Sunday, September 6, 2009

Europe, Tourism and Desensitization

A week and a bit before I get on a plane to Madrid.

I wish I could say I were more excited. To be honest, I totally checked out about six months ago. "You'd be good at this job if you gave a shit," were the exact words from my last boss. My whole life for the last few months has been like the last two weeks of a job after you've given notice. I've been stealing office supplies, drinking at my desk and flirting with the boss' wife every chance I got. Metaphors, I suppose - but I could probably think of a literal instance for each.

So, while I'm not particularly excited about getting to Morocco (My brain has already been living there. It found the IKEA and made a bookshelf.), I am excited about Spain. There's a saying: the more you travel, the more your gaze turns toward self reflection. It's true, I suppose. Too much of anything - even travel - can marginalize the experience and draw your attention inward. But that has never been the case for me in Europe.

If I have a limit for old buildings, cathedrals and monuments, I haven't hit it yet. And Spain is pretty much the last of the Western European countries I've yet to explore. The itinerary has been pared down badly, but I still think it's pretty solid:

4 Days: Madrid
3 Days: Seville
3 Days: Granada
[Ferry from Europe to Africa]
2 Days: Tangier
3 Days: Fez
[Arrive in Casablanca, check into hotel, start work the next day]

The image on the right is of Alhambra, a Moorish fortress in Granada. It has been toward the top of my to-see list for the better part of a decade. Having an afternoon to wander around and drool is going to be awesome.

Also, my favorite painting is in Madrid:

And of course, I'm going to do 10+ months worth of compensatory sangria drinking. Thank you, Islamic Morocco. Bleh. Somebody find me a religion that lets you do more stuff, as opposed to less.



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