9 Jan 2012

Ill-Fated Journeys (Part 2)

I set off on the second leg of my journey at night fall, slightly apprehensive. Yep, some of us call it a gut feeling. It seemed that everything was too good to be true. I tried brushing off any fear or self-doubt, and just place my trust in the birthday friend who should have been wise enough to ensure his guests had the basic information they needed in order to attend his party, as in where and when. Hmm... And the basic information in my possession was as vague as the promise of a lottery win.

'Winter Morning in Corte, Corsica', by Patrick Morand

I got to Corte at 7:00pm. I had two options: either head for the old fortified town and its array of steep narrow streets or take a more conservative approach via the university quarters. I was only trying to be practical: parking areas would be more readily available in the new town than the old, also I assumed that the pulse of the town would resonate off the student area like it does - let's say - in Manchester, UK (my former stomping ground). How wrong could I be! It looked eerily quiet and by then I was becoming too worried about that party to even search further for that elusive student life and student bars I had heard about.

Last time I had been in Corte was probably two decades ago, in the Summer, on a quick two-hour tourist tour of the citadel with my parents and brother. Now it was a different kettle of fish: on my own on a Saturday night, all dressed up and with that increasing feeling that I had been taken for a ride. Or at least that's the way it felt to me. I tried ringing my birthday mate and all I got was his voicemail. I tried ringing his best mate and then again I was faced with a frustrating recorded message. I hanged up.

'See No Evil', Photographic Journal by Ben Merrington, via Tumblr

Sat alone in one's car facing some battered iron fence with a row of austere-looking student halls stretching at the back was probably the last sight one would contemplate on a Saturday night. I rang my parents to say everything was ok, I was about to join the party. I had to save face. I rang back the birthday boy, not once but three or four times, left voicemails, then launched into a frenzy of texts.  By then one hour had painfully elapsed. I was feeling the cold from the dropping temperatures. I was feeling hungry too. All of a sudden the whole party scenario seemed foolish.

Then I got annoyed. I felt like I had been stood up. I felt like I should have asked more questions rather than blindfully place trust into someone who had the reputation for being a happy-go-lucky scatter-brain. The situation was totally uncool. The party was over. (to be continued)


  1. I think I might have headed for the old town and had a nice dinner, but I guess I'll tune in for part three to see what you did!

  2. Thanks for staying tuned and I hope you'll like the ending to the story!