Friday, September 24, 2004

My parents and younger sister are now on their to Russia to pay my diplomat brother a visit. My brother, who's currently stationed at the Philippine Embassy in Moscow could only afford to give out two visa applications to our parents and he managed to give my sister an entry by listing her under his employ. They'll be staying there for a whole month. Though the thought of staying in a huge continent near the North Pole does have its appeal (being landlocked to other European countries doesn't hurt too) I put off the thought of being envious of the opportunity from my mind. But if given the opportunity to fly there, the first thing I would do is to tour famous gravesites like the Lenin Mausoleum in the middle of the Red Square, St. Petersburg where a whole gaggle of Russian royalty are buried including the place where Peter the Great's son, Alexis is buried. This last one is the most interesting of all, because according to the Travel Channel's account Alexis was ordered buried by his father under the church stairs after his execution so that people will step over his grave (thus humiliating him) forever. That's why I like going to countries rich in history like Prague, Austria, Vienna, Florence, Rome, and others. Although, if you were to ask me what country I'd want to visit right now I'd say it would be a toss between Ireland and Japan.

In the Emerald Isle I'd like to have the opportunity to see, touch, smell and generally experience the Irish countryside, talk to people and learn the accent. I'd like to sip a bit of Guinness to satisfy my curiosity about its taste. I'd like to know what battered, deep-fried Mars chocolate bar tastes like (I think this one's in Scotland but it's still available throughout the whole British Empire), what it feels like to go back-packing, hiking and hitching a ride at the back of horse-drawn carriages and visiting taverns, to stand before medieval castles and learn about their rich culture and history. As for Japan, I like the craziness of it. People dress up the way they want to without anyone bothering them about it. I like to get ahold of obscure anime and manga and not feel like I'm following a trend, I want to eat shelves of sushi, sashimi, tempura, and gallons of miso soup. I want to take a dip in the hot springs of Aso and see the macaque monkeys of Oshima Island doing the same. I want to watch their festivals and experience the joys of having a picnic under the blooming cherry trees. Those would be really perfect.

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