Monday, October 4, 2010
Friday, October 1, 2010
Whenever I tell a non-family member (or anyone else who hasn't known me or the family all that long) about our Morocco trip, I am inevitably faced with the question, "why are you going there?" Which is a fair enough question. Most people with limited amounts of vacation time generally utilize it lounging on a beach with a cocktail and a masseuse named Juan, not in a third world country, being harassed by men who've never heard the term "womens lib." That being said, there is actually a reason that we're going and, of course, it's really all about my dad.
In the 1970s, when my dad finished school, he went to Europe (a much dodgier place than it is today), bought a VW bus and drove around for nine months, traveling and being a vagrant who lived in a bus (but a well-educated one). He and some people he was traveling with took the ferry to Morocco and went a-touring. It was dangerous and scary by all accounts, and after a while, they decided to leave. They made it to Fez and a number of other places, but never actually made it to Marrakech.
Which would be fine, except, if anyone has ever met my parents and discussed music of the 1970s, you would have undoubtedly gotten to the subject of Crosby, Stills and Nash, whose self-titles album is "so great" that mom actually owned two copies of the album because she wore out the first one listening to it. Suffice it to say, dad equally loves the album, particularly the song, "Marrakech Express." Ever since hearing that song, dad has regretted that he has never been to Marrakech. It's been in his mind for thirty years. So when he retired, you better believe it was on the top of his list off places to see. So here we are, fulfilling dad's lifelong desire to go to Marakech. Will we ride the Marrakech Express? Seeing as how we don't even know if the Marrakech Express actually exists, it's hard to say. But we will definitely be on our way to Marrakech.
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Morocco is the main destination this time 'round and while I can't say that it was at the top of my list (though certainly on my list), I can say that I'm pretty darn excited to visit. This will be my first time spending a significant period of time in an Islamic country. So I think it's a good time to play a rousing round of "Name that Preconceived Notion!" *cue cheesy music*
Here's what I'm expected from Morocco:
Lots of headscarves and covered women.
Heavy, spicey, cinnamony (but delicious) food
Getting woken up by morning call to prayer
lots of colorful fabrics
cool street markets
being harassed/stared at a lot
People speaking French
All in all I think it's going to be pretty darn cool. It will be nice to be traveling again and back in the groove. There must be some deeply-rooted psychology reason for my love of the road and my distaste for a life with anything too "normal" happening for too long. Alls I know is that if there's a 6 am flight to somewhere new, I'd have a hard time saying no to a ticket with my name on it. There's nothing quite like a long flight to make an excessively early morning worth it. Maybe it's a survival instinct kicking in.
I guess we'll see how my preconceived notions hold up against the reality. Should be interesting to see. Anywho, keep checking back for some posts in Morocco, any. time. soon. :)
Thursday, June 24, 2010
So when I started reading Eat. Pray. Love. I was utterly disappointed at my complete disinterest in the novel. Let me also say that my favorite book to read is one of the travel autobiography genre and I have read a LOT of them. More often than not they are mediocre but still readable. This book, however didn't do it for me. I didn't get very far into it because I simply couldn't relate to the character - there was something about her sense of entitlement that irritated and alienated me to her. She's selfish in a way I could not relate to. Her narcissism made my skin crawl and, being an avid reader of various blogs, I'm pretty used to narcisissm in writtten form. I couldn't get the character, which was completely disappointing because 1) I'm a woman, like her 2) I like to read and write about traveling and most importantly 3) I'm a traveler. The fact that I was unable to connect with this woman on that, the deepest level of my existence as the Traveler I see myself as - that I could not relate to her as a traveler, bothered me the most.
So I stopped reading it. Just like that. And now, several years later, the movie is coming out and I think I might. just. see. it.
Maybe I've changed, maybe the movie will be different or maybe it'll all just be crap anyway, but I'm drawn to the trailer and I think I might give it a shot. So here it is:
"I used to have this appetite for my life and it is just gone. I want to go someplace where I can just marvel at something."
Friday, June 18, 2010
When you set out on your journey to
pray that the road is long,
full of adventure, full of knowledge.
The Lestrygonians and the Cyclops,
the angry Poseidon—do not fear them:
You will never ﬁnd such as these on your path
if your thoughts remain lofty, if a ﬁne
emotion touches your spirit and your body.
The Lestrygonians and the Cyclops,
the ﬁerce Poseidon you will never encounter,
if you do not carry them within your soul,
if your heart does not set them up before you.
Pray that the road is long.
That the summer mornings are many, when,
with such pleasure, with such joy
you will enter ports seen for the ﬁrst time;
stop at Phoenician markets,
and purchase ﬁne merchandise,
mother-of-pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
and sensual perfumes of all kinds,
as many sensual perfumes as you can;
visit many Egyptian cities,
to learn and learn from scholars.
To arrive there is your ultimate goal.
But do not hurry the voyage at all.
It is better to let it last for many years;
and to anchor at the island when you are old,
rich with all you have gained on the way,
not expecting that
Without her you would never have set out on the road.
She has nothing more to give you.
And if you ﬁnd her poor,
Constantine Cavafy (1863–1933)
translated by Rae Dalven
Friday, June 11, 2010
It never ceases to amaze me at the sheer number of people in the world who love soccer. Being of the American variety, I've never much been one for it and never seem to get how engrossed my darling Europeans, particularly the Scottish One, can be in a game where they almost never score. That being said, I'm a particular fan of basketball, which, one might argue is the most ADD mainstream sport imaginable. I've never much gotten into baseball either, but it is fun to chat and have a beer at the ball park.
The reason I bring this up should be obvious. It's the World Cup and everyone, it seems, has their eyes set on the games in South Africa. I'll be tuning in tomorrow to watch the England v. USA match, because that's just great, isn't it? I've sat in enough pubs in my day to learn how to appreciate the game and the significance of being able to keep up with my pals abroad about who's ranking where in each group.
So here are the questions:
Who are you rooting for?
Who do you think will win?