The creak of the door was what did it, forced me to open my heavy lids through the throbbing alcohol and dehydration induced migraine I was now suffering through. Squinting through one eye I caught sight of the small Eastern European woman sticking her head in the door, observing the room, then quickly hurrying off. That was odd, I thought as my subconsciousness berated my still intoxicated semiconsciousness that it was missing some great detail. As I started to drift back into the dizziness of a drunken slumber, it hit me, the thing I was missing.
I sprung up from the bed so fast, making my head spin and the room go completely bright, that I almost hit my head on the bunk above me. In a drunken scramble, I searched my bed for my phone, finding items I didn’t remember getting out of my bag the night before. Found it. 1128. Fuck.
“Maria we have to go now!” I choked out, mouth dry from too much liquor and voice raspy most likely from singing Ludacris’ “area codes” obnoxiously loud on the walk home from the bar. Maria, practically falling out of the top bunk at the sound of my yelling, woke as I told her we had missed our checkout time.
In what seemed like record time, Maria and I had shoved our stuff into our bags, completely disregarding the state of our items or our own appearances, shuffled down the hall, apologized to the hostel receptionist for being an hour and a half late to check out, and found ourselves disheveled standing on the rainy streets of Vienna.
Reading each other’s mind, we silently and drudgingly made our way to the train station. This greatly differed from our original plan to walk the city till it was 5 and then take the night train back to Budapest, but as I am finding out, often is the case when traveling, one must choose between drunken romps and pub crawls or museums and castles, we had clearly chosen our path.
The night had started out innocently enough, thinking we would be fancy and, of course, with the intention of knocking an item off the bucket list, we had weathered the rain in our heels and nice dresses, though endless cobblestone streets, to the State Opera, where we sat, popper, classy and cross-legged watching men in powdered wigs play Mozart’s greatest hits.
It really all went down hill from there, as classy flew out the window. Heading to a local dive-bar, famous for their collection of ladies undergarments and cleverly named, dildo filled, cum shot, we sat watching as the spectacle unfolded. Everything, from the 18 year old boys, done by 9pm, and letting the cute Russian bartender light their genitals on fire while a cornucopia of other guys film it, to the country drinking game involving a log, nails and hatchet, screamed that this was gonna be a crazy night.
Five bright-blue smurf shots, an Irish car bomb and a blow-job shot later, we found ourselves playing the hatchet drinking game, Maria yelling over the music to her new Arab friend, while I made eyes with the hot Irish bar tender. At these type of bars one always meets the best people, there was Nina, the Austrian girl who was being forced by her friends to take a cum shot, the nice American guy who was very handsome but dumb as a box of rocks and of course great at the hatchet drinking game, and the Arab guy whom Maria had exchanged info with and the promise to show him around Budapest when he arrived in a week.
As is always the case with nights like this, suddenly without warning or preparedness the music halts to an abrupt stop, lights come on, and you are being pushed out onto the streets with no direction. Stumbling in heels on wet cobble stone, laughing and joking with new friends and a complete loss of volume control…
Well this is where I get foggy. As we sit waiting in the train starting, my head still pounding and forehead pressed against the table, I realize I cannot recall what happened after. The hangover guilt, stemming from the unknowingness of your pervious nights actions and behavior, settles in. The questions start to come. Did I do anything stupid? Pobabley. Did I do anything I wouldn’t have done sober? Maybe. Do I regret it? Not at all.
I turn to Maria and she recounts how they had dropped me off and from there decided to go to some guys apartment, who was a pilot or possibly not, maybe just saying that to get her and our new friend Nina home. They drank and things got awkward so they left and she stumbled back to the hostel where she slept for 45 minutes before being woken up by me.
We sat there in the busy station looking like crap slowly munching apple pastries and chugging water, all the while sober, attractive travelers going to and fro pass by us, she looks at me, again having the same thought, and we just start laughing, makeup smeared, nappy haired messes that we were. Laughing because this was a trip we would alway remember, these half drunken, hot mess moments, and not the pristine Opera going ones. This is what real travel is all about.