Here is a secret: Traveling to a foreign country is exciting no matter where you go. Even if its Canada. Even if they talk more or less like we do. Even if they still deal in “dollars” that are somehow worth less than yours.
…It could be because they have things like Darth Vader playing a violin with a lightsaber. (Even Buddhist Monks think that shit is dope):
…Maybe its cuz they pastry-pipe your potatoes:
…And doodle all their art on sidewalks:
…And light their government buildings up like the St. Louis Fair of 19-ought-four.
Everybody seems to be much more polite…(even after they find out we’re Americans.) People go outta their way to give good service (like whoever ran my coat from the hotel to the ferry, and got it on board, just before launching.) Store owners don’t haunt and bother you while you shop (I was left unmolested in Munro’s books for two hours after the initial smile “hello.”) And, they are willing to help you break some small laws, as needed (“Uh, yes…would you suggest a rolled-up sock, or poster tube art, to get this Cuban cigar home?”)
…In the end, we went with a Hemingway and couple Macanudos instead…but they totally had our back, if we needed them.
…And I like that in a hosting country.
It solidifies trade and tourism.
…Also, did you know that calories consumed outside of your national country do not count against you? It has to do with the metric system and how its all secret and magical. I try my best not to understand it on purpose. It’s one of those things that if you break the code, it won’t work for you anymore…like that one time I decided there was no mathematical way Santa could do his gig. I haven’t gotten a damn thing outta that dude, ever since. (And I even pleaded math-stupidity, and tried to take it back ten or twenty thousand times.)
Other awesome things about foreign travel include:
* Funny Money
Not since Monopoly have you had this much fun with colored buckage. Also they name their coinage like cartoons.
Me: …And this is a loonie, this is a toonie…
Puff: Nuh uh.
Me: I swear to you, on a Canadian Mountie…
* Everyone Has An Accent
You know how I go weak in the knees when people start throwing dialects around? Well, I haven’t walked upright in 48 hours, and have asked questions I don’t given a shit about, just to milk a little more Aussie, Scots and French out of a store clerk.
Me: Um, yes…can you please list out — in detail — all the reasons I should or should not buy this one item versus the other one. And can you tell me slower, please.
* Not My Room, Not My Problem
Traveling is the only time my OCD living-space order can go take a flying leap. Guess what? I didn’t make my bed today. I didn’t fold my towel or wipe down the sink. I never put the top back on the shampoo or cleaned out the coffee maker either. Cuz I am a disgusting mess of a human being, when on vacation…and you know what? That’s okay!
* You Can Justify Almost Anything
Me: I’m gonna get those truffles, and the caramel apple, cuz I may never come here again. I will have two beers, thank you…and I’ll prob’ly not eat anything green today…unless they find a way to cover it in this chocolate sauce. Know what? I deserve this journal I know I’ll never write in: because I want it and this isn’t just a regular “run to Barnes and Nobles” kinda thing. Yes, I have an entire shelf of tea, but I need three more because it’s foreign tea, therefore tests smarter and is prob’ly less toxic. I HAVE to buy that thing because I have all this fake money left over and it’s either that or give it that street mime over there…but I’m a selfish asshole, so I’d rather spend it on me, instead.
…These are just a few reasons that you too should venture out into the big wide world of poshness and foreign travel.
…’Specially if you’ve got a kick ass bed and five pillows waiting when you come back home again, to swallow you up whole.