I’m sitting on the train going to Florence. I was out in Milan last night. In Pisa for lunch, I’m spending the afternoon and night in Florence then catching an early train to Venice to spend tomorrow there. Then an overnighter back to Milan for the day and Madrid that night. I’m gonna be knackered by the time I get there. Athens, Milan, Pisa, Florence, Venice, Madrid in 4 days
After getting home a 3am on Tuesday morning I got up at 7 to pack. I had to be ready to leave at 830 so that Jordi could lock the door after me on the way out. I was feeling pretty average, my eyes were as bloodshot as I’d ever seen them, stupid cigarette smoke.
I went to a café to have some museli and a coffee. They tasted so good, the sun was out and I watched the Athenian people walking to work while I tapped away at my keyboard in between ignoring the various beggers that constantly approach you in Athens and all over Europe.
From there I walked up to Syntagma square where I could catch the train to the ferry and use the free wifi. The idea was to do a few things I had to do on the internet get on a train and get to the airport to sleep. I ended up using the wifi for a couple of hours, I still thought I could get a couple hours gonk in. Sitting in the square I picked a prime location.
I got out to the airport 2 hours before my flight but by the time I’d checked in and found the terminal I only had an hour before boarding started. I settled down and tried to sleep. There was no carpet anywhere, and the vinyl was hardly comfortable. I gave up on that and just read.
I thought I could get some winks on the flight. Again sleep evaded me, a combination of the dicks on the seat in front of me moving round all the time, bumpig my legs, which are used to being jammed into the seat in front, combined with the 8 or 9 year old yank bouncing around me, and the short unadjustable seat head rest made getting 40 down impossible. Again I resorted to reading. I figured I should probably read up about the places I was about to visit.
I got into Melpanassa airport, Milan, a bit before 5. The next step was to catch the train into town. The problem was I was at terminal 2 and the train left from terminal 1. I set off for the hike which I thought couldn’t be too far, but pretty soon, I was in the middle of nowhere and there was no signs. I went back to the terminal and caught the airport shuttle. This “short trip” took 15 minutes. The walk would have taken upwards of an hour.
After all the stuffing around, the bus to terminal 1, the train into Cardonna station and a quick metro ride, I finally got to thee station where I was meeting Brian. Brian’s one of the guys that I met on the pub crawl in Rome. He’s from Ohio and is studying in Milan.
He’s a funny guy, there’s so many stereotypes of yanks and he’s one of them, some of his vocab is a crack up. “Just kickin it” being amongst one of his favourite cliché yeankee phrases. We took a short tram ride backk to his, he’s staying in a massive student dorm on the outskirts of town. It’s pretty sweet, an old hotel, his room is a former disabled one too so it and the bathroom is huge.
Pretty quickly we shot off to the supermarket to grab stuff for tea, we had to leg it to get in before it closed. Just before we turned the corner to the front door, he told me to watch out for the bum, I couldn’t see any bums, but sure enough next to the door was dirty Italian bum. Brian explained, “I’ve been here for three months, and literally every time I’ve come here he’s been there asking for beer… I’ve bought him beer a couple of times, he’s harmless.”
Back at the dorm, Brian cooked and I made a bunch of sandwiches for the next leg of my adventure. One of his friends, another yank from Chicago joined us with one of his collegues, a girl from New Delhi who’d done an exchange at Melbourne uni a few years previously. This second yenak was funny too. He sounded just like Seth Rogan, and was constantly moving. Walking back and forth swinging his arms, pushing up his glasses while he laughed and talked, smart guy too, very well versed with the world and its goings on.
After we’d eaten the pasta we cooked we went downstairs to one of the kitchens to play beer pong. This american ritual is actually a lot of fun. It was myself and Brian verse Pat (the Chicago guy) and his friend shmeesha, I think, or something equally Indian.
Beer pong is pretty simple, you set up 10 cups in a triangle and pour a small amountof beer into each, then both your opponants tries to throw a ping pong ball from behind there cups at the other end of the table into your cups. If they get it in you drink the contents of the cup, before cleaning the pong ball in a cup of water and having your turn at there end.
There’s a heap of various rules too, like if it bounces back you get another shot, but from behind your back and if both you and your team mate get it in the same cup its, I dunno it was some sort of punishment.
It’s a real institution in the states, every area having it’s own variations on the game.
I had to snap shut my laptop shut and quit half way through explaining beer pong as I looked up and noticed the station I was supposed to be getting off at. Well I thought it was the station I was supposed to, but it was a station that sounded similar I guess it meant south Florence or something like that.
So yeah, beer pong. Um,,,, I guess that’s all there is to it really.
After a quick shower and some more food we headed back downstairs to play flippy cup. Another yankee drinking game this one I found a bit more fun. It’s a relay, you start with about 2 fingers of beer in your cup you drink that and then you have to sit your cup upright on the edge of the table and flip it over 180 degrees and have it land upside down, then the next person down the line.
Brian was leaving for Budapest early in the morning so he wasn’t really keen on a big one. However I was. Another girl I’d met in Rome, an aussie called Chrissy was there too. And she was going out with all her friends. I was going out in Milan with a group o 8 girls. The only downer was most of them were Aussies.
When I got back I tried calling Brian, he didn’t answer, I’d seen some guys from outside out on a balcony so I went to see if I could go and find them. I had no luck so just returned to Brians door. I went to sit against it but it opened, he’d just missed the call and opened the door. I stumbled in and grabbed the pillow he’d got for me, lay on the tiles and pulled my coat over me. It was 4am, my alarm was set for 5.