Tuesday, April 25, 2006

The Romantic Gringo Makes Her First On-Line Appearance


The Romantic Gringo recieved her nom de plume in Guadalajara in May '05. She was sitting in one of the city's best restaurants, La Fonda de la Noche (photo on left) with the owner, Carlos Ibarra, complaining about the nonexistence of 2nd class buses to Mexico City. "First class buses are terrible," she insisted, "They play ridiculously loud American movies and air condition the hell out of you." "What?" Carlos asked in disbelief, adding, sensibly, "The movies make the trip go faster." "Not for me," R.G. retorted, "The windows don't open, and lots of times there's a curtain in the middle of the window. I want to see the Mexican countryside: That's the whole point of a bus trip!" "What a romantic gringo!" Carlos declared, laughing.

R.G. saw immediately that a romantic gringo was indeed what she was. Her traveling tastes are anti-bourgeois to the point of being unintelligible to the general public. For example, she abhors renovation. Wall-to-wall carpeting and TVs in hotel rooms make her cringe. This reverse snobbery frustrates others and subsequently herself in travelsite chat rooms. And while R.G. devours travel guides, often traveling with three at a time, she can't find the kinds of rooms she wants listed--or if they're in there, the descriptions obscure the goodness. All-important photos rarely attend, and R.G. needs to see photos.

Hence, R.G. has started this blog so that other romantic travelers of a certain idiosyncratic temperment might share her finds. She doesn't travel often, so the updates will be infrequent. The scope of her travels is small and repetitive: these days, Mexico is a favorite as is Paris. And she isn't interested in winning any popularity contests. People are welcome to think she's an ass, but she doesn't want to fight with them about it. To that end, she will list upfront her general desires in a hotel room, in no particular order:

1. Character
2. Charm
3. Age
4. History
5. Quiet street location
6. Unstudied decor
7. Frugal rates

For those seven graces, R.G. will put up with curfews and tromps down the hall for a shower. She will even withstand a lumpy mattress, although she does not like a lumpy mattress. She doesn't require any service at all, beyond basic, intelligent interactions with the staff. Her tastes are not everyone's; this blog has a very limited target audience. If you are a like-minded romantic traveler (no need to be gringo, of course; R.G. is not prejudiced), please share your discoveries. Homogenized traveling is taking over, and we need to give these old gems our (albeit limited) financial support.

Happy travels of faded grandeur,

The Romantic Gringo

6 Comments:

Blogger chelsea girl said...

Welcome, RG, to the blogosphere. May you find your travels here as charming and no-brow as you do the ones in the analog world.

7:40 AM  
Blogger J-Dog said...

I like your architecture, you should blog more often...

12:51 AM  
Blogger The Romantic Gringo said...

A comment from a stranger! How exciting! R.G. was quite sure she was talking to herself. Now she feels all public and exposed, and she's ashamed to admit she likes it.

8:02 AM  
Blogger c.k. said...

Green go home! Gringo home!

Ha ha. Anyhoot, good seeing you last night. I've subscribed to your RSS feed and will now use my pull as a B-list blogebrity to get you recognized by more anonymous commentators!

Viva la dance dance revolucion!

1:12 PM  
Blogger rg'sbrother said...

You might be thinking, "I bet it'd be kickass to take a vacation with the Romantic Gringo. She knows what's up!" Well I will gladly take that bet, for I am RG's brother. So please, if you know of any hotels, motels, or restaurants anywhere that meet RG's exacting specifications, post them here. She will be grateful, but even more grateful will be her travel partners, who might thereby be spared the endless search along the unbeaten paths of the world for an undiscovered and magical place to stop.

4:56 PM  
Blogger rg'sbrother said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4:56 PM  

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