Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The Hipcrime Vocab European Tour

Thank you to all of the new members who have joined up in the last few days. When I began this blog a few years ago, I was unsure if anyone would read it. Now I am truly humbled whenever I glance at the right-hand column and see your lovely faces (avatars?). And thanks to all the wonderful comments and feedback.

So I feel a bit guilty taking a vacation now. But I’ve decided to take a leap and will be spending a few weeks in Europe. Why? Well, because I can. Maybe it’s a mid-life crisis, but I’ve got enough money saved up, and a lot of vacation time to burn, and well, I could get hit by a bus tomorrow, so why hold on to it? Science tells us that the surest way to change money into happiness is to buy experiences. It’s a bit painful depleting the savings, but I’d rather do it now, before airline travel becomes an even more expensive luxury. It’s a lifelong goal to see all these places I’ve only read about, and who knows if I’ll have the opportunity to again.

I’ll also be experiencing the sharing economy first-hand – most of my places to stay have been booked through airbnb. We’ll see how that goes. I don’t know what, if anything I will be able to post. I’m travelling light, so I’m not sure what if any Internet access I will have. So feel free to browse the back catalog during by absence. Half the time I don’t even remember what I wrote when I go back and reread it. I meant to set up some posts and write a link dump, but, ah, the best laid plans…

I doubt I have any readers on the continent, but if anyone wants to meet up, send an email. Hopefully I’ll be able to check it. I’ll be in Paris Thursday, May 9th through Sunday. Monday I’m taking the TGV to Milan, where I’ll spend the day Tuesday. Then it’s off to Bologna for most of that week, with side trips to Venice and nearby towns. The following Sunday I’ll head to Florence for the first half of the week, then Thursday to Rome, where I’ll be flying out of on Sunday, May 26. I’ll be back in the U.S. on Memorial Day.

I can’t wait to see Italy. As you can tell from the posts here, I’m a Roman history nut, so I can’t describe how excited I am to actually be in the actual land of the Romans. And, of course, I’ll be looking at lots of architecture. Believe it or not, I’ve never spent a significant period of time in a non-United States culture (except in high school for a couple of weeks in Mexico), so I hope to learn a lot.

P.S. If you want to learn stuff for a couple of hours, Mark Shepherd taught my Permaculture class and I had the privilege of visiting his farm last summer. He's a true inspiration:

And for another couple of hours of listening, check out this music from ancient Rome:

Ciao and à bientôt!


  1. Hopefully you're not on the No Fly List. Safe trip. =)

  2. No readers on the Continent? Ha! Have been an avid reader of Hipcrime for over a year now! Best of luck and hope you have great experiences over here-Rome will blow you away! But no Spain, no Greece...don't fancy the PIGS? Not surprised, really, but you could have had a glimpse of southern European collapse close up-would have made your future posts on the subject so much more visceral!

    On another note: please write something about the end of the rhinos, seems it's happening everywhere in the last weeks, S. Africa, Mozambique etc...Too sad! I ask this of you because it reminds me of what you said not long ago about our ancestors wiping out all the big animals in the Pleistocene...is there a word for the collective guilt humans should feel over their ongoing extermination of everything else?


  3. You do have readers from the good old Lady Europe, friend, if not always in the popular destinations. I'd love to see Italy myself one day. Even if we don't comment, your blog is always an inspiration. Anyway, happy trails!

  4. Send an email? Can't find it...

  5. Have a great trip! Europe is great, if you are open to their strange ways (j/k). I've found Europeans to be very warm and generous. You have to spend a bit more time making the initial connection, which is why many Americans find Europeans to be not open or friendly. Once you make the initial connection, though, I find they are actually more honest and open, and more reliable and open to deep relationships.
    Have fun. Bonne chance!

  6. I think you'll have a mental sea-change. In 2007, we finally did the same, having never taken more than a week of vacation ever. A week wandering from Venice to Rome, then a week cruising the western Mediterranean. My goal was to be on a sunny exotic island for my 60th birthday, and that was achieved while gazing from the ramparts of Malta.
    We still grin like fools when we think about it all.

  7. I've had great experiences with Airbnb in the US and Brazil. The host usually will fill you in on stuff that the average visitor will miss.

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  9. Love the Roman music. Did they actually find or have musical manuscripts from that period? Curious about how the Romans notated music.
    Hope the trip is going well.

  10. I just read the following notification over at Clusterfuck Nation.

    "This blog (and JHK website as a whole) will be getting a design upgrade in the next couple of weeks. In the meantime, for technical reasons the comments department is temporarily suspended."

    I hope a lot of his readers come here to read your material when you return and leave comments.

    In the meantime, here is something I wrote that would have been perfect for Kunstler's regulars.

    Time Magazine on peak oil and climate change


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