Rome. If you want to.

Italians have no time for you. I’ve overheard at least fifty non-Italian people say, “You go to a store or a café and they act like you should feel lucky they’re serving you!” And I understand where they’re coming from but once you get the rhythm of things, you see how it works. Even though […]

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Florence: While Supplies Last

It was while boarding the train to Florence (“Firenze” in Italian. You’re allowed to slap Americans who pronounce it this way) that I realized something pretty exciting, we would be traveling on Trenitalia’s FrecciaRossa 1000, (Red Arrow 1000), the fastest train in Italy – averaging approximately 175mph. Once again, the many signs touting free WiFi […]

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Sicily: Absolutely Delicious

Older Italian women all look the same to me. They embody an archetype I call Grandma Plump. A look and role I find to be both comforting and reassuring. Three of them sat opposite me on the train from Salerno to Sicily and attempted to feed me the entire time. Well, not attempted, they succeeded, […]

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Philosophically Speaking

athens Finding the subway from baggage claim was challenging. Turns out, Greek people almost exclusively speak one language that isn’t English. In spite of my tendency to play the rube on these outings, the truth is, I get a thrill out of putting myself in perilous situations where I don’t know anyone, where I’m going, […]

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Bulgaria. No… just… no

If you took Des Moines, Iowa, bombed it, took away everyone’s Prozac, supplied them with only beets and sporadically functioning electricity then added 100,000 gypsies, you’d have Sofia, Bulgaria.  My first thought at the train station was, ‘I’m most definitely going to be kidnapped, murdered and my organs harvested.’  “Happy-go-lucky” is not a term I […]

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Leipzig: A Hidden Gem

While in Vienna, I decided Leipzig, Germany would be the next stop; I’d never been to Saxony (or knew what Saxony was) and my Leipzig research promised some interesting experiences. One of BMW’s plants is in Leipzig as is Europe’s DHL hub, so they’d likely have some swank establishments for me not to visit. Also, […]

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Berlin

[Ignore the dateline, this was actually published today, Sept. 9, 2020. Making me interact with computers is like making Shoshanna have strudel with Hans Landa.] For 40 Euro, you can take a delightful 90-minute ICE (fast train) ride from Leipzig to Berlin. Or you can be a dumbass and try to save a few bucks […]

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…And The Dutch

This is Siard (SeaYard). He’s blunt, thoughtful and curious. Yes, that’s a strange and wonderful combination of things in this day and age. I’d met a lovely couple in Calgary and while visiting them in Harderwijk, Netherlands, I met this young man, wise beyond his years. Of his many hobbies and talents, he’d elected to […]

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