Gypsies, Oregon Trail and when kidnapping is acceptable

Ok, ok, so it’s probably never really acceptable and for the most part I’d never kidnap a child, I’m usually all too happy to give them back–with a few exceptions.  But there are some kids, of the gypsy variety, that I want to snatch from the streets and take home with me.  Part of this stems from me wanting to save things, I know this, I don’t need a therapist, Moxie is enough proof.  The other part of this realistically has to do with my liquor intake in Eastern Europe and how it always leads to me being overly sensitive and overly dramatic about saving the world.

Then there’s this third element that I blame on my fourth grade teacher Mrs. Mitchell.  That woman knew how to keep kids occupied for hours at a time with this little invention called The Oregon Trail, good god how I love that game and in my adult life I’ve googled it at least 90 times, looking for the updated version that I could waste countless late night hours on.  I figure at the age of 30 I could figure out how not to get dysentery in Kansas (which jesus christ, can you imagine? to die in a wooden cart of a shitting disease?? My god, that’s so primitive awful I can’t even imagine) or drop a cart full of wax candles and churned butter into a stream.  AnyfuckingIhaveADDway, the point of this is that 1. There will never be a game better than Oregon Trail, EVER and 2.  The Oregon Trail is probably the first thing that made me think I wanted to be a gypsy in life, but the American pioneer version, which yes, I am aware has nothing to do with actual gypsies but jesus, this is my story and this is how my mind works. Welcome to crazytown.  Sooo, when I was nine I wanted to be a pioneer-turned-gypsy-because-they-wear-bracelets-that-jinglejangle (I was NINE) and now I want to save them.  Point of ramble.

I never wanted to snatch American homeless kids off the streets primarily because I never saw any (I lived in MAINE until I was 22) and maybe because the gypsy kids over here run a better game.  They really know how to make you feel awful and honestly, they seem happy with the smallest amounts of change and yes, I am a sucker.  Strike that, a humanitarian, a giver.

Meet my newest gypsy friend.  I don’t remember her name but I met her and her older and more aggressive brother, who I was not a fan of and I was not interested in kidnapping him.  I met her on the streets of Montenegro my first night there, a quiet night of mojitos before the rest of the conference arrived.  She was  a hugger and she has a smile that can warm the coldest of hearts, I can attest to this.  And she’s the most successful four year old businesswoman in Budva.

It was like a love story with my little buddy, and yeah, I’m aware that if it was a love story, then that little hussy was cheating on me all around town.  But really, her smile could charm you into ANYTHING and I fell hard.  She grabbed my hand the first time she saw me and swung it around like she wanted to skip down the street.  That didn’t last long, though, because then she was doing the thing where she rubs her hands together and makes an unattractive kissy face noise that I thought only Jersey hookers did.  (what’s up dirty Jerz?)  Anyway, I told her to cut it out and she put her hands on her hips and smiled and then ran away.

But she came back.  She always did.  The next time I saw her was the following night.  I was back at Grecco drinking mojitos and she found me, as I think that was her block.  This time, though, when she saw me, she came running at me and right before she knocked me over, she bounced, leaped and I found her wrapped around me in a big hug. (Think Patrick Swayze catching Baby in Dirty Dancing, only not sexy, just, well I don’t know, you get the point)  Well, this little move made me 1. love her and 2. wonder how she could pounce and leap like a gazelle when my vertical leap has only ever been two inches, awkward, I know.

Well this time I couldn’t get her off me.  She sat on my lap and didn’t want to leave and yes, I know she was also working the crowd but she was just so cute and I hated to think that she had to go home to somewhere terrible and so I let her stay and bounced her around, tickled her and bartered with her about what she could have from me and what she could not.  First thing she demanded in her very bossy beggarish manner was my engagement ring.  Smart kid.  I told her she couldn’t have it but we made a deal–she could wear it for three minutes (while we held her by the feet and made sure she didn’t shove it in her mouth, she was a sneaky one) and she could have my cheap silver earrings I got for $5.  I put the earrings on her, hugged her and let her go with 5euro.  She had a long night of begging ahead of her.  I really just wanted to bring her back to my hotel, shower her, let her wear my tee shirts, get her some hot chocolate and have her watch a Disney movie…Sometimes I don’t know what’s wrong with me.

The rest of the week continued on like that.  I saw her every night.  She always hugged me.  I always gave her something and there were nights when my friends had to pry her off me and tell her to go home and leave us alone.  Oh, and I cried but that was a night where I think I was drinking gin, tequilla AND mojitos so of course I was going to cry and say something dramatic like, “but I just want to take her hoooooooome with me.”  Jesus.  I’m a gem.

And while these late night blackberry pictures are shit, I love them anyway.  Them and my little gypsy friend.

Last thing–this song of the day is killing me for some reason.  “Dog Days Are Over,” Florence and the Machine.

I just want to dance, dance, dance in place to this song all night….maybe I just will. :)  Happy long weekend, everyone!