You think what I do is easy? That its all gourmet meals and fun in the sun? That its not filled with danger at every turn?
Because youre wrong.
Well, no, actually thats about right. But I never promised to be the ultra-cool, adventure-seeking, daredevil you all envision me to be. I clip my toenails just like everyone else (an activity demonstrating a lack of adventure rather than some sort of uniting factor of humanity, lets just be clear on that. I clip with no kind of extra glory).
So my (semi) adventure in Sorrento (did I mention I was in Sorrento? Sometimes I get mixed up on these things. Anyways, Im in Sorrento. Well, not currently. Currently Im in Rome, but we’re pretending Im doing this in an orderly chronological fashion. So this is me from the future writing as if Im me from the past in Sorrento. Phew) began as any other: filled with feasting, a blazing sun, barely navigable waterways to untold treasures and alleged Italian pirates. I say alleged because while they didnt do anything specifically piratey, they were scraggly and sang a lot in boats. You put that jigsaw together and I say youve got something like a pirate. Take a look for yourself:
Maybe he was charming away the flesh-eating sea monsters of the deep. As they say, music soothes the flesh-eating sea monster. Or beast. I can never remember that one exactly. Thats the Blue Grotto, by the way. Located under the island of Capri. Here you can see the conditions of my travels that would push any man to the brink of his sanity:
Ah and the best fish Ive ever eaten. Way to go Italian Red Snapper:
And the Blue Grotto sans Italiano:
After all the enjoying all the tantalizing shindigs Capri had to offer, we took a skiff (but skiff would be appropriate?) back to the mainland.
The land was also filled with mysterious cryptograms that it would take a master scholar countless millennia to decipher:
But I just thought they were amusing.
Oh and one thing I need to mention before I forget. The Blue Grotto of Capri (arguably one of the most beautiful places Ive ever witnessed with mine own eyes) is the hands-down, filthy-highway-robbery, epitome of a tourist trap. Let me paint a large, fiscally irresponsible picture for you: you buy a ticket on a ferry boat from Sorrento to Capri for 14 euro, then a smaller boat from Capri to the Blue Grotto for 12 euro, then you get in a very tiny boat with an Italian man and they take you to a man in a boat who asks a paltry 11.50 euro per person (46 euro for every boat, always), who then ferries you around for 5 minutes, sings a little, and asks a tip of roughly 10 euro. Badabing badaboom. Your kids cant go to college now. Hope you thought it was beautiful.
But it was beautiful. Post-Capri, we had another night in Sorrento and then it was off to Rome (where I reside currently, typing out this blog while the rest of my nuclear family ooohs and aaahs around the Vatican Museums, a tour which, is unbelievable, but only so on the first trip. I, having taken that tour and given that tour to the most recent group of scallywags, decided to opt out).
I enjoy Rome, but find myself always wishing I was somewhere else. Its not that the food isnt great and the sights arent amazing, it just doesnt feel very cultural. I would love someone to argue that out of my head but its just how it sits currently. Theres so much history but its all dead history. Its just like, look some ruins, plop a city around it and BAM! Nobody really seems to care. I dont know. I guess I just have a special preference for cities like Florence.
I realize I just kind of glazed over Paris and in a way Florence and I apologize for that. Paris, for me, was about reuniting with my sister and being in a cool place while doing so. I hope to go back sometime and dig a little deeper. But it really was stunning.
Now lets get some ground facts laid down: I love my family very much.
But (ah the inevitable but. Why would I tell you something like that without there being a deeper point to expound on. Its like the pick-up line of non-romantically-oriented conversation)…
It has been exposed to me how much I took for granted traveling alone. I very much enjoy being only responsible for myself and always being able to move at the pace I see fit. My family, God love them, moves at a much different pace than I do and at times it has been very frustrating. Its been the cause of many pauses followed by deep breaths and counting very slowly to ten. Not really, I dont think that works, it ironically frustrates me more to try to deliberately slow everything down. So this has been revealing of my character.
Now Im off to haggle with some dudes selling trinkets on the street. Im going to try to channel the bargaining greatness of the savvy Brian Holmes, but I make no promise to share his success. And then its off to test the repatriation of remains clause in the leftover international insurance I have from Prague when I rent a scooter with my sister.
Final thought: theres something I enjoy about the patience it takes to peel an egg in the morning.