Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Travel Tuesday-Part Three

If you have missed them, you can read part one of this story here, and part two of this story here.

The bus drove away, and I slowly broke away from the group hug.

“Well, I feel dumb!” I said

“Don’t even worry about it”, replied Allison.

For someone I had hated with an intense passion the night before, I sure was glad she was there now.

The four of us (Me, Allison and two other girls) walked back to our hostel. We decided we would meet up later and go explore Budapest some more.

I wandered up to my room, which felt extremely empty now that Deanna was gone. I stared for several minutes, then went and hopped in the shower.

In about an hour we all met downstairs and made our way over to the Budapest Castle, stopping for lunch first in the market. As we walked along the dusty streets, weaving between crowds, we chatted about Paul.

“I knew it”, said Allison, “I knew it the night we had dinner in Zakopane!”

“Yeah, you guys were like, oblivious to the world”, chimed in Mel.

“I wish something like that would happen to me! I’ve been travelling for months now, and nothing!” said Jen.

“So, what are you guys going to do after??” Allison said.

I knew they meant well, but all I really wanted to do was to tell them to please stop talking because I didn’t want to think about it. I didn’t really think there was anyway to have an “after”, so thinking about it just made me feel worse. On the rest of the walk to the castle, I heard countless travelling love stories. About how so and so met so and so in Australia, but one of them had to go back home, but months later they were reunited and got married. Stories like that. And believe me, everybody has one, or so it seemed.

By the time we made it to the castle, talk had drifted to other things, like how the hell we were going to climb that hill in such heat, and how badly we wanted to be at the top of the mountain. We eventually found the elevator which brought us up to the castle. The Budapest Castle is weird; it is like an entire village unto itself. Winding streets lined with shops, restaurants and statues everywhere. You wouldn’t know it from the bottom, but Budapest Castle was huge! For some reason, we decided it would be a great idea to go explore the Labyrinth. Just a forewarning to anybody who is going to Budapest, don’t go into the Labyrinth unless you can somehow scam the student rate, otherwise you’ll be pissed. It’s basically miles and miles of long tunnels and huge cavernous rooms that were used as bomb shelters in WW2. There is one area that says “enter if you dare”, which ended up being just a series of pitch black rooms. You walk in, the door shuts, and you can see absolutely nothing. The only way to get out is to follow a rope which winds itself all the way around and through the rooms, finally leading you to the exit. The whole time in there I thought I was going to shit my pants because I was expecting someone to jump out and scream, but no, we just followed that damn rope for a good 20 minutes. I have never been so excited to leave a room in my life.

Anyway! The day continued as such. We went out for dinner, hung out on the patio of our hostel with some wine, and went to bed relatively early. I was in my bed, just falling asleep, when the phone started ringing. I immediately panicked, as one does when the phone rings late at night. I jumped up and grabbed the receiver.

“Hello???”

“Megan?” crackle, crackle. “It’s Paul!” crackle, crackle, crackle. “I hunted your new room down!!”

I was filled with an extreme amount of happiness. “Oh my gosh, it’s so good to hear from you!!”

We discussed how depressing the bus scene was earlier that day. He told me all about Bled, which is apparently the most beautiful place in the world. I was so bitter to be missing it. I told him about our wanderings around Budapest and about a random cat sanctuary we found.

“You are not walking anywhere at night by yourself are you??” he questioned.

We chatted until his phone ran out, and I told him I would call him soon. I went to bed happy.

The next morning, Allison, Jen, Mel and I decided to meet and go to Hotel Gellert for the day. We were all dying for some pedicures. My last day in Budapest was so much fun, and we were all giggly and happy, and it was one of those moments that was just…perfect. I caught the train to Vienna that night, and when I arrived, quite late at night, I was hit with extreme loneliness. I was absolutely alone again. The trip had gone full circle.

It was pretty late, so I caught a cab and went straight to my hotel and went to bed. I woke up the next day ready to whip out the German language skills I had acquired in Munich and Salzburg and explore. And explore I did; I walked for hours every day. I was in Vienna for four days, and during that time, Paul and I exchanged a flurry of emails. It turns out he was going to be in Austria the day after I was leaving. I finally got ahold of him on his cell phone the night before I flew home and again we chatted until my phone card ran out.

I left for the airport the next day with the feeling that I would probably never see him again. It made me sad, but it just was what it was.

I got back to Canada and slowly got back into my routine. I got random phone calls from him, but I never managed to catch them. One of them was from 11 o’clock my time, which was about 5am his time. I finally got him on the phone one day as I was walking to work…I inquired about the 5am phone call.

“Oh yeah, umm, I was out with my friends, and missing you, so I called. I didn’t wake you did I?”

We chatted until I was at work.

That was the last time I ever spoke to him on the phone.

Now let’s fast forward two months (does this story ever end, you’re all wondering?? Well, I reply, I hope so).

I had basically moved on at this point, and I honestly did not expect to ever hear from him again. Like I said, it just was what it was. Then one day I signed on to MSN, and a message popped up “Paul has added you as a contact”. Interesting, I thought. Over the next several weeks, we chatted several times, often for hours. Then randomly one day he said, “so, how far are you from New York City?” To which I replied, “Fairly close by plane, and about 8 hours by car.”

He went on to tell me that he was thinking of going to New York this fall/winter, and maybe we could meet up there. He wanted to rent an apartment and really spend some time exploring the city. He was looking into places to stay, yada yada, and I said of course I would visit him. I didn’t even hesitate because 1) New York City is my favourite place in the world without a doubt, and 2) I wanted to see him.

A couple of days after this New York conversation, I decided to try and look up his blog that he had mentioned in passing, during one of our conversations in Europe. It was so easy…all I did was type his full name plus “photo blog”, and it popped right up. And what was right there as the newest entry? Pictures from a recent trip he and his girlfriend had taken to Amsterdam. Yup, his girlfriend. I went back further in his archives, and low and behold, this was the same girlfriend that he had back in April, pre Europe trip. The one that he told me he had broken up with.

I felt like the biggest moron on the planet, and quite frankly, like a huge sucker. For a while, I tried to justify it, thinking maybe that they had broken up before he left for Europe and got back together when he got back. But that wasn’t true, and I knew it.

I emailed Deanna after I made this discovery, and her reply: “what a massive tool”. And I guess it was true.

It’s been, oh, about a month now since I’ve “spoken” to him, and I still don’t know what to think about the entire situation. Aside from the obvious douchy behaviour, he is still one of the cutest, more charming boys I have ever met. And I guess it just is what it is. Or was what it was rather. Part of me wants to send him a slurry of emails telling him off, the other, self preserving part of me wants to just let it go.

What I do know is that next time around I need to be extra careful about the cute ones with accents.

So that concludes this three part series! The next travel Tuesday will involve no cute British boys!

6 comments:

Laura said...

Ugh!! why are some boys so douchy!?!? i really don't get the ones like that who can so easily live 2 lives completely seperate from one another. as for what to do about him/it? perhaps just remember the good parts and how he helped 'make' your europe trip. but let him go as part of your trip. there's no sense blowing up on him.. it will just cause more stress on your side for nothing!

as for your travel tuesday stories -- i love them!!! you're such a great story-teller.

.......so is it next tuesday yet? ;)

lifelove'n'wine said...

Oh my gosh, what a jerk! I feel so bad for you AND his girlfriend. He probably calls her while he's travelling saying he misses her when he's really out with other women. Men.

At least you have good memories to think back on. You are such a great writer, I love these travel stories. I hope that you have more!

carissajaded said...

Oh I so did not want this to end this way! I wanted it to say that he was about to arrive in New York and you were goingto live happily ever after!!

And are you going to meet up with him!? I would. Is that horrible? But I would tell him I know, and see what he has to say...

I love love love your stories Meg.

Meg said...

@Laura--I know eh?? But you are right, he was a huge part of making my Europe trip awesome, and I suppose I am thankful for that!

@lifelove'n'wine-I know, his poor girlfriend. I definitely felt extremely guity when I found out.

@carissa-I WISH it turned out happily ever after! haha, not so much. As for whether I am going to go meet him, I would probably say no. But if I ever do end up talking to him again, I'll mention the girlfriend and see what he says.

and thanks for the feedback on the stories guys, it is much appreciated!! I have many more to tell, and I love writing them!

angryredhead said...

DAMMIT. Totally wanted a torrid love affair ending in marriage or some other fated consequence, not a total douchebag situation. Ah, my faith in mankind is dwindling. But still, travel romances are pretty kickass. Awesome story.

lifelove'n'wine said...

You shouldn't feel guilty! You didn't know. You can still look back and enjoy what you had.

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