Realisation can sometimes come with a thud, like your noisy neighbour coming home drunk and trying to be quiet when you least expect it.
I woke up the day after my birthday with a hangover from Hades but no "vibes" that anything was amiss. Saw my friend's parents who were all smiles and cups of coffee and after returning to my pit for another couple of hours I made my way into the centre and sat outside a clothing store while my pal and her best mate spent about 90 minutes trying on clothes and eventually came out shrieking with joy at the 3 items each they'd spent an hour and a half choosing.
I was complimented on my patience (and more so for being male) and then told what I'd said the previous night after polishing off the second bottle of cognac.
The fact that she's still speaking to me and I'm still a welcome guest is a sign that either a). they knew how pissed I was and didn't care or b). they couldn't understand most of it.
Apparently none of it was aggressive but I was being crude and lewd and a general pain in the arse who went to sleep with his Doctor Marten boots on.
So....the demons we possess come to the surface when we've had a skinful and mine are unfortunately the repressed minions of the Victorian age servant class who just love the opportunity to eat with their fingers and talk filth at parties. Time for a change. I gave up smoking 5 days ago (apart from the one I ponsed when I was steaming, but I don't remember so it doesn't count) and am on one coffee a day (although that might change as even instant coffee gives me the heeby jeebies). Time to lay off the sauce for a while. The most violent incident I ever attended as a cop was a wedding party with multiple arrests, the dog van and 3 in hospital. All because of unresolved family issues and a lot of booze.
I have managed to finally lock down a compass point to aim for on the next stage of my travels. Rome has a couple of places I'd like to see again and a school I worked at years ago where the owner was more than happy to offer me an interview. Finding a flat is a different story though as CouchSurfing.com is usually so full of subtle etiquette that you have to navigate thru the pitfalls of social faux pas (sending emails without the host's name is rude apparently) when all I want is a place to lay my head for a night before I invest in a housing agreement.
Every time I read the news in England via the Web it's depressing. Yesterday was no exception and a Facebook group set up for a guy beaten into a coma in my home town was fairly nauseating to read, until I got to the bit about how it had been done DIRECTLY OPPOSITE THE TOWN POLICE STATION.
We have now got to a point where people have so little respect for the Law that they give someone a kicking outside the Nick. Somehow I can't imagine that happening in Milan opposite the local Carabinieri post.
Travelling with only 3 pairs of undies is a downer sometimes, particularly when you realise you are absolutley going to have to wash them/ burn them/ buy some more, before Environmental Health come round to complain about the smell. I have to admit that I have nothing but admiration for the kind of psychos that walk single handedly to the North Pole and back. The solitude and discomfort would put SAS selection in the toy box.
My friend asked me last night what I want from life. Truth is I don't know. She says she is bored sometimes but is grateful to be living with her parents as she is surrounded by people who love her. I realise that the boredom and loneliness of being a serial loner are a price to be paid for not compromising on accepting someone else's quirks and traits into your own life.
Still....the batchelor joys of Plakias beckon, and it's only a month since I left (and about 9 till I go back).