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Paul Cuenco

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Member Since: Jun, 2010

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Blogs by Paul Cuenco

Europe
12/18/2011 3:16:26 PM
Europe

The beginning is always the most exciting and rewarding part of life; the first day of school, my first date, my first trip here and there. One of the most exciting was a trip to Europe I took in 1981. It really was a choice in studying in Europe or taking a short jaunt to the continent. You see, my school, the University of San Francisco, will not allow me to study abroad that soon. They said that I must be a junior or senior before they will allow me to. I was just beginning my sophomore year. If I did that, then I will have to re-apply for admissions to my university. So, instead of going a full semester, I opted to just go that summer, a month, and explore Europe. I was so excited. When Europeans visit the bank I worked in, I would have small chat ending it by declaring that I will be on my way to Europe. Even mom and big sister are excited for me, too. Sis told me not to miss the Swiss Alps. Mom, at the end of the trip made an album for this trip declaring it to be a first class travel while in actuality, I traveled second class. And boy, even though it’s second class, I adapted well to it. Everywhere I went to I tagged along my suitcases. In the beginning, it was two and two becomes four, four BIG suitcases; and I can handle them all. On the train, on the streets, I carried them. I figured that my first trip to Europe must encompass a variety of countries and cities. So I not only went to Rome, Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam, but I went to small towns to like Liege, Florence and Bonn.

When I arrived at Brussels, I called my mom and declared that I am in Europe. I did not take their subway to their city center. Rather, I took the bus over cobbled streets. The skies are gray but to me, it was sunshiny as a day in Stinson Beach (in California). I found lodging at some youth hostel, deposit my baggage and then begin to explore the town. I promised myself that one day I would be writing about this trip but I did not have the intuition on how to write them. I committed everything to memory…or I wrote snippets of prose or a short poem pertaining to whatever interest me. “Someday, I shall write about it.” I declared.

On the last day of the trip, I met a French doctor on a Burger King joint on Champ Elysees. The whole of Paris was in strike and I have to be at my train station back to Brussels. Taxis are rare. Buses and their wonderful subway were not working. And walking, well, it could take me forever to reach my destination. So this French doctor offered me a ride to my train station; and he gave me some Franc just in case I needed them. As I settle in my couch, two girls peeked into the cabin and ask if the nearby seats were occupied. I said yes. And my partner with whom I struck a conversation earlier said, that I was stupid to say no. And so, I rush back out, found the two girls by the boarding on platform of the car and invited them in.

The rest was history for me. Of course, you will have a ringside exposition of what transpired. But it was indeed an enjoyable and fun-filled escapade. I am too excited to tell you all about this, myself. But it was an exciting escapade because I was among the first in my family to have this type of trip where traveling at a young age, alone and to multiple countries contributed a whole life to my lifetime. That was why perhaps, in the ups and down of my life, remembering these episodes add joie de vivre in a life populated by the boring and dull.

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More Blogs by Paul Cuenco
• Predicament: Dave and Annette's Housewarming 2012 - Sunday, September 16, 2012
• Predicament: Portland Sands and its vicinity - Sunday, September 02, 2012
• Predicament: Mississippi Street Fair, Portland, Oregon - Saturday, August 25, 2012
• Predicament: Astoria, Oregon - Friday, August 17, 2012
• New Book for Father's Day! - Saturday, June 23, 2012
• Predicament: Saving Money - Wednesday, May 23, 2012
• Predicament: Old Haunts - Sunday, May 13, 2012
• Predicament: Courteous Portland Traffic - Wednesday, May 02, 2012
• Sorry - Wednesday, April 11, 2012
• Predicament: A Day at the Beach - Thursday, April 05, 2012
• Predicament: Dinner at a Deserted Restaurant - Tuesday, April 03, 2012
• Predicament: My Stroke and Writing - Monday, April 02, 2012
• Predicament: The World of the Bay Area - Sunday, April 01, 2012
• Predicament: A Competitor Indeed - Saturday, March 31, 2012
• Predicament: Democracy! - Friday, March 30, 2012
• Predicament: The Garden Party - Thursday, March 29, 2012
• Predicament: Gift-Giving - Wednesday, March 28, 2012
• Predicament: Suicide - Tuesday, March 27, 2012
• Predicament: Water, Water Everywhere - Monday, March 26, 2012
• Predicament: The Floods Of Manila - Sunday, March 25, 2012
• Predicament: Tita Dimple's recollection of Papa Trining - Saturday, March 24, 2012
• Predicament: The Future Should Be Brighter - Friday, March 23, 2012
• Predicament: Death of a Writer - Thursday, March 22, 2012
• Predicament: The Season Re-liveth - Wednesday, March 21, 2012
• Predicament: Time Had Forgotten About - Tuesday, March 20, 2012
• Predicament: Closing Time - Monday, March 19, 2012
• Predicament: Hasan Baharin - Sunday, March 18, 2012
• Predicament: A Pimple of my Nose - Saturday, March 17, 2012
• Predicament: What is Mike Cooking? - Friday, March 16, 2012
• Predicament: Papa Eriong - Thursday, March 15, 2012
• Predicament: Kind Words - Wednesday, March 14, 2012
• Predicament: Music and Whit 2 - Tuesday, March 13, 2012
• Predicament: Music and Whit 1 - Monday, March 12, 2012
• Predicament: What You Want to Be - Sunday, March 11, 2012
• Predicament: Father and Son - Saturday, March 10, 2012
• Liza's Life Plan - Friday, March 09, 2012
• The Colleague - Thursday, March 08, 2012
• Oh Taylor! - Wednesday, March 07, 2012
• Dena - Tuesday, March 06, 2012
• Losing My Job, Again - Monday, March 05, 2012
• A Plane to Nowhere - Sunday, March 04, 2012
• A Slave No More - Saturday, March 03, 2012
• Cirque du Soleil - Friday, March 02, 2012
• Mendocino - Thursday, March 01, 2012
• Th Coming Storm - Wednesday, February 29, 2012
• Becoming Old - Tuesday, February 28, 2012
• Ordinary Lives - Monday, February 27, 2012
• Books I Read - Sunday, February 26, 2012
• Discrimination - Saturday, February 25, 2012
• Quintessential Jokes - Friday, February 24, 2012
• The Catholic Experience - Thursday, February 23, 2012
• Promises, promises - Wednesday, February 22, 2012
• Sleepy - Tuesday, February 21, 2012
• Art for Art's Sake - Monday, February 20, 2012
• Mike's Ash Wednesday - Sunday, February 19, 2012
• Holy - Saturday, February 18, 2012
• Summer Home - Friday, February 17, 2012
• Pickpocketed - Thursday, February 16, 2012
• A Penny for a Drink - Wednesday, February 15, 2012
• My Roman Holiday - Tuesday, February 14, 2012
• Luck and Popularity - Monday, February 13, 2012
• It's Valentine's - Sunday, February 12, 2012
• Bosses - Saturday, February 11, 2012
• Education and Options - Saturday, February 11, 2012
• Windy Portland - Thursday, February 09, 2012
• My Job at Costco - Wednesday, February 08, 2012
• Compassion - Tuesday, February 07, 2012
• The Day Paul had Two Parties and other things - Monday, February 06, 2012
• When I Die - Sunday, February 05, 2012
• Sleeping and Dreaming - Saturday, February 04, 2012
• The Loneliness of a Country Road - Friday, February 03, 2012
• Jordan - Thursday, February 02, 2012
• Taxes Galore - Wednesday, February 01, 2012
•  It's almost Valentines - Monday, January 30, 2012
• Habits We Indulge Ourselves In - Sunday, January 29, 2012
• To Cruise or not to Cruise - Saturday, January 28, 2012
• Blah, Blah, Blah - Friday, January 27, 2012
• Rain - Thursday, January 26, 2012
• Charlie* and Dad - Wednesday, January 25, 2012
• Writing and Being A Writer - Tuesday, January 24, 2012
• True Snow - Monday, January 23, 2012
• Reinvention - Sunday, January 22, 2012
• What I Miss - Saturday, January 21, 2012
• A Gift for Valentine - Thursday, January 19, 2012
• Venerable Mr. Wu - Wednesday, January 18, 2012
• The Snow Storm That Wasn't - Tuesday, January 17, 2012
• The Russians - Monday, January 16, 2012
• The Older Generation - Sunday, January 15, 2012
• What is the other half doing today? - Saturday, January 14, 2012
• Mike's Bird dog Stories - Friday, January 13, 2012
• Dying - Thursday, January 12, 2012
• This Modern Life - Wednesday, January 11, 2012
• Jabberwocky - Tuesday, January 10, 2012
• Marriages and Such - Monday, January 09, 2012
• Poetry in America - Sunday, January 08, 2012
• Old Friendships - Saturday, January 07, 2012
• Clark and a whole of other things - Friday, January 06, 2012
• Being (almost) Late - Thursday, January 05, 2012
• At my Starbucks - Wednesday, January 04, 2012
• The Sandusky Affair - Tuesday, January 03, 2012
• Happy Reading 1 - Monday, January 02, 2012
• New Year 2012 - Monday, January 02, 2012
• A Day with my Nieces - Sunday, January 01, 2012
• To Live and Enjoy Life - Thursday, December 29, 2011
• Goodbye Uncle Paul - Wednesday, December 28, 2011
• It's Hector - Tuesday, December 27, 2011
• Going Home - Thursday, December 22, 2011
• A Night in Copenhagen - Wednesday, December 21, 2011
• Trivia Night - Tuesday, December 20, 2011
• Paul's Novels - Monday, December 19, 2011
•  Europe - Sunday, December 18, 2011  
• Kimmy, my good friend - Friday, December 16, 2011
• The Sad State of my Affairs - Thursday, December 15, 2011
• Once There was a Mansion - Wednesday, December 14, 2011
• Lauren's Happy Uncle's Day - Tuesday, December 13, 2011
• Santa Claus - Monday, December 12, 2011
• Mike, the Francophile - Sunday, December 11, 2011
• The car that never died, I hope - Saturday, December 10, 2011
• My Christmas Lights - Friday, December 09, 2011
• Small Memories - Wednesday, December 07, 2011
• Owning a Business, Bar - Tuesday, December 06, 2011
• What A Wonderful Day - Monday, December 05, 2011
• My Typical Sunday - Sunday, December 04, 2011
• Steve Jobs book - Saturday, December 03, 2011
• Moving on to Spirit Mountain - Friday, December 02, 2011


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