Friday, November 22, 2013

If we had blogs in 1998: Study tour

I’m an awful person. Or is this kind of juvenile drama normal? Throwing a fit because I didn’t get in the hotel I wanted? Brooding because a friend wants to hang out with her secret boyfriend? Nuremberg, Prague, Budapest, wonder I was so tired this week. Could explain some of the crankiness.

The latest from my 1997-1998 study abroad journal. As always, spelling, grammatical, factual, and emotional errors have been preserved from the original journal. Today’s comments are in red.
20 Avril 1998

This whole study tour has sucked so far. Break was ok but I’ve realized I don’t much care to have Steph as a friend. She tried to force me to stay in a hostel because I missed the 11:59. Ryan was nice enough to let me stay there. I slept in Brad’s bed. Friday we went to Pub 13 and I bummed three pints of Guinness off of people. [Saw an awesome Irish band Wednesday the night before we left.] The bus ride to Nurenburg Yeah, I spelled it “Nurenburg” went quickly as we watched Never Ending Story and Ransom.

25 Arvil 1998

Saturday in Nurenburg. Went to the Volkfest and ate a ton. Went with Molly, Erika, & Ellie. The rest decided that they didn’t want to be around Molly so left. We stayed at the Volkfest for an hour, then walked around Nurnburg, which is an awesome city despite its Neonazi population. Um. Just because some hooligans spray paint swastikas on walls doesn’t mean the entire population are Nazis. Good lord. And a city is “awesome” even if it’s full of Nazis? Ignorant much? I love Germany. I wish I would have spent more time here. There’s that grammatical construction again. Ugh. Not that I would trade any weekend, but I just never realized how much I loved it until Strasbourg. I was getting sick by then. Erika, Emily, Julia, & Molly were in the room.

Sunday on the bus watched Goldeneye. We got no food for 12 hours. Emmanuel the bus driver never stopped for a bathroom break. We had three + hour long stints at times. We got to Prague & immediately went on a city tour. It was too long. The hostel sucked. There were no shower curtains. The beds were like sheets on plywood. It reminded me of girl scout camp. Andrea & Matt were in our room when we arrived. I guess they had a good time in Italy. Molly had to stay in our room again because of the problem, whatever the hell that was. I do not know what "the problem" was, but it sounds pretty funny now.

We saw the concert right after the city tour Eine Kleine Nacht Musik & Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. It was good but not memorable. It was an awesome setting though. I do vaguely remember the setting, but I don't have to remember the music - those are two of the most overplayed pieces in the entire history of music. Vivaldi's "Spring" in particular makes me want to throw stones at new baby birds. Then we went for great cheap food. Andrea, Matt, Ellie, Erika, & Molly separated from the group & ate cheap. I had pork, red cabbage, dumplings, apple streudel, & good beer. We walked around a bit then headed for home. By this time I felt like shit.

Monday found it hard to get out of bed. Monday was also Terezin day. It was mostly a POW camp, most Jews were deported to Auschwitz. Then the museum came next. The pictures were ok, THE PICTURES WERE OK??? They were drawn by children who were forced into the camp! but all we did was see a ten minute film, look at them, fail to find something decent to eat, More concerned about food than what happened at a concentration camp? then left for the speaker who was owner of the Globe. A former Miami student. He was a bad speaker. Really dull. Typical Miami student type, & still hasn’t grown up. After that, we had free time. It was Andrea, Matt, Erika, & Molly. We ate at some restaurant with a seven dollar cover. What a ripoff. The food was good though. We sort of split up after that. Andrea, Matt, & I went to an Irish Pub because we couldn’t find anything else. I ended up cashing guilders & Swiss francs for beer money. When I came back from the bathroom, I swear I saw Matt & Andrea holding hands. I don’t know though. Good lord. Why did I care so much???

Tuesday morning brought a long bus ride to Nitra, Slovakia. I felt like shit again. I had to sit by Erika downstairs & we had volume wars. I could barely hear my headphones at times. Another pissy day. We went to hear about the ORVA project though I still haven’t much of an idea what it is. We went around with Slovakian students. Andrea & Matt hogged my student. I just sat there like a dumb ass.We met with university students from the school there. I remember it being somewhat awkward, but don't recall why, except I think that it wasn't very well organized and there was a language barrier.

Budapest Parliament Building, taken by me but not on this particular trip
When we left, we headed for Budapest with only ice cream to hold us till we got there after 9pm & actually found a place to eat (McDonald’s) after a long walk. We were all in pissy moods & everyone ate a lot. We got an awesome hotel. Me & Andrea were going to room together, but there were so many groups of twos that I got stuck with Molly & Erika and Andrea chose to go with Holly & Nikki. I thought we’d have problems with having a tv in the room, but there were none. Good sleep, not enough to keep me awake for the speakers. I don’t even have a  clue what the second one was talking about. I couldn’t hear or understand her. This is funny to me. I don't recall that day or either of those speakers. Went to Burger King for lunch. Went on a bus tour of Budapest. Stopped at some monument Heroes Square and also an awesome church St. Stephen's and a panoramic view of the city Fisherman's Bastion & the parliament building. Then we walked around the city centre looking for an outfit for Molly to wear to the ball. It was annoying. The best part of the trip was the ballet at the Budapest Opera House with the presidents of both Hungary & Greece. We got to see Giselle - it was a great choice by our professor. That was after cramps from hell & Wendy’s & Molly’s taxi. I guess that was the point of just being absolutely annoyed with her. I don’t know why I didn’t want to take a cab. We got there the same time we would have by walking. But then we got to the Opera House, which was amazing inside. The ballet was awesome, the highlight of the week. Giz got pickpocketed before the show, Rosemary was sick after Amy McKay had tonselitus, but the ballet was awesome. Sounds like everyone was doing SO well...

Afterwards, I sort of waited around for Matt & Andrea to see what they were going to do, but I felt extremely uncomfortable around them like they wanted me to go away, but I also felt unwanted around the other group. The feeling has yet to leave. I ended up going with Andrea, Matt, & Molly to Marsall’s down the street from our hotel, where I had French fries & good beer. Slept well but not enough. In the morning we were on the road to Wien. We got a little extra sleep but the bus ride was long, especially after we had a detour, wait, that was to Salzburg, nevermind.

When we got to Wien, we all had to eat chicken & coke at McDonald’s. Then we found our two separate hotels. I was going to have to stay at the other one, but I dug my bag out & almost was crying because everyone I knew was in this hostel. Good lord, this is juvenile. You can skip over the rest of this paragraph to miss all of the non-dramatic drama. Then Andrea wanted to switch to be in the same hotel as Matt. That really made me mad. I even said meanly to her that she would rather be at the other one, meaning to hurt. But it was ridiculous. And I’m still mad about it, even though me & her shared a room and talked half the night about her & Matt. Erika was there at first though she wanted me out. I threw a fit about it. We tried to drag out some secretes. I just want to be trusted to tell things to. Why is it that after the first week I felt like I had known Andrea all my life? And now she has become one of the best friends I've ever known, & only after three months of knowing each other. Too bad this is all over soon. I wish I hadn't been so tired so I could have had a better conversation with her. But that was all after a pointless lecture at the Celtes & awesome dinner (gas included). HUH? Great beer - Gosser, sauerkraut, potatoes, sausage. But Matt pulled this little stunt. First it started off with a comment by me, a joke to Andrea that hurt her. For that I am sorry. But I started off the discussion, and Matt obviously heard, for he started sulking, though nothing bad was said. Andrea went off to look for the restaurant she was told about in the chocolate store (Mozart balls - red - best chocolate ever). Instead of talking to us, he just wandered off. Then he said he was just going to go home after dinner, so Andrea took him to coffee. She asked me to go, which of course I wasn't going to do. So I got stuck with Erika, Julia, & Emily. We toured Vienna's ring. It was very beautiful at night. (Julia's "what do you know about romance" comment pissed me off.) We finally went back to our separate hotels. I shared a room with Andrea. Erika was there. We had a conversation about Matt & forced Andrea to tell us some things. It was just as we already knew. After Erika left Andrea talked to me for awhile. I was extremely tired and wish I could've stayed awake longer. Friday morning came too soon, but I'd rather stay up & talk to Andrea any day and be tired in the morning. We had to listen to a lecture at the Celtes again, though it was so hard to keep my eyes open. We had great sandwiches for lunch, however, and giant cans of Coke. Andrea & Matt stayed in Wien, while most of us went to Salzburg.

Why, oh why, didn't I write more about what I was seeing??? I referred to the Heroes Monument as "some monument" and didn't even bother to get the name of the church. I talked about nothing in Vienna or Prague! Nothing! You'd think I got nothing out of this whole experience! What a shame!

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