EASTERN BLOC PARTY

Trip Start Feb 11, 2008
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Sunday, November 2, 2008


Guten tag, ahoj, czesc and szia everyone,

Well, this is it, our final blog from Europe. We've now been on the road almost nine months, six of which we have spent traversing the continent. For Chris, who has already seen a lot of Europe, it was a chance to revisit some favourite cities and check some more off the list, while for Caroline, who has never ventured further than Thailand before, it was an excellent taster. We have seen and experienced so much in between those early days soaking in the Mediterranean and picnicking on wine and cheese in the sunny west and our most recent adventures exploring medieval towns and feasting on hearty goulashes in the chilly east.



Our final few weeks in Europe has been quite the shock to system weatherwise.  Having skipped out of Sydney in the last throes of summer, it has been our first taste of the cold in almost a year.

In the past month, since we left the boisterous beer halls of Oktoberfest behind, we've been to Berlin, Prague, Cesky Krumlov, Krakow, Budapest and Vienna, watching the leaves turn from green to golden as Europe prepares to ease itself into Winter. There's heaps of ground to cover, so you might want to grab a cuppa.





BERLIN:
When we last checked in, we'd just spent four glorious nights in Innsbruck, Austria, recovering from our boozy week in Munich. On September 29, we travelled north, back into Germany to set up camp in Berlin for eight nights.







A Short History of Berlin:
After Adolf Hitler's 12-year reign came to an end in 1945, Germany was carved up into the affluent US, British, and French territory in the west and poor Soviet territory in the east. The Soviets were so scared skilled workers would try to escape the harsh communist conditions into the west, so in 1961, they erected a wire fence around the west overnight in attempt to close off the borders.





When the Americans woke up the next morning and asked the Commies what the hell they were doing, the Commies replied that if they weren't allowed to build a permanent wall, they would start World War III. Not wanting to cause a drama, the west obliged and thus the Berlin Wall came to be. It finally fell - with a little help from David Hasselhoff - in November 1989, with East Germans voting for reunification in October the following year.



Berlin is a great city. The horrors of Hitler's Third Reich are still so fresh, but it's almost like the city is going through a rebirth. Once divided for nearly 30 years by the Wall, Berliners now accept what happened, but are moving on and celebrating their newfound freedom in a flourish of creativity.







With eight days up our sleeve, we had ample time to check out everything Berlin has to offer. A free walking tour on our first day there covered all the necessary tourist bases - Brandenburg Gate (a crossing point between east and west Berlin), Checkpoint Charlie (another crossing where you can now pay to have you photo taken with costumed American or Soviet soldiers and have your passport stamped as you walk through the checkpoint and "leave" west Berlin) and the incredible Holocaust memorial, which is basically an entire city block covered in giant stone slabs of various sizes, all in neat rows.



As you walk through the memorial, the blocks get bigger and more menacing and he ground is uneven - the desired effect being that as you wander through, you begin to feel lost, small and alone. As you make your way to the other side, the blocks decrease in size until you emerge into daylight on the other side. The blocks are apparently coated in special anti-graffiti paint - made by the same company who developed Zyklon B poison for the gas chambers during the Holocaust. As a sort of penance, they have vowed to maintain the site for the next 50 years.



Another excellent memorial was at the famous Nazi book-burning site, where, on Hitler's orders, literature deemed "un-German" was destroyed. These days there is an art installation in the square where the burning used to take place - a glass window in the ground you can look down into and see a stark white room surrounded by empty bookshelves.






A plaque nearby depicts Heinrich Heine's famous (and perhaps prophetic) 19th-century quote, "They that start by burning books will end by burning men." There is also a permanent second-hand bookstand opposite the square, which is a nice, kinda "in-ya-face Hitler", touch.










We also visited the architecturally awesome Sony Centre and the Reichstag, the Parliament building, with a huge glass dome that you can walk up and peer down at the pollies working hard below. Apparently it's supposed to serve as a reminder to them that the power belongs to the people.







Hitler never really liked the Reichstag (in fact, a very suspicious fire started there in 1933. Hitler blamed the Commies and said it was proof the Reds were attempting to take over Germany. He was granted emergency powers, attributing to his speedy rise to infamy).










So, being a man with delusions of grandeur, Hitler decided to build his own version of the Reichstag. He had plans drawn up for a massive domed building that would take up most of the Berlin skyline with a square capable of housing a million people. Fortunately, the building never eventuated, but it was interesting to see how Hitler's vision would have looked, dwarfing the Reichstag in comparison.






While staying at Wombat's hostel, we made friends with a couple of fellow Aussies, Chris and Lauren, who we joined to explore the city.


The four of us did an excellent free walking tour of "alternative Berlin" which covered Berlin's awesome underground art and music scene. We were taken to hidden graffiti galleries and dilapidated artists squats and shown some of the city's incredible nightclubs - in former power plants, in disused buses, even in pylons that hold up railway tracks.






We also inspected the East Side Gallery - a section of the original Berlin Wall that has been decorated by famous graffiti artists from around the world. There are original parts of the wall all over the city, and a permanent line along the ground marks its original path, but the East Side Gallery is positive memorial to Berlin's recent terrible history.





On October 3, we were fortunate enough to be in town for the Unity Day celebrations (remember, the day when East Germans voted for reunification?). The major party was at Brandenburg Gate, so we joined Chris and Lauren in smuggling vodka and beers into our heavy Winter coats and partied with the locals. As we drank and sung in our limited German, we thought how strange it was that just 20 years ago, these people wouldn't have been able to enjoy such festivities because of the Wall.




On our various tours of the city, we'd heard how families and friends were suddenly separated overnight - lovers were kept apart, a father couldn't return home from work and mothers couldn't see their babies in a hospital on the other side of town. We could now understand why Berliners were so keen to party.






Afterwards, we headed to a nightclub in a dilapidated building that held various bars and artists workshops, where we drank beer, perused art to buy and almost got caught up in a riot (complete with full-armoured riot police) organised by youths protesting - apparently against capitalism. Michael Moore has a lot to answer for.







The next day, with heavy hangovers, we were joined by our friends Ben and Sal (fresh from Paris and Amsterdam) and our mate Christine, a fellow Aussie who we met in Egypt.








We spent a solid few days drinking, stuffing our faces with kebabs (like we said in our last blog, those Germans really know how to roll a good one) and braving the cold for some low-impact sightseeing.









The seven of us joined yet another tour, this time of the Third Reich variety. Layered up in jackets, beanies, scarves and gloves and with the rain drizzling down and the wind whipping at our faces, we listened to stories of Hitler's life and times - from his rise to power to his death in a bunker deep underground a carpark (Trivia: his last meal was spinach pasta with two fried eggs and he killed himself with cyanide and a shot to the head).







On October 7, it was time to pack up and move - this time by a full-day bus trip to Prague, where we were to once again meet up with Ben and Sal.








THINGS WE LEARNED IN...BERLIN:
So much more about 20th century history than we ever learned at school.

It's a city scarred by some of the worst atrocities ever, but also a city that's exploding with life and creativity and the people are among some of the friendliest and positive we have met on this trip.

One of Berlin's favourite heroes is Ampelmann - the little red and green man on the traffic lights. Ampelmann has his own stores, clothing line and even restaurants. And the man who designed him is now a multi-millionaire!





HIGHLIGHTS:
Discovering Tachles - the nightclub-cum-artist squat in a dilapidated building in the middle of the city, with walls and stairwells completely covered in wicked graffiti and a bar or artist workshop down every hallway.

Smuggling booze into the Unity Day celebration and partying with random Germans.

Devouring five kebabs in four days. - a good record by all accounts.






CZECH REPUBLIC:
Our first stop in the Czech Republic was Prague. We were only in Prague for three nights, but, to be honest, it was about two nights two long. Chris had already been to Prague and knew what to expect, but we both thought it was a bit overrated.






Everyone talks about Prague as being THE place to go for a cheap holiday, so we were quite shocked to find prices similar to the rest of Europe. Though, to give it credit, it did produce the cheapest beer we have found on this trip - 35 cents for a pint rocks in anyone's books.







The city itself, while beautiful, offers nothing more than many other cities we'd seen in Europe. In fact, most of the sightseeing can be knocked off in half a day.









Ben and Sal dutifully paid for a walking tour of the city (we opted instead for a picnic by the Vlatava River), then we, being the poor backpackers that we are, took advantage of their newfound knowledge of the local sights as we wandered around with them through the old city and the Jewish Quarter the next day.






We walked across one of Prague's main attractions, the Charles Bridge. Built in 1357 and adorned by 30 18th-century statues, it was the city's only bridge until 1841.









Crammed with tourists, jewellery stalls and portrait artists, it has in the very middle a statue of St John of Nepomuk, a priest thrown to his death from the bridge in 1393 for refusing to reveal the Queen's confessions to her husband, King Wenceslas IV.











We also hiked up the hill to Prague's other main attraction, Prague Castle. - the largest castle complex in the world. Nothing against Sal's wonderful guided tour (the 10 Euro is in the mail guys!) but it was nothing spectacular.








It was big and beautiful and had lovely gardens and an amazing view, but we both thought it seemed just like every castle and palace and fort we've seen along the way.









We suppose it was at this point that we started to realise we were getting a bit over Europe. Many of the cities were starting to look the same and while all beautiful, they weren't really giving us the "wow" factor that they had at the start. But with less than a month to go, we agreed we'd make the most of it.








However, our spirits were lifted on October 10 when, after a farewell dinner of dodgy Chinese with Ben and Sal, we headed south to Cesky Krumlov.













We didn't have the best start, mind you, as the bus driver who dropped us off in Cesky Krumlov demanded we give him the equivalent of a couple of dollars for the transport of our packs underneath the bus. We tried to explain we didn't have any change, though because our Czech is not what it used to be, he assumed we were telling him we weren't going to pay.








He got fired up and took our bags hostage. Chris got fired up and tried to grab them back. For a while there, things were a bit dicey. He raised his fists, threatened to call the police and swore at us in Czech - all over a couple of dollars. In the end, he gave up, shook his fist one last time and sped off in a cloud of dust.







But as soon as we walked into the Krumlov House hostel, recommended to us by our friends Beck and Sal D who were there in 2000, everything was ok and we wished we'd booked more than two nights. The hostel was a glorious refuge in the sleepy town, nestled on the banks of Vltava.








Here we spent two days sleeping in and wandering around the tiny town. With cobbled streets, woodsmoke wafting from chimneys and a fairytale castle turret (yes, we said we were sick of castles but this one was particularly cute) perched on the hill - it was a dream destination. (Trivia: It was also the location where the horror movie Hostel was filmed).








We walked up to the castle, stopping for Trdelnik (a traditional Czech pastry, shaped like a cylinder, rolled in a mix of crushed cinnamon, walnuts and almonds served warm) along the way.












Inside, the castle was just like all the others we have seen (with the exception of that fairytale turret) but out the back the castle grounds were magnificent. In its full Autumn glory, the forest was like a fireworks display of yellows, reds and oranges. As we crunched through the golden carpet, a rainfall of leaves floated down from the trees. Magic.










Afterwards, we stopped by the castle moat, supposedly containing a family of brown bears that had been hiding on our way in. This time, lured by the arrival of dinner, one bear waddled out to say hello to the waiting crowd.











Then, on October 12, it was time to leave - catching the bus back to Prague then an overnight train to Krakow. Worried we would encounter the same driver who dropped us off, we came up with various plans (including disguising ourselves) but fortunately we didn't need to worry. By 9pm that night, a good supply of Absinthe tucked safely in our packs, we were on the train headed to Poland.






THINGS WE LEARNED IN...THE CZECH REPUBLIC:
The path less trodden is usually the best. Thanks Beck and Sal for your tip about Cesky Krumlov. Our advice? Skip Prague and head straight to this hidden gem.

It's not as cheap as you think it is - but as pretty as you expect.

The beer is brilliant. And cheap.





HIGHLIGHTS:
Slurping hot chocolate as thick as mud at U Maleho Vitka hospada - Cecky Krumlov's best-kept secret.

Discovering garlic soup - soooo yummy!

35c pints? There is a god.










KRAKOW:
Our train pulled into foggy Krakow at 6.30am on October 13. We'd had little sleep and the hike across town with our heavy packs, then up six sets of stairs to our hostel, was not the best start to brief sojourn to Poland. And on that first day, things didn't get much better.







Desperately needing to wash our clothes, we decided to make the most of the time before we could check in by putting a quick load on. The dryer wasn't working in our hostel, so they sent us to another hostel owned by the same people where the washer and dryer were working but would take nine hours to do a full load.






The laundrette down the road could do a wash and dry for us in two hours, but it would cost us more than we had allocated to hygiene that week. In the end, we had washing tumbling around in three washing machines across the city and although we didn't know it then, our "quick load" would take us nearly three days with the chilly Krakow air making it almost impossible to dry anything.

Ah, the trial and tribulations of living on the road.






So, with the lack of sleep, annoying walk with our packs and the Washing Incident, we were even more unimpressed to discover 30-odd Swedish high school kids staying in our hostel, running around getting "drunk" on Red Bulls and generally making a nuisance of themselves.









The next three days were spent watching the boys walk around with their Emo fringes and tight black pants looking like they were so depressed they might just throw themselves under a passing tram and the girls strut around in just g-bangers and t-shirts batting their eyelids at the male teachers accompanying them on their excursion.








Fortunately, we were back in the homeland of Zubrowka, the Bison Grass Vodka we had become acquainted with in London. We immediately purchased a couple of bottles along with some apple juice and blocked it all out with glasses of liquid alcoholic apple pie.







Originally, our main reason for visiting Krakow was to visit Auschwitz, the Nazi death camp. But having seen Dachau in Munich and been overwhelmed with Holocaust information the past few weeks, we were now unsure as to whether we wanted to go. It felt as if we had come full circle, seeing Anne Frank's house, Hitler's bunker, the concentration camp at Dachau and the remains of the Berlin Wall. Did we want to revisit that chapter in history? We knew it was important that we see it, but it was really bringing us down.




In the end, we decided to go. We had heard the museum was exceptional and we were so close, we might as well.



Auschwitz death camp, in a town called Oswiecim (pronounced Osh-fyen-cheem) about 1.5 hours out of Krakow, was set up in a disused army barracks in 1940 and was the place where the largest amount of European Jews were exterminated. Between Auschwitz and the two surrounding camps, Birkenau and Monowitz, an estimated 1.4 million Jews were murdered.



Only some of the buildings at Auschwitz were destroyed by the fleeing Jews, so walking around it was possible to really grasp what life was like for the prisoners.


The museums at the site - set up in former prison blocks - really are amazing. In them were very in-your-face display cabinets - some as long as the room - containing all sorts of prisoner belongings. Thousands of pairs of shoes, hairbrushes, shaving kits, suitcases bearing the names of victims, children's' clothes and one rather shocking cabinet completely full of human hair. It represented around 50,000 women - roughly the size of a small town.






We walked into torture chambers, where Zyklon B gas was tested on prisoners and where four prisoners had to stand for days in the darkness in a room the size of a phone box. We walked through gas chambers and saw empty canisters that once held Zyklon B poison.






We also went to nearby Birkenau. Surrounded by barbed wire fences (once electrified) and spread over 275 hectares, it once held more than 300 prison barracks for 200,000 prisoners and four huge gas chambers. Just to give you an idea of how efficient these camps were, each gas chamber at Birkenau could hold 2000 victims and had an electric lift to carry bodies up to the ovens. It took roughly 20 minutes to kill 2000 people. Up to 10,000 people could be killed each day.






The place was so vast, so empty, so quiet, so sad. A fog hung over the site the whole time we were there and it was if all sound had been vacuumed out.








We took it in, felt sorry, but for the most part, we felt numb. It has been a rough couple of weeks learning about the atrocities humans have committed against other humans. We had become immune.









But we are glad we went. It felt like the final piece of the puzzle was put into place. We have come away with more knowledge and understanding of Europe's recent history. We feel enriched.

So, on October 16, we farewelled Krakow and were back on the train, this time a 12-hour journey to Budapest, Hungary.






THINGS WE LEARNED IN...KRAKOW:
No offence to our Polish friends, but the Polish people were quite rude. They are currently coming in a close second to the Italians in our "Rudest People in the World" list (no offence to the Italians we know).

Zubrowka (Bison Grass vodka) is flavoured with a single strand of Bison Grass, a plant found in the mountains and eaten by bisons.

There is an Irish pub in every town.



HIGHLIGHTS:
Zubrowka. Full stop.
















HUNGARY:
Hungary was country number 24 on our trip, and the last new European country we were to visit, with just return trips to Austria and England left to go before leaving Europe for good.








It was a nine-hour train journey to Budapest, passing through Slovakia on the way. Hearing it was an incredible city, we had given ourselves six nights there and in hindsight, we're glad we're did.







We stayed at a great little hostel called Carpe Noctem where we immediately felt right at home.

Over the next few days we slept late, and did our sightseeing in dribs and drabs.









One day we walked across town from our hostel to the famous Danube River, crossing the Erzebet (Elizabeth) Bridge and hiking up Gellert Hill. Sweaty and puffed, we stood and admired the Szabadsag szobor (independence monument) - a statue of a gigantic lady with a palm leaf overlooking to the city.





Apparently she represents freedom and was erected as a tribute to the Soviet soldiers who died liberating Hungary from the Nazis in 1945.









Also at the peak was the Citadella, built by the Hasburgs after the 1848 revolution to defend the city from further insurrection.








We visited Varhegy (Castle Hill) with the Royal Palace and took in the sight of the magnificent Parliament House, seemingly modelled on London's Westminster, on the banks of the river.

Perhaps the highlight - for Caroline at least - was the day spent at the thermal baths.





Budapest is a town built on thermal springs and there's dozens of baths to chose from - massive modern, outdoor complexes with several pools and ancient baths dating back hundreds of years.







On the day before we were due to go to Vienna, Caroline treated herself to a day at Rudas Bath, a beautiful 500-year-old Turkish bath on the Buda side of town. It was ladies day, which meant swimmers were not compulsory and soaking with the old Hungarian women - boobs down to their knees - was quite the experience.






After paying the entrance fee (2400 Forints, roughly $18), you are shown to your very own lockable changeroom where you can leave all your belongings. Then you walk into the main bath area - a huge cavernous stone chamber with a main pool, roughly 10m by 10m, in the very centre and set at around 30 degrees. Overhead a huge stone dome is pierced with tiny coloured skylights sending beams of light into the chamber, giving it quite a surreal feel. In each corner of the chamber are smaller thermal baths, ranging in temperature from 20 degrees to 45 degrees.


The general idea is to hop between the baths in such a way that you are going from cold to hot to cold to warm to give your pores and skin a solid workout. But it was just a pleasant way of spending an afternoon, soaking in the thermal springs and moving to another bath when it started to get too hot or too cold.


At one stage, Caroline was floating there on her back in the main pool, staring up at the colourful ceiling trying to pick which of the skylights was her favourite colour. "Life is good," she thought, "if the hardest thing I have to do today is decide which colour I like the best".

Being able to find such peace is a rare thing in our busy lives, and so we are always grateful we have the time and opportunity for such moments while on this holiday.

And then, after six nights at Carpe Noctem (who do the best Monday night roast ever), we were off again - this time to Vienna.





THINGS WE LEARNED IN...BUDAPEST:
Buda and Pest are two different towns.

The Rubix Cube was invented in Hungary.

As were porn movies. At least, the industry flourished there with the development of new camera angles and effects.








HIGHLIGHTS:.
Floating in the thermal bath

Suzi and Ian's Monday night roast at Carpe Noctem.

Playing the Ring of Fire drinking game. (Warning: Don't try this at home).








VIENNA:
OK, we know this is not really part of the Eastern Bloc but it's the last country on our list in Europe and we thought it would be easier to just tack it on the end than give it it's own entry.










We only had a few days in Austria, but we certainly made the most of it - striding our way across the city in thick layers to keep warm and when that didn't work, stopping in at various wine cellars, bars, coffeeshops and schnitzel places (to escape the cold, of course!)









Having already been to Innsbruck in Austria a month earlier, we expected Vienna to be more of the same, just bigger. But staying in the middle of the city, we didn't even see a mountain, let alone snow-capped peaks dotted with chalets and the distant sound of Maria von Trapp yodelling some obscure Mozart symphony.







Instead, we discovered Vienna is quite a contemporary town - wonderful old buildings and with all the mod cons. But it was freezing. Really, really cold. Quite a shock for us having not experienced cold weather since Winter in Australia last year.









Well and truly over churches, museums and palaces, we had had a brief stroll around the city, stopping to check out the Anchor Clock with its lifesize statues that move in a very elaborate, albeit slightly boring display, at noon every day.









But it wasn't long before we were embarking on our favourite kind of sightseeing - the culinary kind.










One chilly morning we headed to Naschmarkt, a foodie heaven with stall after stall of all sorts of antipasto treats, fresh fruit and meats and hot street food.








We stopped by Cafe Central, with its ornate vaulted ceiling - once a favourite haunt of Trostsky, Freud and Beethoven - to drink hot chocolate topped with cream served on a silver platter.









We also sipped wine from mugs in a traditional Heurigan (wine tavern) - more like an underground cave lit by candles.












We stopped to buy hot chestnuts in the street - mainly to warm our frozen hands - and lined up (in our sneakers and stinky clothes) with Vienna's elite at the Sacher Hotel to sample the world's most famous chocolate cake, the Sacher Totre (the recipe of which has been a well-kept secret since 1832).










For 20 minutes, as we devoured the delicacy, we forgot we were poor backpackers who mostly ate things from cans.










On our final night, Chris took Caroline on a "date" - even knocking on the dorm door and presenting her with flowers (a lovely pot of yellow Chrysanthemums).  












We stopped for drinks and entree at Centimetre, where everything is sold by length (we had 20cm of bread with four dips) then headed to Schnitzelwirt Schmidt, the most awesome local eatery where we finally satisfied the schnitzel craving we'd had since Berlin. For 9 Euro ($18), we were served up not one, but two XXL Weiner schnitzels, a side salad and a bowl of fries - each! And we ate the lot.





It was a lovely way to end our time in Europe.











THINGS WE LEARNED IN...VIENNA:
Don't expect to see any picturesque snow-capped mountains unless you head out of the city.

The "No kangaroos in Austria" t-shirt is the city's best-seller.

There's always a better chocolate cake than the best one you've ever tried (unless of course the best one you've ever tried was the Sacher Torte).







HIGHLIGHTS:
Scoffing the best XXL schnitzels. Best. Meal. Ever. Ya!

Sampling the local drop by candlelight in underground wine caves.
Pretending we were all prim and proper as we ate off silver platters in Cafe Central and the Sacher Hotel.









Last week, we spent a few more days in London for final catch-ups with our mates, Dave T, Em and Laura - as well as for an awesome night dancing our butts off to Underworld (front row, centre shouting "Lager, lager, lager..."). Plus trying to recover from awful colds that took us by surprise in Vienna. We had an amazing time in Europe but for the past few weeks we have really been in need of a change of scenery. 
Currently, we are resting in hammocks, drinking caprihinas, after an afternoon hang-gliding over the jungles in humid Rio. It's the start of six weeks in South America where we whip through Brazil, Argentina, Peru and Bolivia - and tackle the Machu Picchu trek - before flying into New York to spend Christmas and New Year with Chris' parents and sister.


After that, we are considering bunkering down in Canada for three months to hibernate in front of a fire, regroup and perhaps even earn a bit of extra cash by working (gasp) before taking a road trip down the west coast of America and then settling down for a bit in Central America. We'll let you know what we decide.
Anyway, European great, but we gotta fly. Well catch up again when we again find working internet and hot showers.

Until then,
Chris and Caroline xx



P.S.
Now that we're not in Europe anymore, we're no longer contactable on our London mobile phone number. We'll only be on email until now and when we arrive in New York on December 17. We'll let you know our new number then.

Ben and Sal: It was really great to travel with you guys through Munich, Berlin and Prague. Thanks for making this part of our holiday so much fun and giving us a little taste of home. We hope it hasn't been too painful to return to work after so much time off and we can't wait until our next beer on home soil.

Lauren, Chris and Christine: Thanks for sharing our crazy, kebab-fuelled time in Berlin. Lauren and Chris, we're thinking of you as you settle back to real life and Christine, hopefully the Germans aren't giving you too much grief. Can't wait until we catch up again.

Em: Happy Birthday again for last week. So glad we could be there to celebrate with you. Now, we know you are going to really miss us, but you'll just have to deal with it. At least until we next catch up - somewhere around the world.

Mums: Sorry we didn't tell you about the hang-gliding earlier but we thought it would be better this way.





ON A PERSONAL NOTE:
After nearly nine months on the road, we have definitely made the transition from this trip being a "holiday" to it being our "life". And what a life! Of course, things can get tough, but we are tying to live by the motto that "things could be worse". Living together 24-hours a day has certainly been a learning process. Anyone who knows us, knows that we aren't always completely rational, but if anything, we are learning to be more tolerant and patient with each other.



If only the same could be said for how we feel about the inconsiderate morons who wake up at 6am and start deconstructing the conversation they had with that "like, totally hot" guy they met at the bar last night as they blow dry their hair. "Yeah, but wasn't he, like, really old?" pipes up one as she noisily rummages though her oversized make-up kit. "Yeah, he was soooooo old, like, really old. About 30," the first confirms, shoving the six pairs of ankle boots she's bought with her into her Prada suitcase. Then the two take it in turns using a GHD hair straightener while at the same time complaining how they are "like, totally bummed" about how they spent $2000 in three days in Ibiza and how they're going to have to call their parents to put more money on their credit card.

Yes, sometimes other people can be really, really annoying. We are trying to be more tolerant of them too.



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