light District.” I would also later borrow some random girl’s shower shoes and be woken up by a group of farting Turkish men on the other side of my bunk bed.

Again, you get what you get and you don’t get upset.

When I went up to the lobby, Matt and Dylan were waiting for me, which was very nice of them. Friends who wait for you when there is a bar calling at 11pm on a Friday night are worth keeping around. 

Friends who let you wander onto random trains at 5am, however, are probably NOT worth keeping around.

Who would do such a thing, you ask?

Well, it’s a long story.

Actually, it’s not that long, so I’ll tell it.

On the way home from the bar on Friday night, Matt and Dylan’s friend from Tufts (also named Dylan) were walking ahead, while Dylan and I were walking behind.

(Matt and Dylan are really fast walkers, and I was weighed down by the 1.5 kebab sandwiches I’d just taken to my mouth like a hydroelectric boat taking in water, so I was in no position to walk quickly.)

But that was okay, because at least Dylan was walking with me!

And that’s when I saw his red vest disappear into a random train and ride away. 

Ohhhh no.

I quickly caught up to Matt and other Dylan to tell them what had happened.

But I was kind of out of breath, so all I could muster was “LOST HIM ON TRAIN!”

What proceeded was typical of most exchanges that occur on this trip. I got all worried and paranoid and went on and on about how “he could be anywhere” and insisted that we have the hostel notify the police of our “missing and most likely sleeping friend,” while Matt shook his head, told me I have a “flair for the dramatic,” and reasoned that everything would work out.

Which it did. He was right. 

Dylan had managed to get on the only train that rides through the city all night long, and so – once he woke up from his slumber – he found his way back to the hostel.

What a great inaugural evening in Berlin!

The rest of the weekend was just as fun, but luckily, less worrisome – we ate sausage, went to museums, took a walking tour, and ate more kebab!

I also managed to make a bunch of “don’t get on the train, Dylan” jokes, which were a part of my post-trauma comedic relief regimen.

Okay, maybe I do have a flair for the dramatic…

But as they say, when in Berlin…

Hmm I’m actually not really sure what they say about Berlin. So I think I’ll make my own saying:

When in Berlin, only get on a train if there are at least 1.5 kebabs waiting for you at the end of the line.

There. I think that sums it up.

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