Thursday, December 11, 2008

it's a whole 'nother world

i grew up in a small town of about 1300 people in south dakota. when people there talked about traveling, they meant to the black hills or perhaps a day trip to the "big city" of sioux falls. on special occasions, people visited relatives in other states or made a yearly pilgrimage to las vegas. once in a great while, you heard of someone who went abroad to a whole 'nother country (often that country was canada, where in those days, all you needed was a blockbuster card and not a passport to get in). europe was spoken of in hushed tones and shrouded in a mysterious and wonderful haze which conjured images of picturesque castles on hills and dark forests where fancy cuckoo clocks grew.

fast forward to the end of 2008. i'm on a shuttle to the office from the hotel in oslo. i overhear a conversation in which people are talking about their office christmas parties. one of which had taken place last week on a beach in angola. and was attended by a guy with a heavy scottish accent who was spending a half day in the office in oslo before heading back to angola for a week of work and then three weeks off back home in cape town, where it's such a welcome change to live after five years in the wilds of zambia. "cape town is almost like a normal european city," he said. i wanted to pipe in and say no, cape town is much BETTER than any european city i could think of, but i didn't.

i have to admit that i love having a job where these conversations are the norm.

hey, anybody out there want to meet me in london? i just read the pound has taken a real beating and it's almost on par with the euro, so it could be a good time for shopping. if we were shopping, which of course we're not because of our new desire to be more aware of our consumption. but i'm just saying, it might be a good time to go to london.


Gwen said...

you could meet up with my husband in london; he travels there often.

but that could be awkward, don't you think?


Amanda said...

oh man, I would love to meet you in londao. If it just weren't so far away!

tangobaby said...

I was the first person in my family to get a passport, even tho I grew up in the wildly cosmopolitan city of San Jose, CA. (insert laugh cue here)

When my parents finally finally got their passport, they went on a cruise... to Alaska.

Sometimes do you wonder if you're adopted?

I would love to meet you in London. I want to find a way to live inside the British Museum until I get deported. Wanna try it together?

tangobaby said...

Also, I'm dying to go to Topshop.

julochka said...

tangobaby, i think that gwen's husband might be able to create a diversion for us while we conceal ourselves behind the elgin marbles. then i'm sure we could totally stay in the british museum. and it's FREE to get in, so score! more to spend at top shop...on kate moss's line. oh wait, all that stuff is probably for willowy people, of which i'm not. i'll probably just stick to the gap. and amanda, it's not that far and sometimes the tickets are so cheap you can't afford NOT to go. :-)