Standing On A Chair

Telling it like I see it…

Stories from the Chair: My One-legged Lover in Paris – Foreword

I swear to God, we think we know everything when we’re in our twenties.  And believe me, I was no exception.  In fact, I had to be omnipotent and arrogant with a much bigger splash than most idiots who graduate from their teens.

One illustration of all that folly was the fact that I chose to do most of my foreign travel by myself. 

This is not to diminish the value of a healthy independent streak, which I developed as a thirteen-year-old in Japan while living off-base in the rice paddies.  Fearless and confident in my total ignorance, I used to wander off on foot alone many times to explore, and sometimes I hopped the train to Fukuoka, a gorgeous and splashy big city not too far away.  I did this mostly, though, not as much out of bold curiosity, but more to escape the tiny house where there were two constantly fighting, heavily drinking parents.

The good thing about traveling alone is you’re forced to be really spontaneous and resourceful in about a million ways.  Plus, you’re more gregarious and open to new people and things, because when you travel in groups or pairs, you can be easily inhibited and sheltered by the confines of the familiar security you feel with your friends.

But bad things can happen when you choose to go solo.

For instance, every time I visited a foreign country, I caught the raging shits and the projectile pukes.  Who knew that innocent looking salad I ate in an “upscale” restaurant in Mexico City would give me a virulent amoeba that lived on and on, and grounded me for more than a month.  And that time in Tahiti, when I had to spend a full twenty-four hours in bed suffering from some unknown bacteria ingested while eating stuff I couldn’t even identify.  Being alone at times like that is pretty awful, given there’s nobody to hold your head with a cool clean washcloth, or offer moral support.

But then there was Paris…

where I met fantastic young people from all over the globe;

where I saw things never before seen;

where I did things never before done;

where I fell in love;

where I discovered this great newly emerging English artist named Elton John;

where I, once again, spent two days exclusively with a toilet, a bathtub and a sink;

and…

where I was so fucking stupid I almost got myself murdered.

Stay Tuned for Part One

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March 20, 2012 - Posted by | Foreign Travel | , , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Hey you can get yourself in some not so great situations traveling with a friend. Did Farrah ever tell you our Lava tube story from Hawaii?? LOL we really could’ve been killed and nobody would have found our bodies. Luckily the guys really did just want to show us a cool Lava Tube. Of course we didn’t think about the dangers of it until we were already there and not much we could do about it! And there were also the sketchy men we dealt with in Europe. Oh what fun times. Luckily we didn’t have the stomach issues with any of ours 🙂

    Comment by Brenda | March 20, 2012 | Reply


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