Interrailing around Europe brought with it some good times and some bad times. Here are a few of the bad:
On the train from Ljubljana to Zagreb there were no seats available. It was a very long, night time train journey and so we didn’t have much choice but to lie down on the floor and try to get some sleep. Unfortunately, the only floor space left available on the train was by a toilet door.
“The toilet door slid open, unleashing a smell that could make your dinner re-emerge from your stomach”
We had just managed to get comfortable when the toilet door slid open, unleashing a smell that could make your dinner re-emerge from your stomach. The toilet was overflowing and the contents were spilling out onto the floor and when the door opened it came very close to where we were lying down. There wasn’t much we could do about it other than try to block the toilet door shut and try to keep our heads off the floor. We thought we’d managed to avert any diseases until the next morning my friend woke up with a bad eye infection which still flares up every so often two years later (yep, disgusting).
After a long night of drinking, my friend decided to get a tattoo. She had spent the morning watching the sky, so decided she wanted to get a flying bird tattooed on her foot. We decided to let her – she seemed sober enough in the morning to make an informed decision and the flying bird sounded like a nice idea. We went to the tattoo parlour down the road with her design on a piece of paper, which the tattoo artist obligingly tattooed onto her foot.
“A group of Japanese tourists started staring and pointing”
As soon as it was finished my friend decided she didn’t like the tattoo. I liked it (we named the bird Tweety). Anyway, Tweety didn’t actually look much like a flying bird. More like a mysterious symbol. We spent a long time convincing my friend that Tweety was a nice tattoo and she seemed to be feeling better about it until we were walking around the city centre. A group of Japanese tourists started staring and pointing at Tweety, looking shocked. In hindsight, it was actually very funny, but at the time my friend was terrified that she had some sort of political symbol tattooed on her foot, and spent the rest of the holiday feeling ashamed of poor Tweety. Two years later, Tweety has been transformed and now looks like a flying bird. Honestly, I preferred it before just because of the pure comedy value of the mysterious symbol. I probably wouldn’t have found it so funny if it had been my foot though…
We arrived in Prague with walking directions to our hostel. After walking for about an hour, in what we thought was the right direction, we decided we were well and truly lost, so we decided to try and find a taxi driver to either direct us, or to drive us if we were too far away.
Eventually we found a big group of taxi drivers – about 10 middle-aged men. We asked them how far it was to our hostel and how much it would cost us to get a taxi there. They said it would be a 10 minute drive and that they would charge us 1000 koruna (about £30). As the price was ridiculous for a 10 minute drive, we decided not to get a taxi. As we turned to leave, the taxi drivers asked us how much we would pay for a 10 minute taxi ride in England to which we answered about £6. Although we clearly said ‘six’, the taxi drivers told us that we could pay with ‘sex’ if we wanted. Of course, we started walking away fairly quickly, but then the taxi drivers started throwing full bottles of water at us (this may sound pathetic but it hurt!). We ran away and decided we didn’t like Prague very much.