Sunday, August 17, 2008

Years Past: Part IV

This one is remembered with many smiles, and so I apologize once again to the victim for my continued untimely laughter.

The story is set the summer I turned 18, (except I didn't turned 18 in the summer I already had previous to it). Accompanied with two friends I went gallivanting off in Europe, my traveling companions were Boy A and Girl B (in case they prefer to remain nameless, though I don't think either of them read my blog). These were the days before digital cameras, certainly at least for me, so I have taken a picture of a picture in my scrapbook to share. Also we apparently really didn't think any of us were worth film because I couldn't find one picture with all three of us.

We had spent a few fun weeks in England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland and were ready to test the waters of some non-english speaking countries. So we said good-bye to the white cliffs of Dover and hello to Calais, France. When we got off the fairy we were met with a fairly small town at least in our immediate walking distance and armed only with our much-to-large backpacks and walking shoes we went in search of a place to lay our heads...and searched...and searched, turns out communicating is pretty important when trying to get directions.

We finally stumbled across a sign that had a tent and an arrow on it (hallelujah for picture signs) and followed the arrows all the way to a campground. Though we had no tent we paid for a spot as there were bathrooms and showers. It was the middle of summer and we did not account for the sea wind that Calais has, as in knock-you-down wind, we hoped since we would be close to the ground that none of us would fly away in the night and that our trusty sleeping bags would keep us warm.

As night fell we put all valuables into our sleeping bags pulled our backpacks up close to use as pillows and carefully placed our shoes next to our heads. Taking off her shoes Girl B said "Wouldn't it suck if someone stole our shoes?" I agreed that it certainly would since we had only brought one pair each. We then all stayed awake under the great big sky talking about things that had happened, things we were looking forward to, things we were worried about, and who we were missing back home.

We slept all night on the hard earth with wind whipping around and did not wake up once.
To be that young again...or maybe just that tired. When my eyes finally opened the next day I was greeted with a beautiful morning. Boy A had already awakened and was up showering but Girl B continued to snooze away. I noticed then that the shoes she had so carefully arranged were not there anymore and happy to play along I asked her where her shoes were. This sat her up, and she groggily began searching in the very empty space they had been the night before, while I laughed heartily at her joke. Unfortunately when she told me through clenched teeth that it was not a joke but that someone had indeed stolen them, it did not stifle my laughter as I think she was hoping. No, instead it brought a new round of louder uncontrollable laughter, and each time I looked at her would bring on more.

Eventually I was able to control myself, she bought new shoes, and we continued on our way (she did forgive me then too).

And my shoes? Well they made it safely home, and are still occasionally worn.


Ivanna August 17, 2008 at 9:28 AM  

This story still brings a smile to my face.

MomS/Gram August 17, 2008 at 6:53 PM  

I've never heard this story, or maybe I just don't remember. Not unusual for me. Wow, glad Girl B was able to get some new shoes! I wonder how far did she have to walk without shoes first?

Mark E November 24, 2008 at 10:26 PM  

Comedy... I'm boy A. Before we arrived in France, I assured everybody of the French skills I aquired during high school. I was wrong, I couldn't get past bonjour and merci. The funniest part of this story to me was the shoe shopping trip that followed. Girl B had to wear my Men's size 11 Converse all over town flopping around like a clown until she found a pair of her own.

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