When we went to France in December, the first few days were a little rough. I know, I know,poor Spike, cranky on the Riviera. But flying a gazillion miles does take it's toll and I remember being really frustrated. We'd heard over and over you can't get a bad meal in France, or at least that doing so was a particularly hard task. But the jet lag had us waking up at weird hours which, combined with the fact that restaurants close for a few hours in the middle of the day, left us with limited options. The lack of real food and the sleep deprivation left me wanting to scream and, as Warren was the only person I knew, I found myself venting in his general direction.
I sent a note home to a friend then, bemoaning my circumstances, including (especially) my own shitty attitude. He sent me back a note reminding me that one should never, everunderestimate the power of jet lag to wreak havoc. I kept that in mind this time around and the advice has served me well. When I feel myself getting a little edgy, I contemplate the realities of traveling far, far away and having an upside down internal clock and not speaking the language or knowing how to get around. Really, I think it's a lot like being a little kid strapped into a stroller, at the mercy of adults. On the one hand, you get a sense of wonder-- everything is new and interesting. On the other hand, you must relinquish any sense (real, or more likely false) of control you rely on in your day-to-day life in more familiar surroundings.
So okay, good, all that knowledge helps. But one thing that cannot be gotten around, at least not for me, is the GD constipation that comes with flying halfway around the world. Happens every time. David Sedaris has a great essay about a trip to summer camp in Greece, about not shitting for an entire summer, and about winding up with his intestines "packed like a musket." About three days into my own musket experience, I was seeking a good remedy, preferably one that did not involve Ex-Lax. And I found it-- FIGS my friends. Lots and lots of figs. I bought about four pounds at the market and ate about three pounds that very night. Let's just say I'm clean as a whistle now. Thank you figs.
To celebrate my victory over the musket, I created a new holiday, which we are referring to asCaca Tov-- which translates roughly to Good Poop. This holiday, or at least the name of it, has gone over very well with Warren's niece, as we continue to work on teaching one another words in English and Hebrew. I'm up to about seven words now and figure if I stay here for another thirty years I should be able to ask where the bathroom is and be able to order my own falafel sandwiches.
I also learned that "yom" is day and "yam" (sp?) is sea. So when we were in the Mediterranean, it was our Yom Yam. Or maybe it was our Yam Yom. Or, as Warren explained, when you put both words together it means, "Delicious!" (So funny, Warren.)
Here are some more pictures: