Today I'm going to quote from a 1989 book by Bill Bryson called The Lost Continent - "Travels in Small-Town America":
Then one gray Sunday afternoon when I was about ten I was watching TV and there was a documentary on about moviemaking in Europe. One clip showed Anthony Perkins walking along some sloping city street at dusk. I don't remember now if it was Rome or Paris, but the street was cobbled and shiny with rain and Perkins was hunched deep in a trench coat and I thought: "Hey, c'est moi!" I began to read - no, I began to consume - National Geographic, with their pictures of glowing Lapps and mist-shrouded castles and ancient cities of infinite charm. From that moment, I wanted to be a European boy. I wanted to live in an apartment across from a park in the heart of a city ,and from my bedroom window look out on a crowded vista of hills and rooftops. I wanted to ride trams and understand strange languages. I wanted friends named Werner and Marco who wore short pants and played soccer in the street and owned toys made of wood. I cannot for the life of me think why. I wanted my mother to send me out to buy long loaves of bread from a shop with a wooden pretzel hanging above the entrance. I wanted to step outside my front door and be somewhere.
Shopping today at Yaohan, the Japanese supermarket chain which has a branch down in Saratoga (but none in the Washington DC area - one of the reasons I'm here, not there). Bought four things:
Additional shopping at Barnes & Noble - bought two books:
My own awareness/connection with things Euro was partially triggered
by the general environmental descriptions I got from The White
Mountains (the first book in the Trilogy, from 1967). The
description of a walk through an abandoned European capital fascinated me
in middle school. A few years later more intrigants - I discovered
Tin-Tin comics, and other influential literature was some Hemingway,
The Drifters by Michner, and Vagabonding by Ed Buryn.
I really should move there - I could - but life in the US, especially California, is so comfortable. October (next trip planned there, my seventh) is less than six months, now - soon enough.
Also today bought a classical CD at Tower - Orchestral Suites by Bach, on the inexpensive Naxos label - it's a pleasant bit of baroque but not what I really wanted; that's actually the 1st Cello Suite. Not sure about a whole CD of cello; will instead try to borrow this one from the library.
nori - seasoned sheets of dried seaweed
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<1>Although someday I really have to follow through on the recommendations of the Green House sushi guy, who said Onigoroshi brand was his favorite - it supposedly has a melony taste (but it's expensive). Also he recommended Hakushika, which is another domestic brand, from Colorado, I believe. Back