Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Europe on Four Foibles a Day

It looks like I'm going to Europe in June. Oh, I am so excited.

I used to hate my friends when they told me they were going somewhere good. Yes, I actually hated some of them and their smug little stories of where they went and what they ate and how delicious it was. As one of those people stuck at home for too long, I can tell you that the rest of us do not want the travelogue of your trip, unless you're willing to tell us an embarrassing story about your first encounter with that little sink for washing out your clothes in the bathroom that you found out was a bidet. Four or five pictures of pyramids or cathedrals or ruined castles on your Facebook account is plenty. When you post eighty pictures at one time, even 80 pictures of interesting stuff, we're all too pissed off to click on your comments. Besides, none of your photos can really capture the awe and grandeur of what you've seen. Even if it could, it would only serve to piss us off even more.

Now that I'm going, I sort of want to hear those stories so that I know good places to go. Okay, I want to hear those stories from my good friends. Those other people, acquaintances, really, with their smug little stories about where they dined and what they ordered can go suck eggs.

See, it's all in the delivery, folks.

I'm telling you right now that I'm not going to Europe to impress you. I'm going to be the biggest idiot in the group. First off, I tend to laugh too loudly. Then, I probably talk too loudly too. I'll be the ugly American in my group. Add that I'll probably be the only one who isn't fluent in at least one of the languages we'll need. Actually, I'm a monolingual. Is that even a word? Spellchecker didn't ding me. Oh good.

Don't get me wrong. I can 'vamos a estudiar a la libreria' with the best of them, but that's not really knowing a language, now is it? My lawn guys are very kind not to laugh when the main guy has to leave and I'm standing there saying 'The fire is to be put in the not right school' in Spanish which doesn't mean anything. The worse thing is that it might not come out all that much better if I were saying it in English.

I know where I want to go, but I don't want to be an expert on these places. I'm not a foodie. I'm not a francophile. I like history, but I'm not going to quote dates of massacres. I love art, but I don't know enough to be intellectual about any of it.

So, basically I'm going to be just like I am most days. I'll mess up. I'll figure out stuff. I'll find all kinds of beautiful and amazing things to look at and to experience. I hope I can still write to you while I'm there. I promise not to send too many pictures. I also promise there will be foibles. What good am I if there aren't any foibles?

Thank you for listening, jb

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