Sunday, September 9, 2007

Travel Bug

Why a blog?
My original intent as I started this blog was to initiate discussion, push my opinions on others in an aggressive and bellicose fashion, and communicate to friends in other places what it is like to be me at any given moment. Like I foreshadowed in the very first of few entries, I doubted I would be faithful, and knowing myself as I do, it takes little introspection to see that I have fulfilled with swift lethargy.
BUT…as I read through my infantile blog, I was swept up in the emotions that guided my fingers in each entry. It was great. So, I am committing to 30 blogs in 30 days, the first being today…a blog within a blog.

Blog Within a Blog
Sandra and I have the “travel bug.” I remember my parents using that term—“travel bug,” when I was eight years old. If I had the financial means, I would allow myself intimate knowledge of the world through travel. I doubt I would live in any given place for more than a few years. Neither would Sandra.

Since this is an unattainable fantasy, Sandra and I compensate by going to ethnic festivals. Yesterday we and our four kids hit up the Greek American festival in old downtown Toledo. It’s worth the five dollar gyros and four dollar brews to be able to walk the streets of the Toledo Greek ghetto circa 1910 for a few hours.

Before we left Sandra had a hankering for baklava, so we headed into the Greek Orthodox church so she could satisfy her refined palate. While she stood in line, I perused the orthodox booths containing ethnic art, icons, and jewelry, and enjoyed the ruddy individuals selling the stuff. I loved the authenticity of the faith. No need for emergent relevance here—just an abiding love for scripture, faith, practice, and God. I came across an old woman, Greek born, selling Greek language classes. What a sweet woman…if I have ever seen the divine exuding from a tainted creation, it was her. As we discussed the difference between Koine and Modern Greek her face lit up. She gave me her phone number and said I MUST come to her class. And we will. When else will we have the opportunity to learn from someone’s native language experience?

My bubble almost burst when I mentioned this to a guy, a big movie buff, later that night at a birthday party. As I talked about my exciting experience, he laughed, and sarcastically exclaimed, “Why would you want to do that!” What the crap? Are you serious? Yeah, what was I thinking, a movie would be so much more fulfilling! Hollyweird would be much more self-enriching than gaining a better understanding of the sociolinguistic setting in which a world religious movement was birthed.

Anyway, I’m looking forward to learning Greek better, while satisfying my inner "travel bug" at the home of the sweet Greek grandma. And I am looking forward to stretching the limits of my gumption with the next 29 blogs. If anyone who actually reads this thing sees me dragging my feet, I wholeheartedly welcome verbal chastisement.

7 comments:

Ryan said...
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RC said...

30 post in 30 days! I can't wait to seem what comes of it!

I'll be reading!

I love festivals like the one you describe. sometimes it's just neat to be around different people, and different cultures and be a true tourist, even in a place you're familiar with.

ignore your movie buff friend...a movie can't be more engrossing that real life...and this from a movie buff (or something like that)

Rob said...

Glad to hear that you will have someone with whom to share your passion for Greek. Looking forward to your blogathon.

Five Year Slumber said...

Never stay in one place for more than a few years? Are you kidding?!? I want to live in Toledo forever! :)
I love your passion for the things that really matter in life... like glowing jack-o-lanterns in our closet! Love you!

Amanda Rickman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amanda Rickman said...

you never let your readers down dude.
there's no doubt your kids will remember this stuff.
I SO DO...
My Aunt always made a practice of dating ethnic guys, bringing us along to a new kind of festival every so often! The Greek Festival is my strongest memory w/ large circles of dark-heads dancing wildly w/ wonderful aromas wafting through the air.

Everyone needs culture. sadly enough, dull "Americans" are w/ what we often surround ourselves, thus movie-buff man would have it no other way.

Nate Watson said...

@RC...Thanks! I wish I had more time to develop the context of movie guy--I certainly wasn't putting down your interest, for in reading your blog, your interest becomes mine.

@Rob...you keep my wheels turning in the weird world no non-profit

@FYS...I love sharing my passions with you, my greatest passion!

@AR...I enjoyed the descriptive language of your comment...made me want to go back to the Greek Fest. Your Aunt would have loved the bounty of Ethinc dudes wandering the grounds!