Category Archive: tour guide

The Secret to Europe

The smell of fresh baked bread. Is there anything on earth so glorious as that smell on a Paris morning? It was Friday and the perfectly round fruit-topped tarts were glistening with sugar… Continue reading

Happy birthday, America, from elsewheres

That’s Athens out there in the haze. Spread outside my room like too much hot peanut butter, chunky with concrete and creamy with Mediterraneanity. In my camera it’s Italy on the rare moments… Continue reading

I think Paris is getting to me

The Rhine was running high, Florence was florid with wine-flushed cheeks and well-trod streets, and the Alps were calm as only stone can be. Last night 24 of us, from 21 days of… Continue reading

Back in Holland, and gelukkig about it

I had to take a moment when I walked out of Amsterdam Centraal Station. All around me Italians were burbling, Spaniards were lisping, and the Dutch were clearing their throats with the somehow… Continue reading

Time to go

The urinal has a starting line. Maybe it’s my history as a runner, but I immediately wondered what time the qualifying heats would begin, but there’s just the one porcelain arena hanging up… Continue reading

Things like this still happen in Havana

The thing about Cuba is all the streets are so…Cuban. Roaming about, I often feel like large cities belong to the country of Citylandia, removed from the nations that surround them, but Havana?… Continue reading

Who wants to go to Cuba?

That I was sitting in the restaurant, soaked to the seams, was not the surprising part of lunch. That it had begun raining as soon as I had to leave for a social… Continue reading

The Wizard of Oz and I

“When I was a boy, I knew what I wanted to be.” My assumption was beginning when he filled in the answer. “A cowboy!”

Was Mussolini really that bad?

Benito Mussolini helped lead Europe into one of the darkest chapters of its violent history. We already know this. But is there more to the story than that? Finding myself on the shores… Continue reading

Okay fine. I give up. I love Paris too.

There’s something terribly cliche about loving Paris. It’s like loving chocolate, puppies, and The Princess Bride. Of course you love those things. So does everyone else. Not interesting. After reading the 10,000th love… Continue reading