My son, the tenor (not the same son as Broken Arm/Scar), just left this morning for his European tour. The European Tour of the University of Utah Singers, to be more precise. Oh, how I wish I were going on a tour of European cities to sing, with or without a group! They are starting in Nancy, France, then to the Netherlands, then back to France, including Paris, then to Germany and Italy.
Instead of going on a European tour, however, I have his car in my driveway (which I should feel free to wash and clean out, plus fill with gas, he tells me) and his itinerary.
I want to have a European tour like the ones people took in Victorian novels--the ones men took to gain experience, or the ones married couples took for their honeymoons. Six months, for instance. I want to disappear into those Sunday Times travel articles about the secret best cities in eastern Europe. I want to eat at the restaurant up in the Alps where the chef is an artisanal cheese artist. I want a villa in the south of France for a month. I want to live in that artist's colony in Italy, where you can live for six months. (I realize this is starting to add up to more than six months, especially with the Italian artist's colony factored in.)
And I want to end up in Scotland, where the mood is a bit dark and the weather a bit darker, but my shining, adorable daughter and granddaughter (and the husband/father, too) live. That would be a fitting conclusion to my European tour.
And the culture is so thin here and so rich over there, and as you sit in a cafe (for, of course, there will be sitting in cafes) with a James novel open on your lap you think, much like Lambert Strether in James' "The Ambassadors," you think, "Live. Live all you can. It is a mistake not to."ReplyDelete
I met some French men in Spain and the next day, as I was sipping my "cafe" (which is espresso, all coffee in Spain is espresso, it's so civilized!), I saw one of these French men and he said, "Bon jour" and kissed me on both cheeks. I decided right then and there that Europe was so much better than, well, any place else. It's so, as I said, civilized. Don't forget all the museums and then the local wine in France and all the tapas in Spain and then the beer in Ireland, etc. You definitely need more than six months.ReplyDelete
Yes and you could have the waiter approach and say "and would you like ze fizzy water or will you be content with ze water from ze tap?"ReplyDelete
What exactly did that guy say in SF?
I believe it was, "would you prefer fizzy water, or will you be content with tap water?" Hmm. Somehow that doesn't have the zing it once had.ReplyDelete
You know our bed sofa is always waiting for you!ReplyDelete
We are beginning to feel more and more like we are running a bed and breakfast, more Americans coming this week, the wife and sister of a high school friend. Come to experience the culture, fat intead of thin, civilised instead of wild? Dark, yes, but even the word for overcast over here is better, "misty" as it was this morning. And "dreich" if it rains all day.