Wednesday, October 18, 2006

more on travel…

Others pop quantities of mood-altering meds, or pray for better days. I am not criticizing their choices. Me, I'm elsewhere. For example, I spent four hours this evening searching for a perfect place to stay in Istanbul on the night of June 4th, 2007.

If you know me, I mean really really know me, then this will come as no surprise to you. I can indeed lose myself in this kind of task. Were there no real constraints to my days, I could easily disappear into web comparisons of the finer points of hotel linen thread counts. For days. Weeks even.

It is not that I deeply care where it is that I reside on June 4th. Were I to spend a night at the Istanbul airport, stretched over three chairs, covered over by a sweater with my nifty red purse serving as pillow, I would not mind.

But when I need a distraction, thinking about firm mattresses, good showers and spiffy lobbies elsewhere does wonders.

(p.s. I do expect to be in Istanbul for one night and one night only on June 4th, so this search is not a complete fiction or fantasy. But it is, I admit, ridiculous. Unless you know me and then you will know that I am capable of doing just this, in exactly these circumstances.)

Do you want to go to Waukesha this evening and check out a very specialized metal supplier?
Normally I would say no. Waukesha holds no promise for me. Besides, I have an email request for a few Paris tips. Weigh this, please: stay home, listen to French music and write about Paris, or go to Waukesha.

I pick Waukesha, but only after I am promised a laptop connection for the (90 minute) drive there and a boom-box plugged into the old wreck of a car, so that I can listen to Patrick Bruel. Oh, and a dinner in one of Milwaukee’s western suburbs. And WiFi somewhere along the way. And back in time for the finale of Project Runway. And a discussion of my great Paris idea for 2007.

I’ve had a rough week after all.

The metal supplier’s warehouse is visually fascinating. Shelves of metal, in every configuration.

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looks like NYC to me -- or, am I city deprived?

The WiFi is right there in the parking lot. I while away the time writing about Paris, right there in back of a specialized metals warehouse.

But I have an idea that is percolating – something new and different for 2007 and I gain energy from it, because it is freaky strong and it involves Paris.

Late in the evening, our business with the metal guys over, Ed and I head toward the town of Hartland. Sounds Midwestern. It is Midwestern. A Milwaukee paper recommended a restaurant there (the Bark River Bistro).

I order the surf and turf. I have not had a surf and turf in decades. It’s the all American dish, no? It is okay surf and turf, not great, but very very good. And the waitress, half my age, calls me hon and the fried mushrooms actually have the flavor of mushrooms rather than of grease.

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Having a vision for the year ahead is so important.