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World on a Shoestring A beginnger's guide to traveling around the world...as written by beginners...

Rome Again Rome Again Jiggity Jig

NETHERLANDS | Wednesday, 15 August 2007 | Views [1854] | Comments [4]

Feeling the burden of living on a budget weighing heavily on our shoulders (and not heavily enough in our stomachs) Gen and I decided it was time for a bit of indulgence. Exacerbating this was our difficulty relinquishing our grip on gluttony after a rather spoiling visit with my parents in Greece. With our wallets filled with, money to be used in fulfilling these insatiable wants, we parted ways with my parents with our new travel buddy, my brother, and great expectations.

It was the best of times, not the worst of times.

From Patras; Greece, Zac, Gen, and I hopped on a boat headed for Bari, Italy with tickets for our own cabin and enough wine to make us each swear off wine forever, or 24 hours, whichever came first. After a pleasant 16 hours aboard; cruising the Adriatic we found ourselves docking in Italy.

With little more than a passing glance at Bari, we quickly caught a train and swiftly made our way to Rome. It was right around this time that Gen began feeling what we all wrote off as ill effects of the previous night's potations...the hairless dog that bit her, as it were. But this was one dog that wouldn't let go, making the journey through Italy all the more agonizing for her. After what seemed to be her dozenth trip to the bathroom to kowtow to the porcelain gods, we admitted that there may be more wrong here than we had originally assume. But with few resources other than Alka-Seltzer to ease her ailing stomach, we nursed her with flat cola and waited for the nausea to abate. And pass it did...

Upon our arrival in Rome, Zac and I deposited Gen in a bed in our hotel and left to scour the city for food to bring back, ate and retired for the night. The following day we all caught up on a bit of shut eye by sleeping in, and with Gen feeling a bit better, ventured into the city to retrieve our friend Kofi who had just co,e dozen fro, Florence where he'd just spent a week honing his craft. This being his first visit to Rome, we did all the requisite sightseeing we could wrangle in an afternoon and then treated ourselves to a nice Italian meal at an outdoor restaurant near our hotel, all the while Gen dragging ass behind us, complaining of nausea. Being the selfish bastard that I am, I mostly ignored her cries or attributed them to an overdeveloped sense of drama. In fact, the only time I paid them any mind was when she couldn't finish her meal benefiting me and my good friend, my stomach.

But, lo, I would eat my selfish ways promptly...and then enthusiastically vomit them up. No sooner did we return to our room than was my punishment delivered upon me for my shortsightedness and my stomach began to bubble bubble toil and trouble. Within an hour I was in the bathroom, putting both the toilet and the beday to good use as receptacles as my body gave its all in simultaneously evacuating both my stomach and my bowels from what felt like every available orifice. And this is where I would spend the remainder of my night, all the while my friends in the next room listening to the faint whisper of my repeated apologies to Gen.

The next morning, my stomach having successfully been turned inside out the night before, the four of us set out on our cross continent journey. With only four days of vacation for both Zac and Kofi, we decided our time would be best spent partying away our brain cells in Amsterdam. But getting from Rome to Amsterdam in a day is no small feet. So we made our way to the bus stop that would take us to the airport, the first leg of our journey, and before boarding the bus, I was s,art enough to over exert myself walking up the stairs and thus put on a dazzling demonstration of my upchuck abilities for all the early morning commuters to see...several times...lucky them. And just as my intestinal pyrotechnics gave their grand finale, Zac leaned over to Kofi, announcing his departure and made haste to the bathroom, the lucky victim number three.

But being the MEN we are, we stuck it through and arrived at the airport in time to catch our flight with RyanAir to Brussels.

Having a ticket on a flight with RyanAir is an interesting experience. To save the customer money, RyanAir offers super discounted (as low as 1 Euro Cent) tickets on no frills flights. And they mean no frills: no complimentary beverages, complimentary headphones, or even those fun little bags of peanuts. Oh, and no assigned seats and no organized boarding procedure, an equation whose product equals ,ad dash for the plane. When the doors to the bus from the terminal to the plane open, all bets are off and there are no friends; every man for himself.
1.5 hours later e landed and hightailed it out of Brussels for Amsterdam where we introduced the newcomers to Camping Zeeburg and whence the hilarity ensued.

We spent three lazy days and nights taking in the sights, sounds, smells, and smiles of Amsterdam. Our visit to Amsterdam was everything you think it was and more, but hat much more exciting because Gen and I were returning and experiencing this familiar city with newcomers. We were also fortunate, while indulging some of our appetites, to make some new friends there who ended up being hell bent on indulging some of their own appetites in the red light district and bring us down with them...even treating Zac to his first lap dance.

Three days in Amsterdam (and three nights of camping in the pouring rain and sleeping in a puddle) will surely exhaust the heartiest of partiers and we are no exception.

We left Amsterdam the way we came feeling better but dumber, back to Rome, with a brief stopover in Brussels' famous comic book museum, a thrilling treat for our two visitors. And what misadventure would be complete without some kind of SNAFU? Subway was kind enough to provide Zac with this trip's super SNAFU:

Instead of paying for a night's accommodation, the four of us decided we'd rather just sleep at the airport in Rome and early the next morning we bid farewell to our guests, confident that they would never forget what they could still remember of Amsterdam.

Tags: Party time



Okay so you have been pretty much everywhere in the world save Atlantis, good luck finding that. But have you ever seen a man carrying a 8 foot albino python in Philadelphia? I bet you havent.

It might not be world travel, but for those burdened by being attached to bills, debt and being "grown-up" it will have to do.

Continue to have fun, and comeback safe.

Genny if need be, I am sure you could sell Jake to any Roman bath house.

  Alex Aug 16, 2007 1:18 AM


Jake and Genny!
Wazz up! Needless to say I am a putrid shade of green with envy that you two are STILL traveling, though it makes for a great conversation to tell everyone we have cool friends who are seeing the world and reporting back to us. We are counting down till your return, we'll have the fridge stocked! Genny-is it true about Spanish men? Just kidding Jake...
Cheers! Meg

  Meghan Muller Aug 17, 2007 10:48 AM


I once went to Amsterdam.

I packed my suitcase full of sandwiches. It made sense at the time. I never ate them. Not one.

Keep up the good work.

  Ben Aug 24, 2007 1:24 AM


Funny... I don't REMEMBER ever having visited in Amsterdam... It may explain this tattoo I have now...

  Kofi Outlaw Aug 28, 2007 11:26 AM

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