As the summer holidays draw near I am getting more and more excited about the trip to Indonesia that I have planned (and already paid for in large part). But before I leave July 7, 2002 I thought I would relate something that occurred a few weeks ago.

She was hot, and I was far too hammered

Exhibit one of my stupidity is my being too drunk to follow up on the first tentative contacts with a good-looking Polish girl. I went to see the band of one of my colleagues play at a local bar here in Delft, together with a lot of other colleagues and their friends and girlfriends. We were with a group of about 20 or 25 people, I think.

Right from the start we were ordering drinks by the gallon, and it was a rarity for me to have just one glass of beer in my hand at a time... Usually there was one half full one in my right, a full one in my left and another on the way. If you factor in that I normally go without a drop of alcohol for months on end, it's no surprise I was getting pissed at a fantastic rate that night. Besides, I have the nasty habit of being able to down a beer rather easily. So I tend to empty the glasses I have in my hand in no time. And then of course the next round was up and I found myself with a full glass (or glasses) again.

The thing is, I drank faster than the alcohol had time to infiltrate my veins, so after the band was finished with playing I was feeling pretty OK. Lightheaded and much more loose than I am normally, but that was a plus: I could dance! (Or at least I wasn't so self conscious about it...) The DJ started doing his thing, and I found myself having a great time, dancing with my colleagues, and even dancing and whoring up on the now vacant podium.

Even though I had stopped drinking by this time, the reserve I had built up was still steadily percolating into my bloodstream and I was getting more drunk by the minute. Before I got too bad I noticed a single, good-looking female dancing on the podium next to me. Apart from the two of us, the only others on the podium were colleagues of mine. Being in my less-reserved-than-normal state I started to dance with the girl and even managed to talk to her a bit.

So she was 22 and came from Poland, on vacation in our little country and - YES! - single. Now, you have to understand that this feat alone is incredible. For me to get to know that much in so short a time, well, as I said, incredible... Goes to show how much I had loosened up. (Strange side-note though: I never asked her her name...)

By the time I felt we were really hitting it on and I stood a chance of taking this a step further, my stomach began having other ideas. While getting more drunk all the time, I went into throw-up mode. Apparently this scared her off a little, my colleagues tell me (why? I wonder... ;) ).

At this stage I start to loose parts of my memory of that night. I remember being relieved I made it to the toilet for the first bout of nausea. I also remember a later instance where I did not make it... It's all a blur, which scares me a little, in hindsight. But not as much as the last part of that night does.

Tracing my steps back from the moment I stood under my shower at home again at the end of that night, I get stuck at some point. In a back alley, lying on the ground and probably not on the most clean part of it, either. The thing is, I remember nothing of how I got from the bar on the second floor, outside, in the alley behind the building. Nothing whatsoever. And every time I think about that, it scares me. I honestly think I came very close to my absolute limit that night, something that I'm not planning on doing again any time soon.

Needless to say the Polish girl was a bust. That was never gonna work in my state. A chance missed, maybe. On the other hand, I'm not one for one-night-stands, but to get involved with someone that lives so far away is also not something I will try to do on purpose.

Despite this all, I can't remember having had as much fun going out ever before, so it wasn't at all a total loss. I just need to pace myself when I find my hand filled with an alcoholic beverage.

. ..... . .