Monday 9 September 2013


My friend Dave is leaving today for a vacation that he and his wife have been wanting to do since they met each other over forty years ago. It is probably more like 50 years ago. They are doing a Mediterranean Cruise with a week or so in Rome. Dave is a sucker for the Roman ruins and I’m sure when he is there he will be transported back in time to witness the Roman Empire in all it’s glory.
Dave worked in construction for many years and when his back gave out, he bought a Lotto booth which is where I met him. I have been buying losing tickets from Dave for the better part of twenty years. I thought about trying to claim him and his wife as dependants on my taxes one year, but I was told that I couldn’t. Dave has passed the business to his son Ron who after a couple of years has decided that he wants to pursue some other way to make ends meet. They are in the process of handing over the business to the new owners and by the time Dave returns from Europe, that part of their life will be over.

Dave has planned the trip down to the second it seems. He knows where and when he will be every day. I imagine that he has studied the ruins that he is particularly interested in and will be able to correct the tour guide if they make a mistake. I can’t get over how excited he is about this trip. I don’t think I’ve ever been that excited about anything in my life. Mind you, I haven’t waited fifty years to do anything either. I hope that the trip is all that he hopes for and more.
I am sure it would be if there weren’t about a million other people milling about those ruins. Just like Dave, there are many people that have a need to see what the Romans left behind when the empire crumbled. I don’t know Dave well enough to know if he likes crowds or detests them as I do. If I see five people in line at the Tim Horton’s, I get back in the car and drive to the next one. I can’t imagine my reaction to waiting in line for hours to see and old Roman ruin. Yes I can, I would say “Screw this shit! I can look at pictures and see the place in better detail.”

Not only would I say that, I have said that about other tourist sites that I didn’t see. I’m not sure if I am happy about the way I reacted or not. I wouldn’t have minded seeing some of those places, just without the people.

Anyways, good luck to Dave on his dream vacation and I hope that it lives up to his expectations. Those old Romans could really put on a show I’ve heard. 

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