I Got An Itch

I have the travel itch, and it’s right between my shoulder blades, that spot that’s just impossible to reach without a few $1,000 bills.


Stupid economy.

Spain is my obsession today. Tomorrow it’ll be Morocco or Brazil. It was Turkey for a good week there. But let’s face it, right about now, you could bargain me down to Canada as long as I didn’t have to drink a Molsons. I could go to Montreal and listen to them speak French and pretend I wasn’t more or less in really upstate New York.

I’m desperate over here. So desperate I’ve been pretend traveling, which mostly involves watching food shows hosted by Anthony Bourdain and lusting after his job. Okay, so I can’t make a soufflé, but have you seen the guy in a swimsuit? I win hands down as long as you let me keep the cover-up on and don’t mind that I’m so pale I actually glow in the dark. (Dude, totally true. I am my own nightlight.)

When that fails, I read books set in foreign locales; although, I could be a little more discriminating. Germany during the Nazi reign is rather dreary. There’s fish entrails soup for one thing, which I realize sounds exactly like something Anthony Bourdain would eat but somehow is less appetizing in the midst of genocide.

It’s not like I have to travel high on the hog; although I do appreciate a few minor creature comforts – things like cleanliness. I once stayed in a London hotel with a shared bath that lacked soap but did have a hamster-sized ball of hair in the shower for your exfoliation needs. Our bed was literally short-sheeted, and I feared touching the floor with my bare feet.

After one night, during which I caught a horrible cold and was reduced to consuming nothing but Sprite and digestive biscuits – sadly this wasn’t much worse than English food in general – I turned to my husband and said, “If you take me to the Hilton, I will perform any sexual act you can think of.”

He thought for a moment and then replied, “What does the Best Western get me?”

(I swear I am not making that up.)

We stayed in the hamster hairball hotel.

And right now? That sounds like heaven. There is not here, and that’s just what I want. Damn itch.