Sex and Insanity in a Haunted Hotel

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Part One: The Reunion

Two weeks ago I reconnected with someone from my past; a girl I loved once, very much. I hadn’t planned on it – I was simply sat alone one lunchtime by the canal near Admiralsbrücke watching the swans, enjoying the last warmth of the autumn sun, when I was clobbered out of nowhere by a brutal realisation. I owed this girl an apology. A really, really big apology. Maya tore me to ribbons, without a doubt, but her actions were the fallout of the explosion of my own idiocy. Continue reading

Drink, Play, Loathe: Day 7.5, Venice After Dark

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Drink, Play, Loathe: Day 7, Venice by Sunlight

It’s 11pm and my last night in Venice has been spent in the hostel bar, after a lonesome meal by the canal on a candlelit terrace, where the waiter felt sorry for me and gave me free wine, with a wink. I was extremely humbled and grateful until the bill came and I found I’d been given free wine but charged 4 euros for a glass of tap water. Bastardo.

I was hoping to meet the Toronto girls from yesterday and chill, but they’ve gone to the opera. I had a look at tickets and they were around 40 each, so no. Instead, I sat myself at a central table in the hostel bar and nursed a beer, my eyes roving around the bar for a friendly face. A group of Spaniards in animated chatter, no; a rabble of droopy eyed Englishmen all attempting to charm the same one American girl, no; a middle aged Chinese couple knotted up in each other on the sofa, no. So that’s the kind of evening it was to be, then. I began to unpack my bag with a sigh, reaching for Kafka, my most loyal friend of late; a twisted, morbid companion, but a companion nonetheless.

‘How’s it going, mate?’ Continue reading

Drink, Play, Loathe: Day 7, Venice by Sunlight

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Drink, Play, Loathe: Day 6, Venice by Moonlight

 

Got up early, quickly dressed and escaped the snoring, smelly dorm, and skipped breakfast; no time and no money anyway.  I’d arrived in Venice under darkness, and stepping outside and seeing the city in the daylight was a true and rare joy, one of those moments in life where you actually stop and say ‘whoa’ out loud, even though there’s nobody around. I kicked through the hostel doors with a yawn and a stretch, and I was greeted by the bluest lazy waters, easy young skies in a cirrus haze, majestic old buildings and barnacle clinging docks. Oh fuck yes, what a day. Continue reading

Drink, Play, Loathe: Day 6, Venice by Moonlight

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Drink, Play, Loathe: Day 5, Barce-Loner

Awoke alone and lay cosy in the dorm a while. Dragged myself to get ready, checked out and caught the bus across the city to Park Güell, as I wanted to catch the views in the midday sun.  Entrance to the park’s centre is ticketed, and I was given a slot around midday. To kill time, I hiked up the hill behind the park and sat in the sun enjoying magnificent views of the city, it’s soft edge square blocks of rooftops and terraces, viridescent mountaintops beyond, and at the end of it all, sparkling ocean merging with the horizon. Continue reading

Drink, Play, Loathe: Day 3, Paris

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Drink, Play, Loathe – Day 2, Paris

Woke up at 3am because Aish, one of the Canadian girls, was talking in her sleep. Her mumbles continued for some time, then grew into tossing and turning, then thrashing, until at 4am she swung her legs over the bunk, dropped onto the floor, and sleep-sprinted out of the room in her knickers. Her friend Sarah jumped up and grabbed her, then must have remembered not to wake a sleepwalker, and simply followed her out of the dorm. I shrugged and fell back asleep. Continue reading

Drink, Play, Loathe: The Trip

“Never go on trips with anyone you do not love.” 

― Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast

So, I’ve been on a trip of Europe, and kept a diary all the while. If travelling is anything at all, it is unpredictable, and the trip I expected to have was, as is usually the case, radically different to the reality. Modern life is a series of spinning plates, and the more you age, the better you become at keeping them spinning. I am young, and youth is wonderful, but the trade off of so much freedom is that fairly regularly, largely due to my own gross incompetence at being alive, my plates come crashing down around me all at once, and I am left lying bruised and stupid beneath a heap of porcelain. Continue reading