Death by Tartar Sauce: A Travel Writer Encounters: Gargantuan Gators, Irksome Offspring, Murderous Mayonnaise & True Love

Death by Tartar Sauce: A Travel Writer Encounters: Gargantuan Gators, Irksome Offspring, Murderous Mayonnaise & True Love

by Jules Older, Effin Older

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The writer's maxim is Show, Don't Tell. So, here's a sample from Death by Tartar Sauce... Loser in Leukerbad Some people travel so easily. They walk lightly on the earth. They exude peace and harmony. They hold onto their belongings. I envy these people. I'm the traveler who loses his wallet, loses his guide, loses his way. I'm a loser. Take my trip to Switzerland. As I board the United flight in San Francisco Airport, I suddenly realize I’ve left my shirt in Security. The flight attendant warns: “Not sure you can make it. Security’s a long way, and we depart in 15 minutes… with or without you.” “I'm a runner,” I lie. And off I run. Fourteen minutes, 30 seconds later I'm back, gasping for breath but shirt in hand. Then, in Chicago, as I board the airport train, I drop the backpack containing cell phone, camera and camcorder on the platform. A Black women’s quartet spots the disaster-in-the-making, directs me to the pack and holds up the train while I dive for my invaluables. Then, they serenade me with a sweet rendition of Just a Closer Walk with Thee. I have always relied on the kindness of angels. When I reach Switzerland, I make my way south on the country’s famously punctual trains. Two trains and a bus later — all on time to the minute — I’m in snowy Leukerbad munching on apple strudel and enjoying it so much that I leave my parka on the back of the chair. The next day, after I've recovered the fanny pack I left at breakfast, I go snowshoeing. The snowshoe experience is lovely and silent…except, what's that roar? A plane? A turbine? No — an avalanche! It’s one of the most chilling sounds I've ever heard. Loud enough to rattle windows, long enough to make me consider my mortality. And there's an intrusive thought: This town has been wiped out by avalanche before. No, wait — the last time was January 17, 1719. Guess I'm reasonably safe, after all. After the hike, my fellow snowshoers and I head for Leukerbad’s modern ice rink for a quick hot chocolate and a long, competitive game of a sport I've made fun of my entire adult life. Now, I'd like to apologize. Curling is not the incredibly lame, totally unathletic, funny-hat-on-the-head faux-sport involving brooms I took it for. There's considerable skill involved. Even that crazy brooming is kinda fun. Think bowling on ice. Picture croquet with a forty-pound rock. But that night, I join a Leukerbad activity that makes curling look normal. It’s called “Kino im Pool.” I have no clue what that means. I do as I'm told: Don a swimsuit and head down to the big indoor/outdoor pool at the Alpentherme. As we relax in the warm waters, the lights dim, and a large screen fills with... James Bond. Yes, it’s Quantum of Solace. I've been to drive-in movies; this is my first swim-in movie... So what do we have here? A perfect Swiss mountain village that lives on water. Some is in the form of snow; some as ice, and the rest in healing pools. How sweet it is. And here's an inside tip. At the many-pooled Burgerbad, a.k.a. City Bath, swimsuits are required. At the tasteful Walliser Saunadorf, a.k.a. Sauna Village, swimsuits are verboten. Not discouraged — verboten. Unless you enjoy a stern lecture in Swiss-German in front of a lot of naked people, don’t bring your swimsuit. Wasn't a problem for me — I'd lost my mine two days before.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780984858019
Publisher: BookBaby
Publication date: 06/11/2012
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 123
File size: 260 KB

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