Category Archives: Europe

The Airplane Game

When I went to Ireland, Claire’s parents welcomed both me, her former host in America, and Dan, who’s host family was unable to host him. Though her parents set up a separate room for him, the three of us spent most of our time hanging out in Claire’s room.

Flying to Ireland was my first overseas trip. Even though I was only 16, we were rarely carded, and so it was there that I first went to a bar. Three days into my trip, we had plans to go out partying. We pre-drank before the party. I had a Jack and coke and two Heinekens, then threw up all night. Another first.

Claire had bunk beds, and I slept on top. I first saw The Labyrinth from the top bunk, while Claire and Dan cuddled below. I was fascinated by the puppets and David Bowie’s spandex outfits, but spent half of my time cringing from the kissing sounds that came from the bed below. Eventually I wound up spending a few nights in Dan’s room to give him and Claire some privacy.

One day Dan and I were sitting on the top bunk discussing the airplane game, usually played with kids, where the child lies stomach-down on the adults feet and pretends to fly in the air. “I’ve got strong legs, I could even lift you,” I bragged to Dan.

“All right, let’s do it,” he said.

I swiveled to face him, then lay down. He knelt in front of me and I placed my feet against his stomach. We grabbed each other’s hands. I bent my legs until he was right above me, and then lifted him off the bed.

We sat this way for a moment, eyes connected. I let go of his hands and held him in the air with my powerful legs.

Dan must have gotten a twinge of nervousness, because he shifted a bit, and I did too, to compensate for his movement. He, possibly realizing that I had him hovering on a top bunk, pretty far from the ground, flinched. His knee hit me squarely in the vagina.

I gasped and kicked both legs upward. He splattered on the ceiling. His eyes bugged out, while his mouth formed a small o. His arms both swung wide. It lasted less than a second, and then I dropped him back to the foot of the bed.

I grabbed my crotch and moaned, while he rubbed his stomach, coughing.

“I’m sorry I kicked. You kneed me!” I said. And I started laughing at the memory of his shocked face.

“That really hurt my back,” he said. “Shit, look.” I followed his gaze. On the ceiling above me there were four small dots in a row. They were dark green, the same shade as Dan’s shirt.

“Is that from your spine?”

Dan nodded. I started laughing again, uncontrollably, feeling tears forming in my eyes. Dan smiled.

Claire had been in the bathroom while Dan and I executed our poorly thought-out plan. She returned to see both of us laughing. I pointed at the spine-dots on the ceiling and tried to sputter out the story. She smiled too, and climbed up the ladder to join us on the top bunk.


Leave a comment

Filed under Europe, Ireland

The Lennon Wall


The glorious thing about visiting Prague was seeing all the art, be it professional sculptures with bold anticommunist statements, or buildings with spray-painted tattoos along their stone walls.

I was between teaching contracts in Korea and it was nice to be out of Asia, even if it was winter in the Czech Republic.  I stayed with some friends who were also living abroad and teaching English.  After we’d celebrated New Years Eve together, they had to return to work.  They gave me some suggestions on places to go, a city map, and a key to their house.  I was free to explore.

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Czech Republic, Europe

Red for the Holidays

It was my second Christmas alone in a row.  The year before I’d felt lonely and cold as I cooked a meal for one.  This year, I was on the Gili Islands in Indonesia surrounded by miles of teal water, and I wasn’t dreaming of a white Christmas at all.

Continue reading


Filed under Asia, Europe, Germany, Indonesia