So The Wife and I are just days away from a prolonged and well deserved trip overseas, and we’ve quickly learned two rather valuable lessons:
- Much like deciding whether or not to have your first child (or so I’ve heard), when it comes to traveling there is no such thing as being fully prepared, and…
- For the virgin traveler it’s legitimately scary just how much our opinions and mental images of foreign locations are formed through the prism of pop culture.
Our first stopover: Egypt. Is it really to my benefit to form any preconceived notions about their mythology, values or culture based purely on a popcorn flick like ‘The Mummy’? Because, sadly, I’m guilty of this.
Then on to Rome… a ‘Roman Holiday’? Are scooters mandatory? How do I do that ‘hand bitten off by Mouth of Truth’ bit without The Wife pummeling me?
And Paris? We’re definitely visiting the Louvre, excessive lining-up be damned. But what’s the first thing we want to see when we get there?
On to the U.K, and picturesque London town. But I can’t imagine driving to go see Stonehenge without doing my worst Spinal Tap impression. And as for visiting the lovely villages dotted about the English countryside… are you kidding?!? I’ve seen shows like ‘A Touch of Frost’ and ‘Inspector Lewis’ on the ABC – those little towns are deadlier than a Tehran afternoon.
Once we arrive in New York, one of our besties has insisted that we have afternoon tea / brunch at the world famous Plaza Hotel. Why? Well, because she’d seen it in films and TV shows like ‘Sleepless in Seattle’, ‘Sex & the City’, ‘Bride Wars’ and ‘Gossip Girls’.
I swear to God that The Wife and I have even seriously debated the pros and cons of public transport in Los Angeles, all because we re-watched ‘Speed’ about 2 months ago.
It’s made me realize that for years I’ve shrugged off “ignorant American’s”, and their simplistic, ‘Crocodile Dundee’ take on Australia.
“Throw another shrimp on the barbie” – I’ve never barbecued shrimp. And I don’t speak in a quasi-Cockney accent…
“Have a Fosters” – I’m 30, and I can honestly say I’ve never even tasted Fosters beer…
“A Dingo took my baby” – Lindy Chamberlain conjures up one imaginary feral Dog, and we’re saddled with Meryl Streep’s worst acting performance ever…
And yet here’s me coming up with pop culture connections a gajillion times worse.
So I’m going to take this opportunity to say:
I apologize, America. Many of your citizens probably are ignorant, but no more ignorant than I.
You know, objectively this should be a fascinating exploration of one sheltered mind’s exposure to a much larger world.
But with that being said, I will be taking a bunch of movies and TV shows to watch on my laptop while I’m away…
Because as awesome as Honolulu promises to be, could it ever be any better than ’50 First Dates’???
What did I say…