Sunday, January 24, 2010

Ungrateful in Florence: Mark Twain as Good Company Abroad

The month of pre-flight stress, the hours of plane and train travel, the jet-lagged and cold early mornings have all conspired to make me feel grumpy, achy and not receptive to an unfamiliar city. Fortunately yesterday, one of the missus' professional lunch companions recommended another who was felt the same after his trip as well.

"How the fatigues and annoyances of travel fill one with bitter prejudices
sometimes! I might enter Florence under happier auspices a month hence
and find it all beautiful, all attractive. But I do not care to think of
it now, at all, nor of its roomy shops filled to the ceiling with snowy
marble and alabaster copies of all the celebrated sculptures in Europe--
copies so enchanting to the eye that I wonder how they can really be
shaped like the dingy petrified nightmares they are the portraits of."

Mark Twain literate cynicism about travel might be the perfect antidote to my current fatigue. I hope last night's rest, more of Mr. Clemens' wit and a good breakfast will get me on a happier path.

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