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Strange nights spent away from where you normally sleep (usually no beds involved)

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    #76
    People waking up in empty buses: don't the drivers have to check?

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      #77
      You'd think so. Somehow I got overlooked.

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        #78
        Wasn't there a story a couple of weeks ago of a woman who woke up on an empty plane? In Canada I think

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          #79
          A friend started a job at our place in the 90s, when there was a huge increase in students and lots of recruitment. One new recruit was a large, very talkative fella who organised heavy drinking nights with all the new, mainly single youngsters.

          After one of these ‘Mike’ stumbled onto the train back to Sunderland but fell asleep so soundly he woke up several shuttles later as the lights went off...back in Newcastle central.

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            #80
            Originally posted by Felicity, I guess so View Post
            We hitched from Belgium to Fontainebleau in 1983 to visit our friend Claire on her year abroad at INSEAD. We arrived after dark but not hugely late but her landlady was very old and very strict so it was all shuttered and locked down and we couldn’t get an answer.

            We had some money but the only hotel with a room was posh and way beyond what we could afford so we bedded down in a bus shelter. It got cold and we were starving so not much sleep. The smell of the croissants baking in the cellar across the road was excruciatingly nice and when it finally opened at 6 we got our 1st view of the classic ‘French workers necking brandy with breakfast.’
            It was, Ms F informs me, 1982. There’s a specific detail that confirmed it as undoubtedly the 2nd of April-

            I had forgotten that one of the lifts, rather unexpectedly, was a businessman in a BMW who saw the Scottish flag on one of the rucksacks and was keen to talk to British people that day. He began excitedly babbling at us about “Votre pays EN GUERRE! GUERRE!” (mimes firing gun; makes explosion noise) “Contre les argentins”

            Ms F recalls we thought he was an eccentric and thought little of it...
            Last edited by Felicity, I guess so; 12-07-2019, 08:17.

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              #81
              I once slept near the monument for the explorers in Lisbon. Come the morning, come a policeman's boot to tell me to get up and go and ask me where I was from:
              "Near Manchester, England"
              "Manchester? Manchester United? Bobbee Charlton! Georgee Best!"
              And he squatted down and chatted for about ten minutes before reminding me I had to get up and go. As I walked away, a waiter came running out of a nearby cafe and told me the policeman had paid for my breakfast!

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                #82
                Originally posted by Aitch View Post
                I once slept near the monument for the explorers in Lisbon. Come the morning, come a policeman's boot to tell me to get up and go and ask me where I was from:
                "Near Manchester, England"
                "Manchester? Manchester United? Bobbee Charlton! Georgee Best!"
                And he squatted down and chatted for about ten minutes before reminding me I had to get up and go. As I walked away, a waiter came running out of a nearby cafe and told me the policeman had paid for my breakfast!
                Good job you're not from Millwall or the like.

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                  #83
                  Originally posted by Sporting View Post
                  Is there a two hour limit in all of them? Surely tired drivers should be encouraged to sleep instead of potentially putting themselves and others at risk. Is space so limited or is it just profit making?
                  Respectively: unfortunately yes, agreed, profit-making.

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                    #84
                    Well. I suppose there are slip roads/villages near motorways.

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                      #85
                      Link to the Canadian story referenced by ad hoc above.

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                        #86
                        2009 again: went on holiday with a friend to Turkey and Greece. Flight into Istanbul, out of Athens, without working out the details of how to get between them first. Ended up taking a bus from Istanbul to Bodrum (had a very nice chat with an elderly Turkish gentleman and got to experience the reality of the oft-mentioned-in-guidebooks hospitality where you will be offered snacks at least three times before a refusal is accepted), then got the overnight ferry from Bodrum to Kos. Being very privileged, we assumed that this ferry would have some sort of nice reclining deckchairs that we could sleep on. It was not that sort of ferry.

                        That ferry was basically my first introduction to the migrant situation in southern Europe. It was crammed full of people of all ages and ethnicities, and the overwhelming emotions you sensed were exhaustion and resignation. I don't know for certain if they were migrants, but it definitely felt like they were not on holiday. There was nothing threatening, but the only seats were hard plastic and it was too busy and uncomfortable to get any proper sleep.

                        When the ferry docked at Kos at dawn, most of the other passengers alighted and disappeared very quickly. We spent five minutes perusing the array of establishments offering a full English breakfast before deciding Kos was not what we were after and catching the next ferry to another island. That turned out to be Patmos which was beautiful and peaceful and we spent another four days there relaxing.

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                          #87
                          I once slept on pallet of 5.56mm ball ammunition.

                          I have slept on the concrete/earth floors of aircraft hangers, hardened shelters, Yarnold bunkers and barns full of straw.

                          I once slept on the floor of a jungle dreaming that big fucking huge ants were crawling over my face. I woke up to find it wasn't dream. I didn't sleep again for 48 hours.

                          I slept on the flight deck of HMS Invincible. But, that was because I was sunbathing and I nodded off.

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                            #88
                            Last tale from 2009: this one is cheating because I didn't sleep, but dammit, it is hands down the coolest thing I've ever done and it was nighttime so I say it counts.

                            From 9-10pm on Sunday 13th September 2009, I stood on the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square as one of 2,400 people taking part in Anthony Gormley's One and Other art project. I am terrified of heights and that plinth is high and narrow. I wore a green silk flamenco dress that I got for a dance competition when I was a teenager, a green Chinese jacket I got from a charity shop and green camo combat boots. I brought with me a green grassy IKEA rug that had two mounds I could sit on and a green wheelbarrow full of props. I meant to bring a whiteboard with written environmental messages and was just going to sit in silence, but I got flustered at the interview beforehand and left the board behind. So, I sat on my green mounds and wiffled about various environmental messages. My boyfriend and a few friends came to watch me, but the plinth is so high that you can barely hear people down on the ground and I didn't like leaning over the side to try and hear what they were saying. So, I mostly chatted to myself and the cameras.

                            The cherry picker that put you up on the plinth and took you down to the ground was probably the scariest part.

                            Apparently the British library has managed to lose the archived videos of the event but somewhere the Wellcome Trust has a recorded interview of me crying about the future of the planet.

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                              #89
                              2010: the end of my relatively settled existence. My boyfriend dumped me and moved out of the flat we were sharing in Camden. I was heartbroken and couldn't afford the rent on my own, so responded how any sane person would; I rented my lounge out to a trapeze artist and went hiking in the Himalayas.

                              The 10 months of singledom that followed were quite bizarre.
                              - There was the all-night party in a South London flat where I remember demonstrating my good etiquette skills by walking in heels with a pizza balanced on my head, and spent two hours sitting on a cold platform waiting for the first train home.
                              - One of my friends had moved into a house in Streatham. The old man who previously lived in it had died unexpectedly and none of his heirs was ready to sort it out so they asked my friend to house sit for free and said she could help herself to the contents. We found a cupboard under the stairs full of old wine bottles. No particularly good vintages, not wines that were meant to be kept for a long time, but they were mostly from the years of our birth so that year everyone got a bottle of ancient wine for their birthday (they tasted disgusting, but the novelty was fun). I also took a dvd of mystic pizza (terrible film). I stayed in the house one night, but I found it really creepy, nothing had been changed since the day the guy died, so after that I only visited in the day.
                              - I went to visit my (younger) friend who was doing an Erasmus year in Regensburg. Due to my environmental rebirth I decided to go by train. London to Brussels, Brussels to Koln. Arrived in Koln at 7:15pm with many hours to kill until my connecting train and no idea what to do until then. I went to a bookshop near the train station and sat at a table to start looking through a guidebook. As I sat there a guy approached and asked if I needed any advice. We got chatting and he offered to give me a tour of Koln. We walked around for hours, he didn't try anything on (he was actually far more attractive than me, completely out of my league). We had dinner together in a pizza restaurant, then he showed me a youth hostel where I could wait on the sofas in the lobby until it was time for my train. I snoozed a bit there and on the train.
                              ​​​

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                                #90
                                There's no two ways about it, Balders, when we do the post-thread vote on who had the coolest stories I'm definitely considering putting my cross next to your name.

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                                  #91
                                  Haha, I've still got nine and a half years to go to get up to date!

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                                    #92
                                    I'm just waiting for someone to recognise themselves in Balderdasha's stories to be honest.
                                    <Wonders to self Could i get away with being the handsome stranger who took her on a tour of Köln?>

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                                      #93
                                      Later in 2010: once the trapeze artist left, I decided to move in with housemates and give communal living another whirl. I knew one of the girls already, the other two I didn't. We moved into the house which Travis previously lived in and was featured on the back cover of their Good Feeling album. I continued to be a bit erratic: went camping and sea kayaking, learnt to rock climb, flattened a six foot rugby player at a house party and stood on his neck (his crime was that he physically picked me up without asking first and I was drunk. Really not a good idea to piss off a tiny drunk feminist), let a homeless guy sleep on my sofa because it was snowing (we had porridge together in the morning and I told my housemates he was a work colleague who missed the last train home), accidentally acquired a very persistent unrequited love (it was a work do, there were two new single guys there, I got drunk by 9pm and decided to make a play for the engineer, then I blacked out and the next thing I knew I was snogging the banker. We went on two dates, I decided I wasn't interested, but he kept not taking no for an answer) but, mostly, I slept in my own bed.

                                      Then I met another boy.

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                                        #94
                                        Originally posted by Nefertiti2 View Post
                                        I'm just waiting for someone to recognise themselves in Balderdasha's stories to be honest.
                                        <Wonders to self Could i get away with being the handsome stranger who took her on a tour of Köln?>
                                        Are you a lawyer called Veit?
                                        ​​

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                                          #95
                                          Originally posted by Nefertiti2 View Post
                                          I'm just waiting for someone to recognise themselves in Balderdasha's stories to be honest.
                                          We can only wish I'm afraid. I've frequently thought I should have done more with my salad days, now I know why.

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                                            #96
                                            I don't believe the thing about flattening the rugby player, unless he was pissed anyway. "Disabling", "disarming", yes, but not "flattening".

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                                              #97
                                              Originally posted by treibeis View Post
                                              I don't believe the thing about flattening the rugby player, unless he was pissed anyway. "Disabling", "disarming", yes, but not "flattening".
                                              The technique is to jump from behind, hook your right arm around the guy's neck and fall backwards with your full body weight, thus leaving the guy lying flat on his back on the floor. Does that count as flattening?

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                                                #98
                                                And yes, he was also pissed.

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                                                  #99
                                                  Originally posted by Balderdasha View Post
                                                  And yes, he was also pissed.
                                                  Yes, all right, it sounds like you knew what you were doing. But he was pissed. A silver, not a gold, star.

                                                  And he was a rugby player. Bronze star.

                                                  (Smiley face)

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                                                    I spent most of the tube journey home from that party crying at my friend and wailing loudly that I must stop flattening people and standing on their necks and generally being so violent, while she shushed me and tried to avoid the gaze of the other nearby passengers who were slightly alarmed.

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