The Snoring. My God, The SnoringFreiburg, Spring 2012
I am writing this at 5:22 in the morning. I don`t want to be writing, I want to be asleep. After a full day of travelling from Rome to Florence and wandering all afternoon, the only thing I want in this world is to be asleep in my own bunk in the six person room in the award-winning Gallo D’Oro hostel.
I fell asleep tonight at around 1. I was dreaming about skydiving over the pristine Mediterranean when I was awoken by a sound that could best be described as God Almighty unzipping his fly. It was thunderous. It was torrential. It sounded like the last dregs of some foul water gurgling down a drain into a rat infested sewer. The harassment in question was emitted from across the room on the upper bunk; from the Canadian with whom I had shared dinner earlier that night. He was a friendly and amicable fellow when I was conscious, but now, having been roused from my slumber, I was livid.
I suddenly realized one of us would be dead by the end of the night. Either I would throw myself off the rooftop out of insanity, or I would drag him to the Ponte Vecchio to toss into the Arno to float downstream. Or maybe throw him from the roof of the Duomo…? I weighed these dark thoughts in my head while I tried every possible measure of noise reduction. Earplugs? Fell out. Pillow over ears? Smothering. And while room slowly turned from black to a shade of grey with the coming dawn, I then realized my night’s sleep was at an end. I had lost this one. I stumbled out into the hall to one of the computers and I did the only thing I could think of; I started to write about it.
I shouldn’t be so dramatic. I left Freiburg on Friday after taking the final exam for our second to last module and since then, it’s been another one of my whirlwind adventures with a backpack containing a few shirts, a passport, a toothbrush, a digital camera, and a borrowed copy of Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five. The sights (and on an unpleasant note, the smells) of Rome are unforgettable, but one facet of this week-long trip that has proven a pleasant surprise is the diversity of people with whom I have shared food, drink, and lodging. Along my way I’ve had a tour of The Vatican with members of the Hell’s Angels, sipped pints with sailors of the United States Navy, and debated college football with gentlemen from from Kansas, Alabama, and Virginia. The diversity is impressive and I’ve met numbers of Canadians, Romanians, Belgians, Finns, Swedes, Spaniards, Italians, and of course a few Americans. Some have proved to be better company than others, yet all are sharing a common experience; that fabled tradition of travelling with close friends in search of some truth only a twenty-something could find or justify. As I fight to keep my eyes open, I’m reminded of a phrase I saw on someone’s pack and I quietly understand it:
Travelling is the only thing you pay for that makes you richer.
Think it over. For now, I’m headed back to bed, kids. It would appear the thunder has ceased..
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