There are so many wonderful things to see and to do. I will go to every museum, I will eat street tacos, I will sit in the squares and listen to music, I will walk through dimly lit streets and think of danger, I will go to Aztec ruins and climb pyramids, I will sit in my cozy apartment and write, I will shop for local goods, I will figure out what Mezcal is, I will find favorite bakeries and tortilla shops, I will listen to mariachi bands, I will gorge myself on chocolates, I will poison myself with the water, I will have the time of my life. It’ll be great and good and I just cannot wait to hop on the plane and discover a new world.

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Every summer I have a purpose, a goal, an intent. This summer, I don’t have that. And it’s making me absurdly stressed out. I have places I could go and things I could see, but there is nothing pulling me to a new continent. Romania did for a spell, and it still does, but I’m trying to be fiscally responsible. That’s why I’m not going, and that’s why I’m not going to UCLA. Will somebody please give me buckets of money? It’s for a good cause. I’ll buy a cute archaeological wardrobe and take intense courses and be a better Ben. But until then, I’ll just be the same me in very nice shoes.

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TURIN: Mummies, Movies, and Murderers

“You have a, how do you say? The head of a killer!” a woman chuckled at me at the little bookstore where tickets to the museum are sold. I grimaced warily at this odd greeting and entered the museum.

Immediately, I was gobsmacked. The first room is dark, has a terrifying bust of a Neanderthal, and opens up onto the first main room. Skulls and death masks are everywhere. There isn’t a visible surface that isn’t dedicated to the weird and horrible.

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