Category Archives: Europe

Savagely Stolen News: Italian Laws

Perhaps freedom should be on the march in Italy, where in some places it is now illegal to lie down in a park to read, build sand castles on the beach, or mow your lawn on weekends.

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Filed under Comedy, Europe, Life, Politics, Savagely Stolen News

Dr. Seuss’s Political Cartoons

Before Suess began his epic children’s book career he drew adverts for companies and penned political cartoons.  Check’em out below and then hit up the link.

Here are a few:

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Filed under Europe, History, Politics

The Tao of Travel II

This is a follow up to the previous post.

Bourdain’s comments inspired me to think about some rules of travel…  Here is what I wrote down in two emails and sent to some friends:

I think it [what Bourdain wrote] is brilliant!

Over the past several years I have really attempted to travel as a lifestyle.  In the beginning you visit Chicago or New York or Paris and come back with tales defining the experience and the place as a whole aka  “France was amazingggggg” .  Something strange happens when you begin to visit new places with some frequency.  You realize that you have not visited “France” as much as you enjoyed a singular experience.  Your trip was limited by your timing, personality, other people on the trip, your health (try having a good sick vacation), etc…  there are a ton of variables that all contribute to the cumulative thing you forevermore will refer to as your “Trip to France”.  I think Tony states as much when he writes, “I encounter some people — or take them along. They show me their lives.  We go some places –meet some friends. I tell you how that felt to me.  THAT’S what we do.”  And I think that is why so many people love the show.  His show is ultimately about his experience- it’s not as much about “look you can do this, too” like many of the other travel shows.  Sure, you can visit some of the same places- and should- but it’s the philosophy of the singular experience that makes his show- and your trip to France- great.  The politics?  Blah.  Travelers are above politics or should be.  It’s about the experience.

***************** 2nd Email********************

My number one rule is to respect the country and their rule.  My
application might be controversial. ..  when I ran with the bulls in
Pamplona, Spain, last year I found out they have the “running of the
nudes”.  No, no don’t get excited.  It’s a bunch of PETA people without
the balls/ovaries to actually run in the buff.  Instead, they wear
bathing suits and run through the streets protesting the run.  Now I am
all for the good people of Spain demonstrating, but I, as a US citizen,
do not think it is right for other Americans to travel to another
country and protest.  To belabor the point, I was against the Iraq war
from the beginning, but when I attended a concert by Canadian band
Skinny Puppy in Ohio and they were protesting America I was likewise
turned off.

Perhaps I watched too many original star trek episodes, but for me, the
prime directive of not interfering with “alien” cultures should be
respected.  I’m there to observe the culture and enjoy it, not try to
change it to favor mine (which would kinda defeat the point of
traveling).

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Filed under Europe, Food, Life, travel, Writers

I Miss Running With The Bulls

Last summer I ran with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain.  I know, you think it is crazy.  Last year I felt unchallenged.  I was in the middle of a press conference in Philadelphia hyping the Oscar De La Hoya-Floyd Mayweather fight.  When Oscar De La Hoya was asked why as an older and slower boxer who was past his prime he would take on the number one pound for pound boxer in the world, Floyd Mayweather, Jr, De La Hoya spoke of the challenge.  He wanted to push himself.  Challenge himself against the best competition.  To feel the passion course through his veins as he prepared and ultimately fought the younger, faster Mayweather.  When I left the press conference I felt empty.  I remembered the feeling I had when I won the 1983 Delmar Minor Little League Championship with Delmarva Aluminum.  And the joy that came with capturing a league title in a recreational league in seventh grade.  Champion.  There is just something about being a champion.

Now before I get embroiled into too much hyperbole, I realize these trophies mean nothing in the wide world of sport.  They are local titles against local-level competition.  But what you must recognize is that for an athlete with my skill set that’s about all we can even hope for.

How does this tie into the Running of the Bulls?

I’m glad you asked.  Leaving the press conference that day I knew I was out of shape, unathletic and leading a sedentary life.  I’m not sure whether I saw a programme on the tele or read an ad, but somehow in that space of time I came across the idea of running with the bulls.  The thought of being trampled under the hooves of bovine had me running like I had not run since my senior of of high school.  I burned off about 25 pounds in a 4 month period in preparation for the run.

I’ll go into the particulars of the run and my whole trip, which included stops in England, France, Spain, back to France and England, then to Ireland, back to London and home.

Cheers,

Tom

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Filed under Europe, running with the bulls, Sports, Strange, travel