That’s More Like It

Instead of cheap tickets to poxy New York and -Jersey, I got this offer:

I will admit that I’ve never been to Greece — no special reason, it just never came up in any of my travel dreams.  I’m not really big on visiting ancient buildings and old ruins, because my experience in Western Europe has been largely negative:  hucksters trying to separate the stupid American from his dollars in various ways — e.g. Rome’s Colosseum, which pretty much put me off this kind of thing for life.

And sunbathing in the Greek Isles?  Forget that shit — not just in Greece, but anywhere.

However, this I could get into:

Athens, Greece – November 6, 2015: Scenes from Plaka, also called “Neighbourhood of the Gods”, the old district of Athens at the foot of the Acropolis with labyrinthine streets and neoclassical architecture.
March 31st, 2019, Greece Athens. Greek restaurant taverna at Plaka area, blackboard with daily menu, empty tables and chairs, sunny day

…and I just LOVE Greek food:

…and I even drink retsina, the Greek wine that tastes like Pine-Sol, but which complements Greek food really well.  (My Dad, a seasoned traveler, always recommended drinking what the locals drink, advice which has served me well just about everywhere.  But I draw the line at ouzo.)

I think the only problem I have going to Greece is that I can’t speak a word of it — literally — and of course, as they have that strange alphabet, I can’t read it either.  I’m not afraid of venturing into the complete unknown — at least they have a Western culture (I know I know, they started it all blah blah blah) — but I hate being a total foreigner, if you get my drift, which is not the case in Germany, France, Holland, Belgium and even Italy or Spain.

But I can’t help thinking that I’m missing something by never having been there.  (New Wife has done it, and speaks glowingly of both Athens and the islands, so there’s that.)

All thoughts, experiences and suggestions are of course welcome in Comments.

Not Even


Sorry, but no.  (Actually, I’m not sorry.  Poxy fucking states, both New York AND New Jersey.  Feel free to list your own hatreds thereof in Comments.)

So Much For The Bucket List

From Jenni Murray:

“Do you remember how exciting it used to be to arrive at the airport, stand in a queue for just a few minutes to check in, whizz through passport control, have a stroll around Duty Free, wander down to the boarding gate, find your seat on the plane where there’d be plenty of knee room and, full of anticipation, you were up, up and away?”

I think she’s talking about the 1960s.  Personally, I would feel pretty much the same as she does, because even before the Wuhan virus flying had become a post-9/11 nightmare.  As she puts it:

Hours of checking in and security.  Anxiety about whether any cosmetics might be confiscated if they were more than 100 ml.  The humiliation of removing shoes…[etc]

So my bucket list loses Peru, San Francisco, the Maldives, Japan, Australia and gorillas in Sub- Saharan Africa. I shall never fulfill my longing to dig my own opal from the mines at Coober Pedy, north of Adelaide, or delight in the cherry blossom in Okinawa.  And my trip around Kolkata, Calcutta as my parents knew it, is off.

In terms of travel, my bucket list is not the same (San Francisco?  Kolkata?  LOL), but in terms of places I still want to visit (for the first time), it’s essentially European:  Budapest, Prague, Dubrovnic, Milan, to name but some);  and I also want to revisit some of my favorite countries:  Britain, France, Austria, Holland…  All seem so far away now, so out of reach because of all the travel restrictions and other nonsense.

We won’t even talk about Australia, where I have cousins and a step-family via New Wife’s elder son, with grandchildren I’ve never met.  (She’s off to South Africa next month to visit younger son and his wife and baby — grandmothers will not be denied.)

Don’t even talk to me about local travel.  Certainly, New Wife hasn’t been to any of the major U.S. cities except to fly through, but answer me this:  if you were in my position, are there any U.S. cities you’d want to take your wife to these days?  We’ll probably end up going up to New England again in the fall, and maybe a trip up to Glacier National Park before the heavy snows, and she’d probably love that:

But compared to Amsterdam, Vienna, Lake Como and Villefranche-sur-Mer?  Well, that’s a little more to consider, isn’t it?




Part of me wants to say, “Ah, what the hell”, and let it slip.  Then there’s the other part of me that says, “Hell no — I am going to see all those places, both where I’ve never been and where I’ve been before.”

And all that despite the TSA bullshit, the crowded planes and airports…

I’m not like Jenni Murray.