An Average Day: Part 2 of 8

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A fictional day comprised from parts of many non-fictional days while I was backpacking in Europe

Relatively refreshed, I head down to the common area of the hostel to inspect the “Free Breakfast!” With a reoccurring disappointment, I’m reminded that in no country on the planet do people eat as big of a pre-noon meal as Americans. I gather an array of stale and flakey carbohydrates onto my plate as well as a little slab of butter and a spoonful of overly sweetened jam. For a drink I fill one of the hostel’s shot sized glasses with a pulpy mixture of orange juice, check to see if anyone’s watching, sip the chunks through my teeth drinking it down, then refill the glass again and find a seat.

‘Can you pass me the sugar?’
‘Sure, here you go.’
‘Where are you from?’


‘Vancouver.’
‘I was there last summer for a couple of days. Clean city.’
‘Yea, Vancouver is nice. Where are you from?’
‘The States, Northeast. Rhode Island. Have you heard of it?’
‘Oh yea, my sister’s boyfriend is from New York.’
‘No, that’s Long Island. How about Providence?’
’Oh yea! “The Family Guy!”’
‘Hah, yea.’
‘So did you just get here?’
‘Yea, a few days ago.’
‘Oh wow!’
‘How about you?’
‘Yesterday morning’.
‘Cool. Hey, what day is it?’
’Wednesday!’
‘Oh thanks. So how long are you staying for?’
‘We’re leaving today. We’ve got to be in Paris tomorrow and Berlin by Friday because we fly home early Saturday morning.’
‘Oh wow, that’s fast huh? Who’s “we”?’
‘I’m with twenty seven of my friends. They’re all upstairs sleeping…late night last night. We met these locals and they took us…’

The Canadian’s face becomes doubled and a voice inside wins my attention… “Hey, it’s me, your metabolism. I’ve been good to you all these years, you know this. If you keep making me work so hard on all this bread I swear I’m going to take a vacation.”

I plop the last piece of bread down on my plate, then smile, nod, refocus my vision and chuckle myself back into the conversation.

‘Hah…oh, wow. That’s great.’
‘Yea it was great. I love hanging out with locals, you know? ’
‘Yea true.’
Yea.
‘Well I’ve got to get going. Travel well.’

Back upstairs, I open the dorm door and wade through the thick stale air, past sleeping white mounds and over to my locker. I’m as quiet as I can be pulling out my wallet and daypack, which I unzip slowly and check for my camera, laptop, iPod, journal, book and a deck of cards. It’s all there and in the places it should be. Everything has a place. I thought it was a bit over the top after couple months and tried to relax my system, but then for a week straight I lost something practically every day.

Taking short inhalations through my mouth as to not smell what an hour ago was somehow not a problem to breathe deeply, I head back outside. The thought of that turns my stomach for a moment, but once I take in the fresher hallway air, I forget all about it.

3 Thoughts on “An Average Day: Part 2 of 8”

  1. Jeff Says:

    ya what happened to the van? I hope it is ok… You decide you need a bit more social interaction?

  2. -eric- Says:

    Maybe you should stick to the chronological entry style John, I think some of your readers brains are in knots after the mind blowing “written a while back” posts! I know you’re a physics major and all, but people just can’t seem to fathom your abstractness.

    I’m a jerk…..

  3. UT Says:

    Even though you won’t admit it, you really are a people person.

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