99% of me is telling myself not to post this story as it's just another example of me embarrassing myself, which I tend to do a lot. Once this is published, I also expect countless amounts of jokes to be thrown in my direction over these next two weeks. Yet, it's entertaining and I'm sure after reading you'll all think just a bit less of me.
Bilbao is an intriguing place. Home of one the most architecturally awkward buildings, a river browner than a paper bag and weather that renders umbrellas useless. Unfortunately, they also lack bathrooms on every street corner (Same as every other city).
As usual, after our guided tour of part of the city, we're all let of the leash and free to explore whatever we wanted. Just be back at the bus at 6:15. All I really wanted to see was the San Mames (Athletic Bilbao's stadium) and maybe wonder through a few stores acting as if I was actually interested in spending money. I'll cut to the chase now, I never made it to the San Mames.
Instead I spent the first fifteen minutes off the leash searching for a free bathroom. I had to #1 to be specific. I didn't have any cash on me, I was unprepared. Anyway, Spanish Dick's, no bathroom. Spanish American Eagle, no bathroom. But that elegant upscale bar across the street looked like they had a bathroom. I figured I'd walk in and attempt to blend in, hoping I wouldn't be confronted and asked to purchase something in exchange for using their restroom.
Guess what? Didn't work. Two steps from the toilet I hear a voice mutter something about paying customers only. Yeah yeah, what the hell, I'll take one of them small pieces of bread covered in anchovies. In my defense, I was solely worried about completing the one task I had in mind. It didn't even occur to me that I had just put myself in a bit of a predicament.
I sat down at the bar to eat this anchovies sandwich. To be honest, it wasn't even that bad. I inhaled it, three bites if I can remember correctly. Yet, it was after that third bite I had realized I f**ked up. I wasn't carrying any cash on me and by the look of it, the bar's 1923 cash register wasn't going to accept a credit card. Surely enough, the bartender broke the news to me as if I didn't already expect it for 10 minutes prior.
Let me spell out my situation for you... I owe the restaurant two euro. Hefty bill huh? They don't accept credit, I'm not carrying cash, I left my Spanish phone home that morning and I'm struggling to contact any close friends in my group due to the lack of WiFi across the city. Not that I wanted anyone to know. It's quite embarrassing. Well what do you do in this situation I ask myself. I'd happily clean a few dishes (It would make for a hell of a story). However, that's not a legitimate option.
After 30 minutes I decided to leave my phone and wallet with the bartender in hope I could leave and find an ATM close. I didn't really have any other option. My lucky day, two ATM's are down the street. Too bad one's out of order and the other isn't accepting my card. My day is getting gloomier, seriously, it starts to drizzle a bit. I'm standing at this ATM scratching my head, a bit perplexed. All of a sudden this not so clean, older woman strolls up behind me. It only took me a few seconds to realize what she wanted.
"I like you"
"Thanks... I like me too. What are you getting at? (Oh that...)."
#Prostitute. Unfortunately, (Kidding, of course!) we could not help each other out as we were both in need of funds. Picking up what I'm putting down? At least I must have looked somewhat pleasant today! I mean hookers have standards too don't they?
Another hour passes and I'm forced to walk back to the bar empty handed. I'm really not sure what to do now. Sit on a porch and act homeless? No. Walk a stranger's dog? No, these are strikingly dumb ideas J! I went back to the bar hoping someone would throw me a bone or even better, 2 euro. I really was stupid though and deserved whatever the consequences would be. I went off on my own to avoid being the third wheel, was irresponsible and let my bladder distract my rational behavior.
Jumping to climax as the next 30 minutes are spent wondering why I was such an idiot. To my surprise an older man, American I presumed as he spoke English walked up next to me at the bar. He had been sitting at a table in the corner for awhile. I can only imagine he put together the pieces after I looked like a dumb tourist walking in and out of the bar speaking so-so Spanish to the bartender. After a few memorable, kind words (Which I'd rather keep for myself), he layed a 2 euro coin on the counter, covering my bathroom expense. Thanks for looking out!
I had to hustle back to the bus but ran into a friend whom which I borrowed a few euro from. Ran back to the restaurant to pay the elderly man back and thank once again. It all worked out but I wish it never happened. Again, just another example of me publicly embarrassing myself and looking like a fool. Tales of a wannabe gallivant I guess.