Posts Tagged ‘Jerk Does Abroad-Notes from Strasbourg’

Who's this handsome devil?

Who's this handsome devil?

At the Institut d’Etudes Politiques, or Sciences Po of Strasbourg, the girls outnumber the guys 10 to 1.

Feeling that Lady Luck was with me one day, I decided to ask this one girl out to lunch. What could be the harm in sharing some good old cafeteria food? (Secret Milillo trait I picked up from my Uncle Angelo, may he rest in peace: when asking a girl out, for example, to the movies, tell her specifically to meet you at the concessions’ stand).

I met her at the student cafeteria on the corner by the tramway stop and we went in. We stood in line, placed the food on our trays, paid separately, and sat down. Crowded. Noisy. Cheap food. This girl had no idea what she was in for. (more…)

Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Amsterdam. Even Bill Shakespeare’s power of three does not quite do a justice for all that this city embodies. From the moment we arrived, everyone was excited, including your humble narrator. 

Our hotel was better than the tenement we resided in during our stay at Paris, with soap, hot water and fresh towels in the morning- all things that reminded us why we were paying for a private university education.

When a city offers you legalized drugs, an incredible nightlife, and the opportunity to window-shop for women, it is quite easy to see how youngsters can be easily led astray. I am neither confirming nor refuting the actions of my comrades, however, may I repeat, that it is the twenty first century. (more…)

Otto the Orange in front of the Palace of Versailles.

Otto the Orange in front of the Palace of Versailles.

Last time we left off, I was indubitably unnerved by the flight to Paris. But since that time, I have been traveling with a caravan of students and professors to three major cities. Suffice to say, my attitude has changed quite a bit.

Arriving in Paris, we had the fortune of taking a boat ride (tour) of the Seine. It was quite wonderful to see the different buildings in the dusk light. It was not great, however, to almost develop hypothermia as we rode around the freezing city while the winds blew around 20 degrees Fahrenheit.

Nevertheless, it was a great sight to see. Over the course of the next few days in Paris we saw many monuments, historical sites and numerous public displays of affection. Seriously. Every, and any time I took the metro, I saw people locking lips. Three emotions ran through my mind each time (in this order): disgust, curiosity, envy. I should think that a French girl would be interested in a strapping American lad, non? Either way, the city of lights was as elegant as it was cold.

I was able to make it down to Shakespeare and Company as well. It is a bookstore that the expatriate community of the 1920’s often spent time at writing and reading, as well as toss back ideas between young, prolific writers. Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Stein. I felt smarter just standing amongst the superfluously anachronistic shelves lined with books that have changed the world. (more…)

The famous Red Light District in Amsterdam.

The famous Red Light District in Amsterdam.

Hello, my name is Wesley Milillo and I am a Jerk Blog correspondent from Strasbourg, France (Thanks, Krystie Lee Yandoli). Can I refer to myself as a correspondent? Probably not, for I am not that legit. Nevertheless, it will provide me with some modicum of self-assurance that will let me sleep at night. Sad.

Anyway, right now I am en route to Paris to spend a few days and nights there before I embark farther  to Amsterdam (oh yeah I said Amsterdam) and Cologne within a ten day span. If I am still coherent (read: if I am not found battered and bruised on some street corner of the Red Light District) by that time, you will hear more from me.

But back to the plane ride. I do not understand planes.  They cram us in like sardines. Why? So that AirFrance can make a few extra bucks, meanwhile the person next to me smells like she hasn’t even heard of the theory of a shower, let alone the act itself. (more…)