An Interesting Travelling Companion

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A short tale of Adventure, Friendship and Discovery

Submitted: September 24, 2011

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Submitted: September 24, 2011

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We set off from Rosslare Harbour in South East Wexford on an overcast, cold late January morning. “We”, being myself and an old friend of mine from my childhood, whom I had kept contact with as we grew up.
We had gone to places before, such as concerts and nights out on the townand had fooled around with the idea of going on a big adventure but I never thought it would come to fruition.
We had received the results of our Leaving Certificate the previous August and since then we seriously began thinking of planning our dream, as a last chance of freedom before we went into the big, bad world of adulthood. It was a trip mostly over land so it was going to be time consuming.
Our first destination was England, hardly an adventure as I had been before and Eve (my travelling companion) was originally from there, but as the saying goes you have to start somewhere!
We went to meet her relations who had still remained in England. The first thing that struck me about Evewas that she made me feel part of the family and involved me in everything which was a bonus for me as generally I would be a shy and reserved person.
We stayed here for a few days and saw the usual tourist sights.
The next port of call was France. We travelled the Channel Tunnel and then train to Paris. Ah the love capital of the world! Love? “Love says he and he wouldn’t know the difference between a rose and a bullocks bag“! Got to love the D’unbelievables!.
To keep the costs down we stayed in a hostel, basic enough but it did the job. We had separate bunks of course as we were old friends.
The following day was Eve’s birthday so being in Paris I said I would be romantic, even if it was in the name of friendship. So, I bought her a bunch of red roses and went for dinner and a show in La Moulin Rouge.
Later that evening we found an Irish pub, which wasn’t too difficult!. Beer and karaoke, not the best combination so yours truly up singing (murdering) Irish favourites much to the torment of the ears of the clientele.
The next morning after a breakfast of coffee and headache tablets, We set off from the bustling metropolis of Paris for the French countryside.
Even though it was only February, it was very beautiful and it even snowed when we were there with made postcard perfect scenery.
We decided to phone home when we were staying here. It was then we found out the tragic news that Eve’s uncle had been killed in a car crash.
We were told to continue our journey because we had put so much money, time and effort into it.
Eve was very down in the dumps at this time, as expected so we took a small detour. I secured us two jobs aboard a cruise liner that travelled the Mediterranean area taking in the French and Italian coastlines and islands. We worked in the bar on board and had a great laugh rubbing shoulders with the upper class. Although we were working we had a ball, and made nearly more money in tips over the two weeks than we did in wages, which came in very handy indeed!
Next on the unwritten list was Italy. I was told by many people that you should try visit Rome at least once in your life. This was an excellent choice as we were both fans of history and of ancient ruins. We saw the old with the new and plenty of the most famous family in Italy, that’s right , the Mafia. They are so well respected over there its crazy!.
At the time we were there, war had broken out in Yugoslavia, as it was then, so we just travelled through Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania with haste as we didn’t want to get caught up in the conflict.
We made it to Greece just as the weather stared to improve and a here we decided to take a few days to relax and plan phase two of the trip as we left the sights of Europe behind us. We travelled to Turkey, the last European country we would see for some time. Turkey was a different story. Eve didn’t like it because it wasn’t up to the usual European standard. The rooms in the hotel were dirty and there was a lot of poor people about all trying to make a quick buck from the foreigners. I, on the other hand was the complete opposite!. The accommodation was cheap and was everything else, including the local beer and the food. The food was actually nice although poor Eve would have to get food poisoning, in the one country she didn’t like.
She was quite sick for about a week and I tried my best to nurse her back to health as quickly as possible.. We became close at this time, different than we had experienced before.
We literally travelled straight across Russia with few stoppages, as we had lost quite a bit of time what with working on the cruise and also with Eve been sick. It was around mid-April when we found ourselves in India. This was an unusual country to say the least although the people were quite friendly.
It was here I saw the true side of my travelling companion. I fell ill in Calcutta and we had to make arrangements to get to Thailand. I was too sick to do anything, cursed “man ‘flu”!!. Eve really stepped up to the mark and arranged everything. We couldn’t travel through Burma as there was yet another war taking place so we had to find other means. Anybody else would have panicked but Eve stayed cool, calm and collected and arranged for us to stow away as cooks aboard a ship leaving the Bay of Bengal for Thailand.
We arrived in Thailand safe and sound but had to recover for a few days from the stormy seas and harassment experienced on board the ship.
The streets of Thailand were weird to say the least. On every street corner there was somebody selling something. Every thing fake! Fake Levis, Pepe, Rolex, the whole lot. And of course the infamous Thai girls, which I avoided after warning from Eve!.
We travelled out to the beach resort and stayed here for a two week holiday in completely unspoiled paradise.
In June we arrived in the place I had been wanting to visit since we left the Irish shores, Australia!.
We explored this in much detail and still remained the best of friends throughout. We lived in Australia for six months and made quite a bit of money working with the ex-pats. We had an absolute ball here, and we regretted leaving it . We were supposed to go to America but as it was Christmas we came home.
We had an excellent Christmas, catching up with old friends and family, retelling tales of our adventure both good and bad. OnNew Years Evewe decided to take it easy so we had a quite drink and watched the countdown to the New Year on television. As midnight beckoned at the end of our eventful year away, I plucked the courage from somewhere and fell to one knee and asked Eve to marry me. Without hesitation she said “Yes I will. With all my heart”. We both embraced each other knowing that we had just begun a new adventure: One of life.
After the year away together, I thought I knew her inside out but this one thing she kept from me and it was then I discovered what it was. She wanted to see what type of person I was, and in turn wanted me to see what type of person she really was. We married four years later and began exploring little known places of which we had an interest for - “We”, being myself and my interesting travelling companion!


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