Tuesday, May 01, 2007

"So, what is home, to you?"

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Almost two years later ...

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"So how long have you been there? Four years now?"

Me: "Ha! Not even two years!! You must've missed me that much, huh? I'm flattered."

"Well, not that. But normal people, they would show up back at home at least once a year--if not twice or three times per year--and you? No email, no telephone calls ... nothing. And let me see ... your last blog entry ... November 19th, 2006 ..."

Me: "Hey, at least I'm still updating my Flickr site! Take a look!"

"Fine. Tulips, tulips ... and a bunch of old-looking windmills. Are these the things that keep you there? Geez, I hope you didn't forget your allergy medicines. Ah, I see. Of course. Now I see ... there're the chicks!!"

Me: " ... "





"So how's Mt. Blanc?"

Me: "Best time in my life. Chamonix-Mt-Blanc ... the 'Death Sports Capital of the World'. You should read Kristen Ulmer's description of it in Epinions. She describes it there very well. Snowboarding along the 40-50 meters-high séracs--glowing crystal-blue walls of ice that formed as a result of glacial movement--the experience is simply out of this world. Of course, there are the crevasses too--gaps in the otherwise smooth glacier surfaces--you've always got to be in the lookout ... those things could be as deep as 2-3 hundred meters!"

" ... "



Me: "And at one time the weather was so crappy ... the funny thing was that it was quite sunny on top of the lift ... though you could see from there that you would have to snowboard through the clouds. Oh yeah. After about 200-300 meters descent, it was so windy and it was snowing so hard that we had visibility of no more than 2-3 meters ... if you could still call it "visibility". To protect against a fall into the crevasses, we were snowboarding while tied together on a rope. That was exciting!"

"Excuse me ... exciting??? Did it ever occur to you that when one guy falls, all of you might get dragged into the cliff ... crevasse ... whatever you call those things???"

Me: "Hey, I came back alive, didn't I? But fortunately, I did not get to test that theory about the rope and the crevasse. So let's just assume the guide knew what he's doing ..."

"So when are you coming back?"

Me: "Who says I will? Besides, coming back where?"

"So you're not coming back? You know, back here? Don't you miss us?"

Me: "I don't know. The guys who're deciding don't know--they're too busy with other things. So, in the meanwhile, I am making myself home."

"So you've found yourself your greener grass?"

Me: "Ha. Funny that you mentioned grass. We have a lot less grass over here that my allergy is actually doing a lot better--at least when I am sitting at home in the center of the city!"

"Oh gosh. I hope you didn't suffer too bad in the tulips garden. So, beyond the lack of grass, what do you like so much about Europe ... about Belgium?"

Me: "Well let's see ... didn't we just discuss this? The tulips, the old-looking windmills ..."

"Oh gosh, give me a break ... in Memphis you've got tulips growing in your own backyard!! You've got to mean the chicks???"

Me: "Yeah, yeah ... you're just jealous. Anyway, those are the things you don't find in the United States. Come on. You know my tulips didn't even bloom ... they were just barely poking out of the ground ... And then of course, there are Chamonix and the Alps ..."

"But weren't you the one who said that Utah had the best snow on earth?"

Me: "Yes, Utah still has the best snow on earth. But you can't find Chamonix either in the US. Truth is, there is no comparison. There is no grass that is greener or greenest. They're just ... different."