Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Post-trip reflections

Settling back into the daily grind after nine days of intense activity...

10 minutes later...

Oops. Sidetracked for a moment. Just watched a David Hasselhoff video on German MTV. Shudder. What is it with this man, or, should I say, "The Hoff?" Is it the German last name? (It is German, no?) This man is the definition of cheese wiz. And, while we're on the subject, what is it with my addiction to German MTV? I feel as though I must return to this subject every few months. The answer still eludes me.

So, where was I? Oh, yes, The Grind. Traveling is such an intense experience, and, truly, one of the reasons I love being abroad. I'm an adrenaline junkie to the extent that Xanax does not need to be involved, (i.e., please no bungee jumping or confinement in tight, closed spaces, not like the latter has ever been an issue). Even in if you're dropped in a very westernized country like Germany, it's always a trick finding your way around. All of your five senses are on alert.

(Sight) "Oh, fuck, was that my stop?"
(Hearing) "Oh, fuck, did they just announce my stop?"
(Touch) "Oh, fuck, the doors aren't opening." (In Germany, you have to press a button to open train doors, at least, in Stuttgart).
(Smell) "Oh-hh. Is that...pastry?"
(Taste) "Oh, yeah. That's good pastry."

Now that I'm back, I find myself pacing and procrastinating on various and sundry projects, my mind still occupied by people and places...So, some last thoughts before I force myself to concentrate on THINGS THAT NEED TO BE DONE.

1. If you're in Stuttgart, you must take the train out to the truly lovely town of Esslingen: http://www.esslingen.de/servlet/PB/menu/-1_l2/index.html. Gads, I want to go to the Christmas markets there.

2. Salzburg. Oh, Salzburg, how did I forget to blog about thee? Actually, I was completely smitten by (with?) Ljubljana, so when I came into the Guccified city, I was, dare I say, disappointed? I know, shame! The glut of tourists, chocolate Mozart balls, and high-end stores must have put me off. It really is beautiful, folks, so don't listen to me. And. The city is great for runners, especially those of us coming from the Balkans where the car is king and drivers would sooner run you over than stop for you, even if there is a pedestrian walkway. Here, the cars...stop. If you're even a speck in the distance, they stop. And wait. Magic.

3. Austria. Apparently, these religious tableaus (for lack of a better word, feel free to help me out here) are popular in Austria and are visited by school children throughout the land. There was a group of 4 year-olds making the rounds while I was there. Does anyone else find the graphic detail of Christ's torture, well, off-putting and potentially scarring to kiddies?

Now, I really must get back to my regularly scheduled program, as it were.


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