Wednesday, June 01, 2005

My big fat greek trip to Italy

Well, I’m back from ten days in Southern Italy. With my family. On a bus.

Sicily was beautiful: clear waters, rocky mountains, stunning hillsides. The food and wine were great, the people were goodlooking and friendly. It was a strange trip, though, because it’s so different from the ways I’m used to traveling. Here we were with 30 other Americans on a big loping Star Bus, which was pretty comfortable, but which pretty much served as a holding pen on wheels. We all woke up together and ate together in restaurants and hotel dining rooms. They would drive us from one tourist trap to another. “See the centuries-old mosaics and the Greek temple ruins!” They’d tell us. Or: “Now we’ll drive to the mountaintop to snap photos of the beach!” And then we’d get there, and there would be twelve buses in place already, with a bunch of fat Americans mooning around and asking for mayonnaise. At that point, while my mom went to the restroom for a period up to 40 minutes long, we would lose our own tour group and become stuck behind three others. I don’t believe in stereotypes, but I can say that Japanese tourists are assholes.

We woke up very early and went to bed very early, we walked slow, we took our time. I felt frustrated at every turn, like the kid in “The Incredibles,” but a lot more sullen. At different points I got frustrated with everyone in my family and everyone in our tour group. “Why can’t you even try to speak Italian!” “Why do you shuffle so slowly! Does that cane even do anything?” “Why are you so diabetic all the time!”, etc. This was not a healthy attitude, and so I don’t think I managed to really relax on the trip. It was a very task-oriented vacation, which has its own set of peculiar charms, but it was a rough way to live for ten days. I mean, we woke up at six every day – we didn’t even get a weekend. It was worse than working.

Here are some of the positive things about it: quality time with my family, great reading, beautiful country, hiking up Mt. Etna (my second volcano this year!), the Isle of Capri (birthplace of Capri Sun beverages, I like to believe), walking down the streets of Pompeii, I communicated with the Italians pretty darn well (another European even thought I was a clerk in store, which was mind-boggling), and I got some good sun. And now it’s good to be back.

1 comment:

Jack said...

Finally!!!! My favorite Mike Dunn-centric blog is back. and just weren't doing it for me. And don't pretend like you didn't get my emails for my show tonight. you better be there, you ugly American son of a bitch. By the way, I just finished watching A Time to Kill. Is that what the South is like?