Craig and Sarah are a friendly couple from the wonderful Aussie city of Perth. I met them last night at Yoho, where they basically arranged our big Augustiner Bräu visit. Sarah's (almost) a dentist, but she's not too evil (yet). This evening, they were joined by their friend Kade — also a Perth boy, and now living in London and working as a high-school music teacher. The three of them (co-incidentally) are coming to Kitzbühel with me tomorrow, where we'll all be hitting the snow for Christmas.
Lisa's a fun, beautiful, red-headed girl who's originally from Harrisburg (the capital of Pennsylvania — no, it's not Philadelphia), but who's been studying in Washington DC for several years now. Lisa's a smart cookie: she's almost finished her Master's in special needs education. I met Lisa this evening at Yoho, and as well as joining in on the Yoho drinkfest this evening, we also went on The Sound of Music tour together the next day.
I met these two guys this evening in (where else but) the bar at Yoho. Thierry's a bearded Québécois from Canada, who adores Mozart — and since Salzburg is Mozart's home town, he's in paradise. Wilson's on holiday from Hong Kong, and he is (with no success that we're aware of) looking for a local European girl to have some fun with. I had some drinks with these guys at Yoho, and I went exploring with them the next day.
John's a college student who grew up in the US state of Indiana, and who's just finished his undergraduate studies. He's a quiet bloke: but once you get to know him, he has plenty to chat about, especially when it comes to politics and ideology. He's staying with me at CityStay, here in Berlin. We did a bit of sightseeing around the town today, and in the evening we went and sampled more than a few of Berlin's local pubs and brews.
One of the people staying at Bob's (apart from José) who wasn't completely stoned, was a friendly backpacker dude from Croatia. A bunch of us were sitting and having a few drinks in the dungeon this evening; and gradually, we all decided to call it a night and to head up to bed. The Croatian guy and myself ended up being the last people left downstairs. I asked him when he was heading upstairs, and he said: "I'm staying here until they close the lounge (which is at 3am) — after that I'll find somewhere else to sleep for the night". After a bit more questioning, it seemed that what he meant was that he was actually completely broke, and that he was waiting to go to the Croatian embassy tomorrow and to beg for money (to get a flight home); and that he couldn't even afford another night here at Bob's.
José is about as close to the "stereotypical Mexican dude" as you can get: he reminds me a bit of Pedro from Napoleon Dynamite. He comes from Mexico City, but he's been living in Europe for the past few months, and he has an Austrian girlfriend down in Vienna. José was the first person I met this evening at Bob's (he's in the same room as me); and as soon as he saw me, he suggested that we go out and hit a few pubs. Amazingly, he's one of the few other people at Bob's who's not (completely) stoned.
Regine lives in the city of Bonn (next-door neighbour of Cologne), and she's one of the amazing 10 companions with whom I went on the Salkantay hike to Machu Picchu, back in Peru in April. She came up to Cologne for the evening to have a little reunion with me, and to show me the sights and sounds (and food and drink) of the city. She hasn't changed since Peru: she's the same warm and friendly person, who always looks like she's ready to dance, and who's amazingly a vegetarian in Germany. We ended up going for some great Indian curry here in Cologne, which we followed with some delicious Kölsch beer.
For my first night in Venice, we at the Fish turned out to be quite the crew tonight. As the evening wore on, and as four drinks started to follow the previous three, names and faces started to get blurred and mushed-up a bit. But I do remember most of the gang. There was Canadian Scott: very funny guy, and the two of us ended up rebounding comic stupidity off each other for most of the night, and inflicting it on the others. USA Scott was quieter, but also a fun bloke. There was Kaie from Texas, who's been to Venice three times before, doesn't know how long she's staying this time, and professes to be in love with the city. There was the hot blonde American chick, who was a little limited when it came to deep intellectual discussion, but who fortunately had plenty of other redeeming features. There was the quiet Aussie girl from Melbourne, who said little and drank even less. There were the random Aussie westies with the private room, who we saw only briefly during the evening (they piked on dinner). And of course, there was the Persian. Together, we engaged in much fun and revelry during the evening, there was much singing and telling of rude and inappropriate jokes, and it was good.
Beatrice ("Bea") is a beautiful blonde Italian girl, whom I met this evening at the guesthouse. Although only 21 years old (like myself), she's already been working three years full-time as a flight attendant (that being the PC-GN term for "air hostess") for RyanAir, Europe's favourite budget airline. She's moved from her home in northern Italy over to Dublin, Ireland; and she's just in Pisa for one night, exhausted and in between flights. She was too buggered for me to take her out anywhere tonight; but she did help me polish off the home-made pasta napolitana that I cooked up for dinner.
As with the last time that I stayed at Gulliver's House, this evening I found Rome's cosiest hostel to be virtually taken over by numerous young Americans. In particular, there were two guys who are currently studying up in Germany, and who came out with Pei and myself for some dinner. Plus, there were a bunch of girls (also studying in Europe) who joined us later on for drinks. Nice group of kids, although a bit loud and obsessed with American football.