Sunday, June 24, 2007

International currency

Quick, what's the single international currency? If you answered dollars you're wrong. Try a Starbucks gift card. Nearest I can figure, you can use that sucker anywhere in the world.

It's pretty nice to have time to worry about the small things at this point. Incredibly, there's no running around or panic. We're good to go and more than ready to do so. Patrick updated the route map and I updated the itinerary one last time as it occurred to me that I honestly have no idea where I'm going. Theoretically, of course, I can tell you. But it's all just names and numbers at this point. What do *you* know about Budapest? Me neither.

We spent about an hour last night with a scalpel surgically removing the relevant portions of about 5 guidebooks (all Rick Steves books, actually. Patrick asked a good question. Which guidebooks does HE use?) As much as I feel a little dorky/touristy carrying around a freaking guidebook, I think I'd feel a lot dumber just staring at the pretty buildings knowing nothing about them. Plus, they're no longer off-the-shelf immaculate display copies, that bewildered tourist stamp of shame. These are *workin* books; they're lean little 30 page vagabonds with staples for binding, annotated, highlighted, and better for wear. And they haven't even been on the plane yet! It's going to be an interesting return to paper products for my information needs. I already feel a little unplugged knowing I'm not going to have Wikipedia and WikiTravel at my disposal.

We were offered a last bit of advice this morning after church. In addition to receiving the traditional blessing for travelers (People need to use "Godspeed" more in their farewells!) we heard from someone who had traveled Europe already that postcards from SF are a hit abroad. Being an iconic and distinctly Californian location, it apparently hurdles barriers like Halloween revelers in the Castro. Patrick wonders if we can fine some with the Gubernator; I don't doubt that the Austrians would love to see proof that they conquered Cal-ee-forn-ya.

Wheels up at 6:50pm. Godspeed and tally-ho!

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