(THE LONDON CHRONICLES) #5: Fall Break in Paris and Amsterdam, “Choose Your Own Adventure Edition”

Travel blogs are cool because you often get to read about places you’ve never been to before. They suck for the same reason: Like diet soda or hot guys, travel blogs can be a tease. I recorded some videos during my week in Paris and Amsterdam, so hopefully they won’t annoy you and will instead make you feel like you’re right there with me. And get ready to make some decisions of your own along the way, too.

Let’s travel!

Once upon a late October, I went to Paris. I stayed at The Perfect Hotel, which was really just a shitty hostel that should’ve been called The Shitty Hostel. They served chocolate croissants and baguettes every morning, which were excellent until the end of the week after we’d eaten bread three times a day and had therefore developed a visual and emotional aversion to carbohydrates.

If you want to hear more reasons why the hostel sucked, scroll down to II. If you want to see a cool video of something lighting up like a pretty Christmas tree, scroll down to III.

II. There was no WiFi, the staff knew nothing, and an old man roamed the building in the early hours of the morning and made weird noises in the bathroom.

III.

Next, my guidebook told me that “when Paris sneezes, France catches the cold.” Basically this means Paris is a massive cultural capital and therefore has lots to offer its tourists other than opportunities to critique their hostels and to oogle the Eiffel Tower. We inevitably went to the Louvre because I was a tourist and tourists in Paris go to the Louvre. We saw the infamous Mona Lisa, which wasn’t as small as I was told it would be. This was disappointing until I noticed hoards of people crowding the portrait like teen girls (and their “straight” guy friends) do to J Biebs.

But my favorite part of my trip was the day trip I took to Versailles. Before continuing, watch the video below:

Seen the movie? Doesn’t matter. Point is: Versailles is breathtaking, and so is Marie Antoinette. Girl got what she wanted. Cake? Done. Shoes? Yup. Leisure area focusing on zoology and botany? Obviously. A village to provide country amusements for herself and her children? Um duh.

To see a video of Marie Antoinette’s estate, scroll down to IV. To see how the best thinking place ever, scroll down to V. And if you’re feeling really ballsy, scroll down to VI to discover a really cool random fact.

IV.

V.

VI. Clouds and a descending airplane were the inspirations for bubble wrap.

I took this video on my way out as a final emotional albeit tearless goodbye:

And to summarize the remainder of my trip: I saw other pretty gardens, saw a silent movie in a Chinese pagoda, searched for a flea market and ended up in the public library, and met an American named Jeremy who took us back to his apartment and showed us his awkwardly large collection of music from “Glee.” Paris was sexy. I hope you agree.

Key word(s) of the trip: bread, merci, bread, carbohydrates

Then I went to Amsterdam. The first thing you notice when you get to Amsterdam is how, in short, it doesn’t really feel real. It’s incredibly beautiful, filled with scenic canals and beautiful people who are probably high as literal kites.

I walked straight from the train station to our hostel called The Flying Pig. I’d heard it was a social hostel, which I believed when I walked in and saw people dancing and playing pool and doing shots. After screaming over the music to check myself in at reception, I journeyed through the club/hostel to my room. As I opened my door, I stumbled upon five straight bros talking about how they avoid certain parts of Texas because gay people roam there. Gay people! Yuck! I was going to fit right in. But then I went out with my friends and ate four plates of pasta and had chocolate pebbles in the morning and everything was OK.

We switched hostels the next day. This one was called Hotel Cosmos. The owners had a cat named Simba, but I didn’t really have any feelings toward her until she caught a mouse that was scurrying around our room. There was also Poop Man, who I named “Poop Man” after he made yucky noises while using the bathroom, and The Italy Cowgirls, the six girls with whom we shared a room. They had Southern accents and cared a lot about how their hairs looked every night.

To read a list of sites we visited, scroll down to VII. If you want to learn about the exact moment in which I transitioned into adulthood, scroll down to VIII. And to learn what “bears” are in the gay community, scroll down to IX.

VII. Anne Frank’s house, some street with a funny name, Van Gogh Museum, some other street with another funny name, Bulldog Café.

VIII. Walking in the Red Light District, I noticed girls standing in windows. They were nearly naked, which led me to believe they were selling themselves for—gulp—sex stuff. I’d heard of this on the Internet, but then I saw it in real life. I grew up.

IX. I ended up at a bar called Church. I walked in and a pack of bears (Definition: Heavy-set, hairy gay men.) were cruising all up on the half naked employees. I got scared and left.

Key word(s) of the trip: food, animals

Then I flew back to London on Sunday and woke up Monday morning to start my internship on a BBC science show called “Bang Goes the Theory.” When my coworkers asked how my trip was, I decided not to tell them about VIII and IX.

If you want to know what I learned during my first week at “Bang,” scroll up to VI.

Until next time,

Jonathan

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