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The Un-glamour Of Travel

I’ve written before that I envy one VB (Victoria Beckham aka Posh Spice) not only for her staggering Birkin collection but mainly because in any paparazzi photo of her circling the globe, she always, always looks like she’s just stepped out of a salon wearing an outfit worthy of the red carpet. I’m not at all celebrity-fixated but I often think about how it’s (im)possible to be more put together on the road, like her, when sometimes the road is not so glamorous. Case in point: I arrive at the Krakow airport in the early evening…

and follow the signs on the floor, as in the first pic, to find said train (by now in pitch black) that’s on a lonely, uncovered platform…

After being chided in Polish by the train conductor for not having exact change for the ticket–though I don’t take it personally because he is grumpy with all of the other tourists who also give him a big bill that we’ve just all pulled out from the ATM!–I still manage to make it to the city center, where I try to find my bearings by landmarks I’d noted on my phone but cannot really make out in the dark…

So what would VB do? Well, of course she wouldn’t be standing in the middle of some place without an entourage to whisk her to her hotel, with her hair frizzing out in all different directions from the humidity like yours truly. But right now the only thing that will whisk me anywhere might be a mugger so I stay close to the well-lit streets till I find some big hotel that’s always near the train stations. Luckily, the concierge knows where my hotel is and shows me on the map. I do have the general directions from Expedia, where I booked my hotel, but good luck looking at tiny street signs in the dark when you don’t know how to read the local language. Anyway, it’s probably a five-minutes walk from here, but in the dark, in a foreign town, time stands still until I finally reach it.

As I get out of my wrinkled clothes and wash my dirty face–well, I don’t know that I look like a sweaty chimney sweep or anything, but I’m from car-obsessed LA and any time I succumb to public transportation I feel a little dirty…but I digress. So as I wash my face and get in the shower, I think about all the times I’ve experienced the un-glamour of travel. From sitting on a truck with no shock absorbers in wet shorts to slushing around a flooded Venice without rain boots to sleeping in a fetal position on a night train with strangers who were eyeing my bag…

I’m still laughing about these memories as I get into bed (but not before checking for bed bugs) (which I think we should all do regardless of where we stay). I can’t always travel like VB, but glamorous or not, I love the unexpected from the road. And tomorrow is another day. Can’t wait to see what’s out there.

Comments 1

  1. beatrice

    tes photos donnent envie d’aller voir cette villle et la Pologne en général.J’aime bien suivre tes périgrinations ..

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