Sometimes I would go as far as to appear interested in what people had to say, and then take out my notebook and write things in a non-existent and incomprehensible alphabet, and show it to them, and then appear frustrated and angry at my poor condition of non-intelligibility.
Finally, I decided to stop waiting for the right permutation of schedules and bank accounts, and just get my first trip out of the way. I wanted to see as much of the world as possible, as quickly as possible. I called a travel agent and set a course for Europe. Alone.