From December 14, 2008
I recently returned home from my week-long trip to Europe with my friend K. We had a great time and saw many interesting things, including many, many hookers, a church in the attic, a crazy flea/antiques market (puces!), chestnuts roasting over an open shopping cart, "coffee" shops, Post-Impressionist paintings, a statue of a little boy peeing that is supposedly world-renowned (um, I hadn't heard of it before), a huge atom sculpture with a restaurant inside, etc.
Plus, I now have a potential husband in every port that we visited, it appears. In Paris at the flea market, I was grabbed by the hand, kissed on it, and kissed on the cheek by a pseudo-French dude (I doubt that he had legal resident status there) who wanted me to take him home to America with me. He also kissed K's hand, too, so she didn't feel left out (he probably wanted to cover all of his bases). I declined to pack him in my suitcase and bring him home with me, but I did buy a pretty freakin' cool hooded sweatshirt there so I could fondly remember my "husband" (actually, I had planned to buy it anyway).
In Brussels, we were walking through an obnoxious restaurant quarter where the servers try to sweet talk people into the restaurants. We were just passing through to get to the other side of the road (just like the chicken jokes go) and a waiter opened his mouth to start his spiel. I didn't want him to waste his breath and I didn't want to hear it anyway, so I told him, "no thanks, we're not hungry." He cried out, "No, that's not what I want; I'm single!" K and I laughed really hard at that one.
Finally, in Amsterdam, K and I were walking around the Red Light District, which also conveniently hosts Chinatown. We were in search of rangoons for her because she had a mighty fierce craving for them. There were two really loud, rambunctious dudes walking in front of us. They were ebullient, exclaiming something and singing. One of the guys leaped into the air, grabbed my arm, and said something very happy. I hypothesized that he either had just experienced some very good luck (if you know what I mean) or was pleasantly surprised by the amount and variety of ladies of the night in that quarter. Either way, I really wanted no part of it as I am not part of the selection, but whatever.
In other words, it was an odd, but interesting trip.