Honeymoon With My Brother

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Today's book was suggested by C.

Today's book; "Franz Wisner had the world by the tail. He was engaged to the beautiful Annie, with whom he shared a passion for conservative politics and a command of quotes from the movie This Is Spinal Tap. He worked as a government-relations official for a California real-estate giant, rubbing elbows with bigwig politicians. But then his fiancée dumped him days before their wedding, and his boss demoted him. So he dragged his younger brother, Kurt, a Seattle realtor and divorcé, to Costa Rica for his already-scheduled honeymoon. Both inspired and desperate, the two quit their jobs, sold their houses, gave away their belongings, and traveled the world for two years, romping through Europe in a newly purchased Saab, then hitting the Middle East, Southeast Asia, South America, and Africa. Along the way, Wisner got to know his brother in a way he never had ("Kurt had become ... my new best friend") and fought to move past his failed relationship."

The author describes his hesitation in telling his family members about his plan to travel around the world with his brother. The first person he decided to tell was his Grandmother, whose response was, "I'll buy pins and chart your trip on my world map." - A family that is supportive of his project, what a novel idea. I'm kind of jealous, since I recently discovered at the last family gathering that my Mother and Sister are the only people in the family that actually read my blog (my Dad sits and listens while my Mom reads the blog entries to him because he "doesn't really like to read.") Each family member approached me as if they were going to confession, apologized for not reading and offered up an excuse (I swear I didn't even ask them if they had read it). The excuses for not reading were varied (and rather creative), and included the following:

  • I'm not allowed to use the computer (this did not come from a child, but a person in their 50's)

  • It hurts my eyes to look at the screen.

  • I can't remember how to turn the computer on.

  • I think my computer is broken.

  • I'm afraid if I go on the Internet my computer will be attacked by a virus.

This would be just hilarious if it wasn't my life. Since it's not your life, feel free to have a good hearty laugh at my expense dear readers - I don't mind.

My favorite passage from the book involves the author attempting to buy plane tickets for his trip around the world - he tells the woman working at the airline that he wants a ticket to everywhere they fly. Here's the conversation that follows:

"Sorry, sir, but that's not how these tickets work. You need to give us exact dates and locations. We calculate the fare based on the overall miles."

"You don't have something that'll just let me go to the airport and jump on any ride? Like those VIP passes they hand out at Disneyland?"

"No, sir."

I've said it before, and I'll say it again, once you go Disney you just can't go back. Once you get used to have the staff sucking up to you 24/7, having your every whim catered to, having them pretend like they've been looking forward to such a challenge every time you make an ridiculous request - going back to regular forms of travel seems startling. It's like being wrapped up in a warm blanket on a cold day, and then all of a sudden someone yanks the warm blanket away without warning. Disney has ruined me for other forms of travel - not that I was ever a fan of travel that involved roughing it. I want air conditioning and food brought to be on trays and I don't want to have to see/think about/hear about/experience anything unpleasant. I'm a spoiled, soft, wimpy American - and I'm not ashamed to admit it. The closest I ever want to get to roughing it is reading about other people traveling that way - and quite frankly, I'm not even crazy about that.