Wednesday, July 13, 2005

A REGRETTABLE DECISION


I had intended to just poke around the house, doing as little as possible, this past weekend. But then I got a call from a friend. He said he had two airline tickets to a small town in Spain, and asked me if I'd like to join him there for a little party some of the locals were throwing. Well, as the song goes, I'd never been to Spain, I was still feeling kind of burnt out on summer movie blockbusters, and even the stuff I had on had from Netflix didn't really appeal to me. So I said good-bye to the wife and kids and headed out of LAX International Airport to the land of Cortez, Franco and Almodovar, ready for a good time with my buddy in a place called Pamplona. This turned out to be a regrettable decision...

I can't wait to stay home and watch the Criterion DVD of Tokyo Story this weekend and forget I ever heard of Spain.

12 comments:

Benaiah said...

What happened? I have found Spain to be an accursed place in my travels. Last fall I studied abroad in Ireland and I visited Madrid twice. The first time was boring and expensive, but the highlights were watching someone nearly get stabbed on the subway (a bizarre sight) and just drinking my head off.
The second trip however would prove catastrophic. After 3 days of doing not much I went with two friends to Zaragosa (a four hour bus ride north of Madrid) with two friends and we met up with two girls they knew. We met them at 1pm and we had to catch our bus home at 1am. As soon as we met them, we sat down and got tapas and beers and the night went from there. I had 60 euros on me (not alot, but beers were 1.50 so plenty) and the next day I woke up on a bus at 9am with cuts and bruises and no money and no friends. After barhopping for 12 hours, I had become unreasonably drunk (my friends were ordering Gin and Tonics with my money, ashing their cigarettes in them and then telling me to drink them because I didn't notice) and generally an embarrassment. So when we go to get on the bus to go home, I am so drunk that the bus driver refuses to let me on. While my friends are arguing with him I SNEAK ON THE BUS (more likely I thought I was sneaking and really just walked by the guy) at any rate, I nearly get arrested and at one point I was screaming at the guy, really ugly stuff. So my two friends arrange for me to get home, and then leave me alone in Zaragosa to wait for 4 hours outside until the next bus leaves. I have never had quite as scary an experience as waiting for a bus in a foreign country while drunk out of mind. I was so afraid and so happy to leave that infernal country. Hopefully your trip was at least better than that.

Dennis Cozzalio said...

A hilarious nightmare of a story. Jeez, the soundtrack of your trip could have ended up being Warren Zevon's "Lawyers, Guns and Money," segueing right into Was/Not Was's "Dad, I'm in Jail." Glad to hear it wasn't! (BTW, although I have been to London twice, my Spain trip was fictional. I just loved the picture! My wife speaks very highly of Ireland though!)

Benaiah said...

And well she should, it is an amazing country. I loved England, but Ireland is a special place. Dublin is a nice mix of great beers, great bars and a hopping night life combined with tradition and the traditional. But 30 minutes away is the Irish country side that you see in movies, complete with little country bars where every man in town hangs out in. It is a weird custom to go and hang out in pubs and nurse beers with strangers, but everyone does it there.

Dennis Cozzalio said...

Leaving aside the spectre of alcoholism for the moment, I've always been really attracted to that aspect of the Irish/Scottish/British life, and of country life in general, I think. I highly romanticize it, of course, but the idea of coming together with people you know in such a tight-knit environment to hoist a few on a regular basis is really appealing to me. My ideal representation of such a life as seen in the movies has to be Bill Forsyth's Local Hero, and the flipside of it, no less exaggerated, I'm sure, but also far from romanticized, is the village pub life portrayed in Sam Peckinpah's Straw Dogs. They make an interesting contrast. But I still like to think about what you describe, amidst the countryside whose beauty my wife swears, as I'm sure you would, cannot be contained by simply gorgeous cinematography. One day I'll get there!

beege said...

You have got to be freaking kidding me! You just picked up and went to Spain for the weekend?!

See? That's the sort of life I dreamed of living when I was 20. Now that I'm 30, I know it will never happen. A trip to Spain would require a HUGE amount of effort on my part.

You're like this fairy tale guy, Dennis. Seriously. ;)

Dennis Cozzalio said...

Beege: I am kidding you, actually! Like you, I ain't picking up and going to the grocery store without a massive effort. I just made up the story so I could surprise you all with the picture when you clicked on "decision"! :) No, a big trip for me these days is visiting the folks in Oregon with the girls and my wife, and just that takes such incredible reserves of gumption that I can't imagine what it must be like to travel to Europe with the family. We intend to get back to London, the four of us, someday though, terrorists be damned. Sorry if I fooled you, but I must say I got a bit of a thrill being identified as a "fairy tale guy"! It's only my unassailable sense of morality and fair play that keeps me from extending my intercontinental illusion! Good to hear from you, Beege!

beege said...

LOL! You suckered me in but good! :) And really I was so impressed that your wife would let you just up and go to Spain for the weekend. If M had come to me with a similar proposition ("Hey, Babe. How 'bout I go to Spain for the weekend and leave you with the kids!")we would have had a Discussion. And I would have Won. ;)

Mojavi said...

LOL- haha you totally had me! I wa slike wow is that REALLY him??? OUCH OUCH LOL

man that was awesome :)

Dennis Cozzalio said...

Mojavi: I am willing to endure most anything for a laugh... but even I might draw the line at getting drunk enough to line up for the chance to become a piece of human yakitori on the sharp end of a pissed-off bull! Glad the pic had the intended effect! Happy Monday!

blaaagh said...

Hahaha! Who would ever have thought that your innocent joke would have provoked such an enjoyable rush of correspondence?! Much as I enjoyed the Spain story, I feel now that my own recent European adventures are tame by contrast...Euro Trip 2, anyone? And Ireland is definitely our next must-visit country--thanks for adding fuel to the fire. I promise when I go not to lapse into my bogus Irish brogue from that play last year--difficult as it was to shake. Dennis, I'm sorry for your injury, but I must say that the running-with-the-bulls has you looking quite fit. And yes, I am freshly back from Jellystone, uninjured by either Yogi or BooBoo but with maybe a few saddle sores and sunburned places. More focused comments to follow to the new QUIZ!!--but now I'd better get back to the mountain of work. Oh, and it was really Yosemite, and Pattie pointed out a guy who was the very image of Yosemite Sam in the flesh, no joke.

Susan Vann said...

Dennis, I sat here trying to figure out when you had time to do this trip without so much as a word at work.
What a good one you pulled. I enjoyed the story and the picture is priceless. Stay away from those Bulls.

Dennis Cozzalio said...

As Bugs Bunny once said, after stepping in for a matador and pulling one over on his horned nemesis, "What a gulli-bull!" I'm a lousy practical joker, and I really didn't think anyone would bull-ieve my cock-and-bull story-- I just thought the picture was great and wanted to find a good way to spring it on y'all. Glad you enjoyed it!

4:28 PM