Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Back In The U.S.A.

Well, I have made it back to the United States, arriving yesterday evening. Today I’m back at work. Sigh. Anyway, my laptop ceased to function during my trip, so posting may suffer for a bit longer. It looks like my hard drive is kaput. That means I’ve probably lost my long list of bookmarks and a few blog posts I was planning on publishing. So if I have any readers left, please bear with me as I try to put stuff back together.

I went on kind of a media fast during the trip (out of necessity after I lost the use of my laptop), but the few times I did go online, it seemed that I would magically hit on stories aimed directly at me. So, here a few of them:

Rich Tourist, Poor Tourist (The New York Times). Found just this morning, and I can really relate to this now:
But not long ago, on a journey through India, I began to see things a little differently. For two weeks, I had been fairly battered by the daily chaos of budget travel. Then, on my last night in Kolkata, I met up with some particularly affluent friends who had spent their vacation escorted by private staff from one security-gated refuge to the next, and who were staying in a palatial five-star hotel on the outskirts of the city. In their cocoon of opulence, they quizzed me about my comical but vivid excursions, which had left me both exhausted and exhilarated. I began to realize that they suffered their own form of travel envy. The sense of control money provided them had also served to deaden their experience.
Ah, yes, the daily chaos of budget travel, will batter you down, that's for sure.

Chinese Tourists Warned Over Behavior Abroad (BBC). Found on the first day I went online while travelling, maybe a week into this trip. I fell out of my chair laughing.Yes, it’s actually reassuring to know that Americans are no longer anywhere near the most despised tourists in the world. In fact, we barely place. The Chinese tourists are EVERYWHERE! Trust me, we have nothing on them when it comes to tourism. I'll say more about this later.

How to speak Franglais (BBC). The language I spoke while in Paris. Well, what I tried to speak it, anyway, actual French being beyond my grasp. I understand why French language is revered so highly by the French - it seems to be the main uniting factor of the Francophone world, and the only way you can learn to speak it properly is to speak it growing up as a child.
Why not take a leaf out of the livre Anglais? "Franchement", pour exemple, in le dernier paragraphe, is "Frankly" in English. Plus simples. Actuellement, frankly is derived from vous ancestres, Les Franks. C'est temps a vivre up to votre nom. C'est aussi temps pour moi to introduire mes rules d'or que will be of great aide to notre French cousines dans cette situation difficile.
The uneven charm of Rome's cobblestones (BBC). Found on BBC, ironically enough, shortly after I got there (I could still use my iPod). The cobblestones do provide a lot of character and are unique, and you can build your roads without fossil fuels. But, as this was my last stop, by this time my feet were in intense pain, and I have to say, it was hard to make your way over these when you're tired. Hell on luggage too. The photo at the top of the article looks much like where I stayed in Trastevere.

Well, it's nice to be back, believe it or not. I’ll be writing about my trip when I get back up and running. Since I’m sure many readers are familiar with Europe, I’ll try and keep observations general, along with any travel tips for anyone foolish enough to attempt what I did. Ciao.


  1. Welcome back, mon ami.
    Eager to hear more details.

  2. I'll repeat what Publius wrote--welcome back! Looking forward to reading more from you about your trip and any insights that occurred to you during your travels and return.

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  4. In central Europe, we had two cobbles: one we called cat's heads, they were rounded on top, and riding a bike over them was an issue. They were smooth. The later cobbles were granite cubes, and rough and flat on top. I sure hope these still exist somewhere and can be reused when oil runs out. They were beautiful and no issue to walk or ride over.

    Paving stones are noisier... another reason to keep cars in the inner cities to the minimum, eh?

  5. I found a video by Next Media Animation to illustrate your post about Chinese tourists behaving badly: Chinese tourist defaces Luxor Temple in Egypt. It's a scream!


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