I’m “safely” in Europe, now. Still being taken care of by friends though, because I am an idiot and managed to get my wallet sent to Wales accidentally. IT COULD HAVE HAPPENED TO ANYONE.

Anyway, I was in London for 2 days before heading down to Roanne, France, to tool around on my Uncle Marc’s barge. More about that later–suffice to say that my parents did a phenomenal job in naming him my godfather. He’s proof that hedonism runs in the family.

In London, I stayed at my friend Alix’s place, even though she was off to Wales Friday night. (Hence the wallet, which was in her fleece pocket.) She’s my best friend from high school and still entertains my visits even though I’m so clearly a mess. Her boyfriend lent me a bunch of cash so I wouldn’t be entirely bereft in France. This whole lending/borrowing money is turning out to be a theme on this trip. Thanks John!

Saturday in London turned out to be brilliant though, despite Japan’s loss to Holland. I got to see Iceman and Disco…WHO TOOK ME HAT SHOPPING SO I COULD GET A NEW INDY HAT!!! My devastation at the loss of my old Indy hat was shared by Iceman, a hat aficionado himself. We met, in the grand tradition of London rent boys, by the cupid statue in Piccadilly, and they took care of me all afternoon. They arrived with wine gums and cadbury eclairs. That would have been more than enough to render me ecstatic, both from the ensuing sugar high and the pleasure of receiving such a nice gift. But. They also bought me a new hat. In a Harry-Potter-esque store that had a stuffed cat, smoking a cigar and wearing a top hat inside. The cat is named Binks. Was named Binks? Doesn’t matter. It was fantastic. The hats are kept in these old boxes that the hat guy hat to pull down with this giant pike thing. And then the hat man steamed my new hat so I could have a jaunty dip at the brim and oh man it was so great and then we had coffee and they actually let me buy them a drink, and then we went to this absurdly wonderful restaurant and I really don’t deserve such good friends.

Now I’m just getting sappy.

Seriously though, one of the most amazing aspects of my journey so far, now that I’m midway into it, is how fantastic people are. Both people I knew before and people I met on the way…I mean, from the get go Jared (future husband) picked me up from the damn airport in Istanbul and showed me around for a few hours even though he must have had better things to do. Everyone on my overland was f*cking phenomenal, and I’m so glad I got to / get to see them in Europe too. (Grooves, early August. You promised pastry in Vienna. I’m coming.) I’ve met my match in accidental adventure travel in DJ Tash, the other half of Team F*ck Up. Without Diek, I’d be dead, and without Seanna, I’d have less of an appreciation for digestive biscuits, which are very important.

So I miss Africa, I miss all of you, and even though floating on this barge is tough, I still kinda wish I was barefoot in the desert (like Chuck) again.

I know, I’m such a little b*tch.