11 october 2001
It's been some time since I've written in my journal, nearly a week. I'm back here in England.. Ox to be exact and just flew in this afternoon. The flight was OK, it wasn't a full plane so I got to stretch out on the middle row of four seats on the Boeing 747, it was nice. Earlier I was tired, but after I got off the bus from Heathrow to Ox I felt better. Once I lay down I know I'm going to crash. I also called Scott this evening and caught him just before he was going to play some squash. We'll hook up tomorrow after he gets off work and get silly. Anyway back to my French highlights. It's been over two weeks since I left the workcamp and these people are still really on my mind. There were really so many silly things that happened while we were there its incredible. One evening after consuming some sangria and staying up way too late I attempted to sleep in Gábor's bed. I was so obliterated I'm not certain what happened. I thought Gábor, Tak and I were sleeping on the couch together, but apparently that wasn't the case, it was just Gábor and I. Everyone took it very well and it really became a camp joke. As a result, when Tak was leaving the workcamp, his last night he decided to act like he was screwing Gábor. It was really funny but in the act Tak had dropped his wallet between me and Gábor. Tak had to get up early the next morning to catch his train, but didn't notice until he had been dropped at the train station that his wallet was missing! Poor guy, he had to walk all the way back to the castle, in a light rain, to find his wallet. Fortunately we found it in a few minutes and Tak was even more lucky to catch a ride to Grenoble. We found out later that on his way to Grenoble he realized he had forgotten his guitar at the other train station, oh man! Well, everything seems to have turned out OK for Tak because the reports are he located his guitar at the train station, but now his e-mail address is not working so we haven't been able to make sure everything turned out OK for him.
One Friday after working we hiked to this refuge in the mountains. It was a nice hike and really tough for me to keep up with kids of the lead pack, but somehow I managed. It was really nice up there right at the snow line. We chopped wood with a massively dull ax, the saw wasn't much better. The objective was to get warm.. that worked very well. It was really windy up there, but standing on the right side of the refuge it wasn't so bad. The stars were incredible. I spent some time outside singing songs to myself or Natasa until I got tired and went to bed.
After the workcamp most of the people were heading home or somewhere else. Natasa, Mai and I decided to hang out for a few days and camp together. We had a really good time . We made our way down to Briancon the first day. Unfortunately it was raining and there was no sun. We camped that first night in a nearby valley, bought some wine and had a really good time even though it was raining. The second day we visited a lake on our way to the next area. I took a little nap on some rocks in the sun, it was very relaxing. We decided to camp at this town called Upaix. We were really just out of town, but we could see the old village from where we were. The moon was out that evening and looking incredible. That night was warm and I jacked up my neck sleeping on some rocks. That next morning we took Mai to a train station and saw her off Sanna style by making funny faces at her on the train. Afterwards Natasa and I made our way to a supermarket and bought a buttload of food. We had a little picnic next to the road we were on and eventually drove around a little.
We made our way down the road a little and decided to check out train tickets and airline tickets. Fortunately we did because the flight I was going to take from Nice to Brussels was full. Instead I took a train from where Natasa and I camped to Brussels. During the third day of camping Natasa and I found a nice place to camp on this dirt road near this town called Fort something. During the day, after our walk through some French back country, we sat down and pretty much polished off a bottle of Pastis. It was a great conversation about the workcamp, relationships and a variety of other subjects. I still can't believe how all the volunteers got along so well and I think about the workcamp everyday, particularly the people.
After having a hellish trip back to the States, I had a really great time hanging out with my buddies. It was a non-stop party all week, beginning with my arrival evening where we spent some time at the Rubicon and then over to the Pine Cove. The second evening we headed out to Chico to party and spend the evening there, got majorly silly a La Sal's and Panamas. The next evening was the rehearsal dinner at the Old Spaghetti Factory and then the next night was the wedding! We got silly there, but the older folks out performed us younger people. I was drunk, but not really, really wasted. No one was really available for dancing so most of the evening I was just hanging out on the dance floor dancing with whomever was around me. Later on I got sick of that so I decided to lip sync to some music. At the end of the evening the female DJ was downstairs and I was asking her to play some Bob Marley and she asked to dance with me. We got cut short when Linda interrupted and she boogied back to her booth, oh well. I went back to the lip synching gig and we danced with each other from across the room. The wedding was over at 10:00pm so we all headed back to the hotel and bought some more beer and snacks and partied for a few more hours. It was fun! That afternoon we hung out with Bill and Tracey and watched them open gifts. Later on that evening I think we either crashed or watched movies, don't remember for sure. I think Tuesday or Monday we headed to Fanny Anne's and got a little silly there. My last evening we ended up over at Sudwerks. I didn't get too drunk that evening because I needed to pack and get up early for shaving, cleaning, research on the Internet, e-mailing, etc. Anyway, I've been sitting here in some bar here in Ox writing in my journal. I had planned to just go for a walk and then head back to the hostel, but I needed to really take a fucking piss so that's how I ended up here. A pint of Stella Artois was £2.90, they are pretty proud of that shit here for some reason. I'm going to head back to the hostel now and probably pass out.