From Bournemouth to Barcelona

4th August 2017

Stunningly rich in historical architecture and breathtaking scenery, Barcelona awaited me. The city was alive with sun-drenched heat, splendid Sangria was ready to be drunk by a drunk, and playful palm trees swaying in the summer breeze.

After my horrendous time in Paris, I was long overdue a pleasant holiday experience. Sadly, this new experience would be birthed from everyone’ last favorite ivory labyrinth maze, Gatwick Airport, at 7 in the morning.

It was a Thursday night. Having worked all day in the fascinating world of administration, I boarded the bus at a yawn-inducing 00:40. It was a 3.5 hour journey to Gatwick, and my legs were all kinds of timey-wimey, squishy-squashy trying to fit in the coach seat. I’d have been more comfortable commuting in a medieval pillory.
I drifted off and began to dream about Paella, but the bumpy potholes of the M27 had other ideas, and I kept waking up in a half asleep haze wondering why I was not in my comfy bed.

We arrived at the airport at the ungodly time of 4am. I had to teach myself how to walk again after my legs had lost feeling.
The aeroplane split the 8 of us up across the cabin and we landed in Spain in the early sunny morning. It was a fairly quiet journey despite Stags, Hens and screaming babies.

20638040_10203816525209315_3297557559352697919_n

We ventured forward until the great unknown of Barcelona. Unfortunately for us, tugging around our suitcases in the belting Spanish heat was fairly punishing.  Our Air B’n’b wasn’t open until 3pm, so we had to drag our physical and emotional baggage across the marina.
Our toes fell into disrepair as we awkwardly wandered around aimlessly in search of salvation of water and ice cream.  Sweat began to bead down on our pale English foreheads, our skin glistening. The Great British summer had lasted several days, and we were not used to the relentless humidity. We were about to reach breaking point until we stumbled upon a Tapas bar, inviting us in with the tantalizing scent of Cuttlefish, Patatas Bravas and Miniaturized Burgers.

20729198_1232799643495892_890225438907424983_n

Recharged, our next adventure was a food shopping trip. Sadly, fate had it in for us and the nearest Carrefour (the Spanish Asda) was an hour and 10 minutes walk, so we hopped onto the Metro instead to get some continental goodies for the next few days. We bought some chorizo, nectarines, cheeses, hams, bread and juice.

Our octogroup arrived at the house in a sweaty, hungry condition. With 8 mouths to feed, we devoured some snacks to keep our appetites at bay. We found cooking wasn’t easy- the main frying pan had the wrong coating and seemed to be kept purely for decoration, or simply to confuse hungry houseguests. We had a stove and a microwave, but no grill or oven.  Luckily, we managed to create a yummy, scrummy chorizo, tomato and rice mix, using a large pot, that satisfied the bellowing rumbling inside our tummys.

Despite being up and awake for an incredible amount of hours, sleep wasn’t easy. The night-time humidity kept us up, and with no air conditioning, I feel like I was being ovencooked like a Sunday Roast. We came up with the cunning plan of pouring cold bottled water onto the bedsheets, then wiggling around in them to help cool us down.

5th August 2017

Refreshed, we set off  to the Las Ramblas food market where I tried both ostrich and octopus. Despite the latter having spent it’s life ingesting more ink than a Biro, the octopus was surprisingly tasty.

20664941_10203817257987634_3917963511724221658_n

Also guzzled down were freshly made fruit smoothies, cakes and rare Spanish pastries. Aware there was pickpockets, I put a padlock around my bag zips to prevent cheeky Spanish fingers stealing my possessions.  Luckily, no one got anything pinched, despite a boy mischievously lurking around the market.

Refueled by tasty Spanish delicacies, we dabbled in some shopping and ventured toward the Sagrada Familia – an exquisite looking cathedral that is still being built 130 years in. Lazy builders huh?

20728372_1232810836828106_1886726005627723877_n
Dying for water, we stumbled into the Picasso Cafe. Grabbing some drinks from the fridge and buying them at the counter, we sat down to rest. However, it turned out these drinks were takeaway prices and we couldn’t drink these in the cafe, so we got asked to leave. For workers who deal with confused tourists all day, they were quite rude and warranted a minus star on Trip Advisor. I went to purchase a couple of drinks but having seen my group be ushered out, I decided to put one back. The waitress barked at me and would only let me buy both. I stood my ground, and another waitress let me pay for the one I wanted.

As we stood in the queue for the Sagrada, bathing in the heat, I decided to buy some ice-cold bottle water from a guy who was chanting “1 Euro 1 Euro 1 Euro”. The bottle had so much ice that it could sink the Titanic, but I didn’t care as it cooled me down in the humid sun.
We then went into the Sagrada where we got our bags checked. One security guard got funny over my friend wearing a top that exposed to much shoulder, despite most other tourists wearing a lot less. I was tempted to rip my shirt off in protest and show a bit of nipple. We fathomed it was due to being respectful in a religious place, despite allowing food, drink, selfies and cleavage inside.
Talking of which, the interior boasted some great looking emblematic design and technicolor windows, but I felt a bit dismayed we couldn’t explore any of the other levels. We also went to peruse the flea market, dodging confusing Spanish drivers on the way as we braved crossing the manic roads.

In the evening, a group of rowdy Spaniards boarded the Metro with us. Whoever decided on selling them a megaphone? I wondered.
In addition, a drunk man with his glasses hanging off his face staggered about attempting to fight and/or grope people. These attractions hadn’t been advertised on the ‘Top 10 things to Discover in Barcelona’ article I had read, so they were an unwelcome surprise.

As we survived our Metro experience, we indulged in Spain’s  most well know dish – Paella! I ordered the Meat Metze, that involved chewy chicken, oysters, prawns and calamari. Those bits were great, but the rice itself wasn’t too yummy.

20643363_10158994625990618_2273011997021728911_o.jpg

We then discovered our new vice – Sangria. After one sip, we were all hooked. From that point, we became Sangriaholics. The fruity zest of the red wine entwinned with delicious fruit sent my tastebuds into overdrive. It was cool, refreshing and for the first time in a while – I had found a drink that I can enjoy and get drunk on.

Many Sangrias and drunk Austin Powers impressions later, we headed off into the night to find the elusive Razmatazz nightclub, but upon entry, we found it was a cheeky €17 for entry. We were too exhausted to go elsewhere after a 40 minute trot, so we settled back to the house for the night.


6th August 2017

We kick-started this morning with sausages, bacon and egg, munching them down at the rooftop terrace. Our next destination was the free Picasso Museum.

Sadly, this venue only allowed a certain amount of visitors each day, so we missed out on a creative dabbling in classic artistic culture. Instead, we traversed off to the Montjuïc cable car.
A kind icecream vendor pointed us in the direction of it’s entrance. Half an hour walk away, we discovered that she had successfully pointed us in the opposite direction. With our feet still stinging after 2 days of bumbling around Barcelona, this was not good news for our toes.

20664853_10203816535609575_1076070234077419529_n.jpg

Weary and grumpy, we split into two groups. Our group deciding to give Paddle-boarding a go, but we were put off by the cheeky €50 deposit pricetag. Instead, we ventured off to a cafe for more Sangria and tapas, followed by a trip to the beach. What was intriguing was that Barcelona beach was man-made for the Olympics, and didn’t exist until 1992.

20746139_10158994625790618_7784751682028967727_o

Trying to change into trunks on the beach, without displaying a bit of nudity, isn’t the easiest idea, and involved a lot of awkwardness towel wiggling. Sam, cocooned in a giant fabric towel, did so, and was greeted by a group of Germans.
“Hey Naked Boy! You want to come party with us tonight?” They shouted at him as he awkwardly squirmed around.

As we finally managed to trunk up, we went into the cool Spanish sea. Standing on the shore, the waves ambushed us and we went flying over each other when the water smacked us. It was quite an exhilarating experience. The waves were so strong, we’d collide into the sand and often end up submerged.  The current then dragged us back in, facing us with another killer wave. My body was destroyed and soaked by the water, the taste of salt swashing around my mouth, but I gleefully kept going back in. It was the most fun I had in ages.

The beach was comprised of stones, so my swim shorts ingested about 50kg of small little pebbles. My pockets became laden with the buggers, and each time I walked, a short stream of little stones would tumble down my legs.

Spotting some amazing towel fabrics being sold across the beach, I thought I’d buy one to hang up in my bedroom. There were salesmen everywhere these, and others selling Mohitos, water and temporary tattoo’s. Knowing Sam got his fabric for €20, I was determined to find a bargain.
I asked if they were €10, and the men said there were €15. I said how about €12? They agreed. When I looked in my wallet, I grimaced, then said I only had €10, whilst I pretended to walk away in sadness. This technique let me get one for half the price at €10 as they called after me.

We arrived home so late that dinner  – Bolognese Columbo –  was served in midnight.  We played Irish Snap, and Bullshit, followed by some homemade Sangria.

7th August 2017

It was waterpark day! We were very much looking forward to this after three days of toe bashing walking around Barcelona!

20785818_1851877388161386_734514116219518869_o
Sadly the queue system to the park proved immensely difficult. There was a queue to get your ticket signed, another to get your ticket stamped, and another to get into the park. It was frustratingly bizarre, and I felt the Chuckle Brothers may have had a hand in it’s design.
After making it through the entrance, a group of people were trying to sell us hula necklaces!
We then crammed 8 people’s worth of stuff into one locker, and went to enjoy the flumes and slides. One particular one was a long yellow slope, which would spurt water into your face and eyes as you tumble down – great for contact lens wearers. It would often pull you to one side, and you’d fly down at an awkward angle and end up hip first into the water below.
We really enjoyed the bucket. A giant bucket would slowly fill up with water. After a few minutes of tense building, it would tip over and splash everyone who stood underneath it. Despite getting absolutely pelted by cool water, it was quite fun!

illa-fantasia

Another ride we tackled was an inflatable double ring down a flume, though we had to queue up at the end then carry the ring the hill to have a go! Why they didn’t have a conveyor belt, taking the rings back up the hill,  is beyond me. The walkways themselves were relentless underfoot – often slippy or stony, which would make walking around the park more terrifying than the rides themselves.

We all loved the wave machine, which lasted 5 minutes. After it finished, everyone would boo the staff dramatically, but they would just sit and smile. They were the Gods of the tides. We later played tag, sharks ‘n’ seaweed and did piggyback rides. I tried to do an underwater handstand, which proved quite difficult, so I ended up consuming chlorine and disenchantment.

My shoulders, despite 2 helpings of suntan lotion, developed a crispy red complexion due to the Barcelona heat. Despite the heat being double the temperature of Britain-Land, I failed to gain a tan, and merely came back with Lobster shoulders. After the park, we ascended an incredibly steep hill to enjoy the Gaudi architecture of the serene Park Guell.

20645494_10158994635520618_6430518218881095834_o

20622240_10203816526369344_4098418319386461173_n

 

A range of architecture awaited, we explored column pillars, towers, fairtytale houses and a multicolored mosaic salamander.
We discovered a few offensive messages, including ‘Tourists go home, ‘You are my misery,’ which were ultimately directed at us, although we were probably the most well-behaved tourist group I’ve ever known. The locals were fed up of overcrowding and crazy party goers, so in retaliation they were inflicting petty crimes against tourists. Such madness includedglueing locks and slashing tyres of travel coaches. Considering Spanish employment is incredibly low, and that tourism brings a much needed cash-injection to the Barcelona economy, it seemed quite controversial.

20689983_10158994621355618_2818185921911057977_o

We had planned a Sangria- filled fiesta after out trip to Guell, but we decided after such an epic day, we retired to charge up for a last day in Spain!

8th August 2017

So this was it. The last day. How is it that office life drags, yeah holidays fade in a second?

We spent the morning being domestic goddesses, cleaning up the Casa and doing the washing up.

What followed was clothes shopping, where I got to discover the latest Spanish fashion. This wasn’t exactly trendy nor wearable- some men’s jumpers were covered in straps, which was far too bondage-y for my liking.  We begrudgingly went to a trip to Barcelona’s finest make-up store. Which would have been a breeze if (a) I was a woman (b) I was a drag queen. Instead, me and my other bored compadre, Cameron, sat on a chair and read Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. S
Surprisingly, to get into the store, there was a slide which descended into the entrance! How fantastic – this should be made mandatory in all stores, oh, how I would love to helter-skelter down into Holland and Barrett.

Famished by shopping, we gorged on some tasty pastries… only to find a cheaper, tastier patisserie 3 minutes down the road.
With our bags repacked, we  waltzed to the airport, after wishing a tearful ‘adious’ to our Barcelona house. Security checks were a disaster – someone had planted a water bottle in Sam’s bag, Cerys had to take off her shoes multiple times, and I got my bottle opener taken away.

To get over my loss, I bit down into a tasty McDonald’s near the Duty Free. As usual, I was probably the only person in the establishment to order a salad. My theory is that if I pour the salad into the burger, making it bulge with greeny goodness, than the fatty badness will be neutered slightly. Or something. Well my stomach was convinced anyway!

The flight back was fairly smooth, thought it was slightly delayed. Our bus back was at 22:15, and we touched down in England at 21:35. Plenty of time right?

20690214_1232805386828651_6769579512287380261_o

Oh no. We were running out of time and fast.

The walkway from the plane to the exit of Gatwick was a never ending labyrinth vortex of horror. After every corner, there was another corridor. As time ticked down, I grabbed my suitcase and ran down the travelators, terminals and check ins.
We then got to passport control. On the right was UK/EU passports, the other side said UK border all passports. I wasn’t sure which one to go in, but my friend confirmed it was the left hand one.

Oh how wrong she was!

20 minutes in the queue, I stood there looking gormless. Our other friends – who had left the plane much later than us – were casually strolling into the other queue, which turned out to be the right one. I was in the queue for Americans and Russians. ублюдок.

I flipped into the right queue, only for the passport reader not to register with my brand spanking new passport (my old one had got lost in the post on the way to the Passport Office…)
At 22:08, the minutes were ticking away! I was ushered to another check-in desk, got through, rushed up to the next corridor, turned left, ran up the stairs, went out the arrivals area, turned right, went down in the lift and finally got to the coach with a couple of minutes to spare!

The journey back was a mere 3.5 hours, where I attempted to watch EastEnders (you’re not my mother…yes I am!) on my phone, but National Express Wi-Fi was temperamental at best!
Adious.

 

 

 


Other topics:
The Worst Job Ever
The Craziest Valentines Ever
How I Got Catfished By My Best Friend
How I Got Evicted
How To Break Your Heart. 
How To Save Money
How To Tackle Depression
Who Wet My Bed?

Currently breaking the Internet at Facebook | Instagram | Twitter |

I’m now on Youtube !

I’m raising money for charity and achieving goals at http://rupertsresolutions.tumblr.com

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Le Strip Club – My Worst Holiday Part 2

policejpg-jpg-size-custom-crop-1086x724


Continued from part 1:

I gulped.

“Uh oh,” fell out my lips.

My adventures in Paris hadn’t gone to plan – and now we found ourselves opposite several stern-looking riot police, who were glaring directly at us. Like a row of armour-plated goths on a hot August day.

I turned behind us, and this collective amount of French badassery were actually glaring at a protest! An ensemble of delirious looking French people, complete with a conga line, were making a very loud ruckus.
Apparently the French government were paying these workers the same money, but making them do a lot more work for it. The French weren’t to keen on these employment changes – some protests were getting violent about the prospect about having to work more than a 35 hour work week
I scoffed. Having worked 37.5 hours a week for the past year,  I felt like a superhero.

The protest seemed fun, with with so many colourful characters dancing around and making a cacophony of noise. However, my friend was striding off to go to the vegan cafe, not at all interested in the bubbling action that was going on.

After dinner, we into a mini Carre-Forre (Paris’s version of Tesco Metro, without the forthright Self-Service voice, tirade of gormless workers in blue shirts and horse meat (this is France though.)) I popped into McDonalds and my friend, a vegan, glared at me with menace. Things weren’t going well between us.

We thought maybe we could have some fun courtesy of the more wild avenues of Paris. We were staying a mere 5 minutes away from the Moulin Rouge, which encompassed their very own Red Light District.

live-in-france-moulin-rouge-paris-pigalle-red-light-district
We had a curious nose around some shops, advertised as being ‘naughty’. When I think of the word ‘naughty,’ I think of taking 3 Jaffa Cakes when offered, instead of the moral amount of 1.
Frenchy ‘naughty’ was something else. Imagine Ann Summers without the cute teasey marketing and sometimes awkward customer service. The things I saw on sale in thi shop will be forever ingrained in my memory.  Grannies in latex.  Dildos the size of bowling pins. Spiked chastity devices,
I also discovered what a bukkake is. It turns out it’s not a foreign cuisine.

There were several doors which led to enclosed dark, tiny rooms with TV units, headphones and seats.  Whatever videos were played in these mysterious booths, it couldn’t be any worse than enduring The One Show. 

My friend was trying on 9 inch killer heels in the window, their colour an offensively bright pink, a staggering €90. She was to busy galloping around the shop to notice a sinister looking sales assistant.

59fb7b9f564c9ac24421747ee62c6bc4

His eyes lit up like a cop spotting a donut. He remarked how beautiful she looked. He gawped lovingly, looking like he was about to drool a little.  He helped her wiggle a foot into a ghastly tartan coloured high heel.
I had a peruse at the till. There was a free ball gag available with every €50 spent. I backed away and almost tripped over a lengthy gimp suit.

I heard a jangle of a belt. The sales assistant appeared and was fastening up his trousers!
“Toilet,” he explained.
I wanted out. This was getting to creepy. And I’ve been to Boscombe.
Upon my joyous exit, we turned a corner to find ourselves down a  catacomb of strip joints. We spotted the aptly named Le String Club. Despite us both appreciating the female form, I still do not know why this was a good decision.

Untitled.png

As we walked through the doors,  a woman, attempting to look seductive, said to us,

You come in for ze dance? Just €10 each? 
Which drink do you want – whisky or beer?” 

We didn’t really fancy a drink. I’m an eat-out and drink tap water guy – how I survive our tough economic climate. We were ushered inside a room behind a dusty maroon curtain. Inhabited by about 20 chairs, we were the only ones there.
We were again asked ,’Whisky or Beer?’ We figured that the beverage offered came with her incoming dance, so we said Whisky. She returned, and plonked the two of the most watered down whiskies onto the table. I feel there was less alcohol in it than a can of shandy.

The dancer then slowly began to remove her clothes, to reveal a tangerine coloured bikini that didn’t leave much to the imagination. She prowled across the room like an excitable kitten. She then began to wither her body in an attempt to entice and enchant us, but it looked like she was awkwardly making out with the wall. I couldn’t get over the sheer amount of orange she was almost wearing.
The music suddenly stopped and then she sleeked away back to the entrance. Was I meant to clap? Or hit a golden buzzer?
We looked at each other, unsure what was going on. We drank the watered whiskies. Mr Jack Daniels would be disgusted.
Abruptly, an obese stripper appeared from the front and started to dance. I wasn’t sure what to look at, but I began to question my heterosexuality. I’d never seen so much silicone in my life. She spoke to us, her eyes hungry for Euro’s.

“€350 to come downstairs. You girlfriend and boyfriend?

You look maybe you can touch? We have bottle of champagne to share.

You come downstairs yeah and you get ze private dance?”

We declined, yet she continued to ask. The novelty of seeing a Strip Club had long since simmered. As we were about to leave, a burly man – that resembled an angry animal -appeared in the doorway. “You buy drinks now.”
I said, “We’re okay, we’ve had one already.”
Perplexed where he had come from, I we had not seen him before in the World’s tiniest Strip Club. He then opened a menu and shone a torch on the drinks page. “You got whisky.”

Glancing innocently at the menu illuminated by torchlight, it said €50. Each!
“100 Euro!” The bouncer demanded. He blocked the entrance door.

I had no money on me. We both were completely confused.  It turned out that the non-whiskies weren’t part of the entry fee.
“€100 for the two whisky,” he said, with the regimented look of a badly paid Algebra teacher who hates his class. He flicking the torch over the menu again, like he’d uncovered buried treasure.

“Uhh…. Do you take card?”
“No,  cash,” he said, menacingly.

My friend had the Euros’s in her purse to pay for both of our escapes. They let us leave with our bones intact. She asked me to buy her the awful pink shoes for my share of the rescue money.
I was really annoyed. My friend simply retorted that they have to make a living somehow! My pride had received a walloping over losing money on the most expensive drink ever. I felt like I needed more of it drown my sorrows, perhaps I should’ve gone back in and spent my life savings on a full round of water whisky.

I found reviews on Trip Advisor which said that customers had been threatened with weapons and violence.  Dancers would grab champagne from the bar, and start drinking whilst working. Later on the customer finds out he/she is to be charged for this, and a €400+ bill is produced. They’d end up being frogmarched to the cash point to pay up and be possibly hit with a baseball bat.
Turns out the whole area is a bit of a tourist trap, and links to the Mafia and police corruption were rife. So we were remarkably lucky compared to other tourists who made it home penniless and passportless. They are a few horror stories in the one star section here.

I managed to claw an hours sleep after this ordeal, which was all I was allowed due to an early morning flight. We stumbled into the opening hours of pre-sunrise France. It was quite nice to see the various different shops preparing for a busy day, with the smell of patisseries wafting into the crisp 5am air.

At the airport, the French didn’t like the fact I had a tiny tube of Toothpaste and some Lynx Delta spray in my bag. It was quite awkward to have my bag ransacked and probed, luckily I didn’t purchase the ball gag from the shop we went to yesterday.

I kissed my friend goodbye. I never saw her again. I ended up with the pink stiletto platform heels. They weren’t my size, so I sold them on eBay for £3.50.

I rejoiced at the National Express coach journey home. I had only received about 10 hours sleep over the previous 3 nights. I fell into a much-needed slumber and dreamt about all my bloody awful adventures in Paris.  Vote below 🙂



Read more:

The Craziest Valentines Ever
How I Got Catfished By My Best Friend
How I Got Evicted
How I Got My Heart Broken 
How To Save Money
How To Tackle Depression
Who Wet My Bed?

Currently breaking the Internet at Facebook | Instagram | Twitter |

I’m now on Youtube !

I’m raising money for charity and achieving goals at http://rupertsresolutions.tumblr.com

 

The Worst Holiday Ever!

“100 Euro! YOU PAY NOW!”

Woofed the obtuse bouncer. Blocking the entrance his appearance resembled an intolerant, but smartly-suited rhino.  He looked like he ate people for breakfast. This was all I needed, considering mere hours ago I was being chased underneath the Eiffel tower.

Suddenly, an obese version of Beyonce teetered away in her bright stilettos and slipped out behind him.

100 Euro! The bouncer barked once more, lowering his gaze at me with venomous menace.

Bouncer-1024x597

‘Fuckity Fuck,’ I thought. I had no money to escape!

How did I get into this situation? I shall explain….

My friend was a model, and had caught the attention of a rich photographer in Nice, who had invited her over for a photoshoot. All expenses paid, plane tickets, hotel – the works.

He was happy for her to bring a friend. Until he found it was a guy – me – your brunette hero.  He went berserk.
Oddly, he let her keep the money and the flights he’d paid for. She described it as having a free holiday using a Perv’s money. With such a romantic title, our trip was doomed from the start.

I made the awful decision to drink copious amount of Southern Belle the night before. (my bar – Sound Circus – can’t afford Southern Comfort.) Slightly wiser than attempting a handstand whilst smothered in butter, but still not a wise move.

After salvaging 2 hours asleep, I shuffled Walking Dead style into the ghastly early hours of metropolitan Dorset of 5am! This is the milkman’s time. Not mine!

IMG_3350.JPG

Suitcase in tow, I saw Bournemouth’s dirty side. Neanderthals were prowling outside WHSmith, picking up cigarette butts and muttering to themselves. These angels of the night were putting inch-long butts to their lips, desperate for a nicotine hit. They looked at me, like startled deer about to collide with a incoming Ford Transit Van. Luckily my baggage could make a potential weapon if required.

I arrived at the bus station. The nearby speakers were blurting out bagpipe music to annoy Bournemouth’s extensive homeless population. Bournemouth Council really are sweethearts aren’t they?

It was pleasant at first hearing Scotland’s finest musical ensemble, but after about 15 minutes, I wanted to stuff a bagpipe into someone’s larynx.

I met up with my friend. She snuggled into me on the epic coach journey to Gatwick. My 6″2 frame isn’t meant for travelling, so I was absolutely entangled and squashed in the coach seats.
We arrived at the airport, I heard my limbs let out a sigh of relief. As we showed our plane tickets to the attendant, she furrowed her brow. Instead of saying anything, she continued furrowing.

Ummm? I sputtered
There’s a technical difficulty with the plane you were travelling on.

What was wrong with it… the left falange? As the plane was immobilised – It meant our only option was to go to Paris. Our very short holiday had been castrated.
As we arrived at the security lounge, there was a bubbling mass of people and beeps. My pocket was bulging with my passport, tickets, phone, hope, keys and loose change. I strode through the scanner, hoping not to beep.

BEEP!

Bugger.
I had to take my belt off and raise my hands in the air, doing the motion of Y in the YMCA song. My unbelted trousers were slipping, and my surrendering hands couldn’t hold them up.
As I got scanned, a bead of sweat dripped down my forehead. Not because they would find anything, but in case my jeans crashed to my shoes and Gatwick Airport would get a glorious look at my tiger print underwear. Although I was wearing such an illustrious number, my jeans stuck to my hips and nothing was revealed.
Everything was okay beep-wise. No latex glove required.

We then tucked into some Yo! Sushi in the terminal.
Different coloured dishes were revolving around us, with each colour having it’s own individual price. I settled on cold beef, chicken, shredded cabbage and dumplings. A little girl opposite us made cute biting motions every time a bowl came past.
Whilst capturing my food, I came up with an excellent idea. Instead of bowls of cold vegetables, why not have bowls of cakes and high-calorie desserts? It would be incredible. The name would be ‘Yo! Fatti.’ I think it could really catch on – watch out Dragon’s Den.

As we boarded, our last-minute flight change meant we were sitting separately down opposite ends of the plane. I was sat next to a woman who was also in a complicated friends non-relationship with benefits.
Last nights drinks threatened to come back. She was probably concerned by my coloured face as we rumbled into take off. I felt nauseous and I gripped on tight to the chair rest.

I put on a 1990’s megamix to help me through the journey. The velvety tones of Peter Andre’s Mysterious Girl made the touch down a lot smoother, and actually, far sexier.

peterandre-mysteriousgirl

‘You’re welcome, Rupert.’ – Peter

We landed in France –  Charles De Gaulle Airport, then off to the town of Opera.
I had purchased shoes in Topman to walk in, I wish I hadn’t. They had been perfectly comfortable whilst catwalking around TopMan, but were now slowly destroying my feet. The toe referred to by my mother as ‘this little piggy went to market’ was in pain. I was able to purchase some €4 Transformer plasters. Megatron, however, couldn’t save me.

I became frustrated, confused and probably still hungover. I wanted to relax, eat frog’s legs and wear an onion necklace, but we had no idea how to get to the elusive hotel.  I was tempted to offer my unloved TopMan shoes as a reward for directions.

We discovered the Paris Metro.  I was not prepared for the mere 10 seconds you have to jump on before the train doors close.
I leapt on, my body almost in, then the doors closed onto me and smashed my arm. I tried to pull the doors apart but they began to close in on me again. I managed to jump back onto the platform to escape its clutches. The French passengers did not even look at me. They probably thought I was a typical English merde.
I should have read the bunny stickers that were placed everywhere in each train.

new_serge

Rubbing my injured arm, I was confused and worn out.  Exhausted after hours of walking, I wanted to cry. My friend was unsympathetic to our plights. I started to believe I had picked up my Mother’s curse of going on holiday with someone then realizing it was a bad idea!

After finally arriving at  Hôtel de Paris Montmartre, we went out for an Indian to feed our empty stomachs. Neither of us fancied snails, horse and fromage.
I was relieved I wouldn’t have to decipher the French language – I knew what tikka, bhuna and dopiaza was. My masala was accompanied with a cheesy naan bread (French cheese is one gooey stringy monster) and aubergine pakoras.

A salesman burst into the restaurant approaching people with roses, asking if they wanted one for their special madame in their life, mobbing each table.
I felt a little awkward, should I get one for my bene-friend? I had noticed she had a love bite on the back of her neck, so I wasn’t sure what was going on between us anymore. Or possibly with someone else.
The salesman disappeared, not a single rose sold. I figured it was another weird French thing. What’s next? Mobbing patrons with Daffodils in Nandos?

The waiter provided us with a mix of coloured sweet seeds, which tasted of candy.
Puts our British cool, hard mints to shame.

20160403_215149.jpg

We walked back to the hotel, narrowly avoiding colliding with rude French traffic. French drivers were absolute mentalists, speed limits were fictional to them.  Motorbikes had free reign of the road and pavement. I’d be gallivanting down the sidewalk and suddenly there would be a huge bike vibrating into the back of me.

I messaged a friend on things to do in France and she said kiss an extremely attractive person (the women were exceedingly pretty) and buy a lot of baguettes. I think option B is the more likely as I didn’t want to get arrested.
The ladies here did have a certain Je Ne Sais Quoi. 

Next was the Eiffel Tower. Despite it being massive and pointy, quite similar to something else (snigger, snigger), we managed to lose it in the catacomb of Parisian streets. It took us twenty minutes to find it again, and with me whining about my destroyed feet, it was probably not entertaining for anyone involved.
Someone was entertained – a fat man was stumbling around the Paris River with a bottle of wine, singing to himself.
I then noticed the Paris Attacks of 2015 had really left their mark.

2585

There was several SWAT team vans full of armoured cops. Despite this, they were mostly asleep, eating or looking at Facebook. Cops with handguns were on patrol, and army folks came equipped with AK-47s.
Whenever I see such plentiful weaponry, I do wonder why the world has not invented a powerful tranquilizer dart that has the same speed as a bullet.

As we approached the Eiffel, a random guy approached us with an expression of glee and menace

12957488_10156660622320618_4863566419864818135_o.jpg
He wouldn’t leave us alone until we shook his hand. I swallowed my pride and awkwardly offered a flighty fist pump. As we waddled off, he followed on after us.

ALLO ALLO
ALLOOOOOooooo

I turned back and he was walking after us. We managed to merge into the crowds to escape.
It turned out the people of France are even more weird than the people of Boscombe. There were menacing looking sellers holding selfie sticks and miniature Eiffel towers, who genuinely looked like they wanted to kill people.
Other strangers swooped and demand donations to mysterious things. It got to the point I spoke in a made-up language (using words such as Noisk) to avoid anybody trying to communicate with me.

Unfortunately, as we left, Mr ALLOOOOO appeared near us and I could hear him beckoning us again with his scary greeting.  We walked quickly. By the time I dared look behind me, he had disappeared once more.

I calmed myself with an authentic croque-monseuir , which curbed my hungry soul. Magnifique 🙂 My friend wanted to go to Jim Morrison and Oscar Wilde’s graves at the Père Lachaise Cemetery. She claimed it would give her inner peace. Maybe she should try Yoga.
Sadly, our clocks hadn’t adjusted to French time, and we got there an hour to late. This turned out to be a blessing knowing the real time, or we’d have missed tomorrow’s flights. Big iron doors prevented us from entry, so my friend never found the inner peace she was looking for.

We decided to go to a Vegan restaurant near Republique (not my choosing, just my sissy friend’s dietary wishes :p) which was a few Metro stops away. As we arrived into the town we were blocked by a swarm of French Police…

3300596100000578-3531576-image-a-3_1460219210749

Click here for part 2


Read more:

The Craziest Valentines Ever
How I Got Catfished By My Best Friend
How I Got Evicted
How I Got My Heart Broken 
How To Save Money
How To Tackle Depression
Who Wet My Bed?

Currently breaking the Internet at Facebook | Instagram | Twitter |

I’m now on Youtube !

I’m raising money for charity and achieving goals at http://rupertsresolutions.tumblr.com