Oh, I see! moments
Travel Cultures Language

What’s in Your Suitcase?

by Joyce McGreevy on October 9, 2017

A souvenir store in Budapest, Hungary leads a writer to seek the locus of travel inspiration and other aha moments. (Image © Joyce McGreevy)

Souvenir stores straddle the border between “this place” and “any place.”
© Joyce McGreevy

Collected Travel Inspiration,
With & Without Souvenirs

Souvenirs—talismans of travel inspiration, mere trinkets, or  trash?  Can they inspire aha moments or only memorialize them?

The very word is a souvenir of 18th century French—from souvenir “to remember.” But I like the ancient Latin even better. Subvenire, “to come up from below,” tips its hat to the subconscious. It makes me think of opening old boxes in a basement and finding forgotten treasure, some silly, small item of no value.  And yet  . . .

Budapest, Fast and Slow

by Joyce McGreevy on October 2, 2017

Chariot drivers and horses race at Heroes Square, reflecting the best of Budapest "fast and slow." Image © Joyce McGreevy

You can race through Budapest at a gallop, but you’ll notice more at a gentle pace.
© Joyce McGreevy

Hungarian Travel Tips in Two Tempos

I’m lingering at a bisztro in Budapest’s Jewish Quarter, savoring every bite of cholent.  It’s an Ashkenazi slow-and-low cooked casserole.  Guests keep arriving in waves. So, when the waiter approaches, I assume it’s to drop the bill and hasten me on my way.

Instead, he recommends flodni, a 20-ingredient stuffed wonder he airily summarizes as a “light pastry.” Or perhaps another glass of rozé?

A Tale of Two Jungles

by Eva Boynton on September 11, 2017

Trees in the jungle and a a city monument, symbolizing life in the jungle of Quintana Roo and the concrete jungle of Mexico City (images © Sam Anaya).

From the Mayan jungle to the concrete jungle
© Sam Anaya

Sensing Life in Quintana Roo & Mexico City

A symphony plays before me in an outdoor theater. The sun passes through a roof of leaves, tree branches crawl up and around the doorways, and rain delicately drizzles upon the earthen seats. This is the Mayan jungle in Quintana Roo, Mexico.

I had arrived here from another theater where sunlight illuminates towering structures and passes through glass windows. The red, yellow, and green of signal lights reflect in the puddles of afternoon rains. This is the concrete jungle of Mexico City.

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