Ahh, the restful atmosphere of Saturday mornings. After a hard week’s worth of labor, I seem to always look forward to it. No plans. Just a good dose of French Roast and Channel six to keep me company.
When I was a kid (not too long ago, I’d like to think it was), I, too, was glued to Saturday morning cartoons. But instead of Spongebob and Teen Titans, it was more like, Dick Dastardly and Superfriends. You do remember these Hanna-Barbera classics, don’t you? Granted, they were before Cable TV but, that’s beside the point.
Anyhow, this morning, I skipped the cartoons and opted for my usual fare of commercial-free PBS shows, instead. I love the relaxing effect of watching a painter demonstrate how to compose a nature scene on an empty canvas; or a host taking the viewer to the best yard sale bargains in town. But my favorite ones, by far, are the cooking shows. You learn so much about people’s culture by seeing them in action in their own kitchens. Right now, I am watching back-to-back episodes of different cooks highlighting heritage cuisine from Scandinavia, Naples, Yucatan, Louisiana, Shanghai and yes, even Martha Stewart’s own kitchen.
Right this moment, it’s Julia Child watching a featured Chef bake some French pastry. Not only are these shows making me hungry for a quick brunch, perhaps; but more significantly, it’s triggering my desire to travel to cultural destinations, at some point in my life.
Now, it’s really easy to want to go to places where it’s fairly safe. Where they speak your language. Where they eat, more or less, the same stuff you do. Maybe, even have somewhat similar landscape as your own backyard. That’s why I love shows like Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservation. This is brave. This is adventure. A real traveler’s dream. Also, last year, Jamie Oliver had a short series where he traveled all over Italy and cooked for monks, among other things.
I like the hands-on approach to traveling. Instead of being touristy and watching things from a distance, I like the idea of temporarily living as a local. I believe, this is how you grow tremendously in your humanity. You only grow so much if what you understand goes no further than your own neighborhood. Being a citizen of the world is what I consider one of the greatest fulfillments one can ever achieve in life. It’s when you are able to really practice humility in its sincerest form. Because, it’s a fact… the more you experience the world, the more you realize how small you are in the scheme of things.
One day, I would like to visit as many places around the world as I can. And learn. And grow. I would love to be able to smell the aroma in the air. Taste the spices in their food. Hear the music of their ancestors. Listen to their diction as they converse with each other. And, who cares what they’re talking about?
However, if time and money would ever get in the way, I could at least narrow it down to three places. China, India and Italy.
Now, I’m seriously hungry. 🙂