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Amangani: Roaming in Wyoming

[Okay, I’m doing it. I’m trying to post to this blog again. Apologies to all of you who were promised endless hours of blog merriment from us as we travelled the world 🙂 This time, I will try not to hold myself to such high standards as to prevent me from actually posting anything.]

So, for Jon’s birthday, we decided to veer from our world travels for a little local skiing — in Jackson, Wyoming. Amangani, the place where we are staying, took it upon themselves to celebrate Jon’s birthday by secreting some balloons in our room!

As you can see, Jon has really taken to his Balloon.

Is he delighted with his cake, inscribed Monkeys Rule!? Hard to say. In any case, Jon’s a big fan of monkeys. On our next journey, we are heading to places in Africa, where he will be able to experience his primate kin first hand. Stay tuned!!

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still in Shanghai. Heading home Nov 4th. Still no Twitter or FB. Sorry if you’ve written me and I haven’t responded. Censorship sucks!@@

if you're wondering how I'm posting this now (and skating the censors), check out You can post via email to Twitter + FB!!!

Posted via email from laureltouby’s posterous

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Five Songs In English (And One In Italian) That Are Grievously Overplayed On Italian Radio

I never especially needed to hear any of these songs more than once in the first place. But after a couple of weeks of driving around Italy and listening to the radio I absolutely I never need to hear any of them again for the rest of my life. Seriously. They each get played once every ten minutes. At least.

If any of the following seem like obvious and over-familiar choices, reflective  of the homogenization of pop-culture across the globe—well, don’t blame me, blame the radio programmers of Italy.

Lily Allen: “Fuck You”
Muse: “Uprising” (I still could be convinced that this one’s just an elaborate joke.)
Black Eyed Peas: “I Gotta Feeling” (No link. You’ve heard it a zillion times already.)
Shakira: “Shewolf” (See previous comment.)
Lady Gaga: “Paparazzi”

Embedded above, and also all over the radio now:  Vasco Rossi’s “Ad Ogni Costo,” a cover of Radiohead’s “Creep” sung entirely in Italian, save for the word “fucking.” (I know what the lyrics on this YouTube video claim, but listen for yourself. If you can.)

Between that and the Lily Allen song, I am starting to wonder whether there is some looseness granted re broadcast standards and cursing here if the bad-word is sung in English.

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signs and shutters in the night

There’s something about faded old signs and window shutters that just force me to start clicking away. Hope I’m not boring you.

I don’t quite know how to arrange the photos beautifully on the page. Sorry 😦

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mega-porcinis, jasmine-scented urinal cake, anyone?

After a 40-minute drive through narrow, windy roads, up and down hills and through darkened neighborhoods, we arrived here. Nothing else on the street was open.

Our appetizer consisted of one of these GIANT porcinis, thinly sliced, with olive oil and salt. In a word: delectable:

For dessert, we ordered Jasmine Sorbet. Sounded good, but Jon swore that it tasted like a “urinal cake.” I’m still wondering how he knows that flavor…

For the food-obsessed, more pictures from that dinner: PHOTOS.

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Ah, Venezia!

We foolishly planned NO time to really see Venice. It’s been rather a whirlwind tour (one night only!). But, in that time, we met and interviewed a couple of local biodynamic wine-makers (that will be a recurrent theme in Italy; Jon is fascinated with this subject); we’ve had a meal or three, we’ve kind of recuperated from the long trip here.

(Top) A classic shot of Venice, from our taxi to the hotel where we stayed, Hotel Bonvecchiati. (Bottom) One of Venice’s famous biodynamic wine-makers, Mauro Lorenzon. He also owns a fabulous little wine bar/restaurant called Enoteca Mascareta.

Click on the link for other photos from the day in…  Venice

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So a guy and a girl get on a plane.

So, the short version of it is that we will be travelling—a lot—in the next several months. We will take pictures. We will shoot video. We will meet with the occasional journalist, media exec and media entrepreneur. We will read. We will eat. We will drink wine. And we will record what we do and see here.

We leave for the first leg of our journeys later this month, around the 24th, to be semi-exact. We’ll spend three weeks in Italy and three or four weeks in China.

That all seems very far away right now, given all that we need to get done before we leave. Among other things, I’ve gotten so many travel-related vaccinations in the past weeks I feel like I’m doing a reasonable impression of a pincushion. Generally a crush of logistics and organizational matters make me lose my mind, though this is something Laurel has yet to notice about me  [severe coughing ]. But today all of what’s going on– how soon we’re leaving and how fast it’s coming together and how much needs to be done between here and there—achieved the precise velocity to release exactly enough adrenaline to make all of it feel joyous.



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Welcome to CultureTripping!

Jon Fine and I are traveling around the world for the next six months and this is the place where we’ll be sharing info about our travels. We hope you’ll join us for the ride.


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