I guess I am jealous of Susan’s recent visit to Florida, so I am going to share my impressions of Florida on a trip I had a few years ago. I was surprised because it was like we were in Europe, surrounded by tons of English people, a few French, and one older Italian-Canadian couple. Once I adjusted to the idea, I had mixed feelings. It’s good because we’ll never be able to afford a real vacation to England, so it was like getting a free one without the passports and culture shock, but bad, because America is becoming the low-rent place for Europeans to slum around in with their strong Euro while we’re limping along on our sad little dollar. The crappy little hotel we could afford to stay in was owned by this cool guy, a former garage mechanic I believe, who was always telling our daughter to “be a good girl for mummy and daddy” in his low-class English garage mechanic accent. We would sort of stand near him half the time at the broken shuffle board court, just so we could hear him talk.
The Italian man asked me if I supported war since it was during the Iraq invasion and I said no, kind of surprised at his directness. Then he started crying and telling me how he had to run from bombs when he was a teenager during WWII. He was so scared and had no shoes, so I felt pretty bad about everything, even though I didn’t support war, and so, to assuage my feelings and his, I started bringing him and his wife little presents of chocolate and other things every night because of what he had to suffer when he was younger, even though I wasn’t born then and couldn’t really make up for it. I guess that was the poignant part of the trip.