Things I’ve learned…

  • Stuff you learn in school when you’re fifteen won’t mean anything to you when you’re 28 unless you have continued to use that knowledge consistently. Case in point – I remember precisely none of my French GCSE apart from some pretty rudimentary stuff. Hello; thank you; do you speak English (please God)?
  • The grid system works, bitches! Some of you may know I’m quite a fan of the US, having been there a fair bit in the past. Upon my first visits I wasn’t too keen on the system of building towns to a grid, but after wandering aimlessly around some really old European towns, man do I wish they’d been built to a grid. I have quite a good innate sense of direction when walking around places I don’t know, but even with a map in hand I got lost trying to find my last hostel. Damn silly windy streets that barely look like footpaths. Europe, fair warning, when I’m in charge you’re getting bulldozed and rebuild with avenues and streets.
  • Stereotypes exist for a reason. When I checked in to my last hostel in Clermont Ferrand (nice city, shitty hostel) there were four Korean (I think) kids sitting in the common room, all on their laptops, all watching animé. I stayed in that hostel for four days. I swear, every single time  I went into that common room, first thing in the morning, last thing at night before heading to bed, and every time I left or entered the hostel, all four were there, in the same places, doing the same thing. Now, I’m not one to judge how people spend their vacations, but one imagines you don’t leave home and pay to stay in a hostel somewhere just so you can sit inside on a computer much like you’d do at home. Not one word of this account is exaggeration.
  • Gloucester (and to a lesser extent, the UK) is a hole in comparison to the places I’m visiting now. For example, please see the below photograph of the area outside the Lyon train station. Now admittedly, I’ve sepia toned it and given it a slight diffuse glow to cheat and make it look all romantic and shiz, but you get my point.

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