Jump to content

Goin' to Europe?


Recommended Posts

In recent times, I have also taken:

 

Bubble paper with masking tape, for instances where I need to put one or two bottles of wine in my suitcase. I place a large plastic bag around the bubble paper to avoid problems in the event of breakage. The bubble paper is also useful if I buy souvenirs which are fragile, but which I don't want to handcarry.

 

Wine label removers, although those don't work when the wine label is damp (e.g., during chilling) from being served at a restaurant. The removers don't work very well in general.

 

Mini translator translator machine (which I might need for Italian trips, etc.). This is very inexpensive.

 

I've also input the retail price of all applicable vintages of my favorite wine into my Blackberry, so I can be ready to order it at any restaurant.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 73
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Cabby's list reminds me of something else: I try to buy a map, before I leave, so I can study it in advance. I have found that if I take care of sometimes a little boring but necessary details before I go, I can spend my time more productively once I'm at my destination, i.e., have more time for fun, rather than trying to figure out how to get from A to B. Pre-planning frees up time for exploration, discovery and maybe talking to people about something more interesting than getting directions (although that can be interesting, too.)

Link to post
Share on other sites
For Europe and the states I love the streetwise maps.

Nice for you urbanites but less helpful for finding fishing spots...

 

(I recognize this is a specialized concern. Do carry on!)

 

Fly

(DeLormes are so darned big)

Link to post
Share on other sites
Let me provide a partial answer to my own question. Anyone going to France should know that the French, from infancy, are indoctrinated in a rigid etiquette. Failing to honor it marks you as rude.

 

When you enter a shop or restaurant, for example, you always say, "Bonjour, Monsieur (or Madame)," and when you leave you always say, "Au revoir , Monsieur (or Madame)." You never omit the honorific Monsieur or Madame. This practice marks you as polite, and greases the gears of commerce.

 

(If you anticipate coming back, you can substitute à bientot for au revoir.)

 

Politeness returns politeness, and those who practice this simple courtesy rarely return home with tales of how rude the French are.

Before several trips to Italy in the 1990s, I had read that a similar sense of etiquette prevails there. (A Roman friend subsequently confirmed this.) But, it being Italy, a simple "Buon giorno" will suffice. The important thing is to make eye contact with the shopkeeper & smile & greet him or her. Makes a big difference.

 

And if you're going anywhere in Tuscany or Umbria, the Cadogan guide to those regions is the best guidebook to anywhere that I've ever read.

 

I pore over maps & guidebooks for months while planning a trip. Haven't gone abroad since we went online in Y2K, sadly, but I imagine I'd get more of my info from the Net now, as I do for domestic travel.

Link to post
Share on other sites

If you go to Marseille, especially to the ghetto wear a t-shirt with a pig on it and greet everyone, especially *yuckier* darker types with a loud OINK. Demand pork merguez!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(I don't usually add an I'm kidding disclaimer, but in case some random person takes this seriously I'M KIDDING. I don't want you to get the crap beaten out of you on vacation)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...