25 June 2007

really touristy things just don't appeal

It is easy to act anti-establishment to pretend not to be mainstream. I can boast that I have NEVER stepped foot inside of a WalMart. I don't dig fast food, Starbucks, etc. Well one thing I have not overtly tried to act out on is travel related to our wedding. We are headed to Europe for our honeymoon at Organic Tuscany, an organic cooking school in Tuscany that is a member of the Slow Food movement. However my fiance and I are thinking about staying in Europe for a longer period of time and are deciding what to do...

I don't want to get a euro-rail pass to see the Eiffel Tower one day, the Leaning Tower of Pisa another, and Big Ben at the end. YAWN... boring. First of all big cities generally suck because yeah, there is touristy stuff but there is also less desirable urban stuff too. All big cities can be dirty and poor in areas as a product of being urban areas. Paris, Rome, London, etc. I am not saying big cities are bad, you just need to know what you are doing. Seeing as how this will be the first time either of us cross the pond... we have no idea what we are doing

I want to live somewhere for a month. A rented flat, work in a B&B, volunteer on an organic farm. It has been my dream honeymoon for a number of years. Ideally I would love to rent a flat in northern Italy to go bouldering nearby everyday, eat good food and have lots of hankie pankie. That would rock.

My fiance agrees about the "living experience" concept with me. I should clarify about my background and why a super touristy honeymoon does not sound appealing. I grew up in Hollywood, CA. As a tyke I would hustle tourists on the boulevard and made some decent change while doing it. Watching folks come to the Mann Chinese theater from all over the world seemed so lame to me. I don't have any desire to be that lame person on some foreign soil. When we go to Europe I want to walk a few steps in some European shoes even though me and my fiance and I will most likely be those loud, disgusting Americans.

This American Life ran a David Sedaris piece today (Three Kinds of Deception: Accidental Deception) where he unwittingly goes incognito as a French pickpocket to some loud Americans on the metro in Paris. I was in stitches because him and his beau are doing the same kind of experience we are hoping for and the American tourists I don't want to be are insulting him in English as if Sedaris as a French man can't understand them.

However, we are at step one right now. We have the idea. The cooking school we are going to suggested WWOOF as an organization to join if we are looking for farm opportunities in specific countries. All that we have done so far is narrow down our choices to countries...France, Italy, and then Spain in that order. We have so much research ahead of us if we are going to pull this off in 11 months when we leave for our honeymoon. Any ideas would be appreciated.

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