Europe

Mates! As you may or may not know (if you don’t, you may care to follow my Instagram @mazisthebest) I’m not long back from visiting Europe for nine days. My good friend Brianna came to visit me from the US and after a few days of English fun, we trekked off to visit a few countries neither of us had ever been before. The trip was amazing, beautiful, tiring. We walked 100 miles in nine days. Here are a few of the things we got up to, if you are interested. You might not be. That’s okay.

Amsterdam

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On the 27th of July we headed off to the airport on one hour of sleep with zero minutes to spare, but we made it. The flight was short and sweet, and Amsterdam was beautiful. We explored a great deal, enjoyed the cleanliness and architecture, and met an absolute Dutch gem called Lee who gave us all the top tips. We also visited Bar Moustache for the most stunning breakfast, and then ate crisps for dinner. You can’t always win.

Unbeknownst to us we had a pair of French 18-year-olds staying in our Air BnB who had no interest in being mates and told us our games were shit. The Air BnB was generally a bit grim, but that’s okay.

On our second day we took the ferries to both the NDSM Wharf for a cup of tea and some art, and to the EYE film museum which was amazing. We both made flipbooks and I obviously died for the Spielberg exhibit. After a very rainy day we headed home and had a Wagamama. Home comforts are everything. In the evening we met Lee, who showed us the bars of Amsterdam and was the loveliest tour guide in the world. We got far too merry, met some sweet LA boys, rode a bicycle, and ate chips with Dutch mayonnaise at 4am. Lee is a friend for life, for sure.

Berlin

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So, essentially, we got so merry we woke up at 6:53 for our 7:01 train to Berlin. I mean, it happens. Experiences over money etc etc. We booked new train tickets for 120 euro each (ouch) and got ourselves on our way to Berlin. Bri was too hungover to live on the train and we both attempted to catch up on some much needed sleep. Once in Berlin we threw some clothes on and met my friend Dave and his sister for a beer and more travel tips. Thanks u guys.

After saying our goodbyes we headed to the Berlin Wall where we met some little French schoolkids who just wanted to hug and tell me I had pretty hair. I’ll take it! We walked home slowly and had a McDonald’s at Checkpoint Charlie for dinner because honestly, we were fucking knackered.

On day two in Berlin we had the worst breakfast of anyone’s life and went to a couple of Holocaust memorials. So all in all a pretty miserable morning. We checked out all of the major historical stuff before heading to West Berlin for a protest, a beer, and some graffiti. We spent the rest of the day enjoying the sun and wandering before buying beer from a vending machine with no ID (what? Germany, what?) and heading back East for a few drinks and new British friends. Berlin is cute. Thanks Berlin. I feel like I don’t quite understand it, though.

Prague

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After our shortest train (and our most packed) we ended up in beautiful Prague. Initially we were a bit put off (it can get dark down the side streets) but I was quickly won over by ice cream, sunsets, big hills. We climbed to the castle and then to the top of the observation tower, despite being absolutely knackered. Fully knackered. But happy. The sunset is beautiful, Prague is beautiful, and so is our TGI Friday’s dinner.

On the second day we met my friend Alice in the morning for coffee and beer (there’s a theme). I haven’t seen her in years and it was so cute. We were basically done for by this point and opted to have a wander and massages (normal ones) before a little dinner. Prague was good to us.

In the evening we had some drinks and the most beautiful Mexican ever at Las Adelitas. The bartenders were the first actually kind people I had met in Prague (sorry) and the service was perfect. Something I didn’t miss until it was gone, and England isn’t great on that stuff! After five cocktails or so we left to meet my good friend of ten years, Jack. We went to Irish Bars, an Anonymous bar, did some pinching, ran around alleys, did a lot of catching up. Got way too drunk and reenacted Jack’s cabin crew speech in Old Town Square at 2am.

I was not feeling it afterwards.

Budapest

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Again, a near miss with the trains, because I will never learn my lesson. All the way to Budapest I was 90% certain I had literally poisoned myself for good. The train journey did me in. After 7 hours we arrived, the sun was way too hot, I cried. We went to McDonald’s. I cried with joy.

We enjoyed our adorable Air BnB and went to the Baths, which was so cute. Maybe just what I needed after murdering myself from the inside out. Dinner was onion rings for me, because I hate myself.

On the second day we explored fully, climbed some hills, took some buses, had some drinks in the ruin pubs. Budapest was cute.

I had the best time away with my friend, seeing and making new and old friends in every city, learning more European history. It was amazing and I’m glad to be home, but missing Amsterdam the most. I’m sure you’ll see more photos from my trip, yet!

A cute video x

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92.

Where to next?
When the obsession has died
when, inevitably, I’ve realised
that all I have is here at home

That all I need to recover 
is to be left well alone

And, too, that jealousy is useless:
if you want still to live like me
then work as I do;
then sleep as infrequently

See how long you last
then, please, come back to me 

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91.

Do you think about my skin?
When I’m gone, I mean
or even when I am there
counting every freckle, every scar, every hair
or am I still alone
in my perpetual visual dissection
of eyelashes, of clothes, every intonation
every second I think you might look back
when we are done
I am sure still that you do not
so for now, dear, nor do I

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90.

It’s curious and it’s devastating
that my favourite things
these broken legs and aeroplanes
drunken 3ams and missed trains
pretty friends and vague spontaneity

Will be taken with time
will be replaced by

– Well, I don’t yet know
which is what scares me
that those venues and bands I’ve known
that glass bottles and new friends
might be gone

With nothing new to take their home

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101

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89.

I won’t make that mistake again
thinking a foreign tongue
might be a naïve one

Thinking that I could be safe
moments before I am bruised

I don’t forget – but it isn’t enough
to be distrusting and malicious
when a wall is what makes me
vindictive, calculating, heartless

I won’t wake in a bed again
with bad news to relay to friends
and I won’t let a soul touch me
which is safer, in the end

And you can call me cold –
but at least I’m whole alone

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88.

Will we ever settle
to a  comfortable lull
to confidence in ourselves
and an easy, rolling love

One not marred by our failure
and preoccupation with success

Could I, just for one day, be
guiltless, free, not thinking
of what I want to achieve

And might we raise children
unscarred by their parents’ mistakes?

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