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A Grumpy Traveler
Old 07-04-2006, 07:45 AM   #1
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A Grumpy Traveler

Fred has done it again.* This time he's discussing travel.

A snippet:*
A year ago Violeta and I sat in a sidewalk cafe in Rome, a city of blowing exhaust, wretched traffic, and illegible graffiti spray-painted left and right. Talking was difficult above the blatt of trucks too big for narrow streets. Around the city ancient monuments slowly dissolved in dilute carbonic acid and turned gray from drifting soot. Italians, not particularly agreeable people, passed by in the international jeans-and-sweatshirt scruff that is less a style than an absence of thought.

The age of Mass Man is at last upon us. Globalization, with its attendant homogenizing, runs apace. Beijing begins to have traffic problems, like those of everywhere else. It also looks like anywhere else. An urban shopping mall in Guilin differs little from one in Tokyo or Georgetown or Nong Khai. Like supermarkets, they provide things people want at prices they will pay, and cannot be called evil. Yet they are uniform, drab, and somehow disheartening. Square ugly office blocks and square ugly apartment building appear overnight......

He almost makes it depressing.* And he seems to be longing for a time when things were more unique and most of us had less opportunity to travel.* He doesn't discuss limiting his travel, of course.* He is a curmudgeon, but he can write!

Here's the point of the entire essay: "There are too damned many people in the world, and they have too much money. They also have very little taste." Can't dispute that, can we?

Resist much. Obey Little. . . . Ed Abbey

Disclaimer: My Posts are for my amusement only.
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Re: A Grumpy Traveler
Old 07-04-2006, 08:46 AM   #2
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Re: A Grumpy Traveler

Oh Yeah!

Do they have wharehouse size fireworks stands in all those places?

Wellllll!!!! - do they?

Hope my guests get here soon.

heh heh heh heh heh - good old Fred. Hope to get just as grumpy when I graduate to curmudgeon class.

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Re: A Grumpy Traveler
Old 07-04-2006, 09:05 AM   #3
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Re: A Grumpy Traveler

OK - I admit the last time I as in Italy was 1997, but I remember it fondly as unique - each city was unique and delightful to explore - a surprise around every corner.

I do remember the building edifices gray and crumbling from car exhaust, and that exhaust haze yucky smell you always have in Europe & England since they don't use catalytic converters.

But the Italians were still delightful, the food divine, each restaurant unique, each street unique.* Really - as far from "sameness" as you can get.

All my visits have been to Northern Italy.* I have never been to Rome....

Well, I thought I was retired. But it seems that now I'm working as a travel agent instead!
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Re: A Grumpy Traveler
Old 07-04-2006, 09:32 AM   #4
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Re: A Grumpy Traveler

Niece just returned from 6 weeks in Italy. Had her stuff stolen out of a supposed "guarded tour bus" and had a bird crap on her right after that. She was ready to come home the next day.
time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana
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Re: A Grumpy Traveler
Old 07-04-2006, 10:05 AM   #5
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Re: A Grumpy Traveler

and that was just lunch? geeez. how does this guy cope when something actually goes wrong?
"off with their heads"~~dr. joseph-ignace guillotin

"life should begin with age and its privileges and accumulations, and end with youth and its capacity to splendidly enjoy such advantages."~~mark twain - letter to edward kimmitt 1901
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Re: A Grumpy Traveler
Old 07-04-2006, 06:53 PM   #6
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Re: A Grumpy Traveler

Fred is correct - there are too many people in this world and it is only going to get worse.
So I'm sticking with my plan - RE in a couple of weeks see the parts of the world I want and then settle somplace remote in the USA and then just sit back and watch it on TV.

Of course it is all relative. Fred sees it as crowded because he saw it when it was not so crowed.

We are at 6.5Billion people now and estimated to be at 9.2 by 2050

Look at this info
Sometimes death is not as tragic as not knowing how to live. This man knew how to live--and how to make others glad they were living. - Jack Benny at Nat King Cole's funeral
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Re: A Grumpy Traveler
Old 07-06-2006, 04:03 AM   #7
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Re: A Grumpy Traveler


We're having a very different experience in Italy from Fred. The only places that we've seen this trip that seem even vaguely American are the dry hills of Southern Tuscany reminding us of the East Bay & South Bay of San Frnacisco, and our Roman hotel, which is Edwardian in style (an architectural period I happen to love). What is he doing at malls? We find Farmacias (pharmacies) and small shops to be quite different form thos in the US. I've never been to a department store or mall outside the US, so I wouldn;t know about that. And we tend to get hotels a little off the beaten track. Waiting for our bus outside the Roma Termini (main train station) last night, we observed a miracle of efficiency and politeness. I spoke to several random strangers (3 Italian men including our bus driver, 1 Italian woman, and a German/Dutch/Scandinavian couple) for help with figuring out how to get to our hotel--no problemo. In fact the only rudenss we experienced was when my husband was flipped off while walking to his conference in Bologna, by someone muttering something derogatory about Americanos. Most Italians we tyalk to about politics are puzzled by the current state of America--and we agree, and remind them that only about half of American voters put the current administration in office. Some seem surprised to hear it--perhaps they have their own version of "fair and balanced" reporting*

Loving our Italian travels!

You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you might find you get what you need.
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