We're sitting on a bench in the sun, drinking the first cold "Hoha Hola" yet on this ice-deficient continent, watching the river and the bikers go by. We can see the Winkler Terrace and the Fortress Hohensalzburg and the domes of tall churches across the river. It's so peaceful here.
After the Sound of Music tour, we obviously retreated to the YoHo bar yesterday. First a guy named Zeke came to sit with us and listened to the tail end of my intoxicated summary of Lois Lowry's Taking Care of Terrific, which I was blubbering about to Eva, and he actually knew who Lois Lowry is and has read The Giver! He's from New York, and he's been in Europe for eight months, working in a hostel in Rome for the last six weeks. He was a little traumatized after leaving Rome and having just shaved off his beard. He kept stroking his naked face and looking perpelexed.
Then another American named Derek came over, and we decided to play "Sex, Drugs, and Rock and Roll." Somehow I came up with random contributions like Fine Young Cannibals and Ugly Kid Joe. It was crazed. Then I started pondering the nature of human attraction. First, I was attracted to Zeke's personality and Derek's looks. But then Zeke left, and Derek's brother James and their friend Polly came down, and we started having even more garrulous fun and improving the reputation of Americans, I'm sure. At first I wanted to kill all 95 pounds of Polly, but she turned out to be really fun and had an amusing love/hate flirtation going on with James. Derek seemed to want to be left out of their Beatrice/Benedict-esque behavior. We played Asshole and My Dick Is, with all sorts of strange, made-up rules added in as the night progressed.
Ultimately we decided to sojourn on a strange, drunken pilgrimage across the river to a strange Mexican bar, and along the way, (according to the more sober Eva), we discussed having gas, how to curse in Italian, "MmmBop," and other such rousing topics. Polly took a group photo with some deranged Austrians. I felt quite certain that Derek grabbed my ass in that feigning-an-accidental-brushing-while-walking-in-step kind of way.
We all ate breakfast this morning and said our goodbyes as they head back to Switzerland. It seems wrong not to exchange emails or anything, but maybe it's better to be strangers in the night, exchanging glances over hostel beer.