I have to be honest with you, I’ve been a little stuck. The past week has been one amazing thing after another, and I’m completely overwhelmed and humbled and misty about pretty much all of it, to the point where I have no idea what to write, and what I do write is sappy and boring and probably not interesting at all to anyone but me and maybe my parents.
And then there’s the fact that if I write the truth – that traveling is fucking awesome and I’m sososososo happy like all the time, even when I didn’t bring the right clothes and my toenails look hideous and I either can’t poop or I can’t stop – that I’m sitting on this balcony on the coast of Italy writing this and I never, ever want to leave…
…and that if I write about all the good stuff, you’ll get annoyed with me and stop reading, and maybe you’ll even harbor a little grudge toward me because you never had the chance, or didn’t take it when you did… And even though I know you’re a generous, wonderful person who would never feel that way, I do kind of feel like an asshole telling you all that good stuff. (This is maybe why I feel the need to tell you about how uncooperative my bowels can be – for balance, you know?)
I have all of these new thoughts and images stored up in my body and pretty soon I might explode*. And I keep thinking that everyone SHOULD experience these things. They just should. So if my silly little blog gets even one of you to poke your head outside of the bubble we all live in, just for long enough to think that maaaaaybe you could also go on a stupidly irresponsibly expensive adventure of your own, then I say it’s worth the risk.
* It’s possible this is the poo.
So if you’ll indulge me, and I think you will, I’d like to tell you about the most amazing two days anyone has ever had in the history of the world.
Day 1, Part 1 of the Best 2 Days Anyone’s Ever Had in the History of the World:
Right, so that continued – rain, rain, rain, and then the day I was set to leave Hallstatt*, the clouds disappeared and the sun popped up, and the day was more beautiful than a day should be allowed to be.
*I was actually in Obertaun, which is a little town NEAR Hallstatt. None of you give a shit, I’m sure, but I fear there may be some Austrians reading this and I don’t want them to think I don’t know where I was staying. I KNOW, I WAS NOT ACTUALLY STAYING IN HALLSTATT Y’ALL.
And I walked through the town taking pictures of everything I saw because I couldn’t stomach the thought that I might forget how glorious that day was after all that rain. And I got to the point in the road where you turn off to get to the train, and I thought hmmmmmm…..
Cuz remember how I wanted to do this?
Yeah, so I totally did it.
Salzburg can wait a few hours, I thought. I would rather fly today.
I call up this guy Michael (hey Michael), who is apparently the master of unnatural flight in these parts, and he says “Jaah, shooo-uh, twoo ow-wuhs.” And I’m to meet him here at this restaurant:
Jah, shoo-uh, I totally can do that, Michael. Cuz the view is sick and the coffee’s just good enough, and they have this little birdhouse thing that I can’t take enough pictures of.
So after two hours, Michael meets me and zips me up to the top of a mountain.
I could have died happy there. LOOK. AT. THIS:
I’m trying to stop with the pictures, but shit is like heroin.
And at this point, I think, this is hands down the best decision I’ve ever made in my small life. To come up to the top of this mountain and jump off with this stranger. Yes, yes, yes.
And then we jumped off. And it was. The best decision I have ever made. THE. BEST. Cuz I got to see this:
And this and this and this:
I know, I know, we’ve all seen pictures like this before, maybe it’s not that big of a deal. But I took them. ME. See, I’ll prove it.
And I saw THIS with my own freaking eyes.
I mean. The best.And that was just the first half of the first day of the most amazing two days anyone’s had in the history of the world.
How could it get any better, you ask? OF COURSE you’re asking that, cuz it’s maybe nearly impossible. Except it’s not impossible, cuz it actually happened.
Day 1, Part 2 of the Best Day Anyone’s Ever Had in the History of the World:
We land and we’re packing up, and Michael’s all “What now, after you’ve jumped off that mountain?” and I’m all “Headed to Salzburg I guess,” and he’s all “You don’t sound too sure about that.” And I’m all “I love this place, I want to stay forever.”
“Well, stay and hang out,” says Michael. “I have a coffee shop, and some friends, and we’ll hang out.” And then “I won’t be creepy, promise.”
And I said yes.
Regardless of every warning my Mom ever gave me, and regardless of my general knowledge that agreeing to hang out with a stranger and his friends in a foreign country sometimes leads to horrible things, and regardless of the fact that I had no place to stay that night… I said yes.
And I think that may have been an even better decision than jumping off that mountain.
Because here’s what happened…
We go to his coffee shop (which he didn’t make up to get me in his car, whew), and it’s charming and lovely and in the center of a small town called Bad Mittendorf (THE TOWN IS CALLED BAD MITTENDORF. Y’ALL!).
Michael made me an espresso and a sweet little juice thing.
His friends come and we hang out.
Elisabeth, who is sweet and beautiful, and has a voice like a finger cymbal.
Daniel, who chops down trees and filled me in on all the best music coming from Bad Mitterndorf.
This guy, Patrick, who sang many songs in a delightfully German English.
And a healthy dose of schnapps, because that is what you drink at a coffee shop in Bad Mittendorf.
And it’s real fun and they’re real fun and I think okay I really should be getting to Salzburg even though this is realrealreal fun and I actually want to stay, and at that exact moment Elisabeth says “Salzburg’s dumb, you’re staying because we all have the day off tomorrow and we want you to do Austrian things with us!”
…which is an offer you can’t refuse, even if you’re an idiot who hates Austrian things or if you really really need to get to Salzburg.
And they put me up and I stay. Because I’m not an idiot and I really didn’t need to get to Salzburg.
And then Day 2 happened.
And that’s another post, because it’s just that good.