Excerpts from Exaggerated Tales of an Ordinary Man Travel Journals
China. The tranquility of this beautiful setting in the Emperor’s Garden is quickly forgotten outside the perimeter. Busses around tourist attractions are a test of personal space. We enter a standing-room-only bus with ten people in the aisle. Next stop: two people exit, and twelve enter the bus. Everyone squeezes closer. Another stop: one person exits, and fifteen enter the bus. Everyone presses closer. Third stop: no one exits; fourteen people enter the bus. The people outside the bus are pushing others to create enough space so they can ride the bus. We are compacted. If someone sneezes . . .
The American South, Saint Simons Island. A long, wonderful weekend of celebrations: a birthday, Kentucky Derby, and Cinco de Mayo. We have a new iPhone with Siri, the talking phone. One of our meals involves the search for fresh shrimp. We have the market address and Siri, should we get lost. After five exhaustive searches of a four-block area, we ask Siri, “What are we doing here?” She answered, “Frankly, I was beginning to wonder myself!”
Charleston, a peaceful, funky, and graceful city. A city with a singular thought concerning buildings: if it’s old, there are rules. A city that preserves its heritage and beautifully restores the southern homes. Imagination and a few minutes will transport you to a time of cotton, tobacco, cotillions, and plantations.
Preserved buildings occasionally get hiccups. While we are out, the toilet in our room decides, on its own, to flood our third-floor room and the same rooms on the second and first floors. No problem, the restored hotel has a procedure for this. (They actually have a procedure—wonder why!) We are given another room. But wait—the plumber left with the room key. Three hours later the manager finds a ring of 300+ keys. 188 keys later we enter our old room.
Italy is a great vacation with great friends. There is not enough space here to list all the
wonderful sites and attractions. We enjoyed Italy so much we left it on the bucket list. On a Sunday afternoon, watching local bands march in the town square, a tour guide holding high a tattered orange umbrella walks past us, but she has no tour group. There is an invisible wake as she cuts through the crowd, as if ghosts are following her. Two minutes pass before she retraces her steps to return the spirits of her patrons. The Ghost Guide helped spark a writing career.
Leo N. Ardo: – I am a thirty-five year veteran of small business, and author of the Jon Hersey – Industrial Spy series. I enjoy photography, fly fishing, biking, and embellishing our travel experiences in journals titled Exaggerated Tales of an Ordinary Man.
We call Utah and Wyoming home.
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Hoping life blesses you with good stories!