Well my son finally got back from his European trip. He survived and the countries involved are a little worse off than they otherwise might have been if he hadn’t visited, but I hear they’re still intact. He got alot of photos but apparently we (I) didn’t send him with enough of the camera pieces to allow him to recharge the battery, so he only got about 125 pictures, whereas we were expecting many many more. He didn’t say so in so many words, but he had a good time. By the sounds of what he describes I’m not too sure I’m impressed with the entire tour package. The kids end up being treated like a piece of shit who are “happy” to accept any shit thrown at them because they don’t know any better, nor give a shit themselves. If any adult had to endure such stuff that he described to me, they’d be livid. He basically subsisted on junk food because what they supposedly got as part of the tour package for food was crap. Maybe thats my impression, but he is very particular about his food and there are certain things he just doesn’t like, and it was most of what he doesn’t like that they were given. So every chance he had he went to and spent money going to McDonalds instead. Part of the meals he was supposed to receive was a “Continental breakfast”, which according to him was, in every country except France, bread and water (France actually offered croissants which he does like). They offered cereal, Corn Flakes, which he doesn’t like. I have no doubt that he exaggerates a little about how bad it was, but he is very unforgiving when it comes to stuff like that. The dinners he received was also as bad. They consisted of different soups, which he doesn’t like especially in the form of anything vegetable, and beef broth is just a waste of time as far as he’s concerned. He didn’t mention anything in particular but was totally unimpressed by being served SPAM in Germany. I actually think he was looking forward to trying some local cuisine, but wasn’t offered too much if any at all. OK, I didn’t mean for this to be a complete bitch-fest of his trip but don’t forget I’m getting alot of this second-hand, and from a teenager, so bear with me.
Joe (second from right) in Lucerne at the snowy summits of Mt Pilatus.
So, he went to London and went to a few places there. He said the Queen was in, though he didn’t see her. He caught some Brazilian VIP leaving some place, don’t know where but we see the nice cars that they were in by the pictures that he took. That was one of his comments…the cars that people had in London were awesome, compared to the cars that people had in France, which he said were “pieces of shit”. We asked him about all of the places he went and the things he did and we didn’t get much of an answer. We asked him about the train ride under the English channel, he fell asleep. He got some good pictures of London and various buildings, The Queens palace, some “Canadian” garden, the Canadian consulate, the big wheel, London Bridge, some castle, the Ritz Hotel and various other buildings, a few canons and some palace guards that were on horseback. He was then off to Paris where they got to go up the Eiffel Tower! He didn’t take any pictures from the top, but got a few shots of it from the bottom and at night from the bus window when it was all lit up. Apparently he climbed down the tower and almost traversed a set of stairs that were all rusty and falling apart, but that were blocked off. Luckily they didn’t actually go down them, but they thought about it. He got lots of nice shots of various fountains, and arcs’ and statues throughout the city (I assume) while they were driving, through the bus window. He said he couldn’t believe all of the porn he said he saw all over the place in France. There were naked women everywhere, apparently, or rather pictures of them. Thats about when the camera battery died and no further attempts to use it were made until he got to Germany and was visiting the concentration camp turned into a museum. He got a few shots of the camp and mentioned that the video they saw there was something that isn’t able to be seen anywhere else about the holocaust. During his travels, he met up with some girl from Kitchener (Ontario). There were three different schools on the same tour, his school, a group from Yarmouth Nova Scotia, and a group from Kitchener Ontario. They all shared the same bus, etc.
While they were in Switzerland, they pulled up to some place for a rest stop. There was some tourist shop there, and when they were all piling back onto the bus to leave, the owner of the store came running out accusing someone from the tour of stealing a sweater from his store. There was a big squabble and he wanted to go through several kids’ backpacks. Eventually the police were called and they had to wait while they sorted it all out. Apparently the shop owner was mistaken. He suggested that the police told them they would take him out somewhere and beat the crap out of him for being wrong. Yea right!
The accommodations weren’t anything fantastic, basically it was just a room with a couple of beds in it, with some common area washroom located nearby. He was a appalled (sp??) to learn that you had to pay to use the washrooms where ever it was they stayed at, while in France. He spent just about all of the money we gave him, mostly on food. He bought himself a few items, namely a Swiss army knife from Switzerland (of course) and a few other things. He brought back some spoons and a little statue of some castle in London for Mrs. Doooh and he brought back a t-shirt for me that said “My son went to London and all he brought back for me was this t-shirt” and a beer stein from Germany which is actually very nice!
Overall I was a little disappointed (in myself) with the whole battery-recharging thing for the camera, but it sounds like he had a good trip. The above picture was courtesy of the tour company (EF Tours). I have all of the pics he took, but they are at home.
JOKE OF THE DAY:
Toward the end of the service, the Minister asked, “How many of you have forgiven your enemies?” 80% held up their hands.
The Minister then repeated his question. All responded this time, except one small elderly lady.
“Mrs. Jones? Are you not willing to forgive your enemies?” “I don’t have any,” she replied, smiling sweetly.
“Mrs. Jones, that is very unusual. How old are you?”
“Ninety-eight,” she replied.
“Oh, Mrs. Jones, would you please come down in front and tell us all how a person can live ninety-eight years & not have an enemy in the world?”
The little sweetheart of a lady tottered down the aisle, faced the congregation, and said:
“I outlived the bitches.”