Friday, February 27, 2009

"I know, right?": Ashley Vanessa Barcelona. Paris. Perps.

The prospect of unveiling my weeklong vacation with Mess is a daunting and altogether impossible task. This is made more difficult by several things: so much happened, I don’t want to leave anything out; you probably won’t believe at least a third of what happened; and writing witty blog posts is time-consuming and exhausting. But, as I have obligations to my loyal readers (mostly Chelsea, who will badger me if I don’t write every other day) and I feel the burning need to do our week justice in the digital world, I will try my best. Using bullet points.

• Nine hours train ride to Paris next to a stranger = not my favorite way to spend a night.
• Staying at the Hilton near the Champs-Elysées = epic. We jumped around in the giant bathrobes and felt posh.
• First day in Paris we were dressed super cute, and got stopped by a Parisian who asked us for directions. We were mistaken for French people. Enough said.
• Nine hours train ride to Paris next to a stranger = not my favorite way to spend a night.
• Staying at the Hilton near the Champs-Elysées = epic. We jumped around in the giant bathrobes and felt posh.
• First day in Paris we were dressed super cute, and got stopped by a Parisian who asked us for directions. We were mistaken for French people. Enough said.
• We went to the Musée D’Orsay towards closing time and did not have enough time to see the paintings we had gone there to see. We ran through the Impressionists room, and left totally disappointed. Luckily, Mess and I are perfect for each other, and both agreed to go back the next day—we spent at least two hours there staring at Van Gogh, Degas, et Monet. Le sigh…
• While at the d’Orsay, we saw a giant painting of a recumbent woman’s hairy vagina. On the second day, we gathered up enough courage to take pictures of it.
• Our second day in Paris was the most perfect day of our lives. Here is what happened:
o We started the day with a delicious breakfast on the Champs-Elysées, complete with the best orange juice I have ever had. How posh.
o We re-visited the d’Orsay.
o We had lunch in a cute little French bistrot behind the Saint-Sévérin cathedral for very little money. I can’t remember the name, but it was lovely.
o We wandered around Montmartre, and had two portraitists on the Place du Tertre insist upon drawing our faces, though we told them no many many times. When they finished, Mess had a picture of Angelina Jolie and I had a picture of a 7 year old girl that looked vaguely like a baby Ashley. We gave them each ten euros and were incredibly embarrassed, though we thought it hilarious. What kind of a portraitist can’t draw portraits?
o On the way up to the Sacré-Coeur, an old man got in MY way, and roared, literally roared, when we did the step side-to-side thing.
o On the steps leading to Sacré-Coeur, a cute French boy was playing guitar and giving a concert to a group of people that had spontaneously gathered there, singing songs in French, English, and Spanish. He said Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song”—quite possibly the best song ever written. He was les yummy.
o Walking down the Montmartre hill towards the Moulin Rouge (trying to find the Irish pub that my friend Karen worked at a few years ago), we had to walk through Paris’ red light district—Pigalle. We saw AT LEAST four women prostitutes try to pick guys up…(“bonsoir, monsieur”) I actually felt safer there than most places in Paris. It was, for once, the guys they wanted, and not us.

• Barcelona was overall terrifying and confusing. We don’t speak Spanish, and I hate asking for directions, particularly when I can’t do it in the right language.
• On the train to Barcelona, we were taking naps, and my sister was swatted with a newspaper by the man across the aisle. He said, in English, “Where do you go?” We had not been speaking English the whole time he was on the train.
• After getting off the train in Barca, we walked directly to a metro station and started buying tickets. There was a guy at the machine next to us that kept asking “Speak English?” and I ignored him, like I always do with creepy men like that here. Eventually, Messy realized that he was trying to indicate that there was something ALL over us. We had something that looked like it could have been vomit or bird poop all over our backpacks, our coats, and our jeans. When we tried to clean it off, it smelled like milk and chocolate. Someone had thrown ice cream at us in the 5 minutes we had been in Barcelona. Awesome.
• We got lost in some scary Barcelona alleys looking for our hotel, were followed for a little bit by some men who kept saying “gringas”. We finally went into a Starbucks to buy some food and ask for directions.
• Our hotel room was hilarious. We walked in and couldn’t stop laughing. I can’t really explain it.
• We had forgotten forks at the Starbucks, and so we ate our cheesy pasta with our fingers.
• The next day, we wandered around shopping, which was actually quite nice. Barcelona is not nearly so scary in the day. We went to La Boqueria, this amazing food market, and then just wandered around the Gothic Quarter looking around.
• While on a crowded street, a man tried to hand us an advertisement for a shoe store. When I said, “no, gracias” he followed us for about 10 feet, chanting, “pussyhole, pussyhole”. I was so shocked that I laughed, because that is not even a real thing to call anyone.
• The next three days in Perps were fairly uneventful, as Perps generally is, unfortunately. We did, however, see some dead fish lined up on a wall.
• We spent the whole week thinking up lists of possible names for this blog post, including but not limited to: two for me AND two for you, I know, right?, Crapbag, and “Have you ever been pooped on?” “You mean by a bird, right?”.


That list of bullet points doesn’t do the week justice at all, of course, but you get the idea. Another week or so of the surreal life of Ashley Benson, this time accompanied by her lovely sister. I’ll post pictures up to the Snapfish account forthwith.

3 comments:

B-Gabbard Fam said...

Oh man! What a great trip! I am so thankful to have seen and done so much in such a short amount of time and to have spent an entire week with my baby sister! I love you and miss you millions already!

BEQN said...

I totally know the painting that you are talking about. L'oridine du monde by Courbet right? Giant vag (or "pussyhole" haha)?

I heart the D'Orsay.

Chelsea said...

I can't believe I had to wait TWO (maybe three) whole days to read this. Having my computer crash is severely limiting my blog-stalking. But thanks for keeping it updated so at least every time I do get a chance to check, there's something new!

Love you!