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Barstool St. John's

Johnnies in Pompei

Pompei

Pompei was quite the trip… First you have to stop in Naples which certainly isn’t the nicest city … it looked like a third world country to me and my friends. But we may have been a bit spoiled being in Rome for so long. 

Really odd leaving the train station and seeing it was surrounded by barbed wire… Then, one of the first things we see in a park across the street was a nice graffiti reading “Tourists go home” but hey I guess that’s why they say not to go to Naples. Anyways, just a few feet away was an amazing bakery that claimed they invented sfogliatelles. Now i’m not Italian but my italian friends from Staten Island said they were the best they had ever had, and I can’t complain, the thing was fucking delicious. Crunchy on the outside and then the soft, warm lemony filling… I might never have another just because I don’t wanna ruin my sole sfogliatelle experience. 

Anyways, we kept wandering through the streets of Naples after that, looking for somewhere to find pizza. We looked up somewhere on google and made our way to it but didn’t want to stand in the long ass line. We turned around and found another place that looked good and it turned out fine. Pizza here is just different compared to the U.S. they like it a little more soupy in the middle and don’t cut it in slices. We make fun of those who eat it with a knife and fork but who would’ve thought thats the way it was meant to be eaten. The ingredients though, just in general everywhere you go are so much better than home. I’m realizing that some places at home might actually use sauce from the jar to make their stuff and it’s ridiculously upsetting knowing I’ll have to downgrade back to that stuff once I’m gone. It just sucks that Italians don’t actually make Chicken Parm because if they did that shit would fucking slap. 

Once we left the sketchy city of Naples we made it to our Air bnb near Pompei… A little fun fact for those of you haven’t traveled italy.. Pompei is in the middle of fucking nowhere. Kind of like farm country almost but wherever we stayed we couldn’t even call an Uber and it would’ve taken twenty minutes to call a cab. Good news is the BNB gave us a driver but he was an ultra scumbag and ripped us off. 

The first night we got there we went to dinner to a place my friend’s friend had recommended to him on Mount Vesuvius, called Sebethos. A family run place with head chef Michael balbuono. Had no idea who the guy was but he had us search him on google and he’s like a Michelin star chef. The food was out of this world, everything freshly grown, probably some of the best pasta I’ll ever have. They gave us one pasta dish that had onions that are unique to the region and Mount Vesuvius, so sweet, fucking delicious. Then came the meat course with grilled veal, chicken and sausage. THey were all great but I’m convinced that’s the best veal I’ll ever have. So tender and tasty. The rest was great too but two other things that made the place so special was the view, looking out over I think Naples or some city and then the water.. We got there in time to watch the sunset and by the time we left you could see all the lights of everything beneath for miles and miles… truly beautiful. Not to mention the view might’ve been a little enhanced by the homemade wine we kept getting. Between my group of friends it was unanimously the best wine we’ve had to date… and it costing $5/bottle didn’t hurt either. Yeah that might’ve made the view a little better. 

Then the trip got a little worse when our cab driver, the one given to us from the BNB hosts, charged us double the price of the ride there to get home… because he had to drive back down the mountain after he dropped us off then back up again and down again to drop us at home… bullshit. 

The next day we saw Pompei and that was awesome. Ridiculous that a city could be preserved for that long and still have so much standing. Really eye opening and one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen. Little side note people even thousands of years ago found dick jokes funny… our tour guide pointed out a little rock sign in the ground, he said what’s it look like… our group took a few seconds but came to the conclusion it was in fact a weiner. He said that the direction it was pointed in was to show the direction the brothel was in. Hilarious. Not to mention that people then and now weren’t much different. There were something like 40 brothels and 100 bars that they had discovered in Pompei, pretty funny if you ask me. Pompei is must see though, one of the most historic places still in such good shape from the ash preserving it for so long. 

So, as previously stated the place we stayed in was in the middle of nowhere, my friends wanted to leave a night early, not my decision. But, having taken advantage of the wine deal the night before I had a few extra bottles since I thought we’d be staying another night. 

Not wanting to get in trouble for bringing alcohol on campus, I did the sensible thing and destroyed the evidence… drank 3-4 bottles myself before the train ride. Not my wisest decision but certainly made the train ride go a lot quicker. 

I did get a little rowdy though. WE unfortunately had to take the same cab guy from the night before so I did the only reasonable thing a drunk person would do to a driver that ripped them off and repeatedly said “WE NO PAY” “WE KNOW YOU RIPPED US OFF LAST NIGHT” from the back of the van. Guess he didn’t understand or didn’t care but he got his money no problem, in the state though from what my friends tell me, I was ready to grab our brags and run once we made it to the train station… we didn’t.

Then, once in a Mcdonalds, thought it would be funny to give my friend who bought a sword, yes a fucking sword, I don’t know why, but he bought a big ass sword from some stupid tourist trap stand outside of pompei. (I also haggled one of the guys for a bracelet, he goes you like? And I said Five dollars right? He said 8 but for you my friend 5, i got it for 5) But, back to where I was with the sword… We were in a mcdonalds and… the one really started to hit me at this point, I had finished it… there was a cop and I supposedly said “sir this man has a sword, he has a weapon” and some other things but that was the most of it. I guess the cop didn’t care, believe me, or want to get involved because nothing happened. Next thing i knew i was waking up as the train came in to the station in Rome. And that’s my trip to Pompei.

Amsterdam

Amsterdam was a very fun time. Although I wasn’t there for long, I think I still got basically the full experience. We booked it last minute, me and my friend saw some weird shit from capuchin friars… we thought we were going to see some catacombs… it was a bit more than that. These fucking weirdos didn’t just stack up the bones but disassembled themand basically made fucking art of them… I really wouldn’t suggest it to anyone unless you’re trying to gett deeply disturbed. I mean you had nothing else better to do than take apart bodies and make rooms full of “art” with them? They literally made an entire fucking clock made out of bones… fucking disgusting. So, yeah when my other friend Facetimed me a couple minutes after we left the museum saying he booked a trip to Amsterdam, we really didn’t hesitate. WE needed some weed. So, the next morning when we left and sprinted through the airport for our 7 AM flight, having getting lost because we pronounced our gate “A” in english, people kept pointing us towards the E gates… go figure. But made it on time no problem. The Amsterdam airport is really easy to travel from, got a train right into the center of the city. Only thing is us stupid americans thought it was free transit… it wasn’t, so it was a bit tough to get out of the train station but we eventually convinced one of the workers it was an honest mistake and he just let us through. Then, we hit a McDonald’s where I had the normal menu but added in cheese pockets which were delicious. Crunchy, gooey cheese, what could be better. 

Then, it still being early in the morning, we basically just waited around until the first weed shop opened. We went to Grey Area coffee shop… famous for having Snoop Dogg and Willy NElson smoke there together once, and were one of the first in line. Having been on a bit of a tolerance break since I had gotten to Europe, it’s safe to say that  just a little knocked me on my ass. I guess it’s my own fault for not doing more research about it but when they say coffee shop in Amsterdam… you’re not really going to find much coffee there. So after unnecessarily purchasing a bit more, we started our trek across the city, basically just walking through neighborhoods we had no idea what was what, but was still on our way to our hotel. Eventually we decided to stop once again and get beverages and smoke a bit more. We found another coffee shop called “Smokey’s Coffee Shop” This one had bright lights on the outside and looked like a fun time, but when you got inside it was quite gritty. The bouncers and servers all seemed like they wanted to beat the shit out of you but I guess that’s not the wrong vibe to give off when working at a place people strictly go to just to do drugs. Blinking Christmas lights across the ceiling it was actually a nice ambiance and the music wasn’t bad at all. The thing I really liked about it was the drink menu. They didn’t have much food but the drinks were the real attraction with juices, smoothies and milkshakes. I got a chocolate milkshake and I’ve gotta be completely honest it was the best I’ve ever had. After that and somehow smoking more weed, we kept the journey going and walked to our hotel. Once there we each needed a break, and said we’d meet up with our friend who first booked it and was at an airbnb in a bit. 

Honestly though, the walk was crazy long but still worth it. Amsterdam is a beautiful city, very clean, the buildings oddly leaning over the street was really something to see. Compared to Rome it was really peaceful for a change. Without the cars flying by and beeping, it was interesting to see everyone riding bicycles… everyone rides bikes there, probably more than the amount of people walking, or at least that’s what it seemed like.  It was really tough walking through the city and resisting all the food they had to offer. I swear all these people eat is fucking burgers, there was literally a place that sold burgers on every corner. 

Later on once we met my friend we went back out and got dinner, then acquired one of the main reasons of the trip, magic mushrooms, me and my friends first time trying but another one had tried quite a few times before. We certainly enjoyed, it wasn’t as crazy as I thought it would be but still very fun, not sure I would do them again though, my brain was fried the next day. 

Then, the next morning, before our flight we decided to finish our remaining weed and go through another walk of the city. We hadn’t gone through it yet so we decided we had to go through the Red Light District. Little tip, don’t go through it on a Monday morning at 1:00. I started seeing a bunch of hot women walk by me in street clothes, and then it hit me.. They were coming back from a night of work… kind of depressing and wish I could have seen it when it was really popping but hey, maybe I’ll have to go back another time. 

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