Thursday, July 13, 2017

The Search for Lingus: Italy and Torchello and France and Brussels

Italy, man. Italy is freakin' gorgeous.

We stayed in a very nice Airbnb right next to Lake Garda, probably the most beautiful lake I've ever seen. We were in a touristy area so we did our best to stand out as obnoxious Americans: Shirts unbuttoned, bellies out, cowboy hat. They loved us. Or so we pretended they did in our minds.

We had dinner at a nearby restaurant and I ordered some authentic Italian carbonara pasta. Then I received my plate of food and realized it could've easily been a microwaved TV dinner. Looks like Crissy and I are gonna have to revisit Italy to try the real stuff. Shucks.

We woke up early the next day and rented a boat to take out onto the lake. We searched for the mystical island of Torchello. In Torchello, all of the children see us as kings. We will live in paradise. There is no hunger, there is no pain, only happiness. We found out the only way to get there is to go to the bottom of the lake so we had to pass.... this time. We will one day rule as kings in Torchello.

We then continued our journey through beautiful mountains towards France. In France, we were immediately sodomized by toll fees. Bled us dry and almost didn't survive. Every time our driver, Tariq, asked us for some money for the toll we screamed at him. The tolls tore us apart, broke us down mentally. A scar will form once the wound heals. Let this be a warning to the would be travelers....

We arrived in Chambery for the night and stayed in an incredibly mediocre hostel called F1. We really felt the no-AC thing Europe has going on during our stay there. We experienced a few bouts of heat rage but I think we're OK now. I was able to open a bottle of wine with a screw driver to ease our troubled minds.

We visited the equivalent of a French Wal-Mart the next day to stock up on food and beverage for the long drive home. We picked out wonderful cured meats (sorry Katie), fresh fruit, cheeses, drinks. At checkout, the cashier held up some small peaches Raul picked out, said something in French and tossed them in the trash. She proceeded to do this with his banana as well. I was up next in a lane next to his and my cashier picked up my small peaches and looked at me very worried. I asked him why I can't purchase them. Through some very awkward hand movements and grunting we were able to determine that in order to purchase produce we had to weigh them ourselves and print out a bar code back in the produce section. Instead of giving us a chance to do this, they fucking trashed our fruit. All of us. Jay had 90% fruit which was wasted, only to be left with a soda and shitty macaroons. How is he to survive?

One good thing that did come from the store was the cured meat. We hung up our bounty in the van, essentially turning it into a deli. One of the more delicious meat logs was hanging next to our vegan driver's head, smacking him every so often when we hit a bump. This comes after he told us he is vegan because he loves animals. Oh the irony.

The France show at Thunderbird Lounge in Saint-Ettiene was a fantastic last show. We were treated to amazing hospitality; great beer, home-cooked meal, great crowd. WC played a super charged last set. One thing about playing so many shows close together is that by the end you master your set. They sounded super tight and the crowd loved it. It has been an absolute pleasure watching them perform this tour.

After the show we made our trek to Brussels Airport to begin our journey home. We bid farewell to our second driver, Tariq, who was probably very ready to rid himself of the excitable loons from Texas. Tommy and Tariq will forever be in our memories and spank banks.

We are now in the Brussels Airport waiting for our flight. We arrived at 8am and will be here until 9:40pm. We have to wait to see where Air Lingus will pop up to check in. Then we hang in Dublin for half a day and drink Guinness.

We were fortunate to snag a secluded spot in the back of the check in area with 5 couches. We were able to get some shut eye knowing we'd have this safe haven for the remainder of our waiting time. How wrong we were. About an hour into our slumber, we woke to a crowded check in area and a crazy man talking to himself, rummaging through his bags and the nearby trash cans. He ripped the metallic lid off the trash and threw it about 50 feet across the floor. Many people evacuated the area. He rushed over to the counter and started getting aggravated. He returned to where we were sitting, on the verge of tears stating he'd lost his passport. He started wheeping and apologizing, stating no one should see him like this. He then stormed off. Tom immediately informed a Brussels Airport employee who came over, looked at the shit the man threw everywhere and unconvincingly told us he'd let someone know. We took a peek at the items he discarded: clothes, a beanie, magazines, a blu ray DVD player, a book titled "Introduction to R", coffee cups, trash. Looking up "intro to R" we found out its a programming language for statisticians and it was used to predict election outcomes since 2008. We came to the conclusion that he's an idiot savant, unable to function properly in society. After about half an hour of waiting for security we took matters into our own hands and started to move our coveted couches to a different area. We scored these couches, we weren't going to let them go. In the middle of our move, security showed up. The scene they saw was this: a trash can with the lid thrown off; a man's luggage strewn about. Five smelly, dirty-looking males moving couches away from that area and no one else around. They immediately approached us and started questioning our motives. We had to tell them about being in a punk rock band called White Christ traveling around Europe. They were very skeptical. Luckily they knew about the crazy man and allowed us to continue our squat. After a short while they caught the crazy loon and questioned him for about half an hour. He came back over to us and stated that he felt bad. I told him he gave us all quite a fright. He said he figured since a man was alerting everyone that he lost his passport that people would be more receptive to him. I said it's fine and that I hope he gets it all figured out. In my mind I was asking him why the fuck he was acting like a god damn lunatic and throwing shit everywhere, making it look like he left some dvd bomb in our immediate area. At least we still have our couch mecca.

Current Tetris high score: 111,565
Current Catan status: Robots-2, Humans-1
Current sci-fi status: on page 275 of Absolution Gap

Soon we will be in Dublin drinking Guinness.

Home soon. Wives. Dogs. Tex Mex.


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