I was going to make this a destination piece, but figured the places I had in mind warranted their own blog posts. Yes, they’re that amazing. Maybe I’ll take those secrets to my grave. Maybe you’ll never find out. Maybe as I’m lying on my deathbed at 85 years old, I’ll beckon one of you forward, draw you close to my withered lips, and tell you everything with my last dying breaths. Or maybe I’ll post them next week.
So anyway, I was tagged by both Steph and Abbie to be a part of the Tripbase Blog Tag started by a fine lady named Katie. I give up the goods, and then tag five others to do the same. Eventually the tips get compiled into a big happy list to share with the community. Here goes.
1. Don’t Walk Barefoot in the Rain Through the Streets of Dublin
My first night in Dublin was the most memorable of my semester abroad. My friends and I participated in a pubcrawl led by a rowdy Aussie, partied in ten different bars and made a dozen new friends (although I know only two of them now). But by the end of the night, my shoes were chafing and I ditched them to go barefoot. Not even bums do this because a) the streets are filthy b) they’re smarter than I.
My lack of shoes plus other careless acts led to a violent case of gastroenteritis, which caused me to miss all my field trips for the week and destroyed the rest of my time in Ireland.
2. Don’t Eat the Space Cakes From the Dampkring Coffee Shop in Amsterdam
These space cakes are creamy. They are chocolatey, smooth and delicious. They are also the most deceiving jerks you’ll ever meet.
When in London, my roommate and I encountered a guy named Michael who told us all about his latest excursion to Amsterdam. I thought he was dreamy because he whipped out a journal and showed us his stoned scribbles — side effects of the potent cake. We vowed to try them.
I’m not into drugs. I never do them, and my body simply can’t handle it. But I was in Amsterdam, and among other questionable acts that weekend, space cakes didn’t seem so bad. The group I was with all ate one, and then we split up and agreed to meet later.
About twenty minutes later, the THC smacked me in the face while I was purchasing curry fries. One minute I was fine; the next, I was stumbling past canal after canal after canal, completely fried out of my mind. The sun was peeling off my skin in layers. I stood in the Anne Frank house, staring at the guy in front of me, believing him to be my friend from home and willing him to recognize me. Somehow I found my way back to the hostel, where I passed out at 9 p.m. and slept right through Amsterdam’s ridiculous gay pride weekend celebrations. The curry fries? Just as delicious coming back up.
**So this one is getting a lot of attention, but I didn’t mention the worst part. Where did I upchuck? Inside the Anne Frank house. Thankfully it happened in the public bathroom, but I had to shove a screaming Dutch lady out of the way and assault a teenager to get there. Hands down the most shameful thing I’ve ever done, and I fully paid my respects the next day.
3. Don’t Wear Leather Sandals, Ever
There are few things more embarrassing than walking into your hostel room to discover your gorgeous Australian male roommates are discussing the rancid odour emitting from your sandals in the corner. I swear it was only because a day earlier we had trekked through the marshlands of Old Harlow and I hadn’t been able to cleanse my footwear.