Thursday, April 22, 2010

Le blog is le history.

But fear not, I've just moved on to a new location for my new adventures:

Saturday, February 20, 2010

I'm coming back. April 2010. The adventures in fumbling in French continues...

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

History of the Defeated

Sadly, this will be my last post in this blog as I am currently typing this in my tiny and most importantly, air conditioned Brooklyn bedroom!
Rome was a bittersweet ending for me. We had arrived late in the day from a long ride down from Venice and thus I only had a single night to see all the sights. The Sistine Chapel was off the list as they stop letting visitors in at three thirty in the afternoon. After a quick rest(mind you we had walked nearly a mile dragging our luggage in 95 degree heat to our hotel) we mapped walking route that took us past the Coliseum all the way towards St. Peters Basilica and back to the Bocca della Verità.
The last of which I was determined to see as it's part of my favorite scene in my all time favorite movie Roman Holiday. After wandering around at midnight trying to figure out where it was even located, I was extremely disappointed to find it locked behind some gates. Just a mere few feet and metal separated me from a hilarious photo shoot involving lost limbs. So despite all my lies I'm known to tell, my hand is safe for now.

I swear I will make my way back to Rome during a cooler season and properly give the sites the time they deserve to properly admire them all.

So what have I learned about myself or the world now that I'm more worldly having spent the summer abroad? I miss being in New York City. I like the diversity this city offers, that just doesn't exist in Europe. From one country to another, you're stuck in that culture. New York offers the very best of everything and makes it accessible to anyone who is open to discover's just missing really good Mexican food.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Slips and tangles

For those who had seen my Facebook status, you already know I'm not enjoying myself at Venice. It's a bit of a major disappointment as it was the city I was most looking forward to in this trip to Italy. But it turns out to be one big tourist trap. Once you get over the fact that the city is built on water, it just turns into a city with tourists that outnumber locals and the locals do everything they can to squeeze every ounce of money they can get. Case in point:
1. The train conductor who reprimanded us for not filling in our Europass with our passports and date of travel and proceeded to demand a fifty euro fine from each of us! Luckily he let us go, but I saw two Asian ladies pay the same fine later.
2. We went to the island of Murano famous for their glass studios for a free tour. Our hotel had arranged a taxi take us there early in the morning. What the tour was though was a five minute glass blowing demo and thirty minutes of being led through their glass store trying to get you to buy something. Our tour book said, if you don't purchase something, most visitors have to find their own way back to Venice. I think we lucked out(again) when a taxi arrived for a couple people who did purchase some pieces.
3. A basic plate of Spaghetti with basil and tomatoes, a cost of four euros in Sicily, but in Venice ten euros! Sicilians are also the better cooks I've learned.
4. Umbrella and chair rentals at Lido beach: Fifteen euros! And I thought the three euro charge in Greece was expensive.
5. Water taxi ticket good for only twelve hours: Sixteen euros! Not to mention the rude ticket lady who barked at April for apparently not understanding what she meant when she asked for a euro when she obviously did after just handing the ticket lady the euro she had just asked for. (visitors tip: Italians HATE when you pay with paper bills)

Friday, August 14, 2009

Buon appetito

Here's one of my meals in Sicily, spaghetti marinara with seafood and calamari arrosto. You pretty much can't go wrong here.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


There was a question that was asked before I left for Europe; how do you take a train from Sicily to Naples? I didn't quite understand that question until today seeing as I never realized Sicily was essentially a big island.

Well, the answer to that question is, you put the train onto a ferry. You don't go through a chunnel like the Eurostar from Paris to London. The TRAIN goes onto a friggin' BOAT. It took me like fifteen minutes to even realize that the boat was moving as I was sitting in the train.
Today was pretty much one long train/boat ride. We caught the 7:30am train and arrived in Naples at 5:00pm. Not to mention all the stairs and non operational escalators we had to endure to get to our hotel along with the angry Italians who were accusing us of sitting in their seats(which we probably were). But we made it to Naples and had one of the best meals in Italy so far. Tomorrow we have Pompeii and Capri on our itinerary so it's going to be a full day ahead of us.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Precience of Dawn

I'm sitting here in the airport in Rome awaiting my next flight to Palermo. In nine days I'll return to this airport for my final journey back to Brooklyn. All airports pretty much are the same, but I'm docking both JFK and this airport points for making me pay to use Wifi. Honestly I just want to get back to the beach, I'm a bit tired of all this sight seeing.

I'm dying for music. I just realized I haven't been to a show in like a month, that's practically a lifetime in alcoholism years. I've been titling a few of my entries with Weakerthans song titles to get me excited for their two shows in Sept.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

One Great City!

Sorry for the long gap between posts, but I'm sure you can forgive me as I've been tanning and laying out on the beach all week long. My days are something like this, wake up around 9:00am, eat an amazing breakfast of Greek yogurt, fried eggs, bacon, and fruit, visit an old medieval village or two, sit on either a pebble or sandy beach(i prefer the latter. Pebbles are a bitch to walk on), eat lunch(which always include a Greek salad), tan for another few hours, take a dip into the Aegean Sea, eat dinner(which always includes a Greek salad. See a pattern here?) and then end with drinks at the port. So you can see why I'm not so inclined to update this.
Although I should mention we did take a day tour to Izmir, Turkey yesterday. Turkey is visible from Chios and only a 45 minute ferry ride, so we had planned to go for a day trip. I had written an entry about the finer points why not to visit Izmir Turkey when there's a Grecian beach with sand and water and relaxation and a lack of shady merchants trying to sell you a "nice t-shirt" much closer by, but it got deleted. So the lesson to learn here, don't go to Turkey. We all hated it. Fine, go if you really want to buy a magical monkey paw, but really, it's still not worth it. I used one of my wishes from the monkey paw to send me back in time and choose to spend an extra day at the beach instead.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Over Retired Explorer (Dines With Michel Foucault In Paris, 1961)

I'm becoming increasing less and less motivated to update Le Blog. There's just something wrong about writing about Greece(My current location for those playing "Where in the world is Jeff?") in something called Le Blog. I mean I know I can probably just change the header, but then what's the fun in blogging in something that's called "Living Vicariously Through Jeff's European Travel Blog Is Making You Really Jealous of Him Because You're Just At Work Sipping Your Morning Coffee And the Morning Meeting Is About to Start Soon"?

Anyways, to catch up from the last episode; my stay in Dusseldorf Germany has ended after three very short days. It was a great peace of mind finally being around someone who speaks the native language. As someone had described their experience of Germany, I had a similar experience, drinking a lot of German beers and eating a lot of sausages. I think one of my favorite new things is taking tequila shots with cinnamon and orange wedges. I could have done without the constant annoyance of the bees who were collecting the strawberry sauce of my spaghetti ice cream sundae for their honey. On Sunday afternoon I said goodbye to Birte and Hanna and hopped on a three hour flight to Athens to say hello to April and Stephanie.
Dusseldorf, Germany
After a short night stay in Athens, a shot and a half of a Crete liquor called Raki and a quick morning run through of the Acropolis this morning, I am currently hunkered down for a week in the sandy beaches of Chios; just a short hop, skip and skiddadle away from Turkey. I'm mentally worn down from all the Parisian museums, skyscrapers, endless sole wearing and soul bearing walks, foreign complications that all I can think about is just laying quietly in the peaceful sea breeze of the deep blue Aegean Sea...

Friday, July 31, 2009

Hallo! Danke! Bitte!

In one day I've learned about as much German as I know French. Too bad I'll only be here for two days.