Do I really have to pronounce everything correctly when abroad?

How do you react when you hear someone mispronounce a place name or a famous person’s name? A few years ago I was hanging around the lobby of the MoMA in NYC waiting for my friends to get their museum fix. As you know, if you’ve kept up with my travels, I hate museums. Actually, […]

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Rhodes and AIDA — The Colossus and the Colossal

We’re nearing the end of our cruise of the Aegean and Black Seas. We are all a little weepy. We could go on and on and on with the cruise. We’ve heard rumors of an 80-day cruise, and we’re seriously considering it…until we come to our senses, remembering that we sort of have jobs. There […]

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City Hopping — Odessa, Ukraine

The port of OdessaThe first thing you’ll notice about Odessa if you reach the city from the port is that it’s industrial; the second thing you’ll notice is the Potemkin Stairs. The third thing you’ll notice if you choose to take the funicular instead of walking up the 192 steps–lazy–is that they don’t take euros […]

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God on the Rocks — a Visit to The Metéora

One of 6 remaining monasteries at The MetéoraShe introduces herself jokingly as the Jungfrau Maria (the Virgin Mary), and the tour group–the one waiting for our tour group to remove itself from the cooler, inner area of the chapel–laughs boisterously. Her name is Maria, an informative guide who speaks fluent German, and also one who […]

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Back from Black

I have washed six loads of clothes, uploaded 799 photos, watered 47 very angry plants, restored two email accounts to working order (after Google decided that I was suspicious)–and my back is killing me. I need vacation. Already my tan is fading. As always, my students will ask me tomorrow night if I’ve been on […]

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City Hopping — Alicante, Spain

We’ve just returned from Alicante. I’d never really wanted to go there. You see, it is mentioned in a commercial for a low-cost airline that gives frequent flyer points at supermarkets. The TV spot shows a justifiably confused man at the check-out lane. Although he’s buying groceries, he’s also checking in to board a flight […]

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City Hopping — Porto, Portugal Revisited

The botanical garden in Porto is well worth a visit despite its issues. And you can even hop off the hop-on/hop-off bus tour right across the street from the entrance. I love bontanical gardens; I hate museums. “Where are we going?” I ask Frank the Sushi Knife Sharpener. I’m nervous. We have veered away from […]

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The Best Way to See Berlin

Swans on the Spree–enjoying Berlin from the waterBerlin is a big city. There’s no way around that. Actually, there’s a perfectly wonderful way around it: the Spree. The river that curls peacefully through the city allows you the luxury of seeing the city from a swan’s point of view. Swans don’t waddle down busy streets, […]

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Eight Days in the Canary Islands — Day 3

Our boat is the big one with the pretty lips.Believe it or not, Alexander the Pool Shark and I get up at 7:30 and “train our bodies” until 9:10, at which time I go for my first and last massage on the AIDA Sol–because it turns out to be a lame massage. With all my […]

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Not So Pretty in Patong

We have now been to Phuket and Patong beach–a tourist mecca for Who-the-Hell-knows-why–three times. To get to Patong from the airport on Phuket, you have to take a taxi for almost an hour with the final hurdle of a mountain that is the bane of many a bus driver. One of our bus drivers was […]

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