Travel


~On Traveling~

I started out this post wanting to prove to the world that traveling isn’t as good as everyone lets on.

Image

After looking through all these pictures, I’ve completely changed my mind.  It’s worth it.  It’s totally, unequivocally  irrevocably worth it.

dover castle

Now, you might think you can get away without traveling.  Take food, for instance.  One of the troubles with Europe nowadays is that the food is almost universal, at least from my experience.  Sure, the French food in France is better than the French food in London, but I can still get French food in London at far less cost, and they speak English, or at least I don’t feel quite as dumb when they don’t.  Same thing with Italian, German, Spanish, Russian (which I’ve never actually sampled.  Anyone know what russian cuisine is like?), it’s all there.  So that’s one less reason to leave.

churhc

All of this true, but when you eat a croque madame in a cafe in Paris, looking out the clear glass window into the bustling, twisting streets, and everyone is speaking Frech, and your completely happy to munch on your meal and play at guessing what they’re actually saying, you begin to understand a little bit more about France than you otherwise would have in your neighborhood pub with a croque monsier.

Travelling can seem daunting at times, though, and it can sometimes seem a bit boring, though it is, in fact, anything but.  Things just lose their glamour after a while.

Paris

Versailles, for instance, is great.  It’s a bloody huge palace that removes any pity you may have had for Marie Antoinette or the French aristocracy, because it is nothing if not absurdly opulent.  I Mean, look at this:

versailles chapel

My God!  Or try this one on for size:

Hall of mirrors

Now you can’t tell me that if you were a french peasant who had recently lost his favorite mound of dirt to a royal tax collector, you wouldn’t be more than a little upset when you saw this place.  Makes sense, right?

But that’s not really my point.  It’s actually the opposite of my point, for as I walked through Versailles, through room after disgustingly opulent room, I began to marvel less and less at the richness of the place.  Indeed, by the end of the tour I was quite blasé about it.

“Oh, look.” I’d mutter in a monotone to Jared, “Another jewel encrusted doorway…”

“Gee,” he’d say, “Havent seen that before.”

versailles ceiling

Just imagine how boring the world must have seemed back then if you were a king.  You’d be bored with Versailles, which was probably one of the most beautiful places in the world at the time.  What else is there?

Especially when you have statues of yourself looking like apollo enshrined all over the place.

Especially when you have statues of yourself looking like apollo enshrined all over the place.

And it kind of goes that way everywhere you travel. Another beautiful lagoon (BVI’s), another ungodly huge graveyard (Ypres), another monstrous church (Rome).  You get used to it, and pretty quickly I might add.  It’s not that the things are suddenly less good because you’ve seen a bunch of them, it’s that they just begin to become part of the scenery, to the point that you never notice them, and that if a tourist were to ask you where St. Paul’s was, you’ respond with “Well, i think it’s over there.  Not really sure why you want to go to that place.  It’s just a beautiful cathedral.”

st. pauls

But if you only go to these big places, you miss some of the other things.  The things that really make the trip special.  Like this.

amelie

It’s the cafe where they filmed Amelie.  Cities like paris are full of little treasures like this, hidden away from you as you run by, sprinting from Notre Dame to the Eifel Tower, a tattered map in one hand, fifty euro clutched in the other.

thames

So what’s my point?  I don’t really know.  Sometimes, you just write about something you love simply to write about it.

horse on hill

I guess my point is this: I’d encourage anyone planning a trip to take a step back and think, really think, about what it is you want to do.  Nine times out of ten I would bet it’s not run yourself ragged seeing every single big, famous thing in the city, because when you rush through, you miss the little things, the tasty things that make traveling worth it, and make life worth living.  You miss wandering down the alleys that only locals use, and watching street performers, and rushing off before the end because you don’t have the money to pay them, or leaning against a brick wall and sipping on mulled wine in Covent Garden Market as you people watch, or simply sitting on a bench and watching the river flow on by..

I'll leave you with a caption from the best worst movie ever, "The Room"

I’ll leave you with a caption from the best worst movie ever, “The Room”

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Dear god, another one!


Well, dear and gentle readers, I must, first and foremost, apologize for not having posted anything in the past 3 or so months.  I was going to apologize for not having written anything, but as the most devout of you are surely aware, I am in a graduate screenwriting program, and have therefore written quite a few things, just not blog things.

I was doing pretty well with blog posts until we hit the production cycle last semester, which is when in a few short weeks every student directs his or her own movie, and also does every other film set position on other people’s movies.  It’s sort of like undercover bosses, except that all the people you may have pissed off while you were the boss know exactly who you are, and their turn is coming up soon.

The most exciting thing that happened to me during this whole period happened on the first day, when, in a dusty and dank warehouse, I dropped a $60,000 lens onto the cold, hard floor.  The concrete welcomed it greedily, and everyone else, the whole film crew and actors, watched it in slow motion as it tumbled from my clumsy paws.  There was really nothing I could do; my arms wouldn’t react fast enough.  It’s ironic, I thought, that the thing you are most often warned about not dropping is more often than not the thing that you drop.

And warned we had been.  Every class, every day, to hold the lens securely, and cradle it, much like one would baby Jesus, unless you were a Satanist or something, and make sure the party you are passing it too has secure hold of it before you release your grip.  This point was stressed again and again.

I honestly have no clue how I dropped it, I just sort of fumbled it.  One moment it was in my hands, and the next moment I was curly from the three stooges, clawing desperately at a 35mm lens that had seemed to have turned into a Mexican jumping bean, and refused to stay locked in my grasp.

As fate would have it, the trajectory at which I had launched my expensive missile led it to strike my friend Joel’s hip, and somehow, magically somehow, roll down his leg, like a wheel going down a hill, have a soft landing on his shoe, and then roll across the floor, where my friend John snatched it up before it could crash into a wall and shatter completely.

The room was dead silent.

“Gosh” was all I could manage to say.  The director nodded in agreement.  Gosh indeed.  As it turns out, the lens was somehow completely fine, a godsend, and I was merely charged a fee for having someone look at it, which I’m not entirely sure I ever actually got charged.

I was so warn out come winter break that writing was the farthest thing from my mind, and then, in Januare, I loaded up on an airplane and flew across the northern Atlantic to make my new home, at least for the next three months, in old London town.

It’s part of the writing program.  We get sent over here to work with British playwrights and other British people.  It’s supposed to help our writing, but it’s really been is an absolutely lovely way to write one’s first complete screen play, in a fabulous city, steeped in history and time, and rich in culture.

London, I’ve come to find, is nearly the antithesis of Tallahassee.  It feels safe where Tallahassee feel like there is death lurking around every corner.  It is clean, where Tallahassee is covered in litter.   It is classy, where as Tallahassee is full of bros.  Not that I don’t like Tallahassee.  Quite the contrary, it’s a fun place.  I just wouldn’t want to live there after I finished the program, but I wouldn’t mind living in London, even during the bitterly cold winter.

What’s gotten me back into blogging, you ask?  Well, the answer is twofold.  To put it simply, the first reason is that I’m supposed to be doing something else right now, yet another outline for my screenplay, but I’m meeting with my professor later to work out some kinks.  The kinks are only at the end, but it’s still an excellent excuse to not work on it.

The second reason is that the estimable Reverend Mother has nominated me for the Versatile blogger award, my third award if were counting, and we are, and I couldn’t bring myself to not write a lovely thank you.

So, thanks for the award.

Ok, so I’m reading this list of things I need to do in order to receive this award.  15 people.  I need to nominate 15 other people for the award…

1. http://seedofbilly.wordpress.com/2013/02/28/weekly-poem-2/#comment-51

2. http://stvaltheeccentric.wordpress.com/2013/02/28/still-writing/comment-page-1/#comment-12

3. http://vincentmars.com/

4. http://ahouseandagarden.wordpress.com/2013/02/28/oh-my-word-many-words/#comment-1472

5. http://narrellemharris.wordpress.com/2013/02/28/it-means-what-it-is/#comment-1727

6. http://ramblingsfromamum.wordpress.com/2013/02/28/five-sentence-fiction-challenge-empty/comment-page-1/#comment-6574

7. http://writenaked.wordpress.com/2013/02/28/5-ways-to-make-money-writing-as-you-travel/#comment-547

8. http://screenwrites.wordpress.com/

9. http://bonesmurphy.wordpress.com/

10. http://gameoverbooks.wordpress.com/

11. http://alyssalyssa.wordpress.com/

12. http://observingvessel.wordpress.com/

13. http://clareodea.wordpress.com/

14.http://markbirch33.wordpress.com/

15. http://kamikazehermit.wordpress.com/

Dear me that took a long time.  Now I have to write 7 facts about myself.

1. One time, upon leaving my house, I witnessed a possum eating another possum; on my very doorstep no less!  It’s one of those images you can’t ever unsee, and it haunts my dreams to this day.

2. I’m living in london right now.  The weathers been quite bad the past week, but it seems to be getting better.  I might even go to the farmer’s market!

3.I quite enjoy tea and coffee, but here in englan i’ve somehow been drinking more tea than coffee, I guess because it’s cheaper and easier.  It’ll be nice to get back to florida where coffee is a plentiful as fire ants and the rain.

4. I had never seen Tarentino’s from dusk till dawn until this weekend.  It’s quite good.  You should wach it.

5. I’m an aspiring screenwriter and I care more about sports than the academy awards.  Is that bad?

6. I fought a grizzly bear to the death one time.  With a knife.  I won’t say it was easy, but I’m still here.

7.I know how to sail a sailboat.

Cool, there we go! Thanks gain, http://lifeaswedontyetknowit.wordpress.com/ for the award!

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