This is in Baccarach, Germany, where we split up. He was going to Munich to see a friend of ours for the third time, and i was continuing on to see more Germany, Holland, and Poland, and hopefully meet my family somewhere!
This is very typical "Victor and I"...wearing some of the most inappropriate shoes ever to hike up some Alps. At least we looked good doing it!
Hahaa, if it looks like i am wearing the same outfit in every picture it is because i am! Limited clothing selection combined with the intense heat made for one cute dress worn over and over and over again until it got too dirty to live.
This is typical Victor, doing who-knows-what, wearing no shirt, bad tan lines, and rolled capri pants. It's kind of his thing though, this European-hobo style, and for him it works.
Since there was no A.C. of course, we had the windows down constantly, and as a result i had the biggest knots ever in my hair all the time! Also, i like this picture because it is the brownest i have ever been i think. I met up with Victor after spending a fortnight in Palermo where every day was a beach day, and i became almost orange. Skin cancer alert! But truly i love a bit of natural colour in the summer.
This was one of our typical meals: bread, cheese, and as a treat some proscuito ham. We would eat some gummy bears for dessert, and a piece of fruit or a a vegetable. I remember our breakfast were usually these awful plastic-y muffins, but they were so full of preservatives that they lasted forever! Oh, and instant coffee. Cold. Oh, and beer. It was our routine to get beer at the last gas-station of the night (where we washed our faces and brushed our teeth), and it was totally a competition to see who could find the cheapest bottle. The record was 0.79 Euros. Incredible.
This is Bignosco, also known as "Big Nasty" when she overheated. Which was common. It was very hot in Italy, and we would have to pull over and let her cool down, or hit some open highway where the speed of the air through the fan cooled it down enough. But other than that she was a good car. Comfortable for sleeping in.
This is us taking a break from driving, and eating lunch, in some train station in the middle of Switzerland. Yes, we always look this cool.
Talking about Mel a few days ago reminded me of the other good friend i made in Schladming. This is Victor Murray. He is oh, i dont know, 24 or 25 or something, lives along the coast in America, and when not travelling he works odd jobs and such. It's funny, because even though we travelled together (he was the one who bought the instructor's car) and we email back and forth quite regularly, i still dont know that much about him. Let me tell you how i see him though.
I like this picture of him (I took it in some small Swiss village, near the Italian-Switzerland border) the best out of all the pics i have, because even though it's not the most flattering, it is rare to have one of him smiling. I love the wrinkles around his eyes, and the laugh lines. He seems happy and "at peace", and lacking that invisible barrier that some people carry around all the time.
Anyways, so here is the thing about Victor. He is kind of original looking, in the way he dresses and the things he says and does. It scares the suburban chicks away, and makes many people uncomfortable. The first time i ever saw him was in the train station in Salzburg, and i thought he was a hobo! Then he turned up into my compartment, and he had a knife and long hair and a crazy hat and while i wasn't scared, i definitely was a bit wary. But, true to my nature, i love the oddballs and goofs and quirky people the most, and so once he got talking i found that he had the driest sense of humour, and was quick to laugh.
Through all our time in Schladming we didn't hang out that much, but we did get to know one another a bit and were on friendly terms. Afterwards, I heard he had bought the car and was travelling with Andrew for a while. I knew my travelling partner at the time, Hill, was leaving Palermo to go visit her German boyfriend, and so i asked him if i could meet him and Andrew in Alexandria, Italy, and join the crew. He said yes, and when he picked me up at the train station Andrew had given up and gone home, so it was just the two of us. We were a bit awkward at first, but being with someone 24/7 you have to become comfortable and talk or else you will die. And that's when i really got to know him as a person, and not just a crazy American-European-hobo-wannabe. It was great. He was a fabulous travelling partner. We had so many adventures, but it would take too long to talk about even the best ones. To finish up, we have kept in contact over the past year and a half, and i know that if i ever need a "partner in crime" i can count on Victor. He has the best sense of humour, is original and not afraid of what people think, has a noble soul and an old-fashioned sense of chivallry. I think he is, while not one of my "best friends" per se, one of my favourite friends. And that may be the best thing about him.