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Europe 2001-1 Start here, Innies & Outies, Onezy-Twozy’s – Intro To Europe


Europe Map 2001
Europe Map 2001

Innies & Outies, Onezy-Twozy’s Frome the book Life In A Nutshell by Stacy Poulos

Some people have “innies” and some people have “outies” (belly buttons). It used to bother me that I had an “outie,” boys have “outies.” As I got older and more womanly like, I developed an “innie.” Basically, I got fatter and my stomach grew around my belly button. Now it bothers me I have an “innie.” Which brings me to another pointless point about “number one” and “number two”. It’s very traumatizing for a child not to know which is which. This is one of those tricky questions children ask you outside of the class room, “do you need to go ‘number one’ or ‘number two?” After awhile, I realized you don’t say “number two” under any circumstance, because I realized that meant you had to go “poop.” And that’s far too much information and ammunition for a child to have on you. Growing up can be traumatizing. It seemed as though everyone else got a manual that I didn’t. Even the how to ask embarrassing questions of other kids. I always seemed to have the wrong answer, I was a target for them. Going to the bathroom has been a stressful thing for me since elementary school. Even in college I would have people run the water so I could concentrate on peeing. If you had to use a butt gasket, the person in the next stall would know what you were up to.
Somehow I slipped through the cracks and never knew what was the true answer was until I was about thirty-four. By high school I was too far gone to ask, and I never trusted a friend well enough to ask either. I guess my mom never covered the ‘onezy-twozy’ thing because she called it like it was, where ever it was… “Honey, do you have to take a shit?” Not that turning to my grandparents was any better. I suppose it was passed down from generation to generation, because I recall my Nana saying the same thing. If you are a parent, even if you call it like it is, make sure your children know the difference! So here I am breaking away to Europe with little knowledge about the way things are out there, concerned about special European toilets spitting water at my ass.
Not too many know what goes on in my head. But for someone who didn’t do well in school, I think about a lot of fine details. I think a lot has to do with the combination of my mom and older brother. My mom’s a freak. If you have a cold, she doesn’t want you to touch her or anything that comes in contact with her. And my older brother likes to point out microscopic stuff. Like when he showed me a close up of my favorite “Blue Cheese” and the “blue” was mold. I haven’t touched it since. When he talks about any subject, he says it with such authority and conviction as though he invented it himself. That’s why we called him “Scout Master” as a young teenager. When I would ask him, “How do you know?” He would always reply, “I just know.” So I am very aware about microscopic things. Like did you know flies go “number two” and puke every time they land? That’s what the Scout Master joyfully told me. So I freak out when one lands on me or anything  they touch. Whenever I see, one I’m self-conscious of where they are located, and I sanitize what they touch or not eat if they land on my food. My dad said that you catch people’s colds if you shake their hands. Hearing this leaves an imaginative three dimensionally visual person paranoid.
Before starting my adventure to Europe (the other side of the world to me), I went to the Pride parade in San Francisco with some friends on BART. Eventually we got separated,but I still managed to have a good time on my own. A few minutes before midnight I realized I only had five minutes to get to BART for the last train home. Well! In a panic, I ran out of this club looking for a cab to get me to the BART station. I had no time to wait so I ran like crazy to BART and caught the last one. Whew! Fortunately I already had prepaid for the ticket because that takes me a long time to figure out how to get the ticket out of the machine. Next thing you know I woke up forty minutes later at the end of the line in Pleasanton, eight miles from my stop (Castro Valley) where I should have gotten off. In a daze, I asked about a train going back. They said it was the last one of the evening. So there I was, at one A.M. in the morning, two days away from leaving for another country and I have to call my mom for a ride home because I missed my exit. Nothing like trying to make my mother worried, on top of worrying about me leaving the country. “What the *@&%!, I can’t believe you fell asleep on the F*@&%ing train!”, she says. Her way of encouragement and parental advice. My younger brother picks up the phone at the same time. They argue about what an idiot I am. My brother hangs up. My mom says, “What are you going to do in Europe?” I said, “Look at the bright side, I’m not calling you from Germany needing a ride. Deana will look out for me. Besides, our tickets are no good unless we are together.” Extra insurance! As I sat in the cold waiting for my mommy, I thought, “What if I was in Germany?” Yeeks! I tried not to think about it.
It just so happens there was a lot of coverage in the news that Europeans rip off tourists. The news show 20/20 did a report on how people stole wallets, etc,. Even though people never really talk about Europe, it seems everyone I talked to, talked about the pickpockets, and how they come up and cut the straps of your purse and run. Considering I’m bringing $3,000.00 worth of camera equipment, etc. I prepared myself. I was as prepared as I could be, I thought. I had reinforced my purse straps with cable wire so no one could cut it and run. I had an alarm I could attach to my bag and a chair, if anyone tried to move it, it would go off. I had mini locks on all my zippers, as well as a money belt. A metal cord went from my camera to whatever I hooked it on with a lock on the end, so it wouldn’t leave without me knowing. I had a warm sleeping bag, blow up pillows, eye patches, sanitizing wash, a mini first aid kit, a flash light, two alarms, two watches, one watch with three time zones and an alarm, two money calculator converters with alarm clocks, a waterproof container for my passport, as well as many other mini gadgets. I scanned the girls and my ID’s, passports, and our tickets and burned them onto a mini CD as big as a business card and kept it with me, and one at home in case we lost it. I was covered, and I knew what “number one” and “number two” was. I also had a lot of room on my VISA card to charge my way through Europe and home again. But I had nothing that would prevent me from getting lost or separated. I bought three walkie talkies so we could find each other in a two mile range. We lost one before we got on the air plane.

Date: June 29, 2001. By Stacy Poulos v4 Published in “Life In A Nutshell” 2008.

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Host: Photographer / Filmmaker Stacy Poulos
Author of ‘Life In A Nutshell’
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