I strolled leisurely back along the unbelievably busy streets. I joked to myself that if you stopped walking, the kinetic energy of the crowd would probably have carried you along as if you were crowd surfing at a concert. Have you ever done that? An absolutely terrifying experience. Not recommended. That’s one of my rules. No crowd surfing, no Fireball, no carnies, no county fairs, and never touch a ukulele. I assure you I have a good reason for that seemingly incoherent string of restrictions. Again, that’s a tale for another time. Might be the opener to my memoir someday.
Monday: Why don’t you watch National Geographic’s exceptional miniseries Kingdom of the Mummies? It follows Egyptologists Dr. Ramadan Hussein and Dr. Salima Ikram (who I adore) as they excavate an […]
Monday: Why don’t you spend some time cleaning up your yard? I’m not talking about trash or a dishwasher on the curb you can’t get rid of. I’m talking landscaping. […]
Each day in Mexico City was a revelation for me. I learned something new about the culture, about myself, or about alternative ways to live. I eagerly look forward to […]
Monday: Why don’t you, if you’re healthy and able and have the desire, explore the cultural riches that are being provided for free online during this bizarre moment? I am […]
My Spanish skills don’t come from laundry, they come from obsessively watching episodes of “La Reina del Sur.” If you want to talk about smuggling hashish to Spain from North Africa, I’m you guy. If you want to talk about the prison system, look no further. If you want to talk about the early hours of morning when the sunlight casts everything in a grey pall and it’s the moment that at some point in your life you’re sure you will pass on, well, I’m you guy. But if you want to talk about the different treatments for rayon….look elsewhere.
And that really resonated profoundly for me. This is a topic that is rather hard to write about in our culture because there is no grey area or middle ground for patriotism. Either you love America or you’re likened to a terrorist. This isn’t fair because the more you grow to love something, the more cognizant you become of the flaws. Travel has allowed me to see my home nation with a different perspective, from afar and from the eyes of others around the world. When we let ourselves escape our comfort zone and throw ourselves into something new and out of the ordinary, we are capable of incredible realizations.
I sat in the courtyard with my churros, a bottle of tequila, and a bag of cat treats. Patron and Little Chiffon were laying beside me and then the church bell tolled midnight. I took a shot of that deliciously cheap tequila and petted the kittens and then all of a sudden I was 28.
I rounded the corner and there she was before me, the green light of the Olive Garden sign washed over me and I felt as if I were a pilgrim arriving in the holiest spot in all the world. I was giddy with excitement reader, and I veritably rushed for the escalator that would lead up to the doors of the blessed restaurant.
I was in Villefranche. I was in Paris. I was at home. I was walking through Los Angeles. I was thriving and having something of a spiritual moment as the music washed over me. My eyes got all watery — probably some kind of allergic reaction to the curtains, you know? — and it was magic. I always forget how profound an impact music and stories make on us. This one has been in my life for so many years, and I had grown accustomed to the idea of never having this chance. So to be in that audience having this rare opportunity was a delirious delight. I did not take it lightly at all.