Using space cakes as a flotation device, we drifted into Switzerland in the early evening. Once grounded, we realized that we had entered a world not seen since The Sound of Music (or National Lampoon’s European Vacation, if you are really down). I’m talking rolling green hills, the Alps, waterfalls inside mountains, little Swiss cottages”¦ the whole nine. City-dwellers be warned; Interlaken is the Mayberry of Europe. Modern conveniences like ATMs are few and far between. For example, our hostel had the only bar in town. Acting on a tip from friends, Brocephus and I swooped up a couple of cheap 24-packs to sell to the rubes outside the bar. We quickly made our money back and were able to get drunk on the dime of others. Score one for the yanks!
If Switzerland seemed like a cleansing spring shower, then Rome was like walking into a filthy steam room (thankfully, without the naked fat guys). The city is covered with ruins in various stages of decay. Some sites were truly awe inspiring, but many had suffered the ravages of time and took serious imagination to appreciate (legalizing drugs in Italy may help with this). Fortunately, Rome has more than solitary columns and decapitated statues to enjoy.
The food easily makes up for anything Rome lacks. Gorge yourself on the four Ps: pizza, panini, pasta and pastry. Of course, don’t forget to finish off with a quadruple scoop of gelato (do it, fat boy!). You would think with all this food around, loose clothes would be clutch, but the Italians beg to differ. Prepare yourself for tight-ass jeans, booty shorts, Capri pants and body-clinging shirts”¦ and that’s just the dudes.
If eating and people watching isn’t your thing, maybe you should check the tube. The first show that caught my attention was Commissario Rex. Rex was a tough cop who didn’t take guff from anyone. Unfortunately, Rex was also a dog. Needing more Turner and less Hooch, I moved on to a game show. I still don’t understand the premise entirely, but it started off sort of like Double Dare. The contestants were a 15-year-old boy and a woman in her early 30s with huge tits, which she pretty much rubbed in the boy’s face at every opportunity. In addition to competing in physical challenges and pop culture trivia, the contestants dressed up like rock stars and performed covers with a live band. After 30 minutes, the contestants were forgotten and the show inexplicably switched gears to a body-type showdown. A runway was brought out and the game became fat vs. skinny, tall vs. short and, of course, big tits vs. no tits. With this last piece of the Italian culture puzzle now in place, we decided it was time to move on to Paris.
Another city, another airport”¦ we were seasoned vets. So far, we hadn’t had any trouble; but our luck was about to change. Easyjet requires you to check in at least 40 minutes before takeoff. Brocephus and I arrived at the airport with just minutes to spare. The concierge was nice enough to ignore us for about five minutes while she pretended to do shit on her computer. Of course this meant that we had now missed the 40-minute cut-off for check in. Thanks to Easyjet’s awesome customer service, we had to pay full price for a later flight and got to enjoy the airport’s luxurious metal chairs for 12 hours (yay!).
The Easyjet bitch slap at the airport cut our three-day stay in Paris to two, leaving a lot of ground to cover with not much time to do it. As if that wasn’t bad enough, Brocephus had begun speaking some hybrid form of Italian/Spanish, thoroughly confusing everyone we encountered. Despite the language barrier, we managed to see, eat and drink our way through much of the city without incident. We even made a concerted effort to get a Royale with Cheese, but France’s love for McDonald’s proved to be a serious barrier. Leaving France burgerless and exhausted, we headed back to the States.
After the longest travel day of our lives, we settled in at Brocephus’ apartment for a little shut-eye. Signaling the end of the trip, Brocephus woke up the next morning and abruptly vomited on the floor. What a fitting end to three weeks of excess.